Category Archives: Housekeeping – Maintenance

Busy Saturday!

I didn’t even get time to write anything on the blog yesterday we were so busy!

The first thing we did was put the shutter back up that blew down during the storm before last. Yesterday was the first day we’ve had where it wasn’t too windy to be up balancing a 2 foot long shutter on a 2-story ladder. I HATE it when my husband has to do this. I am height challenged in two ways: personally in being too short for a lot of things I want to do; and secondly, I’m afraid to go up a ladder, be on the roof, etc.  I CAN get up there, but I freeze after I do, making me useless.

The holes for the shutters in the brick are wallowed out. I suggested we put the screws in the shutter, hold them on with mollies, then use liquid nails in the holes. We could then screw the screws in as far as they would go and hopefully the liquid nails will harden and hold them in. Amazingly, my husband thought my idea was a good one! We got it finished. No one broke any appendages. We didn’t yell at each other. All is good.

The next big thing we tackled was getting the irrigation system going. We THOUGHT the one to the garden was working, but discovered that the timer for the system died suddenly, and our veggies were being watered continuously. ARRRRRRGH! We got the water shut off, went to Yeager’s and got another time. We programmed it, installed it, and tested it. All is good there, too.

Then we started with the irrigation system that handles watering all the flowers in the planters around the house. We spent at least a couple of hours finding and repairing breaks in the front yard. We had trouble reprogramming the brains of it, which live in the well house, but we THINK we finally got it right. We tested the system in the front, found and fixed more problems, and called it a day.

Another good thing about working in the yard yesterday was that I logged over 7400 steps! That’s amazing for me!!! WOO HOOOO!

We will probably tackle the irrigation system for the back yard today. We’re thinking about changing the tires on the truck this afternoon, from the snow tires to our regular ones. We’ll see how we fare after other have-to’s have been accomplished….

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Filed under Arkansas, Gardening, Greenwood, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Bright Idea!

good idea – pinterest

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

The Problem with a Clean Kitchen

P&G Every Day

P&G Every Day

This isn’t MY kitchen, but I wanted to give you a mental picture.

The problem with a clean kitchen is that I don’t want to mess it up once it’s good, deep down clean. It’s a result of my being a slob. If my kitchen were ALWAYS eat-off-the-floor clean, I wouldn’t think a thing about going in to make pudding – or worse – my husband going in to make pudding. I wouldn’t care if we were doing something a bit messy, like sausage balls. I would calmly be planning lunch in a few minutes and figure out what I’m fixing for dinner later.

Because I’m about as far from “Suzy-Homemaker” as one can get, now that I’ve spent an hour or so taking everything off the counters, cleaning the counters and all that goes on them, the island, the kitchen desk, the microwave, the stove, the double sinks, the fishbowl, etc., the stove burners are in the dishwasher and the nice smell of lemon greets you as you enter. The floor is clean from my efforts over the past two days. I couldn’t feel less like tackling my list of ‘to-do-cooking’.

I want House Beautiful to come photograph. My kitchen IS pretty when it’s clean. :0)  I want everyone I know to come over and remark on it. I want my husband to notice it and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahhh’ appropriately.

If I were less of a slob I might hire a kitchen fairy to do the deep cleaning while I kept up with the day-to-day….

My husband just came into the office. The first thing he said was, “Wow! The stove looks good!”  I think I’ll keep him.

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Look Quickly While My Floor is Clean!

HomesFeed

HomesFeed

I’ve told you that I’m a slob and that housekeeping rates priority only above bookkeeping and tax prep.

Yesterday I finally vacuumed my first floor tiles. This is a big thing for me, because doing this involves

  • walk-in pantry
  • kitchen
  • dining area
  • utility room
  • a hallway
  • two half baths

Then I mopped with a nice solution of white vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing liquid and lots of warm water. Today I’ve just finished applying Rejuvenate, a new-t0-me floor cleaner that is supposed to do a really good job on tile.  When that dries, I’ll put on a super thin layer of shine. Then I can ignore the floor again for a time before I have to move everything out again and start over.  (Two days if I’m lucky)

With two messy people, two slobbering dogs, and two cats who shed as they walk across the floor, trying to keep things reasonably clean around here is a definite challenge – particularly for a slob like me.

