Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rainy Day Reads

I love reading on a wet ol' day. And today is a bit sultry. It looks like rain, but the clouds appear to be dodging around us. But, I still find time to read in the early afternoon each day.

Yesterday, at the Logan Art Gallery, I began two new reads. The first one was a present I received for my birthday in October last year; and have been dying to read for a good part of my life: 'The World According to Garp' by John Irving. His narrative pulled me in straight
away and kept me reading.
The second book is going to be a much easier book to get through; as I read around forty pages in one sitting! It's titled: 'Love Is A Mixed Tape' by Rob Sheffield. It's about music and what it means to us in certain times of our lives; that most of our lives are made up of a series of mixed tapes. It got me thinking about the mixed tapes I've accumulated in my draw in my living room; and that I really must have a listen to what's on them. But then again, I might already know.

I'm still struggling with 'Under The Dome' by Stephen King. It's coming to a grizzly end - as his stuff always does - but I have found the book hard-going and tedious. Maybe it's me. Maybe not. And 'So Many Books, So Little Time' by Sara Nelson has been an absolute pleasure to get my nose into before bed. I love the way books that have landed in her lap have changed the way she reads, or the way she feels. I don't think I'll be letting this book go for a good while; I may turn it into a bookring, but I'm not letting it out of my sight before that. I'll read it again instead.

But I do enjoy reading pretty much anything - including the newspaper - on a wet day. It's to give my brain a rest from the bombardment of television and computers and the internet for a while. However, I do go back to them all. It's just how things are and how the world works. Reading is my absolute and total love and joy and pleasure to escape from the rat race of the rest of the world; and nothing else tops it. What about you? What are you reads on wet days? If you're not into reading, what do you get into?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Where Have All The Good Books Gone?

From a very young age, I've been a voracious reader; teaching myself to read at the age of 4, once my older brother headed off to school. Seeing he brought home the books to kick off my reading passion, I didn't see the harm in finding out what was so interesting about reading. My parents enjoyed it and so did a lot of adults; so why shouldn't I?
As I grew older - and I found out about the Springwood Library up the road - I got myself a Library Card and became a regular reader. My parents were proud then; and they are proud of me now that I have such a extensive collection to choose from. It's just how things are. In my life, there's nothing better than a book to keep me company, no matter how sick I am, what the weather, if there's anything on t.v. or the radio... I love reading books.

However, recently, I found out what can occur when a school culls books from their library to update them and the culled books are sent off. A friend of mine has been working in a large warehouse for a while and his company decided to have a big clean-up; and they found a pallet of primary school books in boxes that were supposed to have been gotten rid of. What happened to them was that they were stored and forgotten. Inside all 18 boxes were all kinds of books from whole series of 'Learn to Read' books to non-fictions about stars. I couldn't just leave them in the back of my friend's ute. So I took them off his hands and sorted through them; picking and choosing which ones I can register on Bookcrossing and what could go to a charity. It took me 2 hours to go through them (with a break for dinner) and that included me carrying the ones I wanted to keep up to the office.

Today, Dad and I took the books for the charity off to Endos on Wembley Road. They were ecstatic to have received so many books for nothing; and they were all educational books too! I was hoping they'd take them off my hands. One of the ladies recognised me as 'the nice lady' and Dad was surprised I was known. I said that Mum and I both well-known there seeing this is where we bring our charity items each time we clean out our houses.

But it really got me thinking about what happens to the out-of-date books that do get culled from any library - not only school libraries. Are they stored in warehouses all over? Are they shredded? Are they sent to other places because they badly need books (which they shouldn't be because the information is out-of-date and won't do anything but misinform the students)? What happens to the books that we have discovered and read from our past; the ones we learnt to read by, we remember fondly escaping into again and again? I've always wondered about it; and did so again when I went through these books last night as I wondered where they will end up in the end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to Mourn My Favourites

I'm in a dilemma. Over the last few years, I've been lay-bying dvds to have as something to watch - a library of my favourites. However, over the last couple of years, we have had some of Hollywood's best actors pass away on us. Now, I'm not saying they should've stuck around just to please us fans. Patrick Swayze wasn't a well man and I was kind of grateful he passed away as he was in pain. However, I now have a problem... a small one really, but it's a problem nonetheless.
I have some great movies with fantastic actors as main characters in them. However, I can't watch them because they've passed away. Even though Heath Ledger has been gone for two years, I still can't pull out any movie I have with him in it. It's just something I can't get myself to do. Is it just me who has had this feeling of dread each time they see the dvd cover, or does it happen to some of you too? I might be a little too sensitive to the death of another; I'm not sure.
But I have no problems when an author passes away. In fact, when they do, it makes me want to read their stuff more; to find out what made them so popular in the first place - or not so popular if they weren't the current trend. With authors, when they have gone from this world, after I've read their writing, all I think is how sad it is that they are no longer with us to make more books. However, with actors, we get to see them on the big screen and read about them, hear about them on a constant basis.
So, do tell me. When a great actor - young or old - passes from our lives, do you go through a stage where you can't watch their films or read anything about them? If so, how long does this usually last for? If not, why not? I'm just asking out of curiosity so I can get back into watching my favourite films again soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February's Something Different!

