Monday, January 31, 2011
What does this have to do with anything? Well...it's the beginning, you know? The beginning of the impractical love story of me and my beloved Moose.
In the summer of '71, Moose's folks decided the city was too much for them and moved to El Paso. Along about '75, the young couple in Tucson welcomed their baby girl into the world. They loved their little tomboy to bits and as she grew up to sing her little heart out when she sang opera and played Annie in the grade school musicals. So there they were enjoying the Sonoran desert when just a couple states away....
Moose was on the loose. He was just finishing kindergarten when i was born. Growing up, he loved terrorising the neighbourhood with his brothers and childhood friends. He couldn't be too naughty (or atleast he had to be really sneaky about it), as his dad was a lawyer and well known deacon in the area lobbying for the rights of the unborn and immigrants. Taking long car trips with his family back east and to Washington to visit relatives. Enjoying baseball, honing his alter boy skills, and running with the track team. Then, before you know it, it was time for him to head to college. All the way to Lubbock. Lucky him. *grin*
Meanwhile, while he was in college, i was in middle school. Sadly, while he was having the first of his exams, i was probably digging around in the garbage bags from school looking for the retainer i threw away by accident. I was also learning algebra from a math teacher by the name of Mr. Grobelch. Now Mr. Grobelch was one cool dude. He was one of those teachers that would tell it like it was--there was no certificate of participation in his class. See, Mr. Grobelch had been privileged to teach a super basketball star that played at the local university and was instrumental in leading the team into the NCAA tournaments, so of course, Mr. G was all about every one of his students being the best so they could attend U of A too. You either did your work well, or he called you on the carpet--in front of everyone! One of his favourite sayings was "If you buy the farm (earn an "f"), you'll be going to Texas Tech below the deck." Little did i know....
Moose was off studying engineering at Texas Tech for 4 years. During this time, his family was hit with some devastating news. Their father had been diagnosed with cancer...again. He had beaten it once before, however this time the disease would claim his life. While Moose was travelling back and forth from Lubbock to El Paso during his final year of college, i was enjoying my junior year in high school. And as the reality of his father's passing hit him, Moose knew he wanted to leave Texas as soon as he could!
About the time he was driving through Tucson on I-10, a mere 3 miles from my house, to relocate to Washington, i was getting ready to leave for Germany as an exchange student...
How would our paths ever meet at this rate???
Stay tuned for the next installment of The Impractical Love Story of Me and My Moose.
I'll have after pictures of my bedroom tomorrow...
Today we start on the two largely ignored rooms...we're things seem to wander in on their own, and never leave until light starts shooting out of my eye sockets like Bill Cosby's wife. :) It'll be okay though.
Here's my list of duties this week:
Detailed Cleaning List for
Zone 5: Living and Dining Rooms
1. COLLECT webs.
2. CLEAN windows, sills, & wood trims.
3. VACUUM mantle & hearth.
4. VACUUM couches & under cushions.
5. DUST lamps, pictures, & furniture.
6. TIDY prayer table.
7. WASH wood wall & POLISH with evoo.
1. COLLECT webs
2. CLEAN light fixtures.
3. WASH windows, French doors. WASH & POLISH pocket door.
4. DUST wood trims, fire grate, & mantle.
5. VACUUM hearth & fireplace.
6. DUST piano & hutch.
7. STRAIGHTEN bookshelves.
8. DUST table & chairs.
9. For C.m.: spend 2 x 15 minute sessions tidying art area.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
This is what you see when you first walk into the room. We're equal opportunity offenders in this place...the dresser on the left is mine and the right is Moose's. We pile. It's what we do. But piles can look nice too. There's no reason why Cookie's formal dress she outgrew when she was two has to reside on my dresser. :)
My nightstand...UGH! I'm getting there, though. The piles on the top of the nightstand had relatives living below on the floor. Once all the stuff that needs to find a new home was removed from the top of my dresser, it became the new home for all magazines. I'm surprised by how many i've gone through in the last couple days too. I think i've read and recycled 6 mags in 2 days! They're right there...i just grab then when we head out the door.
The pile behind Cookie Monster was tackled today. In it was more outgrown clothes and issues of the newspaper from 4 years ago. Out they went! It's easy to tackle the junky stuff when you have a great little assistant to help with the grimy stuff.
