Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thrilling Thursday

Today was amazing. My first day as a long-term sub. It may seem odd that I am so excited about a temporary teaching postition, but a long-term sub job is very much like being a contracted teacher. You build a rapport with the students, you plan lessons, do the grading, interact with parents, get an email address, go to department and faculty meetings, accrue vacation and sick leave, and a whole bunch of other cool stuff!

Of course, I realize I am still in the "honeymoon" period. The students behave better, they do their work, and turn it in. I wish it could last forever, but I know it will not. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love, even if it is on a temporary basis :)

Okay, on to today's purge. I am still adjusting to my new schedule. I am not getting up any earlier, but I am definitely busier and unable to nap at will, yup. So after I got home from work, I had a snack, threw in some laundry, played words with friends, and then decided to find my purge. It had to be quick and painless. I recently acquired some new cookbooks for free. I decided that I needed to get rid of some of the cookbook's I already own and never use, if I wanted to keep the new cookbooks. So I quickly scanned the shelf and four I haven't used in forever and will probably never use. I also found my old Phi Theta Kappa membership packet from when I joined  five or six years ago.

The cookbook countdown from left to right begins here:

1) The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet -- A Month of Meals Made Easy. With the just the three of us, this type of cooking doesn't really work for us.


2)  Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes. There are tons of fun recipes for kids and parties. I don't think I've ever used a recipe out of it...

3) Cookie Dough Fun. Similar to the Halloween cookbook, except the recipes all call for refrigerated cookie dough. Again, I don't think I've ever used a recipe from it.

4) Frozen Assets: How to Cook For a Day and Eat For a Month.

5) not pictured and not a cook book...my membership packet from Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two year college.

I have a feeling there will bw a couple more days of cookbooks. I am pushing to challenge that mindset of "I might use that someday" which is so insidious and detrimental to my project!

Remember, if you see something you can't live without, I will gladly ship it to at my expense. It may take a little longer with the new job, but it will get there eventually :)


Thanks for reading :) TGTF! See you then....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Last Day of Psuedo Freedom

Tomorrow I start teaching full-time. It is not a permanent position, but it is a long-term sub position starting tomorrow and continuing until the end of the school year. I have met most of my students, and I am looking forward to working with them and getting to know them better.

I am also a little nervous..it is in my nature. I do not like the unknown. I like to know what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, how it is going to happen, etc. I do not like variables, except in math. I know I have the support of the teacher I am replacing as well as the entire Special Ed department. However, in the end, I am doing the lesson planning, teaching, grading, etc. I am so glad my first "week" as the new teacher is only two days :)

Tonight's purge is a whole bunch of one item. Intriguing, right?

Once upon a time, long, long ago, a young woman became obsessed greatly interested in metal cookie cutters and baking sugar cookies. This devoted young woman would make dough, roll it out, cut cookies with her many different cutters, bake and frost them. Her family heaped lavish praise on her as they shoved cookie after cookie into their greedy eager mouths. One day the young woman thought about baking cookies but knew she didn't have enough time for the elaborate sugar cookies she usually baked. She put the cookie cutters in a Georgia Boot Co. shoe box, tucked them in a cupboard under the laundry room sink, and made a batch of drop cookies. The cookie cutters have not seen the light of day since that fateful moment...

Until today! Alas, years of neglect has taken their toll and some of the cookie cutters have died a rusty, corrosion induced death :( Fear not, however! Many cookie cutters survived the dungeon-like conditions under the sink, and only need a good bath to restore them to working order.

The young woman has grown and has no crazy ambitions regarding baking sugar cookies! She is ready to release the healthy cookie cutters into the wild of the thrift store.

So, after that amazing burst of autobiographical creativity, I am sure you have figured out what I am getting rid of today.

So, here is the short ans sweet list of today's purge...

1) Approximately 35 metal cookie cutters of various design, old and newer.

2) Approximately 10 nasty and corroded metal cookie cutters (not pictured) going straight into the recycle bin.
Remember, if you see something you can't live without I will gladly ship it to you :) Please keep in mind with my new schedule, I will not ship as quickly. Also, these cookie cutters are "as is". I am not doing a darn thing to them!

Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Well...That Was a Good Nap!

Apparently I am out of practice with the get up at 5:00 a.m., work all day, come home and stay awake until bedtime routine...meh!

I didn't teach today, but I did stay at school the entire day (and then some),picked up my picture prints, came home and made dinner, did the dishes, and promptly PASSED OUT for three hours. I remember waking up a couple of times and knowing I should get up, but my body was having no part of that nonsense. So I slept until 9:30.

Tomorrow there is no school because today was the last day of the semester. Tomorrow teachers have a day to grade like maniacs, enter grades into the computer, and prepare for the next semester. No problem (read with heavy sarcasm).

I am so glad I have my three items already picked out, picture taken, and ready to go! Today's offering will go to The Red Hat if no one claims any of the fine treasures. Well, there is actually only one thing that's shippable, so we'll see what happens :)

1) A large 70's green genuine Tupperware storage container without a lid. I am not sure why I kept this...maybe deep in the recesses of my mind I thought I might come across a lid in my thrift store jaunts. Of course with the Tupperware in the cupboard, I forgot I needed a lid. Go figure

2) A largey 70's yellow/gold geuine Tupperware storage container WITH a lid. Woo Hoo!!! I think it was in the cupboard because I didn't like not being able to see what was in the container, but it was genuine Tupperware so I wasn't willing to get rid of it. My logic is not logical (shocking, I know).

3) An old pizza pan that used to belong to my roomie from six years ago. 'Nuff said.

4) A Christmas tin from Dollar Tree or Big Lots. I make a lot of Christmas goodies and share with friends and loved ones. I am sure I was thinking I was saving $1 by hanging onto the tin. Yay, logic...NOT.

5) A stainless steel frothing pitcher for steaming milk for espresso. Again, I haven't had an espresso machine in over 6 years, but I kept the pitcher for unknown but very logical reason...



You know, when I type what I am purging and how long I have had it, I wonder about myself...A LOT. I am so grateful that many of you have written either here or on The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Page that you have similar struggles with getting rid of things. It is good to know there are "others" like me :)

I am so excited that in two days I will have purged and blogged for a month straight. I will have gotten rid of 155+ items from my home. It's a little mind-boggling. Even though the change in how my home looks is not very noticeable, I know that will not be the case in the coming months.

I am not tooting my own horn, but I am proud of myself. I used to be the person who committed to everything and followed through on nothing. I feel like I am shedding tha skin and it feels wonderful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey, and silently encouraging me to continue! You rock and I appreciate it :) Good night, friends. See you tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gettin'er Done Early!

Since I have a small block of free time and I've already got my five things to purge, I'm going to bust out my blog now! Maybe I will get to bed a little earlier tonight :)

I start my new job Thursday, so I went in today so I could meet some of my students a little ahead of time. I will go tomorrow as well to meet the rest. They seem like a great bunch of students, and I am excited to start teaching them. Most of my classes are small, which is such a blessing. I will have the continued support of the teacher I am taking over for -- she is the new President of the teachers' union and is moving to a half time support position at the school. I am sure I will regale you with teaching stories once I start, and hopefully not bore you to tears.

I have some cookies to deliver to the library and groceries to shop for, so I am going to stop prattling on, and get to the list :)

Today's purge is from the corner cupboard in the he kitchen, and it is the throwaway pile.

1) One half of a bag of smoked Gouda popcorn. It's been hanging out down there for quite a while, and I haven't eat any in bleems so its time to trash it.

2) One half of a bag of tortilla chips. I didn't even know these were down there, so that is a good sign they need to go.

3) Child's Play (the candy assortment). My daughter bought this from her work, and it has been down there FOR.EVER. I am sick of looking at it, so I made the executive decision to throw it away!

4) A sponge/scrubber for the George Foreman grill. The grilled died long, long ago, and the sponge had just been hanging out waiting to be rescued.

