Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - May 31, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E22: Which Disney Princess Are You?

We found this link after we recorded the podcast, but thought we should share it since it was a topic we discussed: https://collider.com/disney-princes-ranked/

Monday, May 22, 2023

Sorry, Not Sorry!


Last Monday, I blew off a doctor’s appointment so I could sleep in. And not just any doctor…it was my cardiologist. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? We all know we should go to the doctor regularly, but there’s something that we dread about doing it. I don’t know anyone who wants to go to the doctor. Do you?

I once complained to my therapist that I was tired of having to go to so many doctors’ appointments. She promptly scolded and corrected me with, “You get to go to the doctor so you can take care of your health. This is a good thing.” Perspective won that argument. I reluctantly agreed that she was right, and since then, I’ve tried to remind myself of that conversation any time I feel inconvenienced by anything health related. It mostly works. 

The sad thing is that I wasn’t feeling inconvenienced by this particular appointment, in fact, I was looking forward to a follow-up that would confirm that my previous issues had been caused by a change in medication that was rectified quickly and that I haven’t really had that problem since. My only complaint was that the appointment was at 9 AM on Monday, which is a day and time I would have never scheduled if I had been allowed to choose (and why wasn’t I allowed to choose?). Monday’s are one of my busiest days of the week because it is not only my cleaning and laundry day, but it is also my first day back to work after the weekend, and there is always a ton of work to be done, emails to answer, and phone calls to make. Even still, I was all set to go, and I set my alarm for the crack of dawn so I could get there in time.

But when my alarm went off Monday morning at 6:30 AM, after I’d had a busy weekend with very little rest and only 2 ½ hours sleep Sunday night, I just could not face getting out of bed, running through my morning routine, and then spending an hour in morning rush-hour traffic. I wasn’t even sure I could stay awake enough to drive. So I killed the alarm, tried to leave a voicemail to let them know I wasn’t coming, and promptly fell back asleep until almost 1:00 PM. I guess I really needed that sleep.

Afterward, I did not feel particularly guilty about missing the appointment. It happens sometimes. And in this case, I think that catching up on my sleep was a lot better for my heart than a stressful drive when I’m exhausted. The doctor will still be there next week, the week after, or the week after that…that sleep was necessary “now”.

Do I advocate missing doctor’s appointments? Not at all. I have seen hard evidence of what happens to someone who ignores symptoms, refuses to go to a doctor, and/or rejects a doctor’s advice. More than one of those people eventually died because of it. All because they didn’t want to face what the doctor might (or did) say. They didn’t want to know the truth. They tried to pretend nothing was wrong because they thought the treatment was worse than the disease, or maybe they just didn’t think they could afford it. Maybe they went to a doctor who didn’t take their concerns seriously enough so they never went back or went for a second opinion. 

Whatever the case, finding the right doctor is the most important part of treatment, tied equally with just getting there in the first place. Whatever the circumstance, finding a doctor that you trust is the key, because when you trust your doctor, you’re more likely to show up, listen to their advice, and do what they tell you to do. And part of finding the right doctor for you means knowing what kinds of doctors there are, which can be confusing on the best of days. And that’s why this week’s podcast is all about doctors – “M.D.s vs. D.O.s: What’s the Difference?” I hope you’ll join us. Even Christen, Amber, and I learned a few things.

Modern Musings: Conversations with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone” is available on PodBean, Google, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Watch for our episode about doctors airing Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Friday, May 19, 2023

100 Episodes!

We are so excited to celebrate the publication of our 100th episode this past Wednesday! Thanks for listening, and thanks for stopping by to read our blog!

Thursday, May 18, 2023

My Intentions Are Good


Farmers have been doing it for centuries, planting crops by the new moon, and harvesting when it’s full. The moon phases are even named, such as the Buck Moon, the Harvest Moon, and the Hunter’s Moon. We make resolutions on New Year’s Day, which is timed to the position of the Sun. Even the Farmer’s Almanac, that much-revered guide that was first published in 1792, has whole sections and calendars devoted to sowing crops and doing household tasks based on the phase of the moon. So when I say I set my intentions by the New Moon, why is that such a surprise?

I started setting specific intentions a couple of years ago, using the format of my One Little Word project and my Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets, but it wasn’t until last year that I started doing so in a ritualistic way. What is my ritual and why ritualize it, you might ask? Allow me to share…

Setting my intentions by the new moon is a reminder to check in with my goals now and then. I try not to miss a new moon, but if I do, it’s okay because I know I’ve done it almost every other month. I like keeping in touch with my goals; sometimes I need that subtle reminder to get to work on making them happen, and it’s always good to refresh those goals and realize I’ve made some good progress.

My rituals are pretty simple – I try to find a nice quiet place to do some meditation first. It’s good to clear my head of all the distractions so I can really concentrate on what I want to achieve. I sometimes add a candle or some ambient music, but not always. A comfy chair is a must. I do like an occasional cup of tea, but coffee works, too. I start out with some breathing exercises and try to relax all over. Once I’m in a good mental and physical space, I start thinking about what I might want to manifest. I imagine it in as much detail as possible, and once I have that full picture, I can start to write it down. 

