me

time: spending spree or saving for a rainy day?

Excellent news!
The person who was in YBW’s office tested negative for covid!
WOOT!
Even though it turned out to be nothing, my husband’s company took this seriously and was proactive. The decision to send everyone home and have the office properly cleaned shows the health and wellbeing of the employees is important. While it may be a simple fact of keeping everyone healthy so they can remain at work, I appreciate the effort because it helps keep my husband healthy.

In other news:

With so much ‘free time’ we are tackling as many time consuming tasks as possible.
House things are at the top of that list. Things that need to be done as we live here, and in the knowledge that this prep work will assist us when it’s time to move into our new house.
YBW has lived in this house twenty one years. In addition to his own things, he accumulated things from his parents. This time is a gift in which to sort and purge, and make decisions about how he wants to curate his life at the end of his time in this house and the way he plans to live in the new house.

In the unfinished part of our basement in which the mechanicals are housed, there’s also shelving and storage bins. He began tackling his stored things early this year, but on Saturday, I requested his assistance to access three bins of my stuff. It was a successful bit of work as we did a quick survey and purge of other things too. All in less than half an hour!
I’ll be going through those bins this week.

I’m all about this organization, y’all!

Yesterday, YBW cleaned out his closet. And since I already did mine, I chose an activity that kept us in the same room and able to talk about what he went through.
I ironed all our napkins.

Y’all it was so damn satisfying.

Porch life is in full swing!
This week:
Nora joined me for a porch life visit.
we had a virtual happy hour on the porch with YBW’s work friends for which I quickly threw together a half-assed charcuterie board.
we popped bubbly during appropriately social distanced porch life with our neighbors.

Today we planned on a shoot day, but it’s cloudy and damp. Not the best lighting or weather for taking photos.
Maybe I’ll get on my bins sooner than I thought?

I find myself go through spurts of being uber productive. All mindful and self aware. Only to flip the coin and spend an entire day watching Youtube vids, or blazing through books.
I’m currently rewatching all the Harry Potter movies. In true Give a Mouse a Cookie form, watching them highlights how different from the books they are, and how book Ron and movie Ron are two completely different characters, and how much I adore the books, and now I find myself wanting to read them all over again.
My journaling already killed one pen.
I’m on the porch as often as possible.

Do y’all find yourselves doing the home tasks you’ve put off?
Are you using this forced free time to your advantage?
Are you equal parts ‘ruthless efficiency’ and ‘straight chillin’?
Are your streaming subscriptions at peak ‘worth the cost’?
Are you tackling your TBRs?
What about your gardens?
Are you sick of the news?
Do you miss going places?
Are you content to be at home?
Are you tired of being asked questions?

Dang! All those questions felt a bit like…

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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whatcha think?

So, a person who was in YBW’s office has covid symptoms. *symptoms – not a diagnosis*
They found out Thursday morning about 10:15 and sent everyone home. I was shocked to find him home when I returned from the grocery store at noon.
Cleaners went in to do a deep clean and no one is allowed back in the office until Tuesday.

I asked if it was one of his coworkers. The answer is no.
They think it was an HVAC specialist who was in the office after hours.

So, yeah… that’s a thing.

YBW asked if he got sick would I want him to ‘move to the basement’ and stay put there for a few weeks.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about that.
I may have already been exposed, so is it actually helpful?
It’ll create more work for me if he moves downstairs, and that’s not at all helpful. I also wouldn’t be able to provide the level of care he might need.
On the other hand, it may help keep me healthy. And I’m all about being healthy, yo.
In the ten years we’ve been together, neither of us has ever been a contagious kind of sick.

I’m curious what y’all think.
How would you handle covid in your household? Would you separate if you could? Would you simply assume everyone had been infected and not change anything?
Any thoughts about what we might do?

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the choices we make

The other day LA wrote a post in which she said “I want you to think about how you really feel about the situation.” The ‘situation’ being the world in which we currently live.

You know, I didn’t realize how much I actually felt about this situation because I’ve become somewhat immune to it. But upon further thought, this is what I think and how I feel about where we are right now.

I miss going to school. I miss students and faculty. I miss everything about it!
Schools here are beginning to discuss what August will look like. There is talk in our county of further distance learning.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. On the one hand, ‘getting back to normal’ sounds wonderful. Being in the classrooms, teaching and learning together. On the other, how safe are we going to be with a thousand kids from age 4 to 12 in tight space?

