Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Muddling through and catching up ...

So, here we are on the 11th of the month ... so far I've put away all our Christmas decorations (in the attic where they belong) and have started going through the random boxes and piles filled with paperwork that seem to have accumulated between Labor Day (when we have our annual barbeque) and Christmas.  (Yes, I will admit that in order to present a lovely, clean and organized looking home, I go through our house and clean the "public viewing" areas by throwing everything in a box that I don't need immediate access to.  Don't judge me.)

M.O. Signature Binder - Photo courtesy of  seejanework.com
As I go through all of these papers, I'm sorting them into my newly developed Project Binder.  What's this you ask?  Well ... it's a lovely purple binder that was neglected for oh, 2 years that I had sitting on my bookshelf and decided to use along with the box of page protectors and package of dividers that were there even longer.  I love these binders ... cute inside pattern, pretty purple color and a little cut out to easily pull off the shelf.  Since I have umpteen hobbies and interests, I divvied the sections into the following:  Scrapbooking, Knitting, Cooking & Baking, Quilting/Sewing and General Projects.  After I sorted through most of my paperwork I slipped my printouts of projects, patterns and ideas into the page protectors.  Now instead of trying to remember if I printed something, archived it in emails or simply just haven't thought of it in a while it'll all be in one place.  

After that mess was organized, why not continue?  While my niece and husband played his new Batman Wii game that he got for Christmas, I emptied out our 2 front hall closets ... the surprise storage area for my quilting and sewing projects. Oy vey.  I have quite the little stash going.  I went through my fabric for a couple of upcoming projects that I need to get working on ... and the rest of the closet contents are still sitting on the floor in our front hallway.  (Luckily we don't have visitors coming through the front door in the next couple of days.)  

Here's where the muddling through comes in ... the hubby is sick, we're expecting anywhere close to a foot of snow tomorrow ... which means that I'm hoping so very very much that it will snow so badly that I will justifiably have to call out from work.  If that happens ... then I'll be able to attack the mess in the front hall and be done with it.  Once that's done, please don't worry - I'll have plenty more to organize.  Namely the boxes that have the "organized" crap in it that I've sorted through.

I have to say ... after proof reading this, I realize how pathetic this little organizational feat sounds ... but it makes me happy, so I'll live with accepting that! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

This weekend ...

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I think this weekend may be it.  I want to go through our house room by room and list (here's where I wish I had a little mini recorder, but I guess I could leave myself a voice mail, huh?) everything that I want done or thrown out or moved or SOMETHING in every room.

Ambitious? Yes.  Will the hubs think I'm nuts?  Of course.  (What else is new?) ... But on my quest to be committed this year (not institutionalized, mind you) .... I need a really good and reasonable plan of action.  I think one room a month isn't a bad idea.  

Now, it's off to bed ... there's supposedly a snow storm coming in NY ... as per the lines at the grocery store (and the weather report).  I'll believe it when I see it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcoming 2011 with open arms

It's not that 2010 was a bad year ... it just was, if you know what I mean.  Come December, I felt like I had been sideswiped by a moving truck ... Christmas came out of no where, and I was probably the most unprepared for it that I've ever been.  Forget about no time - I didn't even know what weekend it was most weeks!

Anyway ...  it's over, all we have to do is put the boxes of Christmas stuff  back in the attic and life will be back to normal ... which brings us to 2011.

As I'm sure many of you have seen in blog-land, Ali Edwards had started this little phenomenon called One Little Word.  Thinking about my life, the year to come and what my plans for it are ... coming up with one little word that epitomizes this for me.  I've "done" this for the past couple of years ... thinking long and hard about a word and it's meaning for me and my intentions ... then, I forget about it until I start seeing it come up around December.

This year though, I'm trying again.  Call this word self-inspired ... but my 2011 word is:


–noun  1. the act of committing.  2.the state of being committed.  3. the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.  4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.  5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.  
(Definitions 6 - 12 weren't all that applicable, so I nixed them ... who needs talk of being committed to an institution so early in the year anyway?) 
Here's a couple of reasons why I chose it ... I'm usually the go-to girl for everything and everyone.   I stress (I call it stress, but really it's just some small fretting) about what I'm going to make for dinner - not for me ... but for my husband, who let's be honest here, couldn't really care if it was hot dogs with french fries or a roasted chicken with all the trimmings (meaning he's just thankful I cook our meals and loves whatever I put in front of him).  I make sure I call my mom (remember ... we live in a 2 family house together) to find out if she needs something from the store if I'm going because (gasp!) what if I actually came home and she needed a box of cereal because in 2 days she was going to be out?  (You see where I'm going here, right?)  Like a good percentage of women all around the world, I worry about and prioritize everyone and everything but me.  There are so many things that I have said I wanted to do, make or go to that just don't happen.  Granted, there are times that I just don't *feel* like going to do said things, but there are also times where I think that it's more important to go run errands, clean or do something that someone has asked me to because my just somehow isn't as important.  I change my plans before the hat is even dropped if it'll make someone else's life easier. 

