Monday, June 29, 2015

The Hoarders Show. A Love Hate Relationship

I began watching the hoarder shows again because I am getting lazy in this heat.  Those shows continue to motivate me to leave the lazy zone and join in the active zone.  I thought I was being lazy, but blood work revealed anemia.  Even though meat is not my favorite food, I have been trying hard to consume a little each day.  I sure hope bologna counts as a source for meat.

The only surface in my home I wouldn't advise a person to eat off is in the bathroom.  I have cleaned floors, walls, sinks, toilets, counters, tubs and showers, windows, patio, and most everything else with the exception of the couch, which will be next.  All I needed was a motivational video!

During the process I moved items around to bring a fresh feel to some rooms.  I changed out the back of the powder room toilet to reflect the warmer weather and changed the top of the refrigerator to reflect the same. I have decided to go with the 'if it brings joy' philosophy.  As an example:  I feel a smile when I see the tin I turned into a toilet paper holder, but not the flower arrangement I put together to sit next to it.  The arrangement served a purpose at the time, a purpose I no longer need.  The arrangement will be donated to a young lady that is trying to get a comfortable home put together for her children.  If there is someone who can enjoy the item, them the six dollars I spent on making it is not a waste of resources.

I really wish I was better at photos.  This arrangement is so much
more charming than the photo reveals.  For the summer months
I'm repurposing the paper roll holder to display soaps and
paper hand towels.  The cap is tucked behind the tin.

The large tin rooster appears to be proud that he is taller
than anyone else.  In winter months he has a spot on the
counter in front of the glass jars.

The next thing I'd like to talk about is nature.  Nature thinks about every detail of recycling.  A tree grows from a seed that came from a tree.  Then in the fall it drops leaves to protect the soil and the leaves decompose to create new and enriched soil.  This cycle is true for all vegetation.  The foods we eat can be fully recycled, as well.  A chicken lays eggs that provide protein.  The shells can be washed and pulverized to provide calcium for the soil used to grow food.  The chicken is roasted to provide the first meal.  Then an additional meal can be formed with the left overs, say - chicken salad or chicken and gravy.  The bones go into a pot with bits of meat on them, throw in a few veggies and soup is another meal.  The bones can then be retrieved to provide stock that's used to create gravies and other soups.  The only thing that's discarded is the bones, but only if you don't want to treat a cat.

I'm enamored with the cycle of natural things.  Who of us could have provided such a complete removal system? 

Stay safe.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The First Farmer's Market

I hope all the dads out there had a great day with their families on Father's Day.  I'm not sure if this day is celebrated across the globe, but my wises go out that far.

One of my son in laws worked so we went to his work to surprise him with hugs and kisses from his family and a basket of goodies.

Monday I was feeling lazy, yet again!  I thought this has to stop so I watched the one show that motivates me to get up and get going.  You guessed it, Hording, Buried Alive.  Half way through I was up and flying through the laundry room, powder room, and back hall area.  The doors, walls, and floors were washed as was everything else in the areas. I used thieves oil soap to disinfect the powder room and dog's area, then sprayed the peppermint spray when I was done.  Today the bedroom and master bath are on the agenda.

Saturday daughter number one and I went to Kohl's to use my 30% off coupon.  I didn't think I needed anything, but what I found was something I have been scouring the thrift shops for.  A tea kettle.  There was a sale on them for 60% off.  Coupled with my coupon I paid 8.40 for a stainless steel tea kettle.  There were so many items at the 60% off sale prices that I bought a few more items that are intended as gifts.  I also grabbed a 10.00 free cash certificate.  I now have a nice start to my Christmas shopping and hope to be done by September.  I do not shop during the holiday season.  I haven't for too many years to remember.  The aversion began when my oldest was two and in a stroller.  People were trampling her without thought.  WoW!  How callous can we get?  I made up my mind way back then that consumerism was not for me.  I never want to be that person who doesn't see a toddler in a stroller because there's a sale going on.

