Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wishinig a Happy New Year

At peace with nature
To all my friends and family - when we sit back and breathe....  it is that simple.

Look above and be thankful for what you have...  and entire year has gone by....  365 precious days that we have been 'together ' in some way - helping mold the world and our individual journeys.  

Instead of rushing into the new year, take some time to be thankful.  Write it down, in a journal, on back of an envelope, any place you wish.  Leave it out and as you walk by, jot down another memory that made your year great.

We look at those great memories and notice how they enhanced our lives this past year.  Feel yourself giggle, laugh and smile - great feelings for sure.  

Now take that deep breath, look forward with the hope and joy of what you can add to yourself, and to those around you.

Happy New Year to one and all.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Energy is Rising - Good Riddance Old Habits

NASA Photo A Day
For the past 30 days, I've been cleaning, clearing, donating and recycling 'stuff'.   The 30 Day Minimalist Challenge.  It's like clearing the decks for a new day.

It all started as I was going to have a guest staying over Thanksgiving week.  I needed to make certain areas presentable to have a guest in for several days.  I'm sure we have all been there!  Some type of event is in the near future and you notice your surroundings.  Yikes!

When I started this challenge, I've noticed that my energy level has been changing as a result of it.  I feel a bit of glow - a level of what could I get to next in my consciousness.  There is a bit of discipline - though not much to get going.  The success each day makes the difference.  Success each day, no matter how big or small has reduced my stress level.  Let me tell you, old habits don't necessarily die - they need to be replaced.  

My good habits some how got pushed to the back of life, and are now being resurrected. My kitchen is now generally all cleaned up before retiring in the evening.  The bedroom is quiet and 'zen' like.  The guest room was a dumping place - cleaned up for the guest that didn't arrive - and now has gotten a bit untidy again.  It's actually okay as several of the other days' tasks we not completed and that was the best place to put them until I could go back to them.

I'm back in my five at five routine two times a day.  Five minutes in the a.m. and again in the p.m. to pick up and put items away.  Some days it seems to be a rush around, then other days a much more relaxed time.  

PS  - Tame the electronics --- found some more items, some are going to the transfer station, others were labeled as to what they are so I can get to them when I need them.  I found some really great old cables - good ole parallel cables that you used for printers - great trip down memory lane, if only for a few minutes!  Try to get a printer today that uses a parallel cable. 

 Glad to see the good ole habits taking their rightful place in the presence.  It's a grand day!  I'm thankful.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Day 30 - Wrap Up

It's been a true journey this past 30 days.  It has been about expanding myself, being present in the day, looking to the future, no 'stuff' around, and it is about who I am.  It's about me, lol, for a change.  Instead of me running about for everyone else, it's about getting a few more moments for me - everyone wins.  I'm thankful for the discipline and for the authors of this challenge  / .  I'm thankful to give this gift to me as it is a gift that no one could give to me.

I will repeat some of the day's challenges.  Day 5, donate clothing; Day 6, clean up the mail; Day 8, pick one corner; Day 24, the kitchen; Day 25, declutter the unusual - ahhh the garage.  Those are the major ones that I will concentrate on between now and the end of January.  

I've begun a snowflake challenge - make one/two snowflakes a week - crochet or tatted.  Yesterday I stopped in my tracks, found the ones I made a while ago, gathered it together and viola - I've my own challenge.  Somehow I remember several other stars or snowflakes that I made...  will continue to search for them.  In the mean time, I'll make more.  Yesterday I made three!  I've found new sources for patterns and have books from my studio for further inspiration.  I've printed and saved lots of patterns without any plan...  now I have the plan!  

As with the first day of the Challenge - it is about what you want for yourself.  It's a methodology - I had one decision to make - to do it or not.  Can you look out 30 days from now?  That was the question I asked myself when I began this just before Thanksgiving.  What do I want for me, my space, my soul...It was easy to answer - do the challenge.

Success for today and for the last 30 days - Nice to take time to reflect.  Thanks for reading along.  I will continue to write about these success each week.  Thank you - I appreciate you being in the corner for me :)  Continue to find one item to put in the donate box.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Snowflake Challenge

Happy Christmas to all!  Here's a snowflake that you won't have to shovel, slip on, scrape the car....  it's handmade and here for your to enjoy.

