Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cleaning and Knitting on Tuesday

Last night, in an attempt to try and adjust my sleep patterns, I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. (as opposed to 3:30 a.m.).  Then, I proceeded to toss and turn until 3:30 a.m., anyway!  Sigh.  I turned off the alarms that I had set to go off at 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and slept until 9:00 a.m.  What can I say?

Hopefully, I can fall asleep earlier, tonight, because, I need to wake up fairly early tomorrow morning!  I am supposed to attend a department-wide meeting which starts at 8:00 a.m., at the office (coffee and muffins, etc. at 7:30 a.m.), tomorrow morning, during which I will receive my 35 years of service pin!  Maybe I should just tell them I won't be able to make it and I'll pick up the pin from the office, later, on my way home from one of my doctor's appointments!  One of which is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon!

This morning was still cool - only 78F inside the house!  I had a cup of coffee and replied to blog comments.  Then, I revised my To Do List.  I had forgotten to list the Tuesday evening knitting group and putting gas to the car, and we all know what happens when I forget to list something!

Also, one of the things I had listed was "Clean my bedroom", which consists of several smaller steps.  I listed those steps because I needed to remind myself that it is not just one single action; it is a series of smaller actions, and, therefore, will take more time than I tend to allocate!

Basically, I am deep cleaning my bedroom as it hasn't been deep cleaned all year.  Oh, I've dusted surfaces and wiped down mirrors and had the ceiling fan cleaned a few months ago and vacuumed from time to time, but when was the last time I wiped down the walls or dusted the tops of the books I keep on the wall mounted shelves?  I started the cleaning yesterday - I wiped down the window sill, first with damp paper towels to remove most of the dust, and then, with a disinfectant wipe for good measure!  Then, I wiped the top of the chest of drawers, where I have a mini altar set up.

Today, I wiped down the headboard and the nightstand.  We used to call them bedside tables, when I was growing up.  I always see pictures of nightstands with hardly anything on them in magazines and such, but mine has a collection of stuff: the power strip that things are plugged into, the telephone, the clock radio (that was a gift from where I used to work back in 1982, it has a snooze function that I enjoy very much), a battery operated alarm clock (just in case the electricity goes off in the night and that messes up the clock radio that runs on electricity; it has happened, occasionally, although, I suppose oversleeping is not such a problem now that I am retired; and, yes, I know, I should just use the alarm function of my cell phone, as my daughter keeps telling me...I haven't got there, yet), the table lamp, a box of tissues, a couple of pens, and my purse!

Nightstand/Bedside Table

I keep my purse at hand, in case there is an earthquake in the night and the electricity goes off - I can locate it by touch (I also keep a flash light under my pillow - which reminds me, I need to check the batteries!).  I remember when the Northridge earthquake struck in 1994, around 4:30 a.m., we were without power and it was so dark!  I was so glad my daughter was sleeping next to me (she was 10 months old at the time) - I just grabbed her and went to check on my mother who was in the next room and we crouched over the baby to protect her - she slept right through it!  LOL!  I know they say to take cover under a table, but the only table big enough for us was the dining table, and we could hear everything falling and breaking in the kitchen and the living room (the family room wasn't built, back then) and we didn't want to leave the bedroom until the shaking stopped!  It was just a little bit scary!  So, I keep my purse close to me at night, just in case I need to grab it and go (car keys and house keys are in it, as well as my wallet and medications, etc.)

Then, I took down the three framed pictures I have on the wall and dusted the frames.  Then. covered a broom with an old kitchen towel I keep for cleaning purposes and "swept" my walls!  I need to vacuum the ceiling, too, but that will be for another day, not today.  Next, I took everything off the two wall mounted shelves and damp-wiped the shelves and dusted everything, including the tops of the books I store on the shelves, and put them back.  And, of course, because I am doing this somewhat backwards (should have wiped down the walls, first), I had to dust the top of the chest of drawers, again!  LOL!

Then, I had to take a break, because, I was getting a little tired, it was getting hot and I didn't have the fan on because I didn't want the dust to be flying all over while I was trying to clean, and the dust mask I was wearing (due to my asthma), was making me feel even hotter.  It took me about 45 minutes to clean all that.

What was left at that point were the disaster zones known as my desk and the dressing table top! They were both piled high with stuff!  I was not brave enough to take a before picture!

