Finding my Groove

I realized not too long ago that I actually miss blogging.  I miss trying new things, taking pictures, and sharing it with others.  Between getting a job, being struck down by my GI disease and having part of my colon removed due to it, getting married, kids, my husband being back in school, and actively losing weight to reverse other things I’ve been diagnosed with in the last 24 months (PCOS and Hashimoto’s)  … I have been worn out.   I’m trying to get back into making as many things homemade as I can.

We (by we I mostly mean I) decided to homeschool this coming school year, and that slice of irreverent chronicling will take place over at Coffee Until Wine.  Please be aware that my use of colorful metaphors there is substantially higher.  There are a lot of homeschooling blogs that are very faith based and I am kind of the antithesis of all that.  In an effort to keep Gingham Apron a little more friendly, with fewer colorful metaphors, I have created the separate blog for homeschooling.  🙂

Since things will be changing a lot for us with me ceasing to work in order to homeschool I have to hop back on the frugal make-all-the-things-at-home train.  I’ve already begun making my own laundry detergent again, and I’m trying a new dishwasher detergent recipe as well.  Food wise I have been filling my pails with gamma seal lids full of dried goods, and making more things from scratch – sourdough crackers, sourdough english muffins, sourdough pancakes, bread, yogurt, kombucha, “refried” beans, ricotta .. and pretty much anything else I can do on my own to cut costs.

Between now and summer I want to post once per week.  Once traditional school it out I hope to post more often.  I just need to find my groove in all this craziness.

 

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I’m back!

Kind of.

We got all the big stuff moved on Saturday and slept here for the first time that night.  Sunday was spent in part getting the last of the big stuff upstairs while we still had the appliance dolly.  The moving truck was returned around noon.  David made another run with the van on Sunday to get the electronics, and I’ve done smaller runs the last 3 days as well.  There is perhaps another small-ish van load worth still in the garage, and a few things in our bedroom left to grab and then we are done moving stuff out!

Tomorrow with the help of my parents (again) I will start cleaning the old place.  I don’t want to leave the evil bag in the office any reason to charge us.  Though due to how much she hates me I’m pretty sure she will anyhow, but I’m going to photograph everything so if she tries to come at me I will be prepared.

David is not loving his longer commute.  I on the other hand already feel so much more relaxed at home even with the moving mess still *very* evident pretty much everywhere.  The girls are loving their own rooms.  I have made dinner every night since Sunday, and I am loving all the extra kitchen space I have.  We’ve had to improvise a bit on some things – like not having an actual pantry, and our bedroom being too small for David’s desk.  I was hoping for a desk free living room, but that didn’t happen.  I’m sure I’ll get over it.  He did put my computer on the desk as well, so I get to use the proper computer chair, so really I can’t complain too much.  😛

Once I’ve got all the crazy tamed I’ll post pictures.  It may be a few weeks.  Girl Scout cookies arrive on Friday, science fair projects are due in just under 2 weeks, we have to officially be out of the old place on the 28th, and the very next day cookie booth sales start for my troop.  Somewhere in there I’m going to squeeze in a sunrise shoot with some of the most awesome photographers I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with.

Speaking of… please click the picture below to see my photography blog and our most recent Photowalkers adventure.  🙂

American Flat

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I should be packing…

… and not writing a blog post.  Whoops.

In my defense I’ve been productive!  I will be loading up the van and taking some things to the thrift store in a little while.  I also need to be on the computer for a bit to write up the minutes from last months PTO meeting, because we have one tonight and I apparently have a job that I am tasked with accomplishing.  O_o

I’ve been attempting to keep track of my 2014 in 2014 numbers, but I’ll be honest with as many bags and totes I’ve filled to trash or donate my numbers are likely to be off, and likely not in my favor.  Unless it’s a jar of cinnamon gummies I can’t guesstimate to save my life.  😛

Last post I was at 1,186 items left to go…

I’ve put 3 bags into the trash, 1-2 totes worth of stuff to donate, and 2 stacks of books (one stack to send to my sister, the other to head to donation).

I’ll estimate 250 items total for everything thus far.  My “side table” drawers and closet were small object gold mines.  Also I’m going to finally be taking like 5 years worth of dead batteries to recycling, and like a dozen old prescriptions to the local police department to drop into the med waste bin.

