Monday, January 25, 2016

Declutter: Christmas edition

I decided it was time to tackle something I had been putting off for years:  my Christmas decorations.  When my husband got the tubs of decorations down from the attic this year, I had him get everything so that I could look through it all before it went back in the attic until next December.  

So here are my results!  I think I did pretty well.  I feel like I got rid of about half of the Christmas items.  

But first:  Halloween decorations?!  Yes, there were a couple of tubs of those too.  I had completely forgotten that I even owned them, so that should tell you how many years it had been since they were used.  I had a family Halloween party here once or twice after we moved into our house, but it's been well over 10 years since these items have been touched.  We don't get any trick or treaters in our neighborhood and I'm just not into decorating for Halloween, so it's all going away.  

These decorations were great when I felt like moving all the decorations I already had, putting them away, and fancying up the place for Christmas.  But I'm pretty much over that and have moved on to more simple times.  

Oops!  More Halloween things.  A strand of really cute lights for which I have absolutely no use.

And then it started to get tough.  Many of my Christmas items were given to me by various family members.  Or I bought them when we were first married.  But I don't want to hang on to everything and honestly, I believe items from family members mean more to you when there are fewer of them.  If you have an entire house full of things that belonged to your parents or grandparents, nothing is really all that special.  But just a few items, or even one, and you treasure it.  

I used to put out a small little village.  But it's little cheap, fiddly pieces that keep falling over and I'm tired of them.  If I want a village (and right now I don't) I'll invest in good quality pieces that make me happy.  

I bought this reusable gingerbread house last year.  My nephew and I had fun with it.  And then it was a greasy mess on plastic to clean.  Let someone else have that fun!  

I had three outside signs and kept two of them.  This one is old and tired and maybe someone else will want to give it some new paint and enjoy it outside their home.  

There were more items that I didn't show in the pictures above, including a wreath, tree skirt, and other miscellany.  Here you see most everything that I culled from my Christmas and Halloween decor.  

And here are the empty containers that used to have decorations stored in them!  

Here are the containers that are left.  There's also a small Christmas tree in one of these tubs plus our (heavy) stocking holders and stockings for every being in this house.  The four blue tubs will go back into the attic.  The red tub contains our ornaments and a couple of candles.  I don't want to take the chance of the ornaments getting broken in the attic, so this tub stays in our bedroom closet.  

Here are some of the items that are in the tubs.  I used to collect snowmen and Santas.  I got rid of some of each but I truly enjoy my snowman collection so am keeping the majority of them.  

Every living creature in this house has always had a stocking, and I am happy to hang on to the ones that belonged to the animals who have passed.  

These were the items that were decorated by myself and my sisters when they were young. It makes me happy to look at them and remember those times, so I'm keeping them too.  

All in all, I feel very good with what I managed to let go.  It's all still setting in my garage right now though!  I have to decide if I want to save it for the humane society garage sale or take it all to Goodwill.  I'm leaning toward Goodwill because I really just want to get it out of my house.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Well, that's one way...

My husband eats a lot of salads and I like one every now and then as well.  We have had a salad spinner for years now and it's used quite a bit.  But it takes up a lot of space, especially in the refrigerator, where it's used with a dishtowel inside to absorb moisture and keep the salad in good shape.  

Last week my husband emptied the spinner when he was packing his lunch and set it on top of the oven.  And that is where it stayed because usually he just rinses it out and fills it up with the next bunch of lettuce.  And then one day shortly after, he used the oven. (Dun dun DUN!) This is what I found when I decided he wasn't actually going to refill the spinner and went to move it.  So now we have a hunk of plastic that isn't going to do us any good, so out it goes.

We may replace it at some point, and I will keep an eye out at thrift stores and yard sales, but for now he is going to try the method posted here, using a cloth bag or very large, thin dishtowels that we have:  My Plastic Free Life .  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cold January weekend

This weekend was a busy but mostly good one.  The bad part is my foster kitten was noticeably less active than the day before so I took her in to the vet and they are keeping her for the time being.  Her littermate died of FIP we we are crossing our fingers for little Frankie Frappuchino.  

The good parts though:  My great-aunt Louise is turning 80 this week and we had a surprise party for her on Saturday.  She has NEVER had a birthday party and was genuinely surprised and very pleased over the party in her honor.  In attendance were her son, a first cousin she grew up with and is very close with still, and multiple nieces/nephews, great-nieces/nephews, and one great-great nephew.   She is the last of my paternal grandfather's siblings.  Living in the same area as the past few generations of both sides of your family has big advantages, and one is that I got to know most of my great-aunts and uncles and multiple cousins.  

Sunday we drove to the next county over and saw the new Star Wars movie.  What did I think about it?  Eh.  My husband said it was basically the same storyline as the others, and I agree.  We had lunch out at Qdoba (veggie burrito and tortilla soup-yum) and shopped at Kroger.  Doesn't sound very exciting but it was time with just the two of us and we enjoyed it because of that.  It was freezing, with a "feels like" of 9°.  This is our typical weather this time of year, but I guess because we had a much warmer December it just feels extra bitter right now.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Today I am....

Today I am....

  • Making chili, and barley for my husband to have with it.  Confession:  I like Fritos with mine.

  • Printing out low-cost spay/neuter forms for bully breeds and cats to drop off at the community table in our library.

  • Laundry (this is an everyday thing.)

  • Picking up two dogs from their spay/neuter appointments and taking them back to their foster mom in the next county.

  • Helping my husband clip the chihuahua's nails.  (This involves me feeding her tiny bits of dog cookie every time he clips.)  

  • Taking photos of some of the new cats at the shelter so I can get them listed on Petfinder.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Blog

Welcome to my new blog, My Simple Southern Living.  As you might have guessed from the title, I enjoy living a simple life in the South.  The United States South, that is.  

You might have read my old blog, Green Veggies.  I decided I'm ready for a fresh start, and really hope I can keep the momentum going in my new endeavor.

So, a little about me:  My name is Susan, I'm in my 40's, happily married to my husband for over 20 years, no kids.  I have a degree in a medical profession but haven't practiced in many years.  Up until about a year ago I would have called myself a stay at home wife.  Now I stay very busy volunteering with my local small-town humane society, and am also a member of the board of directors.  I have 3 dogs and 5 cats of my own, and there are usually a few foster kittens running around as well.  Currently we have 2 foster kittens, with one most likely leaving for a rescue partner next week.  The other is recovering from a serious illness which in fact claimed the life of her sister, and will be with us 2-3 more weeks at least.  

My focus for this blog will just be to talk about my life and what's important to me.  Sometimes I'll include pictures and maybe even video if I get very brave!  I might talk about animal rescue, veganism, frugality, books, decluttering, family, travel, and any other thing that strikes my fancy.  Things you WON'T read about on this blog:  religion, politics, guns, fashion, in-your-face-veganism, and Debbie Downer pictures of animals suffering.  

See you in my next regular post!