Thursday, September 14, 2017

WHY DO ALL THE APPOINTMENTS COME AT THE SAME TIME?

Well, it has been another one of those weeks.  Most of our weeks are fairly devoid of appointments.  Not this week - or next week.  Plus of course the normal things to be done in a week.

This story starts back in June - yes, June.  My husband does not like to know when he is going to the doctor and as a result I make the appointments and then tell him at the last minute.  When he worked outside the house I would contact his secretary and make sure the appointment times were clear and she would make sure he did not have anything to do on those days.  Now it is all up to me.  Back in June I had to make appointments for us to go for bloodwork and then, around a week later, for the doctor.  June was a busy month - as was July, but I found two dates a week apart in July and called the doctor’s office.  I was told that the doctor retired.  Now, the doctor was a man in at least his 80s so it makes sense, but I would think that some sort of notice would be sent to his patients so I was surprised.  His son has been in practice with him and we have seen his son a couple times when our doctor was not available and husband’s mom used him as a doctor, so I did the natural thing - I made appointments for us with the son.  This was the simple part.

While husband is now on Medicare and can see any doctor, I am still on our old ACA medical insurance plan and have a doctor who is in charge of my care and referrals who was our doctor.  So I went online to my medical insurance company to change my doctor from him to his son.  Only apparently the insurance company had been told that he had retired and instead of doing the logical thing of assigning me to the other doctor in his practice - his son - they assigned me to a strange doctor we had never heard of.  I picked his son as my doctor and the insurance company’s software showed that I had done so.  I kept checking for him to show as my doctor - but he did not.  When it was a week before the bloodwork appointment and he still did not show - I called the doctor’s office and canceled the appointments - apologizing like crazy and explaining the problem.  Since husband is always around it is hard to make calls and not have him hear me or ask who I am calling - this had been the easy part.  I now had to call the insurance company and fix the problem - which could result in sitting on hold for who knows how long - not something that can be done while hiding in the bathroom and pretending that I am there for other reasons.  I finally managed to get husband set up with a scarf to weave so that he would not come up to the office (my other choice would be to call sitting in the car in the commercial garage when I went to a client) and called the insurance company and a very nice young lady changed him to my doctor as of May (I presume that is when he retired and the other change made.) I now could call and make new appointments.

But we were going to go away on a trip in August - sometime in August, for some length of time, to somewhere - how the heck can one make an appointment under these circumstances.  I kept hoping the trip would be planned and I would be able to make the appointments, but they were not.  Finally I went to refill a prescription of his and was told - not without an appointment.  I found two days, a week apart in September to make the appointments and figured I had enough of his pills to last through the bloodwork appointment.

Then we found out that our dentist is also retiring and I have been having weekly visits to him since August to get a new upper partial made and fitted - and I am not done and then I plan to have him add to my old one for a spare.

Throw in I have to go to two clients this month - one to pick up information for his tax return (on extension) and the other for the regular monthly visit - including the work I did not do when I did not go in August (an annual thing to skip August as she is away in July and there is not much to do in August as a result). 

We are also involved in our county fair , which serves as same for three counties.  We started about 30 years ago entering items in the crafts, needlework and baking categories, then started demonstrating leatherwork and needlework, and finally we started judging the junior crafts and needlework categories.  So the fair takes up parts of at least 4 days each year - dropping off entries, judging, demonstrating, and then picking up the entries.  In the past we would demonstrate every day of the fair so it took even more time, but now I go on one day with other members of my embroidery chapter and husband either joins us or finds something else to do at the fair. 

There is a quilt show in Pennsylvania this coming weekend.  We would like to go there for a few days - a day at the quilt show and the rest at our normal things there, but we are driving down for the quilt show and then home. 

Our reenactment unit had an event last weekend and a meeting next week.

And there are the 2 major Jewish holidays this month - one is an evening and 2 days and the other is an evening and the following day. 

Somehow everything has managed to fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle and then - my dentist called and said that the mockup for fit was not in for last Friday and could I come on Tuesday?  I could not as we were going for bloodwork at the same time as I would be going to him - but remember, husband does not know this and does not want to know this.  I told them no and we would go with the Friday appointment I had for this week, even though that would push everything back a week.  Husband heard part of the call and wanted to know what happened - I lied and told him that they wanted us to come Monday - when we were doing the judging. 

Then, the dentist’s office called and actually suggested Monday - and they were open late, so we went to the judging, had lunch and then went to the dentist.  After calling the lab they wanted us to come next Tuesday - I told her we couldn’t and it was all being pushed back another week - husband asked me why not in the dentist’s office and I told him I would explain later - he did not ask again.  By the time we got home I figured out that if we could go to the dentist in the morning, we could make it to the doctor in the afternoon - so another trip to the bathroom phone booth and that was done.

