31 Days: Do the Shuffle

Today is the last day of 31 Days of Getting it Done. What did I get done the past 31 days? It certainly wasn’t 31 things, and I didn’t blog for 31 days straight. But I’m not going to be hard on myself, I got some small things done that have been bothering me in a big way. There are still a lot of things on my lengthy to-do list, and I’ll tackle them as time and energy levels permit, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished. And today, I wanted to show you one last small project I was able to tackle before the end of this titillating and life changing series. (HAR-HAR)

Yup, I’m gonna bore with my cupboard arrangements. The cupboard pictured above is really the only cupboard that can hold our plates, bowls, cups and glasses. It’s not the only cupboard in the kitchen, but seems be the one that is most convenient for these items. So, this time I wasn’t moving everything, just the plastic storage tubs and some additional plates that have spent time shuffling around the kitchen.

The top shelf originally held extra plastic storage tubs and a rice cooker, I decided the rice cooker could find a home elsewhere since it’s not used that often and was taking up valuable real estate. By moving out the rice cooker, I freed up enough space to keep all of my plastics on the top shelf. Which allowed me more space on that second shelf for the shuffled plates and some new additions to my vintage glass collection.

Those green glasses have really gotten a lot of use since I brought them home last weekend. At 1.99 for a set of six, I’d say we’ve gotten our money’s worth. Plus, they look cute next the amber colored glasses don’t ya think?

Here’s the final product of my little dish shuffle.

It does my little OCD heart good to see all glassware and plastic items separated and in their own little homes. It also makes it blatantly obvious the over-abundance of plates and glasses I own. But I can’t get rid of them, what if I invite 500 of my best friends and family over for a dinner party some day?

Oh yeah, and today is Halloween, so happy trick-or-treating to all!

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31 Days: Early Christmas

Two months ago, my sweet mom bought me an early Christmas present, I didn’t take a picture of it in the box or else you’d see it here. My sweet mom gave me a set of flatware, it’s beautiful and shiny and just the right weight. I’m a weirdo and pay attention to the weight of silverware in my hand, I like it be a little weighty, but not so weighty that it falls out of your hand easily.

When I brought my early Christmas present home, I took each piece out and admired it’s shiney beauty, then placed each piece into a large glass vase until I could fix the kitchen drawer that I would be placing my new beauties in. You see, my kitchen still has it’s original cabinets from 1957, with it’s original 4 drawers. Yes, there are only 4 drawers in the entire kitchen, and the top drawer that is typically used for silverware, is narrow and I was always jamming my forks into ledge right above the silverware drawer. Which caused a frustratingly large number of bent forks. A bent fork does not a well set table make.

Anywho, that ledge once held a pull out cutting board, or counter extension or whatever it is you want to call it. Either way, I never used the pull out cutting board because (1) it was nasty and (2) it was super unstable.  Here are the four drawers in my kitchen, you can see where the pull out cutting board once lived.

Also, never mind the nails sticking out of that third drawer. I haven’t pounded them back in so Bubba will get the hint and FINALLY let me go into debt for new cabinets. After four years, I don’t think it’s working.

The other day, as I pulled out yet another bent fork, I decided it was high time I give my shiny new flatware a home.  So, I pulled out my trusty saw, that cuts through old wood like “budda”, and I FINALLY got rid of that annoying little piece of wood that’s been reeking havoc on my forks.

And if I had taken an in process shot of the ledge cutting you would see that here. Instead I’ll show you all of the stuff I pulled out the drawer.

I can’t believe all of that was crammed into that itty bitty drawer, and by the way why in the world do we save those little cracker packs that come with take out salad? It’s not like we don’t have 5 different varieties of crackers in the cupboards. Anywho, after emptying out the drawer and finally cutting through that annoying ledge, it was time to scrub the drawer. Believe me, it needed to be scrubbed, this thing was nasty, and I give the cabinets a good wash down at least once a year.

At one point, I toyed with the idea of painting the old cabinets, so I experimented a little with this drawer. Then I got scared and decided I’d just deal with the old paint a little longer. Maybe I’ll get up the nerve again one day, we’ll just have to wait and see. But back to the dirtiness, see? Even after scrubbing, it was still looking a little less than hygienic, so I decided it was time to just give in and do the old lady thing, contact paper. I hate contact paper, but when you are dealing with old cabinets with splintery wood and chipping paint, and you don’t have the time, patience or gumption to fix the problem, contact paper is an easy solution. And it gave me enough confidence in it’s cleanliness to put my new flatware in it’s new home.

I still need to buy a smallish square container to put in the lower corner, but for now it works. And I get to finally use my Christmas present!!

31 Days: Shoe Hoard

The other day, I finally mustered up enough energy and bravery to organize my shoes. I may have a small footwear addiction…

After lining up all members of my shoe army, I counted 56 pairs present. Honestly, I don’t see how I can deny it now, I do have a footwear addiction. I don’t know how it started, but it’s there, and it’s taking up waaaay too much space in my teeny little house. Since cleaning out the bottom of my closet two years ago, the collection has grown. Most of the shoes I’ve been stumbling over and shuffling around have only been worn a couple of times. Some of them have never been worn, as they were victims of impulse internet buys, ya know the kind that look cute and comfy until they arrive on your door step and you immediately realize those sweet Riding Boots won’t fit over your cankles. The disappointing buys that taunt you every time the closet door opens, and remind you of your imperfections as well as your inability to remember return dates. Yeah, those things, aren’t worth the mental space nor the physical space they demand. So, out went a good 20 pairs of demeaning wedges, painfully narrow boots, deceptively comfy looking flats, and flip flops way past their prime. I plan to list the new and never before worn shoes on eBay to see about getting a little of my money back, but the rest have either gone in the trash or have found a new home amongst the racks of Goodwill.

And the remaining members of my shoe army now reside in these little plastic shoe boxes. How quaint of me to use them for shoes right?

Then I neatly stacked them at the bottom of my dark closet.

After a few days of this system, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work. I will either need to figure out how to build a shoe rack, or try cleaning out the top shelf of the closet (which regrettably has become an abyss) and try them up there, or conjure up a nice spell for a bigger closet that will accommodate my shoe and cardigan hoard (the sweaters are a post all by themselves). Another thinning of the herd may also be required. Of the 56 original pairs I am now down to 36 pairs of shoes that I love, but could possibly be past their prime or just not be the most comfy. What is a girl to do? Because ya know, there aren’t bigger issues in the world.

31 Days: Clearance Plants Part 2

Remember my first Getting it Done post, I talked about purchasing some clearance plants? I planted a few of them in my front yard.

And was about to plant the others in my backyard when, I decided to do a little more research on my new green friends.

And found that they were poisonous to dogs if consumed, that is. Considering my little chewers would likely be munching on my new green friends, I had planned on returning the rest of the clearance plants.

Then I thought about all the other potentially poisonous plants that had been  lovingly chewed on and ultimately destroyed, most of which I inherited when I bought the house. (The plants not the chewing, the chewing came with the arrival of the dogs.) Let’s see, what has been on the toxic menu over the years, there was the Cherry Tree, the Spanish Broom, the Rosemary, which if you look closely in the pictures to follow you’ll see the remnants of. All of these were eaten over a year ago, without any odd reactions. The brat dogs haven’t really seemed that interested in the vegetation in the yard lately so I am hoping they have outgrown this phase. With those hopes in mind, I decided to keep the remaining clearance plants. So, I buried, I mean planted them a couple weekends ago. So far, they are still there, with all branches and leaves remaining undisturbed and uneaten.

Don’t you think they really set off my cinder block wall? Really makes the place seem less prison like doesn’t it? Actually, I’m pretty proud of my fortress (you can read more about that here.), it provides us with lots of privacy, and it keeps the prisoners at bay.

The planting of the shrubs went pretty smoothly, there were no unfortunate water line surprises 3 inches below the surface or anything. I see that as a huge success. Plus, I’m super proud of the three huge holes I dug.

Don’t you love how the dirt and surrounding background is in perfect focus, but the shovel and hole have a lovely bokeh? Apparently, digging a big hole then having to make a nice picture is just too much for this little gardener.

All three shrubs are Privets, I can’t remember the variety of the Privet that lived a year in the big white bucket as his tag fell off during the winter.

The other two are Golden Vicary Privets. All three should get to be 8 to 10ft tall and 8 ft wide, that is if they can survive a dry New Mexican winter. I hear they are pretty hardy, so I have high hopes, and look forward to a nice green and leafy looking wall in a several years. And healthy doggies, let’s hope they can keep their paws off the green stuff.

New around here? I’m participating in a massive linky party for the month of October, if you would like to learn more read this post.

31 Days: Goose Heads and Dog Beds

A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to hanging something on the wall that I’ve been putting off for far too long.

She may seem silly, but her smiling face makes me smile right back. I think she was originally meant to hang in a kitchen and hold aprons and towels and other kitchen hang-y things. But I hung her up in my living room, right above Goldie’s chair.

And yes, the dog has a chair, no one else is allowed to sit it in but her. Well, you can, but then you’d be covered in Goldie “needles”. That’s why I keep a blanket on the chair, to prevent further Goldie needles from embedding themselves in the upholstery. I would love to replace this chair, and the orange one that it faces with a pair of nice leather club chairs. I love the idea of being able to just wipe the Goldie needles from furniture, because ya know, it’s just too easy to train the dog from getting on the furniture in the first place.

I hung Ms. Goose with a set of mini-mirrors I picked up at an estate sale a couple years back and a painting from a local thrift store. The painting is a little girly, but I loved the soft colors, they are soothing. And soothing is something I need to see when I first walk into the house, since this is the wall that faces the front door.

Apparently, I have something for farm animal heads, I found the three of these at Goodwill a few months back with the ribbons already attached, I just hung them on the old dog leash hooks. Oh, and remember, the big pig head I was so proud of?

Yeah, he bit the dust while living on the floor of my bedroom when a bottle of body splash fell on him. There was much gnashing of teeth while picking the white piggy shards of ceramic out of the carpet. As well as much mourning in the kingdom when he was laid to rest in the trash can. He was too young, and never got to enjoy life on my wall.

That’s way I decided it was finally time to “get it done” by hanging Goose-y head before she met the same end as piggy head. I love these small little tweaks, they give me incentive to do more! Until of course, I get distracted by something on TV, or a squirrel. Squirrel!

31 Days: Plans

I suck at this 31 Days of Getting it Done series, I haven’t done 31 things and I haven’t posted about the 31 nonexistent things within the bounds of 31 days. Yes, I wrote out a plan, and yes, I had planned on getting some projects done before the 31 days of October came around. I had also planned on getting my house all neat and organized like Jules did over at Pancakes and French Fries. By the way, she’s totally my hero and  does a great job of “getting it done”. She has based her 31 day series (and last years series) on the famous William Morris quote, but you’ll have to skip on over to her blog to find out more.

Anywho, I’m stuck in a disappointing and annoying loop of the same old I’m-tired-from-work bug that I always tend to catch, I also have the it’s-fall-and-I-need-to-soak-up-as-much-warm-sunshine-as-possible-before-the-time-change-turns-me-into-a-vampire-itis, it’s a real disease I swear, look it up! I say all of this because, really, I’m not getting “it” done. I’m getting important things done, like workie things, and chores, and walking the dogs, and Netflixed Doctor Who episodes watched. But the “it” of Getting it Done, yeah, that’s kind of been put aside and smooshed into the corner of the closet along with that half finished Pinterest project and the “skinny” jeans I’ve been saving back for when I am “skinny” again.

