Differences in Perception

vintage print of dandelion

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been really noticing how differently we all think and react about life.  Maybe because of the election year here in the US triggered it all or maybe I’m just spending more time contemplating that I used to…who knows.

The Dandelion print is a case in point…to many, the dandelion is just a weed…something to get rid of in any way possible.  To others, it’s food in the spring time and wine.  To another group it’s quite a magical plant…first that vibrant yellow and then the white puffy seed pod to blow and make wishes.

So, here goes:

1. Money. now I’m well aware this all depends on how much you have access to, charges, family history, etc.  If something in the home breaks, needs or repairs…or you are just plain tired of it.

Group A…immediately will go out/go online and purchase a new one or get a repair person.  There is no second guessing about it.  This is nothing to even waste time thinking about it.

Group B…they shop around for a while, save up for it or think about it but eventually get it somewhat quickly.  It’s a pain, an unexpected expense but not that big a deal.

Group C…having something break/or need repairs becomes a big deal and a hardship.  Many times it doesn’t get replaced unless one is found used or free.  This group does without or finds an alternative.

 

2. Gas…it’s interesting to see how various people react to the gasoline levels in their car.

Group A…if their gas  level edges close to 1/4 tank, they get nervous and put gas in.

Group B…the group who seems to find it a fun challenge to see how far on gas fumes they are able to go.

 

3. Food

Group A…the group who when you open any of their cabinets/refrigerator, there are multiples of every item.  They have multiple refrigerators and freezers.

Group B…the group who uses up what they have to the degree that many times the only item in the freezer is ice.

 

4. Clothing

Group A…the group who has kept every different size of clothing(just in case).  Boxes and boxes of shoes in their closet…and still has nothing to wear.

Group B…the group who has the “minimalist wardrobe”…a minimal amount of items and all color coordinated.

Group C…the group who have a large amount of clothing but it all fits, is coordinated into different types(work, dress, leisure) and shoes as well.

 

5. Decorations

Group A…the group who finds great joy in decorating for the seasons/holidays.  The whole house is decorated…inside and out.

Group B…the group who concentrates on one room and some decorations outside.

Group C.. the group who puts a decoration on the door and calls it done.

 

6. Cleaning when company is expected

Group A…this is the group who go through the whole house on a regular basis(or have someone clean for them) and are always company ready.

Group B…the group who does the basics…bathroom, living room vacuumed and dusted, and guest room if necessary.

Group C…the group who goes tearing through the room/house just before company is expected(or you see them pulling in the driveway) with an empty wash basket and dumping everything in there to tidy it up.

 

7. Appointments

Group A…the group who when they have to be somewhere(appointment, work, etc.) they are always there early…1/2-1 hour early.  The one who is waiting for everyone else.

Group B…the group who is pretty much on time…

Group C…the group who believes in the term, “fashionably late”.  The one who others are always waiting for.

 

It’s all about perception, isn’t it?  And if you and I have different perceptions(say the gas example.) we are not going to fully understand one another.  I’m the one with the fear of running out of gas.  If I edge towards 1/4 tank or slightly below, I get very nervous.  My daughter’s boyfriend finds it a challenge to see how far he can go on the gas after it reaches empty.

These cases of perception can sometimes make it difficult in our home/work situations…can’t they?  Guess many times we just have to think of that rule…don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.

Have a good Sunday!

til next time…Eva

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Case of Giggles

014aZowie…photo taken by Eva

 

