Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year!!!!

Gosh -- it's hard to believe that 24 years ago, we were all watching the New Year ring in in Sydney, Australia. Everyone was expecting the world to start ending as the computers couldn't handle the switch from 1999 to 2000. Now, here we are 24 years later, and all is well. But if the "experts" were that shortsighted for "small" detail, imagine how many more things are being ignored - like the disposal of batteries for electric cars! But I won't go there!

I want to apologize to those who came to the Zoom call yesterday, and I didn't get a chance to chat! We'll have to reign some of those others in so everyone gets a chance to participate! And it's sometimes hard when you pop in in the middle of a conversation - I feel rude to just stop and say hi. I try to wave to acknowledge you are there. 

I wasn't the best host yesterday!!! But hopefully, you enjoyed the afternoon chit chat -- I love how the conversations hop from topic to topic! I think we ended the call at 9:30 last night. I don't remember when I last stayed awake to ring in the New Year. I'm of the age, that I don't want to disrupt my sleep! I'm OK with that!

Did I accomplish everything I wanted to get done? Nope -- but I'm OK with that. If I look back on what happened during the year and how much further ahead I am in the decluttering process, I'm a shining star! Not done - let's face it -- this is not a job that you ever finish. It's a lifestyle, and you'll always be decluttering as you downsize, change habits or hobbies, or just live with the daily onslaught of stuff in your life! Embrace it and take a few minutes of every day to deal with it. 

Just like house cleaning, as if I have the right to even talk about that!. I cannot see myself spending days cleaning and dusting and doing the house from top to bottom. I seriously doubt that will ever happen, but taking a few minutes to dust a certain item or get rid of the dog hair? I might be tempted to do that from time to time. 

Having a clear mind and a less cluttered house is making me do things I never wanted to do before. And the more I do, the more I want it to be just that much neater! I feel better; the house looks better. I don't think DH has noticed that the dust bunnies have stopped roaming the house, but then he's a guy! The dogs were NOT happy as I threw ALL their blankets into the washer! 

OH -- someone mentioned that they were afraid to send me an e-mail because of my situation. It's NOT the number of emails that clogged the system; it's the HUGE attachments that are sitting in some of the emails. Those are the class emails that I sent to people. So those need to be deleted. I have 17 GB of free storage, and one more email will not cause things to crash. I'm good and learning a little bit about Outlook every day to make it better and easier to use!

So did my handwork basket work during the Zoom call? Yes -- I got some handwork stuff done. Not as much as I would have liked, but who cares! I got stuff done, and that's all that counts. 

I got the sleeve sewn on this quilt. That wall hanging has been sitting on a table in Studio B for YEARS, waiting for the sleeve to be made and stitched on. Now it's done and ready to find a new home. 

Wall hanging complete with a hanging sleeve

I also stitched the sleeve on this quilt. This quilt was from a class about panels MANY years ago. It now has the sleeve on. No label, but at least a sleeve. I guess I should be putting labels on some of these. Sigh    - another job! 

Another sleeve on a quilt

And I got a few more small things done - ripping out some stitches on some quilting. So, all in all, it was a productive time on Zoom. There are still things to be done in the handwork basket - nothing is a rush, so it can easily wait for the next Virtual Retreat. The next one is on January 27 and 28, so you can mark those dates in your calendar. 

I got another customer quilt done as well. It's trimmed and is ready for pickup! Yep -- I'm trying to keep ahead of the game and deal with all the bits as I go. I used a different part of the software program for the long arm. Oh -- that took me back some years, but I remembered how everything worked and MUCH easier than when I used it before. There is hope for me and technology!

Customer quilt - DONE

Speaking of technology, I managed to get another distribution list created, and I figured out a FAST way to do so. Yep -- even though I have a love/hate relationship with technology, I can make it sing when things go my way. So, I have a few more lists to recreate today, so watch for some emails. I'll let you know which ones tomorrow, just in case I forget someone. 

While the cutting table is NOT clear, it's close. I'll be puttering away at those things this week as they need to be done - not urgent deadlines, but they need to be done. And I have TWO classes to prep for this weekend. Those distribution lists are a priority! The trick is going to be not putting anything else on there unless I am prepared to work on that project. It's going to be hard, but I MUST be diligent. 

The state of the cutting table

I cannot emphasize the beauty of having things work well. My computer is working beautifully because there is some free disk space. The files are sent faster. Zero issues with saving - it's like I got a brand-new computer. So that was a hard lesson learned, but keep that darn hard drive open! Or at least some space on it. 

Now here's a disturbing thought. I was just saving some pictures and spotted this message. 

OK -- so Microsoft is messing with our minds. We USED to have autosave on our computer. So, if you were working on a Word document, the file would automatically save. This was a godsend in the event that your computer crashed. Now -- that feature has been disabled. WHAT?????  Oh, it works, but only if the file is on OneDrive. I know -- it seems absolutely stupid. 

So I now write my documents on OneDrive to use the Autosave feature. But in addition to them sitting on OneDrive, they backed up to my C drive and gobbled up the space. I also put my presentations on OneDrive, so regardless of what device or where I am, I can access them. Yesterday, when I tried to grab a presentation, it wasn't available to me on my laptop, yet the file is sitting on OneDrive. Perhaps that was a glitch!!! 

