Decluttering challenge, day 6

Wow!  With the nasty weather that’s moved in here in central Indiana, I almost didn’t get this post published.  I’m in Bloomington, south of Indianapolis.  We didn’t get the huge amounts of snow that Indy got, but we had a nasty, slushy, icy mess with snow on top of it.  And then the “polar vortex” moved in…yeah, I’m thinking you all can keep anything with the word polar in it as far north as possible, thank you very much.  Right now, our wind chills are about -40 F…I haven’t even opened my door today and I’m still struggling to breathe.  Honestly, I am much more concerned about the bitter cold air than the snow.  I grew up out in the middle of nowhere and drove on snow-covered roads (narrow, hilly, cliff-hugging roads) every winter.  But the cold?  With the respiratory problems I’ve had over the past few years?  Yeah, not a lot good going on there for me.  Fortunately I was able to call in without adding too much extra work for the people I work with, we ended up not being busy…so that makes me feel a little better.  Well, better other than the thought of how much I could have accomplished on a not busy day at work.  But…such is life…we take what we’re given and do the best we can.

Now, on to the decluttering.  I thought about it a couple of times over the course of the day, but didn’t feel like getting up to search for anything.  I kept telling myself I’d just resort to getting rid of more magazines…boring!  When I finally went into the kitchen to do some dishes, I remembered I’d seen a couple of Cool Whip bowls in the pantry, so I grabbed those.  Then I opened the drawer where I keep my silverware and found a few old unused items languishing in the back of the drawer.  So I was quickly able to gather today’s 6 items.

useless kitchen gadgets

useless kitchen gadgets

The vegetable peeler is probably 30 years old.  I now use one that is easier on my hands.  Age will do that to you, huh?  Same with the little metal can opener on the left…older than the hills…actually rusted.  Hasn’t been used in years.  The other can opener is broken.  Why in the world I ever put that back in the drawer is anyone’s guess.  And the little red plastic thing?  Heck, I don’t even know what it is, much less why I kept it.  And two Cool Whip containers, minus lids.  Now you might just think those Cool Whip containers are totally worthless, but I’m taking them to work.  I was putting ice melt on the sidewalk yesterday morning and we didn’t have anything to scoop it out with.  I was using my bare hands and dumping it into a dust pan.  Not all that great for the manicure.  So at least the plastic containers will find a second life.  Now if only someone at work could tell me where they put the snow shovel…

At the end of 6 days (you realize that’s not even one week, right?), I’ve gotten rid of 39 items.  If I’m going to be honest, I must admit that today’s items haven’t actually left my house yet…heck, I haven’t even left my house yet today.  But as soon as the arctic cold temps move out, today’s items will be moving out as well.  I just wanted to make that clear…you know those pesky disclosure policies…

So has anyone else been decluttering or organizing?  How’s it going for you?

I haven’t given up on NaNo

As this is the 17th of November and I only have a little over 12000 words written, you might be rolling your eyes at that statement.  You might be thinking I should just give it up to write again another day.  Why put myself through the stress and struggle of trying to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month?  And maybe you’re right, but I just can’t find it within myself to give up.

Sad but true...average of 722 words per day.

Sad but true…average of 722 words per day.

I had to chuckle (a little ruefully, I admit) when I saw my stats after updating my word count today.  It said that, at this rate, I would finish my 50,000 words on January 10.  How about that?  But I’m going to write more than my 712 words per day average.  In order to hit 50,000 I’ll have to write a little under 3000 words a day.  Wow!  That’s a lot, I know.  But still very doable.  I just have to force myself to sit down at the computer a few times a day and actually write something.

Today, when I sat down to write (after we had tornadoes sweep through the area and after watching Indiana win another game), I’ll admit it was a struggle to get back into it at first.  But it got easier as I went on.  I’m still going to do another session yet tonight.  And I have tomorrow off work.  With Clara in school, I shouldn’t have to worry about any little intrusions until 5 pm or so.  The plan is to sit down to at least three long writing sessions tomorrow…more if I feel like it and can keep going.  I’m not giving up.

