110

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I really wanted to make space for the extra dresser in the Queen closet. No, I still didn’t measure, but this time it fit okay without my eyes being wonky. Now I just have to shift the furniture in the Queen bedroom a bit, to make up for my wonky eye in there.

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The left side of the closet has now been nearly all cleaned out. I found a couple of skirts and a few pairs of dress pants that I need to try on. I never wear dress pants, why do I have so many pairs? And the skirts were a surprise too. I didn’t know I owned any. I filled a donation bag with a lot of slinky, sexy clothes that still had the price tags on them. I’ve never been slinky and/or sexy, but I had hopes. Or, more honestly, delusional aspirations. Just as I’ve always thought the right dishes would make me a brilliant hostess, and the right spices would make me a marvelous cook, I thought the right clothes would make me sexy. The sensible shoes would kill the look now, anyway.

After I moved the dresser, I put the travel bins and bags in one of the drawers. I just hope I remember they’re in there come travel time. I’m not sure what I’ll put in the other drawers yet. Empty drawers, what a concept!

I filled one bag of donations, and set aside a pile of “maybes”. That makes 110.

I have absolutely zero progress to report on the throne room. Well, not zero, I bought a few things I need at Home Depot on-line. I still need to pick up some things in person. Apparently you can’t buy paint on-line. What’s that about?

Stay tuned…

109

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Hasn’t it ever occurred to me that if I buy dozens of bins and baskets and drawers, that I just have too damn much stuff? I’m so torn between two extremes. Part of me wants to live simply and peacefully. Another part of me wants to be well over-stocked in case of disaster, like a zombie apocalypse or a Republican majority.

The part of me that wants to live simply seems to have the upper hand right now. It may be because I cancelled cable and I don’t want to pay for online papers, so I don’t get the news anymore. This was a cost-saving measure, but I think it may be a sanity-saving measure, as well. Bad news tends to fuel my fears and insecurities, and my fears and insecurities fuel my hoarding.

I’m slowly, one at a time, pulling out the bins I just packed full of my spring/summer clothes. I’m trying everything on and hanging some things back in the closet, even though I haven’t fully purged my cold weather clothes. Since most of my clothes are wearable year-round (just more layers in cold weather), my goal is to keep them all in the closet, no matter the season. This could be a good idea, so I don’t forget what I own, but it will only work if I keep my wardrobe thinned out enough so that I can actually see what’s hanging there.

I’m also finding that I have to add part of the current day’s outfit to the donation bag at least once a week (after washing it, of course).  As I pay more attention to how I look and feel,  I’m less willing to keep a piece of clothing just because it covers my body parts. There are some pieces that actually flatter my figure and my complexion, and I feel great in them. I want all my clothes to feel like that. I might have to keep some outfits that I just feel good in, for now, but I’m shooting for great! And I’ll no longer except just okay, or worse, feels/looks like crap.

I filled another donation bag with okay and crap (but maybe okay for someone else). I wedged a short bookshelf into the back seat of the car just to get a little more room in the garage. That puts me at 109.

Stay tuned…

 

Throne Room Project Plan

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The Throne Room, the little toilet cubby in the Queen Suite, is the smallest room in the house, ironically. It still has quite a list of projects, though, and I’ve just decided I want to finish them in April. That gives me a little over a week.  Hahahahah. No really, I’m going to try to finish all this in April, because I want to start on a patio makeover after that.

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Already done:

1. Install grab bar. My nephew, Jamie, did this for me a few years ago.

2. Patch and sand walls. I just patched and sanded the holes inadvertently created when I decided I didn’t like the placement of the grab bar and had Jamie move it.

Still to do:

3. Fix running toilet. While I was holding Jamie hostage, I mean while I had his help, he also installed a new toilet. Now it sometimes seems to run on and on. My water bill was a shocker. Must fix.

4. Fix sliding, carnival ride seat.

5. Repair or replace toilet paper holder. I broke it by using it as a grab bar, and if I had repaired it right away, it would have been fine. I think there are pieces missing now, so it may have to be replaced. Procrastination costs money, my friends!

