Friday, June 28, 2024

Stuff Shuffler

      I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that I am a stuff shuffler. Over the past few years I have given a lot of things away, but somehow there's still a lot of stuff in our house that I shuffle from place to place.

    Back in 2010 we lived as extreme minimalists for six months, and I loved it. There was so much freedom, so much time for life and what we truly enjoyed, so much less work. 

     Coming back home and seeing all our things was great, but I went from having all this time to do life to having to spend a lot of time cleaning, taking care of things, shuffling things from one area of the house to the other.

    Part of me really wants to have the courage to embrace the minimalist life, because I know how it feels and I'm tired of being a stuff shuffler. But, I'm torn because there's another part of me who really likes our things.

    This week I've been shuffling stuff again, but this time a lot of it has been being shuffled out the door. I don't see myself becoming an extreme minimalist again, but I'm looking forward to having less things and more freedom.

    In the course of letting things go I have been taking some pictures of the stuff that has memories attached, including a big stack of impractical yarn potholders.

    On our annual trip to Canada to visit Grandma and the aunts when I was twelve or so, aunt Ella sat down and taught me how to make yarn potholders on a little loom she had. I was thrilled to learn and at the end of the visit she sent the loom home with me and over the next years I made countless sets of them to sell in my parents store.  But for all these years I had kept that first set I had made.

    Next up was a set made by my youngest brother when he was but a wee lad. My mom had helped him make the fancier version. It always sent warm fuzzies around my heart everytime I saw them, but being impractical I never used them. Simply shuffled them from here to there during spring and fall housecleaning and reorganizations.

    The girls were fascinated with these particular creations when they were younger and I pulled out my old loom and taught them how to make them and then also demonstrated the step to take them further to the fancier pom-pom like version. It was a fun time for all of us, and seeing these brought back those memories, but it's time they go. I've shuffled them long enough.

Saturday, June 22, 2024


     Is there an occasion when flowers aren't the answer?

     I've had flowers during times of celebration.

     Flowers in times of deep sorrow.

     During the highest highs, and some of the lowest lows, flowers had a way of showing up.

     Tonight my heart is too full for words, so I'll just plop a picture here of a few of the roses that are currently blooming so profusely in our yard.

Thursday, June 13, 2024


Reading ...  after finishing up Job it seems delightful to be making my way though the Psalms once again.

In other books Steven and I are enjoying the first Warriors series. I'm enjoying it quite a bit more than I thought I would.

We differ though on our favorite characters. I quite like the main character, Fireheart. While Steven's favorite is Tigerclaw, the antagonist. We had an entire discussion where he explained to me that the author wants everyone to like the main character best, but the books would be quite boring without the antagonist. That whenever he is involved in the story it is much more interesting. 

I get where he's coming from, but I don't think the antagonist in a book will ever be my favorite character. 

When Sharon came home from work Steven asked her who her favorite character in the series is and she immediately replied, "Tigerclaw" and gave the same reasons he had.

I'm curious now if I'm the odd one, and do most people enjoy the antagonists the most when they read?

Writing ... this week nothing other than a few lists. A grocery list, and then one that I'm actually kind of excited about and plan to talk about in an upcoming blog post.

Watching ... we're still doing an episode of Little House on the Prairie everyday. Is it any surprise that Steven enjoys the episodes that have the Olsen play a bigger part the most?

Listening ... to the faint sound of the wind chimes on the front porch. The breeze right now is so gentle that it is barely chiming. The second hand is making its noisy journey around the clock tick-tocking off the fleeting time. A bird, of which I'm uncertain what kind it is, singing merrily in the big maple tree here in front of the house.

Baking ... I'm planning to bake some fresh dinner rolls to go with our supper tonight.

Cooking ... last night I made Honey Pepper Chicken, Ranch Potato Salad, and sweet corn. The potato salad is one of our favorites ever since I tried it as one of my new recipes earlier this year. It's quite easy. I simply bake three pounds of potatoes for an hour, once they're cold I peel and cut them into small chunks. I fry a pound of bacon, crumble it and add to the potatoes, then chop three stalks of celery. I pour enough ranch dressing over it all to make it nice and creamy but not soupy and it's ready to serve.

I had not expected it to be the hit that it is. but I certainly don't mind.

Feeling ... happy, but tired. There's so much going on it seems and it appears to be catching up with me. I could fall asleep almost any time I sit down for a few minutes.

Disliking ... all the many oversized loads going by our house daily. They're damaging the road. I only hope once they're done the road will get fixed, but I'm not holding my breath.

Loving ... the warmer temperature and the sunshine. I've been so cold the past few days so I'm trying to soak up some of this delightful heat from the sun.

Playing ... not much of anything this week so far other than some Uno.

Cleaning ... I'm not done deep cleaning our house yet. I always find it amazing how fast all the little corners and tucked away places can get dirty. 

Doing all this deep cleaning has me pondering, trying to decide if I have enough gumption to tackle refinishing some furniture. Especially my china cupboard. Time has not been kind to it. Several handles are missing from the bottom drawers and there are so many scuff marks from when little ones bumped things into it as they were running through the house. 

I'm thinking I'd like to paint it an off white of some kind. Right now it's a Washington Cherry wood. 

I think I'd like the update, but would I come to regret painting it?

Creating ... I have three pieces of lightweight upholstery fabric here that I want to use tomorrow to sew some fun projects. Rosie Mae wants a hanging bag contraption to use to keep her plastic grocery bags in.

 While I make one for her I'm going to go ahead and make one for me as well, in a different fabric. It will be nice to have a proper place for them instead of where I keep them stuffed now.

The third piece of fabric I want to use to recover the seat of our step stool/ high chair/ bar stool. Not sure exactly what to call it. The vinyl seat has seen better days so a new seat cover will give it a renewed life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


Reading ... In the Bible I finished the book of Ezra this morning. In other books I read First Lie Wins on a recommendation. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The ending felt a bit rushed, as if the author tried to tie up all the loose ends in a few pages. But after not having any good books for a while this one filled that void quite nicely.

Writing ... addresses. Rosie Mae penned names on the envelopes of their wedding invitations in calligraphy, and I helped out by adding the addresses in non fancy hand writing.

Watching ... Steven and I have been watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie after lunch. It has been quite a few years since I last watched them, and I have a bit of mixed feelings this go round. I love Ma Ingalls and find her quite inspirational, but I have a hard time agreeing with almost anything Reverend Alden has to say.

Listening ... to the dryer clanking away in the laundry corner. It's almost 18 years old and has acquired some sounds it didn't have in the beginning.

Baking ... I want to try my hand at making a watermelon curd to use in filling donuts later this week.

Cooking ... tonight I'm keeping it simple and making fish with a seasoned panko coating, and a salad.

Feeling ... happy, energized, and ready to get things done.

Disliking ... coming across plastic bags with dog "litter" along trails when we're hiking. I get that people love their dogs and enjoy hiking with them. It's admirable that they are willing to pick up after their dogs. But really, it would be less litter if they allowed nature to take care of it, rather than wrapping it in plastic and leaving it beside the trail

Loving ... raindrops on flowers and other plant life.

Playing ... other than several rounds of air hockey, games haven't been played much this past week.

Cleaning ... I'm concentrating on doing a deep clean of the house. I'm hoping to get started on Steven's room tomorrow. His wardrobe needs an update while I'm at it. He's really been growing lately. It seems every time I turn around his clothes are already too small.