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Spring cleaning, 6 months late

Thursday, November 14, 2013

For my birthday last April, I asked hubby to have someone come in and really deep clean the house. That's finally happening tomorrow. Which means today I get to spend running around like a madwoman, decluttering the place.

Right now, it's a mess. Not a mess that most people would notice, hubby reasonably points out, but a mess to me.

And I can't say, "my house isn't *dirty*, it's just *messy*." No, it's dirty. If the dust bunnies get any bigger, I will have to give them names.

But when your life is screamingly busy, it's hard to make time to clean under the furniture and in the corners. And to remember to make decisions about every scrap of paper. It's easier to let things pile up.

Which is why it's awesome that someone is coming in to clean tomorrow. Because for them to do a good job, I need to remove the messes. The piles of books that are being donated. The papers that need a good going through.

When all this is done, I want my house to sparkle. And junk doesn't sparkle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 11/17/2013 4:13AM

    Awesome. This post is inspiring on so many levels. I think we all struggle with junk...

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TEMPENATIVE 11/15/2013 1:11PM

    Iv been doing my spring cleaning in Nov too, but thats because in Arizona Nov is our spring; the long awaited pleasant weather is here, til May. emoticon
I had never lived in a house long enough to know you need to clean out under the fridge every couple of years-eeew!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/14/2013 9:15PM

    That's great that you are getting the deep cleaning done.

My house is getting gradually dirtier and dirtier since I've been getting chemo. I don't say anything to my hubby about it, I figure he has his hands full taking care of me. It will get cleaned later.

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TATTER3 11/14/2013 8:58PM

    I'm working on Honey's house. Wish I could get someone to come in...but it's too bad. Just enjoy! Happy Birthday!

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JANETRIS 11/14/2013 11:51AM

    AWWWW....what a liberating feeling to get it all together!! Enjoy... emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 11/14/2013 10:47AM


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GARDENQE2 11/14/2013 10:26AM

    I think I will adopt your words as a new mantra: Junk doesn't sparkle!
Enjoy your clean house!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/14/2013 10:09AM

    Happy Birthday! I know, it's not today, but hey, go ahead and celebrate it since your wonderful gift is arriving! Enjoy that clean and decluttered home!

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4DOGNIGHT 11/14/2013 9:57AM

    Oh, you will feel soooo much better, and lighter. I finally got my new draperies and today I am decluttering the living room. Seems like my quilts and projects wind up spread over the sofa and on the DR table. today it will be clean.

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Last night I had a craving for popcorn. Now, I have not made popcorn in over a year, and Erin may have had some Pop Secret now and then, but not in the last six months. So I dismissed the craving as unachievable and settled in to watch Marvel's Agents of Shield with Ferrett's head in my lap.

When the show was over, I got up and walked across the living room. There, in the middle of the carpet, was a single kernel of popped popcorn.

Undoubtedly, Shasta had nosed it out from someplace, carried it over, and abandoned it. But it was still eerily coincidental. And particularly effective, when watching a paranormal show!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 11/11/2013 8:19AM

    Popcorn isnt bad. Its all the butter that most people put on it.

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EBRAINK 11/9/2013 11:27AM

    Now that is a good dog!

My dogs barely respond to verbal commands, let alone psychic commands.

(Oh, and yeah, popcorn. Hard to resist...)

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JANETRIS 11/8/2013 9:07PM

    WOW CREEPY!! emoticon Way to make it through the craving!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/7/2013 11:46PM

    Haha! That's too funny!

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TATTER3 11/6/2013 4:48PM


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DOGLADY13 11/6/2013 2:00PM

    Yikes. That's creepy and funny all at the same time.

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SUGARSMOM2 11/6/2013 11:53AM

  strange isn't it ? maybe the smell of that one kernel was more then enough . ?

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NATPLUMMER 11/6/2013 11:34AM


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/6/2013 11:25AM

    That is funny!

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Eating like a horse

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

We get our first basket from our CSA this Thursday. That means a lot more vegetables will be coming into my house, and will continue to come into my house throughout the winter. For those who don't know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a system that pays local farmers up front and spreads the gamble of farming over a larger group of people. If it's a poor year with flooding or drought, then as a member of the CSA you shoulder part of the burden. If it's a year of abundance, then you get to share in that abundance. If you are in favor of keeping small family farms in business--and I am--then a CSA is the most proactive way you can put your dollars toward that goal.

It also means that you get a share of whatever is harvested that week, whether it's something you would normally buy or not. I'm really excited about this. I am terrible about planning recipes, but I'm quite good at spontaneous cooking. Spontaneous cooking, however, means using the ingredients on hand, and the farm share means that I will have lots more veggies on hand when I wander into the kitchen and say, "Now what shall I make for dinner?"

And they will be different veggies than I buy when I'm auto-shopping my way through the grocery store. It's easy to fall into habits, and eat the same thing all the time. The CSA is great at presenting me with produce I have to say, "now what do I do with this?" Like beets. I don't really care that much for them, but Ferrett likes them. Left to my own devices, I won't buy them. But if they arrive in the farm share, then I'd better figure out something to do with them.

It's not cheap, but I think it's one of the best ways to support the local economy and get more variety into your diet. If you are interested in finding out about CSAs in your area, you can find a lot of information at this website:


This is what I'm getting in this week's share:

1 Whole Chicken, approx 5 lbs
2# bag fingerling potatoes
1 bulb garlic
1 candy onion
1 bunch swiss chard
1 bag mixed baby lettuce, 0.5 lbs
1 bunch beets with tops
1 bunch celery
1 bag purple filet beans
1 head broccoli
1 quart baby sweet peppers
1 bunch carrots with tops
1 dozen eggs
1 quarter peck gala apples
4 oz pumpkin quark (a spreadable cream cheese)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 11/8/2013 9:08PM

    That sounds so wonderful and healthy! Enjoy emoticon

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MANDYLOVE_76 11/7/2013 10:10AM

    That's totally cool.

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MSANITAL 11/7/2013 7:53AM

    wow that sounds so good.. all that fresh food in your basket.. I am sure you will make some wonderful meals.. as for the beets. OMG I love beats.. I just boil them and when they are cool to the touch peel them slice them and drizzle ever so little EVO on them sprinkle a tsp of minced garlic and toss.. lets sit for a bit then enjoy.. and the left overs ok I am going to be bad.. I make a sandwhich between two pieces of Italian Bread.. that is bad skip that but it is so yummy..

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/6/2013 10:11PM

    Nice! Enjoy the fresh food!

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TATTER3 11/6/2013 4:49PM


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KNYAGENYA 11/6/2013 9:31AM

    Sounds great!

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    What a great scheme! It also makes a closer relationship between the farmer and consumer, and for families with children using it, it teaches about the seasons and the realities of the hard work that goes into producing the food we buy. Brilliant!

I plan to start buying a veg and fruit box each week, to ensure we get the five a day, I am excited about it for similar reasons to you - your enthusiasm for using this scheme really comes through!

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MANDIETERRIER1 11/5/2013 9:25PM

    We don't have a CSA sounds interesting

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/5/2013 7:13PM

    Your CSA has quite an extensive offering! I've belonged to two different CSA's in two different states where I lived. Each one was quite different. It is so much fun to open the basket/box/bag each week and discover what is inside. It will be a lot of fun!

I had the same problem with beets. I've tried roasting them...which wasn't really enough to make me like them. Not I have beets every day in my homemade veggie juices, but I only put about a quarter beet in each glass of juice. Anymore than that, and the taste is overpowering to me.

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DOGLADY13 11/5/2013 5:45PM

    I did a CSA for a couple of years but I just could not keep up with the produce. It was too much.

Re beets. I love them! Trim off the tops, wash and roast in their skins. Once cooked through, let them cool. The skins will slip right off.

Dice and put in salads.
Heat and eat with butter, salt and pepper.
Heat and add some sugar and vinegar for sweet and sour.
Pickle with hard boiled eggs.
Dice and toss with cashews, goat cheese and a light vinaigrette.
Borscht. (I'm a Polish girl.)

OK. I'll stop now.

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    Sounds wonderful!!!

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HILLSLUG98239 11/5/2013 11:40AM

    We were part of a CSA for several years. Our farmer even set up a winter CSA. He described it as a disaster the first year, but also as a great learning experience. I really appreciated his weekly emails describing what was going on at the farm. We have extreme cold and extreme heat here, so farming is an adventure. (On the plus side, our irrigation comes out of the mighty Columbia River, thanks to the federal government. In a brush steppe with 8" of precipitation a year, that water makes the desert bloom.)

This summer, our farmer changed it up a bit: instead of getting a box of stuff, members ordered what they wanted from his on-line store and picked it up at the farmers' market. We didn't participate this year because our own garden produced a lot the last two years. I kind of miss the box, though. It got us to eat things we would have never purchased. For instance, thanks to Alan, I grow kohlrabi every spring. I never would have bought kohlrabi, so if he hadn't put it in the box I never would have known how much I liked it!

The CSA also weaned us off of buying whatever produce we wanted, regardless of season. We still buy out-of-season produce occasionally, but it's pretty rare. The Hubs has even foregone his beloved asparagus to await the first crop from the Inland Northwest. I only buy grapes in the fall now. (The one thing I won't give up is bananas.)


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NATPLUMMER 11/5/2013 10:48AM

    Nice! I'll have to check it out.

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RICHILA 11/5/2013 10:38AM

    emoticon You will have lots of healthy food to cook!

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Insomnia makes us do weird things

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I can tell that I've been watching too much classic, black & white Doctor Who. I just got up to make myself some tea and babbled out, "This unit requires stimulation to continue functioning under sleep deprivation stress. Re-caffeinate! Re-caffeinate!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TATTER3 10/30/2013 10:46PM

    Happy happy happy!!!

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DOGLADY13 10/30/2013 10:19PM

    Too funny! Thanks for the laugh.

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TOPAZDRAGON 10/30/2013 1:15PM

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You made me squirt water out my nose. And now I want to go watch Dr. Who. emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/30/2013 12:12PM

    did the re-caffeination work?

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NATPLUMMER 10/30/2013 11:33AM


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Signs that I am getting back in balance

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yesterday I had a lot of work to do, but not a screaming deadline. So I took an hour to make a dent in the mess that is my sewing space. I cleared off all the junk that had just kind of landed in that space, and put everything away. I'm going to try and do an hour of decluttering a day. I think that is easier than trying to do it all at once.

Then in the afternoon I had a meeting with clients not too far from here. Instead of working until the absolute drop-dead minute of having to leave to drive over, I put things aside and biked over. Even though it was a short ride, it felt SO GOOD to get outside and on my bike.

In the early evening, DH asked me to walk with him to Target, which is about half a mile away. Even though my head was completely immersed in work, I was able to pull myself out of it and enjoy walking with him and the puppy. And when I took Shasta for her final walk of the evening, I put on my running shoes and jogged a little bit of the mile walk--the first jogging I've done since my last triathlon, just before the whole world fell apart.

It was an AWFUL jog! I am way out of practice. And yet it made me feel really good. I am ready to start working my way back up to a 5k again, and that made me feel REALLY good.

I have a class downtown this afternoon, and I was thinking of biking to it, but it's pouring rain. 11 miles each way in pouring rain is not my idea of fun. But I do think I will jog with the puppy again tonight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TATTER3 10/24/2013 12:54PM

    One day only...and that's today. Keep Sparkin'!! things will come together!

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MANDYLOVE_76 10/24/2013 11:24AM

    I try to incorporate some push up or jumping jacks in my work day.

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DOGLADY13 10/23/2013 9:28PM

    I envy your fitting in some activity through the day. Good for you. I hope you get those opportunities again.

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MSANITAL 10/23/2013 8:36PM

    sounds like your getting back into the groove.. and I don't blame you hate biking in the rain which it has been doing here for the past two days..
Keep on moving forward you can do it

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EBRAINK 10/23/2013 8:11PM

    Good for you, Miss G! It sounds like you're "clearing space" both literally and figuratively!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/23/2013 2:11PM

    I'm glad things are getting back to normal for you. That's great!

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NICOLED40 10/23/2013 1:24PM

    It's amazing how changing things up every now and then can make you feel more alive! Congrats on the messy jog. LOL! Keep up the great work!

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NATPLUMMER 10/23/2013 11:02AM


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EWL978 10/23/2013 10:50AM

    good for you!!! Now just keep on keeping on..............

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4DOGNIGHT 10/23/2013 10:37AM

    Great day for you! I'm proud, especially for cleaning up your sewing room!

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