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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Scrapping For Over 20 Years

Yesterday was spent primarily going through bags of papers and miscellaneous little things that clog up my life. It was tedious, and after all was said and done, I didn’t have a lot to show for my efforts – a few empty bags, a bunch of trash, and a pile to run through the shredder. The house didn’t really look any better.

Today I rewarded myself for a job well done by focusing on easier, more fun things – things that made a difference.

Glassware went back into the hutch, boxes of games, DVDs, and CDs were emptied and their contents returned to drawers, and books returned to bookcases. This resulted in piles of empty boxes, and big empty spaces in the bedrooms where there were once just paths through the rooms!

I dragged the big silk tree back to its place, and moved a few tables back to where they belong.

And most of my wall treasures are back up.


But the part that was most fun was putting the scrapbook albums back into the library hutch. Well, putting them away wasn’t the fun part. I took a little time to look through them first. THAT was fun.

It occurred to me that although I am very, very far behind on my scrapbooking, I’ve been doing it for over 20 years, and I have lots of albums to show for it.

When I first started scrapbooking in 1997, I worked in 8 1/2″ x 11″ D-ring binders. I got off to a slow start, but by the time Hannah was born in 2004, I was kicking it. She has a LOT of documentation of her early years. I was much more prolific then than I am now, and the pages were a lot fancier. Even Bea’s first few months are well documented.





It wasn’t until the fall of 2008 that I started slaking off, and there is little to show of daily life. The photos were taken, they just weren’t put in albums. For some reason I shifted to prioritizing vacations, an even they are not ALL done.


In mid-2017 I cam up with the idea of a photo journal, and I’ve been doing pretty good keeping up with that.

In the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to get back to recording day to day life. I feel bad that Josh and Lulu have very little to see from their early lives.

But seeing what I’ve done in the past makes me want to get back into it in a big way.


Still Digging Out!

I promised myself rather than just stuff things back in the cabinets once the flooring was in, I’d go through it all and reduce the amount of stuff I was putting away. So far, I’m sticking to it.

I knew doing it right would be a longer process than it was to just pull things out of shelves and drawers and stuff it all in boxes, but I’m beginning to think it will be months instead of weeks before it’s all back in place.

Man, I have a lot of junk!

…and multiples of some of the dumbest stuff. You’d think there was a paper shortage the way I hoard scratch paper! Pens, pencils and paperclips? Pretty sure I have two lifetime supplies… Extensions cords? I must have needed one and couldn’t find an extra so I bought a new one, like, 4 times. Dictionary? Can’t remember the last time I used a paper one, but if I ever need to, I’ve got several. Same with pocket calculators – yet another thing I don’t need with a phone that does everything but cook for me. All 4 of them are out of here! Three extra car chargers for phones (only one for the kind of phones we have now,) 4 decks of cards,  a pile of nail clippers, 6 partial containers of sunblock… This is really getting ridiculous. If I ever wanted to print photos from my computer I’d have plenty of paper, except that I haven’t done that in many years. I’m tempted to justify keeping it, but NO! Seriously. I can’t keep doing this.

And don’t even get me started on old electronic stuff. I don’t even know what half these cords and chargers go to. And how many sets of ear buds does one person need? 5? 7? How about 10? Again, my guess is I couldn’t find them and bought more. Over and over again.

I have a bag of papers to shred, another to throw into the recycle bin.

The frightening part is, as much as I’ve sorted through already, there’s still a ton left to do.

But the exercise has not been without its happy surprises – a check for $50 I never cashed from months ago, about $150 worth of gift cards, and two pairs of earrings still on the cards that I’ve never even worn.

I’ve gotten reacquainted with dishes, napkin rings and serving pieces I haven’t used in a long time, and found a few things I’d lost track of, including the charger for my fitbit. If I had been wearing it, I’m pretty sure I would have made my steps today with all the walking back and forth between rooms I’ve done today.

Hmmmmm. This is kinda fun. In a sick sorta way.



What A Difference A Day Makes!

January 8th, I was totally, completely unmotivated.

