justkimu: (cigar kim)
Because it is way overdue, I'm doing the "here is what you need to know about me" post.


My tagline for sites is almost always this:
Radical mom of Four. That is all there is. There is nothing more.

As long as I can remember (which is a short time because I've very little childhood memories), my life has been extremely spiritual. At times it has been seriously metaphysical, and I've grappled with this for years. Right now I'm very happy with my odd-ball melting pot faith system...it works for me. Currently I'm studying Native American Culture and Faith along with Buddhism. The two lend themselves to each other very well. Being a part of both faith systems puts me squarely into the "Pagan" category -- but I prefer to call myself a Kimboist. This means I follow the Divine Guidance from within. ;)

Outside of mothering and wife-ing, I'm an artist. My genres are: writing, photography, digital art and now...filmmaking. These mediums take me to the very core of my sanity, and they are not usually shared with the general public. My life has brought me to a point of revelation (and not the kind at the end of the Bible...). If we are given gifts from some Divine Parent, or even just from really good genetics, it seems a shame to waste them. I am in a space of No Fear, which is a great time to let people see inside my heart, mind and soul.

I've been happily married for 11 years. At times it has been rocky and stressful, but it always comes back to a place of love and deep respect. The Mister (my husband) can remember the first meal I made for him, and what I wore on our first date. He is beautifully intense, and wicked smart. My nicknames for him are Gandalf and Mr. Wizard. Also, he is 14 years older than me and a Leo (I'm a Cancer). It works for us, and we are very happy.

My family and I live a very simple life. For years I was hard-core dogmatic crunchy AP mom, but then I got real. I'm still very natural-minded, and give the neighbors something to talk about, but my son helped me realize that putting a title on parenting can cause division lines. I'm mostly vegan right now, but purely for health reasons. If given the chance I would love to eat a mexi melt from Taco Bell every day. At the end of the month we have more expenses than money, but we always make due. My favorite store is Goodwill, and I Freecycle quite a bit.

My kiddos are homeschooled, and I face challenges with my kiddos because they are gifted. I am not using this loosely, as I've looked for solutions to issues with one of my older kids for years. After almost losing my sanity, I am finding peace with the diagnosis of "gifted." It looks as if my younger two are in the same boat...only time with tell. While it may seem like peaches and cream to be working with 4 gifted kiddos, it does make me a bit manic at times when they all gather around me. Sort of like an episode of Star Trek where Kirk is asked if he is "of the body." Folks tell me that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree with the kiddos, so imagine living in a home with 6 people who have their own mind about things...and how we should all live. =)

So...the key to my life, in all aspects mentioned above, is simplicity. I don't do well with titles, and I am constantly re-thinking who I am on a daily basis. For some this would be maddening...for me it is calming. The world is too big to stay in one place for a long time...but in the same thought, I love being right where I am all the time. =)

I used to maintain many filters, but only have one, now. It is a spiritual filter, and in it there will be all the things I don't mention to the general public.

Should there be an emergency, and you need to contact me, please send me a text message or drop me a message via LJ.


Thanks for reading all of this!
*hugs and love*
justkimu: (wee faery)
I know a lot of you have moved over from LJ to here - with stability issue and all at LJ. Just to let you know that I'm back at both places. ♥
justkimu: (cigar kim)

Image Copyright (c) Kim Upton 2009

So today is my birthday. At 12:58 (or so), I will be 38 years old. There were times in my life that I thought I might not reach this age. And, even deeper, there were times that I wished I wouldn't reach this age.

But...here I am...in all my wild, wonderful and weird glory! *wry grin* Everything that life has given to me has been a rich and poignant blessing. Each moment I take a breath, I am given a brand new "now" to be here.

There is a quote from the book Dune that I love...
A beginning is a very delicate time...

When we emerge from our mother's womb, a life of beginnings awaits. Ponder that for a moment. After we are born, we will constantly be experiencing something new. While we may deal with a familiar situation, there will never be the exact same experience twice.

Even in death we are amidst a beginning. While folks will argue over where you "go after death," there is no denying that your body will start a journey to something else (even if you have been preserved to the gills with chemicals).

