Decluttering challenge, day 7

While the wind is blowing outside (wind chill’s well below zero), I’m sitting inside all cozy in my toasty warm microfleece pajamas.  Yes, I probably will actually get dressed at some point in time today and may even venture outside later this afternoon when the temps creep above zero.  I’ve got to attempt to get in my car and start it, get it cleaned off.  I will have to return to work at some point in time (Thursday, I’ll be there Thursday…for sure.).  And I just received a text from CVS letting me know I have a prescription ready for pickup, so will definitely need to swing by there in the next few days. Honestly, I’ve been just a little afraid to step outside and breathe in the bitterly cold air.  Breathing has been enough of a struggle for me over the past two weeks without adding that to the mix.  But the weather guy promised me we’d have temps in the 40s by the end of the week…oh yeah, and rain.  Just got to shake your head at the twists and turns of the weather in central Indiana.

I’ve kind of been watching some of my neighbors try to get their cars out of the parking lot.  They’re having a lot of trouble.  Apparently all of the rainy, icy, deep slushy mess we had froze everyone’s tires in place.  I’m serious, when I came home Sunday afternoon I was traipsing through slush that was at least three inches deep.  Once the arctic freeze descended, that slush became rock-hard ice.  Not good for the tires, I wouldn’t think.  I did see a couple of young guys manage to get a car out with a lot of pushing and rocking back and forth, so I guess it’s possible…you know, if you happen to be a young guy with a lot of strength and immunity to cold.  Since I’m neither young nor immune to the dangers of cold weather, we’ll see what happens when I finally make it out there.

In the meantime, I’ve been fooling around on the internet, catching up on some blog reading, enjoying browsing some new-to-me blogs, pinning this and that, checking up on my friends on facebook, all those things I don’t have time to do when I’m not snowed in.  Now I remember how nice it is to have a snow day…it’s been a long time since I’ve been home with nothing pressing to do and feeling well enough that I can spend the day out of bed.  I’ll be rejuvenated when I go back to work on Thursday…I’ll need to be, there will be a lot for me to do.

I decided to get my decluttering mission for the day out of the way early.  I went in to my spare room and opened the closet door, quickly picking up the needed 7 items for today.  Easy.  Not a lot of thought or time went into it today, but I found some things I’d been holding onto for many, many years.  Time to release them.  These things will go to Goodwill where someone else will be able to find joy in them.

Heading to Goodwill

Heading to Goodwill

Okay, what did I find?  Some fall colored magnolia bushes.  I like them, I used them for a couple of seasons, I saved them anticipating that I would use them again.  But they’ve been in that closet for probably 3 years.  Time for someone else to enjoy them.  Three sewing patterns (a stuffed Annie doll, some geese items, and aprons).  You know what?  I’ll never use any of these.  Why not allow them to go someplace where someone might find them and realize they’re just what she’s been looking for?  A little country wreath…yes, I could have repurposed this.  But I haven’t…in over 5 years…so let someone else make use of it.  A cute cow mama and calf…not really my style, but I bet they’ll fit in with someone’s decor.  And a crystal (faux) bell.  Nothing valuable, but any of these things might bring some enjoyment to the right person.  If you can catch me before I get out and drop these off at Goodwill, I’d be glad to let you have anything here.  If not, well…they’ll be on the shelves of the Goodwill store on Liberty Drive in Bloomington soon.

So on day 7 of this decluttering mission, I released another 10 items (you know, if I count each item individually) to bring the total to 49 items.  Forty-nine things gone from my house.  I want to ask you something…when you declutter, do spring cleaning, organize…however you refer to it…do you find yourself feeling lighter as you release more and more stuff?  See, I do…and I am wondering if there is a connection between clutter and being overweight.  My personal experiences seem to suggest that the connection is there.  What are your thoughts on this? And how do we make use of this information to keep us healthier?

That was some kind of nutty weekend…

Car after an ice storm hit central Iowa in 2007.