5) A 5-cup coffeemaker. I am the only coffee drinker in the house, and I don't drink coffee every day (well I try not to), so a coffeemaker is pointless. I use a pour over filter. This will be going to the thrift store


Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Supercross Sunday

I'm not a huge Supercross/Motocross fan, but my hubby is. I am a big turn-off-the-TV-and-read-a-book-or-listen-to-music fan :) For him. Supercross is a big deal. He sets a reminder, his little brother comes over, and they watch it together. Today, however, CBS thwarted his carefully laid plans...the golf tournament they were airing prior to Supercross went into extra holes (or whatever they call it), and so they did not air Supercross. Why am I telling you all this? Mainly because I felt my title needed an explanation :)

Today I tackled a corner cupboard in my kitchen that had been driving me crazy for several months. It was full of stuff I used and stuff I didn't use but didn't have abetter spot for. I know, I know...If I don't use it, why was I keeping it? Again, I have no idea. That mindset of, but I might need it someday... Someday rarely comes, and the stuff keeps multiplying in the dark recesses of my cupboards. This purge required the removal of almost everything from the cupboard. As I pulled more and more stuff from the cupboard, I was reminded of Mary Poppin's seemingly bottomless carpetbag. The only difference being that nothing coming out of my cupboard was fun or magical *sigh*

Once I had the contents of the cupboard strewn across my kitchen floor, I divided and conquered (I made piles). A pile for the recycle bin, a pile for the garbage, and a pile for donation. And the best part? Each one of those piles had five items, so I am ahead of the game with three days worth of purges :) This will be helpful with me starting my new job this week! Next week's purges might be straw wrappers, bread ties, dryer lint, empty toilet paper rolls, and hair from the hairbrush...I'm kidding, I hope.

Of the three piles today's purge is the pile going into my curbside recycle bin. Pretty boring stuff, but it is the means to an end. My cupboard is cleaned out, rearranged, and positively spacious. Now if I can only keep from refilling it!

Today's remarkable recyclables are as listed. Please hold your applause until the end ;)

1) A plastic cookie dough fundraiser tub...the cookie dough long gone! 

2) An empty Apex Brownie box. Not sure why this was still under there...maybe to remind not to judge others (like when my daughter/husband left an empty box in the bathroom cupboard and I ranted about it here).

3) An empty Dasani water bottle. yeah.

4) 3 disposable aluminum baking pans. They were not the right size for what I needed, and I haven't been able to figure out another use for them. They are big and take up too much space, so they have to go.

5) The plastic scraper for cleaning a George Foreman grill. My husband had one when we forst moved in together (almost 6 years ago), but it died probably 4 years ago. Maybe I thought we would get a new one someday...nah.
See you tomorrow! I hope your Monday is peaceful, productive, and stress-free :)


Saturday, January 26, 2013

I love Saturdays...usually :)

And this Saturday is no exception. I love what the weekend represents -- freedom from the Monday through Friday grind. Not that I have a grind, but it's nice to have a break from the weekday routine. Weekends have their own routine, which tend to be more flexible. Tonight was one of the local high school's winter ball, so my daughter got off work early to get ready (she's a senior this year). I dropped off books and magazines at the library, checked out a few art books, picked up her boyfriend's boutinierre, made grape salad for my husband to take to his sister and brother-in-law's "winter olympics", and just relaxed :)

I decided for today's purge to continue with the magazines -- I have several stacks all over the house :( I followed similar rules as last time; it had to be pretty current and I had to have a GOOD reason for keeping it! Again, I purged more than I kept. Yay, me!!! I won't post a picture of the magazines, but I do want to post a picture of my daughter and her boyfriend. They are both wonderful young people with kind hearts!

If you must know stats about the magazines...I purged 18 and an old phone book :)

On a sidenote, some people have spoken for items I posted by commenting on the blog. I have responded to those comments, but have not heard anything back. It is much easier to communicate via email, which is why I have asked you to email me at penelopesamuel@gmail.com if you see something you want me to send to you. So if you requested something and haven't heard from me, you should check to see if I have replied to your comment :)

Thanks again for reading! See you tomorrow:)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fast & Furious Friday

Today was an interesting day. Friday is my regular cleaning day for one of my clients. I have been cleaning for this couple for about 4 years. I park in the same place every single time. Can you see where this is leading? Today, the husband backed into my car as he was leaving for work. I am sharing this because I thought it was funny, and it could have been so much worse! This couple are really great people, and I knew I had nothing to worry about. About two hours after it happened, their company paint and body guy came to the house to check out my car and get all the info he needed to get my car fixed. He has already ordered the new fender and paint, and will fix it next weekend.

Last week the wife had given me three bags of books to trade in for credit at Powell's City of Books in Portland, OR. I trade my books to Powell's online for virtual credit. After I set aside what Powell's wants, I take the remainder to my local book store for trade credit, and the final stop is the library. I donate whatever is left to The Friends of the Library for their bi-annual book sale and the year-round $1 bookshelf. Between Powell's and my local bookstore I now have $58.00 in credit :) My bookshelves are full, so I save the credit for birthday and Christmas gifts...unless they have a book of poetry I "need" to add to my collection.

All this rambling about my day does lead somewhere, I promise :) In December, my father-in-law gave me a bag full of books and magazines that had been his wife's (she passed away in July). They are gardening magazines, Birds & Blooms, a few hardback mysteries, and some gardening books. The sack has been sitting in my foyer for at least a month, silently reproaching me as I swept and vacuumed around it. Tonight I decide to go through it and decide what I could part with. My first step was to categorize them, so they'd be easier to sort through. Then I decided I had to get rid of anything older than 2012 (just about everything in the bag!) At that point, I looked at the cover and asked myself why do I want to keep it? What information is in here that will be useful? How soon will I read it? Where will I put it until I read it? You get the picture. I am proud to say I only kept 6 magazines and 1 book :) The rest will go to the library's reuse, reduce, recycle magazine shelves tomorrow!

I do have a picture, but I am not going to list the magazines and books I purged. There is well over 5 items, and I am very glad to have one less bag of stuff on the floor :)

Thanks for reading my blog and supporting my project! Have a great weekend, and I'll see you tomorrow :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On My Knees in the Bathroom...

Did you like the suggestive title? Did you think I was praying to the porcelain god? Well, that's what I was hoping for...

Thankfully, I was not sick, only cleaning off a shelf under the counter :) A rather dusty, dog hair rich shelf -- yuck! I learned something from that shelf and its contents, something that brought joy to my heart.  Are you ready for my most recent epiphany? It only took me five minutes to go through the contents on the shelf, throw away a bunch of containers with 1/2 tsp. of whatever in them, find six things worthy of donating, wipe it down, and return the few items I kept. That five minutes is proof that good things come in small packages, that small steps make a big impact, that five minutes is enough time to accomplish something significant. And the bonus? That shelf no longer looks cluttered, and I can easily find what I need now :)

Honestly, there are some days I do not feel like looking for five things to purge, and when I am purging I get mad! Mad that I have accumulated so much crap that it is easy to find five things I no longer want or need. Every purge solidifies my resolve to not buy anything I don't need because I don't want to have to purge it a week, month, year down the road. I went to Michaels yesterday - I had a gift card with a little bit of money on it, and I wanted to see if they had any Valentine washi tape. I spent less than $20, which is a huge accomplishment for me, and I said no to myself more than I said yes. I can easily justify craft supplies, so again, this was a huge step forward to me :)

Progress is progress, and a quote that I kept close to my heart during my student teaching last year is, "No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch". I think this applies to more than running. It applies to any effort you make to bring about a positive change in your life.

Okay, on to today's less than exciting purge items :)

1) An almost full container of Bath and Body Works Midnight Pomegranate Body Butter. I do not like the way it feels on my skin.

2) An almost full 4 oz. bottle of their Sweet Pea lotion. It was a gift and the scent is too sweet for me.

3) A wooden grooved cylinder for back rubs. I love a good back rub, but I prefer my sweetie's warm hands :)

4) A plastic knobby thing that I believe is another type of massager. Never used it, never gonna use it.

5) An inflatable bath pillow. I haven't soaked in the tub in a couple of years. I don't know why, but baths lost their appeal a few years ago.

