Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Inspiration: Love People

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: October 19, 2017

I have a nice long list of blessings today.  Partly because I never got around to posting a list for last week.  Mostly because there's just been a lot of things to be thankful for recently!

I Am Thankful For:

The grand kid had a good week at school
Fixing the Male Offspring's guitar cost less than expected
A hike up Max Patch
The Man of the House's birthday
Falling asleep to the sound of pouring rain
The Male Offspring had an interview
Starting a new book
The Female Offspring got a new job
Going to bed early
Words of wisdom
Hiking at Bent Creek
A new fridge
Cinnamon gummy bears
Cooler weather
Maple Pecan latte

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This and That and a Few Other Things

Ever feel like you have a LOT to say, then when the time comes to actually say it...  crickets... ? 

No?  Just me?  C'mon now.  I know I can't be the only one.  Well, whether I'm one in a million - or not - that's me recently.  I always think I have so very much to write about until I sit down at the computer with a blank post screen in front of me.

We've been doing a hike pretty much every Saturday this month.  And I'm loving it!

Weekend before last we went up to Max Patch.  The Male Offspring even went with us!  If you've never been, let me just warn you - it is quite a climb up to the top!  And this ol' asthmatic gal was huffing and puffing most of the way.  Be prepared.  I can assure you, however - that it is WELL worth the work!  It is amazingly beautiful!  They said we would have 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.  We were not disappointed!  Words simply do not do it justice.

Afterward, because it was the Man of the House's birthday weekend - we went to listen to some live music, eat dinner and relax for a while at Sierra Nevada Brewing.  (hint: try the Hop and Sour!)Followed by dessert at Baked Pie Company.

This past weekend the Man of the House and I stayed a little closer to home.  We started at the Hard Times Loop Trail head, walked down the NC Arboretum property, down Bent Creek Trail and back.  That's a nice easy hike if you're looking for one in the area.

In other news...

We got a new fridge.  The old one was about 24 years old.  I know!!  Can you believe it?  But it just kept chugging along.  Recently it started freezing a lot of items in the fridge area, so when we saw a good deal on one in the Lowe's clearance area we snapped it up.

I made a cute little no-sew valance for my dining room using Pioneer Woman napkins I picked up at the Walmart.

And my mantel is finally FALLified  (sure, that's a word)

I think  that's about all I have to say for now.  Although I'll probably think of about a dozen more things once I shut down the computer. 

How's life been treating you so far this month?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: October 4

I Am Thankful For:
Discovering a deer staring at me from across the yard
A spiderweb glistening in the sun
Apple pie baked by the female offspring
Finding a new doctor I like
Hiking with the Man of the House
A new Fitbit
The family getting together for Sunday football

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Currently... October 2017

October and November are my two favorite months of the year.  Maybe because fall is my favorite season and these are its peak months.  Maybe because during these two months the Man of the House and I both have birthdays and we celebrate out anniversary.  Maybe because of Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Or because it's the calm before the holiday whirlwind begins.  It's probably a combination of ALL those things!

Reading:  My reading slowed down a little in September.  I finished Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, which I didn't start out liking very much - but ended up enjoying much more than expected.   Since then I have been reading  The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford.  Despite being a little dry and slow going in some parts, it has been quite interesting to see the important role of women in the leadership of the Mongol empire (a historical period I admittedly don't know much about).  Unfortunately, the book had to be returned and had another hold waiting which prevented me from renewing it, so I am having to wait to complete it.  Until then I am reading The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.  I had plans to read The Boleyn King by Laura Anderson last month, but my hold didn't become available until today.  So, that's next up on the October TBR list.

I am also still working my way through She's Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst with the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study.  Oh my goodness gracious.  Just...  So, SO good!!

Eating:  *sigh*...  Here we go again.  Honestly, I haven't been eating a ton of bad stuff.  But I haven't exactly been healthy either.  The Man of the House and I are planning to work on that this month.  So, hopefully I'll have something that's not completely embarrassing to report at the beginning of November.

Working On:  You think I'm going to say "washcloths", dont' you?  I don't blame you.  That has been the answer for months and months.  But I am happy to say that NO, I am not currently working on washcloths.  I finally completed my big wholesale order and have moved on.  Right now the popular item seems to be tiger hats.

Enjoying:  Some pleasant fall temperatures. Finally!!  I was so over all those 80+ degree days.  I'm ready for some boot and sweater weather.  I'm such a fall girl.  Seriously.

Anticipating:  Celebrating the Man of the House's birthday this weekend.  And hopefully some more autumn hikes.  I'd like to take the grand kid to an apple orchard for some fall fun also.

Feeling:  hmmm... that's quite a good question.  I haven't really given it much real thought recently.  Which I suppose is a good thing.  If I cant' complain, I must be doing pretty well.  So, there ya go!

