Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Aspiring towards Less is More ...

What do all these photos have in common?



Pantry shelf

Quilt Tops


Small Appliances

It's all aspirational clutter.  Things I aspire to use or have always wanted to do, thinking if I go ahead and accumulate the supplies, surely I will tackle the desire.  Ha!  A lot of things accumulated back in the "Martha Stewart Wannabe Days" are still hanging around.  More recently, it's art project paraphernalia and canning jars!

I've been re-reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, while awaiting arrival of her newest book, Happy at Home, which arrived yesterday!

Gretchen  writes about many types of clutter:

Nostalgic Clutter: relics clung to from an earlier life ... in my case, useless things that evoke memories or (I'm afraid) guilt, if I toss it. Yes, there are a few boxes of memorabilia in my garage ... along with a few dollhouses I built many years ago.   IN MY GARAGE.  Does that tell you anything?  I made a decision to use it or lose it ... give it a place in my home where it can be used or enjoyed or let it go.  I made a decision.  Haven't gotten around to acting on it yet.  ;-)

Conservation Clutter (aka recyclable clutter):  things I've kept because they're useful ... in may case, containers, vases, old pillowcases.  Yes, Colleen!  Those containers!  I tossed over half of the containers.  I may not use them all at once, but when you need a good jug or just the right size jar ... they do come in handy.  And, who does not have a cabinet or shelf full of old floral vases?  I confess.  I did.  I sent them all to Goodwill.  Now, I have a cabinet of good floral vases.  No! Really!  Nice ones ... like Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx nice. I haven't counted them, but if anyone needs extra vases for a wedding or something, I'm your go-to gal!  Or, clear serving containers, or pewter trays ... [clearing throat].  Still wondering about the pillow cases, eh?  When I was actively participating in outdoor art events, I used old pillowcases to slip framed originals into to keep from scratching the frames.  They still come in plenty handy for all kinds of things, so they are still hanging around.

Bargain Clutter:  unnecessary things bought home because they were on sale.  No!  I don't carry on this type of behavior, although it is in my bloodline.  On the other hand, my husband will buy nine measuring tapes at a time if he finds a good deal (have to excuse this one since he uses them daily in his line of work, as does every single one of his employees), as well as his once-a-year fishing rodeo splurge on white t-shirts which are like his off work clothing of choice.  Uhm.  Wait.  If I find a pair of shoes I love, I will go back and get another pair just like them right away.  It's justifiable when you have an orthopaedic issue. Oh, never mind that .... the topic was 'unnecessary things' after all ... so, none of the above really counts.  But, just ask my sisters about my Mom's Bargain Clutter issues!!

Freebie Clutter: gifts, hand-me-downs and giveaways.  The scenario goes something like this:  Daughter de-cluttering her home sends smart phone message with photo and caption "want this?" or "want this back"?? .. to which, not giving it much thought, I respond "sure" ... it ends up at (back at) my house.  Then, often ends up at someone Else's house!  The circle of clutter life!!

Crutch Clutter:  things we keep/use, but know we shouldn't.  The worn out night-gowns.  Paint or grease or soil stained t-shirts.  Hey! Why mess up a clean one when I'm heading to the studio, kitchen or garden?  Raggedy, no-support left in them tennis shoes.  Ha Ha! I bet you thought I was gonna say bra, didn't you?!!

Buyer's Remorse Clutter:  Hanging onto something  you shouldn't have bought until it gets enough age on it to justify what you spent for it in the first place.  I'm not going there!

Okay, now that we've settled that and you've learned more than you wanted to know about varietals of clutter, take a look at the next photo and then go back and look at the last photo posted above labeled "Small Appliances".  Notice anything?

Between the Kitchenaid mixer and the Food Saver ... an identical box.  Two food choppers.  Yep.  This is what happens with clutter of all kinds.  Things get lost misplaced.  It wasn't even lost.  One has never been used.  The other has, but it goes back into the box because it's easier to store.  [shaking head back and forth, back and forth].

* * * * * * *

Visit The Happiness Project site when you get a chance.  
I came across it several years ago and visit regularly!
The site isn't about digging yourself out of the throws of depression.
For me, it's been a 'less is more' and 'consistent daily routine' message.

Get your hands on Gretchen Rubin's books.  They are motivational reading!! 
 I often tell myself when attempting to procrastinate ... just do it!  
I especially love her 10th Commandment: 
Do what ought to be done!
and while you're at it, make your bed!

The Happiness Project

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Canning Apples!

Apple Season is getting close!!

Did I share this recipe with y'all last Fall?  
I don't remember!

Harvest Apples

Apples, any size or variety
(enough to fill a large turkey roaster when sliced)

5 cups sugar
4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon Ground clove
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup lemon juice

Wash and core apples, do not peel.  Slice and cut into chunks.  Combine with sugar and spices, mixing gently until apples are coated, let stand 20 minutes or until juices run.  Stir in raisins, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.  Add water.  Liquid should not quite come to the top of the apples.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Pack hot fruit into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Being sure to divide the liquid evenly between the jars.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rims of jars clean and adjust two-piece caps.  Process 20 minutes in a boiling–water canner.

These are fabulous alongside pork!
These are fabulous with oatmeal!
Probably even fabulous mixed into rice pudding!
Did I mention they are 'fabulous'?!!!

Thanks C for the recipe!!  One of my faves!
This year I'm gonna put up a lot of applesauce.
Great substitute for oil in baking!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Burger Time!

Have a Safe and Blessed 
Labor Day Weekend!!

We are spending the weekend cleaning up the debris from Hurricane Isaac!  Hubs finally got to power wash the back porch.  We've only had a few nice weekends with no rain ... uhm, since April  ... which left the porch mildewy.  There were a couple of slick spots.  Neither of us need to slip and fall.  Slick spots be gone!   It looks so pretty!!  I think we have as much wood decks out there are we do square footage in under roof!  There's still much to do!  Gardening is on the list!  Well, at least I hope to finish weeding.  I might even make it to the garden center.  Gotta get a headstart on the fall garden!  I'm also still in the fall cleaning mode!  Master bedroom/bathroom and the guest room are done!  Top to bottom, left to right, under and over .. light fixtures, ceiling fans, drapes, closets, upholstery.  Done!  I usually start this after Labor Day Weekend in preparation for the upcoming holidays.  But, we are expecting our second granbaby girl mid-October!  Gotta get a headstart on the fall cleaning.  Before you know it ... it'll be time for Spring Cleaning and Spring Gardening!  Fall and Spring!  My favorite times of year!   I hope y'all are taking some time to chill!  We'll get 15 minutes in here and there!!!  The grill will be fired up this afternoon and probably tomorrow too ... and maybe even Monday!!   Today it's burgers!

Check these out at South Your Mouth!

Yummies at Diddles and Dumplings!

Worthy of drool at Chowhound!

Yep!  That's Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly on that burger!!
I had it last month in Starkville at Mug Shots!  OMG!

I could go on and on and on with the pictures!  

I ♥ a good burger!!  
My fave is bleu cheese with bacon and 
onion rings all piled on top!

What's yours??

Have a great weekend!!  
Now! Get out there and fire up that grill!!