Monday, December 20, 2010

Google: Wonderful or Woe-is-Me?


Google, is just one of the gates into the Information Highway also know as the Internet. There are several schools of thought on just how beneficial the Internet is or can be.

Last month I was informed that I would have to have a root canal. The very words strike terror in most peoples hearts. So, I got the bright idea to "Google it"!
Big Mistake! I found over 2,260,000 references or hits, as they call them, about root canals.

Hooookayyyyy....now what? I've been told the best thing to do is go to the first one on the list. That one was the Wikipedia site. Very informative but it was information similar to what the dentist had told me. So I moved on to the next.

YIKES!!! That was my second mistake! I shoulda lefted well enough alone! Now I knew much more than I really wanted or needed to know.

The question you have to ask yourself before you go web surfing for information is, "Do I really want to know?" Frankly, I didn't, but I didn't know until it was to late to take it back. Thus, my foray into the mysteries of root canals could be classified as a "Woe-is-Me". Not a prediction, mind you, because my experience was nothing like the horror stories I read on the Internet. I'm not going to lie and say it was a breeze, but it wasn't bad. I'd do it again.

This event, coupled with a discussion I had with my very technologically challenged Mother In Law this past weekend, got me to thinking. She (MIL) was listening to several of us discuss the latest event happening on Facebook and remarked that she was just not sure all this knowledge was such a great thing. "Sometimes, ignorance was truly bliss.", she said. You know, I think she just might have a point.

I've heard the same horror stories that you have about kids surfing and finding some really bad websites, the accidental visions that just don't bear thinking about. There again, I see the Internet and Google as a "Woe-Is-Me".

BUT:

I also have been able to find family members that we'd lost contact with over the years. I've learned more about the Scriptures, shared prayers with my on-line friends. I've made lasting friendships with people that I would have never been able to meet without the Internet. I've been able to do something I truly love to do, write a blog and actually have people read it thanks to the Internet.

In the end, it is up to us to guard ourselves from the dangers of the Internet, using care when putting words in the search bar of Google and other browser aids. The Internet is a part of the world, it is now a part of our lives even if we don't own a computer. We have to treat it as we do the world.

We have to use it wisely, not without a large measure of caution. Keeping our children safe from the terrors of the world is now extended to something else we've invited into our homes as we have the television.

Think back to your Grandparents and how most of them reacted to Television. They simply couldn't understand the fascination. The decadence of sitting idly around, watching a box with moving pictures in it was, as my Grandmother said once, "of the Devil". Well, she was right. It certainly is his playground and the Internet can be called the monkey bars on that playground. We all know monkey bars are dangerous unless you are careful when playing on them, but even then accidents happen.

Like all things beneficial, used correctly you get good results, misuse them and you can get hurt.

What is my verdict about Google you ask? It, and the Internet in general, is Wonderful when used wisely and correctly, and is Woe-Is-Me when it isn't. It's all up to you which you wind up with.

Now go out and make this day yours and all for His Glory!
Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

YIkes! Root Canal!


Ok....today is d-day for that painful tooth I've been dealing with. What? You didn't know I was in pain? Well, I have been for some time and it all started with a little filling that fell out after several years. I didn't do anything about it because it wasn't hurting. Brother! Was that a mistake! Big, Big Mistake!

Now, a couple of years later, that tooth is making up for lost time. I've suffered for several weeks and finally stopped procrastinating. I went to the dentist and as a reward for my delaying, I won a root canal. Oh Joy!

Today is the day I go for this procedure that everyone has been so very kind to tell me all about. (she said with a sarcastic tone) It is like when you're going to have a baby, the closer you get, the more horror stories you hear. The agony, the pain....all the gory details.

I have never had anything done like this before so I decided to look it up. Thank you Google. I found several very informative site and as a result, I feel much less fear about what is about to happen.

Lord, let me keep this resolve!

Go out and make this day yours and all for His glory!
Blessings~
Kat

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life, Love and Christmas



John 15:11-13
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (NIV)


Good morning Beloved Readers!

This morning is one of the coldest on record for the normally gentle climate of Georgia. Brrrr.......snow flakes fell yesterday all during the day as the wind blustered around the house. The fact that they didn't stick and stay on the ground made the event no less exciting for the kids of this household, myself included. Just that it snowed in December in Georgia made it a remarkable day for us.

We are entering our third week with no heat, well, no central heat, at our house. We have a very small propane gas heater that does a good job of keeping the living room, kitchen and hallway fairly warm, as long as we wear sweaters and house shoes while home. The painful part of this, other than the obvious cold, is the fact that this heat system is just over a year old and has been down more than up!

Lesson learned here...go with a reputable company that you can call when things go wrong. We've not heard from the person that installed it, after two requests you just have to accept that they are not going to return your call. We have a repair man, but well, we tried to save a dime and it is costing us more than we have saved in cash and time. So, if and when we ever get the thing fixed, I will never try to save money by using someone that some one knows and not a legitimate company.

Now, rant over, let's move on to the fun stuff!

Christmas! Oh the joy of it. No? Well, let's put it, the Joy that is, back right now. So, why don't you have the required Joy of the holiday? No family to share it with? No money to purchase gifts? No money to purchase the extra special foods the day requires?

None of those are the source of Joy!

Joy will not be found under a beautiful tree decorated with lights and tinsel. It will not be found on a dining room table loaded down with delightful foods. It will not be found outside with a red bow on the hood. Joy is not a material thing. It cannot be.

Joy is Jesus Christ. To have Joy you must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Joy you receive will be the Joy of His gift of Grace in your Salvation!

When you've accomplished this, you will have the Joy that no man can steal. The pure Joy of His love and redemption in you.

How do I get this gift, you ask? You will be hard pressed to believe me but it is very simple. You simply ask. Yep, ask! Pray to the Father, admitting your need for Him in your life. Your need to turn over the controls to Him. Give Him all the glory for every step you take and receive the blessings that will follow. The greatest of these blessings will be Him giving you the gift of Salvation.

There is a price.

"Aha!" you say, "I knew there was a catch!"

No, not for you. The price has been paid. He, Jesus Christ, paid the highest price. He gave His life for yours. He shed His blood for yours. So you see, it is a win-win situation. You receive all the gift and blessings and only have to ask for them.

Will you? Won't you? Why shouldn't you?

"But what if you're wrong?" you ask.

Okay, if I'm wrong, nothing lost. You've lived a good life, been a good person, shared the love in your heart with others.

BUT......What if I'm not wrong?

Can you afford that price?

Go out and make this day yours by giving it to Him!
Blessings~
Kat

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hurry Up! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!


The title of this post says it all. Our holidays have become one rushing event to the next. We all need to take a step back and look at what this holiday is truly all about!

Thanksgiving Day, the real one in no way resembled the one that we celebrate today. Today we gather family and friends around a table filled with bountiful blessings of food stuffs and proceed to eat ourselves into a food coma. Then we stagger into the living room/family room and plop down upon the sofa to watch football games, depending upon the viewing habits of the family in question. Then, we go back to the table for another round, calling it supper, then to our respective homes to sleep it off, only to jump up at the crack of dawn to begin the mass exodus to the retail worship centers.

BUT, the real Thanksgiving Day, was not a good day originally. It has been changed to what we know now over many years. Today there is a warm fuzzy feeling as we think of the Indians and the Pilgrims sitting down to share a feast of Thanksgiving, and yes that happened once. As with many holidays, the terms have been changed and the reasons fitted to our needs. With time and practice, the real story often becomes lost.

I have no problem with the way anyone celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday. To each his or her own, I say. But I try every year to remember what the day is about for me. The holidays should be a personal celebration, if you celebrate the way I described above, great. We don't. Oh, we have a feast, complete with Roasted Turkey, Dressing (no stuffing...we live in the South) and all that goes with it, but we don't do the TV thing. If the TV is on, we might watch old movies or something on the History Channel. But mostly we gather in the livngroom and sit around talking. Imagine that! I LOVE it. I look forward to it so much.

This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving a little differently. We are not celebrating on Thursday, we are gathering together at my home on Saturday. There is a very practical reason for this change. My brother and his family are celebrating Thanksgiving Day on Thursday with my Sister In Laws family. My Oldest daughter is celebrating with my Son In Laws family and my middle daughter is celebrating with her boyfriends family. So, in self defense, I proclaimed that our celebration would be on Saturday and that way I can have them all to myself! They won't have to run off to another house to eat yet another huge meal. They can stay here and we can have our round table talk, the children can all run and play to their hearts content. It will be heavenly!

