I’m running out of good titles for the catchall of my week post, so, this is my 10th post of 2020 and #2711th overall. I have put a lot of words out there.
This week the kids actually went to school on a Monday and are expected to be there all week. The pace of winter activities is picking up and also this is the season for planning so even though there is snow on the ground I need to start mapping out camps and summer and softball and I’m also running an SCA event in May that has prep work and possibly another so I need to tour some sites. All these moving parts are like balls of different sizes I’m chasing around a room. If I was just working on 10 events that would be no problem but its the bran gear shift from project A to project c where I’m nearly a different person to each group gets the brain going loopy. Occasionally I have to pause and think about how to sign an email because I’m not ‘just Kate’ I’m Kate+role.
(I’ve deleted apologies to you readers about my SCA resume post because it probably made no sense to half of you but welcome to my world~ it is diverse in this brain and I’m not apologizing. I’m also genuine in each role, it is just a different part of me that gets the front stage, I sure hope I don’t sound schizophrenic now… )
Over the past week or so I’ve been in the happy finishing place for lots of projects. I love the part when I actually get it done. This is semi part of my organization quest of the year because by organizing things I find all the parts of the projects and instead of putting them other places to lose them again I am DOING them. The list will never end but I’ll enjoy this spurt of time while I have it.
First I tackled a pile of ‘stuff’ that has been lurking by a wall long enough that traffic patterns in the house have adjusted to go around it. In that pile was the end of Christmas, out to the garage it went. The remainder was a mash-up of sewing to-do’s that I just couldn’t find a place to start so I asked my Facebook list and they helpfully voted. They were all of roughly equal priority so I was happy for the nudge and once I was in, I could roll through. Lars was also pleased that putting buttons on his shorts from maybe last year (maybe longer…) and fixing his gym bag made the list and they are all done now.
First I ironed a stack of napkins, like a taste of progress, and since the iron was hot I did every patch on all 3 vests. Not shown is the collection of patches from last year(s) that never got done on older vests but moving forward they are ready.
then fired up the sewing machine for some curtain action; Niamh needed an extra set of panels in her room and I needed anything in my room. Done and done with a bonus project of putting up curtain rods in my room that had been getting dusty in the corner of the room.
As I was hanging curtains in my room I was moving award scrolls for probably the 4th time since we moved and decided to quit moving them around and finished that project by finally hanging them all up. *this project has been in process for months starting with the picture rail, moving on to frame buying, and finally getting it up and looking good. It is cool enough I might do a how-to because I’m pretty pleased with the resources I found.
Back to the sewing pile, I had a stack of flannel I turned into things to blow your nose on and wash, the button sewing, a trio of seasonal pillowcases (that I am using the fabric from my old seasonal curtains that don’t work in this house as curtains) and finally I turned these three outgrown knit items into useful and custom throw pillows. I’m glad I know the principals of knitting because I had to unknit the arms to make them work right.
It was a busy few days for crafting and I’m very pleased to have focused long enough to turn a giant monster pile into a small basket of future projects. There is a fine line between scope creep and project hopping and I’m not always sure where I stand but it feels good to do the job. Now the spot in the hall is back, the corner of my room that was full of scrolls is empty and I can move on.
Next up in both cleaning spaces and getting ready for stuff I MUST make my garage into a functional cookie vault. This means making the workbench less of a tool jumble sale and rearranging some things. The weather is decent today and I’ve just downloaded a new audiobook so I’m going out there. Thanks all for being a place I can both hold myself accountable and be proud of what I got done. Self-motivation is not the easiest thing but I think I disserve to have that on my resume at this point!
I love the fun new ways to describe snow. The Eskimos and we should have a snow word off because the descriptions get pretty fun after a while. I’m used to the last few years creations like “wintery mix” meaning snow with rain and some ice and then “heart attack snow” meaning super heavy wet and people shoveling beware but Nuisance snow is the new one for the season and it means periodic snow for about an inch at inopportune times like rush hour. It is also little enough you don’t need to shovel but after a few episodes suddenly you have 6 inches compressed into a driveway glacier from driving on it for a week. Anyway, that has been our weather for the past week.
