Category Archives: Notebooks

Back to Work

It’s Monday, and despite wtf the calendar says, to ME it’s the beginning of the week. That means I am all full of resolutions, plans, & more ideas of things I should do than I can possibly do in the next 5 days,

So, we’ll see.

It occurred to me yesterday that I had not posted a “to do” list in some time. I’ll post it and make comments below. If/when I finish tasks this week, I’ll mark those too. This to do list is a cut/paste/edit from 3/20, so yes indeed, it has been some time!

to do list 1


Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!


  • Replace the north/south doors. (They’ve been ordered, will be delivered tomorrow.)
  • Do more prep before the doors are delivered. Tues.
  • Work on the housework book. Tues.
  • Work on the websites.
  • Denail, clean, prime & paint the removed clapboards from the laundry wall where the new door will be installed. Friday

MEDIUM TERM: (in the next 2-3 weeks)

  • Empty the old coffee table full o’ stuff in the hallway.
  • Resolve the “too many” coffee tables dilemma.
  • Remove the “island” of boxes of stuff from the attic. Sell, donate, or trash enough that the floor can stay cleared.
  • Put food away for winter.
  • The fridge freezer needs to be organized and purged.
  • Clean the fridge’s shelves.
  • Paint the laundry room, inside and out.
  • Paint the bathroom.
  • Get the new shower curtain liner painted and installed.
  • Get through some of the accounting backlog. Weds.


  • Get a job.
  • Pay off the equity line.
  • Continue to use up the stored foods: grains, beans, pasta, etc. (The canned goods purge the end of last year beginning of this year worked.)
  • Rebuild the winter pantry.
  • Writing Projects: Memoir worked on the formatting issues Thurs.
  • Writing Projects: Article
  • Writing Projects: Kitchen Book
  • Writing Projects: Novel





Nearly Done

with the taxes, or as much of it as I need to do actual work (not just getting data from the town, bills, or the checking account say). And I realized that I need a project. . . something fun, creative, and that will engage me for a few days, at least.

Not knitting. This feels like a paper, paint, markers, printer sort of thing.

What? I don’t know. I have the 1/2 finished bullet journal plan — that would be good. I had finally gotten to the “admission” that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted on my own. I need to pay someone to do the final art work. I know what I want, but I just don’t have the skills to make the pieces to my satisfaction.

Being able to actually use the bullet journal, rather than planning the planner, journal, diary, and calendar would be very helpful.

I have the stalled fabric rug to work on. (Not paper, that’s out.)

If I’m going to work with paper, I need the counter in my office clean and cleared. One reason the bullet journal is in the state it is? I have nowhere to easily lay out the pages. It would be most helpful to be able to use the counter I already have.


(No, this isn’t my office, but it could be! Mine is just as full of stuff and equipment and cluttered. This image, like most of them in this blog, is from . )

Cleaning up my office will take a week, minimum. It has been a “dumping ground” for too long. Its bookcases are slated to be moved to the attic this spring, and the counter and drawer units moved in the room, so we might be able to get a guest bed in there?

I think this is a really good idea. The living room/kitchen project is stalled until DH finishes the window/shelf unit thing. But that’s stalled because there’s a piece of furniture which needs to be put up for sale/removed first. That’s stalled because the antique store is moving the middle of March, and I already have a piece of furniture for sale there (you get to sell 1 at a time.) Soooo. . . .

Working on my office as a “next step” makes sense. Sigh. It’s always been one of the coldest rooms of the house and it’s February, right? I can’t leave the door open because the small cat thinks pushing things off of shelves/counters is fun. (She’s broken several things in my office already, so she is NOT allowed in there!) Sigh.

On the other hand, if I start this and interleave it between the remaining accounting/tax gather, I will not have to spend hours in a cold room without end. I can use short pieces of time and then go back to the paperwork — and get both done.

When I get the counter cleared, I can write up/show (I hope?) what I want to the graphics art person. It’s a plan!

I get one more cuppa coffee today. I’m off to get it and then start to plot out what has to happen in my office, first.



EFRK7 -What?

I have been working on my organizer. Which I have divided into 5 levels, by time: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, once a year (or longer).


What does EFRK7 have to do with that? Ah. It’s the way I think of this. Since I intend to do printables, I won’t explain, just yet. I have to get clean images/files first. The weekly and monthly pages are designed. The remainder are designed, in my head, but the drafts aren’t done. When I have all the pages designed, it will be a sort of bullet planner, but with printables.

