Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Don't Mean To Toot My Own Horn, But For The Second Year In A Row, I Managed To Send In Our Car Registrations Before The Bonus Month Expired. I'm Kinda Kicking Butt And Taking Names Now When It Comes To Time Management.

Sometimes I feel like I could be getting a lot more done in a day.  It's not so much when I have a staging project to work on or a writing job -  maybe I focus more when I'm getting paid? - but it seems like when it comes to just the day-to-day life maintenance activities I could stand to step up the urgency a bit.  I'll occasionally have one of those days where I'm firing on all cylinders, checking things off my list, and running at full speed.  But for the most part, I find I'm easily distracted by the computer - I've already Googled Nancy Meyer movie sets, funny last-minute Halloween costumes, and found myself a new running back for fantasy football today.  It's barely past 8 o'clock in the morning.

While this lack of productivity can be irksome, I also feel though, that down time can be very valuable. I couldn't possibly be one of those people who go go go from dawn until dusk - and I accept that about myself.  But one thing I know I could do better is to take care of things before they become a problem that stresses me out.  I read somewhere recently (on a distracting Google search, perhaps?) that the calmest and most peaceful people are the ones that take care of things before they become problems.   They aren't necessarily at peace because they handle stress well: they manage to avoid as much stress as possible in the first place.  Ah!!

So, because each journey begins with a single step,  I'm ordering a water filter for our refrigerator as soon as I post this blog.  Last night the message to "Order new H2O filter" scrolled across the screen on the fridge.  In years past, I'd see that note and think to myself, "I need to remember to do that.  I'll make sure I order one when I get a chance."  Well, clearly I could never find the time to squeeze that task in, which is weird because I'm sure there was plenty of time to price compare over-the-knee boots or research the best way to brine a turkey.  I'd put off ordering until the message eventually changed to, "Replace H2O filter." It probably should have said something like, "You haven't even ordered it have you?  Prepare to enjoy the taste of contamination."  Because of my inaction, our filter was rendered useless and I was left to ponder whether or not the water tasted funny until the new one arrived.  This added unnecessary tension/guilt/mineral deposits to my life.  But no more.

The water filter will be on its way by end of day.  Mark my words.  Then I'll be able to get around to scheduling my annual physical exam if I can mange to find the reminder postcard they sent to me two months ago.

I'm wearing this today.

I found these new grey skinnies yesterday at Old Navy, of all places.  They have a new mid-rise fit in their Rockstar jean and it's perfect for those of us who prefer zippers slightly longer than an inch and a half, but not anywhere near Mom Jean length.  A nice stretchy skinny in a great color for a cheap price.  Score.

gratitude:  amazing fog, creative pumpkin carving, toasted English muffins (Rudi's Multigrain with Flax), staplers

thanks and love.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tonight Will Feature Pumpkins, Power Tools, And Pinot Noir. A Trifecta Of Halloween Fun.

Welcome to Monday!  I missed posting Friday as I was knee-deep in the final phases of our staging project, then afterward decided that a few glasses of wine and dinner out was required.  I also (re)learned that wine consumption is best done on a full stomach and if one throws back a glass on nothing more than the remains of the toast she ate at 7:00 that morning, regrets are possible.  Alas.

I'd hoped to have everything completed with the big project by today and this morning would be the kick-off to a recovery time of sorts.  But, as is the case in so much of life, the Universe likes to mock our silly planning efforts and we'll be heading back up to the flats today to tie up a few loose ends.  It's been quite an experience to exist with an all-consuming work activity.  Not much outside of staging has been accomplished in recent weeks.

For instance, Halloween kinda snuck up on me.  Unfortunately, that means I was among the pathetic group of people scrounging for carveable pumpkins this weekend.  Trust me, at this point in the season, those pumpkin bins outside the grocery store are not for the squeamish.  It's humiliating to have to dig through them in front of everyone only to end up with misshapen, stemless pumpkins that have several disappointingly soft spots.  Although, the moldy areas do make for easier carving, so there's that.

