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Things You Should Know

My momma should have told me

Camping & My Family

 

I love camping. I couldn’t wait until my girls were old enough to appreciate it for all of it’s glory. This past summer my girls were 12 and 13, and finally willing to go. Over the years I have been keeping in mind things my mother had done for us as a child along with things I had seen on Pinterest. I had pinned so many different tricks and tips from Pinterest.

I have created a “camping tote”. I use totes for everything! In my camping tote, I have things I only use for camping. I have a designated spatula and tongs, baby wipes, my fire starter, paper plates, plastic silverware, knives, flashlights, hand sanitizer, and more. I will add a list at the bottom. I plan on swapping out paper plates for camp like cookware and eatware.

One of the most space saving things I had come across was hanging fishing poles from the the handles of the vehicle. Since I have a 3rd row seating truck they couldn’t just lay in the back. So I took 3 sets of bungee cords stretched from one side to the other. Each section has 2 bungee cords I laid all of my fishing poles on top and in between them I used zip ties to keep them separated. Best thing ever! No more taking them out to go grocery shopping or swimming or even hunting. The best part is I can leave them in my vehicle. And I am always prepared to go fishing anytime anywhere.

everything-looprope-03

(Picture above isn’t my vehicle)

Next time I would like to share is my fire starter. This one takes some time getting use to but well worth it. I keep a small grocery bag or a 1 gallon zip lock bag next to my dryer. Whenever I empty my dryer lint I place it directly into the bag/zip lock baggie. When you want to start a fire just simply place some of the lint under a pile of wood and light. Seriously that easy! No more using store bought fire starters, gas, or any other method. There is no limit to the amount you can use either. Use a little or use a lot. Collect it all year long. I use the lint to start my backyard fires on Friday nights.

dryer lint

If you’re like me I like my seasonings but I hate the bulk when camping. So another great way to save space but still enjoy great taste is using smaller containers. Containers such as tic-tac containers, plastic straws (with the ends melted).

I always have aluminum foil. I place it over the grill part while I am cooking. The grill is often the bottom part from my grill at home. You can never be to prepared. Yes it is always gunky or black so to transport it to the campsite I place it inside a trash bag (this way my vehicle does not get dirty with the black stuff). I also use aluminum foil to cook my potatoes and carrots on the grill. I simply cut the potatoes in half add carrots and butter whatever seasons close it up and throw it on the flames. Flip occasionally and then enjoy the awesomeness!

I always pack bug spray and sunscreen. But taking sage with you is also a good idea. Just throw some sage into your campfire and the mosquitos will leave you alone. Listerine is also a great thing to use for bugs. Mixed 50/50 with household vinegar then sprayed all over body and the ground around your tents.

Things I keep in my camping tote:

  • Baby wipes
  • Flashlights
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sage
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • My firestarter
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Plates
  • Silverware
  • Bug wipes (I like the kind from Avon)
  • Listerine
  • Sparklers
  • Trashbags

*Of course before going camping I add more but these items always stay in the tote

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Preparing for the hunt

Hunting can be tricky.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I have found my self in my deer stand and then discovered I forgot something. it is the most frustrating thing ever! I have created a checklist I go over to ensure this never happens again. And today I am going to share it with you.

Equipment I always take with me

  • My bow
  • My release
  • Quiver of arrows
  • My backpack full of necessary items
  • Rangefinder
  • Binoculars
  • Safety Harness
  • My boots (I put on when I arrive at my hunting spot)

In my backpack I carry:

  • Hand warmers 
  • Binoculars
  • Grunt call
  • Rattling Antlers
  • Doe urine
  • Buck Bomb
  • Knife with a gut hook
  • Scent Wafer
  • String Wax
  • Chap-stick
  • Flashlight
  • My license (hunting)/tags
  • Gloves (light weight and heavy)
  • Extra socks
  • Water
  • A snack
  • Chapstick
  • Tissues
  • Extra batteries for my flashlight

I get up super early and I am not always wide awake and thinking. I double and sometimes even triple check to make sure I have everything I need ready to go.  I prepare all of  the above before I go to bed. I also check to see when tomorrows sunrise is.

Getting dressed for the hunt is a different today than when I went with my dad. I worry about scent control now. I always take a shower and wash my hair and body with special shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I use Scent Killer Gold for her.

After getting dressed and putting on my deodorant I am careful not to put on any perfume. I grab my backpack and head to my favorite hunting spot. Once there I put on my hunting boots, harness and backpack. I then spray myself down with field spray, and head to my stand.

All products above are what i currently use. I have a list of products I plan to test and try. I have come across several products just for women and I cannot wait to try them out! I will be doing product reviews on them later and posting their links for you.

 

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Parenting is not always easy

So I have been raising 4 girls. My nieces have gone from struggling to deal and understand with everything that has happened. They didn’t quite understand why they went from living with their mommy to living with me. They have gone from being so frustrating they were throwing fits before and after each and every supervised visit with their mother (my sister). Counseling had been a huge help in helping them understand what is going on and why. The fits and confusion had slowed way down. It was so amazing we were finally running like a well oiled train. They would come home from school do their homework and chores no problem.

