Simple Sunday on Monday…

I got my flu shot on Friday and exactly 12 hours later( right around midnight) got hit with some side effects. Achey, headache ,general malaise so I didn’t swim on Saturday. Yesterday I did feel somewhat better. The shot was the extra strength for over 65 yo so maybe that’s why. Then for some strange reason my left foot starting up again and it was very painful to walk. Remember in 2016 when I just finished the 5 years of “Just Keep Walking Project” and I had gotten hairline fractures on the top of my foot from the repetitive motion. It’s like that. But what’s weird is in Tahoe we were walking over 3 miles a day and I had no problem. I used a bunch of arnica on it yesterday and this morning it feels somewhat better. Geez, getting old is not fun when you’ve got these issues popping up.

I made a new recipe last night ,Chicken Katsu. I saw it in the NYT and it looked good. Basically you pound chicken thin then coat with panko and fry. I guess what makes it katsu is the sauce which is described as Japanese BBQ sauce. I made chicken ones and tofu ones. The tofu ones were delicious. I did coleslaw on the side with a ginger dressing and some organic jasmine rice. Quite yummy.

This week I have a dental cleaning and that’s it for appts. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Thursday. With it being dark earlier till DLS, I may start to go just a tad later. Usually I’m there in the pool by 7:15am, so I might try to make it 7:30 or so.

IT WAS A MIRACLE!!!! AH walker was NOT there this morning. It’s the first time in about 20 months he hasn’t been there. I do have to say though he is staying out of our way and moving to his right when he passes us with his dog. We are just walking as usual and not trying to walk single file when he passes. So I do give him credit for that. But he’s still not using his flashlight in the dark and does pass us sometimes with us being surprised. The other day I saw he had his flashlight on over by the pond but when he came around the pond and saw our light he turned his off. ( passive aggressive anyone?) Oh well, he is not bothering us by walking into us anymore. Especially since now there are other people around and he’s more accountable then. All good, I’d say.

The laundry room has been almost completed. The shelves still need to go up and the one wall still needs some wood but it’s some tricky cuts at angles so I’m not sure when my son will get to it. At least the door is now back on and the new window in. It looks quite nice. I’ll try and get some photos up.

Also this week I need to take another car load to the thrift store. Honestly, I think decluttering just never ends and I do feel it’s like peeling layers of an onion. What used to seem important enough to keep is now headed to the Goodwill. I just keep going thru things and finding that I don’t need it anyone or my style has changed and it doesn’t fit it. Case in point, I have a number of very cool( to me) vintage 50’s lamps that I bought many years ago at an estate sale. One has a nice wood base and is curvy. But I took it out of the front room last year because I moved a different lamp there so it was out in the barn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the almost 10 years of decluttering and minimizing is don’t just store something thinking ‘someday’ you’ll want that again. Most likely you won’t. In addition if you get rid of it and find 5 years later you really want that item again, I’m sure ebay will have something that will be similar.

Even though I’ve simplified our house and barn( aka as the large storage area for my son’s things now), I don’t think I’ve reached that final point of being ‘done’. Maybe that doesn’t ever happen and that’s just life.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Most of my kitchen is streamlined and there’s not any decluttering but it is the biggest zone I have to clean that takes over an hour. Probably due to the stove, stove hood etc. Plus wiping down my jars takes time too. Since I don’t have a built in pantry, the Far Niente wine boxes I use that are under my stainless steel island work perfectly fine. My kitchen, even though it does need to be redone, works just fine for now.

I am the family curator.

I’m the one who goes thru 99% of our stuff to declutter and get rid of. Of course, I check with other family members about whether they want something or not. Other things that are in the realm of kitchen, misc, etc I often just put in the thrift store bag and be done with it.

Right now I’m back at getting rid of my Life magazines. I want to have just 2 bins of the best of Life. Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King assassination, Selma, moon walk, etc, you get the picture. I pulled 6 out to give to the cancer thrift. They are somewhat collectible.: 2 Beatles ones, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and a few others. i have to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

My son has been getting rid of old comics. For a while we were collecting all kinds from Superman to Justice League. But most just sit in a bin so what’s the point?

