dreaded chores

I have taken it quite easy today and mostly engaged in activities that I must have done at home; these included painting the wood trims outside the house. Each year I replace them as they usually peel off. Our harsh climate with generous amount of rain and snow necessitate this maintenance. It took me around 3 hours to do all, but I am very pleased with myself. It is one of these things that I must do and it has been on my list since June. I am glad it is done! I still need to stain the deck, but this will have to wait till next week when I hope we will have good weather, like today 🙂

I also opened the windows and have had the house filled with fresh air. I used to do that more frequently in the past, but I think I have got quite lazy lately. I would like to do a couple of more of this activity in September. I truly believe that a house needs good aeration. I also cleaned the window sills and painted two of them. Also the doors from outside are cleaned – I do this twice a year; one in summer and one in December. Done till December 🙂  I feel good about all of these!

There is an incredible amount of relief and happiness coming out of doing the chores that I dread. I do not know why I waited till the last minute (ahem.. did I mention I disliked them?), but these were on my to-do-list for so long that they dragged me down.

Now, I am free.

the fifth and the sixth day of the staycation

Finally I feel like I have done quite a bit done today 🙂

Yesterday I baked three different loaves for a social I was invited to, cleaned some more parts of my house, had great time with four kids and four adults at a lovely dinner.

I am glad the socials are done. I just need to host a friend of mine whose mom is visiting them. This, honestly stresses me out as I am not a great cook. But, then the way I see many people are not, either (a positive outcome of frequent socials in the last few months). So I say – go for it and enjoy! I cannot wait this “task” in my to-do-list to be over (see how joyful I am about this? argh…).

And I am done with cleaning the kitchen, floors, and every single corner of the house today 🙂 I have more space in my fridge and kitchen cabinets now. No need to say that I am dumping a fair amount of clutter and gathering items to be donated. It feels good. I am not done with decluttering, though. I still have my storage cabinet to be cleaned and decluttered. Honestly it always scares me, but I think I will be fine once I start it.

I also need to wash two shag rugs at a nearby laundromat. After that I want to sell them. There I said it… I bought and use them with love, but I think it is time we depart our ways and get new ones…. That also feels good to me 🙂

My rotary cuter and cutting mat are not delivered yet – they were supposed to be here last Thursday, but alas.. I have been waiting for them to start doing some serious sewing but this afternoon I was not feeling well and I decided I could work it out somehow. And I kind of did – I sewn a lovely yellow and large dish cloth to be used on my counter 🙂 It is simple yet lovely and I am sure it will help me keep me my counter dry.

As my to-do-list is being taken care of, my reflection time is coming along…. Somewhere above I mentioned I was not feeling well. I missed my family and I am very aware of the fact that none of us are getting younger. When there is family there is love and when there is life there is death.. 2 + 2 = 4. It is very scary. I love my family and I do not wish to them to die, but this can happen anytime. Heck, I may die myself anytime. Why am I away from them? When am I going to be done with the work and start spending time with them? I was not planning to go visit them this year, but I guess I will do it – I want to do it. I was telling a friend of mine the other day – if I could retire I could quit work, too, but I just cannot. Money is not the most important thing, yes, but it can provide opportunities and some kind of happiness, right? Right.

The past one year I have been grieving after my dad and my relationships with the rest of my family has been slightly strained as a result. I am still grieving for my dad, still feeling the reality of death (some mornings I wake up thinking that “there; one more day of my life to be wasted. yet it is so precious. How can I enjoy i and make it more meaningful?” I have no answer to these questions…), but I have nowadays started to feel the fear of losing my other family members.. This clenches my heart…

I believe it is time that I care about my family members more.

After his death, I developed this strange fear of forgetting my dad, but I know that this will not happen. I think my father too would love me caring for the rest of the family.

Self-reflections to continue…..

