our new shed

I know it may seem small but we are very excited to have a new nicer shed. Let me explain why:

We lost our tin shed last winter as the weather changed and the transition from cold to warm bent in the top heavy with a foot of snow.

When spring came we had to tear apart the old shed and find someone to take it to the scrap-metal yard. Then we had to decided if we were building a new one on our own, buying a pre-fab one from a hardware store, or buying one from a local business. After some research we went with supporting a local Amish workshop.

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We chose our model, size, colors etc. then had to re-gravel a pad for the shed and assure there would be no issues for delivery.

We finally got our new shed a few weeks ago. For Luke the shed is a place to organize and put all of his outdoor equipment and tools. I was excited because it meant the back porch was no longer a “catch all” room.

For the past more than six months the back porch has been the laundry room, the tool and outdoor equipment room, the dry food/goods storage, and the recycling center. With Kira, it also became her crated sleeping room.

The recycle area is now in large bins on the side of the shed, the tools and outdoor equipment are in the shed as well. So there is now room to move around back there.

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Also it has now become Kira’s play room while we are gone. With the heavy equipment and tools gone, we could trust her outside of her crate. So we no longer  wake up before dawn to our dog barking because she wants to get out of her crate.

When we leave during the day, or we go to bed at night we set up baby gates over the back porch doorframe. Kira now has her bowls, toys, crate with blankets, and newspaper all in one place with space to move around a play. She even has a window to look out.

And everyone’s happy.

Social Media: Beauty or Beast? Part 1

Starting off my newly-married life far from family and friends, I find great beauty in the internet and it’s social media sites. It has helped keep me connected to those I love around the world or a few time zones away.

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Not only do I have the opportunity to share in the lives of those I know and love, but also with those I have never met who also desire to communicate their creativity and life experiences through blogging on wordpress. WordPress has provided me with the venue to communicate my heart, my ideas, my cooking, and my life with all of you.

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Facebook provides me the ability to share in other’s pictures, or encourage and celebrate in my friends/family’s life moments with a comment, like, share, lol or consolation. I have the ability to quickly share a quote, song, where I am, or where I am going.

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LinkedIn allows me to find organizations I care about, people I have worked with, or contact those I used to be employed by. I can endorse those who I have worked for and with, or those who have taught and trained me. In return they can endorse or write references to my job related abilities.

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And most recently I have start on Pinterest with which I can share pictures, ideas, and words that mean something to me. From my baking, to decorating, travel, crafts, to party planning: I can get gift ideas or learn more about the style, preferences, and values of those I know-or connect to others who have similar interests as me.

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 This past year we have joined in our families holidays celebrations including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, and Easter via a phone call and/or skype. Or I can go on skype and see my niece and nephew and/or brother and sister-in-law just starting tomorrow in China as we are relaxing and finishing today.

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In addition to these, Luke can go on Xbox Live and play some of his favorite games and chat with his best friend on the WestCoast.

It is a beautiful thing; getting connected with others in a way never dreamed of less than 50 years ago. Through the beauty of the internet’s social media I can share in the process of engagements, weddings, family vacations to Disneyland, college or Master degrees, new careers or jobs, new additions to the family, or the passing of others through just a few clicks and typed words.

How about you? What do you appreciate about the world wide web’s social medias?

What the Fridge tells Us

I love to stay organized.

I always have a monthly calendar, an organizer, and sticky notes to put on my computer, bedroom mirror, or car dashboard. If someone begins to list more than 3 steps or ingredients to me-my hands start itching to find pen and paper (just ask my parents or previous roommates).

Luke loathes making lists, and only will if he is absolutely overwhelmed. Otherwise the lists can make him feel overwhelmed. He makes fun of how excited I get when I receive pens and sticky notes in my Christmas stocking.

But when we got married and Luke started his new job I knew we needed some way to stay organized. The answer: the fridge.

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    In my search for organization I went to Target and found whiteboard calendars from a division of Mead called organizher.

I bought a weekly calendar that we keep on the freezer door. I told Luke this is the one he should look at. On it I will write Home, or Out so he knows if I am driving him to work/taking the car for the day (did I mention before that we currently share a car). I also list what days/times we plan to exercise or any important events during the week.

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Also every Sunday night we decide on our home-cooked dinners for the week and write them out on the weekly calendar.  We have made a few favored repeats in the last few months but still enjoy changing it up and seeing new recipes works.

Then on the fridge door is the monthly calendar. I told Luke this is the one he doesn’t have to look at. Here I write down holidays, big events, and my blog schedule (yes I confess I have on of those too).

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We keep a green super sticky Post-it Notes pad for a grocery list on the freezer door. If there are any events we have tickets to or have a flyer for we are apt to stick that to the freezer door with a magnet. My favorite magnet is one from a friend of Pikes Place Market in Seattle.

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Also, on the side of the microwave we keep a list of business or serious talks we want to have. That way we can plan when to talk and feel prepared going into the discussion.

But I think Luke’s favorite form of fridge-communication is seeing my blue mixing bowl on top of the fridge. This means baked goodies, usually muffins, for breakfast.

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The current baked treats are carrot-apple oatmeal muffins.

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What does your fridge communicate?

Do you post an emergency contacts list, your children’s drawings, pictures of friends or family, notes/reminders to roommates, letter or word magnets to spell out funny poems or messages?

Do you own any fun or funky magnets shaped like fruit, sushi, or vintage pictures with sarcastic sayings?

Please feel free to share pictures.