Fun Versus Work

I have the feeling I’m going to be struggling with balancing out the need to have down time while I also have a long long list of things to get done.

Things I want to get done include:

  • going through the garage and organizing all the things out there including bringing in the last of Vicki’s belongings 
  • going through the back porch and organizing all the things we are storing there for the sale
  • cleaning and organizing the craft room
  • finish setting up the closet type space in the family room so the coats, scarves, etc aren’t tossed on the couch
  • finish cleaning the office
  • publishing and writing tasks
  • cleaning the basement (i.e. arguing with my husband about not keeping everything)
  • getting ready for the rummage sale I want to have 
Now there is enough here to keep us busy for several weekends.  I’m aware of this but for some reason, I want to get all this stuff done so we should work on it all weekend.  Right?  Nope.  I know perfectly well I’ll be lucky to finish one of these tasks.  
It may be a three day weekend but it’s also a pay weekend which means there are all the errands which go along with getting paid.  I have stuff to go to the post office.  Grocery shopping and other errands need to be run.  We have a family wedding to attend.  Preparations have to be done for next week and all of us going to work.  
On the fun side, I’d love to go to a movie or spend a day crocheting and watching movies (or both).  I’m well aware all three of us work hard during the week and need to have some down time on the weekends to recharge our batteries.  
Realistically, I’m hoping to accomplish one or two things on my list.  With the extra day, we might be able to accomplish something in addition to the normal weekend tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and errands.  I’m crossing my fingers and trying to not be cranky about it.  

Mini Vacation

Ken has flown the coop to visit our daughters in Georgia.  This means I get the house to myself (mostly).  Our middle daughter has moved home so she’s there when she’s not working.  However, I have the next five days off.  I’ve got plans, so many plans – too many to get done in a matter of five days.  This means I’ll pick and choose which of them I want to get done the most.

I’ve got household, publishing, crochet, and writing projects all on my list and all screaming at me.  My house is chaos.  I’m going to attempt to get one room done this weekend.  I’ve gotten through a large part of the sorting but need some help.  My niece is coming out to help so fingers crossed by the end of the weekend my office will be organized and clean.

If we actually manage to finish the office, the next step for me is the dining room.  My dining room table is heaped with stuff.  I’m hoping we can clear it off and maybe get the table out of the room.  It’s an old table and too big for the space.  I’ll have to see how things go but I’m hoping to get it out of there.

With any luck, I’ll get a little bit done in each category.  I also have to pay bills, prep for grocery shopping, and do all the usual pay week errands and chores.  I need more energy and less pain in order to get everything done I want to.

Tonight will be crocheting.  I’m working on finishing projects and making things to put out when we have the rummage sale.  While I veg out in front of the tv tonight, I’m going to work on either a shawl or some dishcloths.

Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I watched a show on the Spencer family in the UK (Princess Diana’s family) and made 1 1/2 dish cloths.  It will be more of the same tonight.

Vicki’s usually up around 5:00 and gets me up around 6:00 so I intend to stay awake and work on several projects.  While I’m alone in the house tomorrow, I want to get as much as I can crammed into the day.  It will be bill paying, organizing the office, and if my legs can manage it maybe some publishing of crochet patterns.  This is my plan.  Now the next question is – how well will this plan go?  I guess I’ll see tomorrow.

Friday, my niece comes out.  Since I’ll be doing some heavy duty cleaning with her, I might take it a bit easy in the morning before she gets there.  Vicki will have me up at 6:00 though so I could get more work in whether that’s crocheting or editing in my recliner or publishing crochet patterns, I don’t know yet.

At some point, I’ll have to make a grocery list, set up a menu for the next month, and clip coupons.  I’ve got a lot to fit in over the next few days.  I might end up needing a vacation from my vacation.

Projects – Done and To Do

This week I’ve finished the scarves and the afghan for my student workers’ graduation gifts.  I’ve given one gift which is why I’m posting the two pictures.  For the afghan, I need to take pictures.  I plan to publish four of the scarf patterns and the afghan pattern.  This adds to my list of crochet patterns to publish.  I have a bandanna, log cabin afghan, and set of headbands to publish.  

