#14

Just back from a busy couple of weeks.

Spring has sort of sprung around these parts. Ah, the longer days are most welcome!

But I will give you one more tip for surviving until the temps climb a bit higher.

Cleaning was mentioned in a past posting. I promise this one does not require any cleaning. At all.

Just organizing.

Pick one thing. You know it’s out there. Something that you’ve been avoiding. Doesn’t even have to be a big project. It could be your purse! Or a junk drawer! Or files/piles of paper. It’s all about bringing a little bit of calm or joy to a person when the task is completed.

I am working on a couple of projects at the moment.

Here is my recent coup.

Organizing the closet.

Was I really only wearing the same old clothes because I chunked up and couldn’t fit into any of the old ones? Or was it because closets appear to eat up all the other clothes when one is not paying close attention? Lost in the mess?

I read an article some time ago. It mentioned, when conquering the closet, using matching hangers. So that all of the clothes hang at the same level and looks organized.

Hmmm. I thought I could do this.

There were a few other tips that I followed.

One was determining real estate. Stuff a person never wears shouldn’t be taking up prime space.

Another was categorizing by sleeve length.

Then color code. Use the rainbow as your guide for color coordination. White clothes first.

I wanted our closet to not just be easy on the eyes. I wanted the closet to be easy.

So I bought all new hangers. Black, slim, felt hangers at a local discount store. Heaved all mismatched plastic and wire hangers. Sayonara!

It’s not perfect but it’s better. I found that using just one type of hanger makes items so much easier to see and find.

clothes1clothes2clothes3

These are just a few photos. The new hangers weren’t strong enough for my husband’s suits so I continued using the wooden hangers. Just made sure they all matched!

That’s my latest suggestion for passing the time while waiting for warmer days.

Happy Spring!

 

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#13

Lucky 13.

It’s now the first of March and winter is still with us. Here in the Northeast we have some of the white stuff on the ground and more in the predicted forecast.

So my list of ways to cope with the long winter continues.

Clean something.

Not just organize. That’s another posting.

But give something a real good going over with a bit of elbow grease. You’ll end up organizing in the process.

I chose my fridge.

Oh, I forgot to mention. Only you will take joy in this completed task. No one else will notice. No one else will care. Ever. At all. But you will. You will notice and you will care.

Back to me. I chose the fridge because it was time. Way past time. After the holidays. After the kids have returned to university. After ignoring it. After giving it a swipe here and there.

A refrigerator is a big to do. The big guns needed. Taking out drawers and such. Scrubbing the fossilized lettuce on the clear plastic bin. Gosh, I think it’s lettuce. But who can really be sure.

It’s a place of hope. For that half used something or other. The promise of what could be.

With just one more recipe. In the near future.

It’s like I imagine the would be thoughts of jalopies resting in a junkyard. “Maybe someone out there will need a used part and come get me. So I’m not a has been.”

That promise never happens. At least in our house.

But what does happen, and I will admit it makes me sad and happy at the same time, is this. Sometimes those hard choices about promises are just taken out of our hands. Decisions made for us. Not by us.

libby1libby2

At first glance it looks to me like one of those fabulous aerial views showing us beautiful little islands and possible volcanoes in the middle of a Habanero salsa.

Or dead field mice.

Oh my gosh! A picture can tell a thousand stories. Like a Rorschach test.

For the record. I have a ton of glass containers so I am not even sure how that can even made it into the fridge. Please don’t judge me. But it did and happily resided there for awhile. A quiet and unassuming neighbor pushed into the background. Not needing any attention. Until it was time to spruce up the neighborhood.

Then it had to go.

I cleaned that fridge until it looked shiny and new. Every drawer pulled out and washed. Dried up puddles from old vegetable goop all gone. I sniffed containers of sour cream and eyeballed the cream cheese packages. If anything looked like it could be a candidate for the next new antibiotic I heaved it.

I will leave off for now.

Secure in the knowledge that you will wisely choose a smaller cleaning project. That you will never accept an invitation to eat at my home. That you wont ever crave my pumpkin pie.

Have a lovely weekend! If it’s snowing be careful on the roads. If it’s not snowing be careful on the roads.

Spring is almost here.

 

 

 

 

#12

We sometimes forget that certain smells promote a feeling of well being.

Like laundry.

I mean the smell of clean laundry.

There are even candles and sachets named “Fresh Laundry” or “Clean Linen” out there. Because people love this scent.

If you live in a place where the laundry is dried outside all year then you are fortunate. You get that outdoor scent naturally. You don’t need my “Feel Good” list. You’re probably breathing in that “clean air” smell from your sheets at this very moment. As you should. Lovely scents trigger positive responses.

But for those who use a clothes dryer due to weather and/or the seasons you can try this for a pick me up.

dryerballs

These are two wool dryer balls. They help reduce static electricity and drying time in the machine.

I add just a little something to the mix.

oils

These are essential oils. I’ll be honest. They’re not the real expensive ones.

