Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Left-Over Day!

Hubby and I are spending the day laying low...he's still sick.  We had a perfectly lovely Thanksgiving here yesterday.  He was too sick to go to the big family dinner so we stayed home and I made a quick dinner of chicken and my world famous cornbread and sausage stuffing.  Because as we all know...the stuffing is the important part of any Thanksgiving meal...everything else is just a condiment.  I was going to take a picture of it (originally to send to my friend who loves to take pics of food) but when I looked at it, I realized that as spectacular as it just looks like a large baking dish of brown when it's I didn't bother with the picture.
~ ♥ ~ 
I've decided to spend the time today doing something constructive that I've wanted to learn for a to use pictures I've downloaded to my computer.  More than that I'm going to learn how to scan pics into my computer.  I come from a long line of shutterbugs and I have thousands of pics of family, friends and places that I'd love to have access to on sites from Facebook and my blogs to pic sharing sites.  So lets give this a try....

 It's not easy to get my four grandchildren (yes, I know they're adorable) to sit still together for a picture but they did here.  
So now I now I can do it from my computer files to Blogger.  Now to figure out how to scan non-digital pics in....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Video of Hurricane Sandy

My sister just sent this to me.  She was without power for many more days then we were.  Astounding video of Sandy ambling up the Atlantic and then taking the sudden left turn that slammed into us.  It looks so much better from up there then it felt here on the ground.  ~  The full screen doesn't work, but the large screen player does.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OK, I've Decided To Merge My Blogs...Well Most Of Them.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I was thinking of merging my blogs.  I was very surprised to find that anyone cared enough to write and tell me what I should do.
What I've ultimately decided is to keep two blogs.  This one which will continue to carry my quest to simplify my life, but also everything else I want to say and post of a secular nature; and my other blog "Random Thoughts From An Inter-Denominational Mind" which will be my place to write about things to do with my Christian faith.  
I appreciate the feedback I was given and I hope you'll keep reading if you enjoy what I have to say.
Being a bit of a technoweenie I have no idea how to actually "merge" them, even if there is a way.  So what I'll do is to take the posts I want to keep from my other blog and post them here with a notation that they are from my original blog.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guilt And Chain Emails

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has those two or three friends who have not gotten the memo about not sending chain-emails.  Many of them end with (or start with) "In the next 10 minutes..."  They are about how wonderful you are, or what you can get out of sending them, or love and friendship; and it seems they are always sent by people you love very much.  So what do you do?  Do you send them or do you delete?
I have finally come to the point of deleting them without guilt, although it's taken me some time.
To be perfectly honest there is very little I still use email for.  Most of the people I know, and keep in touch with on my computer, use Facebook and it's internal messaging system.  There are a few hold outs and generally these emails come from them.
As I said these are folks I love.  I just hate the emails.  I don't understand why people still send them.  Maybe they enjoy getting them...or maybe they are in the same position I am.  Someone special has sent them and they feel compelled to send them back out.  Either way I've decided that to simplify my email I'm going to give myself permission to simply delete them.  I'll still respond happily to personal email.  But the chain email guilt replies are over.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To Merge Or Not To Merge???

As some may know I have several blogs.  Somewhere along the line I was told that I should zero in on one topic for a blog; and since I'm interested in many topics I ended up originally with four blogs (one general, one Christian, one political, and one on Simplicity which you're now reading).  The more I think about this the sillier it seems.  I have been thinking of merging them and just writing one blog with whatever is on my mind.  I haven't decided if I want to do that yet.  It certainly would simplify my life, and encourage me to write more since I wouldn't be trying to decide what to put where, and what subject to write about today.  I'd just write what I was thinking about.  The sheer simplicity factor alone makes it a great idea.  But still...they are such divergent topics....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Mess!

These are pictures of the little room off the bedroom that used to be an art/storage area.  Yes, it was a royal mess.  See below for pictures of what it looks like now.  It's a little kitchenette.  I'm handicapped at the moment and living in a townhouse it makes it much easier to have a small kitchen on the second floor...and yes it simplifies my life.