My husband insists that I am able to shoot an intruder, change a tire, clean outside lint traps, mow the lawn, etc., but insists he is unable to tell one end of the vacuum from the other. He ‘cannot see’  a giant hairball as it slides across the room when the door is opened. He doesn’t realize we have a mop. He’s wonderful in LOTS and LOTS of ways, but he considers cleaning and cooking to be MY things.

As soon as the floor dries, I’ll hit it with a bit of shine and then insist my husband ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ several times during the day and evening ( assuming we haven’t already spilled stuff and the dogs and cats stayed outside…)

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Tour of My Now Clean Art Room

art-hallwaytoartroom

On the second floor of our home we converted a third bedroom into my art room. My husband and I built these shelves in the hallway outside the bedroom, plus installed some cabinets underneath with a top to hold some supplies. The shower curtain to the right of the picture keeps dust (and cats) out of our linen area.

 

art-draftingtable

This is my drafting table where I do most of my painting. I have a sheet of vinyl to protect the actual drafting table, and then I have a large piece of heavy glass. This was set up to start my new Christmas cards and ornaments, but will be cleaned off to start painting the stationery and note cards order.

 

art-jewelry

We put up shelves over a dressing table area. I have all kinds of ribbons and string on two long rods below the shelves and above the counter top. The counter top is set up for making jewelry. To right right are shelves full of note card and stationery supplies.

 

art-drawingarea

I’ve set up this table as a ‘learn to draw’ table, with my Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book, with lessons to work through, templates I  made before, the beautiful pencils set my husband got me for Christmas, etc. This is also the area where I do things with my alcohol ink. (You can see the wooden base my husband fixed for me, making holes the little bottles of alcohol ink can sit in.)

 

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This is the far end of the room, past the drafting table in the middle and the drawing area to the right of the picture. We hung shelves all the way across to hold supplies over a counter top with drawers on both sides. Between the drawers I have three roll-arounds.

As you see, I have many wonderful things to work with in my art room. My biggest problem trying to clean is that I want to stop and do something with a wonderful ‘thing’ I had forgotten I had… I could easily spend all day every day here, playing with my goodies.

I hope you enjoyed the tour. This afternoon I’ll be heavily into creating stationery and note cards for my customer. I’m not sure if she wants personalization or not yet. I’m excited to get started!

Have a wonderful day!

 

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Filed under Arts and Crafts - Teaching, Favorite Things, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Still Buried, but Peeking Out…

James McInvale Illustration

James McInvale Illustration

This isn’t my art room, but it gives you an idea of what I’m trying to organize in preparation for actually working in there to give voice to some ideas banging around in my brain lately.

  • I’ve cleaned and organized a space where I can try to create jewelry.
  • I’ve cleaned and organized a table where I can work through the lessons from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, working up to enjoying all the glorious pencils my husband got me for Christmas.
  • I’ve cleaned off the counter top that runs from one side of the room almost to the other side under my shelves on the opposite side of the room from the jewelry area.

What remains is the mess in, around, and on top of my drafting table – the place I need clean in order to work on my latest ideas.

I DID manage to gather the wooden ornaments I want to paint as samples for some custom, personalized ornaments for the website. I also have the card stock and envelopes, plus paint ready for the cards, plus the letter stamps for the back of the cards.

I’m hoping that I can finish getting things either put away and organized or thrown away today so that I can start playing.

Wish me luck, please!

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

Rainy Days

Giggle Juice via Vickie Eisenlohr

Giggle Juice via Vickie Eisenlohr

We’re really dry here in Arkansas, so I’m delighted that we’re having several days in a row of nice rain.

I also freely admit I’m grateful we didn’t have ice this time and we’ve only had one snow so far this winter (knock on wood).

I’m using the time when it’s nicer to be inside to TRY to get better organized. (I know – you’ve heard this before….)

For example, I spent some time upstairs in my art room yesterday afternoon. I was planning to get started on some ideas I have for some new Christmas cards and some painted wooden ornaments.  The room is in SUCH a mess that I spent much of the time trying to get things put away, find the things I was looking for, etc.

