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The problem with cleaning

Monday, July 12, 2010

I think I'm the same kind of cleaner as I am an eater: I binge. I'm manic - depressive. I get the house in shape (just as I get my body in shape) and ask "now what?"

I never thought of myself as having manic cycles, but my infrequent bouts of housecleaning could be taken as a sign. Housekeeping, like healthy habits, is a never-ending job. I rather imagine that the same goal-setting, motivational things that one uses to lose weight and maintain a loss might also be applied to housekeeping!

Wouldn't it be nice if my home was always "company ready"? Or at least close enough that it would take only five or ten minutes to get it there?

And yet, once I get it there, I find that I have just shifted the clutter to another room (like we shift the neglect we had for our bodies' health to another area of our lives). Hmmm.

Will I ever grow up? Sigh. I doubt it. Meanwhile, I'm working on it... "I deserve to live in a dignified manner... and that includes a healthy body and a functional home."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 7/15/2010 7:59AM

    Oh my gosh! I have manic cycles, too. Do you think it's hormonal? It must be. But once I get a bug up my, er, nose, look out! I'm not stopping til I'm done!

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ART_ROBOT 7/13/2010 11:57PM

  This really spoke to me. I could have cried when I got to "will I ever grow up"

Will we all ever grow up, seems there are a lot of us around who could very easily have written this post, though yours is definitely more eloquent than mine would have sounded.

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/13/2010 8:20AM

    I am a "project" person. I focus on somethng until I complete it and then wonder "what's next"? I wish I wasn't such an "everything in it's place" person because I think I miss out on a lot of fun because of it. I think the key is being okay with how it is.

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MSLZZY 7/12/2010 11:24PM

    I could have sworn it was me talking! I'll keep working on it if you do. emoticon

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NELLIEC 7/12/2010 5:45PM

    I tend to be a off-and-on tidier also. However, since I am officially handicapped, it is nice to have a choreworker most days to help me out.

It will probably be somewhat more challenging when I have my flooring replaced, section by section, since that will involve lots of furniture moving. The worst will be the bookcases, since they have to be emptied first!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/12/2010 5:16PM

    As you said, twins on another continent - I was just saying to someone at work today, as I tidied my desk before some time out, that I seem to vary between untidy and clinical. I've never thought of it like this before but I'm a yo-yo tidier!

Perhaps this is my next challenge.


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ANDI571 7/12/2010 11:47AM

    I refuse to grow up, that just makes you old. House cleaning never goes away. I had the kitchen all cleaned up, then we came in from shopping over the weekend, and it's all back on the counters. It just never goes away.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/12/2010 11:24AM

    Oh, I'm just like you -- and ever since I discovered that if I miss cleaning the toilet one week or skip changing bed linens one week that no one dies, it's gotten worse. LOL!

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PATRISNA 7/12/2010 11:23AM

    You were busy this weekend. The house looks great both indoors and outside. I agree that we tend to move our clutter from one place to another. I also have the pack rat gene so I have trouble finding a place to put all the stuff we collect. DH calls me "The Queen of Stack." Now about growing up, I don't think that will ever happen to me.


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ACROSONIC 7/12/2010 10:41AM

    I have a pack rat husband, which makes it hard to clean and find places to put things. I've been doing and it helps. I've got my morning and afternoon routines pretty much down, now need to work on a few more baby steps!

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SUNNY332 7/12/2010 8:10AM

    I wouldn't worry about growing up. We will grow older but growing up will always be an option. Enjoy your clean house and don't worry if it's not "company perfect" all the time. Homes are homes when someone lives in them.

Hugs, Sunny

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Deterrent from yard work

Sunday, July 11, 2010

OK, yesterday it was the $$$ and the embarrassment, spurring me to "do something" about my overgrown plants in the yard. Today the tug is in the opposite direction: the sinus after effects of both that and some indoor cleaning/reorganizing has me wanting to hide from all elements!

Before & after of a couple of shots I posted yesterday... first the deck corner:

By no means "done", but at least I can walk to and down the steps without brushing the weeds!

And, the patio, as shot from the South:

Again, far from "done", but I see progress. The huge weed that was attacking my television cable lead-in to the house has been cut down to size.

It rained overnight which might make today's effort dicey.

Meantime, inside the house... I picked up this little book on feng shui off a bargain table at the book store. Self-help junky. Yep. And I rearranged my parlor and discovered a couple of deficiencies. So... no formal exercise, but a lot of work, yesterday.

Today... recuperate and contemplate.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 7/11/2010 9:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/11/2010 7:53PM

    Don't you get a great feeling when you take charge and get something done? Sounds like you got a lot done.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/11/2010 5:17PM

    You made a big difference in a short time. Well done.

I like the de-cluttering aspects of feng shui but I'm much better at the theory than the practice!

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MSLZZY 7/11/2010 1:47PM

    Very wise-form a plan of action for another day.