With almost two full weeks left in the month, I believe I can do it.  I believe.

Falling leaves


We had a rainy (off and on) day today which, of course, has caused the leaves to release their hold on the trees.  The leaves fling themselves into the wind, scurry across the lawn and down into the road, carried away by the streams of water cascading toward the drains.  We haven’t had the royal reds, sunny yellows, and breath-taking oranges that we usually have here in southern Indiana.  The weather isn’t cooperating, much too warm for this late in the season.

But fall is definitely here.  The persimmons are joining the leaves under the trees, if you can only get to them before your dog does you’ll be able to gather enough to process them and put them in the freezer.  Then, when the cold of winter is upon us, you can pull out a container of pulp and whip up a delicious persimmon pudding to help warm the coldness in your bones and fill your home with a spicy sweet scent.  How I remember growing up on the farm and running the persimmons through the processor to freeze container upon container of that deep orange pulp.  Our collie, Lady, raced us for the fallen fruit, gobbling the little globes, trying to beat us in the competition.  Fortunately we lived in an area that had an abundance of wild persimmon trees that blessed us with their bounty yearly.  In fact, the town where I grew up just finished its week-long tribute to the persimmon, the Persimmon Festival.  I wasn’t able to make it back this year, but I’m hoping I’ll join my friends next year.

Some folks don’t like fall because they see that winter is following closely on its heels.  Me?  I love fall.  I love the crisp air, the colors, the foods we associate with the cooler weather, the sound you make when you walk through the fallen leaves, and all of the local festivals.  I don’t even mind the fact that winter is coming.  Talk to me about that in February and I’ll likely be singing a different tune, but for now, I’m simply enjoying what fall brings my way.

Very unsettling dreams…


Watford (Photo credit: Indiana Public Media)

…okay, for many of you, these dreams might not seem all that unsettling.  But for my IU basketball loving–living-breathing-fanatical-friends…well, you’ll understand.

I watch the games from home even tho I live right in good old Bloomington…not that easy to get tickets, plus feeling way too sick to make the trek to the real Assembly Hall.  Anyhow…I’m always on twitter during the games…you know twitter?  Facebook is about the people you actually went to school with but twitter is the people you wish you’d been fortunate enough to go to school with…read that on twitter the other day and thought it sounded pretty much right.  So…back to the story.  On twitter, you comment back and forth with IU fans all over the country (world), some who happen to be sitting inside Assembly Hall (again, the real one…not the imitation one in Illinois), others who are sitting in sports bars all over the place, and mostly those who are, like me, watching the game at home.  Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even been known to be hooked into twitter at work on those rare occasions when I’ve had to work during a game…shh…You cheer together over the great plays and groan over the what-might-have-beens (Dipo missed-dunk, anyone?).

There are some IU fans who have made comments about one of the guys on the of the seniors…one of the guys who stuck it out through the tough times…leading active scorer in the B1G…all around talented big guy…originator of the WatShot…yep, Christian Watford.  Seriously, I love this guy.  I think he has played a huge part in Indiana’s return to greatness.  So what issue do some of these other fans have with CWat?  They say he looks like he’s always sleepy.  Some folks even go so far as to say he always looks stoned.  Jokes, right?  I mean, really…most of us can’t help how our eyes turn out genetically…so they’re kidding around.

Try telling that to my sub-conscious, my dream-center…yep….that’s what my nightmare was about last night.  CWat.  In my dream, I walked into the auditorium where I work (I don’t work in an auditorium in real life, this is a dream, remember?) and join my boss (who happens to be my real life boss, Steve) in trying to figure out what we’re going to do about the incident that transpired the night before.  Indiana is just about to embark on its championship run…we’ve got this in the bag….ready to hang banner 6 up on the wall in the Hall.  And then what happens?  Well, a couple of things, one of which I’m totally clear on, the other is a bit fuzzy.