 

 

the third and the fourth day of the staycation

Today and yesterday were kind of busy and high-speed days; but they were both good 🙂

I have done great in terms of cleaning my home; except the storage area, entrance deck, and the kitchen I am done cleaning; window sills, every corner, behind the furniture, and most importantly the laminate floors are wiped! Yay! I so dislike cleaning the floors, but it is done until further notice (heh he! 🙂 ) I also lightly wiped the rugs, except the one on the stairs and started my decluttering activity.

I am so into decluttering. I so far threw away quite a bit of clutter and am trying to sale some other minor stuff. Ones that will not be sold will be donated next week. This feels good. I still have a long way to complete my decluttering, but at least I have started and am enjoying it. I cannot wait to remove the clothes from my home – some of them have not been worn for some time and it is time to donate them. Old socks are always fun to throw away, and finding new treasures hidden here and there is a surprisingly delightful activity 🙂

Cleaning, if you do not like it, is a huge burden. One of my colleagues suggested I hire someone to do it; while I like the idea I think as long as I am capable of doing it, I will keep doing it.

I have baked this beauty for a social yesterday 🙂 does it not look awesome? It was an overnight dough prepared by milk (add 1 cup of warm skim milk, 1/2 tbs of dry yeast, 1tbs of sugar together; activate the yeast for 10 min with the container covered by a towel; add 2.5 cups of bread flour and knead; stretch and fold 4-5 times when you have time; rest at the fridge overnight; take it out in the morning and bring to room temperature (takes around 2 hours); shape; proof for an hour; and bake at 350F for 30 min (not pre-heated; it helps with the raise of this dough, which has a small amount of yeast) after applying whole egg wash and generous amount of sesame seeds on top).

Everybody loved it! I am baking a similar one for another social tomorrow, together with my sourdough 🙂 we will see how they will turn out tomorrow.

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Bon appetite! 🙂

post-vacation resolutions

Well.. It is kind of a tradition with me that whenever I am away from my routine life I almost always make some resolutions to work on. Never mind the success rate (ahem… very similar to new year’s resolutions..), but it is nevertheless exciting to come up with plans. They are focused around “cleaning”, “clearing”, and “change” this time. Interesting….

Here are my current resolutions:

1. Losing weight. This has been on my list for ever…

I want to do this because of health reasons as well as to feel good about myself. This time surprisingly I have not gained weight while I was vacationing at home, even though I literally munched on everything I could get my hands on, especially my mom’s food! 🙂 Very surprising but also highly welcomed fact 🙂

I am very happy about this and motivated to lose some more (I had lost 10 pounds prior to my vacation only because I was working like a worker ant for 6 weeks or so). Good job me!

My aim is to keep doing whatever I am doing (it is mostly not eating at nights – I stopped seeing it as a way of rewarding myself) and to lose an additional 15 more pounds. This will put me back at my weight 8 years ago, which is really cool 🙂 I have so many nice clothes from those times (yep – I kept them and did not give away/donate… shame… 🙂 )

2. Decluttering and getting rid of everything that I react negatively to. While I was on vacation I have realized why I do not enjoy buying gifts for people and rather prefer to give them what they may like (if they are open about it) or the gift cards. The problem with gifts is that when I am given gifts, I cherish and appreciate them so much (the sentimental value is really high) that I keep keeping them with me forever! this is not a problem if the gifted item was something I needed or something I really loved, but honestly there are things that do not satisfy either of these requirements. Plus, some of the gifts are from people whom I really do not like much, so seeing their gifts reminds me them, and as such I get agitated once again for no good reason.

I want to have only those things around that I need or want. Thus, together with the fact that it has been sometime that I have decluttered my home, I have decided to start a new haul pretty soon.

I will  find a way to re-use things, like old shirts can be used as cleaning clothes.

Or they can be modified in way that makes them usable. For example, I have a nice shirt which has a somehow wide neck. I am planning to work on it  (i.e. tighten it a little bit) so that I can comfortably wear, rather than checking and correcting the neck part every single minute.