“I love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh
It’s getting worse ev’ry year
The more I laugh
The more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I’m a merrier me”
(Mary Poppins song…I Love to Laugh}
   Remember the scene in Mary Poppins when they are visiting Bert’s Uncle Albert…who is floating up in the ceiling because of his laughter?  Eventually Bert and the children are up there too, laughing.  Mary Poppins is the only one still standing and still serious.
  I guess I could say that I take myself and life too seriously most times.  It’s not that I truly want to be that way and it’s not that I am negative per se.  I guess you could say I’m the serious/”sensible” type…where deep inside is that inner child who loved to laugh and have fun/do fun things.
   I read recently  that young children laugh/smile up to 300 times a day..wow.  I realize it’s all a matter of what we look at and whether we are open to it.  For the last couple of days, my horoscopes and other readings have pointed towards looking/noticing the joyful side of life.
   Today it started off with the giggles.  I’ve been sleeping in the basement on my Mom’s old sofa because it’s been too hot to sleep upstairs. On the small table in front of the sofa, I’ve had Zowie in her birdcage and she has it partially covered with a light cloth at night.
   I woke up this morning to find her on her bottom perch staring at me.  When she realized I was awake, she got all excited, flapped her wings and started peeping.  Giggle #1.
   I had work this morning and had arranged to meet at a friend’s house for lunch.  I told her about a sewing challenge I was doing for September – you are required to sew 5 items of clothing from the same pattern.  Since I haven’t sewn clothing in a while, it had to be something simple…so I decided on using my fabric stash for pajama pants.  She got a gleam in her eyes and left…bringing back a pair of her too-short pajama pants.  “Could you make me a pair…or two?”   Giggle #2.
   Got home and waited for my daughter’s daily phone call on her way from work.  She told me first that her boyfriend’s best friend broke up with his girlfriend…once again(this is the third time).  I commented that, yes, that was sad.  “Mom, you don’t understand.  That “Girl’s Weekend” I am going on this weekend…well, she’s riding in the same car I am.  Also, the concert we are going to, I have no clue who this band is.  And third, the birthday girl is the same age as I am but the other three women are all 47. It’s going to be a disaster!”  Giggle # 3   (“Mom, why are you laughing?  It is NOT funny!”  “It is from where I am sitting.”
   I was ready to take the garbage out after dinner.  I noticed that the neighbor’s dog “Barkley” was in my yard by the birdbath…barking at me, looking at his yard and then looking at me and barking once again.  I was confused for a minute and then it dawned on me that they have an electric fence and he didn’t want to cross it alone.  (self punishment is so over rated).  I got Benji’s old leash and Barkley eagerly went along with me over the fence…well, actually he pulled me over.  Giggle #4.
   4 Giggles in one day…so far.  And you know, it really felt good.  I do love to laugh and feel my eyes crinkle up and my mouth move to a grin.
   Lets hope it continues🙂
   til next time…Eva

Days when frustration levels are high…

I realize that many of us who are over 50 have difficulties with computers and everything having to do with them  because we didn’t grow up with that technology.  The “for Dummies” books even have a separate version for over 50s.

Combine any computer problems with limited finances and you have headaches.

My journey started in April when my USB ports “fried” suddenly for some unknown reason.  Nothing I tried worked and the only alternative was to buy a new computer.  My Windows 7 computer worked just fine otherwise.

With my need to download photos for my blog, etsy and ebay accounts…my daughter gave me enough money to purchase an inexpensive small thinkpad(which has Windows 10 installed).  That arrived last week and hope surged within me once again.

Nothing downloaded from my camera.  I thought I would need an adapter of some sort because it seemed the USB cord from my camera didn’t fit properly into the port.

On my way home from work today, I stopped in at Staples with my thinkpad and camera cord.  Apparently it fit ok so no adapter needed.  The technician inquired how old my camera was.  “Old”, I replied…(got it in 2004…guess we could call it a dinosaur at this point).

He suggested I go on the camera’s website(Sony) to see if maybe there were special requirements for the Windows 10.

Got home, went on to the website.  Whole list of camera numbers that worked…mine wasn’t on the list.  Was able to get a representative named Gladys on chat.

She verified my observation and gave me the suggestion to either downgrade my computer from a 10 to a 7 or buy a new camera.

So, back to almost square 1…5 months of no photos…guess now I start saving up and looking for an inexpensive camera to use.

I seriously wonder why I am being given these lessons right now…it’s all been a struggle.  Is the Universe telling me to focus my attention on something else?  Something else that I flow down the stream effortlessly and joyfully?

Trust me, that sounds like one lovely option right now.

til next time…Eva

Getting Un-Stuck

001Vintage Hallmark Picture circa 1987

Every once in a while, I find myself in “Stuck” mode.  Nothing in my life looks/feels good.  It’s that “dis-satisfaction” mode…or sometimes it’s the “sadness” mode.  The last week or so has been the sadness mode…when I find myself tearing up for no apparent reason…people, pets, events…all of which don’t normally trigger tears.

I thought at first…oh, you’re just tired.  It’s the heat.  It’s the new/full moon.

Life was just not fun, you know that feeling?

Well, after a week of this un-ease, I decided I had to figure out what the issue  was…and since I’m a writer, I write.  I’m sure there are many methods to do this, but I’ll share the one that works for me.

Sit down and get comfortable.  Have your favorite beverage beside you because this could take a while.  Be sure there are no interruptions…turn off the phone and let others around you know that you are unavailable for a while.  Be in a private space if possible.  This is quiet time between you and your higher self( or whatever name you call it…inner voice, guardian angel, God within, soul, etc.)