So....you see what I mean about making the holiday a personal celebration. After all it is all about what we are thankful for the most, right? Me? I'm Thankful for my wonderful husband, who is my love, helper, and soul mate, for our beautiful, talented and intelligent daughters, for our Son In Law and the one I hope will be our Son In Law someday. I'm Thankful for my precious Grandchildren, they are a delight everyday. I'm Thankful for my Parents and my Husbands parents, my Brothers and Brother in law, and their families. I'm Thankful for my friends, both online and the ones I'm blessed to see if not daily, then often. I'm Thankful for my CMA Brothers and Sisters and the Ministry we share.

But most of all....I'm Thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and the gift of His Saving Grace.

Now go out and make this day yours~
Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On Target!





Finished! With my scrapbooking room that is.

The first three photos are the finished product and the last photo is where I started from. I call the folder that these photos live in "The Room Of Shame". I'm not proud of the mess, but I am proud of the finished product.

I don't have Ikea storage items, and can't afford them, but I do okay with what I have around the house. The stacking unit is a recycle item from an office and works great for my scrapbooking supplies and Ebay shipping items.

My Scrapbooking/Office room is a multi use room with many sides to it's personality. Like me, it must wear many hats.

I use it for working on my scrapbooking hobby, for office work in my dual business, CMA Treasurer business, my blogging and my ebay sales. So, the potential for clutter to build up again is great.

To try and avoid this I've turned the room into zones. The two level desk is my "work" zone. Used for CMA business, cleaning business and Real Estate Management business. The long table side is used for my Ebay shipping prep table and my scrapbooking table. The corner unit is storage for my many scrapbooking aids and my ebay shipping supplies.

So far, it is working great. Of course it has only been in use as is for twenty four hours! We will see how it goes.


Now on to the balance of my home.

I am working to again declutter and lighten my load in our home. There are so many things that have crept in, that we don't need, can't use or rather won't use and someone else can benefit from it more.


Today I will be working on my kitchen. One side at a time and one day at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day and my home isn't going to be decluttered in a day either, but I will continue to fight against this clutter monster that threatens me and defeat it!

Now, go out and claim this day as yours~
Blessings~
Kat

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting it together

Well, I've made good progress on my scrap booking room. I have been reconstructing it for some time now. A dear friend reminded me that we needed to get our respective rooms back together and well, to be to the point, my room was a mess!

I'd moved all my supplies and storage units up from the basement. They were scattered all over the tiny front bedroom that was to become my office/scrap booking room. I had a corner desk unit that had a large table to the side. A stacking unit and some photo boxes. To top it off I had an antique dresser with mirror and antique sewing machine in the room as well. Needless to say it was stuffed! There were supplies, office materials, files and just stuff in general tossed into this room and left. It seemed that if an item had no real home, it found one in that room.

So, I've been organizing and purging. You simply cannot organize clutter and believe me that room was full of clutter!

I honestly believe if I hadn't started this "renewed" project (Thank you dear Cheryl!) I'd be up to my....um....armpits in clutter and junk!

It is a work in progress, Cheryl and I agreed to do 30 minutes a day. However, I sort of got of track when I injured my hip last week. But last night I worked 30 minutes. Tonight I work 30 more. And hopefully no later than next Monday, I will be launching the first scrapbook page done in this house for some time!

I will post before and after photos when I am finished. Even though I will be very embarrassed to do so!

Blessings~
Kat

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scare Tactics?


It is just me? Does anyone else out there feel that shows like Dr. Oz, to name the one that I've seen it on, are using scare tactics cloaked in so called helpful information to get you to watch their shows?

Point of fact, I was talking with my mother recently and found out that she no longer could eat peanut butter. Not because of some allergy or even because of the high fat content, but because of a Dr. Oz show that she'd seen.

It seems that Dr. Oz and a guest were discussing the additional items often found in our processed foods that shouldn't be there. I won't go into detail about what was found to be in peanut butter that they discussed but if you knew how much my mother loved the stuff and that now she won't even talk about it with out shuddering, you'd see why I'm not happy with Dr. Oz.

Even just a simple rearrangement of the segment to give the solution and then state why it would be a better thing, would be more helpful. Less shock value for the rating guys but more helpful.

I asked Mom if they'd offered a solution to the problem and she said they hadn't. Not even a solution saying to make your own at home? She didn't remember it if they had, she'd been so freaked out by the inital disclosure.

This is my main gripe! I'm not saying Dr. Oz doesn't do a good thing. He brings many health issues to the attention of the viewer, but here again they are getting off track. I've noticed it and have stopped watching the show. Not to mention the silly women they have come down from the audience to be the "assistant". I know they pick them like they do the "Price Is Right" contestants, for their...um....personality. Sorry....got off track there myself for a minute.

Back to the subject.

They come out with these horror stories and then they don't have a solution to the problem. Not even a suggestion! For the love of mike, they are not making it better, they are causing fear and reaction.

So, Dr. Oz and all you other so called helpful shows, how about really being helpful and not showing these "reports" without some back up as to how to fix the problem. Even a personal solution that is helpful not out of reach of the average home's budget.

Buying roasted peanuts and making your own peanut butter is a solution, a high priced one but at least that would have helped my Mom to have her favorite food back. I found a use for an old coffee mill. Single serving peanut butter, fun to make and even better for you to eat!

Blessings~
Kat

Friday, November 5, 2010

Small appliances....big issues!


Good morning all!

I was working yesterday at a new client's home and ran across my subject for today. Small kitchen appliances and how "dirty" they can get in their day to day use. The most common culprit is..... the electric can opener.

Be honest...when was the last time you removed the blade assembly and either tossed it into the dishwasher or dropped it into the dish water and gave it a cleaning?
I'd bet it has been awhile.

Now, now, don't fret. You are not a dirty person, you are the norm. We all use these kitchen helpers everyday and quite often they are given a "lick and a prayer" cleaning. Then they're pushed back on the counter or tossed into the drawer without a second thought. This my friends is dangerous!

I ran across an electric can opener blade that told this story. It was coated in food, the wheel wasn't turning properly and this caused the owner to think the machine was broken. Not true. When I finished with it, it was working like new.

This is dangerous on so many levels and is very common in home kitchens and frankly I'd be willing to bet in many commercial kitchens. The food on the blade gathers and grows dangerous germs and attracts pests. The food you are opening with this blade is then contaminated with the old food causing you and your family to possibly become ill. All the while not realizing where the cause is coming from.

All that being said, I never point out a problem unless I can offer a solution! If you follow the simple guidelines for keeping this useful kitchen helper clean
it will give you years of service as well as help in keeping your family well.


1. As with any electric appliance, remember to unplug it from the wall outlet
before cleaning.

2. NEVER immerse the case in water.

3. Try to remember to wipe the can opener after each use to remove food spills or
drips.

4. Remove the cutting wheel and lid holder and soak them in hot sudsy water.

5. Scrub caked-on food with a toothbrush or small brush. Take care to avoid the
blade! It is sharp! Rinse, dry, and put the blade assembly back onto the case.

6. May I suggest that you add the blade assembly to your top rack of the
dishwasher? This is how I keep my can opener blade clean and sanitary. After
all it is part of your tools in your kitchen, you don't just shove the spoons
and spatulas back into the drawer.....do you?

So, follow these guidelines and let's keep our kitchen healthy as well as our families!

Tomorrow's subject.....Dr. Oz and the shock treatment! (I know, shameless tease!)

Blessings~
Kat

Sunday, September 19, 2010

God's Finger Prints



How can someone look around them and not know that God is alive, well and working in our lives? How can they stand there and wonder, even question the existence of God? Can’t they see His fingerprints? Even in the smallest of the small, there they are, God’s fingerprints.

Look to the tiny ant. See how the order of their home is perfect in its workings? They are the perfect example of organization. We can learn much from them. It brings to mind the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant.
The grasshopper was going about his usual daily business of eating and sleeping in the sun, while the ant worked and toiled to make sure the colony would survive the coming winter. One day the ant said to the grasshopper, “Don’t you see the season is changing? Aren’t you going to fill your larder and make sure your family is provided for?” The grasshopper thought the ant was silly and much to serious, so he replied, “You do your thing and I’ll do mine. I have plenty of time to gather food for later. “

So the tiny ant moved on with his duties and forgot about the grasshopper until one very cold day in mid winter. The ant was working to clear the snow and ice from around the door of the colony and what did he see but that same grasshopper, standing by the door, begging for a handout.
The ant brought the grasshopper some grain and told him to come again the next day and he’d have something to eat, but he would have to keep the doorway to the colony clear of snow and ice to earn his meal. The grasshopper looked at the ant and said, “Had I but listened to you last fall, I’d be warm and well fed now, I will work for my meal.”

