Move in was completed pretty quickly, a few totes and about 50 t-shirts, 6 pair of shoes a few coats, blankets, sheets, a TV and a microwave. The roommate will arrive in a couple of days so he had the room to himself to set up and get comfortable. After dinner we took a walk around campus.
Orientation on Thursday separated the parents from the kids so we could each learn what to expect from the college experience. It’s a beautiful campus and there’s obvious pride in everything Montanan.
Academics aside, one of my favorite features is a huge garden that the school uses to help feed everyone.
Everything from chard, kale, tomatoes, carrots and columnar apple trees. Those are hops climbing up that arbor. Hmmmm.
Tonight we attend a dinner for the kids involved in Global Leadership Initiative. We continue to learn about opportunities. Tomorrow we wrap up our stay and head south to Big Sky and Yellowstone, leaving the boy behind.
We went to a living room concert the other evening. A young couple promoting their music offered to play concerts in living rooms throughout the west. Vocal Few are Matt and Kristie who decided to try this method of sharing their music, allowing their fans to meet them up close and giving the rest of us a chance to get to know them and their music.
The concert was fun and intimate in the living room of friends. Attended by about 40 guests, the music filled the home with the strong voices and lovey lyrics of the couple. What a nice way to spend a summer evening and give these lovely musicians a sweet summer concert tour.
What says Americana better than a 4th of July parade? Our little suburban neighborhood has welcomed everyone for nearly 50 years. Kids decorate their bikes, wagons and dogs to walk through the streets and meet at the park.
Everyone comes out, people set up chairs along the route and neighbors catch up with one another after our long rainy season. The weather is beautiful, the fire engines show up to lead the parade and the flag is raised as we all stand quietly with our hands on our heart as the national anthem is played.
It’s always the same, every year. Neighbors come and go, kids grow up and move away, new people move in and yet the tradition continues. As it should! It always makes me happy that people embrace their patriotism and come together to celebrate .
Have a Happy Independence Day Everyone!
Summer has arrived!! Every year I hold out hope that summer will actually arrive. Not in an end of the world sort of thing, but more of a “when will it ever stop raining” kind of thing. Spring has had several beautiful days, which always give us Oregonians such hope, only to have our hopes quite literally doused with a downpour. Though just as the rainy days make us forget how beautiful the previous days were, a wonderful glorious day of sunshine can quickly erase our memories of recent rains. Summers here are notoriously warm and dry. July, August and even September tend to have very little, if any rainfall and true Oregonians begin to actually complain of the lack of rain. Not at first of course, but we joke that the webs between our toes are drying out. We need our rain. But not now!! This sunshine is a wonderful thing!!
So, get out there and enjoy summer. Take a walk, plant a seed, eat breakfast outside, go camping, take a hike, hang your clothes outdoors, wash the dog with a hose, water the garden, smell a flower, pick a bouquet, cook outdoors, drink something icy cold, put on your shorts, apply sunscreen, bring your sunglasses, eat a freshly picked tomato.
Enjoy your summer everyone!!
I lost my dad last summer. He was 87 years old. That means he’d been old for a very long time. As soon as he passed away I began remembering him as a younger man. It became like his gift to me. I was grieving the father I’d just lost, but smiling at the father I will always remember.
His last few years were spent in an adult living facility. He had trouble walking due to diabetes. His mind wasn’t as sharp as it once was and he spent a lot of time just sitting. I think his only regret in life was growing old.
As a younger man he fished, hunted and golfed. He loved everyday, whether it was at his job as a policeman or the days he spent on the golf course in retirement. He went on month long fishing trips to Alaska and Canada with his best buddy and spent a week or two in the woods each fall deer and elk hunting. He was happily married to my mom for 64 years, a woman who understood his love and need for the outdoors.
