Sunday, November 30, 2008

A lesson in Balls...

OK, so J asked in last post's comments...Doesn't yarn already come in a ball?

Welllll.....sometimes...and it depends on how you define a ball. And there are Hanks and also Skeins of yarn as well.

These two little beauties are called Skeins (rhymes with reins), some people call them Hanks...I tend to call Skanks. But that's just me. I read it somewhere and I liked the sound of it and well, there you go.

Most sock yarn tends to come in Skanks, which when un-twisted, open up to a big hoop of yarn which is then put on a swift and wound into a center pull ball by hand (as Cherry did) or with a yarn winder like my Hugo.

I have the ball winder, but no swift. Hence the huge balls of snot, I mean knots, when I try to ball up a Skank. Sigh.

There are also these types of balls, which can also be called as Skeins, but I don't call them Skanks. I only call the long thingies Skanks. They usually come center pull already - which is very handy I must admit. Although I will go ahead and wind them on Hugo, cos well, I like playing with Hugo and making balls. I will definitely wind them up when using acrylic from the local craft store because it comes in very large skeins and it's easier to handle several small balls than one huge center pull skein.

See the little round thing at the top of the paper sack? Well, that's another type of ball. I'm not sure if they come center pull straight from the store or not, well, cos I never give 'em a chance... Straight to Hugo with every bit of yarn that enters the Chaos!!!! I grab the first free end and start cranking.

Then there's the good 'ol standby the pure and simple ball. All rolled up, nice and purty and waiting for a Kitty to come play. Nothing wrong with a good 'ol fashioned ball, but they do tend to roll around a lot and get pounced on by Kitties, cos well, if it's rolling around and it's on the floor, it's fair game!

I prefer to wind up all my Skanks, balls and whatnots on Hugo into center pull "yarn cakes" (you can see an orange one in the photo of Hugo above). They sit nice and flat on the bottom of your project bag and just stay calm and non-rollie and then poof! they're all used up.

I hoped this answered your question J.

And now finally, off to bed. This was a wonderful distraction (thanks J!) and my decaf Yorkshire tea is all gone. Time for beddy-bye and sweet dreams.

balling vs bawling...

Well....technically, I was "balling" as I was winding up the sock yarn from my new project bag...but I didn't say that, did I...

As the program went was hard to tell whether I was bawling cos of Pavarotti, or if I was bawling cos the balling of the sock yarn was becoming such an epic chore.

Ended up with a ginormous ball of a knot.

We all know the Chaos likes to have balls laying about, but not these kind dammit.

I was up until about 1am un-balling the knot and making a nice yarn ball out of it.

Tamed at last...

Really do need to wait until someone else is here to hold the skein for me...

Oh, and it is gorgeous yarn - a lovely, deep red with colored goes awesomely with my olive denim jacket and my denim denim jacket...and my brown winter coat. I wonder if I could find a hat or lacey scarf pattern than uses sock to Ravelry for some research!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What I'm doing now...

Watching a PBS special about Pavarotti...and totally balling my eyes out...his voice brings me to tears and gives me goose bumps...

Knitting, in this condition, is not going very well. hee hee

Show and Tell Saturday

OK, so now that I've come out of hibernating for a bit, I think it's time to show off a few things that I've been promising to show off all week.

First we have "My Precious"....a Pay It Forward gift from AmpuT. The link will take you directly to her blog post about all the 'making it' details and what she put into it... go there first before you continue here...I'll wait...

And now for my photos....and what I think of the bag...

OK, so I'm calling it "My Precious" - does that give you a clue of how I feel?

I absolutely adore this bag.

It's a bag (and we all know how I love bags, purses, totes...anything that holds other things).

It's all made by hand.

It's Olive green.

It's filled with many wonderful goodies.

It's a handmade BAG!

Look at all the cool and awesome things inside. I was feeling a bit down at the beginning of the week, but then the Postman arrived with this...and well, I almost started crying - my hands were shaking at the thought of such a lovely, thoughtful gift coming to me. Seriously, just ask Spencer. My mood lifted and well, I was just so excited, I put it on my wrist and carried it around awhile calling it My Precious.

Today, I will attempt to ball up the sock yarn (Gone with The Wind "Tara" colorway - how awesome is that). The little tin of notions (LOVE the "crap" and "oops" markers!) have a permanent home in the Precious as does the crochet hook and the purple hair band. I think I will use the crochet hook and some sock yarn I inherited from AmpuT a while back and crochet myself a scrunchie.

