Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DPP:: twenty-five

 a day late, but wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas season!

Monday, December 24, 2012

DPP:: twenty-four

Again, Christmas: abiding point of return. Set apart by its mystery... the season seems in a way to stand outside time. All that is dear, that is lasting, renews its hold on us: 
we are home again.
Elizabeth Bowen

Sunday, December 23, 2012

DPP:: twenty-three

holiday, once-a-year, loaded-with-sugar-and-processed-foods treats!

DPP:: twenty-two

Fun night with our whole family + one girlfriend and our best friends and their daughter! Out for dinner at Frank, then a LONG bus ride to the Trail of Lights where there were too many people but it was still fun! Christmas lights (lots of the them) still awe me!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DPP:: twenty

I met this gorgeous man 34 years ago... married him 26 years ago today!
I love you D!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DPP:: eighteen

Lunch break from the Christmas shopping... a whole 3-hour shopping trip!

Monday, December 17, 2012

DPP:: seventeen

We are living in an oak forest... filled with mistletoe!
Hmmm... More kisses for me?

DPP:: sixteen

In the midst of reflecting, decorating, shopping, creating, wrapping and baking, 
there's the normal stuff...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

DPP:: fourteen

Eeeep! There's a man under my home! 

Yea... this is part of D's Christmas prep. He won't allow me to do any of it! 

Oh wait... that's not Christmas prep. That's just him keeping "busy"!

Style and consumerism

Now, just because I don't like buying things or shopping doesn't mean I have no style or taste! My home decorating style is what I like... not necessarily what HGTV or Better Homes and Gardens magazine says is the latest and greatest and it doesn't change that often. I lean towards a practical decorating style. Some of my decor are things I use... some are things that are meaningful to me or to my family and some are just things I like the look of. 

A lot of what I've decorated with in our RV will be used to decorate in our next sticks and bricks home. My style of decor isn't dictated by the house I live in.

My gypsy flags in our RV...

My gypsy flags in our previous home...
As far as my clothing style... it's a mixed bag too! I am not a dress-up kinda gal and my lifestyle doesn't necessitate fancy dresses or heels. I cringe whenever someone says "I couldn't carry that style off" and want to ask them "who says?" Or the fashion gurus say that you can't dress a certain way once you reach a certain age. Granted... I don't have a job that dictates I have to dress a certain way... and I love the freedom my "job" as a homemaker gives me to dress in a manner that is comfortable and to my liking. I do enjoy watching TLC's What Not to Wear every once in a while and sometimes like the way the "victim" dresses BEFORE more than after they are "transformed" into WNTW's fashion beauty. I enjoy dressing in a way that pleases my husband, but also wear some things that he cannot stand! =) And he still loves me and is attracted to me! But you will rarely hear me asking other women if what I'm wearing looks okay!

So what does all this have to do with simple living? For me it's not about changing my decor or clothing on a regular basis... therefore, I am not purchasing new-to-me items often. Even when I do feel a need for a change in my home, it's usually moving furniture and items from room to room. When it comes to buying new household items or furniture it's usually to replace something that has broken or for one reason or another cannot be used any longer or I have a new hobby (like canning supplies). I enjoy being resourceful and trying to use what I already have. My loose rule for clothing is if I buy a new piece of clothing (and most of these are bought at thrift stores), a like piece gets donated. It's very easy in the RV as we have very limited space for our clothing.

I recently came across a blog post that continued my thinking on consumerism and simple living... Contentment and the Zen of Granny. When I think of my grandparents' homes, they were wonderful places to be... not the most fashionable at all but I loved being there. I love this part...

She enjoyed keeping things pretty but didn’t put undue pressure on herself to be fashionable. Most of her decorating was about keeping things clean. Interestingly enough, keeping things clean is referred to as decorating by the Sidetracked Home Executives, if memory serves ;-) . This is super easy for us to emulate … we can stop caring about whether our homes look like the ones on tv or in the magazines and think about whether our home is clean instead! Doesn’t sound all that exciting I know, but I think it’s more satisfying, if for no other reason than that it is possible to do! Most of us don’t have the means to have the homes featured in magazines.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DPP:: 12/12/12

Quiet... and creating

DPP:: eleven

Hmmm... cleaning the shower? Nah... recaulking by Mr. Fix-it!

