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I had a nice weekend.

I slept in a bit each day, started cleaning out my closet, and finished 2 embroidery projects. I started the finishing on a third, the fourth is waiting, and I decided I didn't like the fifth enough to bother.

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So, a few weeks ago, I moved a bunch of bookshelves around, which opened up the room, and gave a sense of space and immediate progress.

I have the hobby books segregated on a bookshelf, and the unread books on others, and I have a whole empty bookshelf to unpack books into! Yay! I can also purge as I unpack, which is very, very exciting. I am also reading a 5 novel set which I probably won't keep; I am trying to read down my unread pile, so as to free up the shelf space.

The computer is set up, and the desk is mostly cleaned, and ready to use!

I've started to purge files, and am making progress there. I think I will end up with significantly less paper. Woot.

I figured out what to use to replace the jewelry box I broke.

I just let go of a bunch of rubber stamps I won't use again. I'm keeping the ones I like. I never use the sealing wax, so ... bye!

The knitted kerchiefs I made a few summers ago? I never wear them. Bye!

I have an entire empty plastic rolley-cart, just waiting for me to figure out what to put in it!

This is so exciting - it feels do-able that I can have a clean, organized room, for the first time in my life. And once I get the room in shape, I have the room to clean out the other places (attic, basement, closet) where stuff collects, and get rid of the things in there, as well.
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I have lived in the same city for 18 years, and in the same house for 6 of them, and accumulated quite a lot of stuff. I'm now at a point where the equation is:

More stuff = more time & energy spent taking care of stuff = less time and energy for other things

I've done a lot of headwork in the past 9 years or so, and I no longer want and need to hold on to everything. I can let go now.

Since we moved here, I've mostly dealt with my stuff by shoving the mess into my room, where it was my problem and not hun's. I've gotten rid of some things in the past 3 years or so, but nowhere near the amount I want to.

The problem is this - everything has to be dug out, assessed, compared to other pieces to see what redundancy exists, and then disposed of (mostly donate or save). I want to have some sort of big, comprehensive plan for cleaning up this room, and work it through piece by piece, checking stuff off lists and feeling so accomplished.

But I've noticed that I can't summon the interest/energy/willpower/spoons to even make the big, comprehensive, perfect plan. Stuck in the mud, spinning the wheels.

I just moved my desk. I took the foot high pile off it, put it onto the extra bed - no sorting, no organizing, no assessing, no thinking - just moving it. The desk is in the corner, the computer is set up, the rolling file cart is underneath it, and the entire room is a massive wreck. Aside from that one corner. The plan - the hope - the dream - is that I will build on that one corner. Do a little bit, every day, until the whole darn thing is clean, neat, and organized.

Wish me luck!
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Well, I lost steam around Wednesday. Still managed to get some stuff done. Most of the mess that was dumped on the floor and the bed has been put away, with the craft stuff in a pile against one of the bookcases.

I have a lot left to do:
-put the craft stuff away
-purge the papers in the filing cabinet
-purge the boxes of paper on the bottom shelf of the enclosed bookcase
-purge the papers in the potter holes
-organize the papers that are left
-purge the books, including the books in the potter holes
-it would be good if all the books could be out on the shelves, except maybe the textbooks
-purge the clothing (noticing a theme here?) in the closet
-purge the clothing in hun's closet
-purge the clothing in the downstairs closet
-it would be good if all the clothes fit into my closet
-purge the office supplies
-move the non-rolling plastic cabinet into the closet to hold underwear and socks
-get rid of the yarn and other craft supplies I no longer want or need, which are taking up valuable mental and physical space
-measure out the furniture and the room
-figure out what goes in the pigeon hole cabinet
-move the bookcases from the center of the room to each side of the windows
-decide which desk goes on long term loan to my friend (yay friend!)
-move the dresser back by the door?
-change where the bed goes?
-sort out where the cat's box goes
-strip the bed and wash everything
-figure out what to do with all the music
-hang various things up on the walls, in the bedroom and in the rest of the house
-vacuum the floor of the bedroom
-figure out if/what new rugs to get
-figure out what should be in the dresser instead of yarn
-figure out where the yarn should go
-read down the pile of books that I have not yet read, before buying too many more
-work down the pile of fiber projects that I have planned
-finish the fiber projects I have already started
-get the commonplace book up to date
-try out new recipes and bring the recipe book up to date with the good ones

