Thursday, January 5, 2023

The elephant in the room

 You know how life is -- there are good days and bad days. Yesterday fell into the bad day category. It wasn't a BAD day, but I barely got anything done. I spent the morning on the computer getting the class/club distribution lists in order and getting e-mails to the various groups. I have ONE more to do for Saturday morning, and then this weekend is finished -- I just have to prepare the presentations, which should be quick as I've been sorting e-mails and saving pictures as they come in. 

Throwing them into a presentation takes no time; finding and saving pictures takes time. Hopefully, I'll be good! 

And after I walked the girls together, I realized that my FitBit died, so I didn't get that 2 - 3 KM. Sigh --- But all is good now, and I'll easily make up that distance. YES - I could enter it manually, but I won't. I still got almost 10 KM, so it was an OK day in that area. 

After I returned from the mall from my combined errands and walk, I was on the phone for the rest of the day. And not necessarily accomplishing anything but calls that needed to happen. I'm happy to report that my phone is working fine! 

I was in Walmart, walked past the children's section, and saw TWO cute dresses with ZERO adornment. WHAT?? That never happens -- I was tempted to buy them and embroider something on them! Try to find a T-shirt with nothing on it.  

Yes -- for those of you who live near me -- I went to the mall in the rain. I don't care! It wasn't raining hard enough for an umbrella, although I had one with me. Here's the thing about the weather. There is NO BAD weather, only bad clothing choices. I have jackets for freezing cold days and regular temperature days. I have jackets for rain, and I put a vest underneath if needed. I have a variety, so I'm always prepared for any temperature. Fleece lined jeans for those freezing days, my Tiley hat, and my red scarf. 

I've various pairs of mittens, depending on the temperature. So there is NEVER a BAD weather day at my house. Oh -- I have a pair of rain boots that I wear if it's raining or wet. I have winter boots, but I rarely wear them; I'm mostly in running shoes. And I might add that those New Balance shoes are starting to look a bit dirty, but they are holding up very nicely. I bought them at the end of September - I'll have to check the date when I started to wear them, but I've put a LOT of KM on them, and the mesh toes are still intact. I'm impressed! It'll soon be time to buy another pair. 

The heels, the soles, and the inserts start to break down after about 800 KM and then become harmful to your knees, back, and feet. So for those trying to eek 10 years from running shoes --- it's not a good idea! Of course, it depends on how much you walk; those shoes have over 1,000 KM on them in three months. 

I won't show you my cutting table this morning. It's bad, but hopefully, everyone has their ironing board in tip-top shape. Oh shoot -- I was going to share those before and after pictures with you, and Let me find them. 

I LOVE this space -- it looks cozy and has LOTS of windows!!!! The issue wasn't so much what was on the ironing board but that it needed to be in the right place. See how it's covering part of the cutting table? 

A before picture

Also before picture

And now that some things have been put away and moved -- the space is much more useable!! I love it!!!! Thanks, Anne, for sharing the before and after! And I bet that didn't take very long. Hmm -- What quilt is on the wall? It looks neat!

The after

Here's my public service announcement to you. If you use an electronic calendar, like Google or Yahoo, or an app on your phone, mark these dates. 

October 1 --- book your furnace maintenance and BOOK dates when you want to clean or change your furnace filter. 

October 2 -- time to shop for advent calendars (if that's your thing). We found that some popular ones were sold out when we finally thought about buying them. Or if you're into the quilting ones, those get ordered in March. 

Check the expiry date on IMPORTANT documents, like your passport, your NEXUS card, driver's license, or whatever. Put a note SIX months in advance in your calendar, so you have time to act. I know people who lost their NEXUS card because they didn't renew in time and tried to use it, at which point it was confiscated. 

And as you think of important dates or reminders -- put them in the calendar, and DO NOT IGNORE them when they pop up! 

OH MY GOSH --- this is hilarious, but remember I said I KNEW where that little blue book was? The  Happiness Project? Well, after spin class, I had a more thorough search in that area and NO BLUE book. Darn, where the heck could I have put it. And then I'm standing at the computer desk, and NO WAY!!!! That little blue book has been sitting less than two feet from my head every time I sat down. 

See --- the book with the blue cover and the yellow pages --- that was the one I was looking for, and it was right beside the computer! Well, I laughed, and the original place I looked was where it USED to be stored. 

The blue book beside the computer

Oh my -- -when I opened it up, I saw that I started to use it in 2012. Over ten years ago, I noticed that I wrote some stuff in 2013. It's mainly used near the beginning of the year and sporadically throughout. I can still use the book, so I will try and make that a habit. It's ONE sentence per day; how hard can that be? 

These two entries are from January 31, 2012, and 2013. Look who I went to see in 2013 -- Louise Penny!!! How fun --- she was very popular back then and is even more so now! And look --- NO snow at the end of January 2012. 

January 31 entries in The Happiness Project book

This book is so fun --- you get a snippet of something that happened without much effort. I will leave this by my bed, and before going to bed each night, I'll write the day's highlight. It will be a hoot to go back and read through it later. I may need to put it by the computer -- I'll see what spot works best. 

That is, if I can still read my writing. My handwriting has NEVER been good, and let's say that I was at the top of my typing class. It's so much easier and faster, and less painful! 

