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.

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Sometimes the message is all about the perception of the receiver.


Well, it’s been awhile since I blogged, and the least I can say about it is that life kind of got derailed for a bit.

As you may remember, I had experienced a kitchen accident leaving me with a good sized chunk missing from my dominant index finger. That’s all healed up now, but typing was a real bummer for a few months. Sometimes you just have to stop, rest, and take stock of what’s important.  As such, I just needed to take a blog break for a bit.

As part of a break from blogging, which I’ve missed, I’ve been thinking about the types of things I write, and the sorts of things I post on other social media. 

What prompted me to do a deep think about these things is that I’ve been forced to check myself, to make sure I wasn’t posting things that may be generally offensive to others. You see, a friend said something to me that was kind of mean, said in spiteful, sarcastic kind of tone, about some things I post. These things were general posts about stuff that I do, or places I go, and I couldn’t figure out what was it that I did that was so offensive.

I began to stew on this quite a lot, to the point where I felt compelled to ask my mother, and several trusted friends, what it could be. Being familiar with my postings they had no answer for me, and were equally as puzzled. 

In thinking this through, I remember something from a college communications course I took. The instructor looked us all in the eye one day and stated emphatically that how information is received is a product of the receiver, of their life experiences, and many times you can’t do anything about that. Our perception will color everything we see and hear, and sometimes the intent of the speaker/poster is lost getting through all of that.  I see how that is true in my life sometimes, especially with political and social issues. 

Sometimes there is no intent other than sharing your joy in doing something that makes you happy, but it can get caught up and discolored in the filter of others’ unhappiness.  It’s painful to hear. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t fix that because it won’t make these people happier to see me unhappy… at least I hope not. I’ve made an effort to try not to post when I’m sad or super angry about something. It gives the effect that my life looks super rosy on Facebook, and that is an unintended result. I have a regular life with ups and downs, just like everyone else.

Blogging is quite different for me than regular social media. This is the space I use to help myself work through some things I struggle with sometimes. I like to keep it as positive as I can but once in awhile you will see things here that aren’t as happy, like today. Thanks for your patience while I work through this.  It was hard to write about, and I spent more time than normal editing this post.

Having said that, I always do my best to end my blog posts on a positive beat. I want you to know that it really is ok to be happy. It’s ok to share what you find joy in doing. Rock on, happy campers, and many blessings to you all!

Walking barefoot in November…a bigger blessing than I would have imagined


Today is a good day. I’m done working at The Big Box Store for the day, and I’ve had my lunch. But that’s not the best part. The best part of today is that it is 61 degrees outside, and I walked to my mail box today in my bare feet. In November.

In North Dakota. That’s right…”We’re having a heat waaaaaave, a tropical heat waaaaave….” Whoo!!

Usually we’re shoveling show right about now. In fact, we already had our first snow storm of the year, but it has all melted away, and life is good again. Or at least it was feeling pretty good until they showed up.

My ex came to pick up Younger Son today, and just happened to bring his sleezeball girlfriend with him. After a year, one would think that I would be over having to witness the reality of this woman, but for some reason, it still messes with my head. This woman has some pretty big brass ovaries, shoving herself into my life and the lives of my kids. She’s probably going to want my grandchildren to call her ‘Grandma’…

…not while I have breath in my body. But, I digress.

Anyway, as I was saying, it was such a blessing being able to walk in the grass in my bare feet, and feel the sunshine and warm breeze on my skin. It doesn’t blot out the bad stuff, but it goes a long way to making me feel better. These warm days are precious and numbered. The Weather Guy says we’ll be back to the regularly scheduled weather program by the middle of the week. Time to get back outside and enjoy it while I can!

So much going on…aaaahhhh!


Aaaaahhhh!!!

Yes, it’s been one of those weeks where everything is happening, but nothing of any importance is getting done. Between family being in town, being in the middle of changing jobs, still cleaning up after the bathroom remodel and now trying to get the house ready for company, I’m just about cooked!

The boys are out at the State Fair for the 2nd night in a row, I’m finally getting down to brass tacks and getting some cleaning done. It’s so much easier when there’s nobody here but me. As I was rearranging some furniture in the living room, out popped the printer I bought two months ago and just never did get installed. I keep telling Older Son that I’d get to it, but just couldn’t make the time. So, tonight, I made a command decision to just stop procrastinating and just do it. So, now it’s finally hooked up and ready to go. He’ll be pleasantly surprised when he gets home tonight.

