Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hook & Needle News

The Crochet Crowd Mystery CAL (Crochet-A-Long) is not turning out as I had hoped. So far anyway. But it is a mystery, and it certainly looks like one, so I'll just have to wait and see how it turns out. We started with a basic granny square, all one colour of yarn, which is not ugly, but it is kind of boring.

Fortunately, I was using a variegated yarn, so it wasn't quite so boring. In Week 2, we added an X to the granny square.
And I thought, "Oh, that's different." For week 3, we added one round each with the remaining two colours. First with colour C:
Is it supposed to be that sloppy-looking? Because no matter how neatly and evenly I try to make my stitches, it still comes out looking unkempt. By this time, I'm beginning to lose my motivation. I have a hard time being enthusiastic about working on something that I consider ugly. Besides, baby Seth has been born and I really need to focus on getting his afghan finished. So I decided to set this CAL aside to get the Bobble afghan done. That way I can see where the clues are taking the CAL and decide if I want to actually complete the afghan. I'm not a quitter, but I also don't believe in wasting my time making something I'm not enjoying. 
I finished Clue 3 on one square just so that I could share a picture of it:
I have christened this 'Frankensquare' (as in Frankenstein) because to me it's an ugly monstrosity. Well, maybe that's being too harsh, but it is incredibly weird and funky. One of my friends is working on the KAL (Knit-A-Long) and the KAL is totally different from the CAL. Her squares are looking great and when she saw what the CAL is looking like, she commented that she's glad she's doing the knitted one. 
I actually considered working on the knitted one as well. I haven't knitted in years. I only ever finished one sweater. I started other projects, but life got in the way. But I wasn't sure if I was ready for a whole afghan project, especially one that might be a little challenging to an inexpert knitter. But as I rummaged around in my hook and needle drawer to see if I had the needles required for the KAL, I thought to myself that I'd better get back into knitting or get rid of all of those needles. In addition to the ones I had purchased when I started knitting years ago, I have since acquired more through a yard sale purchase or somewhere that I don't recall. As I was considering different yarns and different projects, I found that Red Heart is offering a free cowl pattern each month this year. January's was a crocheted cowl and February's is knitted. I'm not sure if they're going to alternate all year between knitting and crocheting, but I figured a cowl is a small enough project to use to get back into knitting. And I decided to do all 12 cowls. Initially, I thought, "What would anyone do with 12 cowls?" I'm not into selling my work and I'm not such a fashionista that I think I need to own 12 cowls. But I do have 5 sisters, a sister-in-law, one aunt that's still living, and 3 nieces. That leaves one for me and one for my dear friend Neva, the friend that moved to BC last October. So guess what everyone is getting for Christmas? I don't always get all of these people gifts. It depends on if I have time and money. But I like a challenge and doing a cowl a month sounds like a fun challenge. I will probably get bogged down part way through the year and might not get them finished, but I'll give it a try. Since my sewing studio is a long way from being finished, I have to have an alternate creative outlet to quilting. Crocheting and knitting fits the bill because I can do that almost anywhere. I have ordered the yarn for the first two cowls and the circular knitting needle that I need for the knitted one. I also placed a second order which I will discuss shortly. The merchant I ordered from has good selection and prices, but I definitely am not impressed with their customer service. So I'm pondering whether or not they will get any further orders from me. 
While on the facebook page for the Mystery CAL/KAL, someone mentioned another CAL, Sophie's Universe and shared the Crafty Crochet Community facebook page. Wow!!! Just check out these links. This is such an awesome, beautiful afghan that I had to join in. So that was my second yarn order. It's supposed to arrive Tuesday. And I can hardly wait! (Oddly enough, the cowl yarn order, which was placed about a week prior, won't arrive till Thursday). I really need to get the Bobble afghan finished so that I can start in on Sophie.
And here's the bobble afghan:
It's about 32 inches long right now and I need to get it to 45" before it's ready for the border. So, I've still got quite a way's to go, especially since this afghan progresses slowly. Here's a close up:

It's an attractive afghan, but I don't ever want to use this yarn or this pattern again. Although I will probably have some yarn left over that I will likely use in some of my Bavarian crochet and crocodile stitch projects that call for 3 weight yarn. And on the subject of Bavarian crochet, I'm nearly half-finished this scarf:
Selection of 3 weight yarn is limited in my town, and that's why I ended up with "baby colours." Actually, yarn selection of any sort is limited to a meagre collection at the local Walmart. And it's an hour's drive to the nearest Michael's. That's why I'm more likely to order online. But I'm not always that patient. When I want yarn, I tend to want it NOW! LOL.
I've actually managed to add a couple of rows to the Christmas Tree skirt I'm working on. It now measures 39" across at the points or about 35" midway between points. I'm not sure how big I'm aiming for - maybe until I run out of yarn?

And when I finally get it big enough, I'll add some poinsettias and/or holly and probably a border of the variegated red/white/green yarn that I have. It's a pretty low stress project. You can't really tell from this picture, but there's a bit of sparkle to this yarn.
Hidden away somewhere is a zippered cardigan that I haven't worked on in a few years. I should get that out and finish it as well. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Here's Your Sign

