Happiness is Simple Clean

I’ve decided to sell this house which won’t be easy for any number of reasons, but a big one is that it’s full of stuff I’ve accumulated for years. I’ve tried sorting things out into separate piles, finding new ways to store things, prioritizing, and none of it worked. So this month (and next) the things in my house come in two categories: Things I Need To Take With Me When I Move and Dumpster. No trying to value things, predict future usability, remember how much I dropped on the damn thing, nothing but “Am I willing to load and unload this in the next move?” If no, it goes into the dumpster regardless of value, monetary or sentimental. The simplicity of it makes me happy. And the dumpster makes me ecstatic.

What made you happy this week?

100 thoughts on “Happiness is Simple Clean

  1. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity. I’m trying to simplify my life too. Tonight, I tracked down a ready-made option for something and listened to my (still helpful) ex offer to home-make me a better but very complicated option. I went with the ready-made one. The simplicity and speed will make up for it not being quite as good. I’m prone to analysis paralysis so any time I manage to make a fast decision, it makes me happy.

    A British anti-trans speaker came to NZ this weekend, and so many people protested against her that she fled the country instead of speaking. I went to one of the rallies today and it was great. So many people turning out in support of trans people and such a cheerful atmosphere. And the bystanders were thoroughly supportive too. That made me very happy.

  2. We just moved out of a house we’d lived in for 21 years. The new house is slightly more square footage, but it doesn’t have a basement. It’s also a single story, so it doesn’t have the storage space under the eaves that the Cape Cod had. Many trips to Goodwill and trash cans later, we’re fitting into the new one, despite adding our 15-year-old grandson to the household.

    And that makes me happy.

  3. A vintage seller who I follow on Instagram is also moving this spring. It has been inspiring and motivating to watch her liquidate or disappear her backlog. As a result, I have been much more active in photographing and listing stuff this winter. Also, the mild temps helped. I photograph on my glasses in porch for natural light. Hard to do in 10 degrees.

    I will live vicariously through you, Jenny, in the hopes that it motivated me to get rid of more stuff. We have only been in this house for three years, but I think that we have reached peak stuffing.

  4. I wish you well in tossing and selling your home, Jenny.

    Not moving yet. A dumpster is a certainty when we do. Ruthlessly culling the books again.

    Happiness was seeing family and friends and a very good writing session. Spring is here. H has started the railings etc on the balcony. I’m heading to the garden. Three days of sun in the forecast.

  5. That sounds very freeing, and it sounds like you have a realistic deadline to keep up your momentum.

    I’m happy to be making some promising plans. I’m also expecting a friend to stay for a few days. And I’m excited about various signs of life in my gardens: my new camellia is flowering in its totally shady corner, various plants I moved last autumn are sprouting, the cuttings I took from the big old redcurrant bush I dug up are growing leaves – so I should be able to have a cordon redcurrant to replace it (I only want a few redcurrants). And two of my new raspberry canes are also sprouting, so maybe I can finally break the raspberry curse on my allotment. Oh, and I can see a few flowerbuds on my Victoria plum, so might have my first handful of fruit this year (the other fruit trees aren’t sprouting yet).

    1. PS. Meant to say, thanks for all your helpful suggestions on Friday. They definitely helped. And spurred on by Lupe, I suddenly remembered my aunt, who died at the age I am now, didn’t have children, and spent her working life as a book-keeper. But she was hugely influential on me – and on her other godchildren – and I still treasure some of the beautiful things she made. Among many other things, she introduced me to the kinds of writers I love, by starting me on Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, etc.

      1. I’m so glad you had her. My mother passed when I was very young and my two childless aunts had a huge impact on my life. One put my first set of good tools in my hands and a camera for my sister, who is now a photographer. She was the person who wasn’t afraid to buy us expensive things.

        The other taught me to cook, sew and identify wild plants. I don’t know where I would be without those women.

  6. Good luck with your move! I suspect you will feel awesome when you reach what feels like the “right” level of stuff. I have been slowly decluttering for years (and posting my progress on Instagram). I am very eager to speed up the process, so I may use your “would I move it?” criteria, without actually planning to move.