I always felt sorry that he had to spend his 80’s sitting, getting old. He could no longer drive so I was the one taking him to doctor appointments. I went along to listen and remember what the doctor had to say. He hated going to the doctor; he didn’t want anyone to know he wasn’t feeling well. I don’t think there was even one time when he didn’t look me in the eye and say “don’t get old!.” I’d laugh and say I didn’t like the alternative.
Now I understand why he had to get old. In spending those years with him, driving him around, I got to know him better. We’d have to work at talking to one another. He learned how to thank me and to tell me he loved me. He learned how to give and receive hugs. If he wouldn’t have gotten so old, I would never have gotten to know the softer side of him.
He’ll always be a part of me of course. He was the one who taught me how to fish, how to ride a bike and the importance of integrity. His words were always “if you’re going to do a job, do it well.” I think he lived his life well and I think if he had to do it all over again he probably wouldn’t change a thing.
As sad as I am for his loss, I will continue to celebrate his life through my own. I’ll laugh when I do something just like he did. I’ll think of him when I look into the eyes of my son. I’ll continue to teach my children the values of fairness and honesty that he instilled in me. I’ll try not to have regrets for the questions I forgot to ask him or the things I wanted to tell him. Thanks for the memories dad!
Wishing a Happy Fathers Day to all the wonderful dads out there! Give yours a hug!
It is raining again or still. Intermittent showers, on and off rain, sun breaks, partly cloudy, chance of showers, thunder showers (!). Even the weather forecasters are laughingly calling it “June-u-ary”. Ha ha, I’ve had enough. I look at my pink-tinged strawberries and hope they will not rot on the vine. I tasted a reddish one yesterday, but without the sun it lacked the sweet flavor I was hoping for.
I know, I know, when the sun comes out to stay, all will be forgiven for this wetness.
I have been working inside making pillow covers. I love sewing all kinds of pillows and lately I’m loving fresh, crisp blue and white prints in anticipation of summer. When we do get our sunshine, I’ll be ready. My new pillows will be finished, the bright yellow deck cushions will be rushed to the the chairs outside, the summer shells will come out of storage and live on the mantle, my pop up clothesline will find its spot in the yard to dry our laundry and the flowers in the yard will recover and stand happily facing the sunshine. I know I’ll make it, and I know this happens every year; June might just be the most difficult month of all. Despite the rain (here anyway), happy weekend to all!
Today my lovely mother celebrates her 89th birthday. It’s really an amazing age at which to arrive. It’s hard to even imagine how much our world has changed since May 1923. I was looking through old albums the other day and came across the ones she kept from high school and college. Next I looked through the ones from early in my parents marriage and throughout my childhood. It was clear that she enjoyed being the photographer and her creativity showed in the playful poses and fun loving subjects of her photographs.
Always more comfortable being sporty than fancy but I thought she looked so beautiful all dressed up
My mom was always the creative spirit behind me. I give her full credit for giving me the push to go ahead and give it a try. Whatever “it” was, she was encouraging. Art was a part of our lives, whether she was taking us to visit a gallery or not overreacting to a big mess in our craft room. Visits to shops and boutiques were sometimes like recon; checking out what was being made, how they did it and if we could make it ourselves. No wonder I’m such a do-it-yourselfer!
Mom was always creative; sewing, gardening and decorating for dances and benefits at her clubs. She took up painting when she was in her 40’s. She was a natural, having absorbed all kinds of art throughout her life. I’m pretty sure painting helped her through her empty nest years and I’m quite certain she waited until we kids grew up so she could give herself wholeheartedly to her art. She was good and sold many paintings over the next 30 years or so.
Now her mind is emptied of it all. For the last few years her memories have all but disappeared due to Alzheimer's. It’s an ugly disease that has robbed her of her mind and her family of who she was. She and I talk and her words are nothing but confusing rambles. I remind her of people and places, I show her the paintings she did and I share old photos with her. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of who she was in a phrase or gesture but most of the time she’s just the outer shell of the woman she once was. I like to think that she lives in her dreams now and that maybe that’s why she spends so much time in bed. I hope somehow she is able to enjoy her life in dreams and surround herself in the creative and artistic joys and people she once loved.