The collar or cowl scarf shown on the left turned out gorgeous.  I’m really proud of it because it was outside my normal and preferred type of project.  The smaller yarn and projects like this are hard on my hands but it was worth it to do and redo some of the stitching.  The other scarves turned out excellent and I’m excited to publish the four new ones.  The necklace type scarf I love making.  It uses up small bits of yarn but is stunning and versatile.  
Tonight I’ll be working on dish towels and dish cloths to make for someone who is helping me out this weekend.  After I get those done, I’ll be back on my other projects.  Currently I have bibs for a former co-worker of Vicki’s, a skirt, a couple of afghans, and a few smaller projects which aren’t designated for anyone yet.  
This weekend Ken goes off to Atlanta for twelve days.  I know he’s excited to visit the girls down there.  It will give him a nice break from work and our messy house.  
Vicki and I plan to play a bit on Saturday.  Sunday we will have help with getting things organized and settled.  Next weekend will be busy with working on the house as well.  
However, I’m taking off work on the 11th and hoping to get some writing stuff done – like publishing patterns.  I’ll have two days with no one in the house so I plan to get up and work on anything I have for writing – publishing, writing, marketing, editing.  I have a number of projects in the works so I want to make progress on them.  
Ken may be gone for twelve days but it will be a busy time for Vicki and I.  Hopefully by the time he comes home, the house is better organized.  I’m hoping this will lower everyone’s stress levels.

Crochet Savior!

My middle daughter moved home.  March was chaotic with her moving.  April is turning into chaos with getting our house organized – or reorganized and integrating her stuff into our house.

I’m finally tackling my office.  Currently it’s in that state of extreme messy because I’ve been going through papers, shelves, drawers in order to sort out what we need to keep.  There’s an ultimate goal in mind but for now, I want to get rid of one piece of furniture and move two others.  These means I’m taking decorations down from the wall as the furniture is going to cover up the wall space.

I’m not certain the way I want to rearrange the furniture is actually going to work so I need to try it before I decide whether it is how I actually want it.  Also all the stuff I want to put on the furniture is sitting around my office making it seem more cluttered.  I swear there is an organized method to the chaos at this point.

I started yesterday and made good progress but today I’ve spent running errands and prepping for the week.  There are some things I don’t want to get rid of.  I look at them and the organizer in me is saying just let it go.  But the writer / mom / creator in me is saying NO!!!  I’m working on it.  I’m also looking at a row of books – reference type – which sit by computer.  Do I want to weed through them?  No but should I?  Probably.  I know some of them will stay.  I can look at at least six of them and know they stay but there’s at least three times that many.  So reluctantly I’ll look through these books to weed out any.

Then there’s the recycle / garbage, sale piles to contend with.  I’ve got a box of stuff for a sale we’re hoping to participate in later this summer.  Also while I remove and rearrange what do I do with all the stuff.

It’s definitely been a weekend of chaos.  I’m not sure we’re making it any better.  However, at the intermediate phase, it is so chaotic I’m not sure it’s getting better.

We’re doing all of this while I’m at my most busy at work.  Registration and scheduling for spring 18 are going on.  Lots of changes, problem solving, and stress at work means I need peace at home.  Right now, no peace just chaos.

This is where my crocheting comes in.  I’ve been working on a number of projects.  I finished an afghan, several headbands, and started a bandana.  This keeps me sane (ish) as it takes me away from the stress of both work and home.  It allows me to escape into my creative mind and work on patterns.  Right now I have several which I want to publish.

I keep telling myself it will get better.  I keep reminding myself it is the first weeks and I need to be patient.  However, the clutter is starting to wear on my nerves.  After I’m done in the office, I plan to hit the recliner and work on another pattern or three in order to calm and ease the stress of life right now.

Where did the week go?

This week sleep has been interrupted – I sleep for two hours and wake up; but writing has been fast and furious all week.  Starting last Friday, Ken and I have been busy.  We drove to Indiana to visit Vicki.  We spent Saturday with her and in the evening we drove home.

We got home about 11:30 and my legs were tired.  Sunday I meant to work on the craft room but my legs were still hurting.  I spent the day crocheting – finishing a scarf for Vicki and catching up on the shows we missed all week.  It was good to finish the project and worked on an afghan.

Sunday night I started writing on Wayfarer 11.  Since then, I’ve been writing every night this week.  I’ve added nearly 20,000 words to the novel and finished it off.  It is now out to my test readers which means, I sit back and wait for the feedback from them.

This novel will sit for at least a week so I can let go of the story enough to do the editing.  Meanwhile, I have to decide what’s next.  I have an article I proposed and need to write it.  However, I still have to finish the craft room, crochet a skirt and an afghan.  I’ve started reading this new book which has enthralled me.  So many possibilities – I just need to narrow it down and prioritize the list.  Really it’s a matter of what I feel like working on most when I sit down with some free time.