But never fear, I have a plan!! (there’s always a plan) The plan is to get back on schedule, to get “it” done before the end of October, to finally and victoriously finish a 31 day series in 31 days!!! Wouldn’t that be nice? If it does happen I shall celebrate with cake and a marathon of Netflixed Doctor Who.

In the mean time, while I ponder if and when I should be caught up on my getting it done posts, I’ll be enjoying a nice flick in the backyard.

Obviously, I need to use my tripod more liberally.

By the way, we watched Jurassic Park, I don’t recommend watching such a suspenseful movie within earshot of neighbors that can hear your shrieks of terror every time a dino rips someones head off. I’ll stick to sweet non-scream inducing Disney movies thankyouverymuch.

31 Days: The Business of Busy-ness

As the weekend commences, and I tackle my hefty to do list, the business of busy-ness came to mind. When did I get so busy? When did it become so important to have something to do ALL the time? What happened to the days that could be spent whiled away in a good book or a nice afternoon at the movies (or the show as I often call it). Heck, I’ve even started a blog series about being busy ( 31 Days of Getting it Done)!! Granted a lot of the things I had intended to do aren’t getting done because I’m too busy worrying about the 546,245 other things I want to get done. See, again with the busy-ness.  I recently read an excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ Utmost for His Highest concerning the business of busy-ness:

“The great enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ today is the idea of practical work that has no basis in the New Testament but comes from the systems of the world. This work insists upon endless energy and activities, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation . . . . For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). It is a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives to be seen by others, while it is the innermost, personal area that reveals the power of a person’s life.We must get rid of the plague of the spirit of this religious age in which we live. In our Lord’s life there was none of the pressure and the rushing of tremendous activity that we regard so highly today, and a disciple is to be like His Master. The central point of the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship with Him, not public usefulness to others.

It is not the practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College— its entire strength lies in the fact that here you are immersed in the truths of God to soak in them before Him. You have no idea of where or how God is going to engineer your future circumstances, and no knowledge of what stress and strain is going to be placed on you either at home or abroad. And if you waste your time in overactivity, instead of being immersed in the great fundamental truths of God’s redemption, then you will snap when the stress and strain do come. But if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in Him, which may appear to be impractical, then you will remain true to Him whatever happens.”

Granted Mr. Chambers was speaking of over-work within a ministry setting and his target audience was a group of seminary students, but I found a few nuggets in there that could be applied to my life. For instance, “practical work” calls for constant energy towards that work and no time to really “soak up God”. With a job,a home life, and the misguided desire for perfection, it’s easy to let those things take away that valuable time with God. But I must remember, that allowing myself to be immersed in this “overactivity” instead of being immersed in “the truths of God’s redemption”, I’m stealing peace and joy from myself.  When things really do get stressful, and there really is something that causes a huge strain on me, I’ll bend and snap (but not the good bend and snap, name that movie!) instead of bending down in prayer.

So, instead of worrying about the 673, 952 things on my to-do list (yes, it’s growing by the minute!), I need to focus more on the Lord, since He is found within me.

31 Days: Owls and Monkey Trays

Friday already, aren’t we just chuggin’ along? I still can’t believe we are half way through the month of October, it won’t be long before Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the radar. Ya know, if you aren’t a major department store, in which case Halloween and Christmas have been going on since July. Apparently, Thanksgiving doesn’t exist within retail, I guess those dancing turkey leg hats aren’t a big seller.

Anywho, I thought it was time to pop in super quick before yet another day got away from me. This 31 Day series is seriously turning into another inconsistent venture for me. But darnit, I’m gonna get 31 posts up, they may not happen in 31 consecutive days but there will be 31 Days of Getting it Done. You just wait and see, take that inconsistency!!

Again, anywho, I’ve been busy doing small-ish projects around the house, and when I say small, I mean very small, like things that really aren’t considered a project. Kinda like switching out trays for my owl display.

And yes, I have collected enough owls now to warrant a “display” of them.

And this isn’t even all of my cherished owls, these are just the little guys. Here’s what I had before the tray switch:

Most of my owls in one spot, but the space was too small to accommodate such a large and wide-eyed lot. Actually, after looking at these photos and taking a mental inventory, I’ve come to the realization that my collection is growing, but my house is not. Maybe, I really should stick with my no-buying-of-old-stuff rule, and avoid the knick-knack section of my favorite thrift stores when I go window shopping.

But back to the titilating tale of tray talk, the smaller tray allows more room for a drink and is a lot easier to dust. Plus, this little wood tray brings in a much warmer texture, and it’s hand made.

I’ve recently broken my no-buying-of-old-stuff rule when it comes to really nice wood pieces like this. I know, collections are growing but the house is not, but  I loved the wood grain, and it don’s a hand numbered sticker on the back.

I don’t know if it means anything to have a hand signed sticker, but it seemed sorta special to me, so I decided it was worth the $3 and the space it would take up in my home.  Plus,how could I pass something up made from Monkey Pod Wood. I have no idea what that is but it makes me smile, because “monkey” is in the name. Weird I know, but it’s worth it since my little owls seems happy on their new perch, I mean tray.

New around here? Have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention a 31 Days series? Well, click here to read all about it, and to start reading the series from the beginning.

31 Days: Enjoyment

Apparently blogging for 31 days in a row is completely beyond me, I just can’t seem to physically sit down and get a post written. I do apologize for the absence, seeing as how I have pledged to blog everyday for the month of October and I’ve gotten 9 posts published when there should be 17. But hey, at least there are 9 of them!!  I hope to get caught up on the missing days so that in the end there will be 31 glorious and highly informative posts .

Speaking of my absence, I’ve been busy the past week looking up at the sky. No, it’s not a bird, or a plane or Superman, but Balloon Fiesta season.

See those teeny tiny dots? Those are hot air balloons, gracefully floating in the sky. This was as close I dared get in my PJ’s and morning hair, seeing as how the mass ascensions (a large number of balloons lifting off at the same time) occur in the very early morning hours. This was the last one of the day, happening around 8 am. (Which explains the PJ’s and morning hair on a Saturday morning) I hear the first wave happens around 6 or 7 in the morning. Seeing as I’m a complete vampire when it comes to mornings I’ve never seen the very early mass ascensions and probably never will unless I suddenly and miraculously become a morning person. But I’m not holding my breath.

Besides that, during Balloon Fiesta I don’t even have to leave my driveway to see awesomeness floating in the sky. Like this Captain America balloon or one of my favorites, Sharky. Although I think this guy is supposed to be the shark from Finding Nemo.

 I should mention, the balloon names I’ve assigned to my favorites are names that I have given them, they may not necessarily the official name of the aircraft.  Ya know, since they didn’t ask me what they should name their very large and very expensive balloon in the first place.

Last year I talked about watching a balloon land you can read more about that here.

In years past Bubba and I would drive around town to get a better view. Usually we bring the dogs, because ya know we love the glaring looks from our loving and always faithful furry companions.

Insert gratuitous dog picture here.

So, that pretty much wraps up Balloon Fiesta 2012, it was a great week of getting it done: enjoyment.

31 Days Day 12: A Clean House

It has recently dawned on me that before I can get to any of the fun stuff, like organizing or styling my home, I first need to clean my home. What a concept right? But really, it’s a good thing as my good ole friend Martha Stewart would say.

A clean home really does help in clearing the mind so that you can focus on more important things like furniture arrangements or ponder why the 11th Doctor Who doesn’t have eyebrows.

Having a clean space kind of quiets a room, it allows the accessories and other pretties to speak for themselves. That is if there aren’t too many in one space, you definitely don’t want so many pretties that they have to scream for attention above the crowd.

Now, I can’t wait to take care of all the poor accessories and other pretties that are screaming for help in the rest of the house.