I'm sure I'm missing something. Somehow, I'm thinking this is probably the work of at least the next year....
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I started my new job in May, and couldn't take vacation for 90 days. I thought about going various places, but it seemed... like too much work. Picking someplace, making arrangements, booking things, making decisions... So much effort! The only thing that got me really excited was the thought of ... wait for it ... cleaning my room. Seriously.

We've lived in this house 6 years, and during that time I have changed somewhat a lot. One of the biggest changes is that I no longer need to hold on to everything. I have started to trust that I will be able to provide for myself - that I can buy a notebook or a skein of yarn or a book when I want to read it, so I don't have to keep stuff for years, in case I might need it, in case I might use it, even if I don't like it or want it, but You Never Know, and It Might Be Useful Someday.

I spent 4-6 hours each day Monday and Tuesday cleaning. All the loose books are now on bookshelves. Several boxes of papers have been sorted and put away. The 20 gallon tote full of "stuff" has been sorted. Still not positive what to do with some of what was in it. The coffee and side tables I am giving away have been cleared off. The pigeonhole cabinet I bought a few months ago is upstairs in their place. I have purged my notebooks - some are for friends, and some for children at a local school whose teacher I know. Done the same with stationery. Both now fit into the same rolley drawers. Markers will go to the same teacher. I don't need them, I don't use them - pass them on to someone who can.

Today, I worked only an hour, went and had a routine sonogram and lunch, came home and took a nap. And then woke up, did a little copying/organizing, watched some TV, bonded with the cat, and now, am finishing this post. I will go upstairs, and pack up everything I want to mail tomorrow.

The goal is 4 hours per day, cleaning/purging/sorting/organizing. I don't have to do anything specific, just do something.

This week seems to be a good one for getting stuff off the floor, and into some semblance of "away." Once the room is fit for human habitation, I will have the space to sort out clothing (maybe this weekend?) and all the other stuff I have. It is time to let go of the things that I will not use, do not need, do not want, that are just taking up space and energy.
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So, life seems rather nice lately.

Last month, I started a new job. I work in a grease factory, and I am liking it a lot. I spend my days figuring out problems, mixing up new formulas, and learning how to do ASTM tests on grease. It is fun.

My parents gave me a nook for graduation. Graduated with an MS in Chem E. Bittersweet.

I knew that this month I was travelling a lot - to CA for work, and FL for a wedding. The nook looked like the best choice in e-reader for me, and I have been enjoying it immensely. It is fairly easy to use; it shows black and white pictures from the texts. It is small enough to carry around in my largeish purse, but large enough to be good to read on.

I have bought a lot of books already for it, and loaded up stuff from gutenberg and the legal pdfs that some publishers have given away.

It is my new favorite thing.
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If I'm absent from my usual internet haunts, it's because I just started a new job, and am adjusting to everything that comes with it.

Wish me luck!
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So, it is Discardia again, and Lent, too. I am trying to meditate 15 minutes daily. I have so far failed to do it every day, but I am getting closer. I just purchased a binaural beats things for daydreaming; if the binaural beats work, then yay, and if not, I just bought 15 minutes of rain sounds to meditate to. Either way I win.

I have spent the past few months clarifying my goals in life - I want to stay in Buffalo, I have 3 hobbies (fiber, books, and organizing), etc.

I have about 230 books tagged to be let go in librarything. I'm currently (re)reading P.D. James' Adam Dalgliesh series, prior to letting them go. Off go the manga for younger girls! Bye to the textbooks I will never use! Ciao to the Latin textbooks that I didn't use and have no affection for! Some of these will go to relatives and friends, some to librarything, some sold for their value, because it is considerable.