Now, I am sure I have mentioned that we live on a later schedule than normal people.  Due to all this craziness we had to get up three days in a row EARLY, well for us.  We had a reenactment on Sunday, the judging on Monday, and the doctor on Tuesday.  (So husband now knows that we have an appointment next week and that our doctor is retired and I got his prescription renewed.) So nice to get to sleep to our normal time today. 

Tomorrow I am going to the tax client to get his information.  We meet at the library near him and due to my crazy bed bug fear, when I go back to the car I change my clothes (I wear a top with straps under my shirt and shorts under my skirt and replace the clothes over them) - but I think it is suppose to rain.

We will go to the quilt show either on Friday or Saturday or there is slight chance we will to the quilt show Friday and stay overnight.  I have paid all the bills due this week and transferred money for next week’s bills so that same is done with, even though Friday is our normal banking day.

Monday night is the meeting of our reenactment unit - I will prepare my report to be made either Sunday or Monday.  Today while I actually had a bit of free time and was photocopying magazine articles to keep the info and get rid of the magazine, I went through some old records of the unit’s and shredded those past 10 years and boxed the rest to take to the meeting and put in the file there.  Also dumped some magazines that started to the unit some years ago in case anyone wanted them - too late now. 

Oh, and when I planned to be writing this earlier in the evening, husband needed me as he found out that online sales sites has mostly incorrect shipping costs listed and he needed my help to fix them.  So instead of starting this post on Wednesday night just after 11:30 pm, I did not start until 1 am on Thursday. 

Tuesday we have the dentist and the doctor.  Wednesday night starts the holidays.  Next Saturday I/we will be demonstrating at the fair.  The day after, Sunday, is pickup day at the fair. 

I then have 4 days the last week of the month that are open - but there will be more trips to the dentist to fit in.  My mom tonight told me that she needs to go to the doctor and plans to go this month (I told her not next week - the last week of the month is okay and I am not sure they will have an appointment this quickly) so the last week will be as busy - and husband plans to try to, yes go to Pennsylvania for a few days. And that Friday evening and Saturday are the other holiday.

And of course - there is the regular housework and such to be done.  Oh and we do have to go to the eye doctor next month...

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK -

There are times when there is lots of nothing to do.  Then there are times when what needs to be done if overwhelming.  All we can do is what we can and not get sick over what we cannot.

     





Thursday, September 7, 2017

NO TIME TO WRITE TODAY - POOR ORGANIZATION

Again I am sorry to have to start my post with my hope that any of you in the areas hit by Hurricane Harvey are faring well and I must also add my hope that any of you in the path of Hurricane Irma stay safe.

We did have a nice trip the end of last week and returned safely home late Friday night (okay, really 1 am on very early Saturday morning).  Since the trip was rather short - only 2 nights - and we did not go crazy shopping while away (the Walmarts there are so much larger and better than the ones here) we had the RV unpacked by 1:30 am. 

At that point I ran upstairs to my computer.  While away I had received an email from the president of my embroidery chapter that when I emailed out the (new and revised format) newsletter, I had left her message out and there was a large blank area on the front page.  When I read her email I wondered if I only imagined that I had added her message - but then remembered it as a bit long for the space and I had to make the column area longer and also adjust the adjacent column listing our meetings for this year to be a bit longer to match.  I apparently sent out a the copy I printed out to check the newsletter before I received her column to make sure that it and the other 7 attachments I had to send with it went out (to me) without a problem.  Much embarrassed I quickly sent out the correct edition to the members and others who get it.  In my apology I pointed out that either the readers were so polite not to mention the large empty space on the front page to me - or no one bothered to read it! 

I actually managed to catch up to the point that my desk was clear!  Not that there was not other paperwork to deal with - we are trying to get a discount on our general and school real estate taxes that is allowed for those who own their home and are 65 (as husband now is).  There are 4 forms to fill in that I can find, plus we have to give them either our deed, birth certificates and something else - or copies thereof, I cannot tell which from the instructions.  We have until the end of December to file these papers - but I know me, I better get them done now.  I filled in one form today and have already requested a “receipt” for the medical insurance we paid in 2016 (paid bills not sufficient).  I found out that the county holds events to help people with this paperwork and have marked the dates of the most local ones on my calendar (computer and cell phone - entered separately) so we can go to one.  I found I was missing our deed - well, I know it must be somewhere, since it is not with any of the house papers in the files or lock book in the house, it must be in our bank lock box - which of course I went to today to switch those offsite backup drives I have mentioned before.  I guess we will be going back in the next few days again to check for and hopefully find the deed.

I had my embroidery chapter meeting today and we did a good bit of stitching - then the visit to the bank (above), as well as a deposit to our reenactment unit’s bank account (at a different bank), returned soda bottles (for 3 months since I have not been out on my own since the beginning of June) for recycling, and bought something to start making a gift for my husband (I will not say what in case he reads the post). 

I decided to call my mom tonight after dinner - and we do go on - well she does and as you might imagine from my posts, I go on a bit also.  By the time I was off the phone with her it was well past the time we normally finish talking when we do at night and past when I should have started evening chores.  And I had extra chores tonight.

