Thursday, May 29, 2014

De-Clutter Project - Week 22 - More Ways to Win Than One

"If what you own makes your life tougher - why do it? Think about your relationship to your assets and possessions. Do you own them or do they own you? Many of you are collectors. Is your collection a dusty albatross around your neck? What can you do to improve how you handle your stuff?"

Georgia Nichols wrote that in my horoscope for this week.

I had just been searching for something on a crowded bathroom shelf, making a mess in the process. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I'm sure it's there. I decided this collection of stuff just might be the albatross mentioned above. Since I have just won a basket full of new products, I thought this might be a good time to clear off that shelf, display the new products, and only replace the other things I find myself reaching for over the next month or so.

The basket came from a draw at a local Home Show, and contained a wide variety of Arbonne products. If it's used on your hair, face of body, it is probably in that basket somewhere. There are even a few dietary products, that I'll test out next week.

The left hand side of the cupboard is always used for bandages, and cold or allergy products. The right hand side has bath products. Other odds and ends went into a low box to contain them, with my every day stuff right in front of that. That left the centre open for the new products. I want to use them all during the month of June so this seems like a good place to store them for now.  I left them in the cases they arrived in, but will likely take them out as I work my way through them.

I threw away a lot of old products and put the rest in to a bin, which will be in the (where else?) spare room next to the bathroom until the end of June.  Then I'll deal with whatever is left in there that hasn't made it's way back to the cupboard with use during that time.

During this de-cluttering process I did find a couple of things that I had duplicates of.  That most likely happened because I couldn't see what I had, or couldn't find it when I needed it in the past.  Not only did I win a basket full of new products to try, I think I won in another way too.  I now have this terribly cluttered shelf, where I couldn't find what I was looking for, all cleaned up. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

De-clutter Project - Week 20/21 Never Put Off Until Tomorrow....Ya Right!

Do you procrastinate?  Most of us do, at some time or other. I've been putting off a job that has needed to be done since early in the new year.  I think I've begun to turn procrastination into an art form. I have cleaned out closets, cupboards and drawers and even rearranged a room just to avoid going though one box that's been sitting on the floor of my office for months now.  I have put this job off because I really didn't want to do it.

I had removed all these things from my desk when I got a new computer and flat screen monitor and put them in a box. The reason I kept putting off getting into that box is that I really don't know were to put any of that stuff. It's always been on be on my desk, but now there is no room.

I put the task off so well, that after promising I would do it last week, I didn't de-clutter anything at all, and so I basically skipped week 20 of the de-cluttering project.  Today I figured I had better get on with the job.

I no longer had any idea just what was in the box, so I found a few surprises along the way.  There was a coat hook, shaped like a dog, for instance. I don't know where I got that, but it will go in the donation box, as I have no use for it.  There was a disc of free Casino software and supposedly $250 to play with.  I know that came in the mail, but I'm not sure why.  It went to the trash basket. There was an envelope full of Red Hatter photos, that I will have to sort through and decide if they are for my album or for giving away. I also found 3 audio tapes that I will have to check out as I have no idea what is on any
of them. 

There were several years of dateline calendars, which kind of act as records of when things happened.  I went through them and copied out any important dates, and trashed the books. I also forced myself to dispose of numerous brochures from past studio tours. My hand painted pencil box was in there too. I'll keep that, but there is no longer room for it on this desk. I was delighted to find a few notepads as I was planning to buy some new ones and now won't have to.  I also found over $10 in change, all rolled up and ready for deposit. There are some papers with information I want to keep, so I guess I'm going to have to find a way to file them.  In the meantime, they went back into the box, as did an envelope full of addresses I want to bump against my computer address book, to make sure I have them or the ones I have are up to  date.  A few other things found new places to belong. Though I made a dent in the contents of the box, there is still work to do with the rest of it. 

I put off doing this job because I knew there were things I didn't know what to do with. There are still things I don't know what to do with, but fewer of them now, and a few plans of action for some of the remaining stuff.  I wonder how long I'll put off finishing this job.  I do procrastinate, but in this case, at least I understood why I was doing it.

F.R. Scott once said, "Do nothing by halves that can be done by quarters."   I may not have finished the job, but at least I made a good stab at it.

Meanwhile, on other fronts, at least I got my tomato garden ready to plant.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Are Doctors Working the System?

We hear all this talk about doctor shortages, long wait times, and the expensive medical system that will just get more expensive as the population ages.  I have some insight into why this is happening and possibly a quick cure.

Thirty-eight years ago I had a little medical problem that my doctor quickly fixed by doing a simple procedure in his office.  Ten years ago, I had the same problem and was sent to a specialist to have it dealt with. When I mentioned my GP had done it in the past, I was told, "They don't do that any more." Apparently the medical system had decided it was better to pay someone who commanded a higher fee. 

Recently the problem cropped up again and off I went, once again, to see a specialist.  This doctor, without even examining me, or having the benefit of the tests my GP had ordered, decided immediately to book me for surgery.  How this doctor knows I even need a surgery is beyond me, but it will mean making extra bucks, right?

So this simple little problem that was once fixed easily in the doctor's office, now will take seven appointments to remedy, instead of one:  the original GP visit, a trip to the hospital for tests, a consultation with a specialist, another with the anesthesiologist, the surgery itself (which will involve who knows how many people), a follow up visit with the specialist/surgeon, and more than likely one with my own GP after it's all over with.  No wonder our medical system is over extended.

I see no reason for all this fuss. It's a minor medical problem.  It doesn't bother me and it's easily taken care of.  I'm starting to think the doctors all want a piece of the action, just to boost their incomes.  If they weren't so busy making a mountain out of a molehill, perhaps there would be more of them to go around, and more people could be seen in less time.  While that may not save money, it would at least be used more efficiently.