On the good news front, I had an article accepted and a layout copy sent to me.  It was a rush to see.  I always forget how exciting it is to see my work in print.  It’s more positive reinforcement for me to keep writing.

Bad Sleep

Ken got the shopping done early this morning.  With my list, coupons, sales flyer shopping and rebates, he saved over $20!  This is about 20% of what he spent.

Last night I made a list of what I wanted to get done today.  I meant to get up early, get to work, and keep at it as long as possible.  I didn’t count on a bad night’s sleep.  I got up this morning – woken up by one of the daughters.  After talking to her, I did the rebates for the shopping.  Then I proceeded to do nothing more strenuous than play a couple of games on my phone.  I’m up and moving again.  After I’m done on the computer, I’ll head back to the kitchen to do some food prep for the week.

If I find any energy, I’ll go back to the craft room and work on organizing.  I have a few things Ken needs to carry out and put elsewhere – mostly empty rubbermaid containers.  There is some stuff which is going in a box to our daughters in Atlanta.  If my energy level stays, I’m hoping to make more of a dent in that room today.

Last night I worked on a skirt for a friend.  I LOVE how it is turning out.  I made the waistband using broomstick lace technique.  Then it’s a simple hdc for the rest but with a vertical stripe – which means I have seven strands of yarn hanging down.  This slows me down a bit but it is still coming along nicely. As I’m working, I’m writing the pattern.  I’m trying to write it in such a way it doesn’t need sizing.  However, I’ll have to see how successful I am at this.  I’ve never written a pattern for clothing before – one of the reasons is I don’t like to size things.

New experiences are good even if they are a little scary.  I’ll keep pushing forward and hope it works out.  Once I’m done with this size, I may have to try the pattern on a larger size to see if it works for the plus size person.

Unfortunately, with the bad night’s sleep I just want a nap but Sundays are a bad day to nap because I have to go back to work tomorrow.  I’ll have to find my energy and work on things which keep me moving forward and awake.  Hopefully that means I accomplish a lot but only time will tell on this.

Errands, Bookwork, Snow, and Organizing

This morning I got up much earlier than I wanted to but I paid bills, did budget, and placed an order with our butcher shop – Sorgs.  Ken and I ran out to Sorgs through snow and wind.  After Sorgs and bringing the stuff home, we went to Joann’s, Home Depot, and Wendy’s.  At Joann’s I bought material for gifts I’m making.  Of course I had coupons.  While I spent $29, I saved $32 in the process.

At Home Depot we priced out projects we want to do to the house.  I asked a lot of questions and the people were very helpful.  We picked up what we needed to finish my shelves for the craft room.  On our way home we picked up lunch.

Ken has since finished my shelves.  My next stop will be going to the craft room to organize and put away all my goodies.  For now, I’m working on catching up the checkbook and recording my sales for March.  I’ve also figured out how to automatically calculate a breakdown of my sales – so by month by vendor by book type – in January from Kindle I sold how many crochet patterns, or novels, etc.

Formulas and I in Excel don’t always work.  Stephanie helped me find the right one.  I got it set up, copied and now all I have to do is enter my sales by book and it figures out how to count it.  I can now easily tell which category of book is selling at what percent, percent of sales each month compared to the total annual sales.  I can tell you through which vendor I sell the most books.  Finally I’ve broken it down by category and vendor.  This should allegedly help me focus my marketing.  I might have to do some graphs to get a better handle on it.

In the last half hour, I’ve looked out my window and saw blue sky and driving sideways snow.  Welcome to Wisconsin’s spring!  Goofy weather.

On to organizing.  I am hoping to make my craft room look much more presentable by the end of the day.  I’m also hoping to have to ask for minimal help from Ken.  However, I shouldn’t be moving shelving units around so we shall see how things go.  

Weekend Work

After answering emails and doing a bit of work on the computer, I worked on organizing the craft room.  I got yarn put away, Vicki’s yarn condensed into fewer containers, and shelves cleared so we could get the organizer in the closet.

Ken helped by putting together the organizer.  Then we had to try different things in the closet for the left over space from the organizer.  Eventually we settled on custom shelves which I’m happy to say we aren’t going to pay anything for because Ken had all the material here he needed.

Our morning was all about getting the closet organized.  The afternoon we watched movies and I crocheted – sort of.  I napped a bit as well as crocheting.  After supper, I worked on the afghan I’ve been working on.  It took a while but I finished it.  Then I worked on sewing a coin purse to the clasp.  I remember how much I dislike doing this.  I quit at one point with frustration.  My hands hurt and I was struggling to get the needle through the holes.  Today I’ll probably work on finishing that.

