Saturday, January 03, 2009

Saturday, January 3

At 4 pm today, the basement was officially done.


Now I just have the kitchen and Thomas's room to tackle, but did I mention, the basement is done?

We kept finding things to do, and I thought we'd never finish.

We re-arranged the furniture, so Thomas now has a gaming area. It will be a comfortable area for watching movies as well.

For a "dumpy" basement, it's clean and looks nice. It really needs painted, though.

Bob and I had our first argument today. We've been getting along really, really well -- something that, sadly, is atypical when we work together. (We usually bicker a little.) Today, though, we had words over the futon. See, it's over 15 years old and I suspected the mattress was dirty. Bob just wanted to flip the mattress. He went off to clean the shed (wonderful man, that wasn't even on our to-do list) and I got online and priced futon mattresses. I figured it would be cheaper to get rid of the futon and get a new couch rather than replacing the mattress. Bob disagreed vehemently because our futon is very beautiful, solid oak. It was expensive years ago when we bought it, and its held its beauty and structure.

So I threw a little kid fit:

ME: I am NOT keeping the mattress.
BOB: We'll just flip it over.
ME: Gross. I think it's dirty. I have a gut feeling. I want clean.
BOB: You're crazy, it's not dirty.
ME: Stomping my feet, waaaaah, having a two-year-old tantrum: No!


ME: Let's take the cover off the futon and examine the mattress.
BOB: Okay.

Bob took the cover off the mattress. He looked at it, flipped it over, and that ended that. The mattress was thrown into the dumpster. I didn't have to say a word. I think pops had been spilled on it, and baby juice and milk and it was just old.

Bob is going to buy a new mattress. I am going to buy a water-proof mattress cover and a lovely fitted sheet to cover it. That's one thing I love about futons, you can easily change the look with a sheet. Can't do that with a couch.

So, done! Done, done, done with the basement that once was a dungeon.

I had hoped to start the kitchen tonight, BUT I took a nap, then had supper late. I have supper to clean up and it's already after 10. So tomorrow we'll forge ahead. And we've decided to do Thomas's room after all, so he'll start on his room tomorrow.

Hey, did I mention our basement is done?

Bob's more thrilled with the laundry room, a room where I do most of the work, while I'm more thrilled with the family room. Hey, we found out we have a big air hocky table and a train table. Who knew those cool things were under books and clutter?

When I laid down to take my nap this afternoon, I heard a lovely thing: The air hocky table going, and Bob and Thomas playing.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday, January 2

It's Friday, I just checked the blog, and we started this spree one week ago today. Wow--it's all a blur, but wow.

Didn't quite get the family room done. We're really close, but we just pooped out. I still haven't done the games. Bob was laughing at me because I've probably spent an entire hour going up to it, looking at it, and walking away. I'll probably just dust most the games off, re-organize them, and call it good. Or else let Bob do it. He's better at getting rid of my stuff than I am.

At one point today while Thomas and I were working, he was asking about iTunes. He wants to put some things on our Zen Vision. I told him he should just get a Shuffle like I have. Then he said it:

"Mom, you always do that. You always want to buy new. Look at what we're doing here, Mom. We're getting rid of things and you just want to fill us up again. This is hard work and I don't want to do it again."

Wow, was that sobering.

Zen it is. He's right. I'll keep myself in check, and if I don't, he certainly will!

Thomas is one who doesn't like to get rid of things. I think we've set a tremendous example for him, because he is a changed boy. He had several toy tubs under his train table. He went through every single one of them and decluttered. He threw pictures he's drawn away. I was floored. He went from three big tubs to one, plus two smaller train containers. He's growing up, and this is the first time in his life that he has willingly gotten rid of things. Wow.

Thomas prepared dinner for us tonight. He made cheesy chicken and noodles. I'm so glad I've taught him to cook. Or maybe it was Bob that taught him to cook. I was tired and that was a huge help.

I don't think we'll get Sunday off like I had hoped. It all depends on how hard we work tomorrow. I just want to be done before Monday.

Just a Little Whining

I just need to whine. I hate doing the family room. Every time I go to the game cupboard I stare at it, move a few games around, then walk away. I don't like to play board games. To me, they're bored games. Yet, we have lot of good games and Thomas likes to play. I asked Bob if he would look them over. Every one of them I'd keep except for his Risk game. I did sneak out the Hungry, Hungry Hippos, though.

