Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Starting Over

Starting over is always an option.

I realize that the new year was only six short weeks ago, but I need a do over!  So, instead of waiting for the start of another month or even another week, I’m starting over today.  I’m not totally sure what this means other than I feel like I am in desperate need of a reset button right now.  So, I have been pretty productive the last couple of days – living room is clean.  My daughter’s room is clean.  The laundry is very close to being totally caught up (I think I can do it tonight, but there may be one or two loads of bedding left depending on my productivity tonight and tomorrow morning).  Our bedroom is more or less clean (and has actually stayed pretty clean the past few weeks).  Now, I just need to figure out how to keep things less cluttered, more tidy and more on track.

So, I’m starting over with ROUTINES!  I am a stubborn, stubborn person.  I constantly resist routines.  Maybe sometimes it is out of laziness, but mostly I think it is because I am stubborn.  I don’t want to give up control.  I can get things done without a routine.  I can fly by the seat of my pants and I’ve been doing it for years.  BUT, I am also a ball of stress with too much on my plate to keep track of it all.  I am constantly forgetting things, double scheduling my time, doing things at the last minute and under undo stress.  So, in the interest of making all of that STOP and providing my daughter with a bit more structure than she has had recently, I’m going to institute some very general routines.  I realize I have talked about this before.  But, I have not been at all consistent in forcing myself – and I do mean FORCING myself to actually DO the things in the routine.

But, I am now instituting the routines and will be using the mantra NO EXCUSES for a while.  I need to have high expectations for myself and I need to live up to them.  Starting NOW.

So, for those of you who have fallen off your resolutions wagon, join me.  Because starting over is always an option!


We can’t be friends.

Captures my thoughts perfectly. Even when my house is “clean” it looks a bit of a mess. Stained carpets, remnants of the last snack or meal, unmatched socks waiting for the never-to-be-found mate, etc., etc.

Dugans InCahoots


See that picture above?

Thats my life. 90% of the time- that beautiful mess is my life. Despite my best efforts, it is crazy, chaotic and absolutely unorganized.

I like you. I think you are sweet, and fun to hang out with. But let me give it to you straight. If I have to clean for three hours before you come over…

We can’t be friends. We just can’t.

It’s just way too stressful, and trying to keep my home perfectly neat in this stage in life is impossible and overwhelming. I used to be more put together, believe it or not, I am naturally organized ( and a little OCD) . But then my kids became mobile, they ganged up on me, and my life and time were no longer my own.

If you do come over, and I really want you to, I won’t pretend that I…

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Garden Edition

Better Homes and Garden...
House Beautiful…
House not so beautiful...
House not so beautiful…

Today’s Five Minute Friday theme is “Garden,” so I thought I would share my less-than-satisfying relationship with this activity called “gardening” or yard care…

That first picture is what I love to imagine my yard looking like.  A tranquil, beautiful space.  Useful, with touches of brilliance.  I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to “Yard Ideas”.  It has beautiful tablescapes, flowers, veggie gardens, etc.  My real yard, in August of last year, had a pile of random outdoor furniture, a toddler slide and weeds.  Lots and lots of weeds.  Oh, and there is always some dog poop mixed in as well.  The table in the picture actually doesn’t look bad.  My sister gave me that set when she got a new one and it is the nicest thing we have out there.  It is too large for where I would like to put it (somewhere near the back door, where grass used to grow until we had a blow up pool out there for too long this past summer and it died off), so I had to put it over where that lovely lawn decor shows in the background.

As I stated earlier in the week, I struggle with clutter.  Everywhere.  And it shows there in the backyard.  I have gotten rid of or put away a few of those things that were piled up back there.  But, the weeds are still ever present and dog poop piles up until someone gets around to picking it up.  The grass is still quite dead – the California drought is not helping it, I’m sure.  But, I think it will take some true green thumbing to get it to come back this summer.  So garden is something that I covet.  I want natural beauty in my yard.  I want to be able to string lights and entertain in our outdoor space (we have quite a large space – it would be great for entertaining if it didn’t look quite so disheveled).  But, I am lacking in focus and knowledge and green thumb.  I grew some zucchini a few summers back.  It was fun to watch them grow and Bean, who was only two at the time, loved to water them each morning.

June 2011 025

But alas, I haven’t grown much of anything since.  Well, other than a gigantic rosemary plant that really seems to survive and thrive no matter what.  The thing is huge.  If I could get all my plants to grow like that, my yard would be great.  But other plants seem to demand so much from me – water me, but not too much.  Sunlight, but only partial and some need it in the morning and some in the afternoon.  Special dirt.  Some sort of insect defense.  It is all just too much for me.