6) A never been used loofah mitt. I prefer the mesh poofs :)

Remember -- If you see something, anything you can't live without, shoot me an email at penelopesamuel@gmail.com. I will gladly ship it to you free of charge :)

Thanks for reading, and thank you for all the congratulatory comments on yesterday's blog post. I am so excited for this opportunity!!! See you tomorrow, friends :)




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday :)

 Today, the principal of the high school I interviewed at last week called and offered me the long-term sub position!!! I, of course, accepted :) It is a full-time English/Language Arts Special Ed position. I am not endorsed in Special Education, but I am endorsed in English/Language Arts. I am so grateful and excited for this opportunity, but I am also a little nervous. A long-term sub position is quite different from day-to-day subbing, but I am confident I will be a great teacher, have fun, and learn as much as my students :) This will definitely affect my blog as well. Until I get my rhythm, my posts will be short and sweet. I am determined to continue purging 5 items a day and blogging about it, but I don't think my posts will be as lengthy. Ha! For some of you that may be a relief ;)

My husband and I went out to dinner tonight with a bunch of his co-workers. We drove separately since he left from work and I was at home. As I was driving home from the restaurant, I was thinking about tonight's purge. "Less is still not enough" was the epiphany that presented itself. As I thought about what that meant in the context of my Five a Day endeavor I realized two things. 1)This project is not conducive to a "deep" purge -- the kind of purging that requires digging, sorting, and making tough decisions. 2) Even though I am pretty much done purging in my room, it doesn't look any less cluttered :( This was quite the slap in the face which led to my next epiphany -- there will be two levels of purging going on from this point. 1)  The purging I do for the blog -- the five items that are readily available to make a decision about. 2) The purging that results from sorting through boxes and stacks of random papers that have resulted from a apathy and an inability to commit.

I was at a loss this evening as I realized I would not be purging from the bedroom. I will be back because I am dissatisfied with my room not looking any different after 22 days of purging.

I decided to tackle one of the bathroom cupboards! They are full of stuff, most of which I have no idea what it is. There will be no pictures or list tonight because I got rid of way more than five things and none of it was worth donating. Ok, maybe a very general list, so I have a written record of what I did :)

1) Another bottle of outdated prescription meds to go to the police station

2) Some outdated cough syrup

3) Too many empty boxes -- who doesn't throw away a box when they take the last item out of it??

4) Several of my daughter's empty make-up bottles and other cosmetic containers.

5) Several empty travel size lotion bottles.

I am happy to say the cupboard is positively spacious now, and I was able to move some things off the counter and into the cupboard :)

Ah progress, I love you so!

Thanks for reading my blog and supporting my project! See you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday...meh!

Thank you so much for the kind words of support and encouragement in the comments of yesterday's blog post. They really helped lift me out of the funk I was in! And...it gave me the push I needed to dive under my bed (literally and figuratively) and tackle those boxes.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised that were fewer boxes than I remembered :) Tonight I was able to merge the contents of two boxes into one. The next step is to remove all the pictures from the frames and sort them into some semblance of order. I filled a small tub with random paper stuff that will go into the recycle bin as soon as I finish this post. I am claiming said tub of stuff as one of my purge items tonight!

Back in the day when I was a fanatic avid garage saler, I collected a lot of different stuff. I especially liked pansies (still do) and anything with a shabby chic or vintage feel to it. Doilies, yes like your grandmother made and put on the arms of her sofa, were (still are) one of my favorite things to look for at garage  and estate sales. At one point I am sure I had more doilies than a sofa store could use! And, I think there are doilies lurking in the recesses of my garage ( my summer purge). The point of all this is that in my quest under the bed I found some doilies, and they brought back memories, and I clutched them a little tighter as the thought of parting with them increased my angst. But, I am a logical person ( in some instances) and I am focused when the result of being unfocused is guilt and the only other option. I am really hard on myself about really dumb stuff. Maybe that will change over the course of the project. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, the logic thing. I acknowledged that they had been under my bed for 5 1/2 years...obviously I didn't love them that much.

I guess the point I am trying to make is: if it has been under the bed for 5 1/2 years and it's not pictures, jewelry, guns, you get the idea, it can go bye bye! Maybe I'll come up with a set of questions to ask myself every time I am conflicted about a purge.

Alright, enough drivel! On to the stuff :)

1) A small pink and off white round doily. It has a few small rust stains.

2) A round purple and off white doily. The off white parts curl in a spiral. It's very cool and pretty.

3) A gorgeous round rich dark cream/light brown doily. I cannot describe the color, but it screams vintage,antique. The needlework is beautiful!

4) A round cream and mint green doily. It is a very lacy, spidery pattern. It has some light stains in various places on the cream part.

5) A hand-painted decorative pansy plate. Very pretty, but I have enough pansy stuff.

Remember! If you see something you can't live without, shoot me an email at penelopesamuel@gmail.com. Thanks for reading my blog, and supporting my endeavor. I appreciate it very much!!



Monday, January 21, 2013

More Clothes Monday

I am in denial about the purging that needs to be done under the bed! When it came time to find today's purge, I didn't even look toward the bottom of the bed. I instead chose to tackle the half of the built-in that's mine. I have a lot of hooded sweatshirts...but but but they're included in the race entry fee...this is true, but I don't have to keep them all! What I really need to do, is sign up for a race so I can get a new sweatshirt :)

I think I may be nearing the end of my purging time in the bedroom. All I really have left is under the bed, and that is mostly boxes of framed pictures. I am going to take the pictures out of the frames and put them into albums. Our house is so small there is no room to display all the framed pictures I have, and the boxes have been under the bed for almost 6 years.

I've noticed the number of page views has dropped. I expected that. I don't read the blogs I follow every single day, and they are much more interesting than mine :) And, maybe, you are getting bored with my singular focus on my bedroom. It made me a little sad when I saw the drop in page views, but then I reminded myself why I took on this project -- Not for you, for me. For my peace of mind, my stress relief, my tidier home, my sharing of my excess, and my personal growth.

This blog will not look the same at the end of the year as it does now. My home will not look the same. My views of "stuff" will not be the same. It's about growth, my growth. And, if along the way you grow from reading my blog, then we are both blessed.  On that note, let's get to the stuff...

1) A maroon hooded sweatshirt from when I was the poetry editor of The Salmon Creek Journal, Washington State University Vancouver's literary and arts journal.

2) A purple hooded sweatshirt from a Valentine run I did two years ago. Believe it or not, I did the run because I wanted the purple sweatshirt HA!

3) A grey "Lifeguard" sweatshirt. Standard fare from a beach trip. I am lucky to live an hour away from the Pacific Ocean!!

4) A pair of plaid lightweight pajama pants, size XS. These are too lightweight for me even in the summer!

5) A pair of lightweight pajama shorts, size S. These are also too lightweight for me.



Remember! If you see anything you want, just shoot me an email at penelopesamuel@gmail.com I will gladly ship to you at no cost.

Thanks for checking in! Hopefully, I'll find more interesting things to purge soon :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What I Found Lurking Under My Bed...

I decided to dive right under my bed and get started on that nightmare. I learned two things...well, maybe not learned but confirmed two things I know about myself: 1) It is hard for me to get rid of stuff I haven't used for a long time, but think I might use sometime in the future, and 2) I think I need to keep every handout I ever got while I was getting my teaching certificate.

Tonight's purge was a struggle. I will admit that I put quite a few things back under the bed. Partly because I want to keep them and need to find a better place for them and partly because trying to make a decision on whether to keep or purge right at that moment was more than I could handle.

Some of the items I will always keep -- my kid's baby books, my Algebra and Pre-Calc books (I love Math, and do it for fun), and all my work from my three semesters of Creative Writing. Hopefully as I purge other areas of my home I will be able to bring those treasures out from under the bed.

What I did find to give away is another collection of random oddities :) So let's get started shall we?

1) A silver-plated picture frame that has "Congratulations Student Support Services" engraved on it. I received a scholarship from them in 2008, and never did anything with the frame so I am comfortable purging it. I think you could cover the engraving with embellishments of some kind, but I am not allowing myself to keep things based on that thinking!

2) A 1971 pattern/instruction book titled beads, baubles, and pearls. I have this because there is a pattern for a crocheted bracelet, which is something I always wanted to make. Well, I never did, and I have lost interest in that idea. However, the boot on the front cover is good for a chuckle -- it screams 1970s :)

3) My cap from my 2008 graduation. I kept the tassles, but the cap can go!

4) Another darn spiral notebook. This one is wide-ruled which I detest, so I will add it to the school pile.

5) A folder full of handouts from my classroom management class. Can I just say that no class can prepare for the real-life experience of classroom management! Recycle bin...here it comes.


Remember...if you are overcome with a burning desire to own some of my fine finds, email me at penelopesamuel@gmail.com. I will gladly ship to you at my expense!

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scatterday

I was thinking I might be just about done with my bedroom...then I looked under my bed *sigh* I might be in my bedroom for 6 months after that little scare!

As promised, I have tackled and beaten the nightstand drawer. It was quite the trip down memory lane. I got sidetracked looking at pictures of my kids and reading a story and poems I wrote for a creative writing class when I was at Lower Columbia College. I did find stuff to get rid of, and what I did keep got put where it belongs!

