Tag Archives: new ideas

The Plan

The plan now is not just a mini-split and general culling; it’s a final culling, mini-split prep and a major reorganization.

I have been in contact with my friend authors whose books I still have and asked if they’d like copies of their books? And explained. So far 3 of 3 have said yes. Nice!

I made a list of the various things set aside for people that need to be mailed. Many of them are ready to go, tomorrow. Two sets were mailed today: some books sent out for resale and other books sent as a donation to a conference organizer.

But there are other packages too: many of them. Art work going to family, heirlooms to same, I figure there’s about 8 more packages I’ll mail away in the next week or so. That will help. Will it solve the problem? No, of course not. But it’s a step in the right direction.

I made a 2nd list of things waiting to be hung up: mostly art work, of course.

We figure that we’ll take pictures, maybe, to document the big steps in the culling. Then maybe do the same for the reorganization/rehab. We may have access to a tiny grant. Not enough to do a lot with, but it should be enough to replace the ramp outside one door — the current version isn’t wide enough  for a wheelchair or walker and it doesn’t have hand rails.

Last night, I went to sleep thinking about free resources we could tap into: aging councils, AARP, Home Depot’s kitchen designers, etc.

So, this blog will still for the immediate future be about culling stuff, but then is slated to make a major shift.

Also, an announcement I’ve been putting off for some time. The memoir has sold. If/when I have a publication release date, I’ll post it here.

But in the meantime, this blog is going to go into high gear and then change directions!

street signs



(I have no idea where I got the image from. I’ve used it before. it is NOT mine!)

I Have Been

Working hard — on the house. I’ve been following my cleaning plan.

It seems to me that a major shift is in order. Instead of trying to sell the memoir as a psych. program auxiliary piece, maybe what I need to do is sell the cleaning plan and make the memoir the back piece to that.

It would solve the problem of the memoir just not having a plot, being first-person, too short, and a mess of other issues. Of course, I still haven’t heard from my publisher, but my feeling is that I will not. Not now and not in the future. It will be as if it dropped into a black hole and vanished… poof!

This has completely stopped the work I was doing on the memoir. I had even talked to a friend about coding it for an ebook. Okay, fine.

I can’t sell the cleaning plan if I can’t use it, right? I can’t set myself up as an expert on anything unless I can actually DO whatever. (Well, that’s not true. These days the woods are full of blow-hard know-it-alls who make pronouncements about any and everything. EVERYONE is an expert, about anything they feel strongly about!)

But I was raised by someone who genuinely was an expert in his field. My brother is. My husband is too. I have been surrounded my entire life by men who are really good at their jobs, and became “experts.”

So I have standards about about what it takes to BE an expert:

  • You must know what you’re talking about.
  • You must be able to do something rather than just talk about the subject.
  • You must have some sort of track record, that is a history, of successfully being able to do whatever it is.

My dad taught aeronautics  and designed airplanes for 40 years, my brother has worked in his field for the same amount of time and he’s still teaching and writing about it, my husband has been in his field since the field started, about 30 years now.

Me? The only thing I’m expert in is the inner workings of my head. The memoir is 50 years of life & learning and took me 10 years to write. The cleaning plan started in one way when I started this blog in 11/2011. I’ve been whacking away at the problems since.

I couldn’t do the memoir until I did the trauma work.

I could write, but not use, the cleaning plan until I did the memoir.

So, we’ll see if the next step is what I want/hope it to be? That is, using the cleaning plan, make it  a habit, and a book and/or app is the next step. (Habits take 90 days to be established.)

I sure hope so! I don’t know that I have the patience to spend 10 more years on this project.

So, I’ve shifted gears. I was all set to publish the memoir, whack away at the cleaning plan, then when I finally got it to work, get it ready for publication.


Doing it the other way around. Going to get the cleaning plan working,  finish up the writing related to it, get DH or someone to make the app I have in mind, then publish the CLEANING PLAN, with the MEMOIR as back material.