When things are this bad though (the inside of the upright floor lamp), i just can't bring myself to let her help with that. She could drown in dust bunnies that thick!!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Well, i've decided to do that with my bedroom this week.
Warning: Graphic Images Follow
Like. Oh. My. Heck. This was just from the ceiling, inside of the closet, window and door trim, and the walls of my bedroom. Eeeew! Gross!! I'm ready to roll out a sleeping bag on the floor in our galley kitchen, just to sleep someplace semi-clean.
I'll just use this as inspiration. I'm not giving up now. My next baby won't be conceived in a dung hole like this one!! Now, on to the floor lamp and ceiling fixture: where no Swiffer has gone before.....
Monday, January 24, 2011
There are still toys on the floor and other junk out of place, however we did get more cleaning done than the uncleaned spots we left and half of Cookie Monsters floor is visible!
This week, it's one of the disaster areas...Moose and my bedroom. It's the room you dread to inhabit. You know the kind...it's the room at the end of the hall, just past the main bathroom, so if you have to do a stash and dash in the living room minutes before company arrives, that's the best place to put it. They'll never know that you are a complete slob, cause they'll never see it! Woo hoo ha ha ha! :) Mudder.
But close the door and bam! You look like Merry Homemaker.
No more! I say!! NO MORE! This is where we rest supposedly. But everytime i see Moose leaning up again our headboard, i'm praying he doesn't drown in dust bunnies and have an asthmatic attack. There are 3 precarious stacks of magazines on my side of the bed alone...one that is increasingly annoying as i've developed the extremely awful habit of waking up in the wee hours of the morning and when i get up, i trip, er ... walk all over those stinkin' magazines. Moose's side of the bed collects stray wires, Cookie Monster's books, and the occasional electronics. The bike bags are next to his side of the bed, which eats into at least a foot of his little 2 foot walkway there. I am ashamed to admit it, but i think the last time i cleaned under the bed was before Cookie Monster was born. I'll flip my lid if i find a nursing pad under there!! Please God, don't let me find one of those, or i think i'll die of shame!
This is no way for grown adults to live. Yet, we do. And i for one, darn it, am not going to take it anymore.
So here's the plan...we don't have a master, so i am just including our main bathroom and hallway for good measure, so next week i can focus on the living & dining rooms. Okay, slow down, one disaster area at a time.
Mmm, but you'll know where i'll be spending my Disaster Recovery Time this week, eh?
Detailed Cleaning List for
Zone 4: Blessin’ the Luv Nest
1. COLLECT webs.
2. CLEAN light fixture.
3. DUST doors, wood trims and baseboards.
4. WASH windows & curtains.
5. VACUUM headboard.
6. WASH mattress pad, bed sheets, & comforter. FLIP mattress.
7. PURGE nightstand.
8. STRAIGHTEN one drawer & one surface.
9. TIDY closet; COLLECT empty hangers.
10. DUST furniture. POLISH wood.
11. CLEAN under bed & dressers.
12. SWEEP floor.
1. COLLECT webs & CLEAN light fixtures.
2. DUST wood trims, doors & cabinets.
3. CLEAN window & mirror. POLISH wood.
4. LAUNDER shower curtain.
5. WASH tile walls.
6. CLEAN sink & tub.
7. STRAIGHTEN linen closet, med chest, & one drawer or cabinet.
1. COLLECT webs.
2. CLEAN light fixture & doorbell.
3. CLEAN doors, wood trim, & baseboards. POLISH wood.
4. DUST picture frames.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
To think all those photos came from one album...one person. It's inspiring, and to think each one of us could leave something like that of our family & friends. But how will they tell what era or area our pictures are from when the only info attached to most of our photos is IMG#### or "Shot with a Canon blah blah blah". It will be by our daily activities for sure, especially since a lot of us fashion our home with vintage wares. :)
So i thought that if some of you had been inspired to photograph your little ones even once; be them children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or the kids next door, it might be fun to share our bests with one another. I'll go further to include those of you who may have other cute critters of different species in your life. The commitment would be strictly voluntary...you have a photo you wanna share, do it! Monthly challenge will commence on the final day of the month.
So with that, i am announcing the inaugural edition of Muggin' for Momma coming this weekend.
