Wednesday, 29 June 2011

See why I need to declutter & sort????

An update from me on the booze front... Ahem...

Gin - 8 large, 1 small
Whiskey - 2 large, 1 small
Vodka - 4 large - 2 plain, 1 mandarin, 1 lemon
Baileys - 6
Sambucca - 2
Kahlua - 2
Tequila - 2
Port - 7 (mostly commemorative)
Grand Marnier
Tia Maria
Southern Comfort

There's more, that's just the well known ones...      

They say that if you have a heap of alcohol in the house, you're not an alcoholic.... thank goodness for that!  We don't drink a lot of spirits, and it appears to show, now that I have all the booze in one place!!!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Turning a corner - and a moment of realisation...

I had a bit of a “moment” last night.  I was looking at all the house stuff still pulled out of cupboards & storage spaces, and all of a sudden it dawned on me the enormity of what I had started.  I figured that this decluttering thing was going to be over and done with in quite a short period of time (yeah, god only knows why I thought that!!!) and that my notion of only putting back what had been sorted and cleaned was not actually going to work in practice.

So – I changed my tack a little, and set a slightly different course, but one which will lead me to the same destination.

I have been putting things back where they belong, but not everything, and not necessarily “away”.  For example, I have been finding bits and pieces of craft and sewing things in different boxes.  Ribbon that I can use on sewing projects, needles, crochet hooks, yarn etc.  I am simply taking these to the spare bedroom and placing them on the bed.  Mind you, before I do that, I have been looking at the item to see if it’s worth keeping – if not, it’s leaving!

The spare bed, with things spread out in piles according to what they are... I do seem to have quite a few "bags" of things though...
So – what’s that done for me?  Well, so far I have an almighty mess in the spare bedroom as I put stuff in there, I’m gathering more stuff in the bedroom (I found 9 ½ pairs of shoes last night alone.  I don’t know where the other ½ is yet....) and I have a pile of things that is now living in the dining room, waiting to go into the boys’ room when it’s finished being painted. 
I thought about that too – it might actually make it worse, having the stuff spread around the house in more areas.  In some ways, it does.  The clutter is now spread out, rather than being confined to a smaller area.  However, in some ways that’s also good as it allows me to concentrate on “like with like” decluttering, having gotten rid of the big bits of it.  It also gives me back my living space!  That makes me feel ever so much better – no more piles of stuff that you have to move in order to watch TV!!!
Getting more space in the media room!!!
The pile of things that are leaving the house in some way, shape or form is growing.  I have now been putting things into that pile that I think may not stay in the pile, like some small plastic drawers and a basket that will be useful down the track.  Those sorts of things may go into a “maybe” pile for later thought...
As the pile of "departures" and "possible departures" continues to grow...
One thing that I did say really early on was that I wasn’t going to rush this job, and I think that thought has always been in my head, it’s just that I didn’t realise that “not rush” meant “it’ll take a while”. 

I don’t know why that is!

I did read something very interesting this afternoon, which I will leave you to ponder on, it's about the Law of Attraction:

Law of attraction

How can the universe give you something when you have no space for it?

Clutter that blocks the positive energy of the universe isn’t just found in tangible items.  The most stubborn clutter is found in the ways we fill our lives with meaningless activity, negative people and wasted time.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Deciding how to organise things...

I have discovered a challenge while I've been doing this decluttering, and that is HOW to organise things when I am putting them back.

Take my craft and sewing for example.  I have stuff everywhere!!!  I had been operating out of my sewing trolley which housed my sewing machine, plus every other thing that I had in the way of craft and sewing.  When we changed around the bedrooms and I got some space that was going to be mine, I started organising the things that I had.  I sorted all my fabric, and I put all my fabric stash into a plastic tub and I did the same with some other "like" things...

Fast forward 3 months, and now I'm starting to put things back in the sewing area again.  I have decided that the best way to tackle sorting and organising the craft and sewing things is to collect it all in one place, then sort like with like, then look at how I will store things.  I have a small set of drawers that I will put things like needles, pins etc. in (probably in little baskets so they don't all roll around too) and I have some plastic drawers that I may also use.  The tubs are a good thing for me - they have lids, and I bought some extra ones from Ikea that are smaller in size but taller so they take up less floor space.  They also have lids.

I think that for me, this style of organising works best.  Get it all together and then sort it out, then store it.  Only store what you will use!  Chuck stuff you won't use!

