Thursday, February 15, 2018

40 Days





For the past few years, I have tried to take something on during lent rather than give something up. The thing that really spoke to me, especially at the stage of life that I was in, was the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge. The premise of this challenge is to use the 40 days of the Lenten season and let go of things that you no longer need and do not serve you. To clear your home of clutter and open your mind to new things, including the peace of the Holy Spirit.

I wrote about my process here and here and here and while I no longer need to do this, since my downsizing is complete, I am here to be your cheerleader and let you know how amazing this challenge can be. We all have too much stuff and it's incredibly easy to accumulate things over the years. When we get ready to downsize, it can be overwhelming. Use this challenge to make it less so. One bag a day, whether it be for donation, the trash bin or resale, can add up nicely over the 40 days. As you are filling a bag, let yourself feel the weight being lifted and the opportunity for new beginnings.

We made our move 8 months ago and besides the sunshine and beach living, downsizing and having very little in storage has been my favorite thing about the move. I kept what I love, use and had room for and continue to be very judicious about what I bring in.

It's not easy, but it can give you the greatest feeling, once complete. The 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge is a great way to start.

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sand Dollar Island






One of the ways you can take advantage of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico is to either own a boat, rent a boat or book an excursion on a boat. We most likely will not be buying a boat at this point in our life (though it would be so fun) and we haven't yet, but plan to rent a boat in the near future and do some exploring. When my daughters were here in July, we found an excursion that takes you, at sunset, to a pristine sandbar in Sarasota Bay called Sand Dollar Island. The name comes from all the shells and even sand dollars that you can collect.

Our friends had some out of town company from Michigan this weekend and since I had mentioned how great this excursion was, they asked if we would like to join them on their first time going. We never turn down a boat trip and it was a lovely afternoon on the water. The boat company provides drinks, or you can take your own and it is so relaxing to cruise by beautiful gulf front homes, a bird sanctuary and look for dolphins and manatees. Arriving at Sand Dollar island, just before sunset, makes you feel as if this sandbar is a million miles away from civilization and it's big enough that you feel you are alone there. You put your feet in the water and all your worries melt away as you watch the sun slowly sink.

There is a lot of talk here about "the salt life" that includes beach days, sunsets and boat rides. I'm living it and I love it.

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Golf and Two Books




One of the things I wanted to do once I moved to Florida, was revisit my golf game. I have golfed my whole life, but for a variety of reasons, including a nagging thumb injury, I have not golfed nearly enough in the past few years. Once that happens, your game starts to suffer and it becomes a roadblock to getting out and playing. My neighborhood just started a ladies golf group on Tuesday afternoons and so far, it has been a lot of fun. We play nine holes and then have a drink in the clubhouse, so a great way to spend the afternoon. It gets me out on the course at least once a week and more important, I've met even more people in my neighborhood. I feel like it's really going to help me settle into the Florida lifestyle I imagined.




It seems like it has been forever since I read a book that I really liked and could recommend. This week I read two really good ones.

Still Me by JoJo Moyes is the third book in the series that started with the wonderful Me Before You. The second book in the series, After You, was not my favorite, so I wasn't holding out too much hope for Still Me. I was wrong. It is very good and an entirely new story for Louisa, with only brief mentions of Will and his impact on her life. It takes place in New York, with new characters, as well as enough visits with her quirky family to make things feel familar. Louisa is once again the lovable, strong and funny character from Me Before You and the story feels complete and full circle at the end.

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs was intriguing to me since I love her Bones series with forensic expert Temperance Brennan. We are introduced to a totally different character and style of writing, but it was a fast paced story that once started, I couldn't put down. It was gritty, intelligent and I found the new character, Sunday Night, completely facinating. I'm hoping there will be more books to come.

Happy Thursday!


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