Organizing Ideas for the Rest of Us

The Blues

Everyone (it seems…there may be a few exceptions but I do not know them) in this town has the blues.  I suppose if you do not live in the Kansas City area, you may not realize it but the Royals are in the World Series!  The whole town seems to be blue.  Blue bird of happiness blue not exactly the same as having the blues (well, maybe after last night’s game but still it was only the first one of seven and according the Facebook which is of course, doubles as a sports digest, they did lose the first game in 1985 before winning it all).

Perhaps you are thinking that this is the part where I tell you that I’ve been out to “party like it’s 1985″ and that is why I have not been following through on my 31 days of Follow Through Series.  Alas, I wish that were the reason.  Perhaps that could be my excuse for Thursday night and Friday I was busy with family.  However, since then, it’s been a different kind of blues around here.

Friday evening, I opted to go to bed rather than make that second (okay, fourth) attempt to holler for Chase, our Siamese cat, to come inside.  Augflowers14 025 He’s been left out once or twice before and usually turns right up and is ready and willing to go inside after a night out “in the wild.”  Except he did not show up Saturday morning.  Nor did he show up on Sunday.  Or Monday.  Or Tuesday.  And we are still missing him today.  He’s simply gone.  We’ve looked around the neighborhood.  I have ads running on Craigslist and the pet connection place.  I have registered him as missing with the microchip place (I’m so glad I followed through on that one Friday not long ago!).  I have flyers ready to go stick in the doors of all the neighbors in a 2-3 block area and hand out at area vet offices.  


Wondering why I haven’t done some of the above already?  Well, we had family from Oklahoma in town all weekend so we were working around that (life doesn’t stop for cats that have gone exploring…) and then, J woke up with a high fever on Monday.   Then, there was work as well to juggle.  Strange thing to be finding yourself a substitute when you are the substitute but it worked out.  Good thing as a trip to the doctor today confirmed it was Strep throat.  

All my free time has been consumed by searching for a missing cat, dealing with a sick child with a super high fever (I’m good to 103 but 104 is my freak out number), and trying to maintain my work responsibilities. 

I’m going to go ahead and count this as a post in the 31 Days of Follow Through Series because one thing the lost cat did highlight for me is the importance of follow through.  I can’t imagine how much worse I’d feel had I not already updated all the microchip information for him.  I certainly wish I had followed through on getting up that fifth time to see where he was on Friday night. 


Switching Gears

There is another component like distraction that sometimes keeps me from following through on my projects.  It is when my day does not go as planned.  Monday did not go as planned because it was full of distractions but I still could have overcome the majority of them had I chosen to do still move forward with my list.  I could have gone to the grocery store and run errands in the rain.  I certainly would not have melted.  I just made different choices on that day.

Yesterday did not go as planned for another reason.  J woke up feeling under the weather.  My day was not going to happen as I had planned it due to circumstances beyond my control.  I had to switch gears if I was going to get anything at all done.

NRC Modern Times 5

Photo Credit Neil Coulter via Flickr

I sometimes (often) struggle with actually getting things done when my original plans change.   Wiping down the kitchen cabinets was not on my list of projects I planned to tackle yesterday.  I could have simply done nothing yesterday.

I really was tempted to do nothing.  However, I decided that I could still get things done even if they were not the original things I had planned.  Too often, I do not make that choice.  I simply get stuck.  I was going to do project A today but now the day is different so I can’t do it.  Sometimes, it doesn’t occur to me to switch gears and still get something else done.

It is okay to finish projects in a different order than originally planned.  It certainly helps get some of those unfinished projects finished.   How do you switch gears and get things done when your day takes an unexpected twist?

Yesterday’s Success Stories

Well, I guess what was not a success for yesterday was posting in the 31 Days of Follow Through Series.  SIGH.  I’m determined to fix things today though.  I have yesterday’s post for you plus later, I’ll be writing today’s post.  I actually did have both posts planned out in my head.  They just didn’t get typed into the blog.

