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No more vomiting! So tomorrow, T. can go back to school. Yay!

It was picture day for A., so she wore her spring dress. Possibly this will be the last time, altho you never know. It has been warm.

T. and I had lunch at Julie's. He skipped ice cream.

I did some minor decluttering today. T. and I went through two of his drawers (socks and undies, and the PJs) and got rid of too worn and/or too small. Now those drawers close much better. I also worked with him on the essay for his yellow belt on the principles of conduct -- he decided on effort. I directed him to talk about the effort of listening and waiting to ask questions at an appropriate time. Because I _will_ exploit opportunities to work on these things when they arise. We printed it out, put it in a page protector and put it in is martial arts back with his track log book and hung it in the front hall closet with his clean gi. I'm not sure this has ever been so orderly. It'll be the only time I'm sure.

We scheduled A.'s vision therapy appointments and are working on the next batch of T.'s vision therapy appointments.

T. was really kind of bored, so I had him do some math out of the Spectrum 3 workbook -- seemed about right, and he seemed to be able to do the work with effort, so about the right level. Nice to know I'm not totally oblivious to where he is in the math curriculum. It was fun watching him type the essay -- he's clearly completely memorized the keyboard layout, and has adopted and interesting single handed typing style that is more sophisticated and efficient than hunt-and-peck.

I had told my sister I was going to send her some of the For Her bic pens so relentlessly mocked months/years ago on Amazon, that I discovered were super awesome to write with. I couldn't fine them at Staples and wasn't sure if they had changed the name. The only ones for sale on Amazon were third party. I have four and only ever use one, and I've got another really nice pen as well, so I sent her three of mine; T. went with me to the post office to drop them off. We also returned 3 library books and dropped off a few items at the Middle Class Guilt Reduction Station when we went to lunch.

When I went through T.'s sock drawer, there was a pair of slipper socks in there, never worn, that he didn't want. I took them to put in my packed bag.

ETA: Eufy arrived! Review to follow, and then be revised repeatedly. Lots of fun!

I started working on the holiday card. This is a little early, but it is nice to get it started, so I know if I want additional photos in certain spaces.

I also stared at the power strip that sits on the short bookcase next to my recliner in the living room. It seems completely ridiculous to have all these USB cords that plug into very fat things that plug into outlets; it would be much better to just plug the USB cord into a USB slot -- takes up less space, etc. Unfortunately, an awful lot of multi-port hubs / charging strips / etc. have both USB and outlets (defeats the purpose) or the USB ports have a really low amount they can handle charging at one time (like, only one iPad, type of thing). I found a 10 port Anker that looks really good; we'll see how it works in practice. It would be nice if this thing would continue to work well in the face of increasing future demand, because that does seem to be the way things are going.
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Yesterday and today, I continued to go through my newly stocked filing cabinet and shred / recycle. I've run lubricant sheets through the shredder at intervals, and it hasn't overheated yet. Maintenance, FTW!

Today, "Trash Can Willys" came by to get the piano. On their website, one gets the impression that getting rid of a piano will cost around $200. They asked how big it was, so I measured the height (it's an upright) and said it was a little over 4 feet, and quoted me $370. They showed up, said I should have measured the width, and it was going to be $450. I did not tip them. They did not scrap the floors, which is Not Nothing. The website emphasized how they try to recycle; these guys said it was going straight to the dump -- I don't blame them, it is a 1903 Chickering with a weird and unrepairable action, and when we had it tuned a decade ago it was deemed pretty much Not a Piano Anyone Would Want to Buy (at the time, and increasingly over the years, more keys had quit resulting in any sound). Sad, but gone.

I have a lovely phone call with my friend K. She told me there is a Thing now where you can get something that lets your dog call your phone -- like, a video call via Skype. Weird! Hard to imagine that being a good idea, but very funny. The potential for relentless calling and begging seems entirely out of control.

I walked with M.

I went through a bin in the basement that contains a couple photo boxes. One contains discs with scans and also developed film. I _probably_ should get rid of that, because I've uploaded to Flickr everything that I want uploaded to Flickr from this lot. But it is hard to let go of and not doing any harm down there. The other photo box contains actual prints. I went through those (I've done this before, but I was a lot more ruthless this time) and only kept ones where I knew the people and didn't have really awful thoughts about the people, and a very few landscape / plant photographs. I also took this box upstairs and emptied out a thin album of hiking photos (similarly purging them while I was at it) because the shelf of photo albums has gotten too crowded. And then I collected the box with leftover Holiday Cards (the ones I have made up through Snapfish or whatever each year) and the stack of accordion photo thingies from the photographer each year, dumped them into the newly created space in the photo box and returned it to its bin. I got the photo albums to fit onto their single shelf again (yay!) and got a little space back in my office from the box of cards and the accordion books. One of the reasons the photo albums overflowed was because I finally got all of the J.M. prints out of the box in that same place in my office and into an album.

