Jack and the Kitchen Purge

Recently we took our dog to my mom’s house.  He loves being with us so was extremely happy to be going along for the ride

We’ve gotten through quite a bit of our kitchen.  We downsized our drinkware to a small cabinet, downsized our plates and bowls into another small cabinet.  I removed our storage containers from three different locations and placed them all in the larger cabinet.  I pulled some pyrex to sell in the yard sale.

Here is our newly purged drinkware cabinet.  We did decide to get rid of our stemware and all of our glasses.  This is really hard for me but truth be told I have been accidently breaking these glasses left and right.  I on the other hand really LOVE my brightly colored plastic cups.  My daughter loves her cups with the lid and straws.  We dropped down to 8 mugs – husband won’t budge below since we make coffee when family visits.  Our two wonderful fly lady water bottles have enough space now to rest easy in the cabinet.  Before the purging the bottom shelf with glasses, the top shelf was coffee mugs stacked two high.

There were three surprising things we are putting out into the yard sale.  The first two are our toasting glasses from our wedding.

and the third is our souvenier glass from our honeymoon.  While we were in Williamsburg we went to two different dinner theaters – Rosie Rumps Regele Dump and then the Mystery Dinner Playhouse.  I loved them both and will remember them with or without this glass.

We were able to downsize our dishes.  We had this lovely white set for as long as we’ve been married.  I really do like the set but since we moved into this home we barely use the small plates or the bowls.  We prefer the plastic bowls.  The dinner plates however we definately use.

Here is the newly purged cabinets – the contents requiring 1/2 the space needed before.

As we were purging I realized that our bowls and storage containers were the hardest for me to declutter.  I really didn’t want to purge with any of them.  I was so frustrated though with the kitchen today – i was trying to prepare dinner and yet again an avalaunche occured when I tried to pull out a pot to cook.  The cabinets were hiding too much stuff.  we cut it down to this

I got rid of any without the lids, that were stained or were missing pieces.  I had this lovely lunch box styled set that had an icepack built in but i lost one of the inner containers so we placed it in the yard sale pile.  I really do have more than I need but I use many of them for homemade play dough to use with my kids at work.

Pictured below is our yard sale pile – the items we purged today.  The tote is full of the drinkware plus some extras.

I went through our spices while my husband is in bed.  We’ve purged our cabinet with our pantry items pulling out enough to fill one of our reusable grocery bags.  I’ve pulled all of our seasonal dishes down from ontop of the cabinet and washed them so we can go through them in the morning – I have my eyes on a few that will be leaving the house come yard sale day.

In the kitchen all the really remains is the china set that my husband thinks he is ready to part with.  I intend to keep a few pieces from it as they were his grandmother’s.  My thoughts are a few are better than all or none.

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Hand Sanitizer

I found a new recipe to try out when I get the chance!

Natural Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer

  • 2 parts aloe gel
  • 1 part distilled water
  • 1 part grain alcohol – vodka
  • 4-5 drops essential oil

Mix it all together and put into a squeeze bottle or  mini spray bottle.

Recommended oils to try:  tea tree, lemon, lavender,

http://www.ehow.com/how_2223499_natural-antibacterial-hand-sanitizer.html

Purging continues – into the kitchen

so we are going through our kitchen cabinets – first things first I had to wash all of our dishes so that we could see the whole picture.

We started with the drinkware – i pulled all the water bottles, glasses, coffee mugs and cups down and arranged them all on the table.  10 coffee mugs for a family of two adults.  4 wine glasses that we rarely ever use.  12 glasses that we don’t use.  well over 20 plastic cups.  We purged down to a much more reasonable number and freed up tons of cabinet space.  All in all we cut down by over half.

Next was the plates and bowls.  We kept all 12 of our glass dinner plates but got rid of all of our small glass plates and our glass bowls.  We kept our lovely red plate bowls, our red bowls and mini bowls and a new set of plastic bowls.

the rubbermaid is arranged on the table waiting for my husband to help me narrow down but it’s break time – an episode of Deep Space Nine then more purging.

more to go but definately making progress.

