No Chaos No Order

March 17, 2015

Organizing Pet Gear

Filed under: home — fairyguts @ 3:45 am

Once done with my car, I got to do a quick organizing task for Week 18 of Organize Now: Organize Your Pet.  I have two cats, but they own the WHOLE HOUSE and there are a few things that only they use.

Their items were being stored in a cute cat-shaped basket, but the basket is bulky and awkward to use.

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Once I sorted the items and threw away things that were old or not used, I put them in a plastic tote.

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The tote is rather big, but it will work for now.  The place where it will be stored is next on my list of ‘Big Projects’ and may have the box changed to fit it.

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While I’m using the book chapter by chapter as inspiration and guidance, there are things that have come up that needed immediate attention and are being taken care of out of order. For example, the laundry room isn’t addressed until chapter 28, but we took care of most of that shortly after we moved in and bought new laundry machines.

The cat gear will be stored on a shelf I am going to build in the garage soon. We need the garage more functional than it is and we can’t wait until I get to chapter 42!

Speaking of chapters, I am skipping the next chapter (Week 19: Organize your books, cds, and dvds) because this is actually a HUGE project! My husband has so many of each and, while all of the things are in relatively neat shelves or boxes now, I have an ultimate plan which will take custom cabinetry and we are not ready to do that yet. So, I’m moving on to Week 20: Organize Your Entryway or Mudroom and Week 21: Organize Your Livingroom.

March 12, 2015

Car service tracking

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 3:44 am

Since I was organizing my new-to-me car, I decided to be more diligent about tracking the maintenance.  I found a template in Google Drive that looked pretty good, but I wanted to track my fuel purchases as well.  And, since I was going to do that, I decided I needed a way to put the data in the spreadsheet while I am in my car at the gas station.  So with some editing and input from my friend, Amanda, who is more familiar with the formulas and functions, I have a spreadsheet that meets my needs! Woot!

Now, when I’m at the gas station, I can take out my phone and click a bookmark

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that opens the form which will put the data into my spreadsheet.

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The next step is to get the form to return some information, like “Your next _____ will be due in ____ miles.”

maint

March 4, 2015

Car Emergency Kit

Filed under: health, home — fairyguts @ 10:38 pm

The next suggested area to tackle in the Organize Now! book is the car.  I have not cleaned or organized my car since Robin was born and I used to be quite particular about that.  I deep-cleaned my car at least twice a year: renting a carpet cleaner, using a toothbrush in the door spaces, and waxing the exterior.  Until recently, my car smelled like rotting milk and there were toys and crumbs everywhere.  Once I decided to super clean my car, my parents gave me their old one, so I avoided the cleaning after all, but had to move all of my things out of Bubbles, The Androgynous Adventure Van and into the new car (which has yet to be named).  While I was doing that, I noticed I have a woefully inadequate emergency kit. It worked well for a single gal, but a mother of two wouldn’t last an hour if there was an emergency.

I looked at several webpages to help me decide what to put in my kit, ranging from basic (“all a girl needs is a simple sewing kit and lip gloss!” – well, ok, not that simple or sexist) to complex (“live for 3 days out of your car when the world ends!”) and I have come up with my own lists.  I separated items into several lists to help me mentally and physically compartmentalize them and to provide a timeline for purchasing.  For example, the “Short Term Car Emergency Kit” list is, I think, the most important one to gather first because it’s the most likely to happen; then I’ll work on the “Long Term Emergency” list.

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Printed checklist.

Car Emergency Kit - Google Sheets

I really debated if I wanted to go so far as the “Long Term Emergency” kit.  A simpler, 24 hr kit makes sense to me – even if I’m not stranded in my car for a full day, I could use all those things for spontaneous road trips, or miss-packed vacations.  But, I don’t expect the world to end any day soon and the chances that I’d be in my car AND able to avoid the ensuing traffic jams are slim.  But then I thought

“Unless I veer off the road in the snow somewhere in the mountains!”

“Well, that’s why I don’t drive in the snow,” I responded.

“EXACTLY! When I’m driving in the mountains and a freak, sudden, snow storm I’m not expecting shoves my car into the ravine, I’ll need to be able to keep my children from dying until help arrives.”

… apparently I have gotten more paranoid since having kids. So, my Long Term kit is less “Survive the Zombie Hoards in Luxury and Repopulate the Earth” and more “survive some crazy drastic emergency in relative comfort until someone brings us back to civilization.”

Just a warning here: The more you collect, the more you think of adding! Maybe give yourself a limit by picking your storage containers first.

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Cell phone charger; tissues; pens, pencils, permanent markers, and paper; scissors; plastic bags; and a very simple first aid kit in one of the storage spaces in the front of my car.

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Proof of insurance, vehicle registration, and manuals in the glove compartment.

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Sunglasses, napkins, coin bank, diaper changing kit, and my special knit hat in a basket between the front seats.

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Tire changing supplies (jack, wrench, tire repair) and chains for the car in a hatch at the rear of the car.

