Lessons in Gratitude

June has been a busy month for me. It’s also been a very hard time as I’ve had to go without a lot of things I am used to each day. For starters, I’m living with a friend and am extremely grateful for the roof over my head.

Throughout these last weeks I’ve come to notice little things here and there that I wish I had, and days (or hours later) things have appeared in my life.

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I am grateful for a bed to sleep on. One I can make with both fitted and top sheets. And this gorgeous floral pattern, handmade quilt I get to enjoy right now. 

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I was telling someone I really wanted an over the shoulder bag, and *the very next day* this lovely deep blue bag arrived. (Blue has been a significant color for me this month.)

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Despite my attempts to quit coffee earlier this year, I’m back to a full pot, or more, most days. I don’t know where my energy has gone, but I feel like I’m drinking coffee all day long! I had left my coffee mugs back home and my friend had a few here, but there weren’t enough to go around til someone else was done. A few days later this Arizona coffee mug showed up. I immediately knew it was meant for me because I had traveled to Arizona with my grandparents when I was 6-7 years old. This has brought a little joy to my mornings.

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I have been really missing my adult coloring books, three days later one was gifted to me! (Today actually, as I am writing this post.) I was excited to see there were several pages with butterflies!

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Last week I was just thinking it would be nice to have a new color to paint my nails, and one came to me which I absolutely adore!

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A final wish I made just hours ago: I wanted a new calendar, and now I have one (it was with the coloring book)!

Teaching the boys, mainly Fox, about gratitude was suggested by a friend. I have been asking Fox what things he is grateful for. As part of our evening/bedtime routine I have been asking him “what are two things that made you happy today?” I tried to explain grateful to him, but he didn’t quite grasp the concept yet. But the things that made him happy have involved other people or things we were able to do or cook or see that day which I think is really neat that he sees those are the things that make him happy/grateful. My heart melted last night when he told me “You make me happy, Mama!”

All of these little things are really big things to me. It’s been little reminders to trust my needs and desires will be met as I express them, even if only in my head. I’ve had many other things manifest for me during these weeks as well, but they are too personal to discuss so I won’t put that here. Trust that you are not alone and that your needs & desires matter. Spirit will listen.

Lessons in Gratitude

May Journal

May has been a busy month full of many changes. I will post more about some of these changes in the coming months, but for now, our regularly scheduled, and a little late, journal of the little things we did this month!

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Fox called all these cows over to the fence! He’s done this many times, but never had this many follow him. There were about 30 of them. He would run along the fence to another section and they would follow him there and then he would run back the other way and they would follow him again. He found it quite hilarious!

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Bear loves watching the cows on our evening walks too.

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My peoeny bushes bloomed early in the month. I picked them many times to bring inside. Their scent filled the kitchen! It was lovely.

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Bear was very fascinated with the moon when we were outside in early evening. He kept pointing and saying “what’s this?”

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Bear made his Mimi a birthday card. He loved coloring! We’ll have to color more often.

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I celebrated my 26th birthday by baking a vegan Chocolate Cake and enjoying it with coffee.

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A very sweet friend sent me new LuLaRoe leggings for my birthday! This pair and one other pair which I haven’t tried on yet. I love them! They are so soft and comfy. I had these on my birthday list for this year and didn’t think it was going to happen and then she surprised me with them!

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Another dear friend sent me this gorgeous Kambaba Jasper Egg and Peace & Calming II. I’ve never seen a stone like this one! Its beautiful! She sent this little description with it: it’s said to be the ultimate stone for peace & tranquility, soothing for the nerves, and attracts prosperity. It also is a hopeful stone, helping heal heart wounds.

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Around my birthday I started combing out the ends of my dreads. I needed some change, but am not at all ready to have all my dreads gone. I thought a 50/50 was a good compromise. About 9 inches are dreaded and the ends are my natural, curly hair. I am loving this change! It was exactly what I needed.

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One of my sisters got married this month. At the wedding, Bear collected rocks.

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Fox throwing sticks in the water at one of the wedding events.

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For the first time in probably 5 years, I mowed the yard. My lines might be straight, but it all looked good. I found the quiet time to myself to be very refreshing.

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My oregano has a few sprigs of peppermint growing in it!

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They are my constant reminder to take no day for granted.

May Journal

April Journal

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April was an interesting month. It mostly felt like life was on pause, but then everything was going by so quickly too. It was a weird month.

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Bear waving at the train.

 

The boys & I had a trip up to the zoo. They got to ride the train, play on this cool climbing thing, ride the carousel, brush the goats. It was a fun day trip. I was even barefoot for a bit!

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Fox & I spent several mornings on the couch. He played with a new mini lego kit he got and I worked on a crochet blanket *for myself*. In all the blankets I’ve made, I never worked on one for me. It’ll probably take forever to complete, but I’m very excited about it!

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I tried to quit coffee again… and again it was unsuccessful. I think I made it 9 days this time.

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The boys and I attempted to clear out the weeds from our organic garden. I have some volunteer kale and garlic coming back from last year. That was kind of neat to see those come back in.

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Waiting for water to fill in the pool.

