Fall Cleaning

I would be the first person to admit my housekeeping quirks. Perhaps that's a nice way of saying I'm a slob. I haven't always been that way. When I was a kid, I loved having a clean bedroom, with everything in its place, the decorative pillows stacked neatly on a freshly made bed. Somewhere along the way, though, I decided not to sweat the details. I started tossing junk in drawers, underneath beds, in corners of the closet.

Since the kid was born, the clutter has increased 100 times, it seems. What to do with the piles of clothes, toys, school papers, craft projects, baby teeth, and so on? All those LEGOs! They are everywhere. They seem to multiply like sewer rats. And they seem to find the bottoms of my bare feet like magnets to sharp, jagged metal.

This fall, I've decided to do something about the mess. I created a spreadsheet to organize a plan for cleaning, color coded by room and divided into particular tasks within each room to break down the monstrous tasks into bite-sized segments easier to complete. Nothing thrills me more than crossing off items on a to-do list. I'm a geek as well as a slob.

I've started with the upstairs, the living spaces that, once devoid of clutter and dust bunnies, help me settle into a sense of calm I have not felt in quite some time. So far, I've checked off the guest room (please visit so I can show off!), the guest bathroom, some hall closets, and parts of the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. I am anticipating completing the first floor by the end of the month. Then comes the real challenge: the basement. It's cold, dark, spidery, and a general pit of doom. Whenever there's anything we don't want to deal with or look at on a daily basis, it goes there. Maneuvering through the piles has become an epic obstacle course. I challenge you to find the floor. I'm sure it's still there, but I haven't seen it for months.

The goal is to rid the basement of all unnecessary junk, designate one corner for storage, and then work to "finish" the living room and Tim's office. Goodwill, you better set aside serious space; you've been warned. We need to bring in an electrician to wire for extra outlets and lighting, and then we need to get some drywall up. Eventually, we plan to put the TV in the basement, install surround-sound, and set up Tim's space -- affectionately known as "The Man Room." Making the basement homey and livable will nearly double the finished space in our house. It will be like moving to a bigger space, but without the relocation costs and manual labor.

I have other plans, too. Tim installed beautiful laminate flooring through most of the first floor a while back and, once we complete the ceramic tile entry way, we can finish up some woodworking details and call the flooring project complete, once and for all. I would also love to install a screened-in or three-season porch on our back deck as well.

One step at a time, though. That's becoming my mantra, not only for cleaning but for life in general.


Life Goes On

The past few months have been a blur. From the moment, in February, when we found out Tim's mom had a brain tumor, everyone was focused on her treatment. Little did we know that by the time her treatment ended in April, her bone marrow would be annihilated by it, and she would spend most of the rest of her days in the hospital, fighting infections and slowly slipping away.

She died on Monday, Sept. 23, at around 5 p.m., and we celebrated her life at a service at her church a week later.

We did manage to have a family vacation this summer, just the three of us, but much of our time was spent traveling back and forth to St. Louis to visit her in the hospital. I'm not sure where the time went, but it flew past. Hobby projects were put aside. So was most housework. Most noticeably to our neighbors, I'm sure, we did very little to our yard.

By the time we came back from the funeral, massive weeds had overtaken the flower beds, which never got planted with annuals last spring. The grass was dry and brittle in the yard, yet had sprung up in an unsightly manner in cracks in the driveway and sidewalks.

Everything looked crispy and brown, except . . .

The mums next to the mailbox, which are perennials I always seem to forget that I ever planted, exploded with blooms--vibrant yellow bursts of color in an otherwise sorrowful-looking landscape. If ever we needed such warm, sunny foliage, it's now. 



I can't even remember what the last post's turning point was all about. Must not have been anything too devastating. There's been plenty more since then, anyway. Sick parents. Work drama. Life.

I'm not feeling very inspired to write, but perhaps I should. If only to look back later and say, "You thought THAT was rough? THAT was a walk in the park compared to (fill in the blank)."



Of one thing I am certain: It has been many months since I last blogged.

That might be the only sure thing in my life right now.

I'm not going into it yet, other than to say tomorrow may be a crucial turning point in life.

Good? Bad? Jury's still out.

At the moment, I want to rant -- people suck, life isn't fair, etc.

Instead, I'm drinking a glass of wine and escaping into a great book I'm in the middle of at the moment, "The Castaways" by Elin Hilderbrand. It's filled with friendships, heartaches, forbidden trysts, and possibly a murder. I guess no matter how bad things get in the real world, they might never be as bad as they could be.

At least, I'm hoping that's the case.


Wicked afternoon

Lyrics from "Defying Gravity," from the Broadway production of Wicked

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down.


Just waiting

I posted this pic as my Facebook cover this afternoon:

I've posted quite a bit recently in support of gay marriage. 

I'm just waiting for a negative response. I get plenty of my friends agreeing with me. I'm positive that there are those relatives or acquaintances or former classmates who do not share my opinion.

I don't want to fight. There's too much anger and hate and nastiness being spewed. It doesn't have a place on my page. However, I don't honestly want to have a civil discussion with opponents, either, because I get all bent out of shape about this issue. I'm not generally an outspoken militant activist about much. People are entitled to their opinions. But I'M of the OPINION that I don't need you in my life if all you stand for is taking away other people's rights, spreading hate, and supporting religious endeavors that claim your beliefs are the only valid ones.  

Will I lose Facebook friends over my stand? 

Maybe. But I might not really consider it a "loss."