Monday, April 28, 2014

New Cleaning Calendar

Here is a new Cleaning Calendar for you.  I did not supply the zones, because I know many of you like to choose the room you think needs the most work.  Or perhaps, you want to work in your garden for a week and break that up into 15 minute increments.  

I tried to keep things flexible, so that nobody feels like the calendar is the law.  You may have to do some things in the afternoon, because you are slower in the morning.  You may have to skip one or two days on some jobs, because you don't feel well.  

The main point of having a calendar is it is a guide.  Moreover, if you do what you can, it repeats the next day or the next week.  You will eventually get the job done because the cycle repeats.  Don't forget to rest when you need to rest.  Happy cleaning!

Feel free to copy this.

Deborah xoxo

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How Much Laundry Do You Have?

Image Courtesy of [tongdang] /

How much laundry do you have?  Do you wash laundry for two or three people;  or, do you have to wash for more?   What is the key to keeping up with laundry?

I imagine we all have our own ideas about this matter;  and, some of it is made easier by the simple fact that most things can be washed in cold water.  Since many things can be washed in cold water, I am not adverse to throwing a pair of jeans that have been washed once in with lighter laundry, unless it has something that can be snagged by a zipper.  This makes it easier to have a full load of laundry, which is my preference.

When you only have to wash for two people, it is not practical to wash laundry everyday, unless you have a small washing machine.  However, for a larger family, washing a load of laundry every day can simplify your life.  There is less to fold at one time, and it is much less overwhelming.  Also, I am a firm believer of bringing children into doing laundry.  By the time my children were teenagers, they were doing their own loads of laundry, unless they needed something in particular for an emergency.  If you have children that share rooms or a laundry basket, they should take turns.  And, they should be responsible for folding and putting laundry away.  The jobs do need to be age appropriate, and you will have to do that;  but even young children can start to help with this job.  It will be an asset for them to learn this responsibility.

What do you do if you have goofed off, been sick, or been on vacation;  and, you have a large pile of laundry accumulating?  Do you do it all in one day?  I do not recommend it.  You are much less likely to feel overwhelmed if you do no more than one or two loads a day.  If your family is large, and you could not get to the laundry;  you are probably going to become more frustrated by trying to catch it all up in one day.  However, you will have to make sure you get a load in every day, which is fairly easy.

Very Important

A load of laundry a day helps keep the sad face away (or every other day for small families).  Remember this, make it a habit, and you will be on the way to simplifying your life further.

One last thing:  some items of clothing can be worn more than once if they are aired out and hung up.  Bath towels that are hung up on a towel rack or a hook can be used again, because they dry out and you were clean when you used them.  I grew up in Florida without an air conditioner for the early years of my life.  Yes, people really did open windows (smile).  If we had thrown our towels on the floor, they would have been sour.  Each member of the family had their own towel rack, and our towels and wash cloths were used again.  Come to think of it, my parents were very green conscious, as in conserving water, etc., before it was popular.  It saved on some work too.  That's a good thing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stop Walking By the Bags, and One Way to Use Them

Image Courtesy of [Keerati] \

Below is an example of something I left undone, and a quick tip.  Monday comes around so quickly, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, and so on. Sometimes, I wonder how the week went by so quickly and I haven't done more.  Do you ever feel that way?  Do you ever feel like giving up?  Well, join the club:   I think everyone has those moments--maybe even lots of them.  

The good thing is you do not have to curl up on the couch and say, "Oh me oh my, I will never get any of this picked up.  It is impossible."  Forget impossible.  With a mindset that says, "I can walk by that dining table and remove the empty bags I have left sitting for two weeks, you would be amazed at what you can get done.  Then, just do it.  Oh, you see more on the table.  That's OK.  Start somewhere.  If you are truly in need of rest, come back later and work on another area of your table.

You can use grocery bags to line small trash cans.  Using grocery bags for small trash cans may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but it saves on feeling like you need to wash trash cans.  Also, it makes emptying the small trash cans much easier.  Furthermore, it saves money on buying bags for that purpose.  I looked for the clear bags that were small, and I could not find them, so I am happy that I have something that saves my energy and my husband's energy. shows a kleenex box filled with old grocery bags that has been fastened to the inside of a cabinet door.  I think this is a wonderful idea for a bathroom.  It would be simple to fasten on door using double stick tabs, and it would keep the bags there for a quick emptying of your basket.  No reason to wait, because you do not even have to walk to the kitchen or pantry to get a bag.  You can also see a picture of this on my Pinterest page.  