I now carry the memories for her; who she was and how important she was to me. When someone says “Oh God! You’re just like your mother,” my first thought is a natural embarrassment but then I think ‘Oh good’ it’s the way it should be. I’ll carry on for her. I remind myself that this is a short time in her life compared to the wonderful times she had as a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, friend and especially mother and grandmother. She was a champion at all of it and her joy allowed all of us to enjoy great fun, lots of laughter and a whole lot of love.
Happy birthday mama. I love you!
It’s been a busy week getting together with both book groups. All in all ten wonderful women who are such fun to share our great reads, great food and lots of conversation. This ancient picture was taken of my earlier buddies.
I saw the first part of this quote the other day and although it has many levels of meaning, it made me think of the importance of friendships. We all had our little tribes when we were young and we gather new friends throughout our years. I feel extremely lucky to have such a variety of enjoyable friends in my life. I always come away laughing. Friends help us through the good, the bad and the ugly. They are who help keep us happy, strong, connected and honest.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
A sunny weekend provided an opportunity for outdoor dog bathing. Each dog has their own distinct personality and it always shows up during bath time. The chocolate lab is very dutiful, stands still and ‘takes it like a man’. The youngster gets wild and crazy . I bathe him last so he can see that the other dogs don’t die during their bath, hoping to soothe his mania. The big old black lab is not happy and she doesn’t care who knows it. She’s not dutiful at all; I have to hold her tight, and I’m pretty sure I hear some dog cussing under her breath.
I lay the hose out to warm in the sun, grab some healthy herbal dog soap and call them over one by one. A quick sudsing, lots of rinsing, then let them go run and roll it off. It doesn’t take long and it’s so nice when they’re all cleaned up.
Dutiful but worried Crazy, wild and yet curious Old and not at all happy about a bath
In the end they all survive, they dry in the sun, they smell much much sweeter and get a bit more love from their people. A beautiful day but all they want to do is get back inside. I say no to the wet dog smell. Just air dry a bit longer.
The sweetest one of all, fresh, clean and relaxed.
Happy Monday Everyone!
I attended a wonderful lecture last night about creativity. How do we measure creativity? How can it be studied from a scientific standpoint? How can we learn to become more creative and why are some creative types more successful than others? Good questions. Jonah Lehrer has written a book, Imagine: How Creativity Works . He clearly did a lot of research and yet was able to present his findings in a way that the less scientific of us could understand and enjoy. He held the sold out crowd of 800 in rapt attention as he spoke to us about creativity, passion and science.
He spoke of moments of insight, creative bursts, epiphanies; that magic moment when a creative idea strikes. He reminds us of the times when we are struggling with a problem and the solution seems out of reach until we relax and only then our brain will give us the answer.
He suggests that we all allow ourselves a time of meditation or down time to allow our alpha waves to do their thing. Einstein said that creativity is a residue of wasted time . One should make time to waste time. The next time you go for a walk, take a shower or grab a quick nap, remember you are really focusing on being unfocused. Let your creative ideas come in.
Once you have the creative burst, what makes one person more successful with the follow-through? Studies show that it’s more about levels of grit; the successful person sticks with their plan no matter the amount of frustration, no matter who tells them it can’t be done. They’re the ones who just keep showing up again and again, never to be discouraged. Grit, persistence and stubbornness! It’s their ability to hold on to the passion of their dream.
I’m anxious to read the book, which I started as soon as I got home. Mr. Lehrer and I spoke briefly as he was signing my copy. I told him these studies remind me a lot of what my mother always taught me: “Stop focusing on the problem, but keep your mind open and the ideas will come in. ” Yes”, he agreed, “sleep on it! Our moms know a lot of things” he said. I agree. Thanks mom! Check out his book. And then make some time to waste time. It’s good for you!
