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Incentive to clean

Cleaning meme My house is normally clean and tidy, well, fairly clean and tidy, I do have a teenager and many pets living here after all.  So, on a normal day my house is looking pretty good. The exception to this is when I am involved in a project, and since I’ve been involved in nonstop projects since last June my house has been in various states of crazy for a year now. My usual approach ends up being me concentrating all of my focus to the project while neglecting most of the house cleaning in favor of getting the project down in as little time as possible. On paper that sounds great but it really isn’t feasible. Projects are inherently unpredictable, little things that should take just a few minutes end up taking ten times as long, Murphy’s Law at its most devious. The delays add up and ultimately screw up any chance of making a schedule and sticking to it. Of course, this means that the project isn’t getting that much closer to being finished and the house still isn’t clean. It definitely starts getting a little overwhelming.

The current problem with this system is that my daughter’s BFF is visiting from Hawaii and I’ve got to get this house under control. Last June, we started transitioning her room from Disney Princess cute to Geek Girl Eclectic. We painted the room, I built a loft bed but there was sorting and a few other things to finish. I also needed to get the rest of the house back in order. Nothing like company coming to accelerate my cleaning schedule. Yikes!

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Listening

I saw this quote on Facebook today and it really made me think.

Live forIt’s an incredible quote and it relates so much to something I was talking about earlier this week that I can’t help but think I need to pay attention to what the universe is trying to say. The conversation was about everyday life, and that I’ve gotten to the point that I feel like I need more goals than getting the laundry done. I feel a bit ridiculous complaining, I have a great home life. Cap is truly my best friend, loving, responsible, supportive, helpful, (I could go on) and the best part?  He makes me laugh.  I am just as blessed with Scarlet, she is smart, caring, a great artist and we have some great conversations. I am completely aware of how lucky I am, hence the guilty stirrings that surface when I get whiny.

Having said all of that, it’s clear that I feel that there is something more for me to do. Anyone who has read a few of my posts knows that I am a writer, or at least, I am attempting to be a writer. Here’s where the quote factors in, what’s holding me back?  What’s keeping me from living fully?  From being that writer that I really dream of being. I was pretty sure that I already had the answers, fear and time.  Those things can be dealt with though.  The questions have been running through my head all night, and I think I’ve finally cornered the problem.  My procrastination with writing is fueled by doubt and disappointment.  In the past, I’ve set deadlines and made plans but outside forces have often interfered, leaving me disappointed and doubtful that I’ll ever actually reach my goals.  I call myself a writer but I treat my writing like a hobby.  Definitely not good.

Clearly, I need to make some changes. This weekend I am going to sit down and look at our schedules and see where I can fit in some designated “office hours”.  It’s time to get serious about this, I love to write, I enjoy the stories that I am working on.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning and immediately think of what’s going on in my current story, excited about what happens next.  I guess, I need to trust that more, follow that joy and excitement.  And just so we all know I am being realistic, I also know that writing isn’t all happy times, there are days that I’ll be slogging through just to get to the end of the scene or chapter.  I am ok with that though, because the fun days will make it worth it.  I just have to keep up with it so that I make it through to the fun parts.

So, I’ll be working on my writing schedule and oh, maybe, actually writing this next week. Also, I am trying to remember to put only one space after a period at the end of sentence.  I remember about every third sentence, hopefully I’ll be quick to adapt.

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On my list…

I am realizing that there are only so many days left until Christmas.  That sounds silly I am sure but it’s been so crazy trying to get stuff done and my brother in law is still in the hospital.  The days are slipping by and I am just running to keep up without any regard to the calendar.  

Something we watched last night mentioned how many days left until Christmas and it hit me.  This morning when I got up I realized that I needed to make a list of things I wanted to get done today.  It wasn’t a huge list because I knew a few of them, while not difficult, would be time consuming.  

I spent the early part of the day addressing Christmas cards.  I knew that I would be running some errands later that would take my right by a mail box.  If I am going to be out I figure I might as well take advantage of it, right?  We ate lunch and watched football, Broncos vs. Ravens.  I put stamps on the cards and sealed them while Peyton and the Broncos moved down the field.  I also did some laundry and some general straightening in the house.  

