Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revisiting my 11 Things

This past December I created a list of 11 things that I no longer want in my life.  I created this list in lieu of devising a set of New Year's resolutions.  After creating the list I decided that I would expand on each item in my own time here at Surfside Serenity.  I have touched on two of the eleven and with the promise of spring I thought I would look at another item on my list.  Third on my list is clutter in my mind and in my home.  I want less clutter.  Over the past months I have been putting in a concerted effort into being more positive in thought and removing the clutter of negativity that can become overwhelming.  I am working towards focussing on the good I see in my environment and in the people who are a part of my life.  It is not always easy and as much as I would like to return to my former polly-annaish, rose colored glasses self I am realizing that perhaps that is not who I need to be at this point in my life.  I have talked in other posts about returning to my old true self.  As I sit and write this post I realize that I must accept the self I am today; foibles and all and look forward.  I can certainly incorporate parts of my younger self, but in forcing myself to go back somehow I deny all that I am now.  Does that make sense?  It is just beginning to make sense for me now, in this moment!  I don't have to go back!  I am who I am today due to who I was yesterday.  I will take all that is good from the past and here in the present and move into tomorrow with all those pieces firmly in hand.  Staying in the moment, breathing deeply and remaining positive whenever possible will help reduce the clutter in my mind and clear a path for moving forward.

Clutter in my home is another subject. Have you watched the Hoarders show?  Every time I watch it I feel a bit better about the minimal clutter in my home.  Even though my clutter is minimal, it is still clutter and screams out to be sorted, organized and reduced!  As the weather gets warmer I think I will be more motivated to go through this home with a fine toothed comb and truly reinvent the spaces in which we live.  Too much stuff just gets in the way of living an organized simple life.  I want to set a better example for my children.  It is an important goal.  I think if I take one room at a time the work will be less overwhelming.  Enlisting the help of the family might make the new look sustainable.  I can't maintain it alone.  We'll see how that goes.  I'll take before and after photos and share when I can.  

So clearing the clutter will remain an ongoing project.  Stay tuned. 


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook Week 13

Outside my window...I see beautiful sunshine.  It's nice to have the days last a bit longer now that we are entering springtime.  If only the warm temperatures would begin. 

I am thinking...about my ear. It has been hurting for several days and it is bothersome.  It is not an ear infection as it is the outer part of my ear that hurts.  I wish it would feel better. 

I am thankful for...the life I live.  I am blessed with a beautiful home and family and a usually sunny disposition.  I may complain sometimes, like everyone but at the end of the day I am very fortunate.

From the kitchen..cream of chicken soup with rice and roasted broccoli (from scratch) and Irish soda bread to go along with the meal.   As for the rest of the week?  We'll see. 

I am jeans!  I'm actually writing Monday afternoon so I have my hanging out clothes on for now.  Jeans, black top and black vest with my trusty slippers.  Not too much different from my school clothes. 

What I'm creating:  I started work on matting all my pictures that I printed for the Angel Fair in a few weeks.  I can't wait to continue working on these cards.  n's friend's Mom was over yesterday and loved the pictures and inquired about if I'd be selling them.  She was very kind.  She called me an artist!

I am continue to work on letting go of  things that are beyond my control.  I am also going to try to remember that when interpersonal things are going on that are troublesome it is usually about the other person and some need that they have that isn't being met.  Do you know what I mean.    

I am reading...still nothing!  :(  One of these days I'll dive into something but right now things are just too busy.  

I am hoping that our cat Fluffy gets better.  He has been loosing weight and his coat looks awful.  His back legs also seem to be bothering him.  I ordered some immune support medicine that is natural.  We'll see if it helps.  We've been incorporating 'wet' food into his diet to encourage his appetite and it seems to be helping.  Poor Fluffy!

I am hearing...the children on their respective electronic devices.  Other than the children it is quiet; just how I like it.  I love to sit in the quiet and just be.  

Around the house...I see  dappled sunlight on the oriental rug, sweatshirts hanging from the kitchen chairs and and beautiful green plants standing tall after a large drink of water today.  I like what I see.

