Several friends have mentioned that they don’t use their ipods because they dislike using anything in their ears and most stations for their ipods are too bulky or require a plug, thus not being very portable. I mentioned I use a small speaker unit for mine and was asked what it looks like… Here it is…

It isn’t very big at all, fits in a large pocket, has very good sound quality and batteries (I like to use rechargeables) seem to last forever. This allows me to take my ipod just about anywhere in my multiple floored house, studio, garden… away from home. Occasionally I will use the ipod with the earbuds, carrying it all in the little bag I made from yarn leftover from a sock project, which to my surprise won a first place ribbon at a fiber festival.

While the ipod is a modern gadget, I find that it is one of those things that simplifies my life. On there I have devotionals, music, tutorials, books and more, all of them free downloads. While there is nothing to compare putting my feet up and reading a good book, being able to listen to something on the ipod while I work is very enjoyable and keeps me from acquiring even more books than I do.

Another thing that helps keep life a bit simpler and uncluttered is the small counter area I planned when we knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room. Most of out friends and family liked to hang out in the kitchen with us and combining the spaces allowed us to create a seating /window seat area at one end and the message center area as well as an island for eating or food prep.

The message center is a small granite tiled counter on two bookcases with recycled cabinets above. On the left side of the counter is a slim wine cellar and more storage above for wine bottles. One of the cabinets holds glasses and such. The other cabinet holds coffees, teas, and snacks such as nuts. On the counter sits a wireless lap top, a one cup coffee/tea maker, and a few items we use everyday. When the letter holder fills up with photos, recipes, etc, It is time to clean it out. Artwook by the grandkids or other interesting photos or items such as the apple pencil holder I made many years ago, pencils and a family calendar iare all we need tacked on the wall. Cookbooks are in one bookcase, childrens books in the other. Often a grandchild can be found sitting on the floor looking through the books.

Altough most of the time the counter serves as a message center, it takes only minutes to set it up as a serving area for desserts and coffee bar. I like that I can monitor pc use by grandkids while I prepare supper, read a book, use my spinning wheel, etc.