There was NOTHING I wanted to do, other than sleep.

Today is different.

Our contractors got the flooring laid in record time. Instead of being displaced for a week, it was really just over night. Now I have a gorgeous new floor, and it has motivated me to get the house looking good. They got the furniture back in place before they left, and I was able to start getting the house put back together.



Dusting isn’t normally one of my favorite chores, but when you get to dust furniture when it doesn’t have a bunch of stuff on it, it’s MUCH easier, and much more rewarding. Dust rag in hand, I ran around like a white tornado for hours.

When I woke up this morning, I was excited to start emptying boxes.

I’m doing this project a little differently than normal. I’m not just putting everything back in cabinets. I’m going through every single piece of paper and every single piece of junk to see if I REALLY need it. If I don’t, it’s going bye-bye, whether that means seeing if someone else can use it, donating it, or tossing it. I have literally GOT to reduce the clutter in this house. I’ve only got so much space, and I am determined to live comfortably within it.

Drawers like this drive me nuts, and they are getting sorted as I try to find more space for stuff I need easier access to.

The most fun part is finding things I forgot I had!

These got shoved in a high drawer without even taking the price tags off. I love them, and they are going to go into the lower drawer that I open regularly, so hopefully they’ll actually get used! I’m finding lots of stuff like this, which really makes the cleanup less painful.

Now, when I get to the boxes of paperwork, that will be a different story! But, I’m hoping that having those boxes emptied out and gone from my life, will make the trauma worthwhile.

Maybe a little decorating, then paper sorting, then a little more decorating will make the job less overwhelming.

I think I’m even going to treat myself to a few larger decorating pieces – not adding, but replacing. It’s time to shake things up in “tattered world” just a little! Shhhhhhhh! Don’t tell Mr. Tattered – I’m starting a list…






Fiddling While Rome Burns

That’s what I feel like I’m doing right now.

I have so much on my plate, so much I SHOULD be doing, but the house is in disarray, and there’s not much progress I can make at the moment.

So I sit here with no tv, no work space and waste time as the evening disappears.

But then, I realize, yes there is.

I could be planning future blog posts, or making notes about goals for the next few months. I could be starting “to do” lists for when the contractors are gone. I could be pulling out a box at a time and sorting through the stuff I packed away as it was and start getting rid of the stuff I don’t really need.

I could pick a drawer or a cupboard to reorganize, shop on-line for a rug to put down in the family room, or clean out the refrigerator.

I could start thinking about what I need to pack for our winter trip to Yellowstone next week, or plug in the glue gun at the kitchen counter and makes repairs to the 3 purses I have sitting right where I can get to them.

I could be reading about all the new features the camera on my new phone has, ordering a couple of books for my kindle to take on the trip, or even read one of the books I didn’t finish on our last trip.

I could be knitting one of the 10 scarves I have the yarn to make, or cleaning out my purse, or making a meal plan for the rest of the week and putting together my grocery lists.

I could even get really crazy and start cleaning out my craft room.

But I’m not doing any of that.

I’m tired. I’ve been going at full speed for days, bending, lifting walking, walking, walking, as I prepared for the floor work, and all I really want to do is nothing.

And so that’s what I’m going to do. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

In fact, I’m so excited to do nothing, I’m going to bed. Or maybe I’ll waste just a little more time first…




New Floors Are Coming!

Some one in my family (I’m not naming names!) is a little piggy when it comes to traipsing on the carpet with food.

We finally replaced the carpets in the main living area (the gathering room) just over a year ago, and it has stains already. On top of that, I’ve always hated the tile floors in the kitchen. The grout looked great when we moved in, but it wasn’t long before it looked awful, even though Mr. Tattered had spent hours sealing it.

But, I’ve never been a hardwood floor kinda girl. I didn’t like the shiny finish, and the ones I’d experienced just never looked clean. The dust showed something awful.

Then we were looking at model houses, just for fun, and saw reclaimed barn wood laminate floors, and it was love at first sight. Well, on my part anyway.

