Category: Small House Living

Another New Year at Our Little House

It’s that time again when we start looking toward a new year and making those resolutions – or not.

I posted last year that I typically do not make a whole lot of resolutions, as they never seem to work out.

Instead, I try to focus on self-improvement on a daily basis.

Other than reformulating my business plan and setting goals for the business, the only real goal I set for myself is typically a reading list.

Last year, I set the goal of reading 26 books, one for every other week.

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Boxing Day at Our Little House Delayed

When I signed onto my Facebook account on Monday, I saw a post from our Australian daughter about having all of her Christmas presents put up for the year. “It’s time for the sun and beach and fun with family,” she wrote.

Even before I signed onto my computer, I was thinking that the English, Australians and other countries that celebrate Boxing Day had a good idea.

While there are other meanings to the holiday, it primarily is celebrated in those countries as the day to put up all of the holiday décor and find room for the new presents received for Christmas.

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Merry Christmas to All!

I’ve been working very hard this week trying to get my work in order so that I may take most of the week off after the holiday.  It’s been a few years since I’ve actually taken any time away from the pressures of deadlines.

I will be posting next week, so never fear.

To all of my readers who celebrate Christmas, have a VERY Merry one and to all of you who do not, enjoy the time off.

And to all a goodnight!

Winter Solstice at Our Little House

It may not feel like it, but the winter is setting after today

Today is the Winter Solstice, or the shortest day of light throughout the entire year. It would have also been my mother’s 86th birthday.

When she was a kid, she used to feel cheated, thinking she had a birthday on literally “the shortest day of the year.”

Actually, it is fitting my mother was born on this day, in the middle of a blizzard in Chicago, as Winter Solstice celebrations have long been about a day of celebrating re-birth, the beginning of the end of the darkness of winter.

For many years, she was also the light of our family and I could always draw upon her strength to see me through any dark time.

From here on out, our days will become longer, if only by seconds and a few minutes at first, but before you know it, we will be looking beyond the cold and gray and at the rebirth of spring.

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A Method to my Completed To-Do List

When I posted on my Facebook page last week that I had completed all of my decorating, shopping, wrapping, writing and mailing for the holiday season, I got comments such as “Wowza!” and “Do you hire out?”

While this early bird completion might seem like I’m very organized, let me say that this is the first time I’ve ever completed holiday tasks so early, even since our downsizing.

I would like to think moving to Our Little House has made me a more organized person, but the truth is that I’m a confirmed procrastinator and I’m usually the one driving the operators crazy at the direct delivery centers on the last day to order for holiday delivery.

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A Season Without all of the Gifts Brings us Just as Much Peace and Joy

Our driveway in the snow

Continuing with the theme of minimalist holiday decorating I wrote about on Tuesday, my blogger friend over at Little House on the Southern Prairie wrote last week on breaking from the shopping frenzy that always accompanies this time of year. Her post set me to thinking how our holidays have changed.

At one time in our married lives, Christmas meant a month full of shopping and running around, ending with two days of family merriment (note the sarcasm in that word) and invariably, my ending up down with a nasty cold that typically led into bronchitis.

Not only did we have the holiday shopping, wrapping and company parties, but my mother and I both celebrated birthdays in December, adding to the packed calendar.

On the 24th, we usually began the two-day extravaganza stressed. We typically were running late to get to my family’s gathering because Dale never worked for a company that gave him the day off or even let him off at noon.

When we arrived, everyone was on pins and needles.  One family member usually got mad because there was always something that didn’t measure up to their Norman Rockwell vision of the holiday, or they were already mad and they were ruthless in “pay back.”

We spent half the night there and came home to open packages with my mom and the night usually didn’t end until the wee hours of the morning.

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Slipping into the Past at Our Little House

AP

This month has been one of reflection for me. Not just because I spent time with my good friends from childhood last weekend, but there was also Veteran’s Day. The anniversary of my brother’s death always puts me into the mode of looking back as do the holidays. On Thanksgiving, I made two of my mother’s traditional recipes and there’s nothing better to take you back than a traditional recipe.

Then there was news of Prince William’s engagement. As one of the newscasters said when the news broke, “There are those of us at a certain age that remember the engagement and wedding of Prince William’s parents, Charles and Diana.”

I was a 17-year-old junior in high school when Charles and Diana became engaged in the winter of 1981. My life was not unlike other teenagers at the time. I was going to school, working part time, participating in drill team, making time to spend with Dale and looking forward to my life after high school.

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