Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stamps to Give Away are Given!

It took me a couple weeks to get the stamps to my car and to the folks at work I thought would appreciate them... We had a super cold snap for like, 4 or 5 days, and I didn't want to leave them in the car overnight, so they sat inside longer than I wanted them to.  But now, finally, that space on the table is CLEAR!
I also cut my left index finger with super sharp pair of scissors - a week ago... it wouldn't stop bleeding... I refused, *Re-Fused!* to go to the emergency/urgent care for a scissors cut! The time and the money -- pthlfphth! After two days the blood finally stopped (it wasn't gushing), and I took off the band-aids I think this past Monday.  So I wasn't typing much!

I have to remember this is a process... and not beat myself up if it takes longer.  I remind myself that when we do home improvement projects it always always takes at least twice as long as you intend it to, and often costs a lot more than you budgeted for, as well.
* * *

Some Not-So-Good News...
I weighed this morning (first time this month, actually... it has been a really really bad month, eating-wise) and tipped the scales at 275.8.  I was on MediFast Plan yesterday and got a lot of sleep, so this is an accurate number.


I got my haircut yesterday, it has been 9 weeks since my last cut - when I noticed the chair was much tighter on my hips than it had been for a long time.... yesterday I was wedged in.  Between that and my clothes not fitting the way I like them to, and the knee pain that has returned as a regular thing, and the back pain... time to finish up my MF foods and lose between 25 and 30 lbs in the next two months.  I've done it before, I can do it again.

No Sugar. No Wheat. Full Stop.
* * *

Today is more "Going through things and throwing, filing, or giving away" - I have coffee, Nag Champa incense burning, it is raining off and on (Yay!), MF oatmeal and soups soaking, and in a few moments will have some tunes playing.

Now that the table has some clear space, I will have room to put some of the things I want to keep (Music... Music Education... Healthy Eating stuff... Inspirational articles etc...), so I can create some kind of permanent place for them, rather than the piles and piles on my desk.

I have a box of stamps for my niece and my friend... it would be GREAT if I could actually get to a mailing outlet today -- and take the box of 'donate' things away to be donated.  And make a trip to the storage room to exchange some things. Take things that are just sitting here to be given back to the original owner to storage, and bring back some of the music stuff.
* * *

Tomorrow there are two baby showers... I'm going to try and get to one of them. I'd like to not go empty-handed....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sunny and Cold!

Earlier today was Sunny and Cold... my favorite! Sunny blue skies, and crispy outside air!

We hit a low of 28 F degrees last night, and tonight they're predicting 20 (!) This is very cold for SE Arizona... taps running through the night, and my little space heater in my studio going all day today.

I'm so very grateful for my little space heater, and the kettle that keeps the hot beverages coming!

I'm hacking away at my "unessential" stamps and crafting supplies.  Yes, *laugh* I understand that none of it is essential, in the actual definition of the word. But I'm de-cluttering a little at a time, and I'm feeling really good about how much I've done today.

The empty containers on the right are what I've emptied and put into plastic bags... I'm giving one of the pink/green ones to the 5 people from my work, because having something to put your things in is important. *wink!*

There are some folks at work who might appreciate 'free stuff', so I'm putting things in bags for them... then putting other stamps in a couple larger bags to take to work (and possibly other places where I know people who might be interested...) to let them go through and choose what else they might like ~ and himself has a place at his work where people bring things to get rid of.... so what I have left over will go to his work.

My goal is to get my stamps and "other crafting supplies" into one (very tall Ikea) bookshelf, and more things on the peg board. I think I'm going to have to be brutal, and say "if it doesn't fit in the bookcase, then it has to go out the door." *sniff*

The scrapbooking and memorabilia can be in in another area of the studio for the time being. I've done a lot with paring down my possessions there already, but I have more to do.  Mainly - get 'er done! Get the years of stuff I've collected into albums.

I look on the shelves and my original "Keep 5 sets plus music and celtic stamps" statement was optimistic.  When you see what I'm getting rid of, it is far more than what I'm keeping... but still - I'm keeping at least 19 known "sets" plus 15 containers of 'Other' Stamps. So, I still have quite the stash.

I'm not quite finished organizing the final "homes" for the stamps... and almost all have labels, though not all the labels are visible... that will change today! I ♥ labelling!!
I've decreased the amount of embossing powders, and still have the ink pads to go through.  I'll probably be keeping all but the oldest ink pads & pens. (Some of the Stampin' Up ink pads are from 1993!!)

