Friday, July 07, 2023

The Return of the Fireflies

In the midst of a drought, we finally began to experience rain showers from time to time. We even welcomed the storms, praying they did not become severe, to water the parched earth.  The crops have been very thirsty.

I loved July as a child and teenager.  It was a magical month starting with Independence Day and ending about the time of my birthday.  I always looked forward to the return of the ditch lilies (now with the more refined name of day lilies) as well as the most magical part of the month... the fireflies.

I had read that there are fewer fireflies than there once was and I find that to be true this year for us.  The forest is usually lit up once the sun goes below the horizon and the little lights appear even on our porch.  This year there are far less than usual and I'm wondering if it is due to the heavy smoke from the Canadian fires.  (How I feel for you in Canada, I have been praying!)

The air quality here was borderline hazardous many days.  Both my husband and my son had to stay in air conditioning and my son had to purchase an extra portable air purifier since he has asthma and seems to have inherited his father's environmental allergies.

I didn't have the problem being outside that they did but each decade that has gone by, heat and humidity are more annoying.  I remind myself that the corn fields especially need hot weather and I feel all warm (literally) and cozy when I drive past those fields as I take the long way home.  I expect it is something akin to how those people who grew up by the ocean feel when they spend time near the sand and waves. 

I still enjoy spending mornings on the front porch with the container garden and a cat named Mouse.  Even I played it safe and didn't sit on the porch during the worst of the air quality alerts but they have cleared for now.  When the morning is young, the birds of all kinds are singing in the forest and while sitting in the tall trees near our house.  The bugs are mostly not awake, yet.  A very good combination, along with cooler temperatures in the morning.

I had a very good doctor's check up and I continue to feel much better than earlier this year.  My insulin challenges seem to be resolved for now. I have three months of pens for both types of insulin.  Apparently, insulin is a very good thing and keeps us alive but our bodies require us to use the same insulin they are used to or there can be trouble.

I mostly stick close to home because everything I need is within a couple miles of our house.  However, once a month I drive to the part of town that has the antique mall for my eye injection. As long as I am not tired already, I stop by the antique mall and it is good to walk around and enjoy looking at vintage and antique items.  Quite often I find something small to add more of a vintage feel and or/beauty to the house. 

Recently, I found a small Longenberger basket for $10.00.  It was made to hang against the wall or on a peg.  It was just what I needed to place between the dried Sweet Annie swags on the long peg board my daughter had given me.  It holds bittersweet and yes... that is more autumnal... but those colors look good in that room.

Speaking of my daughter, she purchased pretty flowers for her daughter's high school graduation party and the photos reminded me how much I like the mini carnations.  I purchased a bouquet of them in the coral shade at Kroger and that filled a vase, a vintage blue Ball jar, and two small "vases" on my kitchen windowsill.  

Their pops of color in my already colorful kitchen make me smile and are worth far more than the small amount I paid for them.  The mini carnations last a very long time, too. I think they look like small roses.

I am not a trained interior designer like my daughter but we both share a love for making homes comfortable and beautiful.  It makes me happy when people walk into our home and feel relaxed right away.  I couldn't do that professionally like she does.  It would place too much pressure on getting everything perfect for other people's taste instead of just mine.  

I'm still reading the books I mentioned the last blog post.  Mainly because in the summer, I have never read as many books as I do in cooler weather.  I have enjoyed simple living and decorating vlogs on YouTube to counter the few prepper vlogs I still listen to from time to time.  

I continue to listen to Prepper Dawg quite often as he purposely keeps his videos short and while he comments on various headlines, he tries to keep everything as light as possible.  He often lets his two cute dogs say hello.  I listen to others according to what they will be talking about in that video.

I have watched Larry Alex Taunton on Wednesday evenings on the NRB Channel for many years. First with the Fixed Point Foundation programs and later with the video of the podcast he had with a woman that I enjoyed very much. It ended when he was in Europe the first few months of this year.  

