It’s January and most of the country is settling in for a long winter. Have you thought about winterizing your home? No I don’t mean wrapping the pipes and putting away the lawn furniture. Although those are very good ideas I am not talking about the outside of your home.
Wouldn’t it be nice to come in from the cold and walk into a home filled with warmth. Warmth that doesn’t come form the thermostat but from little touches that you have added to your home.
In the winter we dress in layers. Layers help us stay warm. Try dressing your home in layers. Blankets, throws, quilts and lots of throw pillows will add a whole new layer of comfort to your home. I have throws on the back of the kitchen chairs, quilts stacked up next to the fire-place. I have blankets on every bed and on the sofa. I have even left a quilt out on the patio for those days when the thermometer is near freezing but the sun is shining…and I want to sit outside for a bit. Having blankets handy for you and your family to snuggle up in will actually save you money…you will be less tempted to turn up the heat when a blanket is within reach.
You can add a layer of warmth to your home by adding a little whimsy to your decorating style. Adding a pop of color to your bookcases is as simple as using scrapbook paper, a vintage album cover or coffee table book as the background on your shelf. Restyle your bookcases by moving things around and mixing it up. Add dimension and texture by adding pictures, mirrors, $store silver trays and collectibles in with the books. Remember your bookshelves should show off your personality…you don’t live in a library. Do you?
Speaking of books, I love a good book. I have books in every room of our home. Yes, even the bathroom. TMI? There is no better time of year to catch up on your reading than when the temperature outside is hovering around freezing. I suggest taking a trip to your local used book seller. Pick up a latte on the way and spend the next several hours scouring the shelves for a few good reads. When you get home stack your new to you books next to your favorite chair. Make sure they are within easy reach…so you can enjoy them whenever you have a few minutes to leaf through or read a page or two. I especially love “picture books” or “coffee table” books for leafing through when I only have time for tea…
Spring is a long way off for most of us, but the retailers are already pushing the new spring and summer colors, patterns and fabrics. The clearance racks will be full of quilts, chenille blankets and faux fur throws. Look for down filled pillows covered in soft fabrics. Don’t be afraid to go with a bright color a whimsical print. You might even pickup a cozy pair of slippers and a new coffee mug from the clearance racks…keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find. Have you been to HomeGoods Store? It’s my new favorite home decor store…
One of the easiest ways to warm up your home is to add fragrance. Find a candle fragrance that smells like your favorite dessert is baking in the oven. I love Circle E candles. They are multi wick, burn evenly and smell delicious. My favorite for this time of year is “Fresh Cake”. If you are uncomfortable with having lit candles in your home, you can pick up a candle warmer. It will slowly melt the candle releasing the wonderful aroma without a flame.
There you have it…a warm cozy welcoming space to greet you when you come in from the cold… and all we did was winterize our home. Now snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of hot tea and a something sweet.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!
My husband and I celebrated our 23 wedding anniversary this year. We are a happily married couple…we enjoy spending time with one another and away from one another.
We are committed to our relationship, our family and one another. Through the years there have been cloudy days and thorn bushes but we have stayed the course and now we are enjoying sunshine and roses.
Great relationships don’t just happen…they require time and attention much like a well-attended garden. An unattended garden develops weeds that can ultimately kill even the heartiest plants.
Treat your marriage like the prized garden that it is…pull the weeds as they pop up, check for creepy crawlers that can cause irritations, fertilize the roots and water regularly. The quality time you spend tending your garden will result in a beautiful display of love and commitment.
In the beginning one of us needed the other more…However, even to this day it is debatable who that was…
One day he needed me to feed him and tie his shoes and then he learned to do those things for himself and he needed me less.
One day he asked me to tuck him and sing him a song because he was afraid of the dark and then he overcame his fear and he needed me less.
One day he asked me to play his favorite movie for him and then he knew more about computers than me and he needed me less.
One day he asked me to read to him and then he read to me and he needed me less.
One day he needed me to help him ride his bike and then he was riding around the block and he needed me less.
One day he needed me to drive him to the mall so he could pick out a gift for a girl and then he was able to drive himself to the mall and he needed me less.
One day he asked me about sex and I changed the subject…
One day he asked me what was the meaning of life and we began a faith-based journey together and we fell in love with the LORD and then he needed me less.
One day he asked me for the keys to the car and I spent the night praying…
One day he asked me if he could go on vacation with his girlfriends family and I realized he needed me less.
One day he told me he was moving into his own apartment…and he asked me to make him a good-bye sandwich and I realized he needed me less than I needed him.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Have you ever watched a silent movie? I recently “watched” a movie on a plane flight. I really did watch it…I chose not to pay for the movie so I was unable to hear the sound. The movie was 1,000 Words starring Eddie Murphy. In the movie Eddie’s character discovers he only has 1,000 words left to say before he dies. So this got my wheels turning and I have been thinking about it for weeks.
Have you given much thought to how many words you speak in one day?
One clinical study has concluded that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day and men speak an average of 7,000 words per day. Now before I head off on a rabbit trail let me just say that there are plenty of opinions about these findings. But let’s just go with it for the sake of this post.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of talking…This has me wondering… Are all of my conversations necessary or are they idle chatter? Are my words cruel and demeaning? Or are my words sweet and life affirming?
