Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day


A pretty ginger flower I picked up at Trader Joe's. I'd never seen one before, and it perfectly matches the colors in my kitchen.

Today isn't supposed to be just a day off from work. Call your friends and family members who have been members of the military (even if they haven't been on active duty in war time) and thank them. They'll appreciate it so much. Even if you don't agree with the political climate and wartime of the past ten years, this is a nice gesture you can do to let someone know that you are thinking of them and remember their service.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Are you flying a flag outside your home or apartment today?
  • If you have any AnySoldier/AnySailor pen pals, today is a good day to make time to write them a nice card. They obviously will get it in the mail long after Veteran's Day, but if you mention in your letter you made a special point of writing to them on Veteran's Day, they'll appreciate your kindness even more.

  • Check your coat closet, which is going to get a lot of use in the next couple months. Does it need to be tidied up? Any coats that have migrated elsewhere in the house and need to be rehung in their proper place in the coat closet? Any coats that are looking dingy or smelling musty? If so, take them to the dry cleaner.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Bookshelf Sorting


The cherry bookcase I'm coveting from Crate & Barrel

Now that it's darker, rainier and colder at night, I'm finding myself making more time to just sit quietly and enjoy reading a book. I read a lot in the summer too, but there were more distractions from visitors, neighbors, airplanes flying overhead, etc.

My bookshelves are historically a terrible mess. Every few months I completely sort and organize them, but then they get messy and cluttered again. I'm struggling to not buy more books right now as this contributes to the problem. I should read the books I already have, then donate, recycling or sell them on eBay. I just have a problem with really, really enjoying shopping at bookstores (and on Amazon).

SORTING PROJECT:

If you have overflowing bookshelves, like I do, take some time today to organize. While I'm sorting, I will dust the bookshelves too. My two living room bookshelves are too heavy for me to move by myself, but I'll move my bedroom and downstairs bookshelves so that I can vacuum behind them tonight too.

Do all the bookcases in your house if you have time, or just one bookcase, or at least two shelves. Every little bit of organizing you can sneak in helps.

LETTING GO:

See if you can bear to part with any of your books, especially paperbacks you've already read but don't need to keep forever. Be firm with yourself and honest about your book reading habits.

Pick up each book and ask yourself, "Have I read this yet? How long have I owned this unread book? Am I really going to read this book in the next six months? Is this a beautiful coffee table book, or a reference book I need to keep around? Is this a sentimental book? Did someone special give this to me? Is the flyleaf inscribed?"

Donate books to the library; donate to charities that send books to the troops; mail books (if they are in good or very good condition, only) to AnySoldier.com penpals, or sell them on eBay's Half.com. You can also try selling them to a used bookstore near you, but don't expect to get more than a few dollars for a bag full.

Maybe some of your friends might be interested in a book or two of yours. Offer some books around, but don't make your book clutter someone else's problem too.

ORGANIZE:

Organize the books that are left, dust the bookshelves and replace in an organized manner that makes sense to you.

If your bookshelves still look like they are sagging when you are done, and you can't bear to part with any more books, put "New bookcase" on your shopping list. Make a plan to head for Home Depot, IKEA, Office Depot or somewhere else to get bookshelves.

Make some time tonight, even if you can only find 10 minutes, to enjoy a book you've been looking forward to reading.

LOVELY BOOKS: Macarons


I've promised myself that if I treat myself to this Macarons book, I will actually immediately open it and start trying to bake some. Even if they turn out yucky, I'm sure I'll have fun in the process and learn something about baking.

I feel like macarons are going to be the new hot trend now that cupcakes are finally starting to bore people a little bit. I'm eager to learn more about them and see if I can surprise friends with a delightful gift box of fresh baked macarons.

The book won't be out until mid-December, but that's perfect - exactly the time I'll be doing a lot of holiday baking.

Macarons Book, at Amazon

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Bookcase of the Week (All About {n})

Lovely Shopping Tips: eBay (Lovely Living Archives)

What to Get Your Niece: A 2010 Winter Gift Guide (EauMG.net)

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