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The bulk of the gear is in these containers: a backpack, an insulated lunch bag, and two plastic totes.

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The car-focused tote includes: Jumper cables, a glass marker, WD40, twine/rope, work gloves, multitool set, cable ties (zip ties), bright vest, wind-up flashlight, and a tarp.

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The backpack holds extra cloths for the boys (hoodie, hat, long sleeve shirt, pants, shoes and 2 pairs of socks) and two small, wool blankets.

This backpack is small and broken. If I had to carry my two babies away from the car, this bag would cause me unending discomfort.  I have a larger, more comfortable backpack that I will probably switch out sometime soon, but I’d like to try to carry the backpack AND sling both my kids before I decide to commit to it.

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Ursula, at Home Made by Carmona (see link below) used an insulated bag for her kit and I thought it would be great for reducing temperature fluctuations on possibly sensitive items, as well as provide another liquid barrier in case of leaks. This one I found has two insulated zippered areas as well as three non-insulated pockets and a very long strap which I thought would come in handy if we had to leave the car. I decided to store personal hygiene items, the first aid kit (not made yet), and a part of the food and water (still collecting) in this bag.

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The top compartment holds the hygiene items in a large seal-able bag.

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Hygiene items (the glow sticks are in the second compartment): deodorant; toothbrushes, paste, dental floss, and hair ties; cotton swabs; nail clippers; lotion, sunscreen, and chap stick; hand sanitizer; liquid body soap; (not shown) diaper rash ointment; and bar soap.

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The bottom compartment holds some bagged water, baby formula, glow sticks, and bottle supplies.

Our doctor’s office hands out free formula samples, so I was able to get some smaller, sealed containers from them to put in this kit. Although, at the same visit, I got the go-ahead to start transitioning my baby to whole milk, so I won’t be needing the formula for much longer!  I realized later that my son uses around 1, 8oz tin of formula a day, so I really should have put three in this kit. But, since we’re moving to milk, I’m not going to worry about it.

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Some ‘dry’ hygiene items are kept in the second tote in their own sealed bag: compact, quick-dry travel towel; feminine pads; ear plugs; and bug repellent wipes.

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The second tote also holds: paper, pens, pencils, and permanent markers; rain poncho; army knife; multitool; super glue; hand warmers; tissue; whistle; extra cording; hook-and-loop ties; waterproof matches; a variety of plastic bags; four space blankets; some extra cash and coins; deck of playing cards; toilet paper; diapers; wipes; and a power adapter.

I have some other things I need to collect, but this will be sufficient for now!

Resources:

The bulk of my list came from Anita’s article on Live Like You’re Rich The Easy to Build Kit for the Worst of Times… Your Proven 72 Hour Survival Kit!  with some added ideas from the following articles: Family Van Emergency Kit by Ursula at Home Made by Carmona, Car Emergency Kit (With printable list) by Christy at Christy’s Cuties, How to Make a Winter Emergency Survival Kit for Your Car by Jenni at Sweet Pennies from Heaven,  Assembling a Car Emergency Kit with Printable Checklist by Angela at Food Storage and Survival.

January 26, 2015

Random History: Organic Chemistry

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 11:21 pm

The first time I was in college I didn’t put a lot of effort in to my classes. I mean, I did all the assignments, participated in class discussions, and generally performed well enough. I never tested very well, though, often getting poorer scores than the people I helped, but I was ok with that. Ok enough to not read the text books or learn how to study for tests. Until my senior year when I started Organic Chemistry. I got through the first term with my normal habits and received a B, but, by the second week of the second term, I knew I was in trouble! I dropped out and started over, even auditing the first term again. And this time, I used every resource available and learned how to STUDY!  Crazy!  I worked so hard at it, I couldn’t part with any of my materials … Until now.  Here are too many photos for anyone else to be interested in, but it was pretty significant for me.

The text book. Which I read, highlighted and wrote in:

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The study guide for the text book. Which I read and did the activities in.   WOW.

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My notebook, which held all my notes and completed activities.

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My lab notebook.

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The lab book.

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This was an optional text to support with the lab. It was fun and easy to read and SO HELPFUL!DSC00209DSC00211DSC00210DSC00212

January 19, 2015

Window Frame Photo Display

Filed under: heart, home — fairyguts @ 11:02 pm

We have a surround-sound system with large, black, speakers hanging in the middle of a big, white wall.  I think it looks cheap and tacky.  But I do love me some surround-sound!  I decided the best way to work with it would be to camouflage the speakers by creating a gallery of photos around them.  Here is one item I made to help with the disguise.  This window came off my aunt’s house and was free to me – woot!

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With some scraping and primer …

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and a finish coat of black

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I have a cheap and attractive frame to contribute to my gallery!