I DID clear off a work table. I set it up as a ‘learn to draw better’ station, with the new, gorgeous suitcase of all kinds of pencils my husband gave me for Christmas. (It has drawing pencils of lots of gradations, colored pencils, prisma color pencils, pastel pencils, charcoal and more.) I found my Drawing on the Right Side of the  Brain book I’ve had for years which has lessons that will help me see things with the more creative side of my brain, helping me reproduce what I’m seeing in a more satisfying fashion. (At least I HOPE so anything is up from here. :0) )  The last time I tackled the book I made several templates suggested in the book to help me focus on a particular thing. I found those, as well. All is set up for when I can make the time. I hope to get through all the lessons this year.

Most of the rest of the room is awful. I’ll spend some time today setting things to rights – at least so my drafting table is clean and I finish finding what I was looking for yesterday. The biggest problem is that I have a lot of fun stuff up there. As I try to put things away, I get distracted by what I find, making me want to stop cleaning and play…

I’ll try to do Practice 3 this afternoon of my new “Gentle Yoga Flows” DVD by Sixty & Me, and tonight we’re going bowling with three good friends.

Beautiful morning, afternoon in my art room and stretching to yoga, bowling and ice cream with friends this evening. It doesn’t get much better than this!

I hope that YOU are having a wonderful day, too.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

I’m Getting There

This is the really crazy time of the year when I meet myself coming and going, feel guilty when I’m doing one thing when I should be doing another…

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I really tried, and then came downstairs. Usually I read awhile, but last night – since I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t turn my brain off – running through what I needed to be doing, I got our Christmas cards ready to mail.  I finished about 3a.m.

Yesterday I spent all afternoon cleaning off the deck and front porch and putting trash bags over the planters in preparation for winter. I’m happy that that chore is now done, but it put me behind on all the rest of the stuff I NEED to do!

Now I can put a check mark beside –

  • Clean off front porch and deck and prep for winter
  • Get Christmas cards ready to mail.

I’m ALMOST to the point after working this morning where I can check off getting Christmas presents ready for my good friends. (I’m going to paint 24 note cards today and tomorrow to finish up the group.)

I’m also continuing to work on clearing off my desk and reorganizing the office shelves.

I’m heading up to my art room to get started on the note cards.

Are YOU having a good day?

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Dog Bed

Orthopedic Bed - SerenityHealth.com - 3 Shades of Dog

Orthopedic Bed – SerenityHealth.com – 3 Shades of Dog

One of the three dog beds we have looks much like this one. At least it DID, before the dogs made holes in the cover on both sides and began pulling the foam out and spreading the fuzzy side of the cover all over the house…

Today we found some denim in the basement. We had to go back to town to get lots of large diaper pins – a hard thing to find in this day and age. We just finished safety pinning the denim to the top of the bed. It doesn’t look pretty, but Bambi, our pit bull, immediately got on it  and settled down for a nap.

Dog-approved, maybe the bed will last for awhile longer.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Battle of the Books

Libraries & YA - WordPress.com

Libraries & YA – WordPress.com

I spent the whole day moving stuff.

My husband was suggesting that we should have a clear demarcation between office supplies and supplies to USE in our office shelves. I had just moved a bunch of cookbooks INTO those shelves in order to make space in the living room…

I went upstairs and looked at the built-in shelving in the guest room. I decided that these could be used to hold a lot of books. First, I had to clean THEM out, moving my out of season shoes and purses. When those were empty, I started the big reorganization.

Since we’re eating low carb and low or no sugar now, I have a lot of cookbooks we don’t use all the time.

I looked up each one on Amazon and found several I could put up for resale there. The ones I couldn’t went into two places: the place in the foyer where we gather books we take as a fund-raiser to our local library. The ones I wanted to keep I put on the stairs.

When I finished with Amazon and the give-away groups, I lugged all the keepers upstairs and put them in the guest room bookshelves.

Then I started on all the books I’ve gathered for running a small business, plus some art and craft books. I did the same series with all of these, listing some for resale, put others in the give away pile, and the rest on the stairs to go up.

I now have all the  books out of the office! Tomorrow I’ll start reorganizing the office shelves so that we can both easily find whatever we need…

I can tell you first-hand that lugging books around and up and down the stairs is great exercise!

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Problem

toomanytabs

Growing Bolder.com

I definitely have too many irons in the fire lately, and it’s causing my normally reasonably pleasant personality to devolve into sighs and snaps if my husband points out something that is ‘in process.’

I’ve just spent time doing laundry, paying bills, pulling plants out of the garden. I come in and sit down at the computer and he makes a comment about my desk being buried under piles of stuff again….

