To be like Grandma and Grandpa

Call me a hippie or old fashioned or nostalgic, but there is something drawing me to the way things used to be done.  I want to think more like my grandparents did.  You know, when you grew some of your own food, when you shopped local and built lasting relationships with people in your own town, when you bought things that were actually made in America, and when you chose products that would stand the test of time and not made to break in a few months, when you actually planned on keeping your things for the long haul instead for a year or two when a fancier model came out, when you drove your car til it completely fell apart (which took a long time in those days) and lived without car payments and were out of style, but without the stress of debt, when you actually fixed things that broke instead of immediately replacing it.  I’m going to be honest, most of those things go against my consumer desires.  I like bright shiny fancy new things.  I like to throw things away.  I am a product of American consumerism and I kinda like it that way.

So, what started all this change in thinking?  My own Mr. Fix-It-Husband.  You see we own our business (a local American business, ha)  and when Husband buys tools and supplies he needs them to actually be built to last so that he doesn’t have to replace them every 6 months.  You see, even I understand that it’s not very cost effective to be replacing things all the time.  And you know who makes good quality products that they’re proud of?  Americans.  So when he can buy a product that’s made out of more than just plastic and made to last and it’s made by Americans, that’s a done deal in his mind.  He strives to give his customers the longest lasting and best products and work that he can and so he makes choices that will help him achieve those goals.

Now, the shopping world wants you to buy the trends, go in debt, and not care who made it or where it came from.  (I’m gonna be a hater for a minute on The Bank of Edwardsville.  Their bright flashing sign encourages people to take out loans for trips and fun.  I mean, c’mon.  If you don’t have the money for the trip, then you don’t go.  Moving on.)  It’s no wonder we make bad financial decisions.  It’s taking me a while to change my mindset and I still buy and do things without thinking.  But I want to strive to buy more American made products.  It’s both harder and easier than one might think.  It takes some work and thought and sometimes more money up front.

What do you do when there’s not an American made option?  First, be sad that there’s not.  Second, ask Husband what to do.  ha  The other day he was shopping for some tool.  There wasn’t one made in America.  What did he do?  Turned all the options over to see where they were made.  China.  China.  Germany.  German made it is.  If you can’t buy it made in America, then buy anything not made in China.  That’s his rule of thumb.

So there you go.  Buy American made, or at least not made in China.

Anyways, think a little more like your grandma, nana, meemaw, papa, grandpa, or pops.  There are a lot of things that we could learn from their lifestyle.

(The irony does not escape me here that we want to buy American made products, but adopt a non-American made baby.)

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What American made products do you buy?

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Don’t be a Hater.

Don’t hate me for this post…I’m really doing you a favor.  🙂

So, I recently joined Tupperware.  Yep, that’s right, it’s 1946 at the Stuehlmeyer house.  I have always loved loved loved Tupperware.  (Ask my mom, I threaten to take her and my Granny B’s Tupperware quite regularly.)  I mean, c’mon it lasts forever!  I’m talking the real deal here, actual Tupperware, not that fake stuff like Rubbermaid and Ziplock and stuff.  Well, I recently watched Plastic Planet and I had a serious moral dilemma with my love of Tupperware.  In fact, the irony is that the morning after watching Plastic Planet on Netflix I received a big box of Tupperware on my front porch.  Ugh.

I finally decided that I’m not going to quit using plastic wrap, or reusable plastic bottles, or my tv, or my clothes, or the 8 million other plastic components in our lives, and I’m certainly not going to be sending glass containers with my kindergartner for lunch (nor do I want to use 8 million little ziplock baggies).  I do believe in reusing plastic containers, reducing the number of plastic bags that I use, using safe plastic in the kitchen, and keeping my girls safe when they help me prep and cook.  Well, to make a long story short, I believe in Tupperware being one of the safest plastics, I believe it does help me reduce my overall carbon footprint, and since there is no way to completely eliminate plastic from our lives, why start with Tupperware?

Also, I might have shattered a mason jar on my kitchen floor on Tuesday morning and had to spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning it up (since it magically spread across 3 rooms).  Then I had to re-clean it up, yep that’s right, re-clean it up.  My dogs decided to knock my trash can over later that day in hopes of getting some hot dog leftovers and they spread that dang shattered glass all over the kitchen floor again.  I realized twice in one day that had it been Tupperware I could have just picked it up and been done in like half a second.  Stupid shattered glass.  (That’s a cleaned up version of actually what went through my head.)

Judge me if you want, but I like my Tupperware and I’m keeping it.

All that to say…right now Tupperware has this super cool “The Place for Seals” on sale.  It’s only $11!  But, only til Friday (4/12/2013).

