Monday, September 16, 2013

Tea for Twenty

Tonight's post will be succinct. I spent the day getting crafty with my best friend. She drinks tea -- Teavana tea -- which is UH  MAY  ZING!!! I had several cups of the best Oolong tea I've ever tasted. Sipping this delicious tea gave me the idea for tonight's purge...I would go through my ginormous collection of tea (I like to try new things) and get rid of the tea I am never ever ever going to brew and drink...EVER!

Plus, my tea is stored in this weird little corner cupboard in serious need of de-cluttering. So when I got home from my BFF's house I reached into that cupboard and pulled out three boxes of tea I know I'll never drink.

There is a dilemma with this purge, however. I hate to throw the tea away, but I can't think of any place to donate it that wouldn't throw it away :( I may offer it on freecycle after I finish going through it. I figure there is enough tea in there for at least one more day of purging :)

The following teas are banished from the corner cupboard!!

1) Tazo Green Ginger
2) Stash fusion green and white tea
3) Good Earth Chai Tea
4) Bigelow Sweetheart Cinnamon
5) an assortment of miscellaneous single teabags

Thanks for being here :) See you tomorrow!


Sunday Snuck Away From Me!!

Sorry, readers!!

Somehow Sunday night turned into Monday morning without me getting a blog written. I am going to blame it on the time consuming process of putting together an application packet for a substitute position at a semi-local and very rural school district ( a little birdie told me they were short on subs).

Lacking inspiration at this early hour (5:15 a.m.), I am going to find five things in one of my pseudo office drawers. It shouldn't be difficult because I frequently use them as a catch basin for stuff I should probably toss but have some imagined some project they'd be perfect for...

And it's 5:23, and I found eight boring items I can easily part with.

1) the receipt for my daughter's prom dress from last year
2) an expired coupon for Kashi cereal
3) an expired Michael's coupon
4) yearbook info (fliers) from last school year
5) my teacher activity pass from last school year
6) a customs declaration from last Christmas (I participated in an international gift exchange)
7) A small sheet of paper with a random quote on it
8) a piece of plastic that I've been holding on to forever because I know it belongs to something, but I have have no idea what. soon as I toss it, I'll need it :/

Sorry for dropping the ball last night -- blogging was on my to-do list, but somehow the application packet took over my mind and then it was bedtime :)

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


Saturday, September 14, 2013


I always set my alarm. Even if I am dead tired when I go to bed, I always set my alarm. It may be set for an hour later than normal, but it is always set. Can you guess where I am going with this? You are absolutely correct...I did not set my alarm last night. I was so tired, my logical routine-loving self caved to fatigue and said screw it!! I'll wake up when I am ready to. My husband, however, set his alarm because he was going for a motorcycle ride with a friend and they were leaving at 10:00. I am not sure when his alarm started going off, but I've never known anyone who can hit the snooze button so many times in a row. I have never understood the point of that additional nine minutes, especially when you hit it six or 7 times. Doesn't it seem more logical to just set your alarm for an hour later and GET UP THE FIRST TIME IT GOES OFF???

Getting up late, threw my schedule for a loop. I had forgotten about one of my grandson's preschool soccer games. Let me tell you what -- there is nothing cuter that three and four year-olds attempting to play an organized sport. Plus, I absolutely had to get the yard mowed today because we are supposed to get two weeks of rain starting tomorrow. In my husband's defense, so you don't think he left me in a lurch while he got to play with his friends, I LOVE to do yard work -- mowing, raking, weeding, weed-eating, trimming shrubs, digging, planting, edging, etc. I love it all, and I rarely let anyone do it for me (I am super picky about my yard). Even though I was behind most of the day, there was only two things I didn't get done. I wanted to go to the Goodwill and look for a serving plate for the birthday cake I am making for a friend's birthday on Monday, and my daughter had requested a special dinner ( she'll get it tomorrow) of Tiropitas and Pear-Craisin Salad.