After the game I ran my errands and when I got back I found out that Sully wasn’t feeling well.  He has fairly severe allergies and I think he is just worn out.  I gave him some allergies meds and told him to go lie down.  While he was resting Boo and I went out to the front yard and put up the spiral trees and the lights around the roof line of the house.  We were probably out there an hour or so but it looks nice and I am so happy to finally have it done.  This is the latest that we’ve gotten it done.  We usually have the house lights up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This year I was behind on everything else so that was what kept getting pushed to the side.  It’s done now and I am so happy.

Sully felt worlds better when we came in, both the meds and the rest helped a bunch.  We ate dinner and spent the rest of the night catching up on episodes of Jimmy Fallon.  I worked on more of my Christmas crafts.  Now I just need to make a list of everything that needs to be done between now and Christmas.  Maybe I can map out a plan so I can get it all done and not be rushing all week.  We shall see.  Wish me luck!

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Jack’s back…

Ok, it’s time to decorate the bathroom for fall.  Last year was the first time we decorated for the fall and when I first suggested it Sully was a bit skeptical.  I talked him into it by coming up with a theme he would like, Jack Skellington.  Sully loves Nightmare Before Christmas and I was pretty sure we had plenty of items to help pull the room together.  We did have quite a bit of things and then I spent about twenty dollars to finish the room.

Here are some pictures from last year along with some additions that I added when I decorated yesterday.  Enjoy!

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I ordered this poster off of Amazon for $2, and we got the frame at Michael’s for less than $5 (with a coupon, of course!).

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Sully got this snowglobe for his birthday last year.

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I ordered the Jack Skellington patches off of Amazon.  I think together they were less than $5.  We already had the towels in the linen closet.

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I bought the black dress netting at JoAnns (with another coupon), I think it was two yards.  It was so inexpensive I don’t remember the price.  I had a couple of yards of black lining material that I draped across with the black netting hanging over.  The frame on the upper left holds a reusable shopping bag from The Disney Store.   The black wreath was 40% off at Michael’s.  

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This is a new addition this year.  We bought the hat at Disneyland in July.  It even took a trip down Splash Mountain.

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These mugs are new too.  Sully and I got those last Christmas.  I painted the miniature chest last year, another great find at Michael’s.

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I made the curtains (that hide the closet from view) from broadcloth purchased at JoAnns.   We brought Zero back from our trip to Disneyland last October.

 

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Addicted to Velcro…

I’ve always liked Velcro.  When I was a kid I loved that ripping sound it makes when you pull the two pieces apart.  It was great on bags, wallets and I remember being terribly excited that there was Velcro on my Trapper Keeper.

Now that I am older, I have found myself once again loving the Velcro.  I use it all over the house.

We use these Velcro straps to wrap up cords around the house.  It’s great for the powercords for the camera, GPS and other things that aren’t charged every week.  It keeps everything together and saves a lot of room in the drawer or container.  We also use them to bundle up the excess length of cord on stuff like the computer, where there are multiple cords in the same area.  It alleviates all of the tangling and neatens it all up.

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I use Velcro dots for sewing and around the house.  You can find them in various colors, sizes and shapes.  I used one in my iPad case to keep the flap tight so that my iPad doesn’t slide around.  I added a detachable pocket to a bag using these larger oval dots.

 

 

 

I use nametag sleeves to hold labels on containers, that way I can just pull the label out and put a new one in, or move the label to another box.  The industrial strength Velcro is perfect for attaching the sleeves to the containers.  This Velcro is made to withstand heavy weights but I use itbecause it also does really well in the heat.

 

 

 

I use nametag sleeves to hold labels on containers, that way I can just pull the label out and put a new one in, or move the label to another box.  The industrial strength Velcro is perfect for attaching the sleeves to the containers.  This Velcro is made to withstand heavy weights but I use it because it also does really well in the heat.  In Arizona, our garage gets super hot, the adhesive on normal Velcro just melts and I find my labels on the floor.  I’ve never had a problem with the industrial strength Velcro.

 

 

 

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Here is my latest favorite thing.  These picture hanging strips are great.  I’ve used these so much in the past few months.  I hung a whole wall of picture frames last month, ranging from 3×5″ to 24 x 36″. Then I used them to attach my USB hub, USB router and surge protector on the wall so that I have more desk space.  I haven’t had any issues with them at all.  The packages have a guide on the back indicating which strips and how many to use on the different frame sizes.

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I’ve used them to hang a calendar, two dry erase boards, my earring holder and probably ten other things that are not coming to mind right now.

