Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Reality of Housekeeping (and a challenge)

I have a confession to make.  I hope you won't judge me too much.  And maybe you'll even be able to relate.  Anyway, here goes:

 I am a terrible housekeeper.

It's true.  Just ask my poor husband.  I am not great about keeping things super tidy around the house.  We're no where near being featured in an episode of Hoarders or anything of that sort.  It's not that bad.  (Which is often how I justify and excuse my laziness)  It's just more that I seem to have a special talent for ignoring the clutter and dust bunnies until it gets to a critical peak where I just can't take it any more.  Then I go on a mad frenzy of cleaning and organizing.

To help improve (and hopefully correct) this reality, I have created a challenge for myself during the month of October. And I am hoping some of you will join me!

During October I am challenging myself - and you! - to do 15 to 30 minutes of cleaning.
Every.  Single.  Day.

That's it.  No cleaning schedule or assigned tasks.  Just clean SOMETHING in your home each day.  There is only one "rule":  your 15 to 30 minutes has to be something other than washing dishes or laundry.  Those need done regardless.  And in my case, if anything is getting done its typically going to be one of these two things.  So, I have to pick something I would normally be more likely to avoid.

Each week I will be posting a list of suggested chores to get done based on what I am going to try to accomplish that week.  You are welcome to follow the list, or just follow your heart based on the needs in your own home.  This post will also be a chance to comment and let us know how you are doing and what you accomplished over the past week.   Yep  - Accountability!

I'm also including two bonus challenges for those of us who are really feeling up to it.

Bonus Challenge #1:  Complete at least one load of laundry per day.  By "complete" I mean washing, folding and putting away.  Because if you are anything like me, that basket of clean cloth clothes may sit around for days before something finally gets done with it.

Bonus Challenge #2:  Get the family involved!  Ask them to help tidy up for 10 minutes.  Set a timer and see how much y'all can get done.  You might be surprised what a difference just ten minutes can make!

So, what do you say?  Are you in?
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Monday, September 28, 2015

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 28

The last Spirit of Gratitude post for September - can you believe it?  This month... this entire year!... is just flying right past us!  I hope you are taking a little time to stop and really appreciate all the blessings in your life.  Here are a few of mine for the past week:

Feeling ok despite getting 3 hours of sleep
Sandwiches on croissants
Having most of my To-Do list completed by noon
The last day of summer
A new bird at the feeder
The first day of Autumn
Order completed and shipped
Everyone is safe after a scare at the schools
Rainy nights
Homemade tomato basil soup
The Weekend
Planning shop promotions
Planning new blog posts
A rainy morning at the farmers markert
Buying items to try a new recipe
Doing lots of reading
Starting a crochet project - for myself
Pumpkin muffins
Getting a football fantasy win
Carolina Panthers are 3-0
The grand baby falling asleep in the floor while playing
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Friday, September 25, 2015

And Then It Was Friday ...

I can't quite remember the last time I was this happy to see a weekend beginning.  I mean, I always look forward to the weekend because it means I have the Man of the House at home for two whole days.  And this time of year, it means lazy Sunday afternoons in front of the television watching football.  But this past week was a real doozy  and I am especially glad to be leaving it in the rear view mirror.  Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights:

Lack of Sleep: 
Which I feel I covered rather thoroughly here. Leaving the only thing left to say to be how despite two good night's sleep I still find myself fighting the urge to nod off.  An afternoon nap this weekend will do me a world of good.

Downton Abbey:
Yes, I am several years behind trend on this one.  But when I pulled my all night work-fest I finally got around to watching most all of the first season.  And I find myself quite smitten with that family of snobby Brits and their servant type peoples.

A Mother's Worries:
Nothing quite sets a mother's heart racing like receiving a message from the local Sheriff's department that her child's school, as well as the middle school next door, is on lock down with one suspect in custody.  Can you say "freaking out"?  Fortunately I was able to text with the male offspring and get his assurance that all was well.  They weren't even sure what was going on except that they were on "hard lockdown" and it was not a drill.  Apparently an emergency call was made to the authorities because of a woman on campus with a gun.  The lockdown was initiated and school resource officers apprehended her in the parking lot.  The lockdown could not be lifted until they did a full safety sweep of the schools and both parking lots. By noon the male offspring sent me a text to let me know it had been lifted.

All's Well That Ends Well:
I have to give credit to the school staff, the resource officers, and the local Sheriff's office who responded quickly and kept our children safe.

Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup:
Since I discovered this recipe on the Pinterest last year and made it for my family it has been one of our favorites.  In fact, several family members have declared it to be the best soup they have ever eaten. ( one of those members might be me) It is creamy, flavorful and de-li-cious!  Best of all, it's made in the Crockpot with minimal fuss.  A perfect meal for a cool, rainy autumn evening!

And that about covers it.  Another week in the record books (or something like that).

Right now, I believe I will take advantage of this rainy afternoon by making a cup of tea and seeing what the Dowager Countess has to say about her family's latest shenanigans.

Have a great weekend y'all!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Reality of Exhaustion

I had a whole post planned for today all about how happy I am to see the first day of fall and the lovely qualities of the season.  And I might even get around to writing that post.  Perhaps tomorrow.

But, the reality of today is that I did not get any sleep last night.  Literally.  None.  Not a wink.  Not a cat nap.  Not a tiny snooze.

Which has left my brain functioning far below normal capacity today.  If you can even call what's happening in there "functioning" at all.

Today, even my coffee needs a coffee

There's no one to blame but myself.  It was simply a matter of poor planning on my part.

