Procrastinator’s Days

Procrastinator’s Days

One of these days we gotta get organized …

A woman’s work is never done (something I often heard my mother say) …

Housework, housework, I love housework (sung sarcastically to the tune of “Pickles, Pickles, I like pickles,” a song I learned teaching children’s choir)

Over the Christmas holidays I decided to tackle some projects that have been niggling at me all year. I made progress in organizing our kitchen and am still working on that. Like a true procrastinator, I get sidetracked while doing projects. Finding one cherished item makes me go put it in a place where I will be able to find it, and when I go to that place, I find still more stuff that needs to be put away. This is why women never catch up…there is always more stuff to do than meets the eye. And sometimes you get sidetracked doing another project and forget to complete the original one. But I digress. (Ha.)

I kept feeling compelled to blog, so I finally gave in. Besides, I needed to sit for a while, I rationalized.

John is busy in our downstairs bedroom scrubbing the wall (we have some moisture problems that we need to address…meanwhile, the cinderblock walls have started to show signs of mildew, so he is hard at work with a scrub brush and some orange cleaner we have found that is a good all-purpose cleaner) as I write this. I was working on organizing the bookshelf in the kitchen, and I keep finding so many things we have put up in a hurry, thinking we would get around to reading them later. Well, guess what. Now some magazines have been sitting on those shelves for at least 2 years. I am tossing stuff in recycling right and left. I am filling a box for Goodwill with cookbooks I no longer use. This is such a freeing feeling! But I can take it only in small doses.

This morning I found my dad’s address book, which surprising had some fairly updated information. He had my, John’s, Daniel’s, and Julie’s cell phone numbers. He had Daniel’s first apartment address (only two residences behind) and Julie’s address in Spain. I found addresses and phone numbers for Helen’s (his wife’s) family, some living and some dead. I discovered obituaries for my uncle and cousin Clifford Blessing, my aunt Myrtle Blessing, my cousin Annie Fletcher, and my aunt Kate Couch. I found some photos of Daddy taken in 1979. He was quite a handsome man. Helen, in her beautiful handwriting, had written on the back: Walter Leonard 1979. It was like going through a family scrapbook. Funny how you find things tucked in odd places. Until 2015, this address book (with Hummel figurine-type drawings) had been used since the 1970s, when my aunt Euchie (Eunice Necessary) gave it to my parents as a Christmas gift.

On the top shelf of the bookshelf (the only one I’ve dusted so far) I found cookbooks from churches that have been special to me over the years: Broad Street United Methodist (inherited from my aunt Reb) and Lynn Garden Baptist in Kingsport and Crievewood Baptist Church in Nashville. I think I have one more church cookbook that John’s aunt Macon gave to us as a wedding present; it’s from First United Methodist Church in Savannah, TN, but I haven’t run across it yet.

I have found several recipes that I will never cook and decided to get unsentimental because my dad wrote some of them…if I save everything I find in his handwriting, I will not find a place for everything. One was for corn relish. If I recall correctly, it tasted sort of like rotten corn. You have to let it sit for 4 weeks after putting in all the ingredients. Maybe I better dig that recipe out and see if I can take a picture of it. No, it’s already in recycling. (I think perhaps I have confused it with pickled corn, which really did taste like rotten corn…Reb always kept several pints of it in her basement.)

This weekend I have been in the house for four days…work was called off on Friday due to ice, and the first time I got out was to go to church yesterday. For this long weekend I have chosen to spend my time as a gift: it’s Procrastinator’s Day(s)! I can do some things that I don’t have the chance to do in the normal crazy-busy schedule of my life while I am working full-time.

Today I have been catching up on correspondence, cleaning a little here and there, and enjoying having time to clean my stove, wash dishes, clean out the coffee maker, do a little laundry, and spot-clean in various places.

My mother used to save projects for summertime when she was out of school from her teaching job. She certainly kept me occupied, starting in elementary school (and paying me a nickel an hour, which I thought was a grand deal, for certain projects): mowing the lawn, washing windows, painting rooms inside our house, trimming around the trees in our yard with those old-fashioned scissor-like clippers (it’s a wonder I didn’t get carpal tunnel syndrome way back then), picking vegetables from our garden (with my dad) and helping Mommy can or freeze them, and helping with laundry. I don’t ever seem to have time for such projects at home unless I block out a weekend or take a few days of vacation (and who wants to do that with their vacation time?) to do such things. I’ve decided that I will just declare a Procrastinator’s Day several times a year and spend it doing mundane chores that I don’t especially enjoy doing but that need to be done. It’s about time to organize under the bathroom sinks and kitchen sink. Yikes. But for now I am concentrating on the kitchen. Then I will move to the bedroom, where I will clean my bedside table, which is spilling over with books and is quite dusty. Next up, clean the top of my and John’s chests of drawers. And then (the biggie) clean out the bookshelves in our bedroom. I have a small library down there and need to share some of those books with others. Some I will give to friends, and the rest to Goodwill.

Well, if I’m ever going to get anything done, I must get back to the kitchen. I’m encouraged to see some things starting to get into shape. Who knows, maybe I will even dust the living room (which I have done in the last 2 or 3 weeks). I could even get really organized like my boss and have an index card file with tasks written on each card, and rotate through the card file every quarter. Nah. Probably ain’t gonna happen. Besides, I can always save something to my Google drive and not have to waste time writing out cards.

Hasta luego!

 

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Monday, Monday

“Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day,” sang the Mamas and the Papas. Today I’m feeling really good about Monday because I decided to take the day off after our trip to southwest Virginia over the weekend to celebrate my uncle’s 95th birthday.

