cleaning · difficulties · gratitude · inspiriation · lessons · life · meditation · new start · ohio · philosophy · psychololgy · reorganizing · repurpose

Almost closing time

This has been a whirlwind week, with cleaning and purging and donating and updating and just plain throwing out, I get totally sidetracked and forget about other projects that I care about and have time invested in, like this writing. 

But these distractions in life are temporary and life returns to its new normal, whatever that is at the moment. 

I’ll tell you what, all this cleaning and purging and donating has been so awesome  for me. I’ve learned what I need and what I don’t, what I can live with and without, how to do with less, and how to say goodbye to those things that no longer serve me, even if there is a sentimental attachment

There are many, many things I will miss about Orlando; seeing a momma swan and her ducklings every spring will be one of them, and there really is so much more to Orlando than the theme parks.

It’s been a wild ride, and an interesting one, and one I will never forget. 

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

artistic · cleaning · crafty stuff · design · difficulties · gratitude · handmade · Lazy Sunday · new start · new year · reorganizing

Happy new year!

Let’s hope 2017 sucks a lot less than 2016

And in the spirit of making life less sucky, what goals have you set for this year?

What has inspired you? What do you really really want to do? Or want to finish? 

Have you thought of trying something new? Relearning something old?

Me, I’ve decided to purge and organize my crafty room. With too many things lying around I get overwhelmed by where to start and what to do, so whatever I’m not working on right now, gets shelved in the closet until I’m ready to work on it. 

Now, needless to say, like most crafty people, I’m usually working on 2 or 3 projects at one time, so that will be my limit. Not 7 or 8 like it has been in the past. 

See? This is the organization I need to work on that I was talking about. If only the cat would move…

For today, we’re trying an easy bread recipe in some new cookware we bought (on sale of course!) 

Here’s to a productive and exciting new year!

difficulties · lessons · life · photography

Getting older is not for the faint of heart

I took this photo a couple months ago. I wanted to chronicle my fabulous haircut for future reference, you know, so that way I could show the hairdresser at the $15 haircut place –

$8 with a coupon

How I wanted my haircut.

I never get the same person twice so it’s never cut the same way twice. This photo chronicling is an effort in futility since something is always lost in translation.

So I’m looking at the photo thinking “that’s a lot of gray hair”

Yeah, it sure is! Now I know why people compliment me on my “highlights”.

“Highlights” not withstanding, my latest foray into “a woman of a certain age” is that my left wrist is hurting. I injured it as a young person, and now it’s getting worse to where I can’t put pressure on it and it’s impeding my yoga class. Not good. 

Now I need to see an orthopedic hand specialist. 

After this I fear it’s just a slippery slope into bifocals, sensible shoes, depends, a regular upper lip waxing, and shirts to cover my really flabby upper arms. 

I think my body is revolting against me. 

artistic · cleaning · crafty stuff · difficulties · grateful · lessons · life · material · meditation · mental health · new start · reorganizing · stress

Maybe my clutter is the problem…

The two nicest rooms in my house are the guest room and my 2nd bath. You know why? Because they are uncluttered.

No extra extraneous things to distract my mind, just clean rooms with only the necessary objects for a simple, minimalist way to live. This has actually proved to be quite calming for me, so therefore, I’m now working to get the rest of my house the same.  

Please understand, I’m not a hoarder at all, but once I started cleaning, I found myself saying more than once “oh yeah, I remember this”, and then just as quickly putting it in the goodwill box. Even though it may have been difficult to let go of this thing, I had no idea when I was going to use it (again?) and holding on to it was holding me back. 

So now I’m tackling my crafty room. As a crafty person, I’ve got lots of ideas and projects and drawings and patterns and metal and beads and material that “I swear some day I’m going to use”, but it just sits there staring at me wondering when I’m going to use it.  
And my procrastination has gotten worse as I have accumulated more things with the good intention of doing something with them. It wasn’t always that way. I had one project and I finished it. Then something else caught my eye, and I set it over here “just for now” until I finished this other thing…and it snow balled from there. 

I felt more productive only having one thing to do. I could focus on that one thing, finish it, and have a feeling of accomplishment. Now I look at my pile of stuff and walk right by.

