Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tyler Update

Thank you for the suggestion in the comments re: Soft Paws. I'll look into it. If it will save my woodwork and the herd can stand it, it may be worth the effort of slipping them onto 90 individual claws... *shock* no, wait—they only destroy with the fronts, right? 50 claws, then.

You can see why I might hesitate on this, though it is a very worthwhile suggestion. The idea of wrangling five cats, let alone gluing on 50 claw covers is daunting! Especially since the note says, "If you can trim your cat's claws, you can apply Soft Paws." Ummm... I can... WHEN they allow it. (I see they didn't add the disclaimer "without losing an arm".)

The fun thing is, I could actually color-code my cats.

Yeah, I know. Bring on the limiting beliefs already. ;-)

Tyler is doing better. He successfully peed several times on the utility room floor. I didn't reprimand him (because that would be wrong, he's only using the floor because he associates the box with discomfort). Instead, I praised him for peeing and cleaned it up. When I observed him assuming the squat position on the freshly-cleaned tile, I picked him up and stuck him in the box mid-squat and petted and praised him while he stayed there. I told him that he did a good job peeing on the tile, and that if he can pee on the tile, he can also pee in the box, that it's not the box causing discomfort, it's inside him, so let's pee in the box. He peed a little in the box. Much praise.

Poor little guy.

Well, I'd best get to the store for my milk and lottery tickets. My usual routine is to do this on Tuesdays and Fridays, but with the weather reporting an impending storm and up to 8 inches of white annoyance, I'd best be proactive and do it while the roads are still passable. (It hasn't started yet, but procrastination is not my friend, is it?)


Hothouse Cats

Good news, Tyler is fine.

I may have forgotten to mention there was a day or so I wasn't sure if he was. Tyler is my "delicate" cat. He is prone to developing crystals in his urine, which can lead to blockages and that is not good. Because of him, a couple of years ago, the vet recommended the entire herd be upgraded to Science Diet C/D, aka Very Expensive Crunchies (VEC). I'll do anything for my animals.

Until things started getting a little, shall we say, tight around here? "Very temporary cash flow issue" (VTCFI) is the term I've heard the LoAer's use as a way to be truthful about the situation at the present moment without attracting more of it to them. Well, with the estate closing delay and my procrastination regarding preparing my house to sell, I've found myself in a VTCFI and opted to downgrade them slightly.


Sorry, Tyler, my bad.

Unfortunately, there are no medications I can give him. It's not a disease, it's a syndrome. No one is sure of the exact cause, but the treatment is purely dietary. This is something I understand completely, having a horse that is much the same (sugar in sweet feed and grass leads to lameness). After a day or so of observing a very frustrated cat visit all the litter boxes, I knew I could avoid the vet no longer.

Thankfully, he isn't blocked yet (but was trying to be), his bladder was empty and probably just irritated from the crystals. But he is spending the next week isolated from the other cats only to prevent him from eating the "Junk Food" Crunchies (they're not that bad!) and so I can monitor the box. I'm happy to report that he peed all over the utility room floor as a protest against being isolated. He is a very social cat. (He did finally rediscover his love affair with the catbox. And he has his own private bag of VEC.)

He's temporarily housed in the utility room (between the family room where he usually lives and the kitchen). The bathroom wasn't working out for him. That's where every cat in recovery has stayed since the dawn of time. But the door no longer latches. This is something I found out at 5:00 AM when I was awakened by what sounded like loose cat exploring the house.

It was indeed loose cat exploring the house. After trying unsuccessfully to rig it so the door would stay shut (while he stayed in the utility room), I realized he had made himself a nest among the comforters to be laundered—and that he was finally quiet and content. So I relocated him out there. (Why fight it?)

You may be asking, why are the cats sequestered from the rest of the house? Two words: woodwork and claws (OK, three words: fur. Wait: four—antiques. No, five: irreplaceable breakable things). This is not MY house yet. It's my Mother's. It was built in 1960. The woodwork is original. The couch in the living room is leather. At my house, I was less conscientious about it—not much woodwork, the doorjambs were "fake" woodgrain, and they had lots of carpet to claw (along with the side of my non-leather couch). My bad again. I didn't train them well. But I may need to sell this house someday, and the less repair the better. They've already taken one of the doorjambs in the family room down to the paneling. Even with a 6-foot cat tree to demolish.

Don't worry, he's not imprisoned all alone all day. When I go out for TV and cat time, I let him join us. I have to take up all the crunchies, though, and monitor the litter boxes. Tonight he was funny. He must've been completely exhausted from the vet visit and the stress of the new digs because he passed out on the sofa, sleeping like he'd hiked ten miles uphill both ways. Poor guy.

The vet says once he's straightened out (in about a week meaning he's using the box and producing normally), I can tinker with his diet and try a couple of the better brand pet store foods that others have found to work pretty well. Some cats can deal, others can't. The vet said Tyler might be one of the ones who needs the best of the foods. *sigh*

Oh, and that'll be Somewhat More Affordable Brand LITE. He got weighed.

18.03 lbs.

The vet said he needs to lose four pounds.

No wonder I'm having a VTCFI. I'm trying to feed 80 pounds of cat (that's all five).

Off to bed now...


Monday, January 28, 2008

Habitual Messages, Grey's, and Horrorscopes

Which Grey's Anatomy Character Are You?

Created by BuddyTV

Of course. Who else would I be?

And in other news... (my notes in this color)

Weekly Horoscope
For the week starting 28 January 2008
Horoscope courtesy of Kathy Cooper © 2007 Uranian Nights

On Tuesday Venus forms a helpful link to Saturn which could put you in a public place giving a speech that is about a topic very dear to your heart.
No idea what they're talking about. Unless they mean blogging.

On Friday Venus forms a close link to Jupiter which could see you either being proposed to or actually getting married.
Oh. Really. Funny how my horoscope has been saying this for the past YEAR, and I have yet to see a proposal and since I'm not dating anyone and nobody's even on the remote horizon visible through a telescope, somehow this seems rather far fetched. I'm laughing.

On Sunday Mercury forms a close link to Neptune (as it did on 23 January) in your sector of wills, legacies, the goods of the deceased, loans, your partner’s income or any other shared resource. Take care if you have to sign anything that involves any of the above issues as otherwise you may be inadvertently swindled out of your belongings. There may be a mystery or confusion over the passing of someone dear to you that may remain unsolved for a long period of time.
Oy frikken vey! I thought this sounded familiar. The "swindled" part showed up last week, too. I heeded the warning for that Wednesday. Luckily, no contracts of any sort arrived—nothing happened, in fact, so I assumed I was good to go, belongings intact. I'll be super careful this week, too, since I'm definitely riding that sector. Wonder what the mystery over the passing part is all about? Do they mean my horse Wildflower that died in 2005? I don't know how she got hurt. It's a mystery. If anyone knew, they weren't talking. It has to be that, because there isn't any mystery as to why my parents died.

All rightie. Now I'll revisit a previous concept. I woke up thinking about my Mother, and how she lived her life, and what she said as habit. From this I garnered quite the epiphany. It's funny, because I already knew this, but it didn't hit home until today when I viewed it in reference to her life. The details aren't important, but it points to self-fulfilling prophecies of the most mundane type. Oh, all right, one example. My Mother used to say "Oh, I'm so tired, I need to go lie down and rest for awhile."

Seems innocuous, right?

Let it be known that my Mother practically "rested" her life away. I realized I'm in danger of doing the same. Not resting so much, but rather, not doing as much as I could be doing. And the source of it lies in the simple, mundane things that float through my brain and casually slide out of my mouth in conversation.

There are certain phrases we utter that imply "lack". In the world of the LoA, what we focus on, we get more of. If we focus on having, we get more. If we focus on not having, or lacking, we get more lack. The key phrases are:

I'VE GOT TO (poor grammar aside)

* I HAVE TO is on the list but I HAVE is an exception because I HAVE is a positive affirmation

There are additional phrases that, while sounding positive, include a possibility of doubt:

Anything that is prefaced by one of these phrases is automatically aligned with LACK.