The paper is another issue... I'm mostly keeping white and neutral (beige-family colors) cardstock for card bases.  I have quite a bit 8-1/2 X 11 scrapbooking paper, which can be used for cards.  I made the mistake a long time ago not getting ready of any paper than isn't "acid free" -- as it would be fine for cards. But I don't do cards enough to justify the space all the paper takes up.

I want to have my "stamping and crafting" table empty by the end of today. This is a "During" Photo:

I actually made some space on the surface before taking the picture...
As I sit here and contemplate all the "Stuff" that it takes to craft, I'm torn. I've spent most of the day whittling down this stuff, and not spent any time at all on music.  And I say music is my passion. Music is certainly my gift, and performing ~ well, there is nothing like it in the world.

I'm not sure I have the words to express what I'm not exactly sure I'm feeling at the moment.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

As Usual...

... I'm making what I think should be a joyful process of discovery into something much more complicated. This is what we get for having preconceived ideas, I guess.  Each of our processes is different... give myself some grace.

And yet....I keep coming to the same conclusions... and that just hacks me off.

I want to do it all.

Right now.


No Process, thank you. Instant Gratification Only -- (says the inner 6 year-old stamping her foot.)
* * *

Some good things have come out of this most recent mind-f***.
I think. 

Definitely some clarification after the massive ball of hurt and pain recedes.

Why oh WHY does it have to hurt to grow?  Do we hear the plants moaning and groaning as they make their way from seed to sprout to flower? Nooooo.... just us whiny humans.


end of whining (for today).
* * *

Anything that distracts me from Health & Fitness and Music (singing) is distraction.

I'm considering thoroughly what brings me ACTUAL happiness, not things that I think make me happy... if you think about it, there are definite differences between the two ideas.

  • Having a pet (dog!)
  • Spending time with people who love me in the way I want (need?) to be loved.
  • Spending time with people I love.
  • Singing/Performing in a quartet (small group?). A good group. With people I have fun with.
  • Performing theatrics with an ensemble (stage/theatre, chorus, quartet)
  • Giving (giving cards, giving hand-made items, seeing things that I think people would like and getting it for them...)
  • Looking at photograph albums/memory books
  • Teaching/Sharing things I know with others who are interested in it.
  • Labelled Things. I love labelling and "Being Organized." With lots of colors - paper and pens.
  • Pizza
  • Cookies
  • Making cards (fun, and I like doing it once in awhile, on a small scale, but will keep 5 sets, music and celtic and some meaningful quotes/sayings, some pre-folded cards and envelopes, and some colored paper... and a few other tools, but will pare down considerably!)
  • Scrapbooking (in the way I have... photos and looking at albums with stories/journalling brings me actual happiness, so I need to pare down the 'tools' and get back to basics!)
  • DIY - Doing It Yourself. Love looking at things people can do, love to think "I can do that!" (and I can), but the realistic-actually-DOING-it-part... ummmm.... not so much. I'm talking painting, decorating, hanging stuff on the walls, creating my personal space... I like the *idea* but not the follow-through.
  • Being part of "the inside group" - be it the "Management Team" or "The Board" or "The XYZ Group"... I like being 'in the know' but not on the inside.
 * * *



* * *

I like the photo a day thing - I find it is helping with some of the clarifying. I don't have to do every. single. day.

I will try, and I will falter. And that is okay.

Prompt for today was "T" ~ so I thought of representing my Bravvo Productions Tour! 1992, a small van carried 4 people and pulled a trailer and we sang and danced and improv'd our way up and down the east coast from Key Largo to Boston. Best decision I ever made was to quit my job and do this for 3 months. Money was awful, but the experience was fabulous. Can't believe it was 21 years ago!
* * *
So.... new habits on the horizon.
Decrease is the word.
Goal: To Live My Passion

Monday, January 7, 2013


I love sleep. But it eludes me. Went to be early - woke up at 1am... finally got up at 2:55 am.  Surfing the 'net... cried some. Sifting through priorities and what is important. Gah!

So I'll post the photos from Photo-A-Day Challenge:

Day 5 ~ "Movement"

Rascal jumping up for a treat!
Day 6 ~ "Mine"

My "Likes" ~ scrapbooking (pages open to performing... Musical Theatre
"Quilters" and performing with my barbershop quartet), Music quotes,
Music fabric, Natural Health & Healing book, book about God and finding Faith, Self-help (combating negative thinking), Modge Podge (crafts), card-making (music-themed stamps and a hand-made 'thank you' card), orange & pink sparkly items, dog cookies, black & white journal, Fun & Funky Lava Lamp, reminder that we are the sum of our experiences... all that we have done leads us up to today.