It's an original by Snowcatcher - She's an inspiration and what better way to celebrate this day than to bring in new life.  With a wee bit of thread, a hook, and waiting for the bread to come out of the oven, a new snowflake was born.

I have made snowflakes in the past.  I've lots of pattern books, plenty of thread, and no plan or organization!! During one of my Challenge days - I was looking for my thread crochet books and viola - I found the snowflakes I made and did nothing except leave them in the book.

Ahh - this could be a challenge for the new year?  So I took an old notebook to put the patterns in, found some scrap book paper so I could photograph the creations, and thought about a schedule. How many do I want?  Where will I use them?  Over what time frame?  All good questions - none answered.  I'm feeling it would be nice to do one a week?

After a bit of hunting, I found those I made before. A few photographs, copying the patterns for my notebook so I could find them easier - I have found that with the two made today, I have a total of nine snowflakes.  Simple math - by October 2015 - I will have 50 snowflakes.  That's sounds doable!

I'm off for now - I didn't expect this diversion today - It was a bonus gift to me.

Merry Christmas to all.......  and now... Let it Snow!

Pattern by:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Day 29 - Try something new

My Twelve Days of Christmas Tree
It's the days before Christmas and all through the house and this creature is stirring and it isn't a mouse!  The last couple of days have been focused on keeping up several of the completed daily challenges. None were really new - though the concept and discipline of the challenge was new.  

This Challenge shows that the Teacher arrives as the student becomes available.  This Challenge has given me the opportunity to think over the last 30 days.  I've brushed away some old cobwebs, brought back old perspectives that had been buried in life's layers daily stuff and found moments of peace in what is a too hectic pace in life.

Many people I've shared this with were asking for the challenge for themselves or dismissing it.  Those that were asking for the challenge are possibly in the same place I am.  They need a 'friend' in the challenge to help jump start themselves.  What this challenge did for me was to keep myself in the present, even if only for a few minutes during the day.  

Last night I delivered the donate box to Savers.  I was met with much thanks from the staff for bringing my items that will help so many others... A  Feel Good Moment. There is a new donate box in it's place.

I've been toying with the idea of several other challenges - 1st of all, repeating this one - there are still a few daily challenges that could be tidied up.  Ever since the blog of cooking through Julia's cookbook, there are plenty of challenges.  I've come up with one a month for the next year - visit a museum/attraction - borrow passes from the library;  make a different salad dressing each week and salad to go with; write a blog post every day for a year from a pre-determined list of random topics.  Then there is the 365 day count down to a big birthday - that could also be a fun challenge.

New is coming, New is needed, and New is welcomed each day to open our eyes, our thoughts and our hearts.  So onward with the journey.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Day 29 - satisfied in the success of this challenge - donate box is now empty and awaiting new treasures to give away. 

Today's Challenge - Day 30 - Wrap Up -  and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Day 28 - Don't Beat Yourself Up

It was cleaning day and each month I splurge with help from a housekeeper.  It is a pleasure, and when it is done, the joy I feel that all items are in their place, is priceless.  It's the smell of laundry completed, sparkling baths, and how the rugs look just after they are vacuumed.  It makes me smile.

Beating yourself up is such a waste of time.  The monthly cleaning routine is how I rid myself of the beating I did over cleaning.   My experience is that I didn't get some part of it done I thought I could.  Then I would apply the guilt and because of procrastination of the decision in the first place...  add up those minutes....  jeez.  

I've learned that this once a month routine helps me keep it all in some semblance of order.  If I can get a few more items done, like the laundry out of the way earlier, then we can get a few bonus projects completed.  Part of this months' project was to empty the linen closet.  Yeah!

Cleaning day is trauma day for the cat, KC, aka Her Majesty.  She doesn't like the vacuum and her napping places are disturbed.  It takes a day or two for her to settle back into her routine.  Then all is good in her kingdom.  

Some of the beat yourself up is your expectation you believe that others have of you.  Aah, unless you asked them, then you really don't know.  I catch myself ocassionally getting stuck here.  So now I  back step andrevert to some positive self talk - 'get it done'.  The 'it' can be anything, I now need to do something.  When 'it' is complete, the beat yourself up feelings have disappeared.  

