Downton is calling, and I must go

I’m so excited to have the day off. Today is the opening day of the Downton Abbey movie!!!

It’s like the mothership is calling me home.

Love this outfit.

And when a girl feels a little fox-hunty.

Are you going to see it? Take. Tissues. You’ll thank me later.

Dressed for dinner…. Except I have to cook the dinner….

This is totally normal.

And I had THE. Best. Day.

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I’m gonna need a bigger bookshelf….

All opinions are my own.

Feeling a little like the ant (from the ant and the grasshopper fable), slowly, but steadily, building up a happy little stockpile of books to carry me through the winter. Or you know, Halloween, but whatever.

These are the ones I’d like to read before the end of the year… And fear not, I can easily pull more from my shelves in case I would get through them all.

And I definitely know where to find the book store. So I’m safe and secure in my book stash.

If your interest is piqued, I can share the info, but as this is not a sponsored or endorsement post, nobody’s getting special treatment.

The only thing I am absolutely endorsing is that you read, as much and as often as you can.

My list, or the fibers of my being (dressed, that is)

I’ve been talking a lot about getting my fall/winter wardrobe our of hibernation lately. Now, I’m going to show you why…

Isn’t it great?

I know, but it honestly works! So beautifully. (Spoilers: I’m a little bit preppy, with aspirations of aristocracy, but really I’m just always cold.)

The thing I love about the list is that it makes me feel like I’ve got it (at least my clothes) all together.

Am I there yet? Um, truthfully, work in progress. But that’s okay because I a being picky about what earns the spot.

Here it is, in its slightly blurred glory. It’s magnificent.

I get it, you think I am crazy. And you’re a little bit right. Why on Earth would I be so excited about “fall/winter clothes”? Because dear reader, I live in North Dakota and I ask myself why? A. Lot.

We get four seasons, more or less, and it usually feels like three of them are winter. I use the excitement of the clothes to carry me through the endless days. I know that hope, in the shape of a sundress and sandals, are waiting for me in the closet. As the summer turns to fall, and the north pole tips towards winter, I know it’s not forever. I have cozy socks, and big sweaters. I’ll be fine.

I also have full winter gear to where the only exposure is my eyes and the bridge of my nose, unless the goggles are necessary. Which has happened.

My point is: separating my fall/winter from my spring/summer is a peaceful form of reverence for the seasons. It helps keep me organized. And it’s one of the psychological tricks I use that makes me feel like I’ve got my life together.

Yes, I want to be an influencer.

I have been told I am quite compelling. Having worked in retail sales over the years, I have learned how to listen to what the customer is asking for, and also how to discern what they can’t exactly explain.

In the world of social media, influencers are the ones highlighting the “hottest, newest, greatest” x, y, or z that you need.

That’s not exactly what I’m going for.

I want to influence you, dear reader, to find the joy in the little things. To simplify your routines so you find more time for the things you want to do. To find ways to enjoy the fancy, if you’re so inclined, without risking your budget. To encourage you to take control of your financial situation, so you can decide what you want to do, and not let your money tell you what you can do.

I want to help you get to the life you want, by ironing the wrinkles and kinks out the life you have.

Love it or hate it, putting in the work (like ironing) is the difference. My daughter asked me why I get to be the queen of the house, and I told her it’s because I do the work. I get in the corners. I’m getting there – my life, the way I want it – because I’m doing the work. Join me, we’ll do the work together. I promise, it’s worth it.

Patience is hard

I feel like my fall clothes have a “do not open until September 22nd” sticker on the suitcase, where they are waiting ever so patiently for their turn.

But… It’s fall weather now! Trying to decide what to wear to work today is driving me crazy, because my mind fell into the suitcase of fall like Scrooge McDuck into his vault and we’re both swimming blissfully. The undertow keeps sucking me in.

The sweaters! The wool socks! The tights and skirts! The cords! The blazers!

It’s so tempting. Especially when I open up the suitcase to get it washed and ready to go. It was clean when it went into the suitcase, but it all comes back to life with a whirl in the washer and a tumble in the dryer.

So my experience was a little different…

It’s something I rarely talk about.

September 11th, 2001.

Everyone has their story.

There are only a few events in history that create collective experiences.

November 22, 1963 – JFK assassinated

July 16, 1969 – humanity lands on the moon

January 28, 1986 – Challenger disaster

I was in kindergarten for that one.

But, the other one… My experience was different than most. September 11th, 2001 was day five of Army Basic Training for me.

I have never seen it.

Really. And I won’t watch the footage.

The next morning, I was at the troop clinic, and I saw the aftermath. I was one of the first to see anything. Every day after that one was weighted with the profound reality of the situation. Every single thing we were learning mattered in a way that nothing else ever had.

I would love to share the depths and breadths of my experience, to have that communal catharsis, but I can’t. My experience of that event is so fundamentally different, it’s just… I feel so alone.

And it’s kind of okay. Really, I am okay. I cherish the people who can relate, and I neither envy nor begrudge anyone else’s experience. Mine is no greater or smaller than anyone’s.

This day holds a special significance in my life, as it does for everyone.

Take a moment. Be a force for good.

Never forget.