I used to think that it was the room – that there wasn’t the right wall color or curtain pattern. Then I thought it was the room location in the house – like it was so far removed from the other rooms in my house that I felt detached (which is ridiculous because I have a one floor house of only 1100sf)  

But now I realize it’s me, and my clutter. 

So now I’m getting rid of my clutter. On the one hand it’s kinda scary, (that whole attachment thing), on the other it’s very freeing. It’s a joyful, light feeling and it’s pretty addicting. Which should help me be more productive. 
I like that.

Have an uncluttered, productive day.

ambient · beloved · cleaning · coping · difficulties · florida · grateful · gratitude · grieving · lessons · life · new start · photos · puppies · reorganizing · serendipity

the universe is talking to me

I was working around the house yesterday, making some much needed minor repairs, when I heard a very sudden bang! And crash! Like something glass had just broken. 

I dash into the next room (on the other side of the wall where I was working), and sure enough, my glass piggy bank I had as a child – which are no longer made in glass –  was in a million pieces on the floor. Next to it was the ceramic frame I bought in Copenhagen which housed an old photo of me, my dad, my brother and sister when we were very very young. It was lying face up, unharmed, on a rug.

So my piggy bank was in pieces – on the same rug – but the frame was intact. And they both fell from the same height on the same shelf.  

I tried really hard to keep it together. I told myself that nothing was forever and I couldn’t take the piggy bank with me and I need to practice detachment yada yada blah blah blah…

I was good until I started vacuuming. I kept the dogs out of the room for fear of getting glass shards in their feet and started to pick up the pieces. I was fine with the pieces and then I looked at the frame. Perfectly preserved, not a scratch or nick, with my siblings and my dad’s face staring right at me.

Like the piggy bank, I crashed and fell apart. I grabbed the frame with my hand, clutched it to my chest and fell on the bed in tears.   

I used to enjoy working on household projects with my dad. He was so patient and knowledgeable, a real handy man. He liked to help me fix things, and when I did it myself, and did it right, he would say “that’s right daughter”. I can still hear his voice in my head when I work alone now saying “use the right tool for the right job”, “get closer to your work”, “put the tools down in one place so you can find them again”. He got to help me with a few things around this house before he died. I’m glad for that.

It’s been almost 20 years I’ve been in this house, and almost 30 that I have lived here in Florida. I guess what I was feeling – and have been for awhile now – is how much I miss him, and miss the rest of my family that live so far away. 

I’ve been cleaning and purging and making small repairs as a way to prepare to move, kind of a step out in faith, since I honestly have no set date to move. I just have a feeling, you know? Like intuition is telling me, and now the universe is, with this picture frame. Time to let go of the past, and go to where your heart is calling. And dad will still be there to help me. 

dad-navy pics
top and bottom photos: my dad. middle photo: his dad
anna · crafty stuff · difficulties · dog park · dogs · florida · handmade · lola · material · photography · puppies · repurpose · sewing

Monday motivation 

So you may know that my big girl Anna only has three legs. She’s missing her front right leg due to an accident she incurred before we adopted her. If it were a back leg, it wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but being her front leg, she gets tired a lot faster since she puts so much pressure on that one front leg. When she’s tired she sits alot and she does this stumble and chest bump on the ground. Not always, but it’s a definite indicator that it’s time for us to sit for a bit.

Lola, on the other hand, is very much still a puppy and loves – and needs – to run and play and chase squirrel.

I can’t keep walking with one while the other is hurting, right? So I’ve devised a dog sling to carry Anna around the park when she’s tired.

You know those baby carry slings made out of a lot of material that you see some mom’s with? Like a papoose carrier but for a dog.

My original choice of material was too stretchy. It didn’t hold in place so Anna kept sagging out of the thing. So I went home and rummaged through my stash of material –

– don’t we all have a stash of material?

And found something that I think will work.  Now I’ll give it another try. I think this all cotton material will work  better. It’s pretty strong and doesn’t give as much.

And Duke, he doesn’t care if we’re walking or sitting, as long as he gets to be with the pack.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have some great inspiration this week.

artistic · cleaning · coping · design · difficulties · gratitude · grieving · inspiriation · Monday Motivation · new start · new year · pensive stuff · philosophy · reorganizing · serendipity

Monday motivation 

My micromovement for this week was cleaning off my crafty table so I could 1) see the table underneath all the crap that was covering it, 2) have a clutter free work environment so I could focus, 3) get busy with the pattern for my Trash2Trends project. Less than a month now so I really need to get cracking. 

