The Sacrifice – A Story of Tragic Love

“There. That’s better,” she says as she places the rag back in the cool water after wiping the sweat from his brow.

“Thank you,” he says kindly smiling back at her.

She looks away from him and her face turns to that of deep concern. “You push yourself too hard sometimes and it worries me. I don’t want to lose you.”

Gently he turns her face back to his, looks into her eyes and says, “I have to. There is still much to do. In the end, I will be fine.”

“I know,” she replies.

She takes his hand and sits beside him against the rock, leaning her head on his shoulder.

“I would if I could. You know that too,” he says with the tone of a heavy heart.

“I do my Lord and I love you for it,” she replies closing her eyes.

He looks at her and says, “Without you, this journey would be unbearable and yet… I want to tell you…”

“Shhh,” she interrupts, “You must rest for now. If only for a second. Close your eyes just a moment and let us just be here. Just be here with me in this moment, please. Because later, ‘there is still much to do,'” she says mocking his serious voice.

At this they break into subtle laughter and he rests his head against hers, closing his eyes.

“Mary,” he says to her, “you are a good woman.”

She begins to cry and turns to hold him tightly as her tears fall on his chest.

“Thank you my Lord,” she says amongst her sobs and cries.

“Thank you Mary,” he replies while holding her even tighter, rocking her gently back and forth.

Someone approaches from a nearby group of men gathered at a large fire. Distantly, they look upon the scene. They try to hide their interest, but their faces give their thoughts away.

“It’s time my Lord,” the man says with his face turned away from them.

“Thank you Paul,” he replies, once again with a gentle smile. “Please tell them, I will be joining shortly.”

“Certainly,” Paul says as he turns away to rejoin the group, never looking at them directly.

He wipes the tears from her cheek and says, “I must go.”

“I know,” she says kissing her hand and touching his cheek.

As he joins the group and they begin their discussion, she looks towards the spot where he had just been sitting, touches the ground where he was, and with tears in her eyes says, “I know.”

 – Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Unknown

Tips For Doing The Dishes

Ok, I’m sure everyone here already knows how to wash the dishes. So what am I writing this for? Well, I’ve learned a few techniques over the years to streamline washing dishes and make the process efficient and short because I really don’t like doing the dishes. No one likes doing the dishes. They may not mind doing them, but let’s be honest… have you ever seen someone fighting to do the dishes? Nope. It’s usually the reverse. So here’s the process I’ve developed and want to share with you all. If you have any tips to add, please comment below or on our Facebook page. Now, let’s get dirty!

 

Here’s what we’re working with:

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Scary!! But don’t worry! When broken down into simple steps (now with 133% more pictures!) it will be a breeze:

 

Step 1:

Grab the largest, strongest, and dirtiest cup you can find in the bunch, put a drop or two of dish soap in it and then fill it half way with hot water:

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Step 2:

Gather up all the silverware in this order: Sharp Knives > Butter Knives > Forks > Spoons (Basically start with the sharpest, most dangerous stuff first) Then take that glass or cup full of soaking silverware and put it aside for later. Note: You are now able to rummage through the dishes without fear of cutting yourself on any stray objects which is usually a downer in your day.

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Step 3:

Organize and stack the dishes into their similar groups. Exact copies should be directly together and all dishes of a certain type should be in a great stack that is related to their type: plates, bowls, etc. Place any hand wash dishes in the sink without a garbage disposal so that the one that has it is ready for some washing!

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Step 4:

Begin the dish washing with the plates, rinse any heavy residue off in the sink, and place them in the dishwasher according to their type with exact copies right next to each other. Having them placed as close together will become important when we get to unloading the dishwasher later.

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Step 5:

Next up are the bowls! Remember you can move the stack into the sink together and wash them all at once. Left over soapy water will just run over all of them. That is, if they all fit. Otherwise, break up the stacks as you need to of course.

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Step 6:

Before we move to the cups, use this chance to wash and rinse any random dishes that may go in the bottom rack and open the top for them as well. Remember that it is best to keep plastic dishes that are dishwasher safe in the top rack. The heat directly from the water jets could warp your favorite food joint cup.