Yes! It's that time of the month again. As you know, I've taken up the Do Something Different Challenge on Bookcrossing and I think it's a good idea to get us out of our comfort zone and into completely different things we wouldn't normally do. And this month, I really got into something I haven't done since I moved into my townhouse!

The first thing was a visit to the vet for Little Miss Stevie; as I had grave concerns that she was losing her sight. However, instead, we found she was a happy little bird and the vet played with her as if Stevie was her own. But, Little Miss Stevie wasn't so little... nope, Stevie was overweight and all because of me. Yep, I was loving her into an early grave. So, I've had to be strict with how much food went into her food bowl; every strict. Otherwise, Stevie's vet has found that Stevie is a very smart and out-going little bird.

I replaced a lot of my plastics early on in the month with Mum's old Tupperware. Now, if you have this product, it's got a great warranty that goes with it; and it's a lifetime warranty on the all the seals. This means that if one splits or breaks, you can call the company and they can replace it. I've used it once when a handle on a measuring cup broke when it fell off the drainer on the sink; and the lady said I could get it replaced. Now, I have some very old Tupperware and I love it!

Now for the thing I mentioned at the top of this post. I decided it was time to clean the house out completely! From top to bottom, I started cleaning. And to keep myself in check, I kept up with it in this blog. The majority of it took 9 days - with a break in between of a few days that were essential - and I got rid of a lot of stuff. There is still the kitchen table to finish and some small things to get finished; otherwise, the house is almost done. I'm proud of myself that I got rid of around 5 bags of clothes, kitchen towels, mugs, plastics (all with their own lids) and other things that can be used by others and I don't need anymore. In this time, I cleaned up the home office, bathroom and toilets, got rid of the 2nd Pantry and the air-conditioner box, sorted out Mt TBR into a more manageable pile, opened and sprayed the sofa-bed of anything creepy-crawly, cleaned out the fridge and even got in and cleaned up the wardrobe in here and put away laundry and got some serious gardening and other usual housework done.

There were days where I took the day off. Like the Saturday I went out to see a dear friend who is suffering from Prostate Cancer. He and his wife have had to sell their home which has waterfront views and move into a retirement village. However, all their furniture won't fit. So, they offered me their 1970's stereo unit; which once I clapped eyes on it, I loved. I could fit all my vinyls in it, all of Stevie's stuff in in and there was a lovely area for Stevie's cage; nice and high too. And she's already gotten stuck behind it once (which I'm sure she'll never do again... as it was funny hearing her screech then, coaxing her out the side; and she had this look on her that she didn't want to be stuck there again!).
I also got my house assessed for how much greenhouse emissions it puts out. And seeing I have an air conditioner and the guy looked at my power and gas bills, he said that I've been saving money hand over fist... and he
also said that not using a dryer has been a great boost for me too. He noticed that the air conditioner isn't always used. He said that I was doing well in the savings arena; and I'd get a paper telling where on the scale I am, reassuring me that I'd be near the top and that was good.

Then, last Friday, I was handed my badge for being a volunteer here in Logan City for 10 years. I had been invited to the morning tea at the Logan Art Gallery and - along with other volunteers - I was given my
badge. One of my dear friends retired from the gallery as he had decided to move onto greener pastures in the field of the arts, but he did promise to visit and keep in contact with us all.

So, there is it. My things I did that were different this month. Not too exciting, but they were certainly different. Until next month's differences, I'll see you soon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

10 Years As A Volunteer!

About an hour or so ago from the Logan Art Gallery. They held a morning tea for the volunteers who had been there for ten years or more. We have this morning tea every year because more often than not, there's a few who have reached that time and there's always one who wishes to leave and do their own thing out in the world, take off and travel or they feel they've spread themselves too thin.

Today, I received my tag for 10 years service as a volunteer at the Art Gallery and Mum and Dad came along for the two hours it took for it all to happen. There was a photographer and some Logan City Council members showed up too. We all had a great time. Fortunately, it all went according to plan and there weren't too many people coming in and out from the public. Dad walked around the place with Mum, who showed him around the place (I thankfully have shown her the exhibition and so she know what to tell him about some of it). And when he caught up with me, I introduced him to a few of my friends and other people. I asked how he liked the place and the art and he said it was nice to slow down for the next hour or so in such a nice place.

