Monday, July 29, 2013

Things I Love and a Quote of the Week

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
                                                       ~ Charles Dickens

Friends are great, but a friend with chocolate (or a martini) can lift you out of whatever depressing situation you may find yourself suffering through. In fact, chocolate alone can save an otherwise pathetic day. No offense to my wonderful friends, but we are talking chocolate…one of the loves of my life.

Reading this quote made me smile and begin to reminisce about things that I love, and how as we mature our likes and dislikes evolve. Chocolate has been a constant for me, but other passions have come and gone. As I mentioned in a previous blog, as a child I was crazy for shoes. A new pair of patent leather Mary Janes could make me feel like a princess. As a teenager during the hippy-dippy 60’s, nondescript leather sandals replaced my shiny dress shoes, while music and friends became my new priorities.

 Moving to Alaska in the 70’s brought my focus back to my feet. Boots, I had all styles: dress boots, everyday boots, outdoor activity boots, and each type in a variety of colors. My husband called me the boot queen. I my defense, I did live in Alaska and boots were a necessity. All my northern friends were boot queens also. Since moving back to California I rarely wear boots. I kind of miss them.

I have always been a fan of the great outdoors enjoying skiing, camping, and hiking. Not so much now that I am getting older. During my adult life I have enjoyed domestic hobbies like sewing and baking. I love to bake on a rainy day. Puzzles and craft projects have also been favorites.

Traveling to exotic and historic destinations is my ultimate passion. I hope to continue my world travels for years to come. My all-time favorite pastime though is reading. I think I could read endlessly. I will never stop reading unless my eyesight fails. A good book and a box of chocolates…it doesn’t get any better.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
~ William Morris ~
                                                    Famous 19th century designer

I couldn’t have said it better myself! I have tried to express this sentiment repeatedly to different members of my family who I consider to have ‘hoarding’ tendencies. I seem to be in the minority, at least in my family, when it comes to attachments to ‘stuff’. I don’t get it. What possible good can come from closets jammed with clothes, shoes, accessories, (some decades old) that are never worn, or cabinets so cluttered it becomes hazardous to open them. What need does holding on to useless items fill for some people? It is beyond my comprehension.

My husband, who will save and store anything, believes that I am the one with the problem. He claims I am ‘obsessed’ with cleaning and organizing closets and cupboards. It is true that I find pleasure in this process, and I have been known to get rid of items that turn out to be needed again soon after. However, when my life feels confusing and out of control, purging my clothes closet or pantry of unnecessary items soothes and comforts my anxiety. The comfort is renewed each time I open the doors of these newly organized spaces.

This has been an ongoing battle in my marriage for 37 years, what to keep and what to throw out. We (mostly me) compromise and he has his spaces to store (hoard) his stuff, stuff that will never be used or even looked at until our kids are burdened with the job of sorting through it after we pass on, like we had to do when our parents and grandparents passed away.

Along with Mr. Morris, I truly believe a person’s life is improved by lightening the burden of excessive stuff. Life is in fact a journey, and the journey is much easier with a lighter load.