Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

Busy Day

Incredibly Cute Animal Pictures – pinterest

I have been going non-stop since we got up this morning.

Bad weather – in the form of cold front, cold rain, ice, sleet, snow, and flying hair balls is forecast for today-into-tomorrow. Since our driveway is steep and 650 feet down to the street, we tend to take ice seriously around here. Snow isn’t as much of a problem, but Arkansas tends to do ICE and THEN snow on top, making for a hairy situation.

The mailman came up the driveway today. We had received a BUNCH of packages and boxes as well as our regular mail, so we spent a bunch of time opening and organizing things. Then we went to the grocery store to get things we would be unhappy to be without if we get stuck on top of our ridge line. I got all the food put away while my husband took all the boxes and packing and burned them in the burn barrel. (It was raining, so we didn’t have to worry about having the fire.)

My husband had asked me to make pulled pork, so I spent about an hour getting a pork shoulder ready for the crock pot. It’s cooking now. Just as I cleaned up the kitchen, it was time for lunch.

I just finished cleaning out the refrigerator we have in the pantry and am now taking a break for a cup of coffee and my blog. It’s already 4:30!

I found more Christmas decorations in the pantry, so I’m going to open up the bags and decide where to put things.

A happy, busy day, and I’m feeling that someone sucked all the energy out of me. I’m going to regroup for a while and then tackle the fun job of looking at Christmas decorations.

I hope the weather where you are is good and that you’re having a great day.

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Today’s Project – Fridge One

We have a fridge like this one in our kitchen. I love it. It’s a side by side with an icemaker. The doors open wide and there is a lot of flexibility in how you set things up, what temperatures you want, etc. We got it about 10 years ago, so it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles people have now, but it’s really good for us and I hope it lasts a good, long time.

The outside is a nice, glossy black that looks great when it’s spanking clean and gets to looking pretty sad with a gazillion finger prints on it, spills from something we took out of the fridge, water deposits of ‘something’ in the drain under where the ice comes out, etc.

Our problem is compounded because I have all kinds of ‘stuff’ on it.

 

 

I have all kinds of information regarding Nutrisystem – snacks, okay veggies, okay fruits, grocery list, etc. We also keep a record of propane tank readings monthly. We have timers, fridge magnets, reminders of coming appointments – you get the idea.

Today’s project was to clean the fridge – particularly the inside. It started with using up our supply of cut up celery and radishes ready to eat. I fixed that, and then was again aware that the fridge really needed some attention, and had been needing it for awhile. I’m fairly good about watching for expiration dates on things, but I tend to shove bags of lettuce, veggies of all kinds, cheeses, etc. into their places without cleaning the bin or drawer UNDER them much, and the stuff in the door is even worse.

I just finished the fridge in the kitchen. It looks and smells really good now. :0)

Tomorrow’s project will be the fridge in the pantry…

 

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Today’s Project – Scrubbing the Tiled Areas

We have about half of our first floor done in tiles – walk-in pantry, kitchen, dining area, utility room, and two half-baths. I have been working on this project all day and am about half finished.

I scrubbed all the counters, polished tables, cleaned window sills, harvested lettuce, put out a few Christmas decorations, etc.

 

This is the kitchen. I’ve scrubbed everything up top now, and the stove parts are in the dishwasher.

 

This is looking from the kitchen out toward the dining area. (You can see my lettuce plants in the background.)

 

These are a few of our Christmas decorations on the divider between the dining area and the kitchen.

 

This is the dining area and my moved-inside-veggie garden. I still have lettuce and some celery plants.

The next step in today’s project is to vacuum all the tile and then mop.

I’ll try to take pics of more Christmas decorations when the light changes.

I hope you’re having a good day, too.

 

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Today’s Project – The Entertainment Shelves – Is Finished!

I guess if you’re ‘regular folks,’ you might think that the shelves need to be cleaned out NOW. If you’re the Lewises, though, this is WONDERFUL.

 

We have about 1/3 as much ‘stuff,’ as we did, the shelves are clean, smell like lemon Pledge (Ahhhh!) and are organized. (The pic above is my husband’s side of the entertainment center, so he’ll probably do more rearranging, but now he won’t choke on the dust while he does it. :0) )

And this is MY side of the entertainment center. I now have things where I can find them. I found things I didn’t realize I HAD, and did away with more stuff I no longer want.

I’ve worked on this project all afternoon, so with a little nudge from me, we’re going to get fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant for dinner tonight!

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Today’s Project -11-29-2018

Sono Marin Cleaning Services

I WISH I had a cleaning service, like the one above!

