Friday, July 26, 2019

End of July

Hello friends,

The week goes so quickly and Friday is upon us again.

I'm still in summer mode but I'm not doing what people normally do with their summers. I'm not sitting relaxing in my garden or going to the beach or going to concerts. Instead I am doing a major household purge.

After years of purging a few things here and there of my late mom's things, my clothing, and knick knacks, I started purging some of my own papers. Before I knew it it got me into purging my books and wanting to change the furniture around. Why did I start on that?! I was supposed to be purging my papers. I think I was looking for a distraction as I don't like to get into my papers. There is just so much of it to go through.  I also find I can't focus on papers when there are other things that are also needing to be sorted.

I read Marie Kondo's book on the Magic of Tidying Up last year. She sets out a certain order of discarding and sorting which has come to be known as the KonMari Method which has taken off by storm.  I don't exactly follow the method or the order of decluttering but I did learn a few things from the method.  As for the order of decluttering (as depicted in the chart below), I like to tackle different areas as the motivation strikes me. I like to mix things up a bit and do a little of this and a little of that and tidy and clean and reorganize along the way. So many organizing gurus on You Tube run out and buy all kinds of containers to store stuff.  I've learned over the years that this might make things tidy but it only hides the clutter, it doesn't eliminate it.  At some point you will need to deal with it.

In the chart above, book sorting comes before paper sorting. So I guess I am following that rule.  Clothing is the first item to be sorted. I did actually sort a lot of clothing over the past few years, not just mine but my mother's as well and fabrics and so on. It is an ongoing process because I also bought a lot of clothing having gained and lost 50 pounds over the years.

But in between clothing and books I sorted and discarded a lot of miscellany to try and create more "breathing" space. It sounds like I am, or was, a hoarder but I am not. I just have a lot of stuff and I like my stuff to be contained and orderly.  I like everything in it's place but my place is too small for my stuff. That means I have too much of it. I can blame cooking from scratch, shopping for food sales and any other kind of sales (I love a good bargain), craft hobby, sewing hobby & reading hobby.  Now I am at that point in my life where I want a lot less stuff. That is hard when you like to read and do crafts of all kinds and when you were taught to save things for a rainy day or because they might be useful.  It also requires discipline to buy only what one needs when they need it. I will find a way to try and continue with all my interests and do it with less stuff.

Anyway, back to the books.  I've managed to "discard" 10-12 very large shopping bags. I was shocked to discover how many books there were.  It doesn't look like quite so many when they are neatly on the bookshelves.  Fortunately, my local hospital is going to take all of my cast off books but I have to deliver them. I'm hoping to do that on Monday. They  plan to sell the books to raise a bit of money for the work they do with seniors. So it's for a great cause.

In between cleaning and moving bookshelves and deciding which books to give away, I've also purged and cleaned the hallway coat closet. Generally I post giveaways on Freecycle and there are a few women in the community who always ask for my clothing which means they come and get it.  It is always much better to let someone else have use of something that is still in good condition than to put it in the garbage. Friday (today) I will vacuum and get back to paperwork which I'll work on throughout the weekend.

While all this work is going on inside, the exterior walls of my building are also being washed and painted. This should be done not later than the middle of August.  Everything on the patio has had to be moved in preparation. In  the meantime the patio pavers finally got a good washing. They really needed it as they were not washed last year

I have a guest coming in late August and another one in early September so they will find things looking a lot different. Not only that I will be able to enjoy visiting with them in my decluttered home.

They always say when you really declutter you start experiencing shifts in your life. Right now the shift I am experiencing is more freedom of mind and a growing sense of peace and joy in getting rid of a burden.

It's hard to believe in another few weeks we will definitely be in back to school mode and back to cooler weather and all the things that come with it. I always look forward to the Fall months when I no longer feel the heat of summer.

All the photos were taken in the month of July 2019 on various days except for the last photo which was taken in June ( I haven't had much time for photo taking). They are all taken between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.  I've started to notice these past few days the sun is coming up a bit later. Have you noticed that where you live?

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the last days of summer.  Of course some of you are going through winter season. In that case, I hope it warms up for you soon. I know winter can be quite chilly and rainy in a place like New Zealand.