For my birthday I would like to give you a present, or grant some wish. In the comments, or via e-mail, please tell me what you want for my birthday.

Loads of love...and some Sugarcubes,

NOTE: I know many people think this song is about an old man being a creep to his neighbor girl, but for me it means something completely different...nothing creepy at all. Bjork is often quoted as saying Birthday is/was "a tasteless pop song." Sometimes a cigar...is just a cigar...

She lives in this house over there
Has her world outside it
Scrapples in the earth with her fingers and her mouth
She's five years old

Thread worms on a string
Keeps spiders in her pocket
Collects fly wings in a jar
Scrubs horse flies
And pinches them on a line

She has one friend, he lives next door
They're listenening to the weather
He knows how many freckles she's got
She scratches his beard

She's painting huge books
And glues them together
They saw a big raven
It glided down the sky
She touched it

Today is a birthday
They're smoking cigars
He's got a chain of flowers
And sows a bird in her knickers

They're smoking cigars
They lie in the bathtub
A chain of ... flowers

The Sugarcubes - Birthday
justkimu: (written words)

Image Copyright (c) Kim Upton 2009

Last night I was able to get some "out and about" mom time. Honestly, I get mom time, just for me, after all the kiddos are in bed, or in the morning before they get up. Of course I would like more, but I'm okay with what I get.

What I do miss is having some time to sit and giggle. To let my hair down and just laugh with the my gal-pals. Some folks call it "lady chatting," or "sitting in the hen house," but I call hanging out with my girl friends something different. I call it Sanctuary. During these times I learn about myself. How do these wise women see me? What wisdom do they have to share?

Last night I got an answer from the Universe from a dear friend of 10 years. She and I have been through it...let me tell you. From catty b.s., to break ups, to stress to everything. But we have stood the test of time, grown, and moved on in our friendship where we can start up a conversation about something started 5 years ago.

Last night she asked me if I was happy. My reply was, yes, I'm happy as I'm supposed to be. I really am happy, and feel a lot of contentment in my life, but there is something missing. That part of me that is just me - not mom, wife, teacher, healer, reader, friend, etc. The Just Kim part of me. Somewhere over the past 12 years of my life (those who are into numbers will notice the significance of this number) I became really lost from my Inner Kim. But you know what? That is okay. This is how it happens, really. We have to know who we are not to know who we are. And that is something that I can tell you right now - I totally know who I am not! =)

I took the word magic of my conversation last night into Dream Time...and I dreamed of many things.

In the beginning of one dream I put my fairy stone onto a hemp cord and began to wear it (I found this fairy stone on our recent camping trip). At that point I could see into anything and everything. I was able to ask All That Is questions...and get solid answers. And yes, I asked a whole heckuvalot of questions! The answers I received are just for me (and those who were in the dream), but what I can share with you is this.

I am a storyteller. I share stories. My gift from All That Is happens to be intuition. This was told to me in Dream Time as well.

During my discussion I learned that there are many paths to the Divine, and that no one has the market cornered on the "True Path" to the Divine.

I was also told that we are each given a path and a gift. What we do with them is our choice, but wasting them (and we are given plenty of chances to realize both) is what causes us stress, worry and the like.

So there you have it folks. Life as I know it out here at Green Being Farm. ;)

Kipper's over - and I'm ready for some fruit and toast.

Love you!
Hugs and kisses
justkimu: (blond thinker)
From Eknath Easwaran’s Thought for the Day
It is permissible to take life’s blessings with both hands provided thou dost know thyself prepared in the opposite event to take them just as gladly. This applies to food and friends and kindred, to anything God gives and takes away.
– Meister Eckhart

From TUT:
Brilliant, civilization-changing ideas are a dime a dozen, Kim. Physically taking action to implement them, however, beginning with baby steps that seem to accomplish very little, is what gets the crowds here screaming like raving lunatics.

In the good way... that lunatics scream... you know?

Peanuts! Popcorn! Cotton candy! It's the show of a lifetime!
The Universe

From Daily Rumi:
There is no wine without You,
no use for the rosary without Your hand.
From afar You order me to dance
bu unless You set the stage and
open the curtain, my Beloved,
how can I dance?
-- Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi

Saturday night/Sunday morning I had a very powerful dream. There were many people that I know in real life, several people I've never met, Spiritual Elders and a profound sense of love in the dream.

