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The Bane of the 80s April 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — goodgame43 @ 10:35 pm
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Nothing screams 80s like spiral bound photograph albums with pages made of plastic and sticky paper except maybe the photographs we put in them. “Don’t do it! My delicate pictures will be ruined!”  So, once those were banished from most homes, along came scrapbooking and acid-free paper. Cute. Fun. Time-consuming. Something to do on a rainy day in May…in about 20 years.


Hey, parents are busy people. Before digital become de regueur around 2000, millions of pictures were taken and printed and left to gather dust in “photo boxes.” We promised each other we’d organize them “someday.”  Someday came and went and the pictures are still waiting to be organized. In my defense, I did select a large number of my favourite photos and left them in a pile on the kitchen counter to put into date order. When I went back to sort them, they were stuck together like tar and feathers. Somebody, who shall remain nameless, spilled a glass of water on them and failed to dry the photos off. Thus ended my attempt to bring calm to the chaos of the family photos. Nameless should be lucky they didn’t end in that moment as well.  Grrr.


Change of the Day:  Sort the remaining photographs into chronological order. And, keep them off the counter.


Clothes Are Like Icing On the Cake March 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — goodgame43 @ 10:48 pm
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In an effort to reorganize my book collection, I took a bunch of them downstairs to my “library” and stacked others on the bedroom floor for further perusal at a later date. On another day, I decided my drawers could use a going through. Longjohns in three different sizes? Keep. Hideous purple trackpants? Donate. Well, donate after tossing them on top of the books as something to deal with later. Red tank top with crochet neckline that shrank when washed? Um….keep in the drawer where you will never wear it but can admire its beautiful colour the next time you try sorting through things. Bay City Rollers t-shirt c.1975? A classic. It stays.


By the time I had gone through six drawers, the pile of old clothes covering the books was bigger than the world’s largest cupcake. Good thing I like cupcakes because that pile is still there.


Change of the Day:  Donate the pile. And, maybe make some cupcakes.


I Am Not As Organized As I Might Think March 3, 2014



Everything in my house has a place. That everything is not in its place is incidental to the datebook I keep on the counter not being on the counter but then the pen I use to write things down has been reduced to a broken crayon on the back of a cereal box (not a good choice as they themselves are sometimes waxed). I would be organized, on schedule, in sync, and bedazzling if only I were someone else.


This admission of disorder is only a surprise to you. For the friends and family who have come in far enough to fear disease, my disorder disorder is normal and completely manageable by not coming over.


Change of the Day:  Regroup. Reset. Reorganize. And, redeem yourself, dude.


Time To Cook More Than Look January 26, 2014


There are more cookbooks in my cupboard than dirty dishes in my son’s bedroom. I think the books have begun to have meetings. I’ve found dessert cookbooks under the bed, fast food ideas under the couch and the other day my dog was chewing on one called, “Scrambled Brains,” which fit because she’s pretty weird some days.

Why do I have all these cookbooks? I don’t spend much time in the kitchen but perhaps that’s evident from where the books ended up. I like them the way others like “The Lord of the Rings.”  There are elements of fantasy and danger as the heroine undertakes a journey through an unfamiliar land.

The kitchen may be unfamiliar in the big sense of the word but I do cook. I made almost every meal my family ate when the kids were younger from scratch. The only thing I lost the popular vote on was my macaroni and cheese. There’s a reason Kraft shares trade at more than $50 each. Nonetheless, I know what a garlic press looks like (cookbooks have pictures) and I figured out that chili powder is not my friend. What I want to know is how to use herbs and spices well. Naturally, I have a book for that. I think this time I’ll read it instead of just looking at the pictures.

Change of the Day: Dig out that encyclopedia of herbs and spices and learn how to use something other than salt in my meals. And, tell my son the reason he can’t find dishes in the dishwasher is because I haven’t installed a shower head in his bedroom.



Random Smug Testing January 21, 2014


Changing things can make you feel better about yourself. You can feel so good that you start counting how much better things are going and how others are still stuck with their old habits and how fantastic you are and if they only knew how amazing your life is they would stand in awe of your ability to overcome lethargy and transform your life into one of ease and maximum joy!

Clearly, smugness is an illness directly related to delusion.

