Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hectic Times

It seems that I have been living in a whirlwind for the last couple of months. I know that many of you have been too. It seems like there is never enough time to get what I want done. I am pulled in so many ways these days. I wish for a simpler life almost everyday. I know what I want to do, however, now is not the time.

Getting ready for Christmas has been simple this year. Since I quit my job in June and then the Business basically went into a hibernation state, our money has been really tight. I made my last paycheck last through our August Business money needs, and a few more seminars, but now that is gone.

Christmas will be lean, but that won't hurt us. Christmas is about giving, not receiving, so we will be fine. We have plenty of food storage and lots of sugar left over from our Summer Shaved Ice Business, so we can give a lot of sweets away as gifts. I can not wait until February when the business can again be worked. I just hope the finances can hold on until then.

Our Christmas decorations are in boxes in the storage shed and silly me put them in the back. I was thinking that I would certainly have gone thru everything by now. But alas, I don't need anything in the shed, until I see it. Of course, there are mementos from times past, like yearbooks and trinkets, that I would like to keep. But I really don't miss them until I see them, and then it is "how could I give THIS away?"

Moving into a smaller home has been good for us. But the one challenge is that we do not have the room to store or keep all the things we had before. We have what we need in the house now and not much room for anything else. I have a 10 X 15 storage unit full of stuff to come here and I do not want to look at it. I have no desire to sort it, because I will find too many things that I will have to have.

But if I do not sort them, I will loose important things, like letters and things that can not be replaced- family heirlooms. You see, I did not take the time to organize my packing from the Old House, because we were in a hurry. So I don't feel like I could just toss that stuff, just because it has almost been a year and I have not looked at the boxes. Big mistake on my part. If I had only organized that stuff before I put it in storage, I could be tossing boxes and not be overwhelmed by the task that is looming ahead of me. Rats! Pack Rat Syndrome is a killer!!!

Christmas baking has been slow. It seems that every time I bake, my family can not leave the goods alone! I have not been Scroogie enough to keep the goodies from them. I will have to do that soon, as I have less than a week left. But I am sure that things will work out.

House cleaning and organizing has been my focus for the last week and a half. It has been challenging and fun. I only have the closets (coat, linen, laundry and pantry) left. OK, I have the two bathrooms to organize too. But they will not take more than an hour at the most. I am saving them until last, because that will be like spreading icing on the cake and then you're done!!!

Because our dressers are in the storage unit buried beneath other 'treasures' (or junk, if you are not the man in 'one man's junk is another man's treasure'), I have improvised a cubicle storage for now with our packing boxes. It is unique, doesn't look so sophisticated, but it is functional and I will be happy to use it for now. This is not the first time I have used boxes for furniture.

When I moved to St. George, Utah many years ago, I did not have any furniture. So I got boxes from the Grocery store and made end tables which I covered with material for table cloths. I have two folding chairs and a card table. I found an good old sofa by the dumpster in my apartment building and covered that with new material. My mattress was raised off the floor by sitting on a couple of pieces of plywood resting on some blue water barrels that were trash from a business. Again, I used old material and sheets to hide my under workings.

It was not the Trump Palace, but it worked for me. Most visitors were amazed to find out how I was able to decorate and not spend very much money. And the greatest benefit was that the boxes could hold my sewing and craft items out of sight! Double benefit, functional and storage.

Yesterday I moved Hubby's computer to a real desk. But the desk was my son's and the top is only 16 inches deep. So I had to find a piece of countertop to set on top and make the top deep enough to hold the monitor and keyboard. I want to put the monitor in top of a box that the keyboard can slip into, but that will be far in the future. Hubby says that this setup is just fine. The kids like it, as the height of the desk is better than the unit I had it on before.

So now I have my Kitchen Island back!!! I am so glad. I have not used it in the new house and I am so glad to have it in my Kitchen. I have been wanting to use this as a bake station. Now I am not sure if it will be a baking station or a home for my crockpot. I hope the baking station wins out.