Before we graced the doors of Kohl's we hit up the Farmer's Market and had a fun time checking out the produce offered by local farmers.  A few things, such as the cherries, were from other parts of the country, but for the most part the food was local.  The market is opened Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings this year, with two locations available.  Since in my elderly age I'm unable to walk long distances, my daughter dropped me off at the stall area and parked the car, meeting me at the first stall.  In my glory, I bought spinach, cherries, peaches, and beans.  It's early in the season so there will be so much more to look forward to in the weeks to come.

The beans ready to be blanched.  I'm sorry to say,  the
additional pictures will not download. 
This morning I pulled seven heads of garlic to make more room for the melon plant in the garden.  The tomatoes are doing well so far as are the cucumbers.  The berries have gone wild and crazy so I'm looking forward to the harvest then cutting them back.  The sun flowers are also going wild as they are three quarters of the way up the six foot fence.  Even thought I put compost in the hole when I planted the marigold, it's slow to grow.  The seeds are from my large plants from last year. Time will tell.

The temperature is suppose to hit 100 today with a heat index of 110 degrees.  I best get a move on cleaning the bedroom before it's too hot to think.  I know I have air conditioning, but somehow my body knows how hot it is outside.

Stay safe.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Some Days Can be Rough, but We Shall Overcome

Thursday morning began like any Thursday with the trash to the curb and the milk box placed on the front porch for late night delivery.  Then out to the garden to pick the few blackberries that were ready a couple of weeks before the full crop should be.  It was then that unpleasant thoughts came to mind.  Thoughts that put me down as a failure.  Sadness covered me and I - at first - agreed with the put downs.   Then I recognized it for what it was.  My friends and family pulled me through with lots of prayer and words of encouragement. 

Those who know me know that there's not much I don't find a way to conquer.  It may take a few tears brought on by anger, but a way is always found to overcome.  Mostly I pray for wisdom then move forward with action.  I can't deny that I am a strong Catholic girl who is in love with what heaven offers.

Daughter number three called to invite me for a nice lunch.  After playing a couple of games of Memory (my favorite) we enjoyed a pasta bake, cold crisp celery, fruited jello and French bread.
Before I left she packed me enough for dinner.

A trip to Wal Mart grocery store with a few price matches was accomplished before I headed home. There were quite a few fresh veggies and fruit on the list such as a European cucumber, .99 cents (Grown in Canada!), cherries from Washington state, South Carolina peaches,.99 a pound, and one corn for .20.

Added to the good for me foods were three boxes of brownie mix, 1.00 and Oscar Mayer bologna, 16 ounces for 1.49.  I love bologna made in a sandwich with mustard, mayo, and bread and butter pickles.  A concoction my husband introduced me to in our early years of marriage.  I might add he was stoically patient with me while I made fun of him before he convinced me to try it.  I was instantly hooked.

The bologna package was opened so I replaced it with a
bunch of bananas!

A trip to the dollar store was needed to check for bread.  The bread was not interesting, but I did buy a pack of English muffins and a pack of bagels from a hoity toity baker.  Those are the items that are priced well over their worth, but at a dollar, are a bargain.  New items I picked up were windshield washer, cheese cloth, rubber gloves,  pop corn, and grill cleaner.  I was trying to figure out how to clean the table top grill I got off of the virtual yard sale site on Facebook.  Problem solved with the purchase of a cleaner and grill scrub brush at Dollar Tree.

It would be nice if I could jot down a list of accomplishments this week, but not much was accomplished.  I'm not sure where the week went, but I know I have neglected the floors and laundry.  Both of those things can't be put off any longer so they will be done today after a shower and the bed is made.

One thing I did do is go to Penney's to use my 10.00 of 10.00 purchase coupon.  The only thing I needed was soft socks, so I paid .85 cents for a pack of three and walked away from the register with a slight smile.  The smile was not only for the out of pocket expense, but the sale that was attached to that price, as well.

I wear socks all year these days.  These are soft and cuddly.

