Countdown to SPRING (cleaning)

Yes, I WANT spring.  Desperately.  I am ready! (I will have the most fantastic garden this year, I just KNOW it. And I will love it and weed it and name it George, and by mid May, be over it) BUT.

There is that other part of spring, I’m not a fan of, and that is spring cleaning.  (actually, it is a known fact that I am not a fan of house cleaning on the whole, but that is another story altogether.) I’m sure I can find something to do that is more exciting. Absolutely anything.

“A place for everything and everything in its place” SOUNDS nice, but the practical application leaves much to be desired, as I like having my things out and around and available.  I do love pretty containers, but more often than not, I buy them for the wrong reasons, and they don’t get used the way they should. And, truth be told, while I probably have too much stuff, this house has too little storage. There isn’t even a coat closet, broom closet or mud room area!

My thought this year is to break down the house into manageable chunks, and assign tasks and days, and hopefully be finished by March 21. Then I can spend the vernal equinox trying to balance an egg on its tip in celebration!

photo1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I start on the 4th (I am away on the 1st and 2nd, the 3rd is my birthday and not particularly how I planned on celebrating….) AND I am of course, working 40 hours a week… lets see, thinking out loud here, can’t do it on Mondays, that’s Laylabug day…

Kitchen 4, 5, 6

  • clean out all drawers and cabinets
  • wash curtains, windows, floor
  • clean fan, cabinet doors
  • Refrigerator,-emptied, cleaned
  • stove, microwave

Dining room 7, 8, 9

  • clean out all drawers and cabinets
  • wash curtains, windows, door, floor
  • clean fan, all art

Living room   11, 12

  • Vacuum under/behind furniture
  • Remove rug, put liner down.
  • Vacuum couch, cushions/chair
  • wash curtains, windows, door
  • clean fan, all art
  • China Cabinet
  • Get rid of winter clothes/clutter at door

Den  13, 14

  • Vacuum under/behind furniture
  • Vacuum couch, cushions/chair
  • wash curtains, windows, door
  • clean fan, all art
  • all bookcases and side tables

Bath one 15

  • Under vanity
  • basic deep clean
  • Do linen closet as well

Bath two 16

Under vanity

  • basic deep clean
  • utility area

Bedroom one 18, 19

  • Vacuum under/behind furniture
  • wash curtains, windows
  • clean fan, all art
  • side tables, headboard
  • closet
  • change out clothes
  • dresser

Studio 19, 20, 21  Notice that it is conveniently at the end.

  • Vacuum under/behind furniture
  • wash curtains, windows
  • clean fan, all art
  • closet
  • scrapbook side
  • desk
  • fabric side
  • cutting tablepickerimage2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Anyone interested joining me? Keeping me honest?

 

 

Enough IS Enough

My Word of the year, 2014. 

ENOUGH!  (to see previous years …)

This one showed up a few weeks ago, driving to work.  A quilting group I am part of annually shares the words they want to use as a talisman for their art. And life, as the case may be. As it happens most years, the word of the year chooses me, and I am rarely in the mood for it, or willing to give it access to my entire year, but once rooted, it refuses to allow other words the opportunity to audition for such a lofty spot in my world! And this time, I feel like maybe it needs to be tattooed on my forehead.

Because, really, enough already!  (I feel somewhat successful in last years word, Choose. I did have the foot surgery, I do have a quilt going into MAQS this February…)

if-you-have-food-fridge

Where does the word ENOUGH fall in your life? As the parent hollering “ENOUGH” up the stairs at the children bickering? At the level of stupidity at work, does the word actually mean “Uncle”? I give up, I’ve had ENOUGH, I’m moving on?

Or is it more of a peaceful, comforting hug, reminding you that you have more than ENOUGH to make you happy, if only you allow it?

You know the future’s lookin’ brighter
Every mornin’ when I get up
Don’t be thinkin’ ’bout what’s not enough, now baby
Just be thinkin’ ’bout what we got

Oh-oh, rich man, poor man, now
Really don’t mean all that much
Mama’s always told you, girl
That money can’t buy you love
”  Eddie Money

(Yes, even songs on the radio jump on the “Word of the Year” Bandwagon. Eddie Money, Philosopher. Who knew?)

So, ENOUGH. I, of course, have ENOUGH.

