Monday, April 28, 2008

We're going on a trip

Where have I been??? In general, traveling around this wonderful state. How did I get blessed to experience so much of Spring Break so late in life?

I was having a conversation with someone recently regarding summer travel plans. She was lamenting that her husband wouldn’t decide on a vacation locale. He wants to go someplace new, but they don’t have passports and he isn’t motivated enough to even apply.

Now is the time of year to seal the deal. We talked a few weeks ago about the “who, what, when, where, and how” of going on vacation. This is the time to put it into action. Call the travel agent. Make the reservations. Book the flight, the cruise, the rental RV. Get it done now.

And moving right along to packing… Yes there will be a list involved. We know I love my lists. That comes later. (Stay tuned!) While packing for a weekend away for my family, it helps me to lay things out in outfits. I try to keep things mix and match and neutral. I do not lose sight of our destination plans. We do not need formal wear to visit a theme park, for example. We do need swim wear no matter what. Ah the joys of the Florida vacay! I also keep in mind that with a little one we will need some extra “just in case” outfits. I have also come to realize that in all of the fun in the sun (and water and –dare I say?- sweat) that one outfit a day is not sufficient for any of us. And lastly, I realize that we are not likely to wear any one garment more than once. This does not make for light packing, but it does make for a prepared family. Onward!

I am familiar with the places we stay. When I am unfamiliar I call ahead to find out about amenities. Is there a hair dryer and a coffee pot available in the room? How about a fridge/freezer and a microwave? Does the cabin have its own linens or do we need to pack? (Yep I’ve been on the “What do you mean we were supposed to bring our own sheets and towels?” vacation. It was not pretty.) Does “crib availability” mean that they have actual portable-cribs available? Or will they be bringing up a 12 year old death trap pack and play? These are all pertinent things to find out BEFORE packing.

More calls to make… Call the attractions and make sure they are open when you are planning to be there. It would be a shame to plan to go to a certain museum on Monday only to find out that they are only open Wednesday through Saturday. Finding their website is an ok alternative, BUT if it is not current or does not list special events then the phone call may be worth it. This will help you build a specific itinerary.

It will probably take you more than 15 minutes, so go make your calls. We'll save the packing list for next time.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Seriousness of Clutter.

You don't hear from me mid-week often, do you? Nope. So take note: This story out of Oregon has come to my attention today. It will never cease to amaze me that we are now living in a culture where we have so much excess it could be fatal. Thankfully in this house fire it appears that no one was hurt. Thank you, Clackamas County Fire Fighters for doing a great job and not letting this blaze get out of control. Whether you are suffering from issues with hoarding, CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome), or need to implement systems to keep your things in order -- I implore you to take action. Seek help if you need it. Please, take the necessary steps to corral your clutter. Follow this link to see the whole story:

I'll "see" you all on Sunday.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April Showers Bring May Flowers. Are you ready?

As my family travelled out to chapel this morning, it was raining. Nothing too heavy, but more than a drizzle. Then a little quote popped into my head. "April showers bring May flowers!" It was still raining as we got to chapel (Thanks Mr. H for awaiting so many of us with your umbrella this morning. That was a blessing!) It was also raining as we left, but it was still not dreary. So there April showers! I will choose to concentrate on the upcoming May flowers.

Let me share something with you honestly at this point. I do not enjoy the effort put into the gardening. I do not enjoy the pollen and the weed pulling. I love when the lawn looks great… which is why we have a lawn company. I could care less if there is a flower bed or not. We did inherit some lovely potting benches with this home. Alas, they are not able to live up to their fullest potential with me as their resident. (I would actually love to rip them out in order to make a designated “play corner” of our yard. That is another project for another time.)

Spring is here! It's time to take 15 minutes and… Start planning your garden. Look on-line, in catalogs, mark your calendar for a little field trip to your local garden center. Decide what you want and price it. Put it all on paper. Don’t neglect the equipment you will need. Do you have gloves, shovel, trowel, etc?

For those of you who do not know, if it is blooming, growing, or otherwise living, I am allergic to it. I am also gifted with a black thumb. Not a bad combination if you think about it. I will check the dying aloe by my door and decide if it needs to be repotted or replaced. It did not enjoy the cold winter weather.

Spring is here! Are you ready?