Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Master of Disguise

I remember as a teenager, I was the first in my class to have internet. I remember the night we all gathered around the computer as my Dad was setting up screen names for each of us. It was so early on, that we didn't even think to have original screen names. We used our first names with a single initial for our last names. We didn't even have to add any numbers to the end because we were using America Online before many people even had computers. It was a toy. We used the internet for trading jokes, going into chat rooms, and instant messaging - mostly with strangers.

A few years passed, and I started using the internet for things like research, and homework. I would email my friends and family. I even occasionally read the news, and surfed the web.

Slowly, the internet, the people using it, and the world around us started to change. I've noticed that more and more people have been using the internet anonymously. Meaning, that they have created fake twitter and facebook accounts so they can interact with whomever they choose, but without anyone knowing who they are.

They are using  mask - hiding behind their computers and afraid to show us who they are.

I started this blog anonymously. I was afraid of people seeing what I would write about them, and didn't want anyone to be hurt or angry with me. But the fact is, that nothing I write on here is a secret. If I have a secret, you can be darn sure that I wouldn't publish it on the internet for the world to see.

My blog is like my home. It's not perfect in it's appearance. It's not even all organized and put away.But it's all me. And I'm proud of that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From Falling to Flying

I'd like to tell you about my day. But to fully appreciate it, I need to rewind to two days earlier.


The lake
I had decided that I had had enough of moping around in my house and missing my husband. It was time to start exercising again, start taking care of the laundry, and the dishes, and generally, start feeling like a human being again. I had a GREAT day! I went for a walk around the most beautiful lake in my town. It was completely invigorating. But that wasn't enough. I went home, started straightening up. I threw a load of laundry into the machine, and started cleaning up the living room. I decided I really wanted to get these recent 5 pounds back off, so I pulled out an exercise dvd and started to work out. Unfortunately, I have bad knees so the squats were killing me. But I powered through them. The biggest problem, was my sciatica. Mid squat, my sciatica decided to cripple me momentarily, and I collapsed. I decided then that I had probably had enough exercise for the day and I called it quits.

Later in the day, my thighs started to bother me, but that didn't faze me. It should have.


I couldn't move. I cancelled everything I had for the day and stayed in bed. My legs were killing me.


I was still in a lot of pain, but decided that it wasn't quite so bad. I felt that the best thing for my muscles, was to work out again. So I mustered up all the strength I could and went down to the lake. I felt that was the easiest walk as it is all flat. I met a friend down there and we decided to work out together. As our routine was coming to a close, I did the worst thing possible. I fell.

I had scabbed my knee, twisted my ankle, and worst of all, I had pulled my already sore thigh muscles.

I went home. I was in loads of pain. Yet all I could think about was how badly things needed to get done in my house. My daughter had no clean shirts for school. We had no clean dishes, and I had no idea what I was going to serve my kids for dinner.

I took one look at my kitchen and wanted to cry. So instead, I took a picture.

It was completely disgusting. Everything was dirty. How in the world did I let it get so bad? But I knew I couldn't work in the kitchen in the pain I was in. So I took some pain killers and went to rest for a few hours. 

Believe it or not, I began to feel a little bit better. I decided that I needed to use whatever energy I had and clean up my kitchen. I did a little bit at a time. 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. I put a load of laundry in the washing machine. I loaded and ran the dishwasher. I put up a pot of soup for dinner. And before I knew it, my kitchen looked like this:


Now granted, I didn't take a picture of the other side of my kitchen.... but as they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day". And there's always tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sleep or Sweep?

It happens to all of us. We wake up in the middle of the night, either from a kid, or a dream, or the thunder. And you can't sleep. Do you lie in bed praying that you can fall back into a deep slumber? Or do you get up?
It happened to me last night. I woke up to the sounds of my 3 year old coughing. It was 3 am. I was not finished sleeping. I didn't fall back asleep. I stayed in bed with him until he fell back asleep. Guess what happened next? I was awake. And I was awake for the day.

Whenever something like this happens to me, I always debate whether I should stay in bed and hope beyond all hopes that I'll fall back asleep, or should I get up and clean the kitchen, or throw in a load of laundry. I always count any middle of the night housework I do as bonus work. Because really I should have been sleeping.