It's Meatless Monday and we'll either be enjoying egg salad sandwiches or a simple pesto pasta.  Sometimes if you let your family make the final decision, they are happier with the results.  I will do whatever it takes to make Meatless Mondays more palatable for my loved ones - literally and figuratively.

I'm wearing this.

I am, once again, a walking tribute to the power of Pinterest.

gratitude:  a gray day, leopard print, Vanity Fair magazine, black pens

thanks and love.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lunch Has Its Own Challenges - Not The Least Of Which Involves Ordering Without My Glasses. Why Are Those Menus Behind The Counter So Far Away?

It's been a busy week, and I'm glad I've made an effort to stop for a quick lunch while I'm moving through each day.  I function better if I've eaten something - no one needs a stager with low blood sugar.  Can you imagine? Oh the horror.

I've come to realize that the act of disposing of your lunch remains at some restaurants can be a nerve-wracking task.  I think the trend toward recycling has added new elements to "disposal" in general.  I'm a recycler.  I'm even making a concerted effort to do a better job of breaking down boxes so they lay flat in my recycling bin and also to rinse things out before I toss them on the pile.  I get it.  Recycling is good.

But now that recycling is becoming the norm, we don't just toss everything we have left over into one big trash can.  Now we need to sort things: trash, compost, paper, plastic, silverware, plates, trays, etc.  They all need to go in a specific place when we're done with our meal.  I get a little anxious if there's a line behind me pressuring me to get my tray cleared quickly - you have to really think about where things go.  I'll even wait at my table until it looks like the trash station is clearing out just so I can sort my paper and plastic in peace.

The worst place for this kind of sorting has to be Whole Foods.  They started this trend I think, but they've also made it the most difficult.   Whole Foods has their trash system broken into no less than five sections and each section comes with a handy framed example of what each particular piece of trash should look like for its associated disposal zone.  But sometimes the examples they provide become outdated and don't match what the Prepared Foods department is using to serve food.  I end up holding my empty container up to the framed examples and guessing to myself the chemical make-up what my Sonoma chicken salad came in.  Is it recyclable?  Would it dissolve on a compost pile?   Maybe it's just plain old trash?  I think it's made out of corn.  Did my food taste like corn?  Could I just eat the container? The stream of consciousness alone takes quite a while.

Sometimes I just cram my plastics and papers in my grocery bag and dispose of it all at home.  It's easier and that way I can practice my speed sorting skills on my own.  After a little private practice, the next time I dine at Whole Foods,  I plan to amaze the other lunch-goers with my flawless execution of trash disposal.  Little victories mean so much.

I'm wearing this.

I've had this vest for three years and could never find a way to work it into my rotation.  I bought it at Anthropologie when I was feeling extra funky, then got it home and wondered what in the world I was going to do with a long, knit vest.  I don't know why I didn't think about using it with a t-shirt and jeans.  Duh.

gratitude:  the smell of roast chicken, simplicity, lamps, yoga

thanks and love.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Know Style Isn't An Interest For Everyone, But We Can't Ignore It Or Undervalue Its Importance. Just Like Breakfast.

I believe you can dress for success.  Well, maybe not success - it's not like your chosen outfit will land you the job or get you the promotion, but to the extent attitude comes into play; what you wear can make a big difference.  I've been experimenting with this theory in the little laboratory of my daily life.  I'm in the middle of a staging project that is bigger than any I've tackled so far.  I've been pretty nervous about it all and I attribute some of the success I'm having to what I've been wearing each day.  The things I've chosen to wear, I think, have given me some added confidence in my work and opened my mind to coming up with creative solutions.

Typically I lean a bit toward uniform dressing.  Skinny jeans, low boots, and a black turtleneck are my wintertime go to ensemble.  But I've made myself stay away from the black turtlenecks so far this season - I've layered more and mixed up prints.  I've pulled out super wide leg jeans and worn my faux leather pants with a t-shirt and Converse tennis shoes.  I'm even attempting the Pinterest-esque dress and low boot combo.  It's been fun.  And inspiring.