Day 28 - reflection - successful - donate box - gets some linens.

Today's Challenge - Day 29  - Try something new - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 27 - Every item has its place

..... Every item has its place....  I've been looking around my home and office and find that "function of the place" is where I have been challenged.  This phrase has been found in literature dating back to the 17th century and it is still true today.  

The statement's underlying assumption is that the place is perfect in form and function. Accepting that it is only 'perfect' at that moment in time, this exercise has reawakened my consciousness .  Some moments are longer than others.  Doing the best at this moment is what this is about.

What I have been enjoying during this Challenge is that almost every place has been explored.  I've questioned the place, reason for the item in the place, how the item serves me or how I serve it, and does either the item and/or space enhance my life's journey. 

Day #14 make the bedroom into a place of relaxation has been a blessing.  This morning, it took a few minutes to put clothes in the hamper, rehang those that were airing and drying and pick up the books and put them aside.  The bath was tidy and all is good! 
Day #7 - de-cluttering the dresser - another place now nicely re-organized so that I may put away items in a 'better' space.

Yesterday's tackle the electronics found even more items to sort out - and I did get the box of extra cables out of the garage and found some in the back storage room.  I'm going to keep up the scavenger hunt to find all those cables and cords before 

I am already reaping the benefits that started just about a month ago.  Writ ting about this journey has brought that conversation to some light.

Success.....  once again !  - donate box - sorting out some old linens!  
Today's Challenge - Day 28  - Don't Beat Yourself Up - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 26 - Tackle the Electronics

Well "the beat goes on" as sung in the 1967 hit song by Sonny & Cher.  La di da di da....La di da di de.

So this is my electronics mess.  I'm sure I've got a few more gadgets tucked away in nooks and crannies.  I love my gadgets.  Technology screams by us today.  My Galaxy S4 phone is now old - geez it came out 18 months ago.  For some folks - it's like throw up your hands, I say - jump in!  I'm not a bleeding edge kinda gal, though using technology has allows me to do more in a shorter amount of time.

My computers, printers and scanners are very well organized as they are my life blood in my office.  It's the little stuff that you've acquired over the years, that makes the mess of  stuff.  So off I went around my home to look for those lost, misplaced and forgotten pieces of early technology that are laying around.  Yeah!  When I go out today, and move the car out of the garage,  I'll be able to get to another box of 'cables' that is up on the shelf.

One of the ways I've tackled my electronics - of course you don't see any evidence here, is to store related bits 'n pieces of the item in labeled zip lock bags.  That way when I'm looking for the cable for my camera, I can find it in a snap.  I have also learned to put a tag on the end of the cable indicating the gadget it is related to.

Another way is to save the original box and put them all together, in my case the basket on the right in the picture.  Since my closet space is so limited, the basket works well and it resides on top of a bookcase and looks nice.  Thank about it, when you're ready to replace it, you have the original box and its stuff - does anyone hear sell it on Ebay?

Oh, I better save it just-in-case ( Day #12) is related to this area in a big way.  I found my DSL modem - ah really I'm going back to DSL?  I found those plastic film screen covers that go back three phones ago - ah really I'm going back to a phone with a postage stamp size screen?  How about a portable cassette player - really I'm going to plug in and run around when I can load songs on a mp3 player that 90% smaller and lighter?

Success for Day 25 the tangled mess is sorted!  - Item for donate box - another tape cassette for the library sale.

Today's Challenge - Day 27  - Every item has its place - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Several Days Aching

When all is well, I'm like the energizer bunny.  I have learned to juggle many items over the years.  I'm the one that is busy, yet can find a few moments to help out at a local fundraiser, run an event, and help out a neighbor in need.

Last Friday I had a halt to the fun and enjoyment that was going along this holiday season.  All of a sudden, my body crashed into the ground.  Call it my School of Grace & Charm.  I took a fall for nothing other than not watching exactly where I was going.  Let me tell you, don't try this at home.  

It was dark and I was retrieving my car on a dark street.  Did I say it was dark?  I didn't see the seam of the apron and driveway and went down.  A fall, dropping the box I was carrying had me land and slide on my left knee, then smack my mid-section on part of the box and onto the pavement.  I'm still recovering.  Scraped knee, bruised ribs, and a healthy dose of realty.  

