Friday, June 30, 2023

Friday - It's Been a Productive Week

It's the end of the week and the end of another month. It does seem like this year is just flying by! I think I had a good June. I certainly had a lovely camping holiday and I feel as though I've been fairly productive. This week has actually been a really productive week. I've stuck to lists, finished the things on my list and I can actually see some progress in the house. It's really encouraging!

I wanted to get rid of 50 things in June and I think I've accomplished more than that. I do need to check out what I've written down, but even books alone (if I count them individually) I feel as though I've got rid of that many! I am going to continue into July. I've already listed what area I want to work on next week. I shall further break it down into smaller tasks each day. 

Next week is also my first week of the new Mon-Wed-Fri walking regime. It helps that there is a holiday on the Tuesday as I don't walk with my friend on the holidays. Going forward, I'm looking at this as a positive thing. I feel as though this will not only give me extra time working on the home project, but it will also bring back some of the reason I started walking in the first place. It wasn't just for exercise, but to appreciate the beauty in the little things around me. Truthfully, I like just wandering. I enjoy the solitude. I think the Mon-Wed-Fri thing is not only a good balance of solitude and social, but freeing up some time. 

A couple of phone photos from the last couple days. The air has been quite smoke filled. Yesterday my eyes were quite teary and I felt a little short of breath when walking fast. We're supposed to have rain this weekend and, while I don't enjoy the rain - especially at the weekend - I'm also hoping it will disperse some of the smoke. 

How has your month been? Have you managed to get some decluttering done? 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Oops...Missed a Day and Smoke (cough, cough)

It's Wednesday. I missed posted yesterday. It was one of those days that, by the time I remembered, I was already in bed and that was it. Lol. I wasn't getting out again. 

It's been a smoke-filled couple of days here in my corner of Michigan. Yesterday was particularly bad. As soon as I stepped outside, I could smell the smoke. It's from the wildfires in Canada. There was almost a fog over everything, except it wasn't, it was smoke. Apparently, it's really bad in our area. It's supposed to stick around until Friday morning. Today, I thought, was a little better. I could still smell smoke, but the sun actually managed to pop through the smoke a couple of times during the day. 

I did tell my friend that, starting next week, I was only going to be walking Mon, Wed and Friday. She wanted to know what I was doing the other two days. I tried to explain. Later though I wondered why I had tried to explain. I really shouldn't have to explain why I want to do something lol. Still, I am sticking to my guns, and I shall only go on those three days. 

I am feeling a bit more optimistic about the decluttering. I've come to the conclusion that it's going to be an ongoing thing. Bit by bit. I (shock, gasp!) have been making a list of the little bits I want to get done each day. I'm feeling less overwhelmed when I take on small bits at a time. There is one particular corner I've been working on and I'm quite pleased to say that it's already looking a lot better!

A few phone photos from this morning

Monday, June 26, 2023

Monday - Some Thoughts

Monday was off to a slow start. It was dull and rainy when I got up so I decided not to go for a walk. I did go out and run some errands so I could check those off my list. I also got tomorrow's housework done today so that I can (if the weather is better) walk for a little longer tomorrow morning. I didn't mop however as it was raining, and it seemed pretty pointless to mop the kitchen when everybody would be walking in the back door with (likely) muddy boots!

I'm not going to complain too much about the rain as we really do need some. I took this photo with my phone of my windshield after I got in the car lol. 

I also listed a few more things on Ebay today. Things are slowly going out the door. I need to get more organised with this. 

I was thinking about the decluttering today and where I want to go with it.  As I sit in the living room, I see the cabinet we keep the television on, DVD player and way too many DVDs and CDs. They are in the cupboard but there are a lot of them. I took out a few to look through and got stuck. I was wondering what peoples' thoughts are on these. 

* Have you got rid of all your DVDs and CDs? 

* Do you keep a collect few? 

I'm really stuck where to go with them. There are some that I put on and watch, but there are a lot that I don't. Some can be seen on the streaming services we have while others cannot. Should I just go through them the first time and pick out ones I can easily let go and then take a rethink about what others I can let go of? 


