Weekend Warrior # 16

weekend-warrior

Weekend Warrior

Here I am in the middle of another busy weekend!  I have been pushing hard at the Spring Cleaning project, as the deadline looms in the ever shrinking distance.  I am getting help around here this weekend, and it had been thoroughly appreciated.  Currently, it is too hot to do much puttering, so I am taking a few minutes to stop and write before I go back to work.

I have also been eating ribs all weekend long.  It is the annual Ribfest here this weekend, so I have sampled and eaten rib meals all weekend long.  I am ready for my last rib supper of the event tonight.  I have enjoyed the dinners, but it will be good to get back on plan tomorrow and start working on my healthy eating again.

I am planning to do some more work in the Master bedroom after I write this.  If I can cool down.  We are saving towards getting a heat pump installed here, and that will provide a more economical source for heating and air conditioning our home.  I look forward to that very much, especially on days like today.

I slowed down a little this past week, but this weekend has been the start of the crunch to get the Spring Cleaning done before crossing the finish line.  I am going to start in the bedroom while the sun is out.  It will be hard to not just flop on the bed and nap until it cools down.  I have a deadline, and I intend to keep it.

This means I will be working at this place constantly until I have finished.  I am going to have to putter all week long.  There is no Zumba for a few weeks, so my plan is to house clean instead, with music.  This will keep me moving, and get my project worked on at the same time.  It might not be the same intensity level, but moving any way at all has been my motto since I started Zumba.  I will continue.

It is a lot to accomplish in the time I have left, but if I keep at it, it will get better and over time become a list of completed tasks rather than an overwhelming list of things to do.

I am going to end here for this week.  It is so windy outside that I have experienced a couple of power brownouts while writing.  I hope the power stays on so I can continue bouncing the house.  It is much harder to stay motivated without music.

As the Spring Cleaning comes to an end, I am going to be changing the focus of these stories in July.  I will still be writing about my weekend activities, and maintenance cleaning routines as I develop them.  I am also going to start writing about the second half of this year’s project, writing my book.  The gears are going to shift here soon, and there will be lots to write about as I start a new adventure!

Weekend Warrior #5

weekend-warrior

Well, look at that.  I made it to another weekend.  It is unplanned, as of yet, and that could be dangerous.  In terms of making the most of my weekend off, that is.

Looking around, I can get overwhelmed at the amount of work I still need to do.  But just looking at it won’t fix that.

So I have to make a list.  It will be for both days, as I never seem to finish the list I make in one day, so I’ll be realistic.  Then  I will pick some small things to get me going.  It is motivating to cross things off of the list.

eggs and avs

Eggs and Avs (THM) A nice filling breakfast. I love poached eggs, but you can fry them if you prefer. I love this quick, healthy breakfast on weekends.

We do have to run errands today.  So I’ve filled the Overthinkin and Coffee Drinkin mug to sip my coffee while I Brunch and write.  Tomorrow I’ll need to prep cook, and my husband doesn’t know it yet, but there is a package of bacon for tomorrow’s breakfast.  He wouldn’t eat this with me, but he loves bacon and eggs.

I am still struggling with the cleaning challenge.  I feel like this weekend might be when I get back on track.  I set the goals at the start of the year, and I intend to keep them.  But where to begin?  I am overwhelmed by a number of things to do on an exponentially growing to do list and underwhelmed with the energy to attack it.  How do I fight my way to doing instead of dreading?

The lists and music are the answer.  Even if I take an hour to make the list, it is a start.  Do I write down everything, share it with my husband, and tackle it with him?  Will we bicker if we tackle the same thing together?  Sometimes that happens.  If we are both working in the kitchen, there is not a lot of space when we are doing the dishes.  My kitchen is deceptive.  It looks spacious but has very little cupboard space.  I have had to be creative in what I have and where I store things.  I have a bookcase, an open pantry, and a large standing shelf with a door on it.

My Open Shelf Pantry

This is the final result of the only thing I really accomplished in the first year I joined the Cleaning Challenge. I need to tidy it up this year, but for the most part, it is still in good shape, and just needs a good dusting job. It is my Open Shelf Pantry.

We have often talked about how to get more efficient storage in the kitchen.  We are planning to get some furniture “someday” at Ikea.  It will be mostly to set up the living room, but the kitchen will get a boost too.  It will happen, it is hard sometimes to make do and stay motivated, but it is what it is.

This afternoon we went to get our taxes finished up.  Done for another year.  We then made an afternoon trip of going to two local SPCA animal shelters.  We are starting to think about getting our first dog, and saw a lot of cats too.  We will get another cat too, someday, but we needed a break, after having been a cat only home for so long.

