Sunday, February 21, 2021

peaceful sunday

Hello and happy Sunday! If there's one positive thing I can say about early morning, it's that the sunrises through the bare tree branches are spectacular. They only last a few minutes, but at least it brings a smile to my face first thing in the morning as I raise the blinds and greet a new day.

I'm purposely having a peaceful day today, as this weekend was actually a little busy with errands, visiting with a friend (one in my COVID bubble), cooking and housework. And my next couple of days are busy with contractors coming to give estimates and taking Clem to the vet. (More on that later.) It was nice to enjoy a leisurely breakfast with the Sunday paper. I normally drink jasmine green tea in the morning, but once a week of so, I enjoy a cup of coffee. My tummy can't handle coffee every day anymore. Breakfast today was my usual: overnight oats with fresh fruit, toasted walnuts and pecans, raw pumpkin seeds, a little flax meal and hemp hearts, a smidgen of pure maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

Yoga is part of my everyday routine, even if I only have time to just do a few stretches and poses. Otherwise, I enjoy doing Yoga with Adriene. She has so many choices, including gentle ones. I bring the video up on my phone and cast to the TV in the living room. Monkey loves when I do yoga, for whatever reason. See him waiting for me? He walks all around me, purring, rubbing up against me and sometimes even trying to climb on my body. Clementine's in one of her usual spots - lying on the heater vent under the table. Poor baby is always cold in the winter. I just ordered her a heated cat bed from Amazon.

A short journaling prompt for the's called 12-6-3-1 and was designed by my First Best Friend, Cin, who is a poet. Sit in a quiet place and take a few deep breaths. Maybe light a candle. Just let your mind and body relax. Write down 12 words that come to you. They can be any kind of you feel, what you see out the window, what is on your mind. You don't want to overthink this. When you have your 12 words, look them over and then whittle the list down to six of those words - whichever words jump out at you. Keep them in the order which you first wrote them. From the six words, choose three words that resonate with you. Again, in order which they were written. From those three words...choose one. What's behind that final word for the day?

I am still in love with this writer's medic bag from Galen Leather that Brian gave me for Christmas. The leather is so soft and buttery and gently worn, and the case unfolds to hold notebooks and journals and pens and all kinds of other materials a writer might need.

Even though it's a peaceful, relaxing day, general house upkeep has to be done. Seems like the laundry is never-ending around here, even with just the two of us. Brian produces a lot of laundry between his workout clothes, work uniforms, and everyday wear. This is just two days worth of laundry for us.

Clementine found her afternoon napping spot on top of some warm-from-the-dryer laundry. Speaking of her previously and taking her to the vet...I've mentioned in earlier posts that she has kidney disease. It's quite common in cats, especially as they get older. She is young to have it though. She was diagnosed over two years ago when she was 9-10 years old. Her illness has progressed to where she now goes to the vet twice/week for subcutaneous fluids. At her last visit, the vet detected what he called a "significant" heart murmur. She's having a chest x-ray tomorrow after her fluids. She also had blood tests done last week to check on the progression of her kidney disease. I have a feeling the news all around isn't going to be good. Fortunately, she doesn't act sick at all yet. She's still very spunky and playful as usual, eats all her food, and uses the litter box. Of course, if things change and she starts showing any signs of distress and/or suffering, we know we have to do the right thing and give her a compassionate end to her life. In the meantime, it breaks my heart to think about it and I am relishing every moment spent with her. When she cuddles in my lap and purrs, I let her stay there for as long as she wants.

Monkey has found his afternoon nap spot, too.

And so have I. The winds are howling, the sky is gray; the guest bed, a warm blanket, and a good book (Hamnet) beckons.

I hope that you're having a peaceful, relaxing Sunday, as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

new kitchen rug

Finding a rug that works in our eat-in kitchen isn't fun. It isn't like trying to find a rug for a formal dining room. It has to be casual, durable (more on that in a moment) and a solid color because of using different colored and patterned placemats, runners and tablecloths on the table. For several years, we've had this beige sisal rug in our kitchen and it worked good enough until it started getting stained (this is where the durable part comes in) from us walking in the garage-kitchen door and the cats choosing to use the rug as their vomit depository.