As some of you are aware if you've been reading my blog, I've been trying to de-clutter by either selling or giving away stuff I no longer need or want. (Not sure if I ever "needed" some of it, but that's a topic for another post). And I've been doing most of it on facebook. There are a couple of buy and sell pages, a silent auction page and a freecycle page for my community where I've been advertising. Some of the responses have given me some insight into human nature that I would rather do without. This morning a woman came to pick up the item that she had successfully bid on. It was a vintage "Lucky Elephant" enamal ware bowl with lid. This: 
I try to be as accurate as possible in my descriptions, so I stated that this was 7.5 inches in diameter. Someone asked for a picture of the inside of the bowl, so I posted this:
And added a picture of the trademark on the bottom of the bowl:
If you collected elephants, what about this bowl would compell you to buy it? The woman decided not to buy it. She said that that wasn't a very big bowl for $15, that she collected elephants and I assume that's why she bid on it...??? I did post the diameter, so what about the size didn't she understand? I see roses on this bowl. The only elephant is in the trademark on the bottom. And it is a vintage bowl. You're paying for vintage, not the size of the bowl. I'm still scratching my head over that one. As I am about another one. I posted this picture:
In the description, I said "Brass containers/planters" and stated the diameter and height of the largest and the smallest. A woman placed a bid and then a young man counterbid. Then he started messaging me with questions. Hmm, do you think maybe he should have asked his questions before he bid? Maybe the lady with the bowl above should have asked questions before she bid as well, like "what does this bowl have to do with elephants?" Technically, once you bid, you're committed. And a bidder with integrity will follow through with the deal even if they decide they really don't want the item. At live auctions, you'd be invited to never return to the auction house if you refused to buy something on which you were the winning bidder. This young man still had the leading bid (which was only $1 higher than the other bidder) when he asked me if they had lids. Lids??? "Why would you want lids on planters," I responded. He had not read the description and thought these were cooking pots. But he obviously had seen the picture and those "cooking pots" definitely have legs in that picture. How well does that work on your stove? 
Then there is the dog kennel:
My reserve bid was $20 and I had someone offer $15. After 24 hours, no one else had counterbid and I wanted to be rid of it, so I accepted the $15. The bidder gave me his phone number and I called and left a message. He's the one that returned my phone call without checking his messages first, so he just called and asked who I was and what I wanted. And he actually asked if I could deliver it, saying that he didn't have a car. Perhaps he should have thought of that before he bid on it. I was actually going to deliver it today just to get rid of it, but again, he didn't answer the phone. Message left, but I'd like to know why I should deliver something when I already accepted a bid for $5 less than my reserve. So now I expect him to come and get it or I'm reposting it. I already reposted the "Lucky Elephant" bowl, though I added the height of the bowl and said it was probably 1950s/1960s. However, it seems people don't actually read the descriptions or look at the pictures very carefully anyway. 
And yes, I'm still trying to sell the Pavillion dinnerware. I think I might see if I can "divide and conquer," sell the serving pieces separate from the actual dinnerware. 

Monday, 9 February 2015

February 2015 Vacation, Day 6

Stupid people should not own dogs. Well, they really shouldn't own any pets at all, but I'm just thinking of dogs in particular at this moment. I finally got out the snowblower yesterday and did my snow removal. Then I finished up with shovelling the deck and tidying up the sidewalk between the deck and the garage. Sometimes I do this sidewalk with the snowblower, but I like to finish it off with the shovel. As I was doing this, the neighbour let her dogs out to do their business. She has a sheltie who has spent most of her life in a chainlink kennel attached to the owner's garage. Matted, mangy-looking and mean, I never saw this dog being walked. She always barked and growled when I or someone else was in my yard. And unfortunately, her kennel afforded her a good view of the door onto my deck, which is my main door. I didn't blame the dog for being mean since she had no quality of life. But somehow I managed to befriend her with dog biscuits. I was actually asked to look after her once while her family went on vacation. And I discovered that this poor dog was just starving for attention. She actually loved being petted (don't most dogs?). Unfortunately, there was not much I could do since she was being provided food, water and shelter (she had a doggie door into the garage), and the owner was not being actively abusive. Finally a year or so ago, because the dog was getting older and arthritic, the owner took her inside. I'm not sure if this actually improved the quality of her life much, if at all. Unfortunately, not seeing me for so long, she will be her vicious little self on the odd occasion when we both happen to be out at the same time. I'm rather glad I had my shovel with me when she zoomed in for the attack yesterday. She came after me a couple of times, totally ignoring her owner, who tried to call her back. I tried to calm her by talking to her, hoping she'd recognize my voice. Since I had spilled some gas when filling the snowblower's tank, I didn't expect her to recognize my scent. However, she didn't calm down and finally returned at the owner's insistence and the fact that I didn't back down. And I was armed with a shovel. I didn't intend to use it on her, but would have if I'd had to defend myself. I really wish I could afford to put a fence up between our properties. That's on my project list, but the soffit and fascia are higher priorities. An avid dog owner I know once told me that if a dog is perpetually confined, it will go insane. And I'm beginning to wonder if this poor dog has gone insane. Nasty little piece of work that she is, I really feel sorry for her. From when I looked after her, I know that inside is a really sweet little girl. But a miserable life has made her a miserable mutt One of the other dogs let out at the same time looked appalling. I don't remember what breed it is, but it's one of those shaggy things that needs regular grooming or a haircut. Obviously, that's not being done as there were huge mats hanging off the side of this dog. When I say huge, I mean one whole side of the dog was bare with this big mat hanging off of it. It couldn't have been very warm, and it was -15C. She has a third dog, a poodley-looking thing. I don't think she ever walks any of them. She's had various and sundry dogs and cats in the 5+ years I've lived here. The cats usually just disappear and I don't know if she has them spayed or neutered. I remember one kitten that she insisted she was going to keep inside. She didn't. And he became a rather nasty tom cat, who tried to attack my Mystery on my deck. I was really relieved when she decided to leave one big dog at the home of her boys' father. That dog was loose more often than not, pooping in my yard, coming up on my deck, and I'm not sure if he was altogether safe. It's obvious she's not doing any obedience training. Why do people have pets when they're not prepared to be responsible pet owners? I don't know, but I really wish she'd stop. 
I guess that was my rant for the day. Well, the first rant. The second is about eTeacher. I've been toying with the idea of learning Biblical Hebrew, so I went online to search for an online course. I made the mistake of providing my name, email and phone number to eTeacher Hebrew to get more information. I'm only providing the link so you know what to avoid. I have received at least 2 phone calls and 5 emails from them in less than 24 hours. In today's phone call, I just told him I decided I wasn't interested. And I clicked on the unsubscribe link in the last email. Hopefully, that will be the end of that. Seriously, I don't like that kind of sales tactic and I have to question the validity of any supposed educational organization that employs that kind of tactic. Meanwhile, I've also applied for guest student status at Andrews University to see if I can take their Hebrew course online. That's the location of my denomination's main theological seminary, although I probably can't afford their course. I don't want to pay a small fortune for something that's just personal interest. I couldn't find the cost of the online course, or if Hebrew is even offered online. 
After finishing the snow removal yesterday, I decided it was time for another renoval, while I still had my coat and boots on. All of the wood that I have so far stripped from the walls in the sewing room was carried upstaris and outside behind the garage. Once I get it all off I will haul it to the dump. Or maybe that will wait till spring. 
I have to admit that I have been experiencing quilting/fabric withdrawal symptoms. Since the sewing room is in disarray and a lot of it's contents are currently stacked in my living room, and I've tried to focus my time on the renovations which I'm not getting anywhere with, I haven't been quilting. I've at least been crocheting in the evenings, but, as I've shared, the Bobble afghan is rather frustrating. So I decided to buy some fabric. Sunday is not a good day to buy fabric in my town. The only thing open that sells fabric is Walmart, which is not a great source of good quality fabric. I do occasionally buy fabric there, but it's not my favourite or primary source. But I didn't really feel like driving to the city. So I went to Walmart. Nothing really jumped out at me, shouting "Buy me, buy me" in the fabric section. As a matter of fact, their fabric section has seriously deteriorated over the years. They used to have a pretty good selection of fabric by the metre - even some good quilting cottons, but now there's only a small section of precuts. Sad. So I moved into the yarn section. Not long ago, I had enrolled in online courses to learn Bavarian Crochet and the Crocodile stitch from Annie's Catolog. I hadn't started on any of these projects yet, and several of them require sport weight yarn (3) and I only have one big ball of black in that weight. I really didn't want all of my projects to be black. So I bought some yarn that I assumed was sport weight. It's really weird because there's no weight on the label.

