Tidying up food, continued

pantrySome of the side benefits that have come from my Tidying Up Food project:

  1. I have straightened up my pantry.
  2. I know exactly what I have for food in my house right now.
  3. I did not go buy another bottle of (whatever, insert food item here) because I knew I had one already on the top shelf of the panty, in the way back part that I need to stand on a chair to see.
  4. I no longer have any expired food in my house.
  5. I will have less food to organize when I get to that part in the The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo book!

Uh oh; I just thought of something…what if there IS no food section in the ‘Tidying up’ book?


Tidying up food

tidying upI have only been taking baby steps with my The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo book since I did the clothing category. I am motivated, but I haven’t had an uninterrupted block of time to tackle the next category (books) yet.
Well, that’s my excuse, anyway.

Since then, I have been scrutinizing other areas of my home through my new ‘tidy eye’, and here’s what I’ve discovered.

I am not a tidy person.

Anyway, this week I have given myself a challenge that is tied to my goals to

  1. Be more tidy and
  2. Spend less money.

I am not going to spend any money on meals or drinks when I am out this week. I am going to eat and feed the fam using the food I already have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

I have a lot.

My husband and I figure that conservatively, we are spending $150 a week on food. At the end of this week of not spending any money on food, we will deposit that $150 in the bank (in our new “Go to Italy in 2016” fund, perhaps? :) )

Anyone else want to do this with me? Just for one week. I started October 2nd and will end the week October 9th. You can start today, or tomorrow.

If you decide to try it, I would LOVE to hear how it goes for you, so please consider commenting below.

As Liz Gilbert (speaking of ‘eat’-ing, and oh! of Italy!) would say, “Onward!”

Tidying up

You may have heard of the book that I am reading: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. Heck, you may even be reading it yourself.

I found it on audio for free (after I bought the hardcover!) on YouTube. I sent the link out to my virtual book club (we’ve only actually read 2 books together; this would be number 3) in case anyone else wanted to read it and talk about it. Or more importantly, to read it and then to act on it.

I decided to act immediately upon finishing a section. I finished the first section that said to start with your clothes, so I did.  It took me about half an hour to empty out all the closets and drawers and make the big pile of clothes.

It took me about 11 hours to discard everything I wasn’t keeping and then to put back everything that I was keeping!

Do not let this dissuade you! Full disclosure: I did try on a lot of things before I decided to keep them. Even if the item did “spark joy” (criterion from the book), I didn’t feel joyful in too-tight pants.

After I emptied my clothes out, I took a picture of the pile and texted it to my husband (the husband who had brought this book to my attention once or twice before I bought it), who was at work.

I didn’t receive a reply.

Me: Did you get my text?

He: Yes.

Me: Well?

He: Well, what?

Me: I thought you’d be glad to see that I started on the tidying up.

He: No! It was terrible! Looking at that made me anxious all day!

File under ‘be careful what you wish for’, husband.


Trying something new

I have not been practicing yoga much these past few weeks, since my yoga teacher (you know who llamasyou are!) moved to NC . I drove the road to North Berwick to get to yoga, about a half hour away, over and over and over, and was happy to do it.

I wasn’t familiar with that area at all when I first started going, but I got to know it well enough. It was a nice ride. I got to meet some wonderful women that I might not have met otherwise. I went to shops that I liked on the way home sometimes. It also gave me the opportunity to listen to my audiobook of the moment, which was a nice bonus. (Oh, did I mention I passed a Dunkin Donuts on my way…? I always invite coffee to my yoga practice :).)

Change is hard.

Anyway, I decided to try a new yoga class, and (since I was out of my comfort zone already) a new yoga (to me) entirely: Holy Yoga. My class is in Sanford, and is taught by Susan Hampton (find her website here: soulfulstretch.com).

I was the first to arrive (hello? I am a first-born) and as I was waiting, I started reading the notices on the bulletin board.

It’s important to note here that I am always looking for clues to know that I am in the right place and doing the right thing.

This is what I saw on the board:

  1. Llamas. I LOVE llamas. My husband and I have a collection of about a million (conservative estimate) of them, all different sizes, shapes, colors with one noteable exception: living. None of them are living.
  2. Another posting said something about Brave Girls and my one word this year is BRAVE!
  3. There was a posting about a Drumming Circle and not too long ago someone suggested that I try drumming.