I love looking at pictures, even if they remind of less-than-happy times. Pictures are evidence that I've lived, had memorable experiences,changed, and grown. Pictures are the one thing I will never purge. I used to do estate sales for a living, and I always felt sad when families didn't want to keep the pictures and told us to sell them or throw them away. I have very few pictures from my childhood, and I have huge gaps in memories of my childhood. Pictures might create a connection that I cannot make on my own. I have no living relatives to fill in the blanks, so the pictures I do have are precious to me. Maybe that's why I take so many pictures now?

Alright, enough of my rambling :) The nightstand did not yield amazing treasures, at least not general public type treasures. What it did do was confirm that I am a packrat who saves odd things for unknown reasons!

Hold onto your hats and try to stay awake through the snooze fest coming up:

1) A pile of assorted papers. These will be recycled.

2) A pattern for a wall hanging (I think). The finished dimensions are 14" x 16". It is pansy themed. It has never been opened. It is up for grabs, and if no one takes it I will give to my quilting friend :)

3) Another pair of my old glasses. I will give these to the Kiwanas.

4) Three nylon jewelry bags. I will give these to my jewelry making friend :)

5) A nasty Lip Smackers lip gloss and some keys to who knows what. The lip gloss will go into the garbage. I am not sure if the keys can be recycled, but I will probably put them in the recycle bin anyway.


Remember...if you see something you want, just shoot me an email at penelopesamuel@gmail.com! I will gladly ship it you free of charge, unless you live in Australia and the item weighs 13 pounds :)

Thanks for reading!!

Friday ( A Day Late)

Good Morning!

As most of you know I usually do my daily blog update in the late evening. Yesterday that was not possible. I do want announce, for the record, that I had my five things chosen prior to midnight, I just was unable to do the blog post!

Yesterday was a long work day, and I was looking forward to coming home, putting on jammies, and staying home! "Not so" said the forces outside of my control. My honey's mom and step-dad had decided the weather was clear enough that they could make the drive over the pass to see Jeff on his birthday (today). So after work I came home, showered and we headed to the most amazing Italian restaurant ever (Vinnie's in Ridgefield, WA.). Jeff had invited another couple before he knew his mom and step-dad were coming to town. This is where it starts to go downhill...The other couple managed to get on the freeway before us, which was a mixed blessing. There was an accident involving a couple of semis that closed two lanes of southbound traffic, which they called and told us about. So, we took the back roads to our destination...did I mention I get carsick? Not just queasy carsick, but violently carsick :( It is so bad I can get carsick when I drive on a windy, curvy road!) So yeah, the road was awful, Jeff had to pull over twice, although I didn't end up vomiting, all I felt comfortable eating was a green salad and some bread sticks. And, I brought home Tiramisu :)

By the time we home it was 11:00 p.m., and I was still not feeling well. Jeff wanted me to go to bed immediately, but I, being a little obsessive, argued that I had to find my purge and do my blog post. He said, "Oh no you don't!" So, we compromised without him knowing ;) I found the five items, threw them on the dining room table, and then went to bed.

So, here I am on Saturday morning, doing last night's blog post! Last night's selection process was a grab-and-go mission with equates to an odd assortment of treasures..

In case you were wondering, I feel 100% after a good night's sleep :) So here is yesterday's top 5...

1) A super cute soft pink long-sleeved jacket by Spiegel. It is 97% cotton and 3% spandex. It is a size 10. It is very feminine with ruffles and pleating down the front. It has two pockets in the front and the sleeves have  slits at the wrist. I almost changed my mind about this, but after rationalizing...I had forgotten I had it, and I couldn't ever remembering wearing it, I stood firm and ousted it!!

2) A ziploc baggie with  a chucnk of fabric in it. I will give this to my quilter friend :)

3) A pair of glasses (my last prescription) I kept them as a spare pair, but it makes me ill to wear them! I will donate these to the Kiwanas since they collect them.

4) A Hemp jewelry pattern/instruction book. It has instructions for 28 different jewelry designs. I bought it for my daughter when she was making friendship bracelets from embroidery floss. She never really got into the hemp, so away it goes.

5) A random bunch of paper stuff I don't need any longer, so it will go into the recycle bin.

See you later tonight :) Fair warning -- I plan to conquer the drawer in my nightstand, so tonight's purge may be very very boring!

If you see anything you can't live without, shoot me an email at penelopesamuel@gmail.com! Thanks for reading. Knowing I have readers is a huge motivator and support for my endeavor!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday

What. A. Day! I had an interview, which I feel went very well. Then I worked three hours cleaning house, went to a swim meet, helped my daughter whip out a fleece blanket for her boyfriend, and finally got to head to the bedroom to look for purging stuff. OH! On top of all that, the credit union by my house got robbed and my neighborhood was crawling with cops and K-9 units. Now, at 9:32 p.m. there are still police walking around and looking for whatever. I have to admit I am a little creeped out wondering if there is a bank robber hiding out somewhere in my neighborhood!

Tonight I decided to work on my nightstand. It has a pretty large cupboard in the bottom, which, I of course, had crammed all sorts of very important and valuable stuff into...A little background, I am a writer, and I love notebooks, journals, paper, and pens. Oh, how I love pens! Someday I will post a picture of my pen collection (that I will NEVER purge!!!) Anyway, the cupboard part of the nightstand was full of random journals and notebooks and some church periodicals.

Because it's late, and my purge is boring, I am not going to post a picture tonight. I will, however, tell you what I am purging and my plans for the loot.

1) 9 college ruled spiral notebooks BRAND NEW in assorted colors. I can get these on sale for .10 right before school starts, so if I need some I will buy them then. These lucky 9 are going to a local school! As a teacher, I know there are always kids who need school supplies.

2) 39, yes 39, church bible lesson booklets. I kept them because I am a reader at my church and would refer to them if I needed inspiration for a reading. After 4+ years of reading, I am very comfortable just using a concordance to research a theme or topic I am interested in presenting at church. These will go into the recycle bin.

3) A tiny brown leather wallet with some plaid accent material. I've never used it, never going to use it, so it is going to a better home! This will go into The Red Hat bag.

4)  An outdated CPR Handbook. It is going into the recycle bin.

5) An empty check box. Usually I put my old check registers and carbons in them. This box, for whatever reason is empty, so it will be recycled.

I am so glad I am doing this project. Some days the purge feels like a cleansing. Today is one of those days. Why do I keep empty boxes and outdated CPR Handbooks? Who knows? I sure don't, but when I find the stuff and get rid of it, I know I am one step closer to a less cluttered house and a more peaceful state of mind.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I will come across some better stuff to purge soon :) See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

32 minus 12 equals 20

I have survived the Apantylypse (panty apocalypse for those readers who can't make the linguistic leap and/or decipher my made up words). I know in an earlier post I did the math and came up with  the number 10 as a sufficient number of panties to have in the drawer. I LIED!!! After much self-torture, I was only able to purge 12 of my 32 pair. Logic reared his ugly head and screamed, "If you keep all 32 pair, you would not have to wash your underwear for a month and you'd still have a spare pair!" I laughed in the face of logic, brazenly grabbed the purge-worthy panties, and bolted to my laptop. I'm pretty sure I can logic crying like a baby as I type this blog post.

Anyway, it's late, and I have a job interview tomorrow for a long term sub job, so I am going to wrap this post up! Obviously the panties are up for grabs, but I am posting a picture so you know I am being truthful. I'd include Logic in the picture, but he doesn't look so great after the tearfest!

And...I am not going to divide the 12 pair into 5 separate "Items" for tonight's purge. And, to protect the innocent panties from public ridicule, I've edited the photo with the "pencil sketch" effect.

See you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brought to you by the letter B

B as in BORING!!  Today's purge is definitely yawn worthy, and I will not be hurt if you don't make it past the picture. In my life as a domestic goddess, I sweep, vacuum, do laundry, and dust. Exciting, huh!? So, as I was perfecting my goddess qualities, things leaped into my arms begging for their 15 minutes of internet fame...Who am I to squelch the dreams of various random and useless items I have held hostage for too many years? One item might even be considered an antique, lol.

On a completely unrelated topic, I have an interview Thursday morning for a long-term sub position. I am a little excited and a lot nervous. This will be my first interview since earning my teaching certificate!!

Okay, back to the boring purge. Three items are from y bedroom, and two are from the kitchen.

1) A 5 1/4" floppy disk. Ok, ok, maybe I exaggerated when I said it might be considered an antique. However, the real question is why the heck do I still have this, when I haven't had a computer with a floppy drive in about 10 years?

