Holy Projects, Batman

I’m fully aware I’ve been a bad blogger lately with the complete lack of projects going up on the blog. But it’s not like I’ve been bored over here the last few months.

Here are just a few of the projects I’m working on:

  • touching up paint on the master bedroom headboard
  • finished the new nightstands
  • adding lighting to the office and guest room closets
  • donating a boatload of books to clean up my bookshelves
  • creating a warranty manual
  • re-upholstering and staining a foot stool
  • re-organizing my DVDs
  • moving the kitchen hutch to the garage for storage
  • replacing an outdoor light which is vexing me
  • storing the outdoor pillows for winter
  • updating the crate covers for the little dogs
  • installed a new sink and faucet in the master bath
  • installed new floors in both bathrooms
  • installed a new shower head in the guest bath
  • added new lights and painted the hall closet

Because of all these projects (many happening simultaneously) the house is generally a disaster zone. I’m hoping to have new tutorials and pictures up just as soon as things go from “complete and utter chaos” back to “normal crazy” but until then you can catch up on some of the older projects I’ve done here on Pinterest:

Screenshot 2013-11-30 10.05.47There are so many more things to come, if only I had a fully time assistant who would clean my house, file my papers, professionally photograph everything and cook my meals.

Dear Santa….

Thinking about Christmas

My focus this month has been to donate, sell and give away a lot of my stuff. Many of my books are posted on a book exchange site, I traded in some DVDs, I’m already working with a consignment.

What could I possibly want for Christmas (aside from a week on a beach) then?

Possibly some experiences such as a Hot Air Balloon ride above Napa or a trip to Seattle to see the Space Needle, party in the rain and get some good coffee.

In the next year I’m going to replace my work laptop so Apple gift cards are good.

For services, I’m looking to order Netflix to stream movies and Spotify for music as I try to get more mobile with my entertainment options to avoid hauling around a lot of books when I travel.

The holidays are a time when generic gifts are typically failsafe. And yet, I don’t need another picture frame, I could easily light the town with my stash of candles, my kitchen is well stocked and if I buy another journal it’ll push me over the edge to hoarding.

The only bigger ticket items I’m looking at is a keyless entry for my Yaris (the little key fob thing) and an oversized leather chair like this one. Obviously those are expensive things.

When I think about what I need there’s not really much. Okay, we can all use cash because in our world extra money in the bank is peace of mind but honestly? I’m incredibly blessed.

Thanks to space heaters and slippers my house is warm.

In the pantry and freezers I have abundant (and healthy!) food.

Even my fabric stash is overflowing and I don’t even sew!

I have plenty. Which is why I’m not asking for lots this season, in fact I’m giving even more away to charity, to those in dire situations and to the hungry. Because it just feels right to give to someone who has so little instead of asking for one thing more to make my own life a little more comfortable.

Even if that leather chair calls to me in my dreams.

Also, these boys? They are so blessed too. They have water dishes, food bowls, treats galore, toys, costumes, leashes, and all that they need for happiness.

When is enough enough?

I’ve been working on some crafty projects, a little painting and clearing out some clutter so I hope to have those posts up soon.

But today I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of being and having “enough”.

On the one hand, I am totally overwhelmed by the blessings in my life. There are people who care about me, my home is overflowing with material things, my bank account is healthy and I even have good health, a world to explore and a great business.

On the other hand I do believe the W.W. quote about the nature of growth. That we all, as humans, aspire to grow and have and be more. The question for me is when does more become a hindrance?

For example, I have a lot of candles. They’re in jars, tapers, tiny tea lights, pillars… in every size, shape, scent and style you can imagine. They don’t really go bad so it’s easy to hoard them when I find some on sale or, more frequently, find one that smells good and buy four of them.

I like the look of candles, they’re practical, good to have in a power outage, I love shooting by candlelight… but when is enough enough?

A non-thing example…

I’ve recently talked to some friends about someone in my life who is a person I try not to be. Specifically, a very negative, downtrodden, that-will-never-work attitude that pervades every situation and conversation. For years now I have that criticism ringing in my ears – the accusation that I was “too negative” all the time.

How much realism is enough? How much hopeful optimism is enough? How many encouraging words are enough?

I don’t really know.

In the same way I don’t know when I have too many candles, sometimes we have to define in terms of the negative. I know I have too few candles when I have none. I know there are too few encouraging and positive words when I hear none.

Can there be too much of a good thing? Sometimes. But wouldn’t you rather risk giving too much instead of the alternative?

In the last few weeks I’ve been donating and selling a lot of things. And with every shirt I pull out of the closet, every pillow or candle or spatula, I ask myself “do I have enough?” and “have I given back enough?”

Just as there are people in my community who can’t afford dinner tonight, or new clothes for their children or blankets to keep warm there too are people who haven’t heard an encouraging word, who haven’t been smiled at, who haven’t received a hug.

It seems November becomes “the month” for Thankfulness and if those daily Facebook posts are any indication, people are really blessed and happy. I guess my question is, are you being a blessing to others? Are you making them happy?

If not, don’t be surprised if the people in your life are turning away from your presence this season (or in general). I know I’m making some pretty big life decisions that stem from that concern.

When is it enough? Maybe when you stop giving to keep score and give from a place of abundance and joy instead.