I'm looking for things that simplify our routine, things that make life doable, and enjoyable. Here's what I've found to be making all the difference in the past few weeks...
Campfires. Campfire smell rates right up there with fresh baked bread and coffee as my all time favorite scents. Which, in and of itself, makes them a life saver. But, campfires are also great because they are tailored for pausing and reflecting. It takes time to build a campfire and get it burning nicely. The logs take time to burn completely away. And it forces one to slow down, sit down, and just enjoy the warmth and pace. Someone gave my husband their still nice campfire pit last fall. We've used it many times throughout this spring, summer and (now) fall.
|Meres with her new eye...you can't even tell...Amazing!|
Foil pans (and the dinners that fill them) and paper plates. Having had many, many dinners brought to us over the course of the summer, I've become a convert to foil pans. Especially when bringing a dinner to someone. It saves one from having to remember whose dishes belong to whom, besides the fact of remembering to actually return them. Love, love, love foil pans. Easy clean up. (ask LC-she's a convert too.) Same clean up principle belongs to paper plates. Sometimes it is just easier. Not nicer, but easier. And easy is good.
Getting dressed nice-with jewelry and make up. Dresses and leggings. Skinny jeans and tunics. No graphic t-shirts. I've always been a dresser, but this summer was all about what was comfortable. This fall is about comfort too, but I've been paying attention to what I'm wearing even at home. Making an effort makes all the difference. And it takes little additional time.
Just saying "no". It used to be that the more I had to do, the more I'd get done. I was inspired, and I'd whip that to-do list into submission. Sad to say, this is not as true anymore. Not in this life season. Because life is borderline overwhelming, adding a brimming to-do/to-go list to that overwhelming, tips me over to a not good place. My to-do list these days is usually 3-4 items-tops. That's all I can handle. And, if our evenings start filling up, I start cutting things out. The breathing room in our schedule is making life able to be walked, one day at a time. Step by step.
iCalendar. Everything that comes across my radar, every activity and appointment that I say yes to, goes on my iCalendar. Immediately. With multiple notifications. This way, I can keep track of who needs to be where, when. So far I've not missed any appointments, but I've been early to one. =) Knock on wood. And put it in the calendar.
Making applesauce & bread, cleaning my bedroom & the bathrooms, mornings at the table doing school...in other words, ordinary day-to-day life. These normal activities make life seem normal, or at least as normal as it is going to be.
I should just share this recipe right here...
My brother brought over a bunch of these peppers from his garden. The light green ones were sweet-not hot. The dark green ones were mildly spicy. Nothing to burn all the taste buds off your tongue or anything...
They were a snap to whip up. Particularly because I had the pulled pork and black beans already cooked and in the freezer. All I had to do the night we ate them was seed the peppers, heat the beans and pork, stuff the peppers, top with shredded cheese, chop cilantro and red onion, and sprinkle them on.
It's a gluten free option when considering how to use up that big batch of pulled pork.
Pulled Pork Stuffed Poblano Peppers
(about) 6 cups pulled pork
2 cups black beans or 1 (15.5 oz) can
12 large poblano peppers
8 ounces cheddar cheese
1 small red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
barbecue sauce (opt)
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Place the pork and black beans into a microwave safe container, and microwave on medium-high until heated through.
-Cut tops off peppers, and seed. Cut through one side of pepper, leaving the pepper whole, not two halves.
-Chop cilantro and red onion.
-Shred or slice cheese.
-Fill peppers with heated pork and black beans and arrange in a greased 9x13" dish. Cover with foil, and bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until starting to soften. Remove from oven, top with cheese, onions, and cilantro. Return to oven, baking uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the peppers are tender.
-Can serve with barbecue sauce if desired.
Easy dinners, those are saving my life too...