I'm just fine except for the lingering aches.  I'll be back to writing tomorrow.  Thanks  for listening.  Now that I'm up and about - I'm back to the Challenge, just at a slower pace :)

Today's Challenge - Day 26  -  Tackle the Electronics - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 25 - Declutter the unusual spots

What are unusual spots? The dictionary says "remarkable or interesting because different from or better than others".  I guess there could be spaces like under the stairs, behind something, in the raffters. or under the sink.  Lucky or not, living in an open space layout doesn't leave much that could fall into an unusual spot.

If I use the under-the-stairs as an example - the only place is in the basement.  It is enclosed as if it was a closet - when I moved in I had Bob, my handyman, build shelving into and round the studs, and that became the supply closet for the office.  That space is always kept tidy.

Upstairs is a settee and I put stuff behind it.  The other day I moved that 'stuff' out and to the staging space I have for that project.  It should have never put it behind there in the first place!  

Attic or such - I don't have one that is usable and as for under the sink  - all four are great.  Kitchen there are a few cleaners; the half bath, other than waste basket there is nothing; under the guest bath is where I store the supply of tissues and lightbulbs and the master bath there is a seldom used hair dryer, waste basket and nothing else.

So not to let this Challenge day get off easy - I went back to the Kitchen #21.  I began the two drawers that I keep the plastic storage containers and towels in.  Wow - rematched the bottoms and tops, determined 'really' how many do I need, the drawers were done......  except that led me to the Garage - there was two boxes of storage containers there!  Not to leave this part of the chore incomplete.  I brought them in, when through, ran some through the dishwasher and consolidated down to one box with room in it!  Some were recycled and others were put in the donate box

Not only was the drawers complete - there is a space on the shelving in the garage where I cleared away that one box and then found I had an empty box(?) up there.  That must have been one of those "save it just in case".  

Success for Day 25 - cleared away mismatched storage containers and re-open space in garage.  Item for Donate Box -- some extra storage containers that I won't be using any longer  and  a whole pile of mismatched containers that went to recycling.

PS if you are wondering where the cleaning supplies are - I have a bucket that all the supplies are kept in.  Unopened supplies are stored in the garage.

PSS stay tuned - the garage will be a big event and will happen in the next four weeks as I have guests coming and I need the garage to move furniture in order to host this event.

Today's Challenge - Day 26  -  Tackle your electronics - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 24 - Focus on Yourself

Spring '14 ready to plant
This challenge isn't just about cleaning, clearing, decluttering, etc - it is about the journey.  "Don't forget to take some time to work on yourself.  Get out and exercise, eat a healthy meal, and don't forget to smile!  This is a complete transformation - home, body, mind, and soul." said the creators of this Challenge.  

Today's picture is of our plot in the community garden this past spring.  Journey's in life often follow the circle of life.  A journey needs to be enjoyed - even the rocky parts.  These past couple of weeks, I've had wonderful snippets of thought about this time here.

In my transformation of my HOME, there is a better sense of peacefulness.  Each area is moving to that level. 

In my transformation of my BODY, the up and down of three floors, well I'm getting a bit of a workout.  I'm actually finding/making time in the day to get up and move, climb the stairs a few extra times, and get outside.  I've made time to do some meal planning and have now made soup twice in the last two weeks.

In my transformation of my MIND, is how I am rethinking about my space and time on this journey.  Once again, I'm dismissing the negative that is thrown at me from others.  It's their invitation to join them at this low, energy draining level.  I look around myself, take a deep breath, and once again all is good.

In my transformation of my SOUL, ah realizing that each day, the laugh I give to another, a smile, solution, and joy also enrich me.  

Day 24 - peaceful day of reflecting - Donate Box - several containers when I cleared out another space in the Kitchen (#21).

Today's Challenge - Day 25  -  Declutter the unusual spots - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day 23 - Take Your Time

This is about this coming evening,  taking my time with everything and once I am done - is to turn off my mental checklist.

It's been a BIG day!  I did a little more with clearing the floors (#22) on the lower level.   I brought down a room divider to the lower level as I have some projects that can not be tackled at this moment - so behind the divider they go!  At least for now, out of sight - keeps the space more relaxed.  I'm feeling like these three little guys.  There is just something truly happy about them.

