My 1 Million Row Challenge

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

First I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I would like to make a short (maybe not) list of what I am thankful for today.

1. My Husband
2. My Children
3. My Family
4. My Friends near and far.
5. The wonderful world that G'd created for us.
6. My Yarn, I know it sounds cheesy but yarn really does have a calming influence on me. This also includes independent spinners and dyers and my local yarn shops.
7. The wonderful desert that surrounds my city.
8. All the people that help me get Eric through the day.
9. All the people who make Eric feel needed and part of the community.
10. The quiet times in my life, after all we all need down time.
11. All the people who are willing to share their wisdom with me.
12. All the people who make beautiful music.
13. Everyone who strives to make this a better world for everyone. My hope is that someday I will have time to join you in your endeavors.
14. The members of the military past and present who have and continue to make this day possible.
15. The people such as Police, Firemen and other public safety providers.
16. Everyone who has a smile or happy thought for me.
17. All of Eric's doctors throughout the years for being there when you were needed.

For this and all that I have forgotten to mention, Thank you so much for being part of my life.

Enjoy your families and have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Runners Needed

The reason I am posting this blog on the Sjogren's running team is that I have this form of arthritis. So if you are a runner or would like to try a marathon or a half marathon please consider this run.

Recruiting Team Sjogren's Participants for the Nashville Country Music Marathon!

Do you want to make a difference for Sjögren's patients and their families?
Have you or someone you know every thought about running a marathon or half-marathon?
Do you have a desire to challenge yourself?

Then you might have what it takes to join Team Sjogren's and train to participate in the:

Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon
Nashville, Tennessee
April 24th, 2010

Team Sjögren's is a Marathon Training Program designed to help you train and prepare to participate in a marathon (26.2 miles) or half-marathon (13.1 miles).

In exchange for training and support, you help raise awareness and money towards research into a cure for Sjögren's, the second leading Autoimmune Rheumatic disease in the Country.

The Nashville Team Sjogren's Kick-Off Teleconference Call has been scheduled for December 2, 2009 at 8pm EST!

If you would like to join us on the call or have questions about Team Sjogren's, contact Elyse Jordan at
(800) 475-6473 ext. 217 or ejordan@sjogrens.org

Please feel free to pass this on to the runners in your life. You may also print this blog post for bulletin boards. Every one can make a difference.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We Made it Through the Day

Well we made it through the bitter-sweet day of Eric's birthday in mostly one piece. I know that this will take some explanation after all birthdays are happy days and are considered on of the sweetest days for a person each year. After all they mark the anniversary of our beginning of this life. And we consider it all the more sweet because we made it through another year in Eric's life.

The bitterness comes from the fact that while Eric is getting older his skills are not increasing. Almost all of his friends from the early years are freshman or sophomores in college. I hear about all there exploits from their parents and I am truly happy and amazed at what Eric's friends are doing. One friend has plucked himself down in South America in a semester long Spanish immersion program, this is a big wow. But this is not Eric's path in life. he will never be college material and will never leave the nest. I did let myself have my yearly 6 hours of grief over this, ate a carbo rich lunch and pulled myself together.

I am grateful that Teri and Eric still get along and that her birthday Skype call made his day. Eric made so many happy sound during the call, he was truly happy to hear his sister and can not wait for her winter break to get more Teri time.

I am grateful for having Eric in my life and I would not trade Eric or his quirks in for anything in the world. It is simply amazing the places a child like Eric can take you if you let them. But I do wish it was not so much work. This is the selfish part of me talking. I would like to be able to make long range plans like all my friends are at this point in my life but instead I plan and Gd laughs. So I continue to live my life day by day, hour by hour knowing that there are more challenges yet to come.

Well I have to go and get ready for day 2 of Eric's birthday, we usually let him celebrate for about a week. That is when we truly get tired of the birthday clown that I spent days looking for and he goes back on the shelf for another year.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We Found the Birthday Clown


This is the object of Eric's birthday desires. It has not been a birthday since kindergarten when one of his friends gave this to him as a birthday present.

I tried a new tactic today. I brought the toy boxes into the house with the help of Joe, Eric's morning aide. I was going to go through the boxes one by one dumping them on the floor till I found him. He was hiding in the second box we dumped.