I didn’t really think we’d do it, since we’d just spent so much on the new carpet, but I started researching. I couldn’t get them out of my mind. Mr. Tattered was dragging his feet, and if he isn’t into a project, it’s just not worth doing it.

In the meantime, my son and daughter in law got a new puppy who peed on their carpets to the point where she was totally disgusted. Instead of waffling back and forth, they just got the laminate in the entryway and living area. She kept sending me photos as it was going down, and I just HAD to go see it in person.

Their installer was sooooooo nice, and a real fan of the new laminate.

I figured why not just have him come out and give us an estimate and talk about how much of a mess it would be, so we’d at least be making an informed decision.

I didn’t want to do just the family room, but the entryway, hallways, kitchen and front office – all the high traffic areas. Well, it turned out the price wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and he was able to come up with some ideas for mitigating some of the more challenging parts of a project this size.

I really needed to leave the final decision up to him. He is a little set in his ways, and the week’s worth of disruption would be harder on him than on me. After seeing it laid down and talking to the installer, he was inclined to go for it.

We ordered the product immediately, but delayed the installation until after the holidays, so I would have awhile to get all the stuff out of the hutches and entertainment center, and would be clearing out Christmas anyway.

So here we are.

The product arrive last week and has been “curing” in its new environment.

The hutches are empty, stuff cleared out of the rooms we’ll be doing. All we’ll need to do in the morning is move the tv and take care of a last few things that we use regularly.

I’m nervous and excited.

One more sleepy until the work begins! EEEEEEEK!



Revisiting Christmas

I started this post before Christmas, but never quite got to finishing it. I almost trashed it, but decided why not just run it late? And I couldn’t come up with a reason not to. You’ve probably seen some of the photos, but not altogether.

My decorating isn’t crazy over the top like in the Hallmark Christmas movies, but I think it looks pretty festive! If I didn’t share the house with a guy who thinks he needs some storage space in the garage, it would be better (or worse, depending on your perspective!)

So. I’m kind of an obsessive decorator. I can’t help it. Really, I can’t.

I spent 20 years decorating a whole store over and over and over, each season, each holiday, each wonderful new theme I came across. It is so ingrained I just can’t stop. Nor do I want to. It’s probably the primary thing that keeps me from NEEDING to open another store.

Mr Tattered was lucky (operative word – WAS.) In the early years we were broke as a joke, and the little decorating touches came into the house slowly, a few new treasures each year.

Then, once I opened the store (My Favorite Things, in Mt. Shasta, California for those of you who don’t know!) I was so busy decorating it (with the help of my fabulous staff of creative decorators) there was little time or even interest in decorating at home. Except at Christmastime. I always found the time, then, but still nothing like it is now.

Then, once I traded the store in for grandchildren, that all changed. I had to do SOMETHING with that crazy need in me!

We lived with our daughter for a couple of years (we just couldn’t let Hannah go into daycare!) so I did a little decorating for them. Not much. My daughter is a bit of a minimalist (I know – if it wasn’t for the fact that she has my nose, I’d think I need to do a maternity test.)

When we made the decision to buy our own house just down the road, I was able to release all that pent-up need to decorate! Since we were keeping our house in Mt. Shasta as a vacation home (or so we thought at the time!) that meant filling a whole house. I was on a budget, but with a 20 year background in “shopping,” I knew how to take a “look” I liked in the fancy stores, and find bargain ways of making it happen.

With the everyday basics covered, it was then time to attack the holiday decor. All the Christmas decorations came with us from the Mt. Shasta house, but there really weren’t a LOT. Our 7′ tree had now become a 9′ and I had the top of the entertainment center on which to display the few Santas I’d collected over the years. There was definitely room for more treasures. Today’s tree is much more full, as is the Santa display!



Before I knew it, there were angels on the library hutch to match the shabby chic pencil tree in the entryway,


snowmen on the front porch and on top of the cabinet in the gathering room,


and gingerbread goodies in the kitchen.


Each year I add a bit more, trying not to expand the actual footprint too much (I don’t know WHY Mr. Tattered feels the need to have clear pathways throughout the house!)

