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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

MY BASIC MONTHLY CLEANING SCHEDULE


I have a monthly cleaning schedule which I try to adhere to. Generally, I manage to keep up with it, but there are days when fibromyalgia or angina kick in and I can't follow it.

I have included it here for easy access to it for myself, and in the hopes that it may help someone else who is trying to keep up with their own home. Due to problems with my heart and back, I have a lady, Lee come to clean my floors and bathrooms once a month.  I simply don't have enough spoons or energy to do it all myself anymore...

Over the years, I have tried to keep up, but cannot, so the local council have got me some help. I am over feeling guilty for being ill. Sometimes we have to accept that we can't be the same as a healthier woman. Thank God, He knows my frame.



  MONTHLY CLEANING SCHEDULE

WEEK 1–KITCHEN /DINING ROOM-LEE

SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
Church
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Pantry and Refrigerator
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Sort pills
Change sheets
Bins/litter
Wipe Out Micro/oven
Check scripts
Aldi and Chemist
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes


WEEK 2–ENTRYWAY /LIVING AREAS 

SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
Church
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Sweep Front Porch
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Sort pills
Change sheets
Bins/litter
Linen press
Check scripts
Aldi and Chemist
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes

WEEK 3–BEDROOM/OFFICES

SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
Church
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Clean Offices
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Sort pills
Change Sheets/doona
Bins/litter
Declutter in Master
Check scripts
Aldi and Chemist
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes

WEEK 4–BATHROOMS /LAUNDRY ROOM Lee

SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
Church
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Clean cupboards
Laundry
Fold/Put Up
Sort pills
Change Sheets
Bins/litter
Wash mat/lint from dryer
Check scripts
Aldi and Chemist
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes
Dishes



© Glenys Robyn Hicks


Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,  Psalm 103:2-3

Sunday, 18 October 2015

I'M UP FOR IT TODAY



All Sacrificial Home Keepers know the joy of being in control of our home and little steps for the  healthy  woman are big  strides for us.  Only we know that  exhilarating feeling of a bed made up freshly or a pantry that's  finally had even one  item of out of date  food thrown out. We  thrill at  the  little things,  for with us,  we have  done the  equivalent of  climbing  Mount Everest. And we should indeed, give ourselves a pat on the back. We do, indeed, rock.

In order to prevent another fibromyalgia/PMR flare, I have to pace myself, and this limits how much I can do... we all know that borrowing spoons from tomorrow will result in a clattering of cutlery as it hits the floor the next day, with the result that all our energy for the next few days will be in very short supply. It's just not worth pushing ourselves. It's a learning experience, and a painful one at that.

I have just finished my first month of my cleaning schedule. I have kept to the list and at the moment, I would not want to hide under my bed if we had visitors... our home would be ready for hospitality and company in about half an hour. An hour on bad days. 

My menu lists are very effective and are a wonderful tool for when I have brain fog.  I have curtailed long shopping expeditions and we just do a grocery shop once every two weeks. It's working well.

All in all, with pain-killers every 6 hours- just Panadol Osteo, and a nanna nap thrown in, I am milking this respite for all it's worth. At the end of the month, I will be weaned off the Prednisolone, and I dread the pain coming back. But for today, I am cooking up a storm, both physically and literally.

I will be making a stew in my crock pot/slow cooker. I am going to make a strawberry/apple/pear/cinnamon and honey smoothie for when Chris comes home from work. And, God willing, I plan to bake some choc chip cookies. 

I know this isn't really cooking up a storm, but is one days' meals, but for me, it's a marathon. Praise God, I'm up for it today.

Warm, gentle hugs, Glenys


My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 5:3

Friday, 16 October 2015

PUAH: BRAVE WOMAN OF GOD!