Do you have any other strategies that you use? 

Monday, 20 June 2011

TODAY was Muster Tent putting up day...!!!

Yesterday actually...  Finally we found the muster site and got our spot pegged out and tent put up!  But, boy oh boy what a way to get there!

I couldn't find the muster site on so I kinda guessed.  I had a little "moment" in the car when I said that I hoped that I had chosen our destination to be the right place... but it turned out I got it a little wrong - not a lot though, and it was a lovely drive.  Anyway, we went up hills and down dales from Gympie and got there eventually after a couple of about turns...  There wasn't many people at the muster site yet!  I guess others are having trouble finding their way in too!!!

So - we're really pleased, we got prime spot!

Normally by now there'd be lots of people around us... with the main road in being closed, there's only a few people here.  We will have 5 tents on this spot once we're done...

This was one of the creek crossings coming out.  The trees are all laying over on their sides from the flood earlier in the year.  There's evidence of the flood and its fury all over the place...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Winter is here...

My brother came to visit this weekend and on Saturday, we decided to go up the beach to the Noosa North Shore.  It's about a 15 minute trip into Tewantin, where we get onto the barge and go across the river, and then about a 10 minute drive on the road, then we turned off to the beach, and drove up the beach as far as Double Island Point.

What a gorgeous day!  The sun was shining, the birds were all having a lovely time, and Ken and Mick decided to do some fishing.  I sat in the sun on my folding chair, and did some crocheting.  We moved a couple of times to find better fishing spots, but there wasn't much around.

This is how you find "pippies" or "cockles" - you look on the sand, and when you find the lumps like this, dig down about 3 inches and you'll find what's below...

Pippies!!!  Great bait!

My brother Mick on the right, and Ken on the left - in the water fishing...

Ken on the left, Mick on the right... they got a bit wet.  Did I mention it's winter here???

The beach is actually a gazetted road. It has a speed limit, and road rules apply...
So... now you know - winter is here.  I don't think I'd want to live anywhere else at the moment!!!

Friday, 17 June 2011

On my mind... my journey is gathering some speed right now...

I feel like I'm a bit on a speeding train at the moment.  I have taken this journey to declutter and simplify my life, and that has mainly been focussed on possessions and STUFF - because we had a deadline, our floors. 

As you'll have seen - we are living the "life on the lawn" dream at the moment, with a lot of our stuff in the kitchen following the carpet and timber floor replacements.  I don't want to just put stuff back, I want to sort it and declutter as I go, which is a bit more of a challenge.  I have quite a pile of things that are departing at some time in the future - I have designated the camping table as the departing table at the moment, although I fear that the space that is currently just the table will need to be expanded... 

Last night I put a lot of lovely things away in the china cabinet, and tonight I may put some of the glasses that we will keep away in the sideboard.  I want to ensure that I take the time to enjoy doing this - and I have been so far.  I have washed everything that goes back, so no more dust.  Actually, some things I don't think have ever been washed!

What I'm enjoying about taking my time with this job is that I can remember where the things came from.  I have things from my grandmother, my ex-husband's mother and grandmother, my nanna etc., and it is just so wonderful thinking about my nanna who went and chose a doiley for me as a gift and asked my dad to send it to me, or my grandmother who used to teach me (much to my mother's disgust) how to "saucer my tea" when it was too hot to drink, justifying it by telling me that "I'll bet the Queen would have to saucer her tea when she's in a hurry"... hmmm - maybe that's where my hate of things too hot comes from!!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

My life on the lawn...

Well - that's what it feels like, anyway. 

Yesterday was carpet day, the day when the carpets were all pulled up and changed in the whole house.  All we had to do was empty the cupboards and put their STUFF on the timber floorboards, then the carpet layers would move the furniture, and all would be good. 

Errr... do you know how much STUFF goes into those cupboards?  And, that we really don't know how much is in them till we do this type of an exercise, because when we move house, we pack everything away in boxes, all nice and neat, and the STUFF is out of sight.  By golly gee though - when it's out in front of you it's a bit of a wake up call!!!

Check out our stuff!!!

My life in the Games Room and Kitchen... 

Stuff, stuff, STUFF

It just gets better and better!!!

This is the new carpet on the left, and the old on the right.  Quite a huge difference in colour!!!

Lounge/Dining room kind of put back together - the china cabinet is still in the kitchen.  See the painting on the wall?  I have three of them - they are original paintings done by an elephant!!!! 