Hope everyone had a good Monday. Back tomorrow. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Getting Back in the Groove

I always find it a bit of a struggle to get back into the routine when I get back from a break away. I needed the break though. Day-to-day I seem to get stuck in a routine and then find it hard to break the normal even if it's not a good routine. Going away and getting out of that groove sometimes helps to reset things the way I would like them to be. A bit more on that later. 

We had a good time away. Husband and son did lots of relaxing. I did a lot of walking from the cabin to the beachfront and lagoon to sit and watch the bird life. It was quite wonderful. It's the first time we've stayed a week in one place when we're camping. Usually, we go to a couple of different campsites and do things daily. Husband and son wanted something a bit more relaxing this time, so I picked a place I knew would be nice for us all. 

I was the only one who got up for the sunrises. They aren't too early here - about 6am. I was talking to my sister (in Ipswich, England) and she said their sunrises were just after 4.30 in the morning. I wouldn't be up and out on the beach by then lol. 

The beach at this park - Bay City State Park - is situated on Lake Huron, another of the Great Lakes. There is a swimming beach with groomed sand but there is a wilder side to the beach with a large pool of water where Egrets fish in the morning. 

Just after sunrise through the trees (phone photo)

Here's one of the Egrets taken with my camera 

I'll post more of the holiday on upcoming blogs. 

Back to day-to-day now. I did a lot of thinking while I was away and have come to the decision to walk just three days a week with my walking friend, at least for the rest of the summer. The other two mornings I'll get up early, go for a quick nature walk and photography session and get back home to work on my house. I really want to keep moving forward with my decluttering efforts and I have come to realise that I need to devout more time to it and to use my time a little better. When I walk with my friend I don't get done until almost eleven and then if errands are to be done I don't get home until 12.30 or so and husband and son get off work at 2.15!  I know that I can still get things done when they get home, but I find it easier to get things done while they are at work. I'm not in anyone's way as I move around the house, and I can put on music (which I like working to) without disturbing anyone. 

I shall let me friend know tomorrow that starting next week I won't be joining her daily. I hope she understands.

On the decluttering front - I did tackle a junk drawer. I don't think I've opened it in, well, a long time. It was full of trading card sleeves and cords to things (I don't know what lol). The cords have been in there a while and I'm sure they go to something which is why they have stayed in there. However, as I said, I haven't opened it in a long time so obviously they are not something I'll miss. I had husband check them first. He held on to an HDMI one. The others he was just as clueless as I was lol. So they are gone. Same with the remotes in the photo.

This is a pile of the miscellaneous rubbish I threw out from there. 

I have also managed to declutter another five books

I am slowly catching up with blogs. 

Hopefully back tomorrow!

Friday, June 23, 2023

Checking in - Back from Camping

I'll catch up more tomorrow. We're back from our week of camping. It was lovely. I did post a few stories on Instagram but other than that I tried to stay away from social media. 

We had a really nice time. I took lots of photos. Walked a lot. Saw Sunrises and Sunsets. I need a holiday of rest! Won't be doing much the next couple of days, just relaxing and catching up on things. 

More tomorrow! 

Here's a phone photo of the mini-cabin we stayed in 

We were really surprised by the addition of the deck on the side and an air conditioning unit! What luxury. 

Friday, June 16, 2023

It's Friday!

Husband took three boxes to the Charity Shop for donation. I wanted them out of the house. 

Tomorrow we are off for a week 'camping' trip. I hesitate to say camping as we will be staying in a mini cabin. It's nothing fancy. It's basically a small room with two sets of bunk beds and a small counter. There are two chairs outside, a picnic table and a fire pit. There are showers/bathrooms a small walk away. It does have electricity which is more than we usually have. We have to take everything - sleeping bags, cooking things etc. I am really looking forward to it. It's in a state park. We've stayed there for a weekend before. There is a beach across the road, and a lagoon. Lots of wildlife and photo opportunities which is what I want. Husband is going to just relax and enjoy. I have plenty of books packed to read in between taking photos. It is a chance to just get away from the normal and enjoy. 