During the past week husband and I bought a frame and framed an embroidery piece I finished and am entering at the county fair.  (Technically it is a tricounty, county fair as it is the official fair for 3 counties.  It is held in the style of a late 19th century fair at the same restoration village I have mentioned before.)   I know where that piece is - the dining room table.  I also am entering the Christmas ornament I made of husband weaving last Christmas and, of course, had not thought of entering it when I packed the Christmas stuff away and I had to find it in the basement.  Luckily the “Box 1 ornaments” (the nicest ones which go on the tree first) was the 3rd box down and I found it quickly.

The same cannot be said for the ornament husband made - a handwoven Christmas tree - and plans to enter.  Last time I saw it, it was hanging from a lamp in the living room, err, “the loom room”.  It is not there.  So I ended up having to pull all of the Christmas boxes out and look in them - it is the sort of thing that would be on the top of a box to protect it.  I did not find it and do not look forward to mentioning this to husband.  I am sure it will be “my fault” that it is missing.  Luckily in the time between I wrote this and posted it - husband came down and he had his ornament safely tucked away.

And I also had to do laundry tonight.  Last week’s laundry was done a night early so there are an extra day’s clothes and I have towels and bed linens from home and the RV.  I was unsure if I should strip the bed or leave it for our final expected trip at the October or clean the sheets and go through the mess of making up the bed again - my decision was made as there were tiny bits of dirt in the bed from it sitting made up - the day after we came home I went in and stripped the bed and took it apart (which has to be done to strip it and also to remake it up).

So, while it probably will not be noticeable to any of you as my posts go out in the middle of the night anyway, this post is going out - more quickly written than normal - about 2 hours late.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK -
                       
Sometimes it takes a bit longer to get to do things than normal - but as long as they get done in the end - that is all that matters.  And talking to one’s mom - mine is 89 - is always more important than getting work done.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

PLANNING A TRIP WHEN ONE DOES NOT WHEN ONE WILL GO OR FOR HOW LONG

First, if any readers are in the area hit by Hurricane Harvey - I am so sorry for you and the others hit by the storm. I live in the area hit by Hurricane Sandy - just out of the heavily damaged areas, but my mom was in the area where she had extensive water damage to our family home - and know how bad that was - and you are in a much worse situation.  I hope that all are safe and well.  It will take a long time, but life more normal will return.

In the old days when we went to hotels when we traveled - like normal people - we would take several short weekend trips during the year to the Lancaster, PA area and a longer vacation during which we went to Washington, DC for a weekend, then Charlottesville, VA, then someplace different each year (although the place might repeat every few years) and then to the various historic areas near Williamsburgh, VA, two days in Lancaster and then home.  It was so much the same that we would take out the prior year’s schedule and change the date - change the few days that varied and book the same hotels.  We had it worked out that we stayed in each area when the hotel price was the cheapest - DC on the weekend, Lancaster midweek, etc. 

Since the bedbugs and the switch to our tiny RV this has changed.  We go away for shorter times, fewer times during the year.  Our trip is also much more weather based - why go to some place outside if it will rain and we will not be able to go.  We have also changed what used to be weekend trips to Lancaster to midweek trips - it is easier to get last minute reservations at campgrounds and we avoid weekend tourists plus on Sundays most activities and restaurants are closed, so when we went there Friday to Monday - one day there was little to do.

So this year we have only traveled for multiple days once - just before July 4th weekend.  The weather has been wrong or something has been happening to cause us not to go away.  We have taken a couple of one day trips as a result of this.  So we were all ready for a nice week to 10 day trip like we used to take (although back then generally 2 and a half weeks). 

We were going back to the Williamsburg, VA area, a place that as lovers of our country’s early history find so many places to go and learn something new each time.  Then the trouble in Charlottesville occurred and we decided that we were uncomfortable traveling down there as we were concerned about similar problems arising there among the American Revolutionary and Civil War battle fields and historic sites. 

So we were looking elsewhere - meaning Pennsylvania - for a longer trip.  Two separate people - in totally unrelated circumstances - told us to go to a textile museum in PA. I took this as a sign that we were intended to go there this summer.  We started planning a 5 day trip which would involve our normal Lancaster places plus this museum and a couple of other places. 

We were to leave this past Monday and stay through Saturday. Then we found out about our dentist retiring and I have to get my new upper dental plate done before he does.  I got a telephone call last Friday that they needed an extra appointment  - Tuesday (yesterday).  So the trip was postponed and shortened to today (Wednesday through Friday).  The museum is out.

Have you ever tried to make arrangements for and around a trip when you don’t know when the trip will be? Oh boy - that takes odd organizing!  

So last Thursday I paid and mailed out last Friday all of the bills due until next Monday and transferred money into our checking account for cash for the trip and if any additional bills popped up.                                             

I normally would email out the monthly newsletter of my embroidery chapter tonight.  I sent it out a day early so I would not have to do it while away - easier to do it from my desktop computer.