And now for a little added kept calling to well as a few of my favorite single beads I had no idea what to do with....

I hope you don't mind AmpuT...I added some of my favorite beads that I've had for ages to the ends of the ties. I never knew what to do with them as they are singles and they were just begging to be put on the bag.

So I listened. And it's even more Precious to me. A wonderful handmade gift filled with goodies and now the new home to some cherished beads.

Right now, it's holding my PIF projects. I'm definitely behind on mine, but I'll be finished very shortly.

And once those are done, it will be carrying this special project for Spencer - until it gets too long that is...

As promised, the double knit Argle Scarf - shown on the cover of Son of Stitch and Bitch

Yes, Folks, I am knitting that scarf! And I am TOTALLY FREAKIN' LOVING IT!

I'm knitting it in KnitPicks Swish DK in brown and blue to match a hoodless hoodie that Spencer just loves to ALL the time.

It took me 5 or 6 frakking times (I totally stopped counting after 4) to get this darn thing started and to understand the damn chart and all, but it was definitely worth it!!!

Yes!! That's double knitted Argyle. On MY needles!!!

Comments Comment: yes AmpuT, the pockets on that dress are a bit much. They would be way too much for my shortness and wideness, so I'd totally either just make a blouse or would switch out the skirt to be something less pockety. Oooh, a sheath with a belt perhaps....I'm with you tho, it's the collar and all that that hooked me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

OMG...if only...

...I had the figure

...I had the skills

...and I wore dresses...

I would SOOOOOOOOOOOOO make this dress.

It's modern, it's retro, it's awesome.

Oh, and I've corrected my spelling of gnat...knew it didn't look right, but I was too lazy to look it up. Thanks J for spelling it correctly and jarring my brain.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scary Saturday continued with...

...Gnat II, Revenge of the Gnats

So I go out Saturday afternoon for a bike ride, figuring it will be a short one since I've had a slight fever the last few days, but I haven't been out of the apartment for 2 days now and I'm going crazy and if I don't get out soon I'll explode.

You know how it goes.

So I get into my gear, get outside, think to myself...hmmmm....maybe I'll go a bit longer cos the fresh air feels great and I think I can manage a nice leisurely ride for a bit.

Get going down the path and OMG!!!! Attack of the killer swarms of GNATS.

Check for bugs. I hate bugs - Cairo Prison Warden, The Mummy (movie)

DAY-UM...Huge, ginormous swarms ALL OVER THE FREAKIN' PATH!!!!

I swear, I almost wrecked several times just trying to make it thru - and I kept going thinking, there MUST be an end to this torture soon, they can't go for that long, can they?

Um, yes, they can - but with no place to turn around quickly on the path, I kept going right thru.

Only problem with that was that I had to come back thru.

Since I'm sitting here typing, I must have made it... forge on ahead today with a 10mile round trip on Sgt Puff to meet Antonella for an afternoon of shopping and an early dinner while Spencer and his friend were at the house playing xbox.

I got the cutest ankle boots and a small olive leather Liz Claibourne purse ($9 - can't go wrong) and shared an awesome sample platter off BBQ with Antonella.

Honey, we'll be going there when you come, you will like it better than the usual place. Yes, you will.

Was going to post a picture of the only crafting project I can show for now, but I'm not far enough yet. Trust me tho when I say - it's AWESOME!!!!! Two new knitting techniques for me, but I seem to be catching on most awesomely. Argyle and double knitting.

Spencer says I rock.

As far as this project is concerned? Yeah, I do. Yay!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Scary Saturday

Like Cherry says...I better sleep with the lights on...especially if my Kitty ever figures out how to turn on the heated mattress pad on her own...

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Almost can't type, I'm laughing so hard...

So, AntiM puts up this thing about guessing the gender of who writes a blog...

and I get this...

We guess is written by a man (53%), however it's quite gender neutral.

Guess there's too much talk about balls? Maybe not enough? Whatever.

So I take the little poll off to the side - was the Analyzer Correct? Um, no. Last time I checked, I was a woman. Just had my yearly exam last Friday, so my doctor thinks so too.

And I get this...

Yes 53 % 6603
No 47 % 5807

Guess the analyzer doesn't do too well with the guessing bit.

Anyway, Honey suggests I put in

and I get this...

