Organizing Ideas for the Rest of Us

Small Things for Follow Through Friday

I decided to focus on three small things for today’s Follow Through Friday tasks.  Sometimes just getting three small things done is enough to clear the mind and feel a bit more accomplished.  Sometimes it might add to the motivation to take on some of the bigger tasks as well.  And sometimes, accomplishing three small things makes room for something fun on a Friday like a long overdue coffee date with a friend.  And sometimes, it might be that the day didn’t go as planned and you’re coming up with those three small things at almost 4p.m. in the afternoon.


I ended up working today but was still able to meet my friend at a later time to catch up for a bit.  I am wondering if I can count that coffee date as one of my three small things since we hadn’t really had a chance to catch up and just chat all summer.  I do have other things to do though.  Here are the 3 tasks for tonight:

  1. Finish writing all those important dates on the calendar.  Um, remember last week how I went and replaced our wall calendar so I could add all the school year dates.  I never finished writing all the dates on the things.  Pretty sure I should add a few birthdays to it as well.
  2. Call the community center and ask about their new fitness area.  I’ve had a membership 2 years ago but didn’t go much (okay, fine I think I went twice) and one of my reasons excuses was that the workers did not know how to work the equipment when I asked for help.  Now that they have a new circuit training area, I would like to try again but don’t want to pay unless someone there is qualified to help me if I have questions.  It is closer to home and MUCH cheaper than the two gyms in town although their hours aren’t as great as the two gyms.   The cost is nominal enough that it would be a great option though!
  3. Run two errands that didn’t happen on Monday.  Go to the Dollar Tree and buy a picture frame.  Get 3 birthday cards and an anniversary card from Hallmark (I have a Rewards Coupon to use).  As a bonus, I plan to look and see if I can find some nice, summery clothes for work on clearance somewhere.

What did you cross off your list today?

Unfinished Summer Bucket List: Don’t Say Sayonara Yet

Our unfinished summer bucket list is sitting neglected on a table.  School started much too soon this year for us to cross off every item.   Does this mean it is time to say goodbye to summer and our unfinished summer bucket list?

Goodbye Summer, unfinished summer bucket list

Illustration by Elliot Stokes via Flickr

I don’t think so.  School may have started but I don’t think summer officially ends up September 21st the last time I checked.  It is simply time to take a look at our unfinished summer bucket list and re-evaluate.  We completed just under half of the 13 items listed in the spiral notebook.  I think we did 1 science experiment this summer.  That item was hindered a bit by the fact that our day trip to the science store didn’t happen (yet).   I mentally crossed out my plans to take the boys to the King Tut Exhibit when J was a bit spooked by the Egyptian exhibit at the Nels0n-Atkins Museum (another item crossed off the list, going inside the museum!).  I found it slightly creepy as well so I’m not going to fault my 9-year-old much for that one.  I realized that paying for something similar would not be a good idea (and I read it was all replicas anyway so we probably saw more historically accurate items for free at the art gallery.)

I admit I was feeling a little sad about the items we didn’t complete and how early school started this year.  However, I realized just because school has already started does not mean we cannot finish our summer bucket list.  We’ll just have to time it a bit differently now moving most the items to our weekends.

We have our trip to Oklahoma planned, the Royals are still playing maybe into October?, and there are a few places we can go swimming indoors for a small fee.  The other items are close enough that we could easily do them on a weekend day and if not, most items could transfer to some sort of fall list or saved for next summer’s list.

When do you consider summer to be “officially” over?  The start of school, after Labor Day weekend, or on the actual calendar date when fall begins?

Blown Away by A Wind in the Door: What I Read Last Week

I’ve read and re-read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.  Yet, I did not know that there were other books out there with the same characters or that it was part of a series.  How could this be?  I have started on correcting that knowledge with last week’s choice to read.


Last week’s book of choice

I knew I would like A Wind in the Door before I read it simply based on the fact that it was the same author and my same favorite characters.  I was not disappointed.  This new adventure takes Meg and Calvin on a quest to save Charles Wallace.  I found parts of the book reminiscent of The Fantastic Voyage (I’ll confess I’m only familiar with it in terms of The Magic School Bus show).   A few Doctor Who themes also crossed my mind as there were references to stars going out when the Echthros, the enemy which must be defeated to save Charles Wallace, won battles.

I think what I like best about L’Engle’s books are how she merges ideas and lessons about the universe with a completely believable fantasy.  Somehow the existence of talking stars and dragons from another universe seem perfectly reasonable when I read her books.  Of course, the underlying battle of good versus evil appeals to me as well.

I can see myself re-reading this book as well as sharing it with the boys in hopes that they’ll love the series as much as I do so far.  The series actually contains 4 books and is referred to as The Time Quintet.  I really have no idea how I did not know about these books.  I cannot wait to track down and finally read the final two books in The Time Quintet.

So, I must ask.  What is your favorite book series?