I mentioned that I’m having company this weekend. An old friend of mine is coming to stay with me Friday and Saturday nights, and we’re going to the Sugarland concert Saturday night. It will be the last night of the State Fair, and it will be a good weekend. I’m kicking it off with a pizza party, and perhaps some margaritas…hmm…margaritas!! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good homemade margarita….hmmm!

My kids are my parents’ best revenge


I had to get after Younger Son today, and now I feel like crap. I have told him time and time again how to do this particular chore, and he refuses to do it unless pushed

Facsimile of me pulling my hair out, curtesy of Google Images

and prodded, let alone do it right. Once he finally got going on said chore, I heard slamming of things, stomping around and nasty muttering. I’d had it…that was just the last straw, and I let him have it. I told him in no uncertain terms that this behavior was unacceptable and if he didn’t turn his ship around and sail straight, there would be consequences. He finally gave in, just did his job and got it done. Had he just done it to begin with, he’d have been finished a lot sooner.

Parenting is messy. It’s hard and mostly thankless, not that I think I need any thanks…I chose this. It was my decision to bring children into the world and part of that is following through to make sure they have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful once they get on their own. Teenagers being teenagers, aren’t going to blindly follow directions. They have their own thoughts about how things ought to work, and tend to be very black and white in their views. Things are either wrong or they aren’t…not much gray area. I remember being that way, and I am sure that my Mother has most likey just now fallen down in a giggling heap on the floor. I’ve no doubt that she has a detector that picks up on when my kids aren’t at their best, which triggers a manic laughter reaction. She did tell me once that my kids would be her best revenge on me. Now I find myself telling my kids the very same thing. While I can certainly wait to become a grandparent, I’m sure going to enjoy their kids exacting my revenge on my children for me (Muhuwhahahaha!).

What really chaps my cookies is that I had to be the heavy even when their father lived here. He rarely ever disciplined them, unless it was an extreme circumstance. Otherwise he was just the “good time” parent, and he had a tendency to do their chores for them, rather than make them do it themselves. Less confrontation and responsibility that way, you know.

The good news is that I have really good kids. They don’t get into trouble, they get good grades, and generally do what they are told. As things go, I could have it a lot harder.

Now the storm has cleared off and everything is back to normal. Hopefully things will stay that way for a while. I might take on the responsibility of having to be the heavy, but I sure hate doing it.

Frenzied before 8:30am


Everyone put on your seat belts, strap on your head-gear and put your tray in the upright and locked position. It’s going to be a helluva day, folks.

My Dad beat me to my house this morning, if you can believe that. He’s already measured my eaves troughs, and been in my attic. Gods bless him…I don’t know what I’d do with out him. It it wasn’t for my Dad, my house would most likely fall down around my ears.

The drywall guy has been here this morning already to do what little he needed to get done, and I’m expecting the flooring guy at any minute.   It’s been a crazy day already and it’s not even 8:30am!

That’s ok…By this weekend, I will be back in my house with a brand new bathroom. It will be nice to sleep in my own bed again!

The wisdom teeth and the worry wort


It’s a little after 6am, and I’m already showered and dressed for the day. I’m letting Younger Son sleep in until 6:30. Today’s the day his wisdom

teeth come out, and we’ll be there by 7:30 for his 8am surgery.  I keep telling him that he’s lucky. When I had my wisdom teeth out, I was awake and it took over two hours. He’ll get to nap through it and it will take about an hour for him. Piece of cake!

This is pretty much what Younger's X-ray looked like - wisdom teeth impacted!

I feel like a big fat liar, even though I know he’ll come through it just fine… he’s a strong kid and he’ll come through this simple out-patient surgery with flying colors.  The thing that goes through my head like a terrible feedback loop, is that I keep remembering what it was like to have the dentistry equivalent of a hammer and chisel banging away in my head, as the dentist quartered my teeth so he could get them out.  I need to quit winding myself up like that, but it’s so nerve-wracking to hand over my child and know that he’s going to hurt when it’s all done. I know that it is probably typical for a parent to feel that way, and yet I feel like the biggest wuss in the world. Time to suck it up.

6:33…time to put on my brave face and roust him of bed so he can get showered and dressed. It’s show time…