Yesterday was a good day. I'm up early due to a thunderstorm that shook my windows. We have a very tall ladder up against the house. I heard a loud crash that I think was the ladder falling over, I'll have to remember to check that when I go outside. After church a girlfriend of mine wanted to know if I wanted to go to Goodwill with her. I was in the middle of writing and didn't really want to leave, but I reminded myself that I could write later and the offer to see my friend may not always be there. I'm really glad I went. We walked and talked and did some shopping. I bought a black skirt and a thin hoodie that I can throw on if it's chilly. I like layers and I've been searching for something like that for a while. The sleeves are loose, but it fits pretty well otherwise. I found some scale on one of my plants. That's always upsetting, I hope I don't lose that plant and I pray that it didn't spread to any of my other plants. I thought my plants were thirsty yesterday so I watered them, it's hard to tell how much to give them when it's hot and dry like this. I've lost a lot of plants to overwatering so I try to be conservative, but sometimes I go too far the other way.

My therapist sent me a text asking if I could come in today and I'm so happy because I've been wanting to get in to see her. I bought a book on relaxation, a book for the girls that they may or may not like, and some other books, one of which is already disappointing. I've been thinking about shopping and spending money and my habits in these areas. When I was at the store I was thinking to myself, and I think I even said this out loud, if I don't like it, I can always return it. Shopping stimulates certain pleasure centers in the brain, I don't always go out with a plan, I make a lot of impulse buys that I regret later and then I have to go back to the store and waste time and energy returning things. My new plan is to not return anything. I think this will help me make wiser purchases if I know that I'm stuck with something once I get home. I kept the pillows I bought, so far I've been able to make all except for one work, and I'm optimistic because I like this pillow a lot. It's satiny with stripes. I just love stripes and pillows are becoming my new favorite decorating item along with rugs. I'm pleased to report that I feel like I've made a lot of smarter buys recently. I didn't know how much brighter the house would look with some strategically placed rugs and hopefully this will cut down on some of the dust and dirt that finds its way into other corners of the rooms.

I finished pulling apart the final photo album that was so cheap it started falling apart not long after I put the pictures in it way back when. I haven't sorted the pictures, but now they're contained in a plastic bin. I put them next to the TV thinking that the girls and I could sort them together. I bought a soft sided laundry basket that I wasn't sure about when I was in the store, but now that it's home I love it. My problem with baskets is the holes. Things like socks fall out, I've seen many a basket ruined by people cramming too much into them and then the plastic spokes stick out and cause minor injuries to people like me who don't see them right away. My sister said she brings clothes upstairs to fold them, I don't know why I didn't think of that before although I have some vague memories of doing this in the past. It makes sense since then I'm more likely to deal with it right away and it's that much closer to the bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen. Sometimes solutions are as simple as a new laundry basket and folding clothes in a different location although I have yet to actually fold the clothes I brought upstairs. My ironing board is a lot bigger than I thought that it was. It's in my room right now, I'll have to put it in my closet before I make a decision about whether to keep it in my room.

I'd really like a laundry area, but I don't want it to be down in the basement unless I can figure out how to make it drier and more cheerful. Environment really affects how I feel, it's amazing how a couple of throw pillows, a piece of art, and a cheap rug can change the vibe of a room. A friend of mine is a designer down in Houston. I have a pillow that is dark blue on one side and this ugly tan on the other. I love the blue and white side, but I can never find a home for this pillow. On a whim I took a picture of it next to some other pillows and tweeted it out. My friend got back to me and said that the pillow went with this pineapple pillow I had next to it. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I didn't know the pillow had a pineapple on it, I thought it was a strange flower pattern. I've tried turning it and viewing it from alternate angles, I can see the pineapple now, but I'm still confused about which side is up. I bought a bright yellow green pillow, threw that next to the pineapple one and after my friend assured me that the blue pillow went I drove to the store and bought three other pillows to go with those. The final result surpassed anything I was imagining, I still have the hideous paneling in that room, but the couch is much more inviting with my new pillow collection on it. I haven't told the girls, but I'm excited for our next movie night together. 