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January 12, 2015

Vintage Leathercraft Kit: “Let’s Do Modern Leathercraft In the Style of the Old West”

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 11:04 pm

Several years ago, a friend of mine found this at a garage sale. Since I was playing with leather at the time, she got it thinking of me.  Some of the parts for the wallet I made for my husband came from this kit. I am working on finishing projects and reducing my supplies, so eventually, this kit will be used up and then I’ll probably recycle the box somehow, but I wanted to document it for posterity.  It’s a pretty comprehensive kit! And the cover illustrations crack me up.

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December 31, 2014

Play kitchen

Filed under: heart, home, relationship — fairyguts @ 11:25 pm

I made a play kitchen for the boys for Christmas and it has been a huge hit these last few days! Robin knows exactly what to do with it.  He knows the little pot holders are for opening the oven and taking the muffin pan out. He knows the washrags are for washing dishes and the towel is for drying. He spends so much time playing and playing and (the best part!) when I cook, he cooks.  Here are some photos of the creation.  Most of the supplies came from The Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Two drawers and an old, kitchen cupboard:

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With a screwdriver, the drawer fronts come off and leave two boxes. I cut the fronts down for the oven doors.

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All parts cut up, sanded, filled and sanded again.

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I guess I didn’t take any in between photos, so here is the finished set!

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Material list:

ReStore:  2 drawers (10% off) = $7.20; Drawer handles (10% off) = $2.25; faucet = $8.75; towel hook = $0.10; cupboard (50% off) = $2.50; cabinet hinges (for fridge) = $2.30; stove knobs = $0.50

Fred Meyer’s:  Screws = $1.49

Goodwill:  cookie tin (for sink) = $0.99

Home Depot: Paint and supplies = $43.86; rubber feet = $5.85; screws = $1.18; magnetic latches = $3.92; no clearance hinges (for oven) = $10.98

The Dollar Tree: Oven racks = $1, kitchen towel = $1

Total (not including paint): $50.01

And I could have kept it cheaper if I’d been willing to wait and watch the ReStore for hinges, latches, and rubber feet. And, if I weren’t being picky about paint color, I could have gotten much cheaper paint there, too.

November 3, 2014

Random History: The Holy Grail

Filed under: heart — fairyguts @ 5:35 am

I actually still feel guilty for recycling this.  I was involved in high school theater for my senior year and was really just a stage hand – never leading material.  The theater people were relatively accepting of me and I got to go to a couple parties, one of which was spent transcribing Monty Phython’s Holy Grail.  It was fun to contribute to the arguments around dialog, background comments, and especially how to type certain sound effects.  I do not know if this was my copy, or the only copy, but it was time to let it go.  I apologize if it was the only one …

 

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“The Script, of The Soundtrack, of The Movie, of the Python Presentation, of The Retelling of the Great Classic, of The Myth, of The Legend, of The Unproven Hearsay, of The See Webster’s Dictionary for the Definition of the Above – Better Known as…

(Alias)(Wik) *(Da Duh Da Daaaaa)*

MONTY PYTHON AND THE MOST HOLY GRAIL

(and we really mean it)

(also also wik)

— the strictly unofficial script of the movie, done in a fit of boredom by a whole lot of people– touched up again by Ralph the Wonder Llama (How time flies), and Svend’s Moose.

Assorted above silliness, commentary, and editing by Timothy ‘Tronic a.k.a. Andrew Mansfield”

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October 27, 2014

Laundry Room: cleaning supplies

Filed under: health, home — fairyguts @ 5:27 am

Long ago I started an experiment around cleaning solutions. While I was looking for cleaner recipes to try out, I noticed a rash of Pinterest pins exclaiming “How to Turn a Mason Jar into a Squirt Bottle!” showcasing their finished projects. And, while I laud their accomplishments, I could not see the benefit in that. I couldn’t imagine my hand fitting between the trigger and the mason lid – I’d have to hold my smallest two fingers out. And then, because of the broad lid, I’d have to hold my hand cocked awkwardly perpendicular. But, finally, I was confused … I can understand the interest in using glass over plastic, but why not use the screw-lid glass water or juice bottles already available at most grocery stores? And, since I was using plastic bottles with squirting tops that were so crummy they only worked 60% of the time, I decided to do so.  In the experiment you can see the bottles with juice labels still on them, but following are the snazzed up versions for my snazzed up laundry cupboards.

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Galvanized buckets from a feed store ($8 each).

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An exacto-knife is my vinyl cutter to label my buckets of cleaning equipment.

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Nice and cozy in their home!

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Random storage needs are covered cardboard boxes. “Bulbs,” “Basics,” and “Batteries”

October 22, 2014

Crochet Toy Baskets

Filed under: heart, home — Tags: — fairyguts @ 10:07 pm

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I was storing the living room toys in a basket in the media cabinet. It worked well for a while, but my helper-baby, aka danger-baby was starting to break it and use it for even more danger. I needed something else to hold the toys, but not structured enough to be used as a step ladder.  After a look through Pinterest for inspiration, I decided to crochet some baskets using old t-shirts, scrap fabric, and left over yarn. They turned out pretty nice and even my littlest baby can get at what he wants.

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PS: Toys rarely stay in the baskets right now.

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