Facebook just reminded me that just 5 years ago we traveled 1,800 miles in a few days. First we headed to Jackson, MS for our daughter’s junior recital (that’s a 7-hour drive from Nashville, in the opposite direction of our ultimate destination, my uncle Paul’s 90th birthday celebration in Weber City, VA). I believe we left Nashville on Thursday,  but that was 5 years ago, so I can’t trust my memory. The FB post also said that my dad made it to my uncle’s birthday celebration. I got kind of a lump in my throat as I recalled that my cousins Joe and Catherine drove to Canton, NC to pick up Daddy and drive him here for Uncle Paul’s celebration.

Daddy didn’t make it until his 94th birthday; he died one month and one day before, on October 28, 2016. I’m sure he would have enjoyed Uncle Paul’s 95th birthday celebration had he been able to attend.

Anyway, today I am glad that I decided to take off work. I am getting much more aware of the need to take a break from work every now and then. Last year most of the days I took off were to care for John (when he had back surgery in May) or for my dad when he was in the hospital for 5 days in August. John and I didn’t go anywhere all year except for one weekend trip to Beersheba Springs, the site of our annual all-church retreat, about 2 hours east of Nashville. I remember being worried about traveling then; it was at the end of September, and I was afraid my dad would die while we were gone.

When we drove out of town December 26 for a couple of days, I felt like a bird freed from its cage. I don’t like staying in town all year. Every now and then I feel the need to fly the coop and hit the road. It’s just good to get away from the humdrum dailiness of life, relax a little, enjoy the sights of nature somewhere else, and forget about normal life for a while.

Last year was a stark contrast to 2015, when we traveled to Spain to see Julie (and had a lovely two weeks traveling around the country…this only served to whet my appetite for further trips to Spain and other places abroad). We went in March, which turned out to be a pretty chilly time to visit Spain. The weather was cold and damp for most of the time we were there (in the 50s and rainy several days). The last few days, when we were in Madrid, the temps got up into the 70s, and we finally felt like spring had arrived.

In June 2016 we traveled to Williamsburg, VA to visit my cousin Joe (and Catherine) and celebrate his birthday. We turned that trip into a minivacation, did some sightseeing around Jamestown and Williamsburg, and met a college friend and her husband for dinner.

Now, after our latest trip to see family, I am beginning to get the travel itch. Julie has spring break coming up in March, and we had talked about heading to North Carolina to visit family there, but alas, they are all busy. So Julie and I may go canoeing or do something at least one day of her spring break. She’s thinking about driving to Mississippi to see some college friends, so I may take a day off and kidnap John from his work and go somewhere.

John is recovering from neck surgery in January. He said to me sadly over the weekend, “I guess I can’t canoe anymore.” We haven’t canoed in several years, since our kids were teenagers. I’d like to get back to canoeing occasionally and horseback riding (which I’ve done only occasionally). I may have to find some friends to do that with and find tamer fare for me and John. I do have a Bucket List of places I’d like for us to visit. The trick will be lassoing him long enough to go somewhere. After all, he owns a pool and spa maintenance business, and he stays pretty busy most of the year. This may be the year I talk him into semiretirement. He turns 70 this September. Time’s a-wasting…we have miles to go and promises to keep (and lots of road trips or at least plane/rental car trips) to go on.

So this Monday is a super fine day to be off work. The temperature is supposed to get into the 70s. I have laundry to do, housework to catch up on (ah, who am I kidding? I will probably spend an hour at the most doing housework), junk to sort through and take to Goodwill, and a friend to meet for happy hour. I am glad I didn’t have to go to the office. I got up at 5:30, drank my first cup of coffee and had my morning devotion, then I felt sleepiness overtake me, and I wound up on the couch with the kitteh for about 30 minutes. Soon I headed downstairs and went to bed. I awoke at 9:30. Now, in my opinion, that’s a great way to start a Monday!

So today’s theme (in case you wondered after all my rambling) is RECHARGING. That’s what I’m doing. I think I’ll be a nicer person to be around after this lovely day off.

 

P.S. Stay tuned. One of these days I will learn how to send photos from my phone to my blog. I get impatient about wanting to post pictures immediately, and heck, who has time to try to figure out new technological things on a precious day off?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Away

I am taking this week off from work. I saw the signs coming that I needed to take a few days off:

* Me arse be draggin.’

* Physical symptoms indicated that my body needs rest.

* Couldn’t stop my mind from racing. Was awaking at 3:00 in the morning with stuff on my mind. If I’d gotten up and written down those thoughts, I think they would be crazy.

* My attitude toward work was getting a little “iffy.” Decided it was time to practice Steven Covey’s 7th habit, sharpening the saw. I expect to be much more productive next week when I return.

* I started feeling this need to get out of town. Sometimes you just need to shake off your daily routine, if only for a few days.

* Spring fever has set in in a big way. Maybe I should call it summer fever, ’cause the temps are certainly summerlike. Roses are blooming already, as are the azaleas. Unreal.

Yesterday I found myself driven to do one more thing. Today I am going to shower and pack for a trip, load the dishwasher, and get out of town as soon as our car is ready. It’s nice to know that Daniel will be here to care for our cat and see that our garden gets watered (I hope).

For the rest of the week, who knows? We might take some back roads, chase some rainbows if there are any to be found, read some, meet some interesting people…and I will catch up on some belated gifts.

I do have one goal for vacation: dive into organizing small corners of our house. If I can get our junk mail and bills sorted, that will be a major accomplishment. Just about the time I think I’m on top of things, more paper arrives in the house. I can’t keep up with it all. I try to throw away junk mail daily, but sometimes it lands on the basement steps (John beats me to the mailbox) or other strange places.

Speaking of getting ready for trips, it’s time to close and go get my shower! TTFN (as Tigger in Winnie-the-Pooh says). Ta-ta for now.