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2011. WORD.

It’s January 1st, 2011.

It’s all about the resolutions:Winking smile Out with the old, in with the new; motivate, change, organize, fresh starts. Uh huh. Sure. It’s Saturday, and it’s January, and I have to go to work. (But, I do not need to unbury the car first.)

It may be more about the fact that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, you will wake up like yesterday. There isn’t an on/off switch to change; the cats roam around the house, unaware of the portent of the calendar switch. Things usually don’t just change overnight. (Most change of the day/night variety is usually of the catastrophic kind anyway, and that seems a silly way to want to start a year.)

For the last few years, I have had a word of the year—does it get used enough? Do I live by it? Heck, do “I” even choose it? Could I, in mid-October, even tell you the word?  I am a member of an art quilt group; for the last week, it’s been all about the new word. And meanings attached—their own personal definition of the word, for their purposes—for the year.

I was reading their words, contemplating what would my word be. (Past words: Insight, Inclusive, Deliberate, Balance)

I loved some of their words. I thought of borrowing them, and giving them my own spin; heck, even swiping their own interpretations. However, another word forced itself into my consciousness. I can’t see how it is a word I can spend a year with, but on the other hand, I have spent my life with it.

No other word seems to be forthcoming, now that this word has settled: Weather.

  • Whether the weather be mild or whether the weather be not,
    Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot,
    We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather,
    Whether we like it or not.
    Aleksandra Lachut
  • Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of mercury in a barometer, indicate little else than the variability of the weather. David Hare
  • A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves. Marcel Proust
  • SunA friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from drying out completely.
    Pam Brown
  • Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. Rabindranath Tagore
  • Walking through puddles is my favorite metaphor for life. Jessi Lane Adams
  • The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?  J.B. Priestley
  • To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.  George Santayana
  • UmbrellaWeather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.  Terri Guillemets
  • Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Charles Dudley Warner
  • I get cold really quickly, but I don’t care. I like weather. I never understand why people move someplace so that they can avoid weather. Holly Hunter
  • I inherited that calm from my father, who was a farmer. You sow, you wait for good or bad weather, you harvest, but working is something you always need to do. Miguel Indurain
  • Storm cloudIf you send up a weather vane or put your thumb up in the air every time you want to do something different, to find out what people are going to think about it, you’re going to limit yourself. That’s a very strange way to live.  Jessye Norman
  • It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.  Amelia Barr
  • The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched. Henry David Thoreau
  • RainbowAnd when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. G.K. Chesterton
  • Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.  John Ruskin
  • LightningNature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.  Annie Leibovitz
  • I am a contradictory mess but I see it as my prerogative to change my mood like the weather.  Shirley Manson

How does this word become a theme for a year? Does it mean my photos, my quilting, will be more nature oriented? Or that simply I am to plod on, whenever I hit a bump in the road? Or is the word meant to be “Whether“?   Hmmmm…

In other news, resolutions:

Dad has the best of them, (stay out of the hospital, prepare for Christmas 2011) but mine are …

  • Focus on Friday—A photo a week, up on my photo blog, for conversation, critique and what-have-you.
  • Revisiting the 27-Thing Fling, the big de-cluttering attempt of 2010. I know some of you joined me. How did it go? Did you finish, stick with it?
  • Work on getting my photography out there! You can help—send people to my site, become a fan on facebook….
  • Finish some of those quilt projects I swore I would finish in 2010….

Yeah, that’s about it. Resolutions are tricky things, if you are not with them, you are against them….

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  MAY 2011 BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE!

27-thing Fling. Super-size me!

Happy New Year!!!!

Have you ever heard of the 27-Thing Fling? It’s like a low impact de-cluttering project.

In my version, you make it a part of your day, or make it a concentrated effort, to eliminate 27 things each day…(or period of time you allot, or each time you decide to conquer clutter…)

Fly Lady came up with the name, but she has all these rules, lol, like getting dressed every day, first thing, and keeping your shoes on in the house and -–and, well, it just isn’t happening….

However, with the new year here, and the piles growing again, and the desire to accomplish something, my brain started wandering….(I am far better at brain wandering than say, cleaning…)

What if I were to try to find 27 categories for potential flinging, instead of simply flinging 27 things a day? And here you have the number one reason WHY I can’t accomplish things:

Here is a proven method, and I MUST complicate it. (Like the time I decided I would design my own cross-stitch pattern. On 18-count Aida cloth. Never mind the fact I had never completed a counted cross-stitch in my life, I was making one from scratch. It’s not finished, in case you were curious.)

Anyway, these are the categories I came up with.  All categories subject to change. I will post details on them a few at a time.