He has a new podcast that one can listen to or watch on YouTube called Ideas Have Consequences with Larry Alex Taunton. I have found it very beneficial to understand the history of socialism and what is happening in the world today.  It is especially good for people who enjoy history and he is an excellent communicator.  Not boring at all!

I have been writing while my husband was visiting our long time friends that I have spoken of before.  They are Jewish and we are Christian, they are very liberal and we are... not.  However, we have been friends since we were neighbors in the late 1990s.  They have turned their backyard into a garden and had vegetables to share.  I will always accept free organic veggies! He has just returned home so there are vegetables to wash right away.

I pray that you all have a wonderful summer (winter for our friends in Australia, New Zealand, etc.) and I hope to have read a few more books when I write again.  I have quite a few parked on the Kindle.

The world continues to get crazier each day but we can rest assured that Jesus wins.  I have read the last chapter of the Book.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

 Prepper Dawg on YouTube... here.

Ideas have Consequences on YouTube... here.

Image:  This photo was taken long ago but it is still a favorite from when I used to have quiet times on the deck.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Importance of Beauty While Recovering

I am sorry for the delay in writing another blog post. Quite often "Blog Post" was written in my Planner and just as often, it had to be put off for another day.  Sometimes I was too tired while other weeks took me away from home more than I had planned.

I now understand how many of my favorite bloggers could seem to fall off the face of the earth after a long time blogging.  It is far easier than I would have thought when there is a change in circumstances.  

My son-in-law reminded me at Thanksgiving, when I told my family that it was time for me to stop blogging regularly, that I always said I would stop blogging when I no longer had anything to say.  In addition to further fatigue, that is what happened more and more.  The words that so often circled my thinking during the week were not there as often.  

It was time to slow down although I never intended to stop popping in to say hello more often than I have.  I have mentioned that I spent New Year's Day in the emergency room but I was quite ill for a few months after that as my blood sugar was no longer stabilized.  I not only could not write, I found it too difficult to sit at my desk for at least two of those months. However, I began to have more good days than bad days over time.

I have learned all over again how to appreciate the small things of life.  Those gifts that I know are from God such as noticing the deer when they are in the backyard. Since I no longer have a garden, I can enjoy their beauty instead of worrying about them eating my vegetables.

I don't know what it is about the greens growing up around our back fence but the deer find it absolutely delicious.  There is a look on their face similar to mine when a lovely meal has been set before me.  They usually do not know how to get out of my yard and back into the forest but it seems a small price to pay for their salad.

Last week, I was driving one of the roads just inside the city limits when I had to stop as a mother duck and numerous baby ducks lined up behind her in a straight row crossed the road.  Such a gift from God to be there at that very moment and when there were few cars so the ducks were safe.

Although, sometimes I do not always appreciate the nature that comes calling.  I heard a sound on the porch after midnight recently and when I turned on the porch light, there were two of the cutest baby raccoons looking up at me from Mouse's bed on the porch bench. (Mouse was not amused.)

As I opened the front door, I saw that they were not twins but triplets.  Their mother was no where to be seen and these babies were not at all afraid of humans.   I went back inside and knocked on the window until they finally ran under the hedges to probably the side of the house.

I did thank God for letting me see them for I doubt I have ever noticed such cute faces in all of nature as those baby raccoons.  But they became a thorn in my flesh in the next few days as they seemed to be watching for when I put out Mouse's kibble and water.

Our battle was made worse when I fell off the porch when trying to pick up the kibble bowl they had somehow moved until it was on the ground.  I fell into the long row of hedges to the side of the porch. My husband thought I was seriously injured because I didn't move but as I told him later, I was trying to figure out how to undo myself from the hedges without doing further damage to them or to me.

Thankfully, I ended up with scrapes and I was quite stiff for a couple of days. When I messaged the kids for prayer, they insisted on having pizza and sandwiches delivered to us for dinner so I could rest.  I had already decided fixing dinner was not a possibility.  When I told them the dinner was delicious and almost worth falling off of the porch, my daughter-in-law requested that I just tell them I want pizza next time. I promised I would...

So, while my world is even smaller than usual right now. It certainly has periods of excitement.  My favorite time is in the morning, sitting in the rocking chair and enjoying the porch flower garden, the singing of the birds, and sometimes a breeze. On one morning when it was rather windy, I was reminded of the Holy Spirit coming as a mighty wind and felt His presence and the peace it brought there on the porch.  

God was not surprised by my further struggles with the two immune system diseases. Instead of a healing, they became more of a struggle.  However, I also know He was with me.  Last Christmas, I had set aside part of a cash Christmas gift to purchase flowers in late April or early May... according to the Spring temperatures.

I am so glad I did for the price of flowers, as with everything else, had gone up a great deal at our local nursery.  By saving part of that gift, I could have flowers on the porch and a few on the deck outside of my kitchen window.  God prepared me ahead of time for a blessing.

As the world grows darker, I think we must do what we can to purposely create beauty in our surroundings. I love the vintage items in my kitchen, almost all of them found at thrift stores and antique malls (and not the expensive stalls, either). Although collected over decades, they work together to make the house cozy.

This is already long enough but I will share a few books I have enjoyed recently, two on the Kindle and one a coffee table book with font big enough to read. I will list them below and highly recommend all three.

I hope to be back soon on one of my good days.  I do thank everyone who sent emails!

Books Recently Read

Teatime Discipleship by Sally Clarkson... here.  I pre-ordered this book months before it was published.  It is a beautiful book with Sally's stories regarding tea time with family and friends, photos of her home, and recipes for tea time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I keep it out on the coffee table in my family room to peruse from time to time.

Rembrandt is in the Wind: Learning to Love Art through the Eyes of Faith by Russ Ramsey... here.  I had heard many good things about this book but when my daughter recommended it, I knew I had to read it.  Russ Ramsey shares the stories behind great works of art in such a way that I have a renewed love for it.

Both of my children have been to the great art museums of Europe.  (They get their love of travel from their father.)  When allowed, they would share photos of the art on display... as well as photos of delicious meals.  Ramsey's book makes me want to stand in front of those amazing works of art, too.

Fire In His Bones:A  Collection of the Fifty Most Powerful Sermons of David Wilkerson... here.  This is the book that I am reading on my Kindle Paperwhite, which I keep in my purse.  It is easy to read one sermon at a time when I am waiting at a doctor's office.

I found out about this book before it was published because I still receive monthly newsletters from the ministry.  Sometimes they are written by Gary Wilkerson (David's son) and sometimes they are repeats of one of David's newsletters.  Most of the newsletters were taken from his sermons at his church, Time Square Church in New York.

Some call him a modern day prophet because he saw back in the 1970s exactly what is happening today.  He always declined that mantle, saying instead he was a "watchman on the wall" and much like the true prophet, Jeremiah, people did not like what he had to say.  However, these sermons remind us that God knew what was coming, He is watching over us, and that He really is in control.  

I love all three of these very different from each other books.  

Image:   Shady Patio (Don't you want to sit there and drink in the beauty?)

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Nature is awakening from a long winter's nap

Last week, our landscape looked like winter except for the daffodils blooming out by the fence line.  After an early heatwave began a few days ago, all of nature came alive... in a good and not scary way. 

I have always loved Easter even though I did not grow up in a church going family.  My love for Easter and for Christmas are equal but in different ways.  As with most Americans, the Christmas season begins in our family at Thanksgiving and is pretty much celebrated all of December.

The house is decorated during this darkest month of the year, the light brought inside with candles, the Christmas tree, and twinkle lights  Perhaps that is why Christmas causes me to think more inwardly as it is also the season of curling up with a throw, a cat, and a hot beverage to contemplate the birth of Christ.

On the other hand, since we did not attend a liturgical church, Easter was a week to reflect on the life, death, and the Resurrection of Jesus.  Easter day was usually filled with joyful celebration at church and then with a meal that was pretty much the same every year.