I am going to do my best to be better with the garden this summer though.  I am going to use my Pinterest board not only for dream material, but inspiration.  And I will act.  I will plant things.  I will dig in the dirt.  I will figure out where and when sun falls during the summer months and plant accordingly.  I will figure out how to reseed the grass.  I may even see about adding some grass to give Bean more space to play comfortably (most of our yard is covered in bark right now – not very comfortable for walking or sitting or enjoying the space).  I will have flowers.  I hope to have veggies.  I would love to have strawberries (just pinned a recycled pallet strawberry planter that I love).  I will string some lights.  I may even have some people over.  I will, I will, I will.

Now, if I can just convince myself…and not kill everything in sight…and not just collect a bunch of outdoor clutter along the way…so much responsibility.

This was part of Five Minute Friday.  Check it out over at Lisa Jo’s blog!
Five Minute Friday

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #14 – Sick Day Edition


It is a sick day edition not because I am sick but because my daughter has pink eye…again.  No preschool with the crusty eye unfortunately, so I called off class to stay at home with her, put drops in, do the warm compresses and hopefully get rid of this crusty stuff once and for all.  Although missing class always creates some consternation, we had presentations today so I’m sure many are breathing a sigh of relief at having a few more days to prepare.  It also gives me some time to clean up, declutter, catch up on grading and class planning, etc.  Although with a bored four year old, productivity is never a given, we will do our best.  So, here is the Thursday Thumbs Up for 2/13/14:

1)  RAIN!  I am in Northern California, so rain is becoming a BIG positive as we try to avoid continuation of the worst drought in history.  We had some good rainfall last weekend.  There is rain predicted to start here any time and keep going for a few days again.  It is much needed.  I am very thankful for it and I am very thankful that I don’t have anything to do that will require me to be out in it.  All good things in my book!

Hopefully we can avoid scenery like this from CBS Sacramento (actually is in NV, but we're on our way to this in some of our lake areas)
Hopefully we can avoid scenery like this from CBS Sacramento (actually is in NV, but we’re on our way to this in some of our lake areas)

2.  Ranch Dressing.  For some reason I have not had Ranch Dressing in the house for a while.  My husband doesn’t eat it and I just never had a clear reason to buy it.  But, I recently bought a bottle for a recipe that called for it and I have rediscovered my love of ranch!  It is a very versatile dip.  It can be used to flavor bland dishes or sauces.  It is just awesome.

Ranch Dressing

3) My final Thumbs Up for this Thursday is Bath and Body Works 3 Wick Candles.  I love these candles.  I love candles in general, but often I find two things that frustrate me with them.  First, they don’t smell as good when burning as they do when you smell them in the store.  Second, they burn so quickly that I use them up in the first few days of owning them.  The 3 Wick Candles solve both of these frustrations.  They smell FANTASTIC and the whole house smells good when I burn them.  You don’t have to be sitting next to one to appreciate them.  And they burn for a long, long, long time.  I often have them burning for hours on end and they still last for weeks.  These are definitely my go-to candles now.  Others may be cheaper, but the trade off in smell and time burnt is worth it AND if you can catch them during one of their big sales they are CHEAP to boot!  If you haven’t tried them and you like candles, you really should do yourself a favor and try them!  They have a ton of scents to choose from, so just about any one should be able to find something they like.  I know there are those who just don’t like burning candles and I can respect that, but if you aren’t one of those people, check these out!

3 wick candles

So, there you have it.  My three items for Thumbs Up Thursday.  What are you lovin’ today?



That is where I am today.  Struggling.  I am struggling to figure out what it is that makes me incapable of keeping an uncluttered space.  House, car, garage…it is all just piles of stuff and I’m tired of looking at it.  I feel like I pick up quite a bit every single day, but to no avail.  I am also struggling with why I can’t get my act together financially.  I also have problems keeping up with my work load at work.  I’m doing better this semester with some things, but am still quite a bit  behind with other things.  I am also struggling with being a defacto “single” parent so often.  My husband left this morning and will not come back until next Tuesday and when he does, he will be completely exhausted.  I was gone all weekend, arriving home very late on Sunday night and I will once again leave next Thursday for Friday and Saturday.  It is as if we are going through revolving doors, waving at each other as we pass.

So, today is short and sweet.  I’m doing my best to play catch up today…hope to talk to you soon.