I've been talking about my need for white space (margin) in my life. I've been doing a little better. Part of the need for margin is so we have time in our lives to rest or to be creative or to do things that are relaxing so we can restore body and soul. Sometimes that means just giving ourselves permission to do what is pleasurable for ourselves. Everyone is different as to what form that might take.
Some of the things I miss when I allow myself to get too busied out with everyday life are reading for pleasure, thrift store shopping, primping my house up, playing in my kitchen, and writing. This past week I've done a little of all of these things. In the process, I've regained a little of my sense of humor too. That's a good thing.
Hubby and I took time out for a real date last Friday night. After a nice steak dinner, we had the afterglow at our local Borders where I found the book of my dreams:
I've been having a lot of fun reading this book. Not only is it humorous, but I'm learning some good hints on how to dress to maximize what I have to work with. Back when I had more time, I used to enjoy watching the TV show What Not to Wear with Stacy London and Clinton Kelley. (I don't even know what channel it's on anymore.) But instead of a $5000 shopping spree in New York City's best clothing stores, I headed on over to my favorite Salvation Army thrift shop yesterday and tried following the rules for my body shape. I purchased four tops with V-necks and 3/4 sleeves similar to this Talbot's for $3 each:
While I was thrifting, I found a few other items. I usually don't try to "bargain" at the thrift stores, but this time I did some "negotiating" just for the thrill of it~not at the Salvation Army store, but at another local thrift shop. This small wooden table, which I plan to use beside my chair in the family room, had a price tag of $7, and I was able to acquire it for merely $5. All I need to do is cover the green paint with some barn red that we've used elsewhere in our kitchen. I talked the store owner into giving me the blue painted frame for $1 instead of the $3 on the price tag, pointing out it was "just" a frame. I plan to make a hair bow holder for my granddaughter as seen here. The mug was unbeatable at 84 cents, a discount off the 99 cent price tag. The mug is a Currier & Ives "The Homestead in Winter" design. A friend had given me one for Christmas and so now hubby and I can drink hot chocolate next winter in matching mugs. (After all, it's only 257 days till Christmas.)
Recently I was taken aback when visiting in a friend's home. I noticed she had a bowl full of pretty Easter eggs sitting on her table. I mean I temporarily became totally disoriented. (Remember I still have my Christmas cards in a basket on MY end table.) Eventually I realized it is only two weeks 'till Easter and if I'm going to have any decorations out, I better get started. So I dug out this wooden bunny that I had thrifted for a couple years ago, found these eggs and grass in a drawer and put it together in this cute basket I picked up yesterday for 49 cents. (There, you can see the barn red paint I will use on the little table I just bought.) Today I will change out the wreath on my front door for the one I made last spring, and I will hunt down the arrangement of daisys for my kitchen table. That will probably be the extent of my springtime decorating this year, but it will do.
As part of my "getting a grip" campaign, I finally got a much needed hair cut. I've had trouble getting the cut I wanted and the last trip to the beauty shop was such a disaster, I let it grow out to be way too unmanageable. Hubby insisted on taking a photo this time for future reference. It's still a little too short in places, but the general idea is there and I'm OK with it.
(An Ann Taylor thrifted V-neck)
In times of stress, I usually run to Jan Karon's novels. She takes me into another world and I fantasize about living in a place like Mitford. Cynthia and Father Tim model for me the way I want to relate to people, with kindness and devotion. Jan Karon's most recent book is on loan to me and I'm making time to read a little each day.
And to prove that I am regaining my sense of humor, I need to tell you a few family secrets. Being Italian and all, we eat pasta of one kind or another frequently around here. I try to have dinner ready when hubby walks in the door
when my priorities are not misplaced as a rule. Since he wears an ironed dress shirt to work, I've been making him take it off before he sits down to eat spaghetti sauce. For a long time I've been saying that someone should make us some "adult" bibs. Well, here they are:
When we were in South Carolina recently, my daughter-in-law handed these to me. "You know how you're always saying you should have some adult bibs for when you eat spaghetti? Well, a friend of mine makes these for the nursing home..." We had a good laugh, and by golly, we've been using these things. They really make perfect sense! (You ARE laughing, aren't you???)
But WAIT! There's MORE! Unbeknownst to Ellie, I had already commissioned my cousin to make a custom spaghetti bib for hubby for his birthday last week. She went all out, even making buttons out of clay that are plates of spaghetti & meatballs. The "bow tie" is a napkin, and the little pocket holds wet naps. Along with the bib, hubby got a homemade spaghetti & meatball dinner. You need to know that he is still speaking to me!
Our small group met this past Sunday evening, and I brought these "polka dot" cupcakes as a treat to honor Bob's birthday. They are really easy to make and taste so much better than a boxed mix. (To find the recipe, you'll have to scroll through the post in the link, but you'll get there.)
So, you can see I've been doing some things I enjoy, and at a reasonable pace. I've even had a couple of the grandkids over one-at-a-time and just for a couple of hours, because they too bring me much joy.
I hope you've enjoyed catching up with me, and I'm also in the process of catching up with MY blog reading. I so appreciate the friendships and connections I've made through this amazing technology! I don't take you for granted, gentle readers! Are you preparing your hearts for a blessed Easter, friends? In the midst of any chaos we may have going on in our lives, the words of Jesus still ring true...
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:9-10 NIV