This painting depicts the heroic midwife, Puah, following her interview with Pharaoh as described in Exodus 1:15-16.  Pharaoh commanded Puah and Shiphrah to play a key part in his plan to destroy the children of Israel, by instructing them to kill all Hebrew male children at birth.  Puah and Shiphrah were, therefore, forced to choose between fear of God and fear of man.  Their decision would affect the entire Israelite nation for good or ill, and also affect their own lives.  Nonetheless, these two valiant women, "feared God, and did not as the King commanded them, but saved the men children alive" (Exodus 1:17).

The viewer sees Puah, here, as she makes this vital decision between good and evil.  Her countenance evidences her concern, but her resolute choice to do what is right despite her fears is mirrored in her confident posture.  Despite peril, she is quietly courageous, looking forward with faith and trust in the Lord.  She and Shiphrah nobly choose to serve the Lord, just as the prophet Joshua firmly declared almost 150 years later, that, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).  Puah's choice saved countless lives and enabled the children of Israel to "wax very mighty" (Exodus 1:20).

Shiphrah and Puah were not left to face evil alone, however.  The Biblical account tells us that because the women feared God, He "dealt well with the midwives" and "made them houses" (Exodus 1:20-21).  Shiphrah and Puah were also blessed with an inspired answer for Pharaoh regarding their inability to carry out his commands (see Exodus 1:19).  Consequently, Pharaoh spared their lives.

Biblical scholars have endeavored to interpret what kind of blessing from Heaven's hand the word "houses" might indicate.  The Hebrew word used in verse 21 is bayith, possibly derived from the root banah (see Strong 20, 22).  Both words embody a variety of meanings which could combine to connote the repair or building up of a house, family, palace, or temple.  Whatever the precise blessing conferred by the Lord upon these faithful women, the words described above remind us of the blessings of eternal families, available in Holy Temples, where covenants "build up" and "repair" family ties so that they may last throughout eternity.  These blessings are available to those who, like Shiphrah and Puah, ignore evil's insidious invitations.  
A simplified semi-circular gold "pectoral" adorns Puah's throat and a white linen wrap falls in pleats at her shoulder.  Colorful rust and royal blue fabrics are also part of her costume.  All these elements combine the artist's interpretation of the Egyptian and Canaanite costuming depicted in a 14th century tomb painting from Thebes.  The sharp visual contrast created by the white wrap intentionally draws the viewer's eye immediately, to remind the viewer of Puah's purity and faith.

The Egyptian pillars behind the figure are incised with Egyptian hieroglyphics and echo ancient Egyptian architectural detailing.  They are, however, crumbling visibly.  Not only does this symbolize Pharaoh's fear of the loss of his political power due to the impending rise of the Israelite nation (see Exodus 1:7-10), it also represents the way in which our lives and futures crumble when we choose to serve man, rather than God.  The palm tree beyond the pillars, on the other hand, symbolizes the renewal of life and continuance afforded those who choose to serve the Lord.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. New York: Abingdon Press, 1890.  Choose you this day painting by Elspeth Young

Thursday, 24 September 2015

SHIPHRAH THE MIDWIFE -WOMAN OF GOD


But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. Exodus 1:17


THE STORY IN THE PAINTING

Shiphrah and Puah were midwives among the Hebrews during the time of Moses. Pharaoh commanded these women to slay at birth the male children born to the Hebrews. Shiphrah and Puah, as recounted in Exodus 1, secretly refused to carry out the edict. In this painting, Shiphrah is a solitary figure surrounded not only by darkness, but by the loneliness in which an act of courage cloaks an individual. She holds a newborn babe, protecting the child from fear, darkness, and death. Her quiet caress enfolds the babe in love and hope, despite the void in which she and the child appear.

The scriptural account tells us that Shiphrah made the decision to defy Pharaoh because she feared God. Proverbs 14:26 tells us that "fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have place of refuge." It is this confidence, borne of faith, that gives Shiphrah the courage to defy Pharaoh. Her righteousness in this moment, which surely tested her character and faithfulness, results in the Lord blessing she and Puah with "houses" (Exodus 1:21). Just as the Savior promises that He will "prepare a place" for His disciples (see John 14:2), a "place" was provided for these noble women because of their courage.

