Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Been Panda-monium!

Regular blogging returns this week!

What no rejoicing?

I only hear cyber crickets...sadness.

I hope my lack of substantial posting has not scared regular readers away for ever. August was a crazy month, mostly good crazy but at times tear-producing-overwhelming crazy and thankfully almost almost over. I had hoped that life will be back to normal with the end of summer. But after talking with my mom on Friday I am not so sure. The conversation went something like this:
Mum: "So Dad goes back to work on Monday and Lee-Ann starts school soon and things are getting back to normal."
Me: "It will be good to have normal again. Backyard clubs and preaching is done so I think things will calm down a little before the church goes back to two services and I start planning trunk or treat."
Mum: "Liz, you don't have normal. You just always have things happening. It's a flurry of one thing after another. You are just energy."
Me: "Hm...there is always something going on. But I am sure I'll have two weeks that look the same this fall. It could happen."
Mum: "Do you even know what normal is?"
Probably not. I like that every week is a new challenge and adventure. I don't think anyone handles the same thing week after week. It's why God gave us the four seasons order in change. I have the "always changing" part down...I need to work on the "order" part. Thankfully the FlyLady's baby steps is helping me to develop healthy habits and routines...which makes me happy and almost have a normal schedule.

Speaking of schedules, I think I'm going to start three blog series on books I'm reading. The first will be Discovering Orange, it will be my thoughts on Reggie Joiner's book Think Orange and the compainon workbook. The second will be Discussions on Dawkins & Delusion, which will be inspired by an on going conversation I am having with my favourite Atheist on the God Delusion. The third series doesn't have a name but it is inspired by the book Primal by Mark Batterson (author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day). These are loose ideas but they are more likely to happen if I let you few remaining readers know. Tomorrow I'm going to be sharing the highlights and thoughts about backyard clubs.

It feels good to be blogging again!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 72

FOR TODAY: August 28, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...fog.

I am thinking...this day feels weird.

I am thankful for...late night talks that clear my head.

From the kitchen...I've eaten many blueberries.

I am wearing...coral flower printed dress.

I am creating...a baby blanket, a minion, and a number of other knit projects.

I am the drive in tonight.

I am reading...Sophie's World, Primal, Think Orange and Erasing Hell.

I am switch my bedroom and office today.

I am hearing...the fan.

Around the house...slow at restarting this week but slow is better than nothing.

One of my favorite things...local music.

A picture to share...

Donna and "Mike" at Open Mike and Donna
I was standing in as Mike for the night.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 71

FOR TODAY: August 21, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...grey skies.

I am thinking...everything will work out.

I am thankful for...sleep.

From the kitchen...I've eaten many blueberries.

I am pants, white tank, and pnada.

I am creating...a powerpoint slide show.

I am the drive in...while still deciding.

I am reading...Sophie's World and Love Wins.

I am hoping...for a great "Panda Sunday".

I am hearing...morning before church starts noises.

Around the house...everything has been on hold till after backyard clubs end (last one was finished Friday) decluttering and FLYlady resume tomorrow!

One of my favorite things...meeting new people.

A picture to share...

From PandaMania Backyard Club

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 70

FOR TODAY: August 14, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...blinds are closed so we can watch Bednobs and Broomsticks followed by the second half of Alice and Wonderland (1985).

I am security (the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation) and the opening articles in the “Less is More” cookbook that I was reading this afternoon.

I am thankful for...the opportunity preach this morning.

From the kitchen...made yummy dill carrots.

I am wearing...jeans, white tank, and black blouse.

I am creating...a ceramic coaster set and a number knit projects.

I am enjoy movies then home to sleep.

I am reading...Think Orange and Flatland.

I am hoping...for another great backyard club this week.

I am hearing...Alice talk to the Red Queen

Around the house...change is happening slowly but steadly and I will have access to a shed for storage soon. Happy Dance!

One of my favorite things...painting.

A picture to share...

PandaMania Registration

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Simple Woman Daybook 69

FOR TODAY: August 7, 2011
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...sunshine.