Penney's has a store within the store called Sophora.  I've never gone in to check it out, but I did that day.  I asked what the store was all about and was impressed with the explanation.  I'm not a big one for beauty products, I prefer natural items and very little make up.  This is in direct contrast of what was expected of me before I retired.  I have been enjoying that particular freedom since retirement, with the exception of special occasions. 

Since most facial cleansers react on my skin, my normal routine is a really hot wash cloth twice a day. This has worked well for me for years reducing any eruptions that occurred when I used cleansers.  There was one cleanser in the shop that caught my interest that was created with no additives or preservatives and was formulated for 'mature' skin.  After I use it for a while I'll reveal the name and do a review on it.

And how was your week?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Good Food and a 'Me' Day

Welcome to reader, Karla.  It was a nice surprise to see new comments from a new reader.  Thank you.

Something simple has just been revealed to me.  I have transitioned from grocery shopping every week to shopping every other week.  I'm not sure when this occurred, but it has.  I've been cooking up a small storm yesterday and today making some of my favorite foods.

Yesterday morning I made French toast-  the Italian way, cooked in a half inch of olive oil.  Since one egg netted four pieces I had two yesterday for breakfast, one this morning, with one saved for snack time.  This morning's breakfast included only one slice because I also had oatmeal, strawberries with home made whipped cream, and milk.  I was famished.  One would have thought I haven't seen food in days the way I packed it in this morning.  I think the weather has something to do with appetite because the humidity has gone way down after the storm we had last night.

This morning's hog fest!  I'm not a fan of foods being all mixed in
together, but I'm not put off by it either.  There's a famous dish made
 in my home town that's called a garbage plate that is to die for,  I'll eat
that until I feel like exploding!

Last night's meal was a huge stuffed artichoke (which I'll finish for lunch), garbanzo beans with small chunks of blue cheese and dressing, with strawberries and cream for dessert.  I also had a snack last night eating a slice of French bread I cooked up with peanut butter and a glass of milk.  (The loaf I froze the last time I made the bread was defrosted and cooked.)

This is the biggest artichoke I've ever seen.  Yummy!

I love a good storm and enjoyed listening to the thunder last night's storm brought with it.  I had no idea the storm got a bit out of control while I slept.  My back yard is a mess with organic debris this morning.  Thankfully none of the plants were affected.  Even the sunflowers didn't droop from the force of the winds.

I guess I have some work cut out for me today when the
yard dries out.

Yesterday was a take care of me day.  I rested, washed my hair, and did a pedicure.  Not a poke me as much as I can to get the last bit of cuticle removed one.   Just a feels good to have clean feet one.  When I worked I had a pedicure done every month.  I got tired of the poking and prodding so I do my own now.  When someone is working on your feet they have no sensation of the pain they are causing, they only have the goal of removing every thing in sight that doesn't belong there.  Ouch!

The pup was basking in he morning sun when I saw a small lizard run by.  He changed directions when he spotted the dog, but the dog was clueless and just kept snoozing.  I guess even older pups  gain wisdom as they mature.   Either that or she can't be bothered any more.

I'm off to a short appointment.  I hope your day is blessed and stay safe.


Monday, June 15, 2015

A Day with William Morris

I was pleasantly surprised to read a comment from reader 'Anonymous' quoting the famous English architect, William Morris.  I've not heard of him, but he seems like a pretty down to earth, bright, man as his philosophy was to have nothing in your home that is not useful or beautiful.  A modern day spin on this thought is the Konmari method where the author of the book instructs us to ask ourselves if an item brings joy.  I see this as the same line of thought.

I've taken a break from organizing and de cluttering for about a week to focus on other projects.  This morning brought with it a desire to continue the path of de cluttering.  One would think that I wouldn't have much since I moved in a bit over three years ago with a clean slate.  However, I have made some mistakes in the purchases I have made.  As an example I bought a juice container from a famous home party company when I moved in.  I have never used it because it's too big for my needs.  My family are big water drinkers so that is the drink of choice when they visit - straight from the refrigerator door.