SYMBOLISM IN THE PAINTING

Light in the image does not come from anything the viewer can see. Consequently, as far as the viewer is concerned, the light could emanate from a candle or a lamp, or perhaps from a protective Providence. For just as Shiphrah holds the infant safe in the midst of peril, so it is Providence that stands in the void to light such unseen acts of quiet courage.

The almost minimalist treatment of Shiphrah's costume and adornment lends to the emphasis on her act of courage, rather than herself. The viewer's eye is drawn directly to the child and Shiphrah's tender expression, rather than to her appearance. Both midwife and child are bathed in a warm, ochre light, rather than a pale or silvery light, symbolising the watchful eye of the Lord and the rewards he had in store for these righteous women. by Elspeth Young


Saturday, 29 August 2015

PASSING ON THE NINJA



Yesterday I sold my Nutri Bullet. It made wonderful smoothies but unfortunately they were too calcium oxylate intensive for me and I had the joy of passing five small stones in the short time I owned it..

I have had over 50 stones bi-laterally over the past 25 years. They have ranged in size from a pin head to the size of my thumbnail. 5 times I have had surgery to remove them. I had some of the stones analysed... they were found to be calcium oxylate bathed in uric acid. My blood tests showed too much uric acid in my blood (something that I was born with) I was put on Allupurinol which reduces the uric acid and stops the calcium oxylate binding together and forming crystalline stones.

I would recommend drinking enough fluids to keep your urine clear and seeing a doctor for testing of your blood. If you are unfortunate enough to pass a stone, try to catch it and take it to your doctor for analysis. And do accept injections of pain-relief- they dilate the ureters and help the stone pass.

If you have had one stone, you are likely to get another... and kidney stones tend to run in families. My twin sister gets them, my brother and one of my sons...

Diet should be low in red meat. Certain foods such as celery and rhubarb are loaded with calcium oxylate, so go easy on these!  Likewise all you Aussies who love Vegemite, go easy on that as the yeast is full of purines which promote uric acid production.... also for a lot of Aussies (though I hope not my readers here), go easy on beer as well for the same reason.  Kidney stone makers often get gout as well... uric acid levels are high... and if you drink vegetable intensive smoothies and make stones, you may do well to go easy on them...

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety. Proverbs 11:14

Monday, 20 July 2015

STAYING DAINTY IN A FLARE


When I am in a flare of fibromyalgia or lupus, keeping clean can be a difficult chore. But it is important that we try to keep ourselves dainty and I have learned a few things that help...

Bathing and drying and dressing exhaust me, I vary my time in taking a bath depending on how well I feel.  If I have enough spoons/energy, I will bathe in the morning, if not I will take a shower before bed as Chris is home and he helps me get dried and into my nightie. (When you are chronically ill, you quickly get over being humbled by needing assistance- you are grateful for any help available.)

When I have a really bad day, I don't bathe as such. Instead, I find it helps to at least wash my face, and use a baby wipe on my body paying particular attention to my body folds..  and then I brush my teeth. Sometimes I don't even remove my nightie, but just do a quick APC (armpits and crotch) That done, I spray on some anti-perspirant. It doesn't take much energy or time and makes one feel refreshed. With my polymyalgia rheumatica and arthritis, it is hard to raise my arms to brush my hair so I keep it short..

Lately I have not been taking showers as the water on my skin actually hurts. Instead I have been taking a bath. Because hot water elevates blood pressure, and also makes the heart pound, causing angina, I make the bath warm. It also stops nosebleeds by not having the water too hot. I get quite a few of them, made worse by the blood-thinners I take daily.

Work out what's best for you, but try to keep dainty in a flare. It helps us psychologically to know we are clean, and helps avoid skin and yeast infections common with some illnesses such as diabetes. And if you are diabetic, make sure you dry between your toes and get someone to check for ulcers or sores...

That's another good reason for staying dainty everyday, not just in a flare!