    1. I did exactly that years ago, after helping a friend pack up to move back to New Zealand from London. It was really helpful!

      1. I have a friend who is a bit of a hoarder (she really can’t tell the difference between things she might use and broken junk) and has a very small house. A couple of years ago I helped her finally sort through three rooms and immediately came home and started getting rid of things.

        1. I did that too, for a friend who needed to make room for hospice to come treat her partner. It was a difficult experience on so many levels, including the dirt, and it really changed how I feel about acquiring things as well as getting rid of things.

          Meanwhile DH coped with the pandemic in part by buying lots of giant cooking equípment as a kind of promise to himself that we would one day have lots of dinner guests again.

          If I ever do decide to divorce him (not at all on the table) it will be in the court pleadings “he kept buying equipment from a restaurant website and we had no room to store it .”

  7. I’m very happy to be cleaning and somewhat organizing my home this week as well since my 90 year old mother is returning home after spending two months with my brother in South Florida.

    But my burning question is….where are you moving??

      1. My only ideas about that (and my geography may be off) are redbud, dogwood and Longwood Gardens – because I spent a week in Pennsylvania in April 2008. The gardens were spectacular.

        1. Longwood gardens are lovely. Also, the Renaissance faire is down that way and I love that.

      2. Jenny, I hope you find a place that you love as much as your current home and town!

        And that the move will be a happy one.

        Your plan to cut down on stuff seems really smart to me. We had a death in the family a year ago and were faced with trying to empty out a home that has been lived in for decades. So much stuff, all of it suddenly with sentimental value, to try to figure out what to do with. A very emotional process.

        I gave notice at my job on Friday due to health issues. The plan is to eventually move to a city halfway across the country where there are friends and family members, mainly for the social aspects, and also to have people who can all call on each other if they need a hand.

        It will involve a drastic downsize, so you are an inspiration to get going on that now.

        Best of luck!

      3. Is that near Molly?
        When you move, you should also check out Kennet Square which has a fabulous Mexican ice cream store.
        The corn and the mamey ice cream are fabulous.

          1. A friend of mine is living down there and loves it. It’s a retirement community pretty much devoted to making life easier and Pat says it’s great. It’s still independent living, just with a lot of stuff taken care of and a medical staff on hand. Also Pat is great and we laugh a lot. If I can talk Krissie into moving down there, we’ll have a writer’s coven.

      4. Omg, you are coming to my state! I’m just going to have a fangirl moment over here by myself. I like Pa. Weather wise we are pretty good. Just don’t let all the conservativism get you down.

        1. I grew up in western PA and that area is very conservative; except for Pittsburgh, which my youngest sister (who moved away from there a couple of years ago) assured me is not so bad.

  8. When my son and his wife lived with me (and all our cats) we renovated the garage and I agree entirely on that dumpster concept. Working together we got so much done.

  9. Good for you, Jenny. A decision like that is freeing. It sounds like you are at peace with it, and will be happy in a new situation. I wish you the best.

    I have been seriously considering moving, especially now, since my real estate taxes have gone up 50%, and my house insurance went up 44%, this year! For the first time in my life I will be paying over $1,000 in mortgage payments every month. I am retired. I got a small raise in my pension and my social security this year, but nothing even close to those amounts. But before that happened, I was made aware that things are changing here, and may change drastically, when the youngest child in my Kansas City son’s household leaves the nest in about a year. The children in the Arizona household are at least ten years from that. I need to be near family, at my age.

    I miss the desert, and this past winter of so many dreary and frigid days really wore me down. I want to go back, even despite the water situation there, which is at a breaking point. The four months of saving and reusing water here will stand me in good stead, there. I miss lizards, and sun, the big sky, and year round flowers. I even miss the rock and sand yards. I certainly miss the stable barometer readings in Arizona, compared to Kansas. Arthritis has become a plague on my mobility. It has moved to my toes, now. Argh!

    I will wait until things are more stable in the housing market, and see how that goes. In the meantime, I, too, am gradually clearing things out and paring things down. For now, just thinking about being in the sunny, wide open desert makes me happy.

