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Today I Remember

26 May

Around My Home, we fly the American flag on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and several other times a year. It’s one way we can publicly display gratitude for our troops.

Today I remember the men and women who have fought bravely to defend this country that I love.

Today I remember that I am able to experience many enjoyable moments during this three-day weekend: grilling in the backyard, getting in some much-needed rest, and spending time with my family, because of the selfless sacrifice of others.

Today I remember my uncle, who served in the Air Force, my brother who was in the National Guard and now serves in law enforcement, and my grandfather who was a Detroit firefighter for more than 20 years. (Although I know that the fire department is not part of the military, I always thought of my grandfather as a public defender and patriot.)

Today I remember and say thank you to the men and women of our military who selflessly protect the freedom that I cherish.

And today I say thank you to the families that love them.

May God bless America and those that love her,

2013 In Review: Around My Home

10 Jan

I love numbers. I dream in Excel, and I have a spreadsheet for nearly everything!

So I was tickled to discover that the stats wizards at WordPress.com prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog.

If you love to look at numbers like I do, you may find this brief snapshot of interest.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank You Isn’t Enough

27 May

This American flag flies outside my home on Memorial Day as a way to remember.

I pulled up this post I wrote last year with the intent to use this photo again and write something new. After reviewing the post, I realized that it’s exactly what I want to say today as much as it was a year ago…

Around My Home, we fly the American flag on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and several other times a year. It’s one way we can publicly display gratitude for our troops.

I am able to experience many enjoyable moments during this three-day weekend: grilling in the backyard, getting in some much-needed rest, and spending time with my family. I am able to enjoy these things and relax in relative safety, thanks to the men and women who have fought to defend this country that I love.

My uncle served in the Air Force, my brother was in the National Guard and now serves as a police officer, and my grandfather was a firefighter for more than 20 years. Although I know that the fire department is not part of the military, I always thought of my grandfather as a public defender and patriot.

So, though it doesn’t seem like enough, thank you to the men and women of our military who selflessly protect the freedom that I cherish.

And thank you to the families that love them.

The Origin of Spring Cleaning: Passover

13 Mar
Spring Cleaning Broom

I imagine my ancestors scurrying about with oil lamps and brooms, removing all traces of yeast from their homes in preparation for the Passover week.

Every Spring, a number of Jews and Christians observe Passover as a reminder of their ancestors’ exodus from Egypt.

In celebrating this annual holiday, one of the instructions outlined in Chapter 12 of the Book of Exodus is to rid our homes of all yeast for the duration of the week-long festival.

I consider myself an Hebraic Roots Christian, so we’ve been observing Passover Around My Home for several years now.

Each year I seek to find and get rid of all the yeast products and each year I inevitably miss something. In the freezer. The pantry. Even my son’s diaper bag.

I begin to take inventory of our food items about a month prior to Passover, in an effort to consume what we can beforehand. While clearing our home of yeast products, I’m always surprised to find yeast (also known as leavening) in products I didn’t expect to. I even discovered it in one of our favorite barbecue sauces one year!

Barbecue sauce?

The annual lesson for me is how hard it is to both find and get rid of the yeast. In Scripture, yeast symbolizes sin.

It’s hard to identify, spreads easily, is difficult to get rid of, and too often tastes delicious!

Sound familiar?

Continue reading

Paper Or Plastic? It’s Illegal In Austin, Texas

13 Feb
shopping-bag

Remember to bring your re-usable shopping bags with you if you live in or visit Austin!

Beginning March 1st, both residents and visitors in Austin, Texas will be subject to Ordinance No. 20120301-78. The new mandate prohibits business establishments from providing single-use, carryout bags to customers.

There are 3 reasons I don’t like the new ordinance:

1. Austin is a destination city. We have many visitors, some of whom may shop at a grocery store while visiting our city. If they don’t think to pack re-usable grocery bags in their carry-on luggage, they will be subject to an “emergency” surcharge of $1 in order to carry out their groceries.

2. Most of the people who walk their dogs in our neighborhood are responsible pet owners who clean up their dog’s waste. What do they use? Plastic grocery bags. I’m concerned that the new inconvenience will result in an increase in the amount of pet waste I’ll have to clean up in my front yard to keep my little boy from picking it up to play with it, or worse…

3. We use both the paper and plastic bags more than once Around My Home. We use the plastic bags as lunch bags, diaper-changing bags on the go, and trash bags. We use paper bags for yard clippings, composting, weed control under mulch, instant coloring pages for my toddler, and bringing meals to friends.

I like many of the services that the City of Austin provides, such as residential recycling service, and I do my part to participate in such programs and be responsible.

I know that there are many people who support this new ordinance. I’m just not one of them.

2012 In Review: Annual Report for Around My Home

31 Dec

I have to admit, I love numbers. Sometimes I dream in Excel spreadsheets. I have a spreadsheet for nearly everything! So I was tickled to discover that the stats fairies at WordPress.com prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog.

If you love to look at numbers like I do, you may find this brief snapshot of interest.

Here’s an excerpt of what WordPress had to say about my blog:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

You can click here to see the complete report.

Looking forward to having you stop by Around My Home in 2013!

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,

The Big Reveal: This Old House

8 Aug

Little J’s Wedding Gift Someday…

A few weeks ago, I shared with you that I was working on a super-secret project. Now it’s official – I’m the proud owner of the sweet little house pictured here. It’s a vintage charmer, built in 1955 in an adorable Austin neighborhood, and walking distance to just about everything!

We purchased the home from the estate of the original owners, who did a lovely job maintaining it. It’s obvious that there was plenty of love and lots of great memories here, and we look forward to filling it with many more.

Once I started “kicking tires”, things happened much, much faster than expected. So, the current plan is to do a mini-remodel and then lease it out until Little J’s wedding day (he’s 15 months old as of this post).

During the last week, the house has been swarming with contractors – electrical and plumbing being the primary focus areas. The city inspector is scheduled to come out today to review, and hopefully pass, the work that’s been completed. Unfortunately, they don’t give you a time window, so someone has to be available at the house from  7 am until 4pm – ugh. Not so much fun with a 1 year old in a construction zone!

There are some gorgeous wood floors throughout most of the house, and some not-so-gorgeous vinyl tile in the kitchen. Some updates are needed, so I’m planning to change a few things, while still maintaining the character of the home and neighborhood. I’ll be posting regular pics and updates of the remodel here.

Now, let’s see if I can get it done and leased before school starts on August 27th…things will be moving fast and I’d love to have you along for the ride on this one!

Oh, and don’t get attached to the exterior paint color, because it’s about to change radically next week.