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SUNNY332 7/11/2010 1:30PM

    Good for you. I too am going to take a rest today - headed out fishing. If they are not biting, I will come back to the house and ride the bike.

Hope they are biting. emoticon

Have a GREAT day, Barb.


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KASEYCOFF 7/11/2010 10:51AM

    Hey, Barb, it really looks like you got a lot done already! And considering how much money you're saving, you are doing great. Looks like your yard is laid out really nicely. Does feng shui apply to outdoor living spaces as well as indoors? :-)

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Energy is back

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I slept in clear 'til 6:20 this morning, and had those funky dreams I have when I go back to sleep after my normal "get-up" time... where I'm living a different segment of my life, sharing quarters with different people, folks who've passed on are back, etc. I keep a dream journal, but I don't try to interpret or anything... just write it down. Usually it becomes apparent what life events contribute, what little stress threads are knitting themselves up.

And now, I'm contemplating the challenge of the house and the yard. Earlier this week I got a phone call from the service that does my grass. He pointed out that my landscaping was getting overgrown and offered three guys for a day for $300 to clear it out for me. Well, sorry, don't have $300 in the budget for that purpose. But I do have an overgrown yard.

In typical Spark style, I'm offering up a couple of before photos. Maybe in a few weeks I'll post some "afters"... but I have some rules to this clean-up effort: no hard labor in the hot sun... work early morning or later evenings.

This is not a "couple of hours" kind of a do it yourself project.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 7/15/2010 7:56AM

    Slow and steady, my turtle friend. A great opportunity for some strength training!

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THIAGRAM 7/10/2010 6:53PM

  I like your before pictures. Best wishes in the new adventure! My DH does all that outdoor stuff, so I know the work involved, second hand.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 7/10/2010 5:04PM

    Glad you've got some energy back - and some plans to make use of it on a project!

I like the idea of a dream journal. You might have the basis of a novel!

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MSLZZY 7/10/2010 4:55PM

    Just a bit of a project there but maybe you could find some handy friends that have tools and do an "exchange labor" thing. If not, do just a little at a time. Take care!

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KASEYCOFF 7/10/2010 2:09PM

    In a way, I'm with Mary on this one: I don't like yardwork. Grew up on a farm and instead of developing a green thumb I pretty much developed a real distaste for working outdoors and torturing poor innocent plants, lol... But if I was going to do it at all, I would do what you've said - early morning / late evening, when it's coolest. I might even be tempted to wait until autumn. And like Mary, I really admire your ambitiou! emoticon

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SUNNY332 7/10/2010 2:08PM

    Wow - before photos. Can't wait to see the after photos.

God for you to make some rules for yourself. Early Mornings are the best time for me too.

Best wishes.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/10/2010 1:29PM

    Not being an outdoor person, I would have paid the $300, but good for you for having the gumption and talent to do it on your own. I bet it will be just gorgeous when you're done with it. So glad you've got your energy back again.

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Friday let-down

Friday, July 09, 2010

I suppose this day went OK, until I got home to an e-mail from my sister in law.

This would be my ex's sister. I found out tonight. She says she tried to e-mail me from the hospital, but it didn't work. She had a heart attack on Tuesday, she tells me, in a matter of fact way. They put stents in her femoral artery, and she's much better now. She is recuperating at home, being careful to follow all her doctor's instructions.

She's my age. About three weeks younger than I, in fact. Their older brother died of a heart attack mowing the grass at their mom's house (I wrote a little about that earlier in the week)... she was... mowing her lawn.

I think I need to start visiting her more often. We both have a bit of workaholic in us... checking up a little more often would be a good thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOHAEV1 7/11/2010 7:51AM

    Speedy recovery...guess we all need to stop putting off until tomorrow what we want or should do today. Most of us are clearing time to do just that, thank you for a timely reminder!

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KATIE33MAHALA 7/10/2010 10:14AM

    Prayers for her and a speedy recovery. And I have to say, its wonderful you are close to her, sounds as though you have a very good friend. God Bless you both.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/10/2010 9:53AM

    Sadly, it seems like it's the tragedies in life that bring us together/closer. Definitley try to spend more time with her. You don't want to have any regrets later on. Have a great weekend!

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/10/2010 8:55AM

    Sometimes things like this remind us that we shouldn't put things off. It's easy to let "life" get in the way of things we need to make time for.

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MSLZZY 7/10/2010 8:38AM

    That's a wake up call! Checking in with her is a very good idea! Take care. emoticon

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CONCHA77 7/10/2010 8:37AM

    Sorry to hear about your sister in law. Hope that she recovers soon. Makes me think I should go and visit some family and friends that I haven't seen in a while. Sometimes we get caught up in our own lives --we really need to take some time and just do it.
Have a great weekend.
Hugs, Connie

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SUNNY332 7/10/2010 8:02AM

    It certainly does make a good case/cause for exercise and good nutrition.