Well, There were a few people who received their 10 year badge and 15 year badge and Doug Cartwright also said farewell to us. But he promised to come back when he could to see us all when he could find time. He's been busy working at the GoMA and the gallery at the University of Queensland too. So, he's had a lot of work on his plate; and thought it was a good idea to leave so he could keep going onto bigger things. But he said he and I would definitely e-mail each other. I promised to visit (which I will, Doug, honestly, before Winter comes!).

Then, there was cake that was made of coconut with whipped cream and some passion fruit ... and talk about yummo! Before long, Mum and Dad had to take off and that meant I had to go too. They were off to a wedding this weekend; and had to go before the traffic got too bad. I was pleased I went and I had a great time!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shoppin' Day!

Yay! Pay day! And when I get paid, it means I have to go shopping. All kinds of things can happen when I do that. So, over the last few days, I've been compiling a list of what I needed and pulling together my shopping trolley, what I was going to wear and figuring out if it was going to rain. And at around 9am, I was off to the post office to check the mail... then the bus stop where I saw a man reporting vandalism of the bus shelter to his superior. Why this happens, no-one is sure. But it's idiotic and I find it makes Logan City look like a dump.
As I climbed on board my bus, it began to rain. What luck! I was hoping not to get wet today! Anyway, by the time I had arrived at my destination (across from Triple C Shopping Centre), it was still spitting a little, but I didn't use the umbrella; not yet.
My first stop was Life Line where I didn't find any coin purses for the second pay day in a row, but I did see a lovely handbag; but it was too damaged to fix. So, I put it back. Then, I thought to buy a purple shirt for Epilepsy Awareness Day on 26th, March. And I came away with two lovely purple shirts that suited me for $15. One, I'll wear tomorrow to my volunteer work and the other I'll wear when it gets cooler.
Woolworths was my next stop for fresh fruit and veggies and some chocolate. When I got to the checkout, the lady forgot to ask if I needed cash out on my efpos and just charged me the amount for the stuff I bought. She apologised and I dismissed it; saying I'd get to the bank up at Logan Central Plaza.
After I sorted out my groceries and bags, I walked the ten minutes it usually takes me to get to the hardware store and bought brick and mortar hooks for my collage; then wire for it too. Then, I was on my way to Woodys' to pay off some of my layby (and lucky me! I could pick up one of the dvds! I chose one out of three: 'Dirty Dancing: 20th Anniversary'). Then, I was off to K-Mart, Pet's Paradise to buy Stevie her new mirror and then to Coles to purchase the bulk of my groceries.

By the time I got home, I was tired and it was around 12:30pm. The cab driver has been nice enough to drive me right to my unit and help me with my bags. He found his way back out again (thankfully without getting lost like some of drivers do) and I began unpacking. I firstly attached Stevie's new mirror to her cage. She loves it; attacking the new bird who keeps talking to her in the glass. And I put almost everything away.
It's been a good day to go shopping. I do enjoy the social part of it. It gets me out of the house and talking to people and I love the fresh air and exercise too. There's nothing like it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 9

It's been a while since I got back into cleaning out. And I found the best time to get back into it is during an afternoon thunderstorm... today. I decided to tackle the last room on my list: The Office. Yep, I wanted to bring upstairs the plastic set of drawers and put them in here, filling them with things that I could use during the year. Then, sort out the top shelf of the non-fiction bookcase by moving my photos of the UK from it and putting all my hand-written stuff in its place. The magazines that match the 51 classic novels I was given for Christmas a few years back were moved to the top of my medium bookcase (next to my Mt To Be Read) and then, it was time to put a few things back that I had tossed on the floor to see if it all fitted... fortunately, it did!

Last night, we had a stinking hot night! And I mean, it was rotten! I had the fan on 2 and the spray bottle of water next to Stevie in case she needed cooling down during the night (which she did once or twice; poor little thing!). She also needed rescuing from behind the new stereo unit! I let her have a flight around the living
room - as usual - and she misjudged the cage and ran into the curtain; sliding straight down the back of the unit in the darkness of the skirting! I could hear her screeching her head off as though to ask where she was! And after moving her cage, the end table, a large vase of silk flowers and then sliding it out from the wall, Little Miss Stevie walked out from the side with a little coaxing from me. She jumped up on my hand and then my shoulder and didn't leave there while I put everything back. She snuggled right up close and nibbled my ear in the attempt to make sure I wasn't going anywhere soon; and neither was she! I had to laugh though as I panicked a bit because I couldn't reach her from over the top of the unit; and I wish I could have.

