Sunday, August 31, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Small Progress is Still Progress

I absolutely love this post, breaking down decluttering into little bits, and the reminder that "small progress is still progress"!

10 Small Ways to Declutter on the Fly

10 Small Ways to Declutter on The Fly
If you are decluttering your life, and that cluttered life is getting in the way of big progress, get small. Even with children going back to school, work obligations and long weekends, there is still time to chip away at your clutter.
Limit what’s coming in and quietly, slowly, let things out. Don’t give up because you don’t think you have time, or can’t see the progress immediately. Keep going bit by bit and inch by inch. Soon, you’ll notice more open space and begin to feel the freedom created by your small steps.

10 Small Ways to Declutter on the Fly

1. Make a book bag
Choose 10 books you’ve owned for more than a year and haven’t read yet. Put them in a bag and throw it in your closet or car trunk to donate to the library next time you are out. If you are worried that you’ll miss out on those great books, make a list in Evernote of books you donated, and check them out when you are ready to read them.

2. Hide your junk drawer
If you don’t have time to sort through your junk drawer(s), dump the contents in a bag or small box, tape it up and write “clutter” on the box. If you don’t remember what’s inside in 30 days, toss it.

3. 10 minutes or less
Choose one of these 25 ways to simplify your life in 10 minutes or less.

4. Contribute to your emergency fund
Find $500 worth of items in your home that you would not go out and buy today if you had $500. When you have more time, sell it and use the earnings to pay off debt or contribute to your emergency fund, or vacation fund.

5. Feed hungry people
Donate unexpired, unopened food in your pantry that you probably aren’t going to eat or that you can easily replace to your local food pantry.

6. Lighten up on the linens
How many sets of sheets do you own per bed? How many towels per person? If you’ve been saving up for guests, or other just incase reasons, cut down to one or two sets of sheets per bed and two towels per person. If you are nervous that you won’t have enough, box them up for 3 months before donating.

7. Take 10
Set a timer for 10 minutes and fill a garbage bag full of any expired toiletries, make-up, or food. If you have expired medication, bring it to your doctor’s office or dispose appropriately.

8. Dump a few friends
Unfriend 5 Facebook friends. If you wouldn’t invite them to dinner, why are you sharing your vacation photos with them?

9. Make 3 preventative medical appointments
If you need a dental cleaning, mammogram, physical or other check-up, schedule it now for a simpler life later. Good health simplifies everything.

10. Add a donation run to your schedule
Make a list of places where you want to donate your stuff, like the library, local retirement home, church or homeless shelter, and deliver your bags and boxes the next time you are out.

Pick one of these 10 small ways to declutter on the fly to simplify your life. Small progress is still progress.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Currently experiencing quite a set-back in my personal life, I'm in need of some optimism.  And so I share the following.  Somehow, just gathering these sayings has already made a difference!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Amazing Photos

Okay, it may not be a wren. But since I started revisiting my word "balance" for this year, I ran across this photo on pinterest (reposted from  Just couldn't resist!!

By Ethan Welty

But there's more!  See all for yourself at It is no wonder that I can lose myself on the computer for hours on end if I'm not careful.

White Bengal Tiger. Taken by the Amazing Eldad Hagar  Found on

Flying lanters at St John's Night at the banks of Warta River, Poznan, Poland.  Proper lovers' day in accordance with old Slavonic customs. Beat it, cold February Valentines. Love blooms in June!  

Flying lanters at St John's Night at the banks of Warta River, Poznan, Poland. Proper lovers' day in accordance with old Slavonic customs. Beat it, cold February Valentines. Love blooms in June!

Hong Kong's Skyline
Found on

Hong Kong's Skyline

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not Your Usual Reading List

One of my book clubs finished reading The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  It's about the rowing team from Seattle, and absolutely a great read.  

"What is the secret of its success?
It’s about much more than rowing, says Brown. It’s about a generation of Americans who fought hard, endured much, survived and prevailed. “I make the case at the end of every book talk that these nine Americans, who climbed in the boat and learned to pull together, (are) almost the perfect metaphor for what that generation did,” Brown says. ”They endured the Depression and the war. Pull together, build great teams, get things done.”
Its appeal transcends that generation, and the next. Young rowers clutching their manhandled copies tell Brown the book is the closest thing they have ever read that captures the spirit of crew."

Front Cover

And I understand there will be a movie made about it.

Venturing further with this same author, I just finished reading The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride.  Oh my,.it is indeed harrowing, but I learned so much about their story.  The epilogue in the book addresses all of my own questions and concerns as I was reading.  It isn't for the faint of heart, but absolutely worth the read. (I also can't imagine reading it except in the summer time- the description of the freezing cold crept into my veins.)

"In this gripping narrative, Daniel James Brown takes the reader along on every painful footstep of Sarah's journey. Along the way, he weaves into the story revealing insights garnered from a variety of modern scientific perspectives–psychology, physiology, forensics, and archaeology–producing a tale that is not only spell-binding but richly informative."

Product Details

But it is definitely time for some lighter reading.  Our next book is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Paraprosdokians (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.  I love them as well.

For a more technical definition:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
paraprosdokian /pærəprɒsˈdkiən/ is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but they also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a form of syllepsis.

And now for some samples:
1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it. 
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list. 
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong. 
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. 
6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
 7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. 
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research. 
9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you. 
10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'. 
11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. 
12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice. 
13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.. 
14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target. 
15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. 
16. You're never too old to learn something stupid. 
17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Psych Up

Realizing that I need to get moving on straightening up my studio for the studio tour this weekend, the phrase "psych myself up" came to regards to setting aside my weaving projects to clean, rearrange, and organize my space.  So naturally (??) I wondered if that phrase had made it into the ever evolving dictionaries (see ranting blog of 8/12/14).  Of course it had.

psych up
Inf. to get mentally ready for something.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

So enough dithering.  Yesterday was a day for office, paper, emails and computer work with a little weaving in the evening.  Hopefully I can get enough organizing done today to give me at least one more full day, if not two, this week of weaving before the weekend fun begins.

And, as always, some visual images to help illustrate, which often speak much louder than my words.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Morning Person

Being naturally a morning person, I've always wondered what makes a person prefer mornings to evenings.

"There is a strong genetic component determining whether a person is an evening or a morning type in their activity times," said Penn State psychology professor Frederick Brown. "Everyone has an inborn basic biological rhythm -- also called a circadian rhythm. Across the population, that rhythm averages about 24.1 hours long."
During that cycle, many "phase relationships" play themselves out. One is body temperature. Average normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees F. "Our normal temperature is at its lowest phase about two hours before we waken," Brown said. "In some individuals, it drops to nearly 96 degrees. Every day our body temperature slowly increases until its highest phase may top out at well above 99. Later in the evening and into the night, our temperature drifts slowly downward again to its lowest phase."
Read more at:

Might that genetic component also be connected to what time of day someone is born?  This is my personal philosophy. But I'm not really sure:  Were you born in the morning because you are genetically disposed to mornings or are you genetically disposed to mornings because you were born early in the morning?

22 Signs You Are NOT A Morning Person

Anytime before noon is way too early. Morning people are weird.posted on Nov. 21, 2013, at 12:57 p.m.

1. The snooze button is your best friend.

The snooze button is your best friend.

2. Multiple alarms are required to wake you up.

3. But even then you will still go back to sleep.

4. It takes alternate methods to make you rise and shine.

5. Waking up before 12 is considered early.

22 Signs You Are NOT A Morning Person

6. And if you do it’s quite an accomplishment.

And if you do it's quite an accomplishment.

7. The sounds of the morning drive you insane.

Birds, garbage trucks, coffee brewing, and commuters

8. In fact the thought of morning terrifies you.

9. Your brain can’t even function that early.

10. You wouldn’t dream of exercising in the A.M.

You wouldn't dream of exercising in the A.M.

11. Because you suck at it.

Because you suck at it.

12. Besides you need your beauty sleep.

Besides you need your beauty sleep.

13. And you get all your important work done at night.

14. Someone calling you before 11 is just plain rude.

15. You are terrible at making breakfast.

You are terrible at making breakfast.

16. In fact you need several cups of coffee just to function.

17. Morning meetings are the worst thing in the world.

22 Signs You Are NOT A Morning Person

18. And you think the happy morning people at work are weird.

19. Talking to anyone before noon is a no go.

Talking to anyone before noon is a no go.

20. Your morning friends never go out at night with you.

In fact they think you’re a party animal.

21. Binge watching Netflix until 6 a.m. is one of your hobbies.

22. You don’t actually hate morning people, you just don’t know how they do it.

You don't actually hate morning people, you just don't know how they do it.