I also know that for myself I try to take on way too many things.  It's just part of my personality.  I look at things and think "oh, I could make that!" and then they get filed away in my emails (all 2,000 of them somehow sitting in my in-box ... thank God for g-mail!) and forgotten about until I find myself searching for something else. 
This year, I'm going to stop doing that.  I'm going to commit to doing the things that I want.  To finishing projects that I say "oh, I'll do that Saturday" and then I'm somehow doing something else that is no where near what I wanted to be doing and the project is still undone 6 months later.  I'm not going to feel guilty about saying "No" and I'm going to give into some of my guilty pleasures ... like curling up on the couch and finishing a book in a day - just because that's what I wanted to do.  I'm committing myself to being a better manager of my time; of letting go of the DVR (hubby, if you're reading this ... it'll be okay ... I promise ... I won't abandon all our shows) and moving myself into my craft room to CREATE.  I'm so happy when I accomplish these things - and I don't know why I don't carve out the time to do it more often.  

How am I doing all of this?  With baby steps ... and I think organization.  This morning I pulled out a binder, some page protectors, a lined pad and some dividers and made myself a Project Binder.  I'm tired of having all these papers around or emails linking myself to projects that once archived away, I hardly ever look at again.  I think seeing these ideas will prompt me to act on them more.  At least, that's my hope.  It'll also be a fun way for me to kind of keep track of all that I can accomplish.  As to the guilt ... I know that I'm the only one that puts this on myself ... and the only cure for that is to stop doing it to myself.  No one's standards or expectations are as high as the ones that I put upon myself, so I just need to learn to loosen up a little and let myself enjoy the days and moments as they come.

What about you?  What is your "One Little Word" and how are you going to go about living it?

~ B

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Week in the Life

So I've tried the 365 daily.

I've even tried A Week in the Life probably the first or second time Ali Edwards did it.

I don't do well with structure in my personal (read: my very own) life.  With the hubby there's a bit more success ... when it's just me? Well, other things take over.

In my usual ass-backwards fashion, I decide on the ride home from work tonight to participate in this:
No idea what I'll be structuring it as ... but that's okay.  It'll be reality, and that apparently is a good thing!  Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Celebrating 50 years together

Today we celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  Nothing huge - just family ... but it was terrific.  I was the "coordinator" for everything.  My parents didn't want any of us to go to the expense of throwing them a party ... so they gave the party, and I handled the rest.  I'm not exactly sure how I managed to pull it all off, but everything came together. 

My sister made them a DVD with pictures from the family through the years, which they absolutely loved.  We had pictures of them placed around the house, along with their wedding album, which everyone loved looking through.  As part of their gift I'll be making them a scrapbook of the party.  We asked everyone to write a little note wishing them well ... and we also took video of everyone doing the same.  (That should be interesting to edit, knowing some family members .... )

My parents have been through ups & downs, like any couple after a long period of time together ... but they have taught me how to stick with it.  The fact that you may not like your spouse every single day, but you will always love them.  How to keep a family strong, roll with the punches and know what to make important and what to dismiss as insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

These 2 are amazing people.  Committed to each other through thick and thin ... and there have been both!  I can only hope to have my marriage stand the test of time as well and for as long as theirs has.

Amazing when you think about it ... all because my mother went to buy car wax at Pep Boy's ..... all because my father's boss suggested that he go help her after work.   All because two people fell in love .....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How is it April ... and why do I miss my knitting class?

As of tomorrow ... it's APRIL people!  When did this happen?  And why does it seem like 2010 is FLYING by already?  Maybe the fact that i wasn't working in 2009 factors into the "this year feels like forever" category.

So as I mentioned, I've been knitting along like a good little knitter (contrary to said knitting teacher's opinions ... ) and I'm really enjoying it.  I love some of the yarns ... and well, that has lead me to purchase some pastel-like yarn with which I have no inkling of what to make.  My poor goddaughter, Norah will most likely be gifted these little creations, because let's face it - who else can pull off multi-colored pastel items like nobody's business but a 6 month old adorable little girl?

I think I pulled about 6 different possibilites ... but here again - I find myself hindering myself.  I refuse to buy a knitting pattern when I know there are so many cute ones out there available for free ... but I have neither the time nor the patience to sift through them to see if I can find exactly what I want.