An error occurred
Sorry, we can only classify web pages written in english

ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....omg. Guess dey don'ts understands kitteh speaks.

Oh, and to even make my blog even more butch - there will be more ball talk soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


First off, thanks Cherry and J for your comments. J, if you want the name of the bike shop Spence and I use, shoot me an email and I'll tell you... Maybe you just need a new seat or something less expensive than getting a whole new bike. Never know.

Good point too J. I learned not to overdo my activities a long time and many injuries ago. A little bit of effort can go a long way in building up to something bigger. We don't always have to be faster, stronger, go further "right now".

OK, now for the cool part...I have some rocks and I have some wire. Spence and I used to collect rocks, both polished from tourist traps and right off the beach or street. This has given me some awesome ideas with what I can do with them - at least the polished ones anyway. My rocks are all small and stuff, so I'm thinking bracelets, earrings and using multiples for some napkin rings - only mine will have the rocks going all the way around. Would be really cool if I could sell them for the $140 (set of 4) that this dude is asking. Booyah.

OOOOH...we have sea shells too!

If I ever get around to making anything, it'll all go in my currently neglected Etsy Shop.

I'm getting so many ideas now and finding all sorts of cools things as I work thru the Job Basket. If I actually sat down and made stuff with all this Stuff, I could really fill up my little shop.

Really going to have to schedule out my "free" time. Between general crafting, knitting, the Job Basket, etc...I can easily see myself getting overwhelmed. Again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hardly working after all, it seems...

...had a revelation today during my bike ride.

See, TV is educational...I learned something important from Biggest Loser last night.

While out and about this morning I was cruising along wondering how well I was working my body.

Then I actually concentrated on what I was doing.

Hardly making any effort and I was moving right along. I mean, I was still peddling and stuff, but it really wasn't hard at all. It was mostly forward momentum down a bit of a slope. No effort required.

Then something Jillian said last night popped into my head.

Something along the lines of how much do you want to reach your goal? You can't get to it if you don't work for it. The more you want it, the harder you will work. Etc Etc Etc

Bottom line, get your ass in gear, cos that's the only way you will get in shape and lose weight, yada yada yada

So next thing you know...the gear thingy when up a few notches and I kicked it.

And I felt so good after my ride. So tomorrow, I ride harder and go more and more each day.

Today, I was about at the end of my ride when I got this revelation, so I didn't work as hard as I should have. Not that I went all out either.

"Working harder" and "going all out" for me is most likey a leisurely ride for everyone else. I do have to be careful as I don't want to hurt myself - cos how can I work hard if I can't get up on the bike? Add to that a bad knee, and well, I do what I can. Get my heart rate up and get myself almost out of breath...then go a bit harder through it. Then take it down.

It's a start. Oh, and I'm coming for ya grandpa!!!

OK, So I'm back watching Biggest Loser

Especially now that the editors have seen fit to let us see that others on the "Ranch" have realized what a "game player" Vicky really is...

I was angry last week, well actually the last few weeks, cos she was being all manipulative and the rest were just letting her and her husband roll all over them.

And I do realize that the editor powers-that-be will edit to their hearts content in order to show drama, and all that crap, just to get you to watch. All it did was piss me off.

This week tho, we're on to yes, Vicky is a 'game player', but also, everyone knows it and yes, there is tension, but it doesn't take over the show any more.

We're back to seeing all these people work hard to make their goals, and yes, I cried, and yes, it's inspiring, and yes, it helps me get the motivation back to ride as much as I can.

Was really sad I might have to give up one of the only shows I still watch, but now I don't have to worry.

My favorite part is seeing the before / afters at the end of the show. Seeing that is proof that yes, even tho they are not 24/7 with fitness, etc on the "Ranch" anymore, they can still do it at home. Which only proves that with a bit of hard work, I can too.

And I'm off for a ride at 11am today. Need to fill up that calendar with little icons again. hee hee

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gnat-ure Strikes Again...

Ptoooi...ptoooi...blech blech....ptooi...gah

OK, now that I've got all the Gnats out from various facial places, from behind glasses and out from under my helmet...

Jeez...well, not that bad but DAYUM!!! Day of the Gnats today on the bike trail. A big swarm of them stretching across the trail about every 50 ft or so. Stupid knats.