 

The weather was very warm in the beginning of the month so the boys spent a lot of time outside, and many days splashing in the pool!

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We got a puppy! Roxy. She’s about 3 months old. She is a Pug/Blue Heeler mix. Fox is not crazy about her. I was hoping he would get used to her the longer she was around.

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Fox got some of the coolest ‘wipe-clean’ number cards for his “school”. He has been very interested in learning numbers so I bought some new supplies to help him learn in this interest area. He loves working with the cards! I cannot wait to get him the alphabet cards as well.

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Yoga practice was hit and miss. I did none for several weeks even, and then finally started getting back into it while working on a Root Chakra yoga flow at the end of the month.

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Near the end of the month we finally put together a menu that was mostly decent. We slacked off on eating well back in March and are finally getting back on track here at the end of April.

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I got a new tattoo! Some friends got it for me actually. I plan to write about it before too long. It has a lot of meaning. The day I went to get it, Fox was very upset he couldn’t go too. I told him I would bring him back some stick-on ones. That night I helped him put a few on and then later he wanted to put some on by himself. There was a butterfly one in the package (my new tattoo is of a butterfly). He put it on his knee then told me: “I have a butterfly too like yours mama!” I thought that was the sweetest.

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I made my first herbal tincture! It’s still making actually since it takes several weeks to be done. But it has alfalfa, nettles and red raspberry leaf. I cannot wait to see how it turns out!

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I also got through almost all of my herbal class before it expired. I was able to download the PDF of the class to catch up on eventually. I didn’t even finish my first herb profile (lavandula agustifolia), but maybe I’ll get to one day. I do think this is my favorite herb though! I would like to get some to keep on the porch.

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I had to show of my dreads too! They are forming so nicely! Just over a year old now.

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A friend came over and we swapped oils and I showed her how to make sauerkraut. I love having friends near by that are natural minded too!

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I have three books I’m working hard to read through. An Aromatherapy book by Julia Lawless, Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar and The Complete Homeopathy Handbook by Miranda Castro (I just wrote a post about Homeopathy this month too!). These aren’t the only books I’m reading, but they are the main ones I’m working to finish right now.

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I got some new products from one of my favorite herbalists! Wild Earth Herbals. The Migraine tincture is amazing! I have used it several times now and definitely would recommend it! The tooth powder is really an interesting texture, but seems to be helping my teeth. This is my first experience with tooth powder. I have yet to brew the Adrenal Support tea, though I’m sure I need it since I am lacking in energy!

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I got a second order of cloth pads from my favorite: The Cloth Shop! Hers are the best! And such beautiful fabrics to choose from too! I definitely recommend shopping there for all your cloth needs.

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In closing, this is one of the few sunset photos I captured this month. It rained a lot so we would go for our daily walk any time it wasn’t raining, if it let up at all. Our town flooded because of all the rain! Fortunately our house is ok, but many people had water damage.

April Journal

Journey into Minimalism: 20 Minute Task List

I hate housework. I really do. And I’ve been terrible at it for 4 of our years together. But since some time last summer I have been putting a huge effort into changing this. Minimizing clutter and getting rid of unnecessary things have realy made a huge impact on how long it takes me to clean.

I grew up in a minimalist home. I feel like that turned me into a hoarder, especially these last few years. I have so much STUFF I don’t need to keep, but wanted it. I think, like with most things, there needs to be balance. Too far one way is no good and too far the other isn’t good either. The weeks I spent decluttering back in January really helped make daily tasks easier.

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How can you be minimalist when it comes to housework? Glad you asked! Make yourself a task list -a friend encouraged me to not use the word “chore” because that carries negative energy and makes me dread getting though my list. I just took a notebook paper and drew a line down the middle. Our middle divider is the boys naptime. Everything in the first side should be done before their nap. Everything on the second side should be done by bedtime.

Since putting this into practice a few weeks ago, my house has been cleaner than ever! Anyone that knows me in real life knows how huge this is!

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Now I’m sure you’re wondering how the 20 minute thing ties into this, well here it is: I set 20 minute timers on the kitchen stove and run through my task list. I can get almost everything on my morning list done in 20 minutes. Same for the evening list. The exception being dishes, and twice a day -most days- I set a 20 minute timer and just stand and wash up dishes. (That’s about how long it takes to fill up both the dish drainers since we don’t have a dishwasher).

You’ll notice I have basic things in the morning section, and more cleaning tasks in the evening. I don’t know if its just me or if this is true for many people, but when I tried to get cleaning done in the morning I was often repeating those same tasks in the evening too! Such a waste of time. And a huge frustration! Now that we keep clean up tasks in the evening, I can zip through the list and we wake up to a tidy house every morning. This helps our day start off on a positive note, life flows better when I’m not going through the mess leftover from the day before because I didn’t have time to repeat all the tasks before bedtime.

One final note: it takes time to get a balance that will work for you. The best thing you can do is just pick and start! Make your list, set your timer, and go. You may need a longer timeframe or a shorter timeframe, but it really will get easier the more you do it.

Journey into Minimalism: 20 Minute Task List