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Living Lighter

I’ve been vigorously decluttering for the past couple of months and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can also think more clearly and make decisions more easily. It’s been great! I also learned more about myself (and my family) along the way. It makes me think about who we really are when I sort through the things we collect.

I seem to have a very strong attachment to first aid kits. As in, I had at least 4 of them….( not counting the extras for camping). I have down sized to 2 kits (one for camping and 1 for the car) and sorted what was useful to be left in my cupboard at home. That may seem odd but the truth is I absolutely love bandaging up booboos and being prepared for any emergency. Yep, I’m the lady who always has a bandaid or cough drop or Tylenol when you need it!

My husband seems to have an envelope fetish. I’m really not sure why any one person needs to have 300 envelopes at any given time but maybe he’s secretly a collector. I asked him about it and he’s not sure either. Its a mystery…. He also owns a LOT of wire. Like big 50-100 lb spools of wire. I know nothing about computers or electricity but he tells me its invaluable for such things and to keep-my-decluttering-mits-off-of-it-thank-you-very-much! *sigh* I guess everything has its limits.

Daughter #1 is as neat and tidy as can be. She keeps all her things in order and regularly purges all her drawers. She also stole all my matching white hangers with the rubber grips…I guess its a price I’m willing to pay for not having to nag at least one of my kids! Yes, she is the middle child and truly falls into her role.

The boy is more or less a train wreck. But an organized one. He is a “piler” and he knows where his things are for the most part but nobody else could possibly make sense of his system. I gave his room a complete overhaul while he was at camp and set up little areas in his room for his various projects. He plays his guitar in a comfy chair and he repairs/builds small r.c. motors at his desk. He reads a bit too. True to form he is a bit scattered in his ways but I think he appreciated that I thought out what his needs/wants were. Each activity was given a zone and appropriate storage. I hope it lasts!

Daughter #2 was a walking disaster. She can destroy a room in nothing flat. I guess its the “baby” syndrome. For her I had to start from the ground up. I gutted her room (there were 6 trash bags of unneeded items!). Then we had to do a whole learning process. I asked her a few questions to find out why she was struggling so much. She just couldn’t reach the hanging bar in the closet very well and was over run with toys! Oh, and blankets…she’s the one with the blanky obsession and being the “baby” she is the snuggler of the 3. Anyhow, we went with the dresser for nearly all of her clothes and greatly reduced her toys and blankets. I did daily reminders for about a week for her to make time to tidy up and… BOOM! She’s got this.

I’m no minimalist. Not even close! But I have learned that less is more. I love cleared surfaces and now if an item is going to have a place in my home its going to have to work hard to keep it! Bye-bye clutter home and cluttered life!

If you are feeling overwhelmed and things just seem to keep piling up clearing out a drawer or 2 is pretty good therapy! And its free! Who knows, if you sell a few things you might even come out ahead!

Have a great Saturday!

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Get It Together Woman!

So I have been a busy bee lately. I am currently on summer break and while I would love to read all day and lounge in the sun (ok, maybe I did that for a couple of weeks already) I am feeling an urgent need to simplify life.

Let’s be honest, things can get harry sometimes. For me that looks like a wild woman running around 9.7 acres trying to keep 2 cows, 20 chickens, 4 goats, 5 cats, 1 dog, 3 kids and 1 husband from destroying everything. Yeah, you can see how well that might work. So I have started clearing the clutter in a major way. Like, they know I’m coming to the thrift store EVERY. DAY. (to donate, not shop)

I’ve decided to keep only what is useful in my life RIGHT NOW. Not in a few years or even a few months. I do have seasonal things but I’m not holding onto the “just in case” items. No more unfinished projects lying around. Not more “maybe it will fit me” or “it was such a great deal”. If it doesn’t add value to my life in some way it’s out the door!

Guess what I found in those closets and boxes? Stuff that I never wanted in the first place! Weird right? Who in their right mind would even bring this stuff home? Um…..this girl! I am always on the look out for a project and I have found that my creative nature sees the possibility in EVERYTHING. This is all well and good when you want to remodel or maybe repurpose something, not so great when you are taking a slow meander through a yard sale and you are chock out of storage.

In the past week I have taken an average of 3 bags to the thrift store every day. That may not seem like a lot but remember this is DAILY for a weeks worth of days. I have also filled the large trash can outside 3 times. It holds about 6 bags of trash and we usually have at least 2 bags of garbage in a week.

The result? I feel so much lighter. I can see what I have and what is important to me. I don’t feel overwhelmed or weighted down by stuff. I like my rooms. Every one of them! I can easily find things and get them out because I know just where they are!

We had a real struggle with our move to this new place last year and we have had to just let things be and learn the ‘lay of the land’ for that time. We have done a lot and made many changes but it’s just now starting to feel like home and I am just so thankful for the space of time to get things to a point that I feel like is manageable. I love where I live and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but this girl has got to get organized!