It's been more than a week I think since I've been out on Sgt. Puff. Doesn't take much for me to talk myself out of going and to get out of shape because I'm such a slacker...and doesn't take long on Sgt. Puff to drive that point home.

Have been in a bit of a bike funk I guess since Spencer doesn't have one anymore (yet, but I'm working on it), and really missed going out this weekend with him. It was the perfect weekend to do it too! Wah.

No excuse though, why I can't go out at lunch time on my own - during the week - when he's in school.

Oh, I've got PLENTY of excuses, but you know what I mean... heh heh heh...

Today, I went out on Sgt. Puff to run some errands. A total of 35 minutes or so on the bike with two stops. Now I sit here after a few minutes back still catching my breath. Pa-the-tic. Sigh.

Definitely no slacking off now. Going to make myself go out for a ride at every lunch time. Spencer is off at his Dad's this weekend, so I'm hoping to get out again then as well.

And maybe, just maybe, someday soon, I can catch up to that old grandpa that zoomed past me on the trail today.


Still hanging my head in embarrassment...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Head down, working...working...and yeah...

Work for work's sake and to pay the bills, continues to be, well, work.

Job Basket fun and frolic has slowed down a bit. I've been picking out jobs that are taking more than one or two sessions to complete, and between Work Work, the kid, crafting, and life, well, those sessions are down to one or two a day.

Crafting continues at a frenzied pace and panic has set in as deadlines loom...

Bank issues with new cards being sent out and old ones being cancelled adds to the chaos.

Now having to change all my stuff, well, that just pisses me off.

Good stuff:

Spencer got a great grade report! We have our first family/teacher conference some time this week if only we can all agree on a time. (Not my fault, I blame the Ex. See AmpuT? You're not alone.)

Honey is coming to visit for the Xmas/New Year/His B-day Holidays. You can't tell, but I'm very excited. He'll be here 3 weeks. PANIC!

I can now officially enjoy my new glasses. Both pairs. I have this awesome tricked out pair for computer/reading work that I wear at (where else) the computer while I'm working. Most. Awesome. Things. Ever. Now I can officially say, I have my distance glasses as well. Got them, couldn't see shit, had to get tested again, got them updated and picked them up today. They work and I can see!!! Just taken me over a month to say, "I can see again". Sigh.


The official countdown has started: Honey says it's 29 days. I'll take his word for it as I'm too freaked out and panicked to count.

Speaking of panic...The Job Basket still looks full! Need to get moving a bit faster and get going on completing more jobs!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Meme Post

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and put the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 weird or random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to their blog.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

AntiM was kind enough to tag me.

OK, here we go with the weird or random facts. Although it'll probably all be random cos I was just telling Honey yesterday, I'm not weird.

1. I like when things are organized and in their place, but you couldn't tell that by looking at my place - all disorganized with things all over the place.

2. I can't comfortably knit with other knitters. I've been a lone knitter for so long now, it's hard to be a social one, but I am trying.

3. I don't wear makeup and quite honestly, don't know how to put it on without feeling like a circus clown or a whore. I have been known to put on some lipstick or lip gloss, but that's about it.

4. I have a thing for office supplies. Especially things to write with...

5. I can sleep any time, any where, just not at night - in my bed - when I really should be sleeping.

6. I like music and like to sing along and dance - to the point where I'll just start bopping and singing in a store along to the Muzac, totally oblivious to anyone else around. It can be very embarrassing - especially when someone joins in...

7. I don't own my own computer. If it wasn't for work, I wouldn't be sitting here typing this on a cool laptop.

OK, here's the even harder part than coming up with lame facts about myself. Finding 7 people I actually know enough to tag and think that maybe they'll participate - oh and have a blog in the first place. Oooh...time to hit all the bloggers I know that are doing the daily posting thing!!! This will give them something to write about.

AmpuT, Cherry Extract, Autumn's Mom, Thinking About... , No-Blog-Rachel .... and that's all I got. I would tag one other, but she's quite busy right now, she's got some important stuff going on - like a new job and a Mister going in for surgery soon.

Hope my laptop won't explode or anything since I can't come up with 7 people to tag... hah!

Friday, November 14, 2008

ACK! I've been tagged...

...for a meme by AntiM.

Gah. Now I have to think and write clever things about myself and then tag other people so they can suffer, I mean, participate too.

If I know you and you have a blog, consider yourself warned.