 Thank you for stopping by to visit.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Skywatch Friday & a Bit More

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all doing well.

I'm popping in to see how everyone is doing. I've been on a wonderful break. I've been enjoying a much slower, relaxed pace of life. I'm not doing anything unique or exciting just enjoying the usual things I do at a slower pace.  Rain started about a week ago and we've been getting a bit each day which is wonderful as it is good for the earth, good for the dams and good for the gardens and natural life. Today (Friday) it was back to very hot weather.

From my patio garden

Amongst other things I've been busy shopping for and preparing for various friends' birthdays and looking forward and planning and shopping for the prezzies I need to get organized for Christmas. I've also continued reading and currently reading books 33 and 34

I also joined a fashion book club where the leader suggests books to read, then we experiment and share the results.  I haven't done any experimenting yet as  the first step is to read the books. I'm not sure I'll have a lot of time or interest in this but I do like to see what others are wearing and it is a nice diversion from the daily grind.

I've been watching a lot of You Tube videos and learned about the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook from some American ladies who vlog. I'd never heard of this plan or cookbooks before but have now ordered them from the library and think I'll be trying a lot of the recipes in at least one of the books. Do any of you follow this plan? People who follow it consistently seem to get great health and weight loss results. I'm afraid I'm not too good at consistency in following plans. I just try to learn healthier ways of cooking and eating and have decided to purchase their most recent recipe book.

I wrote last time how I had been having so many problems with my knees. I have been popping a lot of OTC painkillers, various health supplements (Turmeric, glucosamine and a host of other daily vitamins). I still have to go for my updated x-ray before I am referred to an arthritic program but I am happy to report that the pain levels have been more bearable this past few days.  I continue to walk almost daily and get on the whole body vibration machine for about 10 minutes daily.

Meeting with friends has proved to be a bit more challenging as several have been ill, a hazard it seems of growing older. I always feel great when I get a chance to sit and meet with friends I haven't seen in awhile and I have been able to meet with a few. I hope to get to meet a few more in the next few weeks so I can have a clear slate before company arrives.

My family had a scare a few days ago when one of my brothers almost met his end after a freak accident in his driveway. Thankfully he is fine. After the accident he was trying to rest in his house when he started experiencing chest pains. He went to hospital and they checked his heart and his head as he had smacked his head when thrown from the vehicle when it stopped on the roadway.  The doctors pronounced him okay and after a couple days recovery at home he told me he was very bored and wanted to go to work the next day. He is very grateful that his injuries were not worse and that it wasn't yet lights out for him. So much can change in an instant and we his loved ones and friends are grateful that things were not much worse.

One of the many geraniums from my patio garden

Updates on Missions in Africa

In my last post I wrote about Levi the Engineering student I had been helping in Kenya. He is now in India and getting registered for all his classes.  The entire process of registration and running from building to building when he isn't familiar with the place is somewhat overwhelming.  But he is a determined fellow so he will no doubt see it through.

Ernest is recovering at home though he has lost an alarming amount of weight and he was already very thin. We are trying to help him with funds to buy more produce and food in general as he has only been drinking milk and eating ugali.  Ugali is a  type of thick corn flour mush eaten by virtually everyone in Kenya but it isn't very nutritious.

Eunice is still in hospital and needs prayers as her condition has been weak for some time though somehow she manages to hang in there.

There is no update about Alvin.  For now he continues his participation in the boys choir, his church activities and meeting with various friends.

Carolly is finishing his last week of medical internship and will be graduating in the Fall since he has already passed his medical examination. Well done, Carolly! We are hopeful that one of the Kenyan hospitals will snap him up and give him a paid post as a doctor very soon.

I no longer sponsor Kevin in Uganda.  The community he lives in is graduating from the program. It means they will be able to develop their own businesses for self sufficiency and grow their own food as well as pump their own water.  Hurrah!  The remaining 3 boys I sponsor in Kenya and Ethiopia are all doing well.

Petunia from my garden

I'll be continuing my summer break though may pop in here from time to time (and continue to visit as many vlogs as I can)  and  especially when I want to share a photo or two.
In meantime I will continue reading, tending to my gardens, knitting and decluttering.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday this week.

I appreciate your visit, your comments and your blogging friendship.


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