One of my favorite warmth and quiet.  The warmth of the sun as it shines through the windows and the quiet of a peaceful home.  These are just two of the things that feed my soul. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  hopefully I'll be able to take photos of the completed siding job and roof job over at 40 M.  I can't wait to see it all buttoned up on the outside.  The rest of the week we'll just see what it brings.  Some time to be creative would be lovely.

Here are several pictures I am sharing..


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Journey

I found the following poem over at my friend Kyra's blog.

The Journey
by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations–
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

This poem is about transformation. Change and transformation have been a reoccurring theme in my life lately.  I have observed signs that lead me to believe there are even more changes on the horizon.  Positive changes are what I see in my future.  It is Spring and with the season of spring there is much rebirth and growth.  With my most recent birthday I realized that I am in the prime of my life.  I am truly entering the second half of my life and wish to do so with grace and passion.  I feel like it is time for me to be reborn; a metamorphosis of sorts.   Going through the process of restoring my childhood home is certainly a very tangible way to experience this shift in my world while revisiting and hopefully putting to rest issues that began in that home.  I want to live life in the moment.  I no longer want to just go through the motions because it is what has always been.  Do you know what I mean?


Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fill Ins-12 we go!

1. Why does it still feel like winter?

2. Nothing is equal to a mother's love.

3. My favorite breakfast includes french toast and bacon mmmmmmm oh and coffee of course.

4. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan was the last book I read and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I can't remember the last adult book I read.  I've been on a kick of reading the series that my son enjoys.

5. I am SO glad that we can see the end of the project at 40 M.  I can't wait to go and be in that completed space and invite all my family and friends to join me there!

6. Winning a million bucks  would make me feel better right now, it would enable us to finish the work at 40 M without so much worry over the budget.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to new episodes of our favorite Friday night shows, tomorrow my plans include going to Home Depot with 'n' to look at stain and colors for 40 M and her room as well as watching movies with freshly made popcorn and Sunday, I want to _take photos of 40 M with it's new siding and prepare for the week!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reality Sets In!

Well I'm so happy that today is my 'Friday'!  We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Going over to 40 M isn't nearly as difficult as it once was not so long ago.  The destruction of the demolition has been completely replaced by the construction of a new home!  I walk in and I am filled with pride and longing.  Strange combination.  Pride  for the work that has been done and longing for my parents who so deserved a new home.  Oh how they would delight in the work and the plans and the accomplishment.  I know that they see but I wish we could see the looks on their faces.  I can imagine the looks and the words.  But sometimes imagination just isn't enough.

The reality of what he have accomplished has begun to set in for R and me.  These months have been transformative.  When I think back and then look forward I am reminded of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.  Not only has the home gone through this process but R has as well.  He has lost a significant amount of weight and even sports six pack abs!  He has poured his heart and soul into this work.  He is at the house every day checking in on the progress.  He has put in hour upon hour of hard labor literally throwing almost the entire structure into a series of dumpster.   In some way I think it is his way of paying tribute to and honoring Dad and Mum.  I think he feels badly that he was not around more before Dad died.  He is there now.  I wonder what it will be like when things are completely finished.  We are looking forward to just being in the space.  Once everything is complete we will decide our next steps.  To rent or to sell that is the question.  We have had people inquire about both options.  I think the ball will be in our court.  That feels good.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook Week 12

Outside my window...I see night falling. I look at the clock and see that it is 7:19 and the night has not fully enveloped us and that is good.  Spring is on its way even if we are getting a small snow storm tonight!  

I am thinking...about new possibilities.

I am thankful for...the progress that is taking place this week over at 40 M.  We will have siding completed by the end of the week, heating in by the end of next week as well as the basement framed.  Once the basement is framed we'll have electrician come back and complete the rough.  I see light at the end of what has been a very long tunel. 

From the kitchen..tortellini salad tonight and hopefully clam chowder tomorrow.  We'll see what the rest of the week holds. Friday will be eat out, order in or leftovers.  For me I will continue with my Shakeology but switch to having it for breakfast. 

I am wearing...brown:  brown cords, brown vest and cream colored sweater.  Can't wait to change into my pjs!