I am thinking...running through my to do list.

I am thankful for...friends.

From the kitchen...had veggie suppers at home everyday this past week expect last night which was a life group potluck night.

I am wearing...cute black wedge heels, coral and red flower dress, and coral sweater.

I am creating...a Despicable Me minion, a "Police Line Do Not Cross" scarf, a baby blanket, and a few minor projects.

I am enjoy the day.

I am reading...Sophie's World, The God Delusion, Stardust, Flatland, Love Wins, and Erasing God.

I am hoping...for sunshine this week.

I am hearing...early morning noises.

Around the house...FlyLady is helping, I'm on Day 8.

One of my favorite tubs!

A picture to, computer lives but I still need to upload pictures, sorry.

Friday, August 05, 2011

August 5's Friday Five + 5

The Friday5 - Life Long Learning:
  1. What’s something you recently learned how to do on a computer?
  2. Add bookmarked tabs to the toolbar.
  3. What’s something you recently learned in the kitchen?
  4. There is less post cooking mess if I start the meal with the sink filled with soapy water.
  5. What’s something you recently learned about the town where you live?
  6. The Wednesday Farmer's Market has a community dinner.
  7. What’s something you recently learned from television?
  8., no idea. I want to see Cowboys and Aliens?
  9. What’s something you recently learned the hard way?
  10. Procrastination is stressful

The Friday Five - School Days:
  1. Bully, teacher's pet, geek, shy kid in the corner, or something else?
  2. From year to year I think I fell into all of the categories at least once. I also got "church-girl" "goody-goody" "art freak" and "lesbian" (last one happened when "the mean girl" thought her boyfriend had a crush on me...she made everyday miserable for me the rest of the year)
  3. What did/do you usually eat during lunch time at school?
  4. Chocolate milk and a slice of pizza
  5. What did/do you normally wear to school?
  6. Jeans and a t-shirt
  7. Thinking back to what you wore(if you've already graduated), do you like it?
  8. I don't remember
  9. Any sports/activities/clubs you participated in?
  10. Everything I could: student Council, rugby, drama, band, volleyball (only gr.9), Christian fellowship, and track.
  11. Any worthwhile friends you still keep up with after graduation?
  12. All my friends were worthwhile but none that I stayed connected with beyond reading facebook status' and wishing happy birthday. My family moved away the summer I graduated. Without visits "home" to catch up with friends we all just drifted.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thankful Thursday -FlyLady

How do you eat a whole elephant? (Personally, I think the question should be, "why would anyone want to eat a whole elephant?" but that is neither here nor there.) The answer is "one bit at a time." The the task of decluttering is the elephant I must eat.

Over the five years I have lived there stuff, things, and boxes filled with stuff and things have piled up in every corner. The mess, clutter, and lack of organization drives me crazy. I am miserable at home and avoid my place as much as possible. I have been overwhelmed and discouraged for awhile.The mess paralyzes me to the point that any time I try to "make a change" I don't know where or how to begin and I feel defeated before I start.
In the past I have done a massive crisis clean when things got "really bad" or company was coming. Only I didn't have good habits to maintain the clean space for more than a few days. (It just dawned on me, my cleaning/decluttering "style" is "yo-yo dieting" cycle only for the house.) Even "30-Day" challenges which I normally enjoy don't help. I was lamenting last week to my walking partner about how hopeless I felt and she suggested this week's "person".

I am thankful for...The FlyLady

I realize it has only been five days. The potential is there for me to still give up but I don't think I will. I feel and am even think differently about the beginner's 31-baby steps. The daily tasks are manageable and builds on the day before. I am loving the confidence it is building in me to keep at it. These are the specific things I appreciate the FlyLady's site/method:
  • This is more that just a 31-day challenge. Clean, organized homes don't happen overnight (and if they do they don't stay that way long) when I am done the baby steps there are more ways to continue from daily emails, challenges, weekly zones, and special missions.
  • Creating habits and routines that will allow for a fuller life is the focus not just "decluttering"
  • All the tasks and emails are full of encouragement and positive reminders the two that I find most helpful are 1) this doesn't need to be perfect it just needs to be done and 2) I am not behind I don't have to stress to "catch up"
A visitor will still see my place as a chaotic mess. Boxes and stuff is still everywhere. Nothing appears to have "happened" (except the shining kitchen sink) but I can see the change. I see the new routines forming. I have hope. Little by little I am (and will continue to) gain control of the clutter and love my place. Someday, and someday soon, I will be able to invite friends over for tea and that is why I am thankful for the FlyLady!