I write my intentions in a composition notebook that I covered with pretty scrapbook paper. Before I ever wrote my first scripting in it, I wrote my manifesto where I stated that my intention for this book of intentions was “to do only good and to do no harm.” That part was very important to me because we all know the phrase “be careful what you wish for.”

Sometimes my scripting is long. Sometimes it’s very short. Sometimes it’s in paragraph format, and sometimes it is just a bulleted list, but I mostly write about the same things, such as my intentions to spend more quality time with my family, to strengthen my relationship with my husband, to grow my business along with this blog and our podcast, and to be a healthier, happier person.

Is there a right way or a wrong way to do it? I don’t know. I’m still very new to the whole idea, but I figure it can’t hurt, right? Christen is much more knowledgeable about scripting and setting intentions than I am. Everything I know, I basically learned from her. In fact, I’m looking forward to learning more about it when we go on our GreenMan Holistic cruise in October. One of the classes being offered is “Journaling for Magical Purposes” (Scripting), and I’m excited to see what new things I can learn from our expert, Arthur Graye. Until then, I guess I’ll just keep doing it the way I’ve been doing it and hope that it’s working more than it’s not.

Do you script or journal your intentions? We’d love to hear about it.

For more information about our GreenMan Holistic cruise, click the link here: Cruise Info

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - May 17, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E20:  Setting Intentions by the New Moon

In the podcast, Amber mentioned her Carb Manager app. You can get more info about it HERE.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Online Inspiration

I’m usually very leary about tips and tricks that I see on the internet, so don’t ask me what possessed me to tempt fate by testing out an actual recipe that a friend posted. Maybe it was because it just sounded like it would be good, but I had to try Mississippi Pot Roast the first time it showed up in my Facebook feed. I’ve spent years searching for the perfect pot roast, so a stick of butter and a couple of gravy packets seemed infallible. It was.

While the pot roast has become a family favorite (a huge thank you to the friend who posted it), another weird hack I discovered helped make my hard-boiled eggs slide right out of their shells. That one boils down to adding ½ tsp of baking soda to the pan of water and then dunking the eggs in an ice bath the second they come off the stove. They come out perfect every time!

Granted, I’ve had a few failures. Like the Christmas card I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago that turned out to be sized for European envelopes. Oops. I didn’t realize the problem until I had cut out all the parts for 100 cards. I quickly had to resize everything to fit the standard A2 envelopes I normally use.

I will say that some of my best successes have come not from “hacks” but from Pinterest projects. In fact, most of my daughter Christen’s wedding was planned using Pinterest and other internet posts and hacks. I’ve shared a few of them below.

The chandelier I repurposed: https://www.instagram.com/p/CD-03CAAXX4/

Pinterest board of our wedding projects: View

The pins that inspired them (and a few more): View

I love getting inspiration from other crafters and cooks via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Seeing what others are working on helps me imagine things that I can be working on, too, and encourages me to take those projects one step further to make them truly my own. I hope some of my projects will inspire you, too!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

A New Spin on Laundry!

I have been watching a lot of house cleaning and decluttering videos lately.  I noticed several vloggers have been using their own homemade laundry detergent. I decided I wanted to give it a try and make my own laundry detergent.

I did a little reading to find out what exactly goes into making your own laundry detergent. The recipe I decided on is not my own; it was from another blog and I thought it was perfect timing since we are talking about TikTok hacks on the podcast. I am happy with the results and recommend this recipe from The Spruce if you want to try it out yourself.

The recipe makes about 5 cups of detergent, so I purchased a tight-sealing container that was the right size to store it in. What I was not planning on was having extra ingredients leftover. I will have to go back and get better storage containers for the back stock, and I will explain that later. Here is a breakdown on what the recipe makes:

  • 2 cups of Borax
  • 2 Cups of Washing Soda
  • 1 Cup of shredded washing Soap 
1 recipe yields 5 Cups of detergent which comes to approximately 80 Loads in an HE front load washer by using 1 Tablespoon in the wash (two tablespoons for non HE)

Cost:   $13.97 after taxes

I probably spent more on the plastic locking container that I have it stored in. I also wound up with more leftover ingredients  than what the recipe called for; I could probably make at least 2 more batches. To be conservative, let's say that I get 240 loads from the supplies purchased…I am looking at about $0.05 per load! With the standard liquid laundry detergent, I was spending about $21.59 after taxes on the 100 load size container. This cost me roughly $0.22 per load, which can really add up. For my family of three, we generally have about 10 loads a week, therefore, we were spending about $115 on laundry detergent a year! With this homemade detergent, we could save about $89 on detergent per year. 