I found the yarn website here, but it still doesn't tell me what weight it is. But the label does have the recommended size hook/needle and the guage and it was the same as the sport weight that I compared it to. And it worked fine in my project.
Bavarian Crochet Head Band
So this is my first Bavarian Crochet project. Since I have short hair and wearing it as a head band would just make my hair stick out in every direction, I put it on as a hippie would wear it. LOL! But I don't intend to keep it for myself. I'm going to offer it to my long-haired niece. Here it is off my head:
And here's my actual haul of yarn that I purchased yesterday:
It's definitely not high quality yarn. I wasn't far into the skein when I came across a knot. I undid the knot and weaved the ends together with a darning needle, like I normally do when joining yarn. Then I noticed the yarn seemed to have gotten a lot thinner after the knot and it looked like it was missing a strand. It wasn't till somewhat further into the project that I found the other end of the missing strand. I decided not to unravel the project, cut out the thin part and rejoin the ends as it still looked acceptable. It's only a headband after all. And if my niece can find that section, she can put that part at the back under her hair. Unfortunately, this yarn doesn't have much stretch to speak of, so it's not great for a headband. But on a Sunday afternoon in a small town, I didn't have much choice for yarn purchases. Oh, and according to the label, 10 cents from each ball sold goes to Children's Miracle Network. 
As you can see, I got my favoured variegated yarn, and then one ball of each of the colours in the variegated one. 
The pattern I used called for a 3.75 mm crochet hook. I was actually able to find one amongst my supplies, but I found using it rather frustrating. It's 'throat' (or whatever you call it) isn't deep enough and the yarn kept separating or sliding off the hook. I do have a set of hooks somewhere (my travelling set, not my main set) that I think might contain one, but I'm not sure where that set is. The last I remember, it was in the sewing room, so maybe it's somewhere in the living room...
Yesterday, someone came and got the cookbooks I was giving away and someone else bought the vintage cream and sugar. Today I posted a vintage enamel bowl with lid and a set of brass planters. Hopefully, they'll sell as well.
I have an older dishwasher in my kitchen. It works, but not that well. I find the things on the top rack don't get very clean, probably because there is no upper water arm. So, a few years back I bought a newer dishwasher to replace it at an auction sale. Then never got around to installing it until last year I asked my ex to install it while my daughter and grandson were living with me. For me personally when I'm on my own, I would seldom use it, so it just wasn't a big deal. When my ex attempted to install the newer one, he found that I would need to upgrade both my plumbing and my wiring. It really wasn't worth it. So I sold the newer one recently and the new owner is quite happy with it. Meanwhile, I haven't use the old one since my ex tried to install the new one. Yesterday, I wanted to clean some new canning jars and lids. I always prewash new kitchen things before using them. Since they weren't actually dirty, I figured I'd just use the dishwasher to give them a hot rinse. The dishwasher was running, but it wasn't getting any water flow. I called the ex and he said that he thought he had turned the shut off valve back on and didn't know what else could be wrong. I checked the shut off valve in the basement (having fun finding it behind the dropped ceiling) and it was open. So I still don't know what's wrong with it, unless something was damaged during the attempted install last year. <sigh> Now I've got a really useless dishwasher in my kitchen. And it's probably not worth fixing. I would really rather have the cupboard space, but putting cupboards in there would probably cost as much as putting in another dishwasher. But it's not costing me anything to just sit there, so I'll deal with that some day...
That's all for now. In case you're wondering what happened to days 4 & 5 of my vacation blog posts, on Friday I really just had a lazy day and didn't do much of anything, including blog. On Sabbath (Saturday), I blogged about my thoughts on the Quverfull Movement, and that was blog enough for one day. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

