Even though you're growing up, you should never stop having fun.
I've had a very busy few weeks and yet I've been feeling oh so tired. In some ways I've got a lot done and in other ways not.
Each year I find the months between November and end of February hard to take and especially January and February. I live in a place where we get so little sunshine over that period and by January I am really feeling it. This year I think more so than usual.
|These kinds of days are still a few months away.|
I've already done a lot of reading this month since I haven't been up for a lot more.
Here is a good book if you are interested in adventure to other lands or if you have an interest in elephants.
I've also done a lot of organizing in terms of setting myself up with things I need to move forward in the coming months: a stash of material to make a few items for my mother, a summer wardrobe that I've been pulling together over the last few months (almost done), a few additions to the winter wardrobe and replenishing linens and towels. It feels good to get these things out of the way. Bit by bit I've been also making my way through the house getting things tidied. I've got bigger ideas for moving things around but that will take a bit more time.
I found I haven't been sleeping well at all this month and my body really feels it. Then I started taking Vitamin D3. I don't know if that helps with sleep at all but since we don't get a lot of sunshine for many months where I live, I know supplementation is a must. I think it is working already. After just a few days supplementation, I got the urge to start cleaning my kitchen cabinets and reorganizing them. Trust me, this is a job I don't like doing. It is very hard to reach deep into and even to see into the backs of these cabinets. So as you can imagine, it is a job that very much needs doing and one has to feel like doing it. I'm glad I'm feeling like it now so I don't waste the sunny days to come with cleaning the cabinets, lol. Here is a link to read more about Vitamin D3 supplementation in case you might need it too.
I was inspired by seeing some videos of young women who totally organize their homes (I thought I was organized). Seriously, I personally think people have too much stuff (myself included). Since I travelled to Africa many years ago now and experienced just how little so many people have, I've learned that we really don't need that much to live on a day to day basis. Food, shelter and a few garments are the key things besides family and friends.
Over the ensuing years since my first visit to Africa, I determined that I needed to downsize my "stuff" and have been doing so bit by bit. I do have to buy and replace things when they break or get worn out. Add that to "stuff" I see and think it will help me organize or I can use it in a new recipe, and so on , and it does make it a bit more challenging to get to a good point of balance with "stuff". I keep trying. Knitting supplies and fabrics and all the tools required to make anything with these materials are what I tend to spend on besides food and household related items. Yarn and fabric are things I need to buy new if I want to make things. (I gave up on buying used yarns because of the problems of not having enough to make any real projects I wanted. Now I buy new yarns and fabrics on sale as much as possible. It can take up quite a lot of time to build up the yarn stash and yet it still takes so much room to store until you have enough to start working with. I truly don't have space so I've had to purchase some baskets and try to limit myself to the colour batches I am going to use in future. The challenge is to use these things and not just let them become clutter. Some of you will remember that I also inherited a lot of fabric and craft items from my mom when she moved into care. Though I did get rid of a lot, I still have a lot that I kept. All the medical type equipment takes all the space in my downstairs storage unit and then some. I also have many of her papers and my dearly departed sister's papers and personal mementos too. I hope to give a lot of this to her son when he is settled down post education years.
Though I am fairly organized I do still have areas of too much clutter. It happens easily in a small home when you have a number of different collections, and if, like me you are keeping things that belong to others. I need to keep better organized in some areas. One area that needs a better set up is in my kitchen with spices and canned and dried goods. I don't have a pantry or a closet or garage where I could store food. So I have no choice but to make the best use of one awkwardly placed and shaped kitchen cabinet. It is the only real place I have to store food.
If I had a pantry like the one in this video http://youtu.be/E0yF0Iz74yQ I would have no issues with keeping my kitchen tidy. The woman in the video is an organizational expert and has lots of wonderful ideas. However she has so much space in her house that very little of what she does can apply to someone in a small space like me. I can still learn a little from her and from some others on youtube and see how I can use the ideas in a more modest way. Virtually everyone who has a video on youtube to organize small kitchens has far more cabinets than I do, and a pantry to boot. Alternatively they are living in a pied a terre and I don't fit into either of those categories.
