Tuesday, August 23, 2016

SHORT AND SWEET...










This week 
just seems to have flown by.

  It seems like only yesterday 
that I introduced you to 
our "Summer Place",
and now it is time 
to share another 
amazing occurrence 
in my life
 and I've got 
almost nothing!






It is still
amazingly hot here 
but,
 I'm beginning to feel 
a little fall in the air. 
 Maybe it is wishful thinking,
 but some of the leaves 
are starting to turn, 
and even though 
I intend to keep repeating 
that I will not 'wish' away time,
 I just couldn't help myself...






...when 
I saw these little green gems.

I don't think 
it looks too much like fall yet,
 not until some 
harvest colors 
are added.




This is
 as far as I will go for now, 
but I do have to tell you 
about a wonderful gift
 we received on 
Sunday.






We had gone for a ride 
and when we returned home, 
we found this beauty, 
below,
 waiting on the 
front porch.





The people
 who had owned the Cottage before us 
(they bought it from 
the Garlands, the original owners)
 had dropped off
this original drawing 
that was done in 1973 
along with an original deed 
to the property.
  
It looks pretty much 
like it does now 
except for the hedges 
that line the sidewalk.





Three main differences 
are the arch 
we added over the gate, 
the fountain 
and the screen door.



Not fall, just a good depiction of the screen door taken a couple of years ago.


This is actually 
the original frame 
that you see in the drawing 
but we added the 
gingerbread trim.








We have 
designated a place of honor 
on the parlor mantle 
and are so happy 
to have received it.





Something amazing 
did happen in our life this week,
 and it was a very 
sweet surprise, in deed.

 Our heartfelt thanks to Tom and Cathy Wasley.


...Judy...





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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A SUMMER PLACE...











The other day, 
while taking a tour through Pinterest,
 I came across a board 
entitled Summer House. 

 It was filled 
with the most glorious sights of 
rooms 
sporting the colors of the sea 
and garden spaces 
set deep in the shade. 

 Having a "summer house" 
to go to, or to dream about,
 must be the ultimate in 
all things romantic.











We are most fortunate 
in that we have a sort of 
"Summer House", 
one that we can take with us 
whenever the whim strikes.

 We don't take it out 
as often as we should, 
but it is nice to know 
it is there when 
we want it.






This is the main reason
 we don't take the motorhome out 
as often as we should.

 The Captain and I are 
true nesters.

 We love to be home 
and putting our efforts into 
making it a better place.

 Even though it does get 
a bit tedious at times, 
it is forever
 drawing us in.






We still have 
a couple of rooms 
that are getting a make-over but 
our best, and most enjoyed 
project to date,
 is the screened porch.

 Every spare minute 
of the day and night 
is spent relaxing
 there...






...and now 
that the weather has cooled down a bit,
 we can take advantage of it, 
and dine under the stars, 
so to speak...





...and have dessert 
by candlelight.






The Secret Garden,
 with its large walnut tree overhead,
 is a haven for squirrels and birds 
this time of year, 
and Kai 
has become 
a devoted watcher of
all things squirrel.






When the Captain and I were dating, 
our song was "The Theme From A Summer Place"
 and we watched 
Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee 
live out their dreams 
many times over 
(at least I did).






Whether 
it be on a lake,
 at the beach,
 or in your own 
back yard...






...everyone 
should have a
 "Summer Place" 
in their 
life.


...Judy...






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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SIDETRACKED SISTERS...








My sister, Sid, and myself
How sidetracked were these outfits!!



Once upon a time,
 there were two sidetracked sisters. 
 We were stay at home moms 
with two kids each.

 Our houses were not dirty, 
but to say 
- not tidy - 
would be a gross understatement.
  
We were never 
ready for company 
and when it came 
unexpectedly,
 we were in the 
dregs of disgrace.






We would call 
each other on the telephone 
and spend many hours 
complaining about our circumstances. 
 Time 
that would have been better spent
 picking up a 
few things!





Unbeknownst to us,
 there were another two sisters, 
equally as sidetracked,
 many miles away,
 that were gong through 
the same thing.

 After they, too, 
spent many hours 
on the telephone 
complaining to each other 
they,
unlike us,
 did something about it
 and it affected our lives
 tremendously.






They wrote a book
 entitled Sidetracked Home Executives, 
or S.H.E. 
as we in the club like to call it.

 It changed our lives,
 because we found out 
that our biggest problem 
was that we were not BO's,
 or Born Organizers.

 So we bought the book,
 followed the rules,
 and it worked!!

 And I am sure
 it could work for you also, 
so let me explain 
how I do it:





In the book,
 it states that you need 
a gazillion index cards 
in pink, blue, yellow and white.

  If you want those colors, get them, 
but I have found 
that all one color is just fine, 
as I don't follow the 
S.H.E.rules to the T. 

 I'm not saying 
that you shouldn't,
 I have just found, 
after doing it for awhile, 
a little change in plans
 works well for me
 and I know you would find out
 the same thing 
after you put the plan in motion.

 Here are the tools needed to implement this plan:






A small plastic box 
that holds 3x5 index cards:
 Dividers 
with the names of the months, 
dividers
 with the number of days in the month,
 a pen or pencil, 
and a small calendar 
that fits in the box. 
 You will also need 
3x5 lined index cards,
 one package,
 on the average.






Next on the list 
will be to sort your tasks.

 One card for each task 
and write "daily" in the top left corner 
of the card
 for the tasks that will be accomplished
on a daily basis.

  As each of the tasks are finished, 
put the card back in the box,
 behind the date for the next day. 
 If there is a task
 on one particular day 
that is only performed on a weekly basis, 
write "weekly" 
in the top left corner 
and the name of the day of the week 
that it is to be performed 
in the top right corner, 
and when finished,
 put it behind the next week's date, 
using the small calender if necessary.

