NOW it’s against the law

Our winter break was fabulous. We are a breed of peeps who LOVE being at home and crave time at home. I also ate too much, and much of it was junk food, and now I just want a tuna fish sandwich and a glass of milk.

In my previous post, I shared my love for letting the Christmas season linger into February where I can enjoy the snow and some quieter moments with my little lights, my holiday music and my baking and cooking since it all goes too quickly in December. My wee ones were concerned that it was against the law to still have Christmas decorations up in February. It’s not.

It’s the month of March and NOW it is against the law to have your Christmas decorations still up. I’m moving on and have tucked away the last lingering tidbits of that season. Time to get out the new coffee mugs I collected as I road tripped this past winter.

Starbuck’s had a collection specific to the region and as we traveled, I managed to grab the ones that were en route for us. Even though we mainly just pass through these states, I feel a slight sense of “home” from each of them having traveled this route so often.

The poinsettias on my windowsill have been replaced with small potted herbs. Oregano and chives, two of my family’s faves. I was also gifted some mini daffodils and the yellow cheeriness they greet me with is perfect for the gray days of March.

I can’t hop on board the recent trend to pile your house with all green plants (and many other current design trends, but you’ll hear about those as I work on designing our “new dilapidated not-ours-yet farmhouse”). I need flowers, or function, or some other oddity that strays from the norm mixed in. The all-green plant decor takes me back to my childhood days of a house full of spider plants and peace plants. It wasn’t my fave then and still isn’t, although I know and love those of you who enjoy that style!

The holiday dish towels and holiday CD’s (yes, I still have and use CD’s) are nestled in their storage bin ready to collect nostalgia over the remainder of the year until I go looking for them next holiday season. With another move, albeit local this time and most likely just our stuff for storage, on the horizon, I may not know where I put them come next December.

I had a hankering to design new fabric for a spring dish towel. While I was shopping my own collection of fabrics, I added two more to my online shopping cart. It’s hard not to. I’m working on making them into dish towels and will share when I get them into photo form.

My puzzle has been calling to me. A few years ago I discovered my love for grown up puzzles that have scenes that leave me feeling dreamy. Country land, yummy foods, snowy scenes, cozy moments and quaint buildings have me loading up on my “wants” for puzzles. Even though I started this puzzle in December, I had no disillusions that I would actually be able to finish it then, (okay, I did think somewhere far off in my brain that just maybe I could), so I selected a winter scene over a holiday scene so I would have more time to complete it. The winter season lasts much longer than the holiday season in my neck of the woods. But, I am now feeling the pressure to work on it because come April, my moments change and my winter choice for a puzzle will not do at all.

My cat and I have taken advantage of a sunny room to chill out for a few moments and take some “me” time finally.

I wear my socks inside out most days because the extra threads that hang from the
seams on the inside of the toe part of the sock bother me. You do that too, right?

I have been creating a list of “wants” and “do not wants” for our future forever home that the Eight Ball has promised to me. An old farmhouse is in our future but it brings with it some issues that we cannot hide from, like safety and conforming to the code of today. Being that we plan for this to be our forever home, and I have other dreams to get to, like a country shoppe and cafe, our plan is to make it right, safe and finished now so that we can move into it at some point in the future and not keep fixing it. We have younger children so a safe livable home is a must.

Oh boy, has this awakened a love of mine – house design and decorating. When I was in my 20’s, I had stacks and stacks of house plan magazines and books and I would create floor plans just for fun. I’m discovering now that house plan magazines are endangered as the online house plan has taken over its territory. Sad. I so prefer to sit and browse through a book or magazine than to sit on my computer surfing. But, I’ve found that what I am looking for in a floor plan has probably never been created before. That’s typical for me. So, I am sitting once again drawing floor plans, and although it’s for fun, it’s also for real. So exciting. So scary. What if I forget about outlets? What if I forget to add a bathroom? What if my cat and I don’t get the windows and sunny spots just right?

It’s a lot of pressure.

The home that we’re purchasing has an amazing view and is situated to enjoy the sun from the minute it comes up over the hill to the last possible moments of day when it sets behind the mountains that are beyond the fabulous farm fields in front of us. Being lovers of sunbeams, my cat and I are making sure that the design of the house ensures that we get maximum sun exposure. We’ve had numerous discussions about it.

