Marie Kondo has become a verb at my house

As you, Faithful Readers, are aware from previous posts, I’m trying to thin out my stuff.

It’s been made clear to me that I keep so many things that are never looked at or used. These things are generally all kept packed up, and take up space in all kinds of nooks and crannies. They were most likely inherited, or given to me by someone close, and I keep these things not because they are useful but because I feel obligated to keep them.

Keeping things out of obligation is a terrible way to live. Getting rid of things I have been keeping out of obligation has been very difficult, until I ran into Marie Kondo. Follow the link to see a snippet of her Netflix show on You Tube. If you have Netflix, go give the show a good look.

If you have a hard time watching it, like I did, stick with it. She is a little out there with some of her methods, but there are so many kernels of truth in what she has to say about what to keep and how to organize things, that it is worth paying attention to.

One of the big thing things I took away from her show is to ask yourself if an item “sparks joy” when you pick it up. If not, it’s probably time to donate it. Make space only for the things you really want or need.

For me, that morphed into asking myself why I’m still holding onto something if I haven’t been using it. The answer generally seems to be that I have felt obligated to keep it.

Hmmm. It seems I’m drowning in stuff I feel obligated to keep. When I look around my house, there is so much I don’t use, and little that I need very often.

So, last week I culled books out of my shelf, and only kept the things that I felt were useful. Today, I was making myself some coffee, and spied my recipe box sitting on my counter. It’s full of recipes that I have either never used, or ones I will not use again. So, I Marie Kondo’d my recipe box this morning. That’s right… Marie Kondo has become a verb at my house. I culled fully half of my recipes, and now have a whole lot of spare room in my recipe box. Next step is to do the same to my grandmother’s recipe box, and combine the two together. That’s for another day, though.

Baby steps, Faithful Readers, are ok. For those of us who are easily overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, just do one small thing at a time, and do not feel obligated to do a whole room at a time, just because other people have that capacity.

I know lots of folks who can dive in and are driven to spend a whole day or weekend on one room and get the whole thing done. I just can’t. It’s too much, and I’m learning to be just fine with that.

Today it is a recipe box, and a few things I’m taking out of my closet, but not the whole closet.

Here’s hoping you all find just the right pace for you to do what you need to do, without letting others influence your speed, or reasoning of purpose. Anyone who tries to pressure you into thinking their way of doing things is better can go jump in a lake. You can tell them Sparrow said so. 😉 Blessings all.

Olympic Coffee Slurping

… a.k.a. procrastination. I’m a champion in this particular sport.

I was supposed to go to Curves this morning, but I over did it yesterday. So, I stayed home and did yoga this morning, and I feel better for having stretched out.

It makes me feel a little accomplished that I actually got up and did something right away this morning, but I have been sitting on my couch for the last hour blissfully slurping coffee, soaking up morning sunshine and reading blogs for an hour. I can’t decide if that should go into the “Feeding My Brain” category of worthwhile activities, or if it is just plain slothfulness. I think it goes solidly into the category of “Feeding My Soul”.

I have so much to do today. The laundry and housework won’t do itself, and there’s a bunch of that to get through before I leave the house this afternoon. My Flirt and I are going to look at mobile/modular homes at an indoor home show that are way too expensive, but are fun to walk through anyway. Then it’s off to see Rodney Carrington at 4 Bears Casino in New Town. We are staying over night, so I need to get packed.

I just really want to sit still, slurp coffee, and read.

I wonder if it is a product of getting older, that I am just less willing to be in a hurry, and feel like I want to curl up with a good book more than I want to get out and about. It could be due to the weather… winter always makes me feel like hibernating.

Regardless of what I want to do, I’d better get off my backside and get something done.

Well, maybe after I finish this last cup of coffee ☕️

Here’s wishing you all the space and time to just sit still and be, whether you are slurping coffee, some other delicious beverage, or nothing at all. Sometimes just sitting still and doing something quiet to feed your soul is just what the Dr. ordered. Blessings all!

Spitting is NOT manly…ladies, can I hear an “Amen”?!

Tonight I attended Younger Son’s last football game of the season. It was a nice evening, if a little windy, and the boys won the game. Huzzah!

What is the deal with men and spitting?  Sometimes you’ll hear them hawking a loogie from what seems like the roots of their toes, only to spit it forcefully out on the ground in front of whoever is standing in the local area. Other times they just seem to spit, for spitting’s sake. A lot. Especially at sporting events. What really burns my cookies is that the coaches do it too.