What I'm creating:  well I finished preparing the taxes last Friday.  It took me a long time and was not very creative but having that task complete has opened up time for me to jump into some creative endeavors.  

I am work on letting go of  things that are beyond my control.  This is very difficult for me as I am a born 'fixer' and when I can't help of fix something I dwell on it until it drives me crazy or at the very least puts me into a bad mood.  

I am reading...nothing at the moment.  Have to get back into a good book.  Any suggestions?

I am hoping...that n feels better and does not have to stay home sick tomorrow.  We'll see.  Right now she had an ear ache and stuffy nose.  Hmmmm

I am hearing...R playing his guitar along with John Mayer downstairs.  Nice..

Around the house...I see a lounging cat, an ill girl, a clean kitchen and a dark living room, that's what I see. 

One of my favorite sitting quietly as my children study and I work on a blog post.  Working in the same room companionably on different tasks is so refreshing.  The studying is nice because it requires quiet.  Quiet seems to be something I crave lately.  Quiet in my home and in my mind. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  not much planned.  Thursday is my Friday so I'm looking forward to that and a bit of free time on Friday for myself.  I'm hoping to hit the Home Depot with n as it is time to look into colors and stain for 40M!  Can't believe we are already that far into our project. 

Here are several pictures I am sharing..

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Happenings

Well this weekend has been a huge success!  Beyond the usual sleeping late and lack of schedule I was fortunate enough to get out with a friend Saturday morning.  We enjoyed coffee together and spent a couple of hours at Claychick painting pottery.  It was so relaxing!  I painted a cake plate/stand.  We were invited to use a new bit of technology at the shop.  The Cricket machine that is typically used in scrap booking can also be used in painting pottery pieces.  I used a scroll design to go around the rim of my plate.  I am so excited to see the final product.  Upon C's suggestion I am having the two pieces fired separately.  With two distinct pieces in the end I'll be able to use them as a stand but also as a chip and dip platter.  I hope they look as beautiful in reality as they do in my mind!  C has created such a welcoming environment in her shop.  I would love to work there.  It would be such a departure from what I do at school yet I could use the same skill set to help customers!  She is just starting so I don't think that will work out any time soon.  I do think however that I am destined to work in some sort of creative arts at some point in my life.  I just feel it!

Last night n and I went on a mini photo adventure.  Once the moon rose we drove down to the beach and tried to take some photos.  Let me just say that I need some more practice.  I think I might go out solo tonight and try again.  I'm going to use my telephoto lens and do some research before I go out.  I would love to get a great moon shot.

Over the ocean

Spooky photo of the house by n

Moon though the trees

I also spent some time over at 40 M.  The new door is in and the downstairs tub is studded.  I'll be taking a few more photos today and will update the other blog as soon as possible.   Today we are meeting the laborer who will be siding the house this week.  From what I understand he is a young Irishman, brogue and all.  I think n and I will be working on filling the cracks in the foundation today.  We'll see what R thinks when we get over to the site.

I hope you are having a fabulous weekend!


Friday, March 18, 2011

A New Blog and a Give Away

I love blog hopping!  Every once and a while I find a blog that I find interesting.  Today I found Jack(short for Jacqueline) over at Slightly Off Center.  She blogs from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  She shares wonderful quotes at the beginning of each post.  I guess that is what hooked me as anyone who reads this blog knows that I love quotes!  Anyway Jack is celebrating her third year blogging and is giving away some lovely art to some lucky reader.  If you click the link above you can participate too!


Friday Fill Ins-11 we go! 

1. I love to go to the beach because it is where I can center myself and perhaps where I feel closest to spirit.

2. Friendship: it’s the quality of the friendships not the quantity that is important in life! If you can count your best friends on one hand that is perfectly fine and in my humble opinion you are pretty lucky.

3. The last thing I had to eat was a bowl of Frosted Flakes.

4. I am so excited for the day when my big, puffy, black winter jacket is no longer essential.

5. Please take a moment to count your blessings;  looking at the unrest in the world brings everyday difficulties into perspective!  I am so blessed.

