Friday, December 15, 2023

Running on empty!

That title does NOT refer to me -- I'm doing a good job of drinking my water (although not nearly enough), eating (too much), and last night, I had a good stretch session before bed (probably not long enough), and you know what? I slept like a log! Which is good because the night before was a disaster. 

In case you were wondering, I picked up the new car about three weeks ago. I hate to say that so much is happening that it was almost a non-event. I don't have time to tell you the entire story this morning, but it's still ongoing. New car fine - old car not! And I'll leave it like that. 

I have some open spots at a quilt retreat from January 29 to February 4. It's at Retreat at the Farm, and if you are interested, let me know. While I am booked there for one week, if you prefer to come for a few days only, I can arrange that. E-mail me at We have so much fun at these retreats, and we've had a few of our regular retreat people move, and suddenly, I have a couple of spots open up. 

Yes - the weather can be iffy in January - as a matter of fact, we had to delay by one day last year or two years ago. We were compensated for that. It makes life more interesting, but we've never had to cancel or travel in bad weather because of a retreat. And it's on a decent road, so no worries there. 

And I'm back to teaching in-person classes at The Hobby Horse Quilt Shoppe. Check out these classes and sign up directly with them on the web page. There are two machine quilting classes (One in January and one in March) and one on perfecting the 1/4" seam by learning proper cutting/pressing/sewing techniques (February). Note -- there will NOT be a sew-along with the Hobby Horse for the first part of 2024. That's a first in over 20 years, but it's time to change things up a bit! 

It'll be fun to run an in-person machine quilting class --- get the information and feedback immediately. I can't wait, and there are snow days for all three classes if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate with us. 

OK -- so now the big news about running on empty. NO -- The desktop is not empty. I do an excellent job at avoiding tasks, and because I'm supposed to be clearing that desktop, I'll do anything to avoid doing it! 

I returned to the three desk drawers to see what I could do. When I get in "that mood," it's hard to get out. So why can't I get in the mood for that desktop? 

I thought a LOT about the statement - Things that are valuable to me while I'm alive are NOT valuable to anyone when I'm gone. I know - we could discuss the semantics of that statement for days, but I've been thinking about it a lot! 

So when I went through the second and third desk drawers, I was ruthless. And now, this is what the second desk drawer looks like. It is pretty slick and clean, and I can easily find anything I want. 

The second desk drawer

The third desk drawer looks like this. 

The third desk drawer

Holy- how can one go from THREE CRAMMED drawers to two neat ones and an empty third one? By being ruthless and throwing out the garbage that is NOT of value to anyone and donating the stuff that can be used by someone NOW. I have two boxes of office supplies to be dropped off at the local school. 

Do you know how exciting this is? I am over the moon, knowing that I have a few supplies when I need them and that the school can make better use of pads of notepaper, scissors, staples, paperclips, etc., than I was. 

The empty drawer was bugging me. I was dropping off a box of electronic waste at the recycling depot in the afternoon. So I looked at the shelves under my computer desk. Hmmm. I pulled out a basket of stuff. A backup hard drive that I don't use because I couldn't get it to work properly. 

More electronic crap!

A BRAND NEW 1 TB hard drive. Never opened. I kept that because I have plans for it. 

A 1TB hard disk

I found one lonely bulldog clip, which is now in my almost empty container of them. 

A lonely bulldog clip

More useless cords that have never been used - those are gone. 

Cords -- gone! 

All of this was covered in a thick layer of dust. ICK!!!

I also found some GoPro (camera) stuff and many USB sticks, so I put all that into the empty drawer. It's better to be in the drawer and safe from dust than sitting under the desk collecting dust and creating visual clutter. 

The drawer is now filled with USB and Go-Pro camera stuff

Then I had a further look under the computer desk. Oh boy -- what's all this stuff? I pulled out the few loose books that were sitting there. 

Loose items under the computer desk

I don't think I need this anymore (again, I never used it).

Window 8.1 

And I had to laugh when I saw this paper. It's hard to read, but it gives you a section of the house per week to tidy up. The first week in January is kitchen counters and sink. Week two is kitchen cabinets and drawers; week three is the pantry, food storage, and so on. 

A tidy-up list

While this list is great - it only works if you don't have a lot of stuff. If you haven't been through your kitchen cupboards in years, it will take MORE than a week to sort it out. I could follow that list now, as we have eliminated tons of stuff from our house. I don't think I can keep to a list - I have enough motivation to keep going, and I work on what I want to, and right now - that is the office. 

I emptied three containers. Look at how dirty those containers are -- that is DUST. I'll wash them, and they can be repurposed somewhere else. 

Three filthy empty containers

I took the book container and repurposed it to contain a book of messy business cards (I know!) on this shelf. But this looks much neater than it did, and I'll get around to sorting and tidying this part later. Right now - it looks OK. 

A partially empty shelf

While I was looking, I spotted two boxes, so I opened one to see what was inside. 

