Thursday, March 25, 2021

Making space ... week 12


Yes, I'm still trying to make some space.  Here's the tally from March 9-20:

Things from here and there

To the trash:

Many containers of dried up play dough, plus assorted cutters for same
A bunch of brand-now, but inferior crayons
7 (yes, seven!) partially used bottles of lotion in various scents
3 large, dried up glue sticks
A remote so old we don’t know what it went to

To the thrift store:
4 boxes crayons
2 boxes white chalk
2 boxes colored chalk
2 boxes jumbo colored sidewalk chalk
3 glass candleholders — 1 votive, 2 taper size
1 box vintage yellow taper candles in the “slim” size
7 floating candles — 6 “candy corn” and 1 star shape
1 baby outfit from my daughter’s infancy
Other odds and ends of kids’ clothing — 2 very nice sleeveless dresses size 8 (won’t fit any granddaughters for a few years yet, so …); a pair of corduroy pants, same size; 1 white polo shirt, same size … probably more.
A decorative ladybug made to resemble a strawberry (this sort of thing happens when you have, or when people think you have, a strawberry collection)
A navy blue striped long-sleeve tee
A pretty plaid shirt with silvery trim and black velvet collar (it has never fit …)
3 other plaid shirts; I love them but they will never fit again

Plus, I did give some items of kids’ clothing to my daughters for their kids.

Hoping to post another list in a week or two!

Monday, March 22, 2021

First day of spring


Yes, according to the calendar, Saturday was the first day of Spring.  And surprisingly, it felt a lot like Spring, which was very nice.

We understand that March is always a windy month, but this year it seems especially so.  There have been some sunny, pretty days, but the wind has been so strong that walking outdoors hasn't been as pleasant as it could be.

On Saturday morning, my hubby participated in our local flag wave as usual.  He said it was nice and sunny, but the wind was sharp, making it seem much colder than it actually was.

We drove 45 minutes south to our friend Terry's, and it was much milder and less windy there.  Our excursion out for breakfast with her was so pleasant and springlike!

In the afternoon we spent a little time with our daughter and family, looking over their maple sugaring setup.  They haven't made any syrup yet, but should be able to in the coming week.

Sunday was a gorgeous day also -- perfect for church and an afternoon drive in the Lakes Region to enjoy a late lunch and a Bible study with our good friends Sam and Jenn and their boys.

Just lovely weather for the first weekend of Spring!  We are so thankful for God's goodness.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

A delightful getaway


This postcard was the work of our host, an artist

 Back near the beginning of February, Mr. T and I felt the need for a short getaway.  It had been several months since we had any time away, and it was really feeling necessary.  We did some looking and found a wonderful, reasonably priced Airbnb  in Bridgton, Maine -- a place we had never been, but no matter.  We enjoy visiting new places.  This was such a great price that we could afford to stay three nights!

As we looked at the map, we realized that we would not be too far from our blog friend Vee of A Haven for Vee.  So of course I got in touch with Vee to see if she would be game for getting together.  We compared calendars and weather reports and made a plan for breakfast on Monday morning.

Mr. T and I traveled to Bridgton on the Sunday afternoon in a snowstorm.  It was a bit of a hair-raising trip, as there was quite a bit of traffic, but we had our truck with its trusty four-wheel drive and got there with no problems, just a bit later than planned.  We were relieved when we reached Pebble Cottage!

This sweet and cozy little cottage is the product of lots of love and hard work on the part of its owners, who purchased it from the bank.  Built in 1916, it had once been the guest cottage for their own yellow house, but had fallen on hard times when they decided to renovate it.  A photo book on the living room coffee table documents all that they did.  



After a tremendous amount of hard work, the cottage transformation was complete, and in February 2021 it received its first Airbnb guests.

I'm not going to show a whole bunch of photos of the cottage, but will just share a couple of the special touches.  One is the lovely electric fireplace below.  Complete with its own brick hearth, it lent such a cozy atmosphere to the living room!


I loved seeing the vintage linens used as dresser scarves, table mats, and so on in the various rooms.  The one below really caught my eye -- it was part of a matching set with several pieces.  Someone back in the day put a great deal of love and care into embroidering these sweet linens.  How pleased they would be that their beautiful creations are still being used and appreciated!


Pebble Cottage turned out to be a wonderful base for our adventures and the perfect place to invite Vee and her sister Kim for breakfast.  We served the now-famous Pumpkin Crunch Sheet Pancakes along with bacon and some grapes.  And coffee, of course.  It was such a blessing to spend time with Vee again and to meet Kim, who is every bit as delightful as Vee.  We enjoyed every bite of that scrumptious breakfast, and the conversation that accompanied it.  It is always such a joy to fellowship with like-minded people, and we are so thankful for the opportunity.

Bridgton is a lovely little town.   We so enjoyed seeing the gorgeous old houses as we walked about the town.   The three houses below are all on the same street as Pebble Cottage.  You can't see it in this photo, and we didn't get a nighttime one that did it justice, but the green house below had a pretty lighted Christmas tree in its cupola.