I have been going through all the computer disks, games, etc. I have discovered that the antique library filing cabinet that I brought home from Denver is wonderful to have in that the tiny drawers at the top that used to hold index cards work perfectly for CD storage. That's very nice. I was wondering what I would do with those drawers.

I have made a paperwork stack next to the big filing cabinet, because I just don't have the time or patience to file now. I appreciate your comments on how you all file and deal with paperwork, as it's encouraging. I really liked Audrey's comment about throwing out the old bill when the new arrived and there was proof of payment.

I am not having fun today. I am not enjoying this today, I am not feeling free. It's not exciting, it's tedious. I will force myself to continue, because it's the last biggie -- tomorrow will be the kitchen and I'll be done. Oh, if only I could be more decisive today.

I need a blast of energy. I don't know why this room is such a challenge to me, but it is.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Thursday, January 1 (And a question for my readers)

Too pooped to pop!

Perhaps it was our wild partying last night (lying around watching TV trying to stay awake to bring in the new year) or perhaps we were just mentally and physically drained, but...

I finished the laundry room this morning and called 'er good. For today.

Thomas, Bob and I all laid down at 11 to take a nap. We all woke about 1 in the afternoon. We were all too drained to put any more work in today. We vegged. We sat around. We did nothing except watch The Twilight Zone all day. It felt darned good.

However, our day of rest is over and tomorrow we'll be hitting it hard. We have the family room and exercise room to finish. That sounds so funny, the exercise room. Well, it is an exercise room, but it's in the dungeon and it's a small ante-room that you go through to get to the bathroom. We have a treadmill that is leaving, because it's not electric and I hate it to pieces, and have for the 20 years I've owned it. I've always wanted to get rid of it and get a "real" treadmill, but Bob wanted to keep it. It makes me mad because I spent the same on it, a Schwinn, as I would have a cheap electric unit that I would have used. So out it goes. Bob's antique Bowflex stays as well as the punching bag.

One time I was really mad about something and went down and hit that punching bag. It hurt my hand. That made me even madder. Thomas's baseball bat just happened to be sitting there so I picked it up and hit the punching bag with it: wow, was that cathartic. Now I just don't get mad anymore, but Bob likes to work out with the stupid thing.

I also have the kitchen to go through, but will probably do that Saturday. We're hoping to finish up Saturday so we can rest Sunday and I can get school ready to go.

Now here's the question:

How do you all do paperwork? I mean the storage of paperwork? I don't like my system (throwing it in a to-be filed box and never filing) and want to know how normal people do paperwork so that it doesn't take over the house. How long do you keep stuff? Do you keep your water bill? What do you do with all the paper? Any loose papers I've come across that I didn't shred have been put in a box, and that will be an upcoming project. I hate paper and paperwork, and there's just got to be an easy way to deal with it. Fess up.

Happy New Year!

Bridge Contest

Calling all budding engineers, it's time for the 2009 West Point Bridge Design Contest!

Go to the site, download their software, form a team of 1-2 members, and build the least expensive bridge that will support the simulated load test.

How fun!

Who is eligible? (No reason to start a petition, homeschoolers are included!)

1) Students, age 13 through grade 12, who are currently enrolled in middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools in the United States.
(2) Students, age 13 through grade 12, who are legally home schooled in the United States.
(3) All U.S. citizens, age 13 through grade 12, who are attending school outside of the United States or are home-schooled outside of the United States.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday, December 31

I am so exhausted that I don't think I'll make it until midnight.

Yesterday and today are blurred. We worked in the basement again today. At one point I walked into my laundry room and gasped. I bet over half the "stuff" is gone. It didn't look like the same room.

Sorting, bagging, tossing, loading over and over ad nauseum.

Our celebration dinner tonight was Pizza Hut. We like it, we were all too tired to cook, and they were running a great deal. (Except I over-tipped the driver since it is a holiday.)

Before dinner I sat down at my computer to respond to some emails. The next thing I knew, Bob was calling my name repeatedly, asking me where the phone book was. Huh? I had fallen asleep sitting straight up at the computer.

A little food, and I was able to put a few more hours work in.

Why are we doing this? It sounds crazy. It was part of my Christmas present, a clean house, but it's more than that. When my siblings and I cleaned out my Dad's house, it affected me greatly. The stuff -- the stuff. I can't even put into words my feelings, but that I wanted to clean out my own home. The stuff -- the stuff.

