Happy Monday! It’s a lovely winter morning with small flakes floating down outside my office window. We received a thick dusting of snow over what was on the ground so everything looks fresh and nice. We’ve hardly had any snow this winter. If we are going to reach anything close to an average seasonal snowfall, we will need massive dumpings in the next several weeks.
We finally put our Christmas decorations away on Friday. I think that is perhaps the latest we’ve ever had them up. Some years I want them down before New Year’s Day, but I was in no rush this year. But when it is time, it is time. It hits me and then it has to be done or I can become very melancholy if I keep looking at them. So other than the fireplace mantle greenery and white lights that stay up all winter, the Christmas things are all tucked away until November.
One of the things I liked about having the Christmas tree up in the new space we figured out last year is that it helps make a clear break between the family room and the dining room. I am very thankful for this home, but I’m not a fan of the kitchen/dining room/family room that runs as basically one space across the back of the house. I prefer well-defined areas and this section of the house is not like that. There is nothing that can be done permanently to change it because the rooms are already quite small. But it reminded me again that open floor plans of any kind are not my first choice.
Over the weekend I looked through the many antique linens I have. I’ve acquired them from various people, including grandmothers. It is a shame to keep them “safe” in a drawer rather than using them. So I pulled some out that I especially like and have been trying to find places around the house where we can enjoy seeing them.
I also need to find a better way to store my tablecloths, napkins, etc. I have quite a few and we haven’t been using them as much in recent years for a wide variety of reasons. I’m concerned that some of them are going to have permanent creases if I don’t start rotating through them and using them as well as storing them differently. The reality is I’m one of those women who could happily have five sets of dishes and all sorts of table linens that I use all of the time. Unfortunately, my home is not set up for that at all. Storage is at a premium on the main floors so I have many, many things not readily available to use whenever I wish. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I’m going to be creative this week and try to come up with some new ideas.
I also need to find some ideas regarding what to do with flannel sheets. We replaced the sets we had because they were getting nubby and no longer felt as nice. Now I have multiple old sets and am at a loss how to best repurpose them. So looking around online for ideas is on my list of things to do this week.
I picked up a very pretty monthly wall calendar at church. (They are provided by one of the local funeral homes.) The pictures of creation and scriptures are lovely, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I cut off the advertising tab that hangs below it and hung it next to the door in our walk-in closet. I don’t plan on writing anything on it at this point, but it’s nice to have the date there, the moon phases for reference, and the lovely reminder of who God is.
One idea I’ve been contemplating is putting together some kind of “books” or binders for Caroline that includes a wide variety of things I think she should know or at least be acquainted with before she graduates. They would contain everything from poems to Scripture passages to hymns to fables to folk songs to whatever else comes to mind. It would all be things in the public domain, assembled in one place. I was even thinking it would be something to put together and share in my shop with other relaxed homeschoolers. I’ve had the idea scribbled down for weeks, but haven’t taken the time to pull it together. Or it might be something I make as we go. A binder with sections (history, literature, Bible, music, etc.) and then I can print off things as I think of them and add them in. I’m still thinking through the best way to do it.
I finally submitted my chapter about relaxed homeschooling for an upcoming book about homeschooling styles. I’ve found it is sometimes difficult to explain relaxed homeschooling to other people including how it is different from delight-directed homeschooling and unschooling. I think it is a homeschooling approach that you intuitively either understand or you don’t. I discussed the types of moms who I think are best suited to relaxed homeschooling and other related topics regarding how relaxed homeschooling was the choice that brought joy to our home. I don’t know when the book will be available, but I’ll let you know.
In writing the chapter I realized that the biggest hindrance to homeschooling for me is the state requirements. Those hang over me like a sword ready to drop. Our state requirements are actually very minimal, but there is something about them that puts a damper on everything I do as a homeschooling mom. It creates pressure for me and my child that I hate, especially as it relates to math. It make me realize afresh that although we are “free” to homeschool, we are not truly free. The requirements of the state still hang over all of us in a way that probably does more harm than good in many homeschool families.
Personal & Business
I’ve been struggling for many months regarding everything online beyond my own website. I’ve tried MeWe, but don’t really like the format. I’ve struggled with where to park videos I make and so I simply stopped making them for the most part. I have an excellent idea I’d like to implement, but everything has been so up in the air I’ve just kind of played the waiting game.
After the numerous recent shake-ups of online platforms, I think I will be moving my videos to Gab. It seems the safest place to park them. I’ll have to upgrade to Gab PRO to do it, but of all the choices it seems like the best option. I currently have them parked on Rumble, but I don’t think that is the best overall place for what I plan to do.
In any case, I do have an account on Gab if you want to meet up there (Sallie Borrink on Gab). I’m currently using it as an extension of this website so in addition to my own posts I’m sharing things about homemaking, simple living, homeschooling, cozy living, faith, and general feel-good stories with the hope of bringing new readers here. Gab is now stable and it is getting much faster each day. By the end of the week I hope to be able to begin moving all of my current videos there and feel confident enough to start making new ones. It’s a lot of work to move them to another platform, reinsert them into website posts, etc. so I want to be sure before I go through this process for I think the fourth or fifth time. (Not joking.) My Gab timeline is not very full, but that will change now that things are stable.
My website is still my main home, however, and any social media I choose to use is for the primary purpose of bringing new people here. I still prefer to share things in my own forum and may cross-post things I share on Gab in the forum for the sake of an archive on my own site and for the benefit of people who don’t use social media. Even though I haven’t been actively posting in the forum the past few months, it still gets steady traffic.
The ongoing concern I have about using other platforms is that I have no way of keeping what I create. I now have a massive record of materials on Locals, but if that site disappears so does all of that work. The same thing with Gab or anything else. People and organizations have lost years worth of work in recent weeks as they have been deplatformed. I’ve been warning people about this for at least six years when I started sharing Michael Hyatt’s article about not building your business on a rented lot. (See also my post: How Soulless Bureaucrats Make Owning an Online Business a Nightmare.) Nothing has changed and as much as I believe the Gab owner has the best of intentions, I still don’t trust any platform I don’t control. I am truly hoping by the end of the week we’ll have much more clarify about these things moving forward.
What is going on in your home this week? Do you still have Christmas decorations up? How is the weather? What goals do you have for the winter months? I hope you’ll leave a comment and share.
Have a lovely day!
Artwork: “In the Nursery” Helen Allingham