The reason for this, other than the fact I’m a slob and anything fun comes before cleaning stuff up, is that he wanted me to clean out all the cookbooks that were in the kitchen and the living room. I brought them into the office, putting them in some of the shelves.  Boxes of Christmas cards went from the shelves to my desk.

Then he wanted me to separate the office supplies from the ‘stuff we want to use’ (such as the many rolls of different types of tape we use to box things up) – separated from the envelopes, etc.  I haven’t tackled this yet.

The reason the Christmas cards are on my desk, along with stuff that needs to be filed – is that I haven’t figured out where to put them.

I going to try to sell some of the cookbooks. I’m going to send some of the Christmas cards. I’m going to box up the Christmas presents for my friends that are there, file the paperwork – while my husband sits, working happily on a project….

ARRRGH!

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All Seasons Day in Arkansas

windows1

Today we enjoyed almost all 4 seasons here in Arkansas. It was so cold and rainy this morning that I made a chicken stew in the crock pot as comfort food for this evening. It stopped raining, but still was cold until fairly late in the afternoon.  One of the things on my list was to clean the dining area windows. All of a sudden it was sunny and almost 70 degrees outside!

 

windows2

About five years ago we had all our windows replaced, except for the garage. We bought nice ones, double-paned with gas between the panes for good insulation. We had no idea that the good windows would also cut down on so much sound from outside that many times we have storms and are unaware of them!

 

windows3

My favorite thing about these windows is that you can open them up, cleaning both sides from the inside. I’ve never had these before, so this is a real treat. It also makes it so I can get the windows clean on the 2nd floor – something I just ignored before, due to my inability to perform heroic acts (like washing windows) on a two-story ladder while fighting wasps.

Now I can open these up, in the dining area, opening them up almost like cabinet doors, and clean them. Since it got so warm today, I took advantage of the hour or so I had to open these up and get the windows really clean again!

I’m still a slob, not washing them as much as I should, because I have to move a LOT of things in order to be able to open the windows, but I sure enjoy it when I DO get them squeaky clean.

We’re do for another freeze tomorrow night, so the ‘window of opportunity’ was only available for a short time…

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Master Bath Cleaning/Reorganization Project is Finished!

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One set of shelves

 

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Second set of shelves

 

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Main part of bathroom – vanities are on the right. Closet is to the right, as well. Shower to the left.

 

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Vanities with now clean/organized drawers!

 

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Shower room – shower is to the right.

 

mb1

My closet.

The project took several days, but we spent several YEARS stuffing things into drawers and shelves. We can find everything now. Nothing falls on us when we open a door, cabinet door, or drawer. We actually have lots of places we can put things! It will take us a bit of time to get things as out-of-control as they were. The trash man will be impressed with the amount of ‘stuff’ we’re getting rid of this week. :0)

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Innovation - Great Tools

Getting There…

Time Management Ninja

Time Management Ninja

I’m into the home stretch now. The shelves have been cleaned out and reorganized. The drawers were completely emptied, cleaned, and reorganized. The shower has been scrubbed.

The whole bathroom and closet have been vacuumed.

 

vacuuming-deviantart

Deviant Art

 

 

Duffel Blog

Duffel Blog

I have now mopped the floors and am waiting for them to dry.

The last steps will be to finish a bit more scrubbing, put the rugs back in, and vacuum them.

It will be good to have things clean and organized, at least in one room…

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Heavy Duty Cleaning – Master Bath – Session 3

Environmental Services Ltd

Environmental Services Ltd

The drawers are cleaned out and organized. A BUNCH of ‘stuff’ has been thrown away.

Now we’re down to the cleaning –

  • Dusting first
  • Then scrubbing of facilities above the floor (scrubbing bubbles, comet, soft scrub, Clorox Cleanup with bleach, occasional dynamite)
  • Then I’ll vacuum the shower area, main bath area, and my closet floor
  • Then I’ll mop everything
  • Then I’ll put the rugs back in
  • Then vacuum the rugs

Assuming I live to tell the tale later today, I’ll share pics. Then, I’m hoping to do more yoga – but if not, there’s tomorrow…

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Arrrgh!

Oprah.com

Oprah.com

Our master bath area has a main part, with vanities and a whirlpool tub, my walk-in closet, and a combination toilet/medicine cabinet/shower area. It doesn’t look QUITE this bad, but you get the picture of what a mess things are upstairs. I’m trying to gather my motivation to attack the problem as I type.