And so we plow through it all. I feel better. Bob feels better. Thomas? I'm not sure how he's feeling, but he did a double take today when he walked into the laundry room and shouted, "WOW!"

The stuff -- the stuff.

Goodbye, 2008

It was a rough year. The hardest of my life.

Even though technically Jerry Lee passed on December 27, 2007, we mourned him well into 2008.

The Final Call

Dad belonged to the UTU, United Transportation Union. In their monthly publication, they have a section called The Final Call where they list those members who recently passed. Dad had his final call this last year.

Dad, I miss you so much.

But there were a few good things, too:

(Who came to us November 2007 but we enjoyed his puppyhood in 2008)

He's grown to a handsome dog, and he is a love.

Who arrived early January 2008, and had to spend his first night with us in a motel in Rochester, Minnesota because I was sick.

And of course there's these three, who make my life worth living:

And I cannot forget the only other girl in the house, who keeps my feet warm every night:

A very sincere and heartfelt thank you to all my friends who read my blog, who have supported me through the good and bad times. May 2009 be wonderful for everyone!

Tuesday, December 30

Tuesday I walked into the living room and realized there is very little to declutter. I just needed to go through the old videos which are in an antique "thing" for lack of a better word. The thing was behind a Christmas tree, so I had to scratch that idea.

Moved on to the kitchen, and after about five minutes' work, I was summoned to the basement, where I ended up staying the rest of the day.

Bob was amazing. He has thousands of books, and got rid of hundreds. The library is going to love us. I have two small book cases and one tall one in the basement, and I went through the two small and bagged up about 75% of my books for the library. The big case is behind the train table and I can't reach it -- yet.

I wish that we saved boxes and grocery bags. We don't. And we have run out of things to put the book donations in. There is a big bin for recycling grocery bags at one of our stores, and the next time I go I'll ask if I can have some to bag up the books. The library is closed due to the holiday, so we won't be able to get the donations there until next week.

The Epilepsy Foundation will not be coming to my town for donation pick up until March. MARCH. I am so bummed about this! It's not that there's anything wrong with the Salvation Army, because it's a lovely organization, but I would have preferred donating to EF since it touches our lives. sigh I'm not keeping the goods here until March, though. Will load the van next week to take donations to the Salvation Army. (Another big, amazing haul.)

Last night we loaded up an exercise pen, two dog crates and two large bags of dog food and delivered them to the animal shelter. Always lovely to make donations there, and that was an expensive haul (crates and ex-pen aren't cheap) and the dog food was Chicken Lover's, so expensive, too. (We tried switching our dogs' food due to local availability, but Tesla couldn't stomach the new food, even with a very gradual introduction. He has a sensitive tummy. Back to Canidae for us.)

The dumpster is being filled. When I look out my kitchen window, I can see trash in it now. Imagine bringing us a dumpster, in December, in Minnesota, with NO lid! Good grief.

I'm working on the laundry/craft/junk room today and making great headway. The more I work, the more tired I get, and the more I get motivated to get finished. The house is kind of a wreck. It's amazing how that happens. You make a mess while cleaning up, but it is soon to be remedied!

I need to find a box or something to put my chemicals into. I have some cleaners I won't use that need to be taken to the trash place. Paint, too.

I'm feeling excited, energized yet exhausted at the same time, and ready to be done. Life goes on, and we're making big changes here while at the same time hoping to get back to normal. I'm ready to get back to our normal school routine, in our nice clean school room. I am envisioning lovely school days, looking out the window at the birds taking delight at our bird feeder. I am also excited to finish up a huge photo project I've been working on. I have scanned a couple thousand photos that were in my Mom and Dad's albums. There were 8 albums and I've scanned 5 1/2 of them. It will be wonderful to finish that project up, distribute the originals, and be able to actually enjoy looking at the photos at my leisure.

I had to add some more tunes to my iPod. I figured it's my payment for all my hard work. A couple more Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Joe Walsh and The Mamas and the Papas. It's amazing to me, the music I have selected, because I usually love harder music, more energetic. My selections are warm, though, and folksy. They make me feel good, which is the whole point.

Back to work!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, December 29

Exhaustion. Pure exhaustion, that's what I'm feeling. Bob is sound asleep on the couch and has been for awhile.