2) A program from the Lower Columbia College 2007 Scholarship Social. I kept it because yours truly received two scholarships, and having my name in print was pretty dang exciting. Yeah, I'm over it now, it's been 7 years and I've gotten two degrees since then.

3) A new in the package phone cover (with Van Gogh's Starry Night on it) for a Samsung Galaxy. It was an incredibly thoughtful gift from my daughter because she knows that is my favorite painting. Alas, I own a Galaxy S II, which the cover does not fit :( It cannot be returned because she bought it from a foreign seller on Etsy.

4) A Christmas tin that up until Sunday housed a delicious fruitcake. No, that is not sarcasm, I love fruitcake!!

5) Another Christmas tin that had homemade treats in it.

The only item I am willing to ship is the phone cover. The tins are going to The Red Hat and the program and floppy disk will be recycled. I know they're not the greatest items, but not every purge is is going to be good stuff. I even debated on whether to take a picture of today's stuff. In the end I did, just in case someone wants the phone cover.

Shoot me an email if you want the phone cover. My email is penelopesamuel@gmail.com Thanks, and see you tomorrow :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mundane Monday

I'm ignoring my underwear drawer...indefinitely. So many pairs of underwear should not overwhelm a person, but I get it...NOT! I can only wear one pair at a time, there are only 7days in a week, I do laundry weekly, so 10 pair covers the week and stills give 3 pair for emergencies or whatever. Tomorrow I will vanquish the panty fortress!!

Today, however, I chipped away at that gosh darn pile on the floor in the corner. It's getting smaller, but it's still there, which means it's not small enough. My husband, seeing my diligence at purging, has suggested he might move his shorts out of the bottom drawer so I can have it :) And he also said he wishes I would have started in the garage. HA! I told him I would tackle the garage this summer, when it's not 25 degrees out!!

I mailed out a bunch of requests this morning, which was a good feeling. People keep offering to reimburse me for shipping, but I would rather you pay it forward however you see fit!

It's late, I am starting to run out of energy, and there are still dishes in the sink, so I think it is time to reveal today's NON-treasures. Trust me when I say there is nothing in today's five that you will want.

Drumroll please...

1). A short sleeved purple t-shirt from a 10K run I did a few years ago. I wear it but I have others, and because it was part of the floor clothes family, it is getting kicked out.

2) A short-sleeved pink t-shirt with paint stains on it. It is a house cleaning shirt, I have others that are longer, and it, too, was part of the floor clothes family, so its outta here too!

3) A short sleeved shirt my 22 year old son made when he was in head start in 1995. It has his name, hand print, the names of all his classmates, and the year he would have graduated on it. This was a hard decision because I hold onto things with sentimental value. My justification? I doubt he will ever know its gone. He lives in Alaska now. He didn't graduate from high school (he got his GED a couple years later). Mostly because I can't save everything for ever!

4) A 12 month short-sleeved onesie. It no longer fits my grandson, and I have a close friend who is expecting her first boy next month who will appreciate it.

5) A pair of Hudson jeans (29" waist). I bought these at a garage sale because I am a label whore, albeit a frugal one ;) I got them cheap because they have a rig right along the pocket seam. I can sew, and I had grand plans to fix them...I have never fixed them, which means the statute of limitations has run out and they need to be released into the public.

If I don't get a sub job tomorrow, I will be taking last week's purge to the thrift store, so my purge bag can be ready for refilling.

Hopefully tomorrow's purge will be less boring, but I am not making any promises! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Funday

First off, those of you found me via The Non-Consumer Advocate on Facebook and read my recent post requesting a pep talk, I am happy to say I haven't visited the stamp site in over 24 hours and am 100% sure I will NOT buy the rubber stamps! All of your non-consumerisms gave me much food for thought and helped me realize I have no need for more rubber stamps. So thank you, thank you, thank you :)

Today was a great day and full of blessings and love! I had my precious grandson today. He is about 14 months old and has discovered the joys of mobility! He kept me on my toes the entire time he was here, and I loved every minute of it :) Do you remember, from an earlier post, that I gave a lady from my church a box of pansy fabric? Well, today, she presented me with a beautiful handmade apron made with some of the fabric. It is reversible and has a lovely scalloped edge. Finally, my daughter's boyfriend brought me a thank you gift ( a fresh flower arrangement she made) from his mother ( I made her some Almond Roca and a handmade card for her birthday).

Today, my friend who makes jewelry was supposed to come over and paw through my stash. Unfortunately her daughter got sick at the last minute and she had to cancel :( So, I bagged up what I was positive I didn't want and combined the rest into two dishes on my dresser leaving me with an extra pretty plate to purge.

Today's purge is pretty random. Between my daily Sunday routine and my grandson's visit, I didn't have a lot of time to think about what I might want to purge. So, it was a grab-n-go kind of process!

1) A 45" square 100% polyester scarf. The pattern looks abstract, but if you look closely the black lines are safety pins. It has pale pink, red, fuchsia, magenta, green, yellow, blue, and white in it. I love the colors, but I've never worn it and have other scarves I would rather wear.

2) A piece of vintage drapery fabric with pansies on it. The piece measures approximately 60X28. I have it because it has pansies on it. I'll never do anything with it, and I don't want to throw it away.

3) A Simplicity pattern for girls' loungewear, sizes 7,8,10,12,14,16. I bought it at a garage sale, never used it, never gonna use, gonna get rid of it :)

4) A lovely plate in the "Wild Rose" pattern. The back of the plate says Schuzmann Arzberg Germany and Golden Crown E&R 1886 Wild Rose

5) A faux gold and pearl ring. I believe it is a size 7, but I could be and probably am wrong. The box is for display purposes only.

Alrighty folks! That's it for tonight. You know the drill -- if you want it email me at penelopesamuel@gmail.com. See you tomorrow :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another Saturday Night...

and I ain't got nobody
I've got some money 'cause I just got paid
Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to
I'm in an awful way

Not really, but sometimes a song gets stuck in my head or a phrase like the title of today's post will jar my memory and then I have to find the song, artist, lyrics, etc.

Today was a busy day, and I just got home from a baby shower! It was great fun, and the guest of honor is a dear friend of mine whom I love very much. The highlight of the shower was the game where a team of three people have to "diaper" one of the team using only a roll of toilet paper...the diaper must be functional as well as fashionable. Always up for a good laugh, I volunteered to be diapered. All the team's diapers were looking pretty much the same, so I suggested we add suspenders to ours. Oh, and we had a time limit of 5 minutes to construct this marvel of engineering! After the time was up we had to come out one at a time and dance in our diaper :) The mother-to-be was the judge. It was so close, a tie in fact, that it had to be settled with a coin toss...I lost, but I had fun!!

I am still working on my dresser drawers and moved onto drawer number two tonight -- socks and underwear.  I have a lot of socks with holes in the toe, and I have a lot of underwear. It was more than my cake saturated brain could handle, so I went for the tights and a couple of random t-shirts. I plan to mend the socks, and the underwear will have to wait...possibly a long wait.

So, as you've probably already surmised, I am getting rid of t-shirts and tights.

Without further I do, may I present six items Penney no longer needs/wants:

1) A ladies medium teal t-shirt from our library's summer reading program for teens. It says "Own the Night" I only wore it on the days I volunteered, so I definitely don't need to keep it around.

2) A ladies medium yellow t-shirt from our library's summer reading program for kids. It says Dream Big, Read! Again, it was only worn on the days I volunteered, so I don't need to keep it.

3) A pair of black tights, probably large ( I am 5'9" and and about 150). There is no tag inside, so I don't know for sure. There is a good chance they were never worn, but I don't know for sure. I don't need four pairs of black tights, so these are out the door -->

4) A pair of patterned purple tights. The pattern. are lines that run vertically and look like stitching. I believe these are large as well, and I know they have never been worn. Purple is my favorite color, but I never had the right skirt or was never brave enough to wear them.

5) A pair of black patterned tights. They are GNW (Fred Meyer) size 3. The pattern is lines about 1/4" apart. I don't remember wearing them, but they have some pills on them.

6) THE BONUS...A pair of super soft thick (like a sweater) pair of grey tights. They have no tag, but I am sure they are a medium. They, too, have lines about 1/4" apart. Like a pinstripe, but not a different color.

As always, if you see anything you can't live without, email me at penelopesamuel@gmail.com. I will gladly ship the item to a happy new home :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I'll see you tomorrow...same bat time, same bat channel!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Friday!!