The fuzzy incident concerns Cody Zeller (huh, just noticed how I worked his uncle into this dream…you know, Fuzzy Zeller?  Oh, never mind…)  I’m not sure what happened with Cody, so I’m going to set this aside for another day.  But I’m absolutely certain about what happened with CWat…he got arrested for, you got it, drugs….NOOOOOO!!!

Steve and I are frantic!  What in the world are we going to do to get this kid out of this mess?  We know he doesn’t do drugs, has nothing to do with drugs.  It has to be a set-up (and my guess would be some of those punk Boilers are behind it…they still haven’t gotten over the fact that we whooped all over them, not once, but twice this season).  We’re discussing our options when a young lady walks into the auditorium with a key piece of evidence…thank you, Lord…just what we’ve been looking for…the broken and nailed back together skateboard…hallejuhah!! (Come on, it’s a dream…I’m just trying to tell you about it…I can’t help it if it doesn’t make sense.)

We take the skateboard to CWat…and then, what?  I wake up?  Are you serious?  I can’t help the kid if I’m not in the dream!  I shake my head, half-smiling about the crazy dream, turn over and go back to sleep.

And what happens?  Holy moly, I’m right back there in the same dream.  Have you ever had that happen?  Usually, the dreams I want to go back into just disappear forever and the ones I don’t ever want to see any part of again are the ones I find myself stumbling back into.  Not really sure where this one falls on that spectrum, but anyhow…back into it I go.

We go find CWat, who is being held outside on campus, with all the campus co-eds gathering around him (hey, these guys are basketball gods in the center of the college basketball universe, what can I say?).  After finally managing to shoo the girls away, we sit down to talk with Watford about the skateboard.  He’s very thankful to see it, but doesn’t explain why.  He only knows that this particular, nailed-together skateboard will result in his release and the dropping of all charges…and then he can go on doing what he came to Indiana to do…helping the Hoosiers win their sixth national championship.

Unfortunately, that’s all I’ve got…I woke up again…and didn’t go back to sleep.  Hmm…wonder if I just might be able to lull myself back into that same dream again tonight…stay tuned…in the meantime, go Hoosiers!!

And then the wind blew…

Tornado warning

Tornado warning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…and blew and blew!!  I haven’t been sleeping well, waking up coughing, so imagine my displeasure when I woke up to the sound of tornado sirens last night.  Yep, tornado sirens in Indiana in January. Had to get up, go downstairs and find out what was going on.  There was no lightning or anything, just really strong winds.  When I turned on the tv, they were showing the approaching storm and saying to take cover on the lower floor of your dwelling in an interior room without windows (I think I’ve heard that often enough that I was able to repeat it verbatim).  Well, I don’t know about you, but the only room in my house that doesn’t have windows is the half bath on the lower floor.  Yeah, it’s never fun to sit there in that tiny bathroom with two cats, both of which are trying to pull the door open and escape.  But, being the good kitty momma that I am, I keep them locked in there with me just in case.

I didn’t actually ever get into the bathroom last night.  The tornado warning was lifted before the edge of the storm came through Bloomington, so we just ended up with high winds and heavy rains.  And I’m not complaining about that, really I’m not.

But it was about three hours after the sirens sounded before I was able to go back to sleep, and I wasn’t too crazy about that.  When I think about it though, I guess that’s a much better scenario than what could have happened.

There’s a song stuck in my head…

Lake Monroe

Lake Monroe (Photo credit: cindy47452)

…oh yeah, it’s “Vacation”!  That’s right, I’m on vacation (again, as someone reminded me…what?  Am I supposed to feel guilty that I have vacation time and am going to use it?  Ha!  Not in this life, girl.).  Let’s see, it started at 4:30 this afternoon and I already feel so much more relaxed and refreshed!