Then the lack of “plot” or “arc” or sex, drugs, rock n’ roll won’t matter. I’m not selling the memoir; it’s explanatory material, I’m selling the cleaning plan. Want to know why I set the cleaning plan up the way I have? Read the memoir and you’ll find out.

street signs

Image is not mine, not sure where I got it. Sorry!

This Week & the Neat Muscle

This week is going to be centered around the upcoming flea market. (If you’re local and want info, let me know!)

Afterwards, I hope to have a hole here AND a hole in the storage. As with April’s flea market, I’ll set aside a wadge of the unsold items to donate, hopefully to the thrift shop down the street. If we can’t donate it there, I’ll put it in storage to donate it elsewhere or take it to the dump’s swap shop.

A major purge: a box of books and 10 bins worth of leaves, that’s 260 gallons were taken to the dump! There remains 2 small leaf piles I missed on the lawn and a larger pile next to the compost heap, I just had to get them off the grass!

Today’s work:

  • The bean trellis needs to be anchored further and the beans planted. That’s the next step in the veggie garden. Of course, more leaf raking.
  • The dryer is acting up, so clearing the porch under where the clothes line is getting put up for the summer is another. Moving the dryer away from the wall and see if the drain is plugged? DH did this. The dryer is back in place, hopefully usuable — I had a large load of rags, kitchen towels, etc. to wash and did so!
  • The living room also needs to be cleaned, amongst other things, our chimney will be swept Weds.

Other projects:

Dining Room & Rug:  The rug effort made great progress yesterday. I got the 3 rugs stitched together and started on the first border. I need to do 2 sets of border stitches. Then I need to clean up the stitching, knot and tie off the ends. THEN I’m done! Still several hours away, but definite progress!

The rug effort required the dining area be cleared out a bit, which it was. Still more to do there as well, quite a bit, with the furniture move I have in mind, but it will happen, eventually! We are loaning our old table to a gallery, that will help, but the table top detaches from the legs, so that’s only 2 pieces in what is an overcrowded room. Still, every bit helps!

Electronic Purge: Re the electronic purge? I have about 2800 emails in my email’s trash folder. They are purged automagically when they’re there for 30 days. That leaves approx. 25,300 in my in box.

We went to the dump THREE times yesterday, so aside from the 10 bins of leaves, there are definitely fewer items here!

Much of this process, which now has gone on for years, has seemed futile. I keep relearning what I’ve happened on every once in a while. That is, that the people with neat houses make it a priority. To them, the mess is simply unacceptable. For me, for years it was inevitable and another sign of how “flawed” I was.


Photo by Kristian Seedorff on Unsplash

I’m not flawed, I just need to learn to think in new ways. The bins being used in the leaf effort is an example.

The bins were bought to hold twigs and other kindling. Fine. Most of them were empty on the porch this spring, making a bit of a mess, but not much, they stack. However, I’d run out of trashcans, used most of my reusable leaf bags, and still had many piles of leaves in the yard. A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that a summer use for the kindling bins could be holding leaves before hauling them to the dump’s leaf pile! And the yard became instantly more attractive as the full bins were stacked in front of where the cars park and the leaf piles disappeared.

I just don’t have the “neat muscle” yet.  But I’m working on it!



Insurance Company Hero!

The pharmacy auto calling was driving DH nuts, so he told me to do something already!

So, I did what I had intended to do, that is, I called our insurance company. In the process I learned a few things, at least one I will probably use the rest of my life.

  1. The price on the drug out-of-pocket was so high because we haven’t met our deductible. (I’m still not going to get it.)
  2. That there are coupons for prescription drugs available? You can get them  here or try googling the drug name.
  3. The auto caller from the pharmacy gets stopped from the pharmacy, but may not be stopped immediately, it IS automated.
  4. If I want to talk to someone with an accent I understand, call in the morning.

drugs and money

It had NEVER occurred to me that there might be coupons for prescription drugs! I use coupons and try to be frugal in almost every way I can, but this is a new one on me!

