Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today I turned my back on my son's friends. I let hubby stuff them into garbage bags and take them away. Never to be seen or heard of again. Time and time again we have tried to separate from them, but to no avail. They were tenacious reminders of days past, but  today was the day it all ended.  We had to physically drag them out of the house, their bodies a dead weight - almost as heavy as our hearts.   Who, you may ask, were the victims that filled out these four huge sacks? Every single one of his stuffed animals.  From Aretha Orangutan to Victoria Albina the Cabbage Patch Doll!   Each one of them gone by my command.  Who knew it could be so hard to separate from bits of faux fur, fabric and stuffing? 

Now, there remains that  trunk full of Lego and Matchbox cars....be afraid little wheeled ones, be very afraid....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Did you ever have one of those days?

With the house ripped apart, my computer decided to rebel...to the point where I had to restore factory settings. Everything over the last couple of months is lost...and of course, I did a major overhaul and sorting of my pictures and files just a couple of months ago...all for naught. I have to redo it.  The reason I have files to even worry about is due to this little gadget I have called "Click Free". It really saved the day today because I was able to retrieve my files from the last time I backed up the computer.  What a sigh of relief it was to see things come back to live on my desktop! The only problem is, that the icons from banks etc. are missing in action. So this is what I have been up to today. Nothing but trouble!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Swiss Chalet...How do I love thee?

Just perusing my copy of the nutritional information from Swiss Chalet. How can you not love this restaurant? Many gluten free options, and the calories are negligible. Supper for me will be a chicken breast (no wing) with sauce (25 calories for 100 ml - I have no idea how many ml there are in those little cups, but who cares? It is gluten free and delish!

My favourite side is Greek Salad - dressing and all, comes in at 220, but we always share, so my share is 110.  Half a baked potato and the deal is done!  Of course, it would be nice to have that lovely multigrain roll, because the heart wants what the heart wants. I have learned a lot, and in this case? My heart wants what it absolutely can not have! ;)

The decluttering is going well. Bathroom vanity is sorted...starting to work on the dresser drawers.  So much to go, so little to stay!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Laundry Room Progress

At least one room is done.  I have already put the new arrangement to the test, and found the configuration much more worker friendly.  There is a table for folding to the left of the hanging tablecloth, an unexpected use of my shelving.  All in all, it is so much easier to wash, dry and fold than it ever was!  I find the rawness of the room rather unsettling, but what can you do. It is what it is.
 What looks like clutter, really isn't!  There is order on them thar shelves!  All of the cleaning supplies are now all together, and I will make an effort to keep my hoarding to a minimum. That being said, it is quite nice knowing that I won't have to buy dishwashing soap for quite a long time!  Since it was being kept in the storage room, in various spots, I had no idea I had over a year's supply.
 No excuse for not ironing. Board, iron and electricity are all available in this corner.
 There is still room for a couple of shelves over the freezer. It looks so tiny in it's new spot! 
 And there is one more little space to fill....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Major MESS!!!

Still working away at the storage room in the basement...fondly referred to as the Hidey Hole, for obvious reasons. The key questions I am asking are:
  1. When did I use this last?
  2. When will I use it again?
I find this a lot more enlightening than the standard decluttering questions. The truth of the matter is, a lot of the stuff I just keep "because". What a stupid reason for hanging onto something that only gets in your way and collects dust. Minimalism is the way to go. Keep what you use and love, and get rid of the rest!

Now ALL I have to do is apply those questions to this lot!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The trip home went well. I had a good book, although I was only able to finish half of it. I was in need of too many naps this trip. We arrived home, unpacked and then went to Swiss Chalet to get a takeout for supper. I confess.  A domestic goddess I am not. The good news is that I am back on track with Fitday.com, and keeping track of calories in vs. calories out. Tracking the nutritional value of the food I eat is just as important to me these days as losing weight.  As much as I would like to have immediate gratification from quick weight loss with a high protein diet, it just makes me crazy to even to think of not having carbs. I really have trouble thinking the humble carrot as my enemy!  

This trip, we stayed at the Spa in Moose Jaw. Unfortunately, I didn't indulge in any treatments since I caught the bug that hubby fought last weekend.  The restaurant, 'Harwood's' , was absolutely wonderful.  The first day, while still able to maintain a vertical  position, I ordered a walnut/cranberry salad that was spectacular. The dressing was a fabulous maple syrup/Dijon concoction. Later that day, I watched a cooking show that featured, you guessed it, a maple dressing. So now I am armed and dangerous. Next shopping trip to Costco will have maple syrup on the list for sure.

The second day, since I was totally unfit to be seen in public, we ordered room service for breakfast. I had an egg, over easy. And it actually arrived at the door, hot, and cooked perfectly. Room service has its drawbacks, but this hotel really has great food services. I am totally impressed  with their attention to detail on even the smallest item. Next time we are out that way, I really want to have dinner in the restaurant. If they can provide  a perfectly prepared salad and a perfectly cooked  egg, just think what they could do with a few ounces of beef!