R. is off to return leftover tile from the shower, and to stop at the piano store and try out a Yamaha hybrid we are discussing (and maybe other things, but I told him I'm not just buying a straight acoustic), and to donate some things to Savers.

Part of moving the piano out of the house meant that things that were sitting on the piano had to find new homes. A picture went to the bar, so things had to come off the bar -- an ice bucket set of cocktail equipment went to Savers (we never use it -- we have other things we prefer). The bicycle guy went to the case we store DVDs in, so the electronic picture frame went into a donation / recycle box. The lounge light went to the top of the bookcase and the games on the top of that case went into a different shelf of games. The light that was on top of the piano went out to the front hallway (it looks really good there -- that may be permanent). So there was some downstream rearranging and purging triggered by the piano purge. There is an incomplete painting project that is now on the table in the living room, for R. and A. to work on this weekend.

Now that the trash and recycling has been picked up, I can move bags of shredded paper and recycled paper along. I may pause the decluttering project for a bit. I got so tired I took a nap today.

Oh, and I got R. to extract the film from an ancient camera for me, and mailed it off to Darkroom. Who knows what I'll get back. I _think_ it dates from some time in college, but we'll find out. Or we won't, if it is too badly deteriorated.
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Last night, I found more travel folders (2009-2013 WDW trips). I've gone through the 2009, 2010 and 2011 files, shredding, taking notes into the travel document (I have a 30+ page document describing very sparely family trips we have taken. It started life as a way to answer T.'s questions about When Did We Do X? It includes links to Flickr photo albums, blog posts, and similar.) and recycling. Obviously, hitting the 2011 trip was mildly stressful.

As I was typing this, I got a robotic voice mail from the town saying that they found a mosquito in town carrying West Nile. They will be spraying, including my street. *sigh* I guess the good news is (I mean other than, the species of mosquito mostly bites birds, so hopefully not us) the spraying might reduce mosquitos in the area in general, and A. has been getting some wicked bites lately. Hopefully, she won't get West Nile. :(

Where was I?

I wound up taking some of the documents I requested from Disney at the time and dropping them (along with a transcript of voicemail) into the nanny termination file, which is really where they should have been anyway. I probably should have just gotten rid of all of it (it _has_ been over 5 years) but whenever an event results in me amending taxes, I reflexively keep documentation for a really long time. I mean, you just never know what the questions will get into.

Along with the travel folders I found in a plastic file box, I found a folder of DVC documents. I went through that and tossed everything that wasn't a deed or title insurance. That file is now a lot thinner.

I still have [ETA: one] more travel folders to do (2012-3) [ETA: only 2013 left], and there are still plastic file boxes upstairs. At some point, I'd like to at least get rid of one of the plastic file boxes via consolidation. Then I might declare this whole thing done. [ETA: I successfully emptied one of the plastic file boxes. I did this in part by putting the rest of it into my now available second drawer in my office. In practice, this is insane: several inches are taxes dating from 1986-2003. However, I'm optimistic that I will get up the nerve to actually destroy some of those. Because I really don't need to keep taxes back to 1986. I'm quite certain of this.]

ETA: I have a great phone conversation with J., now that all of our children are back in school. A. had a half day. I forgot to get cash for T.'s sitter, so I left the sitter with both kids while I went to the bank, then I walked with M.

A. wanted her nail polish removed and redone with some of the nail glitter art stuff. I'm really starting to notice differences in nail polish quality.

ETAYA: I have started shredding parts of tax files. Gives me goose bumps, it does.
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It was T.'s first day of middle school today! Very exciting! He leaves really early in the morning -- shortly before 7 a.m.

A. rode the yellow school bus today. The stop is two doors down in front of neighbors who we like, and they were out with another girl whose first name starts with A. So we had a nice chat, and the bus wasn't crazy late and A. seems to have had a good day altho she forgot she had sneakers in her backpack for PE and wore her Mary Janes instead. Oh well!

I continued purging financial files. And then I branched out into photos. One of the drawers of the two drawer filing cabinet in my office has a bunch of miscellaneous photos (a couple albums, some boxes, some envelopes, etc.). I'm hoping to get this entirely cleared out, so I can move more files down to my office. In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to reduce the amount of paper in the filing system overall, in hopes that I can maybe get a really large fraction of the active files into my 2 drawer cabinet.

As I was going through photos, I found discs with digital photos from the 2009 and 2010 J.M. photo sessions. So that was pretty awesome. I'm now only missing 2011 and 2012 (I have 2013 on already uploaded to Flickr).

It was a rainy day, but I did get one short walk.

ETA: I found the remaining photo discs. So R. and I now have caught up on uploading digital photos from the J.M. photo sessions (well, not this year -- we haven't received it yet). This feels like a huge accomplishment, perhaps disproportionately so, but it really makes a lot of this effort feel worth while.