I have a check list that I print out each time we go on a trip.  It lists all the things we need to do for the trip by category.  I cross out anything that does not apply to a trip and then cross out each thing as I do it.  Whatever needs to be done at the last minute is circled and also listed on the side of the paper and crossed off when done. 

I normally will do laundry the night of two days before we go on a trip - so the next day (the day before we leave) we can put the clothes and  we need in the RV for the trip.  I also normally pack snacks that we bring and assorted other needed items.  If the bed in the RV is not made up - I make it up.  In this case since we had not been away a full week and the next planned trip had been for maybe 3 days, I left the bed made up and covered it over. 

I was not really able to do any of the normal things to get ready. In the pouring rain yesterday we did fill the water tanks.  If stuck we can fill them at the RV park, but it is easier to fill them at home.  I did the laundry last night - filled the laundry bag we use to bring our clothes to the RV (who needs luggage - laundry bag in, put clothes on hanging shelves in “closet”.  Use laundry bag for dirty laundry and carry it back into the house in same. 

Last night I used a table in the dining room to line up what needed to go out today.  Laundry bag of clothes.  Cloth tote bag with stuff that goes in the “car” part of the RV - spare eyeglasses, coupons etc.  Cloth tote bag with general items to go into the RV - spare paper cups, paper towels, etc.  Two cloth tote bags with food related stuff.  One, which is the only one with a blue handle, had the stuff for the refrigerator.  Soda, juice (in case of a Diabetes low), home bottled water (the water gets rather warm sitting in the tanks on a hot day and such.  The last tote bag had the non-refrigerator snacks. Although, since the fridge bag is the heaviest (by far), I did put the 2 liter bottle of soda in the other food bag.  All of the snacks which are not in the fridge travel in plastic boxes which seal close to prevent animals smelling the food and getting in to visit.  Laptops/tablet were charged overnight and on the kitchen table to go.  Spare shoes were in plastic shopping bags to go out.  EZPass for tolls was put on the windshield. Bag of last minute stuff to Ready to go!

The weather still seemed to be holding as nice, so this morning I called the RV park and was able to get a reservation for 2 nights - tonight and tomorrow night - for the space next to the one we usually get - so now we know about another spot level enough for us to use. 

So we took about 4 trips of stuff out to the RV this morning - I had figured out where to store the various packed bags so that other than the fridge stuff, it did not have to be unpacked until we were in the RV tonight.  I have told husband that we could do this and now we have. 

So we are finally on a short trip again this summer.  So far, so good.


THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

Being able to plan for something that is fluid takes a bit more work, but it can be done.  If you do something on a regular or semi-regular basis - make up a checklist and keep it in your computer and print it out each time - and use it.  It makes rushing through getting ready so much easier.

   




               

Thursday, August 24, 2017

MAKING CHANGES TO GET MYSELF GOING AGAIN

I admit it.  Just because something is written in my task list does not mean it gets done.  Sound familiar?  I have my house cleaning scheduled for Wednesday.  In the old days before husband was home all the time and my schedule went topsy turvy this worked.  On days without appointments I would wake up around 9:30 am normally or 10:00 am on a lazy day.  I would work in my home office most mornings until around 1:30 or 2:00 pm and then I would go out for the days errands.  Most days this would be a quick run to the post office - send out any mail and pick up mail at our post office box.  Then lunch at home (except Fridays - my day out alone) and then back to work in the office.  On Wednesdays however, I would do my housework.  When during the day I did it, depended on which Wednesday it was.  I also start the laundry Wednesday night - right now while I am writing to you the second wash load is in and the first dry load.

I have different chores to do on different Wednesdays.  On the first Wednesday of the month I have my embroidery chapter meeting in the morning, so I have a lot of normal stuff to catch up on during the day of daily things, so I keep it light.  I am suppose to dust upstairs and clean the floors.  We have only three rooms with carpeting - our office, the Teddy Bear’s room (aka the just about never used guest room), and our craft studio.  The rest of the house is easy cleaning - either 1950's hardwood floors or some sort of vinyl flooring.  I used to do this in the afternoon after I came home from my meeting and while husband was at work.  It includes dusting the computers and related in the home office.  Well, now when I get in there husband is working at his computer.  He does not find it funny when I try to clean around him.  So this is no longer such an easy thing to do.

On the second Wednesday of the month I am suppose to clean the floors and dust downstairs as well as clean the downstairs tiny bathroom.  I used to do this when I returned from the post office - long before he was home.  If he is working at his computer this is not too bad to deal with in terms of dealing with him about it as he is not near where I am working.  If he is weaving or otherwise working downstairs - I have to clean around him - and invariably he will need the bathroom immediately after I have cleaned it and it is still drying.  Downstairs are not the hardest  floors to clean - they are basically “swiffered” and the kitchen and bathroom floors washed.  BUT the dining room often has items in transit which makes it hard to clean around them and the living room has some of the furniture out of place (the coffee table is wedged between two chairs to clear the middle of the room for example) and has husband’s warp table and loom in the middle of the room which also makes it hard to get around and clean. 