Fortunately, the weekend was very nice. We had an event and it went really well overall. Usually, we have a full house with guests but life etc for our friends left us solo but that works out too and we still had a good time.
My Monday and Tuesdays are now super crazy days. Monday I woke up ready to get things going for the week and the cat peed on my comforter right in front of us. That cat is now on borrowed time…. There are some things we can change so we are but washing my comforter 2x on Monday was not in the plan – pushed all other laundry activity for a couple hours. To further irritate me, I attempted to renew my license on Monday afternoon before I got the kids. I gave an hour but had to give up because the line estimate was over 3 when I got there. Usually, our office is no wait or maybe 10 minutes but the ‘real ID’ is just a tediously long process. The joke that you need an original copy of the Declaration of Independence is really not far off the level of crazy documents you now need. It is seriously easier to get a passport but that won’t actually count as of October for domestic travel. Crazy. Monday now includes #1 going to soccer instead of JuJitsu but I figured out a schedule that works, even includes a workout for me, but I do a ton of driving.
Tuesday I woke up to no cat pee so that was a positive. I gave another shot to the real Id situation and I brought my passport, tax returns, birth certificate, old license, car insurance (proof of address) and I still needed to fish a bank document off the internet and email it to the clerk helping me. She was great, the process is just insane at the moment. I spent a lot of mental energy on the holes in this system including how difficult it would be if someone married a person who already owned a house and then didn’t have a job or their name on a bank account – at that point they just don’t exist? My dinky job where I earn $40 a month but I get a tax document was truly important. I am unsure how to try and help this situation and that is troubling because it is a slow-rolling disaster. The day kept going with a complicated ballet of who has who doing what including girl scouts, choir, feeding kids, and the extra challenge of the day; orientation for middle school for #1. It worked out but I counted that I was out of the house for 8 hours and that isn’t counting the work I did while at home.
Today is the easy day! I’m catching up on the undone things of days past and trying to get a jump on the next two days because I’ll be at a conference until Friday. I’m commuting so I won’t miss the kids, and I’m looking forward to all I’ll see and do, just needing to get ready. Hopefully, the nuisance snow doesn’t complicate my plans for tomorrow or Friday but that is not up to me.
Finally, I’m still organizing. Today’s submission is the kid’s bathroom closet. I did not have a clue what to really put in there when we moved in and it hasn’t gotten more organized in a year. After thinking about what the uses are, I ended up with all the kid towels, pet/clean up towels, sheets for singles or doubles, and a designated spot for washcloths and hand towels so they don’t all get lost. I pulled out the lightbulbs, ‘odd’ pillow covers, a stack of table cloths, a collection of extra soaps, and hopefully, this will be an easier system to maintain.
Clean stuff update;
I found the surface of my desk! I went so far as to go through every pile of paper in the house and I would say I’m up to date (for 2020lol). This is my honesty post to make sure I get one thing done a day and today was the desk, yesterday was all the other papers. I filled a pretty big bag with recycling last night, kids create paper.
There are still a few things I feel I need to physically hold on to like warranty papers but the rest got tossed, or, I took a picture and then tossed it. Not exactly paper-free life but close.
Since I was going through all the papers I followed up and;
- ordered more kitty litter because I found an awesome coupon I was saving for $15 off at Chewy.com.
- started the long fun job of figuring out dr stuff from when I had the flu
- did the minutes for my PTO and sent them in a week *early*
- updated my calendar with school board stuff for the year
- emailed the builder because a few things *still* are not done
- did accurate accounting of all the receipts from the driveway and shed and townhouse cluttering my desk and then only kept the ones I need for taxes
- updated my association dues since they raised it $4 and I noticed now instead of in 6 months when I get a fine because it finally hits $20 past due
- followed up on random items from kid folders that they have no idea what is going on
- Deposited 2 checks that were in the mail that I wasn’t expecting <- this is why we open all the mail…
- Learned that all the ‘star’ stickers I’ve been holding on to for Starbucks are not necessary, apparently, you need to email the receipt. Good thing Ive been mostly ordering online so I had all my receipts digital and I sent them all in.