Uphill swing I hope

my mental health has its ups and downs.  on the upswing of a particularly bad spell which left my home an absolute disaster.  so I set the timer and shined my sink, adjacent counters and started dinner.  *sigh*  shiny, shiny sink:)

I have my timer ticking away.  15 minutes on with cleaning and dinner prep, 15 minutes relaxing.  I’m feeling really sick but I wonder how much is mental and how much is physical.  (both are flaring up right now)

As I sit in my living room I am distracted by the floors.  I would show you a picture of the floors but it’s much too embarassing.  very dirty.  but on a positive note, it’s full of paper scraps as my daughter has been designing paper costumes and outfits.  She has some budding talent.  She made a ninja outfit for herself, and tons of costumes for her stuffed animals.  The dog has also been busy making a mess of the floor with his chew toys, bones and fur.  Her active play today has all sitting areas full save for the seat my butt is in now.  I imagine with her help we could pull this room together in 15 minutes.

I’m touchy and irratable but not growling so life is good.  My therapist thought it would be beneficial to up the dose on the medicine for my anxiety but it leaves me feeling rather nauseous and unpleasantly empty.  I have my husband keeping an eye on me (for safety reasons) but I’m waiting it out to see if it’s just a short term, unpleasant side effect.  It’s been just over a week and I’ve done almost nothing around the house.  I’ve barely left my spot on the couch save for the short spells outside.  Monday was the absolute worse.  Tuesday was rather nice and then back to emptiness Wednesday, Thursday and today.

We went grocery shopping today and the groceries are still out – on the counters, over the bench and on the table.  At least the refrigerator and freezer items are put away.   My husband was supposed to have friends over on Tuesday so he did the dishes while I was at work.  They haven’t been done since and they are piling up.  I finally got up and grabbed a small tote, loaded up all the dishes and set them aside so I could scrub.  I figured it was better to start with a clean slate.

As I went to get started I reach down to grab a clean sponge and we are OUT!  I couldn’t believe it.  I never, ever run out of sponges.  In my whole married life I’ve never run out of sponges.  I throw them away religiously to get rid of the germs and the smell.  One per week.  I always have at least 6 underneath the sink, usually more.  There are none.  I panicked.  I started to sweat.  Feelings of doom and of giving up overwhelmed me, then I realized it was just a sponge.  I grabbed a clean microfiber scrubby cloth and started scrubbing my sink and counters.

The chrome faucet is shining, one load of dishes are washed, my coffee pot is clean and vinegar has been run through it to clean it out.  Chicken is on the stove cooking and I’m about to get up and make some rice.

This OCD/ Anxiety is not going to beat me.  I will succeed – I promise this much.  I will also remember that happiness is all around – it’s just a different way of looking at what you already have right before you.

Brain is glitching on bad photography

Today my brain is glitching something fierce.  I really hate being hypercritical of others but I really hate bad photographers and photoshop users calling themselves professional photographers.  I think what I hate even more is the people who oooh and aaah over these rotten examples of “professional” work.

Now I love photography.  I even sell some of my photographs.  I photograph events.  People ask me to take their pictures and they pay me but I would never call myself a professional photographer.

Here are my major pet peeves with unprofessional “professional” photographers.

  1. over sharpening images – especially the eyes.  COME ON NOW!  it looks fake and bad.  real bad.
  2. over saturating the images.  ouch my eyes.
  3. thinking photoshop will save a shitty image.
  4. over use of filters
  5. slapping their name on every image
  6. over washing out an image
  7. over bluring the sides without precision.

whoo – got it out.

sorry – go about your day now.  I’m done.

Health Tips For You

So I found the water information graphic online and it’s a helpful reminder about why we need to drink water.  today I noticed that my ankles were a bit swollen – in the past when I start retaining water in my feet and ankles it’s a real good sign I’m not drinking enough water.

I read that water wakes you up better than a cup of coffee.  It also helps to relief headaches and makes your skin look younger.  Many of us look for the “magic” pill that will make us healthier and better but I know for a fact that I don’t drink enough water which in reality is a magic drink.

The next graphic I found is about stress.  I am always stressed out.  It’s the OCD driving me and the stress compells me.

This is a helpful reminder why I need to manage my OCD and my anxiety.  I notice the impaired cognitive performance as I forget words and things (not adhd related).  I also have high blood pressure, become sick extremely easy and have a fat tummy.  My blood sugar goes wonky and crashes low.  So there really is a lot of truth to the above.

Below is an amazing water bottle.  I bought two of these through the fly lady store, one for me and one for my daughter.  I was a skeptic.  As soon as it came in the mail I put a couple ice cubes and some water in it and let it sit for hours.  I took it into the car and let it sit.  I then took it inside and placed it on my dresser and went to bed.  Ice in the morning.  no sweating on the outside.  always cold on the inside.  it is simply the best water bottle out there.

dinner

today i made an amazing dinner – with some help.  It really was amazing.  I had an idea – I wanted corn on the cob – slightly salty, slighty sweet with an interesting twist.  I wanted to use my lone yellow squash I purchased from the farmer’s market before it went bad.  and I wanted mini meatloaf.

