Monday, March 30, 2009

Announcing a Giveaway!

Hey, ya'll! I decided to do a giveaway to coincide with the opening of my new Etsy store. Up for grabs will be a brand new, crocheted set of 4 cotton cloths, handmade by your truly. This set is a cheery, springtime color combination.

These cloths are perfect for kitchen or bathroom duty. Since they're 100% cotton, they'll quickly and easily absorb any spills but are gentle enough to remove your makeup! The texture given by the crochet method lends itself perfectly to light scrubbing jobs in the kitchen or bathtub.

I'm consistently told that there is nothing like using an all cotton cloth around your home. Here's your chance to give them a try...on me!

Leave your comment below as your entry. The contest will end Friday, April 3rd at midnight, Eastern time. The drawing will be held Saturday morning and the winner notification will be posted then. Kindly check back Saturday at lunchtime to see if your the lucky winner ! (One entry per person, please.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And they're off...

My Saturday had happy and sad moments.

The happy moments included the time spent with my son, Caleb, playing Trivial Pursuit and time spent volunteering alongside my Mommy this morning at her church. They had their Annual Spring Bake Sale and Mom always invites me to help tally sales of Homemade Chicken Pies. Mom is terrible with math so I get to handle a part of that job. Today she stayed with me during the busiest times. I treasure time with my Mom but even more so as we age.

Shortly after we finished up at the bake sale, Mom and my daughter, Angel, finished packing for their trip. They're off to Germany and the Czech Republic for spring break. Angel has taken German for 4 years in high school and, being a senior, this will be her last big trip with school.

This trip is Angel's second to Germany and out of the country. This marks Mom inaugural trip off of the North American continent. She made a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada this past summer with Caleb, otherwise Mom's never been outside of the USA.

Both could hardly wait to get started. However, Caleb and I were missing them long before we arrived at the airport. (Sniffle, sniffle.)

Mommy and Angelly Pooh

Maybe the smile is on the inside! that I think about it, this may be a happy moment. My Mom hates to have her picture taken and I got her three times today...aren't I awful? Kids, what can you do with them?

Other photos were garnered from various travel websites.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Did you do it????

Ok. So how many of you participated during the Earth Hour tonight?

I saw a blurb about it on NBC around 7pm. They reported that China participated by turning off the lights at the Olympic coliseum and Australia cut off lights in Sydney. The famed Opera House was featured with only emergency lighting showing around the perimeter. These pictures show Toronto, Canada's skyline. Wow!

—Photographs by Dick Hemingway via WWF-Canada

Can't wait to see if this makes a difference!

How did you spend your time?

My son and I gathered at the dining room table shroud in candle light playing our newest game, Trivial Pursuit. His boy scout troop is having a large yard sale April 25th and I've been helping organize and price the bargains this week. There were 2 complete Trivial Pursuit games and a Baby Boomers card set. Once they were priced (by someone else), I snagged one for $1...can you believe it? These games sell for $40+ new!

Not only do we get a great deal on a "new to us" game but quality family time while showing our support to save the Earth. Can life get any better?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Switch your lights off for Earth Hour!

This Saturday, March 28th, between 8:30pm and 9:30pm (your time zone) join other concerned citizens in turning off your lights! Yup, that means no computer, no television, no charging cell phones. Don't pass can do it!

The thought behind this is to show support for taking action against global warming. Apparently data will be gathered on the changes in electricity use around the world during this time frame. They'll compare this to the same time last year and announce the difference at a Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this year.

If the usage comparison shows a decrease the Conference attendants will know that Earth's citizens want an improvement in how global warming is being handled. Of course, if an increase appears the attendants will presume that we don't care and they will continue on the same disastrous path they've been on for years.

Sign-up to show your support at the Earth Hour website. And, most importantly, TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS and unplug those appliances!

Vanessa at Etsy reported about Earth Hour today, otherwise I wouldn't have known. Yet, another reason to love Etsy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things you can do with Peroxide

One of the things I have come to love on my family's journey toward a "greener" lifestyle is Peroxide. Originally, I was simply searching for a more earth friendly alternative to bleach. Boy, was I surprised when I realized that you could use it for many more applications!