I was up late watching the last of the Harry Potter movies.  This is what I’ve been watching while I crochet.  Friday night I got a whole skein done (large 1 pound skein) and yesterday I finished off the last skein.  Today I’ll be taking pictures and measurements to go with my pattern so I can publish.

If Ken gets my shelves done, I’m going to attempt to go through the craft room to work on the organizing part.  I’ll have to see how the day goes.

I woke up with about four scenes in my head for the next Wayfarer book.  After Ken goes to bed, I’m hoping to get those added in.  I’m trying to decide what I want where for craft and pagan supplies and where it will all go.  I may shift some stuff in my office to bring in some of the pagan stuff but I have to see how the space goes in the craft room first I think.

Wishing for Two of Me

Tomorrow, Ken and I are going to work on a plan for the closet.  I’m hoping we can get a plan in place so the closet can be a more useful space than it currently is.  I’m also hoping we can spend as little as possible on the closet.

After lunch we are going to take a bunch of my books and drive around to pop up libraries.  I’m hoping this will be a good marketing tool.  I’ve got a flyer to go into each book which shows the books I have available.  We also have a family commitment in the afternoon.

My Saturday is shaping up to be busy.  This means I have a lot to get done on Sunday.  I’d love to get the edits entered on the computer for Wayfarer 10.  If I could get it done and start the publishing process that would be wonderful.  I have some crochet patterns I have to organize and put through the publishing process.  Though, I just got submission guidelines for a crochet publication, so I may look at those to see if I can submit anything there before I publish it independently.  I wrote a new article which I want to edit and get out there.  Last night when I couldn’t sleep I turned on my app and recorded what may be part of that article, a blog post, or a new article.  I couldn’t sleep and just spoke what was on my mind so I’ll have to see about that.

I have several hand towels to make up.  Each one takes me about an hour to do just the crocheting on it.  The prep work is already done which was time consuming.  There are 16 left to do and I’m hoping I can finish them off this weekend.

Additionally, I have to make some phone calls, deal with the checkbook and a few other personal business things.  I’m hoping to get these tasks done today after work.  If we have the funds, there are a few things I want to pick up.  So I’m going to have to find the time to go shopping as well.

I was hoping for a quiet weekend but as I’m writing all this down, I realize it is going to be a crazy busy weekend again.

Juggling Life

Finished the Fablehaven series last night at 2:00 am.  I should have put the book up but I just couldn’t.  It means I’ll be tired today.  I have to figure out what book I’ll be reading next.  I know it may seem strange but I usually have a book on my kindle, one on my fire, and sometimes a physical book all going at once. 

I’ve got one audio book going in the car.  I find myself looking forward to it everytime I head to my car.  I have some extra driving to do today which means extra time in the car.  This also means I’ll likely be hearing more of the story as well since I won’t have any passengers with me. 

I’m going to shift though from reading non-stop to working on writing again.  My todo list has gotten much longer while I’ve been off in other books.  I have managed to check off some things from this list.  I corrected an error in my front and back material in all my books; made the final decision on the cover for the next poetry book; submitted some articles and a variety of other things. 

I can tell I’ve not worked on writing items for a while, I’m starting to get antsy about them.  I feel like I’m behind schedule but I keep reminding myself it is my own schedule.  However, this is a pay weekend so we have errands to run and Sunday we have friends coming over.  I’m looking forward to having them come – it reminds me to keep that balance in my life.

In between all of these, I have to put a bunch of manuscripts away (they are edited versions of a story) and clear off some space on my desk so I can work at it.  Ken got the furniture organized in my craft room which means I need to go in and organize the room.  Right now I have containers of crafts sitting around which annoys me.

I need to find a balance of getting all this done.  Some of it I can do in my recliner with my feet up so I will save those tasks for when my legs hurt and I can’t do the other stuff.  The craft stuff I will try to start first thing in the morning so my legs are in good shape but this means I need a non-pay weekend to do them.  Hopefully next weekend I’ll be able to work on both the craft room and the office. 

My biggest problem when I’m working on the office is I get into decision overload.  I’m cleaning and organizing which means making tons of decisions of where and how things are going to be organized.  I get to the point where I can’t figure out the best place for one more thing. This means I don’t quite finish the room.  Life happens and things get put here and there and suddenly my office is a mess again. 

My second biggest problem with the office is I’d rather be writing and working on submissions than doing the cleaning and organizing.  I can spend hours at my computer working on a story, submitting work, researching and so on.  I get lost in what I am doing and forget that I was going to organize the room instead.  I just need to stay on track.