Most stuff isn’t worth my time to put on Ebay. Last week I had on a 1950’s slinky, and barkcloth from the 50s too. Lots of lookers but not one bid so I’m giving them to the thrift store instead of trying to relist. The barkcloth is a cool mid century pattern but not in colors I use anymore. Lots of yellows.

I think it’s a balance of what’s really worth keeping and what is just stuff lying around( or in closets, bins, storage areas, garages??

I was reading a really good article over at Food52 about visual clutter and that even when you’ve decluttered and things are pared down it might not be the amount of stuff but the effect of the visual stuff still left.. The person writing the article removed her container of utensils on her counter and put them in a drawer and she said she felt instantly more calm. So,it’s not so much about the amount of stuff( if you’ve decluttered) but the effect of the visual clutter on you of what’s left.

The article is written by Laura Fenton. She also says let FUNCTION be your guide. In other words , as she says, if all the shoes end up in your entryway instead of closets, then put a basket or something to hold the shoes in that area thus serving the function of the shoe dilema.

She has written a book that I think I will order from Amazon as I have liked all the articles she has written.

It’s a process, that’s for sure but I think in the end we all want our living spaces to reflect who we are and sometimes we need to just be the one to curate that space.

Friday things

It was a fairly frugal week with money things. I went to Safeway and spent @ $70 on groceries and at Trader Joe’s @ $40. That was just groceries. Wine purchased was $25 approx. I’m not sure what I’ll do next week. Costco is still out there as we need some things there like dishwasher pods, and some other non food things. But I’ll wait and see what’s on the menu, then decide. Actually I need to do an August menu.

I didn’t make the Ikea meatballs, shrimp/potstickers, or cobb salad. We had take out only once for Taco tree tacos. I like this planner I got off etsy. It has nice clean minimal look and could be used for Flylady too. when you look at my menu you can see the themes plainly. Pasta night, taco tuesdays, rice Sundays,pizza Fridays, soups, and BBQ’s. Actually with it being so hot his month I don’t think I fired up the Weber once.

I have most of August’s bills in except the UCD one which they send the notice in the mail around the 15th. Otherwise, everything else is in. Our PGE was a nice surprise at $239 and that’s with running window coolers all thru the month. I’m guess the BIG reason is we’ve been line drying laundry and not using the dryer which is 220 so that must the energy user. I may try to continue the line drying into the fall and maybe winter if I get a drying rack that’s big enough. The only problem is I dislike seeing laundry in the front room on clothes racks. I’ve done it before and it’s just messy looking. But normally our electric bill would be in high $300’s so it does make a difference.

Today, B is going to declutter the Karastan rug up to habitat for humanity. We’re not sure they will take something that old or big but it’s worth trying. If they don’t take it, I’ll try putting it on Craigs list for free.

I always find it fascinating that at one time ,even a few months ago, I would not have imagined getting rid of it but after unrolling it the other day it’s obvious it doesn’t fit in with any of our decor. Most of my front room is Heywood birch, greys and whites. So the karastan is tans, burgundies, navy blue and other colors.

This when we had it in the bedroom. You can see the color scheme. Anyway, I hope someone will love it as much as I did. ūüôā

Then I’m going to home depot to pick up some high gloss black paint. I’m going to paint the claw foot tub this weekend. I also ordered the garden gate so B can work on that.

BTW, his MRI did show some nerve stuff going on @ L 3 or 4. He hasn’t talked to the PC yet but the results were in his portal. It isn’t clear as to what’s to be done.

My labs came back in the normal range but it was a 3 point increase from 12.3 to 15.5 . I certainly hope this won’t be the trend as that means there is no remission except this very short period. I’m not going to worry about right now as there’s not much I can do anyway.

Further minimizing…

So, as you know I’ve been going thru more things and getting rid of more things. Sometimes hidden or just in a box or vintage suitcase in my case. I’ve also sold some Waldorf toys.