On the third Wednesday of the month I am suppose to again dust and clean the floors upstairs, as well as cleaning the bathroom upstairs - only slightly larger than the downstairs tiny one.  This used to be a “do in the morning” job, but no longer.  Now, again, I have to work around husband in the office - and like downstairs - if I clean the bathroom, he will immediately show up and need to use it.

On the fourth Wednesday of the month I again do downstairs - dusting and floors and clean the kitchen - same problems as the second Wednesday.

If there is a fifth Wednesday I would find some special project that needed doing.

Well, now the days are later days then before.  In addition I have a new project on Wednesday nights when I should be getting the cleaning done - writing my post for all of you.  Now, I am suppose to do this on Tuesday night, but never get to it. 

SO, I have decided that as of September I will move my cleaning to Tuesday nights.  I will see how this goes in terms of actually cleaning.  It won’t help with husband, but it might work on Tuesday to get me up and doing it. 

Late this afternoon I found my desk clear of things to do and an hour before I had to go make dinner.  Too late to make a phone call to our local real estate tax assessor’s office - which I have been calling for a couple of weeks and actually get a message telling me that no one is available to take my call - call back another time.  One more try and I call my county legislator.  What to do? 

Ah, now that the Teddy Bear Christmas village was packed away and the boxes moved to the dining room (see what I mean about it being a holding area) to go to the basement, and what needed to be stored in the trunk the village sits on, I could put away the line of bears and Cabbage Patch Kids waiting to see Santa.  First I had to take the bears sitting on the bed in the Teddy Bear’s room and put them on the trunk in the hall - where they are suppose to be.  Then the crew that goes on the bed went there.  Wow, one could actually walk into the room again.  I then started poking around to see what else I could deal with.  I pulled out the empty boxes that were floating around in there and put them in the hall - husband is going to store assorted papers he has collected on movies in the boxes, which will free up the shelves they were on for books - which we need space for.  But that is his to do.  I then went through some bags and boxes in the Teddy’s room to see what I could get rid of - I found in the closet there when I cleaned it out for husband to use for storage an entire carton of Teddy Bear items packed away when the house was treated for bed bugs - in 2009 - which have never been put back in place.  Not enough time to go through it , but a quick look showed I did still want most of what was in it.  Perhaps I will get a matching box to use for my storage in that closet.    Well, now at least I can get in and out of the room and I can get to the bear figurines I put out in the living room by month again - right now March is still out!

Why am I suddenly trying to get things done and get back on schedule?  I think it is the dish drying rack.  Since the dishwasher broke, I would wash the dishes and put them in same to dry.  It was large.  It was out of sight.  I would then take out what I needed each time we were eating, add whatever else I needed that was not in the dishwasher and put that all in to dry.  So basically nothing was put away unless it became too overcrowded in the dishwasher or it was a holiday and I knew I would need extra space. Now after each meal the dishes (and of course etc. is included in dishes) are washed and piled in the rack.  When next we eat I take out what we need as I go along.  Then before I wash again - everything else is put away.  Not easy - some items had no place to go, such as spare pudding size cups which I use for storage of extra half can of soup, extra frozen tomato sauce, etc. - but I have found homes for them.  Generally the glass we each use for the day end up never being stored away as it is used meal to meal and sometimes between.   I am not sure that this putting away of the dishes has not gotten me motivated to clean, declutter, and organize more again.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

Sometimes a small change can inspire you to do more.  Go with it.  I use anything I can to help me get the inspiration to make the house cleaner and more organized.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

FINALLY FINISHED THINGS - AND ADDITION TO LAST WEEK'S POST

I have to add something to last week’s post.  In addition to all of the traditional school supplies, there is another organizing item which is featured and on sale these days as school supplies.  Stores are carrying plastic drawer units for those going away to college.  Many of these are nice sized 3 drawer chests - inexpensive and even stackable (or at least they stack them for sale in the stores).  From personal experience I know that one has to be careful not to fill them with heavy items, but if you need an inexpensive chest of drawers for your organizing, now is a good time to buy one.

I am in an embroidery group - I have probably mentioned this before.  I do most of its computer work - the monthly newsletter and the annual yearbook (list of upcoming year’s programs and info about the group) included.  The yearbook used to be very fancy - with ads from local craft stores and such - but as the group got smaller, the yearbook got simpler.  Husband redesigned it for a for us a few years ago, and then I would update the information each year.  I also took over the newsletter.  When most of the members had email addresses, it became an email, with printed copies of it mailed to those without email addresses.  Now all have email addresses. 

It was suggested towards the end of our last year (year is September to June) that need a fancier newsletter, one attached to the email, instead of just an email.  I had been thinking so also and did up a prototype for the board meeting.  The other 3 board members liked what I did and few suggestions for change were made.  After the others left, the president suggested we redo the yearbook also - I had not been prepared for that.  She had a number of changes.