I use paper and pen but I guess it would work on your computer screen as well.

Breathe in, exhale.  Now you begin.

Ask your first question.  It can be concise or hazy…eventually you will realize that your thoughts become clear.

That inner voice will respond to your question…I find it responds with another question.  Then your response.  Their response…it feels like a tennis match at times…ping, ping, ping.

Here is an example of my latest session so that you can see how it works: (M is “me”, IV is “inner voice”)

M: I’m out of sorts.

IV: Why?

M: I don’t know.

IV: Sure you do.  How does it feel?

M: I’m tired.  I don’t have any ambition.

IV: Go on…more.

M: am frustrated.  Too many things aren’t going my way right now.  I’m discouraged. I’m stuck.

IV: Stuck?

M: Yes, Stuck.

IV: Where are you stuck?

M: In so many areas…at my age, I’m not where I thought/hoped I would be.

IV: Ok…dig deeper.

M: Stuck, stuck, stuck.

IV: Go on…give me specifics.

M:Stuck in my financial level.  Stuck in physical weight.  Job is unsatisfactory. My life isn’t  fun.  I miss my kid.

IV: I hear you…so, what are you going to do to get “unstuck”?

M: Baby steps.

IV: Ok…how?

M: Each area I’m stuck in, I’ll do baby steps to get myself out of them.

IV: Easier said than done.  So, how are you doing that?

M: Well, I’ll write down each area I’m stuck in and then write down various baby steps and make sure I do something every day and check it off.

IV: That sounds like an interesting concept.  Do you think it will work?

M: Well, it should work to get me moving a bit and maybe I’ll feel better about it and a break through will develop.

IV: Sounds good to me.  Get started then.

After this session, I had a renewed sense of hope and interest.  Got out the notebook and wrote down all of the areas I felt stuck in and baby steps.  (Since I never do anything half way, I had 12 areas that I felt stuck in/dis-satisfied in…a page for each).  Some have many baby steps, some have very few at the moment.  But, it’s a start and I feel energized once again.  If I get stuck in any one area, I simply will do this exercise again.

This technique plus the Dump list are two great ways to get yourself moving/motivated again.

til next time…Eva

 

 

 

The “Broken Window Theory”

I read about the “broken window theory” a while ago and just came across it again in a marvelous book by Cheryl Mendelson entitled, Home Comforts, The Art and Science of Keeping House.

The “broken window theory” states that any sign of social or physical neglect in a neighborhood makes it more likely that various crimes and pranks will be committed.  If there is one broken window that is not fixed, it suggests to others that no one cares or no one is around who is responsible.  What happens next is that people then feel they can write graffiti, break other windows, litter…which in turn develops in more serious crimes for that neighborhood.

One window not taken care of immediately will lead to deterioration.(This reminds me of the old saying, “a stitch in time saves nine”).

This “broken window theory” also works in your home as well.  For example, Cheryl Mendelson gives the example of a clear chair or countertop.  Usually no one will put anything on a pristine clear space.  But, watch what happens if you put something on the chair/tabletop and forget about it…other family members will pass the space and inadvertently the belief system  now becomes, “oh, it’s now ok to put stuff on the table too.”  If this isn’t taken care of, you will soon have a table full of papers and other items.

The “window” has been broken in this room…and the disorder will soon spread to another room with the result being eventually your entire house will be in disorder.

Cheryl Mendelson gives three habits to be cultivated in order to keep your home neat.

1. Rules for the family leaving items out…items are to be picked up at the end of the activity but definitely before bedtime.

2. You may leave out uncompleted activities/projects so that you may return to them later on(examples are reading material, art/craft project/ homework/work on table, a game not finished, etc. )  You are allowed materials for one activity at a time.

3. Have a temporary “holding station” for common hot spots.  A place where family members know where the mail is, school/work papers, coats/shoe.  s/hats/gloves, bookbags. etc.  Determine where your family just “naturally” leave their things…if there is room close to your front door area, make this into a holding station.

Another suggestion is having a basket for each family member for all of the found items…in which they then know where to look if they are missing something.

So many of us have “broken windows” in our homes…the kitchen counter space that never gets cleared(or it’s never clear for long), the kitchen sink that everyone dumps dishes in but never wash them, the chair beside the bed that is full of clothes and whatever, the front door area where everyone leaves their stuff as they enter house and can’t find anything.