 

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Unorganized chaos…

For the last month, I have been trying to figure out how to deal with stuff that has accumulated in our laundry room.  It didn’t happen overnight, it started slow and then just kept piling up.  Some of it got left there and then lost underneath the other stuff.  Most of it came out of the craft room when I straightened my table and the area around Boo’s desk.  

I’ve procrastinated about dealing with it because not only do I need to tackle the pile but I also need to move my sewing stuff out of the rolling shelf in between the washer and dryer.  Moving that stuff means moving a bunch of stuff in the craft room.  As much as I want everything straightened up, the thought of making a mess in two different rooms makes me want to go running, screaming into the night.  

I pondered dealing with it for several weeks and then I began to work out in my head how to get it done with a minimal amount of mess.  Last night while we were watching TV I started sorting the laundry room.  I have containers on a shelf above the washer and dryer.  I brought those in one by one and sorted through them, cleared one out and packed it with something else.  After the shelf was straightened I sorted through the pile on the dryer.  Half of the pile got thrown into the hamper, towels that had apparently been pulled out of the washer and never thrown in the dryer.  It’s Arizona, it’s hot and once they dried they just became part of the pile.  The rest of it I sorted in piles to deal with later.  Then I pulled out the rolly shelf between the washer and dryer.  Luckily I had sorted the sorting stuff into small stackable containers.  I set those on the dryer and then put the iron and all of the other ironing accessories in the rolly cart.  

This morning, I pulled all of the boxes and other stuff out from under my table in the craft room.  I had a plan to put my sewing machine under the wire shelf attached to the legs of the table but the sewing didn’t quite fit, it slid under perfectly until it hit the bobbin feed.  So annoying.  Twenty minutes, a bit of swearing and two aborted plans later I got everything set up under my desk.  I really need to cover the wire shelf with foam core or cardboard to make everything sit well but it all fit perfectly.  I am really pleased that my sewing stuff is now officially in the craft room.  Yay!

Of course, I still have to deal with the stuff stacked up in the hallway and the piles sorted onto the sewing table and the couch.  

Also this morning, I printed up labels for the containers and baskets in the laundry room.  I will have to make a another post about labeling, it’s addictive.   Regardless of my addiction, Sully and Boo will now know where things are and where they need to go.  Another yay for me!

I wish I had an entire room like this. My laundry area is basically a closet with bi-fold doors.

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No rest for the wicked…

It’s weird, I have had days that were worse and of course, days that have been better.  Tonight, I just feel worn out.

It could be some of my late night’s over the weekend coming back to haunt me.  One of those nights I was up until 4:00 in the morning because one of the old dogs wasn’t sure what it wanted to do.    The other nights though, I was up until 1:00 or 2:00, watching movies or reading.  Not writing though, which is said, but not part of what I am talking about tonight.  It was a holiday weekend and we wanted to have a nice weekend to catch up on movies and TV shows that we missed last year.

I am sure that most of it is a result of the late night over the weekend compounded by several short nights since then.  It doesn’t make it better knowing that but there you go.

Under the tired though is growing frustration, which is most likely fueled by the lack of sleep.  Regardless, I am frustrated and overwhelmed, and it sucks.  There’s so much to do and most of the time I just feel like I have no idea where to start.  There’s a ton of little things I could do but I’ve gotten to the point where I even struggle on which of those things I should I do first.  My house is a mess.  It’s not so far gone that if we got a call that someone was coming over in an hour that we couldn’t get it mostly presentable for our surprise guests.  That sort of cleaning though would essentially be what Faith refers to as ‘rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic’.  I just keep moving things from surface to surface not really finding a permanent place for anything.  It’s about to drive me batty.

The last three weeks have been mostly about getting Boo’s school stuff straightened out and being prepared for class.  Our third week is almost over and we seem to be falling into a pretty good routine.  This week I have been able to work on the crafty plans for the couch cushions while we watch TV.  It’s good that I am getting that part done but it’s not getting my house any cleaner.  

Well, in a way it would help because the new foam cushions are taking up space in the hallway.  Of course there are 52 other things in the hallway that need to be dealt with but who’s counting, right?  The problem with the hall is that I am in the middle of organizing stuff in the hobby/craft room.  It’s gotten to the point that the work I’ve done in there now involves two other rooms.  I am not ready to rip up another room (or two) so we have the stuff in limbo, hanging in the hallway.  

Ok, so here’s my plan…

Go to bed and get some sleep.  Then tomorrow I will try to tackle some small things and not worry about the other stuff.