Now we were enjoying the return of days filled with longer hours of light, the rebirth of nature (albeit slower here than with my southern friends), and the renewal of the soul.  I often feel like winter is the time to slow down and reflect while spring is the gift God gives us when life returns.  A reflection of the Resurrection that was and a promise of the ultimate renewal to come.

Our Easter season was made more special this year when Stephanie, Elisabeth, and Faith arrived for a quick visit the weekend before Easter.  Faith was to meet the young woman who will be her roommate when she goes to college this fall.  (How is that even possible?) Since I was not able to attend Elisabeth's wedding, it was wonderful that she took time off of work to travel with them.

They returned to New England, stopping along the way home to visit David at his college, in time for Maundy Thursday services.  I was praying a lot that day for safe travels as storms were predicted along the way where they would be driving and where my son was flying back after a conference in the nation's capital.

The ladies arrived home safely, although they had to drive through very heavy rain along the way.  Christopher's flight was hit with severe turbulence and they landed in a thunderstorm. He travels a lot so when he said this was his worst flight ever, it had to be bad.

I had messaged him that there were tornadoes heading from Louisville to Cincinnati and it turns out he was flying over them on his route home. People wonder why I dislike flying. My daughter teases me about being a weather geek.  I blame growing up surrounded by farms and farmers.  Weather is usually a topic of conversation most of the year.

I wonder how much of a mother's prayer life revolves around praying for their children as they drive, fly, etc.?  

I hope your Easter was a good one.  My son and his wife hosted the meal this year and I made and baked the favorites we always serve on our side of the family.  My daughter-in-law's mom did the same thing and we have had joint celebrations long enough that I know what to anticipate at each gathering.  I don't know what is in that orange Jell-o stuff but it is delicious and worth taking extra insulin.

I am still dealing with low blood sugar attacks and consequently moving quite slow on many days.  My doctor has me checking my blood sugar before going to bed each night and eating a snack if necessary but even then, I have either plunged too low (which is extremely dangerous) or my blood sugar rose too much (which is frustrating).

We had a nice conversation at my check up last week about what a wonderful thing the pancreas is and how people take it for granted.  I don't know if he is a Christian but I do remind him that God created all of our parts to be quite amazingly sufficient when they work right. 

There is so much in this life that we do not understand and we have to trust His goodness.  God did not create our illnesses, they came as a result of the fallen world.  However, are you hearing... as Billy Graham titled a book... the approaching hoofbeats?

I am, every day they get louder and louder!  My husband and I were talking about the darkness in the world this morning. As an Eeyore kind of guy, he was saying this world is not one he recognizes, anymore.  He will be glad to leave it. I fully understand where he is coming from but I reminded him what the darkness is telling us... the soon return of Christ to set up His perfect kingdom.

I think prior to 2020, I could give mental assent to the soon return of Christ.  Everything looked like it could be fairly soon.  I would discuss pre-trib or mid-trib rapture with friends but it was something I still thought out in the distant future.  Everything changed in November of 2019 as new laws began to be made and decisions put in place that would change... everything.

We were talking this morning how we never... in a million years never... thought America could change this quickly.  Not to mention the entire world actually looking like we are near End Time wars.  The chessboard is already set in motion.

Why can we go through this time, while not wanting to suffer or have our children suffer in any way, still filled with joy and anticipation?  Because my friends, Aslan is on the move.  Can't you feel Him?  Can't you hear His roar in the distance, becoming closer each day?

Many years ago, I read about a woman who was filled with dread over the coming Tribulation.  So much that it was adversely affecting her life. Until she had a dream where she was looking at a ship's radar and noticed a tiny blip on the screen. She asked God what that blip was and He told her that was the Tribulation years.  Just the tiniest, hardly noticeable, blip on the radar.  She never feared End Times events again after she awoke from that dream.