  • ENOUGH food that deciding what to make for dinner is the dilemma.
  • ENOUGH food that I can’t recall the last time I went to bed hungry.
  • ENOUGH money that deciding what restaurant to have dinner at is a question we ask too often.
  • ENOUGH money that we have to decide where we want to go on vacation each year, rather than having to decide which bill we don’t pay this month.
  • ENOUGH heat in our home that I sleep warmly that well, scratch that, I think I could always use another quilt or two on the bed! But I have them to use!
  • ENOUGH clothing that I don’t have to do laundry every third day. (Actually, so much clothing that the laundry seems to be full every third day!)
  • ENOUGH books (blasphemy!) that I could never be bored.
  • ENOUGH fabric to quilt every day of my life, and have to live to a ripe old age before running low. (Although, thread and batting might be needed.)
  • ENOUGH quilting patterns I shouldn’t ever have to duplicate a quilt.
  • ENOUGH creativity to ditch the majority of the patterns I do have, except for inspiration.
  • ENOUGH beads to make jewelry for more people than I know.
  • ENOUGH  cats that Nope, never too many of those.
  • ENOUGH health that most days I get up headache free, and can throw my legs over the edge of the bed with only mild groaning, can do the things I want and need to do with only marginal complaint and pain. And I make it through my day without medication of the life-saving sort. Too many people don’t have that luxury.
  • ENOUGH support from the people around me, who love me as I am, unconditionally, that I can soar!
  • ENOUGH friends and family that my Christmas tree looks dwarfed by presents.20131218-IMG_7550
  • ENOUGH hours in the day to Ok, so this word isn’t all-inclusive, and has limits. But, that sounds like LIFE.
  • ENOUGH love that I feel rich, indeed.

What do do with this word:

Therein lies the issue.  I can easily cut in half the number of clothes I buy. That frees up money spent at thrift stores, and time looking around them. I could easily lighten the load on the closet and the dresser and still have ENOUGH to be suitably attired for whatever comes along.  I can stay out of the quilt shops, and really only buy what is essential to finishing, not something because I must have this fabric. (Don’t fear, Joyce! You KNOW I will be buying!) Don’t see this as a resolution, by the way. I like pretty things!

I think this word is more of the emotional variety.

  • Glass half full and all that.
  • See the positive.
  • Look for the good parts of not continuing to acquire; indeed, looking at what can be removed from life, without creating a sense of denial or punishment.
  • A lot of that is about creativity and about being happy in your own skin and happy in the place you find yourself. 
  • Looking at everything you need to say no to, and realizing all the things you get to say yes to that so many other people couldn’t imagine!
  • Lighting the candle or cursing the darkness.
  • Being upset it isn’t Paris or excited that it is a vacation! 

So, soon will begin the declutter. Again. This time, it needs to be not only of things, but of thoughts. Knowing it’s a WONDERFUL life, just the way it is.  That, indeed, is ENOUGH.

I Wish You Enough– “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

(click the link to get the entire story that makes the email rounds)

WHY enough is enough-A woman I used to know as a child wrote this; it doesn’t HAVE to pertain only to Christmas!

A picture is worth a thousand words….

…Except when it isn’t. When you can’t put your hands on a photo when you need it, does it exist? (If a tree falls in the forest….?)

I am many things—(Mom, wife, Gigi, quilter, genealogist, photographer),— as well as a picture framer. The genealogist in me gets crazy when old photos are not preserved, when names and dates are not recorded or when people don’t respect the treasure trove of history they possess. There is hardly anything sadder than wandering through an antique store, and coming upon boxes of old studio portraits, being sold for a buck or two.(That could easily translate to old quilts made by long ago family members that end up under cars, under dogs or in the Goodwill bins, I suppose.)

The first photograph was taken, with an eight HOUR exposure, in 1824. We’ve come a long way, baby. Now we take photos with our telephones—an object that didn’t even exist for at least a quarter century beyond the first photo. (or longer, if you believe Bell invented the phone, not Meucci)2010-MAY genealogy-10

What is the value of this graven image? It is to record history, a moment in time, to hold onto a moment, to jog ones memory, to remind, to reminisce….

I have lamented before that I feel that this generation is going to be the most photographed ever and yet possibly, the most ephemeral.  The generations to come will realize our folly and fix it, but this current moment….We take photos with phones, and upload to Facebook. We don’t print. We don’t have high quality images. We have the ability to shoot at 18+ MP yet are recording life at way less than 1 MP. We neglect to upload from our pocket digi until the card is full, and if we are shooting at low res, because we don’t see the value in high-res…well the camera could be stolen or the memory card could fail before we upload the 679 photos that we’ve shot over the course of the life of the camera. (How many cries of “OMG, I lost my phone, my computer crashed “do you have to hear before you realize it could happen to YOU, too??)

