New Year, New Leaf

or something like that. I know it's been for almost stinking ever that I've blogged regularly. Mea culpa, dear readers. All two of you. ;-)

To catch you all up on what's been going on, we've had a round robin of sickness including confirmed flu *and* strep over the last three weeks. So I think that buys me a "get out of blogging free" card, right? This is going to be picture light and text heavy, so grab a cup of tea and put your feet up.

We made it through Christmas and the pyjamas/house clothes were a huge hit as always. I've got a couple of sewing contracts coming up in the next two weeks, so I've got to get on that, but before I go there, I really, REALLY want to get my sewing space set. If I could, I'd kick my son out of his room (my old sewing room) and be done with it, but there's no other room in the house that can hold his massive collection of Thomas trains, so there you have it. My dad used to make fun of how many Barbies I had as a girl, but this boy? More Thomas than I ever had Barbies. We counted locomotives last night. There are 17. Each one with at LEAST one coal tender and most have another car after that. And we won't go into how many pieces of track there are. No, we just won't. I promise I'll take pictures once I'm done with the furniture rearranging in there.

Which leads me to my newest project. By way of the Kitchen God. As you may know, my better half is half Chinese. So we pay a little homage to his ancestry by quasi-following some traditions. Most notably is Chinese New Year and angpao. I was explaining to my oldest child the other day about the Kitchen God and Chinese New Year and out with the old, in with the new, etc. For the Chinese, that happens later on, but for us on the whatever it is calendar we use (Julian?) it starts Jan 1. So combining the tradition of clearing out the old to usher in the new (it's like "spring cleaning" except it's Darn Cold) and New Year's Resolutions (or goals as we call them) leads to moving furniture around (getting our chi right), cleaning up the detritus of the holiday and overall clearing the foggy spaces in my head.

I moved the armoire from the front hall to the boy's bedroom. He was starting to need his own closet space anyway and the armoire was too bulky for the front hall. Which led me to have to go through all the c.r.a.p. inside it. Which meant my LPs moved into the office which meant my fabric in space bags moved to the floor and the homeschool stuff in the armoire is ALSO on the floor, but sorted into piles of donate, sell & keep. Despite that, the front hall looks actually CLEANER than it did before. I'll be taking ONE room at a time - thank God for small houses! - and working from front to back in time for New Year's. And if I don't make it by January 1, I can still make it by Chinese New Year. Which is apparently February 3rd and is the Year of the Rabbit. Which according to is "A placid year, very much welcomed and needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. We should go off to some quiet spot to lick our wounds and get some rest after all the battles of the previous year.". You know what? I think they're on to something. Because the Year of the Tiger just about kicked my sorry backside.

Anyways, here I am, almost one "room" done. To remind you of how small our house is, there is from front to back: front hall/office (used to be one space), living room, dining room, kitchen. that's the left half of the house. The right half is long hallway with bathroom at end and three rooms that open off said hallway. From back to front: kids' rooms (2 connecting rooms) and our room. That's it folks, one tiny house. I could count the back porch since it's our laundry "room", but I won't. I only use it when the weather is good.

So today is front hall day. I've got my messes sorted into neat piles. Which for the ADD person is the equivalent of Martha Stewart's best organizational skillz. I'm in the process of clearing the flat surfaces (piano, console, stereo) of c.r.a.p. I've got ADD, so if stuff starts to pile up on a flat surface, I just don't see it until it starts to slide into the floor in a heap. This is why I HATE tchotchkies. And I mean HATE. My mom, on the other hand, has all kinds of that sit-aroundy stuff and is able to keep it neat as a pin. She totally doesn't get that I can't STAND having little bits of stuff because my brain sees ALL of it as c.r.a.p. So the fancy dancy candy dish and the pile of receipts and keys and cell phone all look the same to me. Ergo, nothing sitting out = looks good. I've managed the console and the piano top. And I might finish the stereo, but I'm not sure. But that gives you an idea of what I'm up against.

After all that, the office (pit of despair) should be up next, but I think I might have to save it until next week. The living and dining rooms aren't terrible and will take wayyyyyy less time and give me much more satisfaction. As will the bathroom. It's in great shape considering that 5 people share one tiny bathroom. And one of those 5 is only 4 years old and still working on peeing standing up. We won't talk about the kids' rooms. Part of it is my fault for not putting the shelves and stuff back on the walls after moving the kids around.

But this year? All the Christmas Decor will make it's way to the garage instead of hanging out in the dining room all year. See? An improvement already!

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