What if my words were limited? Not just my spoken words but my written words as well. Would I be so quick to speak? Would I waste my precious words on cursing or gossip? Would I choose my words more carefully? Speak more sweetly? Make the most of every syllable I utter.
How creative would I become in order to conserve my precious allotment. How many non verbal ways are there to communicate with people in my life.? A smile or laughter is universal and conveys joy and happiness. A hug can express more sympathy or empathy than any number of words and I have found on many occasions it’s all that’s necessary. A thumbs up will let someone know that they are doing a good job. A wave says hello or goodbye.
I know my words carry a lot of weight…My words can build up a life or tear it down! I have a choice before I ever open my mouth…I can choose tasteless bitter words that cause hurt that cuts to the bone… or I can choose words that are tasteful, full of sweetness, wholesome and kind. Words that will enrich the life of the person on the receiving end. My words should breathe life and offer hope. The words I speak should drip of honey and bless the ears that hear them.
Now with all that said, I don’t always think the most positive things but I do try to check what comes out of my mouth before its too late. Words are one thing you can never take back no matter how hard you try…apologize you may but the words will always be there lurking in the memory of the person who was on the recieiving end. Every time I get behind the wheel of my car I encounter someone who challenges my positive thought process. When I have to wait on hold for an unmerciful amount of time only to be transferred multiple times or have my call disconnected leaves me fuming and mumbling under my breath. When my favorite sports team systematically implodes I find myself screaming at the television giving the coach a much-needed talking to. And more times than not I find myself speaking negative, less than re-affirming thoughts into my own life when I am tired and frustrated or feeling a little bit sorry for myself.
Back to the “silent movie”…Eddie’s character became very creative with non-verbal communication…especially as he came closer and closer to the end of his life. Not one of us knows the day or time that we will breathe our last breath…isn’t that reason enough to be more cognizant of the words we speak. What kind of legacy will your words say about you? With that in mind, I am much more thoughtful about all the yada yada yada in my life…how about you?
Recently I made an unexpected trip home…to see my parents. The reason for my visit was a somber occasion. One of my Dad’s sisters passed away after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.
It’s a funny thing…the place we call Home. For some people their idea of home or going home is associated with the place where they grew up. For some it is the actual house they grew up in…a place filled with childhood memories. For others Home is associated with the city or town where they grew up. They have detailed memories of days gone by…waiting for them around every corner.
I do not associate home with either the town where I grew up or the house I grew up in …This is most likely due to the fact that my family moved around a lot…There are three distinct houses from my childhood each in a different city and I have wonderful memories from all of them…however, when I think of home none of these places come to mind. They are just places where I lived when I was growing up.
I once remarked to a friend that I was going home for the weekend…and I was surprised by her response…she said you mean you are going to see your parents. I said yes…I am going home. She shared with me that she no longer considered her parents house or the place she grew up as her home…Home to her was where she currently lived. Her comment gave me pause and I began to ponder why is it that I still refer to going to see my parents as going home when they no longer live in the house I grew up in…
Even though I have never lived in my parents current home, when I think of visiting them…I always associate it with going home. They have lived in their home for almost 20 years… but I have no childhood memories of this place. No memories of late nights giggling with girlfriends or of prom pictures taken in front of the fireplace. No memories of family movie nights or well deserved time outs or month-long loss of privileges or boys coming by to pick me for a date. However, it still feels like going home…
It’s because…You see…I associate home with people…for me Home is a feeling! It is warm and cozy…it is safe and secure…it is my favorite foods in the fridge…it is easy conversations…it is familiar…it is afternoon naps on the sofa, LSU football games on the TV…it is my Dad asking me to get him a glass of tea…it is my Mom whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, it is one of my sisters telling us a crazy story and the rest of us laughing until our cheeks hurt, it is the sounds of my son playing his video games or my husband laying out the plans for his next project…it is the sounds of my family living life together wherever we are…for me, this is Home!
Sometimes you hear people refer to someones death as a home-coming…The bible tells us that God has prepared a place for us…a heavenly home…a home like none we have ever known…the bible also promises that for those who put their faith in Jesus that they will have eternal life…that they will be reunited with those who have gone before them…When I think of my loved ones who have passed from this life to the next…and have been called Home…I never think of the house they will dwell in…I think of all of the family and friends that have already gone home and the wonderful family reunion that they are experiencing…
Home is…where the heart is and for me my heart is always with my family!
Today my Dad is celebrating his 71st Birthday. His nickname is Bulldog…not exactly sure how that came about, but it suits him perfectly.
When I was growing up my Dad got great enjoyment from scaring the neighborhood boys when they came by the house. He would open the door really fast…and in a loud deep gruff voice, just shy of shouting, say… “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!”… Back then I didn’t think it was very funny, actually it embarrassed me. But now I get it…
I am the oldest of four girls and this was his way of letting the boys know that he was looking out for his girls. I love that about my Dad.
My Dad knows what makes life worth living…Family!
Happy Birthday Bulldog!