Not so happy is this bad habit of mine of bits n' pieces of paper - I can drive myself nuts and I agree, I do it to myself.  So I began to sort paper.  With this challenge, from the upper two floors, I've been shuffling paper down stairs.  Today - I needed to get ruthless again.  It was easy -  something I need to do with it (record it, scan it, etc)  ~or~ something to consider ~or~ toss it to be shredded!  So I set my sights at getting as much of it done as possible today.  I must say it was pretty good day.  There is approximately 3-4" of it left.  I just couldn't sit there and sort any longer. 

Ok- the room divider is in place, then decided that I would continue to decorate finish the box of items I took out for decorating.  Yeah - the balance of the wreaths were hung, table scape set on the side table.  I went through some of the boxes of other ornaments (sentimental #16) and 'stuff'  and found several ornaments and a tree stand that I don't need!  

On my way up, drop off the balance of the items to go upstairs, turn on the laundry and ..... relax!

Thanks - there is a spirit with me..... I'm celebrating!  Sing along with these guys :)

Day 23 - yes, now that this post is done, I'm going to go and relax for the evening.  Item for the donate box - tree stand, ornaments, more small jars (were in dishwasher to get clean).  

Today's Challenge - Day 24  -  Focus On Yourself - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day 22 - Clear Your Floors

At first read - I thought today's challenge said - cleaN the floors.  LOL  Then I re-read - ok we are going to cleaR the floors!  This will be interesting.   So I googled for images of cluttered floors.  Oh my goodness.  Go ahead and do that and I'll be here. 

So you are back?  Interestingly,  not only are there pictures - sometimes there is a blog attached.  In many cases, the clutter has to do with procrastination, lack of a process or system, and or a place to put the 'stuff''.  Heck sometimes we just get lazy?  Sometimies we can blame the other person(s) in the house, or the dog? 

When I was growing up - I did not excel at cleaning up my room.  Thank goodness there was a door on the room.  When I went away to college, I found that I was the neat-freak compared to most of my roommates over time.  So what was my parents complaining about back then?   

Out of college and dating guys that didn't live with his frat brothers, sometimes I was pleasantly surprised, other times I needed a hazmat suit upon entering.

One of my dear friends wrote a book on procrastination.  You can get it at amazon by clicking this one Kerul's Book .  It is a great book.  So what is the deal with procrastination?  I think Seth Godin said it right "when the lizard brain" get's in the way.  His video about the lizard brain can be found here.  Give it a watch.  It's about all the great ideas - and then failing to follow through.  The internal voice starts with "what if" and before you know it, the idea has passed and nothing seems accomplished.   The mantra I have - 'just do it'.  In the time it took to say 'blah blah blah' in many cases, it would have been done!  Don't think so - then break it down into smaller parts, take out a stop watch / timer and make it a game.

So back to my challenge.... clearing the floors.  My game that I have used for years, thanks to Kerul - do five at five.  It is simple - take five minutes - once in the morning and once in the evening and put five away, sweep through your space!   I confess that the several, several, several months before beginning the challenge - it did not keep to my game.  

Along with that great routine, I have the upstairs / downstairs routine.  This is for those odd ball items that were on one floor and need to go to another floor.  It works well for living/working on three floors.  It's simple - put the items on the steps to either go up, pictured above, or go down.  As I pass by during the day - I'll take one or two of them to their proper space.  Yes - lots of books from the library.  The bottom step is where I put them so I may take them back as they due or I'm finished with them.

First focus - items put in the sitting area upstairs.  I need to walk on the floor.  I need to be able to sit on the love seat.  Okay - pile of clothes - sorted - now there are my yoga/sleep shirts, the special shirts and a pile to give away!  Tomorrow - unseal the space bags with other clothes in them? Lastly - Wednesday through the weekend - move my charity items to the designated place downstairs.

Success for Day 22 - a bunch of stuff has been taken off the floors and for the other stuff, a plan has been made and written down for the balance of this week to take care of those items still on the floor.  Donate box --  stack of tee shirts that I don't need any longer!