Yes, you’re in the right place. Over the weekend we sat down and made a few changes. Just like in my own home, I’m nervous as to how it will look, how it will hold up and if the new look will go with all my previous belongings.
It was fun choosing the pictures for the top. Going back through my photographs, picking out the favorites. I wanted a picture of a bird and sat patiently outside waiting for one to land on just the right branch for that photo op. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I loved having the excuse to sit outside in what turned out to be a lovely, sunny weekend.
Scrolling through the previous posts, I see that no, the new look does nothing for the past. Kind of like getting the perfect dress and finding it makes the shoes look old. Or finally finding the perfect chair that will work with your sofa, only to realize that the new chair makes the sofa look worn. Oh well, C’est la Vie, I will move forward. I enjoy using the room better instead of having everything looking so cramped.
As I learn more about blog design, Photoshop and twisting my sons arm for assistance the look may change again. That’s part of the fun. Stay tuned!
A couple of weeks ago I shared a bit of myself and answered questions put to me from a fellow blogger, Sunday Taylor at Ciao Domenica. Today I attempt to answer the remaining questions, realizing that I’ve been stalling; waiting for better pictures, more succinct words or who knows what?? Anyway, here we go.
WHAT ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE DO YOU GO TO WHEN YOU WANT TO RELAX? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE NOOK FOR READING OR DAYDREAMING?
I like to end everyday with a book. I prop my pillows up against the headboard, swing the lamp around and read for 45 minutes or so. It’s best when the book isn’t too violent or I have to keep reading past that part so I won’t have scary dreams. (Note: the dog doesn’t always get up on the bed but he was more than happy to pose for the picture.)
When we remodeled our downstairs years ago, we decided to make a reading nook. We loved the idea that it would be a comfy, well-lit spot to curl up in and read. Well, although we’re all readers, I’m not sure any of us has ever actually crawled in there to read. Too close to the television set I’m afraid. Instead, I think our house is full of comfortable places where at any time you’ll find someone curled up with a new favorite book.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PART OF THE WORLD. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR HOME TOWN?
The northwest is known for its rainy climate and being green on every level. When the sky is blue, everyone is excited and has to talk about it; it’s truly like a light comes on and cheers everyone. A beautiful day brings everyone outside. When the Farmers Markets open in the Spring there’s always a great crowd of enthusiastic, smiling people.
Portlanders are proud and if you’re a native Oregonian, you brag about it. The best part of Oregon is that in less than 2 hours you can go west to play in the ocean or go east to Central Oregon to find deserts and high mountain lakes. Eastern Oregon has ranches, cowboys and mountain ranges. Southern Oregon has Crater Lake National Park and the beautiful Rogue river, famous for rafting.
I love the northwest, despite the rain. Summers are generally quite dry and everyone appreciates it. We never take our sunshine for granted. If you’re going to vacation in Oregon come in July and August. There are loads of places to go camping, fishing, boating and generally rest and relax. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Walking. I do go to the gym regularly and have taken and enjoyed Yoga classes, but what I really enjoy is a good walk. What a wonderful way to see everything. Have you ever walked past an area where you had previously only driven? It’s like a different world. In the spring and summer I love to literally stop and smell the roses.
HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE A SHORT STORY, MEMOIR OR A NOVEL?
I love writing, but a novel is quite daunting. I love children’s books but most often the illustrations are what pull me in. A memoir wouldn’t be very interesting…yet…more life to live. A short story, yes, perhaps.
ARE YOU A GARDENER, OR ARE YOU A GARDEN ADMIRER? YOU CAN BE BOTH!
I am both, but I think less of a garden admirer than a nursery admirer. I especially love preparing my garden in the spring, so a trip to the nursery is like nourishment to my enthusiasm and inspiration. My favorite nursery always has large pots planted with the most astounding combinations of plants. They always include the names so you can do-it-yourself (definitely my kind of place!). I love the inspiration I get from them.