I haven't even gone to view the mess we left behind in the family room. I think tomorrow will be soon enough for that. We have to pull out the remaining items in the storage room and adjust the chrome shelves to make better use of the space.  There is quite a bit of nothing being stored in fine style, while items that really need a home are languishing on the floor.  Time to do some major purging.

I am totally in love with the arrangement in the laundry room, so it will not be a hardship to put in load after load tomorrow while we chisel away at the mess!  I know how this project works, since we have been down this path so many times. You think you will never get through the piles of stuff, and all of a sudden? You are putting the last few items in place, and have boxes to drag to the donation bins at the mall!  There are definitely things in storage that I have not touched since the last time we did this. It is time to say goodbye to them.  I am already looking ahead to the next big project. The garage. Yes, that pit is going to be cleaned out on the May long weekend, come hell or high water!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

One big garbage bag of clothing out!

Yay me!

Why do we keep things for so long? Outdated, frumpy, things that just don't work. First clue something doesn't work is the price tag still attached. Second clue? When you go to actually wear it? You put it on and then take it right off again!  I am going to put a donation box at the bottom of my closet and make sure to toss things in there the minute they don't work for me.  I would love to downsize my collection of hangers to 50 at most.  Keeping in mind of course, that I hang up my nighties!

I really didn't think I would get around to doing my closet tonight but surprise, surprise! If you get mad enough, you can really move through those garments in a hurry!

You wouldn't recognize our house....

everything is everywhere. A total disaster. Hubby has had the flu for the past few days - the days we had planned on putting everything back together again. Humpty Dumpty, I have a brand new respect for your situation. It feels like we will never get ourselves put back together again!

The storage room stuff is in the family room...the laundry room stuff is also in the family room, my clothes are in a jumble in the bedroom, and who know what all that stuff is on the floor in the bedroom. Oh yeah...drawer contents. My plan of attack is this. I am going to sort everything according to kind, in various containers such as shopping boxes and laundry baskets, and what doesn't fit in the designated storage space just has to go. Period.  So, how do you justify three very expensive sets of cosmetic brushes when you only use two brushes that aren't even "the best" ones, but definitely are your favourites? That brings us to the bathroom....all the cosmetics are going in one container to be sorted, and gulp, tossed.

In the process, I am going to rearrange the laundry room work more efficiently, and make the storage areas more accessible.  I dislike having to move things to get things. I want to be able to retrieve anything we own within thirty seconds.  It makes me crazy to go on a hunt for something I just saw the other day, so this is a biggie. I am going to label every shelf and tote. I love my label maker, so a new package of bright white labels and a few hours sitting with it in the storage areas of our house, will give  and dear hubby a clue where to put things, and will give me years of satisfaction.

My goal is to reduce our supplies of EVERYTHING significantly. There is no need to keep a huge supply of laundry products, for example. One on the go, an one in reserve is quite enough.  Could it be that one on the go would be enough? Although, I stand by my habit of buying what we will use for sure in quantity when there is a significant savings to be had. Since it goes on sale a few times a year, it is well worth buying an extra to tide you over to the next sale. (no pun intended!)
And when you think of it? |When each container purports to do 96 loads, how many do you REALLY need? It takes a little time to do 96 loads of wash, and in that time, I think it should go on sale again.  If not , I might consider paying for the luxury of not having too much cluttering up my laundry room.  As for my beloved TP? I am down to only two mega packages. Paper towels, well, it was just on sale before I embarked on this prudent program, and I do have a few too many packages at the moment!  For certain, this system will take awhile to implement, but seeing what we have, will stop us from buying too much of anything in the future.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Absolute Chaos

Hopefully, it will be a better day tomorrow!  We have made a start on the decluttering projet...so far? Not doing well with my closet!  Bedtime arrived, so the batches of clothes were hastily shoved back on the rod to be dealt with in the morning. I am making a bit of headway in the laundry room, though!  Since hubby was busy removing just about everything from the storage area and I was doing the laundry, it only seemed natural to  declutter and sift through the food stores in the pantries.  At least that job is done! 

Around the time Corry Street started, I was done for the day, and ready for the recliner!  Tomorrow is a new day, so we will get moving then. Sunday we will need to recoup and pack up for the journey west.  So, tonight I am going to bed in a muddle, but hopefully it will be all set to rights tomorrow. Anybody need anything? I seem to have one of it in the storage room! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Making do?

That is exactly what we are doing this week.  The frig holds just a few veggies, as we are heading out on Monday for points west, but there is a little of this and a little of that with which to work my culinary magic!

I have three mushrooms, cauliflower, a green pepper, some carrots, celery, parsley and green onions. Sounds like a good start on a stir fry to me!  As a treat tomorrow, I will make a cauliflower macaroni and cheese...that will leave only Saturday and Sunday to worry about! I am really trying to limit our grocery shopping since I have been wasting far too much. This is the year it stops! I am aiming for a budget of under six hundred a month, including of course, all things food. Not a lot when you consider the cost of restaurant meals these days.  I think that is a reasonable amount for two prairie raised old people with a penchant for strawberries out of season and shellfish!  Yesterday I made fish for supper, implementing the "buy it and cook it" philosophy.  We have a great fish market in our neighborhood, so we stopped by after our major shopping trip and picked up enough pickerel  for supper that very night. No fuss, no muss, no bother.