I'm also drawing up a plan for dealing with all the papers. I have about 7 file drawers, and I am thinking about what I am keeping, and how to arrange it. For example, it makes sense to put the financial information into one drawer only, and keep the grad school stuff separate from the general reference stuff. But do I keep all the articles about feminism, or do I trust that I have not looked at them, will not look at them, and can re-find them if ever I want them again? It makes sense to copy other people's poems into my commonplace book. To make a file of stuff to do around Buffalo. I need to figure out how to deal with articles I clipped because they are about something like Dead Horse Bay, and ticket stubs. I may have to scrapbook them somehow. It makes no sense to keep them in boxes, away from my sight, where I cannot look at them and remember things, which is the point of keeping them.

I'm learning to trust that I will be able to find things again if I need them, that I can take books out of the library or download out of copyright things on the internet, that I will have money to buy what I want if I can't get it any other way.

I'm also revamping my organizing system. I've gone back to the well; I'm rereading David Allen's Getting Things Done. I never got the hang of a weekly review, and had fallen to daily TODO lists, which were okay, but not great. I've moved from the old notebooks I talked about a few months ago to a 3 ring 8.5" by 5.5" binder, with tabs on the sides. This lets me move stuff around in ways that the notebooks could not, and keep everything except the calendar in one place. Keeping a list of my goals for 1-2 years and 3-5 years is helping me put what I'm working on in perspective. I've never done anything like that before.
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On December 6, 1989, a man walked into the École Polytechnique in Montreal, separated male from female students,and started killing the women, for daring to be women who wanted to be engineers. 14 women died. Here are their names:

* Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
* Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
* Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
* Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
* Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
* Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
* Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
* Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
* Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
* Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
* Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
* Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
* Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
* Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

(from )

I am not sure how I didn't hear about this, since I was 14 when it happened, but I am glad I did not. If I had I might have thought twice about becoming an engineer. That's one of the points of violence against women: keeping us scared.
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I've been descending slowly into a funk lately, mostly due to schoolwork getting me down, so I've decided I need to do something different. I am going to get off the internet for a week or so, with the exception of email, Making Light, dreamwidth/liverjournal, librarything, & bookmooch.

I am also going to try to meditate daily, and get enough sleep.

Wish me luck!
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A reminder to everyone reading on LJ - Dreamwidth has no ads, and you can comment using your LJ id over there.

Also, please be aware that I may post things over there that don't make it over here, not because I want to be annoying, but because the system over there allows me greater control of what is publically available, and what is private.

Lavinia - Ursula K. LeGuin - most awesome! Gaps in the Aeneid filled in from a female character's point of view. Makes me want to relearn my Latin, and read the epic in the original latin.

A Respectable Trade - Phillipa Gregory - Interesting historical novel - follows a white woman and an African slave in late 1700s Bristol. She draws parallels between how powerless the white woman was w.r.t her husband, and how powerless the African man was w.r.t. the white woman. Both characters are fleshed out, and I especially like how the African man was not portrayed as a "savage," but as a man from a sophisticated culture. He is definitely the most sympathetic character in the book.

Perilous Gard - Elizabeth Marie Pope - A very good mystery with a bit of romance for the grade school crowd. So good I'm adding it to my library.

Year's total: 83


Jun. 10th, 2010 11:24 am
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I wanted to make a post about feminism, women's craft & women's work, unpaid/unseen women's work, food, slow food, Michael Pollan, Anna Lappe, the local food movement, the organic food movement, & the raise your own food movement. Instead, I will write code.

I have decided that I don't want to be a good cook. I want to have a set of simple, easy recipes that I like, that I can make quickly, which use common ingredients, and make yummy leftovers.
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I spent some of last week converting old unmatched dangly earrings to stitch counters. And doing the same to the bead bits from some broken bookmarks. I'm knitting a shawl which requires a lot of stitch markers. I'm also using the beautiful ones that fidelio gave me!

I had my teeth checked for the first time in 8 years - no cavities, and squeaky clean.

My Plymouth Sister needle set came apart - the longest cord detached from its twisty anchor. I spent $100 on this, and this is the second time it's happened. I am ticked about it.