- found a nice rebate I was hoping had not gotten lost.
Amazing what opening all the mail and doing all the ‘I’ll do that later’ pile. For all my muttering about nobody else ever tidying up, I think I would have been more upset had the pile of papers that has waxed and waned but never zeroed out for months had just been recycled.
I also folded all the laundry and I’m composing a new open item list that I’ll be keeping track of. Nice to actually close out some stuff from last year though, that is something I miss from traditional office work – the ‘finishing’ of a project. I talked to my sister and went and worked out with a friend, pretty good for today and I’m not done yet. Kids go out tonight and usually I work out but since I already did I can choose my own adventure, what exciting thing will I clean?
Last week the kids went back to school for Thursday and Friday. My brain treated Thursday like a ‘Monday’ but it was a sick joke because I wanted to do all the normal week stuff in 2 days and that isn’t possible.
This Monday I think we were 5min early for school, like the doors were hardly open, I was very ready to get back to my life.
On the other hand, one really does get used to the company and Monday was productive but on the lonely side. Not so lonely that when #3 said she was too tired to go to school today I didn’t stand firm but I’m glad that regardless of the mess, fighting and general frustration I do still miss them.
I can’t help but think back on church when they would have ‘Ordinary time’ and whether the church agrees with me, January – March are the epitome of ordinary. Because there is very little innate excitement I do tend to invent things to do. There is freedom in the unstructured time and like an empty fish tank, I’m adding fish until its an aquarium of epic proportions.
Boring as it might sound, I actually am looking forward to getting my cabinets organized. You may think I should say ‘re’ organized but there is still stuff that is where it was unpacked from boxes and definitely not optimized. My goal is 1 a day, that is pretty easy, that should fit in around this and that. Up first was the odd corner cupboard. If you aren’t careful you have to crawl in to get the stuff in the far back corners. I’ve put my least used items in the way back top, and two very large pots in the back corner bottom. I added a freestanding shelf to better use the right-hand side and that has all my pie and cake dishes and front left are all the muffin tins and cookie sheets. Finally, the air fryer, a christmas gift that I love, air frying is just so fast! I’ve used it nearly every day and not just for novelty items like fried oreos, it is pretty great for frozen eggrolls too.
Trite as it might sound, I was a sloth for December when it came to exercise. The flu and travel ate half the month but before that, I actually met with a friend for a workout and we went shopping instead! Vacation Mom, my workout buddy, also had a shift in the schedule so our routine is out of wack and I need to get back to it. I’m off to a good start, I did a workout on Sunday while the kids swam (and if they were fighting I couldn’t hear it, yes, it was that sort of day). Monday does offer a perfect evening opportunity when #2 and #3 are at gymnastics. I have a workout plan for Wednesday too and things are looking good for going with Lars today and Friday. We had a discussion about the price of our family Y (gym with pool etc) membership. One of us wonders if the price is worth it based on how often we all go, one of us thinks that we should just use it more. I’m not saying who ‘won’ because I think exercising more makes us all winners. I should not sound so smug, I need to get over the fact that time spent working out is time I’m not using to clean or do or fix or any number of things I’ll prioritize over myself. So, if you come over and it isn’t tidy, please forgive me, I’m working a bit more on living a longer life then leading a spotless life. (this is hard)
The ordinary time will fill up fast. We are already getting info about girl scout cookies, the lobby dates are out, I have a conference for school board stuff next week and last but not least there is a big event this weekend we are having friends over for and there are lots of fun little events within the event to prep for. I’m starting my pile of ‘don’t forget’ today as well. I also need to do our yearbook and calender, the goal for finishing is before end of January.