It was a very simple dream, really. I was sitting on the ground with a can of water in my hand (like a soup can). A person to my right would scoop up water with their soup can and hand it to me. I would sit with the soup can full of water, add it to my can, then pour my can of water into a body of water to my left. The dream went on like this for a very, very long time. No one talked, they just handed me their can of water...

All day Sunday I felt different. There was nothing really special about the way I felt, just that I felt different.

This morning I am lifted...and there is more in my heart than before.

Off to start my day!
Love ya,


Jun. 27th, 2009 10:16 am
justkimu: (Default)
Photos from June 27 - tree and swan drawn with sidewalk chalk on pavement.


Jun. 26th, 2009 09:33 pm
justkimu: (Default)
June 25th - The Mister and Little Kids

June 26th - Bee and Flower
justkimu: (written words)
Hello there!

Happy Friday to ya!

I've finished reading:
Lies My Teacher Told Me
My Life Is My Sundance

Both were good reads. There was a common theme in both, dealing with racism and the like, that I'm already aware of in our current culture. I like "Sundance" better.

If you can believe it, I've never read the book, The Poisonwood Bible!!! While looking up some Anne Lamott that was suggested to me, the book fell off the shelf at me. This happens to me quite a bit, so I knew it was for me to read. ;)

I'm still taking suggestions on books you would suggest I read - especially for someone currently a little lost on their path. ;)

And now...meme time!

From [personal profile] firinel
My life has been one long journey (still going), that is made up of several small journeys. Right now I'm studying "journeying" as it pertains to someone on the "shaman's path." I like the way this site defines shamanic journey.

If you look at that site, and understand what is said there, then my life has been a non-stop shamanic journey. ;)

I've never walked the exact same path twice, but I have walked paths that are very alike.

A path takes you on a journey. It is always fun to see where the two take you.


I feel that I have much to learn about this word. Accepting others is pretty easy, but I get pretty hard on myself. Much, much to learn...

As cliche as it sounds, the only constant truly is change. Once I accepted that, my life became much easier.

I truly love people in an unconditional manner. Really, I do... However, I may not agree unconditionally...and I respect your path of not accepting things I say unconditionally, too. =) Clear as mud, right?

From [personal profile] ryl
:) I must need to spend some time with the faeries...that has been a popular word for me. ;) I believe, 100%, that faeries exist. I don't think they all look like Amy Brown artwork, nor do I think tinkle music plays when they are around. In fact, I feel that they are more like humans than we know. ;)

I've been reading tarot cards for 14 years. At first I was Very Skeptical about using them, but have found the deck to be a very good tool for getting info from the universe.

I think I'll always be searching until the day I die. "The Truth is out there." ;)

I've had this one several times, too. ;)

To me there is nothing more wonderful than song - from instruments, paper, mouths and nature. Music is a major part of my life. That is one thing that Kurt Vonnegut and I have in common. ;)
justkimu: (Default)

For the next 40 days I will be posting art of all mediums.


This is from June 24th, 2009. It is crayon on paper. It was inspired by the artwork of my little ones.

Love ya,
justkimu: (ET believe)
The incident with Tipsy has left our family in serious financial stress. We've been in tight places before, but there was always something around the bend. This time we are coming up with creative ways to raise the funds to pay for the vet costs (to put Tipsy to sleep and for the dog she bit).

Instead of asking for straight donations, I'm offering two great specials. ;)

Art sale!!!

$15 donation gets you a one of a kind piece of art (photography) from past art shows of mine. There are 35 pieces ranging from yoni art to digital art. If you have a preference, you will be able to list it in the notes.


The return of the $10 tarot special. Donate to the cause and get an e-mail reading (turn around time is about 72 hours).

If you just want to donate as an act of kindness, feel free to do so below.

Thank you! Please feel free to point folks this way.