All of this, of course, delayed my search for five items to purge.  Not that it is difficult to find five items...the difficulty lies in me actually being willing to part with them for-ev-er!!! I have been waffling on a big bag of small padded envelopes I have been saving, which leads to a confession...I have subscribed to a rubber stamp of the week for over a year now. They are so cute and inexpensive. $5.79 a week including shipping. They are from a family-owned business in New London, MN by the name of Unity Stamp Company. Do I need any more rubber stamps? Ummm...NO!! However, this is a small treat I allow myself. Do I use them? Unfortunately, not as often as I'd like to but I'm getting better at making time to craft.

Back to the bag of bags. I have yet to re-use one, and they are taking up quite a bit of space in an unattractive way, so it's time for them to go to the recycle bin. I know it probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but I am guessing there are at least 30 small envelopes tucked into a couple of larger ones, which are stuck between some craft supply organizers. Overall, a very cluttered and untidy appearance (in an already crowded space).

Oh, and at the soccer game I picked up a couple of sub jobs in October. My daughter-in-law is a teacher at a local high school (the school I student taught at) and she mentioned that all the English/LA teachers were wondering if I was subbing still or had my own classroom. She reserved me for the two days in October and is going to let the other teachers know I am available to sub :) I like having work booked in advance -- it means I don't have to get up at 5:00 a.m. :)

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow! I challenge all of you to find one thing to donate or recycle this weekend! Let me know how it goes :)


Friday, September 13, 2013

Bring on the Weekend!!

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but being a substitute teacher requires me to get up at 5:00 a.m., log onto the sub website and look/wait for a job to pop up. This is the first full week back to school, so I have been dutifully getting up and checking every morning but not really expecting a job this early in the year. So, I was quite surprised when I heard the tell-tale gong that signifies an open job. Needless to say I jumped on it! I cannot pass up $141.87, no matter how much I want to stay home and bake ;) This was my first time in an elementary school and it was quite fun :) I was beat by the time 3:15 rolled around and the kids flooded noisily out of the room.

When I got home, the couch was practically begging me to stretch out on it and nap for the hour I had until my husband would get home. I resisted, sort of -- I tried to stay sitting up, but I am sure I listed to the left and rested my chin on my chest for a moment or two. If there had been an afghan in close range I would probably be still be sleeping. Luckily for me (and you) there was not! So my husband took pity on me and we went to Taco Time for dinner, my daughter let me color her tattoo in with Sharpies before she went to the movie with her boyfriend, and now I have gotten a pathetic second wind (more like a gasp) and I am blogging as fast as I can!!

Tonight's purge came to me last night -- I always try to think ahead because I don't want to fall behind and miss a day and have to start over...AGAIN!!

I have one small shelf of cookbooks, but there are only a few of the cookbooks I actually use recipes from. I love to look at the pictures, but once the books are back in the cupboard I kind of forget about them. I figured it was time to weed out a few more -- baby steps, Penney, baby steps. I really dislike that it is so hard to part with stuff I don't use regularly!!

Okay, so let's get to the books. I wonder if I will ever be 100% book-free or bookless -- probably not since I have books I need for church.. Oh well, an interesting idea to ponder further.

1) Cuisine at Home (more like a magazine without ads)
2) Hershey's Chocolate Treasury (I haven't really used it more than a few times in the thousand years I've owned it)
3) Cabaret Cuisine ( the local Junior Service League cookbook)
4) The Best of Cooking Light: 125 of our all-time greatest recipes
5) The 250 Best Muffin Recipes by Esther Brody
6) Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001

Today I have overachieved!! I have parted with six books instead of just five. A miraculous feat indeed :) Oh, here is a picture of my daughter's tattoo, colored by me :)

Sunflowers are her favorite :)

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading :) See you tomorrow!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Disclaimer: Tonight's Post is NOT...

exciting; not that any other night's post is exciting. However, I'm really working hard on the catchy title thing ;)

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I thought of what today's purge could be. One shelf on a smaller bookcase houses our not so organized bill records. I've only sorted through once in the last six years, so I figured it was due for round two. Jeff and I decided we only needed to keep paid bill receipts for the last six months, so after I found those bills, the rest could go into a plastic bag in the garage until the next free shred day ( or bonfire day!). It took me a couple of hours because I just had to make sure I wasn't throwing anything important away (even though they're just going out to the garage). The shelf looks sooooo much better, and now there is only one messy shelf left. Hmmmm, maybe that will be tomorrow's project :)