You see, I had a customer who needed her order in a bit of a hurry.  And I grossly underestimated how long it would take me to complete her order.  And it had to be in the mail today if there was any chance of it getting to its destination on time.  So, as a result I found myself staying up last night to complete said order.  Which happened about 5:00 am this morning.

This gal is in need of some sleep.  In a very serious way.  And maybe after that I can manage to write that fall themed post I had in mind for today.


edited to add: Today Only! Save 15% OFF  everything  in  my  Etsy shop with code  FALL15  
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Monday, September 21, 2015

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 21

Morning cup of coffee

"Good hair" days
Inspiring posts from other bloggers
The Man of the House
A fantasy football win
Putting together a puzzle with the grand baby
Vegetarian chili
The male offspring feeling better
God keeps speaking to me about the same thing - teaching me
Orange vanilla seltzer
Another wholesale customer
New pictures for the bathroom
Fall like temperatures
Watching the debate as a family
The morning goodbye kiss
Having a small head start on project
PBS kids
personalizing a plain phone case

Getting stuck in fair traffic
The Man if the House making chili
A sweet treat
Everyone doing a load of their own laundry
Not having to cook for 2 days in a row

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When Your Self Esteem Goes to the Birds

We have a pair of cardinals who regularly visit our bird feeder.  I fondly refer to them as Mr C and Mrs C.   Over the last few weeks, we have started seeing them bring their fledglings around to enjoy the buffet.

photo: publicdomainpictures.net

If you have never had the experience of watching fledgling cardinals mature, let me just tell you - it is probably the least attractive part of a cardinals life cycle.  They start out a sort of grayish-brownish color with peeks of reddish feathers peeking through.  But then they start molting.  As they begin losing the dull feathers and becoming more red, they start looking a little rough.  Which taught me that even cardinals have an awkward puberty stage of life.

We have seen about 4 or 5 of these youngsters hanging around the back porch gorging themselves (because apparently teenage male cardinals also have bottomless appetites, just like their human counterparts).  All in varying stages of molt.  While being chaperoned by Mr and Mrs C.

Last week my own offspring and the grandbaby were doing g a little birdwatching out he kitchen window.  Discussing the cardinal family and which appeared to be male or female,which seemed to be a little older, etc.

And that's when I heard: "That one must be the mama, because she's really fat"  Um... say what, now??  Why is the mama bird the fat one?

And that's the day cardinal watching made me feel bad about myself.

Not really.  It was pretty funny actually.  But, it did give me pause for a moment.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 14

A safe and healthy labor and delivery for my sister
A brand new nephew
Pretty painted nails
Going to bed early
All natural, homemade apple crumble
The Man of the House and the grand baby playing Rescue Bots together
A floor full of toys
Much needed rain
A good cup of coffee

Grand baby hugs
Falling asleep in the Man of the House's arms
Salad with apple and walnuts
The grand baby saying "Oma, you're funny!"
14 pounds Gone!
The start of football season
Lazy Sunday afternoon watching football
Finishing a good book

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Song in My Heart: Through All of It

This song has been running through my head a lot lately.  Enjoy...

"There are days I've taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn't make again
I've had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This is has been the story of my life

"I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it"

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Reality of a Three Day Weekend

The celebrated three day weekend.  It's great.  No question about it.  An extra day to sleep in and ignore the alarm clocks, schedules and demands of the typical week day.

But there's also a dark side...  it messes with the whole rest of the week.

Monday feels like a Sunday.  Which is all well and good.  Then comes Tuesday.  And Tuesday will be disguised as a Monday all day long. Which is not so well and good.

Looks like a Monday. ..

Maybe, just maybe, by Thursday the days will be sorted out and begin to feel like themselves again.  But that doesn't always happen.

Sometimes they continue to leave me out of sorts until, suddenly, the weekend appears again. Which is kind of nice because then the weekend is almost like a happy surprise.  Sneaking up on you after Friday spent all day feeling like a Thursday.  As if you've skipped Friday all together.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Spirit of Gratitude: September 8

This week I was thankful for:
A morning walk
Hearing "You the best Oma ever!"
The Man of the house coming home after a very long day
A to-do list done
The start of fall cleaning
Cleaned out and organized cabinets
August goals accomplished

Feeling pretty
The male offspring cleaning up after dinner without being told
Pink sky morning
Pack and shop day

The guys getting haircuts
A shoulder rub
Three day weekend

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Favorites - Labor Day Weekend

We made it to another weekend, y'all!

Not just any weekend, either.  A Three Day weekend! And I know you gotta love that!  Well, OK,  sure - it's not required that you like it or anything.  But, I mean... c'mon!  An extra weekend day.  That's all good!

Labor Day weekend means the unofficial end of summer.  Which, for me, means the start of Boot season!  That's right, as of this weekend this gal will be pulling the boots out of the back of the closet and gearing up to rock them for the next 7 months or so.  I adore boots, and would own a closet full of them if money were no object.

Around these parts, Labor Day weekend means the North Carolina Apple Festival.  We'll usually head downtown to check out the booths, munch on some candied apples and funnel cake, and head home with a selection of fruit from local growers.

It has been another crazy week for me.  And I'm still not feeling 100% great.  This time last week I was sure it was a cold.  Now I think it must be allergies; because since when does a cold last two weeks??  Or maybe it started as allergies and is now trying to decide if it's going to blow up into a sinus infection or not?  All I know for sure is that I wish it would just end, already.

Because of this, I am not sure if I am personally feeling up to being all apple festive this year.  Honestly, I am just looking forward to a quiet weekend.  Going to bed early.  Maybe sneaking in a nap or two.  That sort of anti-excitement.

What are your weekend plans?

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