  Do the same
 if you have a job 
that is performed only once a month,
 2x weekly 
or yearly.

 When the whole days jobs
 are completed,
 add the title card
behind the one from the day before.

  Do the same when the month is done
 and you will be all ready
 to start over again
 in a new month.






This method 
does not cover heavy cleaning,
 such as drawers, closets, etc. 
but after you get your system
 figured out 
then you can see what days 
are less busy
 and you can add cards 
for the extra cleaning.

 Before you get to that point
 you will see 
that your home looks
sparkling and beautiful
  at the drop of a hat 
not an embarrasment 
in any situation.






I started out planning my system
 by counting the number of rooms
 in the house 
and dividing them in half 
before dividing them up by five days.

 I do not follow any system 
on the weekends. 
 If I am home
 and there are idol minutes in the day,
 I will do some chores
 but I do not make that a priority.

This plan 
could and should 
be changed 
for whatever feels right for you.

 Here is how
 I set up a 
days worth of work
 for me:






Cards are marked "Daily"

Make bed

Clean up (shower, make-up, clothes) ( don't laugh, I will explain later)

Eat Breakfast

Take Meds

Do dishes. Load or unload dishwasher

Empty watebaskets and sweep porches

Check water in plants and flowers, discard flowers when needed

Check Kai's Water

Pay and mail bills 
(This is my nemisis,
 the days just get away from me 
and then I can be late) 
(I write the day the bill should be mailed 
on the back of the envelope
 and keep in a wall box 
until ready to send.

Brush toilets and wipe sinks 
(bath tub and shower are wiped down daily anyway every time they are used)

Check and answer e-mails 
(I leave this one 
for the very last job of the day, 
as I tend to get "sidetracked"
 on Pinterest
 if I don't.






All of the above 
get done everyday, M-F. 

 Now I will add in 
the weekly or monthly chores.

Example:

Card will say: 
Weekly, top left 
and day of the week in top right

Change Sheets on Beds.

After sheets are changed,
 put card behind 
the following week's day.

In the front of the card 
that shows the month you are working in,
 I put one card that has 
"Appointments - August 2016.

 As I am moving through the days 
I will take note of an appointment 
and put the card in front
 of the day that it is due, 
keep that appointment,
 then move the card to the next one. 
 You won't ever
 forget that way.






In order to have a home
 that is always at the ready, 
I dust half of the rooms on one day, 
which is a "weekly" card, 
and the other half on the next day.
 Vacuum all the rooms on another day,
 which is also a "weekly" card 
and do windows,
 waxing floors and wiping cobwebs,
 which is a "monthly" card.

 I do laundry
 2x a week 
on Tuesday and Thursdays 
and wipe down appliances and cupboards 
on a "weekly" basis. 

 You can make these card for any day 
that you like
 just so it gets done.

 It sounds like a lot of work
 but with a feather duster 
and the vacuum at the ready
 and with a positive mind-set, 
it goes really pretty quickly.

 You may also designate tasks
 to others in the family.

 The majority of the tasks 
on any given day 
will only take about 
2 or 3 minutes.






This program really works 
but you have to stick
 to certain principles
 in order for it to do so.

 You have to learn
 to say no
 to any outside influences 
until the work is done
 and you have to be able to 
forgive yourself and not stress if,
 by chance,
 something doesn't get done.

 If you can't get to a job,
 don't move the card to the next day
 unless it is a "daily" card.
   Put it into the date 
that you would normally put it in, 
whether weekly or monthly, 
after it was completed 
and then do it next time.

 Try not to do this
 too often 
or you will defeat the purpose.

 Another habit to get into 
is that you pick up
 all papers, magazines, books
 and fluff pillows 
and straighten up the kitchen
 before you go to bed,
 then you wake up 
ahead of the game 
each morning.






You can buy the book, 
"Sidetracked Home Executives" 
from Amazon 
or you can set up your own card system,
 following similar ways
 that I have set out 
or what works for you.

 It is a pretty good read 
with lots of helpful hints
 and some comedic situations 
and I do 
recommend it.




After
 you have read all this,
 I'm pretty sure 
you will think it is a lot of work, 
as I know 
I tend to go on and on,
 but, truthfully,
 it isn't all that bad
 after you get the kinks worked out.

 If you have any
 inclinations to put off
 doing some of the things 
you know you should do, 
you will get a big boost
 from following this and,
 I know,
 you will be so happy
 you did.






I told you
 way back early in this post 
that I would tell you why
 there are some cards
 that might seem silly to put in, 
but my theory is 
that it gives me 
such a feeling of accomplishment 
to do a card 
and have something tangible in my hand 
to put away.

  I line them up
 on the dining room table
 and don't put the box away 
until the last card is done.

 This helps me too,
 in chores like doing laundry, 
as I tend to put a load in the dryer
 and then forget about it
 and have a dryer full of wrinkled clothes
 when I do get around to it, 
but if I see the card out
 everytime I pass by,
 I won't tend to 
forget it.  




The book tells you 
that once you have repeated one thing 
for 27 times in a row, 
it becomes a habit 
and then you could do away
 with those cards. 
 That would be a personal decision,
 one that I don't intend to make.

 I get out of bed every morning 
and I have lived on this earth 
for 27,740 days
 and I almost never forget
 to make it,
 but I still
 keep the card.

FYI: 
This system also works well
 for menu planning,
 shopping for groceries, 
holiday planning
 and keeping track of
 birthdays and anniversaries.

Now I better go in and start that dryer again!!


...Judy...






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