Organized exhaustion

UPSwampI haven’t been posting much lately. I definitely haven’t been posting regularly. And it’s all related to getting organized. Really.

One of the most urgent things I need to organize right now is my mother’s house – it has to be emptied and cleaned so we can sell it, and emptying it has turned out to be an enormous job. My parents always said they were organized, and the “public” parts of their house were a bit messy but not bad…but, it turns out, the other half of the house was a very different story. Clear out what you could see in one room, and you discovered yet another mess behind the first one.

So my husband and I spent a lot of the past summer working on that house, and when we weren’t at my mother’s, I was sorting through her paperwork I brought home with me. By September, I could barely use my left hand, and I was so exhausted I needed a couple of naps to get through the day.

It’s a good thing, in a way, that we had to cut way back on time spent at my mother’s house once school started; I desperately needed time to heal, and my husband wasn’t exactly bursting with energy either as he started teaching again. We’re slowly recovering – but every weekly trip to do more sorting and tossing leaves me drained again.

Aside from being too tired to post regularly, at this point I’m too tired to do more than the minimum for my own house. Even so, as soon as I finish my mom’s place, I need to start throwing out a lot of what we have here. That’s not “I need to” as in “I feel required to live up to social standards” – that’s “I need to” as in “Having a mess grates on my nerves (it never used to), and I desperately want to strip away as much as I can.”

I don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist, but I’m starting to see the appeal.

Travel Theme – Autumn

Ah, yes. Autumn. When else would the house next door look like this??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, all right. I only traveled about twenty feet (forty feet? – I’m not good at estimating distances) to take this picture. But, in the right lighting, it’s reasonably scary. So there. ;)

 

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Wordless Wednesday – October 22, 2014

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Friday Fictioneers – Shell Game

Another super-short story inspired by the photo below. Want to see what other people made of the same picture? Here’s your chance. And, if you want to, add your interpretation!

still-life-with-dougShell Game

“So your husband sold these?”

“Oh, yes. Mounted collections. He was so proud of his finds – these are really rare shells, you know.”

“Uh-huh. Pretty pricey?”

“Well, yes. They had to be. His expenses were so high.”

“Uh-huh.” The policeman headed for the next room, and she trailed after. “Lots of equipment in here.”

“You need all sorts of computer stuff to run a business these days.”

“Printing invoices and stuff?” She nodded. “Who uses a three-d printer for invoices?”

“That? That’s just a hobby.”

“Profitable hobby. We’ll have to test these shells, but I bet they turn out to be plastic.”

“What?”

“Fakes. Nice job programming that printer, though.”

* * *

Please let me know what you think of this story!

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Wordless Wednesday October 15, 2014

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Forced off track

UPSwampOne of the really useful tools for getting organized is the list. You know – lists of things to do, or lists of things to do later but not right now thank you because other things need to be done first, or lists of your favorite types of pizza…I’m good at getting off track. Let’s see, where’s my list of things to do on Sunday October 12 – oh, yes, write a post.

But sometimes the list abandons you, or you’re forced to abandon it. For instance, yesterday I was supposed to be busy most of the day making sure a book sale went smoothly. It’s a big deal, most years – my town closes about half the length of the main street to fill it with booths for authors and publishers and people selling food and used books, and schedules workshops for would-be writers and readers – and meanwhile, my church (which is on the main street) fills our front lawn with tables loaded with used books to sell.

Last Monday, all was well. Tuesday, the weather forecast called for rain all day Friday but okay weather Saturday. Wednesday, rain Friday afternoon and night. You can see where this is going. Sure enough, what really happened was that the rain started late Friday night and didn’t stop until the middle of Saturday afternoon.

Instead of making sure the sale ran smoothly, I spent Friday afternoon and evening phoning everyone who had promised to help and warning them there probably wouldn’t be any sale. Come Saturday morning, I was busy fielding phone calls from people who got up, looked out their windows, and wanted to be really really sure they didn’t need to come out and get soaked.

When you make plans and commit to them, you never know what might happen to destroy your best intentions. It might snow; you might get sick; a family member might get sick; there could be an earthquake, or a fire, or…well, fill in the blanks. The world is full of disasters large and small.

So lists are useless, right? Not so fast. Sure, you often wind up having to change plans and improvise. But not always. And it’s a lot easier to improvise if your lists helped you keep other parts of your life sorted out. Even I know that much.

Time to make my “stuff to do Monday” list. See you tomorrow.

A rhyming grumble

If summer weather stays late, we’re glad.
November in October, sad.
Dark noon, low clouds, wet feet, cold ears -
Enough! We need some tropics here.

*  *  *

It’s been a miserable day. Cough.