Category Archives: change

Big Change


Hey…if you’ve been following this blog I need to make you aware of a big change. I’ve been writing on two blogs for the past year, this one and also

I’ve discovered that these two blogs have merged in thinking and writing. So just today they’ve birthed one new blog. SO…I will no longer be writing on this one. I would love to have you transfer over with me though to my one new blog called embrace the day. The address is My name is Ruth Ann Jackson so that’s why the address is labeled that way.

Now that I’m ‘off the ride’ it seemed only natural to focus on embracing the day. I hope you think so too.

If that doesn’t make sense or you have questions or can’t find my other blog please let me know. Again, thank you for reading and caring about my life. I hope in return that I also encourage you and express care about your life.


Bursting with creativity


My home is a crazy place of creativity at present!


I’ve got paint and paint supplies ready to take on my next room in my house on my year path to clearing the clutter and freshening up my house. My next room is my bathroom ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve got soap drying racks sitting on top of my refrigerator and more soap supplies than you can imagine on their way, or on my grocery list or in the cupboard that I’ve designated just for soap. I’m eagerly looking forward to making bars of soap. (I have about 15 recipes that I’m getting ready to try.) I hope to make a bunch and have some friends and family sample them this fall ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also got various sizes of mason jars sitting around my house and will soon have every type of sugar and epsom salt body scrub going on in every flavor possible to test out the possibilities with different oils and see what ones the most people like so that I can sell those next spring.

I’ve even got a book on canning vegetables and fruits that I’m going to read and see if I might try a recipe or two. The mason jars just reminded me of my grandma and her jars of peaches and various other fruits and vegetables on her basement shelves when I was a kid. Such a great memory. Lauren wants me to try pickled beets first. (A Grandma Jackson speciality)

I’ve got piano and voice books sitting around my house as I start new students this fall. I’m up to 11 students…my goal is to reach 20 this fall. If you know of any place local (Alton, IL) where I can put my business card or information please let me know. Or if you have any way of passing on my information I will be forever grateful. My ad is running in the Telegraph for a month and I’m blogging regularly on my business website at If you haven’t “liked” my facebook page called Going Solo yet please feel free to ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also got material cut out for Lauren to start learning to sew and she’s presently wanting to collect/gather any soda/tea glass bottle caps for an art project she is making…if you have any or collect any this fall/winter please bag them up and I’ll come pick them up… she will recycle them into a creative project that will add beauty to the world ๐Ÿ™‚

Life is incredibly full right now with all of the DIY stuff I’m trying. And every day I think of new little ways to cut costs and live more frugally. Ironically enough, that seems to be also about becoming more earth friendly. I would’ve never put myself in that description…I kind of came late to the recycling party, but I’m there now.

So far I’ve tried…

Home dish soap (I’ve actually tried two different recipes and am much happier with the second.)

Home made laundry detergent (Love it and it makes such a large amount that I will probably only need to make it 2 or 3 times a year.)

Homemade toothpaste (Works just fine for me. When my kid’s stuff is gone, I’ll have them try it and see what they think.)

Homemade liquid soap (Right now my has a eucalyptus scent to it and it’s actually quite nice. I also purchased a lovely mason jar pump which cutened it up for my bathroom.)

Homemade drain cleaner (Just used it last night…love it, worked like a charm and with three females in my home it’s a regular need.)

Homemade body scrub (Just made it last night…love it. It was so easy to make and already all 3 of us are using it and enjoying it. The potential for scents, and variety of options is something that I know we’ll have great fun with. If you’re hands and feet, elbows, etc. are anything like mine…it’s amazing!)

When my other store bought cleaning products run out I’m going to make my own cleaners.

Homemade paper towels (Ok…so they’re not paper…but I’ve purchased micro fiber clothes in different colors for kitchen and bathroom usage. Easy to use, easy to wash and air dry…no more throwing away paper towel or swifter sheets.)

Drying Racks…I know I’ve already said it multiple times…but wow I love not using my dryer anymore.

Window coverings…I’ve added them to the areas of my home where the sun was making our air conditioner run to much. I’ve decided you don’t have to go all or nothing. I have window coverings on some windows and not on others. It works for me.

Unplugging unused items…I’m still working on this one, but with each room I go through I’m trying to make that small adjustment.

I plan to make some homemade deoderant soon… we will see how that goes.

And Ketchup and mustard and mayo…

Creativity is a wonderfully addictive thing! My kids are catching the bug too. They’ll be starting their first art class in two weeks…knitting. How fun to learn a new skill!