They do say, "All the world's a stage," right?  So try dressing the way you imagine the person you want to be would dress.  Like you're in a movie and you get to come up with the wardrobe choice for a particular character.  It's as if every day you're in charge of creating a character you'll love and admire and part of that involves costuming.  Of course, you also have to act like a person you would love and admire too, to get this to really work - but fashion is a good first step.  Give it a go.  How do you want that main character in the movie of your life to look?

I'm wearing this today:

If I were going for the full Pinterest-worthy look, I'd probably have bare legs.  But, I'm over 40, it's cold out, and I bruise like a summer peach.   Leggings are required.

And tonight for Meatless Monday we're going with breakfast burritos.  Scrambled eggs, black beans, potatoes, cheese, and salsa wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

gratitude:  toothpaste, neutrals, sunshine, crispy things

thanks and love.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I'm Including A Recipe In This One For Something Other Than A Champagne-Based Cocktail. I Like To Demonstrate My Versatility From Time To Time.

How good does Friday feel?  Some Fridays are better than others and, from my perspective, this one is really nice.  Obviously it's been quite a week and my Monday/Wednesday/Friday posts have been a bit tardy each day.  I've considered writing my blog the night before I post in order to avoid this situation, but honestly, I'm a bit of a procrastinator when I write and I can't seem to flow if the clocks not ticking. Plus, sometimes I forget that I was going to try to do that.

I'm certain I'm not the only one that's had a crazy week so I'm going to share with you our dinner tonight.  We're having a pan of roasted sausages and potatoes.  This is the easiest thing in the world to make, it makes your house smell fantastic, and it tastes great.  You may already have something similar in your repertoire, but just in case you don't, here is how it's going down tonight at Chez High.

Take two pounds of Italian sausages (I like a combo of hot and mild), two pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes or red potatoes, and two big green or red bell peppers (or a combo, of course).  Cut the sausages into 1" - 2" pieces, cut the potatoes into eighths, and chop the peppers in larger pieces.  Put it all into a 11" x 13" casserole and drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Add coarse salt, cracked black pepper, and Italian seasoning (be generous).  Mix it all up and pop it in a 350 degree oven for at least two hours (stirring occasionally) or until everything is fully cooked.  Delish!

I love this on nights when I don't want to do anything that requires wearing shoes, I don't want to have to ask a waitperson for more wine, and I don't want to stand over the stove or measure a lot of stuff.  I can just hang out on the couch, Malbec nearby, fireplace on, candles lit, and ask people from time to time to give the sausage and potatoes a whirl.  Life is good.

I'm wearing this.

I'm having some fun with the print mixing again.  I've been combining lots of pillows on sofas lately, so I think my head is stuck on getting patterns to combine in interesting ways.  The statement necklace is a nice way to draw attention away from any pattern combo that feels a little iffy (as is the case here).

And it's a Full Moon, so today is a great day to just be aware of and thankful for the fullness of your life.  No matter what is going on in your life, there is always something to be grateful for - something you love.  Like attracts like, so being grateful for the good in your life helps draw more good to you in the future.

gratitude:  easy dinners, project success, the return of Domino magazine, my family

thanks and love.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Some Support For Those Of Us Who Wear Many Hats: Make No Mistake, This Is Not A 12-Step Program Or Anything For People Who Can't Decide Between Straw, Cowboy, Or Top.

I feel weird sometimes when people ask me what I do.  I'm a mom, first and foremost, and that should be enough, really, but unfortunately society doesn't always support that opinion especially as our kids get a bit older.  And, to be honest, I do actually like to have a little something extra going on and pulling in a bit of cash along the way.  So once my kids were in school full-time and the need to help out in the classroom lessened a bit, I found myself sampling a few other activities and interests.  For the past several years I've done a lot of little things in addition to my standard and much-adored Momming.