And it even looks like I tried different colored inks, but I went shopping yesterday, and look what I found. 

A nice set of gel pens

This was a good lesson in looking at prices before you buy. The set of 10 pens was $22.98. 

The 10-pen set

The set of 14 pens was $19.98. The set of 14 used to be $29.98, so when they did the price drop, they only dropped the higher price item. Check before you buy!

The 14-pen set

My power tower arrived yesterday. There are 14 outlets on it and 4 USB ports. So that is amazing, and you can turn off the power to each segment if you want to shut off the electricity drain to various items. So that is good and something we should get in the habit of doing. Apparently, leaving appliances plugged in to run the little lights, timers, or whatever, consumes electricity. I don't know how much, but every little bit helps. 

The new power tower

Anyway, that tower is going to replace this mess. And I'll be winding up the cords with little holders, so it looks neater. The nice thing about the towers is that if you have bulky blocks (like that big one we see here), you don't lose a plug because of it!

A messy power bar

And for heaven's sake, if you are still putting your power bars on the floor - STOP. Put them on the table where you don't have to crawl around to plug and unplug things! 

So here's a small habit you can change. Let's say you want to take a few more steps each day but are not up for a long walk, then park your car further away from your destination. This is the gym, and I ALWAYS park my car away from the front entrance. But it amazes me, how many people get their cars as close to the entrance as possible. They even wait for someone to pull out. People --- you are at the gym!! A few extra steps will not kill you! Plus, when you park further away, you are less likely to get the side of your car dinged by someone else! 

Park away from the entrance for a few more steps

So I got that sit-down quilting machine, and it's still in the box. I know -- I need to get it up and running. But the big issue was the table, which needed to be level. What to level it with? 

The quilting machine is still in the box

Last night, I searched the house for something wooden that I could put under three legs. Nothing in the garage and nothing in the sewing studio. Then I remembered some old planks from the floor that used to be in Studio B. They were stored in the furnace room. Will they work? I had to put TWO layers under three legs; the table is level at last. Now I need to find someone to cut these pieces, so they are smaller. I'll move the ones in the front so you can sit there. But that job is done! Now I can open the box and get it out! 

The table is level

OK -- so let's think about habits. Have you figured out ONE that you'd like to acquire or change? Make it a manageable habit. Don't start with trying to walk 20 KM every day starting today. That is NOT going to happen. You'll fail after the first day. But if you said something like I want to sew every day. OK --- so that's a general statement, but it works. Now we have to do TWO things to make that happen. We have to carve out a time for that. It could be as little as 15 minutes. Put that in your calendar and try to set the same time every day. Set a timer if you can't sew for more than 15 minutes. 

And then the thing will be to remember to do that! So if you don't have a calendar, make some sticky notes and put them on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, or wherever. You MUST be selfish and carve out this personal time. And you can DO it! Our mothers did so much in one day --- tended gardens, looked after children and/or animals on the farm, made all the meals, cleaned up the dishes, sewed the clothes, etc. Compared to what we do today, we work about 1/10th of what they did! 

I don't care if your husband wants to do everything with you -- then teach him to sew! If you have kids or grandkids, get them entertained with some toys in the sewing space while you sew. EVERYONE needs to know that you have PERSONAL needs and you need time to yourself. I've said before that I'm one of the most selfish (and unselfish) people with my time! And you should be as well! 

I have changed many habits over the years, and I LOVE routine! But I hated computer work and ignored it so I could sew all day. I've since learned that I NEED to spend at least one hour a day at the computer to keep on top of things. Now it's a habit, and I don't resent it! 

I got one of five writing assignments completed. There is much less urgency when there is no immediate deadline! But I did it. I hope to get another done today, but I have a few car errands, which won't take long. 

Have a super day!!! 



  1. I'm trying to get over a bad cold and yesterday was day 8. I HAD to get out and move around. I made a list of stores that I could wander through plus did the little bit of food shopping needed. By the time I got home and inefficiently got everything into to the house/put away, I had walked enough steps to equal 2.35 miles. I was winded but oh my I felt so much better.

    Do SOMETHING! Don't compare yourself to Elaine's incredible distances. Just MOVE! :-)

    1. Elle -- -I hope you are feeling better. I think we all got a bit "safe" during the lockdown when we didn't leave our homes and illness is hitting us hard. HEY --- 2.35 on a sick day is pretty darn good!!! Have a great day!

  2. I use a Mary Engelbreit calendar to write in. I get one for Christmas every year and I write in it each night before bed. It helps me to remember what I got accomplished and to let go of things weighing me down. Each page has Monday through Sunday, with dates for each day. Opposite the dates is a beautiful picture, by Mary and a quote that she has chosen. The theme for 2023 is: Comforts of Home. The quote for this week, January 2-8 is : "If we are to create peace in the world, we must first create peace in the home." Richard O'Keef.
    I think quilters do that, one piece at a time. (Go ahead and groan, my family will.) Torry

    1. Torry --- what a beautiful calendar and I LOVE your idea of letting things go by writing them down. If more people could do that -- well, we would get "piece" in the world. I groaned, but I get it!!!! Have a great day!