Here's a small sampling of things that I have used it for:

  • Bleach alternative - use 1/2 cup per load of clothes that need bleaching or sanitizing. Always dilute this in the water before adding your clothes, just in case. I have seen some websites that state the peroxide can have a bleaching effect on some colored items. While I haven't personally had any problems, it's better to dilute it and save yourself from any potential problems.

  • Mouthwash - use about 1/8 cup to swish daily. This should not only rid your mouth of harmful bacteria and future gum problems, but it can also whiten your teeth! (It is also great for cleaning dentures.)

  • Disinfectant - use peroxide to clean and sanitize countertops, the kitchen table, kids toys, cutting boards, etc. Mix 1 cup of peroxide with 2 cups of water immediately before using (peroxide loses it effectiveness when exposed to light.)

  • Mold and mildew preventative - great for spraying down your shower daily, cleaning our coolers, or spraying on the side of your home that rarely sees sunlight.

  • Foliar spray for plants (inside or out) - great for black spot preventative and mold defense. Use on newly planted seedlings or plants that have been trimmed to prevent infections. Here's a link to a fantastic gardening application chart.

  • Hair color - use it for "natural" highlights. Apply with a cotton swab or spray bottle. By the way, if you have unwanted, dark facial hair you can use peroxide to lighten these areas as well!

Can you believe that all this comes in a 50 cent bottle? Wow! I can't believe that for years I only used this for cuts...

(All of the information contained here is using the regular 3% peroxide that you can get at any drug store or dollar store.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thought for the day

Photo by: Micha Klein

As promised, here's another bit of wisdom from my mother's church newsletter.

"You have to laugh and find humor in every day."

How true is this?

How many of you have had one of those days where nothing seems to go right and no matter what you do you can't seem to improve the day? I vividly remember many of those days. They never seemed to end. Each one seemed an eternity of it's own, with one miserable interaction after another.

Then, I learned a secret. It's one of the most profound of my life and one of the simplest! You are who you think you are. Isn't that simple?
For those of you snarling at the screen at this moment, let me elaborate. You are exactly who you believe yourself to be at any given moment of any given day. If you awaken in the morning feeling miserable and with a poor attitude you will have a miserably, poor day. If you believe yourself to be a nasty, grumpy old goat you will be.

Conversely, if you awaken each day with a smile, glad to see the day, you will be glad to see the day - even if you awoke with a headache! If you determine to be nice and have a good day at work you will, even if you walk in to a mountain sized pile of paperwork to tackle before lunchtime.

It's perfectly true. Put it to a test if you must. In fact, I encourage you to. Why not start right now? Determine that no matter what happens the remainder of the day to be happy. Tonight, before going to bed, review the end of your day and make note of the difference between a regular day and this day when you made an effort to be happy.

Your challenge for the week:

Find a bit of humor in every day. Smile every morning when you wake up, even if you don't feel like it. Laugh at one joke every day, even if you have to force the laugh.

At the end of the week review your memories. Was this a good week or bad week?

I believe that you'll find this week to have been an improvement no matter what "crisis" occurred. It's all in your attitude!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Time to change the toothbrush...

What does that mean at your home? Dentists and doctors recommend that you change them every 3 months or after illness. Some toothbrushes have built in indicators and some just fray when it's time.

We have a list of things to do when it's time to change the toothbrush in our home. It's the most visible indicator I could think of and I can save a considerable amount of paper if I can tie a slew of chores in with the remembrance of changing out that little brush. I've actually made a game out of how many things I can do at that time!

Let's get started in the bathroom:

  • Mascara - if you use make-up, you need to throw out the mascara every three months to avoid excessive growth of bacteria. Yes, bacteria. It loves moist, dark places. Can you think of a more moist and dark place? If you are prone to eye irritation or infection and you don't follow this schedule implement it immediately!

  • Contact container - are you a contact wearer? If so, those little containers should be replaced regularly to avoid the same concerns noted above with mascara. Take care of those eyes, you need them.

  • Clean out the medicine cabinet - check for any expired medications and toss them.