6. Persistence and determination have brought you this far keep moving forward and good things will follow.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my regular Friday night routine, tomorrow my plans include Cupcake Charlies, Claychick and coffee with A and Sunday, I want to submit my taxes, visit 40 M and take photos and update my other blog!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook Week 11

Outside my window...I see the dawn of a new day.   With the dawn of each new day comes the promise of all that is to come.  In that promise is hope.  With hope and determination we can do anything!

I am thinking...about the week that lies ahead.  At work we are in the midst of planning for next years enrollment and classes as well as staying present with the children in our current classes.  Our numbers look less promising than this year.  We are all worried.  

I am thankful for...the promise of spring and the completion of the project over at 40 M.  

From the kitchen..plans for the week:  chicken with green salad, pork in the crock pot, tortellini with leftover chicken and veggies.  Friday will be eat out, order in or leftovers.  For me I will continue with my Shakeology. 

I am  black cords, black top, black vest and a teal scarf.

I am creating...not much unfortunately!  I have to get our taxes done before I begin my work on compiling  several sets of cards including my angel print on original watercolor, hot wax prints, and photo cards.  I have all the pieces just need to construct the cards.   This weekend I'll work on this project.  

I am work on being my old positive self.  I also want to work on letting go rather than holding on and surrendering control in order to let things happen naturally.  

I am reading...nothing at the moment.  Have to get back into a good book.  Any suggestions?

I am hoping...that tomorrows meeting at works is productive and positive.

I am hearing...Sponge Bob.... funny show but one of my least favorites!  

Around the house...I see less of a mess than last week but still so much to maintain.  Some days it feels a bit overwhelming!  

One of my favorite digging in the soil in the warmth of spring.  I can't wait to fill all of my pots and planters with lovely flowers.  I also hope to plant some tomatoes and basil.  Perhaps some beans too. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  visit with K this Friday,  pottery, coffee and Cupcake Charlie's with A on Saturday and picking out a front door and a few more windows for 40 M.

Here are several pictures I am sharing..


Monday, March 14, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday!


The above photos document the process of making my own laundry detergent from this recipe.  It was a fun process and I spent the weekend trying out my new product.  I am happy to report that it works great.  


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Live! Live! Live!

I've been thinking about the movie Auntie Mame.  This was one of my Mum's favorites.

I thought I'd share a clip that compliments my previous post.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


So I recently read an article from Daily Om and have found it haunting my thoughts.  Entitled Actively Participating, this article focuses on being an active part of your own life.   The article begins: Showing up for your life means actively participating in our own life rather than hiding and going through the motions.   This statement has stuck with me all day.  I don't think that I hide from life but there are definite times when I'm not actively participating.  I'm not sure if that lack of participation comes from a place of insecurity or a sense of feeling uncomfortable in certain circumstances and situations.  Today for instance, I drove n to a birthday party. I found myself feeling uncertain as I walked into the situation.  I don't think n noticed but when I left I thought about my interactions and felt as if I could have been more engaged with the other Mom's in the room.  Perhaps this article has me leaning on the more critical side but I do see a lack of participation or perhaps a willingness to sit back and let things happen around me.  This is also a trait that runs in my family to some extent.   The women in my family, my mother and her sisters were all kind, sweet, soft spoken and demure.  I never remember seeing any of them react in a pushy way to any kind of stimuli.  I guess I follow in this pattern.  Is this a bad thing?  No not in all situations, however there are times when I should be more forward.  Another instance from today comes to mind.  At Target n and I were waiting to be helped in electronics and as we stood, waiting patiently another pushy woman walked right in front of us and interrupted the clerk who was helping another family.  He ended up calling someone to come to help in the department.  I have to say that I was thoroughly annoyed by the situation.  As annoyed as I was at the pushy woman I was equally disturbed with my own actions or lack there of in the situation.  I guess I was just going through the motions rather than taking charge of the situation.  I dislike that about myself.  Sometimes I think I am just way too much of a nice guy/pushover!  I am going to try to be better about taking action, actively participating and making things happen in my life.  I want to show up and teach my children how to do the same.  


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