We record every bitty thing that happens, but yet. (and yes, it IS on FB….what of it? How do we know we will ALWAYS have access to it? We don’t know. “THEY” can tell us what they like, but….THEY can change the rules, too.)

About a week and a half ago, another woman came into the store, needing to frame an enlargement for a memorial service the next day. The problem?

The woman said the only photo she had of her lovely granddaughter was of her pressed closely into the arms of a second person. And it was a photo from a phone. By the time she had the image cropped to just her, and enlarged to a size large enough to sit by the coffin in at the church, well…. It’s just damned depressing! Why? A beautiful 20-something woman, and her grandmother doesn’t even have a good photo of her.

What is that false vanity that causes current obituaries of 98 year-olds to have a photo taken in 1967 run beside the article, looking as they did—once upon a time, but not in the way that anyone who spent time with them in the last half century might remember…

The number of photos that are brought to me of Grandpa, or Uncle Bill, that are no more than badly lit snapshots– taken with a glass in hand, three empty cans and an empty dessert plate on the side table under that horrid lamp– that are fuzzy, out of focus, poorly lit, and faded–originally a 126 negative (long trashed) and really shouldn’t have survived past the first culling of out of focus shots….now represent the last and final memory we have? That is what becomes the 16×20 graveside image for all the mourners?

There was a blog posted the other day that spoke of taking photos now, not waiting till you are the right weight, etc…and a comment, that the photos of one person’s mom are mostly chemo and post-chemo photos, because the idea of mortality seemed to have reached over the ledge of vanity….

Are there photos of you? Nice enough ones. Not photos where someone snuck up and stole a shot of you before you could put your arms up. Not photos where you feel you look the best you will ever look, because that photo isn’t going to happen, ever, because you know one day you will feel more worthy of being on that side of the camera, but not today. Do you have hands-on access to photos—actual printed copies—of the people in your family?

Can you think of, and find, the most recent photo of you that you LIKE? Is it over a year old? Then you better do something about it.

2012-11-NOV 19-116My current favorite photo of ME.

If you were packing to escape the potential ravages of Sandy right now…. could you lay hands on the photos that mean something? And are there copies on line somewhere? Because it is a blend of both real and digital that creates our world. Digital, cloud-based is all fine and dandy…as long as it isn’t corrupted, and hard copies of photos are great as long as they aren’t burned or flooded…

There was a time, yes. The one existing photo of your great grandmother was standing on the front porch, baby in arms, squinting into the sun so the photo could be taken. Or this, of my Great Grandparents posed precariously in the porch door, at the edge of stairs so they could have a lovely photo. (And aren’t they cute?)

MMFrank

There was a time where photos were not part of every participant with a phone. But that time isn’t today. Do your loved ones a favor and get on the other side of the camera on occasion. And hit up CVS and print some photos for Grandma’s Brag Book while you are at it.

(Here are a few of my older blog posts about how you can organize your photos, places to save them on-line, etc. )

https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=PMfvFGKyQzxgg –ONLINE, UNLIMITED STORAGE, plus the ability to order PRINTS of all your images! This is where I have all my photos; my photo web-page rteest42.com is powered by Smugmug!

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2011/01/04/joseph-kevin-casey/#comments

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2010/01/31/one-month-in/

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2010/02/14/sitting-in-front-of-the-tv/

http://aliaslaceygreen.com/2010/03/28/cyber-flinging/

December 17, 2012 Christmas Photo a Day

IMG_2741

What is your favorite holiday show?

(badge from here, Sam from….Someone’s imagination!)

What is it about January?

All gung-ho at the end of December, raring to go, resolutions in hand, and then…

A month, one 12th of the year, is almost gone, and yet…

….

That  …. pretty much sums up January, and I don’t quite know WHY.

MOTION is my word of the year, and I HAVE gotten out and walked (after forcing myself out of bed in the mornings; the direct result of staying up too late re-reading the Outlander series )  ….the running part of motion seems to be eliminated because my knees protested too much, but I am going to need to do a LOT more walking to be ready for the 10K….

I DID make it to both quilt meetings I had on my calendar,  but I DIDN’T remember to get any art into the PRAC show…

I HAVE sorted through 2300 digi images of the Year on the Appomattox and culled to 1300…

And so far, for my organization and decluttering project, I have cleaned out ONE closet. 

Can’t even blame it on the weather, because we are on day 6 in a row of over 60 degrees, we *may* have seen 20 minutes of sleet one night….

I have to get my arse in gear, don’t I? 

So, I’ve joined the CEO challenge at Quilting Adventures.

Sometime in the next 6 months, THESE six quilts are to be finished.

