Friday, July 31, 2015

36. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

This book was all the rage on Facebook, and many of my friends were buying it, but I chose to wait for it, and I was 60+ in line on the hold list. Two days after putting it on hold, I went to book club, and my friend had it in a pile to bring back to the library with a week still left on the check out! So, I quickly read this. It is a simple book. While I am convinced the person who wrote it is has some emotional issues (she does allude to this toward the end of the book) which made her compulsive and almost OCD in her "tidying" behavior, I think there are some valuable things to be gleaned from this book. I read half of it into the wee hours of my 56th birthday and put the principles to work on my clothes in a break between my lunch time birthday celebration with a friend and my dinner time celebration with my family. I was so "into" it that I totally forgot to go to a doctor's appointment! LOL! She recommended that all your clothes be in one place, and I had always had a summer clothes set and a winter clothes set, and it was always a pain to bring up the Rubbermaid Action Packer to change them out. After my purge, I was able to fit the whole year in one closet. So, I think her method works.
She has you ask yourself, "Does this thing bring me joy?" I realize that while things used to bring me joy, they no longer do. So it is OK to "let go" of that thing and know that its time of giving you joy has past, and you have that memory of it giving you joy. So, there were some good principles (although I won't be talking to my objects anytime soon - some of her stuff is just weird Shinto stuff that I have no desire to approach). 
Here is a link to a thorough analysis of the book along with pictures of how the author put it all into practice. That was helpful:

Here is a book excerpt:

Here is the order (Sorry if the numbering is all wonky, Blogger has such an outdated word processor that sometimes it does the weirdest things. So I put it in Word, and it looked fine so now I am cutting it from Word and putting it back here and hoping it works.):

1. Clothes 
1.    Tops
2.    Bottoms 
3.    Hung Clothes [Hang from left to right: coats, dresses, jackets, pants, skirts, blouses], 
4.    Socks 
5.    Underwear
6.    Bags
7.    Accessories
8.    Clothes for special events [swimsuits, uniforms, costumes, triathlon, backpacking], shoes)

2. Books
3. Papers (discard everything that does not fall into these categories: currently in use, needed for a limited time, kept indefinitely. This includes credit card statements, old checkbook stubs, greeting cards (unless sentimental for joy), seminar notes [oh that would be hard for me as I feel like an archival person when it comes to that]. This does not include papers with sentimental value as they go in the mementos category)

4. Komono (miscellany)
1.    CDs, DVDs
2.    Skin care products
3.    Make up
4.    Accessories
5.    Valuables (passports, credit cards, etc)
6.    Electrical equipment (camera, electric cords, anything vaguely so)
7.    Household equipment (stationary and writing materials, sewing kits, etc.)
8.    Household supplied (medicine, detergent, tissues, etc.) 
9.    Kitchen goods/food supplies (spatulas, pots, blenders, etc.)
10.Other (spare change, figurines, etc.) 

5. Mementos
She says to do this over a six month period of time. I think that is reasonable. She recommends by category rather than room (I wonder what the Flylady thinks of that?).  She also recommends having all your things in that category in one place (unless they are for specific season clothes).

It is not as worthless a book as some have reviewed, but it is also not as earth shattering as others have purported (I mean really - the way she teaches you to fold your shirts is the way my mom taught me years ago, but I realized I have NOT taught my kids this method, and I will do so today!)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wednesday Freewrite

I have not been doing this as I said I would. :) Yesterday was hard. I had something that disturbed me happen a couple of days ago, and it was not until I got up to have my time with God that it all came to a head. I needed a lot more time to process but had a meeting with many others at 8:30. Bad idea. Things came to a head with me, and I had to leave the meeting at 11 am to process the stuff. I had to grieve. I had to let go of my worry and anxiety over a dear friend. I feel like this friend is slipping, and I cannot do anything to help her. So, I had a good cry. I processed with George and Kim, and later on with Nancy. Nathan also called me during the lunch break in the meeting, and he was awesome. I came back without embarrassment. Sometimes having Empathy as your second signature theme has its drawbacks!