Simple living vs. consumerism

In Finding Joy, there's a story about a New Yorker cartoon portraying a man running toward the end of the rainbow only to see a pot of baked beans there. The author mentions whenever she thinks of striving for something "more" she reminds herself it's time to stop and remember there's beauty in the ordinary and it's right here!

She goes on to tell of visiting an old dear friend whom she hadn't seen in a while. 
"His sense of graciousness and ritual was as I remembered. I had mentioned that I wanted only fruit and tea for breakfast, and I arrived to a neatly set table with an orange and apple on a plate beside a knife, a mug and a newspaper on the same green tablecloth I had sat at twenty-five years before. I also saw the same bookshelves, the same tables, the same dishes and the same couch as before. In a passing moment, a painful image flashed through my mind of the thousands of dollars I had spent on such items over the years and how little they mattered. How peaceful it was to be with him in this uncluttered home. I hold that image in my mind as I struggle to detach from wanting more things."

She describes me in describing a time in her life where she went through a period of buying lots of new and pretty and useful things in a compulsive way. 
"I would buy something and then after I had enjoyed it for a little while, I would start thinking about the next thing I would buy." 
We had the money (although at one time a lot of it was regretfully bought with credit)... and looking back, the point isn't to be able to save the money and have it to spend later, but to be able to be generous with those in need. What the author did to break this cycle was to intentionally look around her and acknowledge that what she had was beautiful, paid for and whatever other quality it had. 
"Again, and again I need to quell my restless mind and remind myself, This is enough. What I really seek is more love, more peace and more free time."

I still struggle with consumerism.
the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable; also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods.  ~Merriam-Webster dictionary
I no longer have a desire to buy a lot of stuff I don't need. I used to shop for entertainment... which led to buying things... things we didn't need. Oh sure, I enjoyed them when I got them home and I did use them but thinking about it now... how many gorgeous coffee cups do I really "need"? I can only use one at a time. And even when I have guests, are they there to enjoy a pretty coffee cup or my company?

Shopping is no longer a favorite pastime for me. I still enjoy thrift shopping and grocery shopping most of the time... but it's a different kind of enjoyment. I enjoy cooking and baking and we live within a budget... so it's a challenge to me to shop for good food within a budget. I love the thrill of finding something in a thrift store or garage sale I've been "needing" and paying few dollars for it. When we sold everything in preparation for our RV lifestyle, we knew we'd most likely buy another house eventually and we knew we'd furnish it with thrift store and garage sale finds that we love. And it's something that both David and I enjoy doing. Scouring thrift stores is a whole lot more fun to us than walking into a furniture store and buying a whole new living room "set". And yes, we've done that before. Although if you know me it wasn't a "matching set". =)

When it comes to buying gifts for others... I'd much rather not give anything if I cannot find something I know they need, would love and/or use. Long ago, we gave up the notion to give something just to give something or out of obligation or guilt. If we cannot find that "something" we try to find other ways to make someone feel special and loved (homemade goodies, a meal out or a donation to a charity that is meaningful to the recipient). But at times I still struggle... I don't want anyone to feel like we don't love them and some people connect value with gift giving and receiving. 

Shopping and buying are in the forefront for me right now because of the season. We haven't done a whole lot of shopping yet. We have bought a few gifts online and I'm making some gifts as I do every year.  It's not that I'm in a "scrooge mood"... God has just been revealing to me over the past few years but a lot this past year about how blessed we are... as is! It all goes along with my "being in the moment" and being grateful for what we do have and we have an abundance! 

to be continued...

Monday, December 10, 2012

DPP:: ten

Laundry and sunshine!