I just had to add in this photo.  This is what's painted on the wall in the old study, soon to be boys bedroom.  I thought I should take a photo for posterity before we repaint it!!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

NEXT Sunday will be TENT day....


In January, both Brisbane AND Gympie had huge floods.  The muster site is near Gympie.  This picture tells the whole story of the tent-setting-up expedition....  So we went and had a nice lunch instead.

I did publish this post, but then I looked out the window and had to rush out and take a photo - check this out!!!

It's a bit hard to see, but it's actually a photo taken out our front door, it's misting rain, and it's sunny....  Just one of those things I guess that look better in real life than on a photo, but I did want to share.

Today is TENT day!!!

Every year we go to the National Music Muster (that's it's official name now...).  It's also known as the Gympie Muster, the Country Music Muster and all sorts of other names.  Let's face it - with names like Jimmy Barnes opening last year, the Queensland Police Band of Blue, the Backsliders - it ain't country any more, folks...

Of course, there's the die hards who think that the muster should remain country.  If it was all country, I wouldn't go.  I don't mind a little country, but god forbid I should have to listen to a week of it.  I'd need counselling at the end of it!!!  If you want country, go to Tamworth.  If you want a good spread of excellent live music that includes rock, blues, jazz, easy listening AND country, head to the muster. 

So - why are we putting our tent up now when the muster isn't till about 23 August you ask?  To get our SPOT dear readers!!!  God forbid that we should have to camp somewhere other than where we're used to camping!!!  It's a lovely spot too, in the grass, under the trees, not too far from the amenities (but not too close either...), not too far to walk for ice or the bulk garbage bin.  All most important things!  It's about a 10 or 15 minute amble into the music itself, so we're far enough away that the noise doesn't bother us, but close enough that we can just hear what's on either main stage or in the Crow Bar.  We have to walk past Swill Hill to get to the music, and that's good fun - although we don't want to live there either...  Last year when Kee was with us, he had a badly sprained ankle and we could also go and catch the bus.  Fantastic spot...

I'll take a photo and post it later...  I love this time of the year!!!!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

On my mind... so much to do!!!

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right at the moment. 

I have stuff spread all over the house from the timber floor replacement, which needs to be sorted, decluttered, and what's being kept put back.  Tuesday the guys are coming to replace the carpet in the 4 bedrooms and the lounge/dining.  That means everything in those cupboards needs to go onto the timber floors.  Also, the beds and the other bedroom furniture will be shifted out.  Eeek! 

Right Shaz - it's time to breathe... in... out...

It's just time - walking stuff back and forth from one room to another.  Plus I look around the study and there's LOTS of stuff in there, which isn't instilling in me a great amount of confidence. 

breathing... in... out...

I am working onSaturday this weekend, and on Monday we are heading to Brisbane to the caravan and camping show.  I'm looking forward to that - we really enjoy camping, and the muster is coming up soon.  Who knows what we'll find there!!!

As I'm working Saturday, that only leaves Sunday for.... MUSTER TENT PUTTING UP!!!  Yes, it's that time of the year again - when us mad music fans (AKA a delegation of Muster Michelle and I) head to the Amamoor State Forest to put up tents to secure our SPOT for the Muster, which is held the last week in August.  Yes, I know that's nearly 3 months away.  Told you I was mad!

Do you recognise the guy in the middle?  We had dinner at the next table to him at the Muster in 2010.  The boys are Jake on the L and Josh on the R - Ken's boys.  They were really excited about this!!!

L-R Me, Belinda and Nicky - having breakky...  We were all having Juice (very healthy).  We had the choice of Grape Juice, Apple Juice or Orange Juice (AKA Wine, Cider or Orange Vodka Cruisers...).  I think we were having Orange...

Oh, and did I tell you that the Backsliders are going to play at the Muster???  SO can't wait for that one!  If you don't know who the Backsliders are - read this...  Ken and I went to Joe's Waterhole at Eumundi to see them with Chris and Lorraine.  Chris loves them, and it was he who introduced them to us...

So - the great procrastination continues.  I'm not shifting stuff because I'm here...  Hmmm... not so productive!  However, much more fun!

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Valley Rattler... and a mess in our house!

I had SUCH a lovely day on Saturday!!