So tonight while awake at the weirdest hours of the night, I chose to play on my computer. I checked my email, and surfed the web, and chatted with friends in other time zones.

I guess I know what this means. Its going to be a coffee kind of day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful for.... the End of the Day

I'm sure that reading blogs everywhere today, people with an American heritage are talking about Thanksgiving and all the wonderful things they are thankful for. People are thankful for their families, friends, homes, jobs or even video games.

But my husband is away. He has been for over two weeks and it will be another two weeks before he comes home. I don't live near any family, and as we're fairly new to the community, I'm not friends with any of my neighbors.

So today, I am thankful that the day is ending. I no longer have to deal with the kid who is really potty trained but still manages to get all his clothing wet. I no longer have to deal with the girl who absolutely does not pay attention to me whenever I ask her to do something. I no longer have to deal with the girl with the lice in her hair. And I no longer have to deal with the guest who came over, stuffed our toilet, and didn't tell me.

My day is over, and THAT is the thing I am most grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuna Dreams and Popcorn Wishes

I've been camping out at home lately. Aside from getting the kids to and from school, I've been avoiding going outside. Not necessarily because I didn't want to go outside, but rather because I wanted to stay inside. The internet kept calling me and I found myself lost in its web. I was glued to the TV and ignoring real life.

My home was beginning to suffer the consequences.

My friend stopped by yesterday for a quick visit. She asked me if I had made tuna fish. I said I had. Though in my mind, I didn't actually remember making tuna that recently. I just chalked it up to being tired that I couldn't remember what I had eaten when.

I made it out of my house this morning. I took care of some groceries, went to the library, and got gas. I finally felt like a human being again. That is, until I walked into my house. The smell of tuna was overwhelming. Until I realized that it wasn't tuna at all. It was burnt popcorn.

Two nights ago, I had movie night with my kids. I made a batch of popcorn. I burnt it. I made a second batch of popcorn. I burnt that too. My house stunk.

The following day, I didn't leave my house. So guess what -- the house still stunk.

By the time this morning rolled around I decided that I couldn't take it anymore. So I started to clean my kitchen. I even had the kids help me- they chose to clean the floor with magic erasers! We scrubbed and scrubbed until the kitchen looked beautiful!

And guess what -- it STILL smells like burnt popcorn!

Oh well.... At least it looks pretty!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Feel Pretty

I bumped into a friend today who seemed so surprised that I looked so nice today. She asked me, "Why do you look so nice today -- your husband isn't even home!"

Let me explain....

I've been avoiding doing housework for the past couple of days. As a matter of fact, I've been avoiding doing any kind of work for the past couple of days. I haven't done dishes, laundry (except for emergency laundry), any housework, or more than a couple hours of my actual job. As a matter of fact, I've done a lot of reading, writing, watching TV and crocheting.

I decided yesterday that I needed to do something productive today, because despite every good intention I had the past couple days, nothing really happened. So, when I woke up this morning, I put my best foot forward, which is always harder when my husband is away for business...

Thanks to flylady, I've learned to get dressed every day in clothing that makes me feel good. It doesn't mean that I never lounge in my pajamas, or throw on a sweatshirt. But it means that I wear clothing that fits, that I like wearing, that isn't covered in holes, and that makes me feel pretty.

So this morning, I got dressed in my normal attire, as if I'm going to work, even though I work from home. But the finishing touch was a very special necklace that I recently received.

A few weeks ago, we had gone away for the weekend and met a couple staying at the same hotel. We started talking. We talked and talked and talked. We really had a wonderful time getting to know them. At the end of the weekend, an amazing thing happened -- she gave me an old necklace of hers. It was special to her. She had gotten it years ago on a trip to Hawaii. Now, she wanted me to have it because of the wonderful impression I had made on her.

My "flying" necklace :-)

I cried when receiving this very special gift. What an incredible gift I received that night -- it was more than just the necklace, it was the sentiment that went with it.

I put on that very necklace this morning.

I feel pretty. I feel inspired. And I feel motivated.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down...

Tonight, as my husband is away on a business trip, I decided to have movie night with my kids. Choosing a movie for them proves to be very tricky as DD7 doesn't like anything scary, and DS3 likes all things Buzz Lightyear and Barney. And of course, as I was planning on watching with them as well, I had to be mildly interested. So I chose Mary Poppins. 