This evening we went to visit some friends.  It was nice to get out and socialize as a couple with another couple that we are friends with, but haven’t been to visit in quite some time.

Another productive day outside of the house.  I will have to work really hard tomorrow to catch up.  It can be done.  It will be done.  It has to.  I hope the energy is still with me tomorrow.  The house needs a bouncing!

 

Weekend Warrior #3

weekend-warrior

I have been a little lacking in the cleaning department in February. I have been planning but not doing.  This weekend will be different, and therefore today’s story will be short.

I added to the mess, last night.  My butt bumped a tray of beads.  So along with my list, I have to play a game with my broom called 5 million pick-up! Ugh.  At least I had the covers on the bead containers I had already finished sorting.  10 million pick-up would have been much worse!

I am going to work on my house this weekend.  In the words of a sport I do not understand enough to actually spend a lot of time watching, I plan to, “Hurry, hurry, hurry hard!” at it today.  I will be Bouncing the House today and tomorrow.

So a brief outline will involve the never ending dishes, prep cooking for the week, and laundry.  I am not good at the putting away part of cleaning.  If I manage to get this all done today, (or most of it) I will then tackle the bathrooms, which really need me to get to them THIS weekend.  I need to get the basic chores out of the way so I can get to the Spring Cleaning.  I need to get this done, it is holding me back from other goals for the year, the biggest one being writing a book.

I value the benefits of an organized house, so I am trying to better my environment with the challenges I have set out for myself.  It will also help me be more efficient in my daily life when all the cleaning is done.

There is so much to do, and my coffee is calling me.  I will report tomorrow.  Maybe I will be able to start sharing progress pics by then.  I plan to get a lot done today!

His and Hers Weekend Projects

We are both home this weekend.  He works one in three weekends, and this is his favourite, the three-day weekend.  He has been off since Friday.  I have every weekend off, and rarely go in for overtime on the weekend unless there is a need for extra cash or to make up for missed time.

I am on a mission this year to clean my house, so I can be guilt free when I settle in to write my book, and work on various craft projects.  So I am working on a cleaning challenge, and an organizing challenge.  I also have a plan for maintenance cleaning after the main cleaning is done.  They say it goes quicker every year, and this is the year I plan to finish it.

I am not a hoarder (except when it comes to craft supplies; I am dreading the necessary purge of them), and I know how to clean.  Laziness is my issue.  Combine that with a poor sense of time management and a healthy dose of procrastination, and you get the mess my house is in.  It is lived in, I can find what I need almost every time I need something, and I do enough to get by.  I don’t feel comfortable with guests seeing the disaster zone.  So I have taken it upon myself to get this place clean and tidy before I dive into my next creative projects.

I also go in circles, and am finding this is creeping into the cleaning and organizing schedule.  Yesterday I just could not bring myself to continue the projects started on Friday after work.  I am procrastinating the dreaded craft supply purge, even though I have decided that I will donate the items to the annual Relay For Life Yard Sale in support of my team from work in their fund-raising.  I will be joining the team again this year.  I am moving my craft supplies into my bedroom, out of the guest room.  I have the cutest shelf that I bought for this project.  Last weekend we got it assembled.  Friday the old mattress was removed from the master bedroom, so we could get the new shelving unit in place.  I bought plastic bins for it, and it really is pretty to look at.  Now I am over thinking how to organize it.  So I have stopped that project.

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He went to work on the man cave yesterday.  He put his new bookshelf in place Friday night, but needed bolts to complete his project.  Yesterday he went out to get what he needed, and today the man cave looks a lot more organized and there is room to move in there.  We can even sit on the fold down couch that doubles as a guest bed to watch movies in there if we want to.  It hasn’t been cleaned the way I intend to clean in my challenges, but one thing at a time.  I do not plan to clean it for him.  He will have to do that room himself.  I will make sure he knows what needs to be done for spring cleaning in there, and leave it to him.

Yesterday I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this weekend.  He was going to putter in the man cave.  I was OK with that.  This morning, we are taking a bit of time to relax before diving back into the weekend projects.  I asked him what his plans were for today.  As expected, he wants to rearrange furniture for the new fish tank we bought a couple of weeks ago.  The next question was to define my role in his project.  I have been drafted to help lift and move furniture around.  That is fair.  So I am left to figure out what I am going to tackle today, when I am not moving the sofa and chair.

This is the progress in the man cave so far:

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The bookcase on the right, and the shelf between the two bookcases that the TV is on are new.  We both have a long way to go in finishing our projects, but progress is progress.

