Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There are many things I am thankful for

Did anyone recognize that line from a song I remember singing as a kid? It would go on to say "I'm thankful for the earth. I'm thankful for the sea. I'm thankful for my country and I'm thankful to be me." Or at least I think those are the words.

Speaking of singing, in church this week we sang some songs for Thanksgiving. My favorite weeks are the ones near holidays where we get to sing songs that I'm really familiar with.  I remembered singing those Thanksgiving songs in elementary school growing up but when I was singing the words in church, it occurred to me that my niece and nephew probably don't even know what these songs are because they would never fly in a school system these days. Part of me is amazed that they let me sing about God even back then and another big part of me is really sad for the kids today who don't get to learn these classic holiday songs.

A lot of blogs have focused on lists of things they are grateful for this month, being Thanksgiving themed and all. I totally wanted to copy them!! But I decided to wait and hold it all in for this week to really embrace the holiday spirit. I adore Thanksgiving (yes, more than Christmas in some ways) but this year, partly because of  my vacation and partly because of the unseasonably warm weather (snowstorm aside) we have been experiencing, I feel a little unprepared for turkey day this week. So my hope is that focusing for a few days, at least, on the real roots of the celebration will bring me up to speed.

Each year in my journal on Thanksgiving I fill a page with things I am thankful for, large and small. I would like to follow that pattern and, in no particular order, list a bunch of things I am really grateful for:
lipgloss   my bishop   reality tv   my husband   my mother   Stella (my cat)   Pants (my kitten)   cereal   my VIP movie pass   a supportive work environment   a job in this economy   my ability to travel this past year   my new carpet and green paint   DVR   Plimoth Plantation   family traditions   the smell of Barnes and Nobles   time to read   nutella   Golden Girls   heat   fall foliage   raspberries   my car   pools to swim in during the winter   hiking trails   The Humane Society   friends   Target   a safe relationship   health insurance   my grant being funded   being part of a faith community

And thank YOU for reading this:) Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Color me green with envy

I'm pretty sure when I painted my bathroom bright yellow and fell knee deep in the can that I swore not to do my own painting again. Despite my vow, impulse got the better of me and while I was at Lowe's using my handy 10% off coupon for a new water heater, I picked up some Lime Green paint and my first drop cloth ever and went to town on the laundry room. Thank goodness for the drop cloth because this was also my first time paining in a room with carpeting. Carpeting that is less than a week old, I might add. 

The laundry room is a pretty small space in the basement with two drywall walls and one cement wall. The fourth "wall" is the under the stairs storage, corner with the to-be-replaced water heater, kitty litter, etc. so it barely bears mentioning. Because the space is small and because the room is entirely my zone as I do the laundry, scoop the litter and keep my food storage shelved in there, too, I got to do whatever I wanted with it. And I have always dreamed of bright lime green walls somewhere in my life. This was a great color for this space because the bottom of the drywall had some water stains from the pipe bursting and this color covered those perfectly. This was also a room for this color because it has a lot of flavor and I don't think a larger/4 walled room could handle all its goodness.

So the laundry room might currently be my favorite space in the house. Inspired by the outpouring of personality on the walls, I also tossed up some Michael Jackson posters and a couple Counting Crows and Michael Franti concert flyers. Oh, and a somewhat controversial picture I took at Woodstock '99 that amuses me. And a road sign of my name that a friend "found" for me in high school. It's pretty much wonderful!!! And it's a welcome relief to have the food storage newly organized and back on shelves, as opposed to living on my dining room table like it has been for the last two months while the basement has been in flux. 

I hope you are not pea green with envy...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Settling in and Questions for you

Now that I am going to be settled in at home for the next few months, I hope to finally catch the blog up with fun pictures and tales from my trips this year.
There are also some exciting changes on the home front, as we finally got our new carpet installed in the basement on Monday, after two months with one third of our home unusable. It will be great to get furniture out of the garage and into the new space (and to get my car into the garage again, finally!!....it really stunk to have to clean snow off my car last month; I'm out of practice since the car lived inside most of last year).
Currently, I also have high hopes of doing some painting. This week's new home based challenge is choosing a new water heater and who will install it. Not decorative, I know, but it's the reality of being a home owner and it does offer some interesting tax rebate opportunities as we become more energy efficient. Does anyone have experience with purchasing water heaters out there? Does an energy efficient heater = shorter showers because we will run out of hot water faster? And I'm debating hiring a plumber vs using Lowe's for istallation. The plumber was very nice but almost $400 more expensive. Lowe's has a couple of cons on the list but plenty of pros, as well.
And finally, I am also interested in merging my travel life into my home life. How do I aim to do this? I'm going to hang a hammock!!!!! It's so symbolic to me of relaxation (and I helped the hammock man in Costa Rica weave part of one, which was really cool). Not being the most spatially inclined person, I am a bit overwhelmed by the finding of studs in a condo basement to secure my hooks into. And if I am unable to hang the hammock in the basement as I dreamed of, where else can a hammock live inside? PS, Hubby told me to hang it in the garage. Really?? Am I really going to hang next to my car in the freezing cold reading a book? Now you probably understand why I take girl trips:)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I went missing again

I went missing again. Sorry. This time it was because I ran off to Costa Rica. But more on that later....
This was officially my last trip of 2011. It has been a great travel year. At first, traveling a lot this year was about doing the things I couldn't do once I started a family. A last hurrah, if you will. But it ended up planting a seed of learning about different ways to balance life. How to reduce stress but not run away. How to relax and be active at the same time. How to appreciate other cultures while recognizing my own. And, most of all, how to be grateful for the life I have created for myself at home.