I truly believe I’m helping by remaining at home.
That doesn’t mean I like it.
Here in America, there’s a great uproar about civil liberties. It’s mostly people who want to go about and do the things. They don’t care that they could get or make others sick. They want to do what they want to do when they want to do it and don’t feel like they should be told any differently.
I have real issue with this. This is toddler behavior. And I’m speaking from a brain development point of view. Also as someone who’s spent most of her adult life around toddlers.

And let me assure you, I understand the financial impact. Two of our four kids work in the service industry. Thing 2 is a server in a restaurant. She was fortunate to qualify for unemployment for a while, but now that the state in which she lives is opening back up, she had to go back to work regardless of her safety or the safety of others.
Thing G is a cashier at the Dollar Tree. And though his hours have dropped dramatically, he’s still going to work. He’s at risk, he’s putting others at risk.
I understand the economy is struggling, but people are dying. I cannot fathom how to put a dollar amount on human life.

If we don’t choose to accept that our actions impact others we’re doomed.
I mean, I’d love to go get a pedicure, or have browse Home Goods, or go out to dinner. But I’m hopeful that by staying in, I’m helping keep us all safe.
And if it turns out I’m wrong, so be it. It wasn’t that hard, and it’s not worth the shoulda coulda woulda drama.

I am aware that my choices impact everything and everyone around me. That’s enough for me to pay attention. To do what I believe is the right thing. I can see the bigger picture. I am part of one human family.
Some people don’t look at life that way. And that too is OK. We each have the right to our own choices.
It comes down to individuals making choices that impact others without thought. Without empathy.
We’re all in this together, but there are individuals who value their own desires over the greater good.
That’s your right.
But your right shouldn’t impede mine.

This pandemic has negatively impacted my country more by furthering the divide than by the death rate number.
It makes me sad.
It makes me angry.
I’m tired of the conservatives and liberals alike behaving like monkeys, throwing poo and screeching just to hear themselves.

There must be a better way.
The way it is is so deeply entrenched that to change it would take a straight up revolution.
Is that what’s best for any of us?

There must be a way to exercise our freedoms without negatively impacting the freedoms of others. Perhaps speaking and acting with kindness and empathy instead of finger pointing and name calling…?
The goal is for everyone to have the right to make their choice without fear or judgement. Without risk to self or others. The trick is each of us having the willingness to try.

I’m going to borrow LA’s words to ask what y’all think.

“Not what your friend thinks.
Not what the media tells you to think.
Not what you’re ‘supposed’ to think.
What do YOU think?”

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things are just things

Y’all know Thing 1 and her family will be living in our house for a few months starting some time in July.
Y’all know YBW and I are eager to purchase and move into that townhouse.
The first of these will cause a change in the way we live in this house.
The second how we live in our new house.

This got me thinking about how I currently live in this house, how I want to live my remaining time in this house, and how I want to live in the new house.
Not how YBW and I live together. Those things must be decided by us as a unit.
I’m thinking how I want to live and what that means for me as a member of our household.

This thought process has been somewhat active as we begin to make preparations, but hatched into actual thoughts when I sent a photo to Thing 1 and Thing 2 asking if either of them had any interest in this item.

The story is my great aunt made this lamp for me. I don’t know when, but I do know I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t in my bedroom.
This Raggedy Ann lamp is a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I don’t have any strong feels about it.
Thing 1 remarked that it’s one of those things that just stuck around.
The more I considered this, the more I realized that’s not a mindful way to live. At least I feel that way now about how I want to live.
Of late, I’ve worried that it may seem as though, and sometimes even feels like I’m just purging to purge, but I’m actually being super mindful about the way I want to live.
And what I surround myself with.
And what I leave behind needs to be the truest representation of the me I am (was?), and be simple for my daughters to handle.

I have this feeling it’s like shedding skin…
Or some sort of evolutionary process…
Leaving behind who you were in a mindful and respectful way and making room to become the next version of you…?

This is the last year of my forties, a natural phase of evolution as we get ready for a decade change. As I look at my life, I see how much my surroundings impact the way I live. By going through my things in a respectfully mindful way, I can prepare and environment that will meet my needs. Living my intention. Thriving in an environment that gives me everything I need with the bonus of things that foster learning and creativity. An environment in which I have enough room and the proper tools to grow into the next version of me.