April is spring bursting, and also "Earth Day month," and National Poetry month. All a theme?
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General UTI advice: may not be applicable to any one particular situation.

-Cotton panties, not nylon or some other non-breathing fabric. No thongs. No tight pants. let your crotch breathe!
-Drink lots of water.
-Cranberry juice (must be over 27% juice) makes the walls of the bladder slippery, so the infectious bacteria don't stick to it, and you are less likely to get sick.
-I gather that more acidic urine can help with prevention. To this end, I take a gram of vitamin C every day. I have seen warnings that that much C may cause kidney stones, and I try to drink a lot of water every day to prevent it from doing that.
-Sex is sometimes a trigger. If it is, there is a prophylactic antibiotic, Macrodantin, which your doctor can prescribe. An extra gram of vitamin C may take its place.
-When I have the ache, I find that a heating pad on my lower stomach helps. I've never had it in my kidneys, though.
-It's worth keeping a few adult diaper pads handy - so that if you find it coming on while you are at class, you can nip off to the loo and put one in, instead of sitting in the lav for the rest of the day.
-Don't forget, once you have a UTI, you have an infection, and it will affect your whole body just like any other infection. You may feel tired and need more sleep. Get it if you can, and don't feel bad about that!
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Hey world!

There has been a lot of fuss lately about plastic water bottles containing BPA. If that is unacceptable for water bottles, what about soda bottles, and juice bottles, made of the same material?
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For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Making Light has a lot of links and information. Myths here. (from

So, in the past year, Amazon has pulled some nonsense with the tags and searching on GBLT fiction, so that it made it harder to find. Too "adult."

And they wiped purchased copies of 1984 and Animal Farm off Kindles because of copyright violations, without explaining why to the purchasers. (See here.)

They require anyone who does Print-On-Demand (POD) to do it through their vendor: This may have changed recently, but the fact that they tried it in the first place bothers me.

And now, negotiating with Macmillan over e-book stuff, Amazon pulled their sales of Macmillan hard-copy books, so they were unavailable from Amazon, and thus from free shipping. Yes, that is a corporate temper tantrum.

Consumerism is not citizenship, but Amazon has pulled too much crap like this over the past few years for me to be comfortable making it that easy for people to buy me stuff from them.

I've pulled out my Amazon wishlist (except for a third party vendor pad refill, which they will get only a small cut of, and I am not sure where else to buy it).
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I am in NM, seeing my brother, and having Dinner with Serge & Susan.

It is very exciting.
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I like Moleskines, but they're expensive for something made in China. The Picadilly notebooks that I'm trying out as a substitute do not seem to have very good elastic.

I find these intriguing:

Made in the USA, of 100% recycled -- and recyclable -- materials, by a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble. Comparable price to Moleskines.

I've got a set of smaller lined ones, and we'll see how they go.
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vi reference mug -

Gin & Titonic ice cube tray -

Self-Rescuing Princess shirt -

Love or Peace bracelet -

RFID blocking passport sleeve, like this one -

These earrings -
Directions for ordering here:

Repair hook: may be available various places; is this:

Stuff from Nordic Needle:
Tatting book:
Tatting shuttle (1 or 2):
Extra bobbins for shuttle:
Needlework kit:
Bookmark patterns:
Both these shawl pins:

Amber stone hair slide:

Tree bookmark -

Sword & Sorceress 24
Mistress of the Art of Death - Ariana Franklin
The Conquest - Yxta Maya Murray
The Apocalypse Door - Jim Macdonald
Slack: Getting Past Burnout - Tom DeMarco
Brightsided - Barbara Ehrenrich
Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture - Ellen Ruppel Shell
Jane Austen's Sewing Box - Jennifer Forest
Origami You Can Use: 27 Practical Projects - Rick Beech
Fire - Robin McKinley & Peter Dickinson
The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
A Civil Contract - Georgette Heyer
The Snow Queen - Mercedes Lackey
White as Snow - Tanith Lee
Lace & Blade - Deborah J. Ross
Lace & Blade 2 - Deborah J. Ross
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