Monday, February 26, 2024

happy spring - kind of - and what i'm up to

February in Illinois usually isn't a kind month. It's typical to have cold weather and snow. This year is different. We've actually had a mild February, including some abnormally warm weather for this time of year. Today is 66F and sunny. Tomorrow we're supposed to reach 70F, then strong thunderstorms will move in (with potential for hail and tornadoes), with temps plummeting to 20F by night! Yes, a 50 degree difference in the same day. Wednesday will only be in the low 30's with snow. CRAZY!! 

This morning when I opened the blinds in the house, I saw two spring robins in the yard. The first sighting of the season! Usually I don't see them until mid-March. Walking around the yard, I saw Bleeding Heart poking out of the ground. That's definitely a few weeks early. And then when I went back in the house, I heard the beautiful sounds of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead. They're back from Mexico, Arizona and California! 

(Bleeding Heart emerging)

What I'm reading:

I can't say enough good things about this book. You can probably tell I'm finding nuggets of wisdom and information from all the page markers. If you're a woman 60+, you'll love this book. From Amazon ~

"Filled with unexpected good news about growing older, Winter’s Graces highlights eleven qualities that ripen with age―including audacious authenticity, creative ingenuity, necessary fierceness, self-transcending generosity, and a growing capacity to savor life and to ride its ups and downs with humor and grace. Decades of research have established that the catastrophic conditions often associated with late life, such as severe dementia and debilitating frailty, are the exception, not the rule. Still, the mistaken idea that aging equals devastating decline persists, causing enormous and unnecessary suffering, especially for women. Drawing on decades of experience as a psychology professor and psychotherapist, Susan Stewart, PhD, weaves together inspiring folk stories that illustrate the graces of winter and recent research that validates them, along with a wealth of user-friendly tools and practices for amplifying these graces and bringing them to life. Written primarily for women over 50 seeking good news about growing older, Winter’s Graces offers adults of all ages a compelling vision of aging that celebrates its many gifts, acknowledges its challenges, and reveals how the last season of life can be the most fulfilling of all."

What I'm listening to ~

Halah ~ Mazzy Star

What I'm watching on TV:

Curb Your Enthusiasm

(Honestly, I'm not much of a TV watcher. We're just now into Season 2 of this series and still think it's just "meh" even though it has good ratings and our son and some friends recommended it. We'll slog along for a little while longer. Have you watched this?)

What I'm cooking (making this tonight):

Creamy Parmesan Ranch Chicken 

What I'm working on:

This mess!

We have small closets in this house. This is the closet in my office/the guest room/what-used-to-be Philip's bedroom. I use it for hanging my sweaters and hoodies, purse storage, and for my art journaling and scrapbooking supplies. Not shown: the messy closet shelf. 

While on a walk around the neighborhood last week, I found this tall, slim dresser at the curb of a neighbor's house. I thought it'd be perfect for storage in the closet. Brian got the dresser in the car for me and brought it home. 

I took everything out of the closet including the Sterilite drawers, went through every little thing, and ended up with three bags of things for donation. 

And...the after, so far! I still have more organizing to do. And then I have to tackle all the stuff on the closet shelf.

Have a good week!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

happy day of love

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've always liked Valentine's Day. It's a low-key holiday without any expectations (we don't exchange gifts), but a fun day to "celebrate" with extra love. 

I enjoy putting touches of heart decor around the house at this time of year, too. I think it adds some cheer to the usually dismal month of February. Though this year we've been lucky with a decent amount of sunshine and mild temps.

Do you remember the "Love is" comic strip? It was created in the 1960's by New Zealander, Kim Grove-Casali for her then-boyfriend and then appeared in newspapers in 1970. When Brian and I were dating (and maybe first married, too; I don't remember), we used to cut out the comic from the newspaper and give to each other if it pertained to us. 💗 I still have a bunch of them. 

I found this mug in an antique shop a few years ago and had to get it.

I like making a special dinner for Valentine's Day, too. When my kids were little, I'd make a heart-shaped meatloaf. Tonight for Brian and I, it's a lovely Bolognese sauce that I've had simmering on the stove all day ~ will boil some wide-tube pasta at the last minute; a tossed, green salad with various, crunchy veggies and a homemade Italian dressing; and a fresh baguette that I'll make into garlic bread. I also made one of Brian's favorite desserts: molasses cookies. Just pulled the cookies out of the oven and between the smell of those and the Bolognese sauce, my house smells amazing! 

Sending all of you LOVE.

Friday, February 9, 2024

simple pleasures

I came across an article from Cup of Jo on simple pleasures. It was a fun article to read, including the comment section where readers chimed in. 

Here are some of mine, off the top of my head:

Seeing blooms on my house plants.

Good chocolate ~ bean to bar, made in-house. 

The reassuring weight of Clementine curled up next to me at night as I'm sleeping.

Seeing the first pops of daffodils in the time between winter and spring. (It is way too early here to be seeing these, but we're having an unusual warm spell.)

Bouquets of Trader Joe's flowers around my house in the winter.

Little comforting book piles.

Some more simple pleasures, no photos:

That first cup of coffee in the morning.
Texts and phone calls from our son Tim, who lives 2000 miles away.
Snuggling with Brian on the couch while watching TV.
Clean sheets.
Playing Wordle every morning.
Lying in savasana after yoga practice.
Browsing in the library.
Getting a magazine in the mail. 

* * * * * * * * *

I could keep going on and on! How about you, what are some of your simple pleasures in life? Please share.