Friday, January 31, 2014


Tomorrow will be one week since our basement was flooded by the bursting of a pipe.  Our insurance company sent out a water restoration company and they did a FABULOUS job.  In fact, our insurance company has given permission for them to also fix some of the other damage (ceiling tile replacement, repainting the wall where the wet bookcases stained the drywall, wrapping the pipes to keep them from freezing) because we KNOW they will do a good job and I don't have a "handyman" on call whose work I know.  So, tomorrow the water restoration company will be returning to finish up that work.

Dear Hubby and I are going through all of the damaged "personal property".  I had almost five full bookcases of hard bound books...and a good 65% of them are wet, swollen, moldy and softened...totally beyond repair.  I made a list of them today and will type them up to send to the adjuster.  I also have to send him pictures of the books before I can trash them.  I am waiting for a call from him to determine what I should do with some remaining books (about 10% to 20% of my collection) that don't look very wet, except maybe a tiny stain on the bottom edge, but some of them smell "funky" and I think they are getting mildewy.  There are not many books that have escaped unscathed.

Also, all five bookcases are ruined because they are particleboard...and particleboard swells when it gets wet.  Hubby's desk chair was SATURATED, and while it is now dry...the hydraulic up and down adjustment will not work...and with Dear Hubby's repaired quad tendon tear, unrepaired torn meniscus and arthritis...he needs the hydraulic adjustment.  Also, hubby's printer was wet and J has said that printers do not take well to water and it may be a goner too!

So it has been a mentally and physically exhausting week.  Adding to that, we have had a rather sudden and totally unexplained death of a family member.  I have not seen him in many, many years...but he is several years younger than me, with no known medical condition that would cause sudden death. 

Oh, and in case anyone is keeping count...since November (oops...Oct. 23) "Murphy and his laws" have graced our family with a:
  1. Broken freezer....will cost about $500-$600 to replace and we lost a good $500 worth of food.
  2. Broken garage door opener...will cost about $200-$300 to replace or repair.
  3. Clogged sink....paid $850 to fix
  4. Burst pipe...paid $283 to fix.
  5. Flood in basement....$750 deductible.
  6. Broken refrigerator...paid $220 to fix
  7. Today the car is in the shop...will cost $900+ to fix.
  8. Broken tub drain...our guest bath won't hold water (thank God my Dear Aunt had a shower cap with her)...which we have not even had looked at yet!  
 I feel like I am "treading water" in so MANY ways! Hopefully this will all be a memory within the next couple of weeks and I can get back to "my" normal.  Adding insult to my already high stress level, I have multiple doctors appointments in the next two weeks, have had some abnormal blood tests that may actually point to a diagnosis (after 14 years of seeing doctor after doctor) which is a good thing, but a blood test that is abnormal, unexpected, and upsetting!  Ugh....too much at one time.  Calgon, take me away!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Where the leak was.  We have already started pulling books from the shelves.

The ceiling tiles that rained down on us (along with a ton of water) when they could no longer hold the weight.

This is what a book looks like after a shower...

The books we could salvage... 

The rest are all Left Behind series, my Sue Grafton series, my James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Janet Evanovich, Kathy Reichs, etc. etc. etc.  WET.  Unless the overall dehumidifying somehow helps the books...  I doubt it. 

My hubby's briefcases (wonder if he looked inside yet?)

Hubby's chair is SATURATED

Last year's taxes...he had just pulled the box off the shelf to begin working on this year's.
Everything on his desk was wet...hope we can save the pictures!

The printer was wet, but we think his laptop escaped.  J will come over tomorrow to test all of the electronics.

Lots of wet stuff...

The water remediation people arrived (sent by our insurance company) and spent three hours here today.  They will be back again for the next three days.  They moved the bookcases into the storage room and I think the man said they are ruined (particle board swells when it gets wet).  They moved the pool table to the other side of the basement and pulled up half the carpet. The padding is toast, but he thinks the carpet will dry fine. 

The man said so far our insurance agency has been great.  He said they will even pay for the increased cost of electric due to all of the heavy duty fans and dehumidifiers running 24 hours a day for the next three days.  I have to make a list of everything we have lost.  Oh I do NOT want to go through all of those books and write down the name and title.  Heartbreaking. 

But, my family is safe and it could have been worse.  It wasn't.  Thank You, God. 


I keep reminding myself it is only "stuff".  Not the things I really care about, my family and friends.

