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Dry Cat Food

009aphoto by Eva 2015

I kept forgetting to get Kitty dry cat food this week…the box was already empty two days ago(now, that does not mean he still didn’t have some in his bowl though and he also had wet cat food).  I came home this afternoon from the store and realized I had forgotten it yet again and thought to myself, “oh, I’ll pick some up tomorrow morning when I have to go out anyway…”

Well, scratch that idea.  All during dinner I could see him glaring at me…he would walk over to his bowl, turn around and look at me, drink a little water as if to say, “see, poor me, all I have is water…” and lay down and glare at me again.  While I was washing the dishes, he came over to my legs and kept rubbing them and meowing.  It was pitiful.

No other option but to get in the car and drive to the local store(it didn’t hurt that I had forgotten to buy laundry detergent and toilet paper as well…).  Looking over the entire selection of dry cat food looking for his “Kit n Kaboodle”, there were no small boxes or bags(and this is not the first time…that food sells out so quickly in this area)…I could have bought something else but then he wouldn’t have eaten it…no other option but to buy the…11 pound bag!

He saw me dragging in the bag and waited patiently while I cut a corner in the top and filled up both of his bowls.  He ate his fill and now I feel I have been forgiven…for this time.  He is presently sleeping next to the filled bowl…

The house is peaceful once again…

til next time…Eva

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The (Not Fun) Art of De-Cluttering

If I would look at my Goals(or New Year’s Resolutions) for the last 24 years or even more, there are a few on there year after year after year.  One of these has been “Getting my house totally de-cluttered”.  Sure, I follow many “experts” with their advice of doing a little bit every day…and yes, a drawer would get done, a shelf would get done but the massive part of the house was just getting more and more cluttered.  Last year I spent an entire month de-cluttering…I would daily work on it.  I will admit that I did make some progress but over the winter, the backsliding went into effect and the two bedrooms I had been so proud of last year were back to what they had been(sounds a lot how my weight does as well…).

One thing I learned was that buying those cute little organizers will not do the trick.  We basically have TOO MUCH STUFF.  Too many clothes, too many shoes, and in my case, too many art and craft supplies!

A few months ago, an old friend of mine from High School happened to mention she was reading a book entitled “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo…also known as the Konmari Method.  If you regularly get or look at the women’s magazines, there are certain topics that crop up continuously…one is diet and the other is how to de-clutter.  What makes the Konmari method different is that instead of doing one room at a time, you do one category at a time.  Clothing is the first category.  For example, you literally empty your closets and empty all of your clothes on the floor(or bed).  From there, you pick up each piece and determine whether or not that piece gives you “joy”.  If you aren’t sure, then try it on.  Then at that point you decide…do you keep it, does it get given away or thrown away.  Before putting it in the specific pile, thank it for having served you and then go on to the next piece.

Since I had done a lot of de-cluttering last year, I basically had gone through a lot of my clothes but the thinking process behind this method makes all the difference.  A lot of people use the method of “if I haven’t worn it in (insert number of years here) then I won’t” or they reverse their hangers and when the wear the item they put the hanger in the correct way…that way in a glance they can see if they haven’t worn it in a while.  Once you have done this, then and only then can you put your clothes back into the closet.  My friend is still at this point…her clothes are still not in the closet.

Once you have done the clothes, the other categories such as books, paper, sentimental items, etc. get done.

It really helps if you have a reason to de-clutter…  My reason was that my daughter was coming home.  She lives far away and I haven’t seen her since Christmas.  She is going to be in her room mate’s wedding this Saturday.  Mind you, I wouldn’t have gone to the extreme that I have done if it had just been her coming home…yes, I would have made sure her room was done but my room could have stayed the same.  Add “bringing home the boyfriend”…someone I have talked with on the phone for a year now but haven’t met face to face…the sheer embarrassment factor of his seeing what the “before” pictures looked like spurred me on.

The last three weeks have been brutal.  I started on my craft area in the downstairs first simply because much of my stuff was in both my daughter’s room and my room(my finished products for my shop on Etsy.)  I needed the clear space in the craft area to put them all in.  When my time was starting to grow short, I had to shift gears and first do my daughter’s room(which I finished on Friday) and then my room(which I finished on Saturday).  By the end of last week, I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to totally tackle the papers and the sentimental categories plus I also had bits and pieces of “stuff” that I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

The weeks coming up to this point I had been sticking to a routine…Sundays I would get the garbage ready and also whatever I was taking to the Good Will and would drop that off on Mondays.  For Tuesdays, I would make sure all the cardboard boxes I had emptied that week were flattened and taken to the recycling bin.

