Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Living Tiny

     Like so many others, I am obsessed with the tiny house movement.  The thought of not having to clean a big house appeals to me.  Living simply with fewer things sounds peaceful.  Keeping only what we need and use on a regular basis means no more junk filling the drawers and closets.  I dream of having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place.  I would love to have the courage to purge all the extra things we own, to keep only what we really love and need.

     I have lived in small spaces before.  The first house that I bought on my own was not considered a tiny house, but it was so much smaller than most homes.  There was just over 700 square feet of living space.  The house had one small closet, only one kitchen cabinet, and only one interior door (on the bathroom).  I learned all the secrets that are seen on tv for tiny house storage.  My living room couch doubled as storage space and a guest bed.  I used vertical storage so I was still able to display things that I stuffed bears, my photos, my baskets, and other objects that I thought I had to have.  Every space of my house was filled with stuff.

     When Jim and I got married, we bought a big, old house.  It had character and charm.  We began to fill it with stuff...all sorts of stuff.  Jim has a thing about tables, so we had several tables.  I have a thing about photos, so we had photos.  We both love books, Jim has his hats, I have bears and baskets.  We both love our kitchen gadgets.  I love holidays, so we have totes filled with holiday stuff (seriously, we have 5 Christmas trees and at least 4 nativity sets).  We filled that house with stuff.  When we moved, much of it went into storage.  That stuff is now out of storage (except for the holiday things) and in our house.  

     Finally, I am ready to start letting go of some of the things.  We aren't moving to a tiny house soon, but Jim's retirement plans involve the two of us in an RV, traveling the country. There won't be a lot of room for stuff in an RV.  My friend Deb has inspired me to start purging, keeping only the things that bring me joy.  I already keep a donation box in the house for clothing.  I need to branch out to other things besides clothing.  Do I really need to keep my stuffed bears?  Do they make me happy when I see them, or are they just part of the stuff that I don't need to have?  When school starts next week, my journey to live tiny begins.

     Living tiny won't mean that I am giving things up, it means that I will be keeping only the things that I love and truly need!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I got Grumpy.

     I took a Facebook quiz the other day.  I happen to think that those quizzes are fun and often they seem to capture me pretty well.  My friend posted one to see which of the Seven Dwarfs you are.  I took it, thinking I would get Happy or maybe even Doc.  Bashful was never on my radar, but I could see me as Sleepy or Sneezy.  Grumpy never occurred to me...but my result was Grumpy.  Oh my, have I turned into Grumpy?  Am I finally that grouchy old person who scares little children and says "Back when I was young..."?  Hmmm....

     Grumpy people go to bed early....Sunday night (okay, afternoon) I was in bed at 4:30.  In my defense, it was just a late nap.  I woke up at 8 and stayed up until 10.  Last night I stayed up later than that...okay, the sun was still shining, Delainey was still up, and it was before 9pm.  The reality of my life is that I get up early in the morning, so you know, "Early to bed, early to rise..."  Oh lawdy, a grumpy person would say something like that.

     Thursday, a friend and I are taking our kids to an amusement park.  Instead of being excited, last night I had nightmares of the coasters breaking down, losing my shoes, and getting motion sick.  I love roller coasters.  They make me laugh.  I haven't been on a roller coaster in several years.  I am getting dizzy just thinking about the rides.  Does that make me grumpy?  Do I get points for attempting to ride the coasters with my daughter?
     I rarely drink a whole bottle of beer, it gets warm because it takes me to long to drink it.  I don't dye my hair because it's to much work.  Loud music hurts my ears and I am happy listening to talk radio. I have more comfy clothes than cute clothes.  I like naps.

     The evidence is leaning pretty heavily that the quiz is correct...I am Grumpy.  Or maybe I am just middle aged and honest with myself.  Or maybe it was a stupid Facebook quiz that doesn't really mean anything!


Sunday, July 19, 2015


     Jim and I decided early in our marriage that family vacations were a priority for us.  I don't remember many family vacations from my youth, but some of Jim's best memories are of trips he took with his family.  This year, our budget has been stretched thin for various reasons and we really thought this would be our staycation year.  Staying at home for vacation would have been just fine, but we were able to take a budget friendly trip thanks to some family and friends!  

     One of my wonderful friends has a home in Michigan, just a few blocks from Lake Michigan.  We have stayed with her family before, so once again, I asked if we could use her home as a base for several days.  They welcomed us with open arms into their home.  They stocked food and beverages for us, left us their beach pass, and told us to enjoy because they were going to be gone for a few days when we were visiting.  I have a cousin who has a sailboat in the same area, so I invited my family out for a sail with my cousin and her family (they have given us a standing invitation, so I used it, I didn't just call out of the blue, I'm not that bold).