Then we went back to court in November and since grandma Tina had filed for custody the judge decided to allow her every other weekend visits. At first, I thought this was a great idea not realizing how wrong I would be. Along with her visits my sister had been upgraded to every other weekend 2 hour visits. Which meant yes, no more fits weekly or so I thought.

So everything was good at first we settled into the new routine. Then I started noticing things. Things such as my youngest niece not snapping herself into her car seat anymore. This had been something she had done on her own for several months. Now she is playing I don’t know how or I am to little to do this on my own. Come to find out that grandma and grandpa had been treating her like a baby and doing it for her. This reverted us back and undid all of everything I had been building for the last year. Awesome! So awesome, so what else is unraveling you may ask? Well, my oldest niece is back to throwing bad, wild, violent fits. Each and every time she has to come home, before she goes, and everytime she don’t get her own way. When asked to do her chores she now once again throws herself down on the floor and says”it’s to hard” or “I don’t have to do this at grandma’s”. If you remember before it was she didn’t have to do it at mommy’s house. She fights me so much again.

I had everything under control and now right back to how it was in the beginning. We literally have to start over. Is it going to be this way each and every time the judge decides to mess with our lives? I hope not. Parenting is literally not always easy. It is frustrating, can be overwhelming, constantly changing, and most of all hard. Every time you think you have things under control bam you lose all control. You may not see the changes in children right away but as weeks went on I noticed. I think it took all of 2 visits to notice everything I had been teaching them undone. In a matter of 2 weeks destroy a year of my work. The girls think they are incapable of doing things for themselves. I had them thinking they were big girls and they were learning self-reliance and independance and it was glorious. Now I have to start all over again. I hope this time it doesn’t take a year to fix what has been undone.

Wish me luck this is a never ending process I fear.

How I work from home

About 2 years ago I was working in a  factory. I decided I wanted to be one of those people who worked from home. I started doing research and looking for the perfect company for me. I was also attending college full time so I needed something flexible. I had seem multiple work at home jobs but all were a bust. I was about to give up when I came across Support.com. I had read tests your from current and past employers and decided to give it a go!

I filled out the application and was given an over the phone interview date and time. I had to make sure I had a computer with certain specs and Internet at home and of course a quiet place to work. The day came for my over the phone interview, I was so nervous. I made it through the interview and got hired in. I went through the training and love working at home.

Some of my favorites benefits are I can wear what I want, I do not have to do my make-up. I save on gas. I get to spend my breaks with my children. I always get to have a drink and my phone at my desk.
If you want to apply with Support.com use this link and please let them know I (Gwendolynn Finton) referred you http://www.support.com/about/careers/openings scroll down the page until you see career.  Once you click on careers it will ask what type type in remote and apply to which ever one you are most interested in. During your phone interview they will ask if someone referred you that is when you tell them my name.

Before you apply pay attention to the details of the job and the pay some jobs are better pay than others.

 

My daughter and dating

So my 12 year comes to me and says we need to talk. Oh boy I think to myself. Am I prepared for this? No, I wasn’t. What she wanted to talk about was a boy. A Boy who wanted to date her. My baby girl. She went on to tell me I figured I would tell you that I was going to accept his invitation to be his girlfriend. Ok…I am the type of person who investigates. I quickly got on Facebook and messaged my friend whom had a son in my daughter’s grade. She quickly replied back that this boy my daughter wanted to date was bad news. He almost got her son kicked out of school and likes to pressure girls into doing things. I am not cool with some little 12 -13 year old boy pressuring my daughter into anything!

So I tell my daughter basically in no uncertain terms that if this boy wants to date her he must jump through hoops. One such thing I am requiring him to do is fill out the boyfriend application bf-app. She looked it over and quickly denied it. She claims most info on that is not relevant. I disagree. 

I agreed to meet this boy and give him a chance even though it is against my better judgement. I also snuck the boyfriend application to her little sister with instructions to give it to said boy. I almost can’t wait to receive it back.

I am raising 4 girls currently between mine and my sisters girls, I am not prepared for any of them to begin dating any boys at all.

Moon Sand

Materials:

8 cups of flour

1 cup of baby oil
Directions:

Combine the flour and baby oil in a large tray or container. I used a large bowl, but I would recommend something with a lid if you plan on storing it and reusing it.

The sand is really soft as you would imagine, and it packs really well so you can still make sandcastles with it.
How it worked for me:

My kids loved it! They begged me to make them an entire sandbox full. They played with this stuff for hours and hours. Well worth it! They built all kinds of things with it. Had no problems building, it held together pretty good.

 

The struggle is REAL

Life gets hard, it gets stressful. It gets even harder and more stressful when you have things that happen that shouldn’t. Like extra children joining your household, or parrts of your family decides to fight against what you are trying to do. Especially when it is for them and their children. I have been waiting for my nieces social security cards for well over 4 months now. My lawyer finally got tired of me gripping on him about them and finally filed a motion to get them. I need them to get my nieces into counseling without them the counselor refuses to see them. SO my sister only after seeing the motion comes forward and claims she had no idea I needed them. She then proceeds to tell the lawyer she will have them to me by Monday that was Friday it is now Wednesday and still no cards or birth certificates. I would like to say I am surprised however I am not.