I searched online for a long time, trying to find another rug that met our criteria and didn't have any luck until I started looking at indoor-outdoor rugs. I found this blue one online at Target. We put it down a few days ago and I'm still trying to get used to it. Do I love it? No. But I don't hate it either. Brian really likes it, so there's that.

One thing I'm not crazy about is the dark shade of blue. It was much lighter online. I do like that you can't tell it's an indoor-outdoor rug from afar. You wouldn't know it until you're walking on it. It doesn't have any softness under your feet (another thing I don't like).

Monkey has already lovingly left me a gift on this rug and it cleaned right up and didn't stain, so that's a plus.

Here's the door in the kitchen that goes right into the attached garage. You can see what a tiny space we have to step into - directly in the kitchen - when we come in from the garage. I keep a folded towel by the back door to spread across the floor for extra coverage or to keep our wet shoes on. Oh, to have a house with a mud room! This time of year is especially messy and dirty with snow stuck to our boots or shoes when we walk in the door. This is why the previous beige rug got so dirty. Now with this darker indoor-outdoor rug, snow, water and mud wipe right up and don't leave stains.

Still looking for a chair for our living room. I thought I finally found one on FB Marketplace a few days ago, so we went to look at it in person. It was a leather chair from Article, but it wasn't what we were looking for. 

Have a good weekend...and happy Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

the heart of winter

We got walloped by another snowstorm on Sunday. I's "nothing" compared to what the east coast just got. But we're making up for lost time here in Illinois, with January packing over 20" of snow. 

As much as I don't like winter, I have to admit, the fresh snow is pretty.

Even prettier, Mr. Cardinal peeking out of the snowy arborvitaes in our backyard. 

Looking down our street...

Pretty to look at - yes. Fun to shovel - no. Especially when the snow is wet and heavy like it was. I'm just thankful Brian had the day off of work.

The days after snowstorms aren't so pretty. Reality sets in. Cars are covered in road salt, the snow piles on the sides of the road are slushy and black from all the dirt, and even the bird feeders take a beating. I went outside and broke off these icicles for the poor little birdies.

So now it's February which brings Valentine's Day. One of my favorite holidays as it's no-frills, just cheery pops of red and pink in the middle of a dull, cold month. As a side note, this plant in the white pot is the newest to join my household. I found it at Trader Joe's ~ ceramic pot included. I believe it's English Ivy. The plant didn't have an ID tag. 

In Brian's office...

A vintage bowl on the table at the end of the hallway holds some handmade (not by me!) hearts.

Just a few heart touches on and in the china cabinet...

Speaking of china cabinets, in my last post I had talked about looking for a hutch for my kitchen and getting rid of the china cabinet. I explained that this skinny cabinet had sentimental value, as Brian and I bought it when we were first married. A few of you said that maybe I could find somewhere else in my house for it. 

Backtracking a moment, here is the hutch I saw on FB Marketplace that was listed for only $50. While I was thinking about it, it sold right away. 

Back to finding another place in my home where I could put my skinny cabinet...

Our house is small. The only place it could possibly go is the living room. There's no room in any of the small bedrooms. This corner and the wall to the right is currently a work-in-progress anyway. The cheap, ugly IKEA chair you partially see is just temporary. We desperately need a nice armchair for that wall. I've been looking for a deep blue velvet one. They're out there but wow, are they expensive! There are cheap ones, but we don't want a cheap one. We are looking for a quality piece of furniture that's going to last. Our second choice is leather. In the meantime, to fill in this space, I ordered that tall shelving unit from Target. It doesn't do a lot for me. This whole space is just "off". I'm leaving it alone until we find an armchair. Anywho...maybe the skinny hutch would indeed look good in this corner? Only time will tell. First things first: finding a new hutch for the kitchen and an armchair for the living room.

In the happy news department, Tim is flying in from California on Thursday for a quick visit. We're due for some more snow on Thursday, so I hope his plane isn't delayed. Of course, as a mom, these kinds of things worry me. And doesn't it just figure...we're in for an Arctic blast this weekend, with wind chills up to -30F! I'm sure he won't miss this weather one bit by the time he flies back to California. 

Stay well and safe. ๐Ÿ’“