We finished the popcorn as we got to the famous cleaning-of-the-nursery scene, at which point, DS3 decided he had had enough of this, and went to find something to play.

I remember the first time I showed this movie to my now 21 year old niece. When we finally got to this scene, she couldn't contain her laughter, and as laughter is contagious, we were both rolling. 

Since that day, I think this scene has remained my favorite. Whenever I watch it, the memories of that laughter just come flooding back and I can't help but chuckle.

Of course, since starting up with flylady, I always watch that scene a little differently. Two thoughts usually run through my mind: 1- why can't I just snap my fingers and everything gets put away? and 2- "With every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and SNAP! The job's a game!" That statement is as true in the movie as it is in my life.

Fun comes in different varieties. In Mary Poppins, the fun actually was just snapping your fingers. In my life, snapping could be a variety of things. When I'm working by myself, it could be listening to music, or wearing my special apron. With my kids, its setting the timer and making clean-up into a race!

Somehow, the magic of Mary Poppins has really extended into my home this evening. My kids quickly helped me clean up knowing that movie night was the prize and after the excitement of it had died down a bit, and Mary Poppins was singing to the children to go to sleep, DS3 went to lie down as well

Thank you Mary Poppins for inspiring and entertaining us for years! (And for putting our kids to sleep!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Beautiful Toilets

When we were first married, my husband and I struck a deal. He was to clean the toilets, and I would handle everything else.

What a stupid arrangement that was! Besides for the fact that I was left with doing basically everything, I didn't have a clue how to keep house.

For years, I kind of skirted around the issue that I couldn't keep a house in order. Our first apartment, we had very few things -- no one noticed that it was a mess. We then moved, had a kid, got a load of crap and the clutter began.... However, with only one kid, and a baby at that, she didn't really make a mess.

We moved from that place after a year, so I was able to start from scratch again.

Things started getting tricky the following year. We were living in a duplex apartment, with a toddler, higher income, and therefore, even more crap. We started to feel very squished into our two bedroom apartment. But before things got really out of hand, we moved again. This time, we moved into my parents house so my husband could finish school.

We were there for over three years. My bedroom was a disaster. But thankfully, most of our belongings were in storage, so all the clutter, wasn't necessarily my own.

We moved again. This time, far away from both my parents and in laws. And this time, was with two kids. We moved into a tiny two bedroom house. After the truck came with all of our belongings, we realized just how little space we actually had.

The landscape of our house was filled with all the boxes that didn't fit inside!

It was in this very house, that the flylady first waved her magic wand.

Two moves later, and my husband has a job that takes him out of town quite often. He is definitely no longer home to take care of the one job he agreed to all those years ago. So, with a lot of coaching from the flylady, I've decided I can tackle the toilets on my own.

I was terrified.

I had some company over the weekend. Our first real company since our epic (and mostly successful) toilet training. The toilets, and bathrooms in general, needed so much work.

I listened to the flylady's podcast about cleaning toilets. I pumped myself up -- ready to wear a mask if I had to, and tackled those toilets.

I know it sounds so funny, but MY TOILETS ARE SO PRETTY!!!!!

I conquered the impossible! And now, my husband is officially fired from his one job!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear Diary

A funny thing happened on the way to the....

I feel like that line is my life: I was going to wash the dishes, but got distracted when a funny thing happened. Or, I really need to fold the laundry, but I'll do it soon because some funny thing just happened...

I'm great at procrastinating. Especially when something funny grabs my attention (and it usually does!). This past week was no different.

My sister called me a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I remembered when her (now 17 year old) daughter first began talking. I sort of ignored her question for a while, because who can remember that far back! The more I thought about, I realized that I might have her answer in one of my old diaries.

During one of my fly lady flings, I came across a stack of diaries. I was stuck. Do I throw them out? Or keep them. I definitely didn't need them, but I really didn't want to get rid of them. I called my born-organized sister for help. She said, if it's something that you love so much that you will always be upset that you got rid of it, then keep it. So I kept my diaries from my childhood.

Now, when I needed to get some information from 15 plus years ago, the diaries, I hoped, would prove to be helpful. I was wrong on two counts. One - I never wrote when my niece started talking so I wasted my time. Two - I was very entertained because so many funny things happened, so I wasted A LOT of time.

As a kid, I loved writing in my diary. I wrote about my friends (and enemies) in school. I wrote about different life events - both significant, and inconsequential. I wrote about dating, and even had some foresight to write pieces of advice to my kids (who surely would read these down the road). I wrote and wrote until one day, soon after I got married, I stopped.

I don't know why I stopped. Was it my perfectionism? Did I think that I was too grown up to keep a diary? Or maybe I was too afraid to write things that people might read down the road? Maybe it was because now I can blog, so diaries must be for kids while blogging is for adults.

An interesting and completely random thing occurred two weeks ago. My mother in law bought me a present: a diary. I couldn't believe it. Maybe this was the world's way of telling me that a diary is something for me -- if I enjoy it, there is no reason I should stop doing it.

People today are always searching for help. Whether it be in therapies, self help books, or even flylady. We turn to friends and family to talk things through. And some people write in their diaries.

I love my blog, and, like my diaries when I was a kid, I wish I wrote more often. But my blog isn't a diary. It's not about my friends, and my family. Its not about my personal thoughts, or dreams. My blog is in some ways a motivation for me -- to help me be the best mom and homemaker I can be. On the other hand, my diary is for me. I don't have to choose my words carefully, or try get the reader's attention. It isn't there for anyone but me. It doesn't have to be perfect. And maybe, when I finish the diary I'm writing in now, I'll buy another one - one with a pretty lock and key. And I'll feel like a kid again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Year in my Life...

It has been a year since the fateful day that sparked so much change in our lives. Not the day that I first learned about flylady, but rather the day that a visitor insulted our home. If you don't remember how I got started, read all out it here.

My home is far from perfect. As I look around right now, I see mountains of laundry -- both to be washed, and to be folded. I see a sink full of dirty dishes. There is a mountain of crap on the floor in my bedroom, and in various other places in the house.

But, with all that said, my messes (for the most part) don't get out of hand anymore. The closets are more organized, the clutter is contained, and a room is never more than 15 minutes away from company ready.

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but thankfully our lives have been very busy with really good things.

May year two in my adventures be just as productive as my first! And thank you to everyone for following my adventures!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Master Procrastinator!

I started writing this blog post over a week ago. It was the day I had done my first "Weekly Home Blessing." For those who don't know, a weekly home blessing is basically a very quick overview of cleaning your house, it takes only about an hour to do, and it gives you smiles all day long.

I had looked around my house and I could not stop smiling. I just felt like I was on top of the world. My mood was contagious -- to myself. I felt so good on the outside of my body, that I decided to feel good on the inside too. But somehow, this led to the craziest week of procrastinating.

I started to do some major exercise. In the past two years, I have moved three times. And all three moves, for one reason or another, were quite major. Since that first move two years ago, I have lost over 30 pounds. The bulk of it, however, was in the past ten weeks.Yet because of the most recent move, my exercise had been put on hold.

This most recent move changed our terrain significantly. Previously we were living in a very dry climate, with very flat land. It was so easy for me to walk six miles at a time because there was no incline. Now, however, I live on the mother of all mountains, with humidity. I want to pass out after only one mile!

I was determined this week to conquer these monster hills. I've been walking and walking and walking. I'd only stop to take a drink of water or work out at the local exercise park. I've been feeling great. My home, on the other hand, has been missing me.

I decided what my home needed was a bit of crisis cleaning. I immediately invited a family of seven over for dinner. By doing that, I knew that I'd have to take care of my neglected home. I was right. They said yes, so I quickly washed my disgusting sink full of dishes, cleaned the tables and floor and was ready for company.

Now, I'm back on track, and ready for anything :-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Welcome Home...Books!!!

Before we moved, we needed a plan of attack as to how we would approach moving. Our house was so tiny, that in order to continue to live in our home with boxes packed we needed a place to store the boxes. Outside didn't work as it kept raining. So we turned to our friends.

We're very lucky that we have very nice friends. We're even luckier that our nice friends had a huge and practically empty storage unit in our new community. We asked them to use their unit and they said yes.