Think about that for a moment.

I'm so tired, I need to lie down and rest = I am affirming my exhaustion, and lacking the rest
I need a job = I am lacking a job
I need more money = I am lacking more money
I need a nap = I am lacking a nap
I need to lose weight = I am lacking in the losing weight department
I need to go to the gym = I'm lacking gym time
I have to clean the house = I am lacking cleaning the house
I should go to the store = I am lacking going to the store
I hope I find a job soon = I'm positive about getting a job soon, because I lack one, but I'm not completely sure about finding one

If these phrases are aligned with LACK, and if what we focus on is what we get more of... then what are we setting ourselves up for by using these phrases? And they are tossed around so casually we don't even notice!

My challenge today—and I invite anyone who is interested to feel free to join me—is to be hyper aware of what I'm thinking and saying, watching for these phrases and when I catch myself thinking or saying them, to immediately replace and reframe the sentence as such:

If I think or say:

I am replacing it with:
I AM IN THE PROCESS OF (which indicates it is already happening)
I "DO" where "DO" is an action verb (eg I CLEAN the house, I DRIVE a Dodge Ram 3500)

If I think or say:

I am replacing it with:

Here are the sentences reframed:
I'm so tired, I need to lie down and rest = I am well-rested, I feel great
I need a job = I am in the process of finding a job
I need more money = I have plenty of money/I am in the process of receiving more money
I need a nap = I am full of energy
I need to lose weight = I am in the process of losing weight
I need to go to the gym = I am going to the gym
I have to clean the house = I am cleaning the house/I have decided that I am cleaning the house/I am in the process of... and so on
I should go to the store = I am going to the store
I hope I find a job soon = I am certain that I'll find a job/I know I'll find a job

This isn't about repeating positive affirmations, aligning yourself with grand visions of your future, or making enormous changes in your life that seem impossible now. This is about changing the habitual messages you send yourself every moment of every day. It's very small, but far more significant than you might think. By changing these small things, greater changes can take place.

I'm up for it. Are you? If so, try it for a day or two and post a comment about the experience.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Wow, I Got Nuthin'



About all I could tell you is that I decided to take the luxury provided to me as a member of the Workforce Liberation Society and spend the day meditating.

No, not sleeping.

Really! Honestly! Meditating! Or rather, "cleaning" in Ho'oponopono terminology. I also sort of did a hypnotic regression back to my birth time to see if any issues might surface. You know, the ones holding me back, stunting my progress and success.

The results are far too detailed to go into on the blog (and personal), but I will say that quite a few hidden issues surfaced, all were cleaned, I only nodded off a couple of times (to be expected when sitting there chanting to yourself) but never to a fully asleep/dreaming stage, and I did this from noon to 5:00. That qualifies as "all day", doesn't it? All afternoon, anyway.

I suspect I will have to do a bit of "maintenance" cleaning on these issues from time to time as I doubt one session would get them all up and out. But I feel... strange (from being in a heightened state for so long), very rested, connected to something but disconnected from this world.

You know how sometimes you get quick glimpses of the past? Maybe you have a fleeting recall of the way you once felt that's triggered by, say, a certain type of weather or a scent or something and it triggers a memory, but it flits by so fast you don't have time to catch it? Today I caught them all. The interesting thing is that they didn't just flit off, they stayed long enough for me to become fully immersed in my past "selves" of this life (childhood, teenage) during different timeframes, and to enable me to get a better examination of who I was back then. Some of it I brought forward into the present. It's funny but I feel more "complete" right now. Like I "remembered" parts of me that need to be here that somehow were forgotten.

I will share this. The underlying sense of sadness that has hovered around me for my entire life turned out to belong to someone else. It isn't, nor was it ever, truly mine. For 44 years I've been "entrusted with" (so to speak) the burden of heartbreak felt by my birth mother over losing me. It took this day's meditation/regression to get me back to a time when that first developed. I've since shed that, because it wasn't my load to carry. Do I feel 1,000 times lighter?

You betcha.

It's a blessing to know that the only sadness left is authentically mine, and it's the grief I should rightly have over losing my parents. But I am no longer transporting another's grief alongside of it.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Camera Ready!

FINALLY! My camera is being friendly again. I replaced the rechargeable alkaline batteries the manual swears I can use with a set of lithium batteries, and all appears to be well now. (Must be the lithium—good for moody machinery.)

And so I bring you—knitblogger goodness! Look what Stick surprised me with! YES! My very own set of Bad Word Stitch Markers! I couldn't believe it. How cool is that? I feel special. Thank you, Stick! :-) There are a couple of close-ups on Flickr.

Stick's Cussing Stitchmarkers!

I'm happy to report that more progress has been made on the org front. Oooh, is that a new couch? Why, no—it's a slip cover! Who knew a slip cover could make such a difference?

Whoo! A New Couch?

Yucko Sofabed

The lone set of curtains from my old living room got tossed in the dryer (no heat) with a dryer sheet to remove the cat hair (it worked!) and are rehung. I swapped the white wicker table for the rolling cart, putting the serger that was on the cart elsewhere and putting the little TV and DVD burner on the cart. Easier to roll out of the way, takes up less room. I'm not fond of the wicker thing anyway. Maybe it can go in the deck room when it is restored to being a useable room again.

Now this room, the Den, is all cozy and warm with rich reds and dark browns. Happy. Still stuff to sort through, but it's moving along.

Oh, I think my pot pie is done...

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Clearance

For those who prefer more concise posts, I hereby apologize in advance for another rendition of Diarrhea of the Mouth.

Do you find it irritating when you're delayed in the grocery store line by the person ahead of you? Yesterday (Friday actually), I was in line in the 20 items or less queue at W*l-M*rt. I had my debit card out and was ready to go. In fact, I had already unloaded my stuff from the cart onto the counter. The line appeared to be moving quickly and the cashier was just about finished with the guy in front of me.

Then it happened.

I didn't catch the exact words, but I gathered that either the form of currency with which he'd intended to pay was from another planet and not useable at WM, or he didn't have quite enough on him to complete his purchase. He "just" had to run out to the car and get it.

You know where that leaves me. And the people falling in line behind me.


This is the time when you dare not leave the line for a shorter line because you'll find yourself behind the granny who pays for 50 individual cans of catfood with pennies. I stuck it out.

While we all stood there motionless, on hold, in a freeze-frame, I reflected on my latest readings into the world of the LoA, "Zero Limits" by my favorite guru, Joe Vitale. It's about an updated version of the ancient Hawaiian Ho'oponopono system. In brief, the theory is that each of us is 100% responsible for absolutely everything and everyone that graces our lives. We've created it. It's reminiscent of basic psychological understanding: if we see something in others that bothers us, it's because it's a reflection of a quality we ourselves hold. So if it really pisses you off when Susie gossips about her neighbors, well... better check yourself.

Ho'oponopono agrees with this but goes a step further: Ho'oponopono allows us to clean or clear those things and heal them—but not by healing others. Instead, we heal ourselves and by doing so, achieve complete freedom from the past. I can't begin to explain it here. Joe Vitale does a much better job in Zero Limits—more info on this website. From what I understand so far, the philosophy is very complex, and what I know so far is just tip of the iceberg graspings. But I've learned a basic clearing technique that can be done anywhere.

All I do is realize that the problem that is surfacing in someone else or because of someone else relates back to me, and ask myself "What's going on inside of me that is causing this problem to manifest in him/her?"

Then, I clear it using the four phrases:
  • I love you
  • I'm sorry
  • Please forgive me
  • Thank you
Yeah. It's that easy.

So I'm in WM, stalled out just like that commercial (the one with Herbie Hancock's song "Rockit" in it), and it occurred to me to ask myself, OK, what's going on in ME that produced this delay, this problem with the guy in front of me?

Oh, delays, disorganization, lack of preparedness, replied my brain absent-mindedly.

I shot back (silently), "But, I am prepared!" I had my card out and everything, ready to go.

