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

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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

“Letters To My Younger Self”

A few years ago I was asked to contribute to a book about motherless daughters. I wrote an article then changed my mind.

For years I have swung back and forth about writing about losing my mother and my sister and being raised by an emotionally absent father and his dysfunctional 2nd wife. I don’t like to appear like a whiner or a victim or use my loss as a way to manipulate or get attention.

But the truth is that all that loss, tears, grief and pain left a hole. A hole that probably can never be filled. But it has also made me who I am today.

I have to function without the advantages a mother and an older sister can bring to one’s life. There’s a lot of wisdom, wisdom that could have been personally tailored to me, that is lost to eternity. So, I’m forever searching, listening and watching.

I follow an actor on Instagram, Matthias Schoenaerts

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and surprisingly he posted a photo of a book he’s reading, called “What I Know Now: Letters To My Younger Self.” It’s a collection of letters that women have written to their younger selves. Why Matthias is reading it, I don’t know, but I’m impressed, almost as much as some of the roles he’s played. Being curious, I looked it up and bought the kindle version.

The impressive contributors to the book include such women as, Madeleine Albright, Nora Roberts, Macy Gray, and many other successful and influential women.

It is a very interesting read and includes some very wise counsel like…

“You´re going to have to learn how to pat yourself on the back eventually. Start now. It´s not gloating.It´s taking pleasure in life´s goodness” 

I would recommend it for your late summer reading.

Peace,

Jill

55 Years Old Now!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted. I’ve been busy getting this and that done on my book. I had hoped that it would be ready today, but I’m worried that the release will be a few days later. Oh, well, stuff happens.

One stuff that happened is that I turned 55! I’m so glad that I was able to celebrate it with my kids and Grand boys.

I wanted to see what 55 candles would do to a cake and so we LIT IT UP!

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The husband wasn’t able to be with me so he sent some pretty flowers…

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I thought it would be funny to do a milestone facebook post like all the new moms do to mark the development of their babies. So, I did one and Little G helped me with a photo to go with it.

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I hope to be able to say that my book will be available later today or tomorrow, but we’ll see.

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Peace,

Jill