Last year I added another pencil tree on which to display ornaments from our travels. It sits in front of our travel wall. Of course. We were fortunate enough to add a few new ornaments this year. Some of my favorites are a glass “passport,” one from the Galapagos, one from Harry Potter world,  a pair of wooden shoes from Holland, and a giraffe from Africa.

I love the kid’s tree. I started it when Hannah was about 3, and although she doesn’t care about decorating it any more, Lulu and Bea like to decorate and re-decorate it!

This year my big find was a Lori Mitchell Nativity Set. I’ve been looking for just the right one for years and years, and finally I found it! It’s so me.

And then there are the advent boxes. I ask Hannah every year if she still wants one. This year she said, “Gaga, quit asking! I’ll still be wanting one when I’m 30!”

Last year I left the entryway tree up ALL YEAR,  decorating for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, spring, Easter, summer, fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, before putting her angels back on! And there is normally a coordinating display on the library cabinet next to it. I expect I’ll be doing the same this year!

In my store we decorated about 20 themed trees and garlands at Christmas. I’ve managed to keep to a main tree and two themed pencil trees. So far. I can actually see where I could add a snowman tree next to the hutch that houses the snowmen, and surely I could squeeze a teddy bear tree into the guest bedroom, freeing up more space for more ornaments on the main tree, and a…

Yikes! I need to stop. Don’t I?








Truth In Cleansing

So, I hope the part of cleansing that involves getting my life cleaned up is easier than the juice cleanse!

I went from looking at those beautiful bottles of juice and barely being able to keep from cracking one open early,

to “Oh. My. God. If I have to drink another green juice I’m going to die.”

These have not been the easiest 3 days on record.

Not even close.

The first day wasn’t bad. It was a LOT of juice, so I felt a little water-logged. I can’t believe how many times I needed to hit the head. Which is good, I guess. All those fluids were surely rinsing out some yuck, right? I got through it with no major issues. The V for Vanilla was a lovely liquid reward for a day well done. By 9:30pm I was ready to chew the wallpaper off the walls, but I slowly consumed a small handful of cashews (it’s legal!) and that got me through.

Day two was worse. More green juices, no treats. But again, with the aid of a few cashews, I made it. Once again there were many, many trips to the bathroom throughout the day, even extending into the early morning hours.

Then there was today.

Once again I started with Lemon Snap, my favorite, but it was downhill from there. Green, green, green. Each bottle got chugged. There was no savoring going on. By mid-afternoon, I felt crummy. Grouchy, really.

Fortunately, my partner in the venture was feeling the same. Had she been flying through it, I would have been even more grouchy.

By mid afternoon we decided to go to the movies (our 5pm juice in tow) to get our minds off of it a bit, which helped.

Now I’m down to my last little bottle, and I’ll be done. Fortunately its a “restorative tea,” not green juice.

There’s not much in it I recognize except the stevia (pau d’ arco, cat’s claw, rama, horsetail, nettle, rose and stevia) and it’s not bad. I’m still feeling full, but my guess is I’ll be chomping on a few more cashews before long. I’m taking the win. It was a tough 3 days, but we made it. Now all I have left to show for it are my empty bottles, and flushed out kidneys (I hope!)

I’m going to try to remember how uncomfortable this was, and hopefully I’ll be eating better this next year so I don’t feel the need to do it again next year. I can’t imagine ever being completely vegan, but I’m going to get as close to it as I can.

Would I recommend the juice cleanse?

I don’t know, and I don’t think I will for a few days. It depends on how I feel post cleanse, and whether it does help jump start me into not eating at night. We’ll see.

So tomorrow we’re taking our empty bottles to Sun and Soil to get our deposit back. We’ll get a few more Lemon Snaps (those are a great way to start the day!) and perhaps a few V for Vanillas for nighttime treats. They have a vegan breakfast (I have no idea what!) so we’ll grab something to eat while we’re there.

Then it’s back to “cleansing” the house in anticipation of the flooring people coming on Monday.



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