Well, my number one signature theme is Learner. I have spent so much on signature theme #3 this summer: Achiever. We have gotten so many home projects done that I am amazed! I am so happy about it too. BUT I miss my Learner theme! So, I will be . . . 

I have no idea what derailed me on this, but things got all messed up because Kellie used my computer and signed into her gmail account and did not log out afterward. So, it was a mess. I am hoping this posts. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Freewrite

Fifteen minutes were going to start 20 minutes ago, but I did not get around to it as I was looking at other things. 

Operation "Hearth and Home" is still in progress. Yesterday, it was the bathroom ceilings which, because of improper ventilation have had some mold issues. George took apart the fans, and Michael cleaned them thoroughly. Then they painted both ceilings. It was a perfect day because we actually had rain. So it was cool and the windows and skylights were opened wide and the paint fumes escaped.

We also went to Fred Meyer to shop, and I found frames for 50 percent off (2 days sale). So, I got a nice one that said "Family" with room for 10 4x6 pictures. We also got one with similar metal work that held three 8 x 10's. I had the two pictures that I had printed from the boys' senior pictures:

I also put our latest studio family picture. It was back in 2011, and I think I would like to hire a photographer to do family portraits outdoors. Perhaps in the fall? I am not sure. We will see.

I also bought a wonderful frame with the saying, "Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away." The picture I really wanted was our kiss at our wedding ceremony, but it is bound in our wedding book, and I have not idea how to get a hold of Kevin DeWhitt in order to make another 8 x 10. I will work on that, but in the meantime, I put the picture of George and I from the retreat. That is perfect because the flowers in that picture match our "Mediterranean Summer" tapestry (that I let sit in our bedroom closet when I could have totally changed the look of our room). I also put our wedding verses and verses from James on the opposite side of the tapestry (a smaller space so I used only two things).

So, now I just have to find 10 4 x 6 pictures for that frame and one in the boys' room (repainted with bare walls). I also need to put our Europe trip in the albums I have had for a few weeks. That is a project I will work on this week. Then, "Hearth and Home" major projects will be pretty much done other than perhaps painting a wall in my bedroom a darker color of green (because George dried a shirt on that wall, and it streaked it - still wondering what kind of paint she used for those walls, because they do not wash well) and painting the guest bathroom walls a sand color (there is a bit of mold in the corners that will not wash off). YAY! Hearth and Home was what you told me to do.

So, August is going to more about health, intercession, listening, and learning. 

Health - 10 pounds of weight loss, working on my body strength as I prepare for Pilates leading.

Intercession - walk for the world, gather for world prayer times with others, Joshua walks.

Listening - Listen and obey, grow in listening prayer through Theophostic (Transformational) Prayer Ministry (TPM) conference and Colorado.

Learning - Pilates instruction, Personal training course, TPM conference, visiting Nav headquarters. 

August will be climbing a big H.I.L.L.! 

I have gone over the 15 minutes. Oh by the way, "Hearth and Home" will still continue, but the big projects will be done by the end of July!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Freewrite

In keeping with my desire to freewrite more often, I am writing another day. Does this make it three in a row? Maybe more? I am not going to look because I am freewriting, by golly, and that means I write freely without having my fingers come away from the pen or keyboard (I really like writing both ways). 