The Kitchenette

These are pictures of what the new little kitchenette looks like.  I no longer have to ask people to bring me things from the kitchen downstairs.  Plus all the mess is gone, and no it's not somewhere else in the house.  The room isn't quite done, but it's close.  I think I'll go and make a cup of tea.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Storage Containers

It's been a while since I posted.  Been very busy sorting, purging, shredding, organizing...
I have a lot of pictures to post of what happened to the little room off the bedroom, but first just a word about storage containers.
If I've learned one thing in the last month and a half...has it really been that's that storage containers do have their place but we can't let them become a crutch.  
It's way too easy to toss all the stuff we don't want to deal with in there, seal it and put it in a closet or on a shelf and think we've simplified.  Heck, things look neater, they look simpler.  The problem is that all the mess, the clutter, the junk, is still all there, it's just masked with a nice neat clean storage container.  Worse yet, a storage unit.  
Since Sept 2, I've lost count of how many storage boxes of all different sizes I've gone through.  They were full of books (donated for the most part), papers (shredded and a minimum filed), CDs (donated for the most part...some still need to be downloaded) and just plain stuff that for the most part I've donated or simply thrown away.  
All I have left are: 4 large plastic storage containers that hold 4 specific groups of things.  They are neatly stacked in what was my completely empty closet (except for clothes and since I've never cared much for clothes there wasn't much in there).  They hold 1) Office Supplies 2) Yarn and Knitting Needles 3) Journals, Scrapbooks and Personal Correspondence I've decided to keep like handmade cards 4) Bible covers (I've elected to keep only one Bible...I donated 10 document boxes of them to Feed The Children)  So now I have one Bible and 4 Bible covers, and about 10 prayer and other religious books.  All other books, religious and secular, will now be on my Kindle.
I also have a two drawer filing cabinet for papers and bills I need to keep, and a plastic file box with hanging folders that hold my knitting patterns.  I'm still mulling over donating that to a local church that has a knitting group.  Almost any pattern I'll ever need is online.
I have a document box of very neatly organized pictures.  There are a bunch of shutterbugs in my family, and I'm fairly certain that my children and grandchildren are the most photographed humans on the face of the planet.  There are hundreds and hundreds of pictures in that box.  When I started going through the four storage boxes I had of them I was planning on sorting, scanning them into my computer and keeping one (or on the outside two) albums of real pictures.  I spent many days just going through and sorting them down to a box of big and small pictures and slides.  I've had to settle for waiting for a later date to take them out and really give them the attention they require.  I expect it to take a month or two.  So for now my one box...waiting patiently on the shelf in my closet...will have to wait.  
Lastly I have two plastic shoe boxes with office supplies and things I need right at hand next to my desk.

These shelves are a far cry from the way they used to look loaded down with books, papers, office supplies and everything else you could imagine.
So in closing ~ storage containers do have their place.  I can use them, but I have to be careful how and when I do.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Slightly Different Kind Of Simplicity

Today's post will be about a slightly different kind of for which there will be no pictures.  ~ For those that love pictures there will be a number of them in the next few days, as I finish cleaning out my craft room.  I'll post them all together as soon as I'm done. ~'s post will be about simplicity in social media.  
I had already given this subject some thought when I quite by brother sending me an involved in Klout.  I made the mistake of signing up for it.  The problem is I have a very competitive personality.  When I play a game I play to win and for me social media can become a game.  Klout is the ultimate in game playing in social media.  So just at a point when I was hoping to minimalize my involvement in it, I was suddenly getting pulled into greatly expanding it.  That lasted about a week.  I even went so far as to put the app on my phone so I could keep track of my number on a constant basis (I told you I was a little crazy about this kind of thing).  The good news is that I caught myself before I really went over the edge, disconnected from it, and removed the app.  
I've also decided that I need to keep my social media involvement down to only Twitter and Facebook.  I don't count blogging as social media although I'm sure there are those that would disagree....their problem not mine.
For the last few years I have gone on a Facebook vacation for a week, which I haven't done this year...yet.  I'll know when the time is right.
But for now, apart from leaving Klout, I've simplified by removing the other three social media outlets I had been using...and I'm amazed at how much I like the change.  It's really nice not having people know where you are, and what you're doing, every hour of every day.
I wonder if Pinterest counts as a social media outlet??   

Sunday, September 9, 2012

And The Kitchen Progresses....

Today being Sunday I didn't have a lot of time for getting things done.  
I did however do something that is going to make not only me happy, but my family as well.
Since we moved in here I've kept the baking dishes and pot lids in the oven.  The cabinets on either side have been filled with many other cooking vessels, storage containers and gadgets.  Many of these were removed recently when I cleaned out the other kitchen  cabinets.
Today Hubby and I pulled all the pots and pans out of the cabinets and went through them.  We decided on which to keep and which to throw away.  The result was less to store and we put them in the bottom of the two cabinets that will hold all we really use to cook.  The more often used in the front and the less used in the back.  This left a large pull out shelf for the baking dishes and pot lids that had been in the oven...and had to be removed every time we used it.  Yes, that was as much of a pain as it sounds.
So now things are in better order, there's less to deal with, and using the oven and broiler is simplified...mission successful!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Part Of The Mess....


