Simplifying even more…

While we were camping we went thru the tent trailer an got rid of all the weird kitchen stuff I had in there. A whole box worth. I mean really, am I going to use a vegetable peeler while camping?? Plus, we took out a box of dishes as we really only use the same 2 over and over. We probably eliminated 3 boxes of stuff including some clothes that were for “just in case’.  That was really great to do. It’s all dropped off at the Goodwill and I didn’t even go back thru to see whether I wanted it in the house.

I started making some homemade bread again. I used the Zojirushi to make the dough and then bake in my bread pan. My daughter got me a fancy new bread knife for my birthday so I had to make bread. It was amazing to cut the bread. It sliced thru like soft butter.  It always surprises me how having a good tool for cooking or like a sharp knife makes cooking so much better. I don’t use a lot of fancy tools but what I have does make the job of cooking so much better.

Recently, I got rid of our rice maker and started using my Le Creuset.  Organic long grain white rice takes only 18 minutes and then let sit for 15 minutes.  It’s actually quicker than the rice maker. So one less bulky thing in the kitchen.

Yesterday i cleaned out more pantry stuff. I have a good size bag to give to the food bank.

I had my labs Monday but no results yet so I’m guessing he’s out of town. That’s the only time when my esults get delayed. I’ll wait till Thursday then I’ll call his nurse.

Today I’m washing the white couch covers as this week is the living room zone.  I also need to do the outside window as I do these quarterly.

The garden is done and I am done with canning tomatoes. There are still some apples but they can wait. Last night we had butternut squash soup with our very own butternut squash. I also made a spaghetti squash and had that with butter and sage.

An old friend from my ‘metaphysical’years got a hold of me last week. It was nice to reconnect. Her sister had just died and I think it caused her to do some thinking about times gone by. We plan on getting together in a few weeks. She lives in Reno so not too far away. I will drive up for lunch!!

 

 

Take Time…

Take time to be quiet,

Take time to walk in nature.

Take time to be with your loved ones,

Take time to be kind….

My neighbor died the other day. She was very brave thru out her 5 years with stage 4 Ovarian cancer.  In January her blood transfusions weren’t working any longer so she knew it was time.  She did have hospice come in and I’m sure they were a big help to her husband. Leslye was only 67. She had been an avid horsewoman, a health food nut, hiker, and probably a lot more things than I know. In fact, we weren’t really close but we had known them(her and her husband) since the 70’s and when we moved here 23 years ago they became our neighbors.  It’s been somewhat depressing even though I am philosophical about it, none the less the reality of her going is still raw.

It’s raining today and it feels right. Kinda gloomy and dark. Matches how I feel.  I know she did so many things in these last 5 years. They went to Hawaii twice, traveled and much more. She also did the ‘death decluttering’ getting rid of her kyacks, horse, Johnny, bikes, clothes and made amends with her 2 children.  She really died in a dignified way and conscious right to the end.

Well, I will let myself feel sad and then it’ll be another day.

Being Grateful…….

Having survived now for 13 years with Mulitple Myeloma, I know how lucky I am.  I am grateful every day for my life with my wonderful husband and children.  My son was almost 11 when I was diagnosed and my daughter almost 20. So the many years I’ve had are remarkable. Graduations from High School and college.

Some people using the bullet journal method write down what they are grateful for each day. Some do it a little OCed.  I don’t need to write it down to be reminded that the sun comes up or it’s raining and I’m fortunate enough to see it and experience.

Especially since I am enjoying this remission period. My next labs are coming up in the first part of April. Who knows what they will bring but I can only hope they are still good. Although, I don’t “hope hope” like in praying or anything.  Because your blood will be what it is no matter what you hope for. It is what it is.  That was a hard lesson for me when I was first diagnosed.  It took many years to realize basically nothing I ‘hoped’ for essentially made a difference but still one needs to hope. I think it’s a human element.

My neighbor that I’ve mentioned before in my ‘Death decluttering’ blog, is with hospice now. She only has a small amount of time left. I talked with her the other day. One thing that struck me was she said,” this wasn’t how she envisioned her retirement”. She’s only 2 years older than me and was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer 5 years ago.  She made it longer than a lot of cancer patients.