It is worth having to bring out the vacuum, to clean the rug to see the smile on Eric's face. I am not sure who had the bigger smile the clown or Eric.

Now I can get on with my day with out any worries about the clown or tomorrow. Dinning room table and filing here I come. No I will not show you pictures of the table till the table runner is down the middle and decorated with candles.

Have a wonderful and productive day. But most of all enjoy your families.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looking in all the Wrong Places

Or where or where is the birthday clown.

Well we have a birthday coming up on Friday and we have not been able to find the birthday clown, the yellow one with the smiley face. The one that sings happy birthday. We have not seen him since we started the remodel last year.

Today with the help of Eric's aide we went through all the stuffed animal boxes, and no you really don't want to know how much we took out of Eric's room in order to redo the floor. Well after going through each box twice I am wondering if I put the clown somewhere else. It is very probable since the house got turned upside down for 4 months and I still don't have everything back in place.

I did how ever find all of Eric's extra blankets and have started washing them. I wonder how many load of laundry 90 quarts of blankets will be? This means one less box in the garage.

The question of the day is where or where are you dear sweet clown. It would be nice if you just showed up on Eric's shelf where you are suppose to be. I am off on a clown hunt, I hope to find him by Friday.

Have a nice evening and enjoy your families.

New season coming.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Tick off a Teen in Less than 5 Minutes

OK, I have managed to tick off my teen in less than 5 minutes after getting off the school bus. This must be a new record for me.

It all started before Eric got home. I could not get Tivo to bring up my i-pod music so I went to Eric's music file and started that while I was doing house work. There is nothing like up beat fast music to clean by.

With in less than a minute of rolling through the door the crying started. This is very usual for my happy go lucky party guy. So the 20 question game started.

1. did he have a bad day at school. he signed no.
2. did something hurt. again he signed no.
3. was there something in his eye. again he signed no.

The questions went on for 2 minutes, with Eric crying like the world had ended. I was almost at wits end. That's when the song change up came and I told him that I really liked this song, He just glared at me. Then the right question finally came,was mommy not suppose to listen to his music. A very loudly signed yes with a glare. OK I know sign language is silent but if you want to intone yelling you move your hands with slow large gestures to emphasize your words. OK time for PBS and Martha Speaks.

And this is how to tick a teenager off in less than 5 minutes, just listen to their music, who knew. This has never been in the parenting books or articles on parenting that I have ever read.

Well all is calm now, so I guess it is time to get back to organizing the house. I dared to enter a new room today and have filled up one trash bag so far. The room will definitely win today, but maybe sometime soon I will win the clean up wars.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Friday, November 13, 2009

And The Winner is ...

Well my judges were very busy this week and did not have time to get back to me so I went through all the entries, 22 in all. I read them and tried some of them, I have already done some of the things on the list of ideas... well enough rambling.

Shirley if you send me your choice of either $20 to spend at http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri or 4 skeins of yarn from my stash, your choice of cotton or wool. And most important how to get the prize to you.

Shirley said...
Every time you get up, put something away in that room. Every time you leave the room, take something that belongs in another room and put it away. Every time you enter a room put something in that room away.

Decide on homes for everything. Not only does it make it faster to put away, it makes it easier to find.

Good Luck!

Although he was not a judge John liked Regan's advice, so to get me a little more organized I would like to send you 4 skeins of yarn. Please send me your address and specify cotton or wool.

Reagan said...
Hello! My mom is super-organized, and so she keeps us on top of organizing. :) One thing that worked surprisingly well was once a month, she has us go through our rooms and pick 5-10 things that we don't need--even including yarn stash. I mean, really, do you REALLY need that wool/acrylic blend sitting in the corner of your stash? Another thing that works wonders on my yarn stash is hanging cubbie organizers, which look like mesh shelves, but at the top have a hanger top, so you can hang your entire stash in a coat closet or even in your regular closet. :)

Other Really great ideas were from
evergreenknits said...
I'm only semi-organized myself, so I'm not sure I have great suggestions!! But for me, I found that the most important thing is to be careful about what things I bring into the house to begin with, and to try to balance bringing the new with clearing out the old.

heather said...
I like the flylady method for organizing. Set a timer for 15 mins go through one bin or box for those 15 mins. Timer goes off you are done for that day or you can set it again don't pull out more than you can put back in that 15 mins. Shelves are great. Baskets that fit on them neatly help your items look nice without being busy. Rubbermaid plastic totes are my favorite for safe longer time storage items.

wenat said...
I suck at keeping organized because of a singular lack of time. But one of my favourite tips was to throw two things out every day. Even if they're little things, it helps you keep focused on the eventual goal.