Last night I started cleaning and organizing around my desk.  I wanted to just watch TV, and needed to feel like I was being productive.  So I started.  My office is in the living room, and I need to work on purging paper, and cleaning and organizing the desk and office corner.  All areas of the house need this, so I am not wrong to find something that I can do from my desk.  However, it is not getting the kitchen or the craft supply project finished, either.

This is where my creative mind needs to be put on the back burner for a bit.  I NEED to finish in the kitchen.  It is the first project in my larger,  more in-depth challenge.  I am also going to have to delegate some chores for my husband, or I will never get to write my books.  He is going to get the list for the living room.  He will be exempted from my office area, as I am not going to tackle the man cave.  So he will get the responsibility of 3/4 of the living room.  He doesn’t mind some chores, so if I pick the ones I don’t feel like I need to be in charge of myself, he is fine with pulling his weight in maintaining the household.  Thank goodness!  We both work outside of the home, so we need to team up to tackle things around here.  Sometimes we growl at each other if we are in each other’s way while working on the same tasks, so we work better alone for some chores.  Depending on what it is.  I am fine helping move furniture around.  He is fine pitching in when I need help.  We do work well together, and can count on each other to get things done.

I am going to head back into the kitchen today.  I really need to be puttering at it all week.  I sent out a message that I may be needing help next weekend, as I grew up with sisters, and I am  used to sharing the workload.  My husband was an only child, and he is fine going at his own pace on chores by himself.  He will be working next weekend.  I don’t expect my friends to clean my messy house for me, not at all.  An extra pair of hands is appreciated, but even more importantly, someone to chat with while I work, and help keep me from wandering off to procrastinate is what I really need.  Sometimes, the music isn’t enough.  When I feel like I am OK having a friend over, even if they bring their own craft project to work on while I am cleaning; it helps me stay on track. It also keeps me from starting ten projects at once; as I wander through the house.  Yes, I find a way to go in circles, even though I live in a mini home.  It is how my brain is wired.

It is OK to celebrate small victories

fireworks

I have made some progress in my kitchen and in my health.  These are things that are important to me right now.  I am getting my environment ready to write a book.  I am preparing myself to be healthier when I write.  So tonight I plan to sit back with a nice glass of wine for a mini celebration of my progress.

The trick is to keep going.  A small celebration is OK, but it doesn’t mean I am done working on my projects.  Far from it.  The old me would have stopped, because I got something accomplished.  The new me that wants a more productive life, wants to finish it all. So I am taking a break.  Having a treat, and then getting some prep work done for lunches this week.

It looked like I missed throwing out expired bottles of salad dressing and the like last year.  That makes sense, as a year ago I was under medical restrictions concerning movement.  I was fighting a knee infection, and not able to move around as much as I like to. It was a scary experience, being told to stay as still as possible to prevent spreading the infection, and it was hard to comply.  Yet here I am, working on a deep cleaning project of my house, a year later.

I am back to normal (as close as I get, anyway) and focused.  My end goal is a book.  Then another.  It will take three to write a trilogy.  However, if I didn’t start with my cleaning projects first, they may never get done.  That’s not OK.  I have to be healthy to be productive, inside and out.  So I am not procrastinating about writing, not at all.  I am being realistic.  If I don’t make myself do this first, it won’t get done.  I know myself.  I will get sucked in to my imagination, and not come up for air for days.  Maybe weeks or even months.  The point is, I am doing it.  Working on my home, and working on making myself healthier also.

It is hard to sit at my desk, and not work on the immediate area.  I am creative, and would rather make a mess than clean it up.  I have to focus on the kitchen now, and another project will be my living room/office cleaning.  As my husband and I generally do work on the living room together, I will have help in that room.  Which is good.  I am not living here by myself.  I sent my husband out for groceries while I got ready to tackle the fridge.  I wish I could say I was ready when he got home, but I was in the middle of it.  So he put the freezer things away, and helped a little here and there.  He made me a kaiser roll with ham and swiss.  A regular roll is not on my plan, but sometimes if someone offers to make you something to eat, you have what is offered.

Another reason I do not want to start working on the living room/office right now is that I won’t finish either room.  I get distracted easily, and if I am working on multiple projects simultaneously, chances are one won’t be completed, maybe more than one.  So I have my reasons for working on things in order.  Once the whole house is clean, then I will begin a maintenance routine, something quick and efficient.

In terms of my health, the scale was nice this morning.  I am working harder to stay on plan, so I can start losing weight.  It is so much easier to be lazy about everything.  Last year I decided that what I was doing then was not working, and I decided it was  time to make some changes.  Trim Healthy Mama was in an ad on facebook one day, and I thought it was worth a shot.  I am still working on it, and have lost weight.  If I stick to it, it works, and I do try.  This year I am trying harder, and this will show me more results.

