Those Wall Quotes

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You know those really cool, hand-lettered, framed quotes that everyone has these days? They’re telling you to (like the photo above) enjoy the little things, be adventurous, live, laugh, love. Well, I love them! I love words. I love art. So, it’s a beautiful combination.

When the girls were pregnant, I wanted to get all the signs I saw so they could put them up in the nursery. But I held back. But in my heart, there were signs all over their rooms.

Then, my son, who is so funny, said something to the effect of, “I don’t want a bunch of those signs in my son’s room because it’s kinda stressful. He’ll get up every day with all this direction and demands and advice.”

I laughed because when you think about it, it is kind of stressful. They’re good reminders, don’t get me wrong. And I love them. But if you think about it, you are surrounding yourself with constant direction.

You wake up and read, “Be Adventurous!” Then you read, “Run Wild My Child.” Then, “There’s no place like home.”

Do I go or do I stay???

Just a funny thought. I still love the signs, though.

Have a great weekend!

Peace,

Jill

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JFK Haunts Me

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Just when JFK fades from my memory and I’m not thinking about him, somebody has to pull him back. Now, it’s those hidden files that were supposedly released but then taken back to be released in April. Those files have spawned a flurry of new documentaries and conspiracy theories.

I’m a nervous wreck changing the channels because I never know when I’m going to come across footage of that depressing black limo turning onto the street that led to Dealy Plaza and then the horrifying “crimson burst.”

I was almost one and half years old when JFK was killed. Coming from a family that loves a good conspiracy theory, my home was filled with years of discussion about his assassination. And I can’t help but get sucked into them.

I get the reasons why it was such a tragic event. I get why it impacted America so. I understand how horrible and tragic and sad it was.

I also understand why we can’t leave it alone – because we don’t know.

And it’s for all those reasons why JFK haunts me.

I wish, for goodness sake, we could find out who killed him so he can literally Rest In Peace.

His death is one of those moments that people remember exactly where they were when they got the news. I suppose I was sitting in either my mother or my sister’s lap when I heard the news.

Where were you?

Peace,

Jill

I’m Not The Only One! Death Cleaning

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My father-in-law sent me a Washington Post article on “Death Cleaning.” I was so excited to hear that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s important to clear out unwanted things and get your s@#%* in order before you “bite the big one.”

According to Margareta Magnusson I’m about 10 years too early. She suggests starting at 65 years old.

But really, the Swedes embrace the concept of “dostadning” which comes from the Swedish words for death and cleaning. It’s basically what I’ve been talking about: gettting rid of unwanted things so your family doesn’t have to deal with it and getting your affairs in order.

The article quotes Karin Olosfdotter, Swedish Ambassador, who says that her parents are “death cleaning” as well as their friends and she thinks it almost a “biological” thing to do.

It’s funny because I have run across my people in my own age range and most of them are doing it and if not, they want to or are thinking about it. So, I think it could be a biological thing. A lot of people don’t do it because it’s so hard, though.

We should come up with a word for death cleaning here in the US. I think I have. It’s called “getting your s@#* together.”

I’ll have to get Magnusson’s book when it becomes available in the US in January.

I’m glad I’m not alone and this whole throwing out experience wasn’t actually a mental breakdown.

This day after Halloween might be a good time to start “death cleaning.” What do you think?

Peace,

Jill

My Halloween Life

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As a kid I LOVED Halloween! I’m an actor at heart and having a whole holiday devoted to dressing and pretending to be someone else was just the best! In the 70’s it was a community experience. Everyone was involved. Your respect could go up or down based on the quality of your costume. Candy was king! My Dad was cheap and was always trying to give out apples or walnuts – I was humiliated. Not to mention angry at having to pick up all the apples and walnuts that got dumped in our yard the next day.

When my kids were really little, we dressed them up every year and they were so cute and we’d take them to the mall to get candy. That was during the period where freaks were putting razor blades and poison in Halloween treats. So, the mall would xray the candy for you and when we got home we went through it piece by piece inspecting it for tampering. Kinda took the fun out of the candy part. But the kids were still cute toddling around in their costumes.

Then we moved into a neighborhood with lots of kids and it became a community experience again. Gangs of kids roaming the neighborhood, laughing and getting their sugar high. I never gave out fruit or nuts, just so you know.

Then we got involved in a church that thought Halloween was evil. And so we participated in alternative celebrations. It was fine and good, but being in such an active neighborhood I always felt like I was letting the kids down. I don’t think my stand against the evils of Halloween did anything except just hurt the neighborhood kid’s feelings, actually.

But then as the kids got older, Halloween was just not a big deal anymore. And then when the kids flew the coop, we just became a candy stop and not part of the main activity.

But through the years even that has disappeared. I think over the past two years I’ve had a total of 3 trick or treaters. I understand. We are more aware of the dangers, more suspicious of our neighbors. It’s just the way it is now.

I miss the “glory days of Halloween” when the costume was important and candy was king. I miss helping the kids with their costumes and spending way too much money on good candy.

Now I’m just that weird old lady at the end of the street sitting in her dark house watching old horror movies eating a bowl of candy all by herself. That’s pretty scary.

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But you know, I’ll have that bowl of candy by the door, just in case.

Happy Halloween! Muhahaha!

~Jill

#2 Grandboy’s First Birthday

So, I realized that I never told you about my #2 Grandboy’s First Birthday! I told you about #1’s Sea Pal Party, so let me tell you about #2’s Elmo Sesame Street Party.

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Little Man turned 1 back in August and his Mom & Dad did it up right! Little Man loves Sesame Street, especially Elmo and The Count. So, Mom found a giant vinyl sticker of most of the Sesame Street characters and they had a few friends come over to help put it on the wall.

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Then Mom came up with snacks in keeping with the theme…

She was SO clever! And I made the Smash Cake…

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The red dye didn’t stain his face too bad, haha!

They had indoor and outdoor games for everyone…

 

And Husband made Little Man a motorcycle, too!

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A great time was had by all! What a great day celebrating our Little Man!

Peace,

Jill

Where Have I Been?

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It’s only been about two months since I last posted but it feels like forever! When I got back from my extended stay with the Grandboys, through both of their 1st birthdays, daughter’s birthday and son’s move, I had to regroup.

It’s been, gosh, I can’t even remember how many months since I left my teaching career so husband and I are adjusting to our new financial situation. As a result, I’ve been trying to find a second career, new job, well, basically: figuring out how to make some cash.

I wrote a second book which has done pretty well in my tiny world. As I continue living the life of a minimalist there seems to always be something to sell or donate.

I started taking photos and doing some social media management on the side for some extra dough. So, as you can see there have been some things pulling me away from this lovely space.

But I wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing.

How have you been?

Peace,

Jill

The Boys Love These Cards!

My daughter has these First Words Touch and Feel Cards by DK and the boys LOVE them!

You can buy them from Amazon by clicking on the picture. 

The boys both just turned one year old and they just love looking through them and touching the tires on the tractor wheels, the fur on the dog, the plastic on the ball and the kernels on the corn.

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I’ve looked at a lot of touch and feel books and cards and sometimes the “touch” part is a little weird and doesn’t really match what it is supposed to be. But these cards are really great!

The cards are thick and can hold up to the kids chewing on them and bending them. I mean, they are not indestructible but they are pretty sturdy.

Educational picture cards may not be the first thing you think of as a gift for a one year old, but let me suggest that you consider these cards. They are really cool!

Peace,

Jill