This morning, when I had a look, I could see that there was a lot of room for her to move around and she would have been okay. I most definitely have a tough little bird. This afternoon, while the storm grumbled around us, I got some reading done of 'Under The Dome' by Stephen King. I've been reading about 50 pages a day (which is around one full chapter). There is so much happening in this book that it is very much like 'The Stand' but it's all situated in the one small town; not spread out across the whole of the United States. But I'm finding that a lot of the characters are now being killed off or are dying... whittling it all down the few that are going to survive to the end. What's keeping me reading is that I'm wondering exactly who is going to be there in the end; and who's not. I found out this morning that Mum finished Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' and she loved it. She said that it was like reading poetry and she wants to read more of his stuff. I've recommended his short stories to her; and will have to lend her 'The Day It Rained Forever'. She will love it.

Well, there's still some washing up to do and the kitchen table to tackle. What I'm not looking forward to is shopping tomorrow. Shopping in the rain... blech! Not the best time to go, but if I don't, I won't have any food to cook for tomorrow night or snacks to take to the Logan Art Gallery on Thursday morning.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Details, Details, Details.

Well, I've come to the end bits and pieces of my Big Clean Out and I'm feeling better for it. All the hard stuff is done and all that needs to done now is the small stuff. This includes clearing the kitchen table, sorting out the new piece of furniture and trying to fit the old shelf back into the stereo unit successfully without it falling out (I'm missing a piece that holds the shelf up). Otherwise, the place is looking good! Stevie is enjoying an uninterrupted view of the outdoors from her higher vantage point and her cage doesn't wobble around as much when it comes to me opening the cabinet to get something out below her. Otherwise, the lounge it really beginning to look great.

This morning, I went out to the shop and bought 3lt of milk, some carrots and the paper. And today being St. Valentine's Day, I wasn't expecting anything from a secret admirer. No flowers or card on my doorstep. Nothing in my letterbox out the front; and you an bet your last dollar, there won't be anything in my PO Box tomorrow morning either as a late arrival. You see, I haven't had a Valentine in over a decade. I guess I'm not what guys want in a woman. I've dated a few and they all expect me to look after them as though I'm their mother; or worse, they're my keeper and they call me all the time to find out where I am.

But having a Valentine is a detail in life really. We don't have to have one; it's not essential to be a part of somebody's life and make sure they are your Valentine. However, it sure would be nice to know they love you enough. Otherwise, I do think it's a couples thing that Hallmark aims their cards at; and I feel as though my nose is rubbed into it all the time.
Another detail is children and marriage. A lot kids I went to school with thought it was their destiny to leave school, get married and have as many kids as they could afford. Then - and this is the funny part - live in the two-storey house with a white picket fence and drive two cars, own a dog and a cat and live happily ever after. I'm not kidding. A lot of girls in high school said that when the teachers asked them. Me? I said I wanted to be a famous writer, travel the world while living from a few suitcases for a couple of years and then when I returned, buy a house here in Brisbane and furnish it with my souvenirs that I purchased and had shipped back from wherever I've been. I was laughed at by my classmates, but the teacher said it sounds like I had a great plan for my life. However, there was one detail I left out - and I knew it was going to screw up that plan I had if it showed its ugly face. This detail was my Epilepsy. And it did show its butt-ugly face and it did screw up my plans for a long time... until now. I'm getting back on my feet; slowly but surely.

Details are the small, crappy things that can make or break something you've been working on. They are the things that can smooth out your works and make them look finished - polished - and ready to go. Or they can be the spanner in the works that can screw everything up in an instant! I have found it's the small stuff that runs the world, not the big. It's when a company cuts corners on the small details that the whole project can be jeopardised; putting lives at risk, putting the project back for months and causing more problems then it solves (not matter what the project is, it can do this).

Even in nature, it's the details that mean the biggest things in the end. The smallest change in the DNA of an animal can change a detail about them. It can add or subtract something, it can make them more or less intelligent. It can cause them to run faster, see better, smell better or worse. The tiniest change in a detail on creatures can make a new species of the same creature. Details can be amazing in this arena as well.

I find that I'm a details person too. When I look at painting I'm doing - even when I've finished it - I can't help but notice something I could have done better. It's the same when it comes to my books too. I take ages to get my short stories onto my blog because it's the details, the spelling, the grammar that I'm constantly picking at to make sure I'm not insulting anyone. I gotta make sure I have every detail correct before I can let it go anywhere... and it's frustrating when I find one tiny thing wrong with it when it's gone public and I can't do anything about it. I get so stressed about it.

