It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve already been home for a week!
The girlie went to her first sleep-away camp last Sunday…
So there was the hustle and bustle of preparing for that. Which included rounding up some summertime clothes. You’d think she was a growing teenager or something. 😉
The oldest got a part-time job. Manual labor. Which I think is a good fit for him.
The middle son has started applying for jobs. It’s a little harder for 15-year-olds to find work, typically because child labor laws are stricter for 14-15-year-olds. I have finally ridden as his passenger while he is learning to drive. I was very pleased that he didn’t make me push my imaginary brake or grip the door (I don’t passenger very well).
One of my favorite things when traveling overseas is to try the candy that I can’t find at my local store. We had a lot of fun doing this in Amsterdam and Paris. So candy was what I brought back for my teens.
Another reason for this being their gift was because as I’ve shared in the past and talked about extensively in this post,
I am on a path to simplicity… or minimalism…
Or just less…
Less distractions to steal away my time.
The candy creates a bonding time as we discuss which ones we like best and why. And best of all, it’s a consumable. It doesn’t take up long-term residence in my home.
I had certain items that I knew that I wanted to purchase prior to going to Scotland.
Items that would not be consumable.
The benefits of living in a climate with a real winter, such as I have in Virginia, is that I actually wear scarves. I went to Scotland with every intention of adding some scarves to the few that I own (when I moved from Florida 4 years ago, I had zero).
It was important to me that the tag said: “Made in Scotland”. Quite a few scarves sold along the Royal Mile are actually made in China. Some people may not care about that fact.
But part of my desire also had to do with my ancestry. My 4th great-grandfather, James Baird, is listed on the 1841 census as living on Flowerhill Street in Airdrie. His occupation: a handloom weaver. On the 1851 census, his 15-year old daughter (my 3rd great-grandmother) is listed as a handloom weaver. In 1881, Agnes is on Flowerhill Street listed as a shirtmaker. Her 16-year old daughter, Agnes McLachlan (my 2nd great-grandmother) is listed as a cotton weaver.
The tan scarf is Made in Scotland and 100% cashmere. The gray scarf is Made in the British Isles and is 100% Lambswool.
Another definite purchase that I wanted to make was having a Scottish throw. I was in the store picking out scarves when I saw this blanket on a lower shelf. I had almost given up on a blanket actually having a tag with Made in Scotland. But here it was, and reminiscent of my Roger blanket. Lambswool and Angora and not another like it in the store. I was overjoyed!
After having a conversation with the sales lady at The Real Scot, which is on High Street, about whether or not they had the McLachlan or Scott tartan pattern in a scarf, she suggested that Roman and Paterson on Princes Street might carry those patterns and even called them to see if they did. They confirmed that they did and since our hotel was near Princes Street, we decided to stop by on the walk back to the hotel.
I did feel a little guilty about now having four scarves. In case you’re counting, the Smith scarf was a gift for my husband ;). The reality is that I would have only passed on the gray one if I had known the others were available. Having said that, gray matches my wardrobe very well and will be worn quite often.
Extras from Scotland.
At this point, there have also been some things that I bought on a whim. Things that while I bought them, I wavered in my mind, “should I”, “shouldn’t I” and bought them anyway. A bracelet…a wallet… a beanie… and some coasters.
The bracelet is a HeatherGem, which is actually nice. Made in Pitlochry, Scotland from natural heather stems. However, at the time, I didn’t notice that it was beginning to tarnish. The buying experience was not wonderful, hence why I am not naming the store, and I have no idea what the metal is made of and if it is able to be cleaned or will just continue to tarnish like a piece of costume jewelry.
The wallet was very much an impulse buy. I was purchasing other things. Plus I liked the tweed. And I liked that it was woven in the Outer Hebrides. However, I did not spend time looking it over thoroughly. I do not like that it is made in China and that the interior is plastic and feels as such. Also, it was on sale at the time and I didn’t notice until afterward that I was charged the full price.
The beanie and coasters I will enjoy but could have taken or left them. As a person pursuing minimalism, I should have left them.
I did purchase another consumable. This one for myself. A tea collection by the Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company. They are blended in Edinburgh and the flavors include Whisky Flavoured, Heather, Thistle, and Scottish Breakfast. I’ve only tried Thistle so far, but it was delicious. I already shared about the amazing shortbread in last week’s Friday Faves.
The night that I returned home, I had a nightmare that I was decluttering and the piles were enormous and I felt almost like I was drowning in the overwhelming nature of it. I turned to my husband and said: “we’re never going to get through all this”.
I’m not sure what led to a dream like that. I have known actual hoarders. And I don’t mean people who say that they are hoarders, but actually, have lots of clutter or are packrats. I mean actual hoarding tendencies. And I think it scares the heck out of me. My accumulations of stuff give me no joy. In fact, they cause me quite a bit of anxiety. The next morning I woke up and started back where I had left off on the decluttering.
Each day a step forward toward simplicity…
In searching for a song to share about simplicity, I bypassed some of the obvious and chose this one, which came up in the search because of the stripped-down sound. I remember loving it when it came out. Simple and yet phenomenal in its simplicity:
I hope that you all have an amazing weekend!
Get lost in a good book, soak in the beauty of nature, eat that piece of chocolate.
Let your light shine!