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April 2014

Right Now . . . April 2014

[Edited before posting:  Because of Typepad's continuing frustrating . . . issue. . . I have spent far too long this morning trying to get a great photo of my Alabama Chanin project.  It will not load.  I give up.  Maybe tomorrow.]

April . . . just flew by!  

Although the weather is not reliable quite yet, it is definitely more spring-like.  And I'll take that.  (Even though the early part of spring is always one of the most unattractive times of the year.)

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(But at least the snow is finally gone.)

What's happening in my world . . . RIGHT NOW?

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Watching . . . A storm rolling in.  Leaves popping out.  Robins making a nest in my pergola.  (It'll be a few weeks before I'll dare get my swing out!)

Reading . . . Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez . . . a re-read of one of my favorites, in memory of one of my favorite authors.  I'm also reading Bach: Music in Castle of Heaven by John Eliot Gardiner.  (This one will take awhile.  I like having a big ol' biography by my bed to read before I sleep.  Sometimes it takes months to finish, but that's fine with me.)

Knitting . . . Not much, actually.  Not much at all, in fact!  Instead, I've become totally immersed in hand stitching -- and obsessed with my Alabama Chanin project.  (Addicting, I tell you.  Totally addicting.)  I do have one knintting project on the needles:  Another folded poncho!  This one for summer, in Hempathy.  (My goal is to bring this to Italy when I leave at the end of August.  Any bets?)

 

Listening to . . . Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.  (Inspired by my reading, of course.  Plus one of my favorite pieces of classical music.)

Dreading . . . Yet another dinner of baked spaghetti!  It's very good and all, but one pan lasts for days (and days!) when Tom is not around to share.

Planning . . . Where to plant 2 new trees I just bought!  A Satomi Chinese Dogwood and a Hearts of Gold Red Bud.

Humming . . . ALL of the songs from Grease.  I blame an old friend who posted something on Facebook yesterday that seems to have triggered the onslaught.  (I'll spare you.)

Wondering . . . Where all these ants coming from?  Right here!  In my kitchen!

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Drinking . . . A lot of water!  (Trying to up my daily intake.)

Itching to . . . Plant my herb garden.  But it's still too early.

Needing to . . . Finish cleaning up my garden beds.

Organizing . . . Inspired by my newly-organized closet, I'm ready to tackle my jewelry box next.  

Delighted by . . . The whole Alabama Chanin thing.  I'm completely charmed.  (Can you tell?)

[REALLY GREAT PHOTO SUPPOSED TO GO HERE!!!]

Inspired by . . . My closet re-fresh.  Enough so, that I'm ready to tackle every corner of my life in an effort to further pare down and minimize.

Celebrating . . . So. Many. Things.  Tom's imminent return (from weeks in Mumbai).  Brian's graduation.  My dad's birthday.  And a special visit -- from someone all of you know!!!

Pleased with . . . Myself!  For sticking with my running -- something I NEVER dreamed I would do.  (I'm now up to a regular 4+ mile course -- hills and all!)

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . Right Now?


Re-Entry

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Carole has just returned from a heavenly vacation in Mexico.  She is struggling with the re-entry process . . . back to work; back to routine.  

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We've all been there.  Sweet anticipation.  Fabulous vacation.  Wonderful get-away.  

And then . . . whamm-o!  It's over.

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It is so hard to settle back into that old, familiar routine when you return.  Even if you're ready to get back home after traveling!

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Really.  Who wants to come back . . . to meal planning, grocery shopping, laundry, and tackling that work email inbox?

No wonder Carole is struggling!

Let's help her out.  This week . . . Ten Good Things About Coming Home from Vacation:

  1. Not having to keep track of your passport.
  2. The taste of your "home water" -- straight from the tap!
  3. Being greeted by your happy, tail-wagging dogs.
  4. Spreading out in your own space.
  5. That familiar and comforting water pressure in your own shower.
  6. Seeing what's happened in your garden.
  7. Sorting and opening the mail.
  8. Not needing a map or travel guide to get around.
  9. Putting the camera down.
  10. Getting back into your normal routine.

Being home . . . feels pretty good, after all!

How about YOU?  What do you like about coming home from vacation?

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My Closet: A Metaphor for Life . . . Lessons Learned

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(This photo has nothing to do with today's blog post.  
But my star magnolia is blooming, and I am beside myself with joy
.)