My snack for my celebration will include cheese, turkey pepperoni, some pickles, and that glass of wine.  I have a bottle that has been open a little too long, so I am going to have a glass from it.  Then I will have to go back to the kitchen.  I am not going to finish tonight.  I am going to finish up some dishes, and find some order in the chaos that happens when I clean.  Things move to where they are not in the way until I find a place to put them to stay.  And when I go to bed tonight, I will have a restful sleep after such a productive day.

As long as I continue working on my projects, I can have little celebrations along the way.  And chocolate.  85% cocoa chocolate IS on plan, and something I am also happy about!  Celebrate the little successes along the way, and keep going.  Whatever you are working on, do it.  It will be a giant snowball of positivity when you finish, and when you are on a roll, it’s easier to keep going than to stop.

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I wish I had gherkin pickles.  Oh well, another grocery run in 2 weeks will fix that for me!

I made my husband look at the completed fridge.  Hearing him say, “Nice!” as he looked at the way I have organized our food was validation.  I did a good job.

A Kind Word Goes A Long Way

Give yourself a little Grace

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Copyright ©2017 Tish MacWebber

All rights reserved

Grace has its place

in my everyday life

I need it because

it grants a respite

If you allow

yourself some grace

it lets you be human

in the daily race

for perfection

The unobtainable goal

can taint you

deep inside your soul

By letting a little

grace in your life

It removes the guilt

that causes you strife

Stop looking up

at the bar over your head

Grab on and pull

look over the top instead

Take that dose of reality

and swallow it down

Learn how to float

rather than drown

Take a break; catch your breath

it will  be okay

Don’t worry yourself to death

tomorrow is a new day.

 

Donation Day

After purging my closet a little over a month ago, I had a destination in mind for the clothes that would no longer take up space in my wardrobe.  It is a result of a furniture rearrangement project in the master bedroom.  The clothes were way out of control.  When you don’t like to put things away, they pile up, and one of two things happens.  You give up and live in a place that looks like several bombs went off, or you get fed up and do something about it.  So, during the first full week of December, my husband and I tackled the master bedroom.

Several months ago, he came home one night to find that the project was started without him.  Then I did my thing, and worked on other stuff for a while.  Until I couldn’t stand it any longer.  He had been after me to put the clothes away, and I decided it would be the perfect time to purge them.  We worked together on the furniture rearrangement.  By the time I had sorted the keep pile and was ready to get them all put away, it was heading for 3 AM.  He came to the rescue and helped me finish.  Sometimes he reminds of why I fell in love with him.  He is a keeper.  My 3 AM hero.

Fast forward to today.  I had made a point of keeping the clothing for a donation.  I have a friend that re-purposes clothing into other useful, beautiful things.  Like messenger bags.  It is a source of income for her family, and being a creative person myself, I wanted to give the two and a half bags of clothing to her.  She may find some gems to wear, and that is OK too, although most of my clothing would be the wrong size.

We had decided to go to a movie tonight.  We have seen a few movies together over the years, it is something we both enjoy.  After we delivered 50% of the clothing I used to have in my closet and in piles around the bedroom, it felt good.  There was a little twinge when I saw them one last time, but I’m never going to fit into the black and white polka dot dress I got for my sweet sixteenth birthday again.  So I passed it on, and decided a movie on cheap night was a fitting reward.

Since we had planned ahead, he made supper so we wouldn’t have to eat out.  We made the donation delivery, then rushed home to eat.  I puttered around for a couple of minutes getting ready and he went out to start the car.  That is when irony decided to rear its ugly head.  I got my coat, turned off the lights, locked the door, climbed into the car and that is when it happened.  Another pair of jeans died tonight.  On the left inside thigh, not a little hole, they are no longer fit to be worn in public.

So I sat in the car long enough to realize that I had to go change my pants.  After that fiasco, we went to the movie.  We missed the first of the trailers, but still had time to enjoy the show. (We both enjoyed Rogue 1).   Now we are home again, and I have to start a new donation pile.  Oh, the irony.

Something else came to mind in light of this unfortunate event.  A person with a thigh gap never has this problem, and I am a little jealous of that.  I am overweight, and even when I was not, this thigh gap phenomenon has never been something I have experienced.  Year after year I wear through the inner thighs of my pants.  Mostly jeans, because I love a comfy pair of jeans.  Until I walk my way through them.  It’s not like a seam tear that can be fixed.  The fabric actually wears down to the point where it is almost see through, and then they blow out.  It’s not even a size issue, because they fit comfortably, it is just where they are worn out from being a favourite pair of jeans.