I think the best way to gain storage space in your home, is to stop storing things! That of course, does not apply to massive quantities of toilet paper.  Perhaps, in time that obsession, too, will pass.  Not any time soon though, as long as we are intent on consuming a high fiber diet!

This weekend I am hoping to transition our closets to summer. I have dresser drawers that have not been opened since I last cleaned. That tells me that the contents no longer require such good "real estate".  Time to box up those things and ship them out!

I have pared down my clothing to such an extent that I just may be able to keep all of it stored in my room.  Dare I hope? The planned tasks will mesh very well with doing loads of laundry and supervising the gutting of our hidey hole. I am going to entrust that physically challenging task to the capable hands and back of my dear hubby, who probably would love to spend the day in bed or in the bathroom reading, but will easily bend to my feminine wiles...you know, the ones where your nagging voice reaches the pitch capable  of shattering eardrums?  This area has been the bane of my existence since we moved into this house. It is the area right below our sunken  living room, which translates into a shortened basement area!  You have to watch your head every time you enter the storage space, or risk being bludgeoned by a water pipe.  It would make a great play area for children if you could ever keep the junk out of there!

Of course, these are all plans - and we all know what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men, right?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Yesterday was my "Desk Day". The paperwork required to run a house is nothing short of ridiculous. Gone are the days when we could keep our housekeeping money in the sugar bowl, that is for sure. Every month, it is an intricate dance!  If you buy this can you buy that? If you go here, can you go there? The only consolation is, that it is the same for everyone. Even if you are a millionaire, you have a budget. It is just larger, with bigger numbers! But our little budget is done for April, now I just have to sit back and let the plan unfold as it should. 

Of course, as soon as I net-filed my income tax, another slip showed up in the mail. So, now, I have to wait until the assessment shows up to submit the extra slip. I never seem to get anything DONE these days. I seem to always have those threads left hanging, no matter how hard I try. Ah well. It will give me something to do on Desk Day in June.  As for menu planning? The plan is to eat down our pantry and freezer stores. I am tired of maintaining enough to feed a small army. I would like to go to a weekly shop, which would give us fresher food over all. That leaves laundry and general housekeeping on the books for the rest of the week. Hopefully this weekend we will be able to tackle some horrendous job, like the garage or the hidey hole, just to say we made an effort before taking off to points west next week.

I am looking forward to being out of the house, and letting somebody else cook and clean for me.  The downside to this is getting packed. I have a standard packing list that I use for the "always take" items, and then just vary the clothing choices according to functions etc. that I will be attending. Since this is just a regular business trip for hubby, I only have to pack casual comfy clothes for our suppers out and odd shopping trip. That means just one little suitcase and I am done. Mind you, the weather is so unpredictable these days, that it isn't a bad idea to pack short sleeve tops and snow boots, just to be on the safe side. If it weren't for the allergy activation factor, a person could really learn to love this odd weather!  Trust it? That is another question. 

Reading material is an absolute must on a car trip.  The book has to be long enough to last for the length of the journey (six hours in this case) and light enough to hold in my hand. I took a hardcover book last time, and suffered wrist problems from holding it up in the car to catch the best light!  I am going to be reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, which are nice chubby books that look to have  a bit of time to offer.  I am losing faith in popular books these days. THE  HELP was not a disappointment, but that was an exception to the rule.  Ah well. Onward and upward. Before I can pack, I have to do the laundry. If I start now and do a load every day, start to finish, I will be done by Sunday.  I WISH. The truth is, that if I wash a load today, there will be more to fill the basket by tonight!  For two old people, we certainly can keep those metal maids whirling.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Saturday morning....

I woke up to find that my means of contact with the outside world had been reduced to the telephone. Internet and television services  were gone. Frustrating? Yes. Lonely? Yes. I quickly discovered just how dependent I am on my computer. So often I look up words in the dictionary, a recipe or something that I am just curious about. Not to mention shopping, banking, and inquiries about parcel delivery dates. When the internet is not available, you really miss a valuable tool. And of course, the burning question...how do you live without email?

The man was in Nova Scotia (lucky beggar!) so I could have spent the time spring cleaning, but naaaah.
Instead? I read the Hunger Games, plus the next two books in the series. Mindless reading, geared for teenagers but nevertheless entertaining. 'Survivor' meets science fiction genre. Heroine beautiful, confused about her "feelings", skilled hunter, good grief. I wanted to reach out shake her, as I do all of those "frail but tempestuous beauties"! I find characters like that to be a tad mind numbing, which was, in all fairness, basically what I needed, since I had a whole weekend on my own to kill. BUT the good news is that I also found the time to finish our taxes - I patted myself on the back for that one! So, there was my exciting weekend.