I also recently purchased a set of four matching coffee cups that are bright and cheerful.  I always choose the unmatched cups that a family member gave me that have a sentiment on it or a picture imbedded on the surface.  Only twice have I chosen the matching cups, and that was when they were new.  The ones my family gave me bring joy.  The others are pretty, but no joy is evoked.  So, out they go.

The most recent cup sent to me from the North from
daughter number two.  This one brings joy to my heart.

The kitchen cupboards were emptied and wiped down with peppermint spray with only the useful and beautiful (in my eyes) items returned.  Useful and beautiful.  An especially easy formula to follow.

This morning's activity removed nineteen items from my cupboards.
All are in pristine condition so I will offer them to my daughters
before I send them off to donate.

I don't have many items in the garage because of the simple fact I live in a condo, I don't need many tools.  I have a rake, a broom, a hand fueled mower, and a leaf blower.  The other items consist of things like 'hurricane' water, canning supplies, gardening bin and tool bin.  Saturday I bought a second shelving unit to use for the items that were scattered on the floor.  I love the feel of the room now because it would take very little effort to set up a table and chairs for a family get together when the temperatures are too hot to enjoy the outdoors.  I'm seriously considering looking for a few beach looking items to hang on the walls.  I also have room to pull my vehicle in during inclement weather. (Hurricanes) 

During the sweeping I found a little spider behind the mower that was kind enough to catch a couple flies for me.  Even though I considered the fact that 'it was earning it's keep' I didn't want to take the chance of finding a number of babies running around the garage. 

The small grill will be going outside when the sun goes down a bit
this evening for a good scrub.  If it's stored under
the back eve the weather won't affect it. 
The dog?  I can move her any where else in the house with just
one word!   LOL

The shelves were wiped down with(you guessed it) peppermint spray and items re arranged to fit the space better. The floor also received a spray of the peppermint bug spray.  My house is beginning to smell like a peppermint shop!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Quite a few ladies on yoo toob do a video explaining what their favorite items are each month or every other month.  Since I enjoy watching these videos and learn about new items available, I thought I would make a list for my readers to see if you are interested in the same thing. (Let me know in the comment section or on  FB.  My list will include things that can't be bought, but things I consider to be fun and/or enjoyable.

Learning going back to basics recipes such as making mustard and mayonnaises

The squirt bottles I got from amazon to use for condiments in the refrigerator.  I don't understand why, but they create joy in me.

The idea to put rubber shelf lining in the refrigerator door to prevent glass bottles from shuffling around.

The time I spend with my family, especially the grandchildren creating bonds and friendships.

The calls I get in the evening (at his bedtime) from my five year old  grandson in the North to tell me about something he likes or what happened that day.

Bubble gum!

The foaming hand soap I learned to make.

Comments on my blog. These are encouraging me to continue because the comments demonstrate an interest in the blog.

The garden pictures a reader sent me from a European country.  They were beautiful and encouraging for me to continue on the garden journey,

Pictures, past and present, that family members post on Facebook.

My favorite yoo toob channel this month is  'Living Like Julie'.   Julie has developed a softness about her in the past few months that is appealing to me.  I'm glad I stuck with her channel.

Are there any favorite things you can think of that have brought you joy this month?  I'd love to hear what inspires you and brings joy to your heart.

Stay safe.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Joyful Transformation

Quite a few of the ladies I watch on yoo toob have read a book titled 'The KonMari Method of Organizing'.  The book has inspired them to declutter their homes and it is enriching their lives by experiencing the joy of a streamlined home environment.  Not only has the information in this book helped people to live a more simple life, it seems to transform some of their personalities in a more peaceful and loving way.

I have not read the book, but I have followed through on some of the suggestions my yoo toob ladies have mentioned they read in the book.  The information tends to work on the spirit as well as the home environment.

Yesterday I watched a video by 'Living Like Julie' (Video below) where she admitted she does follow the method outlined in the book, but tweaks it to match her personal needs.  She moves slower in the decluttering process because she wants to maintain her efforts.  Julie is currently going back through items she decluttered in the winter to see if there were items she didn't use.  This is brilliant!  She has inspired me to do the same.