All this cleaning and clearing has given me a renewed sense of accomplishment and purpose and a drive to keep going. Not to wallow in despair or defeat, or to be depressed by events, but to look at it as just a change. Life changes all the time, the only constant is change, and the biggest difficulty is in accepting that change. 

So I am (learning to) accept this change and to keep going. I am reminded of this quote:

So very true.

I love the type font, it reminds me of my old typewriter.

coping · difficulties · florida · gratitude · inspiriation · introvert · lessons · life · new start · reorganizing · repurpose · serendipity

Waiting for the day

As other introverts will tell you, if we don’t like you, we just won’t talk to you.

We’re not being mean, or rude, or insensitive, it’s just that we would rather spend our energy on people that are worth it. And we’re not spiteful or angry to the person we don’t like, we’re considerate and respectful, we just won’t talk to you.

And if you’re full of drama? Oof! Forget it, double dose of not-talking-to-you. 

This leads me to confess that I have installed a countdown app on my phone which tells me exactly just how much longer I have to put up with a certain coworker. 

I wish that day was here already. 

anna · difficulties · florida · gratitude · kittens · lessons · pay it forward · philosophy · photos · psychololgy · rain

Rescue mission

So it’s 347a here and I’m out on the back porch having some tea, puppies lying at my feet, listening to the sound of the rain. It’s cool out, most comfortable and serene.

The reason I am awake is because I just completed a rescue mission of removing a rat I found running around my bathroom. I don’t know if the cats brought it in and forgot about it, or if it found its own way in, but every night for the past 4 nights, right around this time, I’ve heard it wandering about. A couple times Anna had it cornered, but it got away.

Once I saw it and knew where it was, I closed the bathroom door and got to figuring out how to remove it from my house without any bloodshed.

I’m not good with stuff like that, yuck, it makes me nauseous.

I got Wolfie in the bathroom with me to help out. You know, being a cat and all you’d think she’d had some mad rat catching skillz. NO. She stood by the closed door and watched the thing run around the room.

It ran right in front of her you know. At one point, it even tried to hide between her and the door.

FER CRYIN OUT LOUD! Cat! DO something!

*grumble grumble* doesn’t even earn her food around here, acting like that


FINALLY After 10 minutes, Wolfie decides to “spring” into action by grabbing the rat by her mouth when it runs right in front of her.

After that, of course, the thing is terrified and tired and decides to “hide” by hanging from the water line behind the toilet.

I very cautiously and gently take the pillow case I have been chasing it around the room with, and with my hand – and part of my arm – covered, I grab it by its tail and put it in the pillow case.

With it secured in the case, I put on a long sleeve shirt, some shoes, and release it out in the front yard. After a second of wondering where it now is, the little critter wanders off.

“Charlene”, you say, “you are crazy to attempt to catch it, why don’t you just kill it?”

Yoga teaches of ahimsa, which is the act of non-violence. The rat did nothing to harm me, and it just wants to live peacefully, like we all do.

Now, I will try to go back to sleep. Happy dreams to you all.

difficulties · gratitude · grieving · interwebs · introvert · introvert meme

I love you, really…

In my latest relationship, he wanted to do everything together; grocery shopping, errand running, taking a nap, laundry, dog park, bike riding, you name it we HAD to do it together. And if I said no, it felt like the end of the world. There was arguing and whining and pouting and no amount of explaining would make up for the personal pain I (unconsciously and unknowingly) caused this guy. I could not win, and then I got the silent treatment for days.

But that’s another story and his issue.

I think being a woman and feeling/acting this way is extremely confusing for most people, since women are traditionally very social, and throw in an intimate relationship with a man and he is dumbfounded. As much as I reassure that “everything is fine, I’m ok really, we don’t have to do everything together. I’m ok and yes, I still love you”, it doesn’t sink in.
But it is ok, really, that we don’t spend every waking moment together, because for me, that gives us something to talk about. The different experiences we have give us conversation, and we don’t end up getting bored with each other or on each other’s nerves by constantly being together. It’s when I’m not at all interested in talking to you, or don’t want to spend any time with you, that’s when you need to be concerned.

Alas, he still didn’t get it.