Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am on day TEN of this crap...

And still can't hear at all, not to mention(ok I will) the bad cough, dizziness, headaches, general blahs, stopped up nose, crusty eyes, same old same old. I'm SO tired of this. Maybe my doctor will give me a shot of something to make it all go away. I, the one who hates needles, would gladly get a shot(or two) if it would make me better. This is the freaking pits.

***OOPS*** I meant to include this little gem of a game called Music Catch . Oh my is it addictive and relaxing at the same time. Who care how many points you get??

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still Sick!

This is not fun!! I still can't talk, still have my eye infection, sore throat and general malaise but now my ears are stopped up and I can't hear!!! I'm about ready to scream except I can't. Ugh.

The worst part is that Mark is coming down with it too. And possibly Ryan. Just what we needed.

I'm back to being on the girls' laptop. Will check in soon.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good thing I see my doctor next week...

Because now I have pink eye and still no voice and I feel just as bad as I did yesterday. Which makes it hard to "discuss" the idiots Mark was formerly working with and for. All freakin' hell broke loose after he gave notice. Good gravy! I am SO, SO glad he is out of that toxic place. As much as he loved what he was doing, (some) of the people he had to work with are just nuts.

Anyway, since I'm once again posting from the girls' computer, Amy has given me permission to share her artwork(a small sampling). Be sure to click on each one for the full-size version, they are amazing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sick sick sick....

I haven't felt this bad in years!!! Last night, or should I say this morning, I finally was able to sleep sometime after 3:20 but woke before 6. I've totally lost my voice, my temp is around 100(even on advil), and it feels like someone is sticking a needle and/or a marshmallow(depending on how I move) in my ear drums and a screw driver in my adenoids. Ohmygosh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life is Good!!

Mark has a new job!!!! Wooohooo! I won't go into the all the gory details but
suffice to say it is a positive move in many ways. He has room to grow in a structured (nationwide) company base. He'll answer to much more normal requests and duties than what he has been dealing with at his current job. I will say that he truly LOVED the job he was doing, it was just not going to ever get him anywhere, he was up as far as he could go without being the owner himself. The business had started to slip recently, due to things in someone else's control, and is definitely headed in a different direction than Mark was comfortable with. Things will only get worse although that isn't what we want to see, just the truth. He starts at the new place August 4th. YAY!!!

Curtains are hung!

We finished painting a few weeks ago* but hadn't put the room back together since we got busy with the pool liner and other things. Over the weekend I managed to get to Lowe's so I could get a 1/2-inch copper pipe to use as a curtain rod, a few brackets, and a light bulb for the kitchen fixture(which didn't light up so we might have a bigger problem). Anyway, Mark and I put the curtains up last night and here is the result! I'm very pleased but wish I would have measured with the curtains actually on the rod before we cut it. I used a tape measure and it looked like it would work but the curtains actually hang down about an inch inside where I thought they would. It ended up being ok but it would have been better if they were out an inch on either side. Sigh. I'm still searching for finial ideas. I saw some homemade ones out of sculpey(?) clay but I get horrible headaches when that sort of thing is baked in my house. Maybe some glass door knobs or something will come along.

*Except for the trim. We've narrowed it down to either Bistro White or Betsy's Linen(both Valspar colors from Lowe's) It has to work with our paint and the girls' turquoise too since we need to do their room.

(taken from doorway)

My next project is to make some tie-backs for them out of a coordinating fabric. I was thinking of using a cobalt blue, it really sparkles with the green fabric and storm-colored walls. However, with the quilt on the bed having lots of warm golds, red-oranges and purples, I'm going to go with purple. I have lots of scraps left of the quilt border fabric so that's the likely candidate. My plan is to make a tube about 2 inches wide by 7 inches long and put two snaps at the end so I can undo them easily for nighttime.

(taken from bathroom doorway, the paint color is almost dead-on in this pic)

Yes, I need to de-junk-pile again. I'm thinking of getting a piece of tempered glass to fit the top of my dresser. That way I could put doilies and other decorations under it and not have to worry about getting make-up on them or the cats destroying them. That would be a while down the road though.

(taken from corner opposite bathroom, no flash)

(bed wall)

Now for the headboard. I had a vision last night of what I want to do for a headboard. It involves plywood, padding, and a rich red-orange rusty fabric covering(that I have to find). It may not come to be, the cats may end up keeping fabric off the headboard, but I'm hoping they won't. If not, there is another idea I'm exploring. Old window frames with fabric covered panels inserted where the glass goes. Or, if nothing else, I could use paint in the color I want and just do some wooden slats. I don't know for sure but I can't wait to get started on it!

