Monday, September 15, 2014

Twitterature - September 2014

It's the 15th, and that makes it time for Twitterature with Modern Mrs Darcy: a fun, bookish linkup that asks us to list what we are reading with a 140 character or less review.  (I am not good at keeping it to 140 characters.)

Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub (paperback, library loan) - My friend, Nancy, invited friends to a Sugar-Free August challenge, and one of the members posted a link to this book.  I knew it was what I needed to get me thinking about lessening sugar in the house again.  I could probably write a post about just this book alone and my thoughts about sugar.  I was not in the mood for a health book, and this memoir about a family going another level into doing away with sugar was just the ticket.  I keep renewing the book because I want to read parts of it again.  #dextrose #DrLustig 

The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning by Simcha Fisher (Kindle purchase) - I have been meaning to read this since it came out.  My blog title is a nod to Fisher's blog, as I am quite certain I read something, somewhere on it that explained her blog's title in a fun, cheeky way.  Simcha needed to sit down in a way that I needed inspiration, if that makes sense.  So here we are!  This book has received high praise and does not disappoint.  I appreciated her insight, wit, and non-Church-Lady approach to a fascinating subject.  This is not a how to on charts and thermometers; this is why and how-to in a relational way.  A behind-the-scenes, real-life look at NFP.  I definitely recommend it.  #areyoucurious #nfp

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (digital, library) - Modern Mrs Darcy posted a comment on her Facebook page about sitting next to someone at the pool who cried through the ending of this book, and when the reader told Anne which book it was, Anne let her know she understood.  Well, now I understand, but I got stuck at anger.  If it had been after kiddie bedtime, I probably could've gone into the ugly cry.  I loved Louisa.  I enjoyed Moyes's writing; it was the first of hers I've read.  Honestly, I'm still trying to come to terms with this one.  At the very least, I appreciated a well-written glimpse into the life of someone confined to a wheelchair with quadriplegia.  #icanteven #sigh 

Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD by Susan C. Pinsky (paperback, library loan) - This book had been mentioned a couple of times over at Modern Mrs Darcy, and I think she mentioned it again recently.  So, I clicked the hold button on my library's page, and it came not long after!  No wonder Anne recommended it: it's good!  I've read a book or two on organizing, and this one takes things to a new level because she's some sort of organizing ninja.  I like a good push to get rid of things, and this was definitely a good push.  For example, she lays it all out for downsizing pictures:  two pictures of a birthday party is plenty.  Eight is probably sufficient for a vacation.  Challenge yourself to ten pictures to describe your year.  When you think about it, why not?  Just because you can take twenty pictures on your digital camera, doesn't mean you should keep them.  Pinsky is funny, too.  I've cackled out loud at some of the things she's said.  This might be a new favorite.  No one in your family has ADHD?  Don't let that deter you.  No one in mine does either, but Pinsky has the right stuff.  These tips are for all.  #setupforsuccess #keepingitreal

The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl (paperback, library) - I feel like I have been searching in vain for a good chapter book to read aloud to my 6.5 year old son.  People seem to love, love Dahl; so, I brought this book, James and the Giant Peach, and Fantastic Mr. Fox home to try out.  I was able to read this to him in one sitting, and it cracked him up.  But here's the thing: I had to censor the word fat more than once.  I didn't like how it was being used.  There's no need to describe people that way in a kids book.  There just isn't.  I opened up James and the Giant Peach and found more things to censor.  Beating James?  More censoring of the word fat?  No thanks.  Unless someone can convince me otherwise, Dahl is going back to the library and staying there.  Maybe I'll try Little House or The Borrowers again.  #disappointed

Did you read any of these lately?  What are you reading right now?  Tell me in the comments!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

To Keep or Not to Keep: Childhood Things

I brought home some possessions from my childhood home recently.  I am almost 37 years old.  I should have done this for my parents years ago because I imagine it would be hard to decide for your own son or daughter what they get to keep from their old rooms.  Besides, it is my stuff.  I need to do the work.  I wasn't avoiding it; I like a good decluttering session.  But I definitely wasn't prioritizing it over my family's daily life.  I've taken some things here and there over the years, but I've never done a Major Cleanout.  As it goes, I was out visiting the folks, and I loaded up the van.

That Spanish family tree was a work of art.

And dumped it on the kitchen floor.

I actually thought about keeping these.  

When I first brought this stuff home, I was a bit overwhelmed because there is more still to come, but I knew I could work through it.  Also, this would mean more stuff to put in the basement, which contains things that are still proving themselves.  We don't really have room for more.

Don't fit anyway!

The longer I thought about it though, the more I realized that my childhood possessions needed to be whittled down even further than I thought they would need to be.  I live with my husband and three kids.  We will likely have more children.  Is the answer to get a bigger house to hold more stuff?  I don't think so.  We could get a bigger house, but it wouldn't be because I want to keep more stuff than really necessary.  I don't even want to keep all of this.  But what is the answer?  

I still had the Parkay margarine tubs that held Barbie's shoes!

How do you know what to keep from your childhood?  Your pom poms?  Your prom shoes?  (Hard to let go of fun high heels.)  Your awesome Barbie case?

The answer is none of those things because if I had to name the top five things I could save from my room they would be:

1) my Anne books (which are, in fact, already saved and have traveled around with me)
2) my framed Anne poster


I don't know what else!

Would that work for you?  If you had to decide what to save without looking at your possessions, could you do it?  What would you save?  If you can't think of it, is it worth keeping?  Was it really that important to you?

So, I took some pictures of certain items and sent them on their way to the charity shop.

We will see how Round Two goes.

What about you?  How do you decide what to keep and what not to keep?  Did you use Parkay tubs to organize your Barbie shoes?  More importantly, do you still have a pair of Dyeables??