And for the record, I do hope to get a second opinion, or at least be properly examined before going forward.

Friday, May 9, 2014

De-Cluttering Week 19 - Changing Seasons

Our overnight temperatures went below zero a couple of times this week.  I'll take the blame for that. I finally put away the winter coats, and then Mother Nature decided to show me who's the boss.  No problem. If you wait a few hours it warms up enough so you can go out in your spring jacket after all, or maybe even without it.  I've seen several people in sandals and even one lady in shorts today, so I guess it's okay to have put the winter stuff away this week after all.  

I sorted through all the hats, gloves and scarves, and separated the winter things from the spring and summer stuff, and put them in separate baskets.  I had way too much winter stuff, so I had to find another way to store most of that.  I just left the most frequently used pieces in the basket, which I placed in the back corner of the closet shelf, and put the rest into another one of those plastic zippered containers I got from Yves Rocher earlier this year.  I took that to the basement, where it may never be seen again unless I seriously start
de-cluttering down there soon.  Oh yes, I did remove a few items I absolutely never wear, and put them aside for donation.

While I was in the mood to get winter wear out of our lives, I decided it was a good time to swap our flannelette sheets for regular ones too.  When the temperatures dropped during the night, I wasn't so sure that was a good idea, but I expect we will be entirely too hot very soon.  One can dream, right?

The other thing I did this week was corral all the important papers into one place.  The scare I had last weekend got me to finally get around to doing that.  The first thing I had to do, of course was clean out the lock box I intend to store those papers in.  I just sorted stuff into piles for either filing or shredding.  Now, of course now I have to file and shred, but I'm learning to do one job at a time, and deal with the messes I make in the process at some later date. 

That reminds me......I still have not sorted through that box of stuff I took off the desk when I started all this.  Sigh.........  The last time I mentioned cleaning out that box was in February.  I guess it will definitely have to be next week's project.  I'm sure cleaning that out will just add to the things that need filing that I took out of the lockbox this week. 

One thing always leads to another, I find. But the idea is to keep going.  Every week, pick one project you have been putting off, and join me in this clean up.  I'd be happy to hear what you've done.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

De-cluttering Week 18 - A Birthday Wake Up Call

For my birthday, I had my first ambulance ride. 

Thursday we started moving my son from one apartment to the other. True, I had the easy job of sitting all day waiting for the COGECO guy to show up to connect the tv, internet, and phone,  but I did move a lot of boxes and things around during that time.  The next day I didn't feel so good.  I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so I know better than to over do it.  And that was, of course, the reason I got elected to do the waiting in the first place.  But hey, that's a long day to sit and do nothing when so much obviously needs to be put away.  I figure I had overdone it, and just took it easy all day on Friday. 

Saturday I woke up at 3:30 AM, very dizzy.  Moving anything just made it worse, so I tried to lay very still, flat out on my back for a while.  Then I rolled over.  Not a good idea.  Sitting on the side of the bed was just silly, but that's when my hubby woke up and asked if I was alright.  I admitted that I was not, and it didn't take him long to decide to call 911.  They asked some questions and then sent the ambulance to fetch me. 

The ambulance guys were really nice.  By the time they had arrived, I had put on some clothes, and had landed on the couch in the livingroom.  I had a bucket beside me as the dizziness had gotten bad enough by then to make me nauseous.  The guys asked some questions, and did some tests and apparently didn't like something they were seeing because they decided to take me to the emergency room at one of the local hospitals.  At my age, one doesn't mess around with dizziness, I gather.

The doctor tried to get me to describe the word dizzy.  Have you ever done that?  I remember, in the past, trying to get a doctor to understand that I was having periods of light headedness, and she couldn't seem to understand that I wasn't full out dizzy.  This hospital doctor, though, said there are several kinds of dizziness and he wanted to know which one I was experiencing. So I tried my best to describe what it made me feel like, even though it wasn't happening at that moment.  It had begun to come in waves.  So he had me do a little something, that made me say, "Here it comes again." 

I was totally amazed when he said, "Yes, I see that."  He said that my eye was jumping.  I couldn't feel that.  Then he had me turn the other way and repeat the experiment.  Immediately I saw the chair across the room roll up the wall, over and over again.  Think of a movie with a broken bit of film and how that last frame just keep repeating itself, over and over, rolling up the screen.  That's about what I was seeing. 

"Oh, that's so weird," I said.

 He responded, "No, it's what I expected." 

I told him it was certainly weird from my point of view. 

He was then able to diagnose an inner ear problem and gave me some pills that definitely seem to help.  I should be fine by the time the week is out.

All this is bad timing, or maybe good timing, depending on how you want to look at it.  It meant that I could not go back to help finish off the move today.... my birthday

The thing is, I'm getting older, and a whole new thought pattern has developed when things like this happen.  Dizziness could be sign of a stroke. It dawned on me that nobody else really knows where I keep such things as wills and insurance policies, or other important papers.  When I mentioned this to my hubby later, he just assumed I had such things in the safety deposit box.  They aren't.  I had been told years ago that it was hard to get into a safety deposit box if someone passes on, until it has been established who the executor is. That information, of course, is in the will. So if the will is locked away where nobody can get it, then that delays things considerably.

I obviously didn't get any of my de-cluttering done this week, at least not at home .....other than to take another box of books to the Merrickville United Church for their big sale later this month.  But I certainly have come up with next week's project.  I have to search out all those important papers from their current locations, and put them all together, where they can easily be found.  Next time I have an emergency, it might be too late to do that.