Today was a long day, so I am warning you in advance...today's purge is pretty boring! I worked all day and then came home and cleaned up before heading to a memorial. I wasn't close with the person but she was family (on my fiance's side), and I really liked her and her always cheerful disposition. Every time some I know loses their mother, I am reminded of my own mother's death when I was 26. It's been 20 years, but I still miss her smile, wisdom, unconditional love, and essence. My daughter recently turned 18, which was a huge relief for me. Not because I don't want to be responsible for her, but now, if I were to die unexpectedly, she would not have to move to Alaska and live with her father. I have nothing against her father, but she has been in this community since birth and a move of that magnitude would cause a great deal of stress and anguish. Alright, enough of this doom and gloom! Let's get to the purging!!

I am still working on one of my two dresser drawers. It's amazing how much stuff you can fit in a small space when you think you need 10 of everything :/

Today's purge is brought to you by fatigue and disbelief! I cannot believe how much stuff I have continued to hold onto...

1) A white cotton, size medium, hooded lightweight long-sleeved shirt. Styled like a sweatshirt, but much more lightweight. It has  the little pouch in the front and is in perfect condition. White is not my color for many different reasons...#1 being no matter how careful I am, I spill food/drink on white clothes when I wear them.

2) 4 medium tank tops, Italian tuxedos, and a pejorative term I refuse to type here! Three are blue (different shades) and one is black. They were worn often, but are still in excellent condition. I am purging them because I have five Tye-dyed (by me) tank tops and a couple of grey ones.

3) A Breathe brand racer back work out tank top. It is polyester, and a size small or medium. It is very colorful (as you can see) and in perfect condition :) It was a hand-me-down and purple is my favorite color, but I already have plenty of workout clothes.


I know the list only has three items, but the tank tops counted individually bring the item count up to SIX!!! I wouldn't want any of my loyal followers and readers to think I was trying to cheat :)

As always, if anything here tickles your fancy, shoot me an email at penelopesamuel@gmail.com or leave a comment. It's first come/first serve, although if there is high interest in multiples of something I may ask you to share :) I am happy to ship my purge to a happy new home!

Have a great weekend, friends!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday Threads

I do believe I am finding my decluttering groove in the my bedroom! When I moved in almost six years ago, Jeff (my fiance) allotted me a dresser drawer. Sometime later, he allotted me a second dresser drawer. They are both overflowing...I should backtrack a little.


Our house is roughly 900 sq. ft., which means there is not a lot of storage space. Jeff and I share a small closet and the dresser. There is no room for another dresser, which is probably a good thing! Clutter stresses me out, but...not as much as trying to decide what treasured (not!) belongings to part with. I'm not sure where this line of thinking came from, or when I started thinking like this. Although, I am pretty sure it is connected to my past life as devoted (crazed) garage saler! If something is a good deal, I can rationalize buying, storing, and keeping it indefinitely. This is not a good thing.

I feel like this project chose me. The original premise of the 365 project is artistic in nature. A way to get your creative juice flowing; A way to push you outside of your creative comfort zone. My first plan was to draw/create a bird every day because I love birds, and I love the artistic learning process. As the end of the year came closer, I knew I needed to commit to a project. Come January 1st, I needed to know exactly what I was going to do. I truly believe the non-consumer advocate influenced my willingness to accept the project, and I'm grateful I listened.

I know it's only been 10 days since I've started my project, but each day strengthens my commitment to the project and empowers me to continue. In 10 days, I have found 50 things I didn't need or want and donated them. It is a great feeling!

Okay, on to the actual goods for today's purge. I am still working in my bedroom, and as I mentioned in the first sentence -- before I digressed -- tackling my dresser drawers. I wear a lot of camisoles and cardigans, so my dresser drawer is full of camisoles. Of course, many of these camisoles I received as hand-me-downs. I decided if I hadn't worn it in year, and I was making excuses for not wearing but wanting to keep it...it needed to go!

So, you guessed it! Today's purge is five camisoles, and a totally unrelated bag of old prescriptions.

1) A medium sage green  cotton cami with lace at the top and bottom. It has adjustable straps and is very comfortable, but I haven't worn it in over a year.

2) A small white cotton cami with lace at the top and bottom. The straps are also lace. It is by necessitees and is made in the USA!

3)  A small black nylon/spandex cami with lace at the top and bottom. It also has adjustable straps. It is made my White House/Black Market in the USA!

4) Same as # 3, only in white :)

5) same as #2, only in brown :)

6) A bag of old prescriptions that will be going to local police station because they have a program to dispose of them properly

As always, items 1-5 are free for the asking! I will gladly ship them to you at my expense. The most important thing to me is that they are going somewhere they are needed :)

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wacky Wednesday

For some reason, my bedroom is like a magnet for me and my 365 project. Maybe someone is trying to tell me to declutter one room completely before moving onto the next. I should probably listen ;)

I was in Portland for most of the day (for work unfortunately), but I did manage to get to the LoveJoy Bakers for a delicious White Chocolate Latte made with Portland's own Stumptown Roast. A little sip of heaven, especially when it's raining and hailing while your only doing 25 mph on I-5 trying to get out of town.

Today's pick is an odd combination of items I found lurking in various corners and crevices in my bedroom. I am ashamed to admit it, but most of it I was stuff I had forgotten I owned :/  To  make my shame worse, it had been stashed for so long it was covered in dust...my bad!

So without further ado, I give you the Wacky Wednesday mash-up:

1) A hairy orange felted purse I bought at a garage sale and never used. Ugh!

2) A crate of "egg" soaps. It was given to me and I was going to regift it, but...it got buried under other stuff and was liberated only because I was frantically searching for the Office 2007 CD.

3) A like-new never opened Monopoly magnet set. Cute, but not cute enough to stay here :)

4) An oh-so-cute Cherished Teddies pin. It doesn't say Cherished Teddies on it anywhere, but I went through a phase where I had the CTs that were my children's names. Don't judge! So I am 97.6% sure it's gin-u-whine.

5) Last, but not least, an assortment of various sized yarn balls left over from an afghan I made for my ex about 11 years ago. Yeah, I know, hoard much? I really don't, and I'm NOT in denial...really!

As always, anything you see here can be yours for the low low price of $0.00, and if you act now you'll get a free surprise bonus gift...


Oh, the paint is not included, it's just holding up the pin :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ooooooo Jewelry!!!

It's been a long day. No sub jobs, so I cleaned a three story house, met my BFF for lunch and our Christmas gift exchange, went with my daughter to her boyfriend's swim meet, and finally got home!

I confess I wanted to skip finding five things today, but then I would have to start my 365 day project from the beginning and I did not want to do that. So, I sucked it up, headed for the bedroom, and had an epiphany. I have a lot of jewelry...I love jewelry, not as much as rubber stamps, but probably still too much. I decided a quick and easy purge would be some earrings. I have many many pairs of dangly earrings (they're my favorite), some of which I have outgrown style-wise. I store my dangly earrings around the edge of beautifully etched antique crystal vase, so t went something like this...hey are easy to see and grab.

I don't wear yellow gold, or what pretends to be yellow gold; I am a silver or white gold kind of girl. My plan of attack went something like this...

me (to myself): If it's gold, it goes! Oh there's two pair right there. Ugh! What was I thinking when I bought those? Have I even ever worn these? They look like something a grade schooler would wear.
 Alright, now what...ah ha there's another ugly pair of goldish earrings SCORE! Three down, two to go :)But, but, but there isn't anything else on here I am willing to part with. Time to start digging in all the little jewelry dishes covering the top of my dresser...

Two seconds later I had items four, five, and six. Yes, I said six! A bonus purge point. WOO HOO!!

Now, I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the reveal of this small sampling of my amazing jewelry collection. As with all my purges, they are up for grabs. Please, no fighting though, OK? I am sure I will purge more jewelry at a later date, so all is not lost if you miss out on this fine offering!

The list:

1) A pair of brushed/burnished goldtone sunflower earrings.

2) A lovely goldtone and faux turquoise brooch circa the 60s or 70s.

3) A pair of head-turning brushed gold tear drop earrings tastefully adorned with brilliantly blinding rhinestones.

4) A pair of delicate dangly pearl earrings with a baby blue bead above the pearl. The pearl is accented with a dainty gold bezel.

5) A pair of antiqued gold diamond shaped earrings with four topaz colored stones at each point.