All that sorting made my brain hurt! I am ready to call it a night and watch some Futurama :)

Thanks for reading :)


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Insert Catchy Title Here

That's one of the hard parts about blogging daily...coming up with an interesting and relevant title. Since I didn't do anything interesting, I had no inspiration for a title :/

Today was the day I loaded four bags of books into my car and attempted to unload them for cash and/or credit. I was successful. I started online at Bookbyte, who purchased four college textbooks for $140.00. I will get them in the mail on Friday. I then headed to Paperbacks Galore, a new and used bookstore in my town. They took quite a few books in exchange for about $35.00 in credit. Adding this to my previous credits, I now have $93 and some change in credit there. Want to know the irony of this??? Because I am trying to de-clutter and move things out of my house, I don't want to spend the credit -- it seems self-defeating. I explained my dilemma to my hubby, and he suggested I just make sure to trade the book back in as soon as I finish reading it. I plan to save it for Christmas and hopefully find some good books to buy for friends and family.

After leaving Paperbacks Galore, I drove to Squaredog Books, a fairly new used book, music, and movie store. I had to leave the stuff there because they are overloaded with incoming stuff, but I am OK with that because they are out of my house. Also, Squaredog gives cash or credit, which Paperbacks Galore does not.

Whatever they don't take will go to my local library for their book sale. I did some more straightening today and made three more piles. These are very specific piles though. One pile is for my best friend (I found some more Shakespeare stuff that belongs to her), another pile is more a good friend of mine who has lent me books in the past (which I shamefully kept). I will deliver them to her this weekend, when I know she is at work. The last pile will go to my church. One of the books belongs to another church member and one belongs to my church's reading room.

It was exceptionally warm here today (90 degrees), so after running errands I took my newest library book, ice water, and my dog and headed to the backyard to read under the shade of the giant Maple tree. The book I read was The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). I would give it 4 stars out of 5. I enjoy a good murder mystery :)

The three additional piles that will go away over the next four days are today's purge. Yes, I know, technically I pulled them off the shelf yesterday, but they didn't fit the trade/donate criteria, so I am claiming them as today's purge. Now. however, I am not sure what I am going to get rid of tomorrow. Lucky for me, I can think about it the entire time I am at my cleaning job :)

Thanks for reading :)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Books, Baking, and Memories

Today was the day I planned to straighten the bookcases out, rearrange things, and tidy up in general. I did those things, but somehow it turned into a four bookcase purge and restructuring. I have a photo evidence of this occurrence -- the thing that blows me away the most is the fact that even after all the books I got rid of (see the two stacks on the floor?) my shelves are still full!!! I am beginning to think that my books are multiplying while I sleep...seems completely logical to me :/ So the two stacks of books more than meet the five-a-day requirement. I am not going to list titles because there are too many!!

I would have finished the job today, but I was distracted by a picture of a cake -- a flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. And because I have a friend having a birthday on Monday, and this would be the perfect birthday cake for her...I needed to make a test cake. This is how the conversation with my daughter went:

Me: You're going to be my Guinea pig tonight.
Sierra: what?!#%!!
Me: I'm trying a new recipe, and you and Jeff are going to be my Guinea pigs.
Sierra: Ooooooooooooooohhhhh! I thought you said we were eating Guinea pigs tonight!!
Me: Yes, and it's your job to find them in the backyard, catch them, butcher them, and prep them for tonight.

I think needs to get her ears checked or something!
Here is a picture of the finished and sampled test cake. No Guinea pigs were harmed in the making of this cake. Click here for the recipe. It is very rich and decadent :)

So on to the "memories" portion of tonight's blog post. The top book on the stack in the front is a cookbook. It is the same cookbook my mother had for many years. I found it at a garage sale and bought it because it was in much better shape than my mother's, and I am sentimental and sappy. I can only think of one recipe in it that I've used, and I actually have that recipe on a 4x6 card in my most important recipes folder ( a re-purposed small photo album).

It was a battle between sentimentality and logic -- in the end logic won and the book is in the purge pile. I've done a lot of thinking about why tangible objects are so important to me as memories, and the only thing I can come up with is that I need to be able to touch something that was theirs to honor their memory -- almost like creating a shrine to honor them. I can think of far better ways to honor my mother, and hanging on to stuff isn't one of them. Plus, I will always have the memories, and they don't take up precious space or require dusting. Honestly, I am a little sad to be getting rid of the cookbook, but it feels like the right thing to do.

Thanks for reading :)


Monday, September 9, 2013

Strike One!

This morning was my first morning of getting up at 5:00 a.m. to check for sub jobs. Getting up is pretty easy, but it makes for a long day! There weren't any sub jobs, which didn't surprise me considering how early in the school year it is. The upside is I get a lot more done around the house ;)

I met my best friend for coffee today, and I even remembered to take the 5+ Shakespeare books I thought were hers. So I am claiming that as today's purge -- 5 books left the house :) Yay!! The other thing I am super proud of is that I didn't spend a dime while we were out. She treated me to coffee, and I behaved myself in Jo-Ann's -- it was surprisingly easy.

The bad news is that when I entered all my ISBNs into the Powell's website, they rejected all of them :(( Oh well...tomorrow I will try the two local stores and then the library. I am considering doing the paperback swap thing. I will have to research it more; my biggest concern is the postage cost.

Tomorrow I am going to work on rearranging the books on the shelves, and dusting the shelves...they desperately need it. I still have books to get rid of, but I think it will be easier if I tidy up a little bit. Seeing clean space will motivate me to make more clean space.

I'm going to sign off. It's been a long day, and I need to go to bed earlier if I am going to get up earlier.
Thanks for reading; I appreciate the support :)


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bookshelf Mish-Mash

My quads are sore from that silly race yesterday! Clearly I need to run more often :)

I'm a list maker -- It helps me focus on what needs to be done, I feel accomplished as I cross things off the list, and it keeps me from forgetting half ( ok, most) of the things I need to get done. Last night I made my to-do list, like I do most every night...then morning came and my motivation and drive had gotten up before me and left town. I got some stuff done, but it felt like a four year old me was arguing with an adult me. It was not pretty!

I always have "blogging" on my list, especially while I try to make it part of my daily routine. There have been a couple of times when I am sitting on the couch losing consciousness and BAM! it comes to me that I haven't found five things or blogged...Yikes!

In fact, just moments ago, I was headed for the couch until I saw my bookcases and remembered my solemn pledge. I am getting pretty good at the five book thing, so it only took me about five minutes. Tomorrow, I will sort through the books I have pulled and determine which of them Powell's will most likely be interested in. The rest I will try to unload at one of the two local used bookstores. Any remaining books will go to the library. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to share how much credit I earned :)

Anyway, here is tonight's mish-mash:

1) Pals by Mary Engelbreit (I love her artwork so much!!)
2) Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
3) Lighten Up and Live Longer by Sue Baldwin
4) Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss
5) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (I have two copies, which is one too many)

Thanks for reading and following; I appreciate the anonymous support :)


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Color Run and Shakespeare

I am happy to say I ran 99% of The Color Run today, and I had a fantastic time :) I take the worst selfies on the planet, but I am trying to be less critical of myself so I am going to post it! I especially love my blue moustache; it really gives me character.

Alright, moving right along...let's get to the books! I decided to focus on a shelf at a time, and since I was working on the bottom shelf yesterday I went back to it today. It could easily be called the Shakespeare shelf. Being an English teacher, I love the Bard and I love books about him, compilations of his insults, his female characters, etc. They're great books, but I haven't looked at them since I was an undergrad approximately three years ago.