While following this train of thought a realization flashed before me this morning.  I keep things 'in case' I will need them in the future.  I thought I dealt with that glitch a few days ago while watching Julie's video, but it appears that I only dealt with the obvious things like holding on to children's clothing in case I needed it.  I did this for a number of years because I knew we couldn't afford to replace an item that we 'may' need.

This morning I realized I still cling to this mentality, but with smaller more practical items such as toiletries and even food. 

As an example I have a bottle of my favorite perfume.  I thought I was forgetting to use it because it was in a drawer in the bathroom.  So to remedy that I got a tray and set it up in my closet where I choose clothing for the day as a reminder that I have it and can use it whenever I want.  Still, I don't use it often.  This morning I realized why.  I'm afraid to run out of it and never be able to purchase it again.  This is absurd because I can purchase it any time I want.  Or not, if I choose.  The mentality that developed when we were broke is still haunting my spirit dragging down the joy that that item could bring.

Who knew that our consumer habits are formed by emotional set backs?  I knew the obvious, but not the hidden secrets behind the things we don't pay attention to.  Armed with this new information my spirit is a little bit more free and joyful.  All of the little bits add up to reveal a complete picture of joyfulness.  I like joyfulness!

I have asked myself what brings joy to me.  Top of the list is a clean and un cluttered environment.  That's a no brainer.  My pup brings a smile to my heart whenever I look at her under bite and uneven eyes.  (One is a boxer breed eye and the other is a bull dog breed eye.)  She is beautiful to me and makes my heart melt when I look at her.

A small thing that brings joy is the clear squirt bottles I purchased on amazon with credit card points to fill with condiments in the refrigerator.  They are clear and match in size and shape.  A small thing, but joyful to me.

How meat is this?  These are the items I use most with meals.
I have two more that I can fill.  I'm thinking one will be for home
made salad dressing.

I think I'm liking the joyful transformation I'm currently going through.  My smile is becoming more relaxed and real because of the small things in life.

Stay safe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Peppermint Bug Spray


20 drops of peppermint essential oil
Distilled water (Has to be distilled)
To kill flying insects also add
10 drops of lavender essential oil to the
peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil attacks their skeletal system thereby killing them.  No one wants to be over run by insects, but by using this mixture people and pets are safe from the ill effects of chemical sprays.

The Week in Review

The garden is growing and will soon be considered lush.  I've picked all of the strawberries that were intended to be used to make jam.  This won't happen because they've all been eaten - one by one!  The strawberry plants are now putting out feelers and creating new plants.  The miraculous cycle of life is in progress.

The weather has been conducive to growing healthy plants and fruit.  I had to trim the blackberry bush because it was going wild with it's tallest branch reaching well over the six foot fence.  I noticed quite a few berries on the back of the plant when I hopped in to the garden to prune the bush.  Until then I noticed all of the berries growing in the front.

I'm hoping for enough berries to make a batch of jelly this year.

The bay plant has quite a bit of new growth on it and the olive tree is forming flowers which, hopefully, will be olives.  Excitement plus!

If you can see the tiny white flowers growing in the center
of the leaves, then you may see - if all goes well - olives
in a few weeks.

The bay plant has doubled in size since I re potted it a while back. 
Maybe 2 months ago.

I made my weekly trek to the dollar store which netted me a pack of three exacto knives.  I'm not concerned with hauls, just the little things that are needed to perform life tasks.

 Time was spent with the two eldest grandchildren yesterday until their mom got home from work.  When she got home we sat and talked for a few minutes before I left for home.  By the time she arrived home the grands had enough and were rather quiet and resting.  Until then we had a good time playing and talking, as well as snacking.

Daughter number three is cutting my hair this morning which is in need - big time.  That will be a relief and cooler in this summer heat.  In addition to looking quite a bit better than it does right now.

I think peanut butter toast sounds like a winner for breakfast.  I have some strawberries left that I'll mix with bananas for lunch and green beans that are cooked and cold.  Dinner will be steamed clams and corn on the cob.  Most likely GMO corn, but I do eat corn on the cob a couple times during the summer anyway.

