Get a little dirt under the tires!

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So lately I’ve been caught in the midst of grown up responsibilities (or as grown up as going to school can be). But, this morning I woke up and wanted a day to do something for me, something fun. I can’t say I know where this will take me (judging from the weather I wont be going far) but I need some fun today. Something that isn’t school or work related. I think I’m going to go as far as to take my bike out!!

Attack of the Killer Pianos!!

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I hope I never get used to the air here. I hope that every day I can step outside, take a deep breath and go. . . Wow!!! I also have hoped that I wouldn’t have to deal with another Calgary winter. . .but alas this will not be the case. Tonight I have the pleasure of leaving my coastal paradise and returning to Calgary. . . for one night.

Previously I have spoken about my battle with stuff. . . well now I am again being shown how the things we own really do own us. My Dad is in the process of moving, to where we’re not sure yet (which is another headache in and of its self) but this means I have one last chance to get anything I want from his house. Before I threw my hands in the air and proclaimed “no more Stuff” from the roof tops. . . I accidentally told my Dad that I would take and be responsible for the piano and antique desk. The two heaviest pieces of furniture that graces any home. . . I mean they even have special movers just for pianos!! Here’s where my head hits the desk. I have shot myself in the foot. Because I “claimed” these items, my Dad didn’t find new homes for them and now with his possession date looming, I have to find a way to either retrieve them or remove them from the house and have them thrown away. The Latter not being an option. I get to drive a piano and a desk 15+ hours from Calgary to the island. Find a home for it in our temporary home and potentially sell it once it’s out here.  X24 of course is coming with me, much to his chagrin.

All of this could have been avoided if I had just had my “say no to stuff” motto 3 months ago, or had at least thought about it over the last month. Learn from my mistakes, PLEASE!! If you are renting a small house for an undetermined length of time. . . don’t claim a piano!!!!

Time!

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One blessing to moving out to the island is time. I’ve always wanted more time to complete projects and now I have that and more! My mornings now are devoted to walking the dog down by the ocean and then crocheting while listening to audiobooks! Image

this shrug has been on my to do list since Calgary. I almost finished it but realized it was WAAAAY too big. I ended up having to frog the entire thing and start from scratch. I think I’m going to start a photo collection of all the pieces I plan on keeping for myself and not selling on on my etsy site.

Today I get to spend the day catching up on Dexter and clearing out my yarn stash! My goal is to work through all the single balls I have left. Now that the rain has stopped and the days are getting warming I can soon sit down by the water while I crochet. The perfect zen morning. Slow, quiet, everything Ive needed for so long. Life is starting to go as I hoped!!

Also camping and motorcycle season is almost here!!!!

The cost of living with Stuff

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When I was young, I anthropomorphized everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. I cried when we moved because our old house would think we didn’t like it anymore. I couldn’t get a new dresser or my old one would be mad at me. Dolls and teddy bears would get jealous if I picked others to play with instead. I spend a portion of my childhood apologising to the toys I didn’t pick and cycling through which ones got to sleep with me in bed at night. Yes I was a mildly strange and overly sensitive child, its ok, I admit it. But this attachment followed me into my adult years. Small insignificant things that someone had passed on to me became monumental and I was well on my way to becoming a hoarder.

When X24 planned on moving in I knew things had to change but I didn’t have a clue on how bad they had really gotten. It was when I called my Dad, in absolute tears about my decision to throw away a 30yr old snow globe that had only millimeters of water left and no paint left on the images, that I realized how serious this attachment had become. Sure, he and my late mom had brought it back from Germany for me, but it was old, ugly and useless. My Dad wasn’t going to think any less of me for not keeping it. It wasn’t in some way going to lessen my memory of my mom. It wasn’t even something that you could fix or sell at a garage sale. It was junk. What a realization! Junk. .  . It was such a foreign concept to me that something I once considered to have its own set of feelings and attachments was just a piece of faded plastic.

For the next few weeks I was on fire. I went through drawers, closets, shelves, and under beds. Every item was placed under extreme scrutiny. Do I want it/need it? Do I even like it?! My 900sq ft, 2 bedroom condo with its ample storage space was becoming . . . liveable. I even got to a point where I could open the door to the second bedroom without fear of becoming buried and it didn’t stop there!! I eventually shed so much junk that I could not only fit X24 and his things but he actually got a whole bedroom “man cave” all to himself!! Our living situation was a miracle. I made it work and never slipped back into my old cluttered ways . . . until moving out to the island.

 Now I claim this is not my fault. Truly! My Dad has decided to sell his house and finally downsize which meant that when we (x24 and I) moved, we needed to take anything of my Moms or family heirlooms that I would ever want or get. Books, China, even furniture! So now we’re in a 3 bedroom house with no storage to speak of and boxes . . . sooooo many boxes. Knowing that we’re not going to be in this house for much longer, I am hesitant to unpack them and sort through them. So they sit, taking up valuable space in my “craft room”. The books line every shelf available and DVDs, CDs, video games and the like are shoved under couches and behind the tv. I am finding myself stuck back where I was 5 years ago, having the same internal monologue. . . “Yes I’m sure I’ll read those Latin books. . . I could learn Latin”, “I know those ones are falling apart and the pages are too brittle to read, but they’re antiques”, and “I know those 40 Royal Daulton figurines don’t fit with my décor and take up piles of space, but they were my Moms” or the worst “But what If I want to pass those 3 full sets of china down to my kids . . . that I don’t have”. Now don’t get me wrong some of the things have realistic personal value that I wouldn’t part with for the world but I am again struggling with where to draw the line.