Details can either run our lives or they can be an annoying soundtrack in the background. Which one is it for you? And what part of your life are details more prominent - where you must have the eye for them - whereas they aren't so important in another?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Outing

This morning, I had the normal routine of getting up, letting Little Miss Stevie out and feeding her and eating breakfast myself. Then, there was a phone call from Mum and Dad to let me know that they were going to pick up a piece of furniture from a friends' house that they offered me. It's a unit that originally would hold a turntable, vinyls and tapes. However, when I saw it, I could see it doing much more for me. So, I said yes that I'd be delighted to have in my home and then saw the coffee table and accepted that as well (as they had offered me the very beautiful coffee table that I've loved ever since I was young). So, we sat at their kitchen table and had coffee and bunloaf with sprinkles on it and talked about their new living arrangement at a retirement village.
You see, our dear friends are moving there because her husband has prostate cancer and they need the help now to care for both of them; and yet still want to be independent enough to go out whenever they want. And so, they've had to make the painful decision to sell their gorgeous home with waterfront views and leave three very tamed Curlews behind. Their home has been theirs for 35 years and I've loved going there for a long time now; and they have collected a lot of things since they've lived there. Now, they can't take it all with them and have decided to give some things to people they know will love them.
I took some lovely pictures of around the place; however it's going to be a shame when the house is no longer theirs. This lovely home overlooks the water and is on the corner; which means that most of the bedrooms have a waterfront view... even the lounge room does. And it's so peaceful there too. I'm sure they're going to miss the place horribly. I just hope they take a piece of each plant with them so they can replant their garden and start
again; then they can have a bit of what was theirs before. And doesn't the new piece look good at the front window? I think so.
I've yet to get rid of a few more things and still clean out some of the lounge. But today, it was add something big and throw out a whole lot of stuff that I didn't need while adding what I did. It does give the living room a complete kind of feel; while giving a lot of things places to go. I may yet move all my vinyls to their respective places in there as that's what the bottom pieces are for.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 8

Well, yesterday was a great success. I checked the mail and found nothing in the PO Box. Then, once home, I added to the bags of goodies to take to Endos with Mum's charity bags. This clean out has been a great thing for me and my house. I can find things and I'm feeling better for it too! We took the load of stuff to the large drop-off at Logan Central and emptied the back of the Pajero - all except the bag of Christmas Lights that I untangled last week (which Mum almost handed to me to give to the man at Endos... thank goodness I knew what they felt like!). Then, we drove off and headed up Wembley Road and stopped at traffic lights where Mum saw the funniest sight! Hanging off the back rung of a ute were three or four pairs of socks; all tied up, looking like they had been wash and hung out to dry. Aren't they hilarious? She and I both thought so and I got a good photo of them too don't you think? The things you see when you're in traffic!
After I got home yesterday, I got in and cleaned the toilets and bathroom top to bottom! And I mean, I really cleaned them! It was the most exhausting hour and half of my day, but it got done. Then, I washed up a little and sat down and drank some water to rest; by that time, I had put on a one-man-quiche and I was ready to call the cleaning day to an end.

Today, after I washed up, cleaned the bathroom and toilets floors and checked the mail across the road, I had an energy saving guy come around to the house to assess my place; and see if I was doing the right things in saving myself money and energy. He had a look around the place, measured all the rooms, asked the right questions about the hot water system, my appliances and how many hours I used them all, insulation and even the air-conditioner. And when he looked at my gas and electricity bills, he was impressed at how much I paid with each; and more impressed that when I changed back to Energex, I was paying less in gas supply than with AGL. He filled out his booklet and gave me a few things on how I can improve my energy savings even more.
Then, he said that I'd get my report in 6 weeks' time and reckons I'd be near the top of the scale (which is good). I even put him onto Bookcrossing for his daughter because she's a massive reader... and he wasn't too surprised to see my room of books. He said that his daughter was reading e-books and he wants her to read real ones; so I said that Bookcrossing would be really good for her and she'd be able to make some great online friends and register books she'd like to trade or swap with others. He thanked me and then went on his way. For the rest of the day, I'm not going to do anything else; except maybe sit on the net and waste the day away a bit. After all, it's a Friday. What better way to glide into the weekend than stuff around on the computer?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 7