I already wrote about what was an incredibly wonderful time on my 25th Anniversary at Inn of Spanish Head. After my writing, we just relaxed and read and watched news, and then we went up to the 10th floor to have our, oh so perfect, dinner at sunset. We had to wait, but they gave us a booth right at the window. It was spectacularly gorgeous (and after my fifteen minutes of fame freewriting, I will post a picture)! I splurged because George's mom gave us a hearty sum to have a lavish anniversary dinner. So, I had LOBSTER TAILS for the first time since probably Malaysia (when a "surf and turf" steak and lobster dinner was $10) back in 1998! It was heavenly as was the company. 
OUR 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY at the place where it all began! On top of the world overlooking the Pacific at sunset.
(I like this one because you can see the beach below)

We talked more about why it works for us so well: common passion and goals, always know how and what the other is doing because we always talk about what is happening in the other's lives (I guess I like that because we ARE, after all, two separate individuals even though we share common passions and goals. I have not lost my identity in who George is, and he has not his identity in me. Does that make sense, reader?), another thing George added is we have FUN! Perhaps that is because we are two youngest children, and that is very characteristic of youngest! WOOHOO!

I also would like to add that we know what the other is doing because we ask each other. I love being with an "other-centered" person. George has never been self-centered in any way, stretch, or form. He usually thinks about others before he thinks about himself, so naturally, he would ask and be interested in the other person, and the person he is most interested in is MOI! While I don't think I am as other-centered as George (he has such a servant's heart), I am more outwardly focused than inwardly-so (because I am a very strong SF personality type which is the Mother Teresa personality type). While he could lend himself to be inwardly-focused (NF), he is so healthy. I always say that healthy NF's are the bomb. It is just a matter of getting healthy! George is overwhelmingly healthy because even though he is other-centered, he knows how to care for his own soul! I love that about him.

We never drank the champagne the hotel gave us (forgot to). We came back, and I finished Greg's wonderful autobiography! It was lovely. So nice to know him. I always have such admiration for ENTP's! I could never be like them, but they amaze the socks off of me. He is such a maverick in so many ways. 

Oh, I have two more minutes. What shall I write now? George is across from me looking at the Chronicles of Higher Education for jobs out there. He has such a great job, but we are praying about our future during this get away too.

Oh, I also wanted to say that I am doing a FOOD FIFTY. I would like to lose the weight that has come on me without any kind of discipline eating since last JULY! I do not know what has happened to me. YES, I am still within my weight range, but I like to be at the LOWER END of it rather than the UPPER MIDDLE end! So, here we go again. Yesterday was a super big splurge, but for the next 50 days (minus my birthday on the 27th), I am going to GO FOR IT. 

Sadly, I do not think I will have consistent accountability with my FACED buddies. They have big families and busy lives, and I need DAILY encouragement that I just can no longer get from them. SO I am looking for two new FACED buddies who can DAILY report their eating to me, and I to them. 

Oh, now I am over my fifteen minutes, and I need to do some Pilates!


35. 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale

I went to the free workshop a few months back and was intrigued to perfect the sitting and sleeping techniques. I promised a review last July and realized today that I never delivered on that promise so am updating this review today!

Now that I have become a personal trainer, I realize that many of her postural principles are so true. I love how she has pictures of proper posture and how to properly move correctly through the activities of everyday life. I have taught her principles of "glidewalking" to my Pilates classes (making them walk around the classroom using their Glutes rather than their psoas). Now that I know that muscle mechanics behind all of that, I see that she has some sound principles and techniques. 

I got caught up on how to do "stretchlying" and "tallstanding" though! She has a weekend workshop that you can attend for $450, and I am going to see if I can count that as continuing education for my personal training recertification. I was hoping not to have to pay that much to find out how to do those correctly though! Maybe I will search YouTube for some examples of how to do it. I can imagine having someone correct you would be very valuable though. 

I have applied many of these principles, and it has been a wonderful piece of the puzzle that is my back! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Twelve at Two

Twelve minute freewrite at 2:00 pm. GO!

It is my 25th anniversary today, and here I sit in a nice studio room on the Oregon Coast. The sun is shining, and it is warm. We walked for almost 7 miles in shorts and mostly bare feet all morning, and now we are back for an afternoon siesta (or at least George is taking one because I am not much of a napper). I thought I would record that we are so enjoying a no-agenda kind of getaway!

We got here, having skipped lunch, and went for the early bird special on the tenth floor of this amazing place. The weather was spectacular as we sat there watching the waves. Delightful.