    1. Getting there. Hectic time. Great support group. Nothing but good times ahead. (Thank you of asking!)

  10. I feel this so much. I’m not moving, but I’m hoping to make room for a housemate to replace the accidental one who lived here for the first year and a half of Covid. I’ve really missed her since she moved out, and decided that after spending most of my adult life living alone, I’d really like to have the company. (If I can find someone who can live with five deranged cats. You know, and me.)

    So I added on to my small (1,200 Sq Ft) house with the 4-season porch, and I am ruthlessly getting rid of extra stuff in hopes of emptying or nearly so the second room upstairs. (The former housemate had the guest bedroom and the upstairs bathroom, but no extra storage.) I’m looking at fiction books and asking if I will really reread them. If the answer is no, they’re going. (Jenny’s books are staying, needless to say.) Everything else in the house I’m looking at and asking myself when was the last time I used it, and if the answer is “over two years ago” then do I really need it.

    The house already feels lighter. I’m also discontinuing my jewelry making business after over 30 years, so at some point the supplies for that will go too. Clothing is last on the list, since it doesn’t really affect the living situation, but now that I’m not working a day job (and have *coff* outgrown *coff* many of the things in my closet that I will likely never fit into again), I expect to get rid of about half of what I own. Seriously, who needs four dozen socks?

    Where are you going once you sell the house, Jenny?

    1. Books are a challenge. I like to ask myself if I could get them at a public library, or just but then again if I desperately want to re-read them. For me, the answer is usually ‘yes’

      I’ve only got the books that are rare and valuable and would be very hard to replace. And I love all three, so they are keepers. 😊

  11. Pennsylvania has so many state parks! Holly Jacobs is there and posting all her state park visits, looks gorgeous. I hope the move brings you great things.

    We talk about moving all the time and it will definitely require a dumpster. There is SO MUCH to deal with. It’s enough to make us go, “maybe staying here forever could work…”

  12. I wish I had followed your simple plan last December. A bunch of what I brought has since been declared surplus to needs, and some of what was left behind (and dumpstered by the ex-son-in-law) should have come along.

    I am declaring myself unpacked in the Owner’s Suite of my new home. I still need some housekeeping, making of the bed, vacuuming the rug, yada-yada-yada. There’s a picture at Home Moanership VII, Revisited showing my basement Owner’s Suite at least as organized as the garage Man Cave ever was, except that the farm is in a separate room and thriving there.

    Best of luck with your relocation.

      1. What a question! What is on my floor? I’m going to assume you don’t mean the dirty laundry nor the wrappers that missed the garbage can, nor that lens cloth in the near right corner. That just leaves the rug, and you’re trying to figure out the pattern.

        It’s a 9×12 rug with a giant squid pattern. The computer sits above the head, so the picture captured mostly tentacles. I inherited it from the dotter, who was going to leave it behind when we moved.

        It beats walking on the cement floor – it isn’t uncomfortable.

        I want a 6×9 for the far side of the bed.

        Two more pictures at a slightly different angle have just been added to the post.

        1. Well, I really was wondering also if you have a comfortable mat under the rug. Those cement floors can be both hard and cold.

          But I would never have identified the giant squid. I’m all for it. My son’s bathroom (which has sailing ship tiles ) has a giant kraken taking down a sailing ship shower curtain. I maybe need a squid bath mat to round out that room . …

  13. Good luck with the moving. When my parents moved in, we took what we wanted from the old house and left the rest for an estate sale.

    I am moving my sewing stuff and will finally have a sewing room large enough to set up the quilt frame. It also has some windows I can use for my plants. It is becoming my happy space.

    1. This sounds like a good inspiration for me. Instead of bemoaning the loss of my storage locker at my last apartments, I should concentrate on creating a distinct “happy space” in my apartment. Perhaps after Passover I can convince my sister to come over to brainstorm with me and take some pictures I can send to the designer who sold me my mattress. She has a pretty good idea of my tastes, but no concept of how small and stuffed my apartment really is.

      Thanks for the inspiration Phred and Jenny!