I find the male assumption that spitting is an acceptable way to act in public grievously in error. I have news for you men. Spitting isn’t manly. It is not attractive, nor is it necessary unless you end up with a bug or something else in your mouth that just shouldn’t be there.

There are three rules I insist my sons adhere to when it comes to spitting:

1. Do Not Spit In Public, EVER.

2. If you have a something in your mouth that isn’t supposed to be there, do get rid of it in as polite a manner as you can.

3. I don’t care if the other guys do it. Please refer to Rule #1. Do it now.

I know lots of women who tolerate habitual spitting from their male family members. Younger Son, who just came by and read the title of this blog post, insists that he knows lots of girls that spit. Only, he says, they have a harder time doing it because guys slobber more than girls do. (Yeah…I’m shaking my head at that too, and am trying very hard not to think about that statement too much in-depth right now.) Girls, am I alone in this?  Am I overly sensitive because I was raised in a family where spitting was not tolerated, or heads got smacked? Are my expectations too high for male behavior?


Are there more out there like me who would like the guys to stick a cork in it? I would bet hard cold cash that I’m not the only one who feels like I should put on a haz-mat suit just to go to my kid’s sporting events? How many of you out there find men more attractive when they aren’t letting fly every 10 minutes for no particular reason? I’m betting I’m not alone.

For all you guys…please, just for a moment imagine what you might think if we girls spit all the time.   If you find the notion of your mothers, aunts and grandmas spitting every time you see them repulsive, then you can understand how we girls might find that not so attractive. Now I want you to imagine all the females in your vicinity spitting  all together and joking amongst themselves about girls stuff that you guys don’t want to know about. Yummy? It gets even better… just imagine your girlfriend  has a wad of chewing tobacco stuffed in her lip, and is busily spitting/drooling tobacco juice to beat the band. I bet you’d love to walk right up to her and give those lips a big old kiss, right? Does that make you feel really hot and bothered? If so, then you’re a really sick puppy and you need to see Sparrow’s Rules for Spitting in Public, as listed above.

Sorry about the sarcastic rant…I think watching Younger Son’s coach spit all evening, providing such a manly role model, got the better of my attitude. So, guys, please keep it dry and clean. If someone needs to water the grass you’re standing on, they’ll get out the hose.

Confessions of a Lead Foot Annie

Older son and I went out to run errands today. We ran to the bank, returned some unused home improvement items, bought some other home improvement items, and had a load of river rock delivered for the edging I’ll be putting up around the house. A very successful morning, but one that wouldn’t have been possible without getting in the car and driving.

Even though we live in a small town (approx. 37,000) our traffic can be hectic, and fast-paced, especially around rush-hour times like Noon and 6pm. My problem isn’t with the fast drivers…it’s with the slow pokes. You know the ones I’m talking about; the sight seers and looky-loos. The ones who like to take their sweet time and don’t care that I have somewhere to be make me cranky.  Those who are driving ahead of me, seemingly without a purpose really get under my skin.

Today, Older Son commented to me that I needed to have more patience with people. This was said after I complained bitterly that “Farmer Bob will not get the lead out, and get of my way!”  It was obvious to me that the aforementioned “Farmer Bob” had plenty of time to go and was just gazing about, not paying attention. When I’m driving, I seldom drive just for the fun of driving. I always have a purpose and a place to be, and god help other drivers if they can’t get the lead out and get going. By that I don’t mean that I would exact any sort of vengeance, except for the rare occasion I have to blow the horn at a particularly oblivious driver. But, let me tell you about the chatter that happens in my car. The vitriolic commentary coming from my driver’s seat,  directed at bozos on the road, is prolific and merciless. Of course, I watch the swearing as I usually have kids in the car with me, but I am pretty creative with my descriptors and directives.

