I’m often asked, "How did you get such a broad education?  Well for one, I’m as old as dirt and when you live as long as I have, life takes you a lot of different directions.  During my formative years, I lived in a small travel trailer and we moved every three months.  My dad was a heavy duty mechanic for a construction company and we followed him from job to job so we could be together.  Because our living area was so small and had very little storage, I learned to put a lot into a little space.

Jump ahead a number of years.  I am trying to keep up with a busy husband and four active children, coaching and administrating a competitive gymnastics program in Ridgecrest, California, and in the presidency of my church auxiliary.  My phone rang off the hook from morning until night and my life was a series of meetings and problems to solve—I had so many ideas of what to do and teach my family, but no time to do it.  It was then that I attended a series of lectures by Daryl Hoole.  That experience revolutionized my life.  I spent the next year developing efficiency methods in my home and teaching them to my friends.  The change in my life and in the lives of others was exciting.  My friend Pat Southard told me to write down what I learned and the books Clutter Free Living, A Clean House in Minutes a Day, Teaching Children to Work, and A Time for Everything are the results of that prompting.

Just before moving to Boise, Idaho, I talked my dear friend, Shirley Sirman, into teaching a series of classes on using basic food items—wheat, powdered milk, beans, soybeans, and sprouts in order to save money during the economic downturn in the 70’s.  I was so grateful to Shirley because for our first year in Boise, money was really tight and we lived off the food we had stored prior to moving.  I bought very little fruit and vegetables, made meat from wheat, made my dairy products from powdered milk, and all my baked goods from scratch.  By doing this I was able to feed my family of eight for $40 a month and to my astonishment, the protein and fiber level in our diet was higher, the fat and sugar level lower, and no one was sick that whole year—not even a cold.  The cookbooks on basic cooking are a result of the things I learned during that year and the many years since.

During our stay in Boise I have had the opportunity to do what I really love—teach children to love the outdoors.  After working as the Children’s Program Coordinator for the recreation department, I started Adventures Unlimited, a summer resident and day camp for children ages 7-16.  We spent each week exploring, bike riding, floating rivers and streams, swimming, water skiing, horseback riding, and white water rafting. The books Stress Free Family Fun and Family Adventures at Home and Boise Family Adventures  are an outgrowth of Adventures Unlimited and our family camping and back backing experiences.

I love learning and I love teaching, no matter what the topic—so I trained as a consultant for Beauty for All Seasons so I could learn more about color, body line and design, personality expression, makeup and wardrobe coordination.  I love to sew, I love to mix and match clothing, and I love to save money—so this was a really fun way to help myself and others look their best and feel good about themselves.

Mary Ann’s Cupboards is an exciting, new adventure for me.  It allows me to share all my years of experience with all of you.  It is my hope that this site will help you live better with less – less time, less money, less stress and less chaos so that you will have more time to create memories and have adventures with your family, and have a peaceful and abundant life.

 


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