Love you,
Kim and the Upton Clan =)
justkimu: (shambala)
There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist. As the same person inhabits the body through childhood, youth, and old age, so too at the time of death he attains another body. The wise are not deluded by these changes.
– Bhagavad Gita

In our modern civilization we try to cling to time as it rushes past, almost begging time to stop. We want to continue to be what we are now. We don’t want to be subjected to the ruthless physical changes that are an inescapable part of life. Yet it is the nature of the body to change, up to the last change we call death. Anybody who tries to cling to what is changing cannot help feeling insecure.

Yet we needn’t be helplessly caught in time. There are a number of very simple steps we can take to begin to free ourselves. One of the easiest is to get up early in the morning. This gives us the opportunity to start the day with a leisurely pace – to take a short walk, if we like, and then to have our meditation, without worrying about catching the bus or being on time for school.

from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By

This weekend has been very powerful for me. When I was paying attention I got answers to questions I didn't know I'd asked.

Having an "awakening" like this makes me think of the song, Simple Gifts

After my walk with the little ones, I thought of all the things I am "turning" and "turning in" to. So that I may look at them again, if needed, I'm posting them online...as I often do. :)

I am turning...
~ running into walking
~ veganism into listening to the needs of my body
~ religion into faith
~ worry into compassion
~ fear into courage
~ losing weight into becoming more healthy
~ fostering chaos into welcoming calm
~ chasing rainbows into honoring the present
~ doubting myself into thanking my intuition
~ focusing on what we don't have into realizing how blessed we truly are
~ knowledge into wisdom
~ crisis situations into blessings

There are a few more things I'm "turning," but for now these are enough to keep me busy. ;)

I am very thankful for the "simple gifts" All That Is has given me. Never did I realize how lucky I truly am, until I sunk down to my lowest low.

Much love to each of you!

justkimu: (reading is sexy)
Hello there!

Since I'm in a bit of a spiritual slump, I asked the Book Gods for some suggestions...all I got in return was this...

"Don't read The Shack, and let your peers and friends guide you"

Give me one book title you think I should read during this summer (and into fall). If there were one book that you feel pulled to have me read...speak it to me in the comments.


I will post my reading list after it is compiled.

Thanks for your help, friends!

justkimu: (clean and fresh)
The Mister and I are sitting in the garage having a “the babies are in bed” drink. We have Jethro Tull’s Thick As A Brick playing in the background. There are dishes left in the sink, and a large bit of laundry left to fold. I’m sure there are a few other things that need to be done, but it is just too hot to do anything but drink a cold beer and listen to music.

Other than what I’m writing now, all I can think about is what is left to be done in the house. You see…I did not “wash my bowls” before coming out here.

In Buddhism there is a phrase, “wash your bowls.” What this means for me is multi-fold (the laundry). It helps me keep clean (the dishes) my tools for everyday living. When I get in a place where I’m stuck (the things on the floor that need sweeping), I reach for this simple tool. Wash your bowls.

At the very basic level, this means accepting personal responsibility. When you peel back the layers of bowl washing, you can see deeper meanings. If you are accepting personal responsibility you have right thought, speech, vocation and so on. If you are focused on the task at hand, you are not letting your mind wander into the realms of not-so-right thought (which is the key to having the other “rights” in Buddhism).

But this post is not about Buddhism per se…but more about how the simple act of physically washing your bowls makes a path for accepting responsibility.

In the news lately I see a whole lot of finger pointing. There is quite a bit of “it isn’t ME, but all of Them that is making the world as it is today.” Instead of looking at our own stack of metaphorical dishes, we like to point out the larger, and more messy, stack of everyone else’s dishes.

I get pretty guilty of this myself. When I think I’m in need of validation, I’ll search around for someone who is clearly doing things all wrong…and if they would just listen to me…the world would run in the fashion of unicorns, rainbows and fluffy bunnies. And, if I may go on (online, to the local Editor, or to anyone who is willing to listen), what I am saying is according to every expert that I can find to further support my cause.

There is no easier way to not look into ourselves, than by looking into the “self” of another.

So…what if we all just stopped to wash our bowls? What if we spent hours and hours on inner peace, instead of worrying so much about how we would influence our will onto the world around us? Instead of fostering a new-age Pax Romana with our desire to fix the world’s ills, we (you, me and everyone we see…) can take a peaceful look into our own inner Roman.