50 Shades of Quiverfull

Many years ago, my father attended a Bill Gothard Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, and he also bought some of the materials, including the Character Sketches, eventually owning two volumes. Some time later, some other family members attended one as well, and I remember them discussing the concept of submission: wives' submission to husbands and children's submission to parents. Questions discussed were: If a Christian young man is convicted that the Lord is calling him to be a minister, but his father is opposed to it, should he study to be a minister or submit to his father? And, if a Christian woman's husband wants her to work as a prostitute, should she submit to her husband? I found the discussion ridiculous, offensive and even downright dangerous. To even entertain the idea of submission to a human being above the will of God is idolatry. The Bible says, "We ought to obey God rather than men," Acts 5:29; "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," Exodus 20:3; and "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me," Matthew 10:37. To elevate the principle of submission to earthly authorities above the revealed will of God is a dangerous concept indeed and I question the validity of any ministry that would promote this concept. 
Fast forward 20 years (give or take a few) and the Character Sketches books were very popular amongst homeschoolers. And I was a homeschooler and somehow I came into possession of my father's Character Sketches books. However, after reading a couple of "sketches" in the books that drew erroneous conclusions from Bible stories that weren't at all warranted by the Bible narrative (indeed, I would conclude the opposite from the Bible story), I, once again had to call this ministry into question. Once more, these stories both were on the subject of submission to authority and I couldn't help but wonder why this ministry was so intent on robbing wives and children of their God-given autonomy and their ability to discover and follow God's will independent of their husbands and parents. I don't believe that's Biblical and that certainly was not a concept I wanted to teach my daughter. I've only kept those books out of respect for my father's memory. 
(For more on Bill Gothard and his ministry, go here).
That was all before I ever heard about the "Quiverfull Movement." The name comes from Psalm 127:5, but I'll quote verses 3-5 so you'll get the context: 
"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." 
"Quiverfull," unfortunately, is not quite the right name because it doesn't encompass everything that this movement stands for. Not only do its adherents abstain from using birth control (not even the rhythm method), but they also practice "patriarchy" or the kind of submission advocated by Bill Gothard's ministry. Indeed, the "poster children" for the Quiverfull Movement, the Duggars, have been associated with the Gothard ministry. 
Obviously, as a divorced career woman, with a university degree and only one child, I am not the "poster child" of the Quiverfull Movement. And, from my comments above, you can tell that it's not really something I'm supportive of. I'm not saying there's not some good in it, but overall, I think there's too much that's not good. Dare I venture to say that Gothard's less than stellar life is a result of his own erroneous teachings? And what really disturbs me is that this lifestyle is passing itself off as "Biblical family values" or "God's ideal for the Christian family." And some people that have left the movement have totally turned their backs on Jesus because they believed that lifestyle was actually what Jesus wanted for them. And if that were the case, then they didn't want Jesus anymore. I can't say that I blame them. I wouldn't either.
So, with prayer and some some study helps (concordance, commentaries, etc.), I want the Bible to show that the "Quiverfull Movement" is not really Biblical Christianity. I'm not saying that its adherents are not Christians, just that what they promote as Biblical is not necessarily so. 
1. Birth Control
The only reference I can think of that even remotely addresses the issue of birth control (or contraception) is Genesis 38:8-10. Here the man practicing "withdrawal" is condemned because of his disobedience, selfishness and greed. It's certainly not enough to build a case on for finding birth control sinful. (If you want more explanation on this particularly text, email me and I can send you what the Bible commentary says. This topic is too long and detailed to try to explain in this blog post). 
The verses found in Psalm 127, quoted above, are an observation, not a divine command. Quiverfull people need to remember that. Incidentally, I once had a Christian surgeon tell me that a "quiver full" is five arrows. I'm not sure where he got that tidbit from and I couldn't find anything in Strong's about that, nor in my other references, but it is interesting that he didn't say 7, or 10 or 12.
Now I'm going to quote Vyckie Garrison, a woman who left the Quiverfull movement, on the Quiverfull concept of Psalm 127:
That verse in Psalm 127 says, "Blessed is the MAN who has his quiver full of them."  And it goes on to say, "he shall not be ashamed, but will speak with the enemies in the gates." We were taught that in Bible times, the city gate was the place where male leaders made decisions regarding local government.
So this was about political domination. The whole point of having a quiver full of babies is to out-populate the "enemy" and to shoot those many arrows "straight into the heart of the enemy."  And by that, we meant that our children would grow up to be leaders in all the major institutions of our society. This was our plan for taking back America for God. So the children were like ammunition in God's holy war.
(http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/vyckie-garrison-leaving-quiverfull-movement)
If that weren't so pitiful, it would be laughable. Talk about screwed up theology! Where is that found in the Bible? What I read in my Bible is that things are going to get worse and worse until the great final time of trouble, and then Jesus will come. I don't see the Scriptures supporting anything about "taking back America for God." Oh, unless you're talking about the Image to the Beast found in Revelation 13, the false revival. (If you want more information on this particular topic, go to Revelation Mystery).
Now, I firmly believe that children are a blessing, or at least should be, but these verses in no way imply that we should continue to reproduce indiscriminately. On the contrary, the word of the Lord says that, "if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Timothy 5:8). In light of this text, having more children than one can comfortably provide for is reprehensible. Assuming that "the Lord will provide" is presumption, not faith.  
So let's jump back to Genesis 1:27,28: 
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
I find it interesting that the Quiverfull people generally only quote, "Be frutful and multiply" to support their beliefs and don't continue with "and replenish the earth." Or "fill the earth" to use a modern translation. Here's a quote from my Bible commentary on this verse: "The divine commission has been understood by various commentators to indicate that the reproduction of human beings should not continue endlessly, but was to cease when the earth was filled with human beings and their animal subjects." (SDA Bible Commentary, volume 1, page 217). I remember being in Boston and New York City at the age of 16. I couldn't get over how many people there were on the sidewalks. Just walking down the sidewalk, it was hard not to bump into people. Like a living stream. And that was a lot of years ago. The population has just grown since then. It seems to me that this world is pretty full. The only places that aren't full are deserts and Canada's far north and I don't see the Quiverfull people rushing to fill them. Maybe I'm being a little too sarcastic, but human beings are probably about the only species whose population isn't naturally curbed once it reaches saturation point. (If you want to read an amusing, sarcastic and slightly irreverent review of Nancy Campbell's book, Be Fruitful and Multiply, by Suzanne Titkemeyer, go here). 