What am I going to do?  Hmm…well, I was planning a little road trip to Nashville, TN, but apparently my friend isn’t going to be able to go right now.  So, maybe on my next vacation?  I’ll still have one more before the summer is over, so there’s plenty of time.  But I’ve got a good friend in the Indy area so I think I’ll make a quick drive up there and do something fun.  And I’ve been thinking about going to the lake to cool off, walk on the beach (if that’s what you want to call it here in land-locked Indiana) and take some pictures.  Doesn’t that sound relaxing?  Oh yeah, and I’m planning to do some writing while I’m off too.

Speaking of writing, I managed to lay another 1776 words down tonight for my Camp NaNo writing gig…that brings the total up to 22572…yikes!  Almost halfway to 50000.  Is that crazy, or what?  Making some progress and trying to hone my craft…and lovin’ (almost) every minute of it!

What would you do with $640 Million?

Lottery Logo

Lottery Logo (Photo credit: Dj Linda Lovely)

For those of you who have been sleeping in a cave for the past several days, there’s a huge lottery jackpot up for grabs tonight!!  Did you buy your tickets?  I have to be honest here and tell you that I did not buy a ticket…I’m not much of a gambler…seriously, did you see the odds of winning?  Of course, someone will win (or several someones…or maybe no one will win tonight…yikes!!), so maybe I should have sprung a measly little dollar bill for a chance of a lifetime.

I like imagining what I’d do with all of that money…so tonight I started thinking about it…and you know what?  I couldn’t really come up with much that I’d jump right in and spend big bucks on.  I’d buy some land down home (in southern Indiana) and build a nice house with solar panels.  I’d need a pickup just because I’d be living out in the country and would need it to haul things in.  Hmm…what else?  Maybe that RV that I keep threatening to make my retirement home (if that day ever comes) so I could travel around and see the sights and visit the kids.  Then what?

Well, for sure I’d figure out some way to get IU basketball season tickets…I’m thinking all of those millions of dollars would go a long way in jumping me to the top of the waiting list…I’d go to every home game…heck, I could afford to go to every road game too, couldn’t I?  Go Hoosiers!!!

And then?  Well, heck…I just don’t know what else I’d do with that much money…donate a lot to my favorite charities, start a scholarship fund for students at my high school…maybe buy a new car for my boss…

And if I won tonight (assuming I’d purchased a ticket…haha), would I go to work tomorrow morning?  Well, I believe I would.  I think I wouldn’t really be able to believe I’d won the whole shebang until I showed up at the lottery headquarters and had everything verified.  Plus, I wouldn’t want Chris to have to come in on his weekend off…what would likely be his last weekend off for quite some time…because, yes, once I knew for sure that I’d won, I would definitely quit my job…I never believe people who say they wouldn’t.

So what are your plans for all of that loot?

Sweet 16

Bloomington is ready…IU is in the sweet 16 for the first time in10 years.  The town is decked out in cream and crimson…


…ready to pull another upset over those pesky wildcats.



Hands in the dirt today

That’s right.  I had the day off work…it was 80 degrees (seriously, it was)…and the only thing I had to do was run over to the doctor’s office for a blood draw…in and out in less than 10 minutes.  So I had plenty of time to enjoy the early summer-like weather.

I decided to get outside and get my hands a little dirty…planted some lettuce (leaf lettuce, a mixture of varieties) and some radishes.  Ah…it feels so good to be able to go outside without a coat or jacket.   I have to admit, I was a little sweaty by the time I came back inside…I mean, 80 degrees…that’s like June kind of weather here in central Indiana.  But at least I got my little garden started…

lettuce from 2011 garden

Hard to believe it’s already the middle of May…

..oh wait, it isn’t, is it?  Here in central Indiana it sure feels like it.  I think it topped off at about 77 degrees today…sunny..a light breeze.  Very pleasant.  Of course I had to work all day (have tomorrow off tho and it’s supposed to be even nicer tomorrow…is that possible?).  Customers were coming in wearing shorts and flip flops…this is still March, right?

don't these make you smile?