Yesterday was 14 days into my month of Follow Through which meant it should have been time to show you a few finished projects.  I do have a FEW finished projects to show you.

The main project I finished this week was wiping down the kitchen cabinets.  It probably seems like a little thing.  It probably is a little thing.  Unfortunately, it is a little thing does not happen often enough around here.

I read somewhere that heating orange oil and wiping down the cabinets worked well.

I heated up my Method cleaner to try it.

I heated up my Method cleaner to try it.

I’m not sure it made a big difference but it did make me feel like I was going a bit “above and beyond” with my cleaning project.

All the cabinets are now clean.

All the cabinets are now clean.

Hopefully, the clean, shiny cabinets will stay that way for at least two or three days.

My other success story isn’t a completely finished project so much as a start on one of my items.  I am not domestic so this was a bit of an ordeal for me.  Can I still say I hemmed a pair of J’s pants if I actually used fusing web and the iron?

One pair of pants he can wear without having to roll up the cuffs.

One pair of pants he can wear without having to roll up the cuffs.

I did use pins and chalk to measure.  I also think I may use the Internet to find a seamstress for the rest of them.  This one pair of pants project was simply not pretty.  I felt pretty accomplished once I finally finished it though.  I probably should have started it prior to 8:00p.m. but I am not sure it would have made much difference given my level of ability.

What projects have you finished this week?

Distractions of the Day

It is no secret that distractions are a big part of what keeps me away from my list of things that require follow-through.  Some days I’m much better at dealing with them than others.  Today was one of the other days.

For today’s post in the 31 days of Follow Through Series, I’m just going to share all list of all (that I can remember) my distractions today.

  • The boys were home from school!  That meant that we didn’t need to get up and get ready.  It also meant that the day didn’t exactly get off to an early start.  And that I was late figuring out breakfast which meant we all got a bit grouchy before mid-morning arrived.
  • The weather was a huge distraction today.  It meant that my grocery store/errand day didn’t happen because the rain never ever stopped!  I think it may still be raining out there.
  • The cats were a distraction.  Have I ever mentioned that our lovely little kittens are defective?  They like to go out in a little bit of rain but of course, want to come in when it starts pouring rain!  Then, they want to go back outside.
  • I started to think about clearing out the art supply cabinet but then J asked me to do something with him and that led to this:
Our artwork from today.  The tree on the left that looks like a preschooler made it is mine.

  The tree on the left that looks like a preschooler made it is mine.

This meant that instead of the cabinet getting any attention, the kitchen table took on its normal look:

Table is a mess as always.

Table is a mess as always.


  • The phone rang a bunch of times today.  My husband called twice asking me to look things up on the computer for him.  He needs a fancy phone but won’t get one.  We got a few political/sales calls.  What Do Not Call List?  I’ll be glad when election Tuesday finally arrives and the political phone calls stop at least.  A neighbor called and J ended up going to hang out with a friend.
  • I took the time J was at his friend’s house to take G and a friend to a movie.  I wanted to see it as well:

    It was a good movie but the book was better.

    It was a good movie but the book was better.

  • Can I just list the cats and weather twice?  I didn’t know one of our cats was still outside when we went to the movie so once everyone was back at home, I was outside with my umbrella tracking her down.  She was meowing to go back outside 10 minutes later although it was still pouring rain.  Have I mentioned our cats are defective?
  • Yes, I did play Candy Crush Saga today and look at Pinterest and take one of those “Do You Take Too Many Stupid Quizzes?” type quizzes.  By the way the answer to that would have been YES!
  • I also read the Entertainment Recaps for Once Upon A Time, Gracepoint, and Resurrection because I’m just that nerdy (sigh).
  • Almost forgot the time I spent mediating a few brotherly squabbles.  And by that I mean shouting:  would you please just work it out yourselves!