1 Corinthians has this to say, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (6:19,20). And, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (10:31). It is not glorifying to God or wise stewarship of a woman's strength to wear herself out with a perpetual round of pregnancy and lactation. 
Clearly then, I cannot belive that the Bible supports the kind of prolific breeding that the Quiverfull Movement endorses. 
~
As an aside, I find it really interesting that the Quiverfull Movement is really big on following Genesis 1:28 (even though they tend to ignore the "replenish the earth" part), but they fail to acknowledge the next verse:
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." (Genesis 1:29). 
God's original and perfect diet for human beings is a whole food, plant-based diet, just what research is now demonstrating is healthiest for us. But I haven't heard of any Quiverfulls rushing to become vegans. 
Furthermore, Quiverfulls, as a general rule, also fail to keep the true Bible Sabbath, which was instituted at the end of creation week. You'll find it just in the next chapter:
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:1-3).
Saturday is the true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, the one enshrined in the heart of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20: 8-11. Now, though she was talking about the command to "be fruitful and multiply," I'm going to quote Nancy Campbell, because it is true about the Sabbath commandment, "We can find no place in Scripture where God rescinds this command." (quoted from here).  Now back to the topic.
~
2. Patriarchy
Let me start this topic by sharing something that the Apostle Peter said. This time I'm using the New International Version to make sure it's clear: "Just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15,16). 
So here we have it that Scripture can be distorted to mean something it wasn't intended to mean. And Peter mentions specifically the writings of Paul, who writes some things that are hard to understand. I agree. And especially on the topic of patriarchy are Paul's writings hard to understand. 
There are many examples of women in leadership in both the old and new testaments: prophetesses, judge, deaconesses. It's not my purpose to cover this whole topic exhaustively in this post, but I do want to recommend to you the following link: Free Bible Commentary, volume 9. The author is Bob Utley of the East Texas Baptist University. Scroll down to page 47 where you'll find a section entitled Special Topic: Women in the Bible. It's a very relevant treatment of this topic. Please also see this volume for it's comments on 1 Timothy chapter 2. I'll just share a couple of paragraphs from this section on verse 15:
The immediate context seems to emphasize that women as home-makers is the societal expectation of Paul's day, and for most societies, ancient and modern. Woman's salvation does not come from leadership in public worship or an unexpected cultural freedom.
In truth it does not come from expected social roles either, but through faith and it's fruits (cf. v. 15b). Salvation is in and through Christ. Godly women trust Him and do not seek to draw undue attention to themselves. However, in our culture the "undue attention" occurs when women are limited. As lost people would have been turned off by overative Christian women in the first century, today's lost people are turned off by a seeming Christian sexism and legalism...
In volume 8 of the same commentary, on the subject of Ephesians 5:23, we read:
Christ is depicted as the husband and the church as the bride (cf. Rev. 19:7, 21:2,9). Husbands need to act in their God-given leadership position just as Christ did. He gave Himself for the church. It is not a control issue, but a giving of self issue.
Male headship is a very controversial issue in our modern western society. This is for several reasons: (1) we do not understand servant leadership; (2) we do not like patriarchal societies because of our modern egalitarian emphasis on the worth of the individual; and (3) we are confused by the Bible's paradoxical way of asserting male headship in some passages and equality in others.
I can personally accept male headship as a result of the fall (cf. Gen. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:12-14). I can also affirm it as a biblical concept in light of Jesus' leadership of the church (cf. Eph. 5:22-33). But what I find difficult to accept is a patriarchal mandate (i.e. male dominated societies) as God's revealed plan for every age and society (cf. Rom. 3:27; 1 Cor. 12:7.13; Gal. 3:28-29; Col 3:11). Does the mutuality so obvious in Gen. 1:27; 2:18 which was lost in Adam and Eve's rebellion (cf. Gen. 3:16), return in salvation? Is the curse of sin and subservience both dealt within Jesus' redemption? As the new age breaks into the lives of believers now, does also the restoration of complete fellowship with God as in Eden also begin now?
I would also like to make a hermeneutical point. As an interpreter of what I believe to be the self-revelation of the one true god and His Christ, I am surprised by the cultural aspect of Scripture...
The two issues which stand out to me to have obvious cultural aspects (1) male dominated societies (patriarchy) and (2) slavery. The NT never attempts to address the unfairness of these cultural pillars of the ancient world. Possibly because to do so would have meant the destruction of Christianity. Yet the gospel through time is abolishing both! God's truth never changes but societies do change. It is a grave mistake for us to attempt to turn first century Greco-Roman culture into God's will for all people in all places and of course the same is true for Israelite culture. Into each of them God revealed Himself in powerful and permanent ways. The real task is how to get the eternal absolutes out of its cultural husk...
One way to try to determine what is eternal and therefore binding on all believers in all periods and what is cultural, or personal preference is to see if the Bible (OT & NT) gives a uniform message or does it record a variety of opinions...
My fear is that I might let my denominational training, personality, culture and personal preferences silence or diminish revealed truth! My ultimate authority is God and His revelation (i.e. in His Son, and in a written record, the Bible). But I realize He revealed Himself to a specific period of history, to a particular culture and everything in that culture was not His will. Yet, God had to speak to people of that culture in terms and categories they could understand. The Bible then is a historical document. I dare not ignore its supernatural aspect or its cultural aspect. 
(Emphasis in italics in both quotes is mine). 
So yes, Paul's texts on this topic seem to be confusing and contradictory. But he lived in a patriarchal society and to violate all social and cultural norms in the name of freedom in Christ would have done more harm than good to the growth of the Christian church. We no longer live in a patriarchal society. Freedom is granted to all in Christ Jesus (cf. Gal. 3:28). So to continue with the model of partriachy will now do more harm than good. Indeed, it already has. Just google "quiverfull" and follow some of the links. Vyckie Garrison has this to say about her mentality while in the Quiverfull Movement: "I knew that as a woman, I was particularly susceptible to deception by Satan." Where is that in the Bible? How is that kind of attitude calculated to encourage and build up a Christian woman?
In conclusion, I want to share a few texts from Proverbs 31 NIV. This is the chapter that all good Quiverfull women aspire to. 
"She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sees that her trading is profitable.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household." vv. 16,18,24,26,27.
That does not sound like a meek, submissive, dependent wife to me. That sounds like an independent, self-directed entrepeneurial woman who can make her own decisions, manage her own money and has confidence in herself. The woman God meant her to be!
Oh, in case you're wondering about my reference to 50 Shades of Grey in the title of this post: I believe that it is the patriarchal, controlling, dominating, misogynist mentality present in the Quiverfull Movement that sets women up for sadistic, manipulative, unhealthy relationships as portrayed in that book. (No, I did not read it, but I did read enough about it to know it disgusts me). 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