If I had a 9 to 5 job in an office Monday through Friday, it would put a major hitch in how my family functions.  I've had to find things to do that fit around all our schedules.  It took me a while though, to accept that working outside a traditional office setting would be a perfectly acceptable way of life.  I took a personality quiz many months ago that actually told me I shouldn't work in an office - just not the ideal environment for me.  So I feel I dodged a bullet there and, subsequently learned that I'll obviously take validation from virtually any source; be it online quiz, self-help book, or even fortune cookie.

I do many things.  I'm a mom, I've sold jewelry, staged homes, redecorated homes, I've been a freelance writer, holiday gift wrapper, and now even blogger.  But I've stumbled over the descriptions of my interests and part-time jobs when asked what I do, and I end up mumbling something that feels ridiculous, then making a joke about it all, hoping the conversation will just move on.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday I read on the Daily Worth, a financial blog for women, that lots of people now have things called "Slash Careers."  It has nothing to do with street fighting or vandalism to cars, as I initially imagined, but instead is a way to describe what people do when they have more than one job "thing."  For instance, I'm a real estate stager/freelance writer/lifestyle blogger.  It's okay, apparently, to do more than one thing.  I bet lots of us have Slash Careers, even those with full time jobs because it's natural to have varied interests and activities.  Even hobbies can be part of your Slash Career because who knows when your yoga practice will become a career option, or you start selling some of those cool scarves you knit, or maybe even the volunteer job you do expands and you fill more time with it even though it's done selflessly without pay.

Now, those of us dipping a toe into more than one vocation, can proudly describe ourselves as Slash Career people.  There is no shame in doing many things.  We are creative beings living multi-faceted lives, right?  So hold your head up high, Slash Career people, and know you will never again have to fake spilling your wine (gasp!) to avoid another career conversation!

I'm wearing this.

It's actually a new top.  I'm adding a few fun bits to the wardrobe to spice things up, stimulate my creativity, and to prevent me from hacking my old tops to bits with a pair of sharp scissors.

gratitude:  money, toast, lemon water, hot showers in cold bathrooms

thanks and love.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I Imagine If The Beastie Boys Had Been Buddhists, The Lyrics May Have Been, "You Gotta Fight For Your Right, To Be Present." Because You Kinda Do.

Being present to each moment every day can be challenging.  Especially because life and the world around us seems so end result focused.  The Goal, the Point, the Final Results can override our daily missions.  It's hard sometimes to be here, when we feel our focus and attention needs to be over there.

There's the project at work with the distant completion date, the upcoming family holiday you're hosting at your home, attending college planning meetings with your sophomore, even preparing for the important spring youth sports season while you're still playing in the less serious fall league.  Life makes us look ahead.  And that's a good thing - for the most part.  We need to keep our eyes on the horizon.  Just not all the time.

I've still been trying to run regularly in preparation for my upcoming Turkey Trot - which I learned is actually a four mile run not the standard 5K I was mentally and physically preparing for - a fact I'm none too pleased about, but that discussion is best saved for another blog post.  For now though, running is giving me a great reminder about how best to keep things present without losing my direction.  Let me explain.

I came back a couple days ago from a run a little annoyed.  My legs don't hurt anymore when I run and once my body and mind accepts that I'll be running for awhile, my breathing settles into a normal rhythm and my mind sort of crosses its arms and flops on the couch like a pouty child who didn't get her way.  I was frustrated though because I don't know where to look when I run.  If I look straight ahead I get bummed because the road just seems to go on forever and I notice every hill in the distance, but if I only look down I risk running into something and my brain starts to melt from boredom.  I asked Geoff about it and he said to keep your eyes down, but angled just a little way out from your feet (like a yard and a half or so).  So I did that and it really worked.

On my next run, I looked up from time to time to gauge where I was, but mostly I focused on those few steps right in front of me.  The things I could control now.  And it felt better.  And then, instead of the much-anticipated endorphin rush I hear so much about but have yet to experience personally, I made a philosophical connection about 'being present' instead.  We need the finish line - it motivates us, it gives us an end point, and it feels so good to cross it when we do.  But if we only focus on that one thing, the road we need to travel may seem so long we could become discouraged and quit, we may trip over something - slowing our progress to the end, and we'd definitely miss out on some great views along the way.