Image via Wikipedia

First we had the ice storm that prevented me from getting in my car Saturday morning, that made the roads, sidewalks, even the grass treacherous.  Sunday morning, when I went to work, there were still patches of ice…nothing too bad…and it was 48 degrees at 5 am…seriously…in January…in Indiana…by noon, the ice was gone, but a heavy fog had moved in…and it got thicker as the day and evening progressed…

I went in to work Sunday morning at 5:30 am, still not feeling well…thinking I’d go home when the closing manager got there at 12:30.  The only problem with that was the closing manager didn’t show up at 12:30.  When I tried calling him, his phone number wasn’t current…great.  He still wasn’t there at 1:30.  Then I remembered one of the early morning downstocking crew guys saying he thought it was odd that the (to remain nameless) closing manager was driving down to Louisville when he got off work Saturday night when he was scheduled to be back at work at 12:30 Sunday…not good, not good at all…

Then one of the cashiers told me that this other manager had told her that another of the managers was going to work for him…well, I knew that wasn’t going to happen because this other guy is in the National Guard and had drill this weekend…by this time my head was starting to pound and my chest was hurting from coughing.  And I was running a fever…nice…and I always tell people to stay away if they’re sick, here I was potentially infecting all of my co-workers…

So…anyhow…I’m sure you’ve already guessed how this story ends…he never showed up…I ended up working from 5:30 am until about 8:30 pm…not happy about it, but when you’re a manager, you can’t just leave when your shift is over…there has to be a manager there at all times…and yesterday, that manager was me…sometimes I really love my job!!

The sunrise from a few days ago.


…how I haven’t really missed you. I could have been perfectly content to have you stay far away until, oh I don’t know, maybe next December.  But no, you had to show up over night here in Indiana and make my morning more than a little uncomfortable.  You decided to visit us with your freezing rain, covering the sidewalks,

the roadways,

and even my car.  How I’m sure you laughed as I struggled (and failed) to get into my car in the dark early morning hours.  How funny you must have thought it to be to watch me using a hammer to crack the ice around the door after I came home from work.  I’m sure you chuckled while watching me slip on the sheet of ice as I feverishly worked to break through the layer of ice covering all of the car windows.  Oh yes, laugh while you can, you evil-hearted witch…your days are numbered.  In fact, your hours are numbered as the temps rise into the 50s tomorrow and all signs of you melt away.  How that warms my heart.  And if you forget all about us for the remainder of January and February, it won’t upset me at all.

To give you credit, winter, you did provide some beauty amongst the misery…

I suppose, as in much of life, beauty often hides behind the discomfort, only making itself known when we take the time to really see what is before us.


Spooky in the snow

Snow on trees, Germany

Image via Wikipedia

Before you get all excited, no, we don’t have snow in Indiana right now.  We’re still stuck smack dab in the middle of this oppressive heat wave…temps in the mid 90s and humidity so high that you start sweating as soon as you step outside.  So…I decided to do something about it.  I decided to bring up pleasant winter memories to cool myself off.

A couple of winters ago we had a lot of snow.  On one occasion I opened the back door and noticed that the snow had drifted probably two feet high right up against the door and the back of the building.  I knew Spooky had never seen snow up close and personal, so I thought it would be funny to see her reaction to the pile of white stuff right outside the door.  I called her in to the kitchen (yes, she actually comes when I call her…she thinks something fun and exciting is going to happen and she doesn’t want to miss it).  As usual, she came running to me.  I picked her up and carried her to the door, opened the door, and put her down on the floor right in front of that snow drift.  I thought it would probably scare her a little, that she would be cautious in approaching it.  Nope, not my little Spooky girl.   She dove in the snow, like it was something she saw everyday.  When she came out of it, she had snow all over her face and body.  I wish I had managed to get a picture of her, maybe this winter…

There now, don’t you feel cooler already?