The week has just begun and October is already looking like a wonderful month for me!  How is your October currently looking?

Monday, October 2, 2017

When You Need A Breath of Fresh Air

The Man of the House and I are trying... trying... to get back on track with healthier habits.   He's always much better about it than I am.  Honestly, if it weren't for his encouragement I would quite possibly be a giant couch potato who existed on Cheetos and ice cream.

Part of those healthier habits is moving more.  An area where I seriously lack motivation and discipline.  So, last week when he asked if I wanted to go for a hike on Saturday, I knew I should say yes.   The weather was supposed to be cooler and sunny and I could use a little fresh air and sunshine -  so, I jumped at the chance.  Plus...  who wouldn't want to be alone in the woods with this handsome guy?

We headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Craven Gap Trail.  The website where I was looking at local hiking trails listed this as an "Easy" hike.  Um... I disagree.  I personally believe it should be rated as closer to moderate.  But, no one asked me.


There isn't much fall color change going on around here yet. But there were some pretty late summer wildflowers around.

There's a little cave alongside the trail.  Did I explore closer?  No, I did not!  Who knows what might be living in there?  (probably nothing being so close to the trail)

We found a nice rock-face where we sat to eat our picnic lunch.  And found a patch of prickly pear cactus.  Who knew that was growing wild in the mountains of western North Carolina?  Not me!

And we had a nice view while we enjoyed our food.  Bonus!!

On the way home we stopped off at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center because neither one of us has ever been there.  We also made another stop at Highland Brewing Company where we relaxed with a cold beverage for a bit.

A nice way to spend a sunny Autumn Saturday afternoon!

Friday, September 29, 2017

It's Friday... right?

I feel as if it has been both the longest week and the shortest week all at the same time.  I can't explain why it feels that way.  It's not as if anything especially drastic, or terrible, or exciting has happened.  It's just been one of those weeks.

I went and had my flu shot yesterday.  So... yay, me!  Today I'm feeling a little tired and headachy.  And  my arm is sore.  You know, typical post-flu-shot type stuff.

I'm going to take a moment and complain just a little.  I am pretty much sick and tired of this heat.  It's almost October.  I'm ready for some sweater weather already!  However the temperatures this week have been in the 80s.  Thanks global warming.  : /

Fortunately, that is all supposed to change.  Tomorrow is only supposed to be in the low 70s and gorgeous.  With overnight lows in the 40s and  highs in the 60s on Sunday.  Yippee!!

I hope each of you has a wonderful weekend. See you in October!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 21

It's been a week of contrasts.  A balance of the good with the maybe-not-so-good.  The leaves are starting to change (good) , but the temperatures have felt more like July than September (maybe-not-so-good).  I finished a huge wholesale order (good), which kept me up very late and deprived me of sleep (maybe-not-so-good).  The Male Offspring got a job offer (good), but getting all his paper work completed so he can start has been one challenge after another (maybe not so good).

These are the times when attitude is everything.  You can focus either on the good or the maybe-not-so-good.  Where you decide to direct your focus can affect everything around you.  If you select the good, you will see more and more good.  If you look more at the maybe-not-so-good, you're going to notice a whole lot of maybe-not-so-good.  This can affect your mood, your attitude, your productivity, how you treat others - and more.  

I choose to be intentional about looking at the good.  Which will you choose?

I Am Thankful For:
Dinner and a movie with the Man of the House
The Male Offspring was offered a job
The Panthers win 2 in a row
The grand kid drawing a picture of his uncle

Putting out my autumn home decorations
Silly pets
The first signs of fall color

Finally finishing a huge order
Having the Female Offspring and the grand kid over for dinner
The Male Offspring asking us to watch a movie with him

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

20 Joyful Fall Activities

I know fall doesn't officially start until Friday, but I am all kinds of ready for the season!  This is my favorite time of year, y'all!  To celebrate, I've put together a list of some of my favorite autumn activities - which I plan to enjoy to the fullest.  Which will you be participating in this year?

20 Joy-filled Autumn Activities
  1. Make pumpkin muffins
  2. Read outside
  3. Go for a hike
  4. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte
  5. Make a big pot of chili
  6. Watch a football game 
  7. Paint your nails a fall color
  8. Decorate the front door for fall
  9. Eat candy corn 
  10. Burn cinnamon apple and/or pumpkin spice candles and wax melts 
  11. Go for a scenic drive to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage
  12. Take pictures of the fall colors
  13. Watch a scary movie
  14. Wear a comfy sweater and the perfect pair of boots
  15. Decorate the mantle with autumn touches
  16. Drink warm spiced apple cider
  17. Walk through crunchy fallen leaves
  18. Made a delicious soup in the crockpot
  19. Snuggle under a blanket with a cup of tea and read a book on a chilly afternoon
  20. Celebrate my birthday in style

(Later in the season, I'll be sharing an update post of how I experienced many of these fun fall activities)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 14

I Am Thankful For:

The start of football season
The Panthers starting the season with a win
A beautiful weekend before the storm
The Man of the House's relatives in Florida are safe
The storm wasn't too bad when it moved through here
Late nights
Rainy afternoons
Sleeping in a little later
An unexpected day with the grand kid

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 7, 2017

Eeeekk!!  This week is getting away from me.  I didn't even think about today being Thursday and needing to get a gratitude list posted.  Maybe I'm enjoying the beautiful fall-ish weather we've been having a little too much...  