     We spent a day on the lake sailing with my cousins.  It was a perfect day and just as fun as the sailing was the visiting with family that I don't see very often.  We went out looking for beach glass one morning and got rained on, so we went shopping to a nearby outlet mall after we spent some time playing board games.  We spent a couple of days at the nearby beaches.  The water was cold, but the sun was shining and Delainey loved every minute that she spent in the 63 degree water!  We bought her a $20 boogie board and that was the best investment of the trip.  Delainey was able to glaze a bowl that she had made on our last trip to Michigan and throw two more.  She loves making pottery, so we are looking into lessons for her.  She is ahead with her 4H projects for next year already!  We also went to the Warren Dunes State Park.  The riptides were to bad for us to swim, but we were able to climb the sand dunes (and get sand in our camera) and then run down them.  We also found some cool beach glass in the sand.  Climbing in sand is hard work, but the view was worth it!  

     Our last family event of vacation was a biggie...a trip to The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  We blew our budget on the day, but it was such an amazing time that I would do it over again!  I went to the museum in sixth grade on a school field trip and I remember several things about that trip, but didn't remember many more things.  I could go on for hours about our day, but I will just say...GO.  Save your money, find the time, and go.  There was something for all three of us at every turn.  If we lived near Chicago, we would have a family membership and go as often as possible.  

     We spent time together.  We stayed up to late.  We slept in each day.  We laughed and fussed with each other.  We all spent time reading and napping.  The best part...being together and making memories that will last us forever!

At the top of the sand dune!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Family Day

     Today was supposed to be a family adventure day.  The plan was to go to a local amusement park where we have season passes.  We still haven't used our passes since Jim and I don't often have a week day off together.  But, southern Indiana has been in the midst of a rainy season and today is supposed to be more of the same.  Hot, humid, rainy, and lines for rides equal cranky family, so we decided to switch gears.

     We started family day last night.  Delainey's bed was drug out to the living room.  Jim took over the couch, I got comfy on the love seat.  And we started our movie marathon....our plan is to watch Harry Potter movies until we are done with them all!  I doubt we will watch all eight, but who knows!  I love the Harry Potter series...both books and movies.  I have seen and read them all multiple times.  Delainey is always leery of the movies, she is like her momma and doesn't like scary, but she suggested the movie marathon.  I am excited!

     We do need to take a movie break today to do some grocery shopping for our celebration we are having on Saturday.  And there is some house cleaning to do as well...I would hate for people to see our spare room right now (yes, it is basically a place to throw all the stuff that doesn't have a home).  Delainey has also asked for a few games to be thrown in during our movie marathon, so we will multi-task at some point.  Delainey loves playing games, but we never seem to play very often, I am not sure why that is either.

     I for one am glad for the change in plans...Jim and I have both had a busy week.  He has to work all weekend, I have to work Saturday.  We are having friends over Saturday night.  Today will be a day for recharging our batteries...relaxing, enjoying the little things in life, eating popcorn with butter, spending time together.  Sounds like a great day to me, of course, any day that I get to spend with my family is a great day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Forever Home

     I love to watch all the house hunting shows on tv.  I am always interested to see what people are looking for in a home.  Almost every house hunter is looking for a "forever home", that home they will live in for the rest of their lives.  I have friends who have forever homes...places that they moved into when they first got married, places where they have raised their children, places where they are spending their retirement.  I have a hard time imagining myself in such a home, even though I have owned homes in the past that I thought would be my "forever home".

     I have moved a lot in my life time...of the top of my head, I can count twenty moves in my fifty years.  That is a lot of moving over the course of my life.  I don't think that I have spent more than ten years in one home, and that includes the home that my family lived in while I was in college, so I was gone more than I was home.  Even in college I moved several times during my time on campus...I lived in 6 different dorm rooms in four years.  I hate the process of packing and moving, but I have gotten pretty good at it!

     The first home that I owned, I bought with my ex-husband.  It was going to be our forever home, but the marriage wasn't a forever marriage.  He still owns the home, so I guess it is his forever home.  I then bought a house on my own.  It was a small house, not quite tiny house size, but by most standards it was tiny. only 760 square feet.  When Jim and I became engaged, I put the house on the market.  It wasn't close to where the boys lived and it was just a little to small for us to entertain two active boys.  Jim and I decided that we wanted a forever home.  We fell in love with an old house and we bought it.  Unfortunately, old houses sometimes come with big problems.  We didn't have the time, energy, or money to fix all the things that needed to be fixed in that beautiful old we decided to sell our forever home.

     When we moved to our current town, we talked about buying, but I wasn't convinced that we were going to stay here, so instead we rented.  Luckily, we found a nice home to rent right away.  Our home was on 8 acres of land, with our landlords living on the land as well.  We lived in the "front house" and our landlords lived in the "back house"  for two years.   Our landlords decided to try tiny living, so they moved into a fifth wheel travel trailer.  We moved into the "back house", where we still are.  We are renters, but our landlords give us plenty of freedom to do things with the land and house.

     Jim and I have talked about buying a home, even spending time with a realtor and looking at homes.  We have seen some houses that we have really liked, but none have been the right home.  I am not sure that there is a forever home out there for us, but I don't want Delainey moving around like I did.  I want her to have roots, a place that she can call home.  Until we find our forever home, we are making our home right where we are.  As long as we are together, we will be home, forever.