My adhd self does not like to follow recipes.  they are too structured, too organized, too stifling.  This has caused my family to have some interesting meals – some never to be repeated.  wonderful dishes forgotten because i don’t remember how it was made such as my shrimp cashew pineapple rice.  terrible dishes scrapped and peanut butter sandwiches made.

We decided to head on over to my brother’s home and I offered to make dinner.  Where I am scattered and all over the place, my brother is king of attention to detail.  I knew my dinner would be successful with him around. (he is very talented in the kitchen – precise, knowledgeable and good with flavor).

He was intrigued about my idea for dinner and asked me for my recipe.  I stated, “I figured we’d wing it.”  He looked interested and confused.  I said, “I don’t have a recipe but I have a pretty good idea.”

Here’s what we did: (please excuse me – i am no culinary expert or even a novice)

Mini Meatloaf

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • minced garlic
  • powdered garlic
  • powdered onion blend (see image)
  • poultry seasoning
  • low sodium beef bouillon
  • oats
  • Vidalia onion
  • butter (to saute onion)

I figured regular meatloaf takes a long time in the oven.  Also with larger loaves I feel the outside is also the best part so the two ends are the best.  I thought that if we made meatloaf that fit in the holes of a cupcake pan that we’d have perfect little loaves.  We started with about a pound and a half of very lean ground beef.  I added an egg.  I asked if he liked garlic and he said yes so I took a big spoonful of minced garlic and dumped it in the bowl then I added some more.  He stopped me and said, “you really don’t have a recipe?”  i said, “nope but i’m sure this will work.”  and we continued.  I asked for his spices and he showed me the cabinet.  “Which ones do you need?”  “I don’t know, whichever looks good.”  I grabbed the powdered garlic.

He started catching on.  He handed me some poultry seasoning and then an onion powder blend.  He thought some low sodium beef bouillon would be good so we added that too.

He said people usually put bread crumbs in meatloaf.  I said, “what about oats?  do you got that?”  He did and asked how much.  “Well, maybe two handfuls will do – we’ll just have to see how it looks.”

We decided to put ketchup on the outside but learned we had none so he finally decided to improvise.  As I mixed up the meat then cut up 1/2 a Vidalia onion he started combining ingredients.  I gently sautéed the onion with some butter.

Here’s what he did:

  • small can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 jar tomato and basil spaghetti sauce
  • dash of worschester sauce
  • 2 or 3 spoonfuls of brown sugar
  • dash of vinegar
  • (Unknown if there was more but I believe this was it)

I added the onion, and about 3 spoonfuls of the tomato mixture to the bowl with the meat and mixed it all up.  We sprayed down the cupcake pan with olive oil cooking spray and i made mini meat loaves.

We cooked them for 30 minutes or so on 400 degrees.

He then said a glaze would be good.

I melted about 2 tablespoons of butter, added two spoonfuls of brown sugar and about 4 spoonfuls of his mixture and mixed it all up.

When the meat was cooked I rolled the meat around in the bowl with the above mixture.  I then placed these on a foil lined cookie sheet (oiled), upped the temp to 425 and put the meat back in.  We cooked until the glaze was golden brown.

The remaining tomato mixture was placed on the table as an accompaniment.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • corn on the cob (husks left on)
  • coarse salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • butter

We snipped off the ends of the corn leaving the husks on.  I soaked the ears of corn in cold water with some salt added to it.  I then put the corn in the microwave for 5 minutes.  My sister-in-law then peeled back the husks, removed the silk and handed me the corn.  I added a slice of butter and some rough ground pepper and salt.  I wrapped the husks back around the corn and tightly wrapped each ear with aluminum foil.  We then grilled the corn for about 15 minutes.  After it cooled we removed the foil and husks and served.

Yellow Squash Medley

  • yellow squash
  • Vidalia onion
  • mini sweet peppers
  • coarse salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • butter

I sliced up the yellow squash, a Vidalia onion and about 8 mini sweet peppers.  I added them to a pan with some butter, coarse salt and black pepper.  I sautéed them until slightly translucent.

Fruit

  • strawberries – quart
  • blueberries – pint
  • sugar

We sliced up some strawberries, added a pint of blueberries, mixed in a spoonful of sugar and dinner was done.

It was amazing.  Please forgive me if I forgot anything.  We did not write anything down and I’m working off of memory but it was AMAZING.  so good.  there were no leftovers it was that good.