I told you recently that we had decided to get rid of our DVD collection – or most of it, since I kept my prized ones, not completely trusting the Synology Storage System. We gave approximately 217 DVDs to the local library for their next fundraiser.  We’re trying to sell the ones Amazon would accept, though it made me feel older than dirt when ours weren’t ‘acceptable’ (even Blu-rays) most of the time, due to the publishing date being too old.

This left us with several empty shelves on both sides of our TV!

I’m working my way through them, cleaning and moving things around. Due to the fact that they have held DVDs jammed side by side for umpteen years ( I removed the strips my husband cut to length and screwed into each one to make the DVDs stand in the shelves correctly) – cleaning is a real trip – partially because, other than running the dustcatcher over the top of them, the shelves couldn’t be cleaned without taking all the DVDs off each shelf. Since I’m a slob – FAT CHANCE! So I’m choking on dust, then using a clean cloth and Pledge to get the shelves clean and wonderful-smelling again, and THEN rearranging things so that books on the same subject are together, for example. I’m also getting rid of a lot of things.

I’ve spent a couple of hours on the project so far.  I’m about halfway finished and am taking a much-needed break.

When I finish my husband’s side, I’ll take pics of the newly clean, organized shelves!

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Truths

Trees truths – I Stole This From Another Page via Kim Cummings

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End of the Kitchen Drawer Project

Well, I threw away things, put extra supplies in the pantry, and reorganized the rest, having the things I use most often easily accessible now.

Our driveway beeper went off just before I took these pics. It was our wonderful Tri-Hill bug guy, on a follow-up trip to treat the outside of the house that he couldn’t do due to rain when he treated the inside recently. I found out that his last work day this week is today, and he has until Tuesday morning off!

While we were talking, I again noticed a BUNCH of frozen, dead foliage around the porch and in the planters, plus a gazillion dead ladybugs on the front porch. I was embarrassed that our outside was such a mess, so I’ll put in some time out there this afternoon. I’ll get rid of the poor ladybugs, cut down the dead stuff, and maybe get started on the leaves all over the front yard. I want to make mulch for the flower beds. If they’re dry enough, I might get started on that today…

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful last-day-before-Thanksgiving, too!

 

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I’m a “Stash-a-holic”

Believe it or not, this is a very nice double pull-out drawer inside one of my kitchen cabinets. The bottom holds cooking vessels of various kinds and stays in good order. This, however, is a horse of a completely different color, to coin a phrase.

Ziplock bags, sandwich bags, aluminum foil, etc. are stashed in here to the point it’s hard to get one thing out without other things coming with it.

So this drawer is today’s project.

 

Here it is from another angle. I would be embarrassed to show it to you – or admit that it’s MINE – except you KNOW I’m a slob and that I’m on a mission this year to go through areas one at a time, sometimes – in this case – one DRAWER at a time to declutter, give away, throw away and then reorganize our over 30-year-old home.

My husband, thankfully, is oblivious to my slobbiness, and I overlook his championship pack-rat skills, as well. While this makes for a happier marriage, it results in messes like this.

The first step was taking everything out of the drawer, cleaning and relining it.

 

This is one view of what came out of the drawer.

And here’s another. Hopefully, later in the day I can show you a much-improved supplies drawer – putting it all on the island insures that I won’t leave it until later. We can’t fix lunch unless I clean this up! :0)

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DVD Project Almost Finished

I am almost finished with the DVD project. These are the remaining DVDs that are my personal collection. These are the ones I want to keep, regardless of whether they are on the new, fancy movie storage thingie my husband got, and that we are enjoying now via Roku. Roku has made noises about not offering the access port after the first of the year. We’re not sure if this means they won’t offer it to new members or are doing away with it altogether. We’re hoping that since we have it now – this change won’t affect us. Since we have been on the wrong side of percentages in the past, I’ve elected to protect MY group by keeping the physical DVDs.

Now we have four empty shelves on the left side of our TV,

and at least 3 on the right side. It’s nice to have the freedom to rearrange our ‘stuff’ now. :0)

Meanwhile, I THINK I can finish going through the remaining DVDs in the office today, either listing them on Amazon (we’ve sold 7 so far) or bagging them up for a donation to our local library for their next fundraiser.

If all goes as planned, we’ll be making donations to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith, and the library in Greenwood tomorrow.

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Phase 2 – Shoe Shelf and Closet Progress

After Phase 2 of my decluttering/reorganization efforts, I now have a whole column of cubbies free.

 

I put three pairs of boots on the shelf above my tops and scarves, but the whole shelf on the other side (not pictured) is empty, as well.

 

After getting into my ruthless mode, I am donating 12 pairs of shoes to the Veterans Thrift store. I still have more shoes than any two feet can wear, but – HEY – I’m worth it!

