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Often I feel as though life is too quickly passing me by. There is always some crisis or distraction that causes me to loose track of my time, focus my energy on things that I really shouldn’t, while the things I enjoy get pushed to the side. I’m sure this is true for a lot of you, and I wish I could offer some simple solution, a quick fix to keep our minds centered on what really matters. But in a way, that would be in direct opposition to our goal, wouldn’t it? The answer can’t come in an easy-to-swallow pill, but must be learned gradually over time. In other words, we have to take the time to take our time. Instead of rushing through my day, accomplishing only what I can’t postpone, I need to learn to slow down and enjoy each task, and most importantly, make time for those things which inspire me to keep doing the things I love.

Inspiration

We spent this weekend visiting family in Illinois. But unlike our usual family visits, we didn’t make plans to do anything…I mean we literally did nothing but sit and visit (and watch the occasional movie). It was wonderful to not have to rush or worry about crossing off something from our ever-growing to-do list. There were no errands to run, no laundry to do, no half-demolished bathrooms to work on. We had time to enjoy each other’s company, and it was more refreshing than I can tell you.

So, thank you to our hosts, S and D! And may you all find the time to let yourselves be inspired!

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That’s right, I mean “crafty.” I hate using the word “craft” in reference to that certain pastime I enjoy. “Crafty” conjures up images of little old ladies with plastic canvas tissue box covers and angels made from clothespins. This is not the image I want to portray. I like to think of my projects as being much more sophisticated than the word “crafty” allows for, but I’ve yet to come up with a suitable replacement term. I would say “artsy,” but that gives the very wrong impression that I have some unnatural talent or that the end product of my endeavors could in some way, shape, or form be considered art, which I assure you it cannot.

I make things out of other things typically for non-practical uses purely for my own enjoyment, but I am not “crafty.” I even hesitate to call the room that has been devoted to these purposes the “craft room,” although it has taken on that name for lack of a better one.

Maybe I’m just struggling to hold on to some strand of dignity, and maybe I should let go and admit the fact that I like to *gulp* craft, but I cannot…I will not. As long as I have breath I will continue to speak out against the use of the word “crafty” to describe all that is handmade, for the young and dexterous deserve a category all their own….if only I knew what it was.

Anyway….

It’s rather embarrassing, but my latest project has been Christmas-related. I was so upset with myself for not accomplishing anything before Christmas that I decided to give myself a nice head start for next year. So I made a list of several projects I’d been meaning to try and ordered all the materials I needed, and now my work table looks like this:

Christmas Craft Supplies

It may actually take me until next Christmas to complete all that I have planned for these bits and bobbles, but I am bound and determined to finish! And since I’m sure you’re all thoroughly engrossed, I promise to keep you updated on my progress.

(I actually wrote this post last week, but forgot to publish it – I can be so forgetful sometimes! Anyway, I still wanted to share it with you, so here it is. And I’m sorry for the long absence, but I should have another post up by tomorrow! ~K )

2008 Calendar

I was going to write a post about how I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and how they don’t really work. But as I started to type I realized that I kinda do make resolutions, and so far, some have stuck with me. Blogging, for instance, was a kind of resolution for me this year, and although I haven’t written as often as I’d hoped I would (you know me, always the optimist?) I have posted more than once a week since I started, which is a record I’m quite happy with at the moment.

The problem with resolutions is that they too easily become a source of disappointment for me. I have grand notions of being able to magically accomplish something in one month that I haven’t been able to do for the last 12 (if not longer). And when I can’t, I feel as though I’ve failed – and I’m hard enough on myself as it is without having to create reasons to disappoint myself. So at the very least, I will say that I make resolutions with some degree of trepidation.

That being said, I have been making an effort to be more organized (which, as far as resolutions go, seems to be right up there with “lose weight” and “stop smoking”). I assumed that when we moved into a bigger house, it would be easier for me to keep things fairly well-organized, but that hasn’t been the case. I find the amount of space overwhelming, and being borderline obsessive-compulsive when it comes to organization (for which I can thank my Grandma B – the organization queen), I cannot allow myself to do things half-way. So I do my best to take baby steps, organizing on a micro scale, hoping that it will eventually lead to a meticulously organized home.

This is my most recent attempt at micro-organizing:

Coupon File

It’s a small pocket file that I’ve been using for coupons – yes, that’s right, I said coupons. You can make fun of me all you want, but I have no problem being one of those annoying people in the grocery checkout holding up the entire line just so I can save $1.50…Anyway…I had always struggled with a way of having my coupons readily available to me in the store without having to purchase an ugly plastic and velcro organizer made for the purpose. So when I saw this at Barnes and Noble, I snatched it up. It has a small pad of paper and a pencil on one side, perfect for making lists,…

Coupon File 2

…and a small accordian file on the other, which I have labeled with various grocery categories…

Coupon File 3

…all in a case small enough to fit easily in my purse. I’m very happy with my purchase. It’s small organizational triumphs like this that will motivate me to tackle the larger organizational nightmares…like my laundry room – EEK!