Heh Heh Heh

Sheez...this is gonna take me a while. Thinking is hard you know!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another Jaw-sie night

Last night's Basket Job - the shredding - is going to have to be continued tonight.

I had quite a bit to shred (really should keep up with it better), and the poor shredder started to get a bit warm, so I shut it off after a bit to let it rest and cool down. Not much left, so I will continue that Basket Job tonight.

If I feel up to it, I will pull out another Job Paper from the Basket. Most likely not though as Spencer and I are working on our special project tonight.

Oh, and the tray is not and never will "be". That little project failed in an epic way. Sigh.

The whole point was to take bits and pieces I got on the cheap and make a cool tray.

All I got out of it was some more stuff for the trash dumpster (not going to spend any more money on it) and a wee hole through the tip of my finger.

Don't ask.

PS. The finger is fine, just a bit sore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DunDun...DunDun...DunDunDunDun... case you can't tell, that the music from JAWS, the movie.

Tonight's Basket Job is to shred stuff. And that means I get to play with our resident shredder, Jaws. Heh Heh.

But first, it's dinner, then after shredding, out comes the power drill!!! Yay tools!!!

And now for something completely different. Found this quiz over at Cherry Extract, and since we are having pizza for dinner...well, I couldn't resist. Think I will do what she did and list out the questions and my answers...

How many slices of pizza do you normally eat? 2
What kind of crust do you prefer? Pan
What kind of sauce do you prefer? Red Sauce
What kind of cheese do you prefer? Extra Mozzarella
What vegetable topping do you like the best? Mushrooms
What meat topping do you like the best? Sausage

What Your Pizza Reveals

People may tell you that you have a small appetite... but you aren't under eating. You just aren't a pig.

You consider pizza to be bread... very good bread. You fit in best in the Midwest part of the US.

You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.

You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices.

You are cultured and intellectual. You should consider traveling to Vienna.

The stereotype that best fits you is guy or girl next door. Hey, there's nothing wrong with being average.

Heh Heh, this is pretty good. I was born and raised in Chicago, home of the best deep dish pizza ever.

And guess what kind of pizza is almost ready to come out of the oven... thick crust (quasi pan) sausage and extra cheese pizza. MMMMM...sure does smell goooooooooooooooooood!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still working hard...

...not just hardly the saying sometimes goes...

Tonight I drew "go thru 2 boxes under Spencer's bed".

Yes (hanging head in shame), I even stashed some storage boxes under my kid's bed.

Took me a lot longer than just 15 tell the truth, I didn't even set the timer. I forgot. But, as all I was doing was sitting in front of the TV watching PBS and then Biggest Loser (this season is so pissing me off I don't think I'll watch it again until the finale), I had nothing to do but "work".

So I pull out two small boxes (as there are only smaller boxes under his bed) - the first box was quick, a bunch of stuff shoved in a box to "clean" for company, and the second took a lot longer, a box of photos. I looked at some, but finally had to cover it up and put it aside as "going thru photos and organizing them" is a humongous job for a future Job Basket. And what do I find in the first box, but 5 rolls of packing tape and my drawer handles!!! Among lots of other cool things. I've just been looking for that damn packing tape for, oh, 6 months now!!!! And you all know that since I discovered the cabinet door, I've been looking for the drawer pulls.

They are still cool, and I can't wait to put them on the door tomorrow night. I did all the measuring and have the doors marked for the holes I'll be drilling. Unlike my neighbors, I managed to restrain myself from making obnoxious noises past 9pm tonight - even tho, OMG, it was killing me.

I have the before photo all ready to go with the after I'll be taking tomorrow.

Speaking of photos, I had to get online to check out an email Spencer sent, and while I was on here, decided to post and to work on uploading all the photos from my laptop to my online photo album. It's going to take a while, but I figure I can set a few folders to upload during the day while I'm working and before you know it, they'll all be 'safe'. I can't tell you how many photos I've lost from work laptops. Since I don't have my own personal computer and I'm very bad at backing up my personal files anyway, I've been through some painful photo losing times. Sigh. But, I've finally decided to get this done. Long overdue, but worth every second of watching the progress tick off 1% complete at a time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Now we're talkin'...

...or should I say working...

I'm finally getting some 'tougher' jobs out of the basket.

Last night I worked on one of our storage closests.

Tonight I get to tackle some boxes from the storage unit that are in the living area. Specifically two boxes. And I've freed up enough space in that storage closet to add in anything from those boxes that needs to stay. Can't wait!