The grasshopper learned a very valuable lesson that day. He learned that to shun work and thriftiness was foolish, he also learned that there were others in this world that loved their fellowman and would help them when they were in need. The grasshopper vowed to be like the ant and take care of business as he should from then on.

Now, I realize that I’m not telling the story the “real” way it was originally written, but this is my blog and I’m telling this story! LoL!

The moral of this story is simple; if you go around “doing your thing” and not doing what you know is right, you’ll pay later, a much higher price.

God’s fingerprints were all over that tiny ant as he showed the love of a brother to the foolish grasshopper.

How about you, are God’s finger prints showing on you? Are you taking care of business as you should? Are you thinking about yourself and not others?

Take a moment to look around you and see the needs of those less fortunate than you. Do what you can to help and if there is nothing you can do right now; make a vow to work on helping later. Then God’s finger prints will shine on you too!

Blessings~ Kat

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cleaning~Decluttering~and more..........

It's On! I'm working my heart out today. When I got out of bed this morning I had a mission in mind. I was going to clear out the antique clothing cabinet in my bedroom. It is full of clothes that I cannot wear...we won't go into why.

So up and onward I went. The alarm went off at 6:30 am but I'd been lying in the bed awake since 5:15 am. I wake every morning the Lord sends at that time, regardless of what day it is. I was meditating on my mission. I had a list in my head of what I wanted to accomplish before bedtime tonight and I am delighted to announce that I'm a little over half way through my mental list.

But......(you knew there would be one of those didn't you, dear reader?) as I sometimes say, the devil is in the details. I went downstairs this morning and what did I find? No, not a good thing....water. Yes, water, going all over the area surrounding the hot water heater from the pipe above it. Sigh...........So I had to turn off the hot water and move some things there to keep damage from happening. Job done, Hubby will fix the pipe when he gets home. Laundry and dishes will have to wait as well, need some hot water for those.

Okay! Back on track! I've loaded 3 large plastic bags full of clothing and various items to go to the Women's Shelter into the back of my van. They will be delivered tomorrow. Yes, I know it is Sunday but they take donations everyday of the week and I'll be in Atlanta anyway.

I'm on track for the day....until.....I came into my office to look for something after a phone call and happened to look at a plastic bag my dear eldest daughter gave me. Inside was the coolest thing ever and something I'd been wanting for a long time. A Cricut!!!! (a very cool shape cutter as a scrapper would know) Yes and a brand new one at that! I'm doing the happy dance right now! It even has the "George & Basic Shapes" font cartridge with it! Yippee!!!!

I'm now going to put on my "to do" list for the Ladies High Tea, to look for cute invites to send to the ladies! What fun!

I hope that this day is being made yours and you are taking control of those clutter bugs in your home and life!

Blessings~
Kat
(skipping back to the master bedroom to complete her mental to do list for today)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Roses are red, violets are blue; I love tea, how about you?


High Tea. Afternoon Tea. Tea Time. So many different names, but are they all the same thing? No. Believe it or not, there is a difference.
Tea Time and Afternoon Tea, an English custom, can be sort of interchanged, they both are taken about 4:00pm (ish). The menu can consist of Tea (of course), maybe some very lite sandwiches and a dessert such as cookies or small cakes. There is no hard fast rule about what is served other than it is not considered to be a meal, just a snack.
High Tea is an American creation. Typically, this Tea will consist of a more hearty menu. It is considered a meal, not a heavy one but a meal. A main course with meat, side dishes and a dessert. Of course there is the Tea!
The upcoming celebration I'm hosting for the Ladies CMA Blessed Riders, will be a High Tea. I'm still trying to decide on the menu, so any ideas will be welcome! I want it to be a night of typical girl type fun and something that we will want to do again. These ladies all work so very hard in our ministry and they deserve this night of recognition.
I'm thinking a Chicken Casserole, it is one that I've made in the past. It is light, delicious and easy to make. Then along with that I'm thinking a baby spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, or a wonderful walnut apple salad with the same dressing. Both are wonderful, hard decision there. Then for dessert I have a fabulous old fashioned strawberry shortcake recipe. How does this sound?
Now off to surf the web for some interesting tea's for our party!
Blessings~
Kat

Thursday, August 26, 2010

High Tea Anyone?


A little back ground....

1662 - The British started their tea drinking in 1662, when King Charles II's wife, Queen Catherine made tea very popular among the wealthier classes of society. Soon, tea replaced ale as the national drink, as everyone tried to mimic high society. Tea drinking remains as a popular activity in England up to this day, as the English are particularly known for their afternoon tea (taken in the late afternoon with scones, pastries and cakes capped by a cup or two of tea).

I am hosting a "High Tea" for our Blessed Rider's Chapter Ladies. I'm so excited! It promises to be a wonderful time. I've set the date and begun my research.

I got the idea when I purchased 4 beautiful vintage tea cups with saucers and serving plates at an estate sale last week. ( See the picture? Aren't they lovely? I fell in love when I saw them.)
Then it became obvious that I should plan one when we attended the CMA State Rally and what do you think? The ladies served us a beautiful tea at 3:00 pm that Saturday. It was great! We all had a chance to get together and chat with other ladies from different chapters as well as getting to know our sisters in our own.

So, this blog will be "host" to my thoughts and ideas for the upcoming event! Now, those that know me will be amused at this "High Tea" theme as I'm so not a girly, girl. But, hey, there's always room for change, right?

Blessings~
Kat

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rule Violation? Just a tiny one.....

I did it. I violated my own rule. Last blog post I told you I was going to start in the Master Bedroom and begin to declutter drawers and cabinets. Well, I did that, it felt wonderful!

This afternoon when I returned home from work, I found myself searching for a USB cord that would fit my Palm Treo Pro so that I could download a precious photo of my nephew that I'd received from my brother. In my laundry room, I have no clue as to why it's there, is a three drawer stacking organizer. In the bottom drawer is all sorts of cords, USB thingy's that come with electronic stuff, extension cords and such. It was such a tangle that I couldn't find anything let alone the type of cord I was searching for, and before I knew it, I'd gone to my office and grabbed the rubber band pouch, taken every cord out, wrapped it and banded it. I also threw into a recycle box seventeen chargers and car chargers for Nextel phones, mystery screws, and power cords to electronic items long gone.

Now, I know I said to limit the process to one a day, but before I knew it I'd "decluttered" and organized the remaining two drawers and returned it to the laundry room! Sigh.......I'm so bad. NOT! That felt wonderful and I ain't lying!

Last year I was a participant on a forum in a "Declutter Challenge". We were asked to keep up with the weight of the items we moved out and on. I finished the year out at 632 pounds of stuff!

I've decided to do that with this challenge! It makes it fun to keep up with and gives me motivation. So, I'm up to Sixteen pounds! Man those cords are heavy! I'm finding it interesting that after last years challenge, I still can find so much that needs to move on. Oh well, more fun to come! Won't you join me?

Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

Hello Beloved Reader!

I have been away from my blog for entirely too long. I apologise for the silence. My only explanation is that life got in the way.....again.

I realize that I am not alone in this problem. Things that we love to do, such as blogging in my case, often get shoved into a corner when things get hectic. Now however, life is quieting down some and I can get back to it.

This "Playing Catch-Up" is so often the case for me. You too? I recently had several ladies in my home for a CMA Ladies Mission Day. The entire week before that Saturday morning arrived, I scrambled to get my home back into some semblance of order. I spent the entire morning terrified that someone would open a drawer or closed door and be crushed by falling debris or impaled by an object ejected from the drawer by spring action!

This morning, while reading an email from a favorite website, I got a marvelous idea. I am going to make a pledge to myself to take one drawer or cabinet, in the case of a double cabinet I'll split it into halves, and clean it out. This will be a one a day challenge. I am going to be ruthless! I will not keep it, the "it" is whatever is in the location chosen, unless it has an immediate purpose or has been used within the last 3 months.

I shall begin, as I usually do, in the furthest room away from the favorite entryway. Beginning in my case will be in the Master Bathroom. Even as I type this, I'm planning on beginning as soon as I finish. I am excited about this as I feel that it will help me in getting that "cleared out" feeling that I do love so.