Today I walked briefly with my friend and then went off on my own. I needed a chance to recharge before setting about my day. I ran a couple of errands before heading home, doing some wash, tidying up a bit, packing and getting camera stuff ready for tomorrow. 

I am looking forward to breaking the routine for a week. Usually, I have a chance to reflect and think about how I want to do things going forward. I really need to do that as I feel like a record that keeps getting stuck. 

Hopefully, I will check in during the week if only to share a few phone photos. 

Phone photos from my walk today -  In the Woods. Everything is looking so lush and green

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Decluttering Update

Well, it was a bit of a fail so far this week. I have managed to pull out a few things to donate but not as many as I had hoped. 

2 votive candle holders

7 books

1 basket

Pack unbranded embroidery floss


Not the greatest. However, I have managed to put a lot of things that were just sitting out, in their places so it is looking a little tidier. I also used up 5 (yes 5) bits of rolls of cellotape (tape) when I was packaging up things leaving my house from Ebay. I am not including those in my list of things gone. I had bought some cheap rolls of tape from The Dollar Tree a while back and had started to use them only to become really frustrated with them as they kept breaking. I hadn't thrown them away. I had stuck them in a basket. This week I got them out, took a deep breath, and managed to use them up. Yippee!! They have gone (and not to waste) and I won't buy that cheap stuff again ha ha. 

I will keep going on the decluttering. Hopefully a few things will be got rid of in the next few days. 

Photos for today. I've been playing with the photo editor I have. I wish I could draw, but I can't so these are the next best thing lol. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Monday and a Poppy

It was cloudy and cool today. Felt more like Autumn that heading into Summer. It was quiet on my walk. Nice though. I saw the swans with their one remaining baby. It is sticking really close to Mum, still riding on her back even though it's getting quite big!

I came home, tidied a little and then tried to sort out some things. I feel as though I'm taking baby steps, but, as I've said before, as long as I keep plodding forward progress will be made! I'm trying to sort out the main areas of the house (problem areas where things are put) so that I feel peace in those areas first. I do have another couple of boxes ready to go to the charity shop so I think that's a plus! 

I did get the meal planning done and have made a list of things I need to pick up from the shops tomorrow. I have packages to drop off at the post office too. I shall do my errands after my walk tomorrow. 

I managed to look through most of the flower photos from yesterday. I seem to have really liked taking photos of one flower standing out lol. Here is one 

Hope everyone had a good Monday!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Sunday and Plans for Next Week

The weather today wasn't great. It was cloudy and a little showery, but we went out for a drive and a little walk along the beach. We stopped at a poppy field. It was beautiful and a little sad. It was planted for the owners' son who had served in the military and came home suffering with PTSD. Unfortunately, he took his own life. They planted the field as a memorial to him. 

Some phone photos. I took my camera and will probably share a few another time

Was really beautiful and I don't think these phone photos show it justice. 

So, the weekend is done. What are the plans for next week? 

First thing to do tomorrow - meal plan. I put it off today. I need to check the freezer and cupboards and see what I can use and what I need to get. A plus - since sorting the freezer attached to the fridge I have been keeping it tidy. 

I have been sorting through some things (and listed them) on Ebay. I have a lot more to put up. I also want to get at least another 10 items ready for donation. I feel as though I'm taking one step forward and two steps back. I suppose as long as I keep chipping away at things they will get better. It's when I don't get rid of anything at all and stop thinking about it that things will slide backward again. I think I need a better system of going through things. Right now I'm just flitting around. 

What are your plans for the week? How is decluttering coming? 

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Saturday Walk

Can't say I got much done today. I did get up early and went for a walk by myself. Husband slept downstairs to give me a break from the snoring and he slept late so I was already up and about out the door before he woke up. Unusual for him. It was a nice walk. I just went to my usual place, but by myself. It was surprisingly quiet for the weekend. It was lovely to watch a hot air balloon go over the lake. 

Some phone photos

I almost waved they were so close!

I stood and watched a couple of snapping turtles laying eggs.