52 Things December update

  1. See a live starfish in its natural habitat. Hold one if I can?
  2. Try stand up paddle-boarding
  3. Kayak a river or lake
  4. Run a 5k race once a month at least for the rest of our travels, if we can find a race that works for us. (I did run a 5k distance in September but nothing that far since then… I’ve lost my enthusiasm for running!)
  5. Visit Washington, DC
  6. Visit Asheville, NC
  7. Visit Charleston SC
  8. Visit Savannah GA
  9. Visit as many "homies" as I can (Kristen, Crystal)
  10. Get a tattoo
  11. Make a supper and invite any "late-arriving" camper that is close to us to share it with us.
  12. Make soap in our RV
  13. Spend the day in Central Park in NY
  14. Highlight my hair with a wild color
  15. Buy coffee for the person behind me at a drive thru Starbucks
  16. Finish my granny square quilt
  17. Finish my scrap knitted scarf
  18. Bake treats for grumpy campground hosts (or friendly ones if we don't encounter any grumpy ones) How about pumpkin bread for the guys at the Collision Shop we lived at for almost a week?
  19. One month of primal/paleo eating
  20. Swim/wade in the Atlantic Ocean
  21. Lie on a beach and read
  22. Run on the beach
  23. Recover the valances in our RV
  24. Make covers for the dinette benches
  25. Figure out some kinda cover for the loveseat
  26. Buy fresh eggs from a roadside stand
  27. Eat New York pizza
  28. Eat shrimp and grits
  29. Eat vegetarian for a month
  30. Sit by a fire on the beach
  31. Cook a meal over a fire
  32. Go to a drive-in movie theater
  33. Walk barefoot in the rain
  34. Knit a pair of socks
  35. Drive the truck pulling the RV!
  36. Switch "jobs" with D for an arrival/departure day
  37. Go on a dinner cruise
  38. Try a new-to-me kinda food/restaurant (Indian, Thai, etc.)
  39. Take a cooking class
  40. Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail
  41. Attend a yoga class or two
  42. Read 52 books (8 read*)
  43. Be a work camper somewhere
  44. Volunteer at a food bank
  45. Make a patchwork skirt
  46. Hoop every day for a month
  47. Make a dream catcher
  48. Refashion 12 clothing items
  49. Allow D to pick a challenge for me and do it! YIKES!
  50. Spend Christmas in Florida Texas with my kids
  51. Go to an art exhibit or art museum
  52. Live every day like the adventure it is!
*Books read:

  1. The Gutter – Where Life is Meant to be Lived, Craig Goss
  2. A Watershed Year, Susan Schoenberger
  3. Practical Theology for Women, Wendy Horger Alsup
  4. Crazy Love, Francis Chan
  5. The Reunion, Dan Walsh
  6. The Power of Half, Kevin Salwen
  7. Hollywood Nobody, Lisa Samson
  8. The Best of Me, Nicholas Sparks

Sunday, December 9, 2012

DPP:: nine

D chillin' with his "new" laptop thanks to my brother for donating to the cause and to my dad for delivering it from McAllen!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

DPP:: eight

When in Texas...
make fresh pico.
...for fajita tacos, eggs, chips... or anything else you desire!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DPP:: six

Happy Birthday Dad! 
We went out to lunch with my parents to one of their favorite places... 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DPP:: four

These two! We have a history! Eighteen years ago in Westminster CO a family moved in 4 houses down from us. I met Annelise on our way to the bus stop when our oldest boys were in Kindergarten. They are from Texas! Shortly after that they moved to Colorado Springs. We visited each other as often as we could. David and I knew we would end up back in Texas and when we started making plans to move back in the Fall/Winter of 2008/2009, we heard stirrings that they were thinking the same. 

We moved back to Texas Labor Day weekend 2009... They flew to Austin that weekend to look for a house! We celebrated that weekend at Chuy's. So Chuy's is "our place". And tonite couldn't have been more perfect! Good Tex-Mex food outside under the oak trees on this gorgeous Texas evening! We cherish our friendship with Lance and Annelise!

Monday, December 3, 2012

DPP:: three

A little Christmas decorating...  
We don't have a lotta room for Christmas decor or a tree.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DPP:: two

The perfect holiday scent with no temptations! From my sweet friend, Lori!

Saturday, December 1, 2012