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Project Season

Here was my little project yesterday afternoon:

As you can see I had a little fun getting my little corner looking a bit better. My crusty mailbox had lost the ability to stay closed and the numbers were a joke. It was time! I cleared some sod, edged it and added a few flowers with a ladder trellis.

The honeysuckle and hollyhocks get to climb the ladder in the back and in the front I have a lavender plant on one side and a white flowering ground cover one the other. Rock chunks courtesy of my dilapidated side walk. I can’t wait for it to grow in!

The thing that really struck me though is that a year ago (or even a few months ago) I wouldn’t have been able to complete something like this. I was exhausted and my mind had no order or clarity. I was in a fatigue so deep that I ran strictly on autopilot and anything that took any amount of problem solving was beyond my capabilities. I am thankful once again for my doctor and the things that have helped me along.

And I do hope the mail carrier has an easier time of dropping off our mail!

Wishing you a spring full of lovely projects and new possibilities!

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Spring Cleaning On The Farm

Well, it seems that spring break and motherhood have conspired to draw me away from my little blog. We have been spring cleaning with fervor here at Henneke farm. The mud, as you can imagine, is epic this time of year.

I began scrubbing the back deck only to find that it was like scooping sand from the Kalahari. There was just so.much.mud. I began with a paint scraper, yes, a paint scraper. Then I was able to sweep up clumps and dust. Next, I advanced to hot water and cleaning solution scrubbed on with a broom. Finally, my girls were given the task of bucket brigade with hot water for rinsing away soap and mud. Then came the water hose to complete the task.

Two hours later we could stand back and admire our work. We were proud of our accomplishment and the deck really looked wonderful. If it hadn’t cooled off that evening we could have had dinner alfresco.

Spring time is not without a bit of humor….today it rained. So my deck gets a second washing!

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Salad in a Jar Ingredients {THM style}

Love this idea and a lot of my fellow THMers have been doing this. I am going to give it a try today and save myself some prep time. This week will be very busy so its a perfect time!

Water on the Floor

Salad in a Jar Ingredients {THM style} *with a FREE printable chart*

How many of you have seen pins on Pinterest about “salads in a jar”? I have seen quite a few, and we are loving them in our home! They make such quick, easy, filling, and healthy lunches…perfect for a lunch on-the-go or a fast lunch for a busy homeschooling mama. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating new salads.

Ideally, you can make several “salads in a jar” at the beginning of the week and just grab one out of the refrigerator every day. It sure saves a lot of time cutting, slicing, and dividing everything at once instead of doing it each day! For my salads, I put the dressing in the bottom of the jar. My husband likes to add his dressing right before he eats:) Add the more wet ingredients at the bottom so they don’t get everything else slimy. Layer your ingredients, add the lettuce (or…

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The Little Things

I woke up to a beautiful valentine card waiting for me. I have no idea when my husband slipped it into a place I would see it but he did.

We had hoped for a weekend away. We haven’t been able to do that for a while. Its on the someday list to take an Alaskan cruise. We are hopeful that it will actually happen too!

For now, we have each other and our kids and our home and that’s enough. Sometimes we don’t get the big things but there are always the little things to be thankful for. When you really think about it, those little things aren’t little at all

Happy Sweethearts Day!

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My Country Tis of Thee

Today was mostly claimed by a sneaky migraine so I was feeling less than perky. Ugh! But as I was getting ready to leave school today I saw the flag flying out front. It’s there everyday. I usually don’t even notice. So common place a thing that it is easy to miss. But today we had exchange students that came to talk to our students. They told us about themselves and their countries.

I thought, with all the craziness in our world these kids came here anyway. America can’t all bad if we are still attracting customers!

Well, I guess it just hit me today as it sometimes does. I’m still proud. I’m still thankful. Some of my very favorite people were willing to risk their lives for that bit of fabric. The weight of that sacrfice is not lost on me.

God Bless America

All the best,

Veronica

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Songs, Coffee and Sunshine

I’m here in the land of endless summer, aka North Carolina for a visit with the hubs mom and dad. Dad is now in full time care and not so well. As we went about our business today I saw this sign and snapped a picture. Is it any coincidence that my mom in law buys the same exact brand of coffee that I do? Well, the sign says it all.

A song keeps floating through my mind. “I’ll fly away” sings on as I see the endless blue above. Wishing we could all “fly away” together someday into forever.

Happy Friday from the land of sunshine!

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The Wide World

About five minutes after arriving at the airport I realized I had forgotten to bring a travel size hand sanitizer. Everything I touched made me even more aware. Acutely aware. 

I may or may not have counted how many times the lady in front of me used the very same crumpled tissue to blow her nose on separate  occasions…. (it was 4) 

I should be used to it. I teach first grade after all. I have one student (who will remain nameless) that likes to repeatedly lick his pencil. We use a lot of g and sanitizer.  A LOT.  To be without it leaves me feeling a bit unarmed against the germs and bugs out there. Definitely going to be finding a Walmart in the near future. As my students call it “hanitizer”- don’t leave home without it!