My aunt once said that a friend of hers told her that interior decorating was repeating several colors throughout a space, I'm beginning to understand what she meant. My exercise ball is that same yellow green color as the pillow and it picks up yellow and blue from the picture my daughter did that I hung up above the fireplace. Again, a small touch, but the impact was larger than I had anticipated. I put a blue rug with fun trim under a table I have just because I couldn't find any other place for it and I didn't want to take it back. I have a pillow that's striped on one side and patterned on another that I put on my couch in place of the striped pillow I had. The new one is much richer and more vibrant, but I can't decide if I should keep it there or move it. I keep yawning because I'm tired today. I took a very short walk yesterday. My lungs are clearer than they were, but the air was still fairly thick and somewhat oppressive. I didn't get a lot of cleaning done, but I didn't have much to do other than dishes. Yesterday I made a tenderloin that I had in the fridge. I had been meaning to make it for the girls, but it got shoved back so I didn't see it. I'm thinking of ways to better organize my fridge since that seems to be a problem I repeatedly run into. Possibly categories would help me? 

There are still refinements that need to be made to the household. I need a place for my receipts. I need my receipts in one place so I can track my spending. Once my receipts are together I can go through, add them up, and see where I'm falling behind. Food is a big issue for me. The girls eat a lot and so do I. When they're gone it's just me and then the situation changes. I try to buy groceries when they're here and make them last until they return. I'm back after a detour. I went to Google fridge hacks and found some interesting ideas, some of which are new, others I've seen before, but have never tried. One of the first suggestions was to store things in baskets. This appeals to me because I like baskets, they're cheap, and relatively easy to clean. You can also line your fridge shelves with mats or plastic film, but I think that the baskets make this unnecessary. What I really need to do is stop buying too much or the wrong kinds of food. I fried onions to go with my steak and made a small grape jicama salad that was absolutely wonderful. I love jicama and should buy it more often. I would like to be better about having more texture, color, and variety in my meals. Yesterday's steak with squash, onions, and the salad was the perfect balance so I'll have to remember that and make it again.

If I can have a smoothie for at least one meal, that will streamline things. I forgot to buy almonds so I'll have to pick up some of those on my next trip to the store. I cook a lot at home, if I got back into the habit of taking a day to prepare food for the upcoming week, I would have a better handle of what's in the fridge that needs to be eaten up soon. Another idea I had was to make something and prepackage it into meal sized portions right away. The problem with this is that takes up a lot of room, but the benefit is I can open up the fridge and grab whatever. Another benefit is everything is portioned out so I'll have a meal and then I can think about whether or not I really need a second helping of something. I did that yesterday. The food on my plate was what I felt should fill me up, but then I was in the kitchen putting things away and I ate the rest of the salad out of the mixing bowl. Had I not done that I could have had it today and I bet the flavors would have blended well. I'd really like to go back to bed and take a nap. I'm cold and tired and I see that I have a branch down in my yard that I'm estimating is at least twelve feet long. That could have been the crash I heard earlier, I'll have to go out and see if it hit the side of the house, something did, but I assumed it was the ladder.

I feel pretty good about today and the upcoming week. I have the furnace guy coming in an hour, after that I'm going to the chiropractor. Then I can come home before I go to therapy. I need some mats for the basement, I'd like a runner down there and some more rugs and runners for upstairs. I used to have a bunch of rugs that matched, but this is a new chapter in my life and I'm spending some money on them, but now that I've had some of these in place, I'm marveling at how I managed so long without them. I'm looking forward to getting some ironing done. I'm going to keep researching fridge and food ideas, I want to find a place for my receipts, I need my desk back so I'll have to go into my youngest daughter's room and clean that off. I have a lot to do, but some of these things won't take long and the impact will be huge once I get some of the kinks worked out of things. I have new books to read, good friends, and time in my day for a nap later on, life is good, I have to remember that. 

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