Phase 3 of this effort will be putting things ON the shelves above my clothes and the empty cubbies, but that is a low priority thing.

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Two Project Day

 

THING ONE:

I told you recently that my husband got a new gadget that allows you to record all your DVDs on it and play them back whenever you want through the TV. There is access to it via Roku, and we enjoyed watching one of our collection last night.

I’ve been working on a project to go through all the DVDs in our collection (hundreds!) and SAVE the ones that are mine personally. (I don’t really trust the new gadget and would be happy to simply play my movies when I would like.) The others I’m looking up on Amazon to see if we can sell them. The ones that remain I’m bagging up to give to the local library for their next fund-raising project.

I’m trying to go through several stacks each day. Most of ours appear to be ‘ancient’ as far as selling on Amazon, so most of them are going to the library. I’m trying to finish this project so that we can make a donation the week after Thanksgiving.

 

 

THING TWO:

Yesterday I showed you Phase I of reorganizing my too-many-shoes. We built and installed a 7 foot long shelf along one closet wall. We put it up high enough that I can store shoes on the floor under the shelf, as well.

Today’s project is to try to get ruthless. One can only have so many combat type boots in a lifetime, for example. I love boots of all kinds, so this will be a difficult assignment, but I’m determined to get rid of a BUNCH of pairs of shoes. I have a leaf bag, a pad of paper and pen ready to go upstairs and get started.

Again, the goal is to have a good-sized donation ready to take to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith by the week after Thanksgiving. I’ll try to take a pic of the finished shoe shelf by the end of the day.

Wish me luck!

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Shoe Shelf Project

I have too many shoes. I’m really trying to go through and donate some of them, but I really have trouble parting with them. I’ll get more ruthless later, but right now, My closet was being taken up by too much wasted space.

I asked my husband if we could build a shelf along the wall about 14 inches up from the floor so that I could put shoes ON the shelf, as well as UNDER it. Yesterday we got a nice board 10 feet long and 12 inches deep. We cut it into 4 pieces: one for the shelf and then three supports. I painted the pieces yesterday so they would have all night to dry.

We installed the shelf today and I’m busily scheming on how I want to rearrange things. :0)

Here are some pics of how it was BEFORE –

This shows you that I’ve been trying to store shoes, purses, health supplies, too-small jeans and shorts, shoe inserts, and shawls on the top-level above my hanging clothes and scarves.

 

I have two columns of cubicles, but ALL were filled with shoes.

 

 

Ta da!  This shelf is 7 feet long and 12 inches deep. You can see the supports that hold the shelf up high enough along the wall I can put shoes under it, too.

 

Until I can force myself to get rid of more than the 3 pairs I’m donating so far, these are most of my shoes. I still have a couple of cubbies that have shoes in them, plus one shelf of combat boot type shoes along the top of the opposite side, but I was able to completely free up four cubbies after storing purses in some of them. I’ll probably refine this further by at least moving the summer shoes to the closet where I have my summer tops.

I was able to empty one full shelf above my clothes on one side of the closet. I moved my purses to some of the cubbies.

I realized I was starting to ‘stash’ and make excuses for what I was keeping, so I stopped for the day, but I wanted to show you that we made significant progress in making my closet much better!

 

 

 

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Project for Today – 11/12/2018

World Arts Me

 

I’m in the middle of “PHASE 2” of going through our house with a fresh eye, trying to purge, donate, give away, clean, and reorganize things room by room, one cabinet or drawer at a time so as not to be completely overwhelmed.

I made it through PHASE 1 – and we have made lots of donations to the Disabled Vets Thrift Store and to our local library to use for fundraising. Our house is better for it – better than it’s been in years. I’ve made a pact with myself that I will do this at least once every 30 years or so…. :0)

Today’s project is the double cabinet under the sink in the kitchen. I have stashed as much as I can in there now, and it’s to the point where I can’t get anything out without several other things coming with whatever I’m looking for.

 

As you can see, it’s been time for a clean-out for quite a while. Last time I did this, I added the two storage bins to help a bit, but they are overflowing.

I have everything out of the cabinet now. My husband awoke from a nap in his chair, going into the kitchen to heat water for some hot apple cider. He asked, “What’s happening?” seeing all the ‘stuff’ on the kitchen counters. I assured him that it would all be ‘healed’ sometime during the day….

I’ll try to post a pic later, and hopefully, you’ll be able to see a difference.