As I thought that, the cashier suddenly stood up straight, broke out of the trance, cancelled the other guy's transaction and started ringing up my purchases.


It gets better.

Today, I was in B*g L*ts, looking for a second taboret for my music supplies (best picture I could find, much cheaper at BL) and happened to be nosing around in housewares, distracted by the throw pillows. A rather frantic but well-dressed woman (not your typical BL clientele) rushed down the aisle past me. She excused herself and said she was looking for her keys that she must've laid down somewhere. I thought, "bummer" and went on about my shopping. We crossed paths a couple more times—she was still looking for her keys. An announcement came over the intercom about it. I weaved up and down the aisles shopping and every so often she'd whiz past again, with various people in tow.

By now, I'd migrated over to curtains. Suddenly, the woman appeared in front of me again and stopped, looking around. Her entire demeanor was one of being hopelessly lost, frustrated and desperate. I inquired, "did you say you lost your keys?" She confirmed it. I asked more questions to see if I could help her locate them. I just felt like I had to help her somehow. (I mean, she kept crossing my path—there had to be a reason for it.)

She said she'd been rummaging through the curtains trying to find a specific set. She'd laid her keys down somewhere and couldn't understand how they'd be so hard to find because they were on a big chain and there were lots of them (kind of like the wad dangling from my belt loop—I have them on a carabiner and lock it to my belt loop rather than chance them falling from my pocket).

Then she kind of lost it. (Understandable.)

She moaned, "And I'm from [town about an hour from here], and that's my only set of car keys, and all I have is a skeleton key to get into my house, and I'm totally screwed, and I just knew I shouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning!" She turned slightly as if to go but paused when I asked what the keys looked like. (My mind was going about 90 MPH by now, noting the emotions, the limiting beliefs and negative thinking while trying to subsequently process the lost keys issue AND figure out why this is being presented to me.)

She described her keys before adding that she was probably jumping to conclusions, but there had been a couple of giggling teenage girls nearby, and what if they'd taken her keys for a joke? (OK, I'm thinking, what's going on with this woman that she's assuming the worst about teenagers? Interesting... because it's probably unrelated to the keys...) They'd gone to the Toy section. They were no longer in the store. The woman didn't know what to think. I ask if she'd looked in Toys, on the off chance they had taken them and dropped them there. She mumbled No... and reiterated that she'd been looking at curtains and bedding. She pulled out a few curtain bins to look behind them, then shrugged and departed down yet another aisle.

I decided it wouldn't hurt to look in Toys, abandoned my cart in the middle of the aisle and wandered over. A few minutes of poking around turned up nothing. I was thinking "if I were a lost set of keys, where might I be?" Then it hit me.


What is going on inside of ME that brought this woman and her problemS (plural) to my feet? Because if she's in front of me having a problem, it's relating back to something going on inside of me, according to Ho'oponopono.

I didn't wait for an answer this time. I said to myself, "Well, whatever it is, I'm sorry, I love you, please forgive me, thank you". I repeated it in my head several times and imagined having keys in my hand as I wandered from Toys back to curtains.

Don't ask me why I did this. I meant to snag my cart, give up the hunt, and resume my shopping. Instead, I found myself on auto-pilot. Bypassing my cart, I walked right to the end of the aisle which was also the near back corner of the store where the comforters were. This happened in a blur before I was even conscious of it: I arrived at the end of the aisle. I stopped. My gaze was cast downward, and it felt like a magnet pulling my eyes toward something. Before I was consciously aware of doing so, my hand was reaching for...

...the keys.

They were on the bottom shelf in the back corner beside some comforters. We'd probably both walked past them a dozen times without seeing them.

It was totally bizarre. It was like I "knew" where they were—once I stopped looking for them.

I raised my hand skyward in victory, keys clenched firmly, and said out loud "AHA!!!" then "THANK YOU!" and strode quickly toward the front of the store. I encountered an employee halfway there and said "I HAVE THE KEYS!" The message was relayed. The woman was in the parking lot. They retrieved her. She was beyond relieved. I was ecstatic that the keys were found. She was so happy she hugged me. We chatted for a minute or two before going on about our lives.

I don't know if she learned anything from this, but I did.

First of all, it blew my mind how unbelievably fast I was able to manifest things or put myself in alignment with things simply by stopping momentarily to "clear".

Secondly, I learned about desperate obsession repelling the very thing you want and how letting go draws it to you. Not just from the key search. From the story she told me after they were found. She was, as I often am, "on a mission". The curtains she wanted for her Victorian home (lots of windows, 84" length required) had been discontinued and she was going to every BL in NW Ohio trying to scarf up enough to outfit her home. She just needed ONE more set. (This explained why she was at a BL an hour away.)

I understood this, because I've done it. I just "have to have/can't live without" [insert item] and spend hours online hunting it down, or—I have a good one, yarn that JoAnn's discontinued that I'd decided I had to have a sweater out of in Tunisian Crochet, so I bought 22 balls of it from five different stores... all of which have been languishing in the plastic tub since 2006. In fact, the reason I was in Pillows to begin with... allow me to divert for a moment.

I myself have one set of curtains I love that were in my old home. I wanted to find a second set and use them in my bedroom. But they've been absent from T*rget for years now. Online turned up nothing. I almost agonized myself into a "mission" like this lady's—then I realized that the room I just painted has only one window, needs new curtains... except they clash with the sofabed. Well, said my brain, maybe you can find a slipcover or something at BL or WM that will coordinate.

I went to BL for the rolling storage cart. The first thing I laid eyes on was a display for slipcovers at a ridiculously low price. In exactly the colors of my curtains. And the right size. *ahem* So then I decided to see if Pillows had anything to match...

See? I almost set myself up for a Desperate Gotta Have It Mission Impossible. I might indeed have one day found the second set after much agony and a lot of wasted search time. Instead, I let go of the outcome (having THOSE curtains in my bedroom), saw it as a new opportunity to use them elsewhere, and... that opened the way to attract the slipcover which, I might add, totally rejuvenated the room, especially in combination with the new pillow I found at BL and the one I already had that coordinates.

I'll admit I divulged a little of my interest in the LoA to the now-beaming woman because I was utterly mind-blown that it had worked. Not sure she got it, though she did share a story about a co-worker and a lost earring, and how everyone looked and looked and couldn't find it, and after everyone gave up and went back to their offices, this woman happened to glance down and...

You guessed it.

I dunno. Maybe I planted a seed.

Thirdly, in the BL Lost Keys incident, I changed one thing about the clearing tactic. What I've been doing until today was asking my question, then waiting for the answer and analyzing the core issue, THEN clearing it. Today, I asked, and rather than waiting to see WHAT I was clearing, I just went ahead and cleared.

I figure it works because:
  • asking the question "What is it in me that is manifesting this problem?" connects with the core issue and allows it to rise to the surface of my consciousness
  • by saying "whatever it is", I directed the clearing toward the surfacing issue
  • once it has surfaced, it can be cleared with the four Ho'oponopono phrases
  • it doesn't matter if I know what's being cleared
I don't have to know what I'm clearing, I just have to know that I'm clearing it.

I don't have to know how things will manifest, I just have to know that it IS manifesting.

This stuff is pretty wild, don'tcha think?

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Aligning with Constructivism

OMG this is a long post.

So I've figured out a couple of things I can do right now in my current life to be more aligned with the life of my vision.
  • I can change my attitude
  • I can change my thoughts
  • I can shuffle my schedule and get out of this rut
First, the attitude. More happy. Years ago, life felt magical. In my head, I was already a rock star. I was physically in this world, but mentally, I had my rock star life overlaid like a sheet of vellum. I felt like anything was possible. (I'm still wondering what happened to change that, and if it was sudden as in one event or just a gradual dissipation.) The key here is the "magical" feeling. Making dinner to suit me, for example, used to bring great pleasure, because I'd create offbeat dishes or stirfries or curries—stuff my Mother would never cook (let alone eat)—and I would be puttering around in my kitchen humming to myself before sitting down and enjoying my meal with great satisfaction.