The bathrooms are clean for the week and the kitchen has been scrubbed down and sprayed with peppermint spray so bugs don't feel they can take up residence in my home.  I thought peppermint deterred bugs, but I found out yesterday it actually kills them.  So peppermint spray it is, and often.  My major task today will be cleaning the floors.  I also have to put moth balls out in the yard and call the plumber to fix two leaking faucets.  Also on the agenda this week is going to Home Depot for one more shelving unit for the garage.  Of course, the sheets and clothes need to be washed.  I'll most likely tackle that in the morning.  I'd also like to climb onto a chair to reach the high garage door windows to clean them.  I'm tired of looking through foggy windows!

 I hope your week is going well.  Let me know what you have been doing in the comment section.

Stay safe.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Yoo Toob, The Modern (Interactive) Magazine

Let's talk about magazines.  This is one form of media that I spent half a lifetime coveting.  While bringing up our family spending money on a magazine was a frivolous act, so I bought very few.  Mostly I would grab one from a doctor's office (since we spent so much time in them) and ask if I could have it.

I would read every word that was between the covers with relish, thinking that I was being educated.  In quiet time I would pour over the pictures again and again scoring the images to memory.  I did this for about ten years, thinking that the authors were so wise.  One day reality hit.

That day was the day that I noticed all of the previous 'wisdom' was being pooh poohed and new 'exciting' information was now available.  Information like margarine was so healthy and butter was a no no in any healthy diet.  Opps, we were wrong.  New studies reveal butter is natural and better than the spread we use to tout because margarine is one molecule away from plastic.  ONE molecule!!!!  Good thing that special heart diet my husband was on that didn't allow him the pleasure of butter was so healthy for him.  My love affair with women's magazines began to waiver. 

I turned to decorating magazines for inspiration realizing that the authors of the women's magazines knew nothing more than I did.  The same procedure for acquiring them was in place.  Until a magazine called  LIVING debuted.  I had to gift myself that one.  I loved it for years - too many to count.  Then two years ago I read where the new CEO let go of 500 employees the week before Christmas.  I became so disgusted that I refuse to even read the magazine or purchase anything with the name attached since. 

I realize every company has an individual tax year, but these modifications could have been put on hold and enacted later in the new year.  Living began soliciting me to renew my subscription - the one I had for twenty years.  Sorry, I've lost total interest in a firm that has demonstrated it does not take into consideration the loyalty of it's staffers - appearing, instead,  to covet only  the bottom line.  It's in an instance like this that I have to ask how many millions is enough.

I see this conglomeration has been loosing luster ever since allowing this to happen at Christmas.  We consumers are not as clueless as this company thought.  Even if the company was loosing money, waiting three months would not have made that much difference.  I know this as a fact as the company I worked for did the same thing for years until it was pointed out to the owner how badly it reflected on him.  He changed his ways and began gaining headway in the market place, making less people angry who complained to anyone who would listen to them.

These trademark products are now often on sale and the company is begging people to subscribe to their magazine, something that was not considered appropriate by it a few years back.

Currently the only magazines I purchase are specialty ones that have information in them about a specific subject such as canning, organizing or Christmas d├ęcor and projects.  It's rare that I purchase any these days.

My new 'magazine' is yoo toob.  I love yootoob.  I have found a group of ladies that are so talented that Martha should hang her head.  The kicker is these ladies don't spend thousands on their projects.  They glamorize garage sale finds and super discounted items and their homes are gorgeous.  They create their own pillows by using fabric glue and low cost embellishments.  They organize using dollar store bins or TJ Maxx items.  No snobbery going on here.  I admire them because they are uplifting and have a heart for young families and beauty.

I can't remember which one said this, but it stuck with me. She said God created beauty and an organized environment therefore He has shown us that both of these things can bring peace into our hearts and homes.  This is the kind of wisdom that is forever motivational.

So, yoo toob, you have my vote as long as the bottom line is not more important than the people who  brought you to fame.