Can you believe it?  Just one idea posted.  I bet that's a record for me.
Oh!  I have to tell you:  I am a big fan of Microfiber and Swiffer Dusters.
I dusted so quickly in two rooms this past weekend, that even I could not believe it.  I was using a Microfiber mitt and a Swiffer duster.

Love you all.  Don't give up.  And take baby steps to get things done.  It works!

Deborah xoxo

Saturday, April 19, 2014

An Easter Reflection (updated)

Image Courtesy of

I was watching a movie about Jesus, and I saw Pontius Pilate washing his hands and saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this man Jesus."  The first thought that came to my mind is "None of us are innocent of His blood."  

If that is true, than how can any of us be happy, comforted, and contented.  I have shared the answer in Take Comfort:  I Believe, an Easter Reflection.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

10 Creative Ways to Clean House and Motivate Yourself to Get Going

Instead of a blog post that goes deeply into getting your motivation going, I want to make a list of creative ways to get it going.  Hopefully, this will be a reference list that will help you (and me) on those days you don't feel like cleaning.  Warning:  this list is for days you feel well enough to work or for low motivation days, not for days you need to give your body a rest.

  1. Cleaning and getting rid of clutter can be fun by making a game out of it:  i,e., ( FlyLady Bingo).
  2. Make a daily list of 3 to 6 things to do -- nothing is too small for the list if you need to do it.  You don't have to do the whole list if you fade.  Listen to your body.
  3. Get dressed  in comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes and work for 15 minutes.  If you need it, take a break after getting dressed.   
  4. Put relaxing music on if you feel stressed or anxious.
  5. Put dancing music on if you would like to make some smooth moves as you work, and the upbeat music should help you be in the mood to move.
  6. If you are watching television, how much can you get done during a commercial?  Start working around the room, cleaning off hot spots that fill up with clutter.  
  7. Other things you can do during commercials is clean off a book shelf, dust, run the vacuum in one area of the room, go through a box of papers, put away some of the laundry in your laundry basket, and make picking up the toys in the room a game for your kids or grandkids.
  8. Wear your blue tooth on your ear and talk to a friend:  you could clean at the same time. 
  9. Fill one trash bag.  Joshua Becker says that this could be a bag that you fill with trash or for giving to Goodwill.  I don't recommend mixing trash and give-a-ways, so I would let it be one or the other.
  10.  Dana Byers says when you are done with one area, you should stop:  then, celebrate the victories.  Does this sound familiar?  Make a list of rooms you need to clean.  Underneath each room list some of the things you want to get done.  If your house has been cluttered for a long time, you do not have to do everything in one day.  Choose what you think is sensible to do in one day for your energy level.  Also, consider that you could be using muscles you have not  been using.  Start in the easiest room to clean or start in the room you use most often.  Do not over-do.  i.e., (clean out one or two drawers in your dresser; clean off one table; dust the room; vacuum one room or vacuum half a room)  The key is baby-steps or breaking a big job into smaller components. 
Don't use all these ideas in one day.  Pick one that appeals to you;  then you can say, "On my mark, get set, and here I go!".  We have variations to work with, and I think we can come up with more.  In fact, sometimes, we just have to come up with more to get ourselves going again.  Don't forget to use your timer.  Whee!

Your Loving Cheerleader,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finding Balance Again

Courtesy of [Salvatore Vuono]/

Five days have gone by since I published the last post about Looking for Balance.  My mission for the last week has been to fulfill the plans I made for getting back on track;  and, I have especially payed attention to taking my medicine and my supplements as directed.  For me, this is probably one of those habits, for which I need to continue to pay close attention, because I am already feeling the results.

For those of you that get muddled about whether or when you took your medicine, I recommend using a container.  And, keep it close to where you eat if most of your meds are taken with meals.  Of course, if you have children in the house, medicine should be out of reach, but I am sure most of you know that.

One of the things I have discovered in the last couple of weeks is I do better if I load my weekly medicine container biweekly.  It is one of those things I tend to put off if I leave it for the last day.  Having to fill fewer containers at a time has been less aggravating for me.  