I also went through some envelopes of photos and threw a lot of them away, but saved pictures of me, of R. and a few plant / landscape photos from hikes that really stood out. There was no organized process -- I suspect that at least all of mine are already digitized and uploaded to Flickr, and R. has his own copies of his photos, so I just kept stuff I liked enough to put in the albums. I wanted to get that file drawer back, and I have. The two remaining items in search of a home / next step in the process are a camera from my late teens with a roll of film in it that I should find a developer for to see if there is anything there, and a spiral scrapbooking supplies thing from Disney.
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Today was A.'s first day of school. T. and his sitter went to the beach. It was kind of muggy out, and it never did cool down. It was a slightly crazy day as I had a vacation planning window start at 7 a.m. that I got up early to do, then I called CASE transportation to figure out what the status on A.'s transportation actually was. I got her up, dressed, fed and then R. dropped the two of us off at the school so I could hang out with her until I could hand her off to someone else. Once I was home again, I talked to J., and then I looked at the bus schedules and called the regular transportation department to confirm what I thought I understood from the schedule. So tomorrow will be her first day on the regular school bus.

A little before 11 (which is when that window started), a guy came from Country Glass to measure the shower for a glass door; so that is progressing.

I requested a pickup for the piano that we are (finally) going to get rid of and hopefully replace. I want to get a hybrid. I found the Samick Ebony Neo, but R. was concerned about .. I'm not sure. After some discussion, and not really getting what the issue was (future proofing, whether it would "feel" like a "real" piano, should we just get a keyboard so we could move it around the house -- which had been my first plan, but he wanted an acoustic, so this was my solution to satisfy both), I finally found a Yamaha Nu1, and while he wants to visit one in a shop and see what it feels like, absent someone telling us this is a horrible idea, I think that's what we'll be getting. It seems to hit a sweet spot of quality furniture appearance, potential social hub and ability to play without disturbing others by hooking up headphones.

We've been talking about doing this forever, it seems, but I was reluctant to bring something really nice into the house and have it be destroyed by the kids. Waiting seemed like it might get us to a point where the kids would be able to play it without damaging thing. Also, the 1903 Chickering upright with the weird action that this is replacing is deteriorating pretty noticeably.

I also purged a bunch of financial files.
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Subtitled: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day

I've been meaning to review this for a while now, and of course I finally get around to reviewing in while I'm in the middle of Yet Another Decluttering book so I'll probably mix them up.

Aarssen, like oh so many writers in this genre, takes pains to explain how she didn't start out organized, she was such a slob etc. etc. but then she finally figured out a way to make this work and if SHE can do it then ANYONE can. Also, simple organizing solutions means Even Kids Can Put Stuff Away.

I'm not sure I believe it; she ran an in home day care for some years. I'm thinking there may actually be some magic.

In any advice, she has a great tone and wonderful momentum. The book carries you right along and she is enjoyable to listen to. She is relatable, and emphasizes loving what you have and figuring out how to incrementally move it in the direction you want it to go, rather than getting spending hours on Pinterest or wherever looking at super perfect things that you will never have and that wouldn't work well in your life even if you did.

It is interesting reading Aarssen and then Amanda Sullivan's _Organized Enough_. Aarssen is a big believer in incremental laundry morning and night; Sullivan has a do this stuff on one day and other stuff on a different day of the week strategy. Neither is particularly doctrinaire -- they are more about establishing habits than about _what_ habit. But I highlight this one because Aarssen is very much about daily habits and Sullivan is about larger blocks of time.

In case it isn't obvious, this is essentially a non-fiction genre that is a form of brainless mind-candy for me. Altho like almost anything that I consume as brainless mind-candy, over time I become more critical and start to question the underpinnings of the entire genre. Right now, the fact that all these books attack the Container Store (by name, mind you, in some detail) makes me wonder what on earth is going on here.
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I had a lovely phone conversation with J. from noon to almost 1:30. Thank you A., for your patience!

I had a walk with M. at 2 p.m.

The sitter came today. T. had play therapy. I think he might do that again next week, altho I'm waiting to hear back definitively from T. later on. In the meantime, A. is off a regular schedule for that, but if we want to have a session, all we have to do is reach out.

Painting the trim continues; the deck now has two coats.

I'm back at work on taking pictures of ephemera from travel binders. I did the one from this trip to the Netherlands AND the one from the 2013 trip to the Netherlands.
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Subtitled: The Relationship Between the Stuff in Your Head and What's Under Your Bed

I skimmed it. I really did skim the whole thing tho -- I didn't skip large chunks of it.

I was primarily looking for sourcing on a statistic attributed to the author (average american household has 300K things in it). I can't find it in this book. In addition to skimming, I tried a bunch of searches. If you manage to find it in the book, please tell me where you found it!

I got the book for free through kindleunlimited.