Stay safe.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

What do Bedding and House Hunting Have in Common? Not Much

What a lovely morning in this part of the USA.  The sun is shining with no humidity, after 4 days of down pours and showers.  The continued rain has my yard looking like a jungle.  I cut the grass the evening before the rain started, yet it looks like it hasn't been tended to in weeks.  As soon as the drying sun moves to the grassy area, it will be clipped and tended to this morning.  The spinach that has gone to seed will be pulled to make room for the melon plant that's peeking through the soil.  I will also replant a bunch of bean seeds so I can get at least a few plants from the seeds. 

The tomato plants are flourishing in the front yard pots, which is exciting.  They were too heavy to move when the rains began and I hoped and prayed they wouldn't get water logged and die on me.  The plants that are potted in the back yard were easily moved to below the eves to protect them from too much rain. The rain was coming down so hard for a day that it looks like it battered the dill plants.  I'll play the waiting game before I decide to pull them to see if they recover.

I read an article this morning about keeping a pantry bug free.  The first thought was I have most things in tight sealing containers.  Then a picture formed in my mind of the boxes of cereal I opened for the grands when they visited.  After breakfast I went to the pantry and threw out the boxes while sealing the inner bags in a food storage bag.  I threw some bay leaves on the floor and was, once again, (but I'm sure temporarily) satisfied.

Yesterday was a gloomy day so I stayed indoors deciding to wash all of the bedding, including the bed skirt.  I thought about how to remove it by myself and came up with using the 'jiggle' method.  I got on my knees and lifted a section of the mattress up with one hand using the other hand to 'jiggle' the skirt down towards the foot of the bed.  Then I went to the other side and repeated the process.  Rinse and repeat until the skirt was free.  I reversed the operation when the skirt went back on the bed.  It would have gone much quicker if there were two people working on the removal, but I did it trying to not think of that and concentrating on the final accomplishment.

The bed spread is a king size so I wasn't sure if my washer could handle it.  It worked fine, but the dryer didn't dry it after two hours.  I spread it on the kitchen table to dry and now it's in the sun on the patio table drying.

When I was making the bed with the clean bedding I began to chuckle to myself.  When the bedding is going on after it's washed the most affable care is taken to remove all wrinkles and make sure the folds are all lined up and done well.  The next day (as well as the following days)  I ignore the wrinkles and just bring up the spread and put the pillows in place.  That's the lazy streak in me rising to the surface. 

The other thing that sticks with me is being imperfect keeps me humble.  Never do I want to get to the point that I feel I can accomplish everything on my own.  I want to always need heavenly support in all I do - no matter how trite the task may seem.  I not only pray often, I offer up my duties and tasks as prayer for those in need.  I have no one in mind, but I figure God knows who is in need.  I'm a retired Italian Catholic woman.  That's what we do as our contribution to society.  Catholic women are known for being able to pray and work at the same time.  I'm proud of that feat.

The made bed (minus the spread that's drying in the sun) the
day the bedding is washed.   Everything nice and neat.  When
the spread is dry I'll take a picture to show you the lazy man
way the bed is put together.  When I'm expecting company
there are more elaborate pillows set up.  These are the ones
I lounge on.
I may be going with my daughter and her family to look at a house this afternoon.  So far the hunt has been unsuccessful, but when they find 'the house' they will know it would be the right one to turn into a home.  The houses she likes tend to reflect the cozy home she grew up in.  I want to say that every time, but I said it once and have been holding a smile back for the rest of them.  The house we are looking at today was individually spotted by S. and her husband.  They sent pictures to each other. 

Stay safe.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Low Key Week

The week - so far - has been quiet and slow.  I've been doing piddilly little projects to keep me out of trouble.  Monday I went to my daughter's house to help my son in law with a project.  Nothing he couldn't do by himself, but four hands made the work lighter.  The project took three hours with the two of us working on it, so I imagine it would have taken at least four hours if he were by himself.

