time & treasures

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Due to recent weather events in my part of the world, my original plans for the past few days have been canceled – no district wide children’s Bible quiz on Saturday, no tours for the 9/11 Tribute Center or ladies small group on Monday and no teaching ballet this afternoon. I see that type of change in plans as having extra time. Laundry, cleaning, answering emails, finishing books for book club all fit into my regular schedule. So when extra time presents itself I try to think of something I don’t think I have time to do and get it done or I fall into the “binge watching” trap.

On Saturday I organized paperwork I will need for my 2014 taxes. I shredded stuff I don’t need and filed the rest. With a sense of accomplishment I then binge watched most of the first season of Parenthood. Sunday was a regular day. On Monday I organized my address book which consisted of very old addresses of family and friends and lots of little return address labels that I had stored in the book. I tossed out most of the written pages and simply taped the labels in the book. Yes, I do have contacts on my phone and computer but I don’t need to carry all of those people around with me. 🙂  Then I watched a couple more episodes of Parenthood finishing season one and starting season two.

On Monday evening I decided I should accomplish something else as I had extra time due to no ladies group. So I decided to clean out the small drawer in the cabinet that sits next to my favorite chair and has become the catch-all for this and that. Since it is a small drawer I always assume what I place in there well be safe because it won’t be swallowed up as it could be in a big drawer. I wasn’t surprised to see post-it notes, small pads of paper, rubber bands, paperclips, cleaning cloths for my computer, my amazon credit card and my checkbook. I was surprised by a few treasures:

  • a box of rose petals – a friend had collected the petals from the yellow rose that was placed in Bruce’s name  by the National September 11 Memorial on Veterans’ Day. Friendship is an amazing treasure.
  • a small metal kazoo – “a dad gift”. After September 11, my daughters and I purchased a gift for each other that would have been something Dad would have bought or something that reminded you of Dad. We continued that tradition for 10 Christmases and then decided to make it an optional Christmas tradition. Meghan had purchased the kazoos for Emily and I in 2013. Many years ago while on a long road trip from NY to KS a stop at Cracker Barrel had resulted in Bruce (Dad) buying kazoos for the girls. Thankfully it took a few miles for them to get the hang of it. Family and memories are treasures.
  • business card from Dith Pran – In 2005 (?) I had a telephone interview with a New York Times reporter and that reporter asked if a photographer could come to my home. A few days later a gentleman arrived at my home and began to take photos. In the course of the photo shoot, I realized that the photographer was Dith Pran, the man whose life the movie the Killing Fields is based on. We spoke of his passion to tell the next generation the story of the Killing Fields because one time was too many.  It was a totally surreal experience. There is a You tube video of his last words. Passion and purpose are another treasure.

Extra time and random treasures have been a blessing the last few days. Tomorrow is back to real life if Mother Nature allows. 🙂

I have to be honest I watched a few more episodes of Parenthood. Not sure why I never saw the show in real time. 🙂

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Label makers

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I think when you buy a house the seller or someone should walk you through the house and show you what every “switch” does or at least give you a diagram or something to know what powers what. Yesterday I finally solved the mystery of the lower toggle switch by the front door. This was big excitement because I have been trying to figure it out since I purchased the Cabin in December. FYI: it controls the outlet across the room and until I plugged a lamp into that outlet I had no clue. Now the count is 3. Three switches that I have no clue what they do. The biggest mystery  however is the light at the end of the driveway. No clue how to turn it on. It has all new bulbs whether it needed them or not. The previous owner did label a couple of outlets that would be the ones in the garage and they are labeled with duct tape and a black Sharpe but no mention of end of the driveway light.

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Trying to be a little classier than duct tape I enlisted my daughter’s label maker and my son in law’s help to label switches and remote controls. The Cabin came with many remote controls for ceiling fans, fireplaces and heat sources. The Cabin also has many switches, dimmers, toggles, etc…

Labeling makes it easier to navigate and organize my home but when labeling is applied to people it limits my ability to see the person and his place in the world. 🙂

 

 

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IMG_1779There are still a few signs of Christmas hanging in my home. My gifts haven’t been put away in their proper spots, photo cards from family and friends are still displayed and the bin of wrapping paper is readily available even though no longer needed.  Slowly the everyday items are replacing the Christmas items.Traditionally I would take down my Christmas decorations and put away my Christmas dishes around January 6 – Epiphany or the twelve day of Christmas. This year my daughter and son-in-law were arriving for “Christmas” on January 10 so everything stayed in place awaiting their arrival.

To be honest with the busyness of buying a house in December I didn’t decorate as much as usual. There was even a moment I thought I won’t decorate at all but I love Christmas so I decided to “do a little” decorating. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I pulled out a couple of items. At first I didn’t put any Christmas dishes out but for some reason hot chocolate didn’t taste as good in an everyday mug so I pulled out a few Christmas mugs. As the days passed I pulled out a thing or two this day and then a thing or two the next day. My Christmas decorations didn’t seem complete  without Nana’s tissue box cover, or the ceramic Santa, or the Nativity snow globe. Slowly the decorations found their usual spots or a new spot and I was pleased.

And now it is time to put it all away. Unfortunately since I pulled a little from this box and little from that box finding where I pulled items from is slightly challenging.  I had a wonderful Christmas season. It was different from past years and that is okay. I was perplexed by one thing over this holiday season though. Do people really give cars as gifts? And why were children asking for cars? I couldn’t believe how many automobile commercials there were. I found it totally bizarre even stranger than chia pets!! 🙂

I will leave you with this thought:

“When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.” Howard Thurman

Christmas – packed up and put away!

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IMG_1779There are still a few signs of Christmas hanging in my home. My gifts haven’t been put away in their proper spots, photo cards from family and friends are still displayed and the bin of wrapping paper is readily available even though no longer needed.  Slowly the everyday items are replacing the Christmas items.Traditionally I would take down my Christmas decorations and put away my Christmas dishes around January 6 – Epiphany or the twelve day of Christmas. This year my daughter and son-in-law were arriving for “Christmas” on January 10 so everything stayed in place awaiting their arrival.

To be honest with the busyness of buying a house in December I didn’t decorate as much as usual. There was even a moment I thought I won’t decorate at all but I love Christmas so I decided to “do a little” decorating. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving I pulled out a couple of items. At first I didn’t put any Christmas dishes out but for some reason hot chocolate didn’t taste as good in an everyday mug so I pulled out a few Christmas mugs. As the days passed I pulled out a thing or two this day and then a thing or two the next day. My Christmas decorations didn’t seem complete  without Nana’s tissue box cover, or the ceramic Santa, or the Nativity snow globe. Slowly the decorations found their usual spots or a new spot and I was pleased.

And now it is time to put it all away. Unfortunately since I pulled a little from this box and little from that box finding where I pulled items from is slightly challenging.  I had a wonderful Christmas season. It was different from past years and that is okay. I was perplexed by one thing over this holiday season though. Do people really give cars as gifts? And why were children asking for cars? I couldn’t believe how many automobile commercials there were. I found it totally bizarre even stranger than chia pets!! 🙂

I will leave you with this thought:

“When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.” Howard Thurman