I’m one of the lucky ones and believe me, I am extraordinarily grateful. Not in any religious sense, just grateful to have lived to see another day.

 

BE GRATEFUL

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the journey towards minimalism

Life is certainly a journey with its up and downs and in-betweens.

For me, I guess, it really did start with ‘death decluttering’ ….ha ha ha.  Before I was diagnosed in the early 2000’s I became obsessed with collecting things from the 30’s,40;s 50’s and 60’s. I had a lot of fun going to estate sales and looking for buttons, Melmac, old fans, dishes etc. I had some really nice stuff. And my absolute love is mid-century furniture and still is actually. image

So in 2005 when I went thru the gut-wrenching process of getting diagnosed( I would not recommend a biopsy of a plasmacytoma in the back with a neurosurgeon using a hammer), I had a very tiny house with lots of stuff.  With a prognosis of 3-5 years survival, I think at some point, I just wanted it gone but it wasn’t right away.

It probably wasn’t until @ 2010 when I relapsed that the idea sprung into my head, that I didn’t want my kids or husband to deal with this stuff. So….it slowly was tossed, given away or donated.  Thus, the ‘death decluttering’.  Don’t wait till it’s too late to purge, and simplify.   Really, really, DO IT NOW.

 

I still have more than I’d like. In October my challenge was 1000 things gone. I got to 700 and then I just didn’t find any more or at least motivated too.  So, it is a journey of discovery.

I guess there is a balance with it too.  I kinda need a couch at this point.  There was a time sitting on the floor was fine but now I’d probably need a crane to get up so that’s out.  Also, I’ve always loved all things Japanese, so I wanted a low table on the floor but again, crane anyone?

Where am I with it all?  I want only what I use and need and fits our house.  We have given away thousands of things and it feels so good.

I am enjoying adding house plants which are adding oxygen and greenery. A win-win….

 

Dinner is leftover wild rice chicken soup and twice baked potatoes with a salad.

 

 

My neighbor is dying and ‘death decluttering’

Our neighbor is dying. She has stage 4 Ovarian cancer and has survived for almost 4 years but now things have taken a turn for the worst. She’s 2 years older than me or B’s age 67.  She was a kindergarten teacher and hadn’t planned to retire but once diagnosed she did. After a rigorous regimen of chemotherapy, she was in a partial remission and the tumors had shrunk. Then she took a year of alternative therapy with juicing, became vegan and gluten-free. She maintained that till just this year. Then she got into a clinical trial at Stanford and it was really working, of course, until it stops working and then you have to leave the trial.  She didn’t want to do any more chemo as the quality of life over quantity was so important.  So she has had this past year chemo free and started to enjoy all foods again even coffee.

Our neighbor was an avid horsewoman and sports enthusiastic. But with this last year, she started the ‘death decluttering’.  She sold her horse, trailer, truck, all horse equipment, and even his shelter. She sold her kayak, canoe, bikes, and so much more.  She has understood the ‘death decluttering’  very well. She doesn’t want to burden her husband or her two adult children. It’s a brave thing she is doing.  She has a large support group( whereas I have no ‘girlfriends’ as such) and they are rallying around her. It’s a wonderful thing.

Death comes to us all one way or another so we must really look to each day as an opportunity to live fully but also, realizing NOW is the time to do the’death decluttering’.

Take some time in your life to get rid of things that are burdensome, so those left behind don’t have to wade thru piles of stuff.

Recently, I gave away some old family books that I had put in a bin. These books were over a hundred years old and belonged to B’s grandmother.  He never knew her and they were just musty old books his mother sent to him one year. B did not have a good relationship with his mother(overall), and she certainly didn’t like me and only met her granddaughter a few times and never met her grandson. One year when my son was about 1, she said she had the choice to go to Iceland or visit with us to see Z and our daughter. Well, she chose Iceland and died never meeting her grandson.  So recently, I was thinking about these connections and books and thought, ‘why am I keeping these books out of some obligation”?  So after taking them to the ASPCA bookstore, I felt a huge relief. It was freeing.

So try it. Start the ‘death decluttering’.

The link is for the new book coming out in January on this” The Gentle art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter”