A Woman’s Perogative

November 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

Well, that’s what they say anyway.

So I’m back after only a few weeks ago being sure I was done.  I suppose I needed a break from feeling like I should be blogging. Besides, I didn’t feel like I had much to say.  It’s been quite a year, year and a half really, and as it sometimes has a way of doing, life has been moving much faster than I could keep up with.

There was a time when I would have easily, perhaps even eagerly, written about the events of the last 14 months. I would have felt justified in my need to get it out, see it in text and share it. Perhaps I’ve grown out of that need or perhaps I’m just avoiding it.

Maybe though…maybe I’m just deciding to experience it. No blurbs, no poems, no essays. Just sitting with these thoughts and feelings and finding a way through them without dramatization. Almost a foreign concept for me who is so accustomed to overt outward expressing.  (Read: I’ve been known to be a major drama queen.)

Anyway, this leads me back to the Organize 2013 project Shady Lady @ Unschooling Royalty and I started in January.

This month, especially because I just had my 3rd 40th birthday (just seems cooler than saying 42nd), I’m realizing the value of inner organization. Priorities, long term goals, even aspirations and dreams sometimes need reorganizing as much as any bookshelf or closet.

To that end, for the rest of the year, preparing for Christmas notwithstanding, I’m going to work on sorting through some worn out ideas, dust off some old hopes and put a shine on some goals.  Wow, that was pretty cheesy eh?

Oh well, it stays.  And I leave you with this quote from one of the most lovable losers to ever come out of British television…

“Yeah, well, everyone dies.  You’re born, and you die.  The bit in
  the middle’s called life, and that’s still to come!”
Dave Lister – Red Dwarf “Future Echoes”

 

My Favourite Fall Things

September 17, 2013 § 2 Comments

I LIKE Fall. I LOVE Fall! No, wait, I ADORE Fall!

Fall is my favourite time of year, always has been and always will be. Used to be it was my favourite because my birthday is in November and who doesn’t love their birthday?  Family, friends, presents, cake…birthdays are the bomb!

Well, they used to be and then I turned 40 and frankly, it’s just not the same anymore. So even though I’m no longer crazy about my birthday, I still love this time of year.

Here’s a list of my favourite Fall things:

1) The cooler weather…I HATE humidity and we get it pretty bad here in the Valley. It can be stifling and make a person, even one with as sweet a disposition as mine (Hubby, you can stop laughing now), cranky and irritable. By the end of Summer I can be a full on biotch and right quick to snap.  Believe me, by September, a cool Fall breeze is most welcome around here.

2) The changing leaves…well, darn it they’re just so pretty, aren’t they? Hues of red, yellow and orange decorating the trees are almost as nice as Christmas time in these parts.

3) Returning to the sanctity of my kitchen. I really do LOVE cooking but not so much in the Summer…see article 1).  If we’re camping, that’s one thing and I’m pretty good with a Coleman stove but to cook indoors during oppressive humidity, well, no thanks.

4) Yard work…I know, I know…normally, I’m not a fan of yard work or gardening in general. As some previous posts can attest, I have tried very hard to grow a green thumb and have made several attempts at veggie gardens, flower gardens and even gardening in pots. Meh, not for me. But Fall yard work is different and more like cleaning and organizing than actual gardening. Trimming hedges, turning beds, putting my gnomes away for the winter and cleaning up the deck, I’m all for that.

5) Down time…ahhh, blessed boredom. Summer is a hectic time around here for the same reasons as everyone else but I’ve got the added busyness of 7 family birthdays between the middle of July and the first week of September.  That’s a lot of dinners, presents and way more cake than my waistline needs thankyouverymuch.

So, I suppose that’s it…my top 5 favourite things about my favourite time of year. Stay tuned as I plan to start posting my favourite Fall recipes over the next few weeks.

Cabbage Rolls, Pulled Pork, Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce, Chicken Pot Pie and Beef Stew. Oh heaven’s, now I’m hungry.

😀

Organize 2013 – Back on Track

September 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

Well, I’ve been ducking this post for quite a while.

I know this was supposed to be a monthly update but what can you do? Summer is short enough and I wasn’t wasting a second of it doing stuff just because I said I’d blog about it. And really, I didn’t do a whole lot of organizing over the last few months anyway.