Visiting a beautiful show garden is fun and I always appreciate the beauty but I’m the type of person who is always thinking “maybe I could do that, make that, etc.” When visiting a big beautiful garden it’s difficult to bring very many ideas home. I have to remind myself to relax and enjoy the beauty, for beauty's sake.
WHEN YOU TRAVEL, DO YOU LIKE TO GO TO A CITY OR THE COUNTRYSIDE?
Either. I love the differences in each and I always enjoy going somewhere that’s different from where I live. I love camping and hiking but I love going to a big cities like Paris or New York. Both are full of places to explore. No matter how exciting, relaxing, entertaining or busy my vacation has been I always look forward to coming home…and I think that’s a good thing.
I’ve got a very big birthday coming up next year and I already have something of a plan. No party for me, I prefer to try and run away. A trip to Italy – walk all day, eat and drink all evening without any guilt whatsoever! I can handle anything with that plan.
Well, that’s it! I’ve now answered all the questions put before me. Thanks again to Sunday for asking, it’s been a fun exercise. Be sure to visit Sunday’s blog. It’s quite beautiful!
Sunday Taylor is a blogger from Southern California who has a beautiful blog that I encourage you to take a look at. It’s aptly named Ciao Dominica, as Dominica, which was her great grandmothers name, is Italian for Sunday. Her blog is full of gorgeous photographs, many from her travels to the gardens of Europe. Sunday's passion and knowledge of English Literature is shared with favorite books and quotes.
Sunday asked me to answer a few questions the other day as a fun way to get to know more about the person behind Janet’s House. Rather that answer them all at once I think I will answer a few each week. I’m taking my time to answer thoughtfully and making the difficult attempt to not (typically for me) overthink each question. Here are the first few questions and answers. I hope you enjoy them.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE WRITER AND IF SO WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BY THAT WRITER?
I love different authors at different times in my life but the book I always go back to is Harper Lees’ To Kill A Mockingbird. I have always been saddened that she only gave the world one book, but to me it is the perfect book. Though the story is told through the eyes of a child, Harper Lee was able to convey emotions on every level. We saw hatred, envy, fear and of course pure, deep love.
When my children were assigned to read the book for school they were at first less than interested; some old book their mother liked; Ugh! I sat with them, determined to get them started, so we began reading it together. It was like pushing them on a swing until they learned to pump for themselves. Before I knew it they were talking to me about the book and we were sharing favorite parts. I think it was their first grown up book that dealt with grown up issues. They both loved the book and still refer to it as a favorite. We even had a cat named Scout and my daughters young pup is named Harper.
IF THERE WERE FOUR PEOPLE FROM ANY TIME PERIOD YOU COULD INVITE TO DINNER WHO WOULD THEY BE?
My dinner party dream is to enjoy laughter and stories told at my table. Although there are hundreds of amazing people in history from whom to choose, I wouldn’t want the intimidation some of them might bring to my table. I want to relax, enjoy myself and my guests and I think laughing is the best way to go. I wouldn’t want all funny people or it could become competitive, so here is my guest list:
Jimmy Stewart would be my first choice. Of course I don’t know any real things about him, but I like to think that he would have a similar persona to the characters he played that we all grew to love. As a matter of fact when my Uncle served in the Air Force during World War II Jimmy Stewart was his captain. I remember hearing good things about him and I think it would initially give us something to talk about. I’m sure if he was anything like my uncle he would prove to be great fun.
The second person I’d invite would be Jerry Seinfeld. I think he’s the perfect blend of maturity and immaturity that I always enjoy. I’m sure he’d be respectful of my other guests, yet confident enough to entertain us and draw out the fun in everyone. I think he’d like Jimmy Stewart and they’d be good guests to seat next to one another. I know they could get the party rolling.
Katharine Hepburn would be an intriguing guest and I hope we could get her to laugh with us. I think we’d be able to loosen her up and get her to tell us the stories of her life. She never seemed to take herself or her career too seriously and I’m pretty sure she and I would have fun together. She managed to live a fairly normal life even while being a major movie star and carrying on with married Spencer Tracy. I wonder if she’d share any secrets.
John Kennedy would be another favorite. I’m sure we’d all want to sit next to him and ask loads of questions but I hope he’d share some of the fun things we’d want to know about him. I figure with his well known charisma he most likely would enjoy a good laugh and probably have a few stories that would keep the rest of us highly entertained.
I can visualize my guests staying long into the evening and all going home having had a wonderful time. I’d go to bed with questions answered, a big smile, new respect for my guests and completely exhausted.
DO YOU LIKE TO COOK? DO YOU LIKE TO ENTERTAIN AT HOME? IF THE ANSWER IS YES, WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ENTERTAINMENT AND COOKBOOK AUTHORS?
Yes, I do like to cook and especially enjoy playing around with favorite foods and coming up with something new. Entertaining can feel intimidating but as soon as my guests arrive it’s all about having fun. The trick is to only invite people you enjoy that enjoy each other. Everyone is there for fun and they’ll appreciate your efforts.
I love the casual yet delicious recipes of Giada DeLaurentiis, Ina Garten, Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart. Martha sometimes gets a bad rap but I still love her. She became popular at the same time I became a wife and mother. I’m forever grateful to her for making it acceptable to keep a beautiful home, yet be a strong, modern, independent woman. We were no longer housewives. She taught us how to cook, sew, craft, garden and entertain all with the fearless abandon that I love and admire.
ARE YOU IN A BOOK CLUB? WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK YOU HAVE READ RECENTLY?
I’m actually in two book clubs and love both. It’s fun getting together for great food, great wine, great company and more often than not a great discussion of our book. Two recent favorites are The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. The Crying Tree spans 20 years of a family's unthinkable loss and pain yet shows the ultimate power of forgiveness. Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who became a lieutenant in the Army Air Force in the Pacific during World War II. This might seem an unlikely book choice for a bunch of women, but we all loved it. The absolute story of survival after being lost at sea then as a prisoner of war was more gripping than anything one could read in a fictional account.
So there are the first of the questions answered. It’s been fun to think about and determine my answers. Next week there’ll be a few more while I work in a photograph or two to accompany them. I hope you enjoyed the fun. Be sure to visit Sunday’s blog and tell her I sent you. Thank you Sunday!
Paris is always a good idea.
I know this quote might make an impact on someone else in an intellectual way, but it’s impact on me was based strictly on a material level. I’ve been quite satisfied with myself in the amount of donating, selling and general purging I’ve been doing in the last couple of years, but this quote opened my eyes even further.
Like a lot of other people I’ve been collecting, saving and acquiring things for that other life I was planning to have. Not that I’m not perfectly happy. I just thought I might be living in another house, the “someday house”, we always called it. I would find myself at an art show or wonderful shop and feel the urge to buy something that would look perfect in a kitchen where the window was over the sink, or a home with a big open floor plan. I currently have neither but for some reason, that never stopped me. I would tuck my treasure aside or sometimes awkwardly display it, all the while imagining it in our future space.
Friends have told me they’ve been hanging onto treasures in much the same way. Some thought they’d have a different or bigger house than they have now, or be living with someone they aren’t. Others thought there might be children or grandchildren by now. Whatever the reason, we were all saving for our future selves. I think it’s quite liberating to give the heave ho to material things that may be weighing us down on many levels.
There’s a certain sadness in giving up the life that was in the plan and settling into reality, but it can also be very satisfying. Free from excess stuff, free to truly plan, and freedom from the burden of thinking you’ve failed because you’ve still not reached that far off goal. Without all the material possessions, we have more room for life right now.
Besides being happy where I live now, who knows where we’ll be living “someday.” As a matter of fact, I also think it would be infinitely more fun when and if that next house comes along, to enjoy filling it with new found treasures instead of feeling the obligation to fill it with my saved up stuff.