After finishing the school room, I unloaded the scary hall closet. I had no where to put stuff, so I used that clean school room. Ouch, that hurt. It was only a landing spot, though, and it's back to spic and span now.

As I was unloading the closet, I called my sweet husband to help me. When he arrived, I told him I didn't need any actual help, but asked him if he could figure out how to make more storage out of this space.

I just have to say, I knew darned well how to make more storage--shelves. Sometimes when it's the man's idea, it just works better. He volunteered to install shelves. He measured and was out the door. An hour or two later, I had those old-fashioned adjustable shelves (works great for me!) installed. They're lovely.

Surprisingly, not much trash at all in the closet. It's one that's above the stairs, so the builders made graduated levels. With no shelving stuff was stacked on top of stuff. Now it has lovely shelving that was desperately needed and no stacking. I have tons of spare room, too. I'm thinking about putting some of my more seldom-used kitchen appliances in there to free up cupboard space.

The dumpster arrived at 3:30, and we waved goodbye to the couch and TV. The dumpster is crying out for our old, tired stuff. We're willing to feed it.

Emotionally, I'm feeling tons better today. That school room just about did me in.

Tomorrow on the agenda:

Living Room:
Decluttering will take an hour at the most. I need to go through our old videos, the front closet and my Great-Grandma's Hoosier cabinet. I doubt I'll even fill one box for donations. This area is kept really well. The Hoosier cabinet I'm just going to re-arrange.

I'm not going to do much cleaning other than dusting and vacuuming. Because I enjoy the Christmas decorations, and have no where to put the tubs yet, I'm going to leave Christmas up. I usually don't take it down until after New Year's Day anyway.

This shouldn't take too long to declutter, as I worked on it not too long ago. I may do some re-organization, though, which will take time. I'll be getting rid of all my old and gross cookie sheets. I bought cookie sheets before Christmas at Sam's Club and they are better than sliced bread. They're the kind The Pioneer uses--well, maybe they're cheap knock-offs, but similar.

I think between the living room and kitchen, tomorrow, plus tweaking the hall closet and doing more laundry, that will be all that's on the agenda. I always find plenty to keep me busy.

Tonight I'm going to bed early, as opposed to 3 like last night. I need a good rest so I can get 'er done.

The next day we'll start the dungeon, I mean basement. It's dark and dreary down there, but it's not that bad junk wise. It just needs a couple of coats of bright white paint, which I'm not willing to do this week. The laundry room has some things I need to get rid of. It will probably take a couple days, though. Then we have the garage and then we're done! I see light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, December 29 -- DONE

FINALLY, the school room is done.

It's ugly, but at least it's organized and clean.

The dumpster was supposed to arrive this morning, as well as the couch/TV pick up. Bob has been pacing back and forth, aggravated because of all the garbage that is stacked up. A watched pot never boils, so we'll just have to keep busy and try not to trip on our bags.

I need new blinds and some colorful toppers. We desperately need new flooring, but I don't see that happening any time soon. The room was originally a guest room, and because I love cottage style, I had a white bedspread. It was an all-white room aside from the ugly carpet. White walls in the school room aren't the warmest or most inviting, but I'm not moving the book shelves to paint.

I have a brand new office chair that Bob stole to use at his computer, and he's agreed that I may have it back. I promised Thomas a new office chair as well, so we'll have to go get one this week.

Sunday, December 28

I awoke to a barking dog. Tesla was going crazy because Bob and Thomas went out to breakfast. Without me. They brought me a fountain pop, so I was happy.

Saturday had been a very traumatic day for me. I was just so shocked at the amount of stuff (I call it another word in my head) that I had accumulated in the school room. It stressed me out big time, and I had to fight myself to keep from getting overwhelmed. It was also very difficult to get rid of the young stuff. My son is growing up, leaving that childhood behind. He's a teenager now. I get a little sad because I had wanted more children, but it wasn't meant to be. So getting rid of the younger stuff is tough.

Today I was feeling better, looking forward to being free from clutter, and forged on. Today was the day we needed to bring the heavy hide-a-bed couch upstairs to put out tomorrow morning and that 200-pound 27-inch TV that Bob purchased in 1986. (He paid $1,000 for that thing way back when. Then, that was a heck of a lot of money for a TV. He bought it before we met. I don't think I would have gone along with that had he wanted it when we were together. (Yeah, right, I have a 52-inch TV in my living room.)