So here are tonight's titles in no particular order:

1) Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times by Vicki Leon
2) Shakespeare's Insults: Educating Your Wit by Ottchen and Hill
3) Shakespeare's Middle Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays edited by David Young
4) Naughty Shakespeare by Michael Macrone
5) The Complete Dictionary of Shakespeare Quotations compiled by D.C. Browning

I also found five Shakespeare books that belong to my best friend. I will bag them up and return them ASAP :)

Thanks for checking in tonight, and I'll see you tomorrow :)


Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Books, Free Money, and a Race Tomorrow

I worked my cleaning job today -- some people may see cleaning another person's home as menial or degrading, I do not! I am a detail oriented person. I like tasks that allow me to focus on the intricacies of the task. I know you're probably thinking, what's so intricate about house cleaning? And before I started this job I would have asked that same question. In this instance, the answer lies with my wonderful employer! Most people want you to get as much done as you can in the shortest amount of time. My boss does NOT think this way -- she has always told me she prefers quality over quantity. She wants me to spend time getting into the nooks and crannies. Cleaning for her has become a challenge -- what I mean by this is that I challenge myself to find new places where dust might be hiding and accumulating. I am sure it sounds odd, but it is second nature to my analytical mind. I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy the details required to make everything just so. What does this have to do with decluttering my own home? nothing really, other than I always come home from the job energized and motivated to tackle a task in my own home :)

After I got home, I walked to the grocery to get stuff for dinner and a few staples. It's only a couple of blocks, and I always feel better when I walk instead of drive. Another bonus is that I purchase less -- who wants to lug home heavy grocery bags?? Not this lady!

This is where the free money comes in..I FOUND A PENNY ON THE ROAD!! I know it isn't much, but I will never walk past any form of money, unless it was in some gooey, disgusting substance that may or may not be a bodily fluid.

Tomorrow is The Color Run in Portland, Oregon. If you haven't heard of it, click here for more info. I usually only do runs that benefit a charity or worthy cause, but I succumbed to "the happiest race" on the planet in a moment of weakness. It's only 5k, so it won't be a challenge and it sounded like fun to have colored powder thrown at you at each k. At the end of the race I will look like a human rainbow :)

On to tonight's books. Again, it was easy to choose five books. As I picked the book off the shelf, I thought about when and why I bought it. The why usually seemed pretty shallow, which strengthened my resolve but also saddened me. Why would I spend my hard-earned money based on such shallow reasoning -- It's a classic, I should have a copy on my bookshelf...meh! Was I motivated by pretense and vanity? Was I thinking people would be impressed by certain books on my shelf? Did I feel smarter and more scholarly because of the titles I chose? To some degree, I believe there is truth in all of the above questions and that makes me sad :(

Here are tonight's titles:

The Flames of Rome by Paul L. Maier ( autographed, no less!!)
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Uppity Women of Medieval Times by Vicki Leon
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Thanks for wading through my reflective drivel. If I can get someone to take my pic at the race tomorrow, I will post it on the blog :)

See you tomorrow. Have a great weekend; find five things to donate to a thrift store!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Off Topic Until the End :)

Days don't get much better than this! I spent the day with my best friend getting crafty. I have a gelli plate, which is used for making monoprints. In my heart, I know I am an artist -- but I let other things eat away at the precious little free time I have and I don't make creating and playing a priority. My best friend is also very creative, so we try to set aside days to get together and make art. I am participating in an art swap this month, so today's art time was spent layering colors and designs, adding stamped images etc. This is one of the prints I made today

Another thing my friend and I share a love of is eating good food. For lunch we made Caprese Salad, fresh fruit, homemade corn muffins, and I brought fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Alas, I do not have a picture :(

The last thing that made today so good was dinner -- I love to cook! Today is National Cheese Pizza Day, so it was a great excuse to make homemade pizza and try out a new crust recipe. The crust recipe can be found here. It makes two pizzas, which is perfect for us since I am a vegetarian and hubby is a carnivore. Here is a picture of "my" pizza. 

  I topped it with caramelized onions, red bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, cheddar, and Parmesan. It was delicious :) Next time I will raise the oven temp to 500 instead of 450. The crust did not get as brown as I would have liked.

Anyway, good food and good company make for a great day.I hope all of you had one or the other, or ideally, both!

Now onto the real reason for this blog --finding five books was easy today -- I must have been in the right mindset. Each time I grabbed a book, I asked myself, "Why do I have this?  I am sure my library has this? Why haven't I read this ? If I haven't read it, why am I keeping it?" 

Since I made you read about my wonderful day, I am going to cut to the chase and list the books!

