2013 Memory Jar

What is it?
Write down memorable happy moments that happen throughout the year and put them in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, open the jar and enjoy getting misty eyed as you read through the highlights.

What do I need?
•An empty jar
•Paper
•Pen or pencil
Optional: Frilly things to make your jar pretty and fancy paper or gift tags.
Do I have to use a jar?: No. Empty pasta sauce jars, canning jars, peanut butter jars (make sure you get all the oils out), pickle jars, piggy banks, shoe boxes, big mailing envelopes, a journal, photo album, write it down and take a picture (file on your computer), etc. There are many possibilities, so have fun with it.

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How do you do it?
For Kit and I, it is completely impractical to sit down every day or the end of every week and write memorable moments.
We started ours today (Feb. 1st) and wrote down every awesome thing that happened in January. Kit remembers every, but I cheated and flipped through my journal.
We made a goal to write at least two good things–he wrote three and I wrote six.

That’s it! Write, fold and cram into the jar. It took us 10 minutes (which included me collection supplies)–it was soooooo easy.

Extra Tips
We both wrote on slips of notebook paper independently and had one overlapping event (we got a goat!).
If you have a large family, or want to have a discussion with your family then you will likely get fewer duplicates.

•I cut up extra slips of notebook paper and threw those in the jar (unfolded) along with a pencil. If the moment strikes we can unscrew the lid and keep a memory.

•I highly suggest discussion if you have small children. If they are having trouble just help them think of one good thing. Don’t chastise if it is a material happiness that first comes to mind.

•Kit and I are both really good at letting date sensitive events just slide on by (Bills….omg). So I have set a reminder on my phone to pop up on Feb 28th and March 1st.

•Here are two links to keeping a memory jar. Also called Scrapbook Jars; some people make them quite fancy. Maybe a year is too extreme, consider a Month of Gratitude, like this blogger.

Have you ever tried this?
• Waste of time/worth it?
• Suggestions for newbies like me?

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Day 246: Christmas Tree Procurement

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Getting the Christmas tree is a big deal to me.

As a little girl, I remember my father and I suiting up (my mother had me layered in clothing so I looked like Randy). Then heading out to our farm to hunt down the perfect Christmas tree. I would typically lose a layer of the heavy clothing on the long drive to the farm.

Once we arrived at the driveway leading up to the hippie property my parents owned, we would traditionally attempt driving up the snowy or icy, washed out, gravel road. Inevitably, we parked the car and we began our hike. I typically lost a layer in the car, because I knew that hiking up to the top of the highest ridge in the county would be toasty. Even in December.

Once we arrived at the farm property line the verbal tour through my dad’s memories would begin. Even though I have never spent the night on that farm I could tell you how most of my adult siblings spent their summers there.

The pond that was dug out. My siblings swam in this in the summer time and had to watch out for turtles or small fish. Grown over now.

The tiny farmhouse. The home of many games of the survivalist child “North Wind.” Wasps nests decorating the eves now, but all silence in December.

The large piles of rocks; set a good distance from the house where a mangy dog had been put to rest after wandering up and scaring the wits out of my siblings and mother.

The white pine forest on the backside of the property. I don’t know how my sisters and brother saw this part of the property but it may very well be my favorite part. The forest floor is so dense with pine needles that one cannot walk through it without feeling like a proficient Native American stalking his prey.

My father and I would wander around and around until he finally decided he had found a decent tree. It would, of course, be about four times the size of a tree that could fit in our house.
My father would bring hand saws and axes, which meant that this part of the day would take the most time.

Making sure the tree was short enough and then dragging it back down the knob is a haze in my memory. Perhaps by this time I was exhausted. I have a good habit of forgetting things I didn’t enjoy as much.

Chapped lips, cold noses and a mostly empty belly–excepting jerky and some water—We would begin our drive home.

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Today, Kit and I go for the easier route. Perhaps less adventurous but getting a live tree is the house is a marvelous goal.

Our tree comes from a store and is a variety not quite so prickly for decorating. The smell is sweet and is perfect to bury your nose in when you come home.
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This is part one of three of my posts of Christmas tree pictures. The rest will be shorter. 

Day 202: One Ring

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Does anyone remember these rings?
I remember owning a neon green one and neon pink one when I was it kid.

This is made from some sort of light weight paracord I believe.

When I was a kid I never asked what to call it or the why. I simply knew it was my magic ring when I played pretend.

It would have different qualities depending on the game. I remember my ring having laser shooting abilities, invincibility, or the power to speak with/control animals.

The ring above I purchased for $0.75 and felt cheated because I usually don’t play pretend as an adult.