After that, we walked for an hour and a half out to Siletz Bay and then up the Schooner Creek until we could not go up any further (we needed to have kayaks!).  Then we walked back up through town back to our hotel. 

We looked out our balcony and saw that the pool was totally empty (lots of little kids earlier in the day) so we JUMPED at the opportunity, and I did laps. Then, we went into the jacuzzi. I came back and did MELT. THEN, I got in the great jacuzzi tub. After that, I read Greg's great autobiography.

I woke up really early and had a great time with God remembering what a terrible night I had before our wedding, and how I was convinced that the enemy was messing with my head. What a blow to his head to have me persevere through the night and go for that long drive down Hwy 20 to that park before the bridge and do just give that devil a good swift KICK. Then, I drove back to the church and prayed through the whole place for our day, and how glad I am that I did not give into despair that day. I can see why the devil did not want it to happen. :) It has been bliss for us. Absolute bliss, and I am not afraid to say that. George is the easiest person in the world to live with, and he is my best friend. We talked about why it has worked, and he said, "Because he had never met anybody who loves the same kinds of things." We love the same kind of ministry, we love classical books and music, we love long walks and hikes and bike rides. We love to talk about deep (rather than trivial) things. We love to meet at the mind and the heart. 

Anywho, we spent an hour in prayer this morning over so many things, but much of it was intercession for all the wonderful people who have been in our life over these last 25 years of blessing and bliss.

Oh my, it is way over twelve minutes and closer to my normal 15. Would love to post pictures, but I want to get to some Foundation Training! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Madness

Well, tomorrow is my 25th wedding anniversary, and we are starting it off today by having a leisurely morning together (although the excitement of getting a call from the ortho office at 8 am telling us that our youngest had a 7:50 am appointment was not very leisurely - he obviously did not write it down and did not tell us about it). After we get EURO PILLOWS (When did these become popular in the US? There were two shams in our comforter set, and I have never even heard of them.) at Target, we are going to the place where it all began: The Inn at Spanish Head. I even found my receipt from 25 years ago. LOL! I am so excited to go away and just have no plans. I am bringing my hiking poles and boots because there are many nice trails to be had there. We will probably walk along the beach and sip tea (me) and coffee (he) and just have nowhere to go and no people to see. Celebrating US!

Well, I will go now to Target. I want closure on our bedroom. Well, I won't have closure until I paint the wall that got streaked many years ago when George had a wet shirt and hung it on the window sill to dry. I will have to paint it a contrasting color because I do not have the old paint color. I also want to fill an empty space with a family tree sort of picture wall. We did take down the rose pictures over our bed and put them in the bathroom because we took the Monet prints out of the bathroom and put them in our living room. We took the tapestry that used to hand over our old mantle piece (before John made our wood mantle that made it too small a space to hang the old tapestry) and put it over our bed. IT TOTALLY MATCHES EVERYTHING IN OUR ROOM! It is lovely over there and hides all marks left by the old rose pictures being there for 12 years! 

We also need to paint the master and guest bathroom ceilings. 

But the boys' dinosaur wall border and blue sponge paint is all gone! It was replaced by a neutral color, and now they can decide what goes on the walls. :) 

And the living room is totally DONE! YAY! I love how it all turned out!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

34. You've Got Libya by Greg Livingstone

I love this man with all my heart. He is a friend, and this is such a self-deprecating, humorous read. Greg is a one of a kind individual. He is a "bull in a china shop" kind of guy that shakes things up and has changed the world. He is candid about his weaknesses in a way that just endears you to him. I love that he says his personality type at the beginning. I had never tested him, but that was my guess (ENTP). 