My original plan was that once we moved in, I'd take a trip over there every day and pick up a few boxes. But seriously, who was I kidding? I just moved! There was no way I wanted to bring even MORE boxes into our home!

Those boxes are our books.

I finally decided that I needed to stop putting off for tomorrow what I was perfectly capable of doing today. So I got some boxes. I even unpacked them. And though I still have a long way to go, I am so glad to have my books home.

Look how happy my books are to be home!

I obviously have many more books to unpack!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Found My Kitchen Table!

For the past few days, I've been posting the updates of our toilet training adventures. And while it was incredibly humorous watching my naked son, with his lime green crocs, whizzing past my room all day long on his sister's hot pink scooter, today's post is about me.

I found my kitchen table! While this may be a normal thing for people not be missing, for me it is a huge deal. Since July of 2009 we had been living in a doll house. It was a house so small that it fit the kids toys and not much else. We were completely squished. And while we did move in January 2011, it was to a house the exact same size. Somehow, we were never really able to fit our furniture into these homes. So much so, that we really only opened our folding table when we had company. Normally, we ate on the couch.

You can imagine my delight when we found our new apartment and it had a built in breakfast table in the kitchen.  To me, it meant that we would ALWAYS have a table open -- no matter how much crap we tried to jam into our home.

We moved in almost three weeks ago. It's been slow with the unpacking, and I'm okay with that. But it was really nice when tonight, I finally finished putting away everything from our kitchen table!

I am so excited to have breakfast in the morning!

The Adventures of Captain Underpants -- I Mean Captain No-Pants

Day three in our toilet training adventure has come and gone. Actually, it was gone a lot sooner than it should have been as I gave in and put a diaper on too early this afternoon. Though despite my giving in, DS2 definitely learned something today.

We started our day as we have been this week. Wake up, get changed, eat breakfast and then strip my son. As soon as he was in his birthday suit he ran to his potty. Albeit, he only ran there because he knew I'd put his favorite video on for him to watch, but still, he was excited to go there.

I've found that he could stay accident free for a couple of hours, and since I know his schedule, I decided to unpack the house a bit more. This was why I wasn't near him for his accident.

All of a sudden, I heard my son screaming for me, "Mommy!!!!" He ran to me. And while holding and pointing to himself, he said, "Water! There!"

Well, first I started laughing at the image before me. But when I started to calm down, I realized that even though he had an accident, he made huge progress. It was the first time he was conscious of the fact that he had an accident!

Well later in the morning, he came crying to me, "Mommy, come look!" I went with him to look and lo and behold, he had peed in his potty! YAY!!!! Of course, he couldn't get over the fact that he "made a mess" but we'll fix that... When I finally got him to stop crying, he knew the next part was to empty the potty in the bathroom. He wanted to do it himself!

I guess with everything you have to take babysteps.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Toilet Training for Dummies.... I Mean Mommies

I wish each kid would come with their own manual. I'd be so easy to know when to toilet train and how to toilet train. But what I'm doing, is NOT working.

Thankfully, I had a better day overall. I was determined to be optimistic today. So I got up, got dressed and felt good about my appearance and started a load of laundry. I cleaned up the living room and even rearranged some furniture. I finally felt ready for the day and so I undressed my son.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Caution: Speed Bumps Ahead

I started my morning so optimistic. I was totally on a roll. I'm on a great weight-loss streak, I feel good, I got dressed, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned the living room, got the kids dressed and set off for our day. But as we all know, life never turns out the way we plan. That is the understatement of the year.

And.... We're Off!

My son wanted to watch a movie on my computer. So I sat him down on a regular chair and told him that if he has to pee he needs to use the toilet.

As a precaution, my son decided he was better off just sitting on the potty :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Time for Training!