If you are interested in joining me, it's not too late, you are not behind. Just start today with the first step. This is where I am at:

Day 1: success with shinning sink (plus extra clean kitchen floor)
Day 2: sucess with being ready to face the day from head to two (it really does affect how i carry myself throughout the day) + sink was shined again
Day 3: success at keeping on doing what I had started...and the sink shone not just because I hadn't used it dishes were washed then it was re-shined
Day 4: success with make reminders. I didn't use post-it notes because they don't stay on the walls but I had made a chart that is keeping me focused
Day 5: going home do finish now!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tales of Woe and Victory

I am enjoying Three days in and I feel like I can actually overcome the apartment clutter and form new habits to prevent it's return. Does anyone else want to join me? Here are the lows and highs so far:

A Tale Of Woe:
The plan Friday was to leave for Best Friend's house around 7. She lives three hours away and I didn't want to show up too late. I was going be rushed if I wanted to leave on time. I debated pushing back the Beginner BabySteps till Monday when I would be less stressed. I decided it would be dangerous to wait; if I put off the first task (making my sink shine) I might never start.

I filled the sink so it could soak while finished laundry and packing. I thought I was doing so well till I returned to the kitchen to pull the plug...and discovered a waterfall cascading from the sink across the counter over the side quickly adding to the inch deep lake already spreading across the floor. Turns out I hadn't turned the water off like I had thought.

On a day already too full I flooded the kitchen. It was so very frustrating. Even with mops and towels it felt hopeless. The clean up set my trip back almost an hour and to add to the messy stress...the water damaged all my pretty cook books. Emotionally exhausted I called a friend to vent and the sage wisdom I was comforted with was "don't cry over spilt milk" and "at least water won't stink as much sour milk." Frustrating night but my sink was very sparkly day one's challenge completed with the added bonus of an equally clean floor.

A Tales of Joy:
Seeing Best Friend and U2 made up for the kitchen stress. I also took a break on Saturday and Sunday from the FlyLady challenges since I was away. It was a good whirlwind weekend. I also wasn't derailed from the BabySteps. It is day 3 of the Baby Steps and I still on track! Today's challenge was "do what you have already done" DONE!

That's right the past three days my sink has been sparkling clean (and not because I haven't used it but because I cleaned it before bed). And the past two days I've took the time to get dressed and really "lace up". New habits are forming. I have hope. I am looking forward to tomorrow's task. Anyone else want to join me on the clean house project?

A Tale of Woe:
While I was away my computer died. It won't turn on. I am ready to have the elders of the church come lay hands on it and pray for healing. And to end:

A Tale of Confusion:
Oh, I can be silly. I was confused this morning by a facebook message saying "bring your swimsuit if you like hot tubs" I was totally missing the context and sent back a "?". Turns out my Life Group was having a potluck AND I had already confirmed two weeks ago. Potluck? REALLY?

I vaguely recalled making plans in July but didn't remember the date. And in July it felt like August was months. The new plans threw me for a bit. I thought I had a free night and had wanted to visit knitting group for the first time and then stop in at my friends open mic. But potlucks and time with friends is important. So I reworked my plans and asked when to show up -around 5pm was the answer.

I left the office just after 5. Was very proud of myself for not getting lost on my way to their place. Showed up...and learned the gathering is Saturday. Oh how silly am I; I make myself giggle. Now I have plans Saturday AND I was able to visit the knitting group and hear local music. It was a good night.