Daily Prompts and Messy Homes

Does a messy home (or office) make you anxious and cranky, or is cleaning something you just do before company comes over?

That’s today’s Daily Prompt (henceforth called DP, because I’m lazy; plus it can also stand for Daily Post).  I’ve written only one response to a DP, last December.  The prompt was to recall your earliest memory.  Not only was mine vivid, it was appropriate for the season.  Hell, I even had a picture to go with it!  [I have picture that could go with this DP, too, but it’s too embarrassing to post.]  Earlier this week, the DP asked what brings out your competitive nature.  I started a post, but began to ramble on.  It was getting late and I was too tired to edit it into some kind of order.  So there it sits in my inbox.*

My inbox is a lot like my home.  Messy.  So messy in fact that I started a blog to chronicle my attempt to declutter and clean out.  I was hoping it would motivate me to get moving, but so far my success has been lackluster.  Perhaps today’s prompt is a sign that I should start again.

Or should I?  As it is, this blog doesn’t get much action.  I spend most of my time at SciFi Chick(s), especially right now with the Supernatural March Madness tournament is in full swing.  That will be over in a week or so, but Game of Thrones is starting tonight, and I’m debating whether I should cover it.  (I have a like-hate relationship with the show.)  If I do, that will further tie up my blogging time.

I haven’t really answered the Daily Prompt, have I?  I could answer it at Ms. Pack Brat, but I’m beginning to think three blogs too many.  Yes?  No?  An alternative might be to incorporate Ms. Pack Brat over here.  It might give this blog an overall theme, rather than just my ramblings.  Decisions, decisions.

I’ll leave the whole “how and why I live with clutter” spiel for another post.

*So, what brings out my competitive nature?  Ballroom dancing.  Yep, it’s true.


Sunday Seven #5 – a day late

Quite a long time ago I quit doing New Year’s Resolutions.  Instead, I try to do goals.  So here, sort of in the form of “Twelve Days of Christmas” are my…

Seven Goals for January

  1. 15 days of kitchen cleanups
  2. Cook 7 meals
  3. 6 days not turning computer on until 9:30 a.m.
  4. Take  lunch to work 5 times
  5. Make 2 doctor’s appointment
  6. 1 trip to Goodwill
  7. Rest and reward for completing the list!

31 DBBB: A post of lists

The task for day 2 of the 31 Days to  Build a Better Blog Challenge is to write a list post.  I decided to combine today’s task with yesterday’s task of creating an elevator pitch.  Perhaps someone can help me decide what to focus on for the next month or so.

Blog Possibilities
  1. Chronicle my attempts to learn the finer points of WordPress.  This is actually broken into 2 sub-categories:
    1. WordPress Codex for the easily overwhelmed. The WordPress Codex gives you about 300 places to start.  And then the links loop around on themselves.  This can be very confusing for those of us with (un-diagnosed) ADD.  So how about organizing Codex topics in a “linear” progression, like a book?  Even though it doesn’t take advantage of the web’s “lateral” browsing functionality, it’s probably the best way to learn something new.  Especially for us baby-boomers.
    2. WordPress theme construction for the PHP impaired. I keep trying to create a WordPress that’s all my own.  I did create a theme for a previous version of the Benjamin Bratt fan site, but it was very simple (didn’t take advantage of widgets, gravatars or threaded comments) and had a few glitches (such as not being centered on IE).
  2. A memoir of my parents (which I don’t have a good title for yet).  I grew up hearing  interesting tales of my parents’ lives during the Great Depression and World War II.  But I didn’t realize how unique their lives were until I grew up and told the stories to others.   I want to write about them for my nephews and niece.  They didn’t get a chance to know their father’s family very well.  I want them to know they are people than can be proud of.
  3. (Going from the sublime to the ridiculous:) The Unofficial Supernatural Season 3 Companion.  There have been “Official Companion” books for the first two season of the underrated show, but at the time I had this idea, there wasn’t one for season 3.  So, how about writing an Unofficial Season Companion?  Since the idea came to mind, the Official Season 3 Companion has been published.  But the show’s less than stellar third season  is ripe for snark, even if I don’t have access to the producers, writers or stars.
  4. Pack Brat.  I love Flylady.  Her system for getting your home and life in order is wonderful.  One of the best things she does is try to change your attitude towards housework and family.  But I’m not on her mailing list anymore because I was overwhelmed.  Same with her website.  She’s since refined her starter program, Beginner Baby Steps, but it seems a little strange to me (and it’s not easy to find).  Why not try to simplify the program for those of us who get easily overwhelmed, and write about my attempts to follow the program?  In the process, perhaps I can even start getting my own home in order.