Today's Challenge - Day 23  -  Take your Time - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Day 21 - Keep only the necessities in the Kitchen

Yes - no clutter in the kitchen.  Stuff not being used needs to go away.  This is a picture of the kitchen.  It's a small space in compared to the galley kitchen I had at my last place.

So last night I was going through a cabinet to find something - geez.  It's time to go through each one, again!

I was speaking with the girlfriend today about her party this Friday - need to know if there is kitchen privileges.  We got on discussing my "dedication" to sticking with the Challenge.   It's really not difficult.  I believe that most items are not difficult when you make up your mind to take care of matters.

During the breaks of piecing together video, music and pictures, I worked on a cabinet I started from last night.  It is now wonderful - items labeled so I can find them.  Containers not being used are now in the donate box.  In the same breath, some of the kitchen stuff is in the garage, and will a bit of rearrangement, I have more space there and the crock pot has now re-found it's home there!

Successful Day for one kitchen cabinet.  I'll set the balance of the cabinets for the next go-around.  Items for the donate box - extra containers I don't need.

Today's Challenge - Day 22  -  Clear Your Floors - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day 20 - Virtual Disconnect - Day 3

Photo credit

We are truly connected in so many different ways.

You can voice message - text message - FB postings - FB/IM/PM message - do Instagram - Tweet 120 characters - email - then old fashion way - talk on the phone.... even more old fashion - be in person.

Our communication methods are now so varied.  

I'm continuing to put together the various movies and pictures in the frame from my girlfriend's wedding.  It actually came out pretty well.  I took hundreds of pictures and separate videos.  First is deciding on which ones were good, help tell the story, find appropriate music, learn a second piece of software......  Anyway done (on Sunday).
Success - For VDD #3 I stayed away from the Internet.  Give aways are caught up - for VDD #1 - cookie tin that is just too small to put any good cookies in that I bake; for VDD #2 - old princess phone, and for today, VDD #3 - old waffle iron!

Today's Challenge - Day 21  -  Keep only the necessities in the kitchen - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Day 19 - Virtual Disconnect - Day 2

So here we go for Day 2 of virtual disconnect.  It's quite chilly this morning at a brisk 29F though the sun is shining in an absolute blue sky.  

Disconnecting is getting back to "old school".   In the summer, I sit out on my front stoop to enjoy different parts of the day, talk with neighbors and smell my garden growing.

Disconnecting allows me to re-acquaint myself to what is around me.  This minimalist challenge is making me look around!  I am stopping and looking about my surroundings more in the last two plus weeks. 

One of the organizations I volunteer for will not be meeting this month.  So I decided that I could give myself a jump on the next month and take care of my paperwork and items I need to complete. 

All was going well, so excited as I checked off the items to do until I had a visitor stop by.  That was when I noticed the two gifts that I was expecting arrived and were sitting on the front steps (?).  Two digital picture frames!  

What a quandary  - I'm suposed to be disconnected and now I need to get this loaded!  I'll be seeing both of them separately next week.  

Okay - I'm accepting what I need to do.  Taking a deep breath - move on.  

Somewhat successful - Donate box....... geez - need to look around some more!  There is plenty in the place that needs to go away.

Today's Challenge - Day 20  -  Virtual Disconnect Day 3- and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Day 18 - Virtual Disconnect - Day 1

First day of these three days of virtual disconnects.  We know that it is important to disconnect from the computer and interenet from time to time. This disconnect time is to work on ourselves - stretch, rest our eyes, and spend time with friends and family.

Some of the disconnect is difficult with my hectic work schedule.  In this part of the challenge, I will spend time with my friends, stretch some - get up and move around, and feast my eyes on those items that continue to awaken the inspirtation within - not on a computer screen.  This is not a challenge just for these three days - it is a way to live our lives.    

This challenge, almost two-thirds complete has had me focus on my space, whether it be a corner, a room, or just some visual part of my environment.  I was ready - and this challenge, call it a teacher, came along at the right time. It's like the first blossoms in the spring, the ah ha moments as the plants peep out of the ground after a long winter's nap.  In my case - I was on a mad merry-go-round.  That ride has had it consequences that have affected me, NO more.  

I will continue to post daily, as it is a practice that I have been missing in my life for awhile.  Life has been too crazy - that's my fault.  