Since the board meeting at the end of June, in and around everything else I have had to do, I have been working on the revised yearbook - it should have been in the mail late July, early August.  She and I have emailed each other and talked on the phone.  I have sent her pages of it in assorted fonts.  Finally it was all worked out and I finished it - yesterday.  This is to be printed up and mailed out - by me.  Today we went to Staples.  (Yes, I am giving the name of where all that follows happened.  In the past we used OfficeMax, but just before last year’s was printed, the local OfficeMax stores closed - OfficeDepot closed here - twice - years ago.)  I had a cover page to be printed on a color paper and 5 additional pages, which are double sided, to be printed, black print, no color.  When we used to OfficeMax, the employees were nice and helpful - what color would you like, how is this one, etc. Today the employee did not even bother to show me the color pages when I asked for green for the color.  The most done was did I want dark green, no, I want pastel green.  Then she asked when we wanted it.  I asked if we could wait - as we did at OfficeMax and did last year at Staples.  Sure - but then the price was extra $20 or so.  I asked when there would no extra fee - pickup tomorrow.  So, okay, we will shlep back tomorrow and take more time doing all this.  We went home.

When we arrived at home and went to our computers to work (perhaps 15, 20 minutes at most) husband found two emails from Staples - we had not given them an email address, not been told or asked for emails and did not want any - one was a copy of the charges for the order, the other was telling us - that the order was done and we could pick it up at any time!  So basically, I got immediate service at no extra cost, but now I was home and would have to go back to get it!  We did not waste time going back and will go back tomorrow while we are out to pick it up and it will be mailed on Friday.  I was more annoyed with them.  We were finishing dinner and the telephone rang.  The answering machine answered (always on here to save time dealing with the spam calls - which almost all of calls are).   It was someone from, yes, Staples.  I picked it up.  I was told that the order was ready and I had not picked it up.  I told him that I was told it would be ready tomorrow.  He was upset that I was not coming and I was told that I could still come for 20 minutes and pick it up.  I told him that he must be kidding and we would come tomorrow.  And the price on the charges for the order is 9 cents more a page than I paid at OfficeMax - even more for the color pages.             

So we are wasting time on a trip back, when the order was done immediately, I wasted time with the phone call, and we wasted paper printing out the emails - as they say that they are required to pick up the order - something I can’t believe!

In addition to all the work put into the yearbook, I have been working on redoing the newsletter.  Today it is just about finished.  Husband helped me get the old header from years ago when it was a mailed newsletter, into the newly designed email one.  I emailed it to myself to see what happens and all I need is the president’s column and any info from board members - I send them an email 2 weeks before the meeting and the newsletter goes out a week before the meeting. 

So I have managed to actually get work done! Yippee. I also managed to finish the embroidery  course I was working on from the group.  Now husband has to finish it for me. 

I managed yesterday, to finish the yearbook with enough time left before dinner to go through a folder of old papers - the sort of papers one tears out or otherwise keeps to do something about - this craft store sounds interesting, the card from this restaurant sounds like it would save us money, I need to write a letter about this, etc.  Most was tossed.  A few were kept.  My todo folder actually fits into the stacking letter tray that it belongs in.  (I have a stack of these on my desk - one each for us, our business, my accounting practice, our reenactment unit, my embroidery group, my todo folder, my “waiting to hear folder” and “club membership lists”, and one for items to be filed.  There is also a top one which has standing holders for papers, envelopes, empty folders and such.

So all in all I feel, finally, as if I have completed things.  Yet, so much more to do.  As I sit here writing, I am waiting for my cell phone timer to ring, so I will know to change the laundry loads - wet to dryer, new one in the washer.  Without the cell phone timer, I would forget and the first load would not make it to the dryer until bedtime at least.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

When something seems like it is too big a project - take a section of it and start.  Just as page by page I finished rewriting the yearbook and the newsletter, you will eventually see the project done - perhaps with time left to do something else small.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

SCHOOL AND OFFICE SUPPLIES

This week back to a bit more normal organizing - instead of our weird adventures.

First of all, we bought and I have been using a new dish rack instead of using the dead dishwasher as a rack.  It is actually smaller than my old rack and I have trouble fitting in the dishes and pots from dinner and must store them away before I wash the items from night snack - well, at least it makes me put everything away. 

Now -school supplies.  I think I have mentioned before my love of office supplies - as a child I played with my dad’s supplies in his office and I am always looking at them for ideas of what to do with them.  I was also a strange child who actually loved going to school and the new supplies for the year were exciting.

You are thinking - I don’t need school supplies, so I will skip this post - don’t!  You may need school supplies and not realize it.  I know our purpose is to get rid of stuff - not buy stuff, but sometimes school/office supplies can help us organize.

We are in school supply season (at least in the U.S.) and the stores are all competing for business so there are very good prices on the supplies.  A wonderful time to stock up on needed supplies.