I think I’ll go with #4 for now.  Maybe that way I can get both my home and blog in order.

Only 15 months late!

A couple months ago I decided I’d try to get one “big, nagging thing” done each weekend until there were no more nagging things to be done.  Finally, I started today.  I got a large box sent off to my nephew and grand-nephew via UPS.  The clerk asked me if there was a date I’d like it delivered by.  I said “How about Christmas a year ago?”

The UPS store is really close to where I live.  I procrastinated, fearing the store was only open during week-day hours; or if on Saturday, only in the morning, like the Post Office.  Plus, the parking is always crowded because there’s a Panera next door.  As is often the case, getting the job done was actually easier than thinking about it.  Even if I hadn’t managed to find a parking spot, I could have parked on the other side of the access road.  (The box wasn’t heavy, just large.)  Still, I think a few spaces could be reserved for UPS customers.  (Knowing Alexandrians, there probably were, but the Panera patrons probably complained.  After all, gotta have access to that free wifi!)

Speaking of wifi, some guy was on his notebook at the salon this morning when I left after getting a much-needed pedicure.  Now, that’s a first.  (The notebook, not the pedicure.)


Stand And Deliver.  Search And Destroy.  Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Yeah, that last one would be me.  I have a Happy Light (yes, that’s its trade name), but I was feeling so good up to the holidays, I didn’t need it.  Besides, it was somewhere in my messiest room, the one I can’t walk into.  I did a meager search from the doorway, but didn’t see it.

But I’ve been noticing that I’ve become more and more depressed since the start of 2009.   So last Saturday, I was “ordered” to find the Happy Light on Sunday.  I was able to make a path into the room (I really have to find a better container for my Christmas stuff), but still couldn’t find the darn thing.

So I thought, maybe I put it in the other clutter room.  Yep.  It was there, in the closet.  Nice to know I actually placed it somewhere and didn’t just throw it on a pile.  And even better, I actually used it Sunday evening.  I’d say things are looking up, but work is still as crappy as ever.  Even crappier for the Army folks I work with.

The junk saga, part 1

So, about my Supernatural Unofficial Season 3 Companion?  Yeah.  I (finally) watched “The Magnificent Seven,” took notes, and… nada.  Yeah, I don’t think that project’s going anywhere.

However, as I always tend to do when work pisses me off, I have made yet another schedule of things to accomplish before I retire.   I believe I had previously mentioned (in a blog I have since deleted because it was corrupted) the mess my home is in.  And that last spring I hired an organizer to help me.  Well, I met with the organizer three times (once to assess, twice to clear out).  And then I stopped.  (They work for 4 continuous hours, and it’s very tiring, especially since I live on the top of a 4-story walk-up.)  But the time has come when I need to start getting things done if I’m ever going to get the place ready to sell by the time I retire.

So yesterday I made a schedule of rooms to attack, one room per month.  If I follow the schedule, I could get the place clutter-free by November.  But I know I’m not going to be able to get it accomplished on my own.  It’s time to call the organizer again.  I may even consider taking a couple days off per month to get things taken care of.

But before March begins, there are a couple rooms  I need to take care of:  the kitchen and dining room.  Both have been decluttered with the organizer, but I’m having trouble keeping them that way.  So, here’s the plan of attack for the next 10 days.

The kitchen—The problem is the kitchen needs (at least a little) work every day or is it gets away from me.  Plus, I have an electric outdoor grill I need to put together… and put outdoors.  And I have a couple appliances that need to go to the Goodwill.

The dining room—Ah, it was so nice and clean.  Then my computer crashed.  When I got it back from the repair shop, I’d already set up my new computer.  So the old computer went on the dining room table.  It’s still there.  I finally bought a backup drive.  I need to backup the computer, clean the hard drive, and list it on Freecycle.  (I’m not going to bother trying to sell it.)  I have absolutely no excuse for it to still be sitting on the dining room table… except my own laziness.

I’ll let you know how much progress I make on March 1st.