I got a jump on this by visiting with a new friend.  We met this past summer with the campaign against the referendum (we voted it down!) and have been crossing paths at meetings and on-line.  What a nice time, we could have talked all night.  Last night we had a meeting at the NCTV studio to discuss metadata.  You may be thinking - what the heck?  Yeah but it is the brillance of the folks there that get the creative juices flowing.  I even learned how to put the connectors on a coax cable!  It worked - I'm proud. 

A short post  - see you later as I get on with day 2 of the virtual disconnect !  

Disconnecting Day 18 - great!  Item for donate box .....

Today's Challenge - Day 19  -  Virtual Disconnect Day 2- and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day 17 - Declutter your shoe collection

So here it is - my shoe collection.  I must confess that shoes are nice, serve a purpose to protect the feet from the heat or cold; assist in the pounding that we do to them every day. 

It's plain and simple - I don't do shoes.  I'm no 'Sex in the City' shoe-oholic.  Stacked platform shoes were one thing in the 70s & 80s - yes I indulged in a few pairs.  What disco dancing diva wouldn't have a pair for each lavish outfit?

Back to earth......  The shoe caddy was purchased over a decade ago.  Shoes were disposed of that didn't fit, wouldn't wear and with 15 cubbies - I said that is enough.  This cubby was put by the front door - no shoes are allowed in the house.  You can wear slippers, just not shoes that bring in the outside into the house.  

Other than the pair I am wearing when I took the picture and a pair of sneaks that are in my gardening box, that's it.  Sad news - the pair of new sandals I purchased to celebrate this caddy, died this summer.  They were my goto sandals -  just loved them.  All of a sudden, the sole split in half!  It was over.  My feet lost a great friend.  They are still mourning the loss.

I get the whole shoe thing - the common cents (love the pun) part of me and frugal upbringing, it was easy.  You needed school shoes, play shoes, and Sunday shoes.  Really how many shoes can you wear at once?  

Shoes have great memories - back in junior high school - I met a friend, Lori, because she and I wore the same shoes we called "treads".  We are still friends today - and every so often when other folks ask about our long friendship, the story of the 'treads' is surely to come up.

This article about women's shoes is a hoot!  Thanks Men'sHealth.  

So what kind of lady are you?  

Once again Success for Day 17 - item for the box - travel stem iron

Today's Challenge - Day 18  -  Virtual Disconnect - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Day 16 - Tackling sentimental items

We all have sentimental items.  We have moved them from room to room, from home to home, heck even across the country.  These items hold onto something deep in our psyche - fond memories of people and or events.    We not realize the need to hold onto them.

Back to the family homestead - Mom has lots of stuff.  Some of which is from our childhood.  Years ago, to her credit, and after emptying her mother's home and now my Dad's passing, she's been purging the 'stuff'.  The boxes of pictures are finding their way into albums, other items are  given back to the giver, or just given away.  She just gave to her grandchildren over Thanksgiving a packet of each of their letter's to grandma.  They are almost all in college and she said they had so much fun laughing and poking fun at each other of their notes they wrote way back then.

What she did is create an experience to share with each of them.  Before my move to this location, I spent a year or so cleaning out 'stuff'.  I do have a box - yet to be opened since my move here - that has these sentimental items stored in it.   It still has the shrink wrap on it.  One good thing - nothing has been added to it!  

The little tree pictured here - it has ornaments from both my grandparent's homes.  I so enjoy it that this tree stays up all year long.  The pipes to the right of them are from my Dad - I can play the one on the right - it's his chanter to his bagpipes.  

In thinking and purging 'stuff', look around and say to yourself, if I was to relocate to another planet right now, what would I do with this 'stuff'?   My lace and crochet would go to various guilds that I belong to; the balance of books would go to the library for their book sales; from some of the ornaments I'll give to my nieces and nephews as they get their own homes, pass along a bit of tradition.  

We all have sentimental items.  My question has been asked, now it is time to think about what I would do with those items if I was ready to blast off to another planet!  

If you'd like to read more, visit the creators of this challenge for more helpful hints.  

Success for Day 16 - item for donate box - an extra wine rack from storage that would need to be displayed if it was to be useful - nope, don't need or want it.