The mural below shows some lovely features of the town.   The mural was on the side of a building, hence the propane tank.

It was an easy walk to Highland Lake.  I can only imagine how beautiful this is in the summer and fall!

 Another wonderful feature of Bridgton is Pondicherry Park, 66 beautiful acres of woodland and stream in the heart of downtown.  The covered bridge below is on one of the trails.  We were able to follow trails and actually come from downtown all the way to Pebble Cottage on one of them.  In addition to walking on a number of the trails, Mr. T took his snowshoes out on Tuesday and enjoyed an invigorating snowshoe hike as well.



We were charmed that so many houses in Bridgton still had their Christmas trees and lights up in early February.  To me, it feels like an effort to drive back that dark winter we heard so much about.  On our last evening there, we went out walking after dark and got a few photos.   The house and barn in the top two photos were so beautifully lit.  The photos cannot do them justice.


We loved that the street lights were made to look like snowflakes for this season! 

All in all, it was a delightful getaway to a charming town.  We hope to return in the fall!

Monday, March 08, 2021

Making space --- Week 11


 It's actually later than week 11, I'm sure, and it's taken me far more than a week to dispose of all these items, but I'm finally posting some totals from my recent decluttering efforts.

February 13 - March 6:  

Things from here and there

To the thrift store:
Assorted unused birthday cards that I’ll never use
1 “cut glass” bud vase
1 small glass dish with poppy decals
1 red acrylic sweater
1 pair of khaki pants
1 blue flowered vest — I still like it, but have replaced it with a blue paisley vest that I like better
1 pink seersucker bathrobe I’ll never wear again
5 collectible bells that were gifted to my daughter as a teen
5 glass votive candle holders
An unused candle in a tin
A dozen music CDs and a couple cassette tapes
A large container of oversize lego-type bricks and the parts for a plastic marble run

To the trash:
A “Made in Turkey” vase, clear glass with violets painted on it — as soon as I started to wash it, two cracks developed
Two handmade candles with a “grungy” look made by rolling them in melted paraffin, then spices
A half-dozen nearly used jar candles
A Christmas pillar candle with no scent left
A child-painted wooden plaque that had seen far, far better days
A pair of brown jeans that I loved to death
A pair of black cotton knit pants, likewise
A pair of socks (with a small hole) that just doesn’t fit well
A tube of envelope glue
3 “eye of God” ornaments made by grandchildren
2 large hot glue sticks
Reading glasses that don’t work for anyone
An old sweatshirt I never wear
A favorite sweater with too many rips and holes to wear again
A bunch of CDs and cassettes
Many items I'd kept for kids to "dress up" in

Cleaning out second bathroom drawer:

To the trash:
1 plastic medicine cup
1 used tube of travel toothpaste
Some hair removing mitts that don’t really work
Some Avon fragrance samples
A ziplock bag full of skin care samples that are far outdated
A tube of hand lotion that just isn’t good anymore

Cleaning out the “junk drawer” in the kitchen

To the trash:
12 pencil-top erasers
1 package removable adhesive
5 pieces chalk
1 floor protector for chair or table leg
3 pencils with nonworking erasers
1 plastic protractor
3 metal compasses
1 hat for a Fisher-Price little person
2 calligraphy pens with no points

To the thrift store:
A container of replacement pencil leads

To my Christmas wrap storage:
2 rolls of sweet Christmas-themed packing tape

Cleaning out a large, deep drawer where we kept all manner of photos:

To the trash:
Probably hundreds of useless photos and negatives
A fancy family photo album with one large photo in it; this album is broken, moldy and unusable

Plus, I've actually thrown away many more things that I just haven't taken the time to write down.  This looks like quite a list, but I have a long, long way to go with this decluttering task.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

This week's prayer prompt


 Continuing on with the prayer cards from the box my daughter gave me, this week I came to Philippians 4:13.  I imagine other women are a lot like me in that it seems there is always so much to do.  This week has been a busy one.  Church, and teaching Sunday School on Sunday morning; a meal and Bible study with friends on Sunday afternoon.  Monday into Tuesday, we took our oldest granddaughters on an overnight getaway to the Maine coast; Wednesday we got together for a leisurely lunch with good friends, and Wednesday evening was church.  

Today, Thursday, we had lunch plans with another friend but those got moved to Friday, giving us a rare unplanned day.  The rest of the week is full.  In considering my goals for March and all that I would like to accomplish in the way of cleaning and decluttering, not to mention all of the opportunities for fellowship and ministry, and just the challenges of everyday life, I admit that I have found myself feeling a bit breathless.  

So this week's prayer prompt verse has been just what I need right now  When I find myself feeling overwhelmed, I can take a deep breath and remind myself that I can do all things through Christ.  No, I can't do all things (or really anything) in my own strength.  But in Christ?  Yes, I can.