On to the kitchen:

  • Change out the baking soda in the freezer and refrigerator - this used to be a tough one for me to remember, especially when those containers are normally hidden in the corner.

  • Check the dates on items in the refrigerator and freezer - toss out anything that has expired or looks questionable (hopefully you do this more often, but sometimes time sneaks up on you!)

  • Dump your ice bin - ice can take on all of the smells from the refrigerator. Who wants ice that takes like spaghetti sauce?

  • Restock your flour bin- did you know that flour can go rancid after a certain amount of time? Some areas of the country are also prone to meal bugs. Yuk!

  • Toss out the nuts - any open nut containers need to go. Nuts can spoil. They take on a acid taste after a while and guests won't be impressed by that. To save money, store open nuts in the freezer until you need them again. They can last up to a year in there.

  • Clean the oven - your oven elements will heat more evenly if they're kept clean, not to mention that burning debris smells badly when your hungry family comes through the door.

  • Clean the dishwasher - lime deposits can build up on the heating elements and reduce the effectiveness of the machine. You may also have a "trap" in the bottom that catches remnants. Be sure to check it to avoid water backups.

In the laundry room -

  • Give the lint catcher from the dryer a good, soapy cleaning. If you use fabric softener sheets while drying clothes a residue can build up on the lint catcher and reduce the effectiveness of the dryer, causing longer drying times and a fire hazard!

  • Check the dryer vent for blockage, inside and out - this is another potential source of house fires. Lint can build up at the connections or in kinks. Birds also like to build nests in the exterior cover.

  • Clean out the washer - strange, isn't it? The washer should be clean, right? Wrong. Bacteria can grow in the basket. Run a cycle of hot water with 1 cup of peroxide or white vinegar through the system.

Elsewhere in the house -

  • Change the air filter on the heating/ air conditioning unit - this can instantly improve the effectiveness of the system

  • Change the vacuum bag - another out of sight, out of mind concern. Most people remember when the vacuum is no longer picking up or over-heating.

  • Dust the baseboards and ceiling fans - if you have allergies this can be a big one

  • Vacuum the smoke detector - did you know that they may not work if clogged with dust or cob webs?

  • Wash curtains and dust other window coverings well - another source of allergy problems

  • Check flashlights to make sure they're working

In the garage -

  • Take out the garbage - most people forget to check on the garbage bin here

  • Change the oil in your car - big one here! While you're in there check all of the fluids and those windshield wipers

Feel free to print this out for your own use!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thought for the day...

This quote comes from my mother's church newsletter from last month. Her pastor shared a story from an e-mail he'd received. It had a ton of thought provoking statements that I will be sharing with you all over the next few weeks.

This is the first -

We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

My daughter recently turned 18. That's a milestone birthday. Although I kidded her for months about being "too old to play", or by telling her that adults "can no longer have fun", I don't personally believe that.

When I turned 18, I wanted everyone around me to see me as an adult. I thought that meant giving up all of the fun things in life and acting "more mature". The truth came several years later in the form of major disappointment in everyone around me. You see, they were adults, but not acting "mature". I resented that. I didn't understand how they could suceed in anything if they had any fun or relaxed.

A few years later it dawned on me that this handful of "immature" people had quickly become everyone that I knew above the age of 18. Was I missing something? Did they know a secret that I didn't? Exactly how were they able to get and keep jobs with these attitudes?

The answer:

I needed to relax. I needed to accept the fact that 18 was not a magic number; it was not the end of "having fun" nor did it mean that life as I knew it was over. It meant that I was in a different chapter, but still the exact same person inside.

It's perfectly fine to have fun, to get on your knees and play with children, to run and jump in the yard, play on the playground, and roll up your pants to wade in the creek. The problems come when you think that you're too good or too mature to do that!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inspirational thoughts...

Our monthly newsletter from church arrived last week. I thought to share a quote from our note from the Pastor section. Although the thought behind this is preparation for the season of Lent, it's a great idea for anyone, Christian or not!