I have a key chain that I purchased, one for me and one for my daughter, that is small but easily slipped onto my existing key chain.  It shows a favorite quote of Aslan... Courage, Dear Heart. It also has a separate tiny figure of Aslan that reminds me not only of a favorite character from literature but of the Lion of Judah.

As we walk through these coming months and years, what better advice can anyone give but from the Lion who came back to life because his enemy did not know the deeper magic (the Narnia magic) existed. Courage, dear heart.

Until next time...

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Narnia key chain... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

I'm Alive! Honest

When I announced at the beginning of the year that I will no longer be writing a post on a weekly basis, I never planned to go an entire month between posts.  This past month was a struggle to get anything accomplished.  The proof being that before I sat down at my desk to write, I realized four weeks have gone by since I wrote anything in my planner.

It is partly due to the remodel of our bathroom taking the first two weeks of the last month.  It was a project that should have been budgeted years ago but thankfully, no permanent damage was done by the bad pipes leaking into the crawl space.  I lived with a very ugly bathroom for seventeen years and now I cannot believe the difference.

Although we had the work done for the resale value of the house, it will be a joy to live with it until that time we sell the house.  Which may be a few years from now.  Even a remodel on a budget can be beautiful.

Even while the contractors were here, I wrote an outline of a pantry post I planned to write when they were finished.  As you can tell, that outline is still sitting on my desk. The two weeks after the work was complete were busy with appointments and other out-of-the-house commitments and I was so tired that my brain couldn't think to write.

Partly it is the intense fatigue that has become worse over the years.  However, even though I now have my long term insulin, the two months where I either didn't have it or I had to use a different long term insulin have left my blood sugar readings unstable.  I went from having extremely high numbers when I didn't have my usual insulin to now I have been dipping dangerously low.

I've been tweaking my before dinner insulin and I think I've figured out how much less than to take before dinner each night.  Thank God I do wake up when my blood sugar plunges to the 50s but it also means not getting a good night's sleep.  Which adds to the fatigue and the foggy thinking.  

Did you know that Alzheimer's is sometimes called Type 3 diabetes?  Type 2 is what most people have, Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes) is what I have, and now some doctors are calling various forms of memory loss Type 3.  That goes to show you the affect our blood sugar has on the brain.  (My daughter can refrain from saying anything.)  ;)

I'm feeling better now and while it still feels like winter off and on, the temperatures are ever so slowly creeping up.  If past seasons are any indication, we will jump from cold weather to hot weather almost overnight so I am not complaining.  Much.  ;)

I will be back with reflections on the crazy world we live in (we must keep our eyes on the Lord and not the news) and finally that pantry post.  Thank you to everyone who got in touch with me while I have been AWOL.  I appreciate it.  Especially since I am dreadfully behind on some thank you notes.  

I have company arriving soon so I must get the Study back to its' original order.  That is my plan for the next two days. The contractors used it to store most of the boxes (the door to the walk-in shower was in our Living Room for two weeks) and their tools.  

They cleaned up where they had been but the furniture and such is still bunched up on one side of the room where I had moved it.  They were very nice and did an excellent job but I cannot imagine what it would be like to go through a larger remodel, like a Kitchen.

See you next week I hope!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Checking in on a Saturday morning

I thought it best to write a quick hello rather than go through another week without a blog post.  I now understand why some bloggers who went from regular blogging to less blog posts eventually stopped blogging altogether.  It is amazing how quickly a couple weeks have passed when there is no definite publishing date.

As can happen when dealing with an older house, the contractor started work in our bathroom and found our original pipes to be in bad shape.  It is a very good thing we had this work done now for water was already dripping into our crawl space.

So, this meant two extra days while the guys replaced pipes in the crawlspace and pipes going into the bathroom.  We were not really surprised since we have had to replace pipes both going to the well and into the garage before.  In early winter, we started noticing water ponding in our front yard close to the main well pipe.  New pipes were installed there which will mean come warm weather, we have to have the lawn reseeded in that area.