Can't believe I'm typing that...about to go and check if I have a fever or something.

Now you see why I need to make another set of Jobs for the Basket once this set is done. Everything that I'm putting back into the closests will need a permanent home. And those permanent homes are yet to be determined.

Yeah, this is gonna take some time.

Holiday and Pay It Forward crafting continues...

Now what did I do with that thermometer...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Rules posted to the side over there --->

OK, I figured out how to get them all listed over to the right there. I've switched a few things around and changed the "additional rules" to "things to remember".

Think it's time to go pick out a Job. I'm bored, I'm hungry, and I haven't done one yet today. And I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to find those damn drawer handles so I can make my tray. Argh!

Rolling with my Basket...

...I'm on a roll.

First, there was the Job on Friday night.

Then on Saturday, I was busy most all day and tired by the time I got home.

So I eat dinner and decide, OK, Rule #1: Must pick a Job every day.

So I picked one, and did it in about 5 minutes. OK, so it seems like I've got the opposite problem from making jobs so hard it takes me a few times to complete them. Argh...

So I pick another since I was already up and doing something and I hadn't felt that I had worked hard enough.

Seems I got "in the mood" cos I picked a total of 5 Jobs last night. Yes folks FIVE. Took me all of 30 minutes to complete them all. I KNOW there are jobs in there that take more effort than what I've put in so far. I tried to get a good mix of hard and easy...seems like I'm picking all the easy ones out right away though...

Anyway, one of the things I did was go shopping with Antonella, where I managed to pick up a few containers to help with the organizing. BOTH containers were used last night. One to organize all of our new xBox stuff. It was the original reason why I bought the container thing in the first place and the first job I drew? Organize the xBox stuff. Now that it's organized and we've got places for everything xBox-y, Spencer should be able to keep things in order instead of all over the living room floor.

One would hope.

The second was a good size canvas zip-up style "box". What I've done with that is taken out all the clothes in my closet that don't fit right now, folded them up all nice-like and put them in there and then put the whole lot on top of the set of drawers in my closet. Not only have I actually done part of one of my 'future' jobs, but I've also made it possible to actually SEE what I've got to wear. I have lots of clothes of all sizes, which can get very confusing to somone who is having some weight struggles.

How can you tell what you can actually wear if you can't see it? What a waste of time to dig thru it all and keep saying, doesn't fit, doesn't fit, doesn't fit, etc. It's also very, very depressing. Sigh.

So, in the interest of sanity, and curiousity to know just how bad the clothing situation is, I got the canvas box thing. Sigh.

Folded up some very nice clothes. 32 pieces total. A lot of it was bought about a year ago for my first trip over to England to visit Honey. Never ended up in any of it cos I bloated out and gained a bunch of weight right before I went. Almost all of it still had the tags on...and most of it was on Clearance too...(major SCORE)... But damn if I won't have one ROCKIN' wardrobe when I finally do fit into it all. All sorts of coordinating pieces that will really look nice. Someday.

And, I have figured out that I actually do have quite a bit that I can still wear as I'm on this latest losing weight journey - it was just buried in the midst of all the stuff I can't wear - yet.

Anywho, in doing the last Job last night, I discovered a few cool things.

First, a cabinet door I got at the IKEA scratch n' dent area for $1 - a long time ago. It had a really cool, balanced look to it and I remember seeing something somewhere that someone had made a tray out of a cabinet door by adding a few drawer handles. I know I found some really awesome handles at the hardware store on sale a few weeks after that, but can't find them. Sigh. I will tho, and when I do, I'll be sure and show you guys.

Second, I have to go back and update the rules. Need to add two more:

If you get the muchies and it's not time to eat, pick a Job.


If you get bored, pick a Job.

Think I'm going to try and figure out how to add "The Basket Rules" to the side of the blog. If you don't see anything over there, you know I wasn't successful.

This Job Basket seems to be having an effect on quite a few aspects of my life.

And that's just fine with me.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Jumping into the Basket...

...did my first "job" last night. Took all of 10 minutes. YAY!

Fifteen minutes every so often I can do...spending an entire weekend starting/stopping/starting/procrastinating and ending up doing practically nothing....I don't want to do any longer.

Cherry, I've used a 10 minute timer with Spencer and his room, and it's worked wonderfully. Don't know why I haven't done this for myself sooner. Oh well, I'm doing it now, and it felt great to actually accomplish something and see IMMEDIATE results.