"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, Matthew 6:17

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Going through the motions of wellness


Now that the funeral of my ex-husband is over I find that my body has wilted. I am not sure if it is a flare of my fibromyalgia/Lupus or just weaning off prednisolone or the stress that the last week has brought.

Whatever, I have only managed to go to the chemist today. No housework at all except cooking for us.  I am feverishly counting spoons because tomorrow I want enough energy to go to church. I couldn't go to the prayer meeting last night, but God willing, I will go to the pre-service prayer meeting tomorrow.

I will be taking pain-killers before I go and will employ some makeup to create a look of wellness. And I will be praying for God's strength because I just know tomorrow I will wake up feeling blah.

This is not negativity speaking but knowledge of the old broken vessel of a body that is mine until Glory. But, with His help, I will be able to attend.

So, on a wing and a prayer, and lots of Revlon, I should be able to make it. We Sacrificial Home Keepers are excellent at going through the motions of wellness.

Warm gentle hugs, Glenys

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:33

Friday, 3 July 2015

GOD PREPARED ME FOR TODAY



This morning my ex-husband died suddenly but peacefully at his home. We were married for 25 years and it was not a marriage made in heaven. In fact, he gave me 25 years of hell, which he himself confessed after our eventual divorce.

God has been preparing me for this day, in fact He brought my ex-husband to desire my forgiveness, which he got. 

Not only did I forgive him but the day he had risky heart surgery a few months ago, I led my grandchildren, who I was minding in praying for him.  

Why am I sharing with you? you ask. Because I see God's loving Hand in preparing me for this day, which He knows would have the capacity to tear me apart.  You cannot endure such hatred aimed at you, mingled with regret at what wasn't to be, and to bear someone 4 children, without feeling anguished. But I am not.

We made our peace that day three years ago at my son-in-law's 30th birthday. Knowing him as well as I do, I knew he was asking for my forgiveness without actually voicing it, and he sensed that he got it as he was welcomed to have tea at our daughters' home when she was recovering from surgery and I was looking after her.

When she later told him that I had prayed for his surgery, she said he was pleased. He was many things, but stupid wasn't one of them. He knew he was forgiven..

Today, I am sad of course.  I never wished him to die, and I am anguished to hear my children and grandchildren cry. But I am also filled with love for my LORD because I can see His loving Hand in preparing my heart for today.  Especially with my present health problems too. 

I chose to forgive, prayed for my enemy and received the peace that passes all understanding. But more importantly, I stand in awe of God's  love and protection for me. Thanks to His guidance, I have nothing to feel guilty about and can truly be at peace as I serve and love our grieving children.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. James 2:13

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I JUST NEED SOME RESPITE




This morning I slept in. Usually the alarm rings at 6am and I get up and get Chris off to work.  But last night, I laid his clothes out for him, filled the tea kettle and left him to get himself ready. 

It's not the norm, but neither is my bout of fatigue and pain. This is one humdinger of a fibromyalgia flare if it is one.

I say if it is, because I am experiencing crippling joint pain and feel feverish.  For years, there has been debate amongst rheumatologists as to whether I have Lupus. I have many markers, including antiphospholipid syndrome (sticky blood), and my ANA+ has tripled in 12 months.

So far my diagnosis is connective tissue disease, unspecified auto immune disease and fibromyalgia. But I think more blood tests may be in order. I have never had such joint pain as this.  Plus I need to see if my thyroid meds are doing the job. I am exhausted. Constantly. I wake up with no spoons at all.

On the plus side, I set myself a goal of folding all the clean washing that was piled in our walk in robe. It was a mammoth task with frequent breaks. But I managed to do it, and it has given me some satisfaction.

I have cooked a fried rice dish that Chris likes and unless he cleans the kitchen for me, it will get done tomorrow when I come back from my doctor appointment.

First thing on my list of requests after checking my blood pressure will be a check to see why my joints are all swelling up at the same time. It can't just be ageing.   It's extremely painful and is probably why my BP won't come down.

 I would be happy if I could just get a respite from being in pain. I just wish it would show its face so I know what I am fighting..


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the  crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
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