Yesterday I took EVERYTHING out of three large drawers beneath my sink. I’ve been stuffing things in the drawers for years, only getting appalled recently. I procrastinated for another long while, thinking about the fact that it was long past time to go through things.  This week I did the two sets of shelves and the medicine cabinet, throwing away LOTS of stuff and reorganizing the rest.

I pooped out yesterday, running out of time and energy, and warned my husband that things were quite a mess in there, but that I would tackle it again today. He was amazed at how much ‘stuff’ came out of the drawers!

This morning before we joined our friends for Lunch Bunch, I pulled up the three smaller rugs and one larger rug, the runners under them that keep them from ‘traveling,’ and then got everything else up off the floor. I brought in the vacuum cleaner and brought up the mop and mop bucket in preparation.

I’ve run out of time to procrastinate, so I’ll finish this post and get to it.

I’ll try to post pics later today, assuming I’m successful in making sense of everything up there.

I hope that your day is filled with fun stuff today.

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Impatience

Laila Ali via Akiva Huber

Laila Ali via Akiva Huber

 

I’m going to print this one and hang it up so I see it over and over.  I’m impatient by nature and have to really talk to myself (I know – I’m nuts) to keep going, whether I’m trying to lose weight and build strength and flexibility, undo several years worth of ‘stuffing’ things into drawers or onto shelves in our master bath, or get our garden and yard under control.

I’m looking at this as a character-building exercise, something that will make me a better person in the long run. I AM making progress on learning my own limitations as I age and modifying my expectations of what I can now do in a day. I still tend to overdo, spending the next day trying to recover. I’m learning to do projects in ‘sessions,’ stopping when I’m feeling overwhelmed, then doing another session until the job is done.

With my weight and strength, there is no time limit. This isn’t a ‘diet.’ It’s a lifestyle change. Now things are complicated because we need to do low or no sugar for my husband. It’s a worthy goal to achieve because it’ll do both of us good. I want my husband to live as long as he is able, feeling as good as possible. Scrambling to learn what I can do to help is something I really want to do. An example, I’ve discovered that avoiding gluten for him is counter-productive, since the gluten is offset by alcohol sugars and other additives. We MUST do a good job of reading labels!

On the master bathroom going through/throwing out/reorganizing/cleaning project – right now it looks as if a bomb exploded in there again, since I’ve emptied out my three large drawers and put things on the step that goes around or bathtub. I’ve already thrown a bunch away and plan to do more of that before deciding what do to with what’s left. Assuming I can finish that today, I’ll plan on the last session tomorrow – pulling out the rugs and doing a deep cleaning of the whole area, including the tub, shower, vanities, floor, and rugs. If I falter, I’ll reread the reminder above…

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, Healthy Eating, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Purging and Reorganizing – Master Bath – Before

mbr10

I really have little excuse. I’m not Suzy Homemaker who puts things where they belong as they are used. I wish I were! Instead, I clean things like our sinks and the counter between them, stuffing things in drawers or on shelves. As a result, we have another area that desperately needs attention. It’s on the second floor of our home, so no one sees it but us, but enough is enough.

 

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This is one of two sets of shelves in our master bath. This mess has essentially been years in the making. This one acts as a linen closet, medicine cabinet, and cleaning supplies place.

 

mbr12

This second set of shelves is cosmetics, soap, lotions, potions….

I won’t show you my drawers (if you’ll pardon the expression :0) )  But I will show you some close-ups so you’ll have an idea of the job I’m undertaking. I can imagine you shaking your head in disgust, or feeling good that YOU don’t have this mess. It’s okay. I ALWAYS have excuses, other priorities…. I would have to clean and reorganize before I could get people to come and try to clean my house!

 

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mbr8

 

 

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The above pic was the end of the pics for the first set of shelves. The remaining pics are for the second set of shelves.

 

 

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mbr4

 

 

mbr3

 

 

mbr2

 

mbr1

So, now that I’ve again admitted that I’m a slob, I’ll get started doing something about it. I’ll need to do this in several sessions over at least a few days, but when I take breaks, I’ll post again – unless I get completely buried. (My husband is concentrating on straightening out our genealogy records on the computer and may not even notice I’ve been buried until he wonders why I haven’t brought him food yet….