  14. Jenny, I think you’re amazing. Getting rid of stuff and making way for the possibility of moving is an incredible feat.
    Given the current price of housing, I don’t see me ever moving. And I’m gonna let the kids deal with the accumulation after they inherit. Which I hope won’t be for another 20 years or so. I’m only 79. And I have lots more to do. Happiness for me this week is my older son coming to visit with my granddaughter And his girlfriend. Ella is 11 and on the autism spectrum all three of them are great at laughing. There is a certain lack of sleep due to Ella having unpredictable sleep times, but, oh well.
    Happy Sunday everyone. I wish you health and joy and abundance.

  15. I’m not selling/moving (unfortunately), but I am looking into doing some upgrades, including swapping out gas appliances and replacing with electric, and painting kitchen cabinets and so on. And I’d like to hire a crew for some deep cleaning before the upgrades are done. At least, that’s my current theory. So I’m working on decluttering (I’m not a hoarder generally, but things accumulate), although I don’t have the energy to do it in big binges, so it’s a slow, steady process.

    Daydreaming about my eventual cobalt blue cabinets and no more gas appliances makes me happy.

    1. I am finally getting my sunshine ceiling taken out, hooray! Begone, shades of the 90s.

    2. I don’t have the energy to do big binges either, so mine has been a sputtering ongoing process for months, with months left to come. But progress is progress.

    3. If you are swapping out a gas stove, I highly recommend getting in induction stove top/range. Save a ton of energy, none of the potential air-quality issues you can have with gas and even MORE responsive than a gas stove.

      You do have to have induction ready-cookware, but unless you are using really inexpensive (read: I picked it up at the grocery store) cookware, there is a good chance it already is. Cast-iron is by-default induction ready. Pretty much anything stainless steal-clad is induction ready. I did have to replace a couple of older non-stick fry-pans. (If a magnet sticks to the pot, it will work on an induction range).

      I got mine a year ago when my previous stove bit-the-dust and I love it!

      1. That’s the plan! Good to know of real-world good experiences, so it’s not just professional experts recommending it! I need to wait for the rebates to be finalized, since that will make the induction stove cheap, and I need to update some wiring, also rebatable, but not until later in the year. I will need to replace pans — mine are non-stick aluminum, but that’s okay. I’ve already figured out I only really need 2-3 pans and a tea kettle.

        1. I’ve had an induction stove for about twelve years and I love it. The one thing I’ve done to keep the top from being scratched is to use a paper towel underneath the pot when cooking. It’s best to test your particular heating unit to be sure the paper towel doesn’t get scorched, but if it doesn’t, you can avoid the pan scratching the glass surface it the pan has any irregularities in the finish.

          Confession time – I once put water on to boil, left the kitchen and got distracted and twenty minutes later had a yikes moment. I ran to the kitchen expecting a disaster and a ruined pan, but by magic, the stove had shut off the element when the water had boiled away, thus saving a rather pricey pot. I had no idea that was a feature of that particular stove and just stood there gaping. I don’t know if that’s a feature of all induction ranges, but I was really pleased to have a stove that paid more attention than I.

          I find the heat control great – you get an immediate response to a change in setting . I’ve always had electric ranges and this is infinitely better than regular electric stoves.

          1. I’ve managed to leave a pan to boil dry and be marked by it before I remembered to switch it off, so sounds like yours is exceptionally intelligent. I do like mine, which I’ve had for four years, but the instant responsiveness means I have to turn down the heat in stages or I lose the boil. It’s actually slower than switching straight from boil to simmer on a gas or conventional electric stove. Still, it’s dead easy to keep clean, and much safer.

          2. I’ve been known to pick up the pot to see if the rice is cooked, decide it is, spoon some into my bowl, and then put the pot back down on the burner that was left on in case the rice needed a few more minutes to cook, and not realize the burner was still on, because the flame was so low, and come back to the kitchen hours later to find the rice and pan burnt to a crisp. So an auto turn-off would be excellent!

          3. Just an addendum to my message – several articles I read recommend using baking parchment paper under pans to reduce scratches on the surface of the cook top.

        2. Have had my induction cooktop for nearly a decade now and I love, love, love it — would never, ever go back to either (traditional) electric or gas.