Let’s talk about Eating. I subscribe to the “all things in moderation” way of eating and teach our children how to balance their choices and how to make selections. We do well, but there is always room for improvement. Recently, we have been required to participate in an online health website for our health insurance.

Oh ya, you’re right. I grumbled!

“What? I now have to prove my healthiness by being attached to a bunch of apps on my phone and my laptop?! Isn’t that ironic. One of the top stressors and unhealthy behaviors of spending too much time on technology is now the way I have to prove I am making good choices.

I became stressed.

Now I had to listen to someone’s voice yammering on about meditating during my “do nothing” time, which is my version of meditating.

I began to have neck pain as I carried my phone around in my flannel shirt pocket to track my steps. (I have a sensitive neck. Scarves and necklaces do the same thing. I know, it’s awkward.)

It made me want to eat.

Grumble.

Part of my gripe was that every time I think I’ll get out from under the responsibilities of life so I can start working on my own dreams and hobbies and plans and goals, some other requirement pops up. March was supposed to be “me” time, finally. Now, I have to log points.

I decided to take on the challenge and prove my healthiness as soon as possible so I could go back to living my healthy-ish life without the stressors of proving it. I finally found a rhythm because, like I teach our kids, it has to be done and grumbling won’t solve it, so find a way to git ‘er done.

Along the way, I dusted off some old knowledge.

I like to find the positives in situations. The positive here happened to find me. As I was reading through my nutrition courses, I found I was hungry and craved a carrot and celery to munch on, and that I suddenly needed the summer squash for my lunch, cooked up with onions. (I did use some bacon fat for flavor…shhhhhh…).

A few weeks later, I decided that our salty meat love affair (although limited) needed some new boundaries, so I chatted with my wee ones about my desire to kick us up a notch. They wished I wasn’t taking this course.

The positive of the situation pushed me to tweak our food intakes again. None of the information is new but it pushed me to think about other options.

I’m close to having enough points to prove that I am healthy for this online program where I can get out from under the technology of “healthy living”. But I’ve noticed that my husband, who I might add has not started working toward collecting his points yet, is somehow getting points, and I feel like they’re mine.

He’s encouraging me to keep walking and tracking my foot steps for points.

I’m reminded of the days of group projects where you do your part and then at the end, the slacker in the group ends up with an “A”.

I try to stay away from labels, but my brain is not-so-quietly thinking, “freeloader“…

My New Year’s theme of making connections and opportunites led us to spend some quiet time with a family member and during our time together, I became the new owner of these two old family cookbooks.

The “other side of the family great-aunt’s” cookbook
beauty
My great great aunt’s cookbook
treasure

Oh my! I felt like I couldn’t take them! The history and connections in these pages is immense. I always feel like I can hear the people who wrote the recipes chatting away in their kitchens and these books were full of chit chat. I flipped through the pages that day and already saw recipes that I need to connect with.

The above recipe was one that my grandmother shared with me from her days as a child. Her neighbor had given this to her because my grandmother loved her chocolate cake. I recently made the recipe into cupcakes for us and to share.

Black Chocolate Cake

My wee ones decorated these beauties.

It was fun to share the moment with my wee ones as we made these and with them and my grandmother as we ate them.

one of my favorite views

Well, in keeping with my desire to connect with you more often, I am happy we got to spend this moment together. I have some March goals to work on and will be back to visit with you soon. Spend some time in your upcoming days seeing what you can notice as you look around and listen. It really does make your days full of purpose. And do it while you still don’t have to have an app for that.

I’m finishing up my list of seed packets to order and it’s a doozy. For someone who has only been able to do a couple of potted containers, I’m in way over my head. I’ve been waiting a long time for a place that allows me the freedom to start gardening willy-nilly and my interest in “heirloom” plants, the ones your grandparents grew that were just good old-fashioned plants, has sparked in me a “go crazy” adventure this year. I’ll tell you my final count and the places I found for my heirloom seed adventures when next we chat.

I hope you can sleep tonight now that I’ve sent you into excitement overload.