Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Clean, Purge, Recycle and Otherwise Get Rid of Stuff

If you feel like simplifying your life, here's a quick list of a few things I've learned to live without. Simplify starting here. But beware, it's addictive.

1. Memorabilia
The Eiffel tower statue that you bought in Paris, the honeymoon pictures you took of just the scenery. You don't need any of these things. Because guess what? Without them you'll still remember what it felt like to visit Paris and the beautiful Grand Canyon. None of those memories are going anywhere. Donate or recycle this stuff — you won't miss it.

2. T-Shirts (and Other Clothing You Don't Wear)
I'm not talking about those soft, perfectly fitted T-shirts you love and wear all the time. I'm talking about what's down there in the bottom third of your dresser drawer. Those logo-boasting shirts from events or places, which were likely all given to you for free, donate them and free up your closet or dresser.

3. CDs and DVDs
This one's a no-brainer. You don't need these anymore. All the music and movies you want are on the internet now or can be stored on a hard drive. So rip them and make some space on your shelves. Bonus: most urban recycling centers accept CDs and DVDs in your blue bin.

4. Books
I'm personally anti-Kindle because I believe real books have a longer life-span and most Kindles will end up in the trash. But if you own one, then this part might be even easier for you.

There are three types of books worth keeping around longer than it takes you to get through the last page. First, books that have strong sentimental value (is there an inscription on the title page, does the book have a history?). Second, books that are signed by the author or are otherwise valuable to you? And lastly, books you plan to read soon or that you reread regularly. That's it ! I suggest you sell the rest to your local used bookstore. Get store credit for them and go there or the library next time you need a book to devour.

5. Bags and Baggage
You only need one suitcase, one bag, and possibly a purse (or two). (Okay, so I fail miserably with this one. But I do use all six of my suitcases regularly, and I don’t want to admit anything about my purse collection).  Spend some dough on these few things so you get quality stuff that will last you a while and look good. All those other bags and duffels you have crammed into each other under your bed will be happier at Goodwill.

6. Kitchen Gadgets
Now, let's head to the kitchen. First off, let me say that I hate to cook. And it does stop me from owning a gaggle worth of gadgets and ice cream makers. Here's what I've learned. First, I need a microwave. Second, you can get by fine with a few good knives. Get a medium-sized quality one that costs way more than you ever imagined spending on a knife. It'll last you forever and cut everything you need it to. Lastly, you don't need any of those gadgets you haven't used in the past two months. If you never use your food-processor because it's too hard to set up and clean up, get rid of it. The best food is fresh and only requires your two hands and a few simple tools.
7. Things That Are Neither Useful, nor Beautiful
So after getting rid of the things listed above, take a look around. Sit in your reading chair and
observe your home. Do all the things hanging on your walls make you smile or think? Do the pieces of art you own make your heart sing?

I have a few family plates that hang on the wall. But mostly I have all of my favorite poster size photos that my husband took on our travels, and a few tea pots that I bought in China. All of these things are beautiful and unique, and they remind me of what I love in the world.

Do not get rid of those things. If anything, make more space for them. Those are the objects that inspire. And without all that clutter, they get to shine for us that much more.

Friday, October 12, 2018

New wildlife crossing over I-90 nearing completion

Image result for New wildlife crossing over I-90 nearing completion
SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. -- For the last few decades, I-90 has been an incredibly efficient way for drivers to cross the rugged Cascade Mountains. But for the creatures living in those rugged mountains, the interstate has undoubtedly been quite inconvenient. But life for wandering mountain critters is about to get a little easier, as Washington's first ever wildlife overcrossing is nearing completion.By the end of the year, a 150-foot wide wildlife bridge just east of Snoqualmie Pass will be filled with logs, rocks, and native plants.

It's part of a series of improvements along this stretch of I-90 in the last few years, along with adding lanes, stabilizing slopes, and adding the avalanche bridges. The new overcrossing was modeled after similar structures in Canada's Banff National Park and is paired with a large undercrossing nearby.
"Sometimes wildlife doesn't like to go under because they feel constricted and that there might be predators lurking underneath, so on top it's more open and they feel safer," Garvey-Darda said.
WSDOT says they first planned to put it in closer to the pass, but wildlife tracking revealed more activity farther east.

The larger size will accommodate all sizes of animals, from mice and moles to bears and elk, to safely get around the other creatures who visit their forest. "We should be proud of our state," White said. "This is really a great situation where we could improve a major infrastructure project and at the same time do something really great for wildlife."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Fall is in the Air

But before we welcome in that stormy weather, we still get to have a little fun outdoors. This is the best time to check out fall foliage colors!  To help you out, I have included some of my favorite spots to see the color show.  For a little extra fun, I recommend dressing your family up with sweaters and scarves and taking some fun snapshots while you're out and about.  You'll make some fun memories and have a beautiful natural backdrop while you're at it.  
Greenlake Park
Image result for pictures of greenlake parkIf you’re looking for an easy, relaxing walking path where you can get in a bike ride, jog, or walk while also enjoying breathtaking autumn views and colors, this is the spot for you! If you’re from Seattle, than you know Greenlake is beautiful all year round, but this park during the autumn season is truly stunning! And it's not all about the trail around Greenlake! Grab some blankets, pack some food, and have a fun picnic!
 Kubota Garden
Looking for vibrant oranges that will knock your socks off?! Kubota Garden is a 20 acre, Japanese-American garden is located near Rainier beach. You truly won’t want to miss out Image result for pictures of Kubota Gardenon these incredible Japanese Maple trees! If you’re looking for amazing fall themed photo ops, this garden is truly going to give you some gorgeous photos! This garden truly is unique, and I love exploring these beautifully taken care of paths! This one is one of my favorites!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Covington Quilters

I was fortunate to spend last evening with Covington Quilters. A fun group. I spoke about borders. They did something I don't think I have ever seen before. They hang Show and Tell before the meeting to allow all of us to enjoy the quilts during the whole meeting.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Grandson's Wish

My grandson graduated from high school this year. I am so proud of him, he decided to join the Navy. We have been trading letters. He is quite isolated from the world, but letters from home are welcome. It's hard to figure out what to say sometimes, but a postcard of Seattle helps fill gaps.

The first letter I received for him, of course he asked for stamps. But his second request surprised me. He asked for a piece of my art. The caveat? No more than 3" square.

Now I have many Eye Candy Quilts that would be perfect but they are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". 

Since I want to follow the 'rules' I made him a special one.