I’M PAST THE HALFWAY MARK!!!!

936 items left to go // 1,078 purged!!

 

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It’s getting real…

David has officially taken care of the two utilities that we have to have in our names by the end of the week, both of which transfer to us on Friday. Also Friday we will be paying the first month of rent and getting the keys. I will do the walk-through Friday during the day, and David will be getting a rental truck after he gets off work. We plan on loading a few big things like our deep freeze and fridge. It will be 8 degrees overnight, so my fear of things melting is not an issue at all. 😛

Friday will also be our last night in this house as Saturday is the big move day.

Today I purged more things and set more things aside to be donated. I also took down all the stuff that was 3M’d the wall in the living room as well as the top of the bookcase. All that remains on the bookcase are 3 highly breakable items that need a little more protection than a clothes basket.

There is SO MUCH to do still.

The numbers since the last update are still triple digit, which isn’t bad considering I had a pretty full weekend.

Whiteboard count is 250 items.

My goal for tomorrow is to hit the halfway mark for the year…

1,186 items left to go // 828 items purged!!

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2014 in 2014 Update #3

Well, it looks like moving day is getting bumped up. I’m in no way upset by this obviously. David’s brother will be in town and able to help out the day after we get the keys. So that means we officially start the move a week from tomorrow.

This is me right about now…

SpongebobFreakingOut

My purging is starting to kick into over drive now. Yesterday I had a cute 2 digit number on the whiteboard on the fridge. Tonight it’s a 3 digit number. I fully intend on having another 3 digit number day tomorrow too.

Before I get into specific numbers I must say that Nola went through her clothes and her toys and came back with 25 items for me. Since I know 9 year old do not relinquish personal property easily this is a proud mommy moment for me. It’s just one of many she’s been gracing me with lately, which I need to post about soon, because she’s seriously turning into an awesome girl with a damn good head on her shoulders.

Numbers…

Last time I was at 1,869 items left to go.

My white board count from the last few days is 433 items!

I guessed 200 on a large amount of items. I folded down the back seats in my van, and then filled 3/4 of it, though some was not mine, so I didn’t count that. I also likely underestimated when I cleaned out a tote of random bits. So it surely evens out, if I’m not actually shorting myself.  There was other stuff, like purging my cookbook shelf, Nola’s self regulated purging, and cleaning my bathroom.

1,436 items left to go // 578 items purged!

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I’ll be back soon…

Today I am turning in the deposit for a duplex we were approved for!!

So, I will be continuing to purge things and keep track as much as I can as to how many items it is for my 2014 in 2014.

If you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks that’s what is going on. I need to buckle down because the next 2 weeks or so are going to be crazy, but a totally good crazy! 😀

3 bedrooms … so the girls will have their own rooms finally!

2.5 bathrooms … no more “I have go soooooo bad, can I use your bathroom mommy?!!?!?”

A window in the kitchen!

A kitchen faucet that doesn’t drip non-stop.

A back yard. It’s all dirt, but it’s bigger than our patio.

Oh and a park .2 miles from our front door. The girls are excited to have picnics, ride their scooters, and most importantly ride their bikes.

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Pardon me while I gloat…

Not unlike almost every single parent in the country keeping up on household tasks is an exercise in futility. I say almost because some people are either just too damn organized or they have paid help. I’m neither organized nor rich enough to have someone do my dishes, so that task is largely left to me. I am the stay at home parent, so unless I want to figure out how to cover rent with my good looks (lol) then dishes are mine.

I have never made it a secret that I generally loathe cleaning (see the “About” link). So when I really bust my ass cleaning I think I totally deserve a pat on the back. Four people make quite the mess. There’s 3 longer haired girls, 2 Rainbow Looms, 2 children who are bottomless pits and need a drop cloth to eat plus we live in a dusty desert… My floors are disgusting, dishes are always dirty, and my vacuum is sure to get clogged by rubber bands soon.

In an exceedingly rare moment around here I am totally caught up on dishes. I even “Fly Lady’d” my sink last night! I cleaned it out, and then dried it. The faucet leaks so one side is not so dry… But it’s empty!!!!!

And since I am more than willing to abide by the internet rule of “pictures or it didn’t happen”…..