Last night, out of hunger and food boredom, I fell back onto one of my rut foods—nachos. Except I make them with blue chips, and I add soy "burger" crumbles and a green & red pepper and onion veggie blend on top. It's pretty good. It's nothing special, but it's a good fall-back meal. I had a moment. It was like a time-shift. I completely forgot the events of the past couple of years and was focused on sprinkling the cheese and I almost smiled to myself thinking about my nachos, almost hummed merrily—

—and I stopped myself from feeling good.

In the next heartbeat, I froze, because I realized that I'd just semi-subconsciously stopped myself from allowing a POSITIVE feeling to rise to the surface.

I prevented myself from feeling good.

Isn't that awful?

That lead to spending a good bit of time analyzing the reasons why I didn't think I should allow myself to feel good over something as mundane as making nachos. Sparing the details. Let's just say I realized I need an attitude adjustment, and that I have to consciously focus on allowing those happy feelings that WANT to come up to do so unrestrained.

Next, the thoughts. Most of us automatically think negatively without really trying—we're conditioned that way. Everywhere you turn, on TV, in the news, there are sensationalized stories of war, economic crisis, rising gas prices, accidents, diseases, and so on, and we are constantly barraged with a message of how difficult life is. There are good messages to be found, but because they seem to originate from the religious channels and include words such as "God" and "faith", a lot of people opt not to listen to them, which is fine. I'm just trying to point out the irony.

I'm just as challenged as the rest of us when it comes to what I allow to pass through my grey matter. I am every bit as susceptible to the barrage. What I'm doing is being more conscious of what's trying to get in, as well as what's trying to get out. I'm choosing the positive thoughts. It takes practice and I slip up sometimes, but I'm trying. It's a habitual thought process, and habits take time to change.

Lastly, the schedule. When I was a kid, my parents handled everything, giving me ample free time to play and pursue my own interests. Then one day they decided I needed more responsibility (which is fine). But suddenly, the things I wanted to do became tainted. They became unnecessary. They were things that you do later, after the "important" things are finished.

I would sit down to get engrossed in a really interesting book, and my Mother would say, "why don't you do something constructive for awhile rather than sit around reading all day?" Practicing guitar for a half hour to be prepared for my weekly lesson was acceptable and encouraged, but sitting there noodling for hours on end was non-productive and I should really be doing "something else". The dichotomy here is that my Mother railed on about doing the important things first, but sent a mixed message that you need to stop and have a little fun, too.

OK, which is it?

Well, I learned. I learned to do the important things first, and once they are finished, THEN I can sit down and design that sock, play with music software, dye some yarn, play with my horses... once everything else is done.

Twenty years later and I am STILL waiting for the day when the Important Things are Done and I can be free to focus on MY stuff. Someday, I'll learn to program Flash. Someday, I'll finish my album. Someday... when all the other stuff is done. When the house is clean. Or I get my masters (which I'm not sure I want). Or I move to a different house. Or...

The bottom line is, I get to the end of the day and there is still stuff. So I don't feel like I'm "allowed" to turn my attention to something that isn't "constructive" or "productive" or "important". I have a tendency towards obsessive workaholism balanced with a rebellion of doing nothing (with all the accompanying resentment) and have been known to work well past the reasonable endpoint (say 12 hours to touch up paint) even though I know I'm pushing it and I'm just going to wake up angry with myself the next day.

Mother told me part one: "Finish the important things first". But she forgot to tell me part two: Exactly when, pray tell, will I know that all the important things are finished?

At what point can I honestly and rightfully say, NOW it's OK to do my thing?

Maybe she didn't know, either. Reflecting back on her life, I think she needed the answer, too.

So here's what I've decided. My time, my LIFE, is like my job. I have so many hours in which to do stuff. I'm accountable to myself for how I use this time. I've allotted 7 hours for sleep/rest (which is about what I need), and 2 hours for eating/personal care (or extra sleep), leaving 15 hours that are up to me to fill.

I've decided to break up that 15 hours into 3-hour spans. I've decided that I am absolutely prohibited from focusing on the Mass Organization Project (ie "the Important Thing") for more than six hours in one day, and that if the tasks for the day are of a more physically-demanding nature, then I am limited to three hours total. I'm starting out on an 18-hour-per-week ration at first (3 hours per day).

I establish a list of tasks to be completed within that time span (realistically), set a start and end time, and then I go. When the time is up, I must stop working and go on to do MY stuff. If the task I'm on at the end will only take 15 minutes or less to complete and be done, I can allow it, but I must make up for it by shortening the work time the following day. So if I worked 3 hours and 15 minutes today, I work 2 hours and 45 minutes tomorrow (physical labor).

I can also move hours around if I know I'm going to be doing something that requires more time such as painting a room, or if I want to take a day off from it completely I just add time to another day. Basically, I have 18 total hours per week in which I am "allowed" to do Important Things and I can shift them around as desired as long as I stay within the 18-hour limit. The 18-hour limit will increase to 36 hours once I've been successful for three weeks (21 days to a new habit).

In addition, it's a six-day week. Sundays are verboten. NO WORK ON SUNDAY. On Sunday, I focus purely on FUN. It's not a religious thing, it's a throwback to how I lived in LA when I was going to VIT: five days of focus on music studies. Friday nights out on the town. Saturday, run errands, do laundry, grocery, etc. Saturday night, out on the town. Sunday: go to the 3 for 3 movie theatre and sit through three movies in a row for three bucks (complete downtime). Later on, I replaced this with spending Sunday afternoon at the Bodhi Tree bookstore or at Venice Beach or something equally fun. I was much more balanced then.

True, it doesn't seem like I'll be devoting a large portion of my day to this enormous task when I should be working like mad to get it done. It might seem like I'm taking an awful lot of free time, but that's precisely the point. I need to do something drastic like this in order to break my unhealthy workaholic tendency and rebuild it to a normal level of Important Things Work balanced against Fun/Me-time. I have to swing the pendulum the opposite way.

By prohibiting myself from going past six hours on easy stuff (sorting papers, yarn, clothes, basic light household chores) or three hours on heavy stuff (loading up all those tubs, OMG, from the living room and taking them to the storage unit, installing toilets, etc), I'm using reverse psychology to motivate me to work. I'm not ALLOWED to work. Hmm. Suddenly, it's more appealing. Plus, there's a time limit. Having that stopping point relieves me of the guilt I feel that it's not all done yet.

How is it going so far? Today was the first day. I'm amazed. I got my entire list done. It would have been three hours, but I made a couple of mistakes. But that's OK, because it made me aware of some of my pitfalls—things I wasn't conscious of doing that have made it take longer for me to do stuff in the past. (It took 4.5 hours and yes, I'm shortening tomorrow's time.)

For example, I had some kitchen cleanup duties in there. All I had to do was take out the recycling and trash, put the dishes in the dishwasher, wash the dirty pots and pans (by hand because they stay nicer that way), wipe off the counters and stove, and put away a couple of pizza pans. Well, I got all that done in about 15 minutes (faster than I anticipated). Then I made a mistake. Instead of stopping when I completed the tasks on my list, I added/created a new duty that wasn't necessary at the time but "while I was there"... I saw greasy grimy gunk on the range hood that was attracting fuzz, so I decided to clean IT, too, as well as the backsplash. That cost me a full half hour!

While doing a quick-sort of the tubs in the living room to make sure it was all stuff to be stored, I came across an issue of Time from 1978. OK, why? Why did Mom save it? Nothing was marked. I should have just laughed and pitched it, right? Wrong. I sat down and paged through it. It was fascinating. There were cigarette ads, booze ads, and a beautiful full-color four-page ad for the 1979 Pinto. Yep. You guessed it. Not only did I save it for its historic magnificence, but I lost a good 20 minutes of work time poring over that thing. I got thoroughly distracted by something that I didn't need to be focusing on at the time.

I also got hungry and stopped to eat a cookie. And I forgot to factor in catbox duty.

