Sunday, April 13, 2014

pictures, and some clearing.

cobb salad with the best chicken money can buy from whole foods, along with pastured eggs and pastured bacon. i do wish local farmers here in VA were allowed to cut up their birds after processing (no thanks to you big ag). i do not like working with whole pastured birds. but this chicken is animal welfare rating 3 -- enhanced outdoor environment -- out of 5, with 4 and 5 being pasture only. so. wow that was a ramble sorry!! i'm just PICKY with meat sourcing, i will NEVER EVER eat factory or simply "natural/organic" chicken. 

amazing sushi i had in texas!! (the conference was in a big fancy mall that had an ice skating rink inside)

an adorable space i came across while visiting various Montessori schools during the annual AMI conference in Houston in February. I love getting new inspiration!!

i LOVE that window!! imagine it with the sun streaming in...

these really call to a child's sense of attractiveness (as motivator) and need for order. i love Montessori color coding.

So I finally figured out that I could simply connect my Kindle to my laptop and like magic there would all the photos be. D'oho!! Hello Captain Obvious.

Thanks for being so patient while I figured that one out.

As I write this, it's the second of two absolutely glorious spring days here. Temps in the low 70's, a lovely breeze, and I'm in flip flops. Ironically it's given me inspiration inside as I worked all weekend (John was away) going through stuff in the attic. I found, as usual, massive amounts of stuff to donate/to sell/to toss. In particular, a lot of old photos/cards/letters that I kept telling myself I'd do something with but yet kept lugging the same massive tote, complete with many ex-boyfriends pictures, along. It feels so freeing to only keep the photos I know I will want for my kids to look through in the future. I also saved a few cards from family from over the years. Just can't keep everything. The nice thing about this process (which involved just a few minutes of anxiety and wistfulness and tears, I really have to work myself up to a time when I have to just do it without too much attachment involved, or without poring over every document in depth) was it made me feel so happy and grateful for the life I live now with my dear husband, the life we are just beginning, and for the oft-awkward/fumbling road back that brought me here today.

I have been reading Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home, which came in the mail from Paperback Swap recently, and one of her earliest chapters is about possessions. How they really can make us happy. How eliminating clutter and all those things "I might use" someday can free up possessions we aren't willing to part with and allow us an opportunity to bring them out and spotlight them in our daily lives. I feel this to be so true, and found that as I was finally forcing myself to go through things (some just needed consolidation, like Christmas decorations). I also did yet another clean out of my clothes closet and found something like 20 vintage dresses that I'm going to try to sell online for a few bucks. I've noticed that as I "grow up" (??!!), my style is gravitating toward a more classic, timeless look. I want good quality clothes I can spend years wearing (hello consignment shops, my new friends, not so much thrift shops anymore). Think Ann Taylor meets Banana Republic meets Target/Old Navy meets vintage-inspired indie clothing makers whose wares somehow end up in funky consignment shops. I still have a handful of vintage, but most of that stuff I was holding on to because I didn't want to just not make any money from it. I can't believe how much I've pared down my entire wardrobe over the last few years. I also put away the handful of sweaters I own and brought out all the summer dresses :-)

I say this with every move, but I am lighter than ever on the STUFF. Over the past years, I've gotten better and better about much more out than in. I don't mean to become a monk, of course, but I have met this goal I've kind of become friends with along the way. Looking at my high school and college year photos (before tossing 90 percent of them), I realize what a pack rat I used to be. Things are so much different now. It feels GREAT.

On Monday, I'll be calling the realtor that was recommended to us who will help us find a house to rent. I'm really, really excited that my amazing MIL is going to pay for MOVERS. All we'll have to do is pack and take our pets and my vintage pyrex and drive four hours northwest.

I have finally decided, amongst all this physical decluttering, to mentally declutter as well. Goodbye, Facebook (I've heard this is a process so it may take a while). Yes, for real, for good. I've reached out to those people I would like to continue corresponding with in real time, and yeah. I've had enough with "having" to check the clogged-up-with-distractions feed every day. I'm definitely keeping the blog. I feel that it inspires me and connects me in a deeper way with like-minded women whom I am constantly learning from. I apply so many ideas in my everyday life. Facebook is too surface-only for me. I crave deeper connections, both with close friends and the friends who I've been interested with on there. I'm also hoping to make new friends (in reality) where we are headed next. I do not think my life will be hurt by getting rid of one of what is now dozens of social media platforms. I'm also going to eliminate a few other bad online habits in favor of :: outdoor exercise, yoga, and swimming (I've been going several times a week now and I'm over a half a mile, headed toward the mile!), knitting, and reading. I still want to break into sewing at some point but that's not clear yet when. Also, writing more letters and sending little care packages to friends, as well as seeing friends in everyday life. I'm a serious homebody/introvert but I think the occasional lunch out or hosting a potluck dinner, or heading to knitting night ... those are good things for me.

In the past couple of weeks I've finished two projects, the shawl you saw earlier and a cowl for a wonderfully inspiring blog friend in Canada who is facing some challenging times in her family. Then I have two more shawls to finish that have been languishing forever.

The menu plans are already getting lighter. Last night, I made a meatloaf with pastured pork and bacon, and a ton of kale and spinach. Alongside a HUGE salad of wild arugula dressed simply with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Yes, it was Paleo. Tonight's dinner will also be paleo -- spaghetti squash "pasta" with sausage link pieces, and marinara sauce. Just the way it worked out in the menu plan. I'm excited that everyday smoothie days are returning. Had a lovely green one today along with the prenatal vitamins I've started taking.

I hope that spring is making you happy and energetic wherever you are and that you are taking advantage of that sunshine in whatever way suits you best!! I had a lovely 2.5 mile walk with the dog earlier.

have a beautiful week.


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