New Belgium

Despite the prevalence of “Colts-mania” in Indianapolis and the fact that most Indiana residents would consider me some kind of traitor, I cannot call myself a fan of the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, I wouldn’t call myself a sports fan at all. I don’t really understand most sports (or the people who watch them religiously), and to be honest, I don’t have any desire to. This is especially true for televised sports. I can understand the draw of sitting in a stadium full of other crazed fans and the adrenaline rush that must give some people, but why would anyone want to spend an entire afternoon (and with pre-game shows and post-game shows you can literally spend an entire afternoon) watching a game from your living room. Isn’t it enough to just know the score once it’s over?

Lucky for me, J is not an avid sports-watcher. Rarely will you find a sporting event of any kind on our television. Occasionally he finds a game of enough social significance that he’s willing to admit his desire to tune in, and in those instances how can I complain? I’m just thankful that these days are few and far between. Today, however, was one of those days. Apparently the Colts are playing a pivotal game, so we spent the afternoon in front of the TV, I with my laptop and J with his Fat Tire. (By the way, thanks again to S and D for the New Belgium Christmas gift and to mom for the glasses to complete the experience.)

Garlic-marinated Chicken Cutlets with Grilled Potatoes

We did manage to get in a good meal before kickoff. J and I tried another new recipe from his favorite cookbook (the one from Everyday Food magazine). It’s divided into season-appropriate sections, and although we usually try to stick with the current season, the nasty weather of late caused J to dip into the summer recipes, hoping it would provide some much needed sunshine (or at least the illusion of sunshine). So we tried Garlic-Marinated Chicken Cutlets with Grilled Potatoes, which you can also see here. We used our indoor grill for the chicken and asparagus, but had to roast the potatoes in the oven. Still, it turned out amazingly well. I highly recommend it.

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend! Enjoy what’s left of your time off!

Last Sunday we decided to spend some of the Christmas money we got from family. Normally I wouldn’t buy anything practical, but would spend it all on frivolous, fun items. However, we are in desperate need of rugs, and when I saw this one at Lowes I couldn’t pass it up. So, thank you Dad & Deb for the beautiful new rug!

Christmas Rug

The picture shows it in the entryway, but it’s really too big for that space (it was just the only unobstructed place to roll it out for the picture). We’ll move it to the dining room after we clear out all the mail that’s piled up in there.

We actually had to make two trips to Lowes to get the rug home, and it was on the second trip that J spotted this:

Bedroom Rug

Another beautiful rug! And on clearance, too! It was exactly what I had been looking to find for the bedroom. So, thank you Ma & Pa for the perfect bedroom rug! Our feet and our floors thank you all!

Our House - Fall 2007

…is a very, very fine house…..Well, actually, it’s somewhat of a work in progress.

Those of you who know me, know that J and I recently moved to a new house in a new town. And although our new life has been enjoyable, it hasn’t been without its obstacles. The most recent of which has been the first floor powder room. It started simply enough. We decided to replace the very worn toilet seat with a shiny new one, only to find out, after much searching, that our particular model of toilet was discontinued over fifty years ago, and the very peculiar seat type has to be special ordered – at a cost of about $130. Not exactly my idea of money well spent.

Then, while we were weighing the pros and cons of purchasing such an amenity, we began to notice an unpleasant odor emanating from the room. After several calls to the plumber and a few self-tests, we discovered what appears to be a problem with the toilet’s seal (although there is no apparent leak), and the best solution is a brand new toity, one with a much less expensive seat.

So, problem solved, right? Not so much. You see, since the old toilet had to be removed, we, under a spell of unprecedented optimism, figured this was the perfect opportunity to replace the grungy vinyl flooring with beautiful new tile. So we looked around for the perfect tile, called several tile installers, invited them to our stinky house to work up estimates, and soon realized that the perfect tile was far out of our price range. But somewhere in that process we discovered that the two inch height difference between our entryway and powder room is due to many layers of plywood and vinyl (or maybe linoleum?), underneath which lies the original hardwoods! So now we are attempting to remove all of those layers in the hopes of salvaging the hardwoods. Who needs tile anyway?

Ultimately, the goal is to have the whole thing finished by the end of the month. Then it’s on to the next room! Maybe the office? Or perhaps the kitchen? Although the basement could use a good sprucing….

I’ve been talking about joining the blogging community for months now, but I just couldn’t seem to get started. Perhaps it was my fear of exposing myself as an idiot that kept me from writing (an honest-to-goodness phobia of mine…but there’ll be time to discuss that later). Or maybe it’s just that I’m lazier than I’d like to admit. Whatever the reason, I put it off for far too long.

But now, with the new year’s promise of new beginnings and everyone’s talk of resolutions, it seems that all my excuses are null. So, with a sigh of relief (and a twinge of irrational fear) I welcome you to my blog. However, I must warn you that I make no promises. I cannot guarantee insightful discussion of newsworthy topics or even rational thought on a consistent basis, but I will do my best to remain honest and genuine. And really, what more can you ask for from a blogger.

Till next time,

K

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