Our reenacting unit had to move out of our headquarters for a good part of a year.  When we move back our modern space in the back was disorganized and simple supplies lacking.  When school supply season rolled around I bought a package of pens, one of pencils, a clip board that opened for storage, a large pad of lined paper (now we were set to pass around a paper each meeting for attendance, as well as additional ones for lists of who is coming to which event), scissors, tape, glue, ruler, marker pen, small box to keep it all in and a second box in another color to put sewing supplies in (they had been in a small open basket before in a file cabinet).  Now we are set for whatever we need - a sign for the door saying “use the front door” or “keep this door closed” no problem, someone needs to take minutes as the secretary is not there - plenty of paper and pens, and so on.

So think about it.  Do you journal your organizing efforts in a notebook?  If you think you will need a notebook before next year, now is a great time to get it cheaper.  If you can never find a pen or pencil - a package is cheap to buy now - put pens and/or pencils around the house where you always need them and can’t find them.  Scissors also inexpensive.  If you sew and fly and have a problem with pointed scissors when flying - I bought Fiskars blunt tip scissors (even have a cover for the tip) which are nice and sharp for cutting, but blunt ended to take on planes (or in my case to jury duty) - best price of the year right now on them.  Folders for filing what you sort - even in colors.  Pocket folders for papers you need to bring places. (I have one for my papers to take to our reenactment unit meetings and one in a different color for same for my embroidery chapter meetings.)  Small plastic boxes for storage.  Backpacks.  Great time to stock up.

But now, remember, don’t buy more than you will need - this time will come again next year.  Also it is important to set a place for the spares to be kept so that you can find them when you need them.

We had a small month calendar on our fridge for TV shows.  Husband made it on the printer and sealed it in plastic sheets.  He has been using it as a “white board”.  It is hard to fit the info in the small squares and the ink is hard to get off of it.  I saw in with the school supplies a larger wall calendar which is a white board.  It said that it was magnetic - which I took to mean it would stick to the fridge.  No, it meant that one could put magnets on it.  Husband was intrigued by the idea and we bought one to see if we could put it on the fridge.  We did so.  There are 5 weeks on it - we set the first week as 8:00 pm, the next as 8:30, next 9:00, next 9:30 and the last 10 pm (rarely half hour shows at 10 or 10:30 pm).  Since the shows no longer run a full season, we list what is on and we would like to see. Petty idea I know.  But what could you use a large calendar which can be erased for?  It is actually made to hang on a wall with included hangers so don’t think it has to go on the fridge.  (We glued washers to the back and then put heavy duty magnets on same - but even then we needed to put a string around the sawteeth it was suppose to hang from and then around two magnet hooks on the fridge.) 

That reminds me of another great office supply - but it probably is not on sale.  We have a labeling machine.  It prints small plastic labels.  Labeling is good and helps one to find things easier. In our case it from Brother, but there are several companies which make them.  Husband printed the times for each set of boxes small and put it on a tiny thin magnet and put it on the board to make it easier to see what time something is on.  But since labeling things is a great way to keep track of what there is and which box, can, etc. is which - these labels are wonderful.  They even come off of many surfaces cleanly.  I label the various stick flash drives I use for data with them.   I put them on DVDs/CDs to know what is on the disk.  If it is a reuseable disk, when I delete it to reuse, I take the old label off.  My husband (since the time of floppy disks, through zip disks to stick flash drives) does not label his.  He “knows” which is which - the green one over there is “X”, the red one over there is “Y” and so on.  Generally he has no idea which is which and has to sit and stick each one in his computer until he finds the one he is looking for - if he does.   Boxes of craft supplies when labeled are easy to find the supply one is looking for  - ribbons, buttons, pompoms?  Easy to find when the box says what it is in it.

Of course, for cardboard boxes - marking pens work great for labeling also. 


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK -           

Supplies to make organizing easier are good to have - but don’t go crazy buying “more stuff”, buy what will be of help to YOU.  Make sure you have a place to keep what you buy so that you will be able to find it as it is needed. 




Thursday, August 3, 2017

TREADING WATER

Last Saturday we actually got away for the day - despite prior weather reports of heavy rain Friday and Saturday.  (We did not go Friday due to the heavy rain, but it cleared up for Saturday.  Nice day for an outdoor event.  It was a reenacting market - we didn’t buy anything, but it is always nice to look.  The fair was near Allentown, PA and then we drove down to Lancaster for dinner and then home. 

This week I looked forward to a quite week.  Nothing other than ordinary household chores to do.  Start of month is always quiet for bills and such.  Then heck broke loose.
                                           
On Monday, we found out a friend’s mom died. Wake was yesterday and today.  Funeral tomorrow.  We went to the wake today, and I thought we should go to the funeral, but we cannot.