Today's Challenge - Day 17  - Declutter your shoe collection - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Day 15 - Sleep on it

Today's challenge was to weigh the decision on whether or not to buy something.   I've several items that fit in this category.

One item that I have put the stops on is a camcorder with a tripod and boom.  I have been doing some work with the local community TV station and would like to do do my own videos.  Right now, while the sales are enticing, it is not the right time to get one.  I simply do not have the time in my schedule to embark on it.  

Another item is a new vacuum.  LOL yes the vacuum I have is the one my parents gave me when I got my first apartment after college; more than 20 years ago!  The hose is splitting and has been taped and taped several times.  What a great machine; unfortunately parts are not available any longer.  While not too exciting to think about a vacuum, it is becoming a necessity.  

Success for Day 15 - and item for donate box - a old blender, not used, and in fine working order.

Today's Challenge - Day 16  - Tackling sentimental items - and - find one item to put in the donate box.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cousins Party

Yesterday was Day 14 - turn the bedroom in a place of relaxation.  Relaxation can be many things to many people.  For me, it is a chance to have quiet.  Quiet time is special - I don't need to be doing anything.  Just me and the quietness of the day.   I really didn't do much about it yesterday - except think about it.  

I was distracted about the cousin's party that I am hosting this January.  Many of the ideas for this "event" I thought about were not feasible due to time of year.  Yes, the third Saturday which makes this weekend a three-day-weekend due to MLK holiday celebration.  This is the 27th year (I think) that my first cousins (and spouses) have gotten together.  It started after my grandmother Nat Nat passed away.  At first - it was before the Christmas celebration to share with each other our decorated homes.  Only the first cousins - no adults (our parents) and no children.  Then that became too much, so it was moved to January.  After fiddling around with what weekend, it is now the third Saturday.   

When it started - it was a get together at each of our homes.  A pot luck type event so no one host was put out. We visited talked, played games.   Then we did an overnight  somewhere around year ten.  Now it is a big overnight event, at some attraction event, such as casino.  It's become expensive night out and not all of the cousins can or wish to attend.   The visiting has become the least part of it.  

I'm one of nine (which includes my brothers) and the oldest of them all.  I've never married, nor turned out a host of children- the count is at 21 and this 2nd generation cousins are now having babies!  My path has been so different and good for me. 

I started working on it in spurts - day of searching and making calls since the summer.  I knew that I wanted to do  - go back to the way we spent time together.  The previous hosting I did was dinner out, private room, cocktail hour with a guest magician to do slight of hand tricks.  We all visited.

Yesterday I went to see a place - hmmm  what a great idea - inspiration has happened.  A friend of mine put me on to it (thanks Pam!); more later when I firm up the plans.  It will be interactive - we will be going back to a simpler time.  

Photo credit -

Day 14 - Turn your bedroom into a place of relaxation

I was distracted most of yesterday in planning for a party - see blog post Cousins Party.  

As to my place of relaxation - I thought about it yesterday.  Relaxation to me means quiet time.  Nothing special; sometimes some yoga, sometimes some just plain sitting and being quiet.   I find that when I work on my craft, I find that is relaxing.  Earlier in the challenge - I found an unfinished Christmas project.  I was going to do them with my nephew - that didn't happen.  So I did began to complete the project.  This is the first one.  It is so simple and it's kinda homey, handmade, and simple.  

Envisioning what my room feels like when it is the most peaceful; generally, it is after the housekeeper has visited.  Ah ha - so this morning I took out  a different spread, removed the bedding, gathered up the bit 'n pieces re-littered around the room, and Viola!    I've worked on different aspects of this room during the challenge, like the dresser drawers and the cabinet in the bath.  It is now coming together.  It came together so quickly - thinking/planning does save time.  

 The stuff was moved to the guest room - I know, I know - the guest room is for guests.  Some of it was various projects, piles of books, and just stuff.  In this Challenge I feel that I just moved items from one place to another.  I am looking to move some of the items out of the guest room this week. 

This room needs some decorating for sure.  For now - the relaxation has been restored to the room.  

Day 14 - Accomplished!  - Item for the donate box - old waffle iron.

Today's Challenge - Day 15 -Sleep on it - and - find one item to put in the donate box.