Life constantly pushes us forward, but sometimes we need to put down the telescope for a little while, stop obsessively looking for land in the distance, and just listen to the waves and feel the air on our faces.  The destination and the journey are both important.  Whether we're making it through a work day in the office, a holiday season, a big project, or a school year - the end will always get here.  We just need to bring our gratitude, love, and attention to each step we take along the way.  The end will be that much sweeter if we do.

I'm wearing this:

This is one of those sweaters I thought looked too crazy - I could never pull it off.  But, it turned out to be one of my favorites and I'm glad I kinda pushed myself to give it a try.  Another life lesson, perhaps?

And this Meatless Monday we'll be having grilled cheese on sourdough bread.  Because I want my kids to like me a lot.

gratitude:  morning rain, my new black boots, crowded restaurants with small tables, my house

thanks and love.

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Would Pick Up A Pumpkin At The Grocery Store, But I'm Always Racing Through Like I'm On Some Kind Of Game Show Where They Time Your Shopping Trip. Pumpkin Selection Takes Time If You're Going To Do It Right.

It's been a bountiful harvest here at the High house.  I present you, our pumpkins...

This would be it.  Two pumpkins sized somewhere between large oranges and small cantaloupes.  I may use them as festive paperweights.  I'm a little behind this year on the seasonal decor.  I'm blaming it on a combo of a big staging project, countless youth sports and activities, and the powerful need to just sit and do nothing.  If I were one of those people who doesn't need downtime, this house would really be something this season.  But I'm not, and it isn't.

We have empty pots, burnt out lightbulbs, and real cobwebs in our courtyard.  It actually looks like we found some very realistic decorations for the season, pretty spooky really.  But I know it won't do.  We need real pumpkins (at the very least) and some grasses or greens for our pots, maybe even a strand or two of lights.  I'll get to that.  Soonish.

The other day though, I pulled up to the house and saw a pumpkin in one of the empty pots in our courtyard.  I thought a neighbor must have put it there as a festive and sweet token of autumnal goodwill.  It looked really pretty.  Then I drove up the driveway and got a closer look - it was a basketball.  I was a little let down, but I left it there thinking if I was fooled by it as I drove by, maybe other people passing our home will catch a quick glimpse and believe we actually have made an effort this season.

I'm wearing this today (that's me... on the left).

Long dusters are so fun to have in a wardrobe.  They look cool over jeans, dresses, leggings, you name it.  And if you look cool enough, your daughter will want to be photographed with you before school.  Bonus! (I was on my way to a hair appointment which explains the updo.)

gratitude:  extra time, lists, iPads, Malbecs

thanks and love.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Little Something On The Pros and Cons Of The Beautiful Colorado Sunshine. Also Why It's A Good Idea To Periodically Vacuum Under Your Car Seats.

Fall in Colorado is a truly spectacular time of year.  The sunrises and sunsets are stunning.  Because I'm regularly in the car during pre-dawn and twilight hours, I frequently see people snapping shots of the sky with their cell phones while they sit at red lights.  The sky really looks that good.

Of course, all this beautiful, bright sunlight takes its toll.  It makes driving risky at times - turn one corner and you find yourself in a staring contest with the sun.  Doing exactly what you've been told not to do your entire life.  And while your retinas are melting you frantically flip down visors, grab sunglasses off the passenger seat, and use your hand to shield your eyes as you struggle to regain your vision - often to no avail.  I'll bet most Colorado drivers have had the nerve-wracking experience of driving blind.  Trusting for a few precious moments that you won't hit anything if you just keep the car moving forward.  It's quite a rush.  The sun also can give us really chapped lips.  And chapped lips can make you desperate.

A couple days ago I was driving somewhere and my lips were feeling really dry.  I ran the back of my hand across them to casually gauge the level of dryness and discovered my lips could actually leave scratch marks on skin.  I began a desperate one-handed hunt for Chap-Stick in my purse.  Unfortunately, while I did come up with 17 pens and an actual rock, there was no lip balm to be found.  I caught a glance of myself in the rear view mirror and was horrified.  I looked like one of those apple head dolls we all tried to make in the 1970s.  I had to move to plan B.