Still smiling smugly as I report on changes made to-date:

1. Give up candy for 360 Days of the year – If we start counting from today, I am right on track.
2. Eat more oranges – Definitely easier when you buy oranges
3. Watch less violent/negative programming – I miss my friends on Criminal Minds but not the dead bodies.
4. Turn off tv and computer an hour before bed – Because I have insomnia, I can say this happens two out of three times nightly
5. Put things away – I definitely put them somewhere though I may not be able to count it as “away” unless “away” is a euphemism for “still at the top of the stairs.”
6. Listen to more music – Ready to challenge myself more in this department. Love ya, Buble, but sometimes a girl needs more than one man in her life
7. Comply with doc’s suggestion to put warm compress on my eyes twice a day – Sorry, I can’t see what this says. My eyes are all crusty.
8. Use my Buddh-ish-ism powers more often – People are entirely too cheerful already
9. Drink more water – Yum, she says mildly sarcastically even though she’s trying to comply.
10. Eat gluten free – Never got off the ground. Found out Raisin Bran is made with bran. Eating just the raisins wasn’t the same.
11. Learn a new skill: cake decorating – Iced cake. Did not ice cake well. Fortunately, it tasted just as good.
12. Pay attention to time – what you’re doing through the day – This is frightening. Do not do this at home.
13. Resupply the medicine chest for flu season – I keep waiting for a sale.
14. Get tested annually for colon cancer – Talk to me next January but in the meanwhile make YOUR appointment.
15. Bring your library books back and set a regular day to return books in the future – Theoretically, this is happening as soon as I find the books.
16. Bring your bottles back every two weeks – There are no cube trucks for sale locally at the moment.
17. Philomena, Leonardo, Is Just Another Word for Love – go to Star Cinema More – Went to Philomena at the Star. Movies are just one great habit to have.
18. Wash dog bowls daily – They lick them, you know. Licking is how they keep themselves clean. Shouldn’t it work on the bowls, too?
19. Be the Change – Volunteer -something small – David Tennant is coming to town soon. I volunteer to play his secret love in real life.
20. Changing Your Religion – Fantastic history programs bring insight to world religions and often play late at night. When I’m tossing and turning the Naked Archeologist keeps me company.
21. Changing the Cost of Our Choices – Flyers are marked and awaiting execution
22. Kitty Litter Does Not Change Itself – I realized my kids are moving out just so that they never have to change the kitty litter again.
23. The Retirement Environment – I have a terrific budget. I can see where all my money goes and goes and goes.
24. When Your Baby Bounces Out the Door – Boxes are being collected. That’s boxes of facial tissue. I’m getting a little weepy about this one.
25. The Momentum Mantra – My mantra, “Tend Your Own Garden First,” is a slightly paraphrased quote of a translation from Voltaire’s “Candide” that helps me focus on my inner world, my immediate world and then, much later, the outer world. There may be a tattoo in that someday.

Change of the Day: Rethink being so smug about all the changes you’re making. Somebody may drop in randomly and test the veracity of your claims.


Kitty Litter Does Not Change Itself January 18, 2014

Image  Our house smells. The kitty litter needs to be changed. There are no volunteers. This is mostly because changing the kitty litter is my responsibility but, seriously people, where is the community spirit? How hard can it be to dump dirty litter, clean out the litter pan and refill it?

I can answer that for you. It’s nigh on impossible unless you have fresh kitty litter in the house, a sink big enough to wash the pan in, a rag to wipe it out with, a garbage bag for the dirty litter, shoes on to take it out to the garbage can, a broom to sweep up the litter that misses the pan and a dustpan to collect it in. Does that sound reasonable or doable?

Oh. But what if the kitty litter you use is the clumping kind and it sticks to the sides of the pan? Wouldn’t you also have to have a scraper of some kind to de-stick that gunk? Oh. Those are available? Huh.

Change of the Day: My attitude toward doing something so simple and brings so much happiness to so many paws.



Be the Change January 15, 2014

ImageFor more than 25 years, I volunteered on boards and committees of a variety of charities, community, school, sports and business groups. I loved it. Recently, I took about a year or so off and when I decided I wanted to get back into volunteering, I realized I didn’t have the same energy I used to have for outside activities so how to be useful without a big commitment became a bit of a puzzle. I was reading the paper one day and saw that the youth shelter program needed meals. It should be noted here that when I try to cook, my kids start dialing for pizza. But, I had a secret weapon. My cousin is an awesome cook so I called her to see if she’d like to help me make dinner for our homeless youth once a month. She’s had dinner at my house before so she said, “Yes!” before I’d even finished the question.

We’ve been making dinner once a month since September and it’s always fun. She directs and I poke, stir and slice as needed. It’s pretty cheap entertainment for us. We work in her kitchen, make Shepherd’s Pie using beef donated my brother and his wife, and then drive it over to the shelter where we’re met by the organizers who take it in to the kids who show up that night. I know if we weren’t making the meal every third Thursday that someone else would have stepped up but I have to say, I’m glad it’s us. I didn’t think there was going to be anything I could do and this is a great way to get back into volunteering without over-extending myself.Fortunately, I think I’m ready to do a little more.

Change of the Day: Actively look for another small volunteer opportunity.

Info: Many volunteer bureaus have online listings of opportunities that may range from one-day to a more regular commitment.