This week in a panic mode, I ended up taking boxes to the recycling bin three times and boxes to the Good Will two times.  The garbage man is NOT going to be happy when he comes to our house tomorrow for collection…

So, what have I done with the papers and sentimental stuff I couldn’t get to this week?  And the bits and pieces of “stuff”?  Well, on Thursday I went to the Dollar Store and got two HUGE plastic bins and literally threw the stuff in…went up on Friday and got two more…now…the stuff is not going to stay there indefinitely…I am going to take a box and gradually go through the papers and either throw away or file…I just couldn’t handle any more right now.  When the boxes are empty, I will then use them to stash my fabric so that it will be kept clean.

But for now…with the two bedrooms done, the sheer pleasure of being able to open the door and look in and sigh happily instead of groan.  Knowing that there are no boxes under the beds, that there can also be clothes placed into the closet without having something fall on you…that you can feel peace in that room.  Knowing what this now feels like will spur me on to finish what is left to be done.

My daughter and her boyfriend are coming tomorrow…I will say that the house has not looked this good in the 24 years we have lived here…my husband has been smiling more these past few days and keeps complimenting how nice it all looks.  I still have a way to go…but this whole experience has given me a de-cluttering “muscle” I never had before…where the Konmari words would be “does it give me joy”…my mantra is more like, “if I were going to move tomorrow, would I want to take this along?”

til next time…Eva

Cranky Zowie

photo by Eva 2015

photo by Eva 2015

I don’t know exactly what’s going on but Zowie has been very cranky this week.  It started with her scrambling down to the bottom of her cage and clucking, spreading her wings and chewing up the paper.  If you would come over to her cage and look to see what was going on, she would dash over to where you were and hiss at you.

My husband always wears a baseball cap but this week Zowie has taken exception to his wearing a hat inside the house.  Every time he comes into the room she gives a high shrill alarm signal and won’t stop until he takes his hat off(maybe I should start doing that at mealtimes?).

My chair is next to her cage and every time I finally get a chance after dinner to sit in my chair and enjoy a cup of coffee, Zowie scrambles down to her lower perch and begins to lift open the small side door and slam it down.  over and over and over.  This is her signal that she wants me to put my hand inside her cage and hold her/pet her for a little while.  I do that and then she takes exception to the whole thing and starts to peck at my hand.  She then starts pulling at her toys with the bells to make as much noise as possible.

And last night I had the best laugh of a long time.  I was sitting in my chair and Kitty decided to jump up and sit on my lap(yes, Kitty has now become a lap cat…something I never believed would happen…).  Kitty’s tail was swishing around and somehow the tip of it had gotten into Zowie’s cage and smacked her on her face…being in the testy mood she’s been in, all of the sudden she grabbed hold of Kitty’s tail and would not let go!  Poor Kitty didn’t know what was going on!  I on the other hand laughed until the tears came!

I don’t know where this crankiness is coming from…whether from the miserable weather we’ve been having, the fact that I’ve not been home much this week, or a full moon/retrograde or whatever…but I’d like my sweet little bird to come back….

til next time…Eva

Cat Afternoon…

My friend Sylvia has 7 cats…she used to have 9.  Whenever she goes away for any length of time, I go over daily and take care of her cats for her…food, litter boxes and basic scratching ears and loving…

She went away for a week to visit her daughter and had been concerned about two of her cats…Misty who is 18 and Penny who is 16.  I told her I had not had issues with the cats before and didn’t plan to have it now…

Every day I go over and usually stay for a half hour or so.  Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, so after I had done all of the “chores”, I opened up her sliding glass door to her porch(she has a locked screen door) so that the cats could get some fresh Spring air.  I sat in the chair and waited for some customers 🙂 .  Within seconds Penny jumped up on my lap.

Now, I recently received my Reiki 2 attunement and had been giving Penny reiki this whole week.  She lay on my lap and let me rest my hands on her doing Reiki.  When she had had enough, she went to the arm rest to sleep.  Next came Misty…after a while, she left and went to her favorite chair in the corner.  One by one they came on my lap.

I fell asleep at some point and a half hour later I woke up to see Penny on the one arm rest, Sassy on the other, Simba on the back of the chair by my neck, Jackie was on my lap, Misty was in her chair, and the other two cats were close by.  Happy and purring away.  Definitely feeling much loved, all of us!  This unexpected gift made me realize how much everyone appreciates when you just spend time with them and loving them…whether it be your family members, your pets, and friends.

til next time…Eva

photos by Eva  2015

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The Path

winter 2015 005aPhoto by Eva, February 2015

We’ve lived next to our neighbors for almost 24 years now.  It’s interesting thinking back over those years when our children were growing up.  We basically were what I’d call civil…we’d say hello, honor each other’s property lines and pretty much minded our own business.  Our children were not the same sex or ages, we had different backgrounds and interests, and we were busy with our families and other responsibilities.  We had minor irritations along the way but nothing too serious.

We basically left each other along during those times.

As the years progressed, our children grown and gone from the neighborhood, many responsibilities gone, we came to the realization that we had some common interests after all.

I helped her with opening a vintage shop on Etsy, we take walks almost every evening after dinner for our health, we go to yard sales and thrift stores whenever our schedules permit, and eventually just being good neighbors as well as friends.  It is so nice knowing that if either of us needed help, we’d get it.

I realized just how far along the way we’ve come during the last snowstorm…when her husband snow blowed a path from their house to ours.  And you know…that feels kind of nice.

til next time…Eva

Icy Monday

003aPhoto by Eva, 2015(Happy Flower)(www.etsy.com/shop/abridaltouch)

It was Monday…and as for the last four weeks, snow and ice started Sunday night causing schools to be closed and roads to be treacherous.  And when you live outside of town, it takes longer before the roads are taken care of.  It was accepted that I would not be getting out of the house today.

I contacted my client that I wouldn’t be there this morning and postponed it til later in the week.  Decided to work on items for my Etsy shop and the above flower…I call it a Happy Flower, was  the result.  You can see that I am ready for Spring!

Later in the day, I finally sat down in my chair with a well earned cup of tea and promptly had Beast on my lap.  (I had the blue polar fleece blanket over my lap and that is her favorite…).  I had just closed my eyes a bit when I hear the banging of Zowie’s cage door.(Zowie’s cage is right next to my chair).   I opened one eye and looked at her cage…she was down at the little door on the side of her cage lifting the door and letting it drop, again and again.  That means, “hey, I’m here and I want to be petted too!”

I leaned over, stuck my hand in the door and she nestled into my hand.  This doesn’t last long before she gets irritated and starts pecking at my hand.  I remove my hand from the cage and settle back in my chair to close my eyes again.  Bang!  Bang!  Bang! …she is at it again.  When I don’t open my eyes, she then goes over to her bell and starts ringing her bell.  That doesn’t work either…then she is back at the door again banging…and squawking as well…

At this point, Beast is awake and looking at Zowie’s antics while I take pity on her and stick my hand in again so she can be loved.

And I’m grateful for an icy afternoon which enables me to be in a warm safe spot surrounded by loving pets and a hot cup of tea…

til next time…Eva

The Green Grocer

007   I was shopping at our local greengrocer  today.  It’s a small place but has reasonably priced fruits and vegetables(the owners are truckers and pick up the fruits and vegetables on their trips)…the cheapest in the area.  The only problem is that sometimes you need to use the food quickly before it spoils.

It can get crowded there certain times of the day and some days are worse than others.  There are the people who hover over a particular area and test every item there.  They kind of remind me of a dog protecting his bone…they look around and almost snarl at you if you come near.

There are the people who turn over every bag of the grapes(there was a couple there today and she was one of those…I kid you not, she stood in that one space turning over each and every bag of grapes…I don’t know what she was looking for.  The guy with her was so embarrassed that he went over to the other side of the store and stood looking at her and pretended he didn’t know her! )

There are the squeezers who touch every tomato etc. (you know, I am willing to bet that the squeezers are also the ones at Christmas time who poke their fingers into the bottoms of the chocolates to see if it’s a flavor they like!).

The long lost friends who bump in there…must plant both their carts in the center of the floor and gush over the last 20 years.

The individual with their cell phone plastered to their ear, describing all of the foods.

The “tourists” who are there for the first time and are so thrilled with the prices.  They ooh and aaah over everything and have an overflowing cart.

The parents with their children…it’s a pleasure to see the little ones so excited about all of the fresh fruits and veggies in their cart…sometimes they are already eating some of it.

Today it was crowded and I had a cart for a change.  I had just put something into it and was getting something else.  When I came back to my cart, an elderly gentleman was looking perplexedly in the cart.  I realized then that I had been putting a few of my items there.  Should I tell him or not?  Oh, why not.  “Is there a problem, sir?”  He lifts up the offending bag of green grapes. “These aren’t mine…and neither is this red pepper.”  “Oh, I’m so sorry, I must have mistaken your cart for mine – oh – I see my cart is right there.”  I gave a little chuckle. He did not look amused.   He gave me “my stuff”, hmmfted  a bit, rearranged his stuff and moved on.  I, on the other hand, chuckled all the way home on that one.

You have to get your chuckles whatever way you can!

til next time!  Eva