Encouragement is definitely appreciated!

Have a wonderful day!!!

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Supplies Part of Pantry – After

spafter6

Well, it’s about 4 hours later and I’ve finally finished. I HOPE you can see a difference here. I threw out a bunch of stuff. relocated other stuff, and reorganized what was left so that the things we use most often are the most accessible.

 

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I also tried to organize things so my husband can find what he’s looking for easily.

 

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My husband noticed that things were ALL over the kitchen when it was time for me to fix lunch. We managed amid the complete chaos. He then noticed all the stuff that was in the kitchen had made it ‘somewhere else.”  He made one suggestion on moving the instant pot to the place I had the salad spinner, “since I never used that anyway.” I shooed him out with a big smile and left them where they were…

I’m feeling much better since I found some things I had lost. Everything is much cleaner now, and I think I have things where I want them. If not, I have a GREAT start on another move-around!

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I’m a Slob – ‘Supplies’ Side of Pantry

 

I’ve admitted before that I’m a slob. Some people have tried to excuse this for me, saying that I’m too busy ‘creating’ to bother with this. To this, I thank them for being kind, but say, HOGWASH.  Every once in a while, my clutter and stashing bothers even me, and that’s when I finally do something.

I showed you the food side of the pantry that I finally cleaned up a few days ago. The trigger for this was that my husband needs to eat as sugar-free as possible, so we are getting rid of a lot of foods that neither of us should no longer eat, clearing the decks for a new emphasis on making condiments, sauces, etc., that are not filled to the brim with sugar. Due to the purging and reorganizing, I can now find things quickly and easily, concentrating on the MAKING, rather than the FINDING.

 

spbefore2

I hate to have to admit I’m such a slob, but with the glorious supplies side of our pantry, I have now stuffed and jammed as much as the shelves will hold – and more. I’m going to take a good, long look, get rid of a bunch of ‘stuff,’ and reorganize the rest some that we don’t have to climb into the shelves to get things, hoping nothing falls on us.

 

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Even UNDER the shelves is jammed full.

 

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All I can say is, “What a mess!” I’m determined to make sense out of this, though, and hope to be able to report significant progress by the end of the day.

Strength – don’t fail me now….

 

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Food Part of Pantry is DONE!

foodpantry1

The high carb or high sugar foods have been boxed up to give to the local food pantry or relegated to the lower shelves where ‘out of sight – out of mind’ reigns. I threw away a lot of half-used things from the pantry and the fridge. I went through all the containers to make sure all was good and then wiped down all the shelves with Clorox Clean-up.

 

foodpantry2

My husband feeds the dogs twice a day, and his only request was that I keep the shelves clear where he is working with the dogs and bowls. Otherwise, he just said, “Wow! You’re getting serious, aren’t you?” when I was about half way finished.

 

foodpantry3

All is clean and reorganized now so that I can find the ingredients I need to make our low carb, low or sugar-free meals. I’m going to be trying to find recipes for the condiments we use most often if I cannot find good sugar-free alternatives.

Tomorrow I’ll start on the other side of the panty where we keep supplies. Right now it looks as if a bomb went off somewhere near… :0)

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Cleaning Out the Pantry

The Spadina Monologues - WordPress.com

The Spadina Monologues – WordPress.com

I’ve spent about an hour so far in our pantry. I’m making progress, but it’s VERRRRRRY  slow. Thus far, I’ve discovered that

  • almost NO condiments, such as A1 Sauce, Tartar Sauce, Ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc. are good for our low carb/as-little-sugar-as-possible lifestyle. ( I did find a mayonnaise made with olive oil that’s good, a low-sugar ketchup, and I made sugar-free BBQ sauce a couple of days ago. I’m going to need to do lots of research – particularly in the area of tartar sauce for my husband – and do some good replacing, or making more of my own.)
  • I’m not at all sure my husband can be switched to low sugar or sugar-free jelly. (But then I also realized that we’re not going to be eating bread!)
  • We have LOTS of fruit in heavy syrup :0(
  • I’m going to need to get lots of boxes from the shop to hold all the stuff we’ll give to the local food pantry. (NOW I feel guilty that we’ll be giving families the stuff we KNOW isn’t healthy…)
  • My husband ordered an entire CASE of Krustees Snickerdoodle cookie mix – I’m hiding this in one of the back corners of one of the shelves so that I can treat him on his birthday and Christmas…
  • SOME of the things I’m finding I ordered in order to use it for particular recipes – but I don’t remember WHICH recipes. I’ll have to look up the ingredients on the net to find out if I want to keep these or not.
  • Cleaning out and reorganizing the pantry should be at LEAST an every-six-months job so that I’m not completely overwhelmed by the size of the job