I Am Thankful For:

The Man of the House coming home from his business trip
Making a cake with the grand kid
Grand kid sleepovers
A Labor Day weekend cookout
Chilly mornings
Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Friday, September 1, 2017

Currently... September 2017

September has arrived.  It's almost Fall, y'all!!

Reading:  I did quite a bit of reading in August .  And read some really good books!  After completing My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry and A Man Called Ove , Fredrik Backman has joined my list of favorite authors. I can't wait to read more of his work!  

I just finished Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - a fictionalized story based on the shocking real life Tennessee Children's Home Society (an organization headed by Georgia Tann which often lied or otherwise tricked birth parents into surrendering their children for adoption.  Even going so far as to kidnap children, or steal newborns while the mother was still under labor anesthesia, later telling them that their babies had died in childbirth.  She then charged adoptive parents exorbitant fees.  It was a terrible story, and a very good book.  Any novel which leaves me wanting to know more about the real life events on which was based is a good book in my opinion! 

Now I'm on to Then We Came to the End  by Joshua Ferris and The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen.  
My non-fiction this month is She's Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst.  I will also be participating in the Proverbs 31 Ministries on-line Bible study based on this book.  

Eating:  Ugh...  maybe I should just stop including this section. It's honestly getting embarrassing to have to admit month after month how terrible I have been eating.  Of course, the easy remedy would be to just start eating better.  But...  

Working On:  I'll give you one guess.  Did you say "washcloths"?  dingdingdingding  You got it!  It seems as if the stream of washcloth orders is never ending.  I also have a newborn football cocoon set to  work on.  

Enjoying:  The feeling I got from doing some good by giving blood yesterday.

Anticipating:  The best thing I am anticipating is that my handsome husband gets home from New York today!  It's only been a few days, but I've missed him bunches.

Feeling:  A little overwhelmed by the "free" time I seem to have during the day now that the grand kid is in kindergarten and I'm not watching him while his mom is at work.  Right now, I have had enough work to keep me busy and occupied.  If things start to slow down, I'm considering finding a knit and crochet group or something to join.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: August 31

It has been a tough week for many people in our country.  My heart breaks for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.  As we see image after image of the sadness, suffering, and loss - it can sometimes make us feel guilty to take time for counting our own blessings.  But it shouldn't.  We can have empathy for others while still appreciating the good things in our lives.  I feel that, if anything, it should make us appreciate them even more than usual.

I Am Thankful For
My family
Stinky workout clothes
The first day of kindergarten
Coffee date with the female offspring
Good books
Early to rise
Late August days that feel like fall
Orange juice

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: August 24, 2017

It's been a quiet week.  I've been trying to enjoy my last few days of baby sitting the grand kid before he starts kindergarten next week.  I'm so excited that the weather is supposed to cool down over the weekend.  And my mind has turned to pumpkin spice lattes and decorating for fall.

I Am Thankful For:
Grilled cheese
Getting work completed
Pre-season football
The solar eclipse
The male offspring making ugly (but yummy) cupcakes
The cat and the dog playing together
A forecast for cooler weather

Monday, August 21, 2017

Out Numbered

I grew up in a house full of women.  I was the oldest of three girls. At some point my poor father must have felt as if he were drowning in estrogen.  Probably when he had 3 teenage daughters! Can you imagine?? 

I can't say that I have it that bad.  But I did realize the other day that for the first time in my entire life I am living in a house full of males.

The boys have outnumbered the girls in our home for several years.  But I never really recognized that until now.  I guess maybe because until last winter I always had at least one other female around.  Now it's just me and my guys.

Even the dog and the cat are both males!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dogs and Chasing Rabbits

It's been a good week - despite being one of those weeks when I feel as if I have been very busy and getting not much done. 

I was actually going to say something about how I've been working like a dog this week.  But then I took a look at these two doing what they typically do and decided perhaps that phrase really isn't accurate...

Which also got me thinking that maybe the phrase "a dog's life" isn't all that accurate either; as most of the dogs I know live a pretty pampered existence.  