(entire bed wall)

We also have to decide what to do with our shelves. This last picture shows a LOT of wall above the bed and shelves! Wow! Our bed will probably be on risers by the time everything is done but I haven't ordered them yet(no stores in our area sell them). So, do we paint the shelves to match the walls? Paint them in a coordinating color(I'm thinking a deep, almost black plum)? Trade them for something else? What? I have another shelf identical to the blue one(on Mark's side of the bed) so we could get truly symetrical if we wanted to. I like my shelf because it is slightly taller and holds taller books but since I've got my books on the bookcase in the hall, this isn't necessary now. Any input is more than welcome!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Unexplained...

(Gypsy and Jasper sharing a box)

Something weird happened to me early this morning. I was dozing, aware of the room getting lighter, not ready to move yet. I felt Mark tapping me on the crown of my head but couldn't feature him wanting to wake me up since he knew I was sick. It happened again so I questioned him, "What? What is it?" as I turned over. He had been awakening and hadn't touched me, his arms were still bound in the covers. I told him what I had felt and he said he had not patted me on the head. I sat up and looked behind the pillows thinking a cat was lurking but there was nothing. He said, "Ruby is on my feet and Gypsy has been in the window for the past 10 minutes. Nothing touched your head." But something did. It tapped on the back of my head, two different times.

The sick bed has officially been moved to the couch.

If you want some real chills go read what happened to Brin over the weekend. It was a very real experience for her brother and her dog.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I am sick*...

Which means I've stolen away to bed with the girls' laptop and can share pictures from their secret files finally. And a few videos too(which failed, grrrr).

(I took this behind our tent at Bob Sandlin)

(girl pigs enjoying some hay)

(queen Rosie being herself)

(a VERY rare photo of Amy smiling-trust me, she's worse than the girl on the cruise line commercial)

(a clever hiding Jasper)

*Where sick equals the nasty-asty cold the kids have been suffering with for the last 3-4 weeks. It came on fast too, one minute I was splashing in the pool with Sarah, the next I'm having chills and that "jumped on" feeling. Dangnabit.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Salad

My inspiration was THIS.

Of course, having looked at it several hours before shopping, I did get a few things wrong. Mine has cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, califlower, sunflower seeds, and a bit of soy sauce in the dressing. I also used horseradish mustard. It is YUMMMM!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Lucky Break!

I know a few people know about me losing my BAM bag(booksamillion) but I didn't mention it specifically on my blog. The last time I remembered having it was when we went fishing at Gladewater Lake, back when I thought I saw a baby alligator way back on June 8th. It couldn't be found for our last camping trip. Thinking it was stashed in a pile somewhere, I didn't worry about it. Things have been busy since we got back and the bag's whereabouts were pushed out of my mind... sort of. It nagged me that I couldn't find it. NAAAAGGGED ME. Bad.

I have literally torn the house apart several times looking for this bag. Its loss was the catalyst for my latest decluttering efforts. Finally I decided that I must have taken it to a park day and left it there, though I couldn't remember having it at the park since before the alligator trip. So, I drove to the lake to look in their lost and found, drove to the park and combed the woods, had false memories of putting it down and walking away, nightmares even. I do NOT lose things and not remember!

(bag booty included about 75 hexagons for my Victorian flower quilt, my peppermint essential oil, 3 pairs of scissors and my handmade hussif-sewing kit- with pocket made from one of my dad's few neckties from my early childhood, a pair of silver earrings and a pack of gum)

Anyway, this morning Amy was looking in the hutch, one of the blue ones, where we keep the guinea pig polar fleece and towel bedding. She spied MY BAG!!! YES!!! I didn't lose it!! Wooohoot!

In other news:

I slept past 9 this morning and did not do a dang thing all day long except eat and watch tv. My hip was killing me as well as the top of my foot(aggravated by swimming unfortunately and keeps me from walking a lot most days). I did manage to watch the girls swim for over an hour, make a pan of brownies and a batch of spaghetti sauce. Oh and laundry, I did some of that too. But no working on my shelves at all. Oh well, I have tomorrow.

(here they are, mostly done)

Just because my bag was found does not mean I'm slacking off on the decluttering! I'm hitting it hard and heavy tomorrow morning. I want to get some done before we do our "fun thing" with the kids, yet to be determined.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Only One Me, Thank God!
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A. and 4 with Mark's name(and only 822 people have the last name of Sonier). There is 1 Ryan but 2 Amys and 2 Sarahs. My brother shares his name with over 3700 others and my dad shares his with 23,428 but my mom only shares with 6300. Pretty cool huh?