While making decisions on what will stay and what must go I’ve had this mantra going in my head: “Won’t it be fun for someone else to discover this treasure.” This simple phrase helps me realize that these pieces can still be treasures, not just my castoffs. I wrap each one in tissue paper to keep it safe as it travels through the world of donation. I’m just moving it to it’s next home where it just might end up in exactly the right place.
I still love my many collections and I know I’ll never live in a home of beautiful minimalism. Now though, if something I’m hanging onto just doesn’t quite fit, it’s okay, it can go live elsewhere. Imagine having an empty closet shelf! Ohh, the possibilities!
This is what 90 looks like! (sign me up!). We celebrated the 90th birthday of my mother-in-law, Nana (as everyone calls her) last weekend in Connecticut. You can tell that she thoroughly enjoyed her party as much as we all did.
We travelled to Durham Connecticut, getting there a couple of days early so we could help prepare for the big day. I was the assembler of the gift bags which also served as seat assignments at the table. My sister-in-law had everything set up so I could fill each bag with shredded crinkly paper, chocolate, then tie them up with a velvet ribbon.
As guests arrived we met and mingled in the studio where the toasts, chatting and reuniting was just the beginning of the afternoon.
After many toasts to her wonderful life we moved back to the house where a beautiful lunch had been prepared.
There were three individal tables and Nana moved among them as each course was served. That way we were all able to enjoy a more intimate time with her.
A beautiful cake, fit for a queen
Presents, cards, flowers, a tear or two and lots of good wishes!
Nana and her wonderful friend Charlie (91!) thoroughly enjoyed the tribute to her life of love, friends and family.
Happy Birthday Nana!!
Because this is the day to think of our loved ones, I encourage you all to take care of your own heart. Go for a walk, work out, eat healthy and breathe deeply! Your loved ones want you to live a long, healthy life. Show them you care!
Enjoy your day!
Resolutions. I kind of like making them. A good way to keep discipline in check. Last year at this time I had just begun to write. It was the perfect time to make writing a resolution and I found it quite an easy one to keep. I’ve enjoyed sharing my projects, cooking, thoughts and ideas with you.
This year my resolution is to try to encourage my readers to be more creative. I honestly believe that everyone is creative and am constantly amazed at how many people refer to themselves as uncreative. I see what they do, how they dress or how their mind works and I think they really do have creative bones in their bodies, maybe they just don’t know it. Yet.
Creativity gives your life meaning, individuality and purpose. It keeps your life from becoming stagnant. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd. I don’t think being creative should be a luxury; something to reward yourself with after everything else is done. It should be a natural part of your everyday life.
Often being creative is simply being unafraid to fail. I’ve made huge messes; I’ve got drawers full of unfinished knitting or sewing projects and I can provide witnesses to my many kitchen disasters. What makes me different is that I’m always ready to jump in and try to make something. If it doesn’t work, I think about it, try it again or often as a last resort, read the instructions. I enjoy pushing myself just to see if something interesting will come of it.
I love this quote I cut out many years ago: “The people who have failed the greatest number of times are the successful people. They’re the ones who failed and failed and kept on trying until they finally succeed.” I think of the many “failures” I’ve made, but I persevered and ended up with success. Not every time, but enough to try it again.
When you’re thinking of what you might add to your own New Years resolutions, consider adding creativity to your list. See how our New Years resolutions can tie into one another? My goal is to refine and define the way I show how to make something. Keeping things simple should keep people from being scared off. I wrote about creating and encouraging creativity last year. If you’d like to reread that post, click here, then continue to visit me here at Janet’s House and I’ll help you find more ways to be creative and show off your individuality in the coming year. I think you’re going to like it!