DSCF1033The Highwayman

DSCF1035Batik Cats

DSCF1036a VERY bad shot of Dresden plates

DSCF1037Chinese Coin

DSCF1038Wild Goose Chase

DSCF1039Autumn Leaves

This will dent my quilt pile of UFO’s not the slightest, sad to say.  And the desire to work on these will more than likely be overtaken by new projects, and other things as well….

But, little steps. Something has to get me out of the January doldrums!

Mountains O’things

It has been a very very long time since I have posted anything about 27-thing flinging, organizing or de- cluttering. Does it mean I fell off the wagon? Got lost under my mountains o’things? Not really. Just life and all that….

I probably stopped some time around Thanksgiving, because I took up the blog with Christmas Photo-A-Day posts, and right after the first of the year, my dad died. I’ve moved on to a Photo A Day on my other blog.

But spring is in the air (well, down here it is, at least for today!!) and I think it may be time to revisit some of the the ideas of decluttering, getting ready for spring cleaning! (oh, YIPEE!)

The major concept was to daily locate 27 things that could be removed from your household (living creatures do NOT count). Some of these things may be donated, some things may have always been trash but never made it to the garbage and some things may end up being given to someone else who can utilize them.

In order to make this a bit more ‘organized’ rather than random tossing, I had made a list of areas. This link takes you to the initial post last year.

This is the breakdown of categories I had come up with, and I have added to it how far along I feel I have gotten.

  1. Clothes-closet and drawers. This was done, and I ‘thought’ I had been successful. Sadly, Goodwill is my downfall. My new work around with this has been to force myself to wear something in the closet, and after I get it on, decide WHY I haven’t worn it lately, or get rid of it. My work clothes are starting to outgrow the location I had assigned them, so I am not putting clean clothes away, but emptying out the drawers, item by item, and WEARING IT. If it is tight, cut oddly, stained, ripped, frayed, torn, or collects cat hair more than other things, it is gone.
  2. Clothes-undergarment/socks. This is completed. Getting socks to not be eaten by the washer or dryer is another issue altogether.
  3. Toiletries/makeup. This area could certainly benefit from an expiration date check-up.
  4. Spices. Under control. Can’t change the size of the location they live, so I do have to remember to replace items as I go with smaller containers of spices.
  5. Kitchen utensils. Another section I feel has stayed under control.
  6. Dishware/cookware. Requires only a bit of tweaking as to what goes where. (getting dishes washed and put away? NOT part of this conversation.)
  7. Under the sink. I need to identify duplicates and get them used up, and really, could use another shelf of some sort under there.
  8. Refrigerator/freezer. It never hurts to go through this and toss anything hidden that has died!
  9. File cabinets Thirty minutes of my life would get this back to 100%.
  10. Knick knacks/home décor. The day to day stuff is in good shape. I LIKE it, and want to keep it near me.
  11. Linen closet. Our linen closet is too small for ANYTHING to fit in there, so I really need empty, disperse to other homes and totally declutter.
  12. Cat toys/supplies All beheaded and gutted stuffies are tossed upon witnessing their demise. Otherwise, contained and under control.Cat face
  13. Shoes Considering I don’t buy a lot of shoes because my feet are so bad, it is quite bizarre how many pairs are littered about throughout the house. If there was a place for the laundry basket to live other than in front of the closet door, I wonder if more would find a home in there? Probably can toss a few more pair.Disappointed smile
  14. Jewelry box/hair do-dads. Taken care of.
  15. Quilt fabrics IMPOSSIBLE!!! I DID the impossible. I folded all my fabrics and stored it in bins on the shelves in the studio. While doing that, I was able to purge a small amount and gave them to a single mother I know who is learning to quilt. ALL my fabric is in a container, most of the containers are in one location. (all in the studio)
  16. Quilt books HARD!!! But done. See Above. Of course I needed the space for the new ones. Quilt show is next week.Angel
  17. Quilt patterns HARD!!!  Ditto.
  18. Art supplies HARD!!! Haven’t even made an attempt.
  19. Paintbrushes/paints HARD!!!! See above.
  20. Glues and adhesives HARD!!!! See above.
  21. Papercrafting/scrapbooking HARD!!! (Ahem, cough cough) Ditto.
  22. Jewelry making HARD!!! You must be kidding! It is however CONTAINED. It all stays in one location, in containers designed to hold it, and seriously needs some editing.
  23. Magazines HARD!!! Done.
  24. CD’s HARD!!! Done. All 4500+ songs are on my iTunes/iPod. I bought two large CD books, tossed all the jewel cases, sleeved everything. Saved one shoebox full of interesting liner notes and the Christmas CD’s were not part of this. If I go into Goodwill one more time, I will need another book.Surprised smile
  25. Books HARD!!!! But, done. To Be Read (TBR)  are all in the bedroom on the headboard shelf. Keepers that have been read are on all the other bookshelves. Buying a Nook certainly has made this a doable goal. I didn’t get rid of any reference books.School
  26. Kitchen cabinets/pantry. Is this ever done?
  27. Photographs HARD!!! Digitally, I am half way there. Hard copies? HAH!Nyah-Nyah

Areas of interest not in my 27.