But, after I took a break and ate an omelette with a ground beef and spicy onion ("katta sambol") filling, and took my medications, etc., I spent another hour or so, and cleaned the desk.  Much of what was piled on it were bags of knitting yarn and unfinished knitting projects!  I dumped them all in the 3rd bedroom, which is also known as The Dump!  The Dump is a scary place where bags of stuff go to languish!  There are still a few papers in boxes on the desk that need sorting through, but, that can be done, another day.  For today, what was important was to tidy and dust the top of the desk!  Again, after I wiped off the desk with a damp paper towel, I wiped it with a disinfectant wipe.  Just in case!

The Cleaned Desk
The big round covered blue and white dish has paper hexagons from one of the quilts I am making.

I even found my big pair of paper-cutting scissors:

Paper-cutting Scissors
I had written a P on them to distinguish them from the fabric cutting scissors (which have been similarly identified with "F"), because they look very similar and I was tired of getting them mixed up.

Then, I took another break to have some pineapple, check emails, watch news, and have a cup of tea.  The radiation oncologist's office called to remind me of tomorrow's appointment and I confirmed it.  After that, it was time to shower and get dressed to go to the Tuesday evening knitting class at the library!  I thought I had better go today because I forgot to go last week (after visiting aunt C), and next Tuesday I will be preparing for the colonoscopy and wouldn't want to go anywhere!

I live in a primarily Hispanic neighborhood, so I was not surprised to find that the knitting group consisted of Hispanic ladies.  There were nine ladies besides myself and one lady had brought her special needs son with her.  One of the ladies works in the library and I knew her from seeing her there.  She, and one other lady, spoke English; the rest spoke only Spanish.  In fact, they all thought I was Hispanic, too, and seemed surprised that I was not and didn't speak Spanish!  LOL.

They were a friendly group of ladies who offered me bean burritos and those red licorice candy twists (I declined both, as I am not fond of either) and said they will teach me Spanish!  Some were knitting, some were crocheting, and one was doing needlepoint.  So, it is basically a needle crafts group.  I took along my hats for the American Heart Association project to work on and knitted a hat while I was there.  They all seemed impressed by the fact that I didn't need to look at my knitting (I wasn't doing a very complicated pattern).  They call it a class because a couple of the ladies are experienced knitters/crocheters and offer their help, if needed.  Before I left, I was asked (by one of the two ladies who spoke English) if I could teach them how to knit the hats; one lady showed me a hat she had made, but she made it on a circular knitting loom.  The class meets from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  I stayed till almost 7:00 p.m. and left, because I had finished knitting one hat from start to finish.

Someone handed out bags with some items inside and gave me one, too:

Bag of Gifts
I was told to take it home, so I did!

Shampoo, conditioner, nail polish, and lipstick!  I will share with my daughter, when she comes home, next week.

I enjoyed attending the group, if only for the air conditioning, and seeing what everyone else was making, but, I don't know if I will go on a weekly basis.  Part of my wanting to join the group was for social contact and it is hard to join in the conversation when you can't speak the language.  But, I might go again, week after next and give it another try.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll learn Spanish while I knit!

After I left the library, I put gas to the car ($3.36/gal; I spent $32.75) and then, went to the dollar store.  I had a list of items I wanted to buy, including a new mop, two rolls of duct tape, a lint roller (I would have bought more, but they only had one!), a package of 8 clothes hangers, a package of night light bulbs (4 bulbs to the package), a package of rubber gloves, and two tubes of toothpaste.  I also bought two packets of crackers, a jar of apricot jam, some bananas ($.49/lb = $.71) and two 6-oz. containers of yogurt ($.50@).  I spent a total of $1457, with taxes on the non-food items.  The food items came to  $4.71 and I will add that to my August grocery spending for Week 2. 

There was a moment of panic after I checked out of the store because I couldn't find my car keys!  I looked in the purse and then, told the cashier I must have dropped my keys inside the store and asked if I could leave my purchases with her while I went in to search.  But she saw them dangling from my shopping cart and pointed it out to me!  Oh, thank goodness!  I do have a spare set of keys in my purse (after once locking myself out of the old car!), but I didn't want to leave the keys in the store for someone else to find!