As most everyone says after one year goes by “I can’t believe a whole year has gone by!” It has! I’ve been writing Janet’s House since last December 27th and have enjoyed every minute of it. It was a brave move for me to push that “publish” button that first day, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve wanted to write for years but back in the olden days the only alternative was to send a story or article to a magazine. Good luck with that! This blog business is just the ticket for those of us with things to say.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads what I have to say. It’s so fun to run into a friend and have them tell me how much they like my blog or a particular recipe. I thank my sister for pushing me in this direction. Her encouragement was just what I needed.
My year was filled with reconnecting with many old friends, some through the blog, some through Facebook and several through the death of my father. An 88 year old friend of my dad now sends me several jokes a week. Bless his heart for finding me and reminding me what my dad was like when they were young. Using the computer at 88! Wow! Think of how his life has changed since the 1920’s!
I’ve reread several of my first posts and still feel pretty good about them. My photography has gotten better. I fell off the wagon on Lens365. Although I love my original idea of finding something wonderful to take a picture of every single day, the reality is that some days are filled with many wonderful photo opportunities and others just don’t send me. I think I’ll plan something new.
I look forward to reaching out to more readers. I’ve always got a new project going and I always need to feed someone, so I might as well be writing about it. I’ve learned to cook and sew with a camera hanging around my neck. I feel it’s so necessary to properly photograph what I am trying to say. You know that old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’
Thank you again. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions or clarifications are always welcome in the comments. I love to hear what you have to say too!
is a website I just found via my daughters friend. It’s a virtual bulletin board where you can have fun scrolling through other peoples pin boards or create your own. You can find things to buy and you can find things to make. You simply click on a picture to “pin it” and you’ve created the perfect place to save your inspirations and ideas all in one place!
I’m just learning about it but couldn’t wait to share. There are boards on organization, home décor, fashion, food, do-it-yourself ideas and everything in between. From choosing a new hairstyle to picking out that perfect tattoo, you’ll find ideas. Need holiday gift or decorating ideas? Here’s the place.
Pinterest is a place of inspiration. Just a few minutes spent on the site gives you ideas for your home; whether it’s a new color combination or a “why didn’t I think of that?” revelation. Each time you click on an image or idea you’ll get more ideas. It feels somewhat like a magazine of ideas, but each click takes you in the direction of your style. If you notice that you seem to share the same style as someone else, you can click on their pins to see what else they love.
If I’m interested in something specific I simply type a word into “search” and am sent to pins of interest to me. Sometimes a picture gives me an idea, another click sends me to you-tube for a detailed how-to. Pictures of beautiful homes, gardens, clothes, recipes and so much more. There’s no way to describe or explain the fun so I suggest you hop onto Pinterest and enjoy! The only negative thing I can think of is that it is possible one could spend too much time pinning without ever indulging in the craft, recipe or idea. Although I think inspiration is never a waste, it always makes me feel positive.
The other night our family went to Red Robin for dinner. We were sitting in our booth; lots of typical restaurant noise around us, when my son who was sitting across from me said “mom, there’s a proposal going on.” I turned around and saw a young man down on one knee, while the wait staff, including the big red bird stood by. The entire restaurant hushed as we all watched a couples life about to change. When he finished his lovely proposal he stood up, all smiles and proudly and announced to all of us strangers “She said YES!” The whole restaurant clapped and cheered!
I realized it was the first proposal I’d ever witnessed. At first I thought it was a peculiar place to pop the big question, especially with the big bird standing there. Very unlike the movies with the fancy restaurant, a big meal and a bottle of champagne. But then I began to like and even appreciate how he’d organized the whole thing, knowing she’d be completely surprised. He’d clued in the staff and everyone shared his enthusiasm and were full of congratulations.
This reminds me once again that simple can be quite nice. If we want flash we can tune in to the Kardashian Wedding, but for me I feel honored that a young man, surrounded by strangers, gave us each a little reminder of true romance right there in the middle of dinner. I hope everyone who witnessed their big night went home with a renewed sense of optimism. Whoever they are, I thank him and wish them a very happily ever after.