The den. That is Timmy’s domain. When we had the carpet installed the room was emptied, and he did his own version of de-cluttering while putting everything back.

The Attic. I have this small window of time that I can comfortably get up there and work. The location stinks. There isn’t enough room to stand up straight, the floor isn’t solid. And a lot of stuff got shoved up there during the carpet. But I was very careful sending things back up after Christmas, so I feel confident that Christmas can be moved to one side.

The Garage and Shed. Timmy’s domain, and he is interested in getting a shed that will pass inspection and then he can clean out the garage. ( He has this idea of putting a CAR in there? Anyone heard of such a novel use for a garage??)

How about a SUCCESS photo??

THE GUEST ROOM!

2011 2 15IMG_5982

New carpet, new bed. The bed has three full depth drawers under it. The wicker box under the window holds a lot of linens (see linen closet, above)

The bookshelves have ALL my genealogical stuff and old family letters and photos. The basket in front is temporary because I have an art show that I am getting photos ready for. (and the closet is de-cluttered, too)

I had a cancellation for next weekend. I’ll leave the light on!

OK, so I’ve fessed up. How are YOU doing??

Edit Attaching this link to a very interesting article…

Progress…

I would simply put photos, but then you might not realize exactly how much work I have done so far!!!! So, here I go, baring my soul….Hopefully when I finish I will remember to use my ‘real’ camera, so I can say I am a photographer!! Ugh, don’t judge my photo skills on THIS blog!!!)

 

This is the desk area, before. I am calling everything else DURING, because it is a process. The During photo shows I have cleaned off all surfaces. I am going to have to go back later and tackle each of the containers on the shelves and decide if it’s kept or flung. (The craft materials in question are scrapbooking, rubberstamps, some stencil paints, mixed media stuffs…. during shelfbefore shelf)

 

 

 

 

 

The Computer area (from whence all these posts are formed…) I should have made this before  a vertical shot. Oh, well. The During shows that I cleaned out the boxes that were under my feet;  almost everything there was flung. A good deal on the top shelf was flung as well.  (I went WAY over my 27 things this time!!!

before desk

during desk

The Cutting Table area, before. Tatiana mostly lives under this table, it is the only safe place in the house from the boys. The tower unit next to it houses my jewelry making supplies, and precut fabric squares in different sizes, and pre-gathered quilt fabric collections and WIPs. I have eliminated a number of containers in the During, and made the top of the cutting table far more comfortable for a cat or two to decide to nap on. (I will need to remember not to leaves projects out. )before cuttingduring cutting  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fabric area, before. I can actually iron on this board, although I need to step around the litter box. (see above….) The bins are pretty much the ones that will be staying on the shelves, but they need a serious flinging and sorting and folding of fabrics!! The During mostly shows a cleared out area. I have removed about 4 large bags of craft materials so far, and a good number of small totes.

before ironduring iron

The next step. This is where I need to be careful, and not overshoot my limitations. Opening each container, deciding if I am keeping the fabric, trimming off the really rough parts, refolding it and making it go back into color sorted containers.  I did two containers today. I KNOW that I could do more, but I also know that I will start envisioning quilts, and will start deciding to move fabrics around and I will end up a few hours later with many many piles of unfolded fabrics…

Here is one (not terribly awful) box of fabric, before. It was well sorted by color already. I measured the size of the majority of containers and cut a cardboard that is smaller by a bit. I am going to open each fabric and refold it around this board. I am not worried about it being a perfect fit, because each box has a bit of give. I will then slide the cardboard out (for a few reasons—1, cardboard is acidic, 2- that is a LOT of cardboard to cut, and 3—it will take up a lot of space in these totes otherwise.) I have a lot of small pieces of fabric, I rarely purchase over a yard or two….

 beforeduring

fab fold

finished

One completed tote. (Eleventy-billion to go.)

 

 

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHER-LIKE PEOPLE IN MY WORLD!!

(HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM AND TO JOE ON WEDNESAY!)