Hope you do go soon to see her. Hugs, Sunny

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WALKINGANNIE 7/10/2010 4:41AM

    Sorry to hear about your sister in law. Hope that she recovers well.

Sometimes we all get reminders about what is valuable in our lives and about our priorities.

You're doing all that you can to protect your health. Keeping up with important relationships is part of our wellbeing too.


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KASEYCOFF 7/10/2010 4:25AM

    Yes, I can understand that - especially as I ended up after the divorce more fond of my (ex) in-laws than I am of my ex-husband. Funny thing about mowing the lawn. We had a neighbor who had a heart attack while mowing. Maybe it is a really common thing, like shoveling snow? p.s. Love the picture of the ginger cat in your background!

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REJ7777 7/9/2010 11:27PM

    Serious health problems (our own or those of someone we love) tend to make us think about what really matters. And, it's usually relationships. As I read somewhere, "No one ever says on his deathbed, 'I wish I'd spent more time at the office.'" I hope your sister-in-law gets better very quickly.

I've lost over 30 lbs. since my heart attack on January 30th, and my meds have been reduced even lower than before the attack. Sometimes a heart attack is a wake-up call that leads to even better health than before... IF you implement a healthy lifestyle. There's no doubt that the weight you've lost significantly impacts your health for the better! emoticon

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FIGHT2SURVIVE 7/9/2010 11:14PM

    Time goes by and we so often think, "Well, I can do that tomorrow." But far too often; tomorrow doesn't come. I have seen it with the two men I loved most in my life. I planned to call them both over the weekend but neither of them saw the weekend. They were both very young. Tell those you love how much they mean to you. Even if they are embarrassed, it will reach their hearts.

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PATSYJO46 7/9/2010 11:00PM

    All work and no play makes for a boring day! You can never visit with those you love too often...Life is too enjoy each day to the fullest.

Have a wonderful weekend! emoticon

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NELLIEC 7/9/2010 10:40PM

    Sounds like a good idea to visit more often. And I have had workaholism and have had to slow down!

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I'm not a serial failure... I'm a serial success!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Calling all folks who think of themselves as "yo-yo" dieters...

This thought occurred to me as I was doing my Spark strength workout to Big Brother this evening: I've been working out off and on for a couple of decades now! Seriously. I started the jogging thing in 1990, didn't I? OK, so I gave it up for a while, but I started again, didn't I?

And I started yoga classes in 2003, didn't I? OK, so I stopped going to classes, but I still do some of the stretches, don't I?

And strength training? I started that seriously in 2006, right? OK, so I dropped it when life got crazy and had to start over again last year... BUT... see where I'm going with this?

Each time I have come back to exercising! That makes me a serial success, not a serial failure!

Think about it, fellow Sparkers... you aren't failing over and over, you're succeeding over and over... and learning something more each time. In the end, it's all about persistence and "coming home" to our best self-nurturing natures.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 7/15/2010 7:53AM

    We're all a work in progress!

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/10/2010 8:59AM

    I do the same thing! I push aside the thinigs that are good for me like nutrition and exercise and then realize that was what was working so I go back to it. It's too bad our bad habits aren't as easy to give up as our good ones!

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    Great insight! Thanks for sharing!!

I voted for your blog!

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MSLZZY 7/9/2010 4:37PM

    A very postive way to look at your life. You are a constant success! Have a great weekend! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 7/9/2010 3:36PM

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

Me too!

Love it.

emoticon emoticon

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JUDITHANNIE 7/9/2010 8:26AM


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PATRISNA 7/9/2010 8:14AM

    emoticon I love your blogs!

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KASEYCOFF 7/9/2010 3:43AM

    Oh, really good, Barb - I like that perspective! Great attitude!!!

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MEDDYPEDDY 7/9/2010 12:58AM

    Smart thinking - thanks!

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APRILLSCOTT 7/8/2010 11:42PM

    I love the way you put this Barb! This is so true! You summed it up for us! emoticon emoticon

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FIGHT2SURVIVE 7/8/2010 11:21PM

    I guess that makes me a serial loser. Every single time I take a few steps forward, this stupid disease I have knocks me back off my feet and I end up taking yet more steroids and I end up gaining more than I lost.

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REJ7777 7/8/2010 10:58PM

    Like we read so often on SP - it's all about attitude and never giving up! emoticon And all of those successes led to your reaching goal weight. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/8/2010 11:04:32 PM

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ANDI571 7/8/2010 10:33PM

    You are so right. The glass isn't half empty, it's half full. I never thought it as a success everytime I get back on track, but it's so true.

I really liked that thought. emoticon

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SUNNY332 7/8/2010 10:19PM

    I too like the way you think. We are all Serial Successes....

Thanks for a great post.


I reached my personal best yesterday - rode 10 miles on the bike then felt so good, I rode 10 miles again today. Woohoo.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/8/2010 10:03PM

    I like the way you think!

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MT-MOONCHASER 7/8/2010 9:16PM

    Love that attitude/1

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