Saturday, March 3, 2007

A Constructive Saturday

It's a sunny, but cold day on the prairie.

March certainly came in like a Lion this year! We had 4-6" of snow over Wednesday night on top of ice. Rick and I stayed home from work on Thursday. The roads were treacherous and I was glad we didn't have to travel. I felt badly for the girls basketball teams and their fans who had to be out in it.
We had more snow overnight and still a lot blowing, so we are staying snug inside (after doing chores, of course).
He's watching the state girls' basketball tournament. I cleaned the living room and am doing some much-needed organizing and decluttering in the office. It may look like winter outside, but it says "March" on the calendar and that means time to start Spring Cleaning!

Fun Sites for Crafts for Children

In a pile of miscellaneous papers on my desk I came across a page torn out of the April 1, 2007 Womans Day magazine (pg 105). On it was a list of fun sites for children's crafts. I have listed them below:

Oriental Trading Company (inexpensive party items, goody bag filler, craft items. Some Biblical based.) (DIY projects kids can make and take home.) (Thousands of free printable coloring pages, easy crafts and activitiy ideas.)

Shindigz (Decorations to fit any theme a child is wild about.)

Discount School Supply (craft supplies)

I haven't looked at all of them, but am familiar with Oriental Trading Post. Think of the junk you get at the county fair. Some of it isn't bad and it is inexpensive.
I really like the site. I just made a nifty pink kitty card for the twins and then printed off some kitty posters and some flower coloring pages (on heavy paper). The girlies are only 16 months, but it's never too early to start sending them their own 'specials' in the mail, right? :o)

Organizing My Office

My desk has been a source of mental stress lately. I had to move all the mess off the desk and from around it this week when the wireless tech came to hook us up.
I had piles and containers along the banister and it just was not a good look. So today was the day to do some organizing.

The left-hand side tower cupboard in my desk was a mess. I don't have a tower cpu. I have an all-in-one Mac, so that space was a catch-all for "stuff".  I bought one of those locker shelves last fall and it fits perfectly in there. Way in the back I have the boxes and instruction manuals for our cell phones and the digi camera.
Also the extra scotch tape and staples. Under the wire shelf I have the camera bag and our boxes of new checks.
On the shelf I have binders for our bank statements, photo paper, and expanding files for our insurances and Rick's farm maps/ASCS paperwork.
The small shelf above this cupboard needs a flatter basket or tray. It holds my post-it note pads and my password file. I want to get a rolladex for these important numbers. I have them stored on my computer but it maybe that sometime I may not be able to access that software or folder.

Under the desk by my feet is a case of computer paper and the trash can. On the floor by the side table is my portable wire hanging file and a second lidded plastic file for "To Be Filed" papers. I asked Farmer to deal w/ the paper sludge this weekend. Most of his "important farming & banking papers" I don't know what to do with. I'm not sure if I can file them away with last year's tax records or if he'll need them during this year. He will also organize those tax records for storage so we can start all over again with filing the 2007 receipts.

On the right-hand side of the desk I have rounded shelves. Not very practical, but that's what's there. On the back ones that are hard to reach, I have ...
(I had to look and then to do more decluttering....sheesh!).... I HAD a Longaberger® basket of all the stationary and note cards I've been missing! Also found a stack of cds that don't really play on my computer and that I don't want. They will go to ds1.

On the front shelves I have my reference books on the bottom shelf and a pile of computer paper, card stock and misc. notebook paper on the upper shelf. That shelf doesn't look very organized and I need to do something.... **Thinking**..... I think I have a 9x13 size basket in the sewing room. That would work to corral this mess. Or I'll store it in the plastic hanging file container since it only holds temporary files. There would be room in it.

So in the last few minutes I organized my stationary and put it all in one basket instead of two; organized and decluttered the other office supplies in containers and baskets on my desk; and moved the printer over to the side table and gave myself more room in front of the computer. Opened up some breathing room, as it were.

(I also peeked at my bread dough and found it was ready for shaping and the second rise. I also started a batch of Honey/Cinnamon Breakfast Rolls in the bread machine.)

Other Organization
Earlier today I reorganized my family photo frames. I needed to update some of the photos and put some of the frames away. Somewhere I read you should only have 7 frames grouped together. I have 8 on the parlor table, but one is a larger areal photo of the farm. It is way in the back so really, I only have 7 family photos.

I also organized my Bible Basket. I have a Longaberger® basket that holds my Bible, my Sunday School binder, my prayer journal and small versions of Bible study help books, and my hand lotion. I took out my fiction books and stacked them along side the basket.
I've been ruthlessly tossing the books I don't love. Yes... I said TOSSING, as in the garbage! Some of you are having heart failure, I'm sure. I figure they were thrift store bargain buys and it wasn't worth the mental stress to try and remember to take them back for reselling or to store them for giving away "someday". At 25 cents to maybe a $1, I can afford to throw them away. It is a freeing experience.

I also did some piggy feeding (piggy Bank). I found a handful of coins in one of the baskets and a bunch of coins and bills in another. The bills went into my "fun stash" and the coins will be turned into bills later when that basket is full.

Tomorrow afternoon I plan to spend in the sewing studio. I was able to machine-stitch the binding on 2 quilts in the past week or so. I now have hand-work for tv nights.
I'm not sure which project I should work on next. I have so many ideas fluttering around in my head. The idea that keeps coming to the forefront is to make some Spring fabric postcards. I guess with all this snow and cold I feel the need for some Springtime color. (Another idea just popped up! Paper-pieced spring flower blocks...hmmm....)

That is the news from the farm today. I just got myself a cup of Chai and I have that pile of paper to take care of on the shelf and need to watch my bread in the oven and finish up those rolls.


** Spring Cleaning
March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.

--Susan Reiner

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