Back To Reality

If anyone enjoys my Christmas vacation more than me, it’s this guy right here. Scout loves the days that I stay home and am available to him. Even if he ignores me, it seems to soothe him simply having me around.

It’s back to reality for us both today as I return to work and we resume our routine. Wish us both luck! He’s going to be an angry boy.

Holiday Vacation And Self Care

I always hoard some Paid Time Off for the holidays. This has become an important part of my annual ritual and some sense of a self care routine.

Some years I spend a few days traveling while others keep me closer to home. This year, is not a travel year. My routine so far has been sleep in, shower and dress in clean pajamas before tackling the day. Even on Christmas Day I broke out some festive pajamas for our quiet celebration.

I did leave home yesterday to do some post holiday bargain shopping and put on my most pajama-like street clothes – a warm sweater and leggings.

Today will be cold again and I have zero interest in leaving. So I’ll dash to the bird feeders and then enjoy the view from my window (that’s the view pictured above) while I live my very best life in pjs again.

I do have plans this week- a chiropractor visit, lunch with a friend and a family dinner. I’m toying with the idea of heading to my favorite antique mall in Dayton or maybe to see a movie. I’m dying to see The Fablemans so maybe I’ll do that and hit another vendor mall closer to home.

Who knows? The point is that for once in my adult life, this vacation isn’t about exploration as much as it’s about rest and about feathering my nest.

My body has taken a lot of abuse this last year, seemingly from the inside out as my thyroid symptoms have persisted even as my blood work is improving. This is another conversation for a different day. Rest assured, I have big plans.

As much as I hate to, it’s time to start collecting all the little holiday touches around the house and freshen things up a bit. Scout is fascinated with artificial pine and I worry about the health and safety risks of having it out so it’s time to go. Not to mention, I enjoy redecorating using things I already own. It’s a fun challenge to make a room look new simply by rearranging the same stuff.

For today, it will be lots of water, de-Christmasing the house and tackling a closet and room that have been weighing heavily on my mind. I have this thing where I clean my house before vacation because I wouldn’t want to die while I’m away and leave my family with a dirty house. This dumb room needs attention for the very same reason.

Yes, I know I sound crazy. That’s part of my charm.

That’s the thing about self care. It isn’t always bubble baths and gratitude journaling. Sometimes it’s cleaning out that sock drawer that no longer closes or taking time to do meal prep to ease weeknight dinners.

For me, this week’s self care will include water and rest and maybe a few fun things. It’s also going to be getting the house in order. It won’t take that long if I just settle down and do it.

And I’m darn grateful that my collection of pajamas is so extensive that I have plenty to choose from this week!


I was on vacation last week. I stayed close to home, taking a couple of day trips and spending a few days in Ohio’s Amish Country.

It was an appallingly short week but I spent it mostly doing as I pleased so that was nice. It’s almost as though vacation days operate in some kind of time warp. They just pass too quickly.

We all occasionally need time to decompress and do the things that make life worth living.

Tales to come!

Back To Reality

Vacation is over and I’m headed back to work today. Luckily, I like my job and enjoy earning my own way in the world. All the same, I will miss the leisure time and having the opportunity to get stuff done during the week.

Scout has enjoyed it too. Here he is luxuriating with his favorite blanket and my book. If he looks irked, it’s because I woke him up taking his picture. I hate to tell him that we won’t get to relax with a book and a blanket today!

Happy New Year and Happy Monday. Here’s to new beginnings.

Back From Vacation

I was on vacation last week. It was unseasonably warm as I day tripped across the region looking at waterfalls and wind turbines, pumpkins and forest giants and all manner of things in between. I even saw an outdoor drama about Dracula as real life bats circled overhead.

I didn’t love the weather since it felt more like August than October but it was awfully nice wandering this earth and doing as I pleased for a few days. Since I work remotely most of the time, it felt especially nice leaving my house and seeing the outside world.

But I also spent some time at home doing a few chores and lounging with a book in my hand and a cat at my feet.

Fall finally found us on Saturday as temperatures dipped into the forties at night and about sixty during the day. The sky was blue and the clouds awe inspiring when I walked on the bike path at a local park. I should have been working up a sweat since I was there for exercise.

Instead, I chose a moderate clip that allowed me to appreciate my surroundings like the smell of campfire smoke and the feel of fallen leaves beneath my feet. I also liked the way a steady breeze carried a smattering of leaves as they drifted from the trees toward the ground to aid in creating Mother Nature’s patchwork quilt for the earth and creatures below.

I like my job and will be happy enough once I’ve caught up on the emails and stepped back into my routine. I do have many memories of this week to keep me warm and the knowledge that more adventures lie ahead!

This is what vacation is all about. Find the thing that makes you happy, the thing you wished you got paid to do and go do that. Just be sure to work in some rest and relaxation at some point so you’re capable of returning to work in a positive state of mind.

Happy Monday, y’all. Let’s make this one count.

The Brass Armadillo

Antique malls tend to offer a variety of goods that aren’t actual antiques. From handmade crafts to vintage toys to books, soaps and a litany of other things, it seems you never know what you’ll find.

Imagine a big treasure hunt.

It’s a fun thing to do any day but I usually seek out an antique mall on vacation. It’s a good source of unique souvenirs but it’s also interesting to see what’s available in other areas and how it’s valued.

There are huge regional differences in how many things like vintage Christmas decor, dishes or even Coca Cola products are valued. A Coke crate can be picked up for cheap in central Indiana where there’s a big manufacturing and bottling presence. Whereas they’re about twice the price in Ohio.

As an aside, the company’s iconic contoured bottle was born in Terre Haute over a hundred years ago. That’s a different story for another day.

At the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver I found a lot of aviation related items including a nice print and this vintage Pan American carry-on bag. It’s in great shape and was under $20.

It’s hard to even find this sort of thing locally and it would cost significantly more around here.

I also like to seek out old snapshots like the ones pictured above with the bag. These photos can be acquired for as little as fifty cents or a few dollars. The Brass Armadillo had a ton of booths with boxes of pictures and I finally just had to cut myself off. These are especially neat souvenirs as some can be found with regional interest that show local architecture and landscape.

I like vintage photography and always think it’s sad to see family photos tossed in a box for sale. So I collect the ones that draw my eye and affectionately think of them as “The Family.”

We didn’t know it at the time, but this store is actually part of a regional chain. It’s enormous with over 600 vendors and a ton of variety.

Literally, friends. You don’t know what you’ll find around the next corner.

I was dying to bring home any number of vintage suitcases but the logistics of air travel with a somewhat fragile old suitcase were too much to deal with. Another time!

If you’re in the Denver area, I highly recommend checking out the Brass Armadillo. Learn more about them on their website or maybe find a location closer to you.