 

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Sand/Water Blasting and Bulldozing…

Sun Sentinel

Actually, although I DO sandblasting on glassware and tools in the shop, and water blasting on the deck, concrete, and more, I am using the kitchen sink and cleaners for today’s project of scrubbing out all our trash containers, putting in trashcan liners (as I SHOULD have long ago) and putting things back together.

I’m getting several messages from this project –

  • I’m spending much of the day doing something I COULD have avoided if I had put trashcan liners in all the containers when they were clean, umpteen years ago
  • Scrubbing out trash cans is a LOT of work
  • Putting the clean trash cans with fresh liners back gives me good exercise – particularly the ones that belong upstairs
  • We have a LOT of trash cans! Since I’m scrubbing them all, I’m counting – and we have 21 trash cans inside this house!

I have SIX remaining to scrub, line, and put back.

If I still have energy, I’m planning to clean out the double cabinet area under the kitchen sink. (Can you imagine – things tend to fall out of there whenever I try to get something!)  :0(

With these two projects for the day and my 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer, I can feel good about my activity level today.

amazon.com

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Sunday’s First Project

World Arts Me

It seems that everywhere I look in my house – or outside, for that matter – many things are calling to me, saying things like, “I’m choking on the dust!” “I’m going to fall all over you the next time you try to get something from this shelf!” “Hellooooooooo! Are you still there?”  “Feed me!” “Clean me!” “Water me!” “Cut me down!”  You get the idea. Most of the time I’m able to ignore things, but every once in a while, I feel guilty and attack something.

  • One day this week I finally cleaned our ceiling fans – we have eight of them inside. (I’m still ignoring the ones in the garage, porch, and deck, and I’m not even THINKING about the ones in the shop.)
  • Yesterday I cleaned the three-window-combo in our dining area, then ended up cleaning other stuff…
  • Today I tackled our “back” bathroom. This one is off our utility room. I use it daily after breakfast to dry my hair, put on makeup, etc. The cats also have their litter box there – in case a need arises and they happen to be inside and no one is reacting to their pleas to go out.

Since this bathroom is right next to the door to the garage, my husband and I put up 2×4’s flat on one wall, then painted them white to match the wall, then put up a gazillion or so hooks to hold our hats, gloves, etc. years ago. Later, we added a couple of short shelves, since the cabinet under the sink is small and we needed more storage space.

Since then, the shelves had become a catch-all for cleaning supplies, paper supplies, make up, an electric razor plus attachments for cutting hair, and more. All were studiously ignored, so there was a layer of dust on the top shelf, and there was so much on my make-up and toilet paper shelf that the things threatened to tumble off onto the floor if I wasn’t really careful when I picked something up.  Cleaning the actual shelf was impossible.

I decided to move a small table with storage under it and a drawer into the bathroom. This has been in our foyer for years and years, acting as a catch-all for books we’re going to donate, clothes we’re giving away but haven’t gotten into big leaf bags yet, and more. Everyone who comes to visit comes through our garage, so we were able to ignore this problem area, too.

 

It may be odd, but I have some wonderful art work by friends in this bathroom, as I get to enjoy them every day this way.

 

This is the sink that has a cabinet under it, but no drawer.

 

This gives you an idea of our storage system for gloves and hats.

 

This is the small table that used to be in the foyer, plus the cats’ box.

 

There is never enough room to store scarves…

 

And here are the infamous shelves whose items were threatening to jump off and dump themselves on the floor. I separated my makeup into things I dash on every day and other things for when I want to get more serious in the bag on the shelf above.  I put the back up stuff in a gallon storage bag, and the everyday stuff on a pretty dish I have. Now I can clean under things quickly. :0)

And why didn’t I do this years ago? One of the big mysteries of life….

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Clean Windows!

We’re having a truly gorgeous day today, and it’s supposed to rain late tonight into tomorrow morning, so we’re trying to take advantage of it.

Several years ago we replaced our 30-year-old windows. We’ve been delighted with both the lower heat and air bills, but also the QUIET we have now. I also love the fact that, when I’m not being a lazy slug, I can actually clean both sides of our windows without going outside.

Since the dining area windows are a bit laborious, I asked my husband to help me. I took everything off the window sill, and then we took down the cafe type curtains that run along the top.

Then, we actually have three windows here, all of which open like cabinet doors. I can move them back and forth, cleaning both sides until they don’t show any large smudges.

The window outside the bottle feeder for squirrels, and the occasional bird who is brave enough, gets pretty yucky because neither the squirrels nor the birds care where they spit the seeds out.  Most of them fall straight down onto the deck, but since they spit in whatever direction seems good at the time, a lot of it lands on the windows. I notice it a lot because it’s right in my line of sight looking out in the mornings.