But can they not make this stuff flexible, so we can work how we want? Not how Microsoft wants us to work? Do they not talk to their users? Or at least offer some assistance in setting up these complex things? I'll try it again, as we have Monday sewing today, and we always have show and tell. I may have no choice but to log into that drive. I wanted to be logged into the drive, but I don't want it to back up to my own drive. Anyway, it's too complex to get into this morning. 

I foresee another session or some major research into this issue. But most of the support documents are crap when it comes to answering questions. They are usually step-by-step instructions, NOT the logic or the why something works. Sigh.................

Here are TWO major things I managed to accomplish in 2023, and neither of them has to do with quilting. I managed to write in my Happiness Journal almost every day! OK -- I still need to put those sentences in from when I walked in Spain. 
My Happiness Journal

I started on January 4 last year. What's so fun is that each page covers 5 years, and some of those entries date back to 2013 or something like that. And, of course, the beginning of the journal is much more populated than the back half! So it's fun to see what I was doing on a specific date years ago. Guess what? I was decluttering back then! I did say this was a LIFESTYLE, not a task. You will always be decluttering, and the more you start now, the easier it becomes. 

I also got my Conqueror Challenge medal. 

Conqueror 2023 medal

My goal was to WALK 4,400 KM in one year. I finished a couple of weeks ago! I know --- how crazy is that. That's the equivalent of walking 12 KM every day, and in November/December, there were some days when I didn't walk much. I probably could have completed it by November 30 if I had done my usual thing. No worries! Walking to Winnipeg and back is about 4,000 KM!!!! 

So today starts a NEW challenge. Now, here's the thing: I know some of you have also signed up for this challenge. You CANNOT do what I do as I'm a totally crazy person. I like walking -- if you set a goal of walking ONE KM a day, that is HUGE!!! You are way ahead of the person who doesn't get off the couch. And if walking isn't your thing, then p[pick something that you can challenge yourself. Five minutes of stretching every day can be your goal. Physical activity is so important, especially as we get older, but I'm not talking about running marathons - I'm talking about keeping active so you don't lose muscle mass, which is deadly as we age!

And I firmly believe that walking in the rain (each of the days this past week), or the snow, or the cold, or the heat, makes us a MUCH STRONGER person physically, but also mentally!! It makes days when you lose your contact lists much easier to handle! 

Remember -- you have to do what is right for you -- NOT copy someone else or feel bad because you're only doing a small daily goal. That's not the point -- the point is what can YOU do. And ZERO comparisons are allowed. 

Here's my new goal for 2024. 

So, it's New Year's Day, and I'm giving you a break. But I have homework for you today! 

If you are so inclined to do a Conqueror Challenge, let me know, I can give you some tips, and I'll get a recommendation. Or you can just sign up on your own. But think about how you could add some physical activity to your day. It's easy - my fitness tracker does all the work. A one KM walk once a day can clear your mind, add strength to your body, and you get to snoop on the neighborhood! 

Plus - having that goal with the deadline FORCED my butt out the door on many occasions and I felt so much better when I returned! 

If you're not inclined to do a physical challenge, then you have to think about something to declutter in your house. Have you picked a spot to start? A kitchen drawer that is driving you crazy? Too many cups? The cutlery is untidy? A closet? The shoe rack? Pick one thing today, and if you're so inclined - you can start to declutter. Otherwise, wait until tomorrow, when we're going to start in earnest. 

It's going to be tough. It's going to hurt to give away or throw away things that you "think" you treasure. But your kids will thank you, your significant other will thank you, but MOST IMPORTANT of all, once you get over the shock -- YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF. And let's face it -- the most important person in any of our lives is OURSELF. Not our kids, not our partners, not our pets -- BUT OURSELF. 

Do I make resolutions? Nope --- I'm aiming for lifestyle changes that will happen over the long term. I've come a long way since I took on this task of making myself a happier person. I've still got a long way to go, but every day is much easier than the previous day. And that's all I care about! 

OH -- I promised some of the participants in the Zoom call yesterday some eye candy today. Check out this quilt artist. His work is outstanding and can you tell me what kind of material he uses in his quilts? 

On that note, I'm out of here!!! Now go do that homework!!!!

Have a super day!!!



  1. I'm going to assume but say it anyway in case readers don't know, you have Outlook set to empty your trashcan every time you close it. And, empty the recycle bin on your screen.

    Truth! The declutter journey never ends and each item gone brings another breath of fresh air. :-)

    Truth again on doing what works for us! After 2 knee replacements (2018 and 2021), I am pain free. In 2022 I started walking in earnest and eating a bit healthier. The intent is to be healthier as I age and lose some weight in a manner that is sustainable for life. Losing 50# on a fad diet and then gaining it back + some, is not on my list of things to do. After 2 years, I have let go of 42 pounds. In 2023 I walked over 2 million steps (when I remembered to pack my device). I hope to let go of another 15-20 pounds in 2024-time will tell. I feel terrific and I am over-the-moon in love with my perfect knees!🎉

    So yes we all must do "you do you".
    Happy New Year everyone🎉

    1. WOW --- what am amazing transformation! It's hard to be disciplined, but sounds like you are on top of it all! Some day, I'll have pain free knees, but I don't the issue is necessarily my knees. It's lack of stretching for other parts, which keeps things tight. I MUST keep stretching.
      Happy New Year!!!