Yard Sale Pointers

So I would really love to donate all of my clutter but my husband and daughter wouldn’t part with anything if I did that (tried it and it didn’t work).  What works for us is that we sit down as a family and pick an incentive prize(s) to purchase with yard sale earnings.  This could be something you wouldn’t necessarily buy out of your paycheck (if money is tight) but should be something you really want.  I would even recommend printing out a picture of it to use as an incentive to declutter.  It works for very stubborn clutter bugs.

I also encourage my daughter and her friend to have a lemonade and bake sale.  I buy the supplies and they split the profits.  They learn some valuable skills and earn some pocket change.

I love using masking tape and a marker for pricing items.  I find the tape comes off items much easier than pricing stickers.

I also recommend pricing lower than you think you should.  You won’t recoup even half of what you paid for an item at a yard sale.  If it is something valuable you should list it online or specifically include it in your ads.  If it doesn’t sell at the yardsale for what you want then try to sell it online.  Anything you feel is worth pricing at $10 or more should be included in your ad – craigslist, facebook, etc.  This will bring out people specifically looking for that item so are more likely to pay more for it.

I would recommend keeping valuable items on one table and then sit at that table.  Trust me – this is better than someone walking off with a digital camcorder without paying for it plus you are right there to answer any questions about the item.  This is also smart for any items such as swords, weapons, adult items.

I look up items on Amazon.com to see what they are selling for new.  Anything that sells for over $40 new I price for about $5-$10 depending on how much I want to get rid of it.  Over $100 new I may price up to $50.  For items such as camcorders, cameras see what they are going for on ebay and price accordingly.  If these items don’t sell at the yard sale then I set them aside and try to sell them online.

Anything that sells for under $40 new online I mark for a quarter to $4.  At the end of the sale if these items are still around then they should be donated.

We have had a lot of luck selling items for 25 cents, 50 cents and $1.  We also rough add items so if a total comes to $7.25 I tell them $7.  It helps reduce handling large amounts of change and people often pay a bit more because they feel like they got too good of a deal if you underprice.  Our last yard sale was on a very wet, cold day and we underpriced all of our items and made over $200.  We easily had 3/4 of our yard sale items left at the end of the sale (which is why we are having a second sale).

 

 

Upcoming Yard Sale and Free Graphics

We picked the date for our next yard sale!  July 7th!

I designed some yard sale signs that I had printed up at cafepress.com  After having them printed I decided that I’m going to use a black sharpie to outline the arrows on both yard signs.

 

If you like these yard sale signs feel free to use them for personal use only.

 

The Neverending Day

Today was very good and very bad.  Have to say though that I am feeling pretty positive.  i’m finding that i’m hesitating a whole lot less than I used to.  i can give you a hundred and fifty reasons why i can’t do something but not one reason on why i should do something.  now, i find that i just do things (more so than before).

Today I was out with a family enjoying some time at a park.  it was going really well until the other mother brought out a jar of pink maggots used for fishing.  She was letting her children play with maggots.  So started off good – ended very bad.  Luckily a different mom had disinfectant wipes.  At that point it really didn’t matter that the wipes weren’t meant for hygiene purposes the contamination factor was off the charts.

The day got better – had a lovely visit with another family then to the office to try to do some paperwork.

I got a screw in my tire.  I pulled over to the side of the road and started to change my tire.  It was in a bad part of town but instead of offering assistance the people called the police on me.  so bizarre.  I really don’t understand people. I mean really – why call the cops?   I couldn’t get the lug nuts off as the shop had tightened them too tight at the last visit.  I needed help and fortunately I know some pretty fantastic people.  Tire changed out and off I went home.

I did manage to stop in at a thrift shop today and am quite pleased with my purchases.

I found a pair of Skechers Cali Mary Jane shoes.  Normally I wouldn’t go anywhere near used shoes but they look like they were barely used (if at all) and the material can be cleaned easily and sprayed with disinfectant.  $5 – can’t beat that.

I also purchased three books.  I’m really excited about the first book as I’ve been wanted to buy this one for awhile but haven’t.  The Girls Guide to AD/HD by Beth Walker.  bought it for $2.  Really looking forward to reading this book.