What A Mess!

I was hoping I could do this process in an orderly fashion and get one thing done at a time.  It's not working out that way.  Nothing seems to want to be done all at once so everything is pretty much all over the place.  I have pictures I'm going through, art supplies I'm deciding on keeping or getting rid of, furniture I'm cleaning out and donating and that's just in one little corner of this room.
I know it's all going to be worth it when it's done, and I'm going to be very thankful to have it finished.
My sister gave me a great piece of advice yesterday.  Sort and throw out the pictures you don't want before you start scanning.  I narrowed down the one's I'm going to be keeping by at least a hundred this evening alone.
I've packed up one box to go to my niece's full of art and scrapbooking supplies, and given away two large organizers with drawers.  I've disposed of my old DayRunner and have totally switched over to my phone.  My address book will be next to go.  
Tomorrow we move the scanner next to my desk so I can start putting in pictures.  Slowly, very slowly this will all start to feel much better.  A journey indeed...not just a destination.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Antiques you say!

Today I was talking with hubby about a few of our pieces of furniture I was thinking we should do away with.  He said that he'd seen a number of them on eBay and though that we should try to see if we could sell them.  So it looks like we're going to be looking for an antique store this weekend to see if they'd like to buy our chair and table.  
The good thing is that most of the places I can think of are in the vicinity of my siblings and nieces who I want to give a whole lot of scrapbooking supplies to.  A way to kill two birds with one stone.  I really hate that phrase!  
That said I started working my way through my "craft room" today.  In reality it's a small dressing-room off our bedroom.  But it's crammed full of craft and art supplies, books, papers, pictures, and anything else that needed a "temporary" home for the last year.  I have to start early tomorrow morning and get down to some serious work on it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


As per someone's advice I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  It is described as a book very much about living the simple life.  I read it in high school, but at that time was not in a position to appreciate that aspect of it.  I have always loved the opening paragraphs...and am looking forward to rereading it now with new eyes.
Yes, I'm reading it on my Kindle.

Sherlock, Bilbo and all my other friends....

>>>>I accidentally deleted this but had it open in another browser so I could put it back's no longer in order, but at least it's here <<<<<<
The time has come to start thinking about "real" versus digital when it comes to some of the biggest clutter culprits of all....books, music, movies (and TV shows), pictures, etc...
What am I going to do with all the DVDs, CDs, photos, books and papers that I've acquired in my 50+ years on this earth.
I'm only looking at the tip of the iceberg right now...I have boxes and boxes of them packed away, that all need dealing with.  I don't want any of the boxes to remain when I'm done.
The books are probably the easiest.  For one thing I had already started converting them to digital with my Kindle last year.  Most of the things that I want to read are now on there (except for my Bible which I prefer to keep in written form), and all that I now buy, I buy for the Kindle.  Hubby and I used to spend at least one afternoon a weekend at a bookstore and come home with a bag full.  I miss those trips, but all the Borders alas are no more, and I can't stand that long anymore anyway.  So books are easy.  I'm planning on giving them to either people or a thrift shop.
The cookbooks are a different story to be covered in another post.
Pictures are going to be very time consuming, but I've decided to go digital.  My printer has a scanner and so I'm planning on going through the hundreds and hundreds of pictures I have and put those I want to keep on my computer.  This will necessitate getting a back up service, but it will be worth it I'm sure in the savings on space and clutter.  Also if I should ever decide I want to do anymore scrap-booking I can do it digitally.
Hubby and I are still in negotiations about the DVDs.  He's of a mind to keep them in real form, I'm not sure.  Any more we buy from now on will be digital.
CD's are fairly easy.  Most of them are already on our computers and iPods.  Most of those can be donated.
It all sounds so easy...I have a feeling it's going to be a little more difficult to execute.   