6. Touch up paint.

7. Basket for back of throne.

8. Replace flush mount fixture with chandelier.

No change required:

I still love the paint color, Scotland Road by Behr, in satin finish. And I still love my Scottish castle prints, which I found in an antique shop in Edinburgh. My BFF “T” framed them for me.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I think it was a big mistake to put these tasks on a schedule, especially such a short schedule. The day after I wrote this, I got a big ol’ stress migraine. I still want to do all these things, but they’ll get done when they get done.

107, Part 2

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“Hello, Wonky Eye Clinic? I’d like to make an appointment.”

This was my spice/baking/smoothie cupboard, before I started cleaning it out and reorganizing it.

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This is my spice cupboard with the new, 12 inch diameter, 2 tier Lazy Susan. It is 1 inch bigger in diameter than the depth of the cabinet so I can’t shut the door, and the height is not going to work either. Hence the emergency call to the Wonky Eye Clinic.

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Okay, back to Amazon it goes. I ordered several (six..if one is good, six is better, right?) 9 inch diameter, single tier turntables instead (buy here). When they arrived, I finished the spice cabinet clean-out and reorganization.

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Nice! That’s my tiny collection of salt and pepper shakers and my baking supplies on the top shelf. If I ever really want to bake, I’ll have to buy some more staples. The middle shelf is smoothie supplies and the bottom shelf is full of spices. I always think I’ll become a fantastic cook if I buy the right spices and the right cookbook. I think I’ve mentioned my delusional aspirations before.

I put some things into a donation box, some in the garbage, and the spicy spices (ones with heat) into a bag for my BFF “V”. She can handle the heat, I cannot. I didn’t fill up any bags or boxes, though, so I’m still at 107.

Oh, and the jacket I wore to work today? Into the donation bag. I really need to buy myself a full length mirror.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/2014/04/flaunt-it-friday-203.html

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!

 

Lost Shoe Lament

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I promised myself when I started this blog that I was going to be honest about my emotions. I think I blew that a little bit in my last post. Yes, I was tired from decluttering, and later energized by the open space, but I kind of glossed over the feelings I had about giving away my shoes. I’m a woman, and I gave away shoes.

I’ve never been shoe crazy like the women (especially Carrie) on “Sex in the City”, but I do like a cute, inexpensive pair of shoes. Unfortunately, my wobbly knees do not like cute, inexpensive shoes.

I’ve had acute knee pain off and on for years. I’ve pretty much had two gaits, wobble and limp. My chiropractor, Dr. Doogie (okay, she looks 16, but is probably older), insists I must stretch and exercise every day for those wobbly knees. I smile and nod, while thinking it’ll be a cold day in hell.

Then, one day, I limped into the Walking Store and they fit me for sensible, expensive shoes. They’re not totally old lady orthopedics, but they’re not cute. They’re…handsome. I have a pair of handsome black shoes and a pair of handsome brown shoes. And that’s it. That’s my entire shoe wardrobe. But my knee pain is  now 80-90% gone, depending on whether or not it’s going to rain. And that’s wonderful.

I think the day you buy sensible shoes is the day you finally realize that you’re firmly ensconced in middle age, and your youth will never return. And that’s a little sad.

So goodbye flats with no arch support, farewell peep toes and slingbacks, so long heels of any height…it was nice while it lasted, but it’s over. It’s not you, it’s me.

Stay tuned…

107

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I was so unlazy this weekend! I cooked, I cleaned, I mended….yes, you read that right. I dug deeper into the Queen closet and pulled some items off the back rack. I mended three of the shirts hanging there, and decided one was too far gone and it had to go in the trash.

I also looked at the shirts that just needed to be ironed and asked myself if I really liked them enough to put in manual labor every time I wore them. For some, the answer was yes, but it was no for many more. Into the donation bag they went. I also threw in some outfits I had saved in the last go-round. After I wore them, I realized they fit, but they did not flatter.

Then Monday, I “finished” the back wall of the Queen closet. I filled up 3 boxes of shoes, purses and miscellany. I filled one bag of clothes and one bag of garbage. I loaded the donation stuff into Gypsy Blue’s trunk and threw a chair into the back seat.  Why make a Goodwill run with the car half empty?

Progress on the Queen closet.

Progress on the Queen closet.

All told, that’s 6 more bags, boxes and pieces of furniture. That puts me at 107.