Book Description:

For ages 12+. This guide explores the good stuff, not-so-good stuff, normal stuff, brain stuff, and truthfully, the stuff that isn’t in any other book out there on AD/HD. Really! So what makes this book different? It is funny, honest, and written especially for girls, not for their parents. It presents all the must-know information about AD/HD in a style that girls in junior, middle, or high school will understand and want to read. An important first step is to get to know how AD/HD affects girls in particular. They might be some combination of dreamy, forgetful, emotional, messy, depressed, talkative, distractible, or fidgety. They might also have trouble starting and finishing homework and chores, falling asleep and getting up, or fitting in with peers. Recognising this mix of characteristics, the book presents information using three different girl characters – Maddy, Helen, and Bo – each with a unique personality and combination of AD/HD traits. Maddy, Helen, and Bo cover all there is to know, including: What AD/HD is like for girls; How the AD/HD brain works; How puberty compounds problems with AD/HD; How counselling, coaching, and medications help; How to deal with emotions from anger to anxiety to depression; What advantages there are to having AD/HD; How to cope with school and homework; How to get along with family and friends. Armed with this knowledge about AD/HD and the unbeatable advice found in this book, girls will be ready to accept the impact of AD/HD and decide how they are going to deal with it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! This guide should be essential reading for girls, but also for parents, counsellors, teachers, psychologists, and anyone who knows a girl with AD/HD and wants to understand her better.
Can’t wait – I know I’m no longer in school but I’ve felt that this book could really help.  After all – i’m a dreamy, forgetful, emotional, messy, talkative, distractible and figety type of gal!
I also found Simplify Your Space:  Create Order & Reduce Stress by Marcia Ramsland.  $2 but got it for free.  book special i was not aware of.  I’m really hoping I like this book but I’m not sure.
For starters, the previous owner jotted some notes in the book.  With that aside, the layout of the book is lovely however some of the diagrams look cluttered – I guess I’ve been reading about minimalism for so long that a “normal” desk with “normal” amount of items looks positively overwhelming to me.
The third book I bought was actually not for me but for my “father”.  I bought him 2×4 Projects for Outdoor Living by Stevie Henderson & Mark Baldwin.  Now he is either going to love this book or it’s going to collect dust on his shelf.  I love this book for him though because it gives several woodworking projects that I could see him building and using.
Things got better once I got home.  Told my husband about what happened with the tire and he started to get depressed.  I try to talk him out of it but who knows?   I told him the lawn needed mowing and he said he had planned on it but was too depressed so I asked him if he wanted me to do it.  He said he’d get to it eventually and I said that I could do it.  He stated that he didn’t feel like getting it out of the shed (tight squeeze with yard sale items).  I said I would get it out of the shed and he said if I got it out then he would do the rest.
At this point I figured it was a nice day out and that I was going to clean the vehicle.  It was a nightmare (closely resembling the dungeon family room).  I pulled together my supplies and headed out.  I also recruited my daughter to assist.  We pulled everything out of the vehicle including the trunk and piled it on the lawn.  Then I started using my rubba scrubba to brush off the seats and the floor while my daughter cleaned the windows with windex.  I sprayed the upholstery with a mixture of water, sun oxygen and dawn dish soap.  I didn’t think my solution was working as the seats looked filthy but then I looked at my rags and they were disgusting.  The dirt was coming up but there is still quite a bit there.  My hands were filthy but I continued to work.  So did my daughter.  She begged to wash the outside so I pulled the car washing bucket out of the shed and we handwashed the vehicle.  My husband was shocked as I NEVER do this.  In the 12 years he has known me I’ve never voluntarily washed our car.  ever.
Our neighbor came out and invited us to dinner.  Spaghetti with meat sauce.  Without hesitation I said yes for us and then offered to wash her car.  two vehicles washed in one day and I’m still alive.  Life is good.
We ate out in my lovely gazebo.  It was nice chatting with another adult while the kids ate and chatted amongst themselves.  We then started a fire in our new fire pit – our yard sale incentive prize.  (only $48 at walmart which meant we also could buy the Weed Eater Gas Trimmer and an expansion for Talisman).
The fire was lovely – we made smores and poked the fire with our sticks and we were sad when the wood had burnt up and the fire puttered out.
My husband also has our garden planted.  It’ll be quite lovely once the plants have gotten bigger.  He fenced it in to protect it from the wildlife.  My flower pots are also doing well.
Far left is full of poppies (yes it’s overcrowding but i feel they all deserve a chance at life), middle is wildflowers and the right is marigolds.
Left is zinnas, middle is herbs and the right is catnip.  The remaining three pots not pictured are doing well also.  Our berry bushes are also starting to develop fruit.
and my daughter playing in her sprinkler (holding her nose) with my outside oasis in the background.