Came home and saw that there were two messages on the answering machine.  Cousin P and friend R had called while I was out, so I called them both back.  They had called to check on me, so I chatted to them for a bit.  Then, had dinner and video chatted with daughter for a bit.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Another relatively cool day
- Getting some cleaning done
- Finding my car keys dangling from the cart and not lost, after all
- The knitting group experience and free gift of cosmetics
- Phone calls from cousin and friend; video chatting with daughter

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Put away the laundry - DONE
- Bring the trash cans in - DONE
- Clean my bedroom
  • windowsill - DONE on Monday
  • top of chest of drawers - DONE on Monday
  • clean picture frames - DONE
  • wipe down walls/remove cobwebs - DONE
  • 2 shelves - DONE (removed everything, wiped, replaced)
  • nightstand - DONE
  • headboard - DONE
  • desk - DONE
  • dresser & mirror
  • mirror on door - DONE
  • ceiling fan & light fixture
- Do some shopping/dollar store - DONE
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Attend knitting group at library - DONE
- Water the front garden & back - WEDNESDAY

It was too late to water the garden by the time I got home, around 8:30 p.m.  So, will do that, tomorrow.

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Attend the staff meeting/receive my service pin
- Go to the doctor's appointment in the afternoon
- Clean my bedroom
  • dresser & mirror
  • ceiling fan & light fixture
- Water the front garden and back
- Do the dishes
- Clean the litter box

How was your day?  Do you list an single task, such as "clean the bedroom", treat it as one item among many and wonder why it takes so long to do, or do you break it down to all the various components and realize that's why it takes so long?  What do you keep on your nightstand/bedside table?


  1. How wonderful to find a local knitting group! It sounds like fun. I need to do some serious sorting/cleaning. I'm slowly getting back into the groove but finding it none too easy.

    1. Hard to get back from vacation mode, isn't it? Do a little bit at a time, Sharon. Give yourself time to transition.

      The knitting group was fun, except, I wish I could understand what was being said and discussed by the group!

  2. I like to break down big jobs into separate tasks if for no other reason than I can cross more things off my list. :)

    I think you're a little too ambitious to change your bedtime two hours at a time. I have read that you need to do it slowly in increments such as 15 minutes at a time. I hope you made it to your rewards meeting on time.

    1. I am hoping that, once I do the initial deep cleaning, I can maintain it and, eventually, just list "clean room X" and it will be a matter of tidying a bit, dusting and vacuuming. Still, writing down the details help, too, to keep track of all the things that ought to be done.

      Well, I went to bed a little before 2:00 a.m., last night and still didn't fall asleep until 3:30 a.m. But, I did wake up at 6:30 a.m., when the alarms went off, and I got to the meeting on time. Maybe I can fall asleep a bit earlier, tonight?

  3. I also went to the Dollar Tree today and put $50 of gas in my van. There was time to pick up a few groceries at one grocery store before I got back home and then it poured rain. I spent the afternoon on the computer watching YouTube and getting nothing else accomplished for the day. I hate when that happens. I get a lot of ideas for crafting and card-making for Christmas ideas, but otherwise such a waste of time when I could be housecleaning. Ugh! *feeling of self-loathing*

    Yes, I tend to list very broad tasks instead of breaking them down into smaller baby steps. My listing of "pulling weeds" has so far entailed over 6 hours of pulling weeds just from the driveway. But I have taken some advice from you Bless and tell myself to pull weeds for two hours and then stop. It seems much more manageable.

    1. Well done on all the weeding! One can't help but admire their tenacity! Think of the rainy afternoon spent watching YouTube as crafting time (like my 1 1/2 hrs. at the knitting group), or leisure time/time for yourself (cheaper than going to a movie, I'd say). Spent one hour doing housework and reward yourself with 30 minutes of YouTube. Set an alarm and when it goes off, turn the computer off ( that's the hard part, for me) and do another hour of housework. Just keep doing that and you won't feel bad about watching YouTube instead of cleaning.

    2. That should be "spend", not "spent"!

  4. I'm glad you found your keys, with the help of the store lady!! Your days are quite full! So nice. I enjoyed reading of your knitting group. Maybe they wouldn't mind if you just showed up here and there. I go to a rosary group that our church sponsors at an old-age home and I find I'm better at it if I skip a week here and there. Being retired, you don't need to have time-commitment and you are still busy with dr. appts. I bet your bedroom feels so fresh now. Only a homemaker can tell where the dust is and isn't...lol Andrea

    1. Yes, you are right, I don't have to go every week. I can go every other week, perhaps, or even, once a month. It's just that my daughter was worried about a lack of social interaction for me; she knows I tend to be a bit of a homebody, but she doesn't want me to become a hermit! :D

      Also, as you say, I am busy with dr. appointments - two scheduled for this week, another one next week.

      I need to get the dressing table cleaned and organized and then...I need to tackle the closet!