 

Here’s a view from the other side of the dining area. Now we have an unobstructed view of whatever squirrels and birds are out there, but also the trees in the valley beyond, which are changing colors now.

This was enough window cleaning for me, today, though.

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Today’s Project

Hansen Wholesale

We love fans. We sleep with a floor fan and ceiling fan, even in the winter when we turn our electric blanket on. :0)  We have an attic fan that we figure is worth its weight in gold. We installed it when we built the house in 1987 and it has worked flawlessly ever since, allowing us to open our bedroom window at night in the summer and turn on the fan, bringing cool air in. Ahhhh.

We love to open our front and back doors and turn on the ceiling fans, bringing in a lovely cross breeze, airing out the house.

We have eight ceiling fans in the house, not counting the garage, back porch, or deck. I’ve swiped at them from time to time, but they haven’t been seriously cleaned since 1492….

They are on my list today. I recently cleaned the one in our bedroom. It was quite a laborious job, since it was thick with accumulated dust and grime. I ended up climbing up on a ladder with a wet cloth, moving it S L O W L Y across the top of the fan blade, careful to keep all the ‘guck’ in the cloth. I then climbed down, rinsed out the cloth, and then came back to seriously clean that blade. We have 5 blades per fan, so it was a good amount of exercise before the fan was clean.

Now multiple that times 7 more fans…

If I weren’t such a slob things wouldn’t get this way. By the end of the day, I hope to have all eight ceiling fans ready to be ignored for the next umpteen years. :0)

I did find an Unger Ceiling Fan Duster

I just ordered from Amazon. Once I get them clean, I SHOULD be able to dust them from time to time without causing the dust of the world to fall on my head…

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Bad News and Good News

MLive.com

The BAD news is that someone in South Carolina won the grand prize in the Mega Millions game last night.  :0(

The GOOD News is several-fold:

  • I have tickets for Power Ball that will be decided tonight!
  • My friend, Marsha, and I reconnected!
  • I just had a really good session of yoga, and my husband did some sit ups!
  • I finished cleaning off the table beside my chair in the living room and the ‘go-out’ table in the dining area.

I don’t have a ‘before’ pic of the table by the chair in the living room, but here it is cleaned off –

 

 

 

Here is the BEFORE pic of the go-out table between the dining area and the utility room with the door to the garage –

 

 

And here is the way it looks NOW

 

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“Closet” Project Almost Finished!

Pesquisa Google Pinterest

 

Actually, yesterday was the biggest push on this. My closet is as organized now as it ever gets – cool and cold weather clothes in there now. I filled a whole leaf trash bag with clothes that were TOO LARGE yesterday – my reward for the day. I’ve spent SO many years moving too-small clothes back and forth, ignoring the problem. The past couple of years I’ve only moved the ones I had SOME chance of getting into by the NEXT season, or things I really loved that I just couldn’t face giving away. As I told you yesterday, I’m still grinning that a deep purple sweater with leather front decorated with leather flowers finally FITS!

The remainder of the closet project will be done today, since it’s STILL raining and too cool outside for comfort  (45 degrees F.)  I moved the warm/hot weather clothes into the guest room closet. I’ll get them arranged a bit better, with room for our son to hang stuff up when he visits (sometime this winter!)  And THAT will finish the closet project.

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Decluttering – Cleaning Out – Celebration!

Cosmopolitan

I told you recently that I’ve started on Phase II of decluttering my home. It’s been awhile since I’ve made any progress because I’ve been working out in the yard. Now that we’re having a rainy weekend and first of the week, I started on the master bedroom and bath.

With the sudden coolness,  yesterday we got the upstairs vacuum working well enough to clean both rooms. I found myself grabbing a hoodie to keep warm, so today I started on my closet in earnest. I moved the hot weather clothes into the guest room closet and the cold weather clothes into my closet. Now I’m doing sessions, trying on everything and deciding whether it’s wearable and I like it, or if it’s in good enough shape to donate to the Thrift shop, or…

A truly wonderful thing is that I’ve been moving a sweater with a leather front, leather flowers and a front zipper back and forth for at least 5 years now because I loved it, even though it was WAAAAAY too small.  Today I tried it on and it FIT!!!!! I got my husband to come upstairs, put it on, and even HE thought it looked really good. He said, “Not only can you get into it, it fits WELL and looks GOOD.” :0)

I like loose tops. I’ve found several, however, that are SO loose they’re either falling off my shoulders or come down so low in front I might as well not bother wearing anything. Woo HOOOO!  I have a pad and pen and some trash bags up there to receive the donations now.

I get tired and out of patience quickly trying things on and taking them off again, so I’m spacing out the sessions. I’ll try to finish things by this evening.