Around noon I went upstairs to bed.  I was physically exhausted and needed to lie down. It felt like I had just fallen asleep when my Dear Hubby called me on my cellphone.  "What are you doing?"  Me: (annoyed) "Sleeping!"  Hubby:  "I hear water.  Did you flush and maybe the toilet is still running?"  I went and checked both toilets on the second floor.  "Nope.  They are fine". Him:  I hear WATER!"  Dear Hubby races to the basement.  Long story short...a pipe in the basement ceiling burst and water was shooting all over Hubby's office!  The carpet, walls, hubby's desk, five bookcases and all of my hard back books are being doused with water!  Hubby raced to the main water shutoff.  We called the plumber's emergency number and $283 later he left.  "I hope not to see you again for quite a while.", he says.  This is the same company, and man, that spent 8 hours unclogging my sink ($850).  I called our ins company.  We have a $750 deductible and the plumbing repair is not covered.  Grrrr....if I kill "Murphy" and his damn laws will you visit me in prison?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thanks, Mom and Dad...

Yesterday my Dear Mom and Dear Dad came over to help me a tiny bit around the house.  Mom did some shredding for me (I swear my paperwork multiplies overnight!) and dad hung a clock in my ESR. 

Dear Hubby had bought this clock for his office at work, but he didn't end up using it.  He brought it home and I promptly confiscated it for my ESR.  The colors are perfect and I needed a clock in that room!   

The only thing that DID get completed by me yesterday was the pillowcase to cover the body pillow that Dear Hubby bought me for Christmas.  FINALLY I can use my new body pillow.  I've really missed sleeping with it (I threw out my old one already), but I couldn't get the pillowcase completed!  It was easy to sew...I used a flat sheet for the material... but I just couldn't get myself in front of the sewing machine to finish it up.  I slept with it last night and it was wonderful.  Having my body braced keeps me from hurting as much while I sleep.  Less movement equals less pain. 

Of course I woke up this morning feeling HORRIBLE.  I hurt all over, but especially along the costochondral junction of my chest and it even feels like my LUNGS hurt when I breathe!  I sure hope I'm not coming down with the cold Dear Hubby had last week.  I think most of today is going to be spent wrapped in a quilt watching TV...a "Pamper Me" day for sure.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014



Thank you, Mary Ann, from Little House On The Dairy for nominating me for the Liebster Award!  Before I go any further I suggest you click on the link above and check out Mary Ann's blog.  Her blog is just chock full, with two adorable kiddos, a beautiful home on a former dairy, sewing and homemaking stuff galore!  I know Mary Ann's goal is to focus her blog on her creative sewing, but.... oh how I just love to read about all of her other "homey" stuff too.  I would have loved to have lived the life she is living when Dear Hubby and I were her age!  Yes, Mary Ann...I'm jealous, lol. 

On to the Liebster Award.  I'm going to be quite honest.  Until Mary Ann nominated me...I hadn't a clue.  But, the thought that she chose to nominate me for ANYTHING is quite an honor.  My little blog is but a small extension of my life...and sometimes it still totally amazes me that people choose to follow along!  Thank you, Mary Ann, from the bottom of my heart. 

Anyway, back to the Liebster.  Liebster Award nominations are given to "new" blogs with the intent of generating more readership.  I did a search for information on the Liebster Award and discovered that there are "numerous" variations on the nomination process.  The process that Mary Ann is following is actually quite simple:

  • Inform the person who nominated you whether you "accept" the nomination or choose to "decline".
  • If you choose to accept the nomination:
    • Write a blog post announcing your nomination and include a link back to the blog that nominated you.  
      • Answer the 10 questions the nominating blogger posed to you. 
    • Also within the blog post list 10 blogs (with under 200 followers each) that you nominate and list the questions you would like them to answer.
      • Notify the 10 blogs you nominate of their Liebster nomination.
It's that simple.  Then sit back and enjoy the new blogs you will discover and watch as your "readership" grows.  It is a "win-win" for all involved.  I know I am always on the look-out for new blogs to give me a creative spark, and new followers to provide me with feedback and fellowship. 

So here are the questions Mary Ann posed:

1.  Why do you blog?  Back in October 2011 I retired from work as a result of health issues.  I originally began my blog as a way to chronicle the ups and downs of my day to day life (figuring I would need the information for my Social Security Disability claim).  I soon realized, however, that by focusing on what I could accomplish, no matter how small and no matter how long it took, I was feeling less depressed and was appreciating the life I still had more...even though it was drastically different from the one I envisioned.  The blog was keeping my outlook positive!  Recently a follower who also suffers from disabilities contacted me to thank me for being an inspiration to him.  It's amazing to me that my tiny sliver of the vast world wide web has proven to be a positive influence on another.  The world wide web can be a web of support, and for that reason alone I will keep on blogging.   

2,  Who is the one person who can always make you smile and why?  Oh, that's an easy one...Dear Hubby.  We have been married for 28 years and he has been with me through thick and thin.  These days I am a lot "thicker" than I was when we were married, lol.  But every day it's the "little things" that he does to remind me just how much he loves me.  There are so MANY things...that I am constantly being reminded of his love (and that makes me smile)...a song (sometimes I will answer the phone and all I hear is our wedding song playing on the radio), a note, an email, a cup of my favorite coffee he stops and buys me on the way home from work, the running jokes, etc.  He is my best friend.

3.  If you could go anywhere for a week where would you go?  Another easy one...North Myrtle Beach.  It is our favorite place to vacation and it is WARM (unlike the snow outside my window)!

4.  What is the best book you read recently?  Although I have always been an avid reader, I haven't been reading much recently.  I guess my most recent book completed is The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini.

5.  What is your dream job?  I would love to own a book store, or maybe a quilt shop.

6.  What would you eat at your perfect meal?  Roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans.

7.  What is the most challenging part of your creative process?  Technique.  My designs are always WAY beyond what I should really be attempting, given the level of my technique. 

8.  Describe yourself in 3 words.  Loving, Loyal, Funny.

9.  If you could have one super power what would it be?  The ability to make people caring.

10. Do you have any pets?  What kinds?  Due to our son's asthma growing up we have never had any pets, well unless you want to count his fish...that Mom took care of, lol.  They have been gone for YEARS already. 

I'VE NOMINATED:  (We are supposed to list blogs with less than 200 followers.  I tried to verify the number of followers for each blog, but some do not list their numbers.  Consequently, some of these blogs may have more than 200 followers, but, even so, more followers is a good thing!)

1.   In The Land of the Living Skies II
2.   Smazoochie
3.   Sister's Choice Quilts
4.   Hazelnut Deux
5.   Make It Do
6.   Liv's Swedish Home
7.   A Life Beyond Money
8.   The Yvestown Blog
9.   Dutch Comfort
10.  Bzyqltr


1.  Why do you blog?  (An oldie but goodie!)
2.   At what age did you discover you loved being creative?
3.   What is your most recent creative endeavor?
4.   Do you like warm weather or cold?  Why?
5.   What is your cheapest meal?
6.   Do you like to use brights or pastels in your crafting?
7.   How did you come up with your blog name?
8.   Is anyone else in your family creative?  Who?
9.   Do you prefer books or ebooks?
10. What is your favorite type of vacation...hotel, camping, cruising, etc.?


Over the weekend, or maybe it was Monday, my memory is the pits...I purchased some Command Brand Damage Free Picture Hanging Strips to hang this quilt and another that I made for DH that I will hang in the basement.  I assumed it would be a simple issue of sticking the hanger to the quilt and then positioning it on the wall and hold for a while.  Not quite.  I couldn't get the sticky to "stick" to the fabric!  So I finally ended up sewing the one half directly to the quilt, attaching the wall part to the part sewn to the quilt and hanging it on the wall.  I used a LOT of painters tape to hold it in place while I leveled it and when it was all done I just pressed the sticky corners to the wall.  I used two additional ones at the bottom to keep it flat against the wall.  There is a slight ripple...but that is the quilt, not the hanging technique, lol.  Looking at the futon, I REALLY need to straighten out the cover.  For some reason since washing, it it seems to be "looser" than prior to washing.  If anything I would have expected shrinking...not growing.  Oh well, I'll deal with it when I can.  Now that I see the quilt up I am SO anxious to get pillow forms for the covers, but we are getting hit with a snowstorm again today so I'm not going anywhere!  Patience is not one of my strong suits!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Thanks to J and his wonderful fiancee, K, we have made a BIG stride in organizing! 

J moved the guest bed back into the yellow room.  I know.  I know.  I was going to use it as my "quilt pinning" room, but it just didn't feel "right".  So it is now back to being the guest room again, lol.  Obviously the denim quilt doesn't fit the queen sized bed.  It was the twin sized quilt I made for J's dorm room back when he was a freshman in college.  Until I can finish the guest room quilt I started about a year ago, this will have to do.  We finally found sheets deep enough for the bed.  It is a pillow top mattress with a fake feather-bed we placed on top!  It is dreamy to sleep on, but regular sheets didn't fit.  We found these at Brylane Home online.  They are nice sheets at a good price.  The white table is actually our Christmas tree stand, lol.  But until we find two cheap nightstands, either painted white or ones that I can paint...again, it will have to do.  I am also contemplating one nightstand and one three drawer chest to give guests a place to put some overnight clothing.  I am also looking for a headboard cheap and will paint the black rim of the bed white also.  I am much happier with this room as the guest room, lol. 

J and K also moved the broken futon into my Expanded Sewing Room.  The store where we bought it was unable to get us a replacement arm as the futon has been discontinued, but they glued it up for us.  Hopefully it will withstand just occasional use in my ESR.  I hope to hang the Sunshine and Bowties quilt above the futon.  The mug rug is made out of the same materials and those red things on the opposite arm are two pillow covers.  I just need to buy some pillow forms. 

This morning I stopped at the thrift shop looking for a headboard and night stands.  No luck in that department, but I found an adorable orange and green metal bucket to hold my white buttons that are on cards.  I also found the three little black metal buckets.  I got the orange bucket for $1 and the three black buckets for $.25 each.   As you can see, I stopped making Collapsible Craft Containers to hold buttons when I began work on my mom's quilt.  Now that Christmas is over I really need to complete the next 8 containers. 

This horrendous pile of junk is everything that was contained in the old desk and closet we emptied when we had the yellow room painted.  Dear Hubby and I need to go through these boxes so that I can have my ESR (Expanded Sewing Room) back again, lol.  I have a set of plastic drawers that I will put next to the three drawer lateral file (where the green and white boxes are piled) for more organization.  Even though I disliked using the two small fold up tables to pin my quilts, I think I will be much happier with all of my sewing confined to just two rooms.  I tried it with a permanent table set up in the third bedroom (now guest room) and I really didn't like it.  Live and learn, lol. 

So thanks to my Dear Son and his Dear Girlfriend, my home is much more organized than it was on Saturday evening!  Love you both...

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Today was my first trip to Harbor Freight.  I was really impressed with their prices and selection.  Dear Hubby and I went there to purchase two battery charging thingies (don't you just love my technical jargon?).  Since the cold snap of this winter, both J and Dear Hubby have had dead batteries.  J has had to wait as long as 1.5 hours for AAA to arrive.  Not bad if you have a flat and can sit in a warm car while you wait, but COLD if you have to sit for 1.5 hours while waiting to have your dead battery jumped!  So we purchased one gadget for each of their cars.  J's also has a tire pump attachment.  He has had a tire pump in his car since 2005 and has used it more times than you can imagine.  Just last week a coworker's car had a flat and when he went to pump it up for her he found his pump was dead as a doornail.  Since he is able to get down on the ground and pump up a low tire, or change one if needed, we felt that model was best for him.  Dear Hubby and I will call AAA if we have a low or flat tire, lol.  Neither one of us can get down on the ground to do it ourselves.

I have read on numerous blogs how quilters can find so many useful things at Harbor Freight!  I did see a suction handle (for lifting quilt rulers) for the low price of $7.99, but held off on purchasing it because, while I am sure I would love to own it, I question whether I will really use it enough to justify the storage space it will take up!  Now, if I had my DREAM quilting space there would be no question, lol.  I am EXTREMELY fortunate to even have a dedicated space to create in my home and I don't want to fill it with things that may not make my life a whole lot easier. 

That said, I saw these picks for $1.99 and decided they may be good to have on hand if there comes a time when my wooden skewer won't quite fit the bill.  I felt that $.50 for each tool was a small price to pay, and a small footprint to take up, on the chance that they will prove beneficial. 

Recently online I also read a suggestion to purchase carpet cutter blades to use as replacement rotary cutter blades.  Well, for $1.99 for 2, I am more than willing to spend the money to find out for myself.  They sure LOOK exactly the same!  Can you imagine the money we quilters will save if we truly can use these blades to fit our rotary cutters?  Shhhh....let's not shout it from the rooftops or the price of carpet cutter blades will suddenly skyrocket, lol. 

So all in all it was a really worthwhile trip...and we were able to use a coupon for each of the chargers, making it an even better deal.  Yes, I definitely like Harbor Freight and am sure I will be heading back there again in the future.  

Friday, January 17, 2014


Doesn't that drawer look pretty?  The photo is turned, lol, but it still looks pretty!  This one drawer was my sole accomplishment over Wednesday and Thursday.  I had a ton of phone calls to make over the past two days and then had a HORRENDOUS migraine yesterday that laid me flat on my back in bed with the quilt up over my head for several hours.  But I feel good that at least one more tiny portion of my home is organized.  It's my word for 2014 and I'm sticking with it!


Sunday, January 12, 2014


As part of my "goals" for 2014, I am determined that once again I will begin to decorate for ALL of the holidays!  So, for Christmas I requested, and my Dear Aunt bought, a mini quilt hanger to decorate my foyer.  I know it is not realistic to think I will go "all out" decorating, but I figure I should be able to complete at least one 12" mini quilt for each month of the year.   Maybe not all "in time" for the appropriate holiday, but eventually.

A week or two ago I got an email from JoAnn's Fabric.  In it were some Valentine's Day fabrics on deep discount.  So I ordered a yard of each.  Last week I received my package and was shocked to see that JoAnn's had increased the yardage on two of my fabrics because there was less than a yard left on the bolt after my order.  They threw in the remainder...FREE!  Thank you, JoAnn's!!!

Twenty-eight and a half years ago I married my best friend.  We danced to our favorite song, "Always and Forever", by Heatwave.  To this day the lyrics still send shivers up my spine and bring tears to my eyes.  Valentine's Day could only be represented by the words that so completely express my love for him...always and forever. 

I love the finished mini.  I could have, and probably should have, done some FMQ in the center block, but I'm still a bit shakey with FMQ and this wasn't something I wanted to "practice on". 

I took my hanger downstairs to place it on top of my curio...only to discover that the "feet" of the hanger are too big for my corner curio.  No sweat.  I took off the feet, leaned the hanger up against the wall and put two clear, sticky "bumpers" onto the top of the curio, snugging them up against the bottom of the hanger to keep it from sliding. 

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out, and how cute it looks in my foyer.  I heard Dear Hubby in the kitchen so I called him to look at it.  He, too, loves it...but looked sad when I said I hoped to replace it with some leprechauns come March. 

Don't worry, Sweetheart.  The quilt may change, but my heart is yours...Always and Forever...

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'M CRYING "UNCLE"....or...Just Call Me "Dino"

See that empty Reminder page on my IMac?  See that empty Calendar page on my IMac?  Both of them were filled yesterday, the Reminder app with about 6 categories just chock full of things I needed to remember to do...home things, craft things, things to ask J to do the next time he came over, things my mom needed J to do the next time he went to her house, things I needed to remember to talk to my mom about, calls to make, things to buy.  And now they are all GONE.  My calendar was filled with doctor appointments, things that I needed to mention to the doctor, symptoms plotted by date to establish a pattern, appointments with repairmen, dinner dates, etc.  And now they are all GONE.  Poof....GONE...all of it!  There are days I really HATE computers!

Don't get me wrong.  I have always loved gadgets of all kinds...especially computers.  Back in 1980 I worked together with my boss (a doctor) and a computer programmer to develop one of the first medical computer systems available for the average practice in our area.  Personal computers really didn't exist back then.  The Commadore 64 and TRS-80 were the computers of the day.  Since turn-key medical programs didn't exist at the time, the programmer shadowed me day in and day out...questioning why I did certain things, why I didn't do other things.  He began programming and every line of code was based on the way I ran the office.  It took close to a year before the full program was written.  When it was finished and was ready to sell to other practices, I went to work for the company part time...traveling and teaching the staff how to run their practice more efficiently using a computer system.  I even did minor hardware repairs when required!  We had computerized medical records LONG before most people knew what they were!  Now HIPPA is the bane of our existance!  It's funny when I go into medical offices now and see brief glimpses of similarities to the program I helped develop.  I sure hope the programmer got full credit for his developments.  Our first computer was so antiquated that when I tried to type, the processor couldn't keep up!  Granted, I type 130 words per minute...but imagine a computer in our day and age that could not process 130 words per minute!  I even began attending college toward a degree in computer programming before Dear Hubby and I became engaged!  I just LOVED computers!

Fast forward 33 years and technology has left me in its dust.  Somehow in the years of raising J I lost my technological edge and have fallen the way of the dinosaurs.  Don't get me wrong...I understand a lot of what my "computer geek" son says (He works for a computer repair company!), but to "do it" on my own...I'm lost!  Hence, all of my important information that is now floating around in cyberspace!  Of course, J may be able to recover it all and patch it all back together again, but I can't ask him to be at my beck and call whenever a techie rescue is needed!

So, I've decided to cry least for my calendar and other types of organizational/note-taking functions...and go back to pen and paper.  Today I ordered myself a Filofax personal organizer.  I will ALWAYS have my up-to-date calendar in my purse and I don't have to worry about whether I remembered to sink my PDA with my computer.  And sinking my IPAD and my IMac through the cloud?  Well, you've seen the results of that endeavor!  Nope.  From now on I will have my reliable...electricity, bug and virus free...stone-aged organizer with me at all times.  Yup, I'm a dinosaur.  Just call me Dino. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


After the fiasco a few months ago when I decided to go grocery shopping all on my own (I paid in severe pain for days afterwards), I have finally admitted my limitations and thanked God, and ShopRite, for the wonders of online shopping.  I never really knew there was such a thing until J began working at ShopRite about three years ago.  He has now moved on to his "dream job" elsewhere, but the reality of online shopping (he managed the department so I learned all about it) couldn't have come at a better time.  

This time of year is the big can-can sale at ShopRite.  The can-can sale happens twice a year and is when I stock up for the next six months.  With J out of the house, Dear Hubby and I need a lot less...but cans are still heavy and neither one of us is in good enough health to heft such weight.  So we decided that every six months I will place one big order from ShopRite and have it delivered to the house...right to my kitchen table to be exact.  Dear Hubby and I can then put things away gradually, carrying a can or two to the pantry at our leisure.  During the intervening months I will place one or two "bigger" orders and we will just shop for milk, bread, produce, etc. in between.  It costs $15.95 for delivery, but that is a small price to pay four times a year to keep either one of us from hurting ourselves and suffering more pain than is usual.  Usual is bad, more pain is unbearable. 

So I have admitted my limitation in major food shopping and have now placed that activity on my "no longer do" list.  Unfortunately, I probably like food shopping better than any other type of shopping (I'm not a "window shopper"), but through the wonders of the internet I can still buy what I need, when I need it, despite my physical limitations.   

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know how I LOVE quilts and quilting!  I am still pretty much a novice and my precision still has a LONG way to go.  In the past I haven't really dwelled on my need to be more accurate, but since my goal is to become a "good" quilter and some day see all of my dream quilts to is time to focus on improving! 

I began this quilt some months back.  While I thought I was being "careful" with my cutting and piecing...the resulting blocks were not perfect.  I went ahead and sewed together the first row...and then put it all away to work on my mom's Christmas present.  I pulled the project out again yesterday and the piecing is BAD.  I can't possibly make a decent looking quilt with such out of kilter blocks!  

So, yesterday I began unpicking the one (err...actually two now that I look through the pile) rows I had sewed together.  I still have about one and a half more rows to unpick, but there is no rush and I can take my time.  My seam ripper is my friend! (repeat as often as is needed to sound convincing)  I only put one errant hole in the material when my hand moved unexpectedly, but it is in the seam allowance and hopefully will be cut off when I do the trimming, lol. 

A dear quilting friend suggested my goal be quilts that are "crisp and professional".  Since her quilts are the best I have ever seen, she KNOWS what she is talking about, lol.  I am accepting my current limitations in accuracy, but will working long and hard to improve!  Thank you, B, for your sage advice!

One of my "organizational" goals is to meal plan each week.  This is even MORE important since I need to purchase meat weekly to fit in our tiny kitchen fridge freezer.  I can't WAIT for March (after Dear Hubby's bonus) when we can replace our broken freezer!  Above is my meal plan for this week.  I currently have all of the necessary items in-house, with the exception of salad greens and dressing.  They will be delivered on Thursday, lol.  I have also purchased a few cuts of meat in my Shop Rite delivery order and will use them in next week's meal plan.  Who thought losing my freezer would lead to better planning?  Maybe I shouldn't replace it, lol.  

Monday, January 6, 2014


I woke up this morning to the sounds of torrential rain and howling winds.  The perfect day for some comfort food, yes?

Last evening I got the itch to bake.  It was already pretty late, so I needed something quick and easy.  I found a package of Raspberry and White Chocolate scone mix that Dear Hubby and I had purchased on vacation.  It was a quick mix...just add water, stir and bake.  I had pushed myself too hard during the day and was definitely feeling it, so the mix was perfect!  No effort baking!  While four of the scones had to be placed onto a second baking sheet (and burned) the remainder of the scones came out perfectly.  I guess I should have made them all a bit bigger and kept them all on one sheet, lol.  But, burnt or not, they were delicious.

Hearing the monsoon-like rain pounding on the windows this morning convinced me that comfort in the guise of two scones and a big mug of steaming coffee was the answer to my breakfast needs.  I even spread one of the scones with some delicious Lemon Curd that we picked up at World Market in South Carolina. Oh YUM!

While making my coffee I had to open a new box of K-cups.  In keeping with my 2014 goal of organizing and living a more deliberate life (part of being organized), I took the time to nicely arrange the K-cup drawers and glanced at the back of the box tear off.  Ah-HA!  A contest!  I immediately went to my computer and entered the contest...and then, since I can enter daily until March, I saved the site to a "Contests" sub-folder in my main Making Money bookmark.  Making Money is one of the first bookmarks I visit on a daily basis.  It contains sites where I can receive freebies, points for searching, points for buying, points for reading articles and answering questions, points for surveys and now contests! I also made sure to toss the tear-off into the recycling bin instead of the trashcan.  My trash company gives points for the weight of trash recycled and I can use those points to buy free gift cards!  This morning I was "living deliberately"...not flying from chore to chore with little to no awareness of how my actions did impact, or could impact, my life and surroundings!

While eating my scones I realized that having a supply of "cheap" mixes would also help on days when I was too exhausted, too sore, or too shaky to bake from scratch.  I added "Make Mixes" to my main ToDo list. 

As I shut down the contest link I noticed that my computer had popped up with an opportunity to upgrade my MAC operating system.  I figured that was something I should do, but this computer used to belong to J and I was unsure of his password.  I knew I had written it down on a piece of paper and shoved it into my HUGE pending file folder (yet to be organized).  After a bit of searching I found his password and began the upgrade.  I also placed the post-it containing his password in a place where I was sure to look and sure to find it the next time an upgrade came around.  But, in doing so, I noticed how horrible my password list looked.  There were cross-outs, erasures and smudges all over.  I printed out another stock form (in black and white to save ink) and rewrote all of the passwords.  Another tiny bit of organization accomplished! 

In order to meet my 2014 goal I need to slow down my life.  After years of multi-tasking just to meet deadlines, I need to slow down and "think" about what I am doing.  No more moving on auto-pilot!  I need to consider each thing I do.  Is there a better, easier, cheaper way of doing this?  Is there a way I can benefit from doing this, or something associated with it?  If I were to need to reference this in the future, would I know where to look?

It took 24 years of juggling my family's needs, my own business, and housework in order for my home to become this unorganized.  It isn't going to be reorganized over night.  And it SHOULDN'T be.  Organizing is NOT a once and done.  It is a lifestyle choice that should, in the long run, guarantee that I am getting the absolute MOST out of every aspect of my life.  Now that is a change I can live with! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014


It is bitterly cold in large portions of the US.  While our weather is not bad enough to forcibly confine us to indoor's a good excuse to snuggle down indoors and have a "housework" and "pamper me" kind of day.  I woke up with a really bad backache this morning, so I won't be doing anything too strenuous.  While I wait for my back spasms to loosen I am sitting at my desk with a large mug of gloriously steamy coffee and my "Coupon" file.  I have been going through this pile for about 20 minutes now and have not come across even one unexpired coupon.  Ummmm.....guess I need to go through this pile more frequently to be sure I am getting the most from my coupons and also make sure I am not taking up much needed space with useless paper!  Lol.  Baby steps, baby steps.  All part of my 2014 goal...organizing!

Since I am used to "multitasking" when I ran my own business, I'm also using this time to catch up on some of my favorite blogs.  Above you can just make out today's post from Jenny of Elefantz.  If you have never visited her blog, do pop over there for a healthy dose of creativity, compassion, faith and fun....unmatched in blog-land.  Jenny is warm, wonderful and sure to put me in the best of moods.  Thank you, Jenny, for the joy you bring to me on almost a daily basis!

Stay warm my friends....


Saturday, January 4, 2014

MY WORD FOR 2014? O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E !!

Late this afternoon I began working on organizing my desk.  Gosh, does it NEED it!  I started with the huge pile in my "In Box".  I neglected to take a photo of the before, but this is the paper filling the recycling container in my office.  All from ONE in-box!

Thankfully, my in-box looks SO much better.  The paperwork turned side-ways (down to the brass paperweight you can just see peeking out) is REALLY important stuff that must be handled first thing Monday morning.  The next pile (down to the cardboard) are things that are pending and I should be following up on in the next week.  Everything below that is in need of filing.  I think the next time I am at the thrift shop I am going to keep my eyes opened for a multiple section wall pocket.  I could really use one that I could label "Tomorrow", "Pending", "J" (for things I need to give to him) and "Mom" (for things I need to give to her).  Hopefully I can set up a more permanent filing system in my desk drawer for all of the other things that don't need immediate attention.  Tomorrow?  I start to tackle that desk drawer.  Frightening.  Truly FRIGHTENING!  And the desk is just the tip of the iceberg!!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014


 JANUARY 3RD?  Already?  I honestly don't know where the holidays have gone.  I feel like I blinked and they went...woooosh....whizzing right by me!

Above is a photo of the pretty white stuff that fell overnight.  Pretty, but I could sure do without it.  I am not a "snow" all!  I tried to post this picture earlier this morning, but for some reason my camera and computer would not sink!  Frustrating, to say the least!  I finally decided to plug the camera cord into a different USB port and voila...success.  Sometimes I really think technology is not worth the least for someone as technologically challenged as myself. I am SERIOUSLY considering going back to a Daytimer type organizer for my scheduling and note-taking.  I am using the calendar on my Mac, but it is not as good as the calendar on my old MacBook and for some reason I can't get THIS Mac calendar to sink with my Galaxy Reader...which was purchased solely as a means for me to wirelessly sink with my main calendar so I would have my schedule with me at all times.  My calendar is far too important for me to have "tech" difficulties impacting its use.  Of course, if I would give in and pay the price for a IPhone with data plan I would avoid many, if not all, of these problems as Apple is made to sink with Apple!  My Galaxy Reader was a cheaper, stop-gap solution to avoid the monthly data fee, that is no longer working.  Probably some "update" on Apple's end that has thrown a monkey wrench into the whole thing.  Decisions, decisions.  I guess I will have to call my computer whiz son to come over and handle the list of "tech" problems I am currently having. 

This morning I have tried to be frugal and productive...two of my 2014 goals.  I packed my Dear Hubby's lunch and ate breakfast from the pantry/fridge.  I have leftovers for my lunch and dinner today so no additional money will be spent on feeding me.  Dear Hubby will probably not be home for dinner, but his will be provided by the no cost there either.  After breakfast I put away some small "after Christmas" purchases we for Dear Hubby (he didn't really need it as J bought him some for Christmas, but the price was unbelievable) and a set of seven shower gels for me.  We are now supplied for at least the next year, if not two.   I've sent away for a few freebies this morning.  They seem to be harder and harder to find.  One of my goals in 2014 is to take advantage of any and all freebies I can find, and to share them with my folks, aunt, J and K.  We can all use a little "help" making ends meet in this economy! 

This is one of my Christmas gifts from Dear Hubby.  Isn't she lovely?  My favorite shade of blue, too! I have transferred everything over from my old, beat-up handbag and have cut it up prior to throwing it into the trash.  "Cut it up?", you ask.  Yes!  I have finally realized that "findings" of all types do not have to be purchased new! I have been cutting off buttons from discarded clothing for years, but had never considered recycling any other doo-dads and such.  I can't begin to imagine the missed opportunities through the years!  Sad, really....sad!

So before I threw my away my old purse I cannibalized it!  I just love the "Brighton" look of these purse findings.  I know my mom will love them too, and if I ever find the "perfect" fabric I will make her a new handbag with these embellishments.  One of my goals for 2014 is to look at EVERYTHING with a more critical, "outside the box" eye.  I will have to ask my mom, dad and aunt to do the same and pass on to me, or return to me, anything that can be recycled or repurposed! 

So, with that in mind, I'm off to bury myself in my closet.  It's time to pull out the clothing items that I will never realistically wear.  If they are in good condition they will be sent off to the thrift store, with a receipt requested for taxes (frugal).  If not, they will be chopped up for salvaging of all good parts...buttons, zippers, material, embellishments, etc.  Shopping for future craft supplies in my current trash is definitely frugal.  Let the "Chop Shop" begin!