I know that driving with impatience is not good. It’s not good for the driver, the passengers or the other drivers on the road. It’s a bad habit, and I’m in the process of trying to relax when I drive and tone down the invective a little bit. In the spirit of changing my ways, I’ve put together a to-do list of driving habits I need to change:

  1. Anyone and everyone else who just can’t get the lead out should not be addressed as Farmer Bob. I actually know some farmers named Bob, and they are neither slow nor incompetent drivers. This bad habit of mine came from living on the Prairie my whole life and having been stuck behind my share of  farm equipment driving down a skinny road. It’s slow going…ugh.
  2. Breathe deep and be patient with the elderly who can’t help but go slow. I need to remember that it will be me driving slow when I hit that stage of life. At least I hope I’m still driving when I’m old!
  3. I have been a bozo in some other driver’s estimation, at various times in my life, so I need to get off my high horse and cut other people some slack.
  4. Perhaps, instead of hurling insults at my fellow drivers, I should just hum a tune to keep my mouth busy while I’m waiting for my turn to go… even if grass is growing underneath their car for going so slow.
  5. I need to be conscious of showing a good example for my kids to learn from. I have one son driving, and the other one will begin driving a year from now. You know it’s bad when your kid tells you to have some patience.

Wish me luck…old habits die hard!

Coffee…what would I do without it?

I never used to like coffee. I’ve always loved tea, and I still do, but now I like coffee better. I’ll blame that on my ex husband’s brother, who introduced me to the novel idea of flavored coffee when my kids were small. Sometimes even more than drinking coffee, I love the smell of it. It’s one of those comfy home smells that just makes me happy to have it around.

Even though I liked coffee all these years, I haven’t had a coffee pot for a long time.  My Mother had an extra one that she gave to us recently, and now coffee is a must every morning. I have noticed that Younger Son is much happier in the morning with a cup of coffee in his system, Older Son seems to like it too, though I don’t think he finds it as necessary for living as Younger and I do. I’m thinking that an espresso machine may materialize at our house sometime within the next year. Hmmm…

Today we are drinking Vanilla Nut Cream…hmm…yummy! Something else that’s good with coffee is hot chocolate powder. I keep a stash of that at work to flavor the free coffee there. It’s pretty awful tasting stuff at work, but what the heck, it’s free.

It’s now 7:07 am. So having “coffeed” myself and boys up good, we can get on with our day!

Leftovers for breakfast, and remembering Grandma

Well, I was looking for something to eat for breakfast this morning, and didn’t feel like eating any of the usual fare. I opened the fridge and spied the left over potatoes and carrots from a roast chicken I cooked.  So, I nuked them, salted and peppered them, applied a generous amount of  butter,  and ate them all up… loving every bite. Yum!

Some people cringe at the thought of eating leftovers for breakfast, but why the heck shouldn’t you eat them for breakfast? As far as I am concerned, cereal, while sometimes tasty, isn’t the end-all-be-all of the breakfast kingdom. So what about pancakes, waffles, toast, eggs…all of those breakfasty favorites? Again, very tasty, but sometimes too time consuming to prepare, and heavy in the belly. I like a quick breakfast that is tasty and doesn’t leave me feeling like I just ate a brick.

Something else to consider…I associate traditional breakfast foods (like pancakes, waffles, eggs and toast, etc) with the big breakfasts my grandmother used to make. Breakfast at Grandma’s was always a big deal, and she would never take no for an answer when it came to receiving and eating copious amounts of 2nd’s and 3rd’s. I could never tell her no. She must have been convinced that I could never get enough to eat  because she would always tell me, “I bet you have room for just another!”  One time in particular when I was about 10, I had to plead with my Mom to intercede on my behalf, because Grandma just wouldn’t let me go from the pancake orgy she had constructed that morning. I remember after I was finally released from eating any more, I was so miserable I laid around for hours trying to digest it all. To this day, I never force my kids to eat anything as a direct result of my early experience with Grandma and her sisters making sure everyone had “enough to eat”. Not that I wasn’t ever grateful for their cooking,  but a person can only hold so much.

I don’t want to give the impression that Grandma was a bad cook. She was a fabulous cook, and she lived to cook for anyone who would hold still long enough for her to whip something up. She really enjoyed cooking for a large group. She always had cookies or cake ready-made, in the event company should stop by.  I remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen with her as I was growing up. Many of my early baking lessons came from hanging out with Grandma in the kitchen, and it was always a joy. She’s been gone since 1996, I miss her something fierce.

So I wonder what Grandma would have to say about my eating leftovers for breakfast and allowing my kids to forage for themselves, rather than putting the effort into whipping up a gigantic sit-down breakfast for everyone. I’m sure she would fuss, but I think that as long as nobody’s ribs were sticking out, she might come around to my way of thinking.

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