Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fresh Start For Your New Year

(I've figured out the work-around for inserting pictures, so this is a blog that was waiting to be published)

If you are someone who loves to look at interior design magazines or finds architecture fascinating or constantly redesigns the spaces you live in, even if only in your mind, then this website is for you, --- I get a twice weekly online newsletter that stimulates my creative mind in these areas and I love it.

This week the timing of the "Fresh Start For Your New Year" newsletter was perfect. I read it and then as I was taking down my Christmas decorations, I found myself paring down what I returned to the shelves etc.

As this article states, we each must determine how much stuff or clutter we can live with and we are all different. Check this out here...

Here is one of my projects -- the bookcase.

I LOVE to read so have accumulated what seems like tons of books over the years. When we moved to our small retirement cottage, I began sorting through them and gave some to the local library and sold others to a used book store. However, my bookcase was still crammed with books. So after reading this article, I again sorted through the books and consequently have two very large boxes of books to take to the used book store...again! That allowed me to clean up the bookcase. I'm sure there will be another purging this spring as I continue to live with this mindset.

I still love books and have learned to love my local library. I just rarely buy books anymore.
libraryThe community library building is marvelous with cozy seating and a fireplace, tables for studying or just spreading out picture or cookbooks to enjoy there. The staff are incredible with their superior level of customer service and friendliness. Our library has the advantage of servicing both the schools and the community so there isn't redundancy of resources. The library is one of my most treasured finds in our new hometown.

Since we retired, I have been on a quest to downsize the amount of stuff in our home. Unless it is valuable, special or sentimental, I am moving it out of the house. I ask myself with every purchase, whether it is special enough to bring into our home. Most days the answer is no. For gifts, I prefer consumables, e.g. a new wine or food to love; or a nursery gift certificate or plant for the garden would never be refused!

Our barn was filled with boxes that we hadn't yet sorted through since we moved three and 1/2 years ago! Hard to admit but true. Mark took on the project this winter and sorted through every box. We either gave it away to Good Will, sold it or trashed it. It feels fabulous to have that burden removed and to see the clean barn.

Our modern American society which bombards us with constant advertising on TV, the Internet, DVDs, magazines, papers, billboards, radio etc. and pop culture that glorifies spending and having the newest, latest, designer labeled, greatest has become so pervasive that it is hard to get off the consumer treadmill. We're trying but it is hard. It actually takes effort to stop spending and buying unnecessary things.

I'm working on a lighter life in many dimensions! Living in the country seems to be helping me with that goal.

How much clutter do you live with?

P.S. Readers have emailed me to say it's difficult to leave a message. When you are asked, Comment As: try using 'anonymous' but be sure to sign your name so I know who it's from! I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Technical Difficulities

Hello Dear Readers,

Since the first of this year, I've had a glitch on my blog in terms of adding pictures. I have been working with Blogger to get it fixed but it's still not working.  I'm sure it will be fixed soon and I'll continue blogging.

I'm watching the Inauguration on TV this morning and feel in my heart the patriotism and love for our wonderful country. The President's call is for a positive future with all Americans working together for the greater good. In spite of the challenging and sometimes dark times we are currently living, I am encouraged, hopeful, and so proud to be an American. We've had great challenges before, some worse than what we face now, but we rose to the challenge and created a better country. I have faith it can happen again.

Today in our part of Nebraska is a beautiful winters day with big fluffy snowflakes gently falling to the ground. It's quiet, cold and lovely. We'll enjoy a warm bowlful of soup this noon and watch the birds outside the french doors filling up on seeds before they find their warm spots to wait out the snowfall.  Buddy is curled up outside the french doors napping through the snow. Life is good.

The seed catalogues have begun to arrive so I'm dreaming about and planning for this year's garden. It's exciting but I appreciate the slower days of winter. A breather is necessary for any gardener but the first warm day will get the garden juices flowing again. If you are a gardener, you may want to check out Margaret Roach's new book, the backyard parables, lessons on gardening and life. I'll likely be curled up on the couch under a warm throw reading this book this afternoon.

I wish you a lovely day.