I used to keep my crockpot on the counter, but decided that it looked crowded. So into the cupboard it went. I have my breadmaker (who is a Star Wars R2D2 look-a-like) on the counter. It has a clock on it and I hate to reset that thing every time I use it. I do keep my toaster out and butter so that it is soft ready for fresh hot toast.

My crockpot is in the cupboard where I keep my mix master, and they are put away which is good. However, they are a bit heavy to move around. But I can probably deal with that for a bit more time. Heavy things are difficult for me, I once had the strength of giants, but now some days, I have the strength of mice.

I keep my can opener in a cupboard along with my magic bullet and the Coco-motion. I had put them all on the counters before and prefer them tucked away in the cupboards now. It make the kitchen seem more organized.

My pantry needs some tweaking. I want to move some of my 'not used very often' items into cupboards just outside the door in the garage. But I don't have 'cupboards' yet. That too will come with time and money from the Business this spring.

I have put a pretty greet vinyl tablecloth on our dining table that is green with snowmen all over it. I love snowmen! And then I set the table with my Christmas dinnerware. It had looked so nice. I just need to get back my clear dinner plates from the Day Care and then I can use the Christmas-ware as chargers and we can eat off the clear plates and still see the Christmas patterns in the plate below.

Our stockings are hung, actually pinned on the curtains I made to hide our TV stuff. We don't have a mantel over our fireplace as such so they should be happy hanging to the side I think.

Hubby finally installed my fold up wall table for folding laundry on, yesterday. I have yet to try it, I should be using it in about 30 minutes. This should make a big difference in getting things folded and put away. I have been using my bed, and if I get too tired at the end of the day and clothes were not picked up by the kids, then I would stack them on the floor at the foot of my bed. Needless to say, this system was not working.

It seemed like all of the sudden I had mountains of everybody's everything, including towels and stuff for downstairs all mixed up on my floor. So, my table should solve this. I will fold, and then put the stuff on their beds, and then it is up to them to make sure it gets in their closets.

The laundry is in the upstairs hallway. The center of the upstairs. So three steps to the linen closet. Six steps to Angel's room and Seven steps to Pilot's room and then Four steps into my room. The only far distance in the items for the main level, but I have a basket for that. If I am not going down, I will put the stuff in the basket at the top of the stairs and take it down when I do go. Can't be much simpler than that. Going to Work For Me!!!!

Oh by the way, if when you are cleaning and you see some of your 7th graders homework make sure you know where you put it. I actually picked up some of Pilot's homework and knew that he had done the project in class. I assumed that he had turned in the work, so I threw it away. I found out 4 days after the garbage truck came, that the teacher had not recorded the grade! Thankfully, she trusted me and gave him credit for that assignment. But that is not the end of the woes.

Pilot and I can not find his Autobiography Work. I have looked everywhere. He has looked everywhere. He gave it to me to review and see that he really was working on it. I looked at it and he was doing a great job. It is nearly done. I am so proud of him.

But, I can not find the papers! I had them last and I have this great fear-knot in my stomach, a fear that I accidentally set it down and then grabbed a pile of stuff that I was sorting and threw it away!

I was sorting my Cub Scout Stuff and project files and I had two stacks, one to keep and one to toss. Since I can not find his work, I have this sinking feeling that it was somehow, tossed by mistake! I am just sick about this. This is causing him to have an incomplete in his class. So I have to write an email to his teacher explaining what I think happened. Embarrassing to say the least.

And I have no idea what we can do. Hopefully she will let him have some new papers and maybe he will just have to do it again. Boy do I feel frustrated!! He entrusted this to me and I have lost them. Oh Raspberries!!

Well now that this is so long, I guess I will end for now. I wanted to get some of this stuff down in writing before I forgot that I had really been accomplishing so much. It seems like ages since I have had the energy to get things in order. The house is organized but it is not perfect. It still looks lived in and homey. It is not so clean and organized that anyone would feel like they could not move around or touch anything.

I will never, I don't ever want to be a total perfectionist in my upkeep of my home. I want it clean, but livable. I want it inviting and homey. My priorities list does not have 'a clean house' as number one, number one is a family that loves each other.

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