Due to trips and when money is coming in to our bank for bills from third parties, we have been off our normal banking schedule.  I have to be careful as we can only make 6 transfers/withdrawal a month from savings.  (I keep the money in savings for the small amount of interest it earns and normally transfer to checking on Friday what is needed for the coming week.)  In addition husband has some IRA CDs coming due on Friday and we need to rearrange how long money will be in new CDs.  So Monday we went to the bank.  The idea was that we would tell them what to do with the CDs when they come due (something I have done at our main bank - they take the information and put it into their “tickeler” file and take care of it on the day it needs to be done), as well as make a deposit for our reenactment unit and activate my ATM card for same - I am the treasurer.  We made the deposit.  The ATM machine was down.  After a 40 minute wait we found out that they cannot take the info at the branch in advance for the CDs.  We then went to the bank my embroidery chapter has its accounts at, and made a deposit for them.  Afternoon gone.

Tuesday we went to our regular bank to transfer money as money came in from sources then - had to pay the real estate taxes - they went out in the mail same day as did a couple of smaller bills.

Husband has had tooth that has been loose for awhile and he has been waiting for it to fall out on its own.  It reached the point where it still will not come out.  It moves too much.  It hurts.  His dental partial plate is shifting with the tooth and hurting his gum.  So Tuesday morning I called the dentist - no appointments until Thursday (closed Wednesday) so he has been miserable and we will be going to the dentist tomorrow.  So we won’t be going to friend’s mom’s funeral.  We may need to go a second dentist as our regular one does not do extractions and if the tooth does not come out when he takes the impression, it has to come out - we hate to spend the money on same when the tooth is so loose.  We have been having a lot of soft food this week. He only wanted a “little bit of spaghetti when I made for me”.  Somehow I managed to make twice as much as normal instead of only 3/4 as much!  We have cold spaghetti in the refrigerator to use as needed.
       
President of my embroidery chapter wants to meet - at my house - to go over changes to two items I am writing for the chapter.  We don’t let anyone in the house since the bedbugs and I am trying to find when and where we can meet.  I explained about the horrors of what is going on this week and suggested that if she has her copy of the original examples and her notes and I have my copy of the original examples  - can we do it on the phone?  So after we come back from the dentist I have to call her with my copies out and see what she wants done - presuming I can do it.

Then Friday we have to go back to the bank and deal with the IRA CDs.  The bank has a tiny parking lot and we try not to go there on Fridays when it is busy, but have no choice.

How did a week so empty fill up so fast and so completely?

I have been changing some things in the house.  After we had mice a few years ago husband did not want me drying dishes in the rack on the counter.  When the dishwasher died, I started drying the dishes in same.  We plan to buy a new dishwasher, but it is expensive, the one I liked (which was rated so poorly we decided not to buy it) along with the concept of washing dishes automatically for 2 hours instead of washing them by hand in the same 15 minutes it takes to load the dishwasher, seems a waste of electricity.  So I have been washing the dishes (and pots and such) by hand since then.  Husband is not happy as I have to clean the dishwasher periodically as water is dripping in it.  (He would love for me to buy a dishwasher as he figures some day I will be sick and he will have to wash the dishes.)  The dish rack I used to use is very icky.  I like it as it does not use a mat under it - the dripped water goes right back into the sink.  I saw a new version in Costco last week and we had a discussion that it was okay to dry the dishes in the rack again as a result.  I soaked and washed my rack - it is still icky - just not as much.  Sunday when we go to Costco (cheap lunch and somewhere different to walk around for awhile) we will buy the new rack and see if it fits. 

I am trying to put back extraneous items in the dishwasher.  I tend not to unload it.  I take out what I need, use it, wash it, and put it back.  Some items not used regularly have ended up in it and not been put away.  In anticipation of the new rack, I am trying to get all the extra items put away. 

I have redone where food items are stored in our kitchen closet pantry. It is now easier to deal with some items, but it is a bit odd.  When I open a box of pasta, for example, I put the pasta in a jar.  I realized that the jars would fit on the shelf I keep my cans on - and I have less cans than I used to (mostly soup, mushrooms, and canned tomatoes) and moved the jars up to that shelf.  Great, except I keep the spaghetti (I break it in half when I open the box before putting in the jar) is in a slightly taller jar (it has a wider neck, which is why it is different) so it has remained where it was.    It all fits in better.

I am also still copying and pasting the contact listings from my computer Organizer software into the new cell phone.  I really need to get it done.  In addition to not having the Chinese takeout number last week when we were on the road, when I went to call the dentist, I did not have his number in it easier.  I turned on one of my old phones and copied the number by hand into the new phone - the rest of the listing will follow. 

Hopefully I will finish up this week even on time and things to do, so I will start next week with no remaining things from this week.  Once the publications from my embroidery chapter are fixed, I will have one printed and mail them out.  That should not take long - an afternoon and evening at most.  The other will be emailed out a week before our September meeting.

How is YOUR summer going?  How is YOUR organizing going?  I’d love to hear from you.


THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

Sometimes one just has to “go with the flow”.  A quiet week became overcrowded and there is nothing which can be done about it.  It is what it is.