Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I’m not the world’s most religious person, but we celebrate Christmas and Easter, I occasionally attend church, and I participate in Lent every year. No matter what religion you are, I think it’s good to challenge yourself now and then. This year, inspired by many cleaning and de-cluttering blogs, I am going to get rid of stuff every day for 40 days. I’ve read some various extremes of this idea ranging from letting go of one item a day to one trash bag a day. I will fall somewhere in the middle, with a goal of “At least one item per day.”
Today, I cleaned out our front closet and got rid of quite a few things! Shoes that have been at the bottom and anything that was generally garbage got thrown out. I think there were two pairs of his shoes, and three pairs of mine that went out the door! Things at the bottom of our closet were pretty dusty and hairy, and when you look at a pair of shoes and think about how much your feet hurt when you wear them, it’s pretty easy to see them out of your life forever (admittedly, this wasn't always so – there are still plenty of “cute” shoes lurking around here that kill my feet).
The other part of this Lenten challenge is to actually get the items out of my house. I can’t tell you how many times I've filled up bags to donate and then they just sit somewhere in my house still taking up space. So as items get eliminated, they are going straight to my car and then dropped off. The bag from the closet today is already gone! I hope you’ll follow along and share your own success at downsizing <3
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
You might have noticed I took an extended hiatus from blogging after posting incredibly infrequently in the first place. The thing is, I felt like every post was one big pity party, and bad things kept happening so I just gave up. 2014 was one big suckfest. I’ll probably post a couple of quick recaps just to catch people up on major changes in our lives, but for now I’d rather just skip right over it.
2015 isn’t shaping up to be much better, but I’m at least determined to have a better attitude about it. I have a few goals to accomplish to make that happen. Goal 1 is to write more, so you will definitely be seeing more blog entries. Goal 2 is to spend more time doing things I enjoy. Too often I get stuck in the cycle of sitting on the couch and watching TV all day, and nothing gets accomplished when I do that. I have projects that have been sitting around waiting for me to finish them, things I want to learn, and a house that isn’t going to clean itself. Plus a pack of dogs that don’t want to watch me nap all day. Goal 3 is the big depressing one: to get our finances in order. We do ok, but we could definitely do better. Basically after experiencing an emergency, I’ve realized the importance of creating an emergency fund. Goal 4 is of course to get more exercise. I’ve noticed how much better I feel, how much better I sleep, when I exercise even just 30 minutes a day. Hard to remind myself of that when it’s 5 degrees outside.
Otherwise, things are pretty good. We both currently have good health, we have a roof over our heads and a car to drive. We have happy and healthy pets that provide us with companionship and entertainment (and eggs!). And we have friends and family nearby willing and able to help whenever they can. Overall, things are pretty luxurious in the grand scheme of things. Fostering an attitude of gratitude is a somewhat grueling process, but I seem to be managing so far. My negativity center freaks out for a second (you know how I love me a worst case scenario), but generally once I’m given a little time to get things into perspective, it all seems a little better. So that's pretty much it, trying to dig out from the multiple feet of snow we have and keep things together and unfrozen.
See you all soon!
Thursday, April 3, 2014
The next day Mr. Fabulous took my car to run a few errands, and I decided to take a nap. When I woke up, I looked at the clock and it was about 2:30, so I thought I would go and make sure the chickens were safe before 3:00, when suddenly I heard a commotion outside - it was definitely the call of a chicken in distress. I looked out the window, and in the middle of our shoveled path in the snow was a FOX!! My big chicken was valiantly fighting for her life, and I ran down the stairs and outside, all the while the fox 100% focused on the hunt and 0% aware of my presence. I, of course, had neglected to put shoes on, so I stood on the front porch and shouted, "HEY!! LET GO OF MY CHICKEN!!" The fox looked at me, and reluctantly obliged. The chicken seized her opportunity for freedom and ran towards me, then past me and hid in a old tarp. The fox looked at me as if to say, "Ok, you can have her this time." And then sauntered away.
I went back inside to put shoes on, then assessed that the rest of our birds were still alive and well, then found my poor injured bird. She was missing all of her tail feathers, and bleeding a little on her back from where they had been violently ripped out, but other than that she seemed in good shape. We cleaned her up and sprayed some chicken first aid spray we had on her cut, and then put her in her own coop with a heat lamp, figuring without feathers she'd have a hard time staying warm, and also not wanting the other chickens to attack her.
