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.
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:
Getting work completed
The solar eclipse
The male offspring making ugly (but yummy) cupcakes
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.
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...
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.
Old Magazines: If you haven't read them by now, you aren't going to. Drop them in the recycling bin!
Old Cosmetics: You're not wearing them for a reason. And there's a good chance they've expired by now. Toss 'em!
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.
VHS and Audio Cassette Tapes: You probably don't even have a way to play these anymore.
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.
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.
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
Like wise... Food Storage Containers with no matching lid.
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.
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!
Recipe Books You Never Use: If you suddenly discover you wanted a certain recipe, you can probably find it online.
Treats Your Pet Won't Eat: Is someone else in the house going to eat it?
Any Expired Food in your Pantry, Cabinet, Fridge or Freezer: Expired food? 'Nuf said...
Expired medications: Just be sure you dispose of them correctly!! Check out theFDA GUIDELINES
Paper or Plastic Bags: What are you saving them for? You're gonna get more...
Scraps of Wrapping Paper: Do you ever really use all those little leftover pieces?
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.
And while you're at it: Any Socks with holes in them.
Or - Tights with Runs
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.
Old Prescription Eyeglasses: Donate them! Many eye glass providers have collection boxes, or contact your local Lions Club for information
Packets of Anything that came with a take out order: ketchup, salt, soy sauce, etc...
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?
Old Herbs and Spices: That bottle of seasoning you bought for that one recipe that you made that one time? It's gotta go.
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.
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!
The Man of the House and I have been hearing about White Duck Taco Shop for what must be a couple of years now. It's been one of those "we need to go try it out sometime" things that we've never gotten around to actually doing. We never seemed to be on that side of town or don't think about it when we are over that way.
So, when we found out that at new location had opened on our end of town - we knew we'd be making a visit. Probably sooner, rather than later. This past Saturday was that day.
Who ever selected the site for this newest location is a genius. It's right beside the high school (I don't want to even try to stop for dinner on a Friday night during football season! It's gonna be packed!) There's seating available inside and out, with the outside tables having plenty of natural shade so you don't roast in the sun. They have a cute little display full of - you guessed it! - white ducks. (The plastic kind)
We shared a side of queso and chips. Yummy stuff. But there's only so much you can say about queso and chips. It's kind of hard to mess that one up.
I selected a black bean and cheese taco as well as a buffalo chicken taco. The buffalo chicken was tasty, but in my humble opinion it could have been a little hotter. Truth be told - I think I liked the black bean better. Simple, but delicious!
The Man of the House had the fish taco and (I think) the black bean. He was quite pleased with the fish taco.
The Male Offspring enjoyed two steak and cheddar. He said it was really good - but, sadly, he was appalled that I was taking pictures of our food and refused to let me get one of his.
There are so many interesting choices available on the menu and we want to try almost all of them. It was a great experience, and I can definitely say we will be back!
It's only Thursday, but it feels as if it has been a full week already. The Man of the House was in San Diego on business for 3 days, and I took advantage of that time to do some major decluttering and reorganizing of my wardrobe. I still need to finish my handbags and shoes. But I am very pleased with the progress I have made so far!
I Am Thankful For
A break in the heat
Mailing out orders
Safe travels for the Man of the House
The grand kid is feeling better
No one else has gotten his stomach bug
The male offspring making handmade pimento cheese
Clean and organized drawers
The Man of the House is home!
Once August arrives, the entire rest of the year seems to just fly right on by. Today, it may currently be August 1st, but next thing we know I'll be posting about the holidays coming up and we'll be wondering where the time went. Well, I plan to take things as slow as possible and really be in the moments instead of anticipating the rest of this year away. Who's with me? Let's start by pausing to look at what we're doing and how we're feeling right now!
Reading: I'm finally finishing up Issac's Storm by Erik Larsen. And waiting to get back to the top of the wait list so I can complete A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
In non-fictio, I am finally reading through The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Confession: I have avoided this book like the plague. Because some of the things I have seen in reviews sound a little out there for me. But I have decided to give it a chance, use what (if anything) I find helpful and leave the rest. Then, I have 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker next in the queue.
Eating: I had hoped July would be a better eating month. However... beginning the month on vacation - which involved lots of eating out, French toast breakfast (and one with chocolate gravy!) - the female offspring's birthday, and an overwhelming craving for ice cream - it was not to be. I did do some breakfast and lunch meal prepping once we were home again. Which definitely helped keep me a little more on track! More of that needs to happen in August.
Working On: Would you believe washcloths? Yep... more and still. I've also been hard at work on some bath puff orders and a moose hat. I took time during vacation to start on a beautiful wrap for myself. Who knows when I'll get a chance to finish it!
Enjoying: My new little car. It is just so cute and I love driving it.
Anticipating: The male offspring goes back to classes on the 14th. The grand baby starts kindergarten later this month. And... The solar eclipse coming up on August 21!
Feeling: Honestly... today I'm a little tired. I didn't sleep well last night.
How about you? What are you up to as August begins? How are you feeling? Anything you're really looking forward to this month?