Even though this lamp has been in my life as long as I can remember I don’t have any real feels about it.
Lack of feels is a strong indication that I don’t need it in my life which obviously means there’s no place for it in my house.
Purging to purge isn’t always healthy.
But being mindful about how I curate my environment is incredibly healthy.

My mom was not a full blown horder, but she was sure as hell a packrat. What I’ve learned about her since she’s been gone is that she saved things to fill emotional emptiness. By simply having these things she could feel the feels she didn’t have inside her.
She saved things that meant something because of the feels they evoked in her. Feels she couldn’t experience any other way.
My ex husband is exactly the same.
There is something about possessing particular items that provides some sort of emotion they otherwise lack (lacked). I truly believe it reinforces their stunted emotional growth. Then the weight of the things traps (trapped) them, so there’s no room to learn, or create, or grow.

I understand having great big feels about certain items. For me, a specific example of this is my Grandaddy’s wallet. It is of absolutely no use to me, but the feelings that bubble up in me when I hold it make it worth keeping.
But that is one particular item that is in a special place in my bookshelf that I can go to when I want to feel the intensity of those feels.
It doesn’t impact the way I live. It doesn’t block creativity or inhibit learning. It doesn’t waste space. It doesn’t keep me from growing as a human.
And I know as I write this that there will come a point in time I’ll be willing to let it go. Today is not that time.

I can’t be trapped by possessions. I need freedom to move. If I can’t move, I can’t grow.
I need to grow!
I want to evolve in my relationships with my friends.
I want to evolve in my relationships with my daughters.
I want to evolve with my granddaughter as she builds relationships.
I want to evolve in my relationship with my precious husband.

Things are just things.
At this stage of my life, my main focus is to curate my surroundings in a way that helps me thrive. Living my intention, learning and creating, and growing into the next version of me gives me all the feels.

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day seven

Today is the last day of International Week of the Birthday.
Even during this strangest of times, when everything is different and we’re all a bit fearful, I feel celebrated. Part of that is me just being me. I love birthdays! The day you came into the world is the most precious and sacred event and should be celebrated to the nth degree!
Earlier this week I wondered perhaps a grown woman shouldn’t be as excited about celebrating her birthday as I am. But the more I considered it, the more I realized who else should celebrate the anniversary of my birth more than me?
I’ve lived through every moment of my life. I’ve made it to this place where I can say, I’m forty nine years old and I am (for the most part) content with the me I am.
What’s more cause for celebration than that?

I’m not exactly the me I intended. In many ways I’m so much more! In other ways I see room for improvement. But I celebrate that too!
I am this me, and can continue my work to become an even more me.

This post didn’t go the way I expected when I began, but I quite love where it lead us.
Even though IWotB is ending today, I’m going to keep celebrating my me. The me I was. The me I am. The me I work to become. Because each version of me did, and will continue to live my intention, learn and grow, suffer and backslide, experience love, and loss, and I will celebrate every moment with joy and gratitude! I choose to celebrate the good, bad, ugly, and indifferent, because they created the me I am today. And I’m worth celebrating!
I encourage all y’all to celebrate your yous. The past, present, and future you. Celebrate becoming the you you long to be. Celebrate your you, I promise you’re worth it!

Crowley is my spirit animal

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day six

I went to the nursery today.
It was the first time I’ve been to a public place without legit reason. I’ve only been to the grocery store. I debated going to the nursery. Do I need to go somewhere that wasn’t specifically essential? Is it worth risking my health, and the health of others to get some herbs?
I went alone at 8:30 in the morning, expecting to find the nursery pretty empty.
Nope.
But because I wore my mask and gloves, and I knew exactly what I wanted and where it is got it and immediately checked out, I felt like I was successful.

I came home and planted the herbs. I repotted Thing G’s aloe plant into an appropriately sized container. I repotted the maiden hair fern, and the gardenia into larger containers. I swept the porch, watered all the plants and got in the shower.

Did I need to go to the nursery today?
No.
But I wanted to.
And I wrestled with the decision for several days.
Jessica encouraged me to go as long as I was appropriately safe. She said, “You have to do the things that bring you joy!”

I realize I’m feeling guilty for going out when I didn’t need to.
Is this how life is going to be for the foreseeable future? We feel badly about ourselves when we do nonessential things that bring us joy?
Maybe it’s just me?