6) See # 4 and change blue to pink :)



Monday, January 7, 2013

Meanwhile, Back in the Bedroom

I decided to return to my bedroom and tackle a growing pile of  clothes that do not hang in the closet, fit in my two dresser drawers, or the cubby above the heater. I know it's a big leap, but his made me wonder how many pieces of clothing I actually own. So, I counted what's hanging in my closet...54 articles of clothing in my closet! Is that a lot? I really have no idea..To me, it seems a reasonable amount. I have friends who have much more clothing than I do, but that doesn't mean I don't have too much!

The clothes in the pile are "different" from the closet dwelling clothes. They are my casual, not teaching, not doing anything important enough to warrant looking remotely stylish clothes. Also, since I am currently subbing, I don't always work. It is a very day-to-day thing. To supplement my sporadic teaching income, I clean houses, two to be exact. Obviously, if I am cleaning house I do not wear slacks, heels, and a cardigan; I wear jeans I've had for a gazillion years, a random t-shirt, and non-skid socks. My everyday shoes are Romeos, and my coat is a quilted flannel shirt ( a hand me down). This is the pile I am attempting to pare down. It's not easy because I have a phobia of not having enough long-sleeved shirts during the long cold, wet season in Washington State. Anyway, that was a whole lot of babble to get to today's purge list.

From the stack-o-casual clothes, the following items have been forever banished:

1) A long-sleeved black and white New Balance workout shirt. Another hand-me-down that is too small ,but I love workout clothes so I kept it...lame.

2) A red long-sleeved scoop neck knit shirt. It's comfortable and I love the color, but it's getting a little short from repeated washings and dryings. Also, it has a spot (grease, I think) right below the chest area. I should know better than to buy cheap knit shirts -- they do not wear well!

3) A light blue long-sleeved crew neck knit shirt with a lovely snowflake emblazoned on the center of the chest. Seriously, I love this shirt!  It was a hand-me-down, but alas it is too short.

4) A blue long-sleeved scoop neck knit shirt -- a relative of the red shirt in # 3. Yeah, I am one of those people who when they find a shirt they like and they are $8 each or three for $20, will buy three to save $4.  It is also too short, so it's time for it to bless the body of someone who is not long-waisted.

5) A navy blue knit summer nightie with wide satin straps tied in bows at the shoulder. A super cute hand-me-down I will never wear because I don't wear nighties. I wear flannel pajama pants and thermal underwear shirts. I want to be warm, not cute and/or sexy, lol!!

Anyway that's it for today's purge. I am happy to say I had two takers for the crochet hooks, and the wicker basket was adopted by a fellow project lifer and scrapper :)

I am not going to post pictures of today's treasure because, frankly, it's boring treasure. I'll save the picutres for truly fascinating and amazing finds :)

Good night and thanks for reading!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Brought to by the letter K

Sundays are my favorite day. I go to church and then spend the rest of the day getting ready for the week ahead. Some of you may be wondering if I am being sarcastic...I assure you, I am not. I love all the small tasks involved in being a wife and mother. Dishes, laundry, food prep...I love it all. Being organized and prepared for the upcoming week is a huge stress relief. It drives me crazy when I feel like I am playing catch up all week, so I avoid that scenario at all costs :)

Today's purge is brought to by the letter K, which signifies (in this instance) kitchen. My counters were getting cluttered, and there were two specific areas that had to be dealt with! My five-a-day mindset shoved me into the kitchen and said, "DO IT!!"  Not one to argue with the voices in my head, I immediately obeyed and headed into the kitchen.

The five items -- actually 6 but two are similar, so I am counting them as 1 -- brought to you by the letter K are:

1) A very quite white enamel colander with the Classic Pooh theme! It was always a catch-all, shoved in the corner and filled with whatever I was too lazy to put away or didn't have a specific home

2) Two metal slotted spoons. I love the big round one, and the handle says Shanghai 555 China. I rarely use it because it is so big, so it is time to grace someone else's kitchen!

3) I collect pansy stuff -- I think I may have mentioned it in my last blog post. This is a lovely ceramic pansy themed tea cup with a strainer (inside) and a lid to keep your tea warm, I love it, but it is not big enough. I drink copious amounts of hot beverages, and I drink them out of vats with handles ;)

4) A pair of readers in a metal case. You'll never guess where I found these...give up? Yes, in the bottom of the Winnie-the-Pooh colander. See what I mean about it being a catch-all, and, what's even worse is I don't even wear readers! I have bifocals that I wear all the time.

5) A white wicker basket -- this wasn't actually in my kitchen, but it was headed to the dead zone (the garage). So I decided if it wasn't good enough to stay in the house, it should just go straight to The Red Hat. I bet they will be really tired of me by the end of the year ;)

As always, I have posted pics of my "treasures" If you see anything you like, let me know! I will gladly send it your way :)




Saturday, January 5, 2013

How Many Crochet Hooks Does it Take to...

Happy Saturday!!

Today's purge is a conglomeration of randomness. Last Sunday at church, I told my friend and quilter I had a box of fabric for her. I have been holding on to this fabric for almost an eternity because it has pansies on it. Every single piece of fabric has pansies on it some way some how. Pansies are my absolute favorite flower, and I went through a phase where I collected anything and everything with pansies on it. I love to sew, and I dabbled in quilting for a bit, but I do not have the space to set up a sewing machine. My friend has a sewing room, so she seemed the appropriate recipient.

I am a teacher, substituting for now and school resumes Monday. I have been wearing the same pair of pumps for 5+ years, and over a year ago, the little sole piece came off of one heel. Not only were my pumps no longer the same height, one heel was slippery as heck on tile floors! An embarrassing catastrophe waiting to happen. For Christmas I received a $40 Macy's gift card, so today I went to Macy's and found a new pair of lovely black pumps...and I even had money left over!

So today's offering to the gods of purge are:

1) A box of pansy themed fabric donated to my friend who is a quilter

2) My 5+ year old pumps are going in the garbage. I loved them, and if they weren't a hazard to my safety I would wear them until they were flats.

3) In the said box of fabric I found two hand-embroidered pillowcases, with hand crocheted edging. I will post a pic, and if anyone wants them I will gladly mail them to you :) One pillowcase is perfect, and one has some tiny spots and a little damage to the edging. If no one wants them, they will go to The Red Hat!

4) I crochet, and I have a plethora of crochet hooks. I didn't count them, but I am guessing at least 50. Who needs 50 crochet hooks? Not this lady :) So I sorted through them and kept two of each size D through K, and a few random larger sizes. Again, if any of you need/want crochet hooks, let me know. I will happily send them on to a good home, otherwise they, too, will go to The Red Hat.

5) The last item(s) to fall under my purging eye are a pair of candles shaped like lemon halves. They are cute, but I'll never burn them and I don't need them laying around gathering dust.

I find it is easier to select five items if I have a specific area or plan, like the closet. I better start thinking of tomorrow's purge because currently I have no idea what to do...maybe a bowl of Espresso Madness ice cream will help the thinking process :)




Here are pictures of all the crochet hooks, the hooks I am keeping, and the leftovers I am giving away. Also, a picture of the pillowcases :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

TGIF!!

First, I'd like to say thank you to all the wonderful ladies from The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Group who took the time to read my blog, gave me feedback, and are following me! It gave me warm fuzzies and it's one more reason this group is my favorite!

Okay! So today is the last day of the closet purge, at least for a few weeks or months. I was stressed last night trying to figure out five more things I could part with even a little willingly. Then, this morning, it came to me...I have shoes in my closet!!! Saved by my modest shoe collection, sort of. I went through my shoes a few months ago, and had forgotten about it until I dove into the bottom of closet and saw far fewer shoes than I expected.

Not to be deterred, I quickly grabbed a pair of dressy pumps I bought at Fred Meyer for $5 at least 5 years ago. For half a second, I considered counting each shoe individually, but I knew in my heart it was a cop out that would fill me with shame by bedtime! Long story short, I found five items to purge from my closet!

So here they are in no particular order:

1) $5 dressy pumps -- Can't remember the last time I wore them, so it's time for them to grace someone else's feet :)

2) Ugly memory foam slippers that are the wrong size...there is a story behind these. My daughter works at a liquidation store, and she is always on the lookout for things she knows I want/need. She told me they had slippers...what they had was a box set of two pair (one large, one extra large). The box had one slipper displayed so that you could touch it (and it was the large slipper). They felt good, the color was good, and the price was great (4.99 plus my daughter's 20% discount). I triumphantly placed the slippers under my arm and headed for the register. After getting home, I couldn't wait to try out my new slippers. I eagerly tore into the box to get the second large slipper...and there wasn't one :(  So being the make-do kind of person I am, I decided to shuffle around in the XL slippers. Yeah, that didn't work so into the closet they went, until today!