I’m starting to learn that my immediate reaction to clearing out a bunch of stuff is exhaustion. Previously, that made me want to quit doing this. Now I know that the fatigue will pass, and the cleaner space will be more energizing in the long run.

Stay tuned…

Sedona Scrapbook

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I have traveled a lot, and I used to be very good at putting my photos in albums. Traditional, black paged albums, with the photo corners, and a caption written in white under each picture.  Yes, I am really 100 years old. Then I was introduced to the wonderful world of Scrapbooking, with a capital “S”. Now my pictures never make it to albums, because I can’t decide on a layout, and a color scheme, and journaling, and embellishments…

I decided yesterday to scrapbook my recent trip to Sedona with a new attitude, halfway between my old “glue it down” attitude and my newer “make it art” attitude. I laid out 6 sheets of 12 x 12 paper from Earth Elements and 3 sheets of  Venetian Romance designer paper from Stampin’ Up.

Photos, bag of ephemera, paper, tape, scissors.

Photos, bag of ephemera, paper, tape, scissors.

Then I sorted all my trip ephemera and photos into 5 themes, and shuffled it onto the paper. Then I edited it and taped it down.

Sorted and shuffled.

Sorted and shuffled.

I will win no awards for these pages, but they’re done, and the next ones will be better.

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Sedona.

I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to shop and bring home a lot of stuff from this trip. We went into a New Age shop the first day there, and I saw all their amethyst. I LOVE amethyst so I bought a geode. When I got home, I unpacked and put the amethyst on a shelf, and realized it was shaped exactly like a foot. I brought home a $68, several pound, purple foot.

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Out of Africa.

I can see I’ll win no awards for my photography either. These pages are reversed. Oops.

We went to “Out of Africa”, a large animal rescue group that puts on shows to help fund their rescue efforts. I bought the tiger photos in their gift shop. They’re obviously much better than my photos. The most popular show is the “Tiger Splash”, where several staff members play games in and around a pool with several tigers. In their prime, wild tigers with claws and teeth intact. Um, scary. We took a “safari” too, and saw ostrich whispering, giraffe kissing, and a two headed water buffalo. Just kidding, it was really two water buffaloes lying rump to rump.

Jerome and Flagstaff.

Jerome and Flagstaff.

While we were driving to Jerome, I saw a sign announcing “Dry Beaver Creek”. I said, “Oh, that’s my Indian name, Dry Beaver Creek!” Later, I saw a sign for the Brittle Bush Saloon.  I turned to No.1 Sis and informed her we had just found her Indian name, too. Still on the watch for No.2 Sis’ name! By the way, the really good photos shown here are post cards I bought.

The BIG BONUS to scrapping my trip was that I found my missing Kindle!!!! I’m so happy! It was in the bag with the ephemera. I don’t know why.

I’m also happy that my internet is fixed. I was unplugged for about a week while I waited for a new “Hot Spot” battery. I have never been so diligent in picking up my mail every day, as I have been this past week!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I probably shouldn’t have told everyone that No.1 Sis must have stolen my Kindle when she was watching our bags at the airport. I should have just referred to her as a “person of interest”.

 

 

 

101, Part 2

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Is my hoarding the result of being too sentimental to let go of things? Is it because I’m a terrible procrastinator? Or am I just lazy? My Dad would tell you, if he was still around, that I’ve always been lazy. That word used to enrage me; I was so incensed that anyone would insult me with the L-word! I told Dr. Ima Shrink that I’m NOT lazy, I just don’t like to work very hard for very long. She just waited a beat…until I realized that I had just given a textbook definition for lazy. I haven’t cured my laziness, but after that day, the sting was gone from the word.

I blocked today, Sunday, off my calendar to spend the day on cleaning and projects. I slept in, threw dinner in the crockpot, read, played computer games and napped. Notice that nowhere did I say that I even showered and dressed. I was lazy today, very lazy.

However, as I was sitting here playing on the computer and fretting that it was so slow, despite it’s recent week in the shop, I just knew I had to clean it out. The computer. I’ve recently changed to a different e-mail provider and it let through the e-mails the last provider had been blocking. Over 38,000 e-mails were sitting in my in-box. I didn’t feel like I could just delete them without at least looking them over. Well, I just looked over who sent them and cleaned out about 37,500 of them. It took hours.