Lark is lesbian, so if you find it more amenable to read self-help books by someone you can relate to on an identity / orientation level, that information might be handy to you. The point came up in the context of her describing major decluttering episodes in her life (one was in advance of coming to terms with her identity, the other was in advance of the end of a relationship).

Lark likes Hill (_Think and Grow Rich_) and Louise Hay. I am not such a fan of these. So again, this might be useful information; if you these kinds of approaches work well for you, perhaps this book will as well.

Lark spends a lot of time at the beginning and throughout the book discussing negative self-talk and its interaction with our stuff.

As a source of "tips and tricks" for decluttering, there is little here that I found new. Of course, every decluttering book has _some_ technical information and this one was more or less adequate along those lines, and above average in terms of discussing converting decluttering into something that has subtasks and is on the calendar, not taking too much on at a time, cleaning up after each bout, etc. Lark's strengths lie in discussing what are probably depression and anxiety that maintain themselves through negative self-talk and which manifest in our physical world as clutter.

Since I spent no money and not much time on the book, I don't feel at all bad about having skimmed it. And I can definitely imagine that this book has an audience; I hope it finds it.
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The man arrived who is going to be redoing our shower. The dumpster was delivered shortly after he arrived. And the plumber arrived some hours later. I expected it to be demo only today (my assumption and my bad), but nope, plumbing happened, too. No scary surprises and only one significant discussion once everything was opened up. When the original shower was installed, they changed their mind about some things and framed the back in a bit and moved the drain from where they originally planned to put it. We removed the framing, to get a slightly bigger shower (even after doing the prep for the tiling and the tiling); drain stayed where it was. We'll have to get a new piece of board in for the ceiling but that's not a big deal. Turns out we had failed to buy a shower valve, so R. went to Home Depot in Hudson to pick that up. And with the adjustment in the dimensions, I ordered some additional tiles for the wall and the floor. All in all, a really productive day. I really like the man we hired, who I found on the internet and only finally met for the first time today. Turns out I'm the first customer he's ever had who he never set eyes on before he showed up to do the job. I'd sent him a picture of the shower, so all of that was as expected, and R. did the measurements so those were as correct as they could be until things were opened up and we understood what was going on there.

T.'s sitter was kind enough to hang out with both kids for a half hour so I could get my one mile walk with M.

I moved a case from the unfinished back into the finished 3rd floor space, where the two drawer filing cabinet had been that I moved downstairs. I then moved some of the things that had been in the hutch on the ledge into the case. I did some decluttering while I was at it. Lots of envelopes from wedding invitations with our old return address printed on them; no point in keeping those any more.

R. and I got takeout from Benjarong. We really enjoyed it. A. really hated the smell. Poor A.! I thought she was so congested from her cold she couldn't smell anything, but apparently her nose is clearing out a little bit.
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I took T. to the horse. We had lunch and dinner at home. He had leftover birthday cake for lunch. We split a frozen pizza (bold brand dairy free and gluten free -- I care about the former not so much about the latter) and had frozen baked fries. Not healthy, but also quite convenient and cheap.

I did a short walk with M. Later I did a three mile by myself. I talked to T. about doing a run for his track log book. He opted for the 3 mile and didn't even do the Windsor cut off that makes it a bit shorter. On the way, I saw a neighbor who speaks little English. We always wave and smile at each other. This time, he stopped and with a big smile indicated with gestures (pinky finger, then running in place motions with his hands) that he'd seen T. run past a little before me. So sweet of him to stop and tell me that he'd seen my son! I really love my neighbors and my neighborhood.

A. did not go to the horse; she has a cold. I did remember to donate her boots, however. Finally. They've been in the car for weeks.

T. and I ran some errands. We got cash from the bank. We got some things (tooth brush, tooth paste, tooth brush holder, face wipes) that were on his list from CVS. I got some groceries at Roche Bros. We finally donated a bag of things that I'd been meaning to drop off at the middle class guilt reduction station for weeks.
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My sister asked for Studio Ghibli movies if I have any. I wasn't planning on getting rid of any DVDs during this declutter, but, what the heck. I put them in the mail to her today. There was a boxed set with subtitles and three Disney dubbed movies.

Bighearted Books came to pick up the 3 bags and 11 boxes of books. Which was rather more than I had planned, but that's okay, too. I had to transfer them all from the second floor to the garage (ugh). And I had to scrounge around to find space for the contents of a plastic bin.

I'm going to try to learn from my walking partner and declutter the physical books a few a time from now on. I think if I did a half dozen a week, I'm at a point where it would take a couple years.

I'm currently reading two physical books:

_Succeeding with Difficult Clients: Applications of Cognitive Appraisal Therapy_, by Richard Wessler, Sheenah Hankin and Jonathan Stern. I like the idea of thinking about a person's stance in terms of dominant/submissive, active/passive, friendly/hostile. This gives them a really elegant structure for thinking about certain personality disorders, and understanding how best to develop rapport, by having the therapist adjust their stance to be appropriate for the client (which may match, or may complement), or if that is not possible, presumably helping identify a replacement therapist.

I feel like the book is pretty theory heavy, however, especially for a book with "Applications" in the subtitle.

_Discipline without Damage_

I picked this up off a discount pile at Willow books before they did their closeout sale. On the one hand, this ought to be right up my alley: attachment oriented, fundamentally anti-discipline. It's a connections oriented way to help kids develop and become healthy adults. Unfortunately, as one might expect by a book with Discipline and Behave in the title, it's probably way more structured than anything I can tolerate. I basically haven't found anything I like a lot better than _Parent Effectiveness Training_. I probably should quit trying. But in the meantime, I'm reading this, and being super picky about how she talks about Bowlby but not Mary Ainsworth (I'm so used to books focusing on Mary Ainsworth and only mentioning Bowlby, I had sort of forgotten that Ainsworth gets erased in a lot of the standard treatments). And how she seems to seriously believe that anxiety is more common now than it was in the past (!!!). And a variety of other historical inanity.

These may be the only (non)reviews I post about these books. I may not finish them. But I'm going to try to get in the habit of describing what I see that is good and not so good in books I am trying to read before sending them along to someone else.

ETA: A. and I went to lunch at Julie's Place. R. took the hutch and lateral file to Savers. A. found some sort of song identification game on Apple TV and we are having fun playing it together. We are also (for the fourth time, I think) still playing Atomic Hangman with her cousins and aunt (my sister) over FaceTime. That is weirdly entertaining, altho we had a whole string of technical difficulties today that we had to work through.
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During the day, I moved the bookcase that was in a 3rd floor dormer down to the second floor hall. I moved it into a location then occupied by a metal stand (one of two in the house, they've been used for a lot of things over the years). The metal stand stood in front of the window (there isn't much to it, so it didn't block the light much -- these stands make good plants stands), awaiting the next few developments.

I found media boxes in the basement. I unloaded the CD shelving unit in my office into the media cases. I lowered the CD shelving unit to the floor, onto a towel. Alas, I lost control of it on the way down and it hit a media box on the corner, breaking the lid and a Laurie Berkner CD jewel box, but otherwise miraculously not damaging anything else (or me). I slid the CD shelving unit over to the second floor hallways, but decided that since it was made of solid maple and the shelves don't come out, it was too heavy to move it upstairs.

I finished purging filing cabinets.

When R. got home, we moved the CD shelving unit upstairs to the dormer. We move the lateral file in my office to the middle of the room. We moved a 2 drawer filing cabinet with a pull out tray from the 3rd floor to the second floor office and I transferred what was left in the lateral filing cabinet into the 2 drawer cabinet. We also moved a short bookcase from the unfinished space downstairs to where the CD shelving unit had been.

The office shredder lubricating and sharpening sheets arrived from Amazon. I cannot adequately express how amazing these are. I am no longer worried the shredder is going to die.

We moved the lateral file to the first floor playroom. R. was thinking about maybe getting it to Savers, but we ran out of time. He also emptied the hutch that goes on top of the lateral file (it was living a separate life on the 3rd floor) and moved it down as well. I found some hardware for the adjustable shelves and put it with them. They are waiting to go out.

The boxes and bags of books are always waiting to go out tomorrow morning.

I snagged some Mickey frames and some steampunk clubhouse pals figurines from the 3rd floor to put on top of the short bookcase now in my office and to hang above the filing cabinet and the short case. I moved a couple pictures from the office up to the 3rd floor.

Earlier in the day, I had lunch at Julie's Place. T. got to make pizza at his sitter's adult daughter's place with her family. It turned out well and he had a great time.

Once all the furniture was moved, I poked around a bit figuring out what to put in the bookcase. Mostly, I'm collecting stacks of physical books from the bedroom and office, and shelving them. I'd like to get back to No Stacks of Books Anywhere. At least for a while.

Both the trash and recycling bins are full; they go out Thursday, so after tomorrow, I can start getting rid of things again. I also need to make a run to recycle / safely dispose of a bunch of small electronics.
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I _had_ a really thick (like, the better part of a foot thick) folder in my filing cabinet full of page protectors from trips; I use the page protectors to protect reservation and related information on a trip, and then I collect receipts and ephemera in the protectors during the trip. I then dump them into the file when I return.

This year, I've been instead taking pictures of the papers and trashing them, and uploading the pictures (my eyes only) to the trip's album on Flickr. I _was_ going to go through the old trips in the file folder and do the same thing, but ... there was a lot in there. I bought a phone camera stand thing to make the pictures less shaky, but as I was doing it, I kept thinking, this just does not make sense.

So I changed process, and opened up a large (was 20+ is now 30 pages) google doc in which I have links and brief summaries of vacations we have taken as a family (the links go to flickr albums and LJ trip reports, now DW). A lot of receipts (how many times have I bought popcorn on vacation, anyway?) I just trashed. But restaurant meals where there were a lot of people (8+ generally, at WDW), I logged the place, the date and the rounded total. I noted other items I thought might be interesting to me (did we rent a car, for how many days, which park did we do which day, did I get a stroller, etc.). When I ran across something that I deemed worth taking a photo of, I set it aside, and took breaks occasionally to take the photos and then trash those items as well.

The file is basically empty now. It took a while, but not nearly as long as I thought it would take. The process brought back a lot of detailed memories, which was fun. The result is narrative, not structured data, but is at least somewhat more ordered than pictures of receipts. I have a shelf of binders from trips I took by myself with this same system of page protectors; I'm thinking I could reclaim that space, too.
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The painter finally came by! I'm so excited. He's going to -- at least this is the plan -- powerwash the deck, the house, the front stoop, the brick walkway from the front stoop to the driveway. He's going to paint the deck. I am _giddy_, because we've been trying to get him (or another person recommended by someone we trust totally) to come out for possibly years now.

T. and I went to Applebee's. Then we went to the horse.

Later in the evening, I went to the hardware store to buy battery powered LED stick up lights for a couple closets and the bar. This is _so_ _much_ _better_ than trying to do things while drooling on a pocket LED light being held in one's teeth.

Shredding project continues. There is a ton of empty space in various filing cabinets and file boxes now. Consolidation should start happening fairly soon. Shredder may die, however. I ordered some lubricating and sharpening sheets from Amazon. If the shredder dies, there is an AmazonBasics I can replace it with.
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T. and I went to Sudbury BMW to pick up my i3. They replaced some parts associated with the fuel mixing in the Rex. All better now, or at least the check engine light is off again.

Then we went to Dunkin Donuts, where we discussed -- at his request -- why WW1 and WW2 happened.

After that, we went to martial arts. He was in the group, because of vacations.

Track in Boylston was canceled due to rain. So I still have book from the library I need to return. I did, however, get to go home and get A. instead and take her to Merrimack Valley Pavilion for a birthday party. Unfortunately, she got up late and had breakfast late, so she never had lunch. The arcade triggered a series of Why Won't the Claw Give Me What I Want meltdowns, amplified by inadequate calories on board. She cried through half of mini golf but was starting to get better when it was time for cake and pizza, which never goes well. I was feeling optimistic tho because they had cheeseburger sliders, but she didn't like the bun, the cheese or the patty, so I pulled the plug and we went to McDonald's. She cheered right up after she got some food in her and was sitting quietly for a little bit. Life is hard sometimes. I'm going to establish a rule going forward: no arcades for A. She isn't really interested in the games, and the Stuff machines are too frustrating.

Still working on the file purge and shred project.

ETA: I also stopped at CVS to pick up a gift card for the birthday boy; I'd had the rest of the present ready to go for a day or so. I also went grocery shopping at Roche with T.
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Some years ago, I decided I didn't want the ugly metal filing cabinets around any more. I failed. I failed because they didn't belong to me, and most of what was in them didn't belong to me. I did succeed in banishing them to the unfinished space, but I regard the whole fiasco as ... well, a fiasco.

In the course of getting my stuff out of the ugly metal filing cabinets and/or out of deteriorating bankers boxes from the 1980s or thereabouts, I wound up creating some caskets of paperwork. Some of the contents of the caskets was financial paperwork. I knew when I created these caskets that they were that: containers for the dead. And recently, one of these containers over flowed and I decided that as long as I was decluttering, I might as well take a poke at that.

One of the first steps I took was to go through a bunch of particularly bulky financial paperwork which is especially useless and just pre-emptively put it, unexamined, into the recycling bin. I sort of filled the recycling bin with this sort of thing. And that cleared up enough space I could have just ignored the rest. But I thought, what the heck. I'm here anyway. So I started reading some of the less bulky items to see what they were like. After I read some of them, I had a _very_ clear idea of whether any of it was worth saving (answer: absolutely not). So a few more cubic inches went into the recycling. The bulky and the not so bulky both had the virtue of No Account Numbers Or Addresses on them. Yay! No shredding required. The rest of the casket, not so much.

I starting to really get a handle on how much it takes to get the Staples brand shredder to overheat. And this -- in conjunction with the massive volume of paperwork cranked out by brokerage houses in the pre-bust 2000s -- is why the paperwork is in a casket instead of cross-cut and bagged and in a landfill somewhere.

But you know, I have things I can do in between shredding bouts while waiting for this thing to cool off again. I may actually get through the backlog.
walkitout: (Default)
I had a walk with M. today. I ran Roomba over most of the downstairs (not the playroom). I did some laundry and ran the dishwasher. I had all my meals at home.

There was a huge thunderstorm with lots of heavy rain. The breaker flipped in the living room, causing the network to reboot. I had to go down to the basement to turn the breaker all the way to off, and then back on again. Shortly after that, we had a full power outage, forcing me to reset the clocks on the microwave oven and the range.