Won't you join me in this challenge? I don't think it will be a difficult one, as a matter of fact, I think it will be more of a challenge not to start and keep going rather than limit it to one drawer or cabinet a day.

Feel free to come here and comment, leaving your accomplishments and let us celebrate your victory with you.

Good luck with your challenge!

Blessings~
Kat

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally! It's Friday!!!

Good Morning!

I've done my "Swish About" and am about to go and do my Bible Study time. I do so love getting into the scriptures, reading and searching.

After my study time, I think I'll have a "Fling Boogie". So much fun! Then I have a chore to do on the computer, it's time to eliminate all those bookmarks that I've put in that I planned to come back later and read but haven't. Funny how clutter can gather everywhere, even in your computer!

My day will officially began at 8:30 am when I go pick up my co-worker and head to our first appointment. I thank God I have a job in this economy when so many do not.

I was thinking this morning as I swished, about how I could begin to get the master bedroom more like my living room. My living room was redone last year, we took out the carpet and put in hardwood floors everywhere except the bedrooms. I really wish we'd put hardwood in there as well. I love the ease of keeping the hardwoods clean, and the not so nice smell of old carpet being gone.

I cleared the entire room when we did the install and when I put things back I did it with a firm and slow hand. If I didn't love it, if it didn't have a specific function, it didn't go back into the room. For me, it would be considered bare. I love it. No cluttered table tops, no dust catchers. Now all that stuff is in boxes in the basement. I feel a yard sale coming on!

I looked around my bedroom and brother there is quite alot of clutter, aka: stuff, in there that wouldn't come back in should it ever get moved out.

Hummmm.....there's an idea. Maybe I should pretend that I'm putting in hardwood, take it all out and reload the room like I did the living room. Yes! That's it! Okay....I have a plan for tomorrow....I think I'll call it, "Serious Saturday"!

Well, I have my weekend planned! I hope yours is a wonderful one.

Now go out and make this day yours!

Blessings~
Kat

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Terrific Thursday!

Thursday is an odd day to me. I don't know whether to be glad that we're over the "hump day" of Wednesday or dreading Thursday because it is usually a long hard day.

Usually a busy day because my clients like me to come on Thursday and Friday's so they have a nice neat house for the weekend. But well, there is only so much time in the day and only so much of me to go around!

Something came to me this morning as I was doing my "Swish about". The cleaner that I use doesn't have a strong smell because I use natural products like vinegar and water. I do sometimes use Clorox, but I mix it well with water and make sure not to over do it because I get such a terrible headache when I use it alot. The end result is that my whole house doesn't smell like a bleach factory or a flower garden. You see, clean and I mean really clean, doesn't have a smell.

When you clean your home using products that you purchase at the store, you get clean, it's true, but you also get harsh chemicals that can do damage. They can cause damage to some surfaces in your home and they can cause damage to your family should there be residue left on the surfaces you use them on.

There are many websites that you can look at that will give you the recipes for making your own natural or very close to natural cleaning products. The ones you make yourself will save you quite a bit of money in the long run too. You can buy a bottle of white vinegar, water is "free", and if you have to have a color and fragrance you can use natural oils and food coloring.

So, do yourself and your family a loving favor and try to use these homemade cleaning products for at least a month and see if you don't agree with me that you like them better than the high priced cleaning products you get at the store.

Now go out and make this day yours!

Blessings~
Kat

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday!


Wonderful Wednesday!

It’s Wednesday and it’s one of my favorite days of the week.

Why you ask?

Well, it is the middle day of the week, so it’s all downhill to the weekend from there. It’s Bible Study Day at our house and we’ll have at least two wonderful guests to study the scriptures with. And, best of all, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

I’m so grateful to be a citizen of a country that allows me the freedom to sit down in my home with people I love and study God’s Word in perfect peace. No fear of gun toting vigilantes coming in to shoot us for it, and no fear of being cast out for loving Jesus.

Okay, I’m stepping down off my soapbox now.

Wednesday has some unusual chores included in it. These are to make our meeting this evening more enjoyable. I usually serve some cookies or a light desert with coffee or other drink. So, I get up and if I’m serving a homemade item, I prepare it and put it into the fridge to hold till I get home and can put it in the oven.

I also set up our table and prepare our Lord’s Supper. I don’t put the elements out; just get the service ready to place them. Then I sit down and do my mornings study. This isn’t anything unusual, I do that every morning. These “chores” are why on Wednesday’s I don’t do my usual “swish about.”

What is a “swish about” you ask?

Well, I’ll just tell you.

It is one of the little ways I keep my home in some semblance of order. I go into the master bathroom, spray the tub with cleaner, put some cleaner in the toilet and swish the cleaning brush around in it. Then I spray the sink, being careful not to forget the faucets and spouts. While those are sitting, I wipe down the exterior of above mentioned toilet, then I wipe down the vanity top and even do a “swish” across the mirror over the vanity. Then I rinse the tub, flush the toilet and rinse the sink. TA DA! A sparkling clean master bathroom in less than five minutes.

I do a “swish about” every day except Wednesday.

Now, your schedule will not be exactly like mine, you’ll find your best time for a “swish about” and all will be sparkly in the master potty!

So my blessed reader……….

Go and make this day yours!

Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Truly....





It's Tuesday, and the day is a beautiful one already. Last Saturday Doug brought us a message at the Imlack, GA Covered Bridge that has played through my mind more than once in the last few days. You see we'd ridden over there with our CMA group for a fellowship and friends ride.

It was a hot, hot and I do mean hot day. The sun blazed down from the robin's egg blue skies and cotton candy white clouds danced around in the upper wind swept atmosphere. We all were ready for some cool breeze and feeling the wind on our faces and knees so we mounted up and headed out.

The Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge aka: Imlack Covered Bridge is an amazing piece of construction, even without the fame of being the longest and oldest covered bridge in Georgia. We turned down a two lane tar and gravel road that had a sign warning us of the pavement's ending. One thing a biker hates is gravel so in many of us it struck a note of apprehension. But, the pavement didn't really end, it just got more and more narrow and uneven. It was as if they threw a patch here and there of left over pavement, right down to the bridge. There was an interesting arbor of sorts that would only allow a passenger car width to pass through onto the bridge. Yes, this bridge is still in use today as a means to cross Red Oak Creek, just as it has been for last 150 years. While we were there a late model Ford Mustang crossed over it.

The interior of the bridge is a lattice work design created by noted designer of the day Ithel Towns. Horace King is the builder of the bridge, one of many he and his sons built in Georgia, it is the last one remaining of their work using this design. Standing inside you see the lattice design clearly, the wooden hand hewn pegs and thick beams in the roof supports. It is however, marred by the painted messages of childish passersby wanting their name to remain after they'd gone.


We all inspected and marveled at the wonderful workmanship. We gathered at the opposite end of the bridge and listened as Doug brought our message. He included the history of the bridge as part of it. As often my mind does, I dwell on his messages and begin digging into the scriptures as I "chase rabbits".

I began to mediate on the strength of different types of construction, how some will last hundreds, even thousands of years, while others fall within a few years. It all begins with the design, the care with which the designer takes in testing his or her methods.

God is the ultimate designer, His creations last millions of years and some of them even renew themselves as part of their wonderful design. Man's designs have a much more limited existence. None of them are so wonderfully made, able to renew themselves.

There are so many wonders of this world, both God and man made for us all to see, while the most wonderful, strongest and the only creation that will last until the return of our Lord and Savior is a very simple bridge. It is made up of a small insignificant wood called Dogwood.

While few recognize it for the true bridge it is, the called see it as the bridge that crosses the deep cavern of Hell and leads them to the road to salvation. It's name is a simple one, The Cross.

Now go out and make this day yours!

Blessings~
Kat

Monday, June 21, 2010

Manic Monday Madness!


Monday. It is just a day of the week, nothing special. Unless......

How can you make Monday's less mad? Start it out right!

Declutter your mind. After a good night's sleep, you should (should I say!) awake refreshed and ready to begin the week. That however is in a "perfect world", which as we all know doesn't exist. So, I'm going to give you a recipe I use for rightness to begin your week on the right track.

First, the minute your eyes pop open and you slap the alarm clock to turn it off, sit up and throw those legs over the side of the bed, stretch and then have a little talk with your heavenly Father. Ask Him to help you put your feet on the right path for the day, keep your feet walking in the light and ask Him to come along with you on your walk today. Then, get up and get moving!