I find them in Marshalls and TJ Maxx which are discount department stores in the U.S. Same place I bought the dryer balls.

I put drops of the oil on the dryer balls. Once absorbed they are ready to work their magic on the load of wet clothes thrown into the dryer.

The end result is warm sheets, towels or clothes that smell like lemongrass or eucalyptus.

Or whatever wonderful smell you want it to be. Clean laundry? Bergamot? Spearmint?

Smell whatever you want.

I inhale the scent and it lifts me up for a moment.

Try the dryer balls with essential oils for a quick “feel good” sniff during the long/short days this winter.

Maybe you’ll find one called “Beach” or “Summer Days.”

 

#11

#11 on the list. To fight cabin fever this winter.

Challenge yourself. 

Recently I mentioned being exhausted and that I would soon share the reason.

Exhausted might have been a slight exaggeration. I was being a tad dramatic.

But here’s the reason.

I challenged myself at Goodreads. My personal goal is to read 100 books in 2019. I know, right?

This is a great site, by the way, for those who enjoy reading. Has suggestions, reviews, etc.

As an aside, since I am in sharing mode, this is also a fabulous site Reading Group Guides. loaded with so much for a reader to digest.

Since I’ve avoided any weight loss challenges that might be beckoning I figured I would go for something that was actually doable. My friend, Nancy, thinks that it’s a bit aggressive. She’s probably right.

I do enjoy reading and learning. So, I am not doing it just for the challenge. But it will help me to stay on track and not veer off with pesky distractions. While still somehow putting a little healthy pressure on myself. Not necessarily a bad thing if it’s keeping me off the streets.

Now I’m like an anteater sniffing around the house. Reading everything.

Hannie, my youngest who is away at university, is sort of uncomfortable with me grabbing books from her room and devouring them. Because, along the way, I’m taking photos of her neon colored, sticky post it notes and personal hand written observations  in the margins while also lending my own running commentaries.

My accompanying texts, “Yes! I agree!” Or, “Really? You thought that?” Like a virtual book club. In my mind anyway.

neontabs

So that is number eleven on the list “Fighting Cabin Fever.”

Challenge yourself.

Maybe lose the twenty pounds that appeared out of nowhere once you found an empty nest with no cigarettes. Okay, sorry for that ramble. That was totally for me. All me. 

Could be an on-line course. Or listen to a daily podcast. Do one nice thing for someone else each day. Pull out a jigsaw puzzle. Read more books. Go for regular walks. Learn new recipes to shake things up.

A friend from Malaysia joined the 100sareepact in 2015. This involved a pact between two friends to wear their saree (sari) one hundred times while sharing their saree stories. It incorporated photos of celebrations, heritage, joy, love, cherished memories and more. Very cool movement.

Maybe you could create your own friend pact/challenge?

Whatever you decide to do it will result in a lovely feeling of accomplishment. You will have achieved your goal while keeping busy waiting for the change of seasons.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

#10

This should actually be number one on the “Whiling Away Wintery Days” list.

Want to feel better while waiting for the beach days to arrive?

This is the simplest thing. Won’t cost you a penny.

Do something for others.

It doesn’t have to be a big thing.

Sounds so easy. Almost causing folks to wonder, “What’s the catch?”

No catch.

But you do have to make an effort.

Mail a cheerful letter to a friend. Visit someone who could use company. Volunteer your time. Tell someone how much you appreciate them.

Take a moment to think about how you can spread some joy. And then actually do it.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Years

In just four days, this blog, will be ten years old.

Ten years of prying words out of my head and putting them on paper. Ok, not really.  A blog is an on-line thing so there was no actual paper involved or harmed in the creation of Just Being Mary. To the best of my knowledge.

I just want to thank you all for joining me on this journey. As everyone knows a decade can (happily and sadly) produce many changes in our lives. If I am still writing and you are still reading then we both have a lot to be thankful for today. I am really glad you are still here.

As I continued this blog, through the years, I came to a realization. If this was only for me then I would have just purchased an old fashioned pleather diary (replete with paper made from real trees and a little tiny key for security purposes) and kept my private thoughts locked up and to myself.

But I wanted to share my thoughts. Because I wanted others to laugh, smile, think, commiserate, try, reason, question, help, hope, plan, cry, support, share, discover, learn and do all the things I do.

Especially laugh.

Hope it’s working.

Thank you all!

Hugs,

Mary

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Cheerful Reminder

Here is number nine on the “Is it April yet?” list.

Find something to serve as a cheerful reminder that sunny days are just around the corner.

I have a few items scattered around my house for this very reason. I really love these guys.

herbspoons.jpg

They were a gift so I can’t take any credit for finding them. My daughter, Norah, bought them for my birthday last October.

I love everything about them.

Recycled/renewed. Unique. Useful.

I’m  even happy that I received them after the herb season ended.

Because that gives me just one more thing to look forward to this Spring.

They are displayed on a trunk right by the back door. Ready and waiting!

Find a cheerful reminder. Sunny days are just around the corner.