Homemaker Monday: Back to Busy!

Since we are back to busy this week, I definitely need to take the time for another Monday planning post.  Last week I followed Felicia from Felicia’s Red Door Life over to the Happy Homemaker Monday link-up hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and so I’m returning again this week.

Bible Verse and/or Thought of the Week:

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8)

There are always flowers for those that wish to see them (Henri Matisse)

Focus of the Week:

We are back to busy schedules this week.  So my focus is going to be on not rushing.  Taking the extra time to be prepared and focused so we aren’t in a frenzy trying to do things and get places all week-long.

The Weather This Week:

I saw a weather forecast last Friday that said rain for the first 2-3 days this week.  However, it seems to have changed and now the weather is supposed to be sunny and hot (high 80s and low 90s) with a simple chance of storms in the afternoons.  Dear Summer Weather, you’re late!


Trying to get this post finished so I can start in on laundry and a serious cleaning of this house!  J is home sick, sniffling, and watching television in the next room.

To-Do List:

MONDAY:  Laundry and Clean House.  I had a trip to Sam’s Club planned but I’ve had to postpone that with a sick kid here.  I’m hoping he feels well enough tonight to still attend the orientation for an academic program tonight since there is a new teacher and we all want to meet her.

TUESDAY:  Work most the day.  Make or pick up something to contribute to the PTA potluck meeting.  Go to Bunco!

WEDNESDAY:  Run all the errands that I should be doing today.  Take sometime to see what is actually in the freezer as it’s getting full.

THURSDAY:  Find out what time Meet the Teacher Night at the middle school begins.  Finalize Weekend plans (I really want us to go pick apples somewhere although it may be a tad to early in the season).

FRIDAY:  Work on my Follow Through Friday tasks.

Homemaking Tip:

I am surprised to have anything to contribute to this category but I did make a discovery this weekend as I was steam mopping the bathroom not once but twice thanks to an overflowing toilet (New toilet paper is on the list this week!).  One thing I didn’t like about my steam mop was that I missed the “clean smell” that comes with using things like Pine-sol.  A few drops of lemon extract worked great to add a simple clean smell (I’m sure oils would work as well but I haven’t jumped on that bandwagon yet) to my cleaning efforts!

Books & Television This Week:

Haven’t decided what I’m going to read this week.  Not much time for television viewing this week.  I’m just hoping to catch the encore presentation of Masterchef on Friday night.

From the Camera this week starts with a  little Sunflower Sadness:

Remember last week how I excitedly posted my picture of the sunflower about to bloom?  Well, I walked out to check on things last Wednesday only to discover this:


back to busy

What happened here?

A Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil

A Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil

back to busy

This garden spider was not much help

back to busy

The bloom opened in its bath of soapy water

This had also happened to another bloom previously although at the time I blamed squirrels or thought maybe one of our cats caught it with their claws as they jumped off the porch based on its location.  I’m guessing now that it also fell victim to a Sunflower Head-Clipping Weevil.  I had two tall sunflowers left yesterday.  Then, I still can’t quite believe I did it but I accidentally mowed too close to one of them and it is gone as well.  One tall one is left.   My fingers are crossed for at least one fully blooming sunflower this year.

On the blog:

Keep in the rhythm of actually posting  plus work on my idea for the 31 days series I want to do in October.



Meals for A Busy Blast

I’m not sure what happened but school just started and already we have a busy blast of activity on our calendar this week!  An activity at the elementary school  tonight, two activities (for me) tomorrow night plus work during the day, and activities at each of the boys’ schools at the same time on Thursday (we’ll have to choose on this one), all followed by a birthday party to attend on Saturday.  What happened to the lazy, hazy days of summer?

Busy or not, we still have to eat!  Busy blast weeks call for simple meals that we all like to eat.  I’m hoping we get a bit of a break to settle into a new routine after this busy blast is over.  Here’s what we’ll be eating this week while trying to juggle all the activities:    mpm-chalkboard

Monday with an academic program orientation night for J at 6p.m.

French Toast, Strawberries, orange juice (carried over from last week)

Tuesday with a PTA meeting at 5:30 and Bunco later (Hooray!) plus I work in the morning

Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Toast, Salad

Wednesday is a free night (Maybe?)

Slider Hamburgers & French Fries

Thursday is either an activity at the elementary school or meet the teacher night at the middle school (I’m leaning toward the middle school event and J can go with the neighbors if he really wants to do the elementary activity)

Pan Fried Pork Chops, Baked potatoes, Salad

Friday is another free night so far.

Chicken in some shape or form depending on my mood.


Topping off our busy blast of a week is a kid home from school with a bad cold.  At least, our meals are planned and all the ingredients are here waiting for me.  If you haven’t planned your meals yet or need some new ideas (I know I’m always looking for new ideas.), go check out Menu Plan Monday over at I’m An Organizing Junkie.

What’s on your plate this week?

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