The fox, however, was also free and healthy. And thought she knew where her next meal was coming from. That night, with all birds safe and sound, the fox returned to find her injured prey, but came up empty handed. The next day we left all the birds locked in their coop, and I pulled in the driveway to see the fox sitting patiently next to our shed, waiting to see if any birds were going to walk down the shoveled path today. Again, when she saw me, she trotted away, but not with any real sense of urgency.
In the following weeks, we have kept our birds locked up (they are not happy about this) and we have managed to keep all of them alive. The poor bald chicken is growing her feathers back and still laying eggs. And the fox is definitely still patrolling outside - not quite as often, but she's there.
Since then whenever I tell this story, I have been given all kinds of suggestions for getting rid of this fox (it should be noted at this point that I always refer to the fox as "she" but I have no real proof of gender). This is obviously a large and well-fed fox, so the ideas have ranged from shooting it, to feeding it, and everything in between. It was suggested that I play music in the coop, also to hang cd's from branches, and potentially that the fox is my spirit animal and maybe that's why I can't get rid of it. Turns out my spirit animal is a raven, according to a quiz I took online, so clearly that's not the answer.
As it warms up outside, I'm sure my birds are going to be harder to contain, so hopefully we will have good means for protecting them, or maybe the fox will find another yard full of delicious treats.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Ok, so I’m belated in wishing myself a happy birthday. I am so lucky I am surrounded by people who make my birthday a big deal. My bestest friend took me out for a great night of dinner and ghost hunting, and when I got home my Charming husband had a mini-surprise party ready for me! Ok, it was just him, a happy birthday banner, a present, and a bottle of champagne. But since he doesn’t like celebrating his own birthday, I was thrilled he made such a big deal out of mine. And since his birthday is coming up, I didn’t bother taking down the banner (ha!).
Birthday season is upon us (the majority of our families have fall birthdays, with a few sprinkled in the spring and summer), and by the time we get through it, Christmas will be here. Even with all the other celebrations, I have the best friends and family who make me feel like mine is the most important one of the bunch! (until the next one happens, and then they make that person feel the same way.) And they stretch my birthday into a weeklong celebration of how awesome I am. Also, there’s cake. I’m a big fan of cake.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Fall makes me happy. Maybe it is because it was always the start of a new school year, but Fall to me feels like new beginnings and super fun times. Lower temps mean I can do more things outside without sweating profusely, we have some wonderful nights outside with the fire pit, and there is way less traffic in our little one road town.
Summer seems to come with a lot of pressure to have a great time all the time, yet everyone I know works constantly, and the days I'm available for beach fun times, it is always super crappy out. The things I used to love about summer, shorts and tank tops, hold much less appeal now that I'm older and a little softer. I do love swimming, but as I said, I'm never free on nice days.
Yesterday was the first day that really felt like fall, and I LOVED it! We didn't have to run the AC's, I got some stuff done, and I sat on the deck and drank a hard cider at the end of the day. It was delicious.
Soon the leaves will change and it will time to wear brightly colored sweaters. Yay! Soups and fresh bread will be eaten, and down comforters will be added to bedrooms. I know not everyone loves fall as much as I do, it does lead into winter and all, but I am so excited! Stay tuned for hundreds of pictures of my dogs playing in leaves :D
Friday, August 2, 2013
Last June we knew my father would not make it another year, and my sister and I had the same struggle to buy our father a father's day card. What should his last father's day card say? Mary called one of her friends who had also lost a parent and asked, "Why didn't you tell me all the lasts will be so hard?" And the response she got was, "All the lasts are really hard. And then once he's gone, all the firsts are going to be really hard too." (The card I gave was blank inside and I just wrote, "I love you, Dad.")
So it was true. My first birthday without my dad. Our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's. And the hardest of all, his birthday without him. Leo is always there with us. We still make sure we have the foods he loved, and tell stories about our favorite holidays with him. And we pick on my mom to try and make her as flustered as he did ;)
The days go on, we keep living. We survived all the lasts, and now we have been through most of the firsts without my dad. It makes it easier to think of him with the rest of our family, all together and having a big party. I know that he suffered, and that he did not like how weak he had become, how forgetful he was, and how confused he could get. The chemo took its toll on him, and how he was in those last months is not how he would want to be remembered. Instead I remember the big guy who came to all my soccer and hockey games, who drove 4 hours to watch my first crew regatta and after the race was over (a full 45 seconds of rowing) said, "That was it??" (We lost, btw). The man who could throw back a few drinks, and had a few great dance moves. The man who drove big trucks, who could operate a backhoe like no one's business, and who remembered every septic tank he installed. The man who loved each of his kids and was proud of everything they had done. That was my dad.