Fast from fear; Feast on faith
Fast from despair; Feed on hope
Fast from depressing news; Feed on prayer
Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude
Fast from anger and worry; Feed on patience
Fast from negative thinking; Feast on positive thinking
Fast from bitterness; Feed on love and forgiveness
Fast from words that wound; Feast on words that heal
Fast from gravity; Feed on joy and humor

Imagine the changes in your life if you choose to adopt this way of thinking.

It's never too late to take the first step and the first step is all that holds you back from achieving true happiness and a life of your dreams!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

100% cotton dish cloths

I've recently added the 100% cotton dish cloths to my Etsy store. They're crocheted in a way that will give you a little extra scrubbing power, while soft enough to keep from scratching your stove top and counters.

I'll be adding some "Swiffer" alternative pads this week and a larger selection of dish cloths, so be sure to check back in.

There are hundreds of other ideas running around in my head, such as bath scrunchies and reusable grocery bags. Let me know if you're looking for something in particular and I'll see what I can come up with!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How do you sew?

Do you know how to sew? Do you sew by hand, machine or not at all?

Like many of you, I started sewing at a young age, by hand, alongside my grandmother. It's a talent that I stopped using for many years until I was required to make something in Home Economics class. To the best of my recollection I stitched a bear. It was one of those pre-patterned fabric things where you cut along the dotted line and stitch around the seam.

I enjoyed this immensely and took to making small clothes for the bear for several months. Finally, I gave up the sewing in favor of boys. What was I thinking????

Periodically, I picked up thread for various mending chores, but rarely for complete projects. All projects have been completed by hand so long that I have forgotten how to use a sewing machine. This past summer, I even started my first quilt by hand!

Two years ago I made an investment in one of those small machines that remind me of my sister's old toy sewing machine. Supposedly you can sew through 4 layers of denim with this thing, but I wouldn't know as I could never get the tension right. It now only sews through one side and won't pick up the bobbin thread. Frustrated with it, I put it up and temporarily put aside my machine stitching interest. (Notice I said temporarily! It's still on my list and inching it's way ever closer to the top, especially since I have recently conquered the basics of knitting and crochet.)

The treadle on our new craft table still works and my son was amusing himself with the pedal the other day. He started describing a way to hook up the pedal and make the base useful once again. I couldn't believe that he'd never seen a treadle machine in action! Silly, really, because I am the proud recipient of my great-grandmothers' machine. It sits it the corner of our living room and is mostly used to hold knick-knacks now. But, I vividly remember receiving my first machine sewing lessons by it's side!

My sons furious pedaling action brought all of those memories back. I ushered him straight to the living room to show him how the base worked the machine. Unfortunately, this is the moment that I realized that my machine has rusted so badly at the connections that it no longer moves properly.

This is now my next big project around the house! I will refinish the base so we can use it again. Ideally, my son will be the 5th generation to sew on this machine. You see, this machine was used by my great-grandmother to teach my grandmother, my grandmother taught my mother and myself, and now I shall pass the gauntlet to my son. Now this was a wonderful investment!

Even better - it uses no electricity, so I can sew off the grid! Geez, I should have thought of this sooner...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Making a craft table out of repurposed materials...

Always on the look out for good recycling/reuse materials I was quick to spot an old treadle sewing machine base headed for the dump. A friend was cleaning out his newly purchased home a few years ago and the rusty, old base was found in a corner. A sturdy, metal frame is a true treasure and would be prefect for a table base. I took this gem home and placed in in my trusty shed awaiting the perfect time to put it back into service.

That opportunity came last week. With my tax return I decided to invest in a knitting machine. This machine takes up a fair amount of space, and, without a permanent home, would be a hassle to retrieve and set up for each use. Light bulb! That sewing machine base would be perfect to use.

My hubby cleaned off the rust and repainted the base earlier last week. I secured and painted a nice wood top for it. (It's pre-cut from the hardware store and was on sale for around $9. The paint is remnant from painting our home 5+ years ago.) Voila! We now have a sturdy, cheap table that offers some character.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods

You may have noticed that I was absent from my blogs for a few days. (If not, I still love you anyway!) I took a break last week to get my Etsy store up and going. It's called La Vida Dulce and there is a box on the right hand side of the screen where you can preview my current offerings.