But now that Summer is pretty much over and the cooler weather has set in, the urge to get back it has struck and I only have 4 months left before the end of the year.  Yikes!

I just finished straightening up the dining room, even going so far as to remove the leaf from the dining room table that I had left in all summer. I put away all the miscellaneous stuff that tends to gather there and even put down some new place mats I got at the thrift store last week. Spiffy!

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Going with the motivation from that, I tackled the top of the fridge. It always amazes me how much crap ends up, up there. I mean really?  Anyway, that too is now all nice and tidy. For how long is anyone’s guess but it’s done and I took a picture just to prove that it is at least sometimes neat.

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Well, that’s it for now. Later this week it’s the camping gear. We have to sort and organize it all before putting it away for another year.  Le sigh. That’ll be its own post though.

Hope everyone had a great summer!

Time Flies and Other Musings

July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been six weeks, thereabouts, since my last post. The summer is almost half over and I have no idea where the time went.

We just got back from Niagara Falls for Daughter’s birthday, part two (we went last year) where she turned the big 18 and got herself a tattoo…yoink!  Not my baby anymore indeed.

I wish I could regale you with camping stories but unfortunately our camper trailer has been in the shop for the last three weeks. Apparently its not easy to find parts for a 30 year old model. Whodathunkit?

We’re experiencing a weeks long heat wave, today we have a humidex of 43 degrees CELCIUS. That’s stupid hot no matter how you measure it. It’s one of those years where I’m bowing down in utter gratefulness for the pool, especially because we don’t have central air conditioning. One small window unit and fans is how we’re managing the heat indoors. Well, that and going to hang out at the local that does have air conditioning. 😉

In other news, well…there is no other news. I’ve opted to skip this month’s Organize 2013 post because it’s just too darn hot to even think about organizing, let alone actually do any.

I hope you (looking at you Shady!) are having a wonderful summer so far. Perhaps cooler temps will encourage more regular posts on my part.

Later.  😀

 

Organize 2013 – Update 5 (Part 1)

June 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

Well, another month and another organize update. Can you believe we’re half way through the year already?! I’m boggled to tell the truth.

In any case, Spring is fast turning into Summer and we’ve been busy with outdoor projects for the last couple of weeks. Raking, planting, weeding, digging etc…

One of the longest standing outdoor projects has been the removal and replacement of the 40 some year old shed in our backyard.

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It would be a simple project except that it houses our 300 lb pool pump that needs a solid pad underneath it. Up until now, because we’ve never had one, we’ve been lucky that we’ve had no issues. In any case, that’s what this organize project is about.

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Here’s the shed gone and the pool pump. Not much to see really, nonetheless, it’s a definitely a step in the right direction.

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Here’s Hubby getting started. At the moment he’s working around the pump because it’s too heavy to move by himself.

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Well, I spoke too soon. Having called a couple of friends to no avail, Hubby got tired of waiting around and, citing physics as his friend, moved the pump himself. I cringed and pleaded for him to wait but I guess a man’s gotta do. In any case, he lived and didn’t even pull a muscle so I guess I overreacted. He’s nearly finished the pad and has decided that it’s much cheaper to build a custom shed ourselves (the Royal “our” I suppose) for $200 than to purchase a pre-fabricated one (that we have to put together anyway) for a minimum of twice that cost.

Hopefully it’ll all come together in the next couple of weeks and I’ll have Part 2 of the update ready.

😀

Thanks, as always, to Shady @ UnschoolingRoyalty for inspiring and encouraging these monthly organize updates.

 

Organize 2013 – Update 4 (Part 3)

May 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Here it is, the final post in this update.  Phew, it was a lot of fussy work and wracking my brain to alter the pattern properly but I did it and Hubby couldn’t have been more pleased.

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It really did turn out better than I had hoped considering I’ve never made a jumpsuit before. The pant legs were considerably longer than necessary so I chopped a couple of inches off the bottom and gave them a quick hem.

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Doesn’t the communicator badge just make the whole thing? Hubby insisted that it fit like a dream and was much more comfortable than he thought it would be.  I do have to say, I’m rather pleased with my handi-work.  And who can resist a man in uniform, even if it is a pretend one.  😛

So, just for giggles, I put together this side by side image of actor Robert Picardo as the Emergency Medical Hologram from Voyager and Hubby’s representation thereof…

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Kind of freaky, eh?