More Learning & Being Minimalist

One thing there are still a lot of here are boxes of unfiled papers. I started going through one of these today.

After I realized I was looking at cancelled checks from the 1980s and 1990s, the batch was going in the shred bin. . .  .


Except it occurred to me that the old paperwork, if shredded would work just fine instead of the newspapers we’ve been buying to help with the wood stove. (We’ve been predominately heating with wood for the past 2 years.) Instead of buying a local paper, or two, I figure I have enough old checks, statements, etc. for our burn paper for the rest of the year, and maybe more than that. This means a few things:

  1. We won’t be paying Staples to destroy these papers.
  2. We won’t be buying as many local papers.
  3. There will be fewer boxes of “stuff” (papers) in the house.

All good!

This is like the bit with the boxes from the ornaments. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! If I was still counting things, I’d be estatic, as I’ve probably shred or marked to shred 200+ pieces of paper today.

This may seem obvious to you, but the shift in mindset from having kept this stuff, including the paperwork, because we might need it, to using it as firestarter is huge.

One more indication things are real different here than previously!

Note: we burned everything I’d shredded the first day. The following day (today) I’ve shredded more and added it to the paper bin. A big check on being consistent!


Weird Space

The guy who built this house was a moron. Or, to be more fair, he may not be, but he had absolutely no sense of space or traffic flow. This place is all full of things like closets and cabinets that you can’t open because it gets in the way of the door, counters which are so big they’re an impediment rather than helpful, etc. It mostly sort of works, but doesn’t quite.

I’ve been reading decorating “tips” and “hints,” trying to find a solution to how to arrange furniture in a badly cut up room. The traffic flow, whether it’s cluttered or not, is basically one small walkway. Not because it should be that way, but because the walls and doors are placed so that’s just the way it works. You walk in the door, take 2 steps, go up the stairs (it’s rather like being confronted with a mountain) or make a 90 degree right turn into the living room and make another 90 degree step to the left to get into the room rather than inch along the front wall.

If we had unlimited money, I’d hire our friend who builds post & beam houses to fix the stairway problem. The idea I have in mind would create a landing for the stairs and turn it 90 degrees into the living room. This would also create an entry, a real one. But it requires a structural change involving the roof support — NOT cheap! In the meantime, I’m stuck with it.

Another alternate solution I came up with was to move the door. Well, that would have been a possibility up until DH found a fancy floor sample, cheap, and then spent a month building a jamb for that door, as the display the door came from didn’t have the jamb of course. So, moving the door? That’s not going to happen soon either, unless we get a lot of money, somewhere.

The long and short of this is that I’m stuck with this weirdly cut up room, it’s an elongated rectangle, with a weird entry  and exit with a huge chunk out of the middle of it for the woodstove and hearth. Then add actual living room furniture, a couch, table and chairs, a cabinet, not to mention the Dh’s hobby stuff and my bookcases? Right.

I suppose one answer is to embrace the hearth. Put the couch facing the hearth, with coffee table and chairs flanking. If we moved the bookcases under the wall where the couch was going and swapped the cabinet that’s now in the corner. . . Hmm. Make it one big room? You’d have to walk around the couch to get into the hallway and kitchen, but that might work, maybe. And because the bookcases are actually crates, I could stack them in front of the window, and. . .?


(Floor plan from google images, it’s not ours!)

I keep thinking the long-term answer to this is to make the flat file our bed. We keep talking about it. The piece is huge 6′ wide and 4′ deep I think. It’s two units one atop the other. If we make it into a platform bed, we’d still have the storage, but we’d make better use of the space and oh yes, reclaim a 24 square foot piece of the living room.

I don’t know the answer. I’ll keep whacking away at it. There may not be one, or the answer may be to get smaller furniture or less of it. I’m already selling furniture off, selling what I thought we’d use in the living room wasn’t in my plans, but we’ll see!

I’ve got a lot of decluttering to do yet, the hall and trim painting needs to be finished, and a few other details have to happen before this is decided, but . . . .