For this project, I've broken down various tasks. For example, going thru my closet. It's rather wide and filled to the brim, so that could be a rather daunting project. It has two upper shelves that run the length of it and then the hanging area that goes all the way across. So I've broken it down into 4 "jobs" left and right hanging areas, and left and right portion of the upper shelves. When done this way, it's not so scary to do the closet.

The reason I've finally broken down and done the Basket is because when Honey and everyone left after graduation in June, I used the last day of having the rental car to empty out my storage unit - to save money. The Chaos Annex is no more, and everything that was in there is now here and there all over my apartment - again. And I've done NOTHING since then to go through it or get rid of it, NOTHING!!!

Finally just got tired of looking at it all and decided something needed to be done. Thought for about a week over what I've done in the past that's worked. Not much, but the 10 minute timer for Spencer has worked, and I've done the 10 minute timer for chores as well. Why not make it 15 minutes and attack all the "Stuff".


But where do I start? Started going through my apartment doing an inventory of everything I needed to address. The list was long and depressing. There are quite a few jobs on it that I don't look forward to doing at all. I didn't want to do them first, and I knew for sure I would skip over them and leave them for last - and then they wouldn't get done. So I decided, the job choice would have to be random.

And there you have it, the Job Basket was born.

Oh, and to keep myself on track...if you guys haven't heard anything about the Job Basket in a few days, feel free to call me out. Hopefully, I'll just have forgotten to post and I won't be slacking off about doing my jobs!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Basket Case

Whatever...I was up way too early today and it's been nothing but crap all day. I had a very clever title for this last night, but it's slipped my mind. Along with just about everything else today. Sigh.


Welcome to the New Improved Chaos Organizing Project of Fall 2008!

You know, this blog actually started out as an "organizing" blog but it's been covering so many other things - I am a master procrastinator. heh heh

I've tried just about everything else and nothing has stuck - it's worked for a bit, but I've never stuck with it - so why not try this....

Introducing the 15-minute Job Basket!

I took some old address book refill pages from a book I'm not using any longer (hey look! I'm recycling!!!), cut them up...

Broke down everything I want to do around my apartment into 15 minute "jobs", wrote them on the little bits of paper....this does not include chores. Chores are done on a daily basis or as needed. This Job Basket is just for my organizing or clearing out of things.

Folded them up and tossed them in a basket!

Rules of the "Job Basket":

  1. One job paper must be drawn every day.
  2. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  3. Do the job.
  4. If you get hungry and it's not time to eat, pick a job paper.
  5. If you get bored, pick a job paper.
  6. If the job is completed in less than 15 minutes, pat myself on the back and put my feet up for the remaining time.
  7. If the job is not completed in the 15 minutes allowed, work on it again for the next 15 minute "Job Basket" time, and so on until it is. This should not happen that often though, unless I really sucked at estimating how long it's going to take me to do something.
  8. Repeat the above until the "Job Basket" is empty.

Going to have to make periodic runs to the thrift store to donate all the stuff I decide I don't need, going to separate my recyclables and dispose of chemicals, batteries, and electronics, and everything else properly. OOOH...and shred documents with personal info on them.

Very IMPORTANT Rules in case I wanna try and get around the REAL rules:

  1. The job written on the paper must be performed - no switching, no whining, no slacking off!
  2. Don't beat myself up if I miss a day or don't finish a job.
  3. If I miss a day, I'll just start over the next day.
  4. If I totally drop the ball on a job, toss the paper back into the basket - it may not get done today, but it will eventually.
  5. It's OK to do more than one job a day. In fact, it's totally awesome to do more than one.
  6. I didn't chaos the hell out of my life in a week or two, so I can't expect to get this done in just a few days or so. Have to be realistic and give myself some time. This is very hard work, especially since I'm pretty attached to my stuff.
  7. Figure out an awesome reward to give myself when it's all done. Or, maybe when I've done 10 jobs or whatever. Need to decide. I do need some new furniture...

Stay tuned to see how this all plays out. I'll try and post a weekly update on what "Basket Jobs" I've accomplished and how things are looking around here and how I'm feeling about it all. And if I'm REALLY BRAVE, I'll post before/after photos - don't hold your breath though, cos I am pretty much a chickenshit.

