Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Losing my marbles...

As I sift through the duck poop and wood chips and rinse off my grandad's collection of marbles, I keep saying to myself, "I have lost my marbles!" I bet my granddad, who was affectionately referred to as Pop, never imagined that his collection of marbles would be used in a duck water bowl. :)

I remember playing with my Pop's collection of marbles as a small child. He kept them in a wooden box in the top drawer of the dresser in their bedroom. My mom told me that all Seniors of Minden High School were presented these boxes when they graduated so this box could have belonged to either one of them. Before I was tall enough, I would ask for help. Either my MeMe or Pop would get down this box full of beautiful marbles and provide me instant entertainment. I was (and still am) instantly drawn to the colors and design. But lately these marbles have provided a much more practical purpose.

A couple of weeks ago, B and I and made a huge leap and purchased 5 baby chicks and 2 little duckies. I have always wanted to live on a farm, have a million and one animals and my own garden and chicken eggs. It is seriously a fantasy of mine, to wake up and go gather eggs for breakfast and pick out lunch in my garden. We have toyed with the garden idea and even started one unsuccessfully, thanks to a mischievous pup who liked squash more than us. So seeing as how we aren't getting any younger, we had a sort of "what are we waiting for?" moment and just did it! Now we had been talking and discussing for months now so it wasn't exactly a spur of the moment decision but when I woke up that morning, buying 7 more animals wasn't on my to do list.

If you have read any of this blog or know anything about us, you know how we feel about animals. I'm pretty sure we are way over the limit for most people but these little critters just bring about more joy to our lives, as well as a lot more chores! One of those chores is cleaning out their feeders and waterers every day. We learned quickly that the ducks are so messy and by putting marbles in their water bowl, it can prevent a little bit of the mess and can also keep them from drinking too much too fast! My Pop's marbles that had been sitting in a blue milk of magnesia jar for years were the perfect things for these our baby ducks! I wonder how he would feel about his marbles being used like this but it makes me smile thinking about how he would probably just be happy that they make me happy.

Besides, making us happy, buying these animals, is just one more step in the direction of living simply, eating clean and becoming more self- sustaining and aware of where our food comes from. While we don't exactly have a farm right now, we have hopes of eating yummy fresh chicken and duck eggs every day and who knows, maybe we'll have a farm one day. Until then, I'll settle for a small hobby farm. Since the purchase of several more animals (including more bunnies - that's another blog post), I've heard so many people including myself say that we're crazy! ha! And yes, we might be but we are living our dream! If that makes me crazy then I am crazy! I am convinced though that in order to pursue your dreams, you have to just throw caution to the wind! Don't let fear rob you! Just go for it! If you think you are loosing your marbles, then you are probably doing it right! :) So who cares what everyone else thinks, right? Do what you are passionate in and go for it, even that means adding 7 more animals to your herd!

Right now our chicks and ducks are still brand new. When we purchased them, most of them were barely 2 or 3 days old! We kept them all together for about a week in one large plastic tub to make cleaning super easy. The ducks have quickly out grown the baby chicks and if there is one thing I know for certain, it is this: ducks are nasty, messy, playful but oh so cute animals! So if you want ducks, then prepare for a mess! They are all just now getting their feathers so I'll have to get some updated pics once their feathers come in! I can't wait to see what the chickens feathers will look like. And the ducks feathers coming in is super important because we will soon be able to tell if they are boys or girls based on their feathers. I'm hoping for two beautiful egg-laying females. Will keep you posted! Until then, I'll just be here cleaning up poop and counting my marbles.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Mardi Gras & Friends

Mardi Gras has already come and gone and we are already well into Lent season. However, I couldn't let any more time pass without sharing a few pictures from the fun we had this year.

The past few years a dear childhood friend of mine and her husband have hosted a fabulous Mardi Gras brunch at their home in the historic Highlands area in Shreveport. The past two years in a row, B and I both had the flu and were unable to attend. Extremely jealous, I would look at everyone's pictures online and just say, "Well there's always next year."  This year we were healthy and able to attend!

our fabulous hostess and the yummy spread

You can't have a party in Louisiana without Louisiana hot sauce and your own personal paparazzi. 