It’s a very good thing that I’m not on a strict schedule for completing this job. I’ll do hour+ sessions, resting in-between, until I’ve finished.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Ahhhhhh!

s-media-cache-ako.pinimg.com via Cathy Ruggiero

s-media-cache-ako.pinimg.com via Cathy Ruggiero

Isn’t this picture WONDERFUL? This is just how I feel this morning. The front came through late last night/early this morning. Yesterday the high was 91. Today it’s supposed to be 71. AHHHHHH!

I’m happily wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt as I type. The doors are open, front and back, airing out the house. We may actually have to close a door if it gets TOO cool. How great is that!!!!

Since working outside may not be an option, at least until later in the day, I’m going to dive head-first into our pantry and see what good I can do. Since my husband is serious now about trying to avoid sugar, or things he eats that cause his body to MAKE sugar, I’m going to get together a huge group of things to go to the local food pantry.  (When we had our home built almost 30 years ago, we devoted the room off the kitchen to be a walk-in pantry. We have huge, heavy-duty built-in shelves going from wall to wall with a place for a 2nd fridge. We live on top of a ridge line. Sometimes we get snowed in up here and can’t get down – or back up – our STEEP driveway until the snow and ice melts – once for 14 days without power or public water.)

If you don’t hear from me, I probably got buried in there.

 

cliparting.com

cliparting.com

 

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Cleaning the Utility Room

I’m trying to tackle one area of my house at a time, taking everything out/down, throwing stuff out, cleaning everything, and then reorganizing. This will take the rest of my natural life, but it makes me feel good to get SOMETHING done…

Today’s project was my utility room; in particular, the washer/dryer area.

 

before

Not only had this become a catch-all area, it had gotten to the point I couldn’t reach what I needed, and I knew the area needed a good cleaning.

This is the ‘before’ picture. I threw out or moved a LOT of stuff that I hadn’t been using or belonged somewhere else. I took everything off the shelves, plus everything off the washer and dryer.  I spared you a picture of all the YUCK that was under the stuff, but suffice to say that after vacuuming, brush and dust panning, then spraying with kitchen cleaner and thoroughly wiping everything down, things were a LOT better.

 

after1

Here is the ‘after’ picture. (I HOPE you can see a difference! Now I can reach what I use the most often. Things won’t fall over, or try to fall on me when I do the next load of laundry. I washed the outside and insides of both the washer and the dryer. It amazes me how dirty these can get on the INSIDE!

One area down, 87,000 to go….

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Fun Friday

Hollis J. Works

Hollis J. Works

We just returned from Lunch Bunch, where we had a nice catch-up with our good friends, plus errands. Now I’m heading out to the shop where I have two projects –

  • repainting the words on the Catbert mailbox decoration so they’ll be better seen from farther away
  • painting some ceiling fan blades with polyurethane. (We have a ceiling fan on the deck where the blades were drooping, curling down. I straightened them by hosing them down on the sidewalk and putting bricks on top, then turning them over to do the same. They now look pretty flat. We’re hoping that several thick coats of polyurethane will help them live through getting wet from blowing rain.)

Rain clouds are moving in as I type, and we’re due for some heavy rain this afternoon and evening.

I hope that things are good where you are, and that you have a fun Friday, too. :0)

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis Art, Lewis Mailbox Decorations

Taking it Easy Today

Yesterday I worked from noon until about 6:30 in the evening finishing pressure washing the deck.

 

pwdeck7

My husband took this picture of me while I was working on the outside of the deck. Here are some before and after pics –

 

pw-backsidewalkbefore

This is our back sidewalk BEFORE pressure washing.

 

backsidewalkafter

And AFTER!

 

pw-onesetofdeckstepsbefore

One set of two stairs to the deck BEFORE –

 

westsidesteps2

And AFTER!

 

pw-upperpartofdeckbefore

Part of the upper deck BEFORE –

 

upperdeckwithSmoke

And AFTER! (With Smoke supervising) You can see to the right of the pic that I haven’t started on the main part of the deck yet…

 

pw-deckbefore

Part of the main deck BEFORE –

 

eastsideofdeck2

East side of deck AFTER!