I discovered Etsy completely by accident. I've had an e-Bay Store for years and was searching for another selling venue, when I happened upon Etsy. They're very similar as to how listings are posted, although their fees are substantially different and Etsy is oriented almost entirely toward handmade items and support for those crafty people.

Etsy is also a "Buy-It-Now" community. There is no auction and waiting period. If you want it, you buy it. There is the familiar feedback and store set up, but the listings all look very similar. There apparently is no use of HTML, which keeps the listings from being overly gaudy or sensational.

Of course, I'll still have my e-Bay store, as I sell books there. Did I tell you that I'm a book worm from way back? It's true. And I love to learn! When I was piecing together my sons' curriculum for homeschool this year I went so far overboard I almost touched the bottom of the ocean! Embarrassing but true. Hence the textbook selection. I would never need all of those books on hand and I'm not planning on starting a library anytime soon, so off to e-Bay we went!

I will be selling a variety of items on Etsy, made in between projects for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. The first of which is listed now - a Pink and Black boucle shrug. Perfect for spring!

Thanks to my lovely friend, Lauren, for being my model!

Coming soon:

Cotton household goods - wash or dish cloths, reusable dusting cloths for floor and above!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yummy! Grits...

Living in the south requires very little, but the acceptance of grits as a food group is essential! Ok, maybe not essential, but you need to expect grits to be an option at every breakfast offering.

We southerners know automatically when you're not from the south by how you respond to the word "grits". If you crinkle your nose and say "What? What is that?" you've given yourself away as a foreigner, i.e. someone not from the south. If you are doing that at this moment we won't tell anyone, just come along on the grits information super highway. (Sounds impressive doesn't it?)

Grits 101 -

Grits are also known as polenta (a popular term to get you to pay a higher price) or porridge. Grits are what is leftover after grinding corn for meal. The finer meal is skimmed off for baking and what is left is the "grit".

Back in the 1600-1800s in America there were grist mills in every community. When your harvest came in, you took your grain to the mill for processing. The best meal was reserved for baking and the remnants were used as some form of cereal. Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat have the same origin. All can be interchangeably called porridge.

This should serve as an example for us today. There was very little waste, if any, during processing back then. You used or sold everything you could from your crop or animal.

Southerners grew a lot of corn. It was cheap, easy to save the seed, requires little tending once planted, and can be used as human or animal feed. I suppose that's why we're known for corn bread and grits.


Have you ever eaten grits? I used to enjoy a piping hot bowl topped with a pat of butter every morning as a child. My son ate grits, as a baby, in place of the standard rice cereal. Depending on what you add during the preparation and how long you cook them, you can have coarse or smooth and creamy grits. My personal preference is toward the coarse end. If they're too smooth and creamy it's like eating cream of wheat.

Sometimes I would eat Quaker Instant Grits and occasionally my Grandmother would pick up fresh grits at the mill. The later were my favorite! They tasted more like corn and had that nice coarse texture. Now, I buy from the mill in bulk and freeze family size portions individually. This enables us to have that fresh grit taste without worrying about bugs or staleness of the grain.

Here's the Nora Mill Grits Recipe:

Basic Grits Recipe

1 cup grits

3 cups water

salt and margarine to taste

Bring 3 cups of water (add salt and butter at this time) to a rapid boil in a heavy saucepan. Add grits and stir until water boils again. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes stirring often and adding water if necessary. Add salt and butter if you have not already done so.

These are the changes that I make:

I exchange 2 cups of water for 2 cups of whole milk. Bring this mixture to a simmer rather than a rolling boil. Continue as noted above.

Cook for 15 minutes for coarse and the full 20 minutes for the creamier variety. Decrease this time by 5 minutes if you intend on letting the grits stand before serving, as they will continue to cook once you cut off the burner. The grits will plump up as you cook them, similar to cooking rice.

Be sure to add some salt. If you don't, these taste like paste. You may try adding the salt to the individual bowl versus the pot.