How many have your name?

Now for my freaky hair, which may well be my best feature besides my sparkly eyes and winning smile, lol. These are some bad photographs but...

I do NOTHING to my hair and this is how it looks. The color, a brassy chestnut, is growing off from this past winter, underneath is a dark coffee brown with lots more silver than I remember.

I wash it, sometimes with baking soda, and rinse sometimes with beer or vinegar, brush it and go. Very occasionally I'll straighten it but lately it seems to make me look more wrinkley.

PaRk dAY!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Well here's a quotable quote!...

Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs. ~Vaclav Havel

I feel like I'm doing a bit of both here. Sometimes all I can do is just stare at steps all over the house! Yesterday was my raw milk run so I was gone a good bit of the morning, til 11 o'clock, actually. Then Ryan had a friend over to spend the night, I was on the phone a lot, the girls wanted to swim, grocery store trip, etc., etc. I got nothing done declutter-wise. I'm trying not to get frustrated by this. I'm ready to step up the stairs but life is getting in the way. Today is homeschool park day and we'll have to take Ryan's guest home at some point. Instead of giving up though, I'm making plans to get back after it on Friday.

(decorated for Halloween)

Currently the fireplace is junked up again. The mantle is decorated for summer now but the hearth is cluttered with quartz and mica rocks, baskets, and some fabric. Not too bad but definitely being used as a storage place. I'd love to have two low-backed comfy chairs to put facing the fireplace for a reading area. May have to search the thrift shops over the weekend.

Here's the living room. The first picture is from our rearranging session last summer, before I painted the hutches. The second is from around Christmas because I see Ryan's arm in a cast from when he broke it. The hutches and loveseat are centered on the wall, unlke the position of the loveseat in the first picture. Its just hard to tell from the angle. The Peace banner(wip) is gone but the horse quilt is still up. There is now a middle shelf on the right-hand hutch. I keep some of my quilting and other craft books on it. The vintage suitcases have old quilts and works-in-progress in them but that corner has become a catch-all for yarn baskets and floor pillows. It is in dire need of a overhaul too.

(China cabinet's current location beside the fireplace)

My goals for the weekend include getting the hearth cleared off and swept, moving the china cabinet to make room for a computer area(and setting that up), dusting all the furniture in the living room, sorting the "pretties" box I have in the dining room(items from the red kitchen carts and the entertainment center), and clearing out the suitcase corner. I hope I'm able to get all of this done!!!

On this day in history...

On Wednesday, July 16th, my mother was born to Edgar and Thelma Smith, 9am, at home, weighing 9 and a half pounds! Happy Birthday mom!!!!

She shares her birthday with Rose, our niece(who is turning 12 today, Happy Birthday Rose!!), and some other famous folks like Will Ferrell, Ginger Rogers, Roald Amundsen, Barbara Stanwyck, Stewart Copeland, Corey Feldman, Barry Sanders, and Phoebe Cates.

She's out running around with her friends today, hitting some antiques shops in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I hope she buys something for meeee! Really, I can't wait to see what she gets for her own self. The thing I'm making her is not ready and probably won't be til late fall, I'm slow like that.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday's Goals...

I met my goals today!!! The living room bookshelf is devoid of books!! I have a few magazines and a bible on my nightstand shelf and that's it! The shelf at the end of the hall is almost completely filled with my books and the two units in the entry hall(our tallest) still have room for a few more books. I need to clean off the tops of each of these things but that can wait til another day. In the end, there were only about 20-25 books to give away. There is a shelf that needs to be redone, it has games, puzzles, flash cards, that sort of thing, and is quite unorganized. I probably would have gotten it all done but I had to pick Ryan up from his camp, along with three friends, take a friend home, stop to let another friend get his swim suit, then stop at the store for hot dogs to feed them for lunch. They swam for a few hours, then I had to take those two friends home. When we got back I took the girls swimming. Whew! I wish I could take a few pictures of one of the friend's grandmother's kitchen. She had her cabinets and walls painted a bright white and the cabinet doors painted a beautiful retro mint green to match the mint green ceramic tile countertops(original to the house). It was gorgeous!!!! In fact, I sat and talked to her for 20 minutes while the boys waited in the car, lol!

This is from last fall, they weren't nearly as bad this time around. Wish I had after pictures but I can't find my camera, or the girls' either. They've been missing for a few days now.***hubby informs me it is on top of the entertainment center, which explains why I can't see it-too high!