 

westsideofdeck

West side of deck AFTER!

 

westsideoutsidedeck

Part of outside of deck AFTER!

Part of me is embarrassed to have shown you what our deck looked like before I started pressure washing, but that’s what 25 or so years of NOT pressure washing does. The deck doesn’t look new, but it sure looks BETTER! :0)

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Power Washing – Part III

-ipaintandcontract.com

-ipaintandcontract.com

I’ve been pressure washing the deck since noon. I came in now because it started to rain heavily. I’m hoping that it will stop soon so that I can finish the job. I’m working on the outside edges and uprights of the deck and then it will be finished.

I honestly can’t say enough about this ‘new tool’ for me. I’ve tried all kinds of deck cleaners, but it was a complete waste of time. I guess your deck should be clean BEFORE you use these – they didn’t phase our deck. I had given up on getting rid of the black stuff, green stuff, and identified ‘stuff’ that was all over our deck.

I love seeing the grain of the wood again! Our boards are warped. We have nails that have worked their way up. It doesn’t look like a new deck by any means, but it is cleaner than it has been for at least 25 years, and that means a lot to me.

I think I’ve shocked my husband. He really didn’t expect me to do anything with this. He asked me today, in one of the many times he came out to check on me, if I wanted a bigger, more powerful pressure washer, now that I seemed to be using it all the time. I told him ‘no.’ This is one I can handle. I don’t have to worry about it getting away from me. It’s not as heavy as some I’ve seen.

When the deck is back together again, I’ll post pictures of our CLEAN deck!

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Innovation - Great Tools

Power Washing, Part II

professional-powerwashing.com

professional-powerwashing.com

If I were a younger person, I would still be outside with the power washer. As it is, I spent an hour and a half today cleaning stuff, then came inside and fell asleep in my recliner. As I type, my jeans have dried mud on the legs and I have a thin film of ‘stuff’ all over me.

I did the back concrete sidewalk today, and got a good start on our deck. Since they’re both 30 years old and have NEVER been power washed, I’m not sure you can imagine what I’m dealing with.

I’m going to try to finish the deck tomorrow, and then I’ll post before and after pictures.

I honestly can’t believe what a power washer can do. I may be becoming addicted….

Now, up for a shower, clean clothes, and I’ll start dinner.

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Pressured to Clean!

My husband thinks I’ve gone off the deep end on using our new pressure washer. He may be right, but it’s really satisfying to be able to clearly see where you’ve been. :0)

Here are some before and after pictures. (I realize I’m showing you clearly what a slob I am, but I think you already knew that.)

preswashingpropanetank2

1000 gallon propane tank before.

cleanpropanetank

Propane tank after.   (I’m thinking of painting this, since the paint is starting to peel. I’m looking for something unique, or at least very colorful).

 

concretebeforeandafter1

Concrete pad in front of our garage mid-cleaning.

drivewaypad

I finally finished it last night. (My husband then mowed the back yard, spraying it with grass….. :0(  )

 

concretebeforeandafter3

Front sidewalk before.

frontsidewalk

Front sidewalk after.

 

frontporch

I didn’t get a pic of the front porch and pad before.

I’m taking a day off from the pressure washing today, since I’m old and my body is telling me I need to spread this out a bit more. I plan to tackle the back sidewalk next.

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“A Tisket, a Tasket….”

“My kingdom for a gasket.”

gasket

geprofile

We bought a GE Profile French door refrigerator about 7 years ago. We have been delighted with it. Awhile back, though, the pull-out freezer at the bottom started acting wonky. I would try to open it and it would be frozen up, with ice everywhere. Since it’s supposed to be frostless, we knew we had a problem. I thought maybe I just hadn’t gotten it closed well, but after several tests, we decided that the gasket to the freezer had become brittle and wasn’t sealing correctly.

We found a man who would order the gasket for us and come to install it. He called this morning and will be here this afternoon! Once this is done, we’re waiting on a shelf support from which a small part broke off in one of our deicing attempts. Soon, we’ll be fully back in  business. The best part is that the lady I talked to this morning said he could replace the gasket without my having to empty the freezer! Even if she’s wrong, I’m delighted that help is on the way….

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