Elaine said...
Pick a reasonable amount of time - maybe an hour or two, and focus on one smallish area for that time. Then, reward yourself with an hour of something you love doing - knitting, walking, reading, biking, baking whatever. You will be surprised how quickly the work will go when you have something to look forward to at the end of the tunnel.

Jean said...
I would tackle organizing 15 minutes at a time, trying not to do it all in one day or week. Takes longer, but you keeps your sanity. This became necessary for me after having kids, but was confirmed by www.flylady.com. She and her peers are the bomb. I think of flylady as therapy for perfectionists, and a savior to the slobs of the world.



And remember, your house did not get disorganized in a day, so don't expect it to get organized over-night. Don't be too hard on yourself.


Turtle said...
pick at least one small area each day, even if it is just 20 minutes time to sort through, then seriously resort and be tough.(have i touched this in the last 12 months...)Have you seen the show clean sweep? this truly is a great way to get organized... take everything out of an area and go through it, and then you can get organized without the shuffling of goods. ** lol, beware of over doing plastic bins!! Sorry, but i have ocd, and organizing is one of my things. Came in super handy when we did the big move across the ocean a few years back though


So if you are anything like me these wonderful ladies have a lot of great ideas. and I did not have space to list all the great ideas so feel free to read through the comment section.

Enjoy your families and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I would like to send a special Thank you out to all our veteran's and their families.

The following Veteran's have had an impact on my families life:

Jay * - my dad
Jack - my uncle
Alec * - my father-in-law
Harry * - my uncle
Genie - my aunt
Joe - One of Eric's care givers
Joe - Family friend and Rabbi
Linda and Brian - Eileen's sister and brother-in-law
Carol - High School Friend
Don * - Eric's school bus driver.

*Some of our beloved veterans have gone but are still here in our hearts and minds.

If you have a veteran you would like mentioned just leave a note at the bottom of my blog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Size of Plates

I was talking to a friend about a weighty issue today and the newest fad diet on the block. This miracle diet promises a dramatic weight loss, her friend has lost 35 pounds in 2 months, this seems a little drastic to me. She went on to explain that you have a restrict food list and eat 500 calories a day, but only certain foods are allowed. No fats, starches or starchy vegetables, in fact there are only 4 allowed vegetables on the list. Then there is the magic potion that the doctor gives out containing only who knows what. The quick answer to this question is no I will not go on this fad diet.

Then we got to the restaurant for lunch. My sandwich was served on what would be used as a platter in my grandma's day, in fact I might just have one hanging around the house. The cup of soup was served in another large bowl, we decided that it was the size of the bowls that was passed around the dinner table with the vegetables or potatoes.

The left overs that were brought home 1 pint of soup, which was suppose to be one serving. It will give me 2 meals. One half of the sandwich came home which will provide one meal. So to sum it up the left-overs from 2 meals out will provide 3 meals.

So my question is do we have a weight problem in this country caused by eating the wrong foods? Or do we have a weight problem caused by the wrong size plates? Do we need to eat as much as someone working on the farm from sunrise to sunset or do we need less with a less active life style?

A walk around an import store like Cost Plus might provide the answers we are looking for. If you look at the size of the bowls and plates from Japan meant for the Japanese consumer, you will notice that the soup bowls hold between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of liquid. The lunch plates are the size of our snack plates and the dinner plates are the size of our lunch plates. If you do find platters they are the size of our dinner plates.

On the other hand if you look at bowls meant for the American consumer the soup bowls hold at least 2 cup and the other plates seem to be getting bigger also. To accommodate the larger plates things like a slice of bread are getting bigger, so the bigger plates don't look so empty. I personally look back at the Wonder bread of the 1960's and look at the bread I just bought at the store today and the slice may be the same height but it is 1/3 wider. Which means the sandwich will have 1/3 more calories then the sandwich of the 1960's. Just try putting your sandwich in a Tupperware sandwich container from the 1960's or 1970's good luck fitting it in the container with out cutting it down to size.