* * *
I'm thankful for a warm bed.
* * *

Didn't do much action today. Lots of taking in information, but not acting on it. Which leads to the tears. I did read more "Running for Mortals" before going to sleep.

I also started reading about why I feel so compelled to find and make a living at my passion.
* * *

Didn't decrease anything yesterday. Not good. Want to keep to a schedule/routine with this... to continuously act on the de-cluttering/simplifying process. Though, it is a process, and putting pressure on myself to get it done as fast as possible only causes more paralyzing un-action. Ease up.
* * *

I was reading Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" today - really like her stuff -- and her simple but insightful advice that got me thinking was, "Do what you do."

It goes with the thought that not everyone finds enjoyable what I find enjoyable... build on that. Knowing ourselves is key to focusing on our passion.

At the same time, I know that getting outside ourselves is also key to bringing joy to our own lives. Doing something for someone else is the fastest way to lift depression. Again with that word: Action.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Action vs Distraction

I put in my Gratitude Jar today ... "I am thankful for the internet (and all that it has exposed me to)."

I met my husband online, of course... he's one major thing I'm thankful for. But besides himself, I was thinking about all the sub-cultures that now have a voice and an audience because of the internet.  And that some people are incredible visionaries... and that they take action on their vision.
* * *

This year I will take action on a vision. As of yet this vision is blurry. It is brightly-colored, and full of glitter and glistening dew in the morning... it is being looked at through a filter, which makes it very soft-focused.  I spent some time really thinking about what course of action I want to take this year - and while the road is extremely wide, and meandering still a bit, it is going in a single (if albeit a scenic) direction.

I wasn't feeling very good today, and I left work early and came home to sit in my recliner with a heating pad and the Netbook, with HGTV on the telly, and snooze if I needed to. I re-discovered a fascination I've had for a few years: the Tiny House Movement.

In my internet travels this afternoon ~ in and amongst the tiny house websites and blogs, I came across this quote,
"What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it."
wow, huh?

Follow up questions:
  1. What is valuable enough in my life that I would exchange a part of my life for it?
  2. Who are the people that are valuable enough in my life to spend it with?
  3. If something isn't worth this gift of a day, then what, instead, should it be replaced with?
My frustration with me is that my answers change. Daily. My feelings drag me around by the nose, and *look! Shiny!!* is a huge distraction and pulls me off in another direction altogether. (My love/hate with the internet and all the distractions links is a topic for another post!)

BUT -- I found a great question to ask myself as I go through and try to simplify my collection(s) of stuff... "If I were going to live in a tiny house... would this item stay or go?"  It isn't asking me if I love it, or if it is useful, or some of the other emotional questions that cause me distraction instead of action. It is straightforward, it has 'hacked away the unessential.'
* * *

Photo Day 3 (hearts) and Photo Day 4 (The View From Here)

Day 3 of Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day Challenge
Looking at my collection of Heart Stamps helped
me downsize my stamps! 3 sets and a couple of loose
ones... Very Proud!

Day 4 - Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge
This is a Gratitude Jar with one slip of 'Gratitude-ness' already in it...
In this Jar I will also put notes about great
things that happened (since I will, of course, be grateful for great things that
happen... ;-) ). My view today needed vision, and I'm visioning 2013 as a year of
things that I know I will be thankful for. And a Full Jar by the end
of the year to look back on.
 * * *

I have a bag of tops and some jewelry and a pair of shoes (never, ever worn) in a bag to give away. I'm struggling with keeping it until the Chorus Rummage Sale (March, I think), or just taking it to Goodwill Now!
* * *

One more thought for the day... What makes you happy? Not what you think makes you happy... what actually brings happiness to you?

My answers surprised me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

No Clever Title Comes To Mind

I'm so very thankful I can see.
There's a guy where I work who is completely blind. He's been blind since birth... I forget now which Central American country he came from, but he was born with an eye problem, his family came to the states to fix it, and something went wrong and he is blind for life.
For some reason today, as I said hello as we passed in the hall, I just said a silent prayer that I can see.
* * *

>Watch This Space< Action or Accountability
I have not yet taken any action. Today was my late day at work - I stayed up WAY too late last night and didn't go to bed until after 1am... which put off my getting up schedule. I had my alarm set to go off at 7:30 (still giving me a number of hours to get some of my 'To Do's' - which I'd written down before going to sleep so I *could* sleep - started), but dog got me up at 6:30am to eat and pee, and I had a headache and felt icky.  Reset my alarm until 8:30 (still giving me an extra hour), but didn't get back to sleep until probably 7:30 or 7:45... so reset the alarm to go off at 9:30... got up at 9:50 to leave the house at 10:30.