At least the holes in the drywall have been repaired and the walls are prepped for painting.  The base and side of the shower are installed.  The box with the door in it still resides propped up next to the love seat in my living room.  Which is also why I was just able to moderate comments this morning from last week.  There have been boxes in the study making it difficult to get to my desk.  It is amazing how many pieces there are to plumbing projects.

However, the guys have been delightful to work with.  They are friendly and always clean up when they leave.  If they have to leave early, they explain why so we don't think they are not dong the job (we knew from the kitchen lighting project that sometimes there must be additional drying time in between the jobs).

Florentine is so used to their 8:00 arrival each morning that she was sitting on our bed by 7:30 this morning, waiting for us to move the kitty litter container and her kibble bowl in our room before shutting the door.  It took her awhile to realize they would not be here today so she can relax.

Being a smart cat, she can see that the bathroom is still not finished. They will return Monday morning and hopefully it will be completed in two days.  Barring no more surprises.

Since it has been rather loud a few hours at a time each day with sawing and pounding and hammering, I have been "reading" an Audible book.  I brought out the old (big) earphones to begin listening to Resilient by John Eldredge.   I had heard good things about the book so I used my last Audible credit (before unsubscribing for awhile) to get this book.  So far, I think it is excellent. It is just what I needed right now.

I love how he not only reads the book himself, but he adds comments to what is in the book.  It makes it so much more personal.  I know his book from many years ago called Wild at Heart was controversial because it talks about the difference between the way God made boys and men from girls and women.  Even in the Church there were many people who claimed it was sexist.

Actually, it was if you follow their definition but what it did for me at the time, with a boy just entering his teens, was to open my eyes to the need for boys to be... boys.  To encourage them as they pretend to be Knights defending fair maidens, soldiers winning the battle, protectors of small furry creatures (our two sister kitties at the time), etc.

I had raised a girl and that was easy because I could remember being that age.  A boy?  Not so much.  As a homeschooling mom who spent more time with her son than my husband, Wild at Heart helped me look at that strange male species from a Biblical perspective.  I highly recommend it, too, if like me... you believe there is a difference between boys and girls.

I hope to be back soon with some pantry ponderings.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Resilient by John Eldredge... here.

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge... here.

Disclaimer:  Mist links to are Associate links.

Image:  I cannot remember where I found this photo but it is so peaceful.

Friday, February 17, 2023

The process is called Swedish Death Cleaning, who knew?

I finally have both the time and energy to stop by and send out a hello.   January and February are usually slow months for us but they have been just the opposite this year. When I have been home, I have been working on projects as well as the usual cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.  I'm still behind on correspondence and such!

One thing that is normal from past years is that I like to use these post-Holiday winter months to "fluff the nest".  I often declutter, although this year it is taking on an entire new emphasis.  I also use this time to change some things around in the house like relocating some artwork to make it fresh, changing around some plants to other areas, moving photos from one room to another, etc.

Last year, I switched the larger vertical print of a woman in prayer to the opposite side of the dining area from where it had been since we moved into this house.  I hung it where there had been a large horizontal artwork and then hung that piece where the vertical print had been.  It has been a year and I'm still looking at how much I like the switch.  The vertical print is one of my favorites and it was in a place where I rarely saw it before the move.  It was a refreshed look for less than five minutes of work.

I have continued the files project, although it is on hold for a couple of weeks as a couple other projects call out to be completed.  As I write today, the Study is full of boxes and I have just enough room to walk to the desk and work on the computer.  We have a walk in shower being installed on Monday, replacing the very old 1960s era shower/tub in the bathroom.  After nearly falling a few times, it became a priority for safety reasons. 

I want to write more about world events and the pantry lifestyle soon.  That will have to wait until the installation is finished and the boxes are out of the Study.  They also have to replace the flooring as it will be scuffed up and they are going to paint the bathroom while they are here.

The files in the Study are pretty much sorted, kept or tossed, and are now easy to maintain.  I was able to get a good start on the "homeschooling drawer" in our small office but it is a slower process.  That project will be taken up again after the bathroom project is finished.  It takes time because more thought is needed about what to keep and what to toss.

