My Summer Reading Program . . .
I've decided that I would enjoy a summer reading program - kinda like when I was a kid and the library always had a summer reading program :-)
I have no idea how many books I will finish this summer, but I started with a brand new one, called Love Later On, by Peggy Knickerbocker. It's about exactly what the title states - two people who find love in their mid-60s. It's a pretty good story. It interested me because of my own situation, but my story is nothing like Ms. Knickerbocker's.
I still have plenty of books on my "to-read" shelf, both in hard copy and on my Kindle, so I'm hoping to clear more space in both. I went through another purge here recently and I got down to some nitty gritty removal that included a Louis Vuitton barrel bag that I insisted I wanted some 25 years ago. I won it at a silent auction for the Chicago Symphony - I think I paid $325 for it. To my dismay, I discovered that it was not a useful bag for much of anything, so I've carried it around, moving it from pillar to post, and had used it maybe five times in all those years. The Second Chance Shop was thrilled to get it and was able to sell it for close to $500. So I was super glad that that money will go to help the animals in the shelter. I also donated a Coach leather backpack that was like new. Again, something I thought I had to have but found wasn't practical . . . They priced that one at $195 and I hope they sold it, too, because the money from both of these bags is more than I could have actually donated to the shelter directly.
I filled up the back of my SUV as well as the back seat with a lot of stuff - I am again surprised that I still have stuff to get rid of after everything I've already let go . . .
- A reptile habitat that I just had to have because I thought it was going to be a great place to grow a plant that needed more humidity - except the top was a screen and I never got over to a home improvement store to buy a piece of hard plastic to cover the top. Never used. I did check with the shelter in case they needed one, but they didn't, so it went to the Second Chance Shop where, when they sell it, at least some money will go to the animals.
- My lap desk. Never used.
- Four bags of yarn that I'd had on my trade/sell page on Ravelry that never sold.
- A plant stand
- A lantern or two
- A lantern stand
- Some oven stones (purchased when I was sure I was going to bake all my own bread . . . never used).
- A basket
- A piece of statuary (a wedding gift from the first time I tied the knot)
- Assorted other stuff from around the house
The Second Chance Shop is always happy to see me, I think. And clearly, I need to pay better attention to how I'm spending my money. Of course, a number of these things were acquired 15-20 years ago or more, so I think I do better now deciding when to open my wallet.
In addition, I tossed quite a few houseplants that just weren't thriving in my growing conditions - a couple of orchids, a jade plant, and two Christmas cacti, and I moved my remaining Boston fern out on my back deck, where it's hanging on the end of my hammock. I must say that the sunroom is even more spacious and airy now :-)
I also culled the books again and cleared probably two linear feet from my shelves. Some went to the Little Free Library, and I left a note for my cleaning lady on the rest. I told her that if she was interested in them that I would be happy for her to take them. She took them all! Yay!
I just keep divesting things and letting go and making space. I have had the thought more than once recently that even though I love my home, it's a lot for one person to take care of. I thought I would be here until forever, but now I'm not so sure. It takes a lot to keep it going. I thought I might sell and rent an apartment, but when I checked rents I didn't find much anywhere within what I thought was a reasonable price range; i.e., it was cheaper to stay where I am. But I keep letting things go and that feels pretty good to me.
I have to say, as well, that my time back at the health club is doing me good. When I got that reptile habitat that I just divested I needed help to get it into the house. This time, while I thought I needed the dolly to get it out to the car, I discovered that once I got it to the front door, I was able to pick it up, walk with it to the car and get it into the back with very little trouble. I'm a lot stronger than I was a little over two months ago when I started back to the club. In fact, yesterday, I leg-pressed 115 pounds, and I chest-pressed the empty bar - which weighs 45 pounds all on its own (three sets/10-12 reps). This is a pretty big f-ing deal, you guys (and my arms/upper body are pretty sore today so I know I worked hard).
I do get out to walk around the pond as often as I can. My Great Blue Heron never lets me get very close before he takes off.
It's been so very dry here - the retention pond and two of the side ponds are very, very low.
In fact, on one of the side ponds there is so much algae now (because the water is so low) that the helicopters from the maples took root in the algea!
I've not seen this before in all the years I've been walking this path.
Anyway - back to my Summer Reading Program. The same rules apply as a few years ago: If I start something and it doesn't grab me in the first 2-3 chapters, it goes immediately on to the pile for the Little Free Library. Life is too short to read bad books!
Been listening to a lot of Stevie Nicks lately for some reason. Mostly her Trouble in Shangri-La album which was a solo album she released in 2001 - somehow doesn't seem that long ago . . .