But here comes the sticky wicket…just by writing this very post, I’m offering a suggestion for a way of life that I think is good for everyone.


When I get to places like this, I like to reference Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. What I’m really looking for is a way to “control” my environment…make it better for me and those I love (and maybe those I would like to love). Suzuki says:
Ancient painter used to practice putting dots on a paper in artistic disorder. This is rather difficult. Even though you try to do it, usually what you do is arranged in some order. You think you can control it, but you cannot; it is almost impossible to arrange your dots out of order. It is the same with taking care of your everyday life. Even though you try to put people under some control it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.

The same way works for you yourself as well. “If you want to obtain perfect calmness in your zazen, you should not be bothered by the various images you find in your mind. Let them come, and let them go. Then they will be under control. But this policy is not so easy. It sounds easy, but it requires some special effort. How to make this kind of effort is the secret of practice.

This means that it is okay to let people not wash their bowls. Let them find their own way. If you try to hard to control what others do, then you are not trying hard enough to look at what you do.

Isn’t this something we are all seeking? A way to keep order in the Universe without making everything bend to our will? Don’t we scream from the mountaintops, “Let my people go”? Don’t we wish mischief upon everyone we love, so that in this searching they will find their own way?

These are things I think about on a hot, sultry evening…while drinking cold beer in a warm garage. As I look over at The Mister, seeing his joy in hearing music from his past (even though I want to listen to my own music), I allow him the free will to engage in a little mischief - an evening free of washing his bowls.

And in that freedom is where we all find Nirvana. We allow all that we see a chance to find its own way, a chance to make its own mistakes.

Because, in the end, we only really need to be concerned about our own damn bowls anyway.

Love ya,

justkimu: (expect great things)
This morning I did not run to the laptop as my coffee was brewing.

Instead I fed the little ones, wrote in my journal and enjoyed the quiet morning.

One must let go, Kim, in order to be free.

You know,
The Universe For those who wish to climb the mountain of spiritual awareness, the path is selfless work. For those who have attained the summit of union with the Lord, the path is stillness and peace.
– Bhagavad Gita

In order to climb the Himalayas within us, we have to train ourselves, little by little, day by day. Sir Edmund Hillary, who climbed Mount Everest for the first time, did not just stand at the bottom, take one leap, and land on top. He practiced climbing for a long time to learn all the required skills; and for you and me to climb the spiritual mountain, we, too, have to strengthen our muscles over a long period of time.

Isn't it awesome that we are often given answers when we stop looking for them? While I'm still recovering from my weekend, I can see that there *is* something out there looking out for us. In fact, All That Is always has our best interest at heart...even if our situations seem dire.

The blessing in my loss of faith, is that I am rebuilding a very strong foundation that brings me peace. I have created a Temple within myself that holds my heart and soul safe. When the next big thing comes up, and it will, there will be a safe spot to weather the storm.

I have been humbled . . .

Love ya!
justkimu: (be here now)
From Eknath Easwaran's "Words to Live By"

For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
– I Corinthians

In moments of trouble we are seeing “through a glass darkly,” as Paul puts it. At such times we can repeat the mantram to calm our mind and clear our eyes.

In times of distress, when we try to call up the mantram or prayer word, we may have difficulty even locating it. Our attention will be caught in our own turmoil, and every time we try to catch it, it will rebel and slip away again.

Simply bring your attention back to the mantram over and over again until your mind is calm. Repeat My God and My All, which is Saint Francis’s mantram (or whatever mantram you have chosen). Then, when you go back to the scene that brought you distress, you can stay calm and compassionate. You can speak kindly, even if the response is not kind. You are inwardly secure in your love.

I removed yesterday's post about our dog because...well...I thought best to do so. It was pretty raw and finger pointy. It is still up on my personal journal...where I can reflect on it if needed.

Over the weekend, along with yesterday, I was at the very lowest I've been in my life. So much came together to make a big stew of "WTF, Universe, what is the meaning behind all of this."

