Tag Archives: Me and Thee Studios

“Cleaning House” Really Does Matter

There are days when spic-and-span is a must, but in general, I stopped stressing too much about my kids’ bedrooms long ago.  While our definitions of clean are very different, the bedrooms simply do not justify blood, sweat, and tears on a regular basis.

Not long ago, I rearranged our 11 year old’s bedroom.  Caden, who has had bunk beds for many years, was ready for a change and when furniture is being moved around it’s time to really dig in.  There are times when “Cleaning House” Really Does Matter.


I started with the empty water bottles.  When I was finished collecting them, they filled the kitchen sink.

I moved on to trash.  In addition to the somewhat expected 11-year-old-boy trash (candy wrappers and broken toy parts), Caden had a whole box of Kleenex (used) between his bed and the wall.  He explained that it’s easier to stash them when you have a cold than to put them in the trashcan.  He did have a valid point.  The trashcan was on the opposite side of the room.

From there I addressed the things I knew he’d outgrown.  We tend to add to the closet and dresser but don’t remove things as often as we should.  It was time.  It was also time to address some toys that no longer “fit”.

Caden was not quite ready to give up his collection of costumes and was still highly attached to his stuffed animals when we moved into this house 18 months ago.  I knew he’d moved on so I bagged them all up and tossed them in the den for Caden to sort through when he returned home from school.

As I pulled from his closet, I sorted toys on his newly arranged beds.  One bed held those I assumed were keepers and the other held toys I felt he would likely want to add to our give-away mountain in the garage.

With all his “keeper” toys laid out on one bed, I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment.

Caden has some really neat things.  I hadn’t seen some of them in many months.  I imagine Caden hadn’t remembered what was stashed in the depths, either.

I stepped back a bit and considered the other things I’d sorted through.  Caden has some sharp-looking clothes I never see him wear.  Doubtless, a stuffed closet and a stuffed dresser are difficult to manage when you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times in the morning.

I really allowed this reflecting I’d begun to hit home.

How many “things” in my life have I outgrown?  How many “things” clutter my mind and affect my emotions throughout the day simply because the “trashcan” isn’t close enough?

And what about my blessings?  Are there treasures in my life that I take for granted?  What richness surrounds me that I’ve lost sight of because I’ve been too focused on the trash in my life?  Have I lost sight of my many blessings amidst the clutter?  And finally, one last tough questions in light of the 2016 presidential election this week, do I allow the clutter (or Facebook commentaries) to rob me of the fantastic and the beautiful in my here and now?

There is room for some “cleaning house” in my life as we approach Thanksgiving.   What about you?

Being Prepared Really Does Matter

My husband Franklin and I were able to get away this past weekend.  We love the quiet of a cabin and El Porvenier Christian Camp in the Santa Fe National Forest was the perfect destination.

Unbeknownst to me, Franklin was excited to finally hike Hermit’s Peak.  He’s thought about this hike for 2 years and, coincidentally, the trail head is just a mile from the cabin he booked.  Franklin is often at El Porvenier as a sponsor for groups from our church, but Hermit’s Peak is not a group hike for campers during the summer.  There’s a reason.

Getting Close!

Getting Close!

On Saturday he suggested we hike to Bear’s Cave.  A 4 ½ mile round trip hike, Franklin wooed me with a beautiful trail, very little incline, several wooden bridges, beautiful fall leaves, and fantastic, easy conversation.  We had a great day and he suggested the same schedule for Sunday.  A hike in the morning (“maybe Hermit’s Peak”), a movie in the afternoon, reading and guitar in between.  It sounded lovely.

At 9:00 Sunday morning we stopped by the camp’s cafeteria.  Franklin wanted some clarification on the trail.  I should have asked some clarifying questions of my own when Nate, the camp manager, asked if we needed to borrow some flashlights.

As we started down the trail, I asked for clarification on the distance to Hermit’s Peak.  I was expecting 3 miles, but Franklin confessed that Nate had mentioned it being 4.2 miles to the summit.  Red flag #2.

At about 3 ½ miles my left knee began to hurt.  I’ve never had knee problems but the trail looked like a river bed full of 6-12 inch rocks.  Navigating the craggy incline was difficult.  Red flag #3.  I should have turned around, but I’ve never been one to let a little pain ruin a beautiful day and Hermit’s Peak was just a mile (or so) ahead.

I didn’t think through necessary preparations that morning.  That’s really not like me but I was embracing spontaneity.  As I reflect, it’s obvious that Being Prepared Really Does Matter.

A few things are a necessity for a big day hike:

  1. Plenty of water (do the math, don’t assume)
  2. Band-Aids (apply them the moment you feel a blister)
  3. Sunscreen (even in November)
  4. Chap-stick (especially when water is scarce and you don’t have sunscreen)
  5. Snacks (Nate’s wife sent us with 2 pumpkin scones and bacon (yes, bacon) which we scarfed at the summit. It was truly a highlight of my day.)
  6. A walking stick (especially with craggy terrain)
  7. Toilet paper (no need to explain)
  8. Snug jeans (chaffing is no laughing matter, my friends)
  9. Wool socks (especially if you’re not going to take Band-Aids)
  10. An inflatable sled (not gonna lie… I fixated on a Plan B to get off the mountain if my knee were to totally blow)

We hiked 11.6 miles (272 flights of stairs according to my Fitbit) to the tippy-top of Hermit’s Peak.  It was breathtaking.  I’ve been sore the last 2 days but no real damage to my knee.  I’m not sure I’ll hike Hermit’s again anytime soon but ’m grateful for the time and the memories with my Mr.