I never dreamed that I would be a self employed business person…but I am and fast becoming more so. I have no idea where it will lead. Today my girls who are an incredible encouragement to me…they inspire courage well…suggested that I focus heavily on my music business…”Going Solo” in the fall season. And that I make product throughout the school year and then focus heavily on my soap/body scrub/? business in the spring as I go to the Farmer’s Market downtown and possibly other events and places over the summer when music lessons kind of lighten up.

Right now I’m trying to think of a name for the soap/body scrub business. If you have any inspiring ideas feel free to pass them on. Lauren thought of “a la naturale'” which I like a lot but is probably a little overused. I thought of “lil bit of kindness” mainly because I think my product will be a way of giving yourself a little bit of kindness or will make great gifts for others. But…I haven’t settled on a name yet. Any thoughts?

I love the excitement I feel these days. I love the new ideas and directions in my life. So incredibly refreshing to live in new wide open spaces in my life. In the past, my life has felt so repetitious, so day after day the same, so many repeated lessons over and over. So much repeated music. I’m loving this experimental time in my life. This is my year…we’ll see where it leads.

The first week…


Today marks my first official week of sabbatical.

For the record, I am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve worked on my house in big ways in the past week. Worked in the yard, felt sweat dripping down my face. I’m just crazy enough to enjoy that kind of thing. I’ve baked cookies and banana bread. I’ve run errands and thought of new ideas. I’ve made more DIY stuff at home… so far laundry detergent, homemade dish soap, hand soap (liquid style), and toothpaste. I have recipes to try ketchup and mustard and when my supplies are actually looking low I’ll give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve purchased books on how to make bar soap, a variety of it, anticipating that I would enjoy the process and also be able to make a supply this winter to sell at our local Farmer’s market next summer. I’ve cut back plants outside and right now have a huge bucket full of pieces off of my ivy plant which I hope will take root. I think I will be able to replant them in small pots and again sell them at my local Farmer’s market next summer if all goes well. If it doesn’t work, I haven’t lost a penny. I was going to trim them back anyway.

I’ve redirected my girls this week. So yesterday my youngest participated in my monthly bill writing and is now acutely aware of my budget and how much cash should be spent each week so that we don’t go over. She’s aware of my emergency fund and of what is in ย savings. I had no clue of any of that when I was growing up, but she expressed an interest in learning how to budget and I couldn’t think of any reason for her not to, so she is. She actually gets excited when bills arrive in the mail box…crazy girl :).

I’ve signed up my girls for art class this fall down at our local art studio. So both will be taking knitting in September. (I’m secretly hoping they can teach me too ๐Ÿ™‚ Lydia will take drawing in October. She really showed some talent in her general middle school art class so I am looking forward to seeing her develop in that area. Lauren is taking collage which will be right up her creative alley. Then in Nov/Dec. Lauren is taking intermediate pottery…I hope she loves it, I think she will. Lydia is taking a photography class. She’s hoping to learn how to use all of the buttons on the camera beyond the auto one ๐Ÿ™‚

This week I will be purchasing a paper for Lauren to start clipping coupons, and an organizer. She wants to be more in on the grocery shopping/saving side of things and if she’s willing to give it a go, I’m in full support. She’s also cutting out her first pattern today in the process of learning to sew. Lydia is making her first recipe tonight, she’s going to make something every Tuesday and Thursday and already has recipes lined up for the next six weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

All of this is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t be happening if I was working full time right now. There are only so many hours in a day and teaching is exhausting work.

We even got to throw in a field trip to the Botanical gardens this week which was good for my soul.

I’m preparing to preach this Sunday, and I feel like I’ve actually had adequate time to prepare.

I’ve been able to help others this week. I even started yoga on Mondays.

When I sit down and think through all that has happened in this past week I’m amazed. Just a week ago my oldest had just gotten her drivers license and I was nervous about the whole thing. In one weeks time I’m amazed at how much less nervous I feel. She’s driven several times now for small errands and has even driven completely on her own. She’s doing just fine ๐Ÿ™‚

My continued theme for this time in my life is pure gratitude. ย I’m finding that it’s an incredibly good place to be.

Not everything is perfect. I haven’t started nearly as many students as I would like in my private voice and piano business this fall, but I’m hoping and trusting that will grow as time goes on.

My girls have had to work through some interesting emotions this week with public school starting and learning how to be homeschooled and still have some friendships which has led to some interesting conversations. I know God will help us to work those things out. We just need to initiate relationships in a different way than we used to.

Overall…life is incredibly good. Today is Thursday and it’s going to be a lovely day. No countdowns, no dread, no wishing for other days…this day is good in itself.

On to week two…I hope to power wash my house, paint my bath tub and probably the walls in my bathroom this next week. And who knows what else might come across my path ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m open.