It is his life story, and his travels around the globe (dragging his growing family with him). I read a passage to a prayer group and started sobbing. It is a story about how one life can make a difference. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

33. Engaging with History in the Classroom: The Post-Reconstruction Era

Wow! This book has everything a teacher needs to make post-reconstruction history come alive for middle-school student. There are primary source documents throughout that will be interesting and engaging. It has newspaper cartoons from the era. It has wonderful photographs throughout. This would work in a homeschool setting too. I loved it and heartily recommend it! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Fifteen Freewrite

I am reinstating this tradition! I have not been writing very much since I finished my 3200 page writing project! :) I have enjoyed being off the computer and on to other things, but I do miss writing. It is what I love to do and fifteen minutes is not going to be so detrimental for my back. So here I go!  I have already got one minute down.

I was supposed to go up to SW Portland today to participate in a mat class at a Pilates studio. I am deciding between doing my training with this studio and an individual in Salem. The one in Portland is the STOTT Pilates method, and the one in Salem is the traditional Pilates method. I have a letter of recommendation and had passed my anatomy quiz with 100% for the Portland studio, but I could not sign on the dotted line for the (expensive and twice as much as Salem) training that was starting on Friday, July 10. Good thing, as George came home sick, and I didn't feel so hot either. Then as the week has progressed, I have not gotten back to 100 percent of my PERKY self! I was going to go up so I could make a decision; but after waking up early and taking a shower, I felt yucky! So, I am sitting here and wondering. Originally, I was already going to be up in Portland with George at his work, but I felt yucky on Monday so did not go for the week. 

So, here I sit. I am going to try to rest today, but I cannot find a senior picture of Michael that I want to put in a frame! I found the frame that I bought last year at Costco, but now I cannot find the picture that I kept putting away saying, "I need to find a frame for that." I know it is a silly thing about my personality type, but I have a hard time "resting" when I have something like that hanging. So, instead of resting yesterday, I cleaned out my closet (because that was last time I saw the picture) and the closet in the office. I still have not found the picture. SO, I have one more closet to clean out (the guest room one), and then I don't know where it could be. I usually have all my pictures in one place, but somehow they were scattered when I was doing scrapbooking last Christmas vacation.

Come to think of it, I cannot find my brown skirt either. It is almost like it disappeared one day. I must have changed into another set of clothes somewhere and left it where I changed. I cannot remember. I guess I can call the church. I loved that brown skirt. Kim found it for me and sold it to me at a great price. It is so versatile. 

On a less whining and complaining note: I feel great in my muscles and joints. SO funny that I am pain free only to be sick! I have been doing lots of body work lately: Foundation Training, Pilates, Gokhale, and MELT. So, I am just a new woman in the pain department. Every once in a while I get a little twinge, but I am doing so well! Next thing will be a treadmill desk, and I can get off this 10 pounds that came creeping up on me in 2015! ACK! 

Well, I am needing to stand up and move. Praying I go right to where that picture is hiding. If I cannot find it, it is not the end of the world to order another one. I just don't want to order it and find it later! That would be so inefficient, and everyone who knows me is aware that drives me CRAZY!

Here's to resting and praying today! 

Update 3:45 pm:

I found the PICTURE at noon today! Remember I said that the last time I saw it was with my Christmas stuff? I decided to relax in our guest room downstairs  (when I realized that the new carpet was what was making me sick, see below). I had already looked in that closet, but I realized I had looked in the area where I keep pictures, but I did not look in the area where I had put the Christmas embellishments for my scrapbooks. I lifted them up and underneath was the picture! It was in that familiar Orange Shutterfly envelope dated October 2012. It only took me from May 2011 to October 2012 to get it printed and from October 2012 to July 2015 to get it in a frame! LOL! 

I also found my paperwhite Kindle (before the picture, actually) that I knew was around here somewhere. And icing on the cake, only seconds ago, I found the brown Cabi skirt I love so much! I went aggressively into my closet and felt every hanger. It was covered by my black sweater at the end.

On top of all that, I realized I have been feeling so YUCKY because of my new carpet. I started feeling nauseated since it was installed last Tuesday. I realized it when I was back in my bedroom with the window open and the door closed. I went back out in the living room, and I immediately felt nauseated! 


