My bookshelves

Goodbye Books. Hello KonMari.

We KonMari-ed all our clothing from the baby to the Scott and now we had to face our biggest, most heart wrenching task: our books. We decided to start grownup books because I couldn’t do it all at once and the KonMari Method suggest splitting it into categories if it seems too much. However, I didn’t even take a before picture because once we decided to take every book off our shelf, I had to just go with it or I’d give up even with just grownup books.

Bookshelf without our books
This picture shows what the kids books still look like so those three shelfs should give you an idea of what we were up against.

Scott really didn’t want to take all the books down (Why can’t we touch them on the shelves to find joy? Because the Konmari Method says so.), but I think it really made it easier to let books go — maybe because I didn’t want to reshelve them.

Honestly, Scott and I were both shocked at how many books I gave up without rancor. But while going through and holding each one, I realized how many of them were about ego for me: Oh, I read this philosopher and this poet and this great, obscure novel. LOOK AT MY SMARTNESS AND COOLNESS. Oh right, nobody cares. Plus, I loved the idea of passing the book on rather than holding on to something I had not opened in a decade.

Sorting books
The books we kept. The background is boxes and laundry baskets full of books.
Boxes of books
We probably should’ve gotten more boxes because I can’t lift any of them.

I kept books that I loved enough to have reread and/or wanted to introduce my children to one day. I also kept books that were given as gifts and reading those inscriptions lifted me up with all the grief I’ve faced over the last month. I also found two of the four books I’m currently reading. It felt wonderful to let go of books that had nothing to do with our life and to open up our bookshelves to everything we love: fabulous books, family photographs and beautiful artwork.

My bookshelves
Pure love

And yes, the kids’ books are next. Maybe this week? I can’t wait!

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Last photo of Loki

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Last photo of Loki
My last photo of Loki

Tonight, I had to put Loki to sleep. He has been in my life since he was 12 weeks old and I was 21 years old. I was fresh out of college and found Loki caged away from all the kittens wandering around at the SPCA. He was this beautiful, long, tiger-striped sweetheart and I fell in love. As we were walking to the counter together, the SPCA adoption counselor walked by and Loki hissed through the box.  “Oh yeah, he’s a little aggressive.”

Now I knew why he was in the cage.

But once he was home, the most aggressive thing Loki ever did was bite my toes (and your toes and her toes and his toes) because someone wasn’t petting him. He went through 10+ moves with me including attending medical school. He’s welcomed 5 different cats, 1 dog, 3 kids, and he even (eventually) accepted Scott.

E Loki
N E Loki
Well, one person isn’t too sure of this and it’s not Loki.

When Scott would come over while we were dating, Loki would hop onto the couch and plop right in between us with a “There was only one man in her life,” and when I found out Scott was allergic, I reiterated that my cats and I were a package deal. Luckily for all of us, Scott’s allergy was overcome by love and a weird aspect to feline allergy that makes exposure to cats lessen it.

Scott Loki sling
Okay I’ll accept you if you carry me around all the time

Loki ruled the roost as the most terrified, alpha male there ever was. He was all “I’m in charge! But that noise is scary so you go first.”

Loki Paper Bag
I’ll just wait here guys.

But once it was safe, he took right over.

Loki in bassinet
You bought me a bassinet! So nice!
Loki on the couch
You bought me a couch! So nice!
Fake dog and Loki
You bought me a fake dog! So nice except then you got a real one!

Most importantly, Loki was always there for me whether at my worst or celebrating my best. I might have felt lonely, but I was never alone. He made sure of it for 15 years. For that, and for so much more, I say good-bye to my furry friend.

May the next life treat you as well as you treated me.

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High Mowing Organic Seeds

Irreverent Reviews: High Mowing Organic Seeds In My Homemade Greenhouse (sponsored)

It’s that time of year again! Oh wait, it’s almost past that time of year for gardening but as an avid gardener with way too much confidence, I plant seeds whenever I want. Well, only after my kidney stones stop trying to kill me.

Once they did, Stonyfield Organic set me up with High Mowing Organic Seeds, and they sent me a wonderful variety of veggies to nurture, grow and GET IN MY BELLY.

High Mowing Organic Seeds
Ooh. Ahh.
High Mowing Hat
Let’s do this.

Now I’ve had some great success growing from seed since I take the time to create my very own greenhouse. I use a wide planter and fill it with only an inch or two of quality dirt. I plant my seeds and add pine needles from my yard as “mulch.”

Greenhouse step 1
Pine needle beds for my babies.

And for the final touch after a nice watering, I plastic wrap it. PHEW! That was quite a process.

Greenhouse step 2
Not fancy. Not pretty. Totally easy and awesome.

With the temperature hitting 90 degrees most days this week, the plastic wrap keeps the seed warm and wet without me accidentally overwatering or animals stealing them. I think only in the south would this technique work well. It has to be consistently hot during the day. Also, be sure to leave some venting on the long sides. This allows it stays at a perfect temperature for seedlings to sprout strong and happy with the added bonus of being OUTSIDE so the dirt does not take over my home or get attacked by my anti-vegetable and flower cats.

Honestly, I’m not as good at pruning the seedlings (I WANT TO GIVE EVERY PLANT A CHANCE TO SHINE!) or transplanting them as I am at getting the seeds to grow. My current record is 50% of the seedlings get transplanted and only 10% of those transplants survive the season. Sad for both my gardening moxie and my belly.

Disclaimer: Stonyfield Organic teamed up with High Mowing Organic Seeds to send me the hat and seeds in exchange for writing about it. I have also discovered that I am compensated quarterly for participation as a Yo-Getter. While I love a good quality seed and High Mowing Organic seeds look great, I don’t care whether any seed or plant is GMO or non-GMO because the science doesn’t support GMO being an issue. If that changes, I’ll let you know.

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