If we take this across a whole day of eating that would be at least 300 calories a day. which would be at least 109,500 extra calories a year or a little over 30 pounds if we don't burn off the extra calories.

I wonder if anyone has done a study to correlate the size of the plates in a persons house with their body mass index. These are my random thoughts for the day. You never know what thoughts lurk in the mind of a mommy.

I wonder if it is time to go retro with my kitchen and down size all the bowls and plates? Well I think it is time to heat up some left overs for dinner.

Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chores

I really think I got it all wrong when I tried to teach Eric about doing chores around the house. Yesterday after school, which was an early release for him. I asked if he wanted to help fold laundry of any of the other chores around the house, he signed no each time I named a chore.

Then I tried a different tactic with him, I asked if he did any chores around the house and he signed yes. So having asked what chores I needed to be done I asked if he thought that making dirty laundry and messes were his chores and he signed a very vigorous yes. I was so glad that we were outside at the time because that would have been a knock my head against the wall moment.

I then tried to explain that making clothes dirty and making messes were not chores and he looked at me like I was crazy, this is what he is good at therefore they must be chores. Such is the humours side of life with Eric.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Contest

I am having a new contest.

Help me get organized. I would like your best suggestions for getting organized. We will have a 3 judge panel. Just leave you comment and you can win 4 skeins of yarn from my stash, it will be a natural fibre or $20 to spend at http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri my Art Fire studio. Each suggestion will be good for 1 entry into the contest. multiple entries are allowed. I have 6 weeks till Teri gets home and want to show some progress in zenning.

So lets get those suggestion coming in. You have till Saturday, November 7th midnight MST.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Enjoy your families and have a nice day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Destash Progress Report

Well dear reader I have made some progress in getting the stash yarn from my garage. I have knit at least a couple of dozen hats most for charity, although I did manage to sell 2, and at least 2 dozen scarfs all for charity. I don't send them all to the same places but when asked and I feel its a good cause I send things along.

The process is going slower than I thought it would be, with Eric being sick so much and have a lot of really long nights I have not done as many projects as I had hoped would be done by now.

Today I took 2 partial boxes in the house and combined them, that allowed me to move a box of purse yarn into the house. With more drawer space open in the roll aways I fill with yarn I was able to bring in the giant zip-lock bag.

That leaves me with a paltry 7 large storage bins of yarn in the garage.

I have noticed that strangest thing though the more I declutter and get things out of the house the more organized I am becoming. But I would not let the professional organizer worry over this, I still have a long way to go. We have been in this house for 15 years and I am a born pack rat, just ask my mom she still has at least 1 box in her garage from a move in 1965 that has yet to be unpacked. I started zenning the house a little over a year ago, it is a slow process but it is getting done. For those of you who are not familiar with the term zenning, it is simply a fancy word for decluttering.

When Teri gets home for winter break I will let her give an unbiased opinion in a guest column of how the progress is going. Teri is a very strong advocate for a clean and orderly house, she must get that from her dad. She is very good about getting rid of things and will drop almost anything to do a Goodwill run or a Bookman's run.

In honor of today's achievement I will be having another contest. Just give me your best decluttering tip and Again I will have a 3 person panel to judge the contest. The prize will be something from my stash that will help me decluter and give you an new project.

Have a good afternoon and enjoy your families.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sleepless in Tucson

Well this makes bad night 2 in a row for Eric. Eric is starting to look a little tired. I myself refuse to look in the mirror, I don't think the mirror will be very friendly to me this morning. Does anyone know where I can get one of those mirrors that say you look wonderful no matter what?

I actually held off on the caffeine till 8 am, I really was ready to start at 4 am, but figured it was a tad early for caffeine. No matter how much caffeine I have in my system I will nap when Eric does today.

I think I will take out my frustration on the grout in Eric's bathroom, something needs to be scrubbed within an inch of its life, so I choose the dirty bathroom floor. I hope my mood will improve as the floor gets cleaner, otherwise I will have to look for the next project.

Johns wonderful idea of keeping the lights on longer last night was great, we woke up to no post Halloween mess this morning. We did notice that the neighborhood is changing, we have less little ones than in past years and more teenagers coming after their parties breakup.

So I am off to start the laundry and the bathroom floor.

Enjoy your families today even on the post Halloween sugar high.