More and more I’m reading about people who have thrown off the shackles of “stuff” and lead happy healthy lives clutter free. We are learning about the value of time over the value of things. Friends of ours have a 15yr old God daughter that instead of buying gifts for, take her skiing or hiking or any number of other activities that create memories instead of clutter. Plus, she is creating a bond and a relationship with them that will last far longer than that piece of kitsch. X24 is another prime example. When he decided to move in with me he got rid of anything that he didn’t use on a regular basis, oddly this also included plates and cutlery but who am I to judge. For my 30th birthday instead of boxes and bows he took me on an amusement park and waterslides weekend. An emotional attachment to stuff is not his thing. We often find that he can go too far in the opposite direction though, throwing out things that he may have wanted after all, but even that is met with a shrug and then it’s forgotten.

So knowing the cost of stuff in everyday life, why is it so hard to let go?  I don’t have any answers yet. It’s a slow process but for now I’ll just curl up on my 1960’s green velvet chaise with a cup of tea made in a 50yr old tea pot while reading a hardcover copy of Anne of Green Gables. . . but you can take the Wedgewood ashtray.

Yogurt saved my dog’s life!!!

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Image“that wasn’t me. . . .”

We have reached a point in our home where “blaming it on the dog” has become a regular activity. Harley is an 8yr old shepherd mix (we think st. bernard) that up until a few months ago was super active. It was this activity that caused him to completely tear a cruciate ligament in his left knee. We’ve dealt with the surgery and recovery so now we’re on to rehab. He’s doing great, it’s awesome but the months of inactivity have not gotten along with his digestive tract. Dogs, like humans, need regular activity to help keep things moving. So now that we’ve started the walks and exercise my wonderfully loving four legged companion has turned from Pluto to Gas Giant!! ( a little disney/science mash up for you there).

For the past few weeks X24 and I have been keeping magazines close at hand to fan noxious odors in the other direction, keeping oil burners going almost 24/7, and banish our loving friend to other parts of the house. We’ve had to even go as far as to sleep with the window open to avoid finding ourselves being woken up in a gas chamber. Many of you may think I’m exaggerating a bit but trust me. . . I’m not. 

We finally reached a point where, after the 3 bomb dropped in almost an hour, something needed to be done. I know Harley’s food had a major role in his digestive distress but unfortunately due to a special diet and picky eating on his part, changing his food was not an option. He doesn’t eat quickly. He grazes throughout the day. So what to do. . . Thank gawd for Google!! After reading through piles of fart jokes and seeing the dark side of the internet I found a forum where someone was honestly looking for an answer to the same gaseous problems. Down towards the end of the comments, a poster suggested yogurt as an addition to the dogs food to help get their workings in order. I went back and forth on this for awhile. . . Harley has been on a strict dog food only diet all his life, how would his body respond? He’s so picky would he even eat it? and most importantly. . . would it work? It was then that a repugnant haze filled the room. . . I grabbed my car keys and was out the door.

I ended up buying a four pack of plain yogurt and with crossed fingers (and X24 laughing in the background) held the open package out to the dog. I have never seen Harley so excited about food before!! It was like he knew that what I was offering him would be the answer to all our woes. For four days our home was flatulent free and it was wondrous. It’s amazing how quickly your memory of things like this fade. Until day five. . . .I was out of yogurts. “bah,” i though “I’m sure it’ll be fine”. Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen. . . it was not. Within moments of his usual yogurting (yes I’m using yogurt as a verb now) time the apocalyptic exhaust was back.  X24 and I spent last night breathing through pillows and again sleeping with the window open. . . in March.

It took one good breeze this morning to send me straight out to the store, and within minutes of my return, the air cleared. It’s been hours now and not a single puff has escaped. From this day forward we will never go without yogurt again!!!

Right now! Well now its from Last night. . . just never got posted

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So today was uber productive on the home front. I finally got the place to a clean that I can feel comfortable with and come Monday morning the organization kick is on!! Clean and organizing are different things people!!

X24’s Computer bit the big one yesterday so we’re slowly patching it back together with digital duck tape which involves my downloading drivers, burning them to CD and then doing the hallway hand off. We’ve got it choreographed quite nicely.

So seeing that I’m in quite the sharey mood right now. . . here is

Stephanie‘s Method For Cleaning a House

1. Get Everything off the floor!! This usually means piling all the clothes on the bed, the yarn, books, or movies on the couch or any other junk that has accumulated anywhere all gets rangled on to one surface.

2. Think of a really neat project idea or shopping item and go write it down to be done later.

3. Make cup of coffee. . . cause cleaning requires caffeine!

4. Put stuff on surface away. Sort clean clothes from dirty, put DVDs back in cases, books on bookshelf etc.

5. Remember cup of coffee is still in kitchen, go get coffee, take a sip. . .if cold microwave.

6. Fill sink up with hot water and 1/3 of dishes on counter.

7. Go back into room you started in and dust, and tidy now uncluttered surfaces.

8. Repeat step 5.

9. Vow to drink the coffee, and sit down in front of the computer

10. Go back to kitchen and get coffee

11. Fill animal food and water bowls

12. Return to first room and vacuum

13. Empty sink of now cold water and refill

14. wash dishes

Repeat pattern till all rooms are clean.

=o) Hope your day is as productive as mine!!!

Hello world!

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Well. . . it began as a bit of a dream and now it’s become reality. X24 and I are basically settled into our (temporary) home on the island! X24 is working and my Etsy site is up and running and I’ve had a few massage clients. Even Harley and the cats have settled in well. Harley loves all the places to swim and is beginning to learn that salt water is not good for drinking!!

I am slowly learning how to cook cleaner and better meals for X24 and myself though tonight I broke down and am making tuna casserole =o)

So for now good night and Bon Appetite!