Wow! I've been doing this clean out for a week, and I'm still interested in it! That's good! And that's a record for me too. Yesterday was a good day for me to clean; and as I said I do clean better in the afternoons. If I remember right, I was off-line at around midday and got into my cleaning soon after, starting with the coffee table by the front door and the piles of magazines on it. I went through them and found I had a stockpiled 2 years' worth of 'Good Reading' Magazines! So, I sorted out the last few months of last year's and tossed the rest. I also got rid of any 'Insight' and 'Witchcraft' magazines I had from 2005 and 2006... but I kept all the vegetarian cooking magazines and yoga magazines. I also cleaned out the shoes from underneath it and vacuumed up all of Stevie's bum feathers and little blue feathers with the dust-buster (now I know where she's been putting them!).
The next place I sorted was the lounge. I sorted out the pile of papers on the lounge and figured out which receipts needed shredding which ones could be tossed. I find that anything with my keycard or credit card number on it needs shredding (otherwise some smartarse out
there can do some identity fraud on me and steal my money) otherwise, if I paid cash and it's on the receipt, well, they can't do anything. I also tossed out the junk mail and anything else that I didn't want; except stuff addressed to my house (that went into the pile for shredding. Thank goodness I got a shredder for my birthday last year!).
I washed up after sweeping the kitchen floor and then washed up everything and wiped down the counter. Then, I grabbed the stuff that needed shredding and the vegetarian magazines and brought them upstairs and found places for them and began to tidy up up here. I tossed out old envelopes, paper and other junk I didn't need. Then, it was books I thought that were from my Available bag from Bookcrossing and books that had fallen off the non-fiction bookshelf near the window that needed picking up. The space by the computer needed cleaning up. I sorted out the postcards from the Logan Art Gallery and notebooks and registered books that I had yet to make ready to send to off to new owners on the net.
While I'm doing that, I'm also sorting out stuff in the doorway of my bedroom where there are thing in 'green bags' that used to live in the medium-sized bookcase which was brought upstairs from the lounge. I
haven't looked into those bags for while. This included a bag with two and half sets of sheets in it that Mum gave me (which is on the line now). By this time it's almost 4pm; and time to start thinking about dinner.
And Dad came over with a new perch for Stevie. It's thicker and stronger than the last one... and doesn't it look great!
For dinner, I had stir-fry. I find it an easy meal to make when I'm tired. I've got a lot to do this afternoon... including the bathroom, putting away the paintings in the hallways of the kitchen and clearing the kitchen table. But this morning, there's the dropping off of the bags to 'Endos' Mum and I are doing. We both have bags to take there. The car will be packed!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 6

Yesterday, I felt horrible and blah... I had no energy and so only did the smaller things I could and read half a chapter of 'So Many Book, So Little Time' by Sara Nelson. And this began right from the time I woke up; so it didn't just hit me from lunchtime onwards.

Today, I'm feeling a lot better. However, I did something yesterday that left poor little Stevie without a main perch. I noticed it had a massive crack running around the middle of it and so I thought to have a look to see how bad it was. Pulling it out, I flexed it and it snapped in two. Boy! Did I feel bad! Now, there was no way I could fix it or get another one until today. So, I hooked up a smaller perch - which caused all her toys, mirror, bells and millet to be crowded around her. And this morning, after breakfast, I walked down to 'Pet Country' and bought her another set of 45cm perches for $7.00. She's not too crazy at it being straight, but at least it's long enough that she can run along it and not smack into things all the time.

Also today, I'll be getting into washing the floors of the kitchen, bathroom and front door. Before that, though, I'll have to finish the washing up and wipe down the cupboards. And while the floor's are drying, I'll come up to the office and get into minimising the 'Green Bags' I have up here and adding the space I badly need here. Yep, there's a lot to do.
What I have done is pull in the wheelie bin, check the mail across the road and upload my photo onto 365 Project of a leaf after the rain. It's a good one too! Otherwise the place does need a tidy-up; just a little. I've checked up on my e-mails and chatrooms on Bookcrossing and have really done all I need to do on my internet for today. And now I'm two days behind in my clean out, I need to catch up with it all... and work harder on making sure it's all done.
There is another reason why I need to tidy up. I received an offer to get my carbon footprint assessed by the Federal Government about a month ago; and the guy is coming this Friday. Now, I have a day and half to have this place a little bit tidier than what it is. But I'm confident it won't take as long as I expect. I'll keep you posted about it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 5

I've found that I clean better in the afternoon; crazy but true. Then, once it's all finished up for the day, I can sit down and feel good about myself that at least I got something done. But yesterday wasn't one of those days. Instead, I ended up not doing too much. I found myself clearing out the fridge of food that had made friends with itself (ie: growing mould), putting out the rubbish before realising it was leaking (which meant the floors would need washing again!) and then, finding out that Stevie's main large perch has a massive crack right through the middle of it! So, this means, I have to find her another perch before it breaks... and with all this rain around, it's going to be hard to find a dry one!