It organizes all your seals (that’s Tupperware speak for lids) in one place.  It makes me so happy I can’t even tell you.  (So, even if you have Pyrex or Glasslock or Ziplock or Rubbermaid, it will still organize your lids!)  Seriously, isn’t that the thing you hate most about food storage containers…the nightmare of the overflowing, lost, and mess of lids?

Can’t believe I’m doing a whole post on “The Place for Seals”.  Yikes.  Don’t.Shoot.Me.  But it’s only on sale til Friday so I couldn’t resist and have you be mad that I knew about this and didn’t tell you.

And if you owned one of these you’d understand.

If you’re smart, and you are, you’ll send me a message (sarahfae@gmail.com) and order one.

Fine print: I need your order by noon on Friday (4/12/2013).  It’s $12.94 including tax & shipping (for the locals only – Salem, Centralia, Mt. Vernon, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Troy, etc., because I’ll be delivering it to you once I get them in).

And because I love you guys, I’m giving one away!  For every “The Place for Seals” that you order I will put your name in a drawing and one lucky orderer will win one on me!

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What is your favorite way to reduce, reuse, and recylce?

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Hi, I’m Still Alive.

Just in case you were wondering.

What have I been doing?  Oh, you know, a little bit of this and that.  Mostly driving myself crazier and crazier.  I’m sure my family thinks that I have gone totally cray cray.   I am a little bit up and down.  And by a little bit, I mean A LOT.

It took one thing to totally take me by surprise and throw me off my rocker.  Not sure if it was that one thing hitting deeper than I realized or the hormones or maybe both.  Anyways, not too happy with God lately for these blasted hormones.  I mean, I know he made women to have hormones and be up and down, but seriously.  I kinda envy the men folk (or at least Husband and several other men I know) for being all even keel and steady and such.  (Well, I only envy them until I get really excited or angry and want a reaction from them and then suddenly I’m infuriated by their steadiness.  I mean, c’mon, a little emotion please.)  The joke is that I married Mr. Grace.  And let me tell you, it’s a darn good thing I did.  I sure did need that grace last week, and yesterday, and today, and probably tomorrow too.

Anyways, so I’m still learning how to drift on these emotional tides.  This time what I did was just quit.  I mean not in a bad way, but I gave up trying to keep up with the dishes and the laundry and keeping my house all together.  I gave trying to be a perfect mom, ha, like that’s going to happen anyways, and I gave myself some space.  The girls got a little introduction to the cray cray tides of mommy.  You know, where one minute you’re screaming at them and the next you’re making their day by taking them to McDonalds and the park.  Yep, we ate McDonalds.   That’s when you know it’s bad.  When you’ll take them to McDonalds so you don’t have to fix a PB&J.  By the way, one of my least favorite things to do in life is make PB&J sandwiches.  Ridiculous, I know, it’s not like its rocket science but I’ll do a lot to get out of making one, case in point McDonalds.

When the swings of emotion (depression, hormonal, or life) hit I’m learning to just ride it.  I might as well just feel it rather than pretend I’m not totally swinging from the chandelier and stuff.   And if we were fancy enough to have a chandelier I might have literally swung from it last week just to get a break.  I’m trying not to yell (well, not as much as I really want to) even when things totally drive me nuts or when I’m livid.  I’m trying not to be hateful, demeaning, and condemning when I talk to the girls.  I’m trying to just tell them that I’m sad or that I my heart hurts and it makes me grouchy and that I’m sorry.  Because one day (like tomorrow) they’re going to have these crazy emotions too and I want them to know that it’s ok to have bad days, grouchy days, sad days, and that there is love and grace and acceptance on those days too.

I’m learning that no matter what causes the down swing of emotions, that I am not in control, but thankfully I know the one who is.  And He’s big enough to hear my complaints and begging for things to change.  He’s also big enough not to be swayed by my crazy swings of emotion.

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Pee in a Cup

We suspected that my little Banana might have a lovely little urinary tract infection.  It’s not a good sign when your 5 year old says, “I just don’t feel like myself when I have to go to the bathroom this much.”  I’m sure any woman who’s ever had a UTI or been pregnant can relate.

So on the way to the doctor’s office I started prepping her to pee in a cup.  I mean, c’mon, every kid who walks into the bathroom at the doctor’s office and sees the supply of cups can’t resist grabbing one or five, so I figured maybe the excitement over finally getting to use one would be on our side.

And…stage fright.

We took two cups home to see if we could be successful.  I say we because this is totally a team effort.  We tried several times and let me just tell you how awkward it is to have to pee with your mom’s (or dad’s) arm all up in your business.  She finally said, “Mom, I just don’t think my pee wants to go in that cup.”  Um, noted.

We were finally able to get a minimal amount in the cup.  And you know what, I was so proud of those cups in my fridge.  I didn’t yell.  I didn’t get angry.  I just sat patiently with my hand holding a cup under her crotch.

And that a win, folks.