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2014 in 2014 – Update #2

I’m not even screwing around with this.  I went through Nola’s side of the closet and her dresser drawers today.  I also just finished going through my closet and most of my drawers.

The total for today’s purging….  70.

Mostly clothes, shoes, and some random unfinished (and totally heinous) Pin-strosities.

1,869 items to go!

Maybe tomorrow I can get that down to an even 1,800 items, because I’ll be honest the whole uneven number at the end thing is *really* bugging me.  Like, I’m tempted to go find 9 more things just to make it 1,860.  😛

And no picture today.  I haven’t even gotten my 365 photo done yet because I’m a slacker.  😉

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2014 in 2014 – Update #1

Sometimes getting side tracked is awesome. Like this afternoon… I was playing Diablo 2 (my Christmas present I got myself with my Amazon gift card one of the girls got me) and had to stop for a bathroom break. On my way back downstairs I for some unknown reason ended up in the girls bedroom. It’s a mess, well, it *was* a mess. It’s no longer a mess thanks to me getting sidetracked. Tomorrow I need to vacuum, but their bookcases and toy bins are organized as are the totes under their beds. I even put Sophia side of the closet in order!

Warning: The following pictures are taken with my iPad mini, while they will do in a pinch they are certainly NOT the quality I would typically post. It was 5 minutes until bed time and I was just grabbing quick snaps of it before the two little tornados wake up in the morning and undo all my work. 😉

The closet and "toy bin"

The closet and “toy bin, excuse the closet shelf, I didn’t get all of that done today.

Reading Area - 2 bookcases, 2 learning towers, 2 pillow mats, and a menagerie of stuffed animals.

Reading Area – 2 bookcases, 2 learning towers, 2 pillow mats, and a menagerie of stuffed animals.

The totes under the bed actually have all their lids, the shoe rack is organized, and the dresser isn't covered in paper!!

The totes under the bed actually have all their lids, the shoe rack is organized, and the dresser isn’t covered in paper!!

I’m just going to count all the trash removed as 12 items, because honestly I lost count with all the wrecked art projects and random small/broken toys.

I have 50 items, mostly books and old mittens and hats, set aside to donate.

I also cleaned up a few things downstairs this morning and tossed 13 items.

Total for today… 75!

Only 1,939 items left to go!

Tomorrow is another day to get things accomplished, and I’m kind of liking the neat and order that comes along with this decluttering.

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2014 in 2014

Last year I attempted to do 2013 in 2013, and didn’t do all that bad considering I started really late in the game. I’m going to try again this year! Since we’re hoping to get the rental house I’ll want to pare down what we have *before* we move as not to cart a bunch of junk with us for no good reason. This means I have about a month to whittle down our personal items. I still have things sitting in totes from last year that I never did get out of the house, so I have a solid starting point.

2014in2014

Little bits of trash do not count…

Nor does one rubber band or “c” hook from a Rainbow Loom..

If it did, I would have 2,014 items in like 10 minutes tops. Between my girls crafting with construction paper and two Rainbow Looms in the house I’m swimming in paper bits and rubber bands. Now if I got rid of a whole Rainbow Loom set, I’d say that’s one item. That won’t happen though or I’d have a full on riot on my hands. 😛

Here’s an idea of things I’ll be tossing or donating…

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Kids Clothes
  • Adult Clothes
  • Kitchen Accessories – mismatched dishes, silverware, and small appliances
  • Home Decor – lamps, candle holders and vases
  • Pantry items we won’t use that are not expired

It’s not going to be easy because 2,014 things is a LOT of stuff. I know that my girls have too many clothes. I know that I have things I either haven’t worn in a year or more, and don’t get me started on purses I don’t even use. While I love books, and David is usually against getting rid of books, we have quite a few that just collect dust. I have even more in a tote for “some day” for the girls. My attempt at getting the whole “Babysitters Little Sisters” collection for them has been really well received. That was dripping with sarcasm, they’ve read like maybe a handful of them and have little to no interest. Junie B. Jones and Diary of a Wimpy Kid trump Babysitters books. I’m still trying to get them to read Ramona Quimby. 😛

Tomorrow I’m going to get started, and hopefully keep better count than I did last year.

Join me in decluttering the home!

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