My son is going to be three in a couple of months, and since we were moving to a bigger place, I had pushed off toilet training till now. The fact is, I didn't need much reason to push off toilet training. I hate it. With my older daughter, I pushed it off even longer until my sister finally made me do it one day in her house.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Back and I'm Better than Before

Seven months ago, I had started this blog in the hopes that it would be an extra incentive for me to organize my home. However only a week had passed when our lives had been turned upside down. (See here). Being kicked out of our home, sent to another very temporary home, and still had to find a more permanent place to live, is hard on anyone. But couple that with the fact that we were left with no internet or phone service, and I felt completely isolated and alone.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Suitcase Full of "Just in Case"

I was in a deep funk yesterday. Between all the tragedies going on in the world, and the mess that was my house, I couldn't motivate myself to move. So I didn't. I sat in front of my computer most of the day scanning website after website for any news that might not be so horrific. I was unsuccessful.

Fortunately, I remained online long enough for my "flybuddy" to appear and we began to chat. I don't know why I ever brought it up, but I started asking her what I should do with all my boxes that I never unpacked from the time we moves a year and a half ago. I know the theory: if you haven't needed it in a year, then you don't need it at all. But we're living in a temporary home and I was concerned that we would need a lot of these things once we moved.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

As the World Turns...

I hate reading or watching the news. For the most part I just find it disturbing and really insignificant in my life. I hate politics, I hate violence, and I find that I could go on and live my life without following what's happening in the world. My husband on the other hand, is a news junkie. He loves watching, reading and listening to news. He is up to date on the politics and policies of everyone all over the world. This works to my advantage. We have a great arrangement. If there is something that I really need to know about, he tells me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Caution: Heavy Load

I had a breakthrough today. And I didn’t even clean or organize my house. I talked.

Every person goes through life with baggage. Sometimes it’s a designer handbag, and sometimes it’s a giant duffel bag that has been through a war. But every person has their unique baggage that they travel with.

I am no different. I have baggage. Its not pretty, and its extremely heavy. But I’m strong and I carry it with me.

This week I started to lose my grip. I felt as if I were being crushed by all the things I carry with me. And instead of letting go, I was depressed and would cry at the slightest touch.

Its important to my story that I tell you that I made a new friend this week. Maybe since our friendship is so new, I felt uninhibited when speaking to her. Or maybe its just the person she is. But she let me vent. And I feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders.

Of course I will continue to carry things with me, but now I have someone who will help share the load.

I guess you can say that I decluttered my mind.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Clutter is Contagious

I've noticed that clutter is a contagious thing -- and I don't mean that it spreads from person to person. Rather, it spreads from room to room. I can have a perfectly clean and clutter free home (As if!!!) but once I start accumulating clutter, it slowly but surely spreads into other rooms of the house.

So here I am, struggling to overcome the clutter in my house all the while it is spreading like a disease. So to combat this disease, we're fighting it with flight, or more specific with flying. Slowly but surely one corner, one pile at a time, I can do things to combat this disease.


We decided to go away for the weekend. We had it all planned and I was totally excited to avoid my house and my mess for a couple of days. Unfortunately, things don't always turn out the way you would expect them to. When a friend of mine got wind of the fact that we were going away, she asked if we would mind having her company sleep in our house. Now she is a REALLY good friend and I owed her big. So how could I say no. So I said yes. And my body was screaming inside "NO!!!!!!" But at that point I had already committed to letting a family of six sleep in my tiny doll house. I had a heck of a lot of work to do.

But work I did. And by the time we left our house on Friday, there were six beds made up and my bedroom was looking pretty decent.

Now I know the title of this post is called "Clutter is Contagious" but the fact of the matter is, I mean the exact opposite.

On my nightstand I had left a copy of my book "Sink Reflections" by Marla Cilley. My flylady bible. My house guest found it. And even though she doesn't really know me or my struggles with clutter she immediately felt a kinship to me as she began reading the book.

I got some feedback of the weekend from my friend. Apparently, this book left quite an impression. And my house guest is now motivated to start taking baby steps and learn to fly herself. Hearing this bit of news has motivated me as well.

So instead of spreading clutter, lets make cleanliness contagious and clear our homes of clutter for good!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The British are Coming!

It's been two months since we moved. It's been just as long since we've had normal internet at home. It's also been about that long since I was really flying.

Unfortunately when we moved, I think I packed my flying wings and I've been struggling every day. Until a few days ago.

A friend of my hubby's asked to come stay with us for the weekend. I love company and I love when this guy comes, so I said yes. He asked if he could bring a friend along and we were fine with that too. Until I heard his friend is British.