It really feels good to be celebrating getting rid of clothes that are TOO LARGE, as well as purging my closet in general.

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Today’s Exercise Sucks!

Alamy

My son gave us a small Dyson ball vacuum when he decided he wanted to live and work in China. Now he’s in Thailand and I still use his vacuum upstairs.

Lately I’ve been having trouble with it. It was REALLY hard to push forward – acting like it was on strike – taking all of my strength to try to vacuum the rugs in our master bath. I brought it down to have my husband – Mr. Fix it – do his magic on it. Like taking your car to the shop, he pushed it around and found no problem, so I took it back up.

Today I started trying to vacuum our bedroom and the master bath. Same problem. I left it where it was and came down and got Mr. Fix It again. This time it showed its true colors. Even my husband couldn’t get it to go forward. PLUS, it wasn’t sucking. The combination made it pretty useless.

He took it apart, frowned at it, and put it back together again. Somehow that made it suck again, although it was still really hard to push forward. It was bad in the master bath, but wasn’t bad at all on the bedroom carpet…

So, I finished vacuuming up there, and now I have sore stomach muscles from trying to push the thing in the bathroom – so I’m officially using my cleaning efforts as my exercise for the day.

We took it apart again, and I brought down the filter and the canister that holds the dirt to wash them out. He found another filter inside the ball and brought it down and we washed that, too. Hopefully, when we put the dry, clean parts back together, it will be happier. Otherwise, I’ll drag my larger one from downstairs up the next time.

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Decluttering Project – Phase Two – Office

I’ve been going through our home this year, trying to look at everything with a fresh eye with the idea of keeping what is useful or brings us joy, and giving away what we hope others can use, and getting rid of ‘stuff’ that just weighs us down. Since we’ve been in the house for over 30 years now and are both pack rats, this is a big job. We aren’t ‘hoarders’ as on TV, but we have gone far beyond reasonable in ‘stuff.’

I’ve made good progress, going through each of the rooms of the house (with only cursory attention to basement, garage, and shop due to ‘intense discussions’ on what constitutes ‘junk’) and am now starting PHASE II, going through everything again.

I started with our office, because we both spend a lot of time in here. My husband was finally able to get both of our computers going again (INTENSE GRATEFULNESS and RELIEF) so I’m officially moving the laptop back out to our shop. There is one remaining open computer on the counter. This is a project of my husband’s, so I’m keeping hands off and mouth firmly shut. :0)

Otherwise, I have been working on this room part of each day for approximately two weeks. Trips and other priorities made this a bit hit and miss, but today I feel as if I’ve made definite progress.

I have one small pile of things left to file or pitch. Otherwise, I’ve cleaned out my drawers and shelves here. It’s nice to not have to wade through a whole pile of ‘stuff’ to get to my calendar, or discover that I actually have two wall calendars for 2019 already! I’m comfortable at my computer now.

 

This was a real mess. I threw away a BUNCH of things. Again, I can find things easily now and have removed more dust than I care to detail. :0(  Our shredder is sitting on a box containing a new laser printer. Our old printer that was beyond used up suddenly gasped and is functioning. We’ll finish out what it can do and THEN get the new one set up.

 

And this is my impractical, but well-loved desk, finally clear of many piles of things that couldn’t be moved before today for various reasons. It’s nice to be able to have a spot to actually work without having to move stacks and stacks of ‘stuff.’

Motivation is picturing our son, who lives and works in Thailand – and who loves his minimalist lifestyle, having to go through things and decide what to do with all of it. I’m not sure which room I’ll tackle next. I have to admit that everywhere I look, attention is needed. I feel good that I have one room “Phase Two Finished.”

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Balloon Pricker

Science ABC

A good friend of mine, Carla, and I went for a free dinner and spiel by Healthy Home 365 yesterday afternoon. We’ve been to other spiel/dinners, but this one was at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Fort Smith, a restaurant we both like, and we wanted the time together to catch up, so off we went.

This company has lots of good ideas for energy savings in your home. The spiel was well done and the food was good. I’m glad that technology is now providing good ways to minimize the affects of attics on homes. They have a solar-powered attic fan, a stuff called MLI, a multi-layered 99.9% aluminum ‘sandwich’ that comes in rolls to go over your existing attic insulation, an additive to put in your air conditioner to get rid of fouled oil that is supposed to prolong the life of your a/c, an EcoProbiotic System you attach to your air ducts to remove bacteria, etc., etc., etc.