If you'd like to participate, truly, all you need to do is snap a photo of your kiddos...once a month. Should you want to share those silly faces with us, please link to the entry i'll be posting on January 31st in the comments, and we'll share in your delight.
Ooh, those wee ones are so silly, it's going to be so hard to choose!! See ya January 31st!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Local News Runoff turns Elliott Bay into murky stew Seattle Times Newspaper
In this article in our local paper, there is discussion of water quality in Elliott Bay (as you can imagine with any large American city, especially one with a working waterfront that is home to freighters and cruise ships, the water quality usually isn't very inviting), and i find it interesting that since it *looks* unpleasent now from the sediments and who knows what getting washed down from the dam, through the Green and into the Duwamish Rivers out to Elliott Bay is when the newspaper chooses to pick up the story and let opinions fly. Huh.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Yesterday, Moose and a co-worker patrolled the levees here in Kent. So far, so good. The Corps will keep emptying the reservoir, causing the river to run high and leading to potential minor flooding in areas near creeks that feed into the river.
Of course, because of the Corps precautions, we hope we won't be dealing with anything like the Aussie's are dealing with. However, please keep our area in your prayers. And also, because i haven't seen many people talking about it on the internets, please keep the people of Brasil in your prayers too. They are losing many lives to landslides from massive amounts of rainfall.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Our list looks a little something like this:
Detailed Cleaning List for
Zone 3: Cookie Monster’s Room, Playroom, & Guest Room
1. COLLECT webs.
2. CLEAN light fixture.
3. WASH curtains, mattress pad, & comforter.
4. WASH window, sills, doors & wood trims. POLISH wood.
5. DUST furniture & shelves; WASH mirror.
6. TIDY closet & SORT outgrown clothes.
7. TIDY bookshelves & kitchen.
8. DUST baseboards.
9. SHAKE rugs.
10. SWEEP floor.
1. COLLECT webs.
2. CLEAN light fixtures.
3. CLEAN window, sill, door & wood trim. POLISH wood.
4. VACUUM walls & curtains.
5. DUST furniture.
6. DUST baseboards.
7. SORT toys: are there any that can be given or thrown away?
8. SWEEP floor.
1. COLLECT webs.
2. CLEAN light fixture.
3. CLEAN windows, sills, door, & wood trim. POLISH wood.
4. DUST furniture.
5. DUST baseboards.
6. VACUUM floor.
Now that's not all that's going on with Cookie Monster either. We've been gradually building a list of daily chores for her, starting in her bedroom. I've posted a list for her next to her door, and over the past 2 weeks we've tackled one chore a week to build her routine.
Cm’s Daily Routine
1. STRAIGHTEN sheets.
2. PLACE all pillows, blankets, & pajamas on the bed.
** WEDNESDAY ONLY: MOVE all your animals to the crib so Mom can wash your sheets.**
1. PICK UP all DIRTY clothes & throw them down the chute.
DIRTY = WORN
2. PUT AWAY clean clothes.
3. PUT shoes in closet.
1. PICK UP books on floor.
* go get ALL THE BOOKS next to DADDY’S BED
* return LIBRARY BOOKS to bin
* put YOUR BOOKS back in the bookshelves
2. TIDY kitchen toys & doll clothes.
3. THROW away trash.
4. PLACE anything that doesn’t belong to you on the ottoman in the living room.
I am hoping this week goes well, however, i can't promise anything. :) I'll need to keep in mind that this is the first week we're doing this and Cm's most likely to revolt!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
If it had the land to go with it, especially for the price tag they've put on it, i would take this house in a NY minute! Alas, where would be put the cow or horses we'll have??
Friday, January 14, 2011
If you're like me, you're a pile-er, someone who can't quite get the papers organised in their little folders in a timely fashion but they can tell you which pile to look in at about what height in the pile to look in. We work better when everything is laided out before us on a horizontal plane, say the top of a desk. Some people have found binders work really well for that kind of paper "clutter"---when a bill or statement, etc comes in the mail, it gets hole-punched and placed in a binder; once a month the binder is taken apart to deal with the bills and file the statements. I've heard of an idea where if you have a laundry room with room for shelving, that bins with marked with family members names are useful for throwing in their socks and grunties...some the monotenous folding of clothes efforts can be saved for more important pieces of laundry like shirts, sweaters, or pants.