February Vacation 2015, Day 3

Today I got really discouraged. The plain and simple fact is I have TOO MUCH STUFF!. Much too much. There is so much stuff in the basement, that there's no room to move things around to clear out the sewing area and start working. Or to stack the renovation materials until I'm ready to use them. And trying to clear it out so that I can actually get the renovations done is kind of overwhelming. Especially when there's only me to do it. I'm trying to de-clutter, but it's the wrong time of year for a yard sale. And selling online means having to take pictures and post them and then wait for responses. Then wait for people to get around to come and pick up their items. A slow and tedious process. I've considered having a winter garage sale, but right now the snow is blowing horizontally, we're expecting 10-20 cm and it's -16C without the wind chill factor. Do you think anyone would come? Our drop boxes for both our local thrift store and Value Village are overflowing. And I'm not about to haul it all to the nearest Value Village an hour's drive away. I could call the collection crew for Value Village, but then I'd have to wait for them to show up. Also wrong time of year to leave much outside for them to pick up. 
So I've decided to lighten up on myself. This is supposed to be a vacation after all. And if I don't get the renovations done, that will just give me more time to save money to get the light fixtures moved and the extra for the flooring. :-) I don't want to go back to work more stressed and exhausted than I was before I started my vacation. 
But I didn't do nothing today. I got rid of these:
I had 5 of them. They're called strawberry jars, but I didn't grow strawberries in them. I liked to plant portulaca in them. But they're made of terra cotta and in order to preserve them, they should be stored inside over the winter. The first few years of these jars' lives, they were not stored inside and there is some deterioration, but I have stored them in my basement for the last 5 years. And there they stayed. And I finally decided that I don't want planters that I have to haul inside and find a place for every winter. And I also didn't want the hassle of trying to sell them when they are already starting to deteriorate. So I offered them on the facebook freecycle (i.e. to give away) group for my community. Wow did they go fast - posted them this morning and they were gone this afternoon. ! I had several people interested. I wonder if there would have been that much interest if I had been selling them instead of giving them away.  
And I did manage to clear enough space in the basement to move the DRIcore down there. Otherwise it would have been challenging getting the strawberry jars up past the DRIcore sitting in my entryway. However, I now have to squeeze between my hot water tank and my washing machine to get into my laundry room. But I have enough clean underwear that I can get by without doing laundry for awhile. LOL!
I also posted a vintage cream and sugar set to the facebook silent auction site and already have one bid on it. It's a toss up for me. I want to unload a lot of stuff, but I also want to make some money to pay for the renovations. So, some items I post for sale and some to give away. I still haven't given away the old microwave, the big blue desk or the stacks of cookbooks. I thought about dragging the desk out to the laneway and putting a "Free" sign on it. The desk is actually in the garage, but if I am able to make more room in the garage, I can move some basement stuff out there. Not that I want to keep that much of it, but one of my nephews moved to Alberta from Ontario. He's currently living with friends but hoping to get his own place sometime this year. So I'm saving some stuff for when he gets his own apartment. And he doesn't want the desk. Or the microwave. I have a newer microwave for him. I didn't ask him about the cookbooks, but they're mostly older and how many cookbooks does a young man need? If I haven't unloaded them by the next time he visits I will offer them to him. He will also get the Pavillion dinnerware if I'm not able to sell it. That's why I won't come down in my price. Unfortunately, I was foolish enough to spend a lot of money on it, so if someone isn't willing to give me a reasonable price for it, I just won't sell it. Or I'll keep it myself. The dinner plates are a really nice size, especially for a holiday dinner. No, on second thought I really don't want to keep it. It takes up too much room. I already have my Corelle for every day and I use my vintage dishes for good. Just how many dishes does one woman need?
I have a bunch of exercise videos to give away as well. A whole box. A few years ago someone posted to a freecycle email that she was giving away her VHS videos as her VCR had gone kaput. I still have a TV with a VCR that works, so I took all of her videos: drama, documentary and exercise. I've given some away, have watched some and will keep some. Jane Austen's Emma and Sense and Sensibility are among the ones I'm keeping. And I need to get rid of some, especially the exercise ones. I had great ideas when I brought them home, but found them just too high intensity for me. Among several I tried, there was one called Making Fitness Fun. It didn't. I'll use my Wii Fit for that.
Next week, if we have better weather, maybe I will just load up the truck and take a trip to Value Village. But I need to get more sorted out first to make the trip worthwhile. And I can't load up furniture by myself. 
When the lady came to get the strawberry jars, I put on my boots and coat and carried the last jar out for her, then went to get the mail. Look what I got in today's mail:
One of my great nephews is graduating from high school this year and has already been accepted into Western Michigan University. I plan to make this quilt for his graduation gift. I paid $7 for shipping this pattern which includes a couple of pieces of paper in a zip-loc bag, plus the receipt and the envelope it was mailed in. The postage was 69 cents. However, that $7 was a bargain compared to the $25.95 that one vendor wanted to charge me to ship to Canada. It's a pity the pattern wasn't downloadable so that I could have eliminated the shipping costs altogether. 
Finally, I did some cooking. I enjoy cooking but just haven't done much in awhile. I don't always make the time. There was a recipe for Rockin' Moroccan Stew circulating in the office. Everyone was talking about it. Everybody that tried it, liked it. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention since I'm the only vegetarian on our team and I didn't figure it would be a recipe that would suit my diet. Then one of my nursing colleagues told me that I'd like it, too, that there was no meat in it. So I found the recipe, bought what ingredients I needed and today tried it out. And it is very good. Next time I will probably cut the amount of chilli and curry powders in half. It was a little too hot for me, but quite tasty nevertheless. Of course, I substituted parsley for the cilantro. 


Lots of very healthy ingredients in this dish: kale, yams (I used yams, not sweet potatoes), chickpeas, sweet pepper, tomatoes. A nourishing, tasty and warming stew for eating on a blustery winter day. 
Tonight I think maybe I will watch Ben Hur, a two video set that was in those VHS videos I got. And continue with the Bobble Afghan. That is not a very rewarding pattern to work on. I can spend 2 or 3 hours an evening working on it and it still doesn't look like it's gotten any longer. It's still only about 21 inches long and it needs to be 45! I'll be so glad when it's finished. But next week the Mystery Afghan Crochet Along begins. And whether I'm finished the Bobble afghan or not, I will set it aside to "investigate the mystery."
On second thought, maybe I'll work on the crocheted Christmas tree skirt tonight instead, And probably watch something a little lighter than Ben Hur.
Right now it's time to feed the cats.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