A box of "hidden" paperwork

OH GOSH --- this is what I used to do with paper in the office. When the pile became too big, I purchased a box and put it in instead of dealing with it. I know --- I'm yelling at myself for doing that! What an idiot! But that's OK because I'll deal with it now. 

I took a quick look and found Blister Pads -- OK -- so I must have had blisters at one point, but the box is not open. Sigh. 

Blister Pads!

So the space under the computer desk looks better, although I need to take the dust cloth to the shelf. There are two boxes, a small pillow I found for my neck (never used - I should dig that out), two books, and a container of wipes for cleaning the screen, which are probably dry. It looks better, but there is still work to be done. The orange thing is my power cord, so it's easier to clean under the desk. 

The shelf under the computer desk

The current "box" of paperwork to deal with is here. I haven't bought a new box to hide things in in a very long time, so that's progress. If you look closely -- you can see some lottery tickets! 

The current box of paperwork to deal with

And here's the stack of paperwork that I need to deal with today. And if not today, then it's on the priority list and should stay there until it's done! I am so good at pushing this stuff off. I realize it could be worse than it is. I don't know how many boxes of "hidden" paper crap there are in the office, but it's not huge - maybe about ten? That's so scary, but I'll go through them one by one so my kid doesn't have to do it. 

The current day's paperwork

And all the while, I keep that mantra in my head - it's only valuable while you are alive. When you are no longer alive, this stuff is USELESS. So if it's not valuable to me today, then it's just junk and must go. This applies to ANYTHING - clothing, furniture, books, dishes, etc. If it's valuable, then you should be using it -- if not, your kids certainly will NOT treasure any of it. That statement has had a profound effect on me, and I'm certainly looking at things differently, and it makes it super easy to get rid of things. I must put that on a poster and hang it in my Mom's house! 

So I'm prepared to get rid of things that I know I will never use, but if it's stuff I will use, I need to find better homes for it. And let's return to our day's theme -- running on empty. 

I bought two more big storage boxes the other day to finally contain all my stabilizers. I know -- this is excessive, but I get stuff from time to time from work, and I just received a huge bundle of stabilizers. 

And I'm happy to report that they are all contained (except two rolls) in storage tubs. They are stored mainly by type, but I may need to do a bit more sorting. 

Tubs of stabilizers

And you know what happens when one thing leads to another, and I moved the cabinets and dusted and swept behind them. I even wiped the baseboards down. This area can get dirty as the dog hair from upstairs floats down the opening. So, I must remember to vacuum more often or swoop up the dog hair. And you thought I didn't know how to handle a dust cloth! 

House cleaning

That area looks neat and tidy, and I'm pretty happy with the result. 

Neat and tidy!

I moved all my bobbin stuff to one drawer, so it's all easy to find. Again -- there's a home for this, and it makes it easy to see what you have. 

Anything related to bobbins 

I know - you're waiting for the empty part? Look at this!!! That one small unit is completely EMPTY, and two of the six drawers on the other unit are empty!!! This is what happens when you get your act together and start finding homes for stuff or getting rid of stuff. I'm not sure what I'll put in the drawers, and maybe that one unit will get repurposed somewhere else - but for now, it remains empty. 

Empty drawers

And speaking of dog hair, those two girls look slightly guilty. But they are always a joy as they entertain me, especially in the evening when I sit down to read!!!

MOM -- nothing happening here! 

I took a few things to the recycling center - a wooden palette, metal chairs, and that box of electronic waste. It's all about getting rid of stuff, and that was from the garage. I told you -- anything but working on the desktop! Perhaps I could find an empty box (lots here in the office), shove all the desktop stuff into a box, and put it under the computer desk! Then, it would look like I accomplished something! 

I really don't care what gets sorted and cleaned as long as something is being done. And I'll do what I can while I have some downtime. I loaded a quilt this morning, so I hope to get that done today, but I also have a TON of errands that have to be done today. And there are SIX Zoom sessions this weekend that have to be prepped. I did the biggest one yesterday, but they all take time! 

On that note, I'm out of here! 

Have a super day!!!



  1. Ha-ha! I've done the same, shoving clutter in boxes. My daughter was doing it too, until her husband called them "Boxes of Doom". Now we are both working on going through them and getting rid of stuff (95% is junk!). Good luck!

    1. Oh Terri!!! Why have we done this to ourselves? We really need to teach our children how to cope with the junk while it's current!!! Have fun with the task and yes -- 95% is junk!

  2. Today, I went into my closet and realized that I have bags (my go to instead of boxes) stuffed in there. Tomorrow, I plan to take them out and figure out what needs to be done with the contents. I know one bag is full of pj pants that are Christmas gifts. Other than that...your guess is as good as mine! I plan to make decisions as fast as I can, so I can move on to other things.
    I hope to be able to actually use the closet after tomorrow.

    1. Good luck with the closet! You are so right -- we have much better things to do than clean up our junk, but clean it up we must!!! Have fun and make quick decisions, so you can move onto the fun things you WANT to do.