First off, a few miscellaneous.

So random things in the Heywood, nobody has used. The two candle holders are Hearth and Home and they were cute but they take a small candle and I generally never have them. The glass is probably my son’s but it hasn’t been used so it’s going. ( update, B said it was his from some trip to LOng beach and he didnt care).The hurricane top was because I bought 2 for when power went out and then I bought a spare top. Who knows when I’ll need that so it’s going. The pyrex is going because I have too many.

The Waldorf things include:

Goose girl, oak tree and pond with bridge.

That kangaroo and baby retail for $40.

Both of these sets I sold for $100. Ostheimer toys are all out of stock everywhere and very desirable. But they only took up room in my Heywood drawer so I’m glad that they are going to a good home with young children.

So what have I discovered? Getting rid of things and clearing any space feels great and opens up that space. Even if it’s only one or two things. I love space more than things.

Minimalism is certainly a journey as is decluttering. I think there is a point where it feels just right but I still have things to get rid of. It’s really layers of things and when I get to the next layer, things I didn’t see before, are more visible and I don’t care about them anymore.

Case in point. I bought an Instant Pot airfryer about 2 years ago, maybe 18 months. We had lots of fun with it the first 6 months and then slowly nobody wanted to get it out and use it. If we had a choice we used our toaster oven, which we love. ( Breville). So I decided to donate it and now it’s in the pile to get dropped off at Goodwill. That opens up that whole area under the Heywood. I don’t have anything in there at the moment and plan to only put something there if it fits and the space works.

The thing about decluttering is just start and then just keep going. Little by little, inch by inch, row by row….

More stuff gone!

I finished loading the boxes of stuff into my 2000 VW(Buggie) and corralled Barclay into coming with me to the appt for drop off at Cancer Thrift STore.

We ended up with 5 big boxes. Most of this stuff was of some value and I didn’t want to give it to Goodwill. At the Cancer Thrift it will stay local. In the boxes was all the Fiesta Ware dishes, bowls, cups and the red pitcher. I’d say maybe 30 pieces in all. Then the Malloware vintage melmac. That’s a full service setting for 6.Three stuffed animals: a Peter Rabbit, A Pooh Bear and another Teddy. A very nice vintage Pyrex bowl( red) in near perfect condition. The STar Trek stuff and I can’t remember half the stuff which means it was good for it to go.

I’m working on the Waldorf toys and have them on ebay. I’ve had some interest. We’ll see how it goes. I have gotten rid of all the Waldorf dolls previously because they are cloth and that won’t last. Most of the Ostheimer wooden animals I will keep as I like to use them as displays. They are my friends( the bunnies, foxes, cats, frogs etc.) I also have some children’s books I’m not sure yet how many I want to keep.

These are going on Ebay and are already sold.

After this round I’ll probably reassess and see where I am. I do have a bin of both kids Waldorf main lesson books and I want to get that down to 3-4 nice ones and some watercolor paintings.

I’m heading to Sacramento for my doctor appt now. I will update later.

Just got back and the good news is my kappa is 12.3 ,lambda is 9.99 and the ratio is better than last month at 1.24 So excellent news.

We decided I seea hi in 8 weeks( end of August). He thinks I’ll stay in remission quite a while which is reassuring.

A few more random thoughts on creating a minimalist home space.

I was still thinking about this yesterday, as we drove up to Tahoe! It was stunning up there and I shall post a blog about it tomorrow.

Keeping as many surfaces clear off things is essential. I keep my kitchen counters mostly clear. I have a toaster oven, a Britta water pitcher, and my kitchen aid mixer(in the corner) and that’s it. I work at it all day to clean up after I cook or do anything so it remains clear. If I put things on a side table, I limit it to 1-3 things. Such as on the side small dresser in the living room, I only keep the mini google play and lamp on it. In the bedroom, I keep the dresser clear except for a candle or infuser. Of course, there are times I use the dresser as a landing for things( like right now, I have mylar bags of flour) until I move them to their future location. Usually, I keep the dining room table clear except for my beeswax tapers, but right now I have fall items there too. A jar of fall flowers from the garden, some acorns, and the small pumpkins from the garden.