This writing things down effort for me has been a trial, but the thing that helped me most is that i've developed a love for crossing things out. It's what i imagine having a fairy godmother is like: except that you actually have done the work. But after, poof...it's wiped away. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya. :)
When keeping my routines visible for everyone during the week, i've found that a cork board near our dinette works wonders. Moose has his list up there of manly chores that need to be done. I hang the cleaning schedules up there for the zone and the recurring weekly duties. My lists are in plastic sleeves, so i can cross out with a dry erase without printing a new list each week. At the end of the week, it's nice to see that there's more done than undone.
Frankly, i'm surprised that i've lasted this long! 2 weeks! Ivory is on to something with her reorganising efforts and i thank her for sharing her inspiration with us! I'm actually looking forward to seeing what this place is like in a month and a half after i've gone through the whole house. The important thing for me to keep in mind is that the inside of my house is never going to look like the pages of an edition of the British Country Living mag or my favourite book.
Other news that is helping me keep the skip in my step is on the weight loss front. The recommitment i made to myself in October has really helped. My highest then, 310 pounds, was my lowest point ever. It's awful to feel so horrible, especially when you feel so out of control. Maybe it's because we are scheduling everything so much more. We shop once a month for meat from an organic butcher and we order bulk items from a food co-op also once a month. Weekly trips to the grocery are for veg and a smattering of dairy. I've also tried to make sure i eat less food...serve myself out at the kitchen, once. Indulge in good chocolate a couple times a week. Limit the drive thru for coffee and a "little treat" by saving that for my Saturday mornings i steal away by myself--mostly, i find that when i get into the bakery, i'd truely rather an egg on a roll and a black coffee rather than any of those pastries staring me back in the face. oh sure, there's a moment where i debate whether i should get a bear claw or a cheese danish, and then someone in my brain starts saying, "You know, you've had those before. You know how they taste. And, honestly, there don't really taste that good, you know?" :)
Today i was really dreading weighing in, not because i thought i had overindulged too much this week, but something else i couldn't put my finger on. I couldn't see weigh lost in my face anymore. I hadn't noticed any other differences in my body this week. It turns out that i lost half a pound. Yea me! So since October 2010, i've lost 14 pounds. That's almost as much as the bag of whole wheat flour and a little sack of vita-gluten wheat i buy from the co-op. Woot!
When i returned home, i took inventory....i can still see my jawbone emerging, my "shelf" below my lower back is slanting more, but i couldn't tell where the last couple week's weigh loss had came from. While i was waiting for the kettle to boil, i looked down at my feet. Good golly, i think this is the first time i've noticed that my feet don't spread out like hobbit feet so much any more! :) And i can start to see a little ankle emerging! Yippee! While i don't think i'll make my wish of losing 10 lbs before our anniversary, i'll be happy just to keep losing more weight tell then.
Hoping you are enoying success with any of your new endeavours or the old ones that you've just recommitted too! Have a great weekend!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
So, with the help of Ivory and Flylady, i've identified critical areas of the house that need to be addressed once a week. No excuses. period
Seriously, this truly, for an extremely business family would be enough in my book. Making it work for you is the most important thing! Breaking up the chores on this list may be the best way of doing it. Especially if certain chores will help aid other's within the home, as you'll see regarding our trash disposal.
Weekly Home Blessing Wednesdays
1. WASH bed sheets. Ours Cookies’s
(maybe i'll alternate these and wash every 2 weeks.)
2. EMPTY all trash buckets. (On Monday, as curb pick-up is on Tuesday!!)
3. SWEEP and VACUUM all rooms. Upstairs Downstairs
4. MOP kitchen, upstr bath, downstr bath, & entry.
("Mop" is a term i use loosely. Know what my mop is? A white terrycloth washcloth that i can wet with soap and water and use my feet to drag it around the on the floor. For me, it works for two reasons: 1, mops tend not to dry real well in the Pacific Northwest before they start mildewing and i am tired of throwing away a mop after only a few months use and 2, i feel like it's healthier to be able to throw the washrag into the washing machine after it's used.)
5. CLEAN mirrors and doorknobs.
(This job earns Cookie Monster 50 cents/wk! We've got a ton of doorknobs!!)