I was safe.
I didn’t dawdle.
I got what I needed and got out.

You know what!?!
Buying and planting did bring me joy!
Dirt under my fingernails even though I wore gardening gloves.
The smell of the soil when I watered the plants.
Such joy!

As long as I do what I can to be and keep others safe, maybe it’s OK to do what brings me joy. However, I don’t think I’ll go out again for a while.
It occurs to me conflicted feelings will be with us for as we move forward.
I must remember ‘accept don’t judge’ applies to myself as well as to others.

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day five

I had a nice quiet morning organizing books. Of course then I had a stack of books I’ve read, but don’t actually want to keep.
For the most part, I share books with my friend Josie. I can trust her to take good care of the ones I want back, and know anything she passes along will go to a good reader.
In true ‘if you give a mouse a cookie’ fashion, this book organization lead to me texting Josie. Which lead to YBW and I going out to Mike and Josie’s to drop off books. But since we were there, we had (an appropriately socially distanced) visit on their porch and carry out from this precious local restaurant called Field & Main.

When we got home there were packages in the mailbox for me!

Colors from the Essie summer collection Bustling Bazaar, and Christopher Moore’s new book! The second sequel to one of my all time favorites, Fool.
AND(!!!) Check this out!

International Week of the Birthday continues to rock!

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day four

Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K are moving to our house in July.
They’ll live here for a few months until they find and move into their own house.

Though there will be three more humans and three dogs in our house, YBW and I are pretty excited to have unlimited access to Baby K! And I’m especially eager to spend more time with my daughter.

Baby K will move her things into my nest and that will become her room while they’re here in our house.
I’m in the process of transforming it from ‘Birdie’s Nest’ to ‘Baby K’s busy bee hive’.
I’m sad to disassemble my work space, but if it means she’ll be here, it’s worth it.

Here’s where I am in the process.

I’ll move the black shelves out, the chair and bench too.
The white shelves will stay as a place for Baby K’s things. Practical things like diapers and wipes on the upper part of the shelf, and books and toys on the lower part of the shelf. YBW and I are going to secure it to the wall to keep her safe.
I’ll hang and rehang the art higher up on the wall so she can’t reach it when she’s standing in her crib.

Would I normally celebrate International Week of the Birthday working like this?
Perhaps not. But after a chock full birthday, I’m looking forward to a bit of busy work then chilling.

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day three

I woke to my husband jumping into our bed and kissing me.
Then he said:

I had Duck Donuts for breakfast. My favorite cake donuts, one maple drizzle with bacon and one cinnamon and sugar. With freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee we brought home from our trip!

YBW went into his (home) office to work and I read for a little while.

I took a break for lunch and watched the second Disney Family Singalong.
Y’all I’m a Disney loving girl for sure!
If you haven’t watched either of them, please do. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
I immediately chatted Thing 1 to tell her it was on Disney+ and we chatted while watching it together. Baby K was eating her lunch and singing away with John Legend and Jennifer Hudson. My Birdie heart grew three sizes!
What a lovely accidental birthday pressie!

This afternoon we went up the street to our neighbors and hung out on the porch. (at the appropriate social distance) Meredith and Beau made me a card and we drank four bottles of bubbly.

I absolutely adore my friends!

Thing 2 called me and we talked while YBW and I made breakfast for dinner. Bacon, scrambled eggs and french toast. The most perfect birthday dinner.
We finished the evening watching one of my all time favorite movies, The Parent Trap.

I had a VERY Roby day.
Happy Birthday to me!

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day two

YBW is working from home this week so when he finished his 12:30 conference call, he invited me to go for a walk.
As we neared the front of our neighborhood there was the question of which way we were going to go. Then I remembered it’s gosling time at the pond up the road from our neighborhood!

The parent geese were super pissed when we walked by. They were hissing and craning their necks and bobbing their heads at us.
YBW was talking in a calm voice and I was saying softly, We’re not going to hurt your babies. I just want to take their picture.

It’s sunny and breezy, a beautiful day. Though still only in the 50s, which means it’s a bit chilly for porch life in the shade of the house.
When we came home he got on his computer, and I’m organizing my bookshelf and making a stack of books I’ve read to go to Josie.

I’m going to open a bottle of wine and enjoy the rest of my day.
Y’all do the same!

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