It’s absolutely true, that clutter attracts clutter. It’s a slippery slope of putting one thing on a counter and pretty soon there’s a pile:(

Have a designated place for everything. Also, know where you put things and as I like to say” where they live”. For instance, we have one drawer for batteries. That’s where they live. The same is true for dishes, pots, utensils, etc. It does make your life way simpler than trying to remember where you put something.

Keep like with like. It goes without saying, it just makes life easier to keep things that are similar together. I keep my office stuff( envelopes, pens, post-its, etc) all in one drawer.

Keep pictures on the walls to a minimum or designate one wall for art. Again, too much visual clutter is distracting. In my office room, I have one wall with our most colorful art. A Bob Dylan poster by Glasner, framed Grateful dead records, my favorite Star Trek Poster, and our Woodstock Life magazines. In other rooms, I try not to have a lot of art on the walls. When I did Feng Shui, one thing to always look at in art/wall items, is what message is it sending? Is it a weird picture of ancient relatives, art that is disturbing? It’s things like that to keep in mind. I remember one time doing a consultation with a woman who had very large framed photos of “old” relatives( like from the late 1800″s and early 1900s, all down her hall. It was very scary having those eyes watching every time she walked down her hall. I don’t think she ever took my recommendation, to take them down.

Finally, if you live in a small house, keep yours walls painted the same color( I use Benjamin Moore’s Simple White) to create a homogenous flow from room to room. It really does make a difference, as I can attest too. The onlyroom that is different is my daughters which is lovely light sage green( very wabi- sabi) and the bathroom which is a very pale grey blue, also very wabi sabi.

Everyone’s journey is different. The reasons you want to declutter and have a more minimalist home are different from mine. But do try is create a more simple clutter free space to enjoy, you will be happier for it.

Simple Sunday

Today is a gym day and B needs platelets but not blood so that is huge. ūüôāthankful-1081614_960_720

That makes it 14 days. The longest since he was diagnosed back in November. He starts the 4th cycle the first week of March so maybe we’ll see a better response. Let’s hope…

We’re in for rain again all week. Ugh… I can hardly stand it.¬† I guess they’re predicting flooding in the valley and low lying areas. We don’t have to worry that here but trees do fall over when the ground is saturated so…. let’s hope not. Our neighbor( who had the tree fall on the front of his house) has had a lot of work done already. All new electric box. Some inside work and actually he showed up with his son yesterday. So there’s still the construction that will have to happen but at least he has electricity now. I’d be worried about mold and wetness inside since the window was broken out and the roof was leaking.

This coming week is too heavily scheduled. He has labs and probably platelets Tuesday and Wednesday and then I have my oncology appt Thursday in Sacramento. I will be asking him about what numbers are we looking at for when I’d start treatment if it continues to go up. I’m guessing @ 100.¬† But we’ll see.

With rain all week there’s no outside time or gardening to do. The gardens and everything needs sprucing up. But it’ll have to wait. I was thinking of getting some pansies for the front door area but with the rain, it might be best to wait.

Not much going on in the decluttering. Things are all in good shape. I do have a small thrift store load (2 little bags) to drop off. Plus 2 bags of canning jars I really don’t need as I have way more than I need.

One thing I like to do in each zone as I start is to look around at what can be decluttered from that zone or isn’t functional anymore. So this week I’m in the living room zone which for us is also the dining area.¬† I think I could work on the bookcase some and stream line it a bit.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_350.jpg

 

 

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Definitely, need to move a few things and make it look tidier.

Dinner is Instant pot lemon chicken and asparagus!! I also made some rice in the IP for the week.

Simple Sunday

It is rainy, rainy and rainy.¬† The temperature is dropping too. My daughter is planning to work on Tuesday but I think the freeway will be closed and travel to Truckee unlikely.¬† I guess we’ll see.

Today B has platelets and I’m going to go to the gym.¬† This infusion goes relatively quickly.