Unwanted items that are in good shape can be donated.

And those that I have been keeping for years because I was thinking that I would need them, like some of my shoes and boots, that just take up space without providing anything back, can be dumped (finally….). So can be all the stuff that are given to my by toxic people or those that remind me toxic experiences – they all will go.

Yuppi!!!

Exciting 🙂

3. Change the living environment. I think it is time that I re-arrange the furniture, especially at the bedroom so that it can feel “different”. I also have got new couch covers, which will help me to change the look of the living room. The table clothe will change as well with a new and lovely one. The towels gotta go as they they have been incredibly sturdy and of good quality but that meant that I have had to use them for years!!!! It would be lovely to have new ones, at least for some time.

4. Paying attention to my attire. I have a tendency to not care what I wear. This does not mean that I wear old or bad stuff. But honestly I can look better and feel better too. Today, I wore a new shirt I bought last week and I felt really good in that shirt. I also noticed how different I felt…. I have no logical explanation why this effect has occurred, but I decided I did not need to know everything and I could continue to wear things that I love and feel good. Whether they are shoes or clothes, does not matter.

So be it 🙂

I will be checking all my clothes soon and use those that I like but did not use for sometime, or go for a shopping spree (no worries – I will be frugal) 🙂

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Clean, clear, and change. I guess this is a good plan.

I hope to be successful with this plan! Wish me luck 🙂

 

plans for the holiday time off

Each year, we have around 12 days off between the christmas eve and until after the new year.

It is a great time to look forward to. I love planning for stuff that I will do during these days. So here are what I am planning to do during these holidays:

clean the house: yep, it is a great opportunity to clean the house deeply now that I will have more time at my hand. I will clean every corner as well as the electric heaters; I am planning to use a hair dryer to remove dust, if ever, from inside the panels. I dust them with vacuum every week but I am sure there are some dust left inside.

wash the shag rugs, mats, blankets, and couch covers: This one will require me to visit a commercial laundry as some of them are quite heavy and I do not wish to harm my own washer while cleaning them.

shopping, shopping, and shopping: well, yes I will shop! 🙂 My current shopping freeze for clothes and books will end at that time. There are great sales during this time and I plan to take advantage of them. I will also visit the thrifty stores for items like jackets. cannot wait! very excited 🙂

additional shopping: I will also shop for cleaning products and bulk items during this time. the joy of shopping 🙂

visiting friends: I plan to visit a number of friends now that we all have no work but time off at our hands. This is a great time to socialize.

contemplating: I love the end of year assessment of the past year, and make plans or adjustments for the new year. I am not a fan of new year resolutions, but rather this contemplation helps me with what I have done (work and life) in the past, realize how well I have done, re-prioritize things in my life, and plan how I can do better. This is a very valuable exercise for me; each year I benefited from it.

relaxing without the stress of work: I will take this time to totally forget about the work I must do (though I aim this each year, this does not usually happen; I happen to work during these days sometime..) and have my days fulled with random activities, lots of reading, watching movies, and anything else that gives me a peace of mind.

I am sure you too have great plans for this time – may all of them happen with ease and happiness 🙂

 

 

random thoughts – decluttering

I would like to do some extensive decluttering real soon.

I wanted to clean up one of my cabinets today, which has been on my mind for a long time. There are so many boxes, especially empty ones there that it is ridiculous. Why do we keep stuff? I think we believe that we will need it in near future, yet that future is possibly distant. So better to get rid of those now. That is what I have done. I also found a nice small rug that now resting on the floor; many shopping bags that now are in the garbage; a nice art work that I was craving for; an extra folding chair I have no idea what to do with; extra purses that can be donated; and a very old keyboard that is now rightfully in the garbage.