I chased that thought right down the rabbit trail to considering how dog's are also fairly grateful creatures.  Showing joy and thanks for every scrap of food, every bit of attention, every walk, every time you walk back in the door.   Maybe we could learn something from the dogs...

Relax more.  Be grateful.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: August 17, 2017


An Etsy order which will be going to Norway!
Having my dad over to dinner for his birthday
The Male Offspring going back to classes
Being able to rend his books for about 1/4 what it would cost to buy
Dog sitting the grand kid's pet
Early morning trips to the gym
Baby deer in the backyard

The Man of the House making popcorn for me
Potato salad
Finding cotton scrubby yarn
A trip to Barnes and Noble
Iced coffee

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

25 Things You Can Declutter TODAY (without guilt or regret)

As many of you know, my One Word for this year is Simplify.  Part of my process for this year has been to begin simplifying what I own.  In other words - decluttering.  It has been a slow, off again - on again kind of a thing for me.  But over the past 7 and a half months there are a few things I have come to realize I can donate or dispose of easily and without guilt. 

On those days when you feel a little overwhelmed with where to begin or that you just can't face some deep cleaning type decluttering - having a list like this can help you keep making forward progress in some form.

  1. Old Magazines:  If you haven't read them by now, you aren't going to.  Drop them in the recycling bin!
  2. Old Cosmetics:  You're not wearing them for a reason.  And there's a good chance they've expired by now.  Toss 'em!
  3. Unread Books:  If it's been sitting on your nightstand for months and months - you're likely never going to read it.  If you change your mind, you can check it out from the library. 
  4. VHS and Audio Cassette Tapes:  You probably don't even have a way to play these anymore. 
  5. Accessories for Cell Phones you  no longer use:  Cases, head sets, charging cords, etc.  If you don't use the phone - you don't need the extras for it.
  6. Stretched out Hair Elastics, bent Bobby Pins and Broken Clips: If you're like me you have a whole bunch of these in a drawer or box somewhere.  Probably mixed in with all the ones that actually function.  I don't know what we're saving them for.  
  7. Lids to Food Storage Containers that have no matching container:  I know... you think you'll find the match eventually.  Trust me - you won't
  8. Like wise... Food Storage Containers with no matching lid.
  9. Unused toiletries:  The ones you received as a gift and never use.  The cute little bottles you brought home from that hotel on your last vacation.  Samples.
  10. Old Nail Polish:  Is it a color you never wear?  Thick?  Has it separated?  Toss it and treat yourself to a bottle of a cute new color!
  11. Recipe Books You Never Use:  If you suddenly discover you wanted a certain recipe, you can probably find it online. 
  12. Treats Your Pet Won't Eat:  Is someone else in the house going to eat it?
  13. Any Expired Food in your Pantry, Cabinet, Fridge or Freezer:  Expired food?  'Nuf said...
  14. Expired medications:  Just be sure you dispose of them correctly!!  Check out the FDA GUIDELINES
  15. Paper or Plastic BagsWhat are you saving them for?  You're gonna get more...
  16. Scraps of Wrapping Paper:  Do you ever really use all those little leftover pieces?
  17. Socks with No Matches:  I'm marking this one "Note to Self".  I keep a mesh bag of mismatched socks thinking the partner will show up someday.  Probably time to give it up.
  18. And while you're at it:  Any Socks with holes in them.  
  19. Or - Tights with Runs
  20. Video or Computer Games the kids have outgrown or you don't play anymore:  Lots of places have buy back programs where you can get some credit toward new ones!  Or give them to a friend with younger kids who will enjoy them. 
  21. Old Prescription Eyeglasses:  Donate them!  Many eye glass providers have collection boxes, or contact your local Lions Club for information
  22. Packets of Anything that came with a take out order:  ketchup, salt, soy sauce, etc...
  23. Old Planners or Calendars:  Do you think you might need to know what you were doing on an exact day a year or more ago?  
  24. Old Herbs and Spices:  That bottle of seasoning you bought for that one recipe that you made that one time?  It's gotta go.
  25. Pens and Pens:  I am the worst for this!  I have a pretty serious pen addiction, and it would be embarrassing for both of us if I told you how many pens I have in my house right now.  (Whatever you're thinking - it's more than that)  Keep a few of your favorites and get rid of the rest.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Spirit of Gratitude: August 10

It's been a good week here in my little world.  The temperatures have been nice and comfortable, and we had some good soaking rains.  I've made it to the gym a few mornings (thanks to the Man of the House).  And there's been plenty to be thankful for!

I Am Thankful For:
Funny auto-correct errors
The Male Offspring baking
The Male offspring's "new" car
Dinner at White Duck Taco Shop
A happy dog

Waking up to the sound of rain
Rainy Mondays
New ideas for my shop
An evening at the ball field

What are you thankful for this week?


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