Finally, I want you to know I did not do everything on my list perfectly, but I can see a difference in my mood and my motivation to get things done.  If you have an off day, don't feel like everything is ruined and you have failed.  You have not failed:  you just had an off day.

We can only live a few seconds, one minute, one day at a time.  Baby steps work and they add up to feeling better about ourselves and what we can accomplish.

Have a blessed week.



P.S.  I am going to keep taking my Omega 3's in the Fish Oil.  I do better with it than without it.  Remember, you should always check with your medical practitioner before adding supplements or medications to your regimen.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking for Balance and Saying Bye to the Moody Blues

I chose this picture, because it reminded me of balance.
I have let my life get out of balance, and I am ready
to truly work on me.  I need to work on me.
It's alright to take the time to concentrate on yourself,
because caring for one's self when you have a
chronic  illness can be a full-time job.  
Sometimes, it takes a special effort to get back on track.
{ Image Courtesy of  [Ambro] / }

Do you ever get so tired of doing something for yourself, you only do it half-heartedly or not at all?  I hope you are saying yes, because I don't want to be the only one sluffing off on my duty to care for myself.  Oh dear, I just realized how awful that sounds, because I don't want you to stop caring for yourself either.  Forgive me for the misery loves company bit:  if you are doing everything right, I am so pleased you are doing better than me in this area.

For the last few weeks, I have found my depression getting worse.  Usually, if I am patient and wait it out, I get back on the right track;  however, my lack of motivation has been affecting me in enough ways, that I know I am depressed.  This is common in chronic illnesses, and it is sometimes surprising that we fair as well as we do.  However, I think with proper medical counseling, as well as mental counseling at sometime, one can find a way through the emotions of loss and frustration.  I have done both during the years I have struggled with being ill; but this time, I have had to take responsibility and look at my situation, even though I wanted to ignore it.

The other strong support is spiritual support, which is something I have been avoiding the last few weeks, except for brief forays into reading my Bible and praying.  Of course, I also believe in praying without ceasing, but that is hard to do when you bring a cacophony of noise into your life through computer, television, and novels, and you ignore the truly important things.  Why I do that is something I do not understand, unless I am trying to hide from the things I really need to look at.

So, what is my revelation?  It is simple and I had not even considered it over the last month.  I had considered my lack of care for myself.  I had grown lazy about taking my meds and supplements.  I was non-compliant and tired of swallowing pills, so I constantly put off making this important in my life.  Therefore, this weekend I filled up my pill containers, and I am taking them at meal times.

However, today I had the big revelation.  I had quit taking my fish oil. For some reason, I had read something online saying it did not really do anything;  and, I found that a wonderful excuse to stop swallowing that capsule.   However, I have found many more articles that support taking fish oil for depression.  And, I know I was doing better before I stopped.  So today, I am starting with 2 capsules containing 2400 mg. twice a day.  I will let you know if I feel any improvement in a few weeks.  I will be your guinea pig.  If I forget to let you know the results, remind me.

When living with chronic illness, it is extremely important to care for yourself.  How can you do the things you want to do for your loved ones and take care of your home, as well as other things you desire to do, when you do not care for yourself?  I don't need to answer that one, do I?

I am adding a simple list to encourage anyone that is in a low place right now.  Perhaps, you need to make your own list.  Your goals may be different than mine.

Things I Want to Work On
  1. Prepare medicine and supplements for the week ahead of time.  Keep them by the place you usually eat.
  2. Brush your teeth daily and take a shower at least every other day, depending on necessity.
  3. Dress in clothes everyday.  I know I said it is ok to have pajama days;  however, many people do not truly feel  ready for working in pajamas -- even doing housework.  It is too easy to sit, because we relate pj's with rest.
  4. 1 - 3 jobs a day minimum for those that are able would be a good goal.  1 one of those jobs can be getting out of the house.  I know I spend far too much time in my home.  Later, maybe we can explore things to do when we get of the house.  I am aiming for 3 jobs a day, because I have felt physically ready for a couple of weeks.  
  5. Plan a treat for finishing your chores.  And remember, we are aiming for done -- not perfect.  After all, we live in our homes:  they will not continually look like a magazine page, if they ever did.  Enjoy your home.  (Your home may or may not look like a magazine page, but somehow magazine pages are always a little too perfect for how mine ends up.  Sometimes, some smart person will add something to make a house looked lived in, but I am betting most photographed houses do not stay that way.)