For the first time in my life (that I can remember), I lost complete faith yesterday. I'm still pretty ambivalent this morning, but I'm willing to engage in conversation with All That Is. I'll bring my things to the table, and All That Is can bring its things to the table. It is pretty obvious that we have a lot to say to each other.

My youngest child needed comforting last night...so she asked for my prayer beads (a mala). What is so amazing about this, is that she is only about 18 months old. She has seen me use the beads in prayer to find inner peace, and for healing. When she needs inner comforting, she now reaches for my beads...and she will start chanting. She chants, "ma, ma, ma, ma" until she finishes the whole string of beads.

With clenched fist and angry breath, I raised my hands to the sky and said, "what in the hell do you want from me...just give me some sort of clue...some sort of path...just something besides shit on a stick." Then I came inside, lit my Mary of Guadalupe candle, put some incense in the holder, and went through the day. I wrote, I cried, I grieved. There was support from friends far and near, and challenges to my patient from here and there.

But then...at night...in the still quiet...my youngest reminded me of a simple way back to peace.

This is proof, to me, that The Divine is in the details.

More as I can...busy day today.

Love y'all!
justkimu: (FruGal)
Next week I'll answer some more of your questions...

A short and sweet FGF!

Here are my top ten tips for saving money. Enjoy! :)

1. Always check your receipt after making a purchase. Many times I catch computer errors that are in my favor.
2. Stop fretting over your budget. The more you focus on what you don't have...the more you won't have. Great mystics, and now scientists, say this -> "what you think you become."
3. Find a way of frugal living that works for you. Not everyone saves money the same way. If Cathy Coupon Clipper saves $200 a month in coupons, don't expect the same coupons will work for you.
4. Every budget has breathing room. No matter where I am in my financial journey, I've always had a few dollars out of nowhere.
5. Keep yourself healthy by getting plenty of rest, taking time for stress relief, eating well and brushing/flossing your teeth. (by "eating well" I mean skipping the junk food aisle and purchasing more fruits, veggies and grains - you can do this on a limited income...trust me)
6. Stop comparing yourself to others. This leads to stress, and stress leads to spending more money.
7. Create a wish book. Use whatever materials you have around to make a book of things you want for your life. This does not mean you have to cut out pictures of washers and dryers, but if it is your life goal to have them, then put them in the book. Write out goals you have for your physical and spiritual life as well.
8. Pets aren't always a big expense. Many families benefit from having a small pet in the house. There are so many wonderful resources out there for free pet goodies, and it helps teach responsibility.
9. Use the library for all your media needs.
10. Tell yourself, each morning, what a great person you are. :)

Tuck these tips somewhere they can be seen daily.

(saving money and being frugal isn't always about being a tightwad *wink*)

Love ya!
justkimu: (Yeee Gods!)
As I as making breakfast, a wave hit me. Not literally, y'all, but metaphorically. ;)

I've been studying religion and spirituality for 20 years. New faiths and new ways of thinking come up all the time, and it is not unusual to read about a new branch of a main faith growing followers.

Back to this wave . . .

There has to be something that ties everyone together. Above science, above theology, above all understanding. Science is just tipping the scales into the realm of the Unknown, and actually defining what Great Mystics have known for ages. A few nights ago I had my mind blown learning about atoms and neutrons, and how they can be in two places at one time. Sure makes those "kooks" who know about astral travel look much more credible now, doesn't it? ;)

Anyway...I've been on this search...for something that can bring all people together, no matter what background/lifestyle/faith system they have. It is more than just love... And while Love is the main tenet of my own personal faith system, there is something more. Something so obvious that we are totally missing it. This "bigger than us" energy/thinking will bring everything together.

I think I can do it. I think anyone could do it.

This is what happens to me after eating fried potatoes with Ethiopian berebere seasonging. ;)

Give thanks, give praise!
Love ya,
justkimu: (balance)
When your kids wake up a 0-dark:thirty, you get time to reflect on your life in the early morning quiet. This morning, however, I woke from a very long dream to hear lots of thunder. The lightning sort of punctuated all the situations I experienced in the dream.

Sort of like this...

*groggy half sleep waking* BOOM of thunder, *last few images of my dream* FLASH of lightning, *trying to sneak in 30 more seconds of sleep* JUMPING of little kids on my head and body.