6. WATER indoor plants.
7. WASH toilets.
8. READ a magazine & drink a cafe au lait!!
9. WIPE counters. I'm finding you can never do this enough!
10. SPEND 15 minutes in a disaster area (a disaster area is one of the rooms in our house that is just abominable, that in the past i've galloped on by while denying their needs so that if the wind changed directions while i was standing in front of the mess with my mouth agaped in abject horror, it wouldn't freeze that way!) :)
After this is done, the house really does feel fresher. Blessed, as Flylady would say. If this is one of the areas you struggle with, please take a few moments today and make a list of things that would make you feel better about your home's condition for your family. With the daily chores being done, you'll notice a *huge* improvement the first week, regardless of whether you tend to have a cluttered home or not.
I swear since i started this a week ago, there hasn't been as much fighting or fussing over school work needing to get accomplished for i can get the house cleaned.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
This is what our list looks like this week.
Detailed Cleaning List for
Zone 2: Everything Visible from the Kitchen
1. COLLECT webs.
2. WASH windows & screens; DUST sills and toe kicks.
3. PURGE & WASH fridge: inside, outside, top & VACUUM under & behind.
4. CLEAN microwave, dishwasher & mixer.
5. WASH canisters & tchotchkes.
6. WASH trash can & recycle bin.
7. WASH one row of cabinets & POLISH with evoo.
8. STRAIGHTEN one cabinet & drawer; PURGE!!
1. WASH door & trim with Murphey‘s & POLISH with evoo.
2. VACUUM webs & baking shelves.
3. STRAIGHTEN food items & inventory.
1. COLLECT webs.
2. DUST sills & WASH window.
3. CLEAN light fixtures.
4. WASH wood wall & POLISH with evoo.
5. CLEAN off desk top.
6. DUST computer, printer, tabletop, keyboard & mouse.
7. CHECK printer ink & paper.
8. STRAIGTHEN one drawer.
And with that, i'd better get to work!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We have an enormous 2700 sq ft. double wide on a double wide, so i've started with a 6 week long cleaning plan, and i'll tweak from there.
Here's a sample for you, of how i've broken down our house.
Entry, Landing, Dinette
Kitchen, Pantry, Desk
Cookie Monster’s Room, Playroom, Guest Room
Our Room, Upstairs Bathroom, Upstairs Hallway
Living Room, Dining Room
Rec Room, Downstairs Bathroom, Laundry Room, Hall and Sewing Room
Monday, January 10, 2011
This is the gory details of how it all started. Hooo hoo hoo ha ha!
Rewind to 2002: is there any time that a woman of the modern era who is about to give birth even thinks about homeschooling? Getting ready for a baby is stressful enough. I was getting ready to have Cookie Monster, and at no time did her schooling cross my mind during my pregnancy. If someone had told me that i'd be homeschooling then, i'd have begged their pardon. I was clueless.
Fast Forward to Spring 2007 where Moose and i were feeling pretty defeated because we knew our kid was ready for Kindergarten, however couldn't find a school that was on board with taking a 4 year old into a class. On with preschool it was, but i had some tricks up my sleeve then too.
By Spring 2008, our kid had been in Pre-kinder all year, and it seemed that just as kindergarten evaluations were being giving was when the teachers learned that Cookie Monster could read (she could read by the time she was 3.) So, that is about the time Moose and i figured we'd try looking for a school where we could move C.m. up into 1st grade.
By Fall 2008, we couldn't find a school that would oblige. So into kindergarten she went. It was a waste of a year academically, but she had fun. During that year is when we decided we'd had enough. She was far ahead in enough subjects that we figured 1st grade in public school would be the nail in the coffin of her potential. So we decided we'd homeschool.
But what does that look like if you are a completely not so well organised person in other areas of your life. Well, from our State of the Homeschool addresses last year you can pretty well see...it was utter chaos. Sure, i had a basic idea of what subjects needed to be covered, but i had no plan. By summertime, the need for help was very evident.
Our family attended the local homeschooler's fair last summer and a speaker gave me tons of insight in how to organise lesson plans for school. From the minute i saw the first excel spreadsheet, i was hooked. It was a simple form that broke school into subjects and broke subjects down by months. These are what they look like for us:
A word of advice: fill these out in pencil, because you'll need to change them during the year as you go through your lessons incase of illness, laziness, or overzealous overachievers that can't have just one math lesson a day. That last catagory we would know nothing about no matter how we wish we could. :) What i learned from having these organisational tools was that without them, you'll never know **exactly** how far behind or ahead you are in your schedule. This year, because i have this form filled out, i can see that when we are a couple lessons behind in math but one ahead in language, i can schedule a day where we do an extra lesson of math in favour of our language lesson. A **huge** help when it comes to staying on track! You will want to take a photocopy before you change anything though, so you'll have a baseline.