Very Unproductive.

Tomorrow will be different (it is 10:09 as I'm finishing up this post. Goal is bed at 10:30!)

My To Do List Was:
  1. Check Flights to Hawaii (cost, departure cities, dates)
  2. Looking into getting my account back in order for Ebay to sell my rubber stamps (which includes Paypal information), putting more thought into how to get rid of them.
  3. 15 minutes of dishes
  4. Explore 2 or 3 pages of the "Unravelling The Year Ahead 2013" worksheets
  5. Print out/Go Through >Watch This Space< stuff

No, I knew I wouldn't get it ALL done, but I could make a start.
* * *

My Day 2 of 2013 Photo A Day ~ "Something New" is the prompt
So here are my new shoes that mom got me for Christmas.
I like them... they're quite 'slipper-ish' - which is what I wear the black ones I have now as... they're great for wearing inside doing housework, and can easily go outside to take out trash, recycling...etc...

* * *

De-clutter or Simplify
I bought a book. Not exactly the right direction to reduce my stuff.
"Running for Mortals"
and am pleased Barnes & Noble had it for $7.98 - in hardback. (as opposed to the $10+ on Amazon!)

I plan to follow Jeff Galloway's method of walk-run-walk... but when I flipped through the book it had some good photos of exercises, and the first few pages I read I liked. Happy that it has good reviews on Amazon.

Uh-oh... which book(s) do I now need to get rid of?
I have a "Dreamweaver for Dummies" that will never be opened... looks like a good choice.

Three books on Dreamweaver now in a box to donate.
Not sure if the 1-to-3 ratio can continue (one 'new' thing brought into the house means 3 'old' things need to leave...) but maybe it could be an ideal.

Yay Me!
* * *

I ate crap today. I weighed this morning and am 276.6
Last February I was my lowest at 237.6
I have my work cut out for me!

Back to Food Logging after Friday night (Pizza with friends).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Always Having Something To Say

I've committed myself to an adventure this year.

Not ready to reveal it *just yet* - but one of the actions I need to take is to get back to blogging regularly. For now, I'll just call it >Watch This Space<

Sometimes I don't feel inspired... or that I have anything to write or say worth reading... but if I commit to Being Thankful for something in each and every post, what a fabulous jumping-off point that is!
* * *

January 1, 2013 ~ Thankful For:
The World Not Ending.
On the lighter side, I'm really glad the Mayan Calendar's last date of December 21, 2012 didn't signify the end of the world. Just really thrilled that we're still here.

Losing 100 Pounds, Gaining 30 Pounds Back
Seriously... I'm still incredibly thankful for MediFast and the fast weight loss I experienced in 2011. 2012 saw lack of focus, boredom, quitting of the walking two 5Ks a week, and regular ups and downs of life stuff; but I'm thankful for all of it... because gaining 30 pounds back fuels my desire to experiment with wheat-free cooking/baking/eating and whole foods, and the Slow-Carb Diet (which I'm going to try for 29 days, like the Becoming Minimalist blog post and the Live Your Legend founder Scott Dinsmore are doing). My 29 days starts on Monday, however. (January 7)
I just found the Slow-Carb Diet (SCD) post with real-life stories of people who have lost over 100 pounds.  Wow. This is the link.
* * *

>Watch This Space< 
Accountability & Action (in other words, things I'm doing to move forward in my adventure)

[1] Writing This Post.
[2] Signing Up for Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day (Just this month... 29+2 days only) to help me keep focused on the adventure I'm not revealing quite yet.
* * *

My Photo for Today:

Since I took this photo of this page (from Susannah Conway's blog, btw), I've written on it the Bruce Lee Quote that has become my 2013 Mantra...

"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."
DECREASE is the word for the year... decrease my weight. decrease my stuff. decrease my discontentment. decrease the complexity.
* * *

My Plan is to use 15 minutes (or more, if that is the course it takes), 5 or 6 days a week to reduce, de-clutter, simplify and decrease my belongings
I threw away a lot of recyclable paper (junk mail), clearing the corner of a table in my studio. (I'll only say this once, here... My craft room is no more... I may use the space to create, but it is my studio... and the decreasing action(s) are to help me realize that expectation.  What we name things is important.)