My main reaction is that my husband and I have done what we’re able to afford already with a geothermal air conditioning and heat system, a tankless water heater, new windows, a check by our electric company for places we were losing heat, etc. These companies know what demographic they’re targeting, but it seems to ME that they should be targeting affluent middle or upper class families, rather than ‘mature’ people like us. The technology was impressive, and of COURSE I’d like to do ALL of it, but the cost was astronomical, even with a 30% price savings due to a Federal credit on your taxes. My friend signed up for an estimate, and I’m interested to hear what they told her. The estimates are supposed to be good for one year.

Big selling points were the tax credit, discount for quick sign-up, a higher selling price on your home, a payment plan, amortizing the cost over your lifetime, etc., etc. We have a reverse mortgage, so we aren’t concerned with selling our home. We are still trying to amortize the cost of the geothermal system, even though we received tax savings on that, ‘lifetime’ warranties mean a bit less now.

If this were about 15 years ago, we might have jumped at this. Their really good products and we would love to have them, but priorities are different now.  Sorry. I had to prick their balloon.

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Important Ideas to Consider, learning new things, opportunities, quality of life

3rd (and Last) Session in the Yard Today

For my third session in the yard today, I pruned our rose bushes. I weeded around them, too, and GUESS WHAT! – encountered more swarming ants! I went and got the sprayer and hosed them down well. I only got bitten in one session today, on my left calf, and that’s GREAT with all the hostiles I encountered.

 

I then got the leaf blower and cleaned off the front porch, pad, sidewalk, and then the back sidewalk, and finally the garage pad before declaring and end to the outside work today.

I rested a bit, drank more water, then we had lunch – on the nice, clean porch! :0)

Finally, I just did a session of yoga.

Arlindo Martins

I have a back ache after all the work in the yard. I was able to lessen it a lot with all the stretching. I’ll take some Advil to finish things off and then rest again before dinner.

I got a good amount of exercise done today (for me) and the yard and greenhouse are under better control now.

I’m looking forward to relaxing a bunch and enjoying taped TV or a movie tonight – and definitely a good night’s sleep.

I hope you had a good Sunday, too.

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Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Yard

alamy.com

I am devoting the day to working in the yard. Since I’ve been home from seeing Murray, I’ve been getting laundry and the house cleaning under better control. Today it’s time to shift my focus to the yard. My husband mowed recently, so I can concentrate on the smaller things that need doing.

I’ll be out there in several shifts today, resting and hydrating in-between –

  • pruning rose bushes
  • spraying EIGHT bug spray on the ant piles and hostile ants my husband found while mowing, and then while pulling a weed out of a planter on the deck while we were grilling steaks last night
  • planting the head iceberg lettuce six-pack I bought in town yesterday in the greenhouse
  • weeding flower planters
  • finding, cutting and planting tomato suckers in the greenhouse from the plants still alive
  • cleaning up the greenhouse
  • spraying and weeding the planters on the deck
  • using the leaf blower to clean up porch, sidewalks, and garage pad from the grass cutting my husband did
  • weeding and preparing the raised bed planters in the garden for the winter

The list is never-ending, but our weather is cooler, so it’s nicer to tackle some of the issues.

If I actually accomplish something significant, I’ll share some pics later.

One wonderful thing happened in the front yard this morning! I went out to call Amber after Molly had barked to come in. She and Smoke (the gray cat) were together messing with ‘something’ in the yard. I went out to find they had unearthed a mole! I stomped on it a couple of times, but that didn’t kill it. I called to Amber to follow me inside, which she did, reluctantly. She really wanted to continue picking the mole up, biting it, and spitting it out again. I got Amber inside, grabbed the hemostat clamp we have hanging up for when we need to grab bad things securely, and picked up the mole and threw him as far as I could into the woods in front of the civilized part of our yard. I’m hoping that he will either die (yeah, I’m cruel) or if not, satisfy himself tunneling through the 7 acres we’re NOT trying to fashion into some form of a lawn around the house.

Have a great Sunday!

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

Immortal

My husband has, once again, made something immortal, fixing the light by my chair that had gone wonky. I would turn it on and then it would go off by itself. Sometimes it would come ON again, making us feel as if the gremlins were in charge. We decided it had to be the lamp part that the light bulb goes in, and so went to Yeager’s this morning and bought a replacement part. After my husband did his thing, it’s working fine.

We built these two lamps in 1969 when we married. We couldn’t afford ones we liked, so we went to an aircraft junk yard and bought two parts of a helicopter. (Yeah, we were weird back then, too. )

 

We sandblasted each of these and wired them, installed lamp parts, and then a holder for the shade. They weigh about 50 lbs each, so I get a bit of exercise moving them back and forth on the tables to dust them – and under them.