1) Adventures  of the Mind from The Saturday Evening Post
2) Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
3) Message From Forever by Marlo Morgan
4) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
5) The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams (it's an autobiography)

So there you have it -- five books I have had for too too long and not read :(

Thanks for reading; I'll see you tomorrow :)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Do You Know What Day It Is?

I bet you thought I was going to say "Hump" Day. Fortunately, I was not. It's actually National Eat an Extra Dessert Day -- no joke.  I didn't celebrate, but I did have more than my fair share of homemade rolls at dinner tonight. My name is Penney, and I love carbs! Luckily, my metabolism allows me to eat pretty much whatever I want.

I'm determined to purge A LOT of books from my bookcase. REASON # 1  -- I don't read them. If I had my own classroom, they'd be there. But I don't, and I don't know when I will's time to liquidate my fiber assets. REASON # 2 -- If Powell's buys enough of them, I will have a nice credit built up for Christmas shopping. My 17 year old son loves to read, so I know I can never go wrong with books :) The bonus is that I can use the credit on new or used books. My local bookstore only allows the credit to be used for purchasing used books. Eventually I want to start my own little free library. It is a cool idea; check it out!

Anyway for the next couple weeks I am going to subject myself to the painful torture of choosing books to kick out of the house :( I think I can manage five a day, but it won't be easy!) I just keep reminding myself I can buy them again when I have a classroom (if I still feel the need).

I will try to list titles every day, so you get a glimpse of my reading tastes :)

Today's book list includes:

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner
The Sweet Relief of Missing Children by Sarah Braunstein
The House I loved by Tatiana De Rosnay
Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

These titles aren't an accurate indicator of my reading tastes. All these books were given to me, and I kept them because they sounded like something I might enjoy...and did I mention they were free?!? The only thing better than free books is free dessert :)

Anyway, after a week of selecting books, I will enter the ISBNs into Powell's website. If they buy them, I pring out a pre-paid shipping label and send them off! The last time I did a serious purge, I had 175.00 in credit! That's a lot of Christmas shopping!!! One thing I do know is that Powell's rarely takes hardcover books and two of these books are hardcover.

Tomorrow is National Cheese Pizza Day which I will be making for dinner (I already have dough rising in the fridge) and I get to spend the day getting crafty with my BFF :) Click on dough if you want the recipe for the pizza crust.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thursday as well, and I will see you tomorrow night with five more books to release into the wild.

Thanks for reading :)


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tough Love is the Answer, but...

is it possible to practice Tough Love on yourself?

I spend so much time being disgusted with myself because I have so much crap stuff, yet I spend an equal amount of time justifying why I should/need to keep all the stuff. As I thought about this absurd paradox, Tough Love popped into my head. I need to be firm rigid when I am purging! It's the only way I will ever get through this project and rid myself of excess belongings. Ha Ha, I wonder if there are "clutter coaches"...maybe after I complete this project I will promote myself as a clutter coach and help other people declutter. On top of the mental wrestling match, it seems more difficult to decide on items to purge :(

Before I get into what I got rid of today, I want to mention a book I am reading. Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. My copy is from 1992 -- I bought it at a garage sale for .50. I had been reading a copy checked out from my library, but there was no way I could do the exercises within the time constraints of the loan period. I am currently on the exercise associated with chapter 2...keeping a record (for 30 days) of every cent that comes in and goes out. Knowing that I have to write it down helps me work harder at resisting things I might normally not resist -- like coffee from an espresso stand ( my biggest weakness).

Today's purge wasn't too difficult...I had been given a Christmas themed gift box that was cute, but not my style at all. It got added to the bag of rub-ons. I also had a shopping bag full of various ribbons and trims ( more card making supplies). The bag did not have a home, so it got moved around the dining room and drove me decidedly crazy. Tonight I tackled it head-on. I gleaned a small amount of ribbon for my stash and am giving the rest to my local thrift store. I'll probably make that trip tomorrow since I am busy Thursday and Friday. Also, once its out of the house it can longer tempt me ;)

Thanks for reading, and I'll be back tomorrow!