Also, don't ruin your grits with margarine! Yuk! Please give it a try with real butter. This adds a nice creaminess to the texture that you just don't get with fake butter. I'll even go Paula Deen on you...put in enough butter to turn the grits a light yellow.

Oh! The last personal note - there is nothing like fresh cracked black pepper on top. It adds a layer of flavor to the grits and compliments the coarse texture of freshly ground grits.

Serve these piping hot and enjoy until your heart is content!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Winter Wonderland...

This week we had a huge winter storm come through the area. Now, I know that many of you see a great deal more snow than this on a regular basis, but down south this is big news! Laugh all you want, but this thing closed down schools for two days and delayed it a third. (This has changed since I was a child, but the school system is worried about being sued by people involved in accidents...wonderful world we live in!)

These are photos taken of the family out sledding. Of course, we fit in several snow ball fights, but my hands were too busy then to snap the photos!

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's here, it's here!

My precious, little baby girl, Angel, turns 18 today! Hooray! I can hardly believe it. I still remember bringing her home from the hospital just like it was yesterday.

I've been teasing her terribly for the past few months telling her that she would officially be an old lady once she hit 18. It amuses me to tease my children. I know, it's horrible...but I do so enjoy it. I also believes that it toughens them up, for life won't always be so pleasant as life with Mom!

I've planned for this day for over ten years. Silly isn't it? I knew she would grow up one day. I certainly didn't realize how fast this day would come. Have you ever noticed how fast time flies when you are watching a child grow up? Surely that's where they came up with the term light speed!

This precious book has made it's home on one book shelf or another for this ten year period. It was picked up at some book store, locally. When I touched it I knew it had to come home with me. To My Daughter, With Love: A Mother's Memory Book is a phenomenal book. The idea is to provide prompts to facilitate memories in your mind. The results is a multitude of memories about your mother, yourself, and your daughter as she arrived to this place.

The time spent journaling my memories this week has been wonderful. It was hard to put the book down before it was finished! It covers everything from your mother's childhood right up until your daughter's wedding, with spaces to include favorites recipes and photos. (She is not married, yet, but I can update that when the time comes. I always thought to present this to her on the day she officially became a woman.)

I completed the book last night at my mother's, as I needed my favorite photo of her to add to the collection. My mother despises to have her photo taken, therefore there aren't many to choose from. My favorite always hung on our formal living wall when I was little. It was her wedding photo. She looked so lovely with her face wreathed by crinoline and her lace filled dress.

Mom was surprised that I had chosen this as a gift for Angel. Neither she or I are inclined to be sentimental. We don't hold onto to old things for memories, other than photos. We're not particularly inclined to cry over a broken memento. Usually we're the ones to throw them out after a year or two!

But, my Angel, she's different. She's more like my sister in that respect. She keeps trinkets and mementos forever and a day and delights in discussions about how things used to be. Angel loved the book. She sat straight down and went over it thoroughly, commenting here and there, rolling her eyes at certain passages, and smiling all the way. Perfect!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quote of the day...

I follow a blog called Blessed Femina. What a great read! She has some terrific recipes for food AND homemade cleaners. Additionally, she offers some of the best quotes and feminine photos around.

One of her recent posts was about Godly Womanhood. She quoted Former U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall -

"Godly womanhood ... the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other type of women: beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman - or of a godly man either, for that matter.We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra-modern. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct."
This quote rings true even if you're not a Christian. If we all strive to be better human beings in general, to let go of the material possessions and materialistic nature we have come to know, this world would be a better place. As Americans, we live wasteful and, generally, unappreciative lives.

Do you realize that people in most of the world still live without running water? Do you appreciate that fact when you turn on your faucet every day or simply let the water run as if there is an endless supply? Do you recycle through your cities recycling program or is it too much trouble to carry the bin to the curb? Do you combine trips in your car or jump in and go whenever and wherever, just because you can?

I'm as guilty as any of us. The first step to change is realizing that you need to change, accepting that, and making the decision to take the next step. You don't have to up-end your life completely. You can take small baby steps or large dinosaur steps. That decision is yours to make. Just be aware that you have other decisions that you can make...