Friday, February 8, 2013

Simplify? Maybe

For the past couple of months I have been participating in a "soul deepening" class at my church and have really been enjoying it. It has been opening my eyes, or my soul or heart or essence or whatever you want to call it, to new ideas about the world and spirituality and finding peace with oneself. We met again last night and discussed Transcendentalism  and in particular Thoreau's work Walden, or Life in the Woods.

In the section that we were discussing, Thoreau described how he had shirked off the drudgery of daily life and work and asked why do we work to buy the things...not that he was lazy, but he felt, at the time of his writing, that toiling in the garden to grow his own food or to maintain his home was appropriate, but working "for the man", so to speak, was questionable and therefore he left society and went to live in the woods. The discussion soon turned to modern life and would it be possible to this and how much of our time is spent working at a job that we do not enjoy so that we can buy the "things".

I professed that I often times DO look at my own finances to figure out where I could cut expenses so that I could save up the money to quit the job that I don't enjoy so that I can find my "bliss", so to speak. I think we all know that if I could do this, that I would start a quilting business (or possibly a ceramics business...if I were any good at pottery). Perhaps it is, once again, time to start work on my business life dream to reality and figure out how I can make it work.

What can I do to simplify my life? I look around at all my "things" and think "how did I accumulate so much stuff?" And then I think "well, you have a house and in having this house you are required to fill it..."

Do I have to fill my house, though? Perhaps step one will be to empty out the closets where I have shoved the junk and take it to the Goodwill store and be done with it.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Credit Card Drama

In the past two weeks, I have had to replace two of my credit cards. One the credit card company called me and said they noticed some bogus charges on my card coming from London. They wanted to know if I was there. When I said "no" they said they were wondering since the card was being used but the three digit security code was not being included. They then canceled my card and backed those charges out sending me a sparkly new card.

Two days later, I'm looking at my bill from another card and see a couple of charges that occurred on Christmas Day and I KNEW that I had not used my card on that day. When I Googled the listed company I came up with a long string of sites that declared it to be a fraud site and people all over the place were getting charged small amounts ($50 - $100) in sequential days from this company, which was the case with me. I immediately got on the phone with the credit card fraud people and they too canceled my card and backed those charges out and sent me a sparkly new card.

The problem that I have now, though, is that all of my automatic bills were applied to that card and I now need to go back and reset those up....or do I? I've already found myself NOT auto-pilot shopping on from my Kindle because I no longer have a credit card in the system...perhaps this is a good thing.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Great Weekend!!

I just had a great weekend with lots of old and new friends. This is the weekend where by Sara Wonder Watson-to-be officially became Sara Watson (a Wonder in her own right).

The festivities began on Friday night when the available HCBC members gathered at Casa ABBA for drinks and snacks and general catching up (as many of the folks were traveling from all parts of the country and we don't see one another very often).

Picture: ABBA, Kim1Champ, Andrea, Laura is Jane, and Diane
Leo found much love from all that came to visit. As each new person joined the group, he gave them each his special love (that is except for Ash and David, our token men as Leo isn't around men very often and doesn't quite know how to take them). Kim, however, seems to be the only one who had his lovin' caught on film, and we all think is a sign that she needs a dog.

On Saturday, Laura and Ash took me to lunch at Mi Cocina's where Laura had a Mambo Taxi and I had a glass of Sangria. After lunch, and feeling the effects of our midday beverages, we headed to DSW, whereby Laura left with seven pairs of shoes and I left apologizing to Ash for being such a bad influence. It was then home and quick change to get ready for the real reasong for the gathering...The Wedding!!

Sara and Randall exchanged vows in a lovely ceremony attended to by both of their immediate families (including participation of numerous nieces and nephews).

The audience was full of friends and more family all filled with joy at their combined happiness and love for one another. Post ceremony was, of course, the reception. Where we were finally able to see the true love and joy (and relaxation that it was finally done) on their faces.

Aren't they a lovely couple?

The reception included a wonderful spread of food and drinks and music provided by Diamond Dave:

We were all out on the dance floor with him spinning the tunes. The evening was filled with joy and happiness and lots and lots of laughter. I couldn't have had a better time...I can only imagine that my enjoyment was just a tenth of what the bride and groom felt, though.

Sadly, though, the evening came to an end. We sent the lovely couple off in style, headed back in for a few final dances, then home to bed. I was surprised when we returned home by a gift from Laura and Ash as they felt that I needed to have a coffee maker in Casa ABBA:

I have now found that I'm very fond of having a coffee maker and am finding myself drinking coffee (with lots of cream and surgar) and really enjoying it. With that being said, I can thank my caffeine addiction to my wonderful Phoenix friends now.

Sunday morning saw everybody headed off to the airport. Ash and Laura left Casa ABBA bright and early. I was sad to see them go as it had been a whirlwind weekend and not really much time spent really visiting...of course that goes for all of the folks that were in from out of town (which just means that we must plan more frequent gatherings). Later in the morning I did have the priviledge of running into the Bride and Groom as I was picking up a friend to take to the airport. Needless to say, they looked relaxed and happy and back in their natural one another's side.

I want to wrap this up by saying congratulations to the beautiful couple and thank you for inviting me to join you all in your happiness and celebration. I also want to thank the HCBC members for visiting me in my home and loving my Leo as much as I do. And, especially to Ash and Laura for staying with me; I so enjoyed having you and hope that you will come again to stay at Casa ABBA, where there are always sloppy dog kisses from Leo and warm hugs (and now coffee) from me.....of course that goes to all of you.