Archive for the 'Homemaking stuff' Category

Me vs the Space-Time Continuum

Today I fertilized the plants. It was only supposed to take a minute…

I woke up at 6:15am. My hubby had gone off to run earlier, and I was mentally ready for him to return, shower and take a short nap on the couch before leaving for work. That meant I would not be able to do my normal sequence of routine, so I planned to get up, make the bed, maybe water, then go into the office and get to work on Sky. Yay!

Recalling that it had rained last night, I was pleased at the notion that I wouldn’t have to water the grass and could get started on writing that much earlier. I’d just take a minute to fertilize the plants front and back. It’s better to fertilize early when it’s cool, after all, and it’s only 8 plants in pots. No big deal.

Except, I have this problem with the space/time continuum. Despite my many years on the planet, during which the space/time continuum has never changed, I nevertheless assume this time that it will. It’s not a conscious assumption, mind you. It’s just that I continually think as if a minute can be both a real minute, sixty seconds, and yet elastic enough to accommodate tasks that easily take half an hour or even an hour, and still remain a minute.

Filling the gallon jug, measuring the fertilizer, going from the kitchen to the back yard to dispense the fertilizer, returning to the kitchen to repeat the process – several times – how could I ever think it would “only take a minute?”

Denial. It must be denial. I want to get started right away on writing. I want to get the fertilizing done early, so I guess I just compress the two in my mind as if in so doing I can make it so. But I can’t and it takes “waaay longer” than I expected and then I’m disappointed…

When really, all that’s happened is that once again, I’ve discovered I’m not God. (And a good thing or the Universe would have long ago spiraled out of control.)

Unlike God, I am bound to the space/time continuum and no amount of hoping or assuming or thinking is going to change that.

But I have to wonder… does anyone else do this? Or am I the only one?

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This post is in response to a WordPress Writing Challenge on the topic From Mundane to Meaningful. To learn more about the challenge and see some other entries, click here.

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Decluttering the Walls

In my post before Quigley got sick, I mentioned that I had been decluttering my house and had even gotten a bit obsessive about it. I’m not sure that is true exactly, but I did spend a lot of time on it, maybe not because I was obsessed so much as because my house was going to be a gigantic mess until I got it done.

Before we had the liquidator come out and take everything out of my mother’s house, my sister and I went through the last of her things including her stacks of unframed watercolors… My sister had an especially hard time not taking all of them, but all of them would not fit in her car, so she had to decide. She took maybe a quarter of them home. I managed to restrain myself and ended up taking only four of them, one of which I hung immediately.

It’s a half sheet painting. To hang it, I had to take down the nearly-whole sheet painting already hanging in the desired spot and do something with it. It was a painting that had won Honorable Mention in a national show (The Western Federation of  Watercolor Societies Annual Show) so it was a little weird… you have to be weird — or really, really good — to get into those kinds of shows. So while on the one hand, this was my award-winning painting (they even gave me money!) and I wanted to have it up, on the other… I didn’t really enjoy looking at it. And it absolutely didn’t go with my mother’s painting.

So I took it down, moved the other painting  that was on the same wall and put up my mother’s. The larger painting I stuck in my office until I could figure out what to do with it. Then something went through on the Flylady email digest I get about looking at your walls and seeing the clutter there. Do you have too many paintings and decorations? Too much stuff on the walls has the same effect as too much stuff everywhere — it provides too much stimulation and generates tension. Reducing the visual clutter tends to produce peace.

I know that to be especially true for me. And my walls definitely were cluttered because back when I was doing watercolor, trying to sell my paintings and entering shows I had to have framed paintings. The framed paintings had to be stored and I had no room except for my walls. So every room had multiple paintings to the point it looked a bit like an art gallery. Too much stuff.

Having  removed the almost-full sheet painting and replaced it with my mother’s, I reduced by half the number of items sitting on the top of the piano beneath the paintings, took two more paintings off the same wall (there had been four to start with), and then sat down to evaluate the results. Yes!

I began to get ideas for all the walls…

Of course once taken down, I had to deal with the paintings: Unframe them, disassemble and wrap up the frames, deal with the glass or plexiglass they’d been glazed with… all this in a room that was already mounded with stacks of Mother’s dishes waiting for my son and daughter-in-law to claim them, several large boxes of documents waiting to be shredded or discarded. Boxes of Christmas ornaments I’d decided to take from my mother’s collection and a bunch of other stuff. It was a formidable mess.

I looked through my portfolio of paintings and found some I’d done more recently than the framed paintings already hanging in the dining room and decided to change them out… In fact all the paintings on my walls needed to be unframed, cleaned and put back at the very least. But that all was a big project that had to be completed swiftly so I could get all the frames and glass and so forth out of the house before it broke or I ran into it or …

I think I may have spent a couple of weeks on that. And tha work was indeed semi-obsessive. I’d get an idea, then carry it out, to see if it’d work. Then I’d be tired. Maybe it wouldn’t work, and then I’d be really tired… But falling asleep that night, or waking up in the morning or maybe just while I ate breakfast, I’d suddenly get a new idea for what to do and off I’d go again.

Anyway, it’s done now. Largely. I may put one painting back. It’s still waiting for me to decide. I want to get a new corner lamp for the living room before I do.

So. That’s one of the things that has kept me away from blogging  — sometimes quite literally, since with all the stuff in my office I couldn’t use my computer.

Here’s a picture of me and my award-winning painting at the Western Fed Show back in 1999. My painting is the one to my left and was called Driving Thru Utah, based on a page in my sketchbook that I’d made while, er, driving through Utah. I really wish, however, that I’d painted the one behind me, but oh well!


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