After those were made, i used my trusty school calendar to map out our year of school. In my funky school calendar is a roadmap of July 2010 - Sept 2011. I isolate the school months, center 36 weeks of school around the Christmas holiday (18 wks on each end), and then total up the number of school days in each month.
Also helpful, is a grid of the months in the year. I use this page as a quick reference for yearly appointments or renewals.
Monthly calendars: Beside each calendar is a page for important dates. This is where all the birthdays and anniversaries go. Then appointments and field trips can go in the grid. When a friend asks if we can play, i have an idea of what the schedule looks like right off the bat. Before homeschool, everything would have been kept in my head. I don't know how i ever did that now!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Then we get home and i see the news.
It's insane! It's completely incomprehensible to me. I grew up in Tucson, and i don't remember it being anything like this!! Most people there were just laid back and somewhat friendly.
And the more i here about Arizona itself, i can't believe it could change that much since we left about 15 years ago. I never knew we had a racial problem down there...the part of town i grew up in there were only about 15 gringo kids for every 100 hispanic kids. Before we left, grocery clerks would greet everyone, no matter the skin colour, in Spanish. I thought the last place on Earth that would pass a law requiring people carry papers would be AZ. Leave that wacked out business to UT or ID.
And now to see a mass shooting, driven by political idiology, killing innocents like a 9 year old girl, a federal judge, and 3 retirees. If you'd like to read more about their stories, please visit the Arizona Daily Star. It's the "horse's mouth" so to speak, being Tucson's daily morning newspaper.
I have to concur with Sherrif Dupnik (man, he's been around a long time--since i was just a tot!) when he said, "The bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
Sure it's not a slogan the board of tourism can use, but sometimes the truth hurts.
Friday, January 7, 2011
No chores except making the beds were done.
It's important sometimes, so that i don't start obsessing about all that is left to do, that didn't get done, blah. blah. blah. Cause when that happens, nothing gets done. Cause it can't be done perfectly. And that makes me a terrible human being and a sorry excuse for a housewife. And, you know what else? The world could end. wah! The horror!! :)
So i ignored that feeling today and distracted myself with a little of one of my favourite things to do: discover cool new to me districts in Seattle.
The destination: Queen Anne, Seattle
Wishing i had felt more comfortable in the place to take pictures of it for you, however i like to feel a place out before i start snapping pictures of their business so they don't think i'm a spy for Granny's Pincushion or anything. :)Nancy's was a modest little shop with a lot to offer. Many special occassion fabrics like you'll see in the pictures on the pattern you may purchase at the national craft chains that never carry the really beautiful fabrics you would need to make your creation look like the picture on the from of the pattern. :) They had a little section of trims for upolstery and drapes, lots of suitings, a big selection of quilting cottons, a ribbon room, and what we were in the market for...linen. Beautiful linens.
By the way, if you haven't been in a fabric store since the 2011 began, be prepared to part with a small amount of your life savings. :) Prices have gone up. The owner was telling me that your basic quilting cotton--Kona cotton--went from $6/yd to $7.50/yd. Ei yi ei!
We found a beautiful antwerp (fine weave) linen in white and a pima cotton for the lining. As we get a little further along in the process, i'll share pictures. Cookie wants to be rather plain jane when it comes to communion (thank goodness!), so she decided she didn't want any lace overlays or embellishments. Her sash is supposed to be a 3 inch wide white ribbon, however because we couldn't find any that was pleasing, we decided that we would make the sash of linen too. Or maybe we'll find a cotton we like. We decided that the sash would a good place to the dress a special touch. So in honour of the Virgin Mary *(Cookie's name has some similar meanings as Mother Mary's name) that we would sew a sash of a powder or medium blue material.
Now to actually start cutting out pattern pieces and EEK! into the linen.
Mommy! HELP! :)
Along the way, we also found some quirky little toys shops and a really good thai restaurant.
Here are some pictures.