Luckily I didn't see any of them near the Mallard, Wood Duck or Swan babies. 

I stood there and looked up into the sky and enjoyed the clouds

By the time I got back home husband was fully awake. I persuaded him that we needed to go to the Amish shop for some doughnuts and goodies. He was more than willing to come along. 

On the way we were going to stop at our usual spot, but it was really busy and I didn't want to get out and take photos. I did take a photo of a couple of a couple of Amish buggies. This is by a lake and I think they went fishing. Not sure what they did with the horses!

We also stopped by this barn. I told husband I recognised it and he reminded me that we'd stopped there in winter lol. I knew I liked this spot!

In the afternoon middle son came up to go to the cinema with older son. He then came back to the house and had something to eat. I also spent time today chatting with daughter. 

All-in-all a pretty good day!

Hope everyone is having an enjoyable weekend. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

A Good Book & What's For Tea?

I finished this book the other day. I really enjoyed it. I don't think there's one book of hers that I've read that I didn't like. She's an American author and writes books based in the south. From the descriptions I'd love to visit some of these places!

Here's a blurb I copied from Amazon

Eleanor Murray will always remember her childhood on Edisto Island, where her late father, a local shrimper, shared her passion for music. Now her memories of him are all that tempers the guilt she feels over the accident that put her sister in a wheelchair—and the feelings she harbors for her sister’s husband.

To help support her sister, Eleanor works at a Charleston investment firm during the day, but she escapes into her music, playing piano at a neighborhood bar. Until the night her enigmatic boss walks in and offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, back on Edisto. For Eleanor, it’s a chance to revisit the place where she was her happiest—and to share her love of music with grieving Helena, whose sister recently died under mysterious circumstances.

An island lush with sweetgrass and salt marshes, Edisto has been a peaceful refuge for Helena, who escaped with her sister from war-torn Hungary in 1944. The sisters were well-known on the island, where they volunteered in their church and community. But now Eleanor will finally learn the truth about their past: secrets that will help heal her relationship with her own sister—and set Eleanor free....

She writes what Mum would have called Family Stories although I think they are considered Womens' Fiction. Her books are ones that I read over and over again. I did have both physical and ebook copies of most of them, but I got rid of duplicates in my decluttering attempts. 

What was for tea tonight? Chicken Quesadillas. These are a family favourite. Basically, they are chicken cooked in seasoning, peppers, onions, cheese in tortilla shells (toasted in the oven) and served with sour cream and guacamole.

I took some photos with my phone and put them in a collage! Hope everyone had a good day!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Decluttering Continues

I'm trying to declutter at least 50 things in July. I find decluttering, sorting and (groan) organising a real challenge. I look at things and still like them (that's why they are in the house!) but I also like the thought of having space and tidiness in my home. It seems like a bit of a contradiction. I did a lot of sorting out at Jane's house last year and for a long time I just felt I couldn't sort or declutter another thing. For anyone new reading the blog, husband's aunt passed away and MIL and myself spent about eight months sorting out her house. She was a collector and a bit of a hoarder and it was a lot of work! For a while I gave up sorting my own things out. However, now I'm ready. 

Even though this is a June challenge, I feel as though it's something I hope to continue with and revisit. I do little-by-little rather than getting rid of huge chunks. I really don't know where to start, so I tend to pick a section, go through and get rid of the easiest things. Later on, I'll have to revisit the section again and pick out things that are a little more difficult. 

Today I worked on the bedroom. Mainly clothes. It's warmer now and I knew that I had some legging type capris that I wear in the house, but could I find them? That's a big NO. Today I decided to pull things out and find them. You'll be glad to know that I did end up finding what I had misplaced. 

I also got rid of (straight from my notebook lol)

6 tee shirts

1 night shirt

1 capri (elastic gone)

1 sweatshirt

1 cardigan

1 oversized long sleeved shirt

1 jumper (hole)

1 long sleeve (old)

1 jumper (didn't want)

1 long sleeve button up (been a while since worn)

1 dress (ugh)

None clothes - floss odds and ends

Threw away - a bunch of rubbish I found. 