My sister is so salty that the judge gave me custody she has done everything in her power to irritate my life! Anything from driving by my house constantly to refusing the times I am available to do her weekly supervised visitation. Instead on focusing on herself and getting her life together she is trying to ruin mine. This is the time for her to save up money, take some parenting classes, kick her drug dealing bf to the curb, rebuild family bonds and much much more.

It is sad when you can literally sit back and watch two precious little girls grow up knowing their mother will miss it. It may be easier if it had been from the mother being deceased as opposed to the parent actually being alive and well and just choosing to opt out. It is a very heart breaking realization.

I took my oldest niece her first counseling session today (I got the social security number from the doctor’s office whom was tired of seeing my struggle),She showed the counselor how incredibly smart she was. I was so proud of her!

I explained how yes she should of been going into 1st grade however it was said she couldn’t remember her address and the school wouldn’t take her (this was a lie). So the counsel was asking me for my address for her records, and there was my 6 year old niece so proudly stating our address to her. This confused the counselor. I had to explain that she had learned  my address after 3 days of being placed in my care so the issue wasn’t she couldn’t remember it was she was never taught it. She then after hearing that went on to brag about her 4 year old sister also knowing our address.

These girls are like sponges! And I mean sponges they will remember  anything if they practice enough. Such as my cell phone number after just an hour of repeating it out loud. There is absolutely no reason why either of them shouldn’t of already been in school. I have them both enrolled into school, and their mom is insisting on them going to  their step-brother’s school which is 2 towns away. Like I said anything and everything to irritate me. I am just happy it is not up to her or she would have me driving over an hour to take them to school, just because she doesn’t have to do the driving.

I am doing my best to let most of this go in one ear and out the other. AND I give huge props to daddy’s that have to deal  with mothers who do this constantly keeping your cool is not always easy. And that is 18 years of it! Once again if your a daddy and you have to deal with a woman like this, I am proud of you for not killing her because trust me the struggle is real! Not that anyone would really kill the baby momma over things like this but seriously do they ever stop and think about how this affects the children?

As adult we need to remember little ears have big mouths. They hear and see everything and repeat and act just like you. Be kind to each other no matter how hard it is.  We need to teach them to treat others as we want others to treat us.  We need to teach them patience.

 

Spray Chalk Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoon

Spray Chalk Recipe:

Ingredients:

    • 6 tablespoons of Cornstarch
    • 3 cups of water
    • 10 drops of food coloring

How To:

    • Mix the ingredients in a bowl, then pour them in a spray bottle.
    • Spray the chalk on the sidewalk! To avoid clumping in the bottle, shake before using.

*Tip: Look for spray bottles at the dollar store or in the laundry section of Walmart.

 

 

 

 

Scratch n Sniff Paint Recipe

  • What you’ll need:
    • Water
    • Kool-Aid

How To:

Mix together 1/3 packet of Kool aid with approximately 1/3 cup of water. Mix together, then paint! You’ll want to let them dry for about an hour. After that, you can scratch and sniff the flavors!

How To:

Mix together 1/3 packet of Kool aid with approximately 1/3 cup of water. Mix together, then paint! You’ll want to let them dry for about an hour. After that, you can scratch and sniff the flavors!

 

16 Things I Wish They had Taught Me in School

 

I found this on stumble upon. Thought I would share it.

But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.

Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.

Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.

But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.

So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).

  1. The 80/20 rule.

This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.

So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.

You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.

And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.

  1. Parkinson’s Law.

You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.

So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.

The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.

  1. Batching.

Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less start-up time compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.

A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.

  1. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.

This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.

If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.

  1. Be proactive. Not reactive.

This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.

A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.

  1. Mistakes and failures are good.

When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from – for example – school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.

This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?

Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don’t care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.

And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.

When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way – instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do -you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up.

Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it’s a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It’s best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.

  1. Assume rapport.

Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.

The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.

  1. Use your reticular activation system to your advantage.

I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that’s a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.

So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And keep that focus steady.

Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminders such as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like “Give value” or “Assume rapport”. And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.

  1. Your attitude changes your reality.

We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that “you need to change your attitude!”. That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.

But the thing that I’ve discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself “why haven’t I thought about things this way before?”.

When you change your attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.

This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you “right” a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.

If you try changing your attitude for real – instead of analysing such a concept in your mind – you’ll be surprised.

You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!

  1. Gratitude is a simple way to make yourself feel happy.

Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself (“I’ve got a new bike!”). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you (“Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!”). And so you don’t feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.

A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.

  1. 80-90% of what you fear will happen never really come into reality.

This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

  1. Don’t take things too seriously.

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.

Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.

  1. Write everything down.

If your memory is anything like mine then it’s like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don’t make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.

  1. There are opportunities in just about every experience.

In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.

Whenever you have a “negative experience” ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can – with time – help you create many very positive experiences.

What do you wish someone had told you in school or you had just learned earlier in life?

 

 

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