Get dressed (you really should have already selected your mode of dress for the day before going to bed last night, but that is another topic for another day) all the way down to your shoes. Yep, even if you are not leaving the house, get those shoes on. This will help you put your brain in gear. Now take care of those personal chores, what ever they might be.

Finished?

Okay~ now go and make that bed. A made up bed sets the room right. Even if there is clutter all over, just making the bed will make it look cleaner and neater. It also tends to encourage you to finish the room!

Now get out of that bedroom and get to it! You should be in a ready to go mood by now. It works for me! Try it and see if it works for you.

One more thing...I don't listen to the "news" first thing in the morning. It is such a u downer! Oh but what about the things that happen that you should know about, you ask? Well, in my opinion, if it is earth shattering, I'll know cos I'll feel the vibrations, if it's isn't, I'll read about it when I sign on the internet. I like to get my "information" that way so I can pick and choose what I want to put into my mind. Challenge: go for one week, not listening the the morning news programs, instead listen to some good Third Day CDS or what ever music you perfer and see if you don't have a much better day. You can get all the bad news you want on the noon day news, should you want to hear it.

Now go out there and claim this day for yourself!

Blessings~
Kat

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fling Boogies and Grandkids: It's a Game Son!


Yesterday my daughter called me for help. She is a mother of three bio babies and 2 stepbabies, ages ranging from 12 down to 2 years. She and her husband both work, she works part time (cough, cough) and he works full. The coughing is because we all know that she works full time PLUS, but only gets paid for a fraction of it.

She called to tell me that the cable repair man would be arriving at her house at 4:00 pm, and could I go and be there as someone over 18 had to be on site. My daughter is fortunate in that her wonderful employer allows her to have her 2 year old son with her at work so the 12 and 9 year old were home "alone". Not really, they live just 300 feet from our house and we "keep an eye on them". They just think they are allowed to stay home alone.

I went to the house, a mere 2 minute walk if I'm taking my time and brother it is toooo hot in Georgia to go faster unless there is a fire or something, and let myself in the front door. The house was nice and cool, but OURCH! The kids had been having a wonderful time, playing computer games, having snacks and what ever their little hearts desired, but they had not completed their chores for the day. They had it figured that Mom wouldn't be home for at least 3 hours, StepDad wouldn't be home till shortly after Mom and their own Dad wasn't picking them up for their vacation visit for at least 2 hours, so they had plenty of time. HA! The joke was on them! Nana the tyrant was now in the house!

I walked around and took inventory so to speak. I asked my Granddaughter, heretofore known as "Tate", what their chore list had on it for the day. Grandson "Bran" says, "Oh, we just have to clean up the kitchen." Hummmmm.....one look at that kitchen told me that they'd not even begun. So, I asked when they planned to get it done and they detailed their theory for me.

I gathered up two of the largest store plastic bags I could find and set the timer on the microwave for 15 minutes. The Grands watched me with the cutest puzzled looks upon their faces. I told them to come and stand in front of me and handed one bag to each of the two Grands. (The StepGrands were at their mother's home) Then I asked them had they ever heard of a game called "Fling it Boggie"? They hadn't, so I gave them the "rules of the game". I explained that they were to start at opposite corners of the room and when the timer was started they were to pick up trash and anything else that could be thrown away and put it into their bags. Then when they had completed that, they were to clear the counters, load the dishwasher and get it started, wipe down the counters and table and then sweep the floor. "All that in just 15 minutes?" they asked. "Yep, all that in 15 minutes!" I replied. "Should you finish before the timer goes off, you've beaten Father Time and won the title of "Champion Fling Boggier" for the week. But if the timer goes off before you finish, your penalty would be that you have to finish the job anyway."

To my surprise they were up for it. The timer was started and off they went. Now to be honest I did lend a small hand, not much as I've injured my shoulder and couldn't move my arm very well.

The best part? The looks of enjoyment on their faces as they raced around doing their chore and the looks of pride when they finished with 2 minutes to spare!

The moral of this looonggg story? With the kids of today and their fast paced lives, we parents have to be clever and on the ball. We have to remember that if something is fun or is a challenge, it is more enjoyable, even if it is work!

Now, go gather your supplies and do a "Fling Boggie" in the car....I know that it could use it! How do I know, because mine needs it too!

Blessings~
Kat

Monday, June 14, 2010

Everybody Up! It's "Fling Boogie" Time!

Okay! This is one of my very favorite activities when cleaning my home. I also us a modified version at my clients homes. I got this idea of the "Fling Boogie" from the FlyLady Website. I highly recommend it for a quick pick up for your home. It will give you immediate feedback.

Here is what you do:

A: Get a box, bag, small trash can or what ever you can carry in one hand. I use the plastic bags I get from stores and unless a messy item is involved I can use it again.
Gather your timer and set it for 15 minutes.

B: MUSIC! You need to put on some music that makes your toes tap, your feet move and you smile!

C: Pick a room.

D: Now start your timer and FLING! You are going to go into the chosen room and anything that can be TRASHED is going into the bag. This includes the trash basket, unless your in the kitchen and that tends to be biger job.
The items can include anything from used tissues to apple cores. Toss it in! Keep going until you have cleared the room of anything that can go into the trash or your time goes off.

E: Go to the door, turn and look and there you have it! Immediate gratification! You will see a major change in that room just by doing this small 15 minute job.

On the FlyLady site they call it the 27 Fling Boogie. That is because you are to toss up to 27 things. Me, I say push the limits! Go the distance! Sorry, I get excited when I do the Boogie......

I hope this tip is a help to any of my dear readers. Oh, and that music? My choice of playlist on my ipod is labeled, Christian Music to Boogie By.

Blessings~
Kat

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hot Spots. Where's yours?


Everyone home has a place that we call a "Hot Spot". This is where clutter tends to gather momentum and grow. Some (really most) homes have several hot spots, mine does.

Let's focus on the "Traveling Hot Spot". This is the hot spot that is usually the first stop you make when entering your home. It gathers all the stuff you have in your hands when you come in the door, mail, keys, gloves, your handbag, kids book bags, all sort of things

My Traveling Hot Spot was the Dinning Room table. It is in the room that we enter from our carport and anything in our hands tends to land there to be "put away later", only later must have been light years away because it never arrived! That was then, now my hot spot has been cooled down and is a helpful spot rather than a stress producing area.

Lets list some ideas to help you deal with your hot spots. Some of these I've tried, some not. I've found a good working plan for my hot spot, I hope that from this writing that you will find a working plan for your home.

Okay let's go:

Step one: Let's identify your hot spot. Most of the time it is in or within ten steps from the door that you use to enter and exit your home. It can also be a closet that is near the door, one that you endanger your life when you open the door.

Step two: Once you've identified your hot spot, stand back and look at the area. What do you see? Mail? Car keys? Kid's stuff such as diaper bags, book bags or now that Summer is here, camp bags? Here is where it gets fun! We are going to clear that hot spot in 15 minutes!

A. Gather your tools together. Three boxes, laundry baskets or even trash bags. In two of these you'll only have things in them for a short while.
Label them: TRASH, PUT AWAY and REMAIN.

B. Get a kitchen timer and set it for 15 minutes.

C. Now GO! Sort all the items in that hot spot into the three containers you've gathered. Be brutal, remember you've more than likely not seen the top of the space you're working on for a while. In the case of mail, you'll trash most of it. Bills and other important correspondence will go into the Put Away container. Don't stand there and agonize over the items, move quickly through them. You'll more than likely notice that the most items will go into the Put Away container so you may want to use a large basket for that one.

As you're working, put on some music and let it help you move. You'll be amazed at how much you will accomplish in just 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, stop. Step back and see your progress. Admire the clear surface and enjoy a 5 minute break.

Reset the timer for another 15 minutes and start on the containers, first the "Put Away" container. Do what it says, take the items in it and put them where they live. As you're going through the Put Away container, again be brutal. Do you really need that item? You may be able to move it to the "Trash" container!


At the longest, clearing your "Traveling Hot Spot" should be about 45 minutes. With two 5 minutes breaks. Should you finish clearing, sorting and putting away before the timer goes off, HURRAH!

Before you start, take a photo of your "Traveling Hot Spot". You will enjoy looking at the before and after photos of your work.

Once everything is cleared, trashed and put away, begin to unload the container labeled "REMAIN" into the area. May I suggest that now you consider this area by a new name? How does the "Family Action Center" sound?