Do you think those are enough clues?? Plus, Susan is a fabulous teacher: welcoming, funny, and caring. All of the other women were lovely. It was a pleasure to be in this class.


Message from Mom

mom for blogSo I had a visit last night from my mother. She died in 1996.

She visited me in a dream. She was wearing a long white dress that was cinched in at the waist with a sash that I think was also white. I should note that she never dressed like that in real life.  Anyway, it was a slimmer, younger, healthy version of her (she was quite ill when she died) and she came to tell me something. When my mother comes through to me in my dreams, she never actually speaks out loud; she communicates with me through thoughts. Anyway, she came to give me a message and in the dream, I had the thought that this must be very important information for me to know, since she made the trip to tell me this, and that I better remember it.

Later on when I woke for the day, I remembered the dream very clearly. I remember my thoughts about the message too. What I DON’T remember is this: WHAT THE MESSAGE WAS!

I tried over and over to get it back, but it’s gone.
I told my husband this, and as I was telling him, the tears started.

He: Why are you crying?
Me: I don’t know! Because I can’t remember what the message was!

He: Don’t worry. You got the message. Just because you can’t remember it consciously doesn’t mean you didn’t get. It’s in your subconscious. You have it.

I immediately felt the truth of what he was saying. Every so often, my husband says exactly the right words to me at exactly the right time.

And then he sort of shuddered.

Me: What was that?
He: I got a chill.

So now I get it. That was my mother there in the car with us.


Wherever I go, there they are


For a long time now, every time I go to the beach, a particular kind of blue stone calls to me: Karen!! Yoohoo! Here I am! “Pick me! Choose me! Love me!” (borrowed this quote from a movie but at the moment it escapes me which one). For over a year this has been happening. I have all different shapes (even heart-shaped!) and sizes of these beautiful blue rocks, so many that before last winter I brought some of them outside and scattered them in my yard.

A few weeks ago, I heard them calling to me again and I retrieved a few and brought them back inside (was that wrong??).

Over the past several months, I have been wanting to know exactly what these stones are. I have tortured my friends with questions about them (But what do you really think it is?). I have scoured books and the internet for pictures resembling my stones with no success. I have asked the stones themselves to tell me what they are (they told me they were quartz). I thought, “BUT YOU ARE BLUE!” Is there such a thing as blue quartz?

So, I packed up my stones and  my husband and I went to Bethel and met Maggie (I hope I spelled her name correctly!) at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum. I showed her my rocks. She knew right away what they were.

Smoky Quartz!

So, I said, “But why are they BLUE? Smoky quartz is not blue!” Without missing a beat, she asked, “Did you find these near a river or the ocean?”


I did.

It turns out that being in the ocean, over time, turns smoky quartz blue. When I told her these rocks are following me everywhere, she said, “Maybe you need some grounding…”

Who, me?


Angel signs

archangel michael doreen virtueI have been working on an idea for a business this year. It’s had some pretty good momentum and has been chugging along nicely. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I hit a speed bump. A large speed bump.

I have been very optimistic and have had a million ideas in support of my project, but then the speed bump knocked me flat. I felt like I should just stop right now, pick up all my toys, and go home.

I was sitting in my car (as I so often am) at the ocean, feeling pretty down. Then I remembered something that I was listening to or reading recently that said to ask Archangel Michael for help when you are stuck.

I asked.

Right then, as in, right that minute, the song on the radio changed. The new song that came on was somehow louder than the one that had been playing just prior. The new song was Mandisa singing “Overcomer”.


Do you know this song? Here are some of the lyrics:

You might be down for a moment, feeling kind of hopeless, that’s when He reminds  you, YOU’RE AN OVERCOMER!  Stay in the fight till the final round…take a breath…don’t forget…don’t quit…don’t give in…

And then I teared up. Big emotion that appeared out of nowhere, rising up from my core, and spilling over in tears. This is my fail-safe signal that I am receiving true guidance that is important, and to which I should listen.

The significance of the station, KLove  was also not lost on me, either (K for Karen!)’

Okay, I am not quitting. I am taking a breath.


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