Five simple things


-I am a day tardy with this, but with reason. We have had some productive last two-ish days. Thanksgiving on Thursday, Blue Friday on yesterday, and Small Business Saturday today. They were productive, yet fun. Hope you are recovering from food comas, over-sharing of Thanksgiving pictures, too much extended family time, and the liquor/beer to cope with it all. Ha. We had a wonderful time this Thanksgiving remembering what it is to be thankful and letting go of all of the stress that leads up to the holiday season. This is the first Thanksgiving without our sweet Baz, but we are extremely grateful for the Thanksgivings we had with him. We spent the day yesterday with good friends and hosted the holiday at our small home. I got a call from my parents in Arkansas, while on their way to a friends house for the holiday meal too. It was nice to hear both of my parent's voices on a day of being thankful. I am thankful they are both healthy and well, and that they called to say how thankful they are of the three of us. Family and friends are always important during the holidays and I feel it's important to spend this time with the ones that love you unconditionally. We are so thankful that we have a small network of those people that call, or come by, just to say hello from time to time. The Mr. and I like to call these people "our tribe." It's the ones that just show respect to you no matter what the occasion is. "Our Tribe" is small, but it's strong. I do hope that your Thanksgiving was just as love-filled with the ones that are in your tribe.

-Yesterday was Blue Friday and Opt Outside with REI, but it's often the day that most people think of "Black Friday" deals and the over-excess of consumerism. Ugh! The day I like to think of as the day that separates two kinds of people: The people that haven't figured out that they have/are being tricked into buying things they don't need, and those that have. I hear every week how someone "got a great deal" on something they bought and I just smile and say, "oh..." It's unfortunate how so many people don't realize they are the ones controlling the economy with their over-spending and over-buying of crap. One of my favorite sayings is by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, "Never underestimate the importance of abandoning crap you don't need." This saying holds so true for Black Friday. So here is the remedy. Blue Friday with United by Blue. Yesterday we headed out to the Lebanon Santiam Canal area near Ralston Park here in Lebanon, Oregon. We cleaned up about 60 pounds of trash-probably more-and we enjoyed cleaning instead of spending. It's a great way to give back to the community without spending money on unnecessaries that we all don't need anyway. There is nothing The Mr., The Bean, or I need right now so why not give back to the community in some small way and we are also getting outside for #Optoutside too. I've participated in Black Friday twice in my life. Both times one of us came home with some type of injury from someone else. We decided that Black Friday isn't our thing and the spending habits we have now wouldn't justify it anyway. So we are Opting Outside and now doing Blue Friday instead. Here is the listing to our clean-up group here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. If you want to get involved with Blue Friday next year and avoid Black Friday, check out the map of clean-up groups here. We'll be adding ours to the list next year too!

Here are five little things that made this week great!

1. These leaves.

Fall is in full effect here in the Willamette Valley and the leaves are falling like snow. 

2. This canvas.

How wonderful is this? Baz is forever memorialized on a canvas print. He hangs in our sitting room and is with us. I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree underneath his picture.

3. Blue Friday.

As mentioned above, we participated in Blue Friday with United by Blue. Their Blue Movement is about removing trash and other items that contaminate our waterways throughout the nation. You can read more about our cleanup here.

4. Thanksgiving day.

We hosted a small group at our house this year and had a wonderful time. And The Bean came up with a clever way to keep the drinks cold through dinner and the rest of the evening. Smart kid!

5. Ducks again.

These funny fowl have made the list for the second week because we just can't get enough of them. Rosey and Happy are their names and they are the most fun!

A few more things:

Making PAP-Porridge

The Thanksgiving lie

Indigenous Peoples Day

• Using Food to Change the Thanksgiving Narrative

Rethink gift-giving

-One last thing. Today is Small Business Saturday. Although you should support small businesses year round it's nice to have a day to focus just on small businesses in and around your area, or online. A lot of small businesses that begin at home are based online only and that holds true for my shop. I have hand painted burlap prints posted and would love to have you check them out. They are made to be unique and are perfect for that out of the ordinary gift. Check out my shop here and thank you for supporting a small business.

Have a great holiday weekend!

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