I made new bottles of room spray and bug spray since both bottles were close to empty.  I use lavender essential oil for the room spray then for the bug spray I mix the lavender with peppermint essential oil.   Since I was already making a mess in the kitchen I made more hand soap using empty pump bottles I saved.

A short trip to the dollar store netted a pack of chalk board (like) stickers that had greetings on them.  The type of greetings that could be used if someone wanted to make their own thank you notes and such.  Pulling out my small tin of craft items I grabbed a couple of pieces of card stock, folded them, then simply placed a sticker on them.  Plain and simple, just like their creator.  I think by this time  my readers realize I'm not the frilly type.  The cards reflect that fact.  Not super creative, but along the level I'm at right now with my creative streak.

One of the cards is a thank you note card that I can write a
sentiment in that would be appropriate for the occasion. 
The other is an encouragement card that can also have
a hand written note inside.  I know a little girl who will be
receiving this one. 

I also went to a garage sale and found the perfect table for my back hall area.  On top of that I found a great lamp with lots of character.  Another trip to the store,  TJ Maxx this time, and I'm so happy with the results.  The table was the perfect color and size and I parted with 20.00 to buy it.  The lamp was 10.00.  The accessories I bought at TJM were 7.00 and 14.99. The cost of the total project was about 52.00.

The table is a slim parson's table.  I'm not sure how to describe
 the lamp other than to say it's 'cool'.  The mirror was there which
was a gift from my daughter for a birthday.  To say she got
a great deal on it would be crass.  (But, she did!)

Meals this week have been good and made from the pantry.  I made white clam sauce pairing it with bird nest noodles that covered two meals.  I also finished off the French bread I made for breakfasts-once toasted with peanut butter and once toast then sliced in thin strips to dig into soft boiled eggs.  It's difficult to remember what else I had for meals, but those two things remained in memory.

What was your week like?  Was it as 'exciting' as mine?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Organizing, Part 4

I had this post written up, and almost completed, a few days ago.  To my surprise my computer ate it and never returned the post.  Rather than getting upset, I walked away until it struck me to redo the post.

The last entry in this series is meant to help us reflect on storage and stockpiles.  The end result will not be the same for everyone because we all have different needs and commitments, as well as the amount of space available.  I would only ask that the foundation of whatever you come up with is kept in mind.  The foundation of all of our efforts is scrutinizing the amount of real estate space we have and how we'd like to use it.  This differs with personal needs.

To begin, ask yourself what you want to get out of this exercise.   Taking notes on a scrap of paper to remind yourself later what the goals are can be helpful.  As an example:  Do you need more useable drawer space in the kitchen?  What can you do to accomplish this?  Do you need a junk drawer or can the things that reside  in there be placed in a pretty bin and stored in sight to add to your decorating theme?
(I just gave myself an idea.)  Do you use all of the kitchen towels you have, or can they be rotated or pared down?  Maybe there are three boxes of disposable baggies in a drawer.  Having one open and one as backup may work for you.  These are the questions that will help you look at your personal space and use it to it's full advantage.

Organizing and de cluttering can be such a cleansing thing.  Not so much because the end result is reached, but more because we learn about our true wants and needs.  We grow and mature with knowledge.  Knowledge is power.  Power to be more content and relaxed as we strive for that simple life everyone is talking about.

Items To Reflect On

Linens: towels, sheets, table cloths, cloth napkins
Storage items for food: foil, wraps, baggies, etc.
Repurposed glass jars
Office supplies: pens, paper, staples, etc.
Freezer containers
Make up
Nail polish ( Do you really love all 100 bottles?)
Holiday decorations:  If you chose not to use it last year, you're unlikely to use an item in the future.

Cleaning out the kitchen towel drawer made room for me to add
the wraps I use most often.  Organizing is an on going process
that makes life easier.

There's nothing wrong with re thinking what we have bought in the past.  As we mature, our needs evolve.  It's up to us to recognize the changes and rise to meet them.

Stay safe.

PS:  Welcome to a new follower, Elizabeth.  Thank you for liking this blog.  We hope to hear from you in the comment section now and again.