 

Organize 2013 – Update 4 (Part 2)

May 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sorry for the delay in getting around to these posts but it was crazy around here getting ready for Comic Con.  Hubby and Daughter are home now and they had a blast. The costume I made Hubby (the subject of this month’s update) was a huge hit and he got asked repeatedly where he purchased his costume. He made no bones about how proud he was to tell people that his lovely wife made it for him.  Awwwww, eh?

Anywho, I’m finally posting the second and third parts to this update.  The official pattern, ordered from Roddenberry.com, was rather complicated and I had to alter it if I was going to be able to complete the project.

The original design calls for a spandex panel to be inserted on the inside at the back.  What?  Yeah, forget that…so, using a carpenter’s level, I drew a straight line through the excess and cut the pattern along the line.

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This gave me a tapered piece that would be simpler to construct.  I did the same thing on the side back piece.  Next, it was time to do some more cutting and put it all together.  I started by constructing the collar and adding the lining.

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Next, I had to attach the collar to both the front and back pieces of the jumpsuit.

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Because the shoulder part of the sleeve is the same colour as the collar, I had to put the sleeves together before I could attach them to the jumpsuit.

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Once the sleeves were attached, I added the zipper down the front, sewed the crotch together and then the sides.

Next post will be the finished jumpsuit.

Organize 2013 – Update 4 (Part 1)

May 2, 2013 § 4 Comments

This post is a bit unusual, it’s not exactly about organization around the home despite the task requiring a great deal of planning and organization. However, since it will be taking up a good chunk of my time for the next week, it’s all I am able to manage.

Next weekend is ComiCon and Hubby and Daughter are again attending leaving me home alone to fend for myself for a whole three days. What ever will I do with myself…bahahahahaha.  Hopefully you noted the sarcasm there.

A whole weekend, Friday included, to myself at home.  Aaaaah, bliss.  But I digress, that’s for another post.

Anyway, Daughter has had her costume ready to go, well, pretty much since ComiCon last year. Hubby, on the other hand, didn’t wear a costume last year but has decided that this year he would take advantage of his uncanny resemblance to this guy…

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…actor Robert Picardo as The Doctor from Star Trek Voyager. It’s almost creepy how much they look alike. Coincidentally, Daughter is going as The Doctor (10th – David Tennant) from Doctor Who. Neat, eh?

Anyway, he could have simply ordered the costume on-line, at no small expense, but he asked me if I thought I could manage it. I’ve been making medieval costumes for over a decade and he has every confidence, more than I do myself I might add, that I could handle the challenge.

For the record, the outfit is a jumpsuit…ack!  Way out of my comfort zone. As it is most of my medieval creations have been dresses, tunics, capes and bodices. Although I have made a couple pairs of pants over the years, they were never my best work. A jumpsuit, what was I thinking?

Hubby ordered the pattern from the official Star Trek website and I spent weeks just going over it trying not to get overwhelmed. When I finally decided that I would give it a try, we went out and purchased the fabric necessary for the project.

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There’s Pin Pig, my faithful sewing buddy, more ready than me to take up the needle and get at ‘er. The pattern came with over a dozen pieces, many of which had to be put together because of packaging issues. Whatever, I’m practically an expert right?  Sure, I know what I’m doing.  NOT!  I ended up having to do a lot of research and finally resorted to creating my own diagram.

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One steadfast rule I abide by is an old carpenter’s adage…measure twice (or in my case, half a dozen times) and cut once. The fabric for the costume, though much less than the cost of buying the entire costume outright, was not cheap and we can’t afford mistakes.

I finally mustered the confidence to start cutting the fabric and I have to say, so far, it’s working out well. I have all the pattern pieces cut out* and put together properly and started on the top portion (department colour).

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Because the fabric for the coloured part of the jumpsuit is not as sturdy as the rest, I’m lining it with black, light weight, cotton. This will make the jumpsuit sit better at the shoulders and make it look more polished.

*I had to alter the original pattern to leave out a spandex panel that supposed to go inside the jumpsuit. For the life of me I just couldn’t figure it out and I don’t have time (or frankly, the inclination) to dick around with making a test jumpsuit. We’re not aiming to win any costume contest, just trying to get a workable and comfortable facsimile.

