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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Luke Kisses The Frog

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Adam On The Beach

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Legacy of Ladysmith by John Kenny Crane

The Legacy of Ladysmith by John Crane

Biographer Jason Glass is invited to Scotland in 1975 to write a book about Robert Menzies, a doctor who went to South Africa and got caught up in the Boer War. His Scottish family thinks a book that embellishes and polishes up his image is important. It seems that Menzies did some wonderful things that have been overshadowed by a hint of betrayal. When Glass gets to Scotland he immediately falls into the family situation.

Before long he's finding out good things and bad things about his subject and the Menzies themselves. They are all complex and bizarre and Glass stupidly becomes one of them.

It seems that Dr. Robert Menzies was able to heroically save his patients and get them to a town named Ladysmith which then became beseiged by the Boers. How does he get out? Some say he was a traitor to the Crown and colluded with the Boers. What happens to his pregnant wife and his newborn son? Throughout the book you learn of new layers that are both bad and good until you don't have a clue as to the real man. Maybe Crane was deliberately showing that humans are complex and aren't all good or all bad. But the shocking ending put the quietus on that.

Both Glass and the Menzies are good and bad. You understand how they got to be who they are as you read through the book and, yet, their insanity is inexcusable.

There are some sexual scenes in the book and objectionable language. But I did learn a lot about the Boer War and I have to admit I enjoyed the read somewhat. Sort of medium in all (not top on my list nor bottom of my list).

Organizing Tips

If you have plenty of space for storage you are very blessed and should use it wisely. I wanted to give some ideas on how to organize all that storage space. But keep in mind, it should be tailored to YOU! It has to make sense to YOU! It has to work for YOU! For instance, it makes sense to me to store my seasonal decorations in a closet in my bedroom wing. It's in a hallway just a few steps from the living room. Therefore, if I need something like the American flag for Memorial Day - my husband knew exactly where to go to get it. It works for us. But for someone else it might make sense to use the basement, attic, etc.

Some things need to be grouped together. For instance, in your kitchen you don't want your glasses in 3 different cabinets, you want them all together. So pull all your glasses together in one cabinet. I have a collection of vintage vases and I keep them all in one cabinet. Keep all t-shirts together stacked in a drawer or on a shelf.

Now there are exceptions to even my examples above. I use some of my best vases in decorating my living room built-in shelves so not ALL of my vases are in that cabinet together. If you have a bar or beverage center, then, of course, some of your glasses will be there as well as in the kitchen cabinet. If you organize your closet by outfit, then some t-shirts will be hanging with those outfits instead of grouped together. So, remember, it must make sense to YOU and work for YOU!

Let's look at some other groupings that can help you.

If you bake a lot then it makes sense to have a baking center. In this one area you will want your mixer, mixing bowls, bowl scraper, cookie sheets and baking pans, spatulas, cooling racks, Silpat mats, and your dry goods like flour, sugar, cake mixes, etc.

If you cook a lot and use spices you will want a way to store them together and in order. I have mine roughly alphabetized. If you want to use fancy containers just be sure they are big enough to hold the largest size you purchase. Make sure they are labeled.

If you use a deep fryer then try to keep it and it's attachments clean and together. I purchased a nice big fryer and it ended up being too big. It took too much oil and was too big and awkward to clean up. So I went with a smaller fryer which uses much less oil and is eaiser to fit in the sink to clean. Not even taking into account how much easier it is to store in the cabinets.

Pick out some colorful plastic boxes to store your seasonal decorations. Depending on how much decorating you do as to how many boxes. But let's say you have 3 boxes full of Christmas decorations, then buy 3 large red plastic boxes and store your Christmas decorations in them. Keep all the tree ornaments together, lights together, etc. Be sure you throw in the Santa hats, seasonal hand towels and oven mits, etc. All Christmas items in these boxes. It also is nice to throw in a Christmas sachet. Add a wreath box for your front door wreath and you are ready to find a place to store them. Do the same for your Easter decorations (pastel boxes), your July 4th decorations (blue boxes), your Fall decorations (yellow boxes), your Halloween decorations (orange boxes), etc. It would be easy to tell the kids to" go to the basement and bring up the orange boxes".

Do you clip coupons or other items from the newspaper? Keep a pair of scissors near at hand where you read the newspaper. Keep your shopping list and coupon organizer there too.

Do you send a lot of cards and letters (the real old fashioned cards and letters) then you might set up a place for that. Keep your card organizer, pens, calendar, stamps together. If you don't do it at the same place every time then make up a carry all or basket with these items and store it in a place that makes sense to you. I made a closet into my gift and card closet. I keep all gifts that I accumulate in this closet along with gift bags, gift wrap, cards, scissors, tissue paper, pen, tape, my gift list, etc. I had my husband make a counter height shelf in full width for the closet (it can be removed) so that I have a counter top to wrap the gifts on and address the cards on.

Wash and groom the dog? Corral all the dog brushes, clippers, scissors, shampoos, dog toothbrush, Q-tips, etc together. I keep all the dog medicines in a bowl in the refrigerator. I keep all the flea and tick meds together. Everything together and in one convenient place. The point is you don't want to have to hunt for something. It's all together where you expect it to be. My sister has a large laundry sink with hot/cold water in her garage. She has a grooming table and stool next to the sink. All her clippers and grooming supplies are at hand on a shelf above. She grooms her Pomeranians this way.

These are just some examples of grouping like thing,s or grouping things that work, together. You can organize your stored items or you can create "stations" with all that you need for a certain chore. And it needs to be in a way that makes sense to you and it can change with time or circumstances. I don't send out many snail mail cards any more so I might need to re-think storing cards that I don't use. Or when your kids outgrow Leggos then it's time to re-think whether or not to store them or get rid of them. Or maybe you find the new way isn't working for you as smoothly so you brain storm and try another way. It must make sense to your mind and fit your lifestyle.

I hope this makes your mind start thinking about how to organize your house.

Resource Furniture

I saw this video on http://unclutterer.com and was fascinated by the wonderful ideas. If you have small spaces, check this company out!

Resource Furniture at http://www.resourcefurniture.com/

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