Saturday, January 28, 2023

Things I May Or May Not Have Shared Before

~  I am shy and rarely talk in a social situation in which I'm not completely comfortable.
~  I have been married almost sixty years which cannot be possible since I still think I'm thirty-five. 
 ~  I am by definition an introvert.
~  I once witnessed a man commit suicide standing ten feet away from me.
~  I've never taken any recreational drugs or been intoxicated.  At least not that I can remember.
~  I have a couple of loose connections in my brain when it comes to working with numbers.   
~  I could live on potato chips and orange juice saving a little room for ice cream.
~  I love, love, love gardening but feel momentary panic when coming across a worm.
~  I was the tallest kid in my grade school, male or female, until the sixth grade.  Then never grew another fraction of an inch.
~  I've always wanted to be an Olympic downhill skier.  I fear it may be too late now.
Okay, I've spilled my beans.
How about you? 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Mid-Winter Blahs?

No, it's not the typical mid-winter blahs.  I'm not tired of this time of year when others feel house-bound or yearn for warm weather.  Mine stems more from still working on getting caught up on all things that were pushed to the wayside since last spring, summer and fall.  This, so far, hasn't allowed me the down time I've wanted for these quiet, slow (ha!) winter months.
I think I mentioned before that I will never let any preserving or jam making from our summer's bounty go until the winter months again.
Recently I've been concentrating on making jam from berries frozen last summer.  Our supply of haskap jam is done and on the pantry shelves.  

Yesterday I worked on strawberry jam.  Gotta admit the smell of simmering strawberries fills the house with an oh-so-delicious aroma!

It was a big double batch from which I got eleven pints of ruby red jam.  My husband is very happy, strawberry jam being his very favorite.
After not wanting to even think about the gardening for this coming season for a few months, I've starting to dream of having my fingers in the soil again.  
Hard to believe but I had several minutes (about twenty) yesterday of not being able to find my garden book.  My book that holds plans for this next garden and past plans and notes of my gardens going back to 2007.
You see, last fall in conjunction with my cleaning, sorting and reorganizing, I put this tome in a "more convenient" spot.  Yesterday I could not remember where that new spot was.  Oh, come on now.  There are only so many book shelves where it could possibly be!  

Needless to say, I did locate it.  Now it's back on my desk where it was previously before I put it where it wouldn't be "so much in the way."  Sigh.
During these winter months when it has seemed to be so much darker morning and night than ever before (has anyone else noticed this?), we caved and put a light in the chicken house.  The hens were being very stingy in the meager amount of eggs we'd been getting since before Christmas.

Turns out we should have done this long before we did.  Seems chickens need a certain amount of light to continue laying during the winter months.  Who knew?  (Well, we certainly did.  But didn't do what should have been done earlier.)
I've been pushing myself too much on things other than those that feed my soul (too dramatic?) so starting tomorrow, Friday, I'm planning on taking a 3-day mental health break for myself.  Sure hope there are enough pre-made meals in the freezer to sustain us until next Monday. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

It Is Time

I finally got all my Christmas and holiday decorations put away late last week.  As I pulled out the boxes of "winter" decorations to put up next, I had a light bulb moment.
It takes too much of my time to do the decorating, and I'm not enjoying the process as I once did.  This applies to all the seasons throughout the year when I remove the past appropriate decorations and replace the bare spots with the new.
Solution?  I could stop changing decorations all together, but I can't bring myself (yet) to do that.
Compromise?  I can reduce (significantly) the quantity of the stuff that needs to be handled.

I've already got a box (plus) of the winter decorations ready to go to one of our resale stores.
It's a start.
Now, in the next several days, as I really take an objective (a must) look at those winter decorations I've put into place in our various rooms, I'll be asking myself if they have sentimental value, and/or do I truly enjoy seeing and keeping them.  What value do they have to me at this stage of my life?  This may (should) lead to even more paring down of "stuff."
It's a step in the right direction for me as I feel a need to take an honest look at how I spend my time and energy.
I suppose you could call this small but honest change I'm attempting as a New Year's Resolution, although I'm determined to make it more than that.  I want it to become a life's resolution in other areas of my life, too.  What could be more important than managing my time so my days bring me more contentment, satisfaction and happiness?  Plus, I'll be getting rid of unneeded "clutter" at the same time.
It is time.
How about you?  Have you made any changes, big or small, that will give you more time for what is really important in your life?  If you've been brave enough to do so, what are the changes? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Do You Remember . . .

This post will no doubt date me, and might not ring a bell for those of you who are a generation (or so) younger than me.  But it may bring back a couple of memories to some of you who grew up around the same time I did.
Do you remember:
~ Home perms.  Eee-gods!  The torture we girls subjected ourselves to in the hopes of attaining beauty and the latest style of hair-do.  Seems the awful fumes and tight curlers of the process frequently produced a lot of frizz and more than a few tears.  And possibly a haircut in seriously bad cases.
~ Movies in actual theaters.  In the medium sized town I grew up in, we had four movie theaters.  One of them was definitely the classiest and quite plush.  That's where we went on dates.  Going to a movie in a theater was where most of our "real" dates occurred during my high school years.  We always dressed up.  No sweat pants and t-shirts as is the garb while watching a DVD on the couch at home these days.
~ 45 rpm records.  One song on each side.  I had my own small record player and a collection of the new releases and old favorites which I played over and over and over.  Much to my father's great consternation. 
~ After dinner phone calls with best girlfriends and sometimes the latest boyfriend crush.  No computers or other technological devices of today with which to communicate.  I got into a lot of trouble with my father because of my hour-long periods on the family phone.  One phone in the house, no such thing as a phone in one's bedroom where privacy could be insured.
~ Big, plump, red lips made of paraffin at Halloween time.  The lips looked exactly like those now displayed by celebrities.  After Halloween, we always ended up chewing the lips until all the "flavor" was gone.  Yuck.
~ Skate keys that tightened your roller skates to your shoes.  The heel of your shoe fit into a metal bracket of sorts in the back of the skates and the front part was held onto your toe area by a clamp on each side.  The clamps had to be tightened by a skate key to keep the four-wheeled skates tightly secured.  We frequently had to share keys because someone had lost theirs.
~ Pen pals.  Again, before means of communicating with all the gadgets we have today, many hand-written letters would be mailed back and forth to friends who had moved away, relatives living far from you or occasionally someone living in another country that you had "met" through a geography lesson in school.
~ Roller rinks.  If we could coerce a parent to transport us to and from a roller rink, we could rent the boot type skates there and spend an afternoon going around and around on the wooden floor of the big indoor rink.  In junior high school this was often our way of getting together with the opposite sex.  A group of us girls would plan a trip to the rink and, lo and behold, a group of boys our age from school would turn up there, too.
~ Neighborhood grocery stores.  There was a small, family-owned grocery store within easy walking distance in nearly every neighborhood.  Once or twice a week, the mother in the home would walk a couple of blocks, or often less, to the neighborhood store to do her food shopping.  If only a couple of items were needed between her regular trips, a child might be given a list with some money, told to go to Mr. Neighborhood Grocer, hand him the list and money, then return home with the purchases and change.
Do you have any memories similar to mine (that have now been relegated to the age of the dinosaurs) from your childhood?  Please feel free to share!