At the next stop light I threw the car in 'Park' and dove down to search under the passenger seat - a place I consciously try to avoid.  I saw straws, an orange, hair bands and one flip flop, but no Chap-Stick.  Then I spotted a tube of off-brand lip balm, covered in gravel and hair, that must have come in a golf tournament swag bag years ago.  I didn't care how gross it looked - I was desperate.  I ripped the cap off and saw it had almost completely melted leaving only that plastic stick in the tube, but a little of the moisturizing product had ended up in the lid.  I scooped it out with my pinky and slathered it over my lips.  It felt like heaven even though I did have to pick a hair and what appeared to be a french fry crumb off my lips afterward.

Now I buy one or two tubes of Chap-Stick every time I go to the store, but somehow they still seem to disappear.  They must go to the mysterious place that holds socks lost in the dryer and the 10,000 mechanical pencils we buy the kids during the school year.  Sometimes though, I get lucky and find one of them in a jacket pocket with a forgotten $10 bill.  Those are good days indeed.

I'm wearing this.

My need for new skinny jeans is intense.  As intense as my love of a statement necklace.  That's really saying something.

gratitude:  realistic scheduling, learning curves, oatmeal cookies, Chap-Stick

thanks and love.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Team Bonding Feels A Little How I Imagine An Arranged Marriage Must Feel. You Don't Know Each Other Very Well, But You Know You'll Be Spending A Lot Of Time Together In The Future. It's A Little Weird.

We're coming off a chaotic weekend of youth sports.  One in which we amazingly fit in a night in Vail for a soccer tournament.  We were never sure if we'd be bedding down in town or not because we had other sport commitments in Denver and, due to the recent snowstorm, the soccer tournament schedule seemed to be changing every hour on the hour.  But stay we did.

We're not the best at team bonding during these tournaments.  We tend to find a smallish group of like-minded families (read: those willing to conceal wine in coffee travel mugs if a weekend game starts after 4:30) and break off on our own between games.  It's not always that we don't like the other people, it's just that full-team activities become a bit cumbersome.  You end up with such a huge group that the options for entertainment and dining are extremely limited.  Don't get me wrong, we've spent our fair share of time with entire teams, parents, and siblings eating room temperature pizza in the kitchen area of various La Quintas and Ramada Inns.  But sometimes, when you're in a fun place like Vail or Steamboat, a team potluck sounds like a lot more work for a lot less fun.  We couldn't even make our lodging plans until we were driving up to Vail this time, let alone manage to cobble together some kind of pasta salad to complement the planned brats and burgers feast.

So we booked a room at the Marriott - and since we were last minute we had a built in excuse to avoid the condo complex where a lot of the team stayed.  We met our close team friends for a happy hour then dined out in Vail, as is appropriate.  We connected with the rest of the team at our morning game the next day.  I used to feel a little bad about our approach to these things, but not anymore.  I think even one night away can feel like a vacation, but having to rush back to the condo after a game to prepare a side dish for a team dinner does not qualify as vacation fun to me. Throw in a lot of small talk with people I barely know, and I'd need a vacation when the weekend was over.

I'm wearing this today.

Looks like we may have a few more days of summer here in Denver so sleeveless tops are still finding their way into the rotation.  Admittedly, they are a bit less fun to wear in October than they were in May.

And it's Meatless Monday.  Tomato soup and cheese toasts on are the menu tonight.  I would prefer grilled cheese, but I haven't figured out how to make more than two of those at a time, and the family ends up eating in shifts.  Cheese toasts, on the other hand, have the same gooey melty qualities and are made all at once in the oven, so we can actually dine as a group.  A culinary case of Function over Form.

gratitude:  the changing leaves, 24 hours in Vail, a good night's sleep, crisp mornings

thanks and love.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Occasionally, I'll Have A Hippy Dippy Trippy Moment. Welcome To One Of Them.

