My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Psychology of Shopping and Decluttering the House

Indulge me today; I need it!

I came across this 3 year old photo while cleaning up some files on my iMac recently and thought I'd share it with you. It looks pretty much the same but I am decluttering the house and the dining room has lost a lot of stuff in that cabinet in the background. I'm being brutal in giving stuff to friends and sending 4 truckloads—so far—of stuff to one of the local thrift stores.

I told hubs how sorry I was to have spent so much money on frivolous things when we moved into this house. I see all the stuff being put into boxes to be taken away and wish with all my heart one of you bloggers who loves my style were here to give it to. It's been brutal to see all this stuff go to others but I'm committed, and once I'm committed there's no turning back. I need to concentrate on reality and reality is those things don't mean as much as peace and freedom and a lifestyle that doesn't try to keep up with the neighbors. I see many bloggers just trying to buy as much as they can to satisfy some thing inside them. I'm becoming not that person. I don't want to be so competitive that I lose focus of what really matters in this world. This is not just lip service, chicks. I'm serious about this. All I need is food, a home to live in, a car to get me where I want or need to go and my hubby and kids. It's been a real revelation realizing this but it is sooooo very true at this time in history.

See that little suitcase on the left? Not the front one but the one in back. It's going.

Also the little one up in the left hand corner on the other side of the living room. It's going also. Truly, I thought I'd be crying but funnily enough, I'm not. It actually feels good to get things out of here. Oh, this is an old photo and the curtains are gone and other very flowery ones are up at the moment. However, I just ordered a pink stripe fabric to redo them yet once again. That will make the 6th pair of curtains I've had in this room. Nothing is ever static around this house.

This etagere is gone already to a friend's house. The vintage school desk is sitting on my front porch ready to be sold on craigslist. If it doesn't sell soon, I'll put it around on the back patio for the winter and try again next spring.

As I sit here today struggling with all the things I'm getting rid of a few thoughts have occurred to me. Okay, okay, more than a few, but I'm being nice—thousands of thoughts have gone through my head today, not the least of which is: Why in the world do I take hubby grocery shopping with me? I can't for the life of me figure out why.

My whole life has changed since he retired and has stayed home with me. Okay, "staying home" isn't quite accurate as he does a lot of things for our church, the VFW, the Marine Corps League and teaches several classes a month on real estate. (The latter job is a requirement from me to him to help me keep my sanity.) But the thing I'm most perturbed about is grocery shopping.

My opinion is that men simply do NOT understand the psychology of shopping but specifically 'grocery shopping'. We women follow a set of unspoken rules of which men have not been aware since the beginning of time.

Today while shopping he again hangs on to the cart trying to direct me around people. I have been grocery shopping for us for over 50 years now and I think I'm qualified to handle a grocery cart without being thrown out of Wal-Mart. He won't let me pass them, pushes the cart with an iron grip and tells me to watch out for other people. For crying out loud, I'm nice!! I've never hit anyone, smile all the time at my fellow women and men shoppers and actually, on a regular basis, let them go around me by getting out of their way.

Then, there's the 'putting the item in the cart' business. He just grabs an item off the shelf, not noting that it isn't the regular item/brand I buy and then organizes it in the cart ever so carefully. I just toss it in. Yes, of course, there's an organization to MY putting things in the cart but he makes it a science and that takes two to three times longer. I get frustrated and just start pushing the cart away. I don't crush bread or fresh items but I don't take near as long. Bottom line: I want to do my shopping alone from now on and not worry about saving a few pennies with a brand I don't like. (I'm NOT going into the argument we had over Del Monte versus Heinz ketchup today.)

The checkout stand is entirely another issue. We women understand how to 'get it done' without being obnoxious but certainly being assertive—at least I do. I'm assertive without being obnoxious. I start loading on the belt as soon as there is a bit of room and negotiate my cart a bit to the right of the person so I can load the bags into it asap. Mr. Love Bunny, or Happy-To-Shop-Man, doesn't let me do what I need to do. He's giving me the evil eye and pushing the cart back. I tell ya, I just want to POP him!!!! I am never ugly or mean to people! I know how to shop leisurely and graciously without offending anyone! Truly, I do. The only thing I want him to do is carry the groceries in. So I just may have to go shopping alone from now on.

It's off my chest now. Well, that is, but there will be more shortly. Trust me on this.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Back to Work

I've gotten the bug lately to "clean out" and "get rid of." You all know what I mean, and, of course, I've said it before, but this time I actually mean it. As you can see from the photos below I've given up watching streaming videos on my laptop and decided to get myself in gear. This has not been easy. I mentioned to Love Bunny the other night that I've GOT to stop watching videos on my laptop because my neck is starting to hurt and if there's one thing I don't need, it's another body part hurting. But a few words before I get into that.

Being a slug can be addictive, especially when access to streaming movies is so easy. But there are few things worth watching. Truly. It's mostly trash and I was succumbing to it. Why do we do it? For me it was simply not wanting to deal with reality at the time. Being in a slump can be very debilitating mentally, which then spirals down into physically. I am now cleaning out so much that hubs had made 4 trips to the thrift store so far and more are definitely on his horizon.