Other factors

Not only can I save money by making my own detergent, I can reduce the plastic waste that I create. All three products come in cardboard boxes, which can be broken down and recycled.  The boxes, however, are not great for long term storage because they are not sealed well. I had noticed that they were leaving powder behind wherever I stored them, and little sprinkles would spill out when I moved them around. I took the contents out of their boxes and put them in labeled Ziplocs to make sure they are airtight. It is very humid here in North Texas, and my washing machine is in the garage, so I want to make sure my supplies last. If the detergent gets clumpy, it will not dissolve in the wash and will leave residue on the clothing. Another thing to factor in is time. The bar of soap does need to be grated, but it took no time at all, and it seems like it will be a very long time before I need to grate more because I have more than enough ready to use. 

Although I am a lover of all things fragrant, I have been enjoying the light smell of the shredded washing soap. It is not an overbearing scent. I have thought about trying out other recipes and possibly other alternatives to enhance the scent because I do miss the smell of Tide from time to time. If you are wondering if my clothes are coming out clean, the recipe only recommended 1 tablespoon for my high efficiency. I was a little skeptical that my clothes wouldn't come out clean with such a little amount of soap but I am not finding any clothes that are not coming out clean from the wash. Travis does come home with stains set in stains on some of his work clothes and so I still have to use a stain remover on those to spot clean. 

The Final Product

Let me know what you think! Would you ever use a homemade laundry detergent or cleaning supply? Let me know if you try out the recipe above and if it worked for you. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - May 10, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E19: Did This Internet Hack Work?

  • Christmas Card Fail: Pinterest
  • Birthday Cake:
  • TikTok Enchiladas:
  • Pizza Dip: Pinterest
  • Mississippi Pot Roast: Facebook
  • Pumpkin M&M Cake Fail:
  • Clutterbug:
  • Inspiration for Christen's Wedding:  Pinterest
  • Christen's Wedding Crafts: Pinterest 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - May 3, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E18: Memory Keeping

  • HP Sprocket Photo Printer: On Amazon
  • Project Life:  BeckyHiggins.com
  • My Modern Story:  BeckyHiggins.com
  • Brene Brown quote: 
    • “One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else's survival guide.”


Monday, May 1, 2023

Keeping Memories Alive


This Saturday, May 6, is International Scrapbook Day, and if you’ve kept up with any of my blog posts, you know that it’s definitely a holiday I do celebrate. This year, I’m planning to hang out with Christen here at home, documenting memories while watching history unfold in the coronation of King Charles III. I’ll probably scrapbook that, too. English breakfast tea, anyone?

People often look at me in surprise when I mention scrapbooking. “Do people still do that?” they ask. My snarky answer would be to ask them if they still have memories, because, of course, they still do, but usually I just happily answer, “Yes, but you just don’t hear about it as much because all the scrapbook stores went out of business when everyone started shopping at mega stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Scrapbook.com. In all honesty, there are a lot of people who quit traditional scrapbooking when smartphones became our go-to for a camera, photo storage, and memory keeping all in one. Most people don’t print their photos anymore, they just post to Facebook or Instagram, therefore they have no need for a physical photo album or scrapbook…or so they think.

I want to go back to my first answer. As snarky as it sounds, it’s actually a valid and very important question. Do you still have memories? Are there parts of your life that have never been documented by either photo, diary, or /journal? Is your entire life up in the cloud? What will happen when that technology becomes obsolete like 8mm film, Betamax, VHS, and 8-track tapes? Will your family be able to see and keep those precious photos you took on your phone? What about that movie of little Billy making his first touchdown in a high school football game? And what will you do with all your memories of Aunt Etta’s award-winning chocolate pie and Grandma’s penchant for sneaking candy to all the grandkids when Mom wasn’t looking? Who will remember those things if no one documents them?

We’ve talked about the importance of documenting our stories many times on this podcast, both with photos and in writing. When we document our lives, we are preserving precious pieces of history that will not be remembered when we are gone – but they deserve to be. People have been documenting history since the beginning of, well…history. Early man created pictographs on the walls of his cave to tell the stories of his generation. Egyptians painted hieroglyphs in the pyramids, and much of the early history of the Jewish people has been documented in the sacred texts of the Torah. And lest anyone think that their story is not important, I must ask, “How do you know?” Did Anne Frank imagine that her little diary would someday be read all over the world in many different languages? How would you feel today if you found a personal history written by your grandmother or great-grandmother? 

There are many different ways to document your life and the lives of your family. We’ve discussed many of them on the podcast and here on the blog (I’ve included links to a few of them below). If you are a beginner or have little experience keeping journals or scrapbooks, it might seem daunting, but it really can be as simple as you’d like. To demonstrate some of the different styles (and hopefully inspire you!), I've created a video walk-through of different methods which I’ve posted on my Crafty Neighbor YouTube Channel. I hope you’ll check it out. And if you do decide to start documenting (or if you already do), please tell us about it in the comments below or start up a conversation in our MMC Chat Facebook group.

Modern Musings blogs and podcasts about memory keeping:

5 Ways to Manifest Your Best Life

Hi there, and welcome back! Since we have been heavily focusing on goals and planning, I thought we should discuss manifesting. I love this ...