We are one heck of a wired society.  And, admittedly, I'm right there running with the pack.  I am slightly obsessed with Googling things - I wonder about stuff a lot and need answers.  I text, I email, I post.  And while I dearly love bookstores and even the smell of them makes me giddy (could this be a new candle scent??), I read most things on my iPad and I love being able to want a book, buy a book, and start reading a book all within less than a minute.  Sometimes though, I feel like all this technology can put us a little out of touch with the rhythms of the natural world.

That's why I try to pay attention to seasonal shifts and the natural cycles of the earth as much as possible.  As human beings we can't afford to forget our connection to the energy of nature no matter how isolated and technologically driven our lives become.  So with that in mind, in case you didn't already know, today is a New Moon.  Paying attention to new moons and full moons is something I've been doing for a couple years now and it's been a good way to add a little more consciousness and gratitude to my life.

New moons are a great time to think about beginnings, and endings too because they're really like energetic conjoined twins.  On new moon days it's nice to spend a few moments contemplating what you'd like to add to your life and starting that process as the moon increases its fullness.  Or if you have something you'd like to put behind you, the emptiness of the new moon can be a symbolic reminder to move on.  It doesn't have to take long and if you're paying attention to new moons and full moons, you'll only be spending a few moments a couple days a month to reconnect to some good ol' earth energy.

Give it a try!  And when you're done with your moon moments you can get right back on the computer and Google something.  I was in the mood for a Spinal Tap clip.  Enjoy.

I'm wearing this today.

 It's snowing and this new sweater is helping me find the joy.

gratitude:  large slices of pizza, snow (amazingly), Spinal Tap, funny people

thanks and love.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Bit About Gratitude And Also How Not To Feel Bad About A Messy House. It's Meaningful Rationalizing.

My desk is in what our homebuilder calls the 'bonus room.'  That name makes it sound like something we won or as if it were a gift with purchase.  It wasn't.  We paid for this room just like we paid (and continue to pay) for the rest of the house.  The bonus room is upstairs and has no door - you enter through a wide open archway - by no means a private space where you can work in solitude.  I try to keep my desk somewhat tidy and loosely arranged according to what I read in a book about Feng Shui for your office.  The jury is still out on the effectiveness, but a really supportive message from a fortune cookie on a piece of antique silver in the prosperity section of my desktop at least makes me feel like I'm covering my bases.

I love working from home.  I've worked in offices and I get the allure, but it's just not for me.  This setting makes me happy and I feel most creative when I'm in my personal space.  I also think working from home makes it easier for me to really feel grateful for my life.  The kids use this bonus room to watch TV when the main TV downstairs is being used by someone with opposing tastes in programming.  When I look around I see scattered bits of homework, a complicated graphing calculator, a laptop covered in stickers, and Eliza's vast nail polish supply.  JD also plays the latest Madden game regularly in this room with his friend from down the street and I see the couch pillows messed up from their Monday Night Football session and both game controls on the floor.  A baseball mitt and a warm ice pack are also in the mix.

It's a mess.  Not in a disgusting way, but it's messy.  The couch is slipcovered in this room by choice.  I washed the slipcover recently, but  haven't found the motivation to reapply it because it's like wrestling an alligator so the slipcover is sitting in a wad next to a chair.  I think I'll put it on today.  And as usual I'll tidy up the room afterward, but it won't last.  As much as I'd like everything to look perfectly arranged, I'm really trying to embrace the mess.  I know the day will come when our entire home will remain pristine because the kids will have moved on to different places and I will miss them with all my heart.  So the messes surrounding my desk (and 98% of the rest of our house) don't bother me so much.  I'm so grateful to have my kids here and the associated decor imperfections are just reminders to be joyful for this messy wonderful time in life.

I'm wearing this today.

I'm headed to Ikea to pick up some furniture for a staging job and it just occurred to me that this outfit has the Ikea colors in it.  Impressive and disturbing.

gratitude:  extended deadlines, Jon Stewart, lighting candles in the evening, leaves that turn red in the fall

thanks and love.