You will need a basket for your mail and bowl or smaller basket for your keys and cell phone. A small trash can to put the junk mail into immediately, don't bring it into the house any further.

Maintenance of your "Family Action Center" will be easier with these efforts. You will find that you like the way it looks and a nice bonus will be that things are located in a logical location for going out the door.

We will discuss routines later to help you keep this area functional and clutter free. Keep that kitchen timer handy, you'll need it!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Clutter of the mind = ?


Hello again!

I've been pondering again, it's a favorite past time for me. Clients often ask me the following questions: Why am I such a clutter bug? What makes me "save" things that in my heart I know I'll never use? What makes me not "see" the clutter building up around me? Why can't I keep "it" clean (this is always asked after a crisis cleaning) and not let it get that way again?

Frankly there are no simple answers to these questions. Many reasons for clutter exist. Every person is different and the reasons behind their actions fit them and no one else. So every client's situation is handled differently, thus my motto, "Cleaning tailored to fit your needs".

Today I'm going to mostly hit on the "Cluttered Mind" syndrome.

Life today is hectic, scattered and more often than not, filled with stress. By the end of the day we are for the most part wrung out like a dirty dishrag. Limp with fatigue both mental and physical.

I've found a wonderful solution to my end of the day blues. I listen to relaxation music on my ipod. I often fall into a light sleep to this music. It honestly helps me to work through the movie playing in my head of the day that I've just gone through. When I finish the relaxation process the days stresses, disappointments and issues seem to fall into a category of less importance. I realize that that which hasn't killed me will serve to make me stronger and my mind has become less cluttered.

That is where most clutter begins, in our minds. If our thoughts are scattered and unorganized, then it will show in our surroundings. Our cars, homes, job sites all will be affected by our cluttered minds.

Try this exercise, if you have an Ipod go to the "Apps" and download the FREE app called "Relax Lite". There are several for different types of relaxation. I have them all! Even if you don't have an Ipod you can find relaxations music/programs that you can download onto an mp3 player or purchase and listen to using a CD player. It is a MUST however, that you use headphones. These keep the outside world out!

Then every afternoon or when ever during your day that you can give yourself at least 30 minutes undisturbed, listen to the program. You will be amazed at the change you will see in yourself. Do this for 21 days and it will become a habit! A good habit to have, taking care of you for a change.

You will see the changes in small ways at first. One will be that you begin to guard that "me time" and not allow intrusions into it. You'll notice that you "need" to see things a little neater in your personal spaces. This will begin to spill over into your car, job site and yep, your home. Now I'm not going to go as far as a GUARANTEE that this will occur, but it has certainly worked for me!

I notice right away that I enjoyed that "me time" so much that I began to add to it for study of the Scriptures first and then my listening time. I am thinking of trying to have a "me time" in the morning as well. My thinking is that if I start my day with a calm mind, maybe it will carry me all the way through!

Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's War!

Clutter. Funny word, not a funny issue for some of us though. I have it bad. It should be classified as a disease. It spreads like poison oak and can cause all sorts of symptoms. Itchy hands, blindness (not seeing what is sitting right in front of you), restless leg syndrome (wanting to get the heck out of the room that the "disease" is in.

Clutter is a creeper. It creeps up on one when one is least likely to notice it. You know, when you're busy at work outside the home or right in the middle of little league season. Clutter is like bunnies, thus the name dust bunnies, it multiplies with abandon.

The disease of Clutter has no real cure. There is no magic elixir that we can take with a silver spoon to make it go away. There is however, a treatment of sorts for the symptoms. This is where the going gets tough. Now the question is are you the type of tough that gets going or the type that looks the other way and lets the clutter disease get worse and worse until it reaches the "hoarding" stage?

I've been guilty of the "looking the other way" method. Didn't work. Clutter didn't take offense and stalk off to find another home to invade. It just dug in and now to quote Bugs Bunny, "Dis means war".

As with any war, you have to have a strategy. You can't just go blundering in. You must gather your "troops" (in my case this is my pet name for my cleaning tray) and do your reconnaissance.

Location, location, location! Yep, it applies in the clutter war too! I'm going to start with my Master Bathroom.

Order of attack:

My bathroom is divided into two rooms. Both are tiny! The main part is the bath part. This is where the bathtub and toilet live.

A. Remove everything! Bottles, cups, empty bottles of shampoo, used razors, hair bands, rug on floor, basket on back of toilet.
*Done

B. Give the tub, tile and surround a good cleaning. Put back only the necessary items. Keep it to a minimum.
*Done

C. Give the toilet a good ole cleaning as well.
*Done

D. Remove curtains from window, shower curtains, rugs. Give them a good washing. Yes you can wash the plastic part in the washing machine, just don't run it through the dryer. I usually just hang it back up to dry.
*Done

E. Sweep and mop the tile floor.
*Done

F. Clean the window (remember the inside ledge too!) and rehang the curtain.
*Done

Now for the outside, or the Vanity part of the bathroom.

A. Here again remove everything from the top of the vanity. Remove the light fixture globes. I run the globes through a light rinse cycle in the dishwasher and while they are going I do the rest of the vanity.
*Done

B. Wipe down the outside of the light fixture. Clean the counter top and sink. Don't forget to shine the faucet!
*Done

C. Drawers? Empty! As you are putting things back, be strong! If it isn't something you use at the very least weekly, get rid of it. In most bathrooms real estate is at a premium and something there "in case" is just ridiculous.
*Done

D. Under the cabinet: This is where my clutter is stationed the most. I store my "extras" in there. So, I gathered all of it up and put only the towels back under. I have a "linen" closet in the hallway and that is where I will be storing the extras from now on.

E. Last but not least! Clean the mirror with, are you ready for this?, Window cleaning fluid from the automotive store. Yep, the very same stuff you put in to the plastic container under your car hood to squirt on your windshield. It works wonderfully and cost pennies as compared to the Windex type cleaners. Some of them also keep the mirror from steaming up!
*Done

Well, that is was my plan of attack on the Master Bath! It worked! I removed two trash bags full of junk and trash. So, now it is on to the Master Bedroom!

TOWANDA!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Ducks.........have been out of quack!

Life has been crazy since my last posting. Illness, illness and did I mention illness? Well, it has been a nearly constant visitor until the last month or so and that has been spent trying to gather all my ducks and get them back in a row!

Life has moved on though, I have a new (to me at least) motorcycle. A Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Low. I simply LOVE it! I sold Ms. Minnie to a very nice couple that were purchasing it for their daughter who is in college in Milledgeville. I hope she loves it as much as I did. I cried as I watched her ride down the driveway on a trailer....

Anyway, I will bring this blog out of mothballs and get back on track now that I'm over the creeping crud that has been my companion since December 26th!

The only thing I'm facing now is having time for writing when I'm riding so much! LOL!

Blessings~
Kat

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mom is the last to get it.


Yesterday's beauty......

Today...Ugh!

Last week my dear husband came home with the "creeping crud" as we like to call a stomach virus' at our house. True to form, middle daughter was feeling poorly within 48 hours, youngest daughter to follow this past weekend. Mom (that would be me!) stays well till everyone is over it and then.....Hello!

Awoke this morning feeling not so great, as the morning progresses I don't feel better as I hoped...I feel worse. It is now 8:00 am and the day looms long ahead of me. I am thinking curl up on the sofa with Ms. Kitty and Gibby Kitty and try to sleep it off.

Yesterday there was beautiful snow falling, with the promise of a fun filled snow play afternoon, but by 3:00 pm, most all the snow was gone and in it's place is freezing cold, muddy, mess. This isn't a week to remember so far.

My how gloomy you can be when you don't feel well. I can only be glad about one thing right this minute, I know from the past weeks experience, it only seems to last about 1 day. So with that in mind beloved reader, I will sign off until this to shall pass.

Now where did I put that bottle of pink stuff?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kitchen cure 2010!




It all began with a sort of a challenge. I was directed to a website by a friend that was promoting a kitchen cure organization and asking for photos to go along with our posts to show our progress. I loved it! So, I'm taking the challenge.

It begins with the pantry. As you see in my "Before" photo, mine was a mess. No one in my household ever puts anything back into the pantry where it goes, usually it is tossed onto the middle shelf, if put back at all.

It took all afternoon, but you see my results in the "After" photo. I'm pleased and everyone in the house has noticed and has so far been very good about keeping it in the shape you see here. Of course it could have something to do with the threats of bodily harm........

