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Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 24: Simple Fit Throwing


Sometimes, I may occasionally if the situation warrants , throw a little fit.

How is that for vague language?

Let’s try that again.

I can throw a fit with the best of them with one key difference. 

My fits at this point in life are usually far more DRAMATIC or MENTAL than

PHYSICAL, and it usually begins with the thought ‘woe is me’.

Yesterday while painting furniture for a guest bedroom makeover , I decided that it was about time  I went to an actual furniture store and bought furniture.

I was so over painting flea market finds. 

That is what most normal people do, right?  They go to a furniture store?

They don’t get foundered in the guest room like one of my father’s cows, struggling to put on a
happy face while using chalk paint .

Normal people don’t ever do that, right?

And then in the midst of that thought, I actually put my fit in reverse.

Have you ever done that?

I then thought ‘but I don’t want to do that’ .  ‘I don’t like furniture store furniture’…(and on and on and on).

Sometimes, I wear myself out.  (In a simple way of course.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 23: Dear Daughters, Contradicting Day 22

my girls

My Girls and I at my Retirement Party May 2008.




Dear Daughters,

Don’t stop reading.

Yes, I am going to contradict what I wrote for Day 22 (yesterday’s post).

Here is why.

I love you, and I know what it is like to work full time and want to have everything perfectly organized for all of us, and sometimes it just didn’t happen.

I was exhausted , and one too many students had given me the hairy eyeball that day, or the state of Texas felt like more testing was a good idea, or someone punched the hot lava button in my big toe,  or something as simple as my feet hurt caused my train to jump the rails.

So we had Church’s chicken that night.

When you work outside the home, and you have a family, and you enjoy seeing your friends, nothing listed in yesterday’s post is going to ruin your life if it doesn’t get done.

Here is where organizational experts might disagree.


Having said that , however, (please stop rolling your eyes)- 

isn’t it the ‘want to’ that counts?

Isn’t it the ‘want to’ that leads us to do a little daily organizing- even if it is cleaning out your purse waiting in a drive thru line at Chick Fil A?

It is the ‘want to’ that makes it work.

Food for second thought.



Day 22: Dear Daughters, Simple Priorities


My Laundry Room


Dear Daughters,

At the checkout counter at HEB at 6:45 am this morning, I did a little free reading.

And yes, there was someone in front of me at that time.

This short statement in a magazine I grabbed caught my attention.

                                                   Prioritize the everyday things in your life.

This is huge sweet girls.

Your mother had an epiphany near aisle 8.

What if the everyday, mundane, non-fun, easy to set aside, easy to Scarlet O’Hara- ize things

we  need to do, but easily shove aside, were actual priorities?

Maybe doing those small daily chores of picking up, running a load of clothes, setting something

out to thaw, having a plan for what to wear to work, filling the car up with gas on the same day

each week, running said car through the car wash,  ad infinitum…

What if those things were priorities?

Would that simple daily practice of doing these things consistently create something special in life?

Food for thought.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 21: Limes, One of Life’s Simple Pleasures


One of the many pleasures found in South Texas where I live is fresh citrus, specifically limes.

This is not about baking folks.

This is about drinking.


Here are three of my favorites -in descending order of preference-

*A tall glass of iced tea on a very hot day of gardening,  filled with crushed ice, iced tea , and squeezed wedges of lime -

*A homemade margarita at one of my teacher parties- fresh limes and laughter are two key ingredients-

and my favorite…

* Cerveza Vestida       (dressed beer)

Here is how you do it.

Take an ice cold long neck beer.

Before you open it and after you have rinsed off the top, roll it in freshly squeezed lime juice.


Then dip the top of the beer in margarita salt.

Open the beer, place a wedge of lime in the neck of the beer and enjoy!

This is enjoyed best on my patio , at about dark-thirty, after that long day of gardening.

Play your favorite music and relax!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 20: “Teach Us To Delight In Simple Things”


When I was teaching, there was always a time in the lesson, or the week, or the chapter when I knew we needed to make a connection.

I am sure there is some sort of 2014 educational term for such a method.

When I started teaching high school English in 1975 at Van Vleck High School in Van Vleck , Texas, that method was based solely on instincts.

I just knew we (the teacher and the students) needed to pause for a moment and re-group.

And so I followed that instinctual system for the next 32 years of my career.

So where are we today in this process of writing for 31 days?

Is the message still clear?

Everything I write at White Spray Paint conveys one simple message:  finding and enjoying simple things.

Rudyard Kipling said it best.                 
"Teach us to delight in simple things."

For the four years I attended and graduated from Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, this quote as the school’s motto, was everywhere.

As a 14 year old girl , I mistakenly thought enjoying simple things was a goal, or something you learned.

Why else would it be the motto at a boarding school?

I was wrong.

Enjoying simple things, whatever they may be, is a state of being- not a goal.

In my experience, I can’t make that happen.

The paradox is that even though I can’t make that happen,  I can achieve it quickly and easily, as long as it is

a feeling I PREFER – over all of the busyness and seriousness of life.

I hope that is the message you hear here- in all of the quirkiness and ‘you’re not going to believe what happened to me’ things I share.   


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