My decluttering and getting rid of stuff project that I have been doing the past few years has a name and I didn't even know it.  You may remember that it is inspired when we realized what a burden it would be for our kids someday to 1) go through our stuff, and 2) sell the house with the much needed updates still undone.

So, we have budgeted every extra dollar to fixing and updating the house.  It is a good, solid, and even attractive small house but it was built in the 1960s so... and I can relate personally... it needs some work.    Our goal is that when we need to sell the house, there will be no surprise expenditures for our family.

As for the organizational part of the fluffing, I found out there is a name for what I have been doing for years (and getting really serious about it this past year).  There is even a book about the process called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.  

Now, I know it sounds morbid but it isn't at all.  It's basically that the questions we ask ourselves about what to keep or give away change as we grow older. The recommendation is that once people arrive at retirement age (approx. 65 years old), they change the way they look at keeping and getting rid of stuff based on if they will still be using the objects and/or if anyone would want it after they are gone (or just retiring to a small place).

I haven't read the book, yet, although I plan to soon.  It is small and it is supposed to be an enjoyable read about how the author went through this process in her own home.  However, there are really good YouTube videos about the process that I have watched in the past couple of months.  It was enjoyable to find out there is actually a name already for what I have been wanting to accomplish.  

Now, I have been doing this a little at a time for many years now but I'm just taking it to another level.  For instance, I inherited a complete set of Victorian era china from my mother-in-law, I collect brown transferware china, I still have the Everyday Lenox I used when both kids were home, and I have the inexpensive dishes I use everyday since there are just the two of us at home.

I did have a set of Noritake wedding china but after having a discussion with my daughter and daughter-in-law a couple years ago, I knew to keep all the china except the Noritake.  It seems no one in the family was interested in 1970s wedding china except me.  So, off it went to Goodwill where someone will find it and love it.  

That is what this process is about, let go of what no one would want when we are no longer here... then... keep what means a lot to you or you know someone will want it and yes, I still collect brown transferware because it makes my heart sing! Otherwise, I rarely purchase thrifted china.  Well, there were those two teacups that were part of the Queen Mother collection... but I digress.

One way of managing "stuff" that I have done for a few years now, too, is that when I purchase something new (to me) for the house, something goes to Goodwill or another charity.  The above photo shows the vintage scale I bought at the antique mall.  

I have wanted such a scale for that spot for at least three or four years.  I had seen them in magazine photos and homemaking videos. I finally found one that I loved and was a price I could afford.  There had been a few cookbooks at that spot so I went through my cookbooks and got rid of a few I knew I would not use, anymore.  That made room on the shelves for the cookbooks that had been in that place.

I will never be a minimalist!  There will be plenty of stuff to go to family or thrift stores when I go to my Heavenly Home... which will be perfect!  Part of the process is having those things around me that makes my heart sing without it looking cluttered.  Of course, what I think does not looked cluttered may not be what another person thinks but I am the one who lives here.

My home is my personal Goshen where I feel comfortable, where my relationship with God can grow, where what surrounds me is what I find beautiful. I'm old enough now that it doesn't matter what other people think about my decorating style or what stuff I display.  Each of our homes should be a reflection of us and not a place where we display stuff we think would impress other people.

Of course, I do share this home and mostly I take into account what my husband likes.  Mostly.  Except when he is absolutely wrong.  ;)  He does not like the vintage yellow kitchen scale.  As a former engineer, he doesn't get having anything in the kitchen that you do not plan to use for its' original purpose.

However, he is on board with the process of getting rid of stuff we do not need and the kids will not want.  Which is on the level of a miracle as he is a bit of a hoarder with paper stuff and garage stuff. He keeps what he thinks he may need someday but I reminded him that we do not need a dozen (or two) Amazon boxes.

I plan to be back in probably a little over a week or so.  Hopefully!

Mentioned in this Blog Post

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning book... here.

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Image:  The camera takes very blurry photos at times!