Then, because the Geek at the shop said I had a lot of photos, I bought a separate hard drive for them and I’m going to clean them out, too. I have to share a few with you first…

My niece's wedding.

My niece’s wedding.

My trip to Colorado.

My trip to Colorado.

My trip to Ireland.

My trip to Ireland.

My trip to Boston.

My trip to Boston.

This is going to be harder than I thought. I may have to put it off for another day. So many sentimental memories…okay, I’m just being lazy.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

101

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The exterminator has come and gone and the ants are now antibodies. I believe in the circle of life and preserving our ecosystems and all of that, but I must insist on the inside of the house being exempt. No vermin allowed.

I dealt with my panic over the exterminator coming in by repeating to myself, over and over, “He’s coming to help, not to judge, he’s coming to help…”. And indeed, he never commented on my housekeeping, or the evidence that I’d set up a wayward ant feeding program in my kitchen sink. Damn pizza pans that don’t fit in the dishwasher! I think I’ll throw them away and just buy a pizza stone that always stays in the oven. Yes, I know a “normal” person would just wash the pizza pans and put them away.

Although I try to be gentle with myself to combat the negative self-judgement that comes whenever  I have chaos in the house, I’m afraid I’ve gone past gentle and into squishy and indecisive concerning the Queen bathroom counter. I’ve decided to be Ruthless, just for today. Those of you who personally know me know that “Ruthless” has a very loaded definition for me, because my Mom’s name was Ruth. She was my original squishy, sentimental, indecisive role model. So to be Ruthless, I will have to be logical and decisive. My motto will be “When in doubt, throw it out!” In other words, I will be my Dad, Chuck. Oh, that’s an even better motto, “Just Chuck it!”

Countertop in Queen bath....

Counter top in Queen bath….

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The shelf is sitting upside down; your eyes are not playing tricks on you. I plan on painting it and then hanging it on the side wall, just out of sight to the right in the photo. And, I still need to go through the basket of hair stuff and sort through my Mary Kay collection (Sis No.2 is a Mary Kay consultant).  And you can see the big basket of dirty laundry in the mirror. But HUGE improvement!

I finished off the bag of recycling, and filled a box of donations. I also added to the stash of toiletries for the homeless shelter. That puts me at 101 bags/ boxes!!!! I’m buying myself a present. I cancelled cable a few months ago to save over $100 per month. I use my Amazon Prime membership to stream TV and movies on my laptop, but now I’m buying Amazon Fire TV, so I can stream directly to my TV. Yay!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I still haven’t found the camera upload cable that I’ve been using, but I found the original cord that came with the camera. The one I had been using is one I bought when I gave up on finding the original one, which turned up soon after I bought a replacement. If you can imagine this kind of confusion on a very grand scale, you can imagine my life. Anyway, here’s the “after” photo of the second cabinet in the Queen bath.

Cabinet, after.

Cabinet, after.

 

99

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I’m totally in a panic, as I tend to be anytime someone is coming to the house. I have an ant infestation (is that word too strong?) and an exterminator is coming this afternoon. Normally I’d have him come right after my BFF “T” has cleaned, but this guy is a natural exterminator from the southern part of the state, and he’s going to be in the city today. So, today it is.

I’ve set up my home life to have a two week supply of everything,,,dishes, underwear, etc…so I never have to do a lick of housework between “T”‘s visits. But I’m on the last week of a three week stretch this time, and I’m going to have to do two loads of dishes before the exterminator comes. My underwear situation is none of his business, but I don’t want him to see that I’ve been inadvertently feeding the ants by leaving dirty dishes lying about.

Until the whole ant infestation (can’t think of a softer word) came to a head, I was continuing cleaning the Queen bath. I finished the second cabinet, and started on the counter. The condition of the counter kind of made me glad to be distracted by ants.

Here’s the before picture of the second cabinet. I’d include the after photo, but I can’t find the download cable for the camera. My guess is it’s on that damn counter.

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I put over half the towels in the donation bag. They’re in great condition because I never get that far down in the pile. I consolidated the vitamins and found a spot for them in one of the newly cleaned drawers. There were a couple of boxes behind the trash can that were full of junk. Most of that went into the garbage.

I topped off the towel donation bag with some more clothes to get rid of, and filled a garbage bag. That puts me at 99 bags!

Stay tuned…