  5. You got a lot done on Tuesday. 😊
    I normally write 'clean the bathroom' , not specific tasks. But I think breaking down it to specific tasks is a really good idea. It reminds you things that you would normally forget. For example, I keep thinking that I need to clean the bathroom window, but I forget. I'm going to follow your example and break things down.

    Things on my bedside table: a small fan, a projection clock (so I can see the time on the ceiling. Hahaaa), cellphone, iPad and/or a book, a glass of water. I keep a power strip on the floor, next to the table.

    It's terrifying to read about your earthquake experience. It's great that you are prepared for a sudden evacuation, but I hope there will be no need for that, ever.

    1. Yes, it was a very productive day, yesterday; too bad I can't keep up the pace! But, the energy levels are still somewhat lacking, so I need to pace myself, take advantage of the good days and spend the other days taking it easy. I used to try to deep clean one room per month and maintain the rest of the house in between. I couldn't do any deep cleaning when I was undergoing cancer treatments, simply because I didn't have the energy. There were days when I just slept the whole day. Then, when I went back to work, just going to work and back would tire me. Only now am I having the time and the energy I need to deep clean - when it isn't too hot, that is!

      I try to be prepared for emergencies, but I hope there won't be one!

  6. My you have been busy, I bet you are pleased with yourself. I am very fortunate that since I was in hospital, a care package was made up for me and I have home help for 3 hours a week. I didn't want to take it even though it was free, but I promised my family I would take help. I have to say it has made a great difference to my energy levels and peace of mind. (My R.A really sucks the energy out!)
    When I make lists I break it down as you have done, because invariably I will forget something.
    I would stick with the knitting group, but go every couple of weeks. I have started going to one every fortnight at our library on Friday mornings. It takes a couple of visits to feel comfortable I found. Although I have missed a lot as I have had physio appointments on Friday mornings often

    1. Sharon, I am so glad to hear that you are getting some help with the housework. I can understand your family's concern on your behalf.

      I was very pleased with what I was able to accomplish, yesterday. I wasn't able to do as much, today, so I'll wait until tomorrow. It's hard for me to keep up the energy levels.

      Yes, I think I will go every 2-3 weeks to the knitting group. Knitting and crochet transcend language barriers and I'm sure we'll figure it all out, eventually.

  7. I do wonder at those magazine photos of empty "bedside tables" (I grew up with that name). The whole idea of them is to serve our needs and that means holding the bits and pieces that we need with us when we go to bed and when we wake up. I have a box of tissues, a square basket with some small books in, as well as two or three books in progress and a wonderful wind-up flashlight so that I can get up to the bathroom without putting a light on. (I keep it well charged by winding it up before bedtime). Of course my glasses are set down when I sleep, ready to put back on in the morning, and like you, I like to have my purse right beside the bed on the floor,in case I need to make a quick exit from the house.

    I think you might have fun learning Spanish one day and then surprising the Hispanic knitters! It isn't a difficult language and there are CDs in libraries as well as simple courses on-line. Then you can practise on Dancer, your loyal "gatito"!

    1. Exactly, Bushlady; the whole purpose of a bedside table is to hold the things we need! things migrate to my bedside table during the course of the week - a note pad to write down various thoughts (usually something else to add to the To Do List!), a bottle of lotion, a library book, a bottle of water, etc. I like the idea of a wind-up flashlight! Don't have to worry about replacing batteries!

      I sometimes speak to Dancer in my language and he usually ignores me! LOL! If I were to speak Spanish to him, he would get very confused, indeed!

  8. You had a very busy day! That would be fun to learn Spanish ... I took two years of it in high school and it’s come in handy over the years. As far as my nightstand, mine has a lamp, a framed photo, and a candleholder during the day. At night I have my eye glasses, lotion and cell phone with charger. In the morning everything but my cell phone goes into the nightstand drawer. Visible clutter drives me nuts so I rarely have it on horizontal surfaces. Just don’t open a drawer! Lol

    1. I have picked up a few Spanish words, here and there, but I haven't learned the language, as such. I took a course of French at the French Embassy in Sri Lanka when I was a teenager, but I've forgotten most of it!

      Ah, yes, drawers! My nightstand has two - the top one is full of my various medications and some lotions, etc. The bottom one is where I keep my blood pressure monitor, the blood sugar monitor, the heating pad, some note books and a couple of magazines I've collected (one from the month and year I came to this country, one from the month and year when my daughter was born).


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