Pumpkins, Piss N’ Vinegar

Clump #245: Work through inner, inner paper pile; day three of NaBloPoMo.

Oh my, my.  I just caught myself starting to read an article entitled: How to Stop Procrastinating — For Good, while procrastinating writing this post.  I really didn’t even notice for a while; the irony is pretty thick.

Here is a great tip for hapless housekeepers: invite a neat-nick friend over once a week.  My dear friend and fellow The Voice t.v.-show-watching partner came over again tonight for the show.  One week ago she set off the clump that I’m finally peeling back to its essence.  Funny thing about last week: I dumped all sorts of paper in an ugly pile, stashed it in the corner of our study, turned the light out, and pretended that it didn’t exist.  But sometime during the Adam-Blake-Gwen-and-Pharrell-fest I wanted to mapquest a destination for this friend.  She came with me into the study where our computer is, I turned the light back on, and, well … my clumping shame was exposed.  But she came back again this week.  By the end of the Voice season our house should be immaculate. Or maybe I’ll allow myself to relax and be okay with the way things are.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this dichotomy between the public and private self/home.  The pumpkin I carved for Halloween made for an unexpectedly funny illustration.  Private, raw, and untamed:


Public, neat(er), smooth, and composed:


Dark night of the soul:


Put on a happy face:


I got through a bunch of phone calls today from the inner, inner paper pile that I had been putting off, but when confronted, felt very good.  I vented my spleen (where in the world did that expression come from?).  I was full of piss and vinegar (again…?) by the end of the paper pile calls. Not as big and grand as the mammoth herding of newspapers and catalogs of a few days ago, but in terms of sense of accomplishment, it was great.


Small, but far-reaching in impact.

Plunging Into the NaBloPoMo Challenge

Clump #243:  Vanquish paper dragon, yet again.  Day one of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).

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Hello again … I’m back from Baking Land!

Some big things happened when I was gone from the blogosphere.  First, I had a “big” birthday.  To mark the occasion, I was determined to take a dip in the lake where my family and I were staying for the celebration.  Yes, it was October.  Oh, yes, the  water was cold.  My older daughter and youngest niece joined me.  Here are some of the wonderful gifts from the experience:

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  1. My very wise daughter said, on the day we were to take the plunge, “Mom, it’s not going to be any warmer or more light outside than it is now.”  Me: “So true.  Let’s do it.”
  2. I had a very strong image in my mind of exactly what I wanted to do: walk, walk, walk in, with no stopping, then dive from there, float on my back and kick up a big ball of splash (below), the way my mom always did, then get out.  Done and done.  A clear, rock-solid goal is a powerful thing.
  3. My hot, outdoor shower afterward felt like heaven!  Gotta have the cold to fully appreciate the warm.
  4. The whole experience shook off every speck of dust and cobweb (old-lady-ness), inside and out.  Invigorating!

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Also, I completed a writing task that has been hanging over my head for a year. I was aided by life lesson number one, above.  I told myself, “I will never have more time to do it than I have now,” as the deadline bore down on me.  Later, I read said writing in front of a group, which was very big for me, given my history with public speaking.  A flashback to the “presentation speech” I was required to do in junior high or high school (blocked out the year): I had made the mistake of choosing to demonstrate how to make a tissue paper flower, not realizing how much my hands would shake in front of the class.  I told myself that it was loud to me, but maybe the other kids couldn’t hear the rattle of tissue paper shaking — until a class comedian piped up with, “It’s a good thing she’s not working with a knife!”  Ah, memories!


Now, down to business.  The clump. With all the Fall Festival baking, going away to upstate New York, and the big writing project to fret over, the paper-build-up in our house again reached danger level.  My good friend came over to watch The Voice with me last Monday night, so I swooped up all the paper and dumped it in a corner of our oft-beleaguered study.  If its walls could speak they would be crying, “Help, I can’t breathe!”


But here you go, old thing, my work in progress:


And after.  Pile on the right is the clump for tomorrow.


The study breathes a sigh of relief.  Enjoy, indeed.


A happily ever after.

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Until the next time …

Big thanks to my sister Jean for the lake photos!

The Road to Hell is Paved with Unsent Cards


Clump #197:  Write and send two procrastinated cards.

Scheduling a Skype session with our son didn’t work out today, so I turned my attention away from his closet for today’s task.  I took care of a clump of small size but heavy psychic weight: two cards I had bought but had not gotten around to sending out.  One condolence, the other, get well.

I’ve developed a new view on the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  The hell is a state of mind you develop right here on earth.  The more time slipped away, the worse I felt … to the point that every time I looked at these two cards, the guilt was deeper and more dreadful. Continue reading →

Hanging in the Balance

Clump #53:  Put up long-neglected picture.

Day 22 of the 30-day, 30-clump, 30-post challenge.  This past week I have been laboring over some difficult, time-consuming clumps. Today’s was comparatively easy and satisfying … why did it take me so long?

I had seen the print in a store in Minnesota two summers ago.  I had my younger daughter take a photo of it with her cell phone.  Back home, I would occasionally ask her if she still had the picture; she’d show it to me, and I’d say, yeah, I do like it.

A year later, I went back to the store and it was still there (most likely not the same one).  I finally bought it to go in the room I have been excavating this week.  And there it sat and sat and sat … until today.


It took about ten minutes to overcome two years of inertia.


I love it because it reminds me of many family get togethers on a lake in Minnesota.


The question: “Why have I been depriving myself of this pleasure?” brought to mind a card I received from a friend who taught a Reiki class.  She let us pick out and keep one tiny card from a small deck. This was the one I picked.


My accounting looks a little better now.