Here's what I did:

1. I removed everything from the top shelf. Took out the boards and wiped them down. Then I only put one board back because using two boards made the shelf to deep and things got lost up there. I found items that were five years old and should have long ago been disposed of up there! I put the kitchen tools I use least often on the top. I can reach it easily with my little stool and am loving the counter space with nothing on it!

2. Then I moved to the second shelf. Here again removing everything, removing the board and wiping it down. After I put only one board back, I gave all the dessert items and fruits a home in the left corner, and the "dry items" the rest of the shelf.

3. Doing the same with the shelf at the third level, it became home to the canned goods. Now, here I'm going to interject something of note. Go to www.droz.com and research the dangers of plastic in canned goods. I will be using MUCH less of canned goods, going instead to frozen and fresh only.

4. Shelf number four became home for extras, condiments and home canned items.

5. Shelf number five now houses my microwave! Loving the counter space here again! On either side of the microwave I put juices and paper products.

6. In the baskets on the floor, potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes.

When I finished it, I stood back to enjoy the beauty of it, wondering just how long it would stay that way. But, it's days later and it still looks great!

Maybe my family is getting on board, ya think?

Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's all in how you look at it.............




Clutter. It is a visual thing as much as a physical one. When you walk into a room is every flat surface covered with nick-knacks and whats-its, books and papers? Things stacked all over can make a room feel and look messy, scattered and well, claustrophobic.

Try to invest in a cabinet to keep your Nick-knack's in and even then keep only the ones that you love and bring you great pleasure. Don't keep things like that because "Sister So-in-So" gave it to you. The memory of her/him will stay, the clutter will go.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the flat surfaces clear as much as possible. Depending on table size, keep the number of items to no more than three or five. An odd number is best.

Books....ah the wonder of books. I adore them. I have hundreds. They are a problem now. I've been slowly but surely paring them down to the must stays, but it is hard! I keep telling myself that I can get it on my ipod or even check it out from my local library should I really decide to read it again. I have only read a few books for a second time. The Parsifal Mosaic (1982), by Robert Ludlum and the Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye. So, you'd think I'd not have a book problem wouldn't you? Well, I do. In addition to my many different translations of the Holy Bible and commentaries, I have organizing books, cook books, a stack of "to read" books, pattern books for cross stitching and self help books. So many books....so little time. They are stacked here and there. Sound familiar? Now is the time to begin a new habit!

Select a place where you like to sit and read. Invest in a medium sized basket and keep your current and future books in. Be realistic, no more than four books at a time or six magazines at a time. Make sure the basket is large enough to also house your reading glasses, should you be like me and need cheaters now, a throw to snuggle with as you read and a note pad and pen for notes. Keep it on the floor beside your chair or favorite spot on the sofa. Place a pretty pillow on the seat and now you have a lovely reading area. I'm assuming that you already have good lighting! Go through the basket once a month and keep the media moving, don't allow it to stay more than 21 days, if you've not read it by then, you are probably aren't going to read it.

I took a photo of my table in the living room, it now is a place that pleases the eye, rather than reproaches me every time I walk into the room.

God Bless~
Kat

Friday, February 19, 2010

The "Perfect" Bathroom....


Every woman, at least every woman I know, would love to have a bathroom like the picture here. It is in fact, my ideal. But, the reality is that most of us have bathrooms as small as a closet might be in the pictured dream bath.

The fact that most of us have a small to miniscule bathroom makes it hard to keep them orgaized and, dare I say it, clean.

The following is how I do it at my home. Now I'm not putting forth that my bathroom is perfect, but it is much more "user friendly" that it used to be.

A. Go and stand in the bathroom doorway. Look around, what do you see? Empty bottles of shampoos and conditioners, slivers of soap in the dish, ring around the tub top, decorative candles and whats-its on the sides, sound familiar?
If you would like to have a record of what it was to compare with when you finish, take a photo and start a picture file with the title Bath: Before and After.

B. Now, go and gather two boxes or containers and label them, "Trash" and "Keep".

C. I like to begin my clear out as I walk into the room, starting to my left and working my way around the room. Empty the drawers and cabinets one at a time. Toss anything that has a passed expiration date on it, anything that you opened and haven't used and know you won't. Put the items you will be keeping into the "Keep" box.

D. The cosmetics and make up items. Toss expires and items you know you won't use. If it is new and unopened, consider donating them to a women's shelter.

E. After you empty a drawer or cabinet, give it a good cleaning. If you like to use drawer liners, now is the time to replace them. When you begin replacing items into the cabinets and drawers, remember to store like with like and in the order of use or importance. Often used items go into the top drawers or front of the cabinets.

F. Try your level best to keep the counter tops as clear as possible. This will make quick cleans easier and help to keep the area looking neat between clean-ups.

G. Look at the tub, do you have multi-bottles of shampoo and conditioners in various stages of use sitting around the edges? I combined all of them into one bottle and tossed the empty ones. Now all I have sitting on the tub is one medium size shampoo bottle and conditioner bottle with a pump, a soap dish with no slivers or of soap just a single bar, and one pretty candle. Clutter is a visual thing as much as anything and as the saying goes, less is best!

H. Now, after re-organizing your bathroom and cleaning it as you go, stand at the door and look around. What do you see? How do you feel? My guess is you feel lighter and in the mood for a good old fashioned bubble bath! Go for it, you've earned it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hello! I'm sorry I'm not posting as often as I should. My computer is going to the "computer hospital" for some much needed service. I will begin posting again as soon as it comes home. Poor thing, shutting down and rebooting continuously is making it crazy and me too!

For now, remember me and my electronic needs in your prayers and I will return soon!

Today's Tip: Treat your well. Find 30 minutes in your day for yourself. Be selfish and make sure that you are undisturbed by anyone or anything. Turn off the cell phone, take the house phone off the hook or turn on the answering machine. Turn on some pleasant music and dance around the living room, read a chapter in a good book, make yourself a cup of flavored coffee (this is my personal favorite) adding a pouch of hot chocolate to it and sit on the deck or front porch (weather permitting) and meditate on what ever is on your mind. I generally find my self just listening to bird song.

God Bless~
Kat

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Computer Clutter?

Did you know your computer can be cluttered? Well, it can. Believe me! Now make no mistake about it....I'm a blog junkie. I read many blogs, of all sorts of topics every day. You learn so very much from blog,helpful hints, what not to do about lots of different things and what to do about others.

There is the problem. I read way to many and have even more bookmarked that I read only sometimes. See there is the clutter! I made a decision to clean up all the clutter on my computer and found all sorts of extra time. With my extra time I decided to use studying the scriptures. We have a Tuesday Night Bible Study and the extra study has proved very beneficial.

I highly recommend you open your web browser and go into the bookmarks or favorites menu. What I did was create a couple of new folders. One I labeled "Daily Read Blogs", and another one I labeled, "Blogs on Trial". Then I went through my orignal "Blog" folder and began, one by one, going to the blog and asking myself these questions.
1. When was the last time I visited this blog?
2. How much can I learn from this blog?
3. How often is this blog updated? (tip, if updated daily, chances are I'll read it daily)

So, go to it! You'll be very suprised how much satisfaction you'll get from it, not to mention how much more productive your computer time will be.

Todays Tip: Febreeze is a good thing, but don't over do it! Light spritzes are better than a heavy soaking.

Blessings~
Kat

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ambitions..........

Okay, I think I may have been too ambitious in thinking I would be able to post daily. I will post as I come up with new ideas or when things happen that I think might benefit others to know.

I was reading some postings in a forum that I follow. Someone pointed out that they like to use a methodical way of cleaning their own home. That is great, that is the way it should be. However, there are very few that can do it that way. Even me, yep, the cleaning lady, cannot clean her own home without getting side tracked!

My Mother always told me that you should clean from back to front. Meaning you start in the back of the house and work your way to the front. The idea is that you will be motivated to get it all done as company may come. You don't want company to see your house messy! It works for my Mom, but not for me.

You see, I'm ADD and get side tracked very easily. I also get bored easily. That is why I love my job, no two days are the same! Some of the things are of course, the chores that I do, but the people I get to see are different, things are going on in their lives.

Now I do have a method that I use in my work. I clean "around". That means that I go in the door of a room and start working from left around to right. The human brain tends to go right to left, but I feel that working left to right makes me have just a little more attentive tendencies. I also work, top to bottom. ALWAYS look up! There are little critters that build little cobwebs and like to hang out in corners. Those are the "little" things that can get ya praised for catching or yelled at for missing.