Rather a slow day ~

I had a rather slow day today.  I went through a lot of papers, cards and mementos and threw out the one's I didn't want to keep.  I started the pile of scrapbooking and art supplies I'll be giving to my nieces.  
I wrote to my pastor about the proper method to deal with the 80+ Bibles that I have.  I will be giving many away to churches and charities but there are some that will have to be done away with, and I am not comfortable with just throwing them away.  We shall see what he says.  
My son's girlfriend knows of a used book store in PA, and says that she will take many of my other books up there.  She'll also get first look to see if there's anything she wants to keep as she's an avid reader.  I'm happy to say that she may also take some of my art supplies and will help me to organize as I figure out what to dispose of and what can be donated.
I found some very interesting videos on simplicity online today.  They were about more simple living but also the spiritual aspect of it.  I have to say I agreed with his assessment that the more we own, the less room for the spiritual we leave.  Jesus spoke of selling our possessions and giving to the poor; St Francis began his life for Jesus by giving away all that he owned even his clothes and starting out with nothing.  I find the more I give away and throw out the better I feel.  I don't know how far I'll get with this, only time will tell.  

Kitchen Decals....and then there were none.

Our kitchen with and then without the decals I removed on Monday (promising pictures which I've now delivered)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sherlock Holmes ~

You may wonder how Sherlock Holmes could possibly have anything to do with simplicity but he could.....the answer is in the post above this.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Decals, Drawer And An Under-sink Disaster

OK, so today didn't turn out quite the way I'd hoped.  I'd had delusions of grandeur about getting everything I wanted done while Hubby was home for the day.  It didn't work out that way.  
I did get the large drawer in the hutch cleaned out.  I threw out old place-mats  craft supplies, cards and old flatware that had rust issues which I haven't used in ages.  I kept the menu folder..with only our favorite places in there...the power cords for my phone and Kindle, and a picture of my daughter she'd made into a Christmas ornament when she was a Brownie.
I also tackled the decals I had plastered on our kitchen cabinets when we moved in ~ made from Victorian "scrap" bought at a reenactment village nearby using a glue stick.  I put them on really well.  It took about an hour to soak and scrape them off.  Hubby wanted to go and get a razor blade but I was afraid that would gouge the doors.  They finally came off, and the cabinets look no worse for can't even see where they used to be.  I took before pics but not after ones...I'll see if I can post them tomorrow.
Then the real mess happened!
I had wanted Hubby to get under the sink and throw out everything under there.  I figured we'd make a clean sweep of it.  Unfortunately it looks like we've had something leaking under there for some time.  The wood is totally warped,  there's a puddle, and the stuff down there is disgusting.  We're getting someone in tomorrow (hopefully) to deal with it all.  In the meantime we're not using the sink.  It's a real pain not having a sink in the kitchen!  Hopefully they can get it done in one day.
>>>>>>I forgot when we loaded our truck up with the bags and boxes of garbage we'd collected for the dumpster we also got rid of the old bundles and bags that had been living in the back.  So now the only thing back there is a slide projector that has to go back to my sister the next time we see her.  OK, so maybe we got more done today then I thought.  

Baker Street

This song has nothing to do with simplicity but I love it.  So Baker Street stays, only not in record or CD electronic form.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tossing Baking on Sunday Evening....

I must be motivated since I spent my Sunday evening cleaning out a kitchen cabinet.

Hubby and I were going to sit and watch Leverage this evening, but I found I couldn't sit still.  So I thought...why not get rid of some stuff!  I pulled everything out of the cabinet that once held a lot of storage containers, mixing bowls and baking pans and went through all that I'd jammed in there over the last 14 years.  (How long we've lived here) I've hit the point in my life where I'm no longer baking.  *Baking is just one of the things that I've decided that I'm not going to do anymore...hence giving away my KitchenAid mixer last week*
I threw away everything in that cabinet but the mixing bowls, one cookie sheet, one pizza pan, one pie plate (for making Pillsbury cinnamon I don't count that as baking, more like survival) and a shredder.  I can't wait to get to the other cabinets tomorrow.

I think this is the first time in 30 years I don't own a loaf pan!

Simple Gifts

               I can think of no better way to start this journey than with this song....

The Start

I've decided to embark on a new way of living.  A way that has at it's core simplicity.  And I'm going to take you with me.

I'm sure that I'll make mistakes along the way, but no path worth taking doesn't.  

Some who know me may think I have a fairly simple life right now.  My kids are grown, my grandkids are children and not babies anymore.  I have been married to the same man for 32 years (33 within the month).  I have no career, but have taken care of both our parents at different times and have had many jobs that allowed me to raise my children along the way.  I am handicapped now, but hope not to remain that way...I'll get into that later perhaps.

This is not just a trip to a simpler exterior life...but an interior one as well.

Much will be discarded along the way, but the good and the necessary will remain.