The boys returned home while I was in the shower. I dressed and heard Bob call that he needed me to hold the door open. He was in the basement. I went to the back door that enters our garage and lo and behold, there was the hide-a-bed couch. Holy shish kabob, Batman, how on earth did he get that up the stairs without my help? He took the legs off and just pulled it up. Whew, I didn't have to lift a finger except to bring up the cushions. Bob then used that new dolly to bring the big TV up. Another easy task.

That was a big gift to me today, as I was dreading carrying that couch up the stairs.

So I started in on the school room again. Thomas helped quite a bit, which slows me down greatly. However, how else will he learn to declutter and organize. Plus, he had the opportunity to listen to me lecture myself about this hoarding. (I am not a hoarder, I'm a clutterer. Hoarder is easier to say, though.)

Filled more garbage bags, worked and worked. I took way too many computer breaks today, but I think that lifted my spirits some.

Here it is 2:23 in the morning, and I'm STILL NOT DONE. Dang. I should be able to finish up in an hour or so in the morning. The bookshelves are all organized, the closet is, too. There's very little left in the closet. The bookshelf in the hallway has had all the school stuff removed and put in the school room. There's a laundry basket full of binders, paper, spirals, etc. that needs to be dealt with, then the room needs a good, final cleaning.

On one of my breaks, I bought some more MP3s. I only had three song on the Shuffle so far, as I had $3 free from Amazon. Today I used Wal-Mart as I got a gift card from my MIL.

I love this iPod an I wonder why on earth I didn't get one sooner! Is it legal to upload my CDs to iTunes? I have read it is not, and I remember seeing a blurb at iTunes that says you can't upload copyrighted material. I own some of the songs I bought, but I wanted to be legal. Anyone know the answer to that?

Here's what kept me sane today: (I don't own any Cat Stevens CDs, but let me just say I am loving him today.)

Good Vibrations
Hotel California
Bohemian Rhapsody
Sweet Home Alabama
Song Sung Blue (This has great childhood memories for me. Jean, remember The Coffee Cup in Cheyenne? Mom and Dad used to let me play this song on the Juke Box when we ate there. I thought the song was Song So Blue lol)
I Go Crazy
My Sweet Lord
Wild World
Morning Has Broken
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Born to be Wild
Down on the Corner
Sister Golden Hair
Rocket Man
Bad Moon Rising
Band on the Run
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
You Should Be Dancing

Bob has the whole week off work this week. Today while he watched the Vikings (Yeah, they won, they're in playoffs!) he decluttered the junk drawer and one kitchen cupboard where he keeps some books. Don't ask--space is limited in this house and we have gone round and round about his use of one of my cabinets. It is next to the ceiling, though, and not one I can reach with daily cooking. I wish we'd taken a before/after of that junk drawer. He did an amazing job. He also chipped the ice off the driveway, ran to the store, and did stuff for me. He worked hard! So did Thomas.

Tomorrow's Agenda:
Finish the &^%&* school room, once and for all.
Start and Finish (gulp) the dreaded hall closet. This is bad, very bad. It's our storage, where I keep the cleaning supplies, and where everything ends up. I'm dreading this almost as bad as the school room.
Watch the TV and couch disappear.
Start loading the dumpster (while hoping the neighbors aren't watching.)
Call Epilepsy Foundation to see when they will be in town to take donations.
Start loading books into the car for delivery to the library. (Why? Because my hallway is so full, we can barely walk.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27

Happy half birthday to me! When I was a kid, I just couldn't understand why Mom wouldn't celebrate December 27th as my half birthday. ;-)

School Room Day

Way too much garbage to take a photo of.
Filled a few tubs with books/curricula to sell.
Filled a few tubs to donate to the library for its book sale.
Filled a few tubs for donations.

Cried. A lot.

This room had me wondering if I was indeed a hoarder. I had enough art supplies/projects/junk to supply the Duggar family for a year. I'm NOT kidding, either.

This room was supposed to take one day. (As of 3 p.m. on day two, I am at the point I can begin cleaning and organizing what remains.)

I believe over half the contents of this room is gone. Over half.

This is the smallest room in the house. This room had the most stuff in the house.