However... I made SERIOUS progress in the living room, and I am now down about six bins' worth of crap. All because rather than looking at it as "*sigh* yuck, I have to spend all day sorting this crap in the living room it's so overwhelming I can't take it", I set a time limit and by golly—I did it! The best thing is that rather than feeling like I'd failed to "finish" yet again, I felt immensely accomplished. I felt like it was absolutely OK to stop when I did. It's liberating, I'll tell ya, liberating!

I'm almost—dare I say it—excited about tomorrow's work period. It's like a game: how much can I accomplish in three hours? The reward being that once the three hours is up, I'm free to do ANYTHING I want to.

That's the next challenge. Teaching myself that it's OK to do something for me. I'll probably have to set up a time-limit/time-frame for that as well. Such as, I have three hours for work, then three hours for music, or three hours to spin, or sew, or read, or play games—but it HAS to be something other than being on the computer (unless it's to compose music), Second Life, watching TV—other than what I usually fall into by default. I have to make a conscious choice to do something completely "non-constructive". (Mother's definition of "constructive" meant that it had a purpose toward the important things; she got mad once when I suggested that since I was sewing, I was constructing a garment, therefore I was doing something constructive. I love you, Mom. In spite of it all.)

Now I'm going to get off this computer (after I finish catching up on blogs) and hit the hay.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yet Another Time Suck

White Dwarf the Game

If you start playing that game, you will not want to stop. Just sayin'.

I'll tell ya, the horoscope (to the right) is dead-on today. I just wanna escape the outside world. There is zero motivation for organizing. It's one of those days when I look around and simply cannot fathom how I'll ever get it done. Temporary mindsetback, I know. It'll pass.

So what did I do today (so far)?

I had breakfast.

I did some serious thinking (my morning ritual, when I have my revelations).

I relocated my board games to another room and I put away the knitting books that were on the dining room table. (Microscopic progress *sigh*)

Lately I hate Sudoku because I've managed to eff up three games in a row.

I decided to play myself in a game (boardgame) of UpWords. I won. I also lost.

I considered playing myself a (board) game of Empire Builder but got distracted by an errand and the computer.

I took my books back to the library (the ones that were overdue) and dropped off the electric/water bill payment.

I nosed around in Second Life for about 15 minutes until it logged me out mid-flight. *shrug* Didn't really want to be there, just wanted to accept my friend's Friendship Offer.

Um... forgot to buy camera batteries which was one of the reasons I ventured out. *sigh* I suspect it's not the batteries, though. I suspect it has to do with the position of the battery compartment near the place where I hold it. Maybe something is loose. Or maybe it IS the batteries. Maybe it doesn't like rechargeables as well as the manual says it will.

I think I'm going to go design me a sock. Oh. It's Thursday, isn't it? YAY! Grey's is on in a bit! Finally. A reason to live today. (Do you ever have days like that or is that the "blessing" of being temporarily liberated from the workforce?)


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Are you sitting down? Knitting content!

Not only that, but actual living, breathing, FOs!!!

And, please, say a few prayers for my Pentax camera's batteries. They have taken ill and despite being defibrillated several times, they are lying near death in the charger but it's not looking good (hence I did not get to photograph the MOST IMPORTANT THING!!! but I will get batteries when I'm out tomorrow and rectify that right away... note to self, photograph most important things first, just in case).

First up—Waving Lace Socks (from Favorite Socks) in Lorna's Laces Gold Hill colorway. They grew a bit in the soaking. I hope they still fit. I have small feet and nary the courage to try them on just yet. For now, I'm admiring their beauty.

Waving Lace Socks DONE!

Next, we have Embossed Leaves (also from Favorite Socks—I LOVE THIS BOOK!) in Araucania Ranco (yarn details on Ravelry, apologies to those who aren't yet Ravelers). This yarn... amazing. Gorgeous. Easy to knit with. I don't know what it does when washed yet—hopefully they stay true to size. If not, I have another cake of a brown colorway. I consider them done. The toe needs kitchnered (not the method on the pattern but my preference) and the ends woven, but they are done enough to show here. More pix on my Flicker Socks page.

Embossed Leaves Socks DONE!

This is the one submission I managed to get for the Biggest Bunny Thumpers Contest over at KitKatKnits' blog. This is Tyler's foot. Zander (not pictured) is the Biggest of All Possible Cats around here but the danged battery on my camera keeps throwing a hissy fit and pretending like it's depleted of all energy when it was clearly just reloaded with fresh powerful batteries five minutes earlier. Zander's BT is a good 5.25 inches long.

Tyler, who is the second largest of my herd of five, measured in at a measly 4.5 inches or so. Hard to tell, he moved and he is very grumbly about having his feet touched.

Tyler's Thumpers

As evident by the look he's giving me in this photo. And that's not even his evil look. You should see the Kill The Vacuum Cleaner Look.

Tyler Portrait

Translation: either "I CAN HAZ UR FACE FOR MAH DINNER?" or "U TOUCHA DA FOOT I EATA UR FACE". Take your pick.

And finally, there has been earnest progress on the organization front. You'll find (if interested) a new set of updated photos on my Flickr account (just click the pix, it'll take you there).

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Irreverent Emissions

Oh, I am so going to Heck for this but how could I resist something that made me laugh so hard I nearly stopped breathing? Yes. I am 12 years old. It's confirmed.


The Band Meme

The Band Meme

(By way of FiberQat via Cindy of Knit For Joy)

You are about to have your own band's CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter. It's fun and requires no thought at all. Go to......

1. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. if it will allow you to copy and paste it

Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post a URL to the result as a comment in this post. Also, pass it along on your own blog, because it’s more amusing that way.

CITADEL MALL "Only the Prepared Mind"

A stunning debut by this thought-provoking prog rock quintet hailing from the Midwest. CITADEL MALL's swirling melodies and esoteric lyrics engulf the listener in eargasms from head to toe. Title cut "Only the Prepared Mind" is an arena anthem for Law of Attractionists across the land. Pick up this album today! On sale now at B*rnes & N*ble. Free poster to the first 500 buyers!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Like I Need Another Life


Major time-suck alert.

I just discovered Second Life.


All they gotta do is combine SL with Ravelry and I will be lost forever in the annals of cyberspace. Although... in cyberspace, things are already organized.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Update on the Org

I don't yet have any "finished" rooms, but I do have areas that are beginning to show real hope. I can see my dining room table now. I'm clearing spots. I'm generating a large pile of empty boxes. I can walk through the living room again. I can actually get to my yarn closet. Books are back on shelves. Stuff is finding a home.

My method is a bit unorthodox compared to Mr. Walsh's because he would have me sort and trash first, organize/put away later. Instead, I've decided what my "zones" are (as he suggests) then moving all associated stuff into the zones (this is the unorthodox part). Then, as I figure out where everything associated with that area needs to go, I'm sorting. It makes sense to me. If I have X amount of space for this stuff, and Y amount of stuff, I know I either am blessed because I have more space than stuff (which has happened, surprisingly) or I know I need to examine my stuff and analyze if there is anything that really can just go.

I think it's working for me because now I have all of my stuff in one place/one house (storage unit not withstanding, but that's stuff that doesn't get factored in at this point). I can group the bulk of related things together and really see WHAT I have. I think that's better (for me). Rather than trying to decide what to keep or toss in one category when this portion is in one room and that portion is in another, I just categorize, relocate, THEN sort. Plus it's easier for me to deal with one category at a time, rather than trying to sort a ROOM containing many categories.

I kind of need to have it all in front of me in one big pile so I know what I have. That way, I can deal with it all at once. Better for my focus (I really do think I'm ADD). In order to organize all the kitchen utensils, for example, I need to have every utensil visible so I can group according to type then see how many of each I have and isolate the ones I really want and/or would seriously need.