The reason I like bullet planners is that they’re not rigid. Most planners and/or organizers I’ve used seem to not work for me after I set them up.

The one I’m creating works with my monthly binders and the seven levels of stuff cleaning plan, as designed. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. I spent a lot of time and energy figuring ways to cope with varied tasks, appointments, chores, etc.

EFRK7 incorporates ALL my previous work and puts most of it in one place. It’s set up so that I can look ahead in chunks: weekly to yearly, something I’ve never found in another organizer. I wanted a system to help me do long-term planning and prep., most organizers are set up to deal with appointments and chores, not achieving multi-step goals over a long period of time.

I’m pleased with the direction it’s going, and pleased with my progress, although, like everything, I wish it had been finished — yesterday!!!

Flotsam, Jetsam, & Lagan Checklist

This one is for decluttering the house, rather than the structure. If you look at the last post I determined that that structure itself and the asst. stuff which floats around the house are my two biggest challenges. When I was making up today’s checklist I quickly realized that I had ONE category of “stuff” in every single room:

dumped items.

That is, items which were out of place or have no place to be put away.

This one is set up monthly, and until the house gets actually cleaned and organized, I’m going to try and tackle at least 2 of the functional areas (I call them rooms; you wouldn’t.) of my home a month. I don’t know if this will work or lean on the PTSD too much, but I’m going to try it. It helps that the laundry room has been done already once this month. It needs freshening up still , but that’s  matter of an hour or two rather than a day or two!

clutter cloud

(Image from

If/when  I get through with the dining room, there will be my two rooms for the month. That means I can either keep going or stop — and that will let the PTSD calm down a bit if it’s needed.

I’ve found that more than 1/2 of dealing with the PTSD is management. As much as I hate it sometimes, well a lot of times, there just isn’t any way around it that I’ve found. The only way I can do this, or do any change which significantly alters the protective structures I’d set up as a small kid, is to go in fits & starts.

It makes me frustrated as can be at times, but that’s what it is. My body needs time to be sure the new behavior, whatever it may be, isn’t dangerous. So, I have to make the change, then stop, wait to see if it seems okay, then continue with the change, then stop for a shorter amount of time, then continue, then stop . . . until I don’t have to stop anymore. Changing your habits takes a long, long time this way. But, if you’re me, then the changes can “take,” instead of coming and  the going, usually accompanied with a large dose of forgetfulness or a type of amnesia I guess, about the new behavior.

This is one of the main reasons why it has taken me so long, 50+ years, to deal with the kid crap. Having people tell me to “grow up,” or “Give it to God,” or “get over it” isn’t helpful because I can’t change how fast my body processes new behavior. And, because the trauma is a small child’s, in my case there is no rationalization possible. It’s pain/terror or nurture. Not much else. I don’t know how this compares with people who got PTSD as adults. I don’t know what it’s like if your body remembers other ways as a significant part of your life. Sometimes I think it might be better and at times I’m sure it’s worse, but I don’t know in any case!

More to do . . .


Here’s a link to the wiki definition of the terms I named this post after btw: (link)

More Bunnies? Chickens? Eggs? Egg Cartons?

dust bunny from google images

I started using the new vac. I will say that although it is pretty big it works really well. Got rid of lots o’ dust and dust bunnies. Now I have to figure out how to clean its hepa filter and clean it, then put it away.

But that’s a detail.

Today I’m taking the drawer unit to the antique store and heading to the store where I’ll be getting the new booth. I have to finish the journals I have in process and buy more to do. (To sell them.) That means a significant clearing of the space where I’d been crafting, which needs to happen anyway! [Note: 5/20/16: haven’t gotten the drawers to the antique store, yet, sigh.]

DH figured out a solution for a problem using materials we already have, a total win-win! Less stuff, and a problem solved at the same time. Love it when that happens! 😀

On other fronts, I’m not sure how I’m going to do the accounting this year. The software I’ve used for years had gone from “buy an upgrade, and use it” to “buy an upgrade, use it, and pay us a monthly fee,” which is completely against my long-term retirement planning. I am desperately trying to get us OUT of monthly payments, for ANYTHING, not acquire more. Reasonable? Yes, the price is, but the mechanism isn’t something I want.

I’ve been using a notebook. It’s small enough I can throw it in a box, but that’s an issue as it’s too small to comfortably do the accounting in. I’ll figure something out, but haven’t yet. This issue became obvious in April.

