Anniversary Reflections

happy-anniversary-782471_1280My husband and I are celebrating a big anniversary soon. This is an amazing thing to me considering how difficult marriage can be. Not that it has always been easy, we’ve always done well.

To celebrate, we went to a place called The Melting Pot. This was an experience to say the least. I would recommend this restaurant for any occasion.

I’m not sure when fondue was invented, but it was quite popular in the 70’s. We all had memories of eating something out of a fondue pot. I don’t remember my family even owning a fondue pot, but I remember meeting a friend while camping and enjoying theirs. Fondue while camping is an interesting experience.

If you would like to experience fondue at its finest, The Melting Pot is a good place to start.  There are lots of options and we were able to choose our menu ahead of time. The fondue is made right at your table with an induction plate built into each one.

The first course is the cheese fondue with french bread, apples and veggies as dippers. Even my husband enjoyed the spinach and artichoke fondue, which was surprising.

For the second course, each person was given a plate of proteins to cook themselves in the fondue pot filled with broth. Veggies and potatoes were given to round out the meal. Though not strictly vegetarian, I still had many choices. Caleb, our grandson, enjoyed the cheese ravioli, especially when he was able to cook it himself.

Dessert was the best. We had two different chocolates to choose from. One was a turtle (chocolate and caramel with pecans) and the other was a silky dark chocolate. Again, there was a variety of dipping items including bananas, strawberries, brownies and rice crispy treats. Amazing.

Trying something new is one way to keep things interesting in marriage. I believe I am fortunate to have a husband who seldom says no to things like this. I am fortunate for so many different things and I am grateful for the past 15 years. I hope the next 15 are just as good.

Each anniversary has a specific gift assigned to it. Apparently, crystal is the traditional 15th-anniversary gift or watches for a modern one. We have never been traditional so our gift this year was a piece of property. We’ve had fun planning what to do with all the extra space.

We tend to run against the norm in most things. From trying new foods to making our own path, hubby and I have created a marriage that works for us. I think that is the key.

Friday Five: Lessons Learned While Building

 If you look around, lessons can be learned in everything. No matter how old you get, there is always something to be learned.

My husband and I are building a place or me to write and it’s been an interesting experience. I’ve learned a lot about actually building and as I thought about it, life.

Here are some lessons:

1. Gather everything you need for before you begin – It took us two trips to the home improvement store to get the needed supplies.
2. Having a second pair of hands makes the work go faster – At times I didn’t know if I was holding up the process, or actually helping but we got a lot done. Not to mention, having an extra person for holding and fetching.
3. Have a plan – this probably goes along with number one. The better the plan, the fewer mistakes. As I am thinking about upcoming projects, having a plan also makes things more efficient.
4. Communication is key – My husband and I work pretty well together, but we still needed to have some clear understanding. Of course, it saves on arguments and hurt feelings.
5. Measure twice, cut once – I’m not sure where this adage comes from, but it is most definitely a good idea.

One thing I am finding very interesting is that lessons come in the most unexpected places and, perhaps, not necessarily welcome. I believe that lessons come when we need them most and can often be painful. However, these are the ones that stick with you the most.

What were some of your most unexpected lessons learned?

Projects, Projects and More Projects

This weekend I worked on two different projects.

One I spoke about on Monday’s post. My new writer’s retreat is still a work in progress. There will be more posts in the future about my new space.

The second project I worked on is a major organization in my closet. Now, this may not seem like much but it was most definitely necessary for my peace of mind, much as my writing space.

There has to be a better way.

This is all of my clothes.
This is all of my clothes.

I’m open to suggestions. For now, this is what I’ve begun.

I’ve been thinking about a minimalist or capsule wardrobe for a while. If you’ve never heard about this concept, it is where you take everything out of your closet. The only items that go back into the closet are those things you love and work in your life. Each of the items is an intentional choice.

One idea is choosing 33 items for each season though I don’t know if this includes lounge clothes or workout clothes. Other ideas include having a certain amount of each item that mixes and matches with the other things in your wardrobe.

I’ve created a Pinterest board to help me work on this issue. It’s another way to put off digging into my closet, but this is how I tend to work. Research and education first then action.

Some of the sites I’ve looked at include:

The first step is often taking stock of what you have. Then you get rid of anything that doesn’t work aiming for a small number of pieces that interchange, most in a color scheme that works for you.

And my shoes!
And my shoes!

One of the reasons I am looking into this is because I hate shopping. I hate trying on clothes, never knowing what looks good on me. I often hate the way things feel. I like comfort and easy to wear clothes. If I must adjust something, there is no way I am going to wear it again. If I were to have a capsule wardrobe I would only have to go shopping a few times a year at each change of the season. This idea of minimal shopping is appealing.

The one caveat is that the clothing chosen for this would be of a higher quality. The reason being is that if you have fewer pieces you can spend a bit more on each one. I do believe you get what you pay for so if you purchase cheap clothing then it won’t last very long. Pay more to get a higher-quality item and it will last much longer thereby saving money in the long run.

Having too much clutter is a problem I don’t want to live with any longer. I managed to get rid of a couple of boxes of clothes, sort out things for fall and winter, and straighten things our so everything is easy to see.

This is a poor after picture.
This is a poor after picture.

In the coming months, we have many plans, including NaNoWriMo. I’d like to make my life as easy as possible so I can focus on my writing when that time comes.