I went to Dollarama Friday and bought several containers. I don't know exactly how many I might need so for now I bought 4 large and 4 medium and I think I am going to need at least 4 more medium containers. That is probably all that will fit into my cabinet anyway along with the canned goods. I may also purchase some fabric "boxes" to put a lot of my canned goods. Some of the cans are currently "hiding" underneath a stand alone cabinet in my kitchen. If I put them in neat little boxes they perhaps go above the cabinets. It is warm up there so they probably wouldn't last so long but this will accomplish two things: using them up more quickly and putting an end to my stock piling. The meal planning I started recently is going to help a lot with both of these goals.
I also spent time the other night re-arranging other kitchen cabinets so I can ultimately clear more of the counter space. It is very difficult to do since I have so cabinet and counter space overall but every little bit of improvement helps. I moved my coffee pot closer to the kitchen sink where I can easily dump the grounds into the garburator without dripping on the floor.
Starting in February all grounds and food scraps need to go to the common compost for pick up by the city each week. This is a new rule of the City Council to help conserve the environment. I totally agree with the change but it is expensive proposition for the City. Taxes go up when things get expensive and there is the problem of rodents if the garbage is not picked up often enough. I guess what I'm saying is I'm not really sure how sustainable this program will be. I read recently that another municipality in the area started garbage compost collection twice a week. They've already had to reduce compost pick up to once a week when they realized how expensive it going to be.
Soon our City Council and provincial government also want to have us vote on building yet another skytrain (above ground remotely operated trains). This again means more tax hikes and we've just paid for a new skytrain on another route and and all the other structural upgrades for the recent winter Olympics. We've also just paid for significant highway construction and upgrades. I am just not feeling up to paying for yet another skytrain though I really would like one. Increases to strata fees and special building levies come for me like clockwork every winter and so it is a lot to contend with when it all happens in a short space of time. It will be interesting to see if the property owners of Vancouver vote for or against the new skytrain because I know pretty much everyone would like one despite the cost.
The good news is my pension is indexed so I got an increase this month. The bad news is the cost of everything has gone up and there is more to come. In these kind of circumstances where I feel pressed, I do everything I can to remind myself just how blessed I truly am and I am grateful to have a small raise which I know many people do not get.
I'm going into my 2nd week with the menu planning. I have to say it is working out very well and I'm enjoying it so far. I also noticed that my blood glucose levels have already improved and rather than worrying about them getting too high, I have to watch that they don't go too low. Getting too low is more scary to me than getting too high though high blood glucose over the longer term is definitely not good. When I go too low I end up eating stuff that isn't too healthy just to bring my blood glucose back up. I'm sure that as I continue I will find a happy medium for just the right way to eat. I am pleased with myself and think I've found a new tool to help manage my diabetes.
I started the weekend shopping for containers for dry goods. Saturday I shop for fabric to make mom a skirt. I will also take in the new movie "Selma" about civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Sunday is fellowship and I look forward to seeing friendly faces at church. In between I'm doing a lot of things that most of you have to deal with every day as well: cooking, cleaning, catching up with correspondence and telephone calls. I don't have any social planned for tomorrow like I often do. I feel like taking in a movie on my own because I have errands to run afterward. I just find it easier that way.
My post started with a quote about having fun. Sometimes I need to remind myself to have fun especially when I'm feeling tired and a bit down because of constant gray skies. Today I made my own fun. While I made dinner I listened to music in my kitchen using my phone and mini-speakers. This is so simple and something I never do though I know a lot of people do. I'm hoping to listen to music in the kitchen more often. Mostly I listen when I am sitting at my desktop with the headphones on. I may need different mini-speakers because the ones I have don't have very good volume. Or perhaps I can simply dig out my small radio from the emergency kit I've prepared and listen to the radio.
Tomorrow I will have fun getting out and about and seeing a movie. I'll also feel like I've accomplished something when I get the fabric for mom's skirt. Next I have to make a sewing day later this week as I now have 3 full slips and one long skirt to make.
Whatever your plans are, I hope you too have fun. Before I know it the winter here will be coming to an end.