After good morning hugs, diaper changes, sippy cups filled, first breakfast made, laundry started, dog fed, more diaper changing, potty-time, coffee, dishes rinsed, lights on in dark rooms, early morning questions asked, more coffee, enduring the first "that's mine" issue of the day...and more coffee...I'm ready to write. At that time, and only after all that morning activity, can my mind be truly free of chatter. Anything that happened in dreamtime has been put away in my mental filing cabinet, and I don't have to obsess over what every little detail means because my first thoughts are to take care of my young ones.

That, my friends, is true bliss. Crazy as it sounds...when you don't have time to fret over things, you are much happier. Okay, saying that most likely *does* make me a crazy person, but I'm okay with that. ;)


As I sit here smelling the fresh rain, I think about how my brain works so fast that I see things too clearly sometimes. What does that mean you ask? Well...ever since I was a little kid I could look at something and see to the core. Didn't matter what it was, or who it was, I could evaluate it with lightning speed. Add a nice does of intuition to this mix, and you have a woman with two brains.

There is the "normal" part of me that does what "normal" people do - go to the grocery store, visit with friends, fold laundry. Then there is my "Abby Normal" side. This is my "preferred" side, as I'm much happier being fully in my Just Kim U skin. I've tried the "fitting in" thing, and it just didn't work. In fact...it went down in a flaming pile of dog doo. A large flaming pile of dog doo in fact.

Oddly enough, my weird side is also the most rational and relaxed. It is the "herd culture" side of me that always opens my big mouth. It takes what my intuitive side sees and translates it into fears, rants or lack of clarity. Over the past year I've worked really hard to bring these two sides together, and have had very good results.

I can be that "weird lady down the street" *AND* fit in with the soccer moms. Well...okay...maybe not the soccer moms (are there any soccer moms left???), but I can walk among everyday people and not have a panic attack. I've learned that there is a time and place for my gifts, and that when I sense something my first job is to understand it. Once I understand what is going on, then I can share it, or pray for it.

This is a benefit of growing up and getting older. Every part of yourself comes together in one nice package. Sure...you might still have a bad day, or an insecure moment, but whether you like it or not, life will push you to a happy end result. :)

Love you!
justkimu: (FruGal)
Greetings friends and neighbors!

I've had Ms. FruGal on the shelf for some time - mostly because I was feeling very uninspired. There is soo much good information out there, and many great frugal/simple living writers. My two favorite writers (Frugal Fu and Frugal Abundance) are working on other projects... Those two ladies, out of all the other sites I've read, were the most real and down-to-earth. They didn't off up lofty ideals, or demand that you follow some crazy budget plan. They will be missed. *hugs*

With that - I'm working on cup of coffee number two. As you know, all the typos that you see were most likely added somewhere in space and time by the Typo Faeries (local chapter 1111). Sometimes my youngest will add her comments to my work, but it mostly looks like cursing (which, of course, I never do...).

Over the past few days I've asked folks if they have any questions. These will be my writing prompts over the next few weeks (as I'm working on a big mega super duper post about menu planning for people in the Real World). If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments...or wiggle over to here and fill out the poll.

And now - on with the show!

What is the cheapest way to service a car?
Great question! :)

The best way to service a car is to perform monthly checkups. Make sure your fluids are good, tires are at proper inflation and so on. A lot of hard-core frugal folks will do mechanical work on their car themselves. Unless you already have tools, or cheap/free access to tools, the initial expense of DIY car care is pretty expensive. More than likely, if your car was made within the last decade, there is an onboard computer system. Unless you know what you are doing, messing with the computer system can cause dire results.

But don't despair! :)

There are many great car mechanics out there who don't charge bazillions of dollars to keep your car in shape. Ask your car-owning friends who they go to for car repair. Do some leg work on your own as well. When you find a mechanic who feels like a good fit with your budget, ask important questions before you sign any paperwork.

Here are some examples of questions to ask:
~ If I bring my own replacement parts will you perform the labor (there is an incredible markup on parts)
~ Do you offer any discounts (yes, mechanics do offer discounts)
~ How do you handle large repairs (the sub-text here is - what happens if the repair bill is more than I have on hand)

Again, the way to keep your car in top shape, without breaking the bank, is to manage the little things before they turn into big things.