I went with some friends on the Valley Rattler from Dagun to Dagun.  It was sooooo lovely!  It was about an hour from Dagun to Gympie, and we got off the train there and went and had some lunch, then about another hour from Gympie to Amamoor, then back to Dagun where we got off.  There was also a Growers Market in Dagun that afternoon, so I managed to buy a whole heap of fresh veggies before I came home!!!

The Rattler coming into Dagun station

The Rattler engine being turned around on a manual turn bed at Amamoor

Isn't it great????
Sunday we spent at home, moving some things out of the timber floored area into the carpeted areas, ready for the timber floors to be changed... TODAY (Monday).  Oh. My. God.  What a mess!!!  Furniture is all stacked on the carpet and the timber is all clear.  The timber is so much lighter, it's really looking good!

We had to eat out tonight - couldn't get to the kitchen to cook!  May even have to eat out tomorrow night depending on how organised it all is.  Check this out:

All the furniture piled up in the Lounge/Dining room

How good do these floors look?????
Spot and Stripe the wonder kittens had to sleep all day in the bedroom so that the men could do their floor thing.  The workmen were really, really good - I arrived home as they were leaving, so they all introduced themselves to me, and we had a quick chat.  They were all lovely, polite men - and boy they have done SUCH a good job.  Ken's even impressed - they've taken the skirting boards off, numbered the walls AND the skirtings so that they can go back on in the right place.  Takes a lot to impress Ken!

$15 worth of food at the Growers Market
Here's what I got at the Dagun Growers Market.  Green beans, lettuce, custard apple, yakon leaves, broccoli, 6 mandarins, 3 avocado's... 

Tell me where else you can get that kind of value from fresh produce locally grown.  Love it!

Friday, 3 June 2011

On my mind... coming home tonight!!!

After lunch today I'll head off to Coffs Harbour, to fly to Sydney and then back to Brisbane. 

I'm looking forward to going home and chilling out for the rest of the weekend, although it will be a fairly busy one.  Tomorrow the "girls" and I are going on the Valley Rattler.  We all have a connection through a company that I used to work for, even though I never actually worked with two of the ladies directly. 

The Valley Rattler is a vintage Steam Train that runs from Gympie through the gorgeous Mary Valley, stopping at several of the towns like Amamoor, Imbil, Dagun etc.  We're taking two small boys with us, so that will make it even more fun I think they're going to have such a good time!!!

Another piece of news is that we will be hosting another YFU Exchange Student this year!  His name is Henrik, and he is 16 years old, and comes from Norway.  I'm really looking forward to it - we had a lovely year with Kerati from Thailand, and so I am really looking forward to learning all about a Scandanavian culture...  I also feel the need to give something back to someone I don't know, for nothing in return, and this wonderful program allows me that opportunity.  I have a Japanese sister and an American sister who were YFU Exchange Students back in the mid 1980's - they truly became part of our family, and I am so pleased to have a Japanese Mama and Papa, and an American Mom and Dad as part of my family.  I don't see them all that often, but when I do, it's like no time at all has gone by since I last saw them. 

Next week is the week that the chaos starts.  The timber floating floors will be ripped up and relaid on Monday and Tuesday, and the following week the carpets will be done.  It's kind of like moving house, because even though the guys move the furniture around, we have to have emptied all of the cupboards for them to move them!!!  Argh!  This weekend (well, Sunday actually - the rest of the weekend is gone!!!) may see much action in the decluttering department!!!

I had fun this morning shutting my suitcase.  I went to the staff shop and bought stuff - Milo, Asian curry pastes, and Cappucino's in the Cafe Menu range.  Oh, and some Nesquik.  I figured that since I'm here, I should buy it here.  However, a 1.9 kilogram tin of Milo takes up a LOT of space!!!  Good thing my cabin bag expands by 30% and I can sit on it when I need to!!!

Heading out for lunch shortly and then I will head to the airport.  Spend the afternoon with the company of Qantas and come home tonight!!!  I hope that whatever you're doing, you have a good one.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

And the rain tumbles down...

So I've made 1 1/2 more dishcloths....  drank some more wine, watched some more TV, and generally "chilled out". 

What on earth am I going to do with all these dishcloths & heat mats?  I'd better either get using them, or get selling them!!!!

Audit's okay - just tiring.  It's pouring with rain, and we had such a wind storm last night that it woke me up...  I'm feeling quite relaxed with all this being away from home stuff - I am missing out on feeling like I have to do the washing, the cleaning, the dishes etc.

I'm missing not having a kitten or two in the bed though!!!