Take a look below.

étagère is now sitting on the front porch. I've put it on craigslist but no takers so far. I do have a place I can use it in the house if need be but I think I can use it on the front porch also. So it quite possibly will remain out there with pots on it. We've had it for 38 years at least.

This is all the stuff that was on it.

The "stuff" will now go on this bookshelf that I moved in here from the family room.

That space was then empty, affording us much more room for a much needed side table and a lamp.

The stuff on the sofa will stay, but the stuff on the floor goes to the thrift store. Plus there's a plethora of items in the other corner of this sofa just waiting to be dealt with soon. Probably the thrift store will benefit here again. This room needs much attention.

Then while all this is going on recently I decided also I wanted a different dish drainer. I went to several stores locally and couldn't find anything I wanted. Even Williams and Sonoma didn't have anything I wanted and their's started at $85! So I surfed Amazon and eBay until I found this one for $25.99 and free shipping. Even hubs loves it.

Then I was needing 2 containers to put our sweeteners in. We use very little sugar but sweeten our drinks with packets of artificial sweeteners. I was putting both of our choices on the same plate but that just didn't work well so I shopped the house and found a couple of things I thought would work. However, in the end my choice was sitting on my coffee table with little shells in it. Below you now see it holding my Equal and the original dish on a pedestal holding hubs' Sweet and Low. This bowl holds the soaps, and the pedestal dish is now sitting on our coffee table in the living room.

Much more efficient this way.

And this little bouquet of flowers is sitting on our dining table. Hubs picked them a few days ago. Aren't they gorgeous? Most of the photos are horrid because of the lighting in this house, but the one below turned out well. Maybe I need a new lens. I think I'll take a trip to the local photography store and ask.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Bit of Blogging

While I've been busy, I've also been a bit lethargic about life lately. Try as I may, I cannot seem to get interested in much of anything for several months now. Bear with me while I ramble a bit.

Yes, missing in action for a while, but I'll be blogging more soon. Which reminds me of something I've been seeing lately—not as much blogging around the internet. I've noticed it with myself and definitely with others. I've cut my favorites severely since I'm tired of seeing the same ol' stuff going on. I'm tired of simply viewing a blog that is promoting its owner's merchandise or viewing the same vignettes 20 times or setting tables with different plates or promoting "sponsors" on their blog. To me, it's just plain boring. They can absolutely do anything they want, but I'm choosing to stay away from those blogs.

I've not gotten over watching videos on my Mac laptop since the surgery in April. I now know I've got to give it up. I'm not doing the things I need to be doing in life.

I've taken a 2 month leave of absence from my mission to deal with some personal things like the dreaded colonoscopy. Yuck! But it will soon be over. Then if that isn't enough, my left knee has been hurting. My son and hubby say it could be from the surgery on the right foot and the stress it puts on the left leg. This coming Friday will be my last day for PT on the foot/heel so I'm glad for that, and, yes, it has helped. I'll continue doing it at home though because the Achillles Tendon is still a bit tight.

So that's put me on a downward spiral with life. BUT this week I decided to get my backside in gear and do something around the house. I'm not one to change frequently, or change a lot, but I do change things.

For instance, notice the sofa below. I took off the slipcover to wash it (the skirt was filthy from visitor's shoes) and decided to leave it off for a while. I'm so glad I bought a washable slipcover; it washed beautifully but we had to spread it over 4 lawn chairs to dry it since it was so large and heavy for the dryer. I didn't want it to shrink either. But it was so big and heavy it took 2 loads to do it and even that was dicey! I also cut it down to 3 pillows instead of the 5 I had on there.

That sofa is almost 20 years old and still looks new. I just love it!

Then I decided I've got to get rid of some things in this house. So in our bedroom was a little footstool I had covered with a beautiful Waverly print years ago. I took it off when we moved here and stored the little footstool up in the attic. Last summer Love Bunny brought it down and parked it next to his bedside table. It's been there "holding" his clothes each night. It was just sitting there looking pathetic in its foam, soft stuffing covering and muslin that I thought I'd make another cover for it. Wasn't I just saying "get rid of some stuff"?! Sigh...

Well, one day I noticed a Battenburg lace small tablecloth I had stashed away and wondered if it would fit over it. Voilá, it fit just fine to cover the padding and muslin so I used some upholstery tacks to simply tack it. It took me all of 5 minutes to have a new little stool to have as an extra seat or a stool on which to prop one's feet on. Washable also! So now I don't have to sew least until I want to sew, which brings us to the next problem.

This sad and sorry looking craft and sewing room, which we're using more for food storage now. It's looked like this for almost a year. I usually just close the door and forget about it. There was way too much stuff in it. The antique school desk had to go. We took it out and it's now on Craigslist. I simply didn't have room OR need it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was an impulse buyer that day. I've curbed my spending dramatically!!!

I'll get to this before Christmas because I can feel my zeal coming back slowly. ;-)

A few roses from my garden today. They're still blooming. Aren't they just lovely? What would life be without beautiful flowers? God is so good to us!

If you've stayed with me this far on this post, thank you! I do tend to chat/ramble on too much. ;-)