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OK. Last ones. And I will stop daydreaming and get back to grading.

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What a week. Here are a few photos of where I would like to be transported right now. Fairy Godmother, are you paying attention?

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I hab a colb

A bad one. The last few days have been pretty much a wash. I can’t believe I have to start teaching again on Monday. More soon.

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Before: The Bookcase of Doom

Before: The Bookcase of Doom

 

More images from the Bookcase of Doom

Another Image from the Bookcase of Doom

In Process

In Process

 

 

After (for now)

After (for now)

 

close up of "After"

close up of "After"

Our living room bookcase was a total disaster (you may recognize it – we got it at a popular Swedish home store). It went from being a nice adult showcase of our offbeat taste in music, art and literature to a combination of toy repository -slash- dumping ground for anything we don’t want Buddy to touch. So the other day I committed to cleaning up the bookcase as well as doing a major toy purge in our living room.  Buddy has SO many toys and he only plays with a fraction of them. Cleaning up is a major chore and we often left the room a mess for days. Since we live in a TINY house (more on that in future posts) and the living room is our, well, living room as well as our play room, art room and often our dining room.

The result of all this purging is that my office is basically a receptacle for junk at the moment, but it is worth it because the living room is so much easier to keep neat now and Buddy really seems to like it. The bookshelf is still a work in progress – SG has plans for a better stereo set up which will hopefully take care of all the ugly wires that you see, and I have plans for more clear containers for craft supplies and so forth. I have also tried to apply the Organized Homemaker’s tips on grouping – now all of Buddy’s books are in the same place, as is our liquor and wine (so everyone is happy).

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dream home library and office

dream home library and office

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I just wrote a rambling introductory post about my long-time fascination with self-improvement programs, time-management systems, and motivational writing. Then the computer ate it. So I will post the background and rationale at some point in the near future.

The overall point is that I’ve been fascinated with the thought of making myself over into a more efficient, fulfilled, productive me for years now and along the way I’ve picked up some good ideas and recognized a lot of it for the crap it is. But the fascination remains and rather than see it as a futile quest I choose to see it as a kind of controlled optimism, believing that people (I) can change for the better even as we (I) get older.

So I was at the used bookstore the other day and I picked up three titles:

  • Leave Work Early, by Laura Stack
  • Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, by Deniece Schofield

and 

  • Collect Raindrops: The Seasons Gathered, by Nikki McClure

The first two are fairly standard self-improvement/organization titles dealing with work and home-life respectively. The third is a beautiful book of paper cut prints accompanied by inspirational words and phrases based on McClure’s calendars. 

So here is what I have decided to do. Each week I will take a section of each book (the size of the section will depend on the book and my evaluation of what will be most useful and most doable) and attempt to put the author’s advice into effect. I will then report on the results here. I won’t turn off my brain or my critical perspective during the experiment but I will attempt to do each task with good faith and to give the authors’ advice a fair shot. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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Yesterday Buddy and I went to the zoo – it is close to our house and we are members so we go fairly often. As always, much time was spent in the elephant house and yard where we watched the elephants eat, pace, and, yes, poop. Buddy is just about to turn two and has a fascination with the potty and poop although he isn’t quite sure how he feels about the whole thing yet. We are taking it slow and talking a lot but not pushing him much until he seems more ready. Here is a transcript of our conversation later that night when I put him to bed.

Buddy: Elephant Poop too!

Me: Yes, elephants poop, giraffes poop, everybody poops.

Buddy: Elephant change diaper?

Me: No, elephants don’t wear diapers – people wear diapers or poop in the potty.

Buddy: (Pause – thinking) Yeah.

Buddy: Elephant in bathroom?

Me: (laughing) maybe! I think the elephant is sleeping now. It’s sleepy time.

Buddy (confidently): Elephant in bathroom.

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