Next post will be about how I altered the patterned and putting the pieces together. The final installment will be the finishing touches; the zipper, the shoulder pads and the elastic waistbands.

Wish me luck!

Organize 2013 – Update #3b

April 16, 2013 § 2 Comments

Wow, two posts in two days, I’m on a roll!   😀

It’s a dreary day here with grey skies and rain though I’m not complaining. The air is still nice enough that we got out for a wet walk around the neighbourhood this morning. Besides, the rain is washing away the last of winter’s remnants and, after 6 months of snow, it’s a welcome relief.

Anyway, seeing as how any work outside has to wait ’til it’s dry, I got my pics uploaded and even had time to work with them for some cool before and after views.

My big organize project this month was our bedroom. It was years and years in coming but something more pressing always seemed to come up and take my attention away.  Sorely in need of a fresh coat of paint, purging, reorganizing and sprucing up, the room was a bit of an embarrassment. Thank Goodness no one but us ever saw it…well, until now I suppose.  😛

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This was Hubby’s side of the bed, and no, a neat freak he is not.  Basically it was a dumping ground and with the room being as small as it is, it cluttered up pretty quickly.  We decided, last minute actually, to try moving the bed and see how that would work. We were surprised to see how much more room we had.

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These pictures are wall for wall, I just basically went around the room and took a couple of shots of each one before and after. Doesn’t it look like a totally different room. I will never again underestimate the difference hanging a few pictures will do to brighten and liven up a space.

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This picture is the most telling about just how neglected our room was. The before picture is exactly how the room looked 15 years ago, just after we bought the house.  Though we primed the walls and painted most of the trim purple, as you can see we never managed to get around to covering the black trim around the closet (who paints anything in a bedroom black???).  What a world of difference and, again, I find that even that small picture above the door just adds something.

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Again, more contrast. For the cost of a can of paint, a few decals and a simple decorative piece (from the Dollar Tree, of course) the room is literally transformed. I’m realizing more and more as I do these projects just how much of a minimalist I really am. I’m all about simple, clean and uncluttered.

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So here we are, the last before and after pic. What was once the ‘entertainment corner’ is now my side of the bed and I love it. It may look a bit cramped but frankly, it’s more room than I had before and it’s much nicer. The calendar also adds a bit of changing scenery which is also nice. I’ve never had a calendar in my room before, it’s neat.

That’s it for now, I’m taking a break for at least a week. I have regular housework to catch up on and it won’t be long before it’s nice enough to start working outside. I’m really looking forward to that.

😀

Organize 2013 Update #3a

April 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Well, I guess now that Spring is finally here and the sun is shining my motivation to get crackin’ on my Organize 2013 projects is in full gear.  I know we agreed to a monthly update but I’ve been getting so much done that to save it all for one post would be long at best, tedious at worst.

Having said that, I’m also not trying to show anyone up, I just want to document all the little (and big) organization projects I actually managed to follow through on this year. So no worries Shady, I’m not holding you to keeping up with my updates.

I have two though, this post will be about the smaller of the two projects and next week (only because I have to yet to finish uploading my before and after pics) I’ll post about the bigger one. (No spoilers!)

This week’s post is about organizing underneath the bathroom sink. I didn’t exactly get the before picture I wanted, I had already emptied the cabinet before I thought to grab my camera. Just picture all of the stuff in the following pics crammed into a small cabinet. There, easy peasy.

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and…

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I found 5 bottles of shampoo! Unbelievable the things that get forgotten when you can’t see them.  So I sorted and purged and wiped out the cabinet. In the meantime, I got a visitor who came by to see what I was up to.

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Awwww, too cute.  Anyway, I’m fast realizing that the Dollar Tree is an organizers heaven. So many bins, baskets and stackables in all kinds of colours for dirt cheap.  If you need a little push to get yourself motivated to do an organization project, I highly recommend a visit to your local Dollar Store just to check out all the neat things they have to help get you started.

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So there it is.  For the sake of $5 and 30 minutes, I actually know how much shampoo, razors and extra toothbrushes I have.  That would be 12, btw. Sheesh, I don’t even have that many friends.  😛

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