          FWIW, you will not regret it for an instant.

      2. I just replaced my old gas stove with a new gas stove, because at the time I didn’t have any way to replace the regular outlet with the 220 volt one an electric stove would need. Plus I hated to give up the responsiveness of the gas stove. Since then, I’ve had my electrical panel upgraded. If I knew then what I know now, I would have waited and done an induction stove. Drat.

  16. I do think about selling my house also. I no longer relish the upkeep or gardening, a small patio yard would be lovely and manageable. And wage slavery is getting old.
    I was able to lock in a very low mortgage rate, which I have for another three years. Coincidentally each of my (resident) kids has three years left at the University… perhaps I now have a three year plan, hmmm.
    I have to chuckle at Ms. Crusie tossing out her stuff, surely I cannot be the only one that would love to go dumpster-diving for fave author memorabilia. Does that sound creepy? Probably.

    1. Since she was the art teacher and I have no visual sense at all, I’m sure that Jenny’s detritus is a lot better looking than mine.

      1. Detritus is detritus.
        I do have a lot of people volunteering to take my stuff, which is nice.

  17. I admire ya’all getting rid of stuff. I claim my challenge is that DH and I don’t agree on what we might use at a later point. He doesn’t see the point of empty shoe boxes. I claim if was here when we moved in (1991) and hasn’t been needed yet ……..
    but my happy is that we love each other and are tolerant and supportive, so I can live with some junk in the basement. And he can live with the basement also housing my mother’s sofa that we will probably never get repaired but which I am not ready to release. And neither of us is good at getting rid of books!

  18. My neighbors made me happy this week. I locked myself out of the apartment this morning, but the results were far less dire than they were the last time. Since I had my phone with me this time, all I needed was the phone number. My upstairs neighbor gave it to me and I was able to reach the on-call maintenance guy in only 2 calls. He was here in 20 minutes or so.

    What made this more embarrassing was the fact that I had locked myself out while I was on my way down to let in a woman who lives on the other side of the courtyard. I am supposed to be able to open the gate using my cell phone, but on my phone it doesn’t work. So I went out to walk down to the gate and discovered that I did not have my keys with me. If I had gone down to let Eva in, I would be locked outside without a coat instead of inside my semi-heated lobby. Fortunately, Eva found another neighbor to let her inside and the maintenance man was not far away. But she kept offering to bring me a coat or blanket or a hot drink to help while I was waiting. So I am grateful to both the man upstairs and to Eva and for the fact that the maintenance man on call is the man who is assingned to my building during the week.

    1. FWIW — I put a brightly colored lanyard on my keys. Makes it easier to locate them swimming around the bottom of my purse — but even better, when I go out of the house for anything, I slip the lanyard over my head and have never locked myself out since I did this. 😆

  19. We have a moderately-clear plan to move from SoCal to North Carolina within three years. By the time we get there, my parents’ big house should be a big house + fully permitted basement granny flat. Assuming both parents are still mobile & compos mentis, DH & I will live downstairs until they no longer are. The basement space is roughly equivalent to the small post-WWII tract house we rent now.

    Unfortunately, it is *not* equivalent to the house + the separate garage-adjacent studio apartment aka man-cave where DH basically lives. And hoards. I have been decluttering for years; he has not. We had a talk about this at Christmas and certain representations were made about intended actions. However, no action has been taken and the time will frickin’ fly, so, ugh. The conversation must be repeated.

    When it is, I will point out that each carton of Stuff basically adds $100 to the cost of moving. Plus in 2 years I will be going on 60 and he will be going on 66. I will keep working after we move; he will not. How much of this Stuff do we honestly want to pack, haul, load, unload, haul, and unpack AGAIN? When he doesn’t even use it now?

    I’m trying to present this as an opportunity to really imagine life without work, figure out how he wants to spend his time, and set himself up for that. Difficult to do when I want to scream ‘you will never finish if you don’t START.’

    Be sure to get plenty of rest, Jenny. Divorcing a house takes it out of you even when you’re ready and willing to go. <3

  20. Man oh man, good luck Jenny! I hope you can find a bearless place to move to with diners and great vets and neighbors.