(this shelf is to the right of the entry hall and stands almost 5 feet tall)

(this brown shelf is almost as big as the first one but has been relocated to the end of our other hallway so I could put my retro black shelf in its place)

(this shelf has remained clutter free, strangely enough)

Monday, July 14, 2008


Here are some handy websites for us to read on our journey to a more peaceful life.

Its Not About Your Stuff

Less Is More

Neither site has been updated in a while but the archives have some great stuff to offer.

This one, Disorder2Order is a personal blog rather than a professional organizer type site like the other two. I really like how she says things.

Angie mentioned in the comments yesterday that she cleans off a space and it becomes the new clutter collector. That happens here too. I cleaned off my dresser a while back(like months ago) so we could move it for painting. It immediately became the place to store my CDs and my clean laundry, make-up(because of the window and natural light), and more knick knacks that I thought I needed for decoration. So, I cleaned it off again. Less than a week later it was piled high, again. It is a never-ending thing and this happens with other surfaces in my home(my entertainment center, red kitchen carts, and tops of bookshelves are the worst spots). I would love to know why this is. Do I just have too many "pretties"? I KNOW I'm not buying stuff hand over fist to fill these spots, it is stuff I already have, things that were lurking on a bathroom shelf, under the sink or in a closet. Things I thought might look good here or there.

(this would be the before, and current, state of the dresser top, but right now it is just clothing and a few make-up items, not trashed out so bad as this pic)
*** I noticed Tom was in this picture, taken in mid-January of this year, before I ripped the carpet out. Since taking the carpet out, I don't let the floor get cluttered like this at all, guess that's a positive out of it all.

(this is the after picture, it does clean up nice doesn't it?)

(red kitchen carts right after I decorated them)

(red carts a few weeks ago)
***had to add this, The cat in the background, with the glowing eyes, is our Muffin. She manages to get in the background of most pictures I take around here. Chester left us in August of last year and Tom(the orange one) died late this past winter.

You'll notice that the "pretties" are gone, I put them in the china hutch for safer keeping. After that, it just fell apart, they are catch-alls of the worst kind! They get the dregs.

What I probably need to do is get everything back in its proper place, wherever that is. Gather my make-up stuff and put back in my overnight case in the bathroom(after I clean it out from our camping trips, the last of which took place over the first day of summer weekend, June 21st), put my folded clothes away, find a place for my CDs. The boxes of stuff I have just sitting, waiting to be put back on the dresser, I think I'll sort through that and part with some of it. I couldn't even tell you what is in there except a doll my grandparents gave me when I was a girl and some ??? what??? I really don't remember! It is that bad. Of course, when I see it, I might be inclined to keep it and that's ok, as long as I can find a place for it and it isn't clutter. I mean, there are things in there that are nice, special things. It is ok to keep stuff, I am not a minimalist for sure, but I do want to get rid of the dead weight.

Today I'm turning on some fun music and getting after my bookshelves! I did some yesterday and managed to clear off two shelves on one of the hall units. We homeschool, most of you know that already, so I have tons and tons of books. The kids read mostly online or the things that interest them, they take after their dad and read for information and not entertainment(like I did as a kid) so we have a bunch of books that we just don't need. Anyway, our shelves consist of two tall white units from Walmart(in our entry hall), and two units my dad built that hold about the same amount each(one at the end of our hallway and one in the living room), plus about half of my nightstand and a hutch(living room). My goal is to get the unit at the end of the hallway completely filled with MY books from the three other units and free up space on the white entry hall units for kids books from the other unit my dad made(getting all the books off of it). What are your goals?


I has them.

(september of last year)

(january of this year)

These piles have been dealt with but there are still others in corners and on most surfaces of my home. The tops of bookshelves seem to be the worst but there is also the fireplace, the red kitchen carts, the vintage suitcases in the corner piled high with baskets of yarn and fabric and vintage tool boxes(among other things), the kitchen bar, etc. I've been thinning and decluttering for months and months, years actually, but they don't seem to be getting much smaller. In reality they are shrinking, I take bags and bags of stuff to Goodwill each month, at least 3-4 large garbage bags each trip. It just seems like the dent isn't as big as it should be by now. I know one thing that would help is another book toss. Earlier this year I gave away at least 2500 books and I could easily find another 500 or so to pass on.

My goal for the rest of the summer is to not only reduce my piles, but to eliminate them completely! By the first day of fall I want to be not only clutter free but have the rest of the stuff organized. Anyone want to join me in a blog-world decluttering movement? Maybe we could post once a week about our progress or something.