With beads around our neck and a gluten free king cake in hand, B and I made our way to Shreveport and had a blast! This was Buie's very first Mardi Gras parade EVER! I found that extremely hard to believe but he assured me that this was his first. It was a tame one at that. The Highland parade is very family friendly and they throw all sorts of goodies from Moon Pies to sandwiches and hot dogs! I brought my big girl camera with me this time so here are a few of images of the day. 

my beautiful friend Melissa. I just love her shirt. It says "Caution! Baby Inside!" :)

Thoughts and Quotes.

Lately I've been wanting to write more. I've been wanting to get out everything that's up here in this head of mine. There is a lot going on but at the same time there's not a lot going on because it's everyday simple things. The things I do everyday I'm used to. I don't think it's anything special but I know one day I will wonder what I did in my 30's. What was life like back in 2017... So in a way, nothing special is going on but then again, everything is happening.

So in an effort to document more of the little things in life, I am planning to blog more often about current things happening in our lives. Even if it seems boring and mundane at the time, it is the stuff life is made of. 

We've been doing a lot of simplifying in our lives... getting rid of stuff, saying No to stuff we don't need, using things we have and slowly becoming more self-sustaining. I've been reading a lot on minimalism lately and it has sort of swept social media by storm lately. Minimalism is definitely on the rise and I totally see the appeal to it. For so many years I thought I needed to be more organized, then I finally realized, I just need less stuff. I actually went through a slight hoarding phase after I lost several loved ones in my life, namely my grandparents. Following the death of each grandparent, I found myself wanting to keep everything associated with a memory of them. From books and nicknacks to couches and big pieces of furniture, there was little I said no to if it once belonged to a beloved grandparent. 

I found myself being super bogged down in clutter both physically and mentally. I have donated truck loads and still find myself being over run with junk. The goals I have for our home, our animals, our garden, and our life cannot be accomplished with too much junk standing in the way. It just won't happen. For instance, our garage has been a sore spot for years. It has never been a place to park our cars. In the two homes we've lived in we have always just stored stuff in it. Unused items and unfinished projects just constantly pile up and create this jungle of chaos and stress in my life. I'm so tired of keeping things I don't love just because the person who gave it to me is special to me. 

I have tried to implement the rule of asking myself these questions before making a purchase:
1. Do I NEED this item?
2. Do I LOVE this item? 
(as opposed to just shopping out of boredom or habit)
3. Will this item make my life better?

If you are simplifying using the KonMari Method you would ask yourself, "Does this item spark JOY when you touch it?" Read more about the KonMari Method. I did find that I became a more mindful shopper after reading her book, The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up about a year agoand my t-shirts have never looked neater in my drawers, that's for sure! 

Our process of simplifying has been just that, a process. It definitely has not happened over night and we still have a long road a head of us. Sometimes I don't know exactly what the road ahead looks like. I know it is a lot more than having a capsule wardrobe or folding my t-shirts a certain way. I doubt I will ever be a type of minimalist who only has like a bed and one dresser in their room. That's just not my style. However, having less is certainly a goal. At the same time I want less stuff, I also want to be more self-sustaining and depend on big retail places less and less. 

I have even noticed, the way I look at everyday life is changing. I have less of a desire to be a part of the normal society and more of a longing to just find happiness in what we already have. So much of society is keeping up and knowing what's trending. There are apps for everything and constant alerts letting us know this and that. It's overwhelming, quite frankly, and instead of trying to keep up, I would just rather not. I'm okay with turning off technology and focusing on gardening instead. I'm okay with not having the latest gadgets. I'm okay with not shopping at Target to have the latest thing that came out. I'm okay with borrowing or making things we need instead of going to buy something new. I'm okay with being content with what we have. Maybe this all means that I'm getting older...and you know what I'm okay with that too.