We’ve loved them because they are unique. No one else in the world would probably HAVE them if they were offered, but WE like them and they aren’t like everybody else’s. We put a spark plug in each of them, just as an accent. :0)

We’ve laboriously moved them with us to each new place. So far, they’ve been with us for 49 years. With the fix my husband did on the one by my chair today, they’ll outlive us!

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Decorating Ideas, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, memories

Closet Purge/Reorganization Project Finished

I have now finished going through my closet with my hot weather clothes, all my shoes, purses, scarves, etc. For me, this is good. Before, my shoes were all over the floor, for example. To the right of the shelves you can see my scarves and a hint of my purses.

 

My shoes are actually in the shelves for shoes now!

 

Casual tops are on the top. Dressier (as far as I GET dressier) on the bottom.)

I’ve tried everything on and have brought a LOT of stuff downstairs and dumped it in the foyer corner until I start listing and bagging things for donation to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith. THAT’S for another day, though.

I’m going to go put my feet up and dive into another book. :0)

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Filed under Challenges, giving, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects, Organizing/DeCluttering

Smiling Fish

I bought an aquarium vacuum quite some time ago, but didn’t use it until yesterday. It’s a siphon-type apparatus. You sink the main part, getting it full of water, then turn and bump it up and down a few times to get the siphon action going. (This proved to need two of us yesterday, though I think one person is supposed to be able to do it by themself.)

Once we got it siphoning, it did a good job of sucking up the gravel and separating the debris from it, sucking it out through the tube and into the sink.

 

I then added the decorations, new filter cartridge, etc, and topped it off with the fish. They’ve been smiling ever since, and the water is nice and clear today.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Project for the Day

I got six of these fabric bins so that I could do a better job of storing Afghans, blankets, throws, and quilts. I have shelves upstairs, but I want these to stay clean. Living up on top of a ridge line means that whenever doors are opened (50+ times a day letting doggies, cats, or people in and out) dust blows in. No matter what I do, I’m always finding dust all over everything. I refuse to dust and vacuum more than a couple of times a week, so we live with both dust and animal hair.

These bins seem like a good way to store my extras dust-free. They have zippered tops and open up nice and wide. They have a plastic ‘stripe’ down the front so you can easily see what is inside. I’m hopeful that these will be at least part of a solution to my storage challenges.

 

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Bug Busting

 

I told you yesterday that a scorpion casually waltzed up from the drain hole in the sink and mooned me night before last while I was sleepily washing my face getting ready for bed.

I won’t have it! Today I’m concentrating on the second floor, getting stuff up off the floor, vacuuming thoroughly, and then spraying all around the baseboards, windows and doorways with our good bug sprayer. One of the bug companies years ago said, “The only good bug is a dead bug.” I basically agree – emotionally – since I know that bugs are good for something in our ecology. I just don’t want them to be good for the ecology in my house!

We’re in the awkward stage for the commercial bug sprayers to come back here. They spray, and for two weeks afterwards, if you see a live bug, you call and they’ll come back and spray again at no extra charge. We’re about halfway between the no charge respray and them coming again for the contracted quarterly treatment. I’m trying not to have to pay an extra charge, if I can knock these out myself in-between.

So far, I’ve finished our master bedroom and the master bath, plus our two closets. I’ll rest a bit and then go up and tackle the next section.  Hopefully, I’ll finish the second floor before the end of the day.

I hope it’s not buggy where you are.

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance

I’ve Earned my Salt Today

“To be ‘worth one’s salt’ is to be worth one’s pay. Our word salary derives from the Latin salarium, (sal is the Latin word for salt). There is some debate over the origin of the word salarium, but most scholars accept that it was the money allowed to Roman soldiers for the purchase of salt. Roman soldiers weren’t actually paid in salt, as some suggest. They were obliged to buy their own food, weapons etc. and had the cost of these deducted from their wages in advance.”

I learned this phrase from my parents and just now realized I had no idea where the phrase came from or if I were using it correctly. (My parents meant “earning your food and upkeep.”)

I’ve been working most of the afternoon – inside – because it’s way too hot to be working outside at least until it’s almost dark.

amazing-creature.blogspot.com

The main thing I accomplished today was cleaning the floors on our first floor. I vacuumed the tiles and then mopped. (Pantry, kitchen, dining area, entryway to living room, two half-baths, and the utility room.)

I then vacuumed the carpeted flooring (office, foyer, and living room.)

We’re much better than we were, though it’s never all clean at the same time. I feel much better about things, though, and that’s good for the day.

I’m feeling as limp as the sweet puppy above, so I think I’ll get a bottle of water and go put my feet up awhile.

I hope you’ve had a good day, too.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob