Tag: stuff

January 2010 so far

The theme of January this year is snow.
Pond
Lots of lovely, fluffy, soft snow.
Snow
Snow globe sort of snow.
Snow at Night

And lots of sled riding in snow (ice skating soon I think.)
Pond
And video games.

When the kids are not outside playing in the snow or shoveling the driveway (a new favorite service for Rachel) they are spending lots of time play strategic or exercise related video games.  Lots of Star Craft, Garry’s Mod, and Tales Runner going on here (for after spending time outside) and lots of Wii Resort and Wii Fit Plus  combined with all sorts of pretend play and contests for when it is just too cold to play outside. For example, yesterday the kids set up a plane in the living room to make the flying game in Wii Resort more fun and so everyone could join in.
Playing Star Craft
The Girls
The kids did spend some time watching movies but other than Issac’s current repeat obsession with The Goonies and the kids’ repeat watching of The Gamers: Dorkness Rising there is not so much of that right now. In the meantime we are focused on spending 5 min a day upstairs and 5 downstairs cleaning 1 room as quickly as possible. A good habit to develop and each kid has a chance at a reward for doing their very best. We are trying to develop an attitude of service in a household where chaos is more comfortable than order and schedules and lists DO NOT WORK. This suits us well and keeps the house in relative order. We have also had much less complaining than with our previous attempts at this. (If they complain then they get 1/2 hour instead. And I have also found that they are willing to go the extra mile and really work hard in this time, stretching it well beyond the necessary 5 minutes to get the job done.

In the meantime, the painting is actually coming along now that I have the proper colors. It is coming out different than expected, more solid and less surreal but I am happy with my first attempt at acrylics since high school so far.

Quirks, oddities, and whatnot

The 6 weird things and the 9 weird things, the quirky things, the boring things–those memes have been floating around fr forever and I have answered them numerous times on various sites I have owned.  It occurred to me though, that since I deleted my old sites (including my list of 100), maybe I should share some of my oddities so that those of you who are only just getting to know me know where I am coming from and aren’t horribly shocked when you discover these things in some round about way.  I am not going to number them because I don’t know how many I am going to list, just whatever comes to mind

I am not going to tag anyone–if you read this then consider yourself tagged–I LOVE to know more about my readers (most of whom I consider friends more than readers since I don’t think of myself as one of those sites that has, you know, “readers”.

  • I hate lists, passionately, but I use them because it is how I was taught to organize information but if something is on a list I will read it once and walk away never to look at it again.
  • That is okay because I have a nearly photographic memory and if I actually look hard at the list I will remember what was on it, except for the bits I don’t really care about, those I forget.
  • I am not easily offended, not at all.  Occasionally something will get caught in my craw but not usually.  If it does I have a rotten memory for stuff like that  and get over it quickly.
  • One of the blessings of my rotten short term memory is the ability to reread things a zillion times and not be bothered by it.  And yes, I can tell you where to find some quote in my favorite reread books, but I can’t word it perfectly, and I can tell you what movie quotes are from but not say them myself.
  • Also, most of my vocabulary is from books, which means if you meet me I will NOT pronounce things correctly, and I will likely (when nervous) stutter and loose words.
  • I usually have a dozen projects in my head at once, which may or may not include housework.  My husband doesn’t mind, considering my art work and my time with the kids more important–unless the floors are utterly trashed, there are no clean dishes, or we are out of clean clothes.
  • I LOVE to organize things but can’t KEEP them organized, I LOVE art projects but hate doing useless crafts (I do love practical crafts and you will often find me reworking something in our house to fill a need elsewhere.)
  • I almost never buy something new if I can buy it used.  I also refuse to have someone else do something for me that I can easily do myself.  And often think I can do something myself then find I need help.
  • This happens more often now as my rheumatoid arthritis pops up more often–which means I can’t push myself like I used to.
  • I have had RA since Jr. High though it wasn’t diagnosed right away–I only take supplements and watch my weight and eat healthy to keep it at bay–I refuse to take steroids or most prescriptions.  I had a severe bout with candida overgrowth and food allergies which diet and enzymes help with–my kids struggle with the same.
  • I hate clutter if I notice it but usually I don’t unless it is spread out or if I am getting sick.
  • I don’t like working for other people because I push myself too hard to meet their expectations and then never ask for how much the job was actually worth.
  • I am a rotten business woman.
  • I love helping other people in whatever way I can and only charge because my husband insists.
  • I hate gossip and celebrities, I don’t watch tv (if we had cable I would watch sci-fi channel, hgtv, & tlc).  Foolish people drive me insane.
  • I LOVE fashion and making my own style–which usually includes heels or tall boots, long skirt or jeans, and a black beret.
  • I love blues and 40’s pop music, Tsuji Ayano, 80’s alternative and punk, and techno remixes.
  • I love playing Gamecube & DS (especially puzzle games and RPG) and have had several total addictions  including Puzzle Pirates, Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and Puzzle Quest.
  • I keep up on politics but refuse to talk to most people I know about it since I am against anything that limits our constitutonal rights and takes away freedoms.  (I am a Christian, unschooling, constitutional/libertarian–which you will find, if you read through the New Testament thoroughly, makes perfect sense–but I WILL NOT argue about it unless I find that you have unformed opinions.)
  • I married my husband because of his incredible sense of humor. I am glad to find that I am not the only one who thinnks he is brilliantly funny.
  • I absolutely hate and abhor Microsoft.  I have been moving towards completely open source software since 2002, have been blogging off and on since 1990, and finally am almost completey weened off all things Microsoft (I use Ubuntu and LOVE it.)  The only time I use Windows at all is to watch Netflix because Rach and I are enjoying Dr. Who.
  • I have NEVER been concise–I can’t seem to do it.  Hubby often has to remind me to “get to the point” and obviously the same goes for here.

So, if you made it this far, tell me about you.

A Day in the Life 28: The Messy House– Determination and Maintenance Mode

I am determined to have a relatively clean house.

I am determined to eliminate most of the clutter.

I am sick of the constant mess my mess makers leave behind.

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It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how much they have more with their inability to remember to put something away when done with it. (One year we took away all but a couple clothes and toys for the summer–instead they left a trail of paper messes and their drawers were constantly empty of clothes.)

Part of the problem is that I am bad at maintenance, my husband is bad at maintenance, and thus so are our children.

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I am very good at doing a big clean up and getting a room to look good for a day or two, maybe even a week if the kids are spending all their time outside. The problem is that once a room is clean the kids descend on it like bees to honey and promptly play there until there is a huge mess. They then move to another location to play instead of cleaning up their mess. Since I am often occupied elsewhere when this occurs I don’t realize it until later and by then they are off somewhere else making new messed. And if the place has already been relatively messy? Well, then I don’t even notice the new mess.

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You see my husband and I are both project people. He is a left-brained thinker–always a list and he is motivated by what is on that list. His list includes all his work projects, exercise, eating, and his office. He stays focused on that list and doesn’t notice what is outside that list–unless he steps in something wet or has to step over toys or search for a clean dish. This is why my main goal is keeping his path clear (and he has a set path) so that he can focus on his work. Occasionally he will notice something beyond what is in his path–which is usually when we kick things into cleaning gear.

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I on the other hand am a right-brained work by association sort. I don’t have a list I have a spiderweb of things I need to do with each associated to other things on the list.When I am tired or achy or getting sick then I want a clean house. I want things organized so I don’t have to worry about a bigger mess. Other times I am too focused on my current project to notice the rest of the mess. My brain doesn’t do lists and schedules–I have top work very,very hard to remember things when they are organized that way. Flylady doesn’t work for me–I resent being told to go clean my closet when I have other more pressing things that need done.

I have realized that instead of trying to force myself to keep on top of our rather large house (the rooms are rather big and we have a huge basement) I need to train my mess makers to clean up after themselves. Since they think similarly to their parents who don’t notice mess unless it is in the way of a project, that means I need to train them to see the mess first so they can clean it uip immediately. Which means that I need to notice it as well.

One trick I have learned over the years is to pray. I literally have to pray that my eyes would be open to see the mess as others see it. Suddenly I see things I hadn’t noticed.

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I also need to withhold privileges and reserve the right to stop the kids from doing anything else until they have dealt with the mess. I hate making them stop what they are doing just to clean up a mess, especially since it is usually something very interesting and creative that they are doing but I need to be determined and make sure to keep up with them and if I do then they will eventually learn. It is not as simple as just instilling a habit would normally be since the older two have learning disabilities that keep simple repetition from teaching–there has to be more to it and it takes longer than it would with a typical person.I also need to continually attack the clutter. With a big house and lots of grandparents every holiday adds to the clutter.You can’t just get rid of stuff and be done. Right now I am praising the Lord that my mother-in-law got the kids each a beach towel and that is all for Easter. Everyone else got them tons of random junk that they didn’t need and which is making its way at this very moment into the yard sale bags. The clutterific gifts have been on the decline but they are still too much. Even if each set of grandparent only bought the kids each one thing for each holiday that would be 60 new things a year. And most of the grands buy more, much more.

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My kids do not need 60 new things each year!!! IT is too much!!! And those 60 don’t take into account all the little random stuff that show up at our house when they are decluttering their stuff and all the other stuff they ask for when we stop at the thrift shop. No wonder we have too much!
We are working on it. Maybe it is time to halve all our stuff again? We do that every few years and it helps. We have 10 garbage bags full of toys and clothes that the kids want to use in a yard sale–I know there is more, much more to be rid of. Too much is too much.

Right now the kids are working on cleaning up their upstairs hallway. It is full of random little toys and stuff that needs dealt with. Yesterday we attacked their rooms. They were trashed and ready to implode. Earlier this week we cleaned downstairs and everythig is already undone because they kept playing down here.