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Step 7:

Time to get those glasses rinsed and into the dishwasher. Since the top rack is open, it’s optimum for making each move you make across the kitchen purposeful and towards the goal with the least amount of steps and energy spent. Start at the back of the rack and move your way forward so that if you do not plan to run the dishwasher now, when you add more glasses later you will not have to pull out the rack as far. There are of course exceptions to every rule. We rewash used glass bottles for use as water bottles on the go instead of plastic, because we already paid for them right? Those bottles are too tall for our washer, but when placed forward, the rack has enough give to close.

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Step 8:

Before we can close the top rack, there’s one more glass on the counter we need to address. Remember the one from earlier we put all the silverware in? Well it’s been soaking all that crud off the utensils and they are ready to be rinsed! First place the strainer plug over the garbage disposal to make sure none of the silverware falls into it creating an adrenaline moment when we turn it on later that we don’t need. Dump the entire contents of the cup into the sink, rinse the cup, put it in the dishwasher and close the top rack.

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Step 9:

Now to the silverware! As before, safety first! The priority remains the same: Sharp Knives > Butter Knives > Forks > Spoons. PRO TIP: Keep those spoons away from the running water or you will have a mess! Place similar utensils together in the same section of the silverware bin so that it will be easier to remove them after you’ve run the dishwasher. Once everything is in place, push in the bottom rack and close the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is full, then go ahead and start it running. You’ll be finished with the hand wash dishes long before it’s done, but when it’s time to eat, there will be hot plates!

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Step 10:

Last but not least, it’s time to do the hand wash dishes! It’s good to have a drying rack and they aren’t very expensive. Start with the utensils for safety as mentioned before, remove the strainer from the garbage disposal and then work on the smaller items to the larger ones. This will allow you to place larger items over smaller items and maximize the space on your drying rack. Save something heavy for the other “bookend” and everything should be sturdy enough that you can place a couple of items on top! Carefully check the garbage disposal for anything that may be harmful to it and to spare your favorite silverware, then run it until it is clean.

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DONE!

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Now on to unloading the dishwasher!

 

Step 1:

Open up your dishwasher and pull out the bottom rack. We’ll start here for several reasons, one of which is that there may be some residual rinse water on some of the items on the top rack and we don’t want to accidentally spill it back down on the clean and dry dishes below. If you placed each type of silverware in their own compartments in the bin as mentioned before, then it will be easy to place them in your silverware drawer. Grab the bin, shake it a little over the sink, and then take it to where your silverware is kept. Simply grab each type of silverware safely by the handles and dump them right into their spot in the drawers. You may have to shift things around a bit to get them to fit, but this is an extremely quick way to empty out the silverware bin. Place the empty bin back in the dishwasher when finished.

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Step 2:

Plates! If they are all placed near each other you can grab the stack of them using your fingers as protectors between them to keep them from colliding as well as giving you more grip. Then stack them on the empty space of the rack, grab them fully with one hand and place them in the cabinet. For efficiency’s sake, and if you are ambidextrous, grab a stack with each hand and double time it! Once you’re finished, close the cabinet and push in the bottom rack.

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Step 3:

Glasses! This is the easiest part. Don’t grab too many or you’ll end up looking like the new server at the restaurant! Once the glasses and random dishes are put away, push in the top rack, close the dishwasher and call it a job done!

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Total time it took me to empty the dishwasher, rinse the dishes and reload it, all while taking pictures:

34 minutes

So there you have it everyone. It took me 4 hours to make this tutorial and only 34 minutes to actually do the chore and that was while taking the pictures for this tutorial! I hope this helps as I know that chores are not the most fun part of the day, but the sooner we get them done the better. Please share any tips you have with us here or on Facebook!

– Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Charlize Veritas

The Waiting Room – A Story of Ancient Lovers

A luminous being sits near an elevator on a couch made of light in a white waiting room outside of space and time.

The doors of the elevator open and out steps a second luminous being.

“What took you so long?” asks the first of the second.

“Why were you in such a hurry?” asks the second of the first.

They smile and they laugh.

They walk to another, third luminous being that stands at a podium.

“Hey you two! Long time no see!” exclaims the third to the couple. “So what’s next?”

The couple look into each other, smile again, and the first turns to the third and says, “I think this time, we’ll be moving on.”

“Oh that’s wonderful!” replies the third with tears of crystal forming on its luminous cheeks, “but I’m sure going to miss you two.”

“And we you,” replies the second while wiping away the tears.

  – Charlize <3

Cover image credit: Unknown