Took a well-needed break, had lunch out, then went to Sears to buy a new vacuum cleaner. It is fantastic. As Thomas says, "It really sucks." Mine was almost 20 years old and falling apart. Also bought a furniture dolly. Bob did, that is Why? As he said, "We're not getting any younger." I tried convincing him that we could rent one instead, and then we wouldn't have to store the thing. Plus, we'd save money. His response was that he could really use it.

Very limited before photos of the dumping ground, I mean school room. We're taking this room back, and it will be ready when we start school again in January!

Friday, December 26 Declutter Spree

Had the argument.

Called the trash company, ordered dumpster and hide-a-bed pick up and TV pick up.

Bob halled a bunch of tree branches to the city tree dump.

Started laundry.

Decuttered master bedroom. Two tubs overflowing with donations. Several bags of garbage. I was ruthless: if I didn't wear it, if I hated it, it it had holes, stains, etc., it got tossed. If it was in wearable condition, it went into the donations tub.

Cleaned out entire closet. Cleaned out all the dressers. Cleared the few things under the bed.

Vacuumed, swept for cobwebs.

Changed sheets, threw comforter and dust ruffle in the laundry.


Decluttered Bathroom.
I had no idea I had so much garbage in here.
Cleaned and organized drawers.
Cleaned and organized cupboard.
Did a quick clean of the room.

The resulting trash.

Cheer Us on (Please?!?!?!!!)

I have debated posting about this since Friday. Do I want to air my dirty laundry on my blog? Yes, no, yes, no.

I decided to air the dirty laundry.

Before Christmas, Bob asked me what I wanted for Christmas. My answer? A clean house. Seriously. What did I get? An iPod Shuffle (which I'm wearing and loving.), and a few other small, nice goodies.

The day after Christmas, Bob and I had a spat. About what? Where we were going to store the brand-new Christmas tree. I wanted to store it in the basement, as mice got our old tree that was stored out in the shed. Bob proclaimed there was too much stuff down there. And then a 5-minute back and forth bickering session ensued.

However, the result of that bickering back and forth was fantastic. Bob got the phone book, I grabbed the phone and made a call. I called the trash company. I ordered, gasp, a dumpster. I also scheduled a pick up for a hide-a-bed and an old, heavy, broken TV. All this will transpire Monday morning.

Friday we started working. I want to state that if you were to visit my home, it's usually company ready. Sometimes it's messy, and sometimes I let the dishes stack up, but the bones are there: the upstairs is organized, most things have a home and it doesn't appear that I'm a hoarder. (Let's not talk about the messy basement, though.)

Ahem. Did I say hoarder? After starting the school room yesterday, was convinced I was a hoarder. I googled hoarder, then googled pictures of hoarders, hoarding. I found a website that stated, Hoarder.:
Someone who Hoards has psychiatric condition that affects less than 1 % of the population.
The person obsesses over his stuff and will most likely not find a solution unless professional help is sought.
The collected stuff will cause serious distress and discomfort and will limit the person's ability to make good use of his house or rooms. They will not take out trash and will often keep about anything.
Cluttering affects millions of people.
Someone that lives amongst clutter accumulates without much thought and would probably be able to make the changes themselves if motivated enough to do so.
Often this will never get to such an extreme point as to debilitate the persons freedom and comfort. They will be able to take out trash and throw things away if given enough reason.

Whew. I'm not a hoarder. I just have too damned much stuff. Bob and I are throwing things away and taking out the trash.

This is a very difficult task. Well, the school room has been. The other rooms have been relatively painless. I know the results will boost my spirits more than anything.

Where stuff is going:

Donations of books will be made to our local library. (Wow, are they getting a lot!)

Donations of clothing and household goods will be made to the Epilepsy Foundation. (They do curb-side pick up in our small town every couple of months, and we're about due. Will call Monday to see when they pick up. If it's too long, donations will go to the local Salvation Army.)

Dumpster: This isn't as bad as it sounds. We're not filling the landfill. Where we live, the garbage goes to the facility, and it's crushed to bits, then sits in piles for a very long time, heats up, is crushed again--it's a long process, but in the end they make mulch out of the garbage.

Toxics: Taken to our local garbage facility as they have an exchange program for usable product and proper disposal for non usable product.

So we're fairly green in the process. Bob didn't want to bother with Freecycle or Craig's list, and neither do I.

No garage sale this time.

We're working our tails off here, and would love to have some cheers, pats on the back, etc.

Peter Walsh, eat your heart out.