We got quite a few applications from the Social worker to fill out for assistance such as PGE’s medical rate, handicap placard for when he’s going to the hospital and afterward and an American Cancer one that might have some assistance.¬† We’ll see how any or all of that goes. I’m still planning to do a GoFundme but just haven’t gotten around to it. Based on what the social worker said the month housing will be around $2000. Plus we will have to cover the expenses of the bone marrow retrieval( plane flight, hotels, etc). That’s if there’s a match.

Lots to consider and think about. But one day at a time and one foot in front of the other or just keep walking:)

This week is the kitchen zone and I may start that when I get home from town or I’ll start tomorrow.¬† One thing about simplifying and decluttering, cleaning goes much faster when you have less. I’m still loving the open shelves and love the bright white. Even if and when we do a remodel I would keep open shelving. It makes things more organized since you can see what’s there. The things in the metal bins are organized such as tea, coffee, spices, so I know which one is which.¬† I think it’s working out great and I’d encourage you to try if you’re looking for a change up in your kitchen. Initially, I did freak out and it took 3 coats to paint the shelves but it was worth it.

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We don’t have cable so I’m not sure if we’ll find the super bowl to stream but honestly, I don’t even have a clue about the 2 teams. But the ads are always great and quite clever.

Well, off to town in the rain:(  I really hate driving in the rain.

 

Tidying up and refreshing old cabinets

IMG_0543 This was the first coat of paint.

I needed a project and wanted to do something different in our kitchen. So I decided to have B take off the cabinet doors on one side and then I would paint them and put my OXO there and my jars.

Well to start, when he took them off I was appalled at the mess and then I freaked out thinking this will never work. But by morning( he did it the evening before, I felt ok with going ahead. So I removed everything and wiped it all down. I had leftover white gloss paint so I got right into a first coat. I knew I would need more paint so I would get that later for a second coat.

IMG_0540I think this is the second.

IMG_0538This is the third. Here’s the other side.

IMG_0541Next, I’m going to do those shelves you can barely see on the right. The pine is nice but stained.

I’m completely wiped out by the painting and the rearranging. I managed to pull together a large box of thrift store things though so that’s good.

Our big project next year will be to pull out the counter and sink and replace. The layout of the kitchen doesn’t really allow for a different configuration as there’s a door on the left wall and then the opening to the front¬†room on the other. So basically we’re stuck with where things are unless we hired a contractor which we can’t afford to do so it’ll be upgraded but nothing moved.

IMG_1624 (1).jpgI really love how it came out even though I am exhausted:(

 

Friday Five

  • Yesterday my daughter and I took a huge load to Goodwill that was mostly my son’s stuff. Hurray!!!! Maybe the decluttering is sinking in for him. ( Probably not, but it was a good start). ¬†Plus it was two Kirkland dog beds that the border collies just don’t use. The books I saved out of the drop to take to the pet bookstore as I’d rather support them.
  • Did the budget with B’s check and we’re on track to finish the credit¬†card that we put Z’s spring tuition on by July. ¬†Also, I finally paid the last of my Invisalign¬†costs. So that was exciting. After the CC is done, I’m determined to finish the Santa Fe. It’s 2014 so, that’s 4 years of payments and I want it gone. If I did that by the end of the year I’d be happy. ¬†I don’t see us getting another car for B’s work. Even though the company does do a stipend it would mean another car loan and right now, I don’t want that.
  • Retirement is looming for B so we need to be as debt free except the mortgage as possible.
  • My daughter and I went to the gym and then after the thrift store drop headed over for some tostadas. Yummy.
  • For dinner, I made baked tofu and then made a really yummy coconut curry vegetable stew. It was delicious. Plus I made a peanut sriracha sauce for the tofu.

Today it’s hot. So I might just hang out at home and read. My son lent me another graphic novel, TheWatchman, so I’m curious about it. He said it is the # 1 graphic novel of all time.

I might wash the outside windows with the Windex outdoor product. It actually works very well and you don’t need to wipe them when done although it does help.

Tonight is pizza night.

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.