Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kitty Heaven

As I've been decluttering... there have been more bags and boxes around than usual.

Xander is not complaining.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The end of an era...

Said goodbye to my little car today.

It was towed off to hopefully be fixed and serve someone else well for many years to come. I bought this car in 2001 in Alaska and it made it down the Alcan to Washington and then to Indiana without any issue. The past year, it's finally been really showing its age and has required more work than in the past. More recently, it once again refused to start... even with a jump. Rather than paying to have it fixed and chance trying to make the money back when it sold - if it sold as there are tons of these for sale right now well below their worth - I decided to cut my losses and give someone a killer deal and let them get it running again. I'm now back down to one vehicle. I hope my Jeep runs as well as this little car has over the years. Thanks for a great 9 years of service!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring!

First weekend of Spring has brought more spring cleaning, sorting, shredding (papers, junk mail) and packing up stuff I don't need/want so I can make another trip to Goodwill. They're going to get used to seeing me there. heh It's amazing. I basically live in one room when I'm actually home, yet I still managed to accumulate way too much stuff! Or at least, way more than I need. How do I have FIVE water bottles?! Okay, a couple of those were given to me so it's not entirely my fault. Keeping the two I like and tossing the others in the box along with an electronic dictionary/thesaurus and 5-language translator (my phone does all that) and even my discman that hasn't been used in close to two years since I switched to mp3s...Since I can view them all online now, I also ditched all my medical coding magazines. Geez, those things are heavy! The only magazines I have now are knitting ones. *sigh* I really need to go through those and scan the patterns I want so those can go too. Way more time-intensive though so that'll wait until I get through most of the rest of this stuff. Tonight, I tackled shoes. Over the past two years, I've discovered I'm fine wearing the same few pairs of shoes over and over and really don't need that many. This is partly due to all the travel and the limited space in my suitcase (I pretty much just pack and black and a brown pair of flats these days), but even at home, I really only wear a few pairs so... time to cull! 11 prs out the door...

I'm also organizing/shrinking what I am keeping to save on space. I have most of my winter clothes now in a large space bag so I can suck the air out to save space. I also finally found a large dvd storage book so I can ditch all those plastic cases that take up so much shelf space! This book takes up about the same space as 20 or so plastic dvd cases in total space and is only about 6" wide... but it'll hold 92 movies! Plus another 16 I think without the info sheets. Not that it's anywhere near full, but I'm still coming out ahead on space even with what I do have so it's all good. =)

I thought about using space bags for the yarn as well, but I remember reading somewhere that it wasn't good the yarn to be squished up like that. Anyone know any different? 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cut through the clutter...

I saw a challenge posted on another blog that involves paring down your "stuff" to what you really need by finding 10 items per week you no longer need/want and passing them on in one way or another. I just stumbled across this and the writer has gone through twelve cycles now, I believe. I'm working on a shorter time frame (hopefully), so my goals will be a bit different. Instead of a number of items and doing it on a weekly basis, I'm going to spend at least 15 min a day (probably more) going through things and deciding what I can do without and more than likely coming up with 10 items a day. If today was any predictor of things to come, this should go well. Just today, I filled two large bags with clothes and a grocery sack full of books headed for the library's book sale. All are already in my Jeep (minus the half dozen books my mother swiped before I got them out of the house) so there are no excuses not to drop them off tomorrow. =) I didn't bring that much stuff with me from Washington - most of what I didn't sell before moving is in a storage unit in eastern WA still - and I've done fairly well in getting rid of things when I've bought more, esp while on the road... but I still have way too much crap here that I don't need. There are things here that I brought from WA that I haven't touched since unpacking my car nearly two years ago now. Ridiculous! I find it comical that there were so many things I haven't touched that I thought I couldn't do without and had to find room in the car to pack (or paid to mail to IN). I'm just itching to get my hands on that stuff in WA now. I know I could have gotten rid of so much more than I did. All in due time, I suppose.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Circles and Squares

My old water bottle holder has definitely seen better days, so it was time for a new one! I started by working up a circle the size of the bottom of the bottle:

Then worked up from there in a square mesh pattern - dc, ch2 - alternating between two skeins of cotton since I didn't have quite enough of either to finish one of these. Finished off with a simple chain strap using both strands of yarn. Love how the colors came out! =)


Another quick, easy project that will surely get lots of use!

The plan for today? Spring cleaning! Well, sorting and tossing (donating). I know I need to trim some cargo weight before I move and nearly two years on the road has definitely taught me I don't need half the stuff I have here! And less other stuff means more of the stash can come. =) Still working out the details... and figuring out if I want to go newer (more expensive, more reliable) or older (more problems, unknown expenses). So many decisions...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chocolate and Crochet

No, not chocolate-covered crochet!

My latest finished crochet item:
I decided I wanted to use up some of the partial skeins I have sitting around. I don't know why, but the partials kind of bug me Cotton is always so handy but I wasn't in the mood to make another wash/dish cloth so I went with more of a mitt design, intended to be a face mitt. I started with about a 2" chain and worked hdc in the round until I was nearly out (which nicely coincided with how long I wanted it to be - love when that happens!), adding a loop in the last row so it can be hung to dry. The stitch results in a little texture for a good scrub, but no too rough. =) 

And my latest baking project:

One word: YUM! My sister got me this cookbook for Christmas... or my birthday... can't remember which since I got them at the same time. heh (The other was a knitting book!) Anyhoo, I tried out the chocolate brownie recipe last night and was pleasantly surprised! Unlike the last batch I made, this one doesn't use any oil. =) They came out a bit cake-ier, but still dense and yummy. I mixed up a half batch (should have quartered it) of chocolate mint frosting to top them off. Mmmmm, I think I have a new favorite!

We're finally starting to get some Spring weather too! Yay!

The little guy's on solo walks for awhile though. Poor Mugsy has a tender back - x-rays show severe spondylosis and a compressed disc resulting in him walking like a drunken sailor right now - and is on dog-bed rest for a month. Yep, that means no stairs so... guess who's getting a good workout half a dozen times a day? Thank goodness he's only 37-lbs and not a full-size lab!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Color test your career

I always like taking these test just to see how accurate they are. This one's actually pretty good! Take the Color Career Test... quick and easy. See if your "best" occupation is what you're already doing.


Best Occupational Category

You're an ORGANIZER

Keywords:
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

ORGANIZER CAREERS
Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

ORGANIZER WORKPLACES

Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.


2nd Best Occupational Category

You're a CREATOR

Keywords:
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

I've been a bookkeeper and am now a medical coder (very detail-oriented) and used to proofread a lot of friends' papers. And anyone who has seen my kitchen cabinets (when I have my own place) could easily guess that disorganization annoys me... though my hotel rooms don't always appear so organized. I usually know exactly where everything is though. I do have a creative side too and I think sometimes these two sides fight against each other. heh So, I guess they hit the nail on the head...

Monday, March 01, 2010

It's never too late... practical is over-rated

Seriously. It's never too late to learn something new, to change directions, to make different choices, to dream of bigger and better things for yourself. I had someone today tell me she was too old to learn something new. It's not true! Don't limit yourself. Don't let others tell you it's too late or you're too old or that you made your choices earlier in life and have to stick with them even if you're not happy where you are in life. Remember when you were a kid and thought that pretty much anything was possible? Let your inner child dream of what could be... and take steps to make your life what you've always wanted it to be.
I'm constantly thinking of what's next, where I want to be, what I want to do. Life is a journey and I'm nowhere near settling down... not quite yet. I'm still filtering through my plans for the next big changes in my life, but things are starting to take shape with lots of soul-searching and research and planning. I'm getting excited for the new adventures to come!

So, what have you always wanted to do? Are you doing something to get closer to that goal? Are you already there? Have you made a big decision that completely changed your life? I've always admired those who've thrown out the practical in favor of what they love or are in the process of doing so. I also admire those who are perfectly happy with who and where they are in life. That's what I want! Someday, I'll get there too...