Example: Today I opened a box and found two more can openers (one manual, one electric), bringing the total to five. Five seems to be my magic number. Five cats. Five TVs. Five computer monitors—two are in use. I know there's another "five" in there that I just mentioned in another post, but you get the idea. The point is, I seem to not realize I already have something (on some occasions) or I wind up with extras via inheritance, and I need to see ALL of them at once to choose what to keep.

It's working.

I do a little bit every day. Some days I do more. Some days I do less. But I still do something. There were a couple of days this past week where it occupied the majority of my day. Today, however, I lightened up. It's Sunday! Day of rest, right? I emptied the box of kitchen stuff that had been sitting on the dining table in this photo (white box with "Relay" in blue):


The majority of that stuff on the table is GONE. Relocated to its associated area, thrown out, and put away.

I also cleared off the coffee table in the living room in this next photo. The lamp stayed. The blankets were put in the clear plastic zippered sheet storage thingie (sitting next to them on the table) and moved to the hall closet (they are "car blankets", they go in the car in case I get stranded in a blizzard), the ratty ripped slippers (black and green) were thrown out (derrr), the plastic garment bags were moved, and Dad's shirt was added to the Parental Storage Tubs (it still smells like him).


Small efforts, but efforts nonetheless. I'll take more photos this week to show the progress.

It seems that I look at this as sort of like my "day job" right now. I report to it daily and spend several hours at it. I never thought it would get done, but... it's getting done. The more I do, the easier it gets to continue doing it.

Also coming up this week, I got a surprise in the mail this week (a good one) from a fellow knitblogger that deserves some attention! I couldn't believe it. It's so fun! More on that in an upcoming post (need light for good photos).

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Let the Organizing Games Begin

*** EDITED: Updated photo link 01.11.08 ***

All right. You remember this, right?

Grab yourself a snack and a bev and head on over to my Flicker photo show. Over 60 photos of the horror that has been my domain for a year and a half. Barf bags and fainting couches to be provided by the viewee.

I'll post updates as the cleanup mission continues. I've been making headway. Bookshelves have been relocated, and books are being replaced. It's a process. It's also horrifying to look at objectively and see just how chaotic it's been. How on earth have I stood this for so long? I feel like I've been wearing blinders.

One thing in my favor: at least I have visible pathways. It's just too much stuff in one place. But it's certainly fixable. (I've seen far worse.)

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Knitting? What Knitting?

Fine. OK.

Knitting Content
I finished the fourth dishcloth. You didn't even know I was knitting dishcloths, didja? Well, I am. I got hooked on the Ballband pattern—oh wait, that makes five, sorry, Xmas gifted—then the Mason Dixon ones, the mitered and the ninepatch (too tired to link, just google it) and it was a great excuse to learn a new technique, do some "mindless" knitting (sorta but not really) and use up all that Peaches & Cream. Where on EARTH—no, HOW on Earth—did I come to have so much of that stuff?

Well, anyway. Worked on that at Insanknitty last night. YES I finally made it and glad I did, too, because Karen, SarahLou and Becky were there! OtherKaren was noticeably absent. A good time was had by all, and I pet some of the softest yarn ever (whose name I've purposely blanked out on so as to avoid the temptation).

I've also hesitantly begun on the first Caitlin, using stash Ack (Caron Simply Soft, yes, I know) and so far so good. The only thing is, it's worsted and the pattern calls for Gems Sport. Then again, perhaps it will save me in the end, because it's likely to come out larger than the size I'm doing, meaning the grandniece can have room to grow into it.

In addition, I've decided that the reason I've put off formally starting my CPH (yes, I am the Admin for the KAL, why do you ask?) is because I find the yarn I chose to be quite daunting since it is a self-patterning (I think) brown and teal yarn (Di.Ve Autunno):


I want the striping to not be so striped (like on the right) and be more of a graduated tone (like on the left) and couldn't figure out how to do it and match with the fronts...

So I'm putting off doing a sweater in the Di.Ve Autunno for now. Instead, I'm going to do it in the pretty Old Sage Lamb's Pride Single Ply Worsted that has been sitting in my stash for (I shit you not) 15 years (am I really *that* old?). I'd taken a beginning knitting class, and felt confident enough to try my first sweater. Bought the yarn, pattern, started it, got about six inches into the back... and there it sat.

The problem? The pattern I'd chosen, which looked terrifying to me at first because it involved reading a *gasp* chart, became yawningly boring after the first repeat because it was nothing but knits and purls. It's a nice pattern, really—stockinette background broken up by an all-over texture of a couple rows of maybe 12 purls (garter rows), kind of a waffle effect. I just couldn't stand to knit it. I'm much happier doing finger gymnastics like slip stitches and cables in between miles of stockinette.

But first, I had to make sure I'd have enough yarn. Nine skeins? Not likely. While at Yarn Haven last night, I checked the stash of Lamb's Pride and can you believe it? Not only do they have the color, but there is no need for dyelot because the scrap I brought matched the current Old Sage PERFECTLY. I figure I'll start the sweater, see how far a skein goes, and buy more in a few weeks.

Other Stuff
Today was taken over by horses—time for their feetie trims. I wish it had been as warm as it was yesterday, but I'm not complaining. It was still much nicer than the typical January trim (usually I freeze to death). The horses look great, all fuzzy and whiskery. It occurred to me that Cheerios is 11 now and Shaveya is 10. I've been a horse owner for seven years come February. Wow.

The best news is, Shaveya is doing so well that she is officially ready to be ridden again. Granted, we'll start off slowly—maybe 10 or 15 minutes at a walk only—but as long as she's fine the next day after that, she's good to go. Of course, I won't be hopping on right away—we need to get our relationship up to par first. I've been concentrating on Cheerios while she healed. Now, I have TWO horses to play with, and they have opposite personalities. This should be a fun year!

In Manifestation News, I decided to try an experiment. I conjured up the image of something to see how long it takes to manifest into my life. I'm talking something small and simple. I decided I want to manifest (not to have, just to see) a bright pink VW Bug with a yellow 70's daisy (a big honkin' flower) on the "hood" (I know, the trunk is in front in those things). It doesn't have to be an actual automobile. It can be a toy, an image in advertising, on a t-shirt, whatever, even a cartoon, as long as it is a bright pink VW Bug car bearing a big honkin' yellow daisy flower on the, er, hood.

I focused on my image over breakfast.

On the drive to the barn, I passed...

A bright shiny RED VW bug.

On the way in, I passed...

Another bright shiny RED VW bug.

I rounded a corner for home, and passed...


In town running errands, I spied a second yellow bug, but this one had a ragtop.

THEN I saw a SILVER VW bug.

But no bright pink with yellow daisy yet.


My initial reaction: Dangit! That one's red! It's supposed to be pink! What am I doing wrong?

My second reaction: Well, wait a minute. I did manifest a VW Bug. And pink is the dilution of red. So at least I'm aligned with VW Bug energy. So... does this mean it's a sign I'm on the right track?

My third reaction: Maybe this is why things don't seem to manifest quite right in my life just yet. Something is blocking me from manifesting it properly. I can manifest "VW Bug", I can even manifest exactly the color of yellow paint the flower should be, and pink is close to red, but... I have yet to manifest "pink" "yellow" "VW Bug" AND "flower" all at once.

Things that make you go Hmmmmmmmm.

I'll let you know when I see my bug.

******UPDATED TO ADD******
Is it cheating that I broke down and searched the Interwebs? Or...

The Daisy People

...or, is it a lesson? I put it out there, then sort of sat back and waited for it to appear. Kept my awareness up, but wasn't searching obsessively for pink daisy-covered Bugs. I got Bugs, close, but no cigar.

Then I got impatient, and decided to search. I found several examples close enough to pass for my vision. The toy/bank in the second and third photo is what I envisioned, except swap the colors in the daisy.

What is the lesson? (It's a big one.)

In the first instance, I was hoping to see one. But not expecting.

In the second instance, I went out looking for it with great determination, I was Googling/searching, so I expected to find some results pretty similar to what I was looking for.