This is probably a short list of the day’s distractions and I certainly don’t think all of them were bad. Spending time with my boys while a distraction was probably more important than organizing the art cabinet or wiping down the kitchen cabinets.  Of course, I probably could have cut out some of the other distractions and accomplished the other tasks as well.


My Missing Menu Plans Plus This Week

I’ve been making menu plans each week.   I even started blog posts but never added enough “polish” for publishing.  However, in case you are in dire need of ideas, I’m going to share what we’ve been eating with you.  I’m sorry to say it is not overly exciting.    mpm-chalkboard

Here is a look back first week I didn’t post my menu plan.  The original menu plan contained all these items (with the exception of the frozen pizza) but not in this order.  It’s nice to have a menu plan because it gives you the flexibility to move meals around for unexpected and busy days.  Chili was supposed to be Friday’s dinner but I wanted to make the French Toast (originally on the plan as Monday’s dinner) before the bread disappeared.  Plus, I somehow ended up feeding two of our neighbor’s children on Friday in addition to my own and didn’t think chili was going to be a hit with any of the children.

MONDAY:  Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and French Fries

TUESDAY:  Mozzarella Sticks and Salad  (My husband didn’t want this and J thought I had said fish sticks so they ended up having those)

WEDNESDAY:  Sesame Pork Ribs in the Crock Pot

THURSDAY:  Frozen Pizza (My husband had leftover ribs)

FRIDAY:  French Toast

Here was the plan the next week before I succumbed to a rather nasty virus that had me not doing much in the kitchen.  The last two meals of the week never happened.  I’m not sure what they even ate those nights but we all survived.  I also can’t recall where we went on Friday.  I’m thinking that perhaps I didn’t go with them or passed on the food.  I ate my meal out for lunch on Friday and brought home a wonderful meal of Panera Potato Soup in a bread bowl followed by a lovely relaxing carbohydrate coma.

MONDAY:  Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread, and Salad

TUESDAY:  Pork Chops, fried apples

WEDNESDAY:   Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chicken

THURSDAY:  Chili (for us) and Baked Potatoes (for the boys unless by some miracle they like chili this week)


Last week, I took it easy on myself as I was still recovering from whatever nasty virus held me and quite busy with work and meetings for the boys’ activities.

MONDAY:  Lasagna from a box

TUESDAY:  Ham Steaks and Baked Sweet Potatoes

WEDNESDAY:  Frozen Pizza

THURSDAY:  Fish Sticks and Baked Potatoes

FRIDAY:  Tacos

Moving onto this week:  the exciting thing is that it’s a family birthday week and a school fundraiser week and we have family in town.  A lot less to plan.

MONDAY:  The boys are off school today!  I think in honor of the Royals, we’re going to keep it simple and have Hot Dogs and French Fries.

TUESDAY:  Peanut Butter Pancakes

WEDNESDAY:  This is a field trip day for J and I get to go!  Dinner is going to have to be easy and simple this day.  I’m leaning toward spaghetti

THURSDAY:  Chik-Fil-A fundraiser night

FRIDAY:  OUT for family birthday at a local BBQ restaurant

SATURDAY:  I don’t usually plan meals for this day but I wanted to share how excited I am that we have a family dinner to attend and I’m finally going to get chili (and I don’t even have to make it!).


Even when I’m not posting my menu plans, I usually have a rough outline of what we’re going to be eating for the week.  I have no problem including “box” meals in my plan if I’m super busy or super sick (yuck…and I’m STILL coughing).  I do usually try to put healthy meals on our menu and we usually have some form of vegetable on the table (not always though) even if you don’t see them listed.  It’s all about balance.  Of course, I think I could use some ideas for quick, healthy meals for picky eaters as I feel like we’re in a bit of a rut.  Any ideas?

If you need some ideas for your meals, be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura of I’m An Organizing Junkie.  Her post and the bloggers that link up in it provide a wide variety of menu options no matter what kind of meal plan you follow.

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