Anyway, I did get some reading done yesterday of two books. One really got on my nerves and one was funny and light. The first one was 'Boundaries' which was recommended to me by my doctor. You see, after having one bad relationship, I have had judgement issues and boundary problems with people. So, I have needed to read something about how to curb them in the right situations. However, there isn't a book out there where the authors don't smack you around with the Good Book so much you feel like you're being preached at. This one was least preachy and I've been dodging the scriptures and references to God in it as much as I can (my Kingdom for a book that talks about just pure psychology of what works and what doesn't... nothing to do with spiritual healing, God or what Matthew did to John or whatever... please!). The other book - as I said - was a lot easier to read. It's called 'So Many Books, So Little Time' By Sara Nelson. It's about a woman who promised herself in 2000 to read as many books as she could; preferably one a week. Her adventures and misadventures of reading are funny and sometimes a little weird; but I can relate to a few of her stories. And I've been able to get through this book quite easily. So, unfortunately, I didn't get as much done as I wanted yesterday... that means, I'll have to work harder today. That's okay. It'll help me sleep better tonight; as I haven't been sleeping all that well. Until tomorrow's adventures around my big clean up tomorrow.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 4

Off and on the rain poured yesterday. But I ended up on the computer between 9:30 am and 2pm. I got a lot done here too. There was my e-mails to check up on, Bookcrossing and 365project to work on too. However, my mind was still thinking about what jobs had to be done; and there weren't that many. I had one major one that bothered me... and I sat on it every night. Yep, I had to find out exactly what was living in my sofa-bed. You see, for the last week, I've been killing itty-bitty spiders that have been running around on the lounge each night. Sure, they're cute, but I keep wondering where they come from. And yesterday afternoon was the day I found out whether I had a nest of them breaking out or not.
So, after I washed up from the day and night before, I put Stevie upstairs, grabbed the surface spray and pushed the lounge around so it faced the front window (it won't open in any other position now the piano's in the house). I pulled the pillows, blanket and crap off it; and finally the cover. Then, the cushions came next, and nothing... no big spider came running out, no roaches, no nest. So, I unfolded the whole thing and... still nothing! The mattress came off and I grabbed the spray and gave the joints, the insides and underneath (where the whole bed folds in) a good dose a poison so nothing can nest there. Nothing came running out to die. So, where these little spiders were coming from is as a good-a guess as any... but I didn't have to kill any last night while I was watching 'House'.
And that's a good thing!
After the lounge was put back together, I tossed out a fair bit of stuff, organised the bags of charity things I'm giving away and tried to make the house look a little more tidy (which is hard seeing I'm halfway through my clean-up and I've got bags of things I don't want around waiting to be taken away). Otherwise, I've yet to still sort out some thing in my bedroom, clean the bathroom out and wash the floors. The office still needs another look at before I run a vacuum cleaner through it and a duster. This clean out is going well. I'm taking my time and not rushing through anything that I may mistakenly toss out which I may need.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 3

It began to rain yesterday, so I got a lot of computer work done; as I do when it rains. However, I also got a bit of cleaning out done before it really set in. I gotta say though, it was very humid and so it slowed me down a lot; which meant, I had to take my time. The first thing I did was get rid of the air conditioning box that held the Second Pantry here in the office. What a great day this was for that to happen! There were only three items left in it and so, I put two of those items into a string bag - which I've got hanging off the door handle of the office - and now the box is gone. It's been put into the junk area of the unit complex with other large boxes that can't be cut up for wheelie bins. I'm so happy there's more room in this room to use.
But I didn't stop there. I put away the bag full of Halloween goodies (these are things that I put into lollie bags for that particular night when kids come Trick-or-Treating), the two rolls of wrapping paper and the bag of Christmas cards, ribbon and sticky cards I use to wrap presents. All of those are in the wardrobe for another
year. Yet, there's still work to do in this room to make the rest of the 'Green Bags' disappear.
Then, I got stuck into the folding of the basket full of laundry in my bedroom. I was cautious because I haven't done it for so long. And after half an hour or so, it was all done; except for the chair full of stuff that needs to be hung up. Unfortunately, I can't because I don't have enough hangers. So, they will have to wait for another day when I've gone out and bought them. Bummer!

Last night, we got hit by a late electrical storm at around 10:30pm. Fortunately, it was after I had watched two dvds of one of my favourite movie stars and I was about to head off to bed. But instead, I thought to wait out the storm by unplugging the television and computer and modem just to be on the safe side. Then, I grabbed the washing basket from the laundry and brought it upstairs and sprayed it with surface spray (just in case something had thought it was okay to hide there) and then I put all my dirty clothes I had dumped in the doorway of my bedroom temporarily into it.