Hope you will find your “broken windows” and use some of Cheryl Mendelson’s ideas.

til next time…Eva

I wish you enough…by Bob Perks 2001

I was de-cluttering today and came across this lovely poem and wanted to share it with you.  Wishing you a lovely day.  til next time…Eva

003aphoto by Eva, 2015

 

 I WISH YOU ENOUGH     

written by Bob Perks, 2001

 

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough ‘Hello’s’ to get you through the final ‘Goodbye’ “

Steps to getting all or most of your Security Deposit back

March 8, 2016 010photo by Eva 2016

When you rent, it’s a customary procedure that you will be required to pay a security deposit up front…usually one month’s rent.

My daughter recently moved to a new apartment, spent quite a bit of time cleaning the old one and when I asked her if she’d gotten her security deposit back, she replied that they had kept $160 of it…$60 for replacing lightbulbs and $100 for the cleaning service.

I decided to do a little research and see what exactly the guidelines are for renters in order to get their security deposits returned.  There are a lot of good tips out there…some I’d never thought of…so the next time you move to a new place, keep them in mind.

 

A. Before you even rent or move in:

Google the leasing company, landlord’s name, property name, check the Better Business Bureau’s online business listings for the leasing company/landlord’s name.  If there are any negative comments there, look for a different place.

B. When you move in:

1. Read your lease carefully and understand everything that is in it BEFORE you sign it.  Lease clauses can be edited or changed if it is agreed upon by both the landlord and the tenant.

2. Is there a walk-through condition form?  The walk-through condition form is a checklist of the rooms.  If they don’t give you one, then you make one up yourself.

A walk-through condition form is to be completed within 48 hours of moving in…preferably you should do it as soon as you receive the keys.  Walk from room to room inspecting it and writing down anything you see that is not in perfect condition.  It is also recommended that you take photographs and date them digitally if possible.

Turn the walk-through condition form in to your landlord and have them  sign the copy for you to keep.  If you can’t  get your landlord to do this, then send the copy of it via registered mail.  The reason you do this is if at some later date something breaks or happens while you are there.

C. While you are living there:

1. Know the rules of your lease and follow them.  Have them in writing…regarding customizing(paint, lights), whether you are permitted to have pets(what kind) and rules for terminating your lease, etc.

2. If there is a problem with any part of the apartment while you are living there(something breaks from normal wear and tear), the landlord is responsible to pay for it.  If they don’t and you decide to fix it yourself, take a photograph of it(before and after) and keep records of the costs/receipts and then bill the landlord for the item immediately.

D. Moving out:

1. When you are leaving that apartment and you have cleaned it, do the whole walk through and picture scenario again.  If possible, have the landlord do the walk through with you and sign the agreement that you have left the apartment in acceptable order.

 

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com has a move out cleaning checklist.  Here are the basics

1. Take out nails and screws out of walls and ceilings and putty them smoothly.

2. Dust the ceiling fixtures, dust all ledges, clean the windows, clean the door knobs and doors, clean all light switches and outlets, clean the walls and baseboards, vacuum and get stains out of carpet/clean carpet, get rid of all cobwebs.

3. Bathroom: get soap scum off bathroom tiles and tub/shower and bleach the grout, clean out the bathroom drawers and vanity, clean the toilet, sink, countertop and floor, replace the toilet seat if it’s disgusting, clean the mirror, vacuum out the surface of the exhaust fan.

4. Kitchen: clean out all cabinets and drawers, wash front of cabinets, clean and disinfect all countertops, clean and shine up the sink and faucet, scrub refrigerator inside and out, scrub oven inside and out.  Removed shelving, drip pans and burners, clean out the dishwasher, clean the exhaust fan.

5. Bedroom and Living Room: Dust, sweep, vacuum, mop

6. Garage: empty and sweep

7. Outside: porch/deck/balcony: cut grass, pull weeds, remove all of your belongings that may be there.

Landlords may charge tenants for any cleaning or repairs needed to restore the unit to its’ condition at the beginning of the tenancy.  They may not use the security deposit to cover costs of ordinary wear and tear(faded paint on the walls, minor marks or nicks on the wall, worn gaskets on refrigerator doors, water stained linoleum by the shower, toilet flushes inadequately because of mineral deposits and a run worn thin by normal use.

One last point…each state has it’s own requirements regarding security deposits.  If you have any questions, look up your state’s requirements.

I hope you found this informative…I know there were a lot of points that I wasn’t aware of before researching this.

til next time…Eva

Note: SWXE recommended that whenever you have any communication with your landlord, write on the bottom of it:  COPY: File (and date it).  That way your landlord knows that you are keeping track of it.

Resource  Information from the following websites:

http://www.wisebread.com

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com

http://www.nolo.com

http://www.money.usnews.com