What is the best way to stay healthy if you don't have health insurance?
Another good question!

I've been asked this one quite a bit...and over the last few months this question is one of the most popular.

Here are some things that have helped us.
~ Find where your local branch of the State Health Department is located.
~ Purchase a copy of "Where There Are No Doctors."
~ Stay away from the internet when trying to make a diagnosis of what is wrong with you. Once you get a diagnosis, then you can wade through the muck and mire of medical (real and totally fake) info out there.
~ Check into state funded insurance. You will be surprised at the number of people who qualify, but never use the service.
~ Stay healthy. While this might seem like a "no-brainer," many people don't take care of themselves. Eat a healthy diet, engage in moderate exercise (walking at least 30 minutes a day), drink plenty of fluids and reduce your level of stress.
~ Be very careful when dealing with "alternative practitioners." I say this *as* an alternative practitioner. Anyone that offers you drastic measure of getting healthy (especially a "cleansing") should not be used as a healthcare expert. Returning to a healthy state when you are sick usually involves lots of rest, not putting your body through extreme conditions
~ This one will make me lose my AP street cred, but here goes... Get your vaccines. I agree that bulking up 3-5 at one time is awful. No one can take that kind of WAP! to the system. This is where your local health department branch will come in handy. They offer individual vaccines, and you are able to get the lot numbers for every that goes into your body. And, yes, vaccines are *not* always a method of prevention (i.e. recent cases of polio and pertussis in patients that have been vaccinated), but it *does* cut down on your chances.

One more thing on the vaccine topic, then I'll move on. Those who do vaccinate will sometimes blame natural/holistic parents for the rise (very, very, very small rise at that) of common child-hood illnesses (chicken pox et al). Actually, it is not the crunchy kids who are getting them, but those children that have absolutely no access to health care. They are also the children who are most at risk for any type of illness or disease due to their economic situation. Sadly, children are the growing demographic of our population without health insurance. Just an FYI for both sides of the vaccination fence.

I've got the cloth diapers, secondhand crib, and Craigslist baby listings - what else can I do to save money on baby needs?

Sounds like you are totally on your way! :) There are many great sites that offer tips on DIY baby/child care, and how you can save tons of money by making your own wipes, baby food and so on. I am not really partial to any of them, as many of them have the same advice/ideas/recipes. So let me just go from personal experience. ;)

I'm going to pass on a tip from my Mother-in-Law -- Yard Sales. Yes, as simple as it may sound, yard sales have helped us save more money than anything. A close second would be thrift stores.

Outside of food, diapers and clothes (this includes shoes) have been our biggest expense. Our youngest has issues that prevent us from using cloth diapers, so I'm always looking for coupons and good deals. With my son, clothes and shoes last for about 12 hours then go into some vortex. The older two are on the cusp of pre-teenage-hood, so clothing and shoes are a top priority these days. Always ask for discounts on items that have stains or tears. Tears can be fixed at home, and most stains will come out after being soaked in Biz overnight. Also, the stained clothing can be used during craft time, or outside play time.

Another place to save money is with toys. After four kids I've learned that rocks, sticks and empty boxes provide way more entertainment than any toy I've ever purchased. Sure, sure, toys are fun for awhile, but then they fun wears off. Our toybox is stocked with wooden blocks, a wooden train set, cars and kitchen supplies (old spice jars, un-matched plastic ware, etc.).

The only thing I buy new are shoes, socks and underclothes (with the exception of cloth diapers, which I've purchased used many times).

As easy as it is to get suckered into the baby marketing scheme, resist with all your might. A jar of Cheerios you can put in your pocket is about $2. It is much cheaper to buy the Cheerios yourself and put them in a little (reusable) container.

Also, you'll learn that all the things you think you need for childcare will end up sitting in a corner somewhere. Baby needs are simple -- love, warmth, comfort and time. :)


The entire brood is awake, so I'm off to make something for breakfast. Feel free to ask questions or comment on what I've written above.

Lots of love!

November 2012



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 03:12 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios