Kondo Can-do My Step 1

So you’re supposed to start the Konmari process with the first category, clothes. I wanted to do that desperately, but first I had to actually FIND space in my fully stuffed house.

I’m a bit embarrassed to show you just how “bordering hoarder” I have become, so I won’t. Let’s just say that it took me six hours (give or take a few breaks and checking work email) to clear out my office/storage room so I could see the floor. I will show you the finished result.

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Believe it or not, you could not see the floor six hours ago.

I moved everything on the floor to the garage. Mind you, everything there was NOT on my office floor. There’s storage and garden supplies there.

That blue tarp is ready for more of my piles from the other stuffed rooms, but glad I don’t need it right now.

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I have temporarily placed my office floor contents to the garage. I will be back to get to the joy!

I have to admit, it feels great getting my piles out of my would-be office. I feel lighter and my mind a bit clearer.

I am even more excited because I know that I will eventually get back to evaluating my boxes and bags when I reach that step. 

Now to start laying out my clothes in my newly cleared space!

Marie Kondo is a genius!

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Finally a decluttering method that speaks to both my head and my heart, the Konmari method.
 
The basics:
1) Keep only what sparks joy in your life.
2) A fabulous folding method that maximizes the space in your drawers.
3) Organizing advice that begins with a strict editing of your belongings via category, not room.

Here is one of the best summaries I’ve found on the Konmari technique.

So guess what I am doing with the rest of my time off?

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Getting ready for Konmari!

You guessed it! Taking advantage of an entire day to focus on dealing with my stuff, starting with my clothes. Above is one section of my closet before.

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And here is my pants drawer before. Well, times a-wastin’, gotta get back to it.

A morning in the life of a backyard composter

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I love composting. Even though I’m not using the compost right now, it just feels good to know my food waste isn’t going to a landfill. Instead it is helping to create a mini eco-system right in my backyard!  On most Saturday mornings,  I add some food waste to my bin and it is always incredibly easy. First I create a nice hole in my bin. I use an old rake handle and I just dig around and around.image Then I dumped in the waste I had been collecting all week. imageI use empty spinach and kale containers to collect my food waste. I get them from a big box shopping club store since I eat alot of fresh spinach and kale.

Part of my weekly food waste collection

Once the hole is made, it’s all about stirring the waste materials around and keeping the water flowing. It reminds me of the human digestive process, but for nature.

Dump, water, stir

You can see that I then fill in with leaves, patting everything back in place. The last step for me is to add some more leaves from my leaf pile and lots of water to keep the pressure on the compost. As long as I follow these steps, I don’t have to worry about animals digging around, looking for what I put in there. The material  breaks down into rich, dark compost, waiting for me, if and when I ever choose to use it.

Composting doesn’t have to be that difficult. To learn more, visit Mecklenburg County’s waste management site: www.wipeoutwaste.com.

That salad spinner, tho!

Only I would geek out about receiving a new salad spinner! Admittedly, I had never used one before . Old-fashioned I guess is the only reason why. When I picked up my Sow Much Good CSA allotment today, I received one. My volunteer was so enthusiastic about it, she really encouraged me to give it a try, so I did…and was I impressed! In this video, I’m just getting started. More to

come.
Getting ready to use my salad spinner!

It’s Veggie time!

Picked up week 1 of vegetables from my #SowMuchGood CSA. My second season as a Farm Fresh to Go CSA member starts NOW!

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Video of vegetable excitement!

My current (yummy) lunch situation. Thank you @thefoodbabe

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My current lunch situation: Open face soft taco with “meat,” salsa and avocado.

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“Meat” recipe courtesy of Food Babe. Secret: it’s made with cauliflower and lentils! Food Babe’s delicious taco meatless recipe.

Soup for now and later

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Made a huge pot of 3-bean vegetable soup. My secret: strain, portion and freeze the broth from a pot of beans and save for later.

Also, less than energetic romaine lettuce makes a delicious broth with onions, garlic and other spices.

Strain, discard/compost the solids and use the broth as a base for soup.

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I now have two quart jars to nibble on this week, 3 pint-sized bags to freeze, half a pint for a snack today and 1 pint to share with some lucky soul.

30 Sunday Suppers-Introduction

I went home to Florence last week to visit my mom. Before heading back to Charlotte on Sunday, Mom, Robert and I went to visit my cousins, Isaiah and Martha Ann Harley. We had a great time talking and catching up, as I hadn’t seen them for quite a while. As we finally got up to leave, Martha Ann offered us some food to take with us. I declined, but Robert said yes. Not only did she have enough, she also handed out styrofoam to-go containers!

There is something comforting about being from the South. We believe in providing travelers with a glass of water when they visit and something to take with them for the journey home.

“People are always stopping by,” Martha Ann said. “I like to cook enough.”

Martha Ann’s Sunday supper reminded me of Sunday meals at my grandmother’s. After church, Mom, Allison and I almost always ended up there because we knew Mutti would have dinner prepared with plenty for us all.

I remember her saying that she liked to have everything prepared the night before so she wouldn’t have to “heat up the kitchen” on Sunday. Instead she would “just warm it up.”

When Mutti passed away, we had to do our own Sunday cooking. We rarely if ever prepped the night before and almost always heated up the kitchen on Sunday after church. My sister and I learned to cook that way. I think we’ll always treasure those times. Both time spent at Mutti’s and the cooking we did together after her death.

Now I have my own kitchen and my own life and unfortunately have not made “Sunday Suppers” a priority. The life of a busy single woman with a myriad of interests can get pretty hectic.

Visiting Cousins Martha Ann and Isaiah reminded me of how beautiful that tradition is and how much I’d like to emulate it in my own life. I mean, I like to cook and try new recipes, and it’s not like I don’t have a ton of cookbooks and recipe clippings (both online and in folders) to choose from.

So what’s stopping me? Yes, I am busy at work with new responsibilities and doing more with less. Yes, I teach Creative Writing at the local community college. Yes, I am working on a novel and participating in a critique group. Yes, I am in a new relationship.

Buuut a girl’s gotta eat, right?

Can I do 30 Sunday Suppers? We shall see. It all starts with one.

I created my first video!

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Yes, I am very proud of myself for this accomplishment :-). Making this video about the Ellen Cherry Experience presented by the Assorted Table Wine Shoppe  (located at 7th Street Public Market) was a labor of love because the wine, food and music made for one fantastic evening and I loved it!

For those of you who may not know, my first job out of South Carolina’s journalism school was that of a television reporter for the local affiliate in my hometown. As a General Assignments reporter, I did it all. I shot, wrote and edited all my own stories. In addition to meeting and interviewing all sorts of interesting people, the video-editing part was also a favorite task. These days tools such as Windows Live Movie Maker make video editing so easy. What makes me even happier is that I accomplished this feat without the help of any Apple products!

Since I often take pictures using a photojournalist’s eye, putting together the still photos for the video wasn’t difficult at all. So glad I took that photojournalism class as skills learned there taught me how to look for the story in the shot. (Although all those aperture settings drove me crazy, hee.)

Enjoy the video and tell me what you think! Of course, this was November 2013, not 2014 as my movie title suggests. I’ll make that correction and update the blog later. Journalists hate making errors, Sigh.

Snow Day City, USA

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A snow day inspires more posting!

Just wanted to say hello to my wonderful blog followers and general readers. It has been almost a year since you heard from me. I’m doing well. Just busy as always. I really enjoy blogging so I need to get back to it, right? I’m enjoying a snow day today, which means a day full of alerting the public about our snow day, resting, cooking, watching some mindless t.v. and meandering back to my blog. I’m setting a challenge for myself: A minimum of a blogpost every week, about whatever is on my mind, from fashion to football to fiction and beyond.

How does one spend a snow day? Earlier I watched ABC’s “The Chew” and I want to make these yummy looking wings: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/blow-your-mind-baked-chicken-wings-daphne-oz.

I also made myself a Chicken and Greens soup with chicken, garlic, collard greens, kale, green peppers and anything else I could find in the fridge. I love soup. I really love soup.

Tasty soup made from what's in the fridge, yum!

Tasty soup made from what’s in the fridge, yum!

I checked in with my mom and dad who live in Florence and Atlanta respectively. They both survived the wintry weather there and are doing fine. And then comfort fooded myself with some chocolate chop cookies and coffee. Even got a little writing done. Now I think I need a nap. Yes I’m also fighting off a cold and rest really is the best remedy.

If you had a snow day today, how did you spend it?