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November 17, 2012

30-Days of Gratitude -- Really? Yes, really.

I love November.  It’s a month of gratitude – and it gives me great joy to know that at this time of year people are slowing down to count their blessings.  I have kept a “gratitude journal” for many years now.  I write in it whenever I am inspired -- and though I don’t write daily, I do try -- every day – to slow down for a moment and find something for which I am thankful. 

In the spirit of equality however, I wanted to take a moment to recognize some of those things that I am NOT thankful for.   Pet peeves, irritants – call them what you will.  Sometimes we just have to take time to acknowledge the things that really grind our gears.

Take dust for example.  What purpose does dust serve except to remind us to clean from time to time?  Pet hair – another one of those things that make me go, “grrrrrrr.”

Clean laundry dumped on the floor instead of being folded and put away. Wet towels in a heap.  An overflowing bin of unmatched socks.  And while we’re on the topic of laundry – how about the terrible smell of a t-shirt that’s been left in the washer too long.  Why?  Give us working moms a break.

Dishes piled up next to the sink, when an empty dishwasher sits right there waiting to be filled.  Trash that is left on top of the counter instead of being put in the wastebasket.  Empty milk cartons put back in the fridge, and cereal boxes left in the cabinet with hardly a teaspoon of crumbs in the bottom.

Unflushed toilets.  Unmade beds. Unpaid bills, and the stacks of junk mail and empty envelopes left on the table that could really just be thrown directly into the trash.

Checking off the items on your grocery list and realizing when you get home that you’ve missed one.  Better still, getting to the grocery store and realizing you left your list at home.

Aggressive drivers and ones that ride your tail. 

Getting to the dog park and realizing you’re out of poo-poo bags.

Throw rugs that won’t stay in place even though you bought the no-skid pad to put underneath.

Remote controls that don’t work properly.  And the DVR not recording your favorite show, because the disk is full with programs you already watched but never deleted.   Ugh !! 

But the very worst thing of all…the one that brings me to tears if I think too much about it --- is not being able to sit around and enjoy time with the people I love whenever I want. 

My life has been filled with so many people who make my life better.   Some are angels watching over me, others are just a phone call away.  Near or far – I am forever grateful for their love and friendship.  I only wish I could see them all more often. 

Now I better get back to chasing dust bunnies.


February 26, 2012

Cleaning Tip -- The Oven Door

So I'll admit it, I'm becoming a Pinterest junkie.

People say it's just another time waster -- and to some extent they're right.  It is so easy to get lost in different people's finds.  I'm trying to keep my visits in control though --  I visit when I have a few minutes to spare, and I just meander through -- daydreaming about vacation spots and my dream home, and gathering up recipes for things I'll probably never make.   It's not a complete waste of time though because at least all the ideas, daydreams and "someday" wishes that I find are being gathered in one central place -- rather than being lost in tides of websurfing!

Though most of my boards are just random collections, the two that are actually kind of practical are about getting organized and simple DIY cleaning tips.

Confession #2 -- I'm a wannabe organizer. I have spent countless hours looking at organization websites, meandering the storage container aisles at Target, and watching shows like Mission Organization. I have the best of intentions to put ideas into practice -- but like so many people, I get started but have trouble maintaining it.   Pinterest has given me a couple ideas that actually seem doable and I suspect you'll see more from me in the future on how I've applied some ideas at home.

Confession #3 -- I HATE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE. If there was one thing I could give up forever, it would be housework. I know I could probably just hire a cleaning lady, but with 2 kids in college, and another in high school, that's just not in the cards in the near future. I try all kinds of products that are supposed to make my life easier with cleaning -- but I've just ended up with a shelf full of half-used bottles of products that sort of work.

On Pinterest I've found a couple "tips" that make it sounds so easy.  I think the fact that they're just using basic things like baking soda, white vinegar, salt or ammonia make me feel like somehow if they work -- I've triumphed over the companies that have been selling me all these specialty items over the year.  Anyhow, I've gathered some of these DIY ideas on a board, and little by little I'm trying them to see how they really work.

So here is today's endeavor.   I found a posting about "how to clean the glass on the inside of your oven.   I clicked on the photo and was taken to this DIY blog, where the blogger posts her before and after pictures.    

I tried it for myself and here's how it worked for me -- the woman who hates to clean.

My oven door before cleaning (don't judge me please).

Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a runny paste.  Cover the door and glass with the paste and let sit for 15-20 minutes.

The DIY website I referenced said that after 15 minutes, you could wipe it clean.  For me, the grime was definitely loosened, but it still required some elbow grease.  I used a green scrubby pad and a handi-wipe to scrub and wipe clean.  I would say I scrubbed for about 10 minutes, and then wiped it down with the handi-wipe.  My results....

Not perfect by any means, but WAY BETTER than what I was able to accomplish with the self-cleaning feature of my oven, or even with E-Z Off Cleaner.  Heck, you can actually see the tile floor through the glass!!  Best part of all, it was done inside a half hour, no fumes, no overheating house...and literally pennies to get it done! 

I'll be adding this one to my Pinterest board for sure! 

Happy cleaning!