I knew that there had to be at least one pink VW bug bearing a yellow and white daisy on the "hood" somewhere in this big old world and that someone had to have photographed it and posted it online. Might take some digging, but I knew I'd turn up something eventually IF I searched the right terms. My first search was just for the bug. When I added "image", I narrowed it down and got better results. But mostly...

I realize that MY ATTITUDE was different. Hoping didn't produce the right results. Expecting, then going out and consciously and intentionally looking for it, brought me within 99%.

I must go watch Project Runway and dwell on this lesson for a bit because I know that if I can figure out how to translate it into my real life, rather than Google searches, I can start to manifest things more easily.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Momentary Pause

OK, just a quick'un because I'm off to Insanknitty tonight (high winds be darned).

The Organizing Project
There will be photos soon. I charged the batteries, fired up the Pentax, and took Honesty Shots of the whole house (except the cat room). I've batch-resized them and will upload to Flickr later. (The internet connection has been spotty today because of the wind.) Then I'll post a couple of teasers and a link to the Album of Shame.

However, they are "old" photos now. More stuff has been moved. Things are falling into place (rather than falling on me as I pass by). There is progress.


Visualizations, Etc.
In Joe Vitale's book "The Key: The Missing Secret to Attracting Anything You Want", there is an exercise where you have a conversation with your body, or rather, you sit down and listen to what it has to tell you. Details in the book, but I wanted to jot down my experience. I did a test with that last night. My assumption was that I'd hear first from my knees or ankles or maybe my hands.


First to speak was my breathing area. I noticed how tight it felt. I realized it felt normal for it to feel this way. I let it speak. It told me that it was tight and breathing shallowly like it had been doing for two years because it was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Basically, I realized I've been holding my breath for two years straight. I inquired further. My body said that the other shoe always drops, something bad always happens, and especially after a string of days where it's nothing but good, it's like it's time.


I realized the source of this was because in 2006, I laid there every night afraid to sleep for fear I wouldn't hear the phone ring. I laid there afraid I'd miss that horrible 6 AM call that was bound to come (and did on several occasions). I started holding my breath out of fearful anticipation.

Well, I set my body straight on this. I reassured it that the worst was over—my parents were gone, there would be no more 6 AM phone calls and besides, the phone hardly rings anymore anyway, so relax. The other shoe doesn't have to drop. There IS no other shoe. Even if there is, we are perfectly capable of handling whatever comes our way. We (meaning me and my body) endured what IMHO is the worst possible experience one can have (loss of a spouse/child/parent) and gee, look how well we are doing on the other side—therefore we must have survived it, right? So relax—breathe deep, and expect GOOD things to happen.

You know, I feel much less tense today, and my breathing is deeper. Sometimes it tenses up, but I just keep reminding it, "good things, relax, good things".

That's all... time to be off.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Follow Up

The painting is finished, the blue tape removed and for once, it came off PERFECTLY (no bungled paint). I think there must've been something wrong with the paint at the old house because things chipped and flaked off too easily there. Oh well. Done with that house. Working on this one now. It's awesome. I LOVE IT!

It seems that for some reason my parents chose a very pale blue for the walls. It's noticeable now from the bathroom (which is light pink) looking out the door past the hall wall into the very pale yellowcream room. No wonder it looked like a cave! But now it's warm and cozy.

Danielle suggested I do the Clean Sweep while I have the chance. The only challenge is that I live in NW Ohio and it is January. While it was a balmy 63 today, it's damp, and it will be raining then snowing soon. Today is a fluke (a welcome one). Clean Sweeping will have to wait until spring... or even summer. I am garageless, basement-less, and otherwise space-challenged. So I'm doing the best I can with the puzzle moving.

I do plan to Clean Sweep the attic, two sheds, and the deck room come spring, though. Tools. It'll be nothing but tools.

Well, I must return to furniture moving...

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Deer Me

Duh. I forgot to post the MOST EXCITING THING(S)!

  1. Franklin is venturing into my radius! I might finally get to meet The Panopticon!

  2. Might not be nearly as exciting as Franklin, but Friday night around 3 AM I dislodged myself from the couch and cats to get a drink. This neighborhood is so safe that one can leave one's drapes open because nobody looks in. Imagine my terror when, from the corner of my eye, I caught a big shadow lurking in the driveway.

    I froze.

    I looked.

    A big dog?


    OMG, it's deer. As in, TWO deer. Placidly munching away at the grass peeking up through the snow near my driveway.

    I live in THE SUBURBS. We don't get their kind round these parts (unless they are already prepackaged or barbecued). I ran to get my camera. As mentioned in the previous post, the battery is deadish, so all I got was blur. There was a mini-herd of about five of them ambling down my street. I watched them for a bit. They seemed tame—rather, not too frightened by my presence (and my awe). I wish I'd thought to bring a horse cookie with me but they'd probably have just bolted and with all the picture windows around here, not a good idea. I wonder now if all those times the cats got really interested in what was going on outside was because there were deer in the yard?

    Nature is fascinating. But it worries me that they are in the burbs, because it means food is scarce in the woods.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Yay Paint

I did it, I started painting. No pictures, though. The battery on my camera has decided for some reason that it doesn't want to play anymore. Must remedy that. There must be a recharger around here somewhere, right?

Today's mission: do the "cut-in" part. I think that's what it's called—where you paint along the ceiling line, around the baseboards, wall outlets, doors, windows.

I did it. I fired up Alter Bridge "Blackbird" on the CD player, moved all the stuff to the middle of the room, vacuumed, taped, and painted the above-mentioned areas. Then it was time to shower and take in a movie with B and dinner out for a change, so I cleaned up and off we went.

We saw Enchanted. It's really cute. Of course McSteamy is one of the leads (he's awesome). There are a couple of too cute moments but there is a tone of self-deprecation that more than makes up for it. I love how Disney pokes fun at themselves with twisted send-ups of classic Disney moments. A few times the audience laughed uproariously. And Susan Sarandon's evil Queen Nerissa is not to be missed.

So the walls... I know it's just the outlining, but they look better already. I'm using Sherwin-Williams Harmony Interior Latex paint in Eggwhite, left over from the living room of my old house. Heck, I had nearly a full gallon—why waste it? Plus it has barely any odor—it's "GreenSure", aka environmentally friendly. Safe for baby's rooms. It covers beautifully and cleans up well, too. I love it. The Eggwhite color is a very pale creamy yellow—I picked it because it conjured up the image of a late afternoon sunbeam bouncing off of a creamy white wall. It's warm. Happy.

If I can get the battery working, I'll take a before and after so you can see the difference between the Eggwhite Semi-Gloss and the old bluish-white Flat paint. The blue-white is so depressing!!! Blech! Cold. Like ice in winter. I don't know how that color came to be on nearly every wall in this place when my Mother was an artist who loved color—all my sister and I can determine is that she could no longer see color well when her cataracts got that bad. She once mistook a lovely lilac scarf for brown. Hmm. Maybe it looked tan, the white?

Anyway, it's not going to be Ice White for long. It's already warming up the room because it reflects light. I'm looking forward to painting every room in the house. It needs life.

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Friday, January 04, 2008


I know. I'm probably doing it backwards, not the way Peter Walsh suggests. I'm thinking that deciding that now would be a good time to paint the Library/Guest Room isn't in keeping with his method.

If Pete had his way, I'd be doing the Trash Bag Tango™ (his concept) and eliminating uselessness first. If he had his way, painting would come last, I'm betting (stopped reading mid-book to formulate floor plans in FreeHand—less strain on the back than to move actual furniture).

Trouble is, I'm having a hard time doing it Pete's way, because I can't GET to the stuff I need to throw out. It's behind the stuff that needs to be relocated. So... since the Library is virtually void of furniture, and soon it will contain several bookcases loaded with published treasures... it makes sense to me to paint it NOW. THEN move the furniture and presently homeless books into the room.

Right? Then I'll be able to get to some of the trash and "useless" clutter.

I wonder how many times Ol' Pete has encountered someone with layers like this?

Probably all the time.

Only, they have trucks and friends and nice weather and basements, garages and lawns to drag stuff out onto. (Have you seen "Clean Sweep"?)

Are these excuses?


Maybe for me it feels better to have ONE room "done", even if it's the least cluttered of all. Maybe that gives me the motivation to keep going.

I'm feeling a tad frustrated tonight. I shouldn't. But I just wish I could wave a magic wand and have it ALL done. Have the things that know they aren't needed by me whisk themselves away to where they are needed (if done for, then please, have the decency to trash yourself). Have the furniture figure out how to play nice and share space in a way that makes sense to the way I live and have it move itself. Have the walls change color in the blink of an eye. Have the stuff that I have no idea what to do with (because it doesn't fall into a category other than Misc) figure out where it should live and then go live there.

Looking down the barrel of an enormous project like this takes it out of me.

Sorcerer's Apprentice, where are you when I need you?

Then again... I felt the same way when faced with clearing out and fixing up the other house for sale. Somehow that got done. I took a trip up there today to grab my leftover paint, read the water meter, and make sure the house was OK (it is) and I was surprised by how clean and nice it looks (after two weeks away from it).

So I know I can do it.

I just don't want to.

I mean, I want to, I just... don't want to.



Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pile Puzzles

Three days down, 363 to go. So far, so good. :-)

It's happening. The organization has commenced. FINALLY. Peter Walsh's book "It's All Too Much" is an eye-opener. Not just advising you to get tubs and pretty labels, it delves into the psychological reasons for holding onto items that turn into clutter. He can be a tad brutal with the honesty sometimes—but for serious hoarders and clutteraholics (like me), it's the antidote to staying stuck.

I've learned so much already. Now that I have a better understanding of WHY I haven't been able to part with stuff, it's easier to let go of a lot of it. I've also learned better ways of thinking about my ideal vision for my life and what the function of each room means to me.

For example: today it occurred to me that where I hang my coat and leave my tennis shoes doesn't work for me. Right now, Grandma's old coat tree sits in the dining room collecting coats, hats and my messenger bag. It's cluttery. For 46 years, coats, hats and scarves were put away in the coat closet in the living room. But I don't use the front door. I come and go via the back door. There is a huge closet in the utility room (where the back door is)—it's a clutter zone. Why has noone ever thought to put the coats THERE? It makes sense. EVERYONE uses the back door. Even my sister and nieces when they visit. Front door people are not as familiar to us. My bad solution was to position the coat tree halfway between the back and front doors.

By the end of the week, my frequent use coats, hats, etc will be stored in the UTILITY closet. (I already put up a mail and key rack out there. (Out of reach of burglars)

I never before thought about the logic of where coats live, I just followed the standard set by my parents.

Today, I consolidated my music gear. It suddenly made no sense, if I was interested in recording with Cubase on the computer AND on the VS2480 unit, to have them in separate rooms and have to move guitars back and forth. Why not have them all in one room? OK, I hadn't wanted to move the desk the VS2480 sits on from the room Rocker Boy had occupied (because it requires dismantling it somewhat then remantling it in the next room). Laziness.

Well, today, that's what I did. I moved the desk, moved the guitars, moved the equipment. Now everything is in this room. File transfer should be easier, too. Oh, you ask, but what about the fibery goodness?

The yarn stays in the closet in the Music Offie (it's the only one big enough to store it all until I destash). The loom, which can fold up even when warped, will live in what was Rocker Boy's room—aka the third bedroom off the dining room, now known as the Guest Room/Library/Sewing Room. Yup. All the bookcases except one will go in there. All the books except the computer software and music books will go in there. The sewing machine and serger go in there which makes sense since I use the buffet counter in the kitchen (you'd have to see it to understand) as a cutting/layout table and the walk is shorter.

It's starting to come together. Granted, it's not according to Peter's F.A.S.T. plan which I'm supposed to do first (basically clear out the lazy clutter aka trash THEN hit the hard stuff), but it makes too much sense not to do. Then I can better deal with the other stuff.

Only trouble is, it's like that puzzle. The one where there is one space and eight squares and you have to move all the squares around to get them in order. I don't know the name of it. I move one pile out to make room for the incoming pile, then that pile moves into a space left vacant by the pile I shifted to make room for it... so there are new jumblings about, which stress me slightly. However, I understand that it'll look worse before it looks better, and I'm focused on the end result.

I think painting the rooms is out of the question for now—can't get to the walls...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cutest Kid's Sweater Ever

Is this not the most adorable little sweater* you've ever seen?

It's CAITLIN from KnitWhits. I saw it today and I absolutely MUST knit this for my grand-nieces. One for each. Different colors.

*Photo borrowed from KnitWhits

Trouble is, which colors? I doubt I'll use the recommended yarn (Gems Sport Weight) because the yarn requirements (three colors, around 900-1200 yards) makes it a bit pricey for something that will be the recipient of barf, boogers and bodily fluids. So that may or may not limit my choices.

I do like Encore, and they make a DK weight, but I'm looking for more color selection than they currently offer. I'm not ready to cast on just yet, so there is time to research my options. Since the sweaters are intended for toddlers, perhaps this occasion calls for the wonders of Ack. That's right. Ack-crylic. Because SimplySoft comes in a lot of nice colors and it's washable.

Because I'm crazy like that, and I have PhotoShop and know how to use it (ha ha), I played with the color options and came up with this:

Row 1, L to R
1-1 original scheme, rose/pink/teal
1-2 original reversed (the rose should match the darker pink in the original)
1-3 rose/pink/green #1
1-4 rose/pink/green #2 (reversed)
Row 2
2-1 baby blues/pink
2-2 baby blues/rose
2-3 lilac/green #1
2-4 lilac/green #2 (reversed)
Row 3 The Xmas Combos!
3-1 red/green/canary
3-2 green/canary/red
3-3 red/greens
3-4 white/red/green
Row 4
4-1 baby blues/pale yellow
4-2 teals/cream
4-3 teals/violet
Row 5
5-1 violet/lilac/red
5-2 teal/gold/red

Keep in mind niece LU is of Chinese descent whereas niece KU is fair, blonde, and blue-eyed. I haven't decided whether I'm going for Xmas sweaters or sweaters in general. If I go Xmas, I'm leaning towards Xmas 3-3 for LU and 3-4 for KU. Otherwise... I'm kind of loving the lilac/green combos 2-3 and 2-4 and reversing them might mean more economical usage of yarn and the whole alike but different theory; OR... for KU (the blonde), either 4-1 or 4-2 but with cream instead of pale yellow (maybe? or is the pale yellow OK? keep it from being too boyish?) and for LU 4-3.

LU looks good in strong colors like red, yellow, purple and black. Somehow I can see 4-3 looking really good on her.

****brief pause****
And... I had another inspiration, checked the color cards again, found that Gems comes in Cherry Red and Shamrock (which might look better than Bright Red and Fern Green) and did these:

For LU:

For KU (blonde):

Then again, they might be too close in color for a harried, hurried Mom to be able to tell the difference when getting the kids dressed in the morning. Maybe I'd (she'd) be better off if I made them drastically different. In which case, I think it'll be...

For LU:

For KU:

Don't you just love it when I think out loud? ;-)

The Truth Emerges
Come to think of it... maybe what this is really all about is that I just really want to make it for myself. Except it doesn't come in big people sizes. *pout*

Anyway, CUTE SWEATER. Love the color change cables and the vest effect. Really, really cute. (I'd make mine longer, though, like suit length so it would be less boxy on me. And I think I'd go with some sort of wine/tan combo, or maybe the lilac/green...)

Maybe like this? (Cloning feature, how I love thee...)

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!


Good thing we made it. Because 2007? It is SO last year.

I called a friend in Minnesota around 12:30 AM my time, forgetting about the time difference. When he said "it's only 11:30 here" I couldn't help myself. I said "Dude, you are stuck in the past!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAH! (Too much bubbly for me.)

Hope you all made it safely home from your travels (if you traveled) or enjoyed a nice evening if you stayed in like I did.

Peace out...