That's it for decluttering today. I put some in my donate bag, some in the bin and some I am giving to my walking friend as her church is collecting sweatshirts and tee shirts for migrant workers. 

I actually feel quite pleased with what I got done. I'm planning on doing some more tomorrow. 

Question - I thought about this while sorting. Do you keep boxes for items? How long? 

Phone Photo from my walk today. In the woods

Monday, June 5, 2023

Sunday Adventure

We did decide to put off the wildlife drive. Instead, we decided to go to one of our favourite state parks - Muskegon State Park and take a walk along the beach. It was quiet and nice. It wasn't too warm either so it was lovely just to walk along and enjoy. As we walked along the local passenger/car ferry passed nearby and caused a little bit of waves. It was funny to watch the seagulls diving to catch the fish stirred up by the waves. We didn't have as long a day out as we sometimes do but it was fun, nonetheless. Our middle son came up later in the afternoon and ate some food with us and had a chat. So, a nice Sunday overall. 

A few phone photos from our adventure.

I'm not sure why this park/beach is quiet. Not that I'm complaining. There is another beach the other side of the channel and I think that's where a lot of people go.

Local ferry - little video

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Saturday - walk, books and turtles

It's been really hot again the last couple of days. I have been walking, but it's been really early in the morning and I try to get back home again before things really heat up. If I have to go anywhere I've been going right from my walk and then spending the rest of the day at home. We don't have central air conditioning, just a couple of window air conditioners (one up, one down) but it makes it ok in the house, not cool, but not blistering hot either. Things are supposed to be a little cooler next week - highs of 83F or so (28C). 

I didn't do a lot of decluttering yesterday, but I did manage to go around the house and fill a bag of rubbish. I did not count how many items I stuck inside the bag. Today, I sorted out 30 books! I'm not sure whether to count them as separate items or maybe 5 books = 1 item, or maybe one days worth of books as 1 item. Something to think on. 

We were going to go out to the wildlife drive tomorrow but it's a way away (2 and a half hour drive) and I really don't know if I can be bothered to get up ultra early in the morning to catch sight of the birds. I am thinking we should put it off until we go camping as it's only an hour away from the camp sight. 

A couple phone photos from my walk today - it was a day for turtles. There were a few out on the path laying eggs. Someone (one of the workers from the Fish Hatchery, I assume) had tried to protect some eggs.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June - The Decluttering has Started

It's a hot start to June. Our weather here in Michigan has been warmer than usual. Today it reached 90f/32/c. The next few days is going to be more of the same. It's a little too warm for me and warmer than it usually is at this time of year. I've been going for my walk and then coming home and enjoying the window air conditioner that we have. 

Today is the first of June. This month I am going to work on starting to get the house in order. I hope to get rid of 50 things in June - hopefully more! I've got off to a good start. Here's a few of the things I got rid of today. I took advantage of our quarterly rubbish pick up. Most of the things I put out already got picked up. Other things I donated. Not included in this list are two bags of rubbish I sorted and took out!

Step stool - this is from the kitchen. I had brought home one from Jane's house as ours was getting a little worn, but I'd never changed them out. The step stool went on the curb and someone picked up. 

2 sets of sheets and extra pillowcases. These are well worn. I can't even remember the number of years I've had them. 

7 books. This is not an easy one for me. Sigh. I struggle with books. 

3 bras - I think I wore them once. They weren't comfortable. Goodness knows why I kept them - perhaps hoping for some miracle that they'd finally feel good perhaps - ha ha!

Cardigan - I like it which is why I've kept it. BUT I haven't worn it for a long time. I have plenty so it's gone. 

a tangle of headphones. No idea why I kept them. 

a new pack of shoelaces. Don't know why I bought them. 

Pair jeans. Just not comfortable. 

3 suitcases. We downsized. How many suitcases do we need? 

It's a start. Husband is dropping off two boxes of donations on his way home from work tomorrow. The donations include some items I decluttered last month (not included in the list). I'm writing things down and will probably update once a week. 

Is anyone else decluttering? How did you do? 

Some of the decluttered items.