I have nothing against British people, I just had one bad experience with the son of my British friend. He came by right after we moved and matter of factly declared my house a mess. Now granted, he was a little boy, but still it upset me.

Well I decided that this time I would be prepared for our British guest. I spent HOURS cleaning and unpacking. My house looked awesome.

And then, as luck would have it, the British friend canceled. But he gave me the greatest gift- I  found and unpacked my wings!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ewww.... Who Would Eat Lentils???

I hate lentils. I mean, I REALLY hate lentils. And amazingly enough, somehow I found myself eating them yesterday.

Part of taking control of my home has been taking control of my kitchen. And I don't cook, so this was a challenge. I decided to have a friend give me some lessons. It ended up being only one lesson. But that lesson, surprisingly gave me enough confidence to not be afraid of my kitchen. A huge step....

Another friend of mine, has taken pity on us. Being that I was totally overwhelmed in our house, and totally stressed out by the fact that we had less than two weeks to move, she started inviting us over for meals. Many meals. It was at her house that I started eating weird things.

I've always been one to try everything. But I wasn't one to cook everything.  But after my cooking lesson, I learned a valuable lesson. Kids learn to eat and to enjoy the foods that you put in front of them. I definitely noticed this to be true with my six year old daughter who now likes onions, mushrooms and broccoli. So if it works with kids, why not try with adults as well.

So I made a lentil salad yesterday. And while I wasn't so daring to put all the cumin in it that the recipe called for, and instead I added a drop of orange juice and some sugar, it was actually good.

So while lentils may never be my favorite thing, I've learned that with the right flavors, ANYTHING can be yummy.

And I can't wait to try something new.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Surveying the Damage

I'd been successfully "Flying" (read: picking up after my kids and husband) for about 6 weeks when I got the phone call that completely disrupted my life. My landlord had decided that since we couldn't agree over the terms of the lease renewal, he wanted to evict us. The catch? He wanted us out in 24 hours.

Well being more rational than him, we decided to see a lawyer. We knew that not having a renewed lease we could be in deep trouble, and who knew, maybe he did have the right to kick us out that quickly. Thankfully, he couldn't kick us out without a court order and that could take months. However, with this guy's violent history with us, we didn't want to take any chances and wanted to get out ASAP. So we decided that getting out by December 31st (i.e. the last day we had already paid for) would be a good move for us.

Our community truly was incredible -- they came through for us when we needed it the most and a house was available to us. Getting the key to that house on the hand, proved to be a bit trickier. We were told on Friday the 24th that the house was available for us and that we'd get the keys on Sunday. Sunday came and went. No keys. Monday, and Tuesday passed with no keys. I started getting nervous. On Wednesday, I decided to start making a big fuss over the fact that we were expected to move but how can we do that without keys???? A fuss was made. And I burst into tears in the office where we had to sign our new lease. Then I found out what the holdup was.

Apparently what goes around, comes around. And not always in the best way... The company we were to rent the new house from had heard little snippets of what happened with our previous landlord. The story they were told was "They've been living in their house for six months with no contract." WHAT????? That is SOOOO not how it happened!!! So now they were afraid to lease to us as part of their conditions were that we had to be out in six months! They were afraid that if they let us move in, that we would never move out!!!!

My week really could not get any worse... I was depressed. I felt rejected, I stopped eating, I stopped answering the phone... Thank G-d for my husband. He really came through for us. He spoke to the bearer of the keys and even though he was already gone for the day, and would be out the following day, my hubby begged and said he would go anywhere at anytime to get this key. After many phone calls, the guy finally agreed to give us the key on Thursday morning at..... 4:30 AM.

Yes, you read that correctly.

But at least now we had the key. Because we hadn't known when exactly we were moving (and by the way, we didn't even know what house we were moving to until we got the key!) We couldn't get movers. So we rallied, and our friends and family came out in droves to help us move all our belongings over those two days.

Our friends and new neighbors prepared meals for us and generally helped us as we settled into our new home.

We've got a lot of unpacking to do. But I have a goal now. Knowing that we'll be moving again in six months time, I'll be able to focus on decluttering and the next time I move, instead of just throwing everything into boxes and dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane in our new home, I'll only be bringing the stuff I love.