I am nearly wrapped up with my closet "intervention," although I realize now that it will be a long-term project as I continue to rethink and purge and shift and pare down.  The process really has been cathartic for me, though.  A kind of metaphor for life!  Here are some of the lessons I learned . . . through my closet:

  • When our "closets" are full, it feels like we have plenty of options.  But sometimes, too many options can weigh you down.  And then you stagnate.  And keep choosing the same thing.
  • The more variables in the mix, the harder it is to come to a decision.
  • It's necessary to release some of the old if you're ever going to embrace anything new.
  • It's hard to add a new item when there isn't anywhere to put it.
  • Sometimes we forget what we already have.
  • Guilt and obligation makes us hold to to things we ought just let go.
  • There is freedom in less.

Lessons from a closet . . . sound like POSSIBILITY!

 


Spring P-UPdate

Although Jenny still finds plenty of time for this . . . 

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she is now officially free from her leash restriction!  Her healing has progressed even better than expected, and she can resume most (not all. . . but most) of her favorite dog-ly activities.

Watch out, squirrels.  Beware, chipmunks.  Be ever-vigilant, JoJo.

Jenny's back in town!


Something Special . . . for a Lady of the Canyon

Some Joni Mitchell . . . to start the day!

 

This song . . . always makes me think of all those Good Women I've known over the years.

Just ordinary women.  But women who have helped me stay my course.  Or chart a new course.  Or helped re-think what I thought was my course.

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Women who model the best in our world; women who . . .

Share.

Nurture.  

Teach.

Live!

I've been so lucky (so very lucky!) to have worked closely for the last 6 months with one of those Good Women.  A true Lady of the Canyon!

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Thanks, Judy.  It's been a privilege and a pleasure to work alongside you these last months.

Weave a pattern of your own. . . 
Lady of the Canyon. . .

Ravelry details here.

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My Closet: A Metaphor for Life, Part III

I developed my personal wardrobe-philosophy over a lifetime of studying fashion, shopping, and twirling in front of mirrors.  

You know . . . 

  • Start with the basics.
  • Invest in high-quality items.
  • You can't go wrong with accessories.
  • Every woman needs (at least one) LBD.
  • Never get rid of a Burberry coat.
  • A scarf will pull it all together.
  • "If you don't absolutely love it in the store, you won't wear it."  (Sandra Bullock in The Blindside)
  • "Once you've dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off."  (Coco Chanel)

And, really.  I lived that philosophy.  (Except for the Burberry coat.  Which I have never owned.)

What did it get me?  A closet full of clothes . . . that I thought I loved; that I thought I needed.

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Then, I met Project 333.  Talk about another perspective!

Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invites participants to dress using 33 items (or less!) for 3 months.

33 items, people.  Including shoes, jewelry, coats, and handbags.  You might imagine my reaction.  (Let's just say it involved the F-word, followed by a reference to myself.)  

But I was intrigued.

33 items?

I read all about it.  I checked out the Facebook page. I read blogs of Project 333 participants.  I even took the Project 333 microcourse because I wanted to learn more about minimizing my maxi-sized wardrobe.  The microcourse was just what I needed, actually, to get me thinking about my wardrobe and my clothes and my philosophy.  To think about WHY.  To think about how it all fits together.  To . . . explore the possibility . . . of reducing my wardrobe.

But, still.  I knew that Project 333 wasn't really for me.  [Because accessories!  I might be able to whittle my wardrobe down to 33 pieces . . . but I would never be able to give up my jewelry or my scarves or my handbags and shoes.  (Just no.)]

So, while I'm not climbing on the Project 333 bandwagon, I am folding many of its principles into my wardrobe-philosophy:

  • Love every piece in your closet!
  • Only wear what looks good and feels good.
  • Be creative in mixing and matching.
  • Shop for what you need; don't just wander and see what "grabs you."
  • Start with the basics.
  • Invest in high-quality clothing that lasts.

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And with that, I started a major closet overhaul.  I emptied everything out of my closet(s) and drawers and shelves.  I sorted.  I bagged.  I donated.  I shared.  I sorted some more.  I packed some things away to decide later.  I sorted some more.  In fact, I'm still sorting!  Every time I put something on, I question myself.  Do you love this?  Sometimes I realize I don't.  So out it goes.

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Although I know my wardrobe is still WAY too full to achieve minimalist standards, I've come a long way.  It feels really liberating to love everything in my closet; to wear everything in my closet; to be able to see space between the hangers!  

And I'm not finished yet.  The sorting will continue. . .  

 

 

 


A Little Breather

"You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day -- unless you're too busy.  Then you should sit for an hour."
---- Zen proverb

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I'm checking out for a couple of days.  It's time for a little breather!  See you Monday!