February Vacation 2015, Day 2

I'm exhausted and so the evening will probably be spent crocheting while watching The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie or maybe a movie. Before I get into why I am exhausted, I'll start at the beginning of the day. I spent a big part of the morning doing online shopping into what products I need and where to buy them. I was planning on buying the DRIcore (subflooring for basements) at Lowes because their price was the cheapest. However, their price had gone up since the last time I looked online, so I ended up deciding to go to Home Depot as their price is now the cheapest and it is a lot closer and easier to get to. I was going to do the "buy online, pick up in the store" thing, but do you have any idea what a bewildering array of corner bead they have? My ex had told me not to get the paper covered stuff as it's harder to work with. Yes, my ex-husband is my consultant of choice for all things construction-related. He spent many years working in construction before he got into truck driving. However, in spite of having numerous selections online, they were all the paper-covered variety. Different angles, different widths, different lengths, offset, even leg (corner bead has legs???). I tried calling my ex for advice, but he didn't answer. So I called the store and found out that they actually have the all metal corner bead in the store. And it's cheaper than the paper covered stuff. I also found out that the person at the contractor's desk knows less than my ex-husband. I'm going to tell him that if he ever decides he wants to retire from trucking, but still earn a little money, he should apply at Home Depot. He'd probably be more help than most people there. Since at least the corner bead that I wanted was not online, I decided to forget the "pay online, pick up in store" thing and just go direct to the store. 
But back to my morning - I also spent some time posting the dinnerware I'm trying to sell on another site, coordinated a pickup for the man who bought my silk plant and left a message for the man who is buying my dog kennel, both items I've sold online. The man came for the silk plant before noon. After that, I was just trying to organize myself to go to the city when my niece's husband called and asked if I wanted to go for lunch. Since I hadn't eaten yet, I agreed to meet him at Subway and leave for the city from there. 
As most of you probably are aware, Home Depot is huge. At least I've never been in a small one. And staff aren't always easy to find. Nor are they always knowledgeable and helpful. I did not want to use screws to attach the corner bead. I want to use nails. Nails are much quicker and since it will also have mud holding it in place, I do not need the extra security that a screw can provide. The first staff member I talked to thought that was just weird. I had really hoped that my ex could have come with me for this shopping trip, but unfortunately he won't be home until next week. I'm going to have to program his new cell phone number into my cell phone because I could have really used his advice and expertise. Yes, I know some people think it's just weird that I can rely on him so much. Well, I spent 20 years with the guy and I know he's not all bad. He's not good husband material, but he does know construction. 
I have decided that next time I have to buy corner bead or anything else that's longer than me, I will not pick it up first. Home Depot may have nice wide aisles, but it's still hard to maneuver around with 8' sections of corner bead. I was afraid I was going to impale someone. I actually tried to put one of my gloves on the end of the corner bead so that it woudn't hurt so much if I hit someone with it, but the glove refused to stay on. Oh no, as I'm typing this, I just realized something: because I had the number '8' as in 8 foot in my head regarding corner bead, I bought 8 sections when I needed to buy 9! Oh well, they've probably got it at my local building supply place. It might be a little more expensive, but not as expensive as driving all the way back to the city. 
So I got the nails, drywall mud, dust masks, tin snips to cut the corner bead, sandpaper (coarse to sand the already painted walls so that the mud and new paint will adhere and finer to sand the dried mud), a flooring instalation kit, a larger tapping block than the one that's in the kit, DRIcore levelling kits and anything else I don't remember. And the DRIcore, of course. 70 sheets of it, each weighing 7.5 lb. according to the DRIcore website. Home Depot rounds it up to 8 lb. Either way, I'm glad I didn't know the weight before I loaded and unloaded it. I did get help loading it on the truck at the store and jokingly asked my helper if he wanted to come home with me and help unload it. Back home, I had to unload it all myself. I decided to do it in two stages: first, get it all into the entryway, and second, take it down to the basement. I only got the first stage done. I decided to carry 7 panels at a time. That's 52.5 pounds each trip for 10 trips and a total of 525 pounds. And that's why I'm exhausted and the DRIcore is still sitting in my entryway. It can stay there for now. The cats can get through to the basement and I can squeeze through as well. And that's all that matters since no one else lives here. Somehow I didn't feel like I was carrying over 50 pounds each time. A 20 kg bag of kitty litter - that's 44 pounds - is about my limit, and I didn't think I was carrying as much as that. Which begs the question: which is heavier: 50 pounds of kitty litter or 50 pounds of DRIcore? Obviously, the form that weight comes in can make it seem heavier or lighter. When I checked online and found out that each panel weighs 7.5 lb, I was dumbfounded. I figured there had to be some mistake because I couldn't believe I was carrying that much. 
While I was carrying all those panels in, I had the door propped open and the cats decided to check out the weather. I try to keep them indoors after having to pay for vet bills a couple of times when neighbourhood cats tried to take a round out of my Mystery. After an eye injury and I realized that he could have lost his eye, I decided that was enough and I wasn't going to take those risks any more and started keeping them indoors all the time. Most of the time, they don't seem to mind too much, but the weather was quite nice, -3C, and with the door propped open, the temptation was too great for them to resist. Mystery had had enough before I even finished bringing in the DRicore, but Tinker went out shortly before I finished and stayed out for awhile after I was done. But it wasn't long before she was at the door waiting to come in. After spending all of the time in a heated house, even -3 can feel pretty cold. 
While I was sitting here typing this, the man buying my dog kennel called. He's one of those people who just calls numbers because they're on his call display. He didn't bother to see if I'd left him a voice mail first. And since he didn't recognize my number, he wanted to know who I was and why I was calling. I don't understand why people don't listen to their voice mail. And if someoned didn't leave them a message, then you don't need to call back. And if they did, you don't need to make a rude phone call demanding to know who the person is and why she called you because you already know since you were intelligent enough to listen to your voice mail first. I get that at work sometimes. People will just call and say, "Somebody from there called me." This in a building that has 50+ people working on any given day. And unfortunately, the receptionist often transfers it to our department. I don't really know why. Maybe she just figures that home care is the most likely department to have called someone. Or maybe the caller thinks it was probably home care that called them. But it could have been anyone and it is really annoying. What makes people so obsessive that they have to return the call to every number in their call display? I've often been tempted to ask them if they call back the telemarketers. I actually had one woman call our work number because it came up on her call display. So I asked her if whoever called left a voicemail, and if not, then it must not have been that important. She said haughtily that I should tell all my coworkers that they should at least leave a message that it was a wrong number. I refrained from telling her that maybe she needed to stop returning every call that came on her call display. 
Here's a shot of the DRIcore sitting in my entryway:
The DRIcore website says to use either a jigsaw or a circular saw. I was going to opt for the jigsaw since it's lighter weight, but asked at the store (and confirmed with my ex) and was told that the circular saw would be better because it would give a more stable cut. So I think I will get a new blade. I actually have two circular saws that I bought at auction sales - one has a rechargeable battery and the other one has a plug. I'm not sure which one I'll use yet as I have never used either. But back to the DRIcore: the black plastic side goes down against the concrete. It's not solid to allow for air circulation and evaporation of any moisture. You'll notice that there's a defect in the plastic on the top left one. It's an opening which will leave the wood exposed to moisture from below. That one will have to go back. I haven't looked at all of them yet to see if there are any more defects. That can wait until I start installing. On the right you can see the space where I can squeeze through to the basement. 
Regarding the actual flooring, I originally intended to install laminate, but when I did more research I found that laminate is not advised for basements, particularly ones that get damp. And mine does. So I decided on a floating vinyl floor. I don't want to use adhesive, so will buy "click and lock" vinyl planks or tiles. I called one place that had advertised some reasonable prices but found out it was for ones that had to be glued down. So, the flooring will end up costing me more than I had originally planned on. It doesn't look like I will be moving my light fixtures at this time. Unless I cover some more "on call" for the other nurses. 
And still no buyer for my dinnerware. I've had some interest but no one committed to buy. And really I'd like it out of my living room. 
And I saw Thumper twice today. He was around in the side yard in the morning and he was still there (or there again) when I got home from the city today. But I probably haven't told you about Thumper and Bambi. I'm not sure if it was the first or second winter I lived here that I noticed deer tracks in the snow around my property. And I found out deer like mountain ash berries. There had been a lot of snow cover that year so she probably wasn't getting good grazing outside of town, so she (small prints, so I assume it's female) had obviously been helping herself to the good eats at Laura's place. I have a Mountain Ash in the front yard. I occasionally see her prints during the winter, but I've never seen her. This winter (actually I think it was late fall, but we already had snow on the ground), I saw a rabbit/hare crossing the road in front of my place and head up my driveway. I was on my way home from work and turned into the driveway with care so I didn't hit him, and he hopped off into the side yard. He has made himself very much at home at my place as I see rabbit trails all over my property and lots of droppings (when they're not covered with snow) in the side yard. The deer has also been in the side yard, so this time I figure they're feasting on the crabapples from the tree there. Naturally, with both a deer and a rabbit, they became Bambi and Thumper. If they were actually pets, I probably would have come up with more original names, but these are wild creatures and will stay wild. And while I appreciate having them enjoy my yard, I have no intention of making pets of them, so it's not like I'm ever going to be calling them by name to their faces. However, since they seem to be so much at home in my yard, especially Thumper, I'm beginning to wonder about the advisability of my plans to plant a vegetable garden this year. And if Thumper turns out to be a girl bunny, I could end up with a whole bunch of Thumpers living in my yard. Maybe I should plant two gardens: one for Thumper and one for me. 
Now I'm off to Walton's Mountain, or maybe Walnut Grove.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