Monday, September 2, 2013

It's All About Your State of Mind

My suspicion that purging has everything to do with my state of mind has been undeniably confirmed this evening. *sigh* Today was one of those days when there is more to be done than time to do it in. In cases like this, I shrug my shoulders, do what I can, and know the remainder of the work will patiently wait for me. I did get the yard mowed, which makes me very happy ( I love to mow, and I love when my grass is short and tidy). Our yard is quite large -- approximately a half acre -- and most of it is grass. I am working on changing that gradually. This year I added a perennial bed out front and two raised beds in the back. I plan to add six more raised beds by next spring, so I can grow colossal amounts of vegetables!!!

Anyway...back to the state of mind line of thought. We had dinner out tonight in honor of my daughter's 19th birthday. By the time we got home it was 10:00 p.m., and the last thing I wanted to do was scrounge five items to purge. I was able to justify keeping every item I considered, and I was getting cranky with myself. It's only day two and already I am losing the battle. So I stopped my half-hearted attempts and thought about why tonight the selection process seemed so difficult. It didn't take long to figure out that fatigue, the late night, and general laziness on my part were working against the greater good of my project. At this realization I marched myself back over to my bookcase and began perusing my teaching books with a more critical eye and honest heart.

Books are especially difficult for me to part with -- I love having overflowing bookcases -- books are security, intelligence, learning, and passion -- as long as I have books, I have access to these ideas. I always think to myself I should get rid of that book, I haven't touched it since I was in grad school! And then the other voice pipes up you should keep that book because it is a valuable resource and during your teaching career you never know when you might need to reference it. Reality check time...I can count the number of times I have gone back to my teaching books on one hand and have fingers left over.

So, I chose the least current, least relevant to my content area, and least read during my schooling. Voila! I had five books in less than five minutes :)

Purging is an intensely mental and emotional experience which can cause physical discomfort as well. The intensity of feeling causes me to wonder how I got to this place, how material things became so important, and how I might lessen their hold on me.

Good night and thanks for reading :)


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Trying Again...

I totally dropped the ball this summer. All my good intentions fell by the wayside as soon as the first rays of warm sunshine graced my backyard and lured me away from my computer. Unfortunately, not blogging has affected my purging -- I didn't realize how the blog was keeping me accountable. Knowing I had readers and followers pushed me to find five things a day to get rid of, and it felt so good every time I took a bag to the thrift store or cleared a surface I hadn't seen for a while. The weather is still gorgeous here (Washington), but the school year is getting ready to start and the clutter is starting to make me a little crazy.

I will subbing day-to-day again this year, so I should be able to keep up on the blog and decluttering. 

Finding and purging five items a day from my house was my own take on the book 365 A Daily Creativity Journal written by Noah Scalin. His blog features other people's 365 projects. The idea is to commit to something for a 365 consecutive days in order to break through self-imposed mental and physical barriers. I wanted my project to be something that would challenge me, but also be rewarding. Although my first attempt lasted less than a month, it was quite rewarding! I was able to share what I no longer wanted and needed with people who had a need or want for it. I still have a few packages to mail out, but it will happen.Today will be my "day 1" of attempt #2. The purpose of the blog is to document the year-long project.

This time I plan to do things a little differently. I will still purge five items a day, but I am no longer going to offer them to my readers and followers, only because postage can be a little outrageous for some things! I am going to try and sell what I can and the rest will go on Freecycle or to my local thrift shops.

Well, with all that drivel out of the way, let me tell what I am purging today! Several months ago, a friend of mine was selling her home and moving into a 5th wheel. She had even more crafting supplies than I do, and needed to seriously downsize her stash. I ended up buying two big plastic bags full of miscellaneous papercrafting goodies.  I finally got around to sorting through the bags and gleaning what I wanted ( I was very restrained!!) and bagging up the remainder to get rid of. I am not a big fan of rub-ons, so that it was I am purging today. A big grocery bag about half-full of new, unused rub-ons and mini-albums! I am going to try my local buy/sell/trade Facebook group first, then maybe Craigslist. I am not trying to make a fortune off of them, but I think it would be interesting to put the money in a separate account and see how much I make in a year.

I hope those of you who read and followed my blog previously, will join me on the second attempt of my creative journey. The encouragement I received last time was greatly appreciated!

Until tomorrow...