3) A pair of black loafers. I LOVED these shoes. I wore them out, and rather than throw them away I decided I could wear them when it wasn't raining (there is a giant crack in the bottom of one shoe, which lets in copious amounts of wetness...not a good thing in the winter in Washington State!)

4) A light blue long-sleeved scoop neck knit shirt from H&M. I love the shirt, the color, the feel, but I think it is too clingy for a middle-aged woman.

5) A blue short sleeved cotton knit shirt. It was a hand me down I received in the fall. I tried it on but never wore it. I am not attached to it, so away it goes.

Here is a picture of today's purge :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Is it Friday yet...the closet gig is getting difficult!

Okay, so I committed to purging five items a day from my closet this week...what the heck was I thinking? I may have to "plant" some items in my closet for tomorrow because I don't think I can choose five more things from what's currently in there that I am willing to part with. Today's purge was difficult because I am to the point of purging things I rarely wear, but really like. If I really like them, why aren't I wearing them more? Good question! Unfortunately I don't have a viable answer.

So today's textile offering consists of the following:

1) a navy blue cardigan with grey pearl beading around the collar. Very cute, but I haven't worn it in over a year. On a scale of one to five. One being easy to get rid of and five being comparable to something awful, purging this item was a two.

2) A blue patterned shirt with a collar, nice material, good fit. Stylish, but I don't wear it often, and it didn't stress me out (too much) to pull it from the hanger and add it to the pile. On my scale it was a two.

3) A red long-sleeved crew neck sweater with subtle sparkles bought at JCP when I was freezing to death and thought I needed more sweaters. I haven't worn it since last winter, and it is schlumpy and forgettable. It was a two on the scale, only because I am freezing to death and think I need to keep all my sweaters :/

4) A long-sleeved floaty purple sweater. I bought it forever ago and wore it like crazy for a couple of years. I still wear it, but I don't get the same warm fuzzy feeling when I put it on now as I did two years ago. The honeymoon is over, although I felt a twinge of angst as I cast it onto the purge pile. It was kind of like dumping a boyfriend. I hate hurting people (and sweaters). It was probably a four on my scale.

5) A long-sleeved grey sweater with a ruffled collar and edges. Bought it at Macy's last year, after Christmas when it was deeply discounted. I wore it quite a bit last winter and got lots of compliments on it, but the new sweater sparkle wore off pretty quickly. I haven't worn it at all this year, and when it looks at me eagerly as I thumb through my closet, I avert my eyes and pretend to not see it. It is time to put it out of it's misery. It was four on the scale.

Tomorrow's purge might be worse than  waking up and discovering I don't have any coffee beans to grind...Let's hope not!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2 Days Down...363 To Go...

I will be glad when I am done purging my closet!! This has not been easy, and I am discouraged that 10 pieces of clothing hasn't made a bigger difference in closet space. Maybe my expectations are too high? I will commit to two more days of closet purging for a total of 20 items donated to my local thrift store. Hopefully after 20 items there will be a noticeable change in closet space.

Today's offering is as follows:

1) a pair of black Lucy shorts that are too small, but I kept them because they were "Lucy" :(
2) A long-sleeved white scoop-necked shirt...I don't wear white, but I kept it because a friend handed
    it down to me...
3) A purple and black floral print sweater, also a hand-me-down. However, I wore this frequently. It
    it getting a little worn, and I have newer sweaters that I wear more often. So, off to the thrift store!
4) A long flowy hippie style tie-dye shirt with smocking across the chest. I promise it is much cuter
    than it sounds. I like it, I just never wear it anymore because my style has changed.
5) A blue sweater I bought on 12/31/12 at the local thrift stores $1 sale. It is beautiful, but alas, it is
    too short for my long-waisted torso. I may be slender, but at 46 years of age, I refuse to wear
    anything that flashes my midriff ;)
6) Surprise! I actually purges six items this time...maybe I should put it back and save it for
    tomorrow's purge? Nah!! I'll consider it a bonus point or something like that. Anyway, it is a blush
    colored draped neck sleeveless shell -- a classic piece, but I haven't worn it in over a year, so it
    is banished from my closet.

I will be taking a trip to the thrift store today instead of Friday. My daughter cleaned out some of her excess clothing, so I now have two full bags sitting in my entryway. I have other errands to run today, so I will drop them off while I am out and about :) Yay for multiple errands and single trips :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My First Five Items

Today is the day...day one of a 365 day purging project. My biggest fear is that I will run out of things to donate or dispose of before the 365 days are up. Logically I know this is an unrealistic fear. Even if I ran out of things in the house, I have a single car garage filled with things I haven't looked at or used for years :/

So, I decided to start in my closet today. I share a small closet with my husband, and my clothing frequently encroaches in his clothing's space. I decided if I haven't worn an item in over a year, it was time for it to go. I felt really good about it, until it was time to actually pull the clothing out of the closet, off the hanger, and drop into the official donation bag. I did it, I found five items I hadn't worn in over a year and quickly dropped them into the bag. Interestingly, only one of the items was purchased by me, the other four were given to me by a friend who has great taste in clothes and the pocketbook to support her great (and expensive) tastes.

So here is today's list:

1) A black and white dress I bought to wear to my college graduation 4.5 years ago.
2) A cream colored sweater that I never wore because light neutral colors wash me out
3) A black and white floral print blouse with an off the shoulder collar.
4) A black and white polka dotted A-line skirt - super cute, but too small :(
5) A black sweater with a ruffled edge - again super cute, but too small

I realized, as I was looking at my clothing, that I have a hard time parting with the great clothes from my wealthy friend. I have never been able to afford the brands she has generously handed down to me, so some part of me wants those designer's names hanging in my closet EVEN IF I CAN'T WEAR THEM. Quite a kick in the teeth to realize the power those names have over me. They're just clothes, and I need to get over them.

I plan to accumulate a week's worth of donations before taking them to my local thrift shop. It would be wasteful to make a trip there every day to donate five items.

I am already thinking about tomorrow's items. I may continue with the closet purge, or I may find five things I can throw away. I'll sleep on it and let you know tomorrow.

Happy New Year!
Over the last few months, I have become interested in consuming fewer material goods. Along with the desire to consume less, came the desire to declutter my home and life. I wouldn't consider myself a hoarder, but I do like to "collect" things and stuff. Some of the things I like to collect are paper crafting supplies...and when I start collecting the "I-need-to-have-this-in-every-shape-and-color" monster takes over. The next I know, my dining room/craft room/office looks like Michael's and Barnes & Noble had a death match and neither won.

As a crafter and budding artist, I am always looking for ways to spark creativity in my artistic process. One thing I know about myself as an artist is that I need to hold myself accountable. I am the queen of big ideas and lofty goals with a side of lukewarm follow through. So, one day while browsing Powell's Books online I found "365 A Daily Creativity Journal" by Noah Scalin. The premise of the book is that the reader/artist commits to creating something every day for 365 days. I loved the idea and purchased the book immediately. Since I like to dabble in many different creative mediums -- writing, doodling, crocheting, cooking, baking, drawing, painting, etc., it was difficult to choose a focus for my project. I wanted to have fun, grow as a person, challenge myself, be uncomfortable (sometimes), and learn.

One night, mulling over my list of possible creative endeavors, a quiet idea voiced itself..."hey, you have a lot of stuff, and sometimes your clutter stresses you out to the point you want get rid of EVERYTHING right then, which is unrealistic...sooooo why don't you make decluttering your 365 project?"

I wondered how I would/could bring this brilliant (and scary) idea to fruition. I knew the first step was to come up with a set number of items to part with on daily basis. I wanted a number that would make a difference after a year, but that wouldn't be unfeasible from day-to-day. I settled on the number 5. After 365 days, I will have 1,825 less items in my home.

The next step was to set some "rules" for myself, otherwise I would cheat and find loopholes that made the cheating not cheating. So here are my rules for myself and my project.

Rules:

1) Every day I will find five items/objects to either donate or throw away.
2) Garbage and recyclables do not count as items/objects.
3) I will document my five items on this blog daily. I may take a picture or I may just write a list.
4) I will explain my choices because reasoning with myself helps me make difficult decisions.
5) I will not shy away from difficult items -- sentimentality is not a reason to keep something
    for years and years...it's the memories that count, not the object or thing.
6) I will not beat myself up if I can't get rid of something the first time I try because this project is
    about growth and change, not perfection.