Queen Anne Drive
This building here exhibits why Seattle's lost a lot of it's luster for me. Man, i used to be all "Seattle rocks!", but when i see buildings like this with Public Notice boards outside of them....
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The **really** Basic Weekly Plan for Whit’s Household 1/1/11 - 2/3/11
Monday: school, library, zone
Tuesday: school, swim class, Irish dance
Wednesday: school, home blessing
Thursday: school, swim class, zone
Friday: Weight Watchers, school, zone
Saturday: planning day, errands & shopping, Mass, dinner out
Sunday: family day, arts & crafts, projects
Now, my other method of organisation that i mentioned above is a funky school calendar from Mixed Productions. It's not a regular calendar that runs from Jan to Dec (although they do produce a Jan to Jan calendar.) It's core runs from August to August. Each month being represented by monthly calendar and weekly calendars that have the days broken down by the hour. I love this kind of calendar. I also love that it has a page in front of each month for sqecial occasions (so the precious space in the date boxes can be saved for non-routine activities or appointments.) It also has a page each month for notes and for financial record. 13 paperclips later (one for each month and one for the week you are currently in), all family appts and school plans are at your fingertips when your friend asks for a playdate or that new homeschoolers field trip ad pops up!! The other beauty of this device is that it includes monthly calendars that overlap each year giving you an 18 month calendar with overlap for continuity...there is a calendar page for the July preceding the first August and for the remainder of the year after the last August. So if you are scheduling appointments out a year in advance, you can have the space to keep them in on the correct date, not just a piece of paper cliped to a calendar that will hopefully get transcribed to the new calendar when it arrives. Granted they are a little spendy, and for families with more than one student it would be to small--i can see when we eventually add students to the Whit Academy of Fyne sKoolin', i will need to find or make a calendar with the same concepts on a larger scale. However, this is the part where you go out and find what works for you and your tribe! That's the beauty of the internets, one persons routine gives another person inspiration and the brainstorm ideas to grow for themselves!
I'll get into how i use my calendar in the next post.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I've been filled with angst and guilt because we haven't had any friends over to our house in a long, long time. I'm talking like last summer. And we are needing to have dinner dates with friends, playdates with compadres, and suffice it to say, i need a little peace from the nagging feeling that i can't get anything done because we're homeschooling. Arrrrgh!
So, i was going to try to the old Flylady routine again, a system i believe works, if you have that kind of time and devotion to your email program. The other thing i am finding hard is the focus on decluttering before cleaning. I can't handle it, because our house is always cluttered. I have an 8 year old, a hubbie that bless his heart doesn't have enough time at home to attend things and put them away in the same day, and i have a crafting habit. Granted, we all are a sorry lot of procrastinators to boot when it comes to deep cleaning our house. And i am a little overwhelmed with all the emails from the program, because i like to read helpful hints, but truely, when does the 3,000+ emails from Flylady that i've saved to read over the last couple years become a hinderance rather than a help. So, i think it's save to say that while the actual execution of the Flylady program doesn't work for me, there are parts of it that i totally dig.
You can imagine my delight when i read the home organising posts from Little House in the Suburbs (psst, see it over there in the list of cool blogs to read on the right!!) They've done an amazing job with their well thought out plan, which made me raise my hand to my forehead, strike it, then searched out a pen and pad of paper. Of course, like i do with recipes or Cookie Monster's math lessons, why didn't i think to take the things that worked for me and say no thanks to the things that didn't. Everyone knows that making a system work for you means digesting it and making it your own!!
The ladies at LH in the S will no doubtedly be of much more inspiration than i will be here. If you are looking for ideas on how to start organising your life and your home, please head over and read Ivory's Home Management posts. Lots of really great forms and sites to get you started...or even to get your gears squeaking. However, i wanted to share what i have done so far to construct my little binder of sunshine that will repair my much damaged housewifely ego. :)
The first thing i did, as Ivory said, was make a list of daily chores. Things that would be nice if i could accomplish everyday (don't think "have to" or else they won't get done--too much--it's all word games with me!) :) This is what it looks like:
1. Make bed
2. Straighten Bathroom; Swish & Swipe
3. Brush teeth & get dressed
4. Tidy Kitchen/Dining tables
5. Rescue laundry
6. What’s for dinner?
7. Are you baking today?
1. Feed & water animals; collect eggs
2. Zone tasks
3. Start dinner
4. Rescue laundry
5. Put recycle & trash out
6. Collect mail
1. Put away dinner
2. Boot the dishwasher
3. Clean counters & stove
4. Tidy the hand washables
5. Sweep kitchen
6. Scrub kitchen sink
7. Any overnight cooking?
8. Clean clothes for tomorrow?
It's still not perfect. I need to figure out where to fit exercise in there, but maybe it's a good thing that it's flexible right now, because then i am thinking about where to fit it in. Even if it's just 10 minutes at a time.