I am planning a Bookcase Shuffle, that will lead to the elimination of one major piece of furniture: the vertical file and hutch (currently living separately on different floors, they used to live next to my chair but I rearranged that a while ago). I'm going to move a 2 drawer filing cabinet to where the vertical file is, and shuffle a bunch of media cases, so that R.'s CDs are nearer his computer and my files are in my office, and the printer has a place to live, but I get a real bookcase in my office. Step Zero of this project is emptying out as much as I can from the vertical file, which turns out to be a lot. This isn't, "empty stuff out to put into a different piece of storage furniture". This is, "empty stuff out into the recycling bin or donation boxes". I moved the shredded down to my office in the meantime because there was kind of a lot of stuff that really should be shredded (mostly a lot of old IEP progress reports and some old paperwork from doctors visits that I just don't see any value in keeping).

One of the things I am really noticing is that I have old organizational schemes that made sense before I really committed completely to using a password manager, getting rid of my key ring and going entirely paperless. They've become caskets of dead things. Opening them up and getting rid of stuff means NOTHING in there is from the last 1-2 years, and while I can't throw it all away, I can throw a lot of it away.

A. binge watched some Paw Patrol today. We also worked on the supplies and donation lists for school in September. We sharpened a lot of pencils, but this time, I decided we really are going to send her to school with a bunch of those gift / fancy pencils that build up so much around the house. I found perfectly acceptable colored pencils and an unused box of crayons. She still had her scissors from last year, and she had bought a couple pencil cases at Staples recently. Donation stuff (hand soap, wipes, tissues, ziploc bags, etc.) we had about half of around the house; the other half I ordered from Amazon. Amazon is back ordered on a lot of it, but I don't care when it arrives -- there is about a month before we really need it anyway.
walkitout: (Default)
I had a Dutch lesson! I got to see my instructor's fabulous new house; it is beautiful. I rarely experience any form of envy about other people's houses, because I am so smugly satisfied with my own life, but I must confess that the quiet cul de sac, the many trees, the amazing quiet -- while still close to lots of fun things -- and the beautiful house itself briefly aroused envy in my heart. I am super happy for him and his whole family, that they get to live together in such wonderful surroundings. Also, great school district for the kiddos, and kids a couple doors down for them to play with.

I walked with M., after I got home. A.'s sitter picked her up and took her to see The Emoji Movie, then out to dinner and back to the house around 6 p.m. This worked out pretty well, which is a huge improvement from last week. R. and I went to Raven. They now have dairy free desserts! They have boozy sorbet. I was going to order one, but I was somewhat full and A. was texting me to come home NOW NOW NOW. It's like separation anxiety has returned with a vengeance. Which given that she will be turning 9 in a couple of months is moderately puzzling. Maybe I should read a little about this age to find out what's going on.

My car will be in the shop until Friday; the part is supposed to arrive on Thursday. Oh well. T. and I took the car down to the middle class guilt reduction station to drop off a bag of clothing. I'm assembling a bin of things to take to Household Goods. And I purged a file box -- I purged enough out of there to nearly fill the recycling bin, which is somewhat frightening and means I have to wait to take more out until after the bins are emptied on Thursday morning/early afternoon.

ETA:

http://www.schoolbehavior.com/disorders/anxiety-disorders/separation-anxiety-in-children-and-teens/

I think I have a friend whose son went through this, actually, and around the predicted time frame (transition to middle school). But it's not really what is going on with my daughter, at least, it isn't refusing to go to school; it's not wanting to go with the sitter. And she actually has a solid explanation for why she doesn't want to go with the sitter and I share some of her issues with the sitter (that is, if the sitter had let her nose down into a game or a tv show on her iPad whenever she wanted to, I don't think any of this would ever have happened -- it was persistent overstimulation socially, auditory, and too much sun that seems to have triggered the problem, all of which is compatible with the known social limitations that my entire family has). This is why the movie worked out okay -- she didn't have to carry on a conversation, so she didn't mind being out and about for a couple hours as long as she didn't have to be "social".

I'm waffling on how much of this is anxiety related. Anxiety is definitely a factor for my daughter (and she came by it honestly, altho not directly from me). It's good to have a list of recommendations that includes, don't tell the kid one thing (just an hour!) and then change the deal on them. Knowing that this will backfire helps explain the progression of things and where we went wrong.

ETA:

https://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/separation-anxiety-disorder

This says there is a peak in separation anxiety between 7 and 9! Yay! Right on time!

It is weirdly nice to know that things are not nearly as bad as they could be. She has no trouble being in a room alone (or on a different floor of the house from me). And so far, no school refusal at all.

