Friday, January 14, 2011

The quandry of the wrapping paper

I have a lot of wrapping paper.  It is one of those strange things that I seem to inherit.  Truly.  A whole box from Robert's mother and another from my grandmother.  I am also not immune to super cute paper 75% at Target after Christmas.  And I can't seem to throw away an undamaged gift bag, I reuse them (when I can find them)
And so a corner of the junk room became an ineffective wrapping area.  A trunk, under the bed box and wrapping paper tote, along with a collection of bags scattered around and on top.

I divided and conquered so to speak.  All the damaged bags and ends of paper were trashed (there were several thanks to the Slinky pup)  Then I decided some needed to be available on a year round spare of the moment basis.  Christmas on the other hand only needs to be around for about 2 weeks (since I am always last minute.)  As such the under the bed box is now housing all the multi purpose bags, tags, paper and bows.  The trunk has all the Christmas goodies.  Hopefully the trunk is field mouse proof as it will be moving out to the building with the rest of the Christmas goodies.  The wrapping paper caddy is now in the yard sale pile (the damn thing never would stand up for me anyway)

So this is what I ended up with . . .

much better I think.  But here's what I wasn't really prepared to find.  A reminder of how much my grandmother loved me. These are all the handmade bows I made out of construction paper in college.  When I had time to do something other than dishes, repairing toys, and staring at facebook.  It was also a time I was broke and had no TV, but they are actually pretty nifty all the same.  I hope they inspire me to keep on keeping on so that sooner than later I have some time on my hands again to pursue my long lost artistic endeavors  . .

Controlled Chaos minus the control

We are on the tail end of 6 snow days.  For the sake of my sanity and my bank account I am desperate to get back on Monday.  I have filled my week with a sizable amount of devotion to the medical updates of Congress woman Gifford (I am morbidly addicted) and emptying the junk closet in the junk room.
I have made some progress.  All of my college pics are now in 2 photo albums.  I also have a sizable pile to incorporate into Christmas boxes (Christmas stuff from the past few years found after Christmas and stuck in closet no doubt)  The Christmas boxes are still on the back porch due to the several inches of ice on the outbuilding steps so that needs to be done ASAP.
I also have a number of nice things that just don't really fit in my life anymore.  These probably need to go on eBay or craigslist.  I have several Audrey Hepburn barbies and 2 American girl collection dolls.  I just always ASSumed that I would have a girl that would love and cherish these things, but alas that doesn't seem to be in the cards. I also have a handful of Thomas engines that I got wrong that need to go as well and I am hoping that there are some Robert things in the closet that can go as well (He has a collection of Starting Lineup figurines, or man dolls as I like to refer to them)
So the closet is empty.  Spread ALL across the room.  Piles of like items and piles of just items.  Piles and piles.  Now comes the tricky part.  Getting all those piles to go away with out filling the closet back up.  I need to dedicate an afternoon to starting an eBay shop I suppose.  It is all intimidating for some reason.  I also need a few more photo albums for high school pics. 
I am also struggling with Robert.  He has every jersey he's ever had and seems to have some unhealthy connection to all things Marines.  Including but not limited to uniforms that will NEVER fit again and seemingly meaningless paperwork, including his range scores and classroom materials. He has the bag with all his obscenely short PT clothing and it is in the stay pile.  We also have a whole section of our closet dedicated to dress uniforms.  This doesn't included the 4 trunks in the attic space containing gear from Iraq.
My own true dilemma is this --- our war correspondence.  I wrote Robert almost everyday.  And these letters detail my pregnancy and then WALT's infancy.  I didn't do that well keeping a journal but the letters actually do the job nicely.  I started gluing the envelopes into a journal but it got huge and impossible to close.  I suppose I just put them in a box.  Seems uncelebrated that way though -- so any and all suggestions welcome!!!

Pics soon of the chaos and hopefully the calm to follow . .

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Year and New Hopes and Challenges

It's been about a year since this blog became a plea for help and then a documentation of my attempt to lighten the load.  I am both a bit disappointed and elated at the same time.  I wish that I had learned to love to do the dishes (especially the big nasty pots you have to scrub and won't fit in the dishwasher) but I haven't.  But I have begun to implement the simple concepts that make big differences, especially the one in one out.  (though in fairness while I have adopted "one in one out" I am still struggling with Robert and WALT)
My house still gets messy.  Come by any Friday and I'll show you.  The difference is that every Saturday the house is reset.  For the first time since I have had my own place the holidays came and went with the normal stream of people and I didn't have to pull a single all nighter to make the house presentable.

This Christmas marked another important and hopefully far reaching milestone here at the Farmhouse.  It was done without credit cards.  With some diligent watching of sale papers and late night bidding on ebay the boys got everything they wanted.  It was not the biggest Christmas ever underneath the tree, and it took an incredible amount of resolve to keep to the budget, in fact we when realized we had gone over on the boys Robert and I parred our gifts to each other down to small token gifts.  It does however feel pretty good now that its January and the bills aren't rolling in.  (especially since we have worked 4 whole days on this pay period which is another set of issues completely)

So the blog will continue.  There are still closets to be cleaned out and corners to scrub.  And documentation helps me keep on track. I am hoping that by this time next year all the closets (and my building) serve their intended purposes of being servicable vessels of rotating storage with items that are used at least anually.  (rather than their current state of over filled areas filled with momentos of times gone by)
We also have the loftier goal of some major house rearrangement and remodeling.  We have yet to repaint our bedroom since we switched rooms with WALT and the blue walls and red trim of his toddler days are not quite the backdrop for the tranquil retreat I so desperately need.  We are also hoping to move the sectional and flatscreen upstairs in the spare bedroom/junk center.  The living room will then become a bit of a more formal space and the piano have room to be actually used.  This is advantageous in a couple of different ways.  The over riding practical reason is that the upstairs stays a good deal warmer than downstairs and we have been huddled up in blankets trying to play the wii.  I am backing this bold suggestion of Robert's because it eliminates the possibility of having a junk room.  At the same time it keeps the reality of family messiness out of sight of the unexpected guest.  So as progress is made, the changes will show up here, in both wordy Sarah insights and pictures.

I also am hoping to add a new element. As mentioned above we are trying to break the credit card habit and live within our means.  More than within our means, really to live in a way that eliminates the debt that my lovely child and the farmhouse and the accident prone animals have racked up in the past 4 years.  So when I get brave and honest I am going to add it all up and then I hope to make at least a monthly entry on how much is gone.  This may take longer than getting my house truly organized  but may be even more important.

I am snowed in and have started some new projects, complete with pictures, so updates should be happening soon!!