I Haven’t Blown Away Yet

I’m writing this at 7:16 pm on Friday night. That proverbial March lion is roaring tonight as a severe thunderstorm and high winds shake the house and rattle the windows.

The power is out and I’m tired so I gave Scout his medicine and we are curled up in bed. I will read until sleep finds me or till the flashlight battery dies.

… or until the house gets blown off the foundation. All three seem likely at this point.

This front is supposed to move through in the next half hour or so. The weatherman on tv earlier said this and gave people some tips for surviving a thunderstorm. One of his suggestions was keeping both hands on the steering wheel if you’re out driving. Do they teach nothing in driver’s ed these days? That just seems like common sense.

Anyway, I’m pretty happy making lemons into lemonade and enjoying some forced rest. Sometimes that’s the only way to get me to do it.

Here’s hoping we aren’t all flooded in this weekend and here’s wishing safety to all those linemen who have to go out in dangerous conditions to keep us all with electricity.

Have a good weekend, friends.

Happiness Is . . .

Happiness is a great picture from a past vacation. Photos remind us of fabulous places and that there are more adventure days ahead. This image from Colorado National Monument holds powerful hopes and memories for me.

What more could a gal want?

Decluttering With Strangers On The Internet

Decluttering is something I like to work on during the winter months. It’s a perfect job for this cold season and for my No Spend Challenge. After all, nothing makes you want to stop buying stuff quite like getting rid of your excess and thinking about how much money you have wasted on unnecessary crap over the decades.

While convalescing this weekend, I perused YouTube and watched a handful of videos about how getting rid of unneeded stuff can inspire inner peace. One video in particular listed over fifty things you can get rid of today. I was on board with a lot of her ideas but she and I parted ways on several topics.

For example, she doesn’t believe in having more than two pieces of luggage, purses or backpacks. Why would anyone need more than two suitcases anyway, she wondered. I have several pieces of luggage because every airline has different carryon allowances. If I were loyal to one airline, I could get rid of the excess but I tend to go with the best flight deal. Not to mention, road tripping me has different needs than flying me. If I’m hiking a lot I need bulky items like hiking shoes, extra water bottles and more clothes because rewearing yesterday’s sweaty clothes isn’t an option. Do I have a suitcase for every occasion? No, but I have more than two!

She also talked about throwing away spare change. She doesn’t like having it around and so she will sometimes just throw it in the trash. Who throws away money?

I hold onto my change in a ceramic Snoopy bank. Once I’ve accumulated a good bit, I take it to our bank to cash in for dollars. There are many years I’ve funded road trip gas with coin. We live in a country where people beg for change in the street and she’s sending it to a landfill? Wow. Tone deaf and wasteful don’t begin to cover it.

She also suggested family heirlooms like grandma’s turkey platter should be dispatched immediately if not sooner because there’s no point keeping something you use one day per year. Winter coats and scarves? You need one of each. Never mind that you might need something for dressing up for work and another coat for walking around. Plus, anyone who lives in a cold environment knows there are varying needs throughout the season.

I could go on but there’s no need to nitpick. Clearly, her values and priorities don’t align with my own. There’s nothing wrong with that (except the money thing and that’s just nuts).

However, I would caution you to think critically when people advise you to just throw away or donate something that you enjoy, that you use, or that has value. They may have Instagram worthy homes but they don’t live your life.

I will never be that person with four plates and four cups. My home will never be a showplace and, hard as I try, the cabinet with my cookie sheets is always kind of a mess.

In this season of decluttering where there’s constantly someone shaming you for your messes and trying to sell you containers, don’t buy into the hype. Keep what you love, donate or sell what you can and feather your nest in a way that makes you happy. It needn’t be perfect as long as it is perfect for you!

Long weekend

It’s a long weekend for many of us in America since Monday is Presidents’ Day. The weather is going to be absolutely gorgeous today. At 45 degrees and sunny, one could not ask for better hiking weather and I am tempted to hit the trail this afternoon.

Unfortunately, my body is begging for rest. I had a sinus issue this week, complete with a cough that kept me up most nights. And, of course, the neck issue I developed Thursday persists.

I’m starting to fray around the edges.

So I bought a new pillow, some pain cream and some quick prep foods to make mealtime easier this weekend. I also bought this clearance journal designed to help me slow down and plan wellness improvements.

How sad that I’m seeking health advice from the clearance shelf.

It’s important to listen to your body and to give it what it’s begging for. So unless I feel significantly better this afternoon, I’ll be hanging out with my cat, a book and my tv remote. This isn’t really my speed but here we are.

Enjoy your Saturday and wish me luck!

First 2023 Adventure Day

Yesterday brought a break in the No Spend Challenge for a little Adventure Day. I intended to stay home and use the time to do a couple of projects, get some rest and read. But the forecast for sunshine and 41 degrees was simply too tempting to ignore.

Instead, I set off early and headed to Dayton to hike at Aullwood Audubon where I visited the trolls or the forest giants, depending on what you call them. It was 21 degrees and the weather app said it felt like fifteen but I was so happy to be in nature I did not care.

Then I hit up the Waco Air Museum in Troy.

And, I needed lunch so I found a fantastic little diner nearby. It was cramped and busy so my pictures are all awful but the food was delish and I really liked it there. I will tell you all about it soon.

And I mostly window shopped at Antiques Village but did score a couple of good deals. This is one of my favorite antique malls so I couldn’t leave town without a stroll through.

It’s funny because I was so happy at home and focusing on my January No Spend Challenge that I never felt deprived. However, this day that was heavy on experiences and light on spending was just what I needed. I felt more like myself than I have in a long time.

It was a long day but I would have stayed out longer. We are probably lucky that I didn’t continue West when I found myself on the National Road. Don’t think I didn’t contemplate running away from home to the great state of Indiana!

Along the way, I chatted with people, looked at some interesting things and even saw a mink in the wild. So check back to hear more and to see more pictures!