OKAY THIS NEXT BIT COULD BE TRIGGERY FOR SUICIDE:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11086557

I've only read the abstract / conclusions, but I think it's clear that the reason attempters don't have separation anxiety is because they are not actually attached at all. Or if they are, it's a deeply problematic attachment where it doesn't feel safe to ask for attention directly. So if your kid is thinking and/or talking about suicide and has separation anxiety, you should probably pat yourself on the back. At least they are attached to you! (<-- And this is why silver lining comments are so Unhelpful.)
walkitout: (Default)
I dropped my car off for service (check engine light, probably Rex related). Then I walked with M. After that, I worked on filling more bins with books from the shelves (to get rid of). I was trying to get another bookcase cleared off, so we could maybe permanently have the access panels on the third floor accessible (you know, maybe even be able to get at some of the outlets and things, too!).
I did succeed, altho not until much later in the day.

I had a nice, if somewhat abbreviated phone call with K. We'll have a month off from calls (sadness!) due to time zone issues getting Even Worse what with one thing and another.

I got a text from the sitter offering to take A. to the play date, which was canceled. I declined without explanation. I confirmed with A. that that was the correct choice. I had offered to find A. some math on the shelves; she was like, how are you going to do that? She had not realized that all those worksheets in school come out of workbooks, and I buy a lot of books and therefore have grade appropriate math workbooks at home. I got the first sheet of the grade 3 book out, and she definitely wanted to do it, despite having a slow start. She did a bunch of addition, and then we took a break to play with the new Lammily pajamas that had arrived in the mail.

A. wanted to go to Solomon Pond's nail place (I had reminded her of it the other day), so we did that. She suggested dinner after. She wanted to go to the food court. I figured if we did, I'd get something that she would complain about and counter-proposed Crossroads or Horseshoe. Nope. But she did accept the 110 Grille proposal. I even managed to avoid going to Build a Bear. She had the cheeseburger with carrots and celery and berry bowl, with the ice cream sundae for dessert. I had a half rack of ribs with cole slaw and a cucumber and tomato salad. Very yummy.

Once we were back home, I worked on the books a bit more. She chipped a nail, so we had to repair that. I got a second walk (the roughly 2 mile walk that starts like the 3 mile but comes back along the path). And I got the books from the bins into boxes and finished clearing off that book case so R. could move it completely out of the library into the unfinished space for storage until we figure out what we're doing with it next.

My library seems to be well under 700 books now; this round got rid of about 300, mostly being donated to Big Hearted Books and Clothing, but some going to my sister.
walkitout: (Default)
I decided that since both kids were at school and then with sitters for the day, I'd been walking with M. this morning, and my Dutch lesson was moved to Thursday (and then we wound up canceling for complicated Reasons), I might as well get rid of some Stuff.

This round of decluttering was focused on toys, for a couple of reasons. First (and probably most important) whenever A.'s toys start colonizing new areas, T. inevitably gets his hands on them and starts methodically destroying them. I don't think it is intentional; he's like that friend you have who can't have a water bottle in their hands without shredding the label. Not just removing the label. Shredding it.

Anyway. I had entirely removed her toys from the table and the island to a bin. Then I went through the bin, repopulated a very small container on the table. I then started decluttering the living room shelving and the upstairs hall and A.'s room (I'd already gone through T.'s room with him). I acquired an empty green bin along the way and started putting toys in it that are not Pink -- a green fidget spinner, a Happy Meal Minions toy that we had at least two of, a green sensory toy that lights up and has tentacles. So now T. (altho he doesn't know it yet) has a bin of his own toys to destroy. Fingers crossed.

I'm pretty careful when decluttering toys to focus first on getting rid of things that there are many copies of, and reducing the number of copies to a manageable number, and then rearranging the shelves and other storage so there are no suspicious empty spaces.

The whole process took many hours. I ran roomba downstairs, let it recharge, and then did the upstairs hall. Now roomba is doing the green bathroom. There was a _lot_ of sand from A.'s hair last night. Things look a lot better now, and the floor is no longer incredibly annoying to walk on barefoot.

ETA: I went to Julie's Place for dinner and had the new burger (bigger than the 4 ounce yet smaller than the 8 ounce. Really, the perfect size). T. and his sitter were there already; she felt awkward that T. didn't want me sitting with them. I didn't care; I just wanted to drink my drink and decompress from all the toy shuffling and going up and downstairs from the basement to the second floor. R. joined me after a bit. He rode the Bianchi. I brought the i3 thinking I'd head to Pepperell after to pick up A. We swapped, but both went home for a moment. Then he took the car to go get A.

I ran roomba downstairs and upstairs. I skipped the playroom downstairs, and the bedrooms upstairs. There was still sand from last night. After I ran it in the green bathroom, I noticed there was a suspicious amount of splatter on a part of the floor where that should _never_ happen. R. investigated and did some tightening of Things around the toilet in that bathroom and the master bathroom. With luck, that moisture is what has been attracting ants on and off for the last month or two, and the problem will go away.

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