Oh, and when the Job Basket is finally empty...I get to fill it up again with organizing my stuff. This first round of Job Basket thingies are only getting me to the point to where I can settle in and organize everything I have left. Yeah, I know.

This is a huge undertaking for me.

This could be the most totally awesomest thing in the world...

...or just some dillusional waking whacked out dream I'm having.

At the very least, it'll keep you guys entertained...and distracted from all the gift projects I'm working on right now. I can only keep pointing out my cute little map with dots on it for so long.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voter #325

Lonely and cold in the dark night...

Spencer came home from school feeling sick, looking terrible, and quickly warming up (as in fever). He was deligated to the couch with tea and dinner.

I'm not feeling all that well myself, so bundled up and headed out in the chilly darkness to vote, hoping that I could hold off anything germ-wise until I was done.

12 minute walk there, 10 minutes voting, 14 minute walk back.

Knitting never made it out of the bag as there was NO line.

So much for the voting entourage and our Family Tradition. Sigh.

And I sure as heck hope that more than 325 people in my precinct have voted. Maybe that's the 2nd or 3rd machine they've had today. I have no idea how it works, and I really wanted to get back home so didn't stick around to find out. And definitely didn't want to talk to anyone more than I had to so that I wouldn't pass on anything germ-ish.


Still.... Civic Duty Performed?


PS Oh, and Cherry, they finally shut down about half past midnight on Saturday. And the reason we're feeling icky? One of them had the sneezes while he was here. Gee. Thanks.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Wherein the new raincoat...

...has seen more rain in the last few days than it did on our entire trip to England/Wales in August.

And what do ya really is a raincoat. Repelling water and everything!!! Hey, I got it for a steal at Marshall's, no tags...could have just been a short trench coat waterproof jacket impersonator.

But, I am happy to report, it is indeed, the Real Thing.

Last time I saw the weather...about 6am-ish this morning, there were no predictions of rain for Election Day tomorrow. So maybe my short little trench will get a well deserved rest.

There will however, be quite the entourage going off to the local polling place.

First off, the son. Spencer has come with me to vote in every election since we moved to California - which was very soon after he was born. So after 13 or so years of voting (yeah, he's over 14, but had to qualify as a resident first), guess you can call it a "family tradition".

Next, the snackage and beverages. No telling how long we'll be in line and gosh darn it, voting is so exciting, we'll probably get the munchies.

And finally, the knitting. Just in case there is a long line or something. The needles will also come in handy if someone tries to cut the line or starts up any trouble. POKE!!!

Whuh...Just sayin'.

We're all excited to go.

Next time I go for a Presidential Election, Spencer will be coming along as a VOTER!!!! OMG... where has the time gone?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Don't forget to vote!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Glad you are here Rain....

...but...enough is enough already, K?

Perfect day for 3 teens to stay inside playing video games. Which is exactly what Spencer and two of his friends are doing and have been doing. All. Day. Seriously, all day. Only stopping momentarily for bathroom breaks and food consumption.

I've been doing a little bit of organizing here and there, staying well away from the 3 of them in the living room. It's been wonderful. They have just been amusing themselves and at this age, don't need that much supervision at all. Except for the occasional... "Why don't you guys take a break?" Every now and then.

Spencer spent the night at the one kid's house after the 3 of them went Trick or Treating with a few more friends around his neighborhood. Then they made their merry way over to our place and managed to get caught in the rain while walking home from the train station. Yes, they walked...they had just missed the bus and they only run every hour or so on the weekend, so they decided to walk instead. It's a 30 or 40 minute walk from there to here. And it started raining on them when they were about 10 minutes away.

And it rained and rained and rained until about 1ish...when we decided to make a run to the deli for lunch and then for some groceries for dinner and breakfast - yes, they are spending the night.

$80 later, and it's POURING again. We were all soaked just walking back across the street. Anyway, there was so much standing water, the puddles were HUMONGOUS - there was no way we were going to make it home and not be wet. We survived though and the kids have snacked and played their way thru the day.

I'm going to go help Spencer set things up in his room for the kids, then Kitty and I are going to go to bed. Think some quiet knitting or reading away from the shooting and mutants is in order for this tired Mom. They will tire themselves out about 11ish and then head off to bed. If not, time for me to go start unplugging things.

And yes, I have done that before, so they know if I say it, there's a good chance I will do it if they don't start shutting down.

Heh Heh Heh...