    I am so happy today with the bright spring sunshine after several dark gray days of rain and dripping everywhere. And I found this wonderful video about flightless birds with a narrator/host who is as enthusiastic about them as anyone I’ve ever seen:


  21. Congrats on both the simplifying and the future move. And possibly the toughest part of all–making the decision to move on to a new chapter.

    Hopefully as the dust settles, you’ll feel all the excitement and rejuvenation fresh starts bring. With all the new books you’ve been writing with Bob and now a new house on the horizon, it definitely seems like some good energy is propelling you forward:)

  22. Good luck with your packing and tossing. DH has been after me for years to go through my various collections/boxes/closets and get rid of stuff I don’t need (we have very different definitions of what this means). I’m participating in a virtual cardmaking workshop this weekend – trying very hard to resist all the shiny new products!

    We found out the DH doesn’t need surgery to repair the tendon above his knee that he injured last weekend. Very good news.

    There are a few signs of spring but it’s slow going and we got more snow yesterday.

  23. Best of luck with the throwing things out, Jenny. I am firmly in the ‘but I might use this some day’ camp, which makes it hard to declutter. But I have a niece coming to stay in a few weeks, and the room she’s going to use is packed with stuff, so I really need to take it seriously.

  24. Getting rid of stuff is such a pain. I relocated 10 years ago and it was difficult, but one of the best things I’ve done. After getting rid of all the excess, I was free to embrace a new place, a new home, new neighbors, and to discover new food, history, nature. And then I got a new dog, so that was the icing on the cake. Jenny, I hope this is wonderful movement forward, and that the effort to shake off the past accumulations goes smoothly.

  25. I just saw a meme that cracked me up:

    “The Three Stages of Life:
    1. Wanting stuff
    2. Accumulating stuff
    3. Getting rid of stuff.”

    I’m working on the third stage myself, Jenny! My son has waded thru almost all his hoops for the Federal job, and is waiting for the Security clearance (2-3 months!) and then will move out. Meanwhile, I’m ruthlessly clearing out closets, and thinking about what I want to do with the next 20 years. I am poring over “RVs for Dummies.” Makes me nervous but happy!

  26. Ooh, so happy for you, Jenny. I did a lot of culling when I first retired but my effort lost steam. Sounds like you won’t let that happen to you.

    Beautiful sunny and warm day here. I’m off to a talk given by the new PA House Speaker, first woman and first black so elected, Johanna McClinton, and to meet up with my progressive friends. Should be fun. And still light out went it’s over.

  27. Small happiness this week. After a year FULL of travel in 2022, we finally made the drive down to the town where we could apply for TSA pre-check on Friday. Yesterday, we got our “skip the security lines” numbers. Much faster than I expected.

    Of course after all of last year’s travel and basically putting two-round trip business class tickets to Africa in my husband’s mouth this fall (dental implant and crown after leaving the corporate world of dental insurance), our traveling is going to be quite curtailed this year. DH will be making a solo three-week trip to Tanzania in a month and flying in the cheapest seats he can find to do some computer training at a theological college we work with. As payback, I will be making a short-week trip down to Houston to visit the DD, SIL and GD in the fall. (And we’ll only have to get a cat-sitter for our summer camping trip.)

    Best of luck de-cluttering Jenny. I don’t even want to THINK about trying to move our stuff anywhere. DH has ADHD and the multitude of hobbies that comes with it!

    1. Also what about the raccoon ? Will it move with you? Will you need to declare it to prospective buyers if not ?

    2. The bears do not care as long as they can despoil the dock on top of my boathouse. It’s a simple life.

  28. I had a pretty pleasant weekend visiting Mom and her boyfriend and seeing Pretty Woman: The Musical (which sticks pretty well to the original, good job). I managed to more or less head off fights with Mom AND she’s able to drive herself on the freeway again, god bless her. Today was a chill day. I got a few early birthday presents, and the olde hometowne has cleaned up very nicely over the years, and there’s no atmospheric river rains going on. I got a lot of knitting done, saw Jen Psaki’s first TV show and rewatched 9 to 5.