Today's tip: Put an old white sock on a broom handle, lightly spray with a dusting agent and go after the little cobwebs. Be very careful not to push against the wall, this will smear the web and make a mess. Just point up at the web, and when it touches give a little twist. This will remove the web without the smears.

God Bless~
Kat

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pet Love.......can get hairy!


This past Christmas our Miss Kitty was taken with the lights on our Christmas tree. Her favorite thing to do was get underneath and look up into the tree.

Cats, dogs and assorted other critters that we all love can cause some pretty hairy issues in our homes. No one loves their fur-babies more than I love mine, all that white and gray fur! One request I get from my clients is about critter fur and can I help them get it under control. It gets on the sofas, although poopsie isn't allowed on the sofa, on chairs, in the carpet and yep, even on the curtains. Critter fur floats and during the winter when static electricity is present, it clings to everything.

How do I get rid of it, you ask? You don't, unless you get rid of the critter that is loosing it, and we all know you ain't gonna do that. So the answer is, in a word, Control. To do this you're gonna have to do a little extra.

Most homes can get away with one to two vacuums a week, and every other day sweeping the hard floors. But when you have a critter or critters in the home, that is not the case. You're gonna have to vacuum and sweep daily, unless you can learn to live with the floating fur.

For your sofas and other soft surfaces you can vacuum. If that isn't getting all the hair, you can use a lint roller. Should you be an el-cheapo like me, you can use a slightly dampened soft cloth and rub the area lightly in a circular motion to remove the hair. I use a light spray of Fabreeze to wet my cloth, it helps with odor reduction too. Be sure to get down in the creases in the cushions and underneath the cushions.

Todays Tip: When giving your sofa and chairs a good vacuuming, remember to remove and do both sides of the seat cushions and use your crevice tool to get in all the corners of the bottom of the sofa. If you're worried about what you might catch in the vacuum, put a nylon knee high over the crevice tool to catch anything of a size.

Till tomorrow....God Bless~
Kat

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shrinking...it isn't only for clothes anymore.....

The world is getting smaller...or is it just me?  Nope, I'm right, it is shrinking!  I've noticed the candy bars are shorter or slimmer, the potato chip bags are getting shorter. 


Then yesterday a client brought me an empty toilet tissue roll along with a new roll.  "Look at this!" she said, "Do you see the difference?"  I sure did!  The empty roll was at least 1" taller than the new roll of the very same brand of tissue bought only last week.  Now, personally I don't have a real problem with this particular cut back for lack of a better word.  After all, there are less trees cut down for materials, and less pollution caused by the manufacture of the product.  So, this one goes under the heading of  a good reduction. 

Now, the catagory of not so good, the reduction in size of the afore mentioned candy bars.  The reduction doesn't include the price though.  I know I'm not the only one to notice that little detail.  In fact, the price has actually gone up in most cases! 

Point in fact:  My favorite candy bar (which is wrapped in silver cellophane, round and minty fresh, I'm not namin' names!  I'm just sayin'....) was the size of the palm of my hand, now....it is slightly larger than a silver dollar.  That is heartbreaking!  It used to last for one entire mug of hot coffee with french vanilla creamer in it and now...I can barely get it to last for half of the mug!  I feel like standing up and screaming "I've been robbed!", like Sally in "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." 

There is only one way to combat this serious problem!  Go on a candy bar strike!  Don't eat any candy bars until they bring back the real candy bars that we all know and love.  The ones that fit in your hand just right, without having to be labled as "King Size" or "Jumbo".  Which really, if you think about it, if you eat to many of them will result in you being "King Size" or "Jumbo" so maybe we can work this "reduction" around into a good thing!  No.....nah.....I don't think so either.

Today's Tip:  In keeping with being economic and reducing pollutants, ponder on glass cleaner.  The commercial brands, the pretty blue ones, can contain Ammonia, Ethanol, Isopropyl alcohol, and/or Methanol.  These are very serious chemicals and can do harm to us if inhaled or swallowed.  They are expensive too, averaging $1.95 a spray bottle. 
My solution to this product is a mixture of white vinegar and water.  If you just have to have the blue, or are like me and the blue helps you keep it seperate from your other cleaners, you can add blue food coloring.  This cost pennies to make and if you must, you could drink it and come to no harm.  But....why would you drink it?  ewwww..........

Kathy's Glass Cleaner Recipe:What You Need:


•White vinegar

•Water

•A spray bottle

*Optional: 2 to 4 drops of Blue food coloring

What You Do:
Fill the spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. Then, use as you would any other glass cleaner.


God Bless~
Kat

                                                                                                                                    

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Change...........

I've changed my blog title.....for me who doesn't like change (or so a former boss once said of me) that is a momentus thing.  I have been all over the spectrum with my posting.  But from now on, I'm going to focus on what I do. 

Just what do I do, you ask?  Well, I'm what is commonly known as a "Cleaning Lady", but I perfer to be called a "Personal Assistant with focus on domestic".  So there.

The idea hit me last night when my husband was telling me about his day at jury duty.  They asked all sorts of questions including a few about me.  My name, age and employment status.  My husband told them I was a "Personal Assistant with focus on Senior/Elderly Care".  Which is just fine with me. 

It is really hard to define just what I do, do.  I used to have a slogan on my business card that read, "Services tailored to fit your requirements".  I tailor my services to the client, their lifestyle and schedules.  No two clients are alike.  For some I simply clean the house, 1 to 4 times a month.  Some I walk the dog(s), cook light meals, start supper, do laundry, what ever.  It helps keep my job from being boring I promise you that! 

Now, all that being said, there are a few things I don't do. 

1.  No babysitting.  I've done my share of that.  I keep my grandchildren on occasion, but that is it.  Lucky for me, most of my clients are older and have no children at home. 

2.  No yard work.  I'm no gardener, I kill plants.  They just go ahead and die when they see me coming....poor things. 

3.  And this one is most important, if you cannot be pleased, if you are just plain OC and expect me to be as well, Goodbye.  It won't work out.  Most of the time it only takes a couple of visits to find that we are ill matched. 

I don't know if there is anyone reading my blog but if there is, everyday I'm going to give you, gentle reader, a tip of the day, so to speak.  Most of them will be from my experiences and some will be those that I've learned from others.  I hope that they will help you.  I wish I'd had a resource like me when I was starting out.

Todays Tip:

One of the hardest things to sort and match are ladies knee highs and panty hose.  Espeically the navy and black ones.  I've devised an easy way to tell the black from the blue.  I carry a small flash light in my kit.  Turn it on and put the hose/knee high over the light and tada!  You can tell the color. 

Blessings, till tomorrow...........
Kat
 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mama said, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." ..or lack thereof.







Good Morning!

I hope this finds all of you doing wonderful this morning. My study was about how people responded to John the Baptist. Remember how strange he acted and looked to them? Many of them responded to the exterior, not the message that he brought.

It seems that I must be having some difficulty in that area as examples of why we shouldn't are brought to my attention almost on a daily basis recently. God seems to be reminding me of this "beam in my eye". I don't realize I'm doing it.....maybe that is why it is being brought to my attention?

Recently, Doug and a fellow chapter member were confronted by a woman in a small country store recently while out on a charity ride. She found their appearence offensive and told them so in a very harsh manner. Keep in mind that Doug and his riding buddy were dressed in black leather with lots of pins and patches on their vest. Black riding gloves and heavy boots. Doug has a long ponytail. Both wore doorags/hats after removing their helmets. They were dressed for riding not impressing.

Doug or his riding companion, didn't take the low road and go right back at her as some of us might have done. Doug listened in a polite manner to her and then simply asked her what would she have done if John the Baptist had come to visit "her" church. Then he asked God's blessing on her and turned away to leave. Further down the road, he and his riding companion pulled over and prayed for this lady and her "blindness".

Then yesterday during my study time I'd finished my Bible reading and picked up my CMA Heartbeat Magazine. What should be in this months issue but an article about a man that had misjudged a biker by how he looked and not what was inside. You see, he looked like Doug and is companion! Bikers have that "look", sort of scary and unpredictable.

Oh to be "read" correctly and by our actions rather than the way the "world" reads us, by our designer clothes, our bank accounts or the car we drive.

Father God, please help me to keep my eyes on You in the people I meet and serve! Do not allow me to revert to my flesh and judge people buy the surface or my standards.

In His service by His Grace~

Kat