Then what I want has to be something with instructions I can understand since I don't have another class till next Tuesday.  (Easter break and all that ... )

As to my hat ... The band looks fabulous.  I have started and ripped out and restarted the actual hat part about 4 times now and I'm just thinking that I will have to get it ready to restart once again for Tuesday night.  This activity should amuse my husband because the ripping out part usually happens right next to him while we're watching TV and he doesn't realize it until I start re-rolling the yarn.  The poor boy.

Easter on the other hand .... is SUNDAY! (I feel like a monster truck commercial ... Sunday SUNDAY SUNDAY ... )  Totally came up on me unexpectedly and well ... we're joint-hosting again with my parents (I do the majority of the cooking and they insist on providing the food ... which works for me) ... so it'll be a busy Friday - Sunday morning. 

Two weeks later, we're having a 50th anniversary party for my parents - nothing huge, but sill around 20 - 25 people and I want to make sure it's special, memorable and perfect for them.  Note to self ... get on top of that project!    

I did try and find a slew of pictures to make an album for them with ... but no such luck.  Not really a lot of photos of the two of them together throughout the early years.  I think my sister is making a photo-collage disc ... so we'll see what that winds up to be.  Maybe it'll be a post-party gift to them with all the pictures I can make sure get taken at the actual party.  (Yeah, that sounds like a better idea!)

That's it for my little update right now.  I'm off to make meatloaf & mashed potatoes for dinner.  Hopefully it'll be done in time! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Long time, no blog ...

It kinda stinks that I can automatically tell that I haven't blogged in 18 days.  Made my husband yell at me.  (Not yell yell ... just "What do you mean you haven't blogged?" yell.  (Thanks honey.  You're supposed to remind me BEFORE that long passes!)

So what have I been up to since March 1st? Trying to re-acclimate myself to being a working girl.  I have been forgetting that I don't have as much time as I used to to get things done ... and that I have a daily obligation to do work at work.  (Strange concept, huh?)  So besides discovering that my new boss is a secret paper hoarder that I am having weekly interventions with ... I also signed up for a knitting class and have been working away on that quilt I keep talking about.  Oh ... yeah - and we can't forget I've actually been having a pretty busy social life too.  (Well, busy for my standards.)

The knitting ...

I've been wanting to take a knitting class for well over a year now.  I blame my cousin, Lynn for this.  She has been knitting for a couple of years now - and brings these beautiful projects to work on when she visits from Massachusetts for the occasional weekend.  Enabler, I say.  So one weekend, we went to my local yarn store where I found the most beautiful multi-color merino wool yarn.  It had purples, maroons, blues ... just such a pretty blend ... so I got it.  

I made my very first scarf.  Love the scarf.  Get compliments on it constantly. I had (so I thought) the basics down.  I kept an eye out for the newsletter for the shop, and they had some beginner classes.  WAY too out of my price range.  Just couldn't justify the cost for 3 "beginner" classes anyway.  So ... I waited.  And waited.  Then .... just as I started my job, I get the flyer for our local school district's Adult Ed courses.  I hemmed and hawed about it for over a week, then signed up just a few days before the first class.  8 weeks ... 1 night per week ... $30.  I couldn't go wrong!  So now, Tuesdays are my knitting nights with two other ladies and the sweet older woman that teaches.  The same sweet, older woman that looked at the other beginner knitter watching her cast on, and said "You'll be a good knitter." and then looked at me casting on and said "You'll be okay."  Talk about a motivator!  

My name is Beverly and I like to prove people wrong.   

What am I knitting, you ask?  I decided to be ambitious and try to make this beautiful hat from a free pattern I found online here ... isn't it pretty?    So after much nightly amusement of hearing me muffle my cursing on my end of the couch ... I am now just about half-way through the little braid-looking band on the bottom of the hat.  How the heck I'm supposed to make the top of the hat, I have no idea ... but I'll muddle through with some actual cursing and figure it all out.  And by George, it'll be the best damn hat in the class! ;)

The quilt ... 
For whatever reason, it's feeling like this quilt is taking forever.  A few miscalculations on the amount of borders & backing I needed wasted some time as I tried going back to the store thinking that they'd have it in stock, then having to go online and re-order.  Thankfully my friends' mom isn't in an all-fire rush to get it!  (Maybe that's the real reason I don't have a fire under me to finish it?)  Hopefully it'll be worth the wait when I give it to her.  (I'm crazily aiming for the 28th when I'm going down to visit my friend.)

And that, my lovely blog readers, is what I've been up to!  What about you?  Been doing anything fun?