Clothes-closet and drawers

Clothes-undergarment/socks

Toiletries/makeup

Spices

Kitchen utensils

Dishware/cookware

Under the sink

Refrigerator/freezer

File cabinets

Knick knacks/home decor

Linen closet

Cat toys/supplies

Shoes

Jewelry box/hair do-dads

Quilt fabrics IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Quilt books HARD!!!

Quilt patterns HARD!!!

Art supplies HARD!!!

Paintbrushes/paints HARD!!!!

Glues and adhesives HARD!!!!

Papercrafting/scrapbooking HARD!!!

Jewelry making HARD!!!

Magazines HARD!!!

CD’s HARD!!!

Books HARD!!!!

Kitchen cabinets/pantry

Photographs HARD!!!

But I Work, you say. Yes, I do, too. 40 hours, quick commute. No kids at home, but still there isn’t time in a day, is there? There really aren’t any hard and fast rules to this. 27 is just a number. It’s the ‘Thing/Fling’ that rhymes! Remember these things:

  • You do not need to sign up, or even let me know you are flinging, but it would be nice to know I am not alone. If something is working for you, do share!
  • I am NOT coming to check up on anyone… (unless you live somewhere warm, with beaches, and send me a plane ticket).
  • No one is going to check your piles/bags to see if you cheated. If you really can’t find a 27th thing to throw out one day, dry your hands with a paper towel and fling that!
  • I don’t need to see photos of piles. (I’ll show you mine if you show me yours??? Well, maybe I will post some….) There are no rules, there is no prize, there is no timeline. You can make up your own categories that suit your needs.
  • There is no deadline. You don’t need to do them in order. You can even keep going after you hit 27 at one time…(54, 81)
  • Motivation by accountably? Telling the world I am doing this makes it real. So are you telling, too?
  • This task is not supposed to supplant general housekeeping. Don’t get so overly motivated by the counting or the flinging that dinner is forgotten, or laundry ignored, etc…
  • Try to do one category a day(or one round of 27 on a big category) Or one each day off. Or every Tuesday. Some areas may be quick. Some torturous.
  • Hint: Do not clean (which in my world would be using a sponge, vacuum, spray bottle, etc) while you are in the middle of counting to 27! The cleaning thing is a whole different ballgame. You figure out when to fit that in, but don’t let it break your stride. Part of why the clutter built up in the first place is probably because you got sidetracked anyway.
  • Even those whose houses are clean, organized and ‘clutter-free’ tend to be able to throw away another 27 things…(Which EXPLAINS how it is their house is clean and clutter-free to begin with!!)
  • How you dispose of these things is up to you. Many things–empty envelopes with someone’s old phone number shoved in a coat pocket count for an item, by the way– are obviously trash. If you do yard sales, if you KNOW cousin Sally would want to own it, or Ebay, Etsy, Craigslist, Freecycle; if you prefer, Goodwill. This is up to you. Just make it leave.
  • (Subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a thing…. look to the sidebar for two easy ways.)

Know this: This is a “Do as I SAY, not as I DO” kind of blog!  Look, I am not an organizer, I don’t play one on TV or on the internet. I am probably ADD. I am not the person to prove anything to, yet I am more than happy to encourage and tell you keep it up! You are taking advice from me?? It’s worth about this (.) much, ok?

The the longest journey begins with a single step… Put one foot in front of the other….(insert whatever motivational ditty works for ya, ‘k?)

I have commenced the flinging. You may begin when you are ready.

And again, Happy New YEAR!

May 2010 be the best one yet!

It’s a WRAP. Cut….

…fade into black (a starry night)….

Happy New Year!

2009. –Time really does go faster when you are having fun! And yet, some things seem a lifetime ago!

Over all, the year was a good one for me. I hope it was for you, too!

I actually accomplished some of my—well, I wouldn’t call them exactly resolutions—but some of the goals I had set for myself.

I have started to become a bit more serious about the photography; got my website up and running. (www.rteest42.smugmug.com)

I actually started, finished and entered a quilt into a challenge! (didn’t make it, but I entered!!)

I finished writing my fan fiction story, started in 2007; 178,000-ish words later, The Big Chill got its Happily Ever After.

We traveled, and I met new cousins and caught up with old friends…

(You will note the eat less chocolate/exercise more types of ‘resolutions’ are not featured here, nor will they be in the future, lol!!)

This new year, I would like to get back to writing, I would like to FINISH some of the over 35 quilt projects I have started, I would like to concentrate more on genealogy, and cataloging/scanning family photos. As well as take more photos, sell more photos, and organize the house, the studio specifically, and probably do some more cooking, and spend more time with friends and family and and and and….

None are really resolutions, because they only seem to put undue pressure on you, and untold, unnecessary guilt, when you are unable to hold to it…

And that seems a pretty negative way to start a new decade!

Balance. My word of the year…..

I hope that 2010 brings you only the best of everything!!!

(and I am headed to bed…work awaits at 7:30 am….)

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