Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Painted Two Trays Blue

Or, the alternate title for this post: "Chaos's Last Stand"

After nearly six weeks in our new house I have pretty much conquered all the mystery boxes, organized all the organizables, hung pictures, filled baskets, found missing parts to things - all that usually comes with the tail end of the moving process. The one last holdout has been the large upstairs closet... designated as home for craft and sewing goods, as well as storage for coats and luggage and other unexciting things like that. I had some good intentions up there, and even organized my fabric by color into a nice neat little hanging shoe rack... did that weeks ago. But then, as I "finished" every other room in the house, this closet became the dumping ground for the boxes and bags of random stuff that didn't belong anywhere else, and that I was too tired to deal with at the moment. Never a good strategy, because it results in this:

Unacceptable levels of UPC (Unidentified Piles of C***). Anyway, since we have our first visitors coming on Monday (yay!) I decided that by the end of the weekend, chaos must be totally vanquished. So this morning, with a little help from my friends Cat in the Hat and Superwhy, I pulled out all the boxes from the closet and got it back to the parts that were nicely organized. Looks a thousand times better.

I EVEN got so inspired to have a little space back that I busted out my paintbrush right then and there and did this:

Bought these little unfinished trays back in December as part of an idea I have for some new playthings/learning tools for the kids... but I'll save that for another post. I was just so thrilled with myself for actually doing a project, rather than either a) not, or b) letting it sit on a list for months before doing it.

And while I was painting I had a little pep talk with myself, which is part of a larger ongoing conversation with myself about just exactly who I am, what kind of mom I am, what I want to be doing with my time, etc. Deep stuff. To summarize, I so thoroughly enjoy the blogs of my "imaginary friends" (as I affectionately refer to them - women who I have never met but feel as though I have through their wonderful words and pictures). Anna, Amanda, Molly, and Sarah are some of my favorite ladies of the web. All of them have three or more children, two of them homeschool their children, two of them (maybe three?) also tend livestock on their small family farms, and all have a successful home-based business endeavor involving an artistic or creative pursuit. And I don't think any let their kids watch TV.

So, what in the world am I doing wrong?

I don't wish to change anything about my life right now - I know I am engaged in a noble pursuit, just being there for my little munchkins day in and day out. But since there are well documented examples out there of ladies who do all that and find just a little extra time in their days to make something beautiful... why can't I?

That is why I consider it a great personal victory that today, I Painted Two Trays Blue.

Now, if you'll excuse me... that mess I cleaned out of the closet? .... is now in my bedroom. Better get right to that, THEN there will be no stopping me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Childhood

There is not much better than two little kids conquering their fear of slides on the most brilliant yellow twisty slide on the most brilliant blue-sky morning in January. That was a good day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Vacuums

So, part of the reason that we slaved away and stressed out packing and moving ourselves was to net a nice little chunk of money as reimbursement for our troubles. And with that, invest in a few new/replacement things around the house to a) fill our much bigger home and b) improve on some of the things that have been on the "it would be nice to have a new..." list for awhile.

However, one thing that was not on the replacement list was our vacuum. I bought that Bissell (above, on the left) just before we got married, from Walmart, for about $60. It has served us very well and has caused me no problems. Then the other day I started to notice that it was shooting quite a bit of dust and bits out the back.. hmm... then on the stairs it completely spewed all sorts of crud and totally lost all suction. My first thought was "well, that's that". I briefly thought about replacing the bag, but the indicator was still "good" and I had replaced it fairly recently. And again, since we've been on a bit of a spree of freshening things up while we have a few extra funds, I didn't think too much more about it, just that it had lived a good long vacuum life and was probably done for.

Commenced researching online and polling facebook friends, and yesterday took the kids to Target for a little hands on investigation. Came home with a Hoover and tried it out later that day. LOVE it! And love that it cost about 1/4 the cost of the highly regarded Dyson, which I did consider.

It was as I was marveling at the amount of fuzz pulled off the new living room carpet that I started thinking about the old vacuum.... and the two or three times it has already vacuumed that same new rug... and oh, dear, the poor thing was probably clogged with carpet fuzz!

So I sheepishly revisit my poor Bissell and discover that yes, the bag is stuffed and backed up all the way out the hose. Oops. New bag, defuzzed, and eureka! good as new. So.... I have two vacuums. This morning just for fun I vacuumed the whole upstairs (all carpet) with the old one and then with the new one, to see in that fancy clear canister how much better a job it would do. And yes, it did pick up plenty of cat hair that the other did not.

I'm still glad I got a new vacuum. Both Don and I tend toward the allergic side, and with three fuzzy felines I think I've been overdue for a vacuum more suited to removing cat hair and filtering out rather than blowing out small particles. The question remains, do I hold onto the old one in a Vacuum Emeritus status, or should I give it away? Hmm. To be determined.

Oh, Humprey wanted to say hi!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Okay, I feel a little lame posting this, because the following is from the package of a bottle of "Inner Grace" perfume from philosophy. I realize that this is simply very clever and appealing marketing, but it is a nice thought all the same, and I wanted to share:

"To know peace is to know God. Within the context of peace we can know joy, love, and happiness. In the absence of peace we own nothing but the turmoil of our minds that jump from one negative thought to the next. To find peace you must shut off your mind and open your heart to the only thing that matters; the gift of the present moment, it is peace personified."

So there you go.