The computer I have worked on for years is dying, slowly. The software I’ve been using and wants the new, monthly fee will not run on my new machine. After I got the 2015 taxes done I decided I had to come up with another way. I’m used to being able to select a range of dates and say “find” and that quick I’ve got my sales for the month or year. Doesn’t happen that way with paper records. I need to make myself a spread sheet, or something. I may just go out and buy another Halls book. Used them for years when I had the store, works, but a spreadsheet would work too, and it doesn’t cost anything!

baby chick from google images

Cheap, cheap, cheap — I know — I’ve been working at saving money for a long time now!

I’m also a birdbrain.  When I had the store and had people coming in all day to talk to me, 1,000 things going on at once, I needed that book. I’m just ADD enough that without one place to put things I was a wreck.

My preferred way to track things is sort of a narrative diary for the days I do things related to the business. Since I work at home most often these days, that’s possible. It’s part of my adaptation to the no more data base software too. I’m going back to my business diary. (I also use an online calendar.) [Note: 5/20/16: Because I thought I’d lost the accounting book recently, I started this a.m. to do the spreadsheet. Overdue, but well, it’s getting there!]

For the tidying, I’ve been using egg cartons to hold the little bits & pieces which need to be put away. [This is nuts, bolts, beads, pins, etc.] I didn’t have a good way to do that. The small pieces would get put in a box, and disappear, only to reappear, later, still not put away.

Sometime, eventually — all these small, concerted efforts, the egg of my neat house will hatch into a neat, tidy and cozy home — right?




New Year, New & Better . . .

One of the things I started last year were my “notebooks.” One day, if I get brave, I’ll post images, maybe. There are 12 of them, one for each month. The idea was that I have too much to track: cooking, cleaning, crafts, writing projects, garden planning, etc. I was always forgetting where I was, what I did last, and how. I wanted one place to put the info and so I created these notebooks. So far they work, as well as anything does, which is that they work as much as I let them, like most organizational systems.

I found another “toss this stuff” list that I’ll comment on, eventually. But what it pointed out to me, again, was that I’m weird. I just don’t keep things others do.

I don’t have a problem with extra jars in my pantry, for example, as I use/cull them consistently. I don’t have a problem with stray lids, except for Mason jars, because all the other containers get stored with lids, or they get removed — period. I do this type of thing all the time. It’s one of the vestiges of the counting thing and the SPACE BUDGET idea I came up with for that. I get rid of jars, clothes, books, papers all the time. I still have too much stuff, but the items on this “get rid of it” list reminded me that my problems are not like those of others. I have a storage problem, a bad habit problem and just an overwhelming amount of stuff. But I don’t keep things others do!

Oh! I got the revised memoir back from the editor. Now to make the changes and fix the problems, and then more progress will happen. Huzzah!

Today’s Purge

is approx. 4 notebooks worth of info from when I was a day trader, back before people did that. I traded computer stocks, mostly, before the computer dot-com boom/bust. Made money, but not a lot. Always either ahead of the curve or at the tail end — that’s me!

Among the notebooks with my day trading records was one other, a writing notebook, where I tracked what I’d submitted, where, the class comments I got from the writing classes I took, etc. Interesting to see so many “old friends.” That notebook I almost entirely kept intact, unlike the financial stuff.

This writings are over 20 years old, from 1982 or so. I was tech. writing for a living and trying to find a way to free-lance instead. This predates the day trading, by a year or two.

My reluctance to toss the writing is for mining purposes. I may be able to transform an old piece into something new. Everything is fodder for a writer.

My reluctance to toss the financial stuff is that it’s the record of something I did, and did well, if not spectacularly, for a while. Like the cards from my childhood sf catalog, none of it is useful, now — but getting rid of the debris means that the triumph is over. Which of course is nonsense. I still did whatever I did without the artifacts to “prove” it and remind myself.  The catalog cards have been slowly but surely turned into gift tags, Christmas cards and tossed. The financial stuff will get shredded and recycled.

Unchanged are the facts that I made a card catalog of about 500 sf paperbacks in junior high and I made money for about two years day trading. Without the “documentation” to prove it or remind myself, the facts remain. And who cares anyway, except me?  I turned the card catalog into a piece of the memoir. The day trading isn’t important to the growth of my self-esteem, so it’s not there.

But it’s four empty notebooks, about 8″ of paper that won’t need housing any more — and that, definitely, is a PLUS!