Monday, June 29, 2015

Adding music back into our life

As part of my ongoing decluttering - reaching lagom - effort I have been listening to the CDs we own and to ones that grab my attention as I sort donations to the Friends of the Library. What a joy it is to have redeveloped the habit of listening to music as we prepare and eat dinner or while reading the paper or a book.

The addition of trying out new CDs has made all the difference. We have added an Irish music one, Beach Boys, swing music and traditional tango with singing. Nice!

I encourage everyone who is feeling their life may have gotten too predictable to make some changes to bring back or add small pleasures into their life.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day to all Loving Dads

My Dad was a very special guy. My husband is a very special Dad. There are so many wonderful Dads who have been part of my life. Let's celebrate all of them today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hmmm, why do we tend to think more is better?

I am in the midst of listening to our CDs to decide which ones to keep and to bring music back into my life. I am finding ones that I hadn't listened to for years that I enjoy. I'm also finding that we have too many in different categories.

Yesterday I listened to 3 Frank Sinatra CDs. I enjoyed 2 of the 3 and found one to be of poor acoustic quality. The question that popped into my mind though was why did we have so many in the first place? Probably one would be enough but I kept the 2 good ones for now.

Today it is the 3 Cuban/Latin CDs. Tomorrow will be the 5 (!) Pancho Sanchez ones. I know why we have so many of those though. We went to an outdoor concert by him 25ish years ago and had a grand time so we loaded up on his music.

I've also been listening to the ones I brought home from the 100s recently donated to the Friends of the Library. Those are easier to make decisions on. If I don't like the first track then it goes back. So far I have only picked 3 to add to our collection and I am waffling on one of those LOL.

For me at least as far as music goes 1 or 2 is better than 3 or more. I am a person who like variety and at this time can't stand to listen to music that isn't uplifting.

I think that often we think more is better when we like the initial item a lot. How many times have you bought more colors of a top or shirt when the one that you really liked was the first one you selected. More wasn't better then either. The same can happen in other areas of our lives. I am trying to notice what I do automatically that doesn't add value for me and this is one of those things.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Preparing to move: Home repairs & improvements

We have just under 2 years to go until my Husband retires from his current job and we relocate across the country. We are judiciously making the home repairs and improvements required to put our house on the market. A lot of work by a good crew and a big check later this one is done.

The main part of our large lot is flat but we own a small portion of the wooded area that runs behind the houses on our street. We have to have access and the house came with two sets of stairs built out of railroad ties held in place with rebar that stuck up. They worked for us for 18 years but the main ones were no longer safe. There was also some debris that had been used as a retaining wall - steel drum, sheet metal, bedframe, etc. Then there was a useless and rotting fence between the two sets of stairs. We fixed one set of stairs and had retaining walls built. Now it is safe and more attractive although not visible from our house. Bonus: the shed won't fall down the hill!

Onward with routine maintenance.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Practicing Lagom (Enough, sufficient, adequate, just right) to increase my contentment

My Swedish ancestors should be happy although I'm not sure the concept existed in their era when they were fleeing famine and betting it all on a new life in the USA.

Anyway, I am really trying to keep the definition of lagom at the front of my mind as I make decisions about spending money, spending my time, spending my energy.

Today I needed to replace the dog's leash as the hooking mechanism is not working right and we are concerned that it will come loose. She has what I have to say are the cutest and most appropriate for her collar and leash that we bought for quite a lot of money when we adopted her and went rather crazy in the pet store. We will clearly need an intervention if we ever have a grandchild LOL.

Anyway, her set is a squirrel decorated collar and matching leash. Little did we know how squirrel obsessed she was when we picked it out. I went to the company's website and came very close to buying a new, equally cute set for $70 plus shipping - but, she only needs a new leash. Hmm, replacing the same one she has is $48 plus shipping. Maybe I could buy it at our nearest pet store and save the shipping. Yes, they are listed as carrying the brand. So I went to the store and fortunately for our pocketbook they didn't have them.

As I browsed I thought about what I really needed and there was a brown leash that would match her harness (dog fashion being important of course) and it rang up at under $12. Is it enough, sufficient, adequate, just right? Definitely. She sniffed it and then raced to the door for her walk because that is after all what is really lagom! In addition, the money I spent on lunch with a friend today and will spend tomorrow for lunch with another helps me reach lagom in social interaction/friendship building which is clearly a higher priority than a decorated leash. Bonus: She is still wearing her squirrel collar that makes me smile and she is her entertaining self as usual.

In the same line I keep reminding myself that I need to take care to keep a supply of library books at home to satisfy my reading passion. Lagom is having one to read at ALL times so I don't resort to buying them to get my daily reading fix.

I'm not sure if this fits but my attempt to bring music back in my life is proceeding well. I've enjoyed some CDs that I had forgotten we owned. I've got two suggestions for free music streaming - Pandora and Google Play Music. I will explore both. I also realized as I sorted donated CDs that we will sell for $1 each at the next Friends of the Library book sale, that I should bring home all that looked slightly appealing and listen to them. I haven't taken my $5 worth of free books/CDs at the last two book sales and certainly I can find 10 that will be lagom! I'm listening to one right now that I am enjoying a lot. Curating a collection that I actually listen to plus a source of streaming new music that fits what I like and I will be all set!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Today's keeper

Some 50's Rockabilly.

9 checked off on Monday

The asters are blooming.

I'm back to feeling like normal thank goodness.

Picked up 8 books at the library (repeating to self: I will not buy more books!!!!)

Talked to a friend who has been ill but is now well enough to go out to lunch on Friday

Laundry - clothes plus towels and dog blanket done

Walked dog twice & saw a friend & her 2 dogs on one walk - the dog and I both got short visits

Did my month end financial round up

Successful at no snacking (except fruit) between meals & only having coffee at home

Since Hubby did the grocery shopping, did a pantry/frig/freezer inventory and started figuring out dinners

Did some light stretching before bed

Tackled the hardest file of paper needing to be shredded - legal documents for my deceased parents. I really made a point of not looking at them except to keep the few for the one checking account that is still open. My brother is the executor and I verified that he will keep all the documents for the IRS requirements.


I am on a mission to listen to all of our CDs at the rate of one a day and make keep/donate decisions. Today was "Feels Like Home" by Norah Jones and it had me nodding off so an easy decision. DONATE. I hope after we move we can get set up to access music a different way as I enjoyed listening to playlists at my son's house.

In the keep pile from the last few days are another Norah Jones and 4 others (pictures from Amazon).