Thursday, July 16, 2015

32. The MELT Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain

So interesting that LibraryThing predicted that I probably would not like this book. I have not posted many of the books I read for fitness. So, I am sure based on all the classics I have read over the years that LibraryThing assumes I am a couch potato! Fitness books have many diagrams showing one how to perform the exercises, so I have not posted them as "reading" because I don't know if I "read" the whole book from cover to cover, but this one, I read all the introductions and most of the exercises (Once I got to the "Maps" I got confused and just ordered her DVD's that I can do like any old fitness DVD). I have been doing fascia release on my feet and a little on my legs for about two years now, but this takes fascia "rehydration" to a whole other level. Her introduction goes into a lot of detail about the science behind all of this, and she tends to repeat things over and over. So, I did not like that about the book.I also thought the "sequences" and "maps" were really confusing. I still don't get that and hope to go to a live class that is being taught in my town on Tuesdays. All that said, I have lived with some level of pain my whole life. Most of the time, I can moderate it by standing instead of sitting for too long (as I type this with my stand up desk), regular massage and osteopathic adjustment, core conditioning through Pilates, posterior chain strengthening through, and proper posture through the Gokhale Method. I really manage my pain well, actually. I do not have the luxury of being a couch potato having been through three major car accidents before the age of 19 (hit with my mom but cannot remember what happened, spun around in a 180 on the way to school when I was 16, and totally rolled my car Freshman year in college) and having one leg longer than the other and hips that do weird things causing unilateral sacral flexion without rhyme nor reason (so glad I married into a family with an osteopath!). It is true, most of my passions involve SITTING (writing, Bible Book Club blogging and book writing, photography [most time involves sitting to do post-processing rather than being out in the field shooting], communicating by email with numerous groups of people because of our ministry), but my other passion IS health, fitness, and nutrition (I have a B.S. in Food and Nutrition with a Community Nutrition Emphasis and am a former college athlete). I am becoming certified as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor over the next few months. So, this will be part of my "toolbox" for helping people relieve pain. I am also good at motivating people to lose weight as I have kept most of mine of for two and a half years. Actually, I am just into WELLNESS: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional (see the reason for this blog above). I will be posting more of the books I am reading for my personal training and Pilates endeavors from now on. Maybe LibraryThing will deem that I "like" it after I do that! LOL! 

31. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

This is a slow, meandering book without any big plot line but little vignettes about life for two priest in the rugged southwest (New Mexico). I love Willa Cather's writing. She paints pictures of places like an artist. Really enjoyed that aspect even though the story was not particularly gripping in plot. 

Funny that I saw the movie Swing Vote, set in New Mexico, the same week I finished this book.

I read this for my "Book Dames" Book Club that will be discussing it on July 25. 

On Track to be a Very Low Volume Blogging Year

I have not done a lot of sitting this year. When I do blog, I try to do it while standing at my stand up desk I got for Christmas. I am on board to get a Treadmill Desk from our local "Play it Again Sports" outlet here. I am getting practically a FREE anniversary week because a friend is giving us their townhouse for two nights, and we are going to the place we spent our honeymoon for two nights and we have more than enough Capital One miles to cover that! I had saved enough money for an overseas anniversary getaway. SO, I will buy the treadmill desk! (Also decided against a hot tub on our deck. We found a used one for 1/3 the price, but it was going to cost 1200 to rewire and another 300 to get a crane to put it on our deck. What a pain! More trouble that it is worth since I do not anticipate we will live here for more than five years.)

I will do brief reviews of my last two books though and then go back to finding an 8 x 10 picture I had printed of Michael for his high school graduation that I want to put in a frame. As many times I have run across this picture through the last four years, I cannot find it now that I am ready to put it in a frame and finish my living room project! UGH! Where is it???? In the meantime, my office has been torn apart! But that is good. I need to do some decluttering in there! 

So here I go!

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...