By 1am, the storm had passed, I had read 25 pages of a book and I had turned out the light.
Today, it's raining again. I'll be working on getting more stuff for charity ready to take over there this week; thus I'll have more room to use. The office will be completely cleaned out and I'll have a lot more room to move... not only here but also around the house. And then, it will be the case of trying to keep my collecting habits to a minimum.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 2

Well, yesterday was a great success! I got off this here computer and got my butt into gear. First things was first... I had to clean out my kitchen pantry. And the amount of expired packaged food I had was amazing! There was white sugar, Sippa-Straws (An Aussie invention) and hundreds of packets of hotel coffee - all stale! So, I washed the big glass jar the coffee came in and another I found hardened sugar in and took out the container that usually held potatoes; and found I had huge amount of space for the rest of the food from my Second Pantry in the office. Then, I spent the next hour hauling food from upstairs to downstairs and putting it all away. And another hour working on putting other things from the Second Pantry in the bathroom, bedroom and other parts of house.

Then, came my Mt To Be Read. It was looking very tatty and I thought instead of the books being forced to stand on their ends, it would be easier - have a less likely chance of them falling down - if they were piled on their sides with the bigger ones on the bottom and smaller ones on top... of course! And doesn't it make a difference?

Before all of this was done, I had all three loads of laundry done; this included the sheets off the bed, a pair of jeans, a mini skirt and a pair of shorts. But the whole clothesline was completely full! Then at around 2pm, I pulled it all off the line and did a load of kitchen towels; which dried completely by 4pm. Yep, it was hot enough still at that time of day to dry laundry then. By that time too, I had done the washing up and wiped down the counter and I then decided it was time the lawn was mowed (and this was before I put out the kitchen towels).

By 5pm, I had had a shower and gotten some of the garden's dirt off me and thought I had worked on the cleaning out quiet well. And doesn't it all look good so far? And the best thing happened all year! My little bird who wouldn't eat anything and is the fussiest eater ate a piece of apple. I had bought her a vegetable/fruit holder for Christmas, but she wouldn't go
near it. But then, she wouldn't eat anything out of a container either (unless it's seed or her Harrison's Pellets) so, I thought to try out putting the apple on top of the cage and her next to it; and voila! She ran in circles, dodged around it than finally chewed on. The cutest thing was when she put her little foot onto it and really got into it! I just didn't get picture of her doing that part. But here's one of her being all delicate about it. And I'm so proud of her!

And today seeing it's been raining on and off, I'm going to keep going with a few other things around the place; then let you know how it fairs tomorrow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Big Clean Out - Day 1

Okay, put your hand up, who's ever said: "Right, this is it! I'm going to clean out my house of all the crap, all the junk and have just the necessities at my fingertips!". Then, you start to do it, find out it's too hard and toss in the towel before you even get to lounge room and decided that you like your junk? Come on, be honest.... yeah, me too.
And wasn't it embarrassing when push came to shove and you lost something important like that all vital Tax Card you have to take to the Chemist for your prescriptions, or your house keys (which, let's face it, are attached to your car keys, so you're not going anywhere without them!).

So, here's what I'm going to do... I'm putting forth a challenge to all us grots out there who either have never done housework, can't be bothered doing housework or have let it slip from our line of thought.
Let's have 2010 be the year where our houses are reasonably clean and tidy. This means: we can have them ready for anyone to visit with 20 minutes notice; so we can tidy up a little and make sure it's not too untidy or cluttered.

Well, I've begun on my house; and because I'm not the best housekeeper in the world, I haven't taken the whole house on all at once. I began in the room I use the most - no not my office, that'll be last. I began cleaning out drawers in the kitchen and doing out the mugs I don't use anymore. I bagged up about 10 or 12 old kitchen towels somebody else could use, 3 mugs I haven't used in over a year and I'm going to send all of this off to a charity for somebody else to use. Then, cleaned out my pantry of unused, packaged food and tossed it in the bin. Now, I have the bottom shelf of the pantry clean enough for what's in my 2nd Pantry up here in the office to put food I've collected in. That's another great thing. I'm getting rid of the large cardboard box that holds all that food sitting inside my office door. And then, I'll shop for only what I need and not what I think I need. It'll be cheaper for me in the long run. I've still got things to do today. There are papers that I sorted out yesterday to shred, other papers that need filing, the kitchen table to clear up, the laundry to sort and fold, the bed to make up (I'm thinking of turning the mattress, but I may not yet as it's hard to do on my own) and the bedroom and bathroom to vacuum and dust.

And then, that'll be it for day one of this Clean Out. I hope you are endeavouring the clean out or fix up something in your house/unit/dorm that will make your life that little bit easier; even if it's keeping a journal, making a shopping list before going out to buy the groceries (believe me, that works) and not shopping on an empty stomach (and that works too!), or just organising how your books on their shelves are going to be kept. It all helps in some way.