    I am in depression mode because it’s winter, and every few weeks we have scary levels of rain, and my job is so awful to me that I have Bad Thoughts (my therapist says “as long as you don’t have a plan or methods, you’re not actively…”), and my tap class is ending because the teacher got a job in San Francisco, and I have very little going on. Mom was all “why can’t we talk about anything?” and I was all “I really don’t have anything going on to talk about except bad things and I’m trying to not talk so much about neverending bad things.”

    But auditions for the next show, which I am highly likely to get into, are this week, and hopefully by April I’ll be back in the show saddle again with my long lost friends at my first theater. I need some positive change in my life.

      1. Eh, it’s not just March, it’s January 1-March 31. Not a winter person. I also chose to not be in shows I didn’t like that were running this fall, so that’s on me. I could have been in Pirates of Penzance to have something to do, I just don’t really like the show and the women’s parts suck 😛

      1. Thank you! This will hopefully be as much of a slam dunk as anything since the director likes me and I did the show before 🙂

      1. I literally can’t swallow pills whole and my HMO said I was subclinical and undiagnosable and thus won’t give me any kind of psychiatric care or pills. Pills aren’t an option on many levels for me anyway, so that’s fine. Ah well, all you gotta do at this point is wait until April!

  29. I travel often between Virginia through Pennsylvania onto NYS. The Gettysburg area is still bucolic, scenic and pretty much good weather three seasons. Lots to do around there if you’re of a mind. I also like south of Philly into Delaware/MD. I moved three years ago. Took way too much stuff, but I’m slowly getting through it. I’m still active with gardening and floral design work, writing and ‘stuff’. The smartest thing I did was buy a house with no basement because I know myself. I’m not a hoarder but I am cluttery. I hope I love my kids enough to get rid of most of my ‘stuff’ before I pop off or physically can’t deal anymore. But OMG I’d rather be reading a book than sorting stuff, for sure. Good luck with your move. My life has improved by leaps, as each move I endure.

  30. One of the things that made me happy this week was the NM Fish & Wildlife ad for professional bear huggers. I started a thread with that which included my ex husband and my two daughters. This is funny when you know – he never walks out the door without looking like he stepped off the cover of GQ – he has 2 closets full of clothes and when you open the closet door it smells like a mixture of Grey Flannel cologne & dry cleaning – and he is a COO for a successful company.

    His first response was – do you think they would let me specialize in hugging female bears?

    By the time it was through – he was a professional bear hugger, I was following along counting hawks (a real job – I know someone) – my daughter Liz was our cook – and my daughter Ruthie was keeping the counts / books.

    Silly laughter = me happy

    My current efforts at making my environment (house) more comfortable have stalled for now. I envy all the people throwing things out. I am definitely a minimalist.

    I am doing okay with veggie keto so far.

    I had a fun dinner with my daughter and my Aunt Bonnie at a new Mexican place in Indian Rocks Beach which turned out to be a keeper.

    Of course, right now I am working my Sunday overnight shift which is my Friday so I am happy to be facing 3 days off!!!

  31. Something seems to have happened to my post. It’s no great loss. To sum up: one dog has dog lice, we have to treat all three, no they don’t jump to humans (or cats) thank goodness. Grossness.

    The dog beds are pretty much all in quarantine until this is taken care of so they are not happy about that! The last 2 beds I bought had the foam encased in waterproof plastic, one bed was made up of two pieces of foam, so everyone has a bed for the night but they are not happy to not have their regular “day beds” everywhere. Seriously, they have 7 beds in the public areas of the house. Seven! For three dogs.

    The real happiness is I watched 4 episodes of The Mandolorian.

  32. As I hit two years on the move to Portugal, I applaud your dumpster approach. Dumpster divers can go for whatever they find valuable (I envision fast forwarding 20 years to when they’re hiring their own dumpster…). I wish we’d done that – instead I took many many carloads to Goodwill, gave a ton of stuff to friends, and still had to throw away So Much Stuff. I’m excited for your move – being in the same community as Pat will be great for you, and having so much built-in infrastructure will be wonderful.

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