As hard as it was to give away the treasured pieces of my wardrobe by choice, another pair of jeans going down was far more traumatic.  There are times when I notice the fabric is starting to look worn, and I can prepare myself for the inevitable tragedy.  Today was not one of those days.  At least it happened at home, in my driveway, and a change of pants was not a big deal. It could have been worse.  What is the silver lining here?  I have to go shopping for new jeans.  I guess it is time for a new pair.  Time to start looking for a good sale.  One or two pairs of new jeans would be a treat too.

 

 

My coffee is cold. Time to get a straw. Better make it a bendy one.

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Coffee in a pretty yellow cup and saucer.

I have been taking care of a friend’s coffee mug for about three years now.  She has moved out of the country for work.  So I have a few of her things in storage, some of them I have promised to use carefully, and one of them is an extra large coffee mug.  It holds more than 20 oz of coffee.  When I enjoy my coffee out of this mug, I tell people I am having a bucket of coffee.  It really is that big, much bigger than the pretty yellow one in the picture.

I am not the type of person that has to have the coffee piping hot to enjoy a cup.  I like it warm, not too hot, but with some heat left in it is optimal.  So when it gets cold, I have two choices.  Reheat it in the microwave and wait for it to be at that perfect temperature again, or go get a straw.  Today, I choose the straw.

I know, some people that read this will shudder, and think that cold coffee is disgusting.  When I drink coffee, I don’t put anything in it, I drink it black.  I used to dress it up, but I decided to go cold turkey a few years ago, and I convinced myself I would learn to like it.  I now enjoy it this way.

I have tried bulletproof coffee.  Who comes up with this stuff?  Maybe I just don’t know how to make it right, but I did not enjoy my only attempt at this creation.  I will stick to taking my coffee black and sometimes flavoured.  Some of the flavoured coffees work for me, and some don’t.  I like a good variety, and when I decide to splurge on K-cups, I try new flavours whenever I can.

I was talking to someone the other day, and he said I should drink Ethiopian coffee.  He said it will keep me up for nine days; and that I will save money because I won’t be running to Timmy’s all the time.  I live in Canada, Timmy’s is a reference to Tim Hortons Coffee and Donut restaurants.  When I was a child, I thought it was Important Donuts. They are the main Canadian preference for coffee shops, and a place a lot of people like to spend time, cafe style.  If you ask your friends if they want a Timmy’s, you usually get replies that include a double-double in them somewhere.  Now, I’m all for a good cup of coffee, but to me, being awake for 9 days sounds a little extreme.

Why the bendy straw?  Well, the bucket is fairly tall.  I like options, and bendy straws are more fun.  Why not?  I am sitting here getting ready for New Year’s Eve in my mind.  I have a lot on my to-do list for today.  I am invited to a house party, and it is a potluck.  My husband and I have gone to this party for several years now when the weather cooperated.  The forecast is good for tonight, so we plan to attend.  He will be working until I pick him up on my way to the party.  With a big list of things to do and only me here to do them, as much as I would have liked to drink a cup of coffee at that perfect temperature, it wasn’t in the cards today.  So a bendy straw it is.

I am feeling a little nostalgic today.  2016 was a difficult year in many ways.  A lot has happened.  I lost some weight, so that is something I would like to continue in 2017.  Living a healthier lifestyle is one of my resolutions this year.  It will be something I blog about, because it is important to me, and I want to share my successes.  Maybe it will help another person in their struggle, and it will do some good. I started this blogging adventure in November and decided that I need to write those books I have wanted to write my whole life.  So that is going to happen.  Writing the Fantasy Trilogy is another resolution.  I hope that the music world stops in to read my lyrics.  I dream of a collaboration with musicians to make my songs audible for the world, not just to be poetry in a blog.  I have had the pleasure of making new friends online through this project, and I am grateful for those who took the time to help me get this blog from an idea to a reality.  I thought I was only going to make the two resolutions for 2017, but something joined the ranks in the last 24 hours.  I have attempted to complete home cleaning and organization challenges for the last 2 years.  Last night I signed up again, and I am not committing to finishing it in 16 weeks, but I am committing to finishing it this year.  I joined two last year, as one is more for in-depth cleaning (16 weeks) and the other one is for quick organizing (31 days) so I will be working on both challenges in 2017.  My final resolution is to finish them within the year.

Well, I am now making that annoying noise through the bendy straw.  I have finished my coffee.  Time to walk away from the desk for a while, crank the tunes, and tackle my to do list.  However you ring in 2017, I wish you well and hope you accomplish what you need to do in 2017.  Happy New Year!