February Vacation 2015, Day 1

First day of vacation is coming to a close. Yes, it's another "staycation" because going south may be in my dreams, but its not in my budget. Trying to work on renovating the sewing area in my basement. Previous owners finished the seams and the corners in the drywall with wood. It doesn't look bad, but it's not how I want it. I've got most of the wood stripped in the sewing area (the rest of the basement will have to wait for another time as that's not in my budget either). Some of it is not coming off very easily. Tomorrow will probably be shopping day: corner bead, nails, drywall mud, tape, mud spreaders (putty knives?), sand paper and maybe the subflooring. Still mulling over whether or not I can afford to have the light fixtures moved. There are four wall fixtures, only 2 of which are in the sewing area, but I want to move all 4 to the ceiling so that I can use the wall space for hanging quilting projects in progress. With the boards and the light fixtures on the wall, I really didn't have much room for my design wall. So, I want to remedy that, but the electrician's estimate was $587 plus tax. That's with me buying the light fixtures, which I've already done. I've also been trying to de-clutter, but you'd never know that from looking at my living room. Most of the stuff from the sewing room is now in my living room. And as part of de-cluttering, I've been trying to sell/give away stuff that I no longer want or need. If I can raise enough money, then I'll get the light fixtures moved. So, I've been posting things online and having to take pictures of the items in order to do so. Currently trying to unload a set of Princess House Pavillion dinnerware. Because it's MLM (multi-level marketing), it costs a lot more than it's worth: a lot of money for made in China stoneware. And like all stoneware, it chips fairly easily. And it's big and clunky. I never really liked it all that well. I bought it during the dying days of my marriage and think I was just trying to fill the emotional holes with "stuff." Anyway, the dinnerware (service for 12 plus a number of serving pieces - 2 good sized boxes of it) is now sitting in my living room, along with a dozen Christmas chargers (as in large plates to use under your dinner plate) and two stacks of cookbooks that I'm trying to find a new home for. 
Back to the sewing room, or maybe I should call it "crafting studio," since it's also got my crocheting and acrylic painting supplies in it... It all started with selling the snow tires that I still had from my Ford Escape. Enough money to give me a little "nest egg" to start the renovations. In particular, the flooring. It gets very cold down there and the floor is just concrete. Getting something down to give it a little insulation, not to mention aesthetics, will be a blessing. I won't have to wear a jacket and gloves like I sometimes did while computing when I had my office down there. And I did some extra "on call" for work to help pay for the flooring. But then I decided I might as well do the drywall and painting before I do the flooring. That's not going to be too expensive. But then I figured I ought to get the lighting fixtures moved first so that I can patch any holes left in the wall when the fixtures are moved since I would already be working on the drywall (wallboard, gyprock or whatever other English-speaking countries call it). So, really I ought to get the fixtures moved... Now, if only I can sell that dinnerware. I've also got an older stove that should be sold. Selling those items will go a long ways to paying for the electrician.
And then finally, I will put shelving in, so that I can store and organize my crafting stuff. It's not going to be cheap when all is said and done, but considering how much of my non-working time is spent in my crafting studio, it will be worth it.