This first week back feels pretty odd. I have muscle memory of all the activities so I don’t think I’ll forget anyone anywhere. Back to gymnastics Monday, choir Tuesday, jujitsu Wednesday, my board meetings Thursday and Fridays are flexible but fill in fast. I’m looking forward to at least a few weeks of school and the opportunity to get ahead on some stuff. How do you fill your ‘ordinary time’?
Yesterday our time ‘changed’ in the stupid WWII artifact of a social contract where we all agree that we ‘fall’ back one hour.
In reality, it is annoying to nearly everyone and absolutely despised by pets that are very used to being fed at the same time. This time of year we ‘get’ an hour so the question of the day was what did you do with your hour? It is silly because you get no more or less time, you just shift as if you drove across a time zone, but I had scheduled us a ‘do nothing’ weekend and the kids have today off (again, no real reason, just off today to keep parent on their toes) so I do actually have some extra hours. Want to guess what I did?
I cleaned closets.
For a month I’ve been intending to go through the closets. Purge. Get things ready for winter and put away summer. Someone lost 60lb and he is due for an exodus of too big stuff. I have lost no weight, but also gained no weight, so I have been wearing the same stuff for years and some are now just too worn out or not the right ‘look’ and it needed to be gone through. I’ve also come to the conclusion that it is silly to keep everything post-Fiona so 100% of her previous size is already packed up and is getting taken to its new home tomorrow. We tried on everything, made good choices on what to give away, and powered through!
I’m proud of myself for letting go of so much
- one overflowing tote of 6Tis going to a new family
- one giant bag is going to goodwill
- one medium bag going to fabric recycle (torn or too worn out)
In my closet, I’m down to 4 totes of seasonal stuff for both of us including shoes (mostly mine but his shoes are bigger so take up more space)
Each child has an organized wardrobe where they can find anything they want to wear and on their top shelf of the closet is a neat box labeled “Next Size or Season”. I’m very pleased that I don’t need to do major shopping, everyone has plenty that fit and they like. The only thing I semi need to get is some more hangers, who knows where they go.
We also didn’t let the rest of the house go to absolute poo while I was focused elsewhere. Most of Halloween is back in totes, laundry is going, and things are generally tidy. I don’t get my normal Monday to put things to rights but Niamh’s room looks great and so do the closets 🙂 We are going to go swimming later and we have a busy evening but it was a mellow but productive weekend.
Sometimes a project is absolutely necessary and so you just do it. Time is found, maybe counters are dirty for a day but the projcet gets done.
Then there are projects that aren’t really neeeeeded right away so you do some planning, then pick up some supplies intending to do it ‘that weekend’ and then step over said supplies for a month (or more). At a certain point, you might actually clean up the supplies to the garage and then have to go find them again. I didn’t get that far this time, I finally finally got some of our storage shelving up today; only took 3 months.
Note I say ‘some’ because, in my mental fog of life+too many projects, I got 8f long shelves and 2 shelf brackets each. Yeah, um, gravity etc. Now I have 1 shelf left to go up and a single bracket. Can I possibly complete a project without going to the store 3x?
I also got a tad frustrated because I had a great plan for spacing. I got a new stud finder because my old one took a little too much head trauma over the past 10 years and it makes noises but not very accurate ones. I marked studs, I marked and measured and used a level. However, on THREE of my brackets, the spot for the screw was EXACTLY where the builder used a screw to attach the drywall. I guess I should be proud I have the instincts of a builder but they got there first so I can’t also use that exact spot. I adjusted around and maybe one of my brackets only has 1 fastener, this shelf is not holding up bricks, but it is up. Do I go to the store for more brackets to finish the darn thing? I’m not sure, once I get shelves up then I just have to clean and organize so if I never get that shelf I can leave it the way it is right?
I’m glad that I pulled myself away from computer work and routine housekeeping to get this done. I always feel better for making headway even if I don’t finish. That last shelf might just decorate the floor for a bit longer but probably not forever.