I hang it on the front of the cabinet where the coffee mugs reside, because chance are, i'll be going to that cabinet at least 2 or 3 times a day--it's where the coffee bean grinder is. :)
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I have no resolutions for you, but i do have aspirations.
Granny Square project: too much too soon. I started working on two projects requiring these, and per usual me, i picked something totally challenging that overwhelmed me and reverted to something completely too simple that bored me to tears and the enormous size of the project gave me a severe case of assembly line-itis. I only was able to finish 29 6-inch grannies for my king sized bed blanket and 6 8-inch squares for the wool rug for Cookie Monster's room this year. I'd like to get both of these finished this year along with all the other projects going on. An insight i recently had coming back from our Christmas trip in Idaho was that i need to visit Idaho more often, as long as i hire a driver. I finished 8 6-inch squares in 4 hours! :)
Chicken Quilt: i have finally acquired all the material i'll add to the quilt. Now i have a notion of spending two 30 minute sessions a month on finishing it.
Craft Room: i have a big transformation project in this area of the house needing to be complete by summer. In doing so, i need to get some other projects started...like putting together photo albums and weeding out scrapbook paper. I've realised that i'll never ever scrapbook like the pros, because i am too cheap to invest in all the cutting tools and paper trinkets. I've come to terms with the fact that i am a simpleton...photo corners and a colourful or sweetly designed paper do it for me--especially because that brings the total cost per page to something like $1.25, not including the cost of the album or the page protectors!! I don't need bling and stickers made in China to make my album sing, especially since i have some photographic ability occasionally. :) However the ones i've been duped into accumulating over the years i shall try to make use of where i can. I can't devote a ton of time to this, however, i am thinking if i can get few pictures developed every quarter, i should be able to keep up with placing them in an album once a month.
Weight loss: now that a majour weight loss program in the country that i belong to has changed enough to mimic the ideas that make sensible, lifestyle-changing dietary habits that make sense to me, it has been pretty easy for me to eat more sensibly. The challenge will be the exercising. Although, i have to say, the Just Dance games are captivating. It's safe to assume there will be a Zumba video purchase in my future. I try not to make deadlines or huge weight loss goals, as it just stresses me out which in turn makes me munch more. I'd like to just keep on the steady path of trying to learn how best to feed and tend my ever shrinking body each day.
Family Pictures: namely of Cookie Monster. Last year was an abysmal year for updating family of her development via means of our personal blog. This year, i've avowed to commit to One A Day...taking a picture of C.m., no matter how imperfect the photo or boring the subject, and post it for the family. I am kicking myself for not doing this last year, as it would have been keen to see when the incisors came in over that amount of time. Maybe this is a project you'd like to work on also with children or grandchildren? If so, drop me a line in the comments and i'll start a "Best of the Month" post...we can all share together.
I am sure there will be more added to my list of aspirations throughout the year. However, i'd like to try to focus on these the most. It will lift my spirits if i can make headway on these projects this year.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
We prayed it wouldn't interfere with plans to visit my parents for Christmas. By the 23rd, the day were to have left early in the morning, we were just starting laundry and packing. But somehow we did it...we pulled off packing, cleaning up vital areas that were coated with sick germs, wrapped presents, and hit the road at 5pm--hoping to make it to Ritzville, or bust!
Moose & i even had a date: Italian food at the best little cafe in Idaho and borrowed the laptop and a movie and headed to City Beach for private viewing in the van. With a view of the lake and mountains to look at when the movie was dragging on, i have to say that was the best movie theatre i'd ever been too! :)
Mom and Dad took us on the coolest thing: a nighttime sleigh ride under the stars, in the middle of the North Idaho forest at a pleasure ranch nearby. After our two mile horse guided sleigh ride, we were treated like kings and queens to a bbq chicken and rib dinner!