I know that I have many stuff here and there that I keep. I also know that some of them are useless so should be dumped; some of them are useful so should be either used by me or be donated to charity. The clothes and shoes are the biggest group as I keep those that are in good condition but are a little bit small for my size. I know I am determined to lose weight and have been progressing in this direction lately; so I will still keep them for some more time. But I am really excited to let go the big size items. I have a box now that I am collecting all those that will be donated and it feels good.

So, I am very happy with the work I have done around the house today.

I did pretty amazing job at the yard too. Removed many plants here and there, especially at the corners that keep growing. Those around the trees are the most versatile ones. I know that the mower cannot reach everywhere; so removing them was a great accomplishment today. Also, the grass is mowed and OMG, was I huffing and puffing ) ; it is tiresome and I do not enjoy either the cutting or collecting the cut grass off the land. But all is done now and it feels good. Plus, it is a great exercise 🙂

I have more decluttering plans for tomorrow. I am really loving the motivation I have 🙂

holiday plans – the change is here

Here are my plans for the 12 days off till after the new year;

1. I will have breakfast every single morning – you got it right; every single morning I will go to my favourite cafe and order my favourite breakfast with coffee. That is my dream!

2. The delightful breakfast will be followed by a visit to my favourite book store close by; I can find beautiful books, buy or browse them as I please. Cannot think about a more lovely time spent.

3. I will walk around, maybe check the shops, see whether there is something interesting I may be interested in. Now that I will have spare time, I will take my time going through the stuff and fully engage my mind with whatever is at my hand. A great mental break – lovely.

4. I will call and visit some of my good friends – I am really looking forward to this! Everybody including me is so relaxed during the holidays that it is a perfect time to enjoy each others’ company and laughter.

5. I will go to the malls and check all the sales I can find – now that is one perfect time to find the best items at an affordable price. Since time is not an issue, I can explore in more detail and find and purchase those that I may like. I really would appreciate getting new shirts and trousers for winter.

6. I will visit the thrifty store, too. There are so many stuff that are interesting in such stores. Especially household items, such as old china or kitchen tools and furniture. I have been always fascinated by the fact that if I want to have a sense of the past of the city I am in, the old items, either at houses belonging to the people, or those who are dumped at the thrifty stores, are an excellent way to do so.

7. I would like to knit a nice toque this holiday season – based on my past experience if I can decide of what kind of toque to knit, I can produce it in a single day. I think it will be red and orange yes the colours that give energy during the winter. Great idea.

8. I will clean my house really well – starting the 2nd floor rooms which are much easier to clean. I will clean the floors well – they are in good condition but a little bit of deeper cleaning would be nice to protect them from permanent dust.

9. I will de-clutter the house – yes I will. I can keep things but not those which are not needed any more. That will help my house breathe better; it will refresh it, it will energize it. Together with the unwanted/unneeded items, I will also dump my old scars and painful memories. As I create space for new items at my house, I will also open space for new beginnings and memories. That is the most exciting of all the activities I plan to do during the holidays. This will lift my heart and my mind.

10. I will start implementing better and healthier life style. I am usually okay in terms of eating good and at least walking every single day, but I can do a lot better. I will start daily light weight exercises, I will stop eating refined carbs, and I will start breathing and relaxing with music more.

11. I will call my friends and family members to catch up with people important for me.

12. I will donate the books I am not reading any more.

13. I will clean my email inbox; ever year this is one of the best practices I follow – just delete the unnecessary/temporary emails, organize and store the others that are important. Open space for new emails, new developments, new important communications! Open space! Awesome – so exciting 🙂

14. I will shuffle the furniture around a little bit – I would like see my home a little bit different – just to have a mental stimulation, a fresh look, a statement of “change is here”. You would not believe how useful this kind of changes are in making more profound changes in our lives. Go ahead, change something and find in yourself the courage and wish to change other aspects, whether it is relationship, habit, life-style, or hobbies.

15. I will review my year and note all things that I have been grateful for. That is a great exercise not only to feel grateful, but also to appreciate the year that is ending and to welcome the new one with hope and positivity.

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