My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Working Like Crazycakes

Well, our family has certainly headed into back to school week with a BANG. We've been doing MAJOR cleaning, actually a good activity with the YS still home because he doesn't want to go anywhere after being at the cottage all summer. He can play and I can clean in the same room and just nudge him along. I really love Flylady, so I always turn to her when I get in a big cleaning mode. So I have my routine, my plans, and I've been going at it. The whole family has caught the cleaning bug, and little by little, the house is looking great. My theme has been BE RUTHLESS,and I won't even tell you how many bags of trash have left the house. Anyway, it's a great way to start the school year for me. We all know you can't work in a cluttered space. Does anyone remember which website it is that you can post your before and after pictures of a big clean up project? Maybe I should post a few here, but it might frighten you.

It's POURING rain here today. A perfect day for writing. My YS is deep in play, so I'm going to seize the moment. I wanted to check in with you guys first, though. I feel like so many of you have become my dear cyberfriends, and I've been prattling on about MY kids starting school. What about yours? Any good back to school anecdotes? Please share! My # of readers had really dipped the middle of the month to around a dozen and a half a day, but thankfully you've been back with me this week! I appreciate all 44 of you who visited yesterday and the day before.

A friend of mine from Chautauqua e-mailed me that she'd received a notice that she'd sold two articles in a day last week. Woo hoo for her! I was really happy for her, but of course I am HUMAN and thought, "Why can't it be me?" Then I realized, DUH, I have no articles OUT THERE! (okay, one) But I couldn't possible sell two in a day, now could I?

So i'm in the process of setting goals for the year (remember, I'm a mom and the year means sept-may), so I'm wondering how many pieces can I reasonably produce in a week? Two? I've been used to writing novels and while I'd write a chapter or more in a day, they were subject to HOURS more of editing. Anyway, I'd appreciate any guidance on this topic. I want to push myself, because I work well that way, but not set myself up to fail (I don't work so well that way!).

I am NOT PTA president this year, praise the Lord. I'm throwing my total support behind Missie Watson, our new president. I know she'll be great. But I am co-chairing the Sally Foster giftwrap fundraiser which will begin soon. I'm going to try not to get too 'wrapped up' (pun intended) in it. You guys hold me accountable and don't let me get too committed.

Well, have a great day. A few Redneck Cleaning Tips to follow:

1. Buy a large box of black large yard/leaf trash bags. Don't stop cleaning until you've used the whole box.

2. Don't buy any kind of organizational stuff or ANYTHING until you've totally streamlined your house. Cute storage boxes and shelves make you want to KEEP the clutter instead of streamline.

3. Clean playrooms and kid rooms when they are NOT THERE. If you throw away any toys that they might notice, follow this procedure. Go into the room with one of your trusty black bags, be RUTHLESS and throw away trash, anything from a fast food restaurant, anything broken, and then anything you personally hate (like that ninja with a mean look on its face, etc.). Now listen, this is critical, do NOT throw away too much in one day and DO NOT clean up after. Did you hear me? DO NOT clean up after. If anything, mess it up again with the remaining things. If you do this, your kids will NOT notice the missing items, but if it's all clean, they're immediately suspicious.

4. If you can't do it right, don't do it at all. If you know you don't have time to REALLY clean out your linen closet, just do one shelf, but do it well. No cramming. (yes, I'm the cram queen, but I'm working on it)

5. Make a maintenance routine. Again, I recommend Fly Lady. Because if you're like me, you never want it to get this bad again. I've had preschoolers at home for 12 years. Hopefully THAT will never happen again (oh, Lord, I'm already sweating at the thought), so there's no excuse for the house to ever get so cluttered again.

6. Make a rule about new stuff. For example, at our house, for every new article of clothing, TWO old like items must leave. So say my daughter gets a new t-shirt, she must select two old or stained or torn or too-small t-shirts to leave BEFORE she is allowed to wear the new one. One day we'll be so streamlined that we can go one for one, but for now they're growing so fast, usually we have two old things that need to leave anyway.

Have a great day!

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Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman