The Organizing Fool


I really like organizing and labeling things. Maybe it's the nurse in me or maybe it's that little O.C.D. tendency imprinted in my brain but I do get a certain joy out of "organizational activity".

I remember fondly when I first discovered 'The Container Store' back in the day. I had found my 'mecca'. If you couldn't find your container here, it was unlikely you would find it anywhere. Just visiting the store inspired me to organize myself silly. And, organize, I did. Boxes, files and various containers were labeled...
  • Papers
  • Shoes
  • Momentos
  • Letters
  • Work-related Items
  • Tools
  • Tape
  • Dog-Stuff
  • Kid-Stuff
  • Travel-Stuff
  • Photos
  • Organizational Tools
  • Craft-Stuff
...and then while my girlfriends were receiving gifts of jewelery and such from their significant others one Christmas, I received my first 'Brother P-Touch Label Maker' from mine. My labeling activity reached its crescendo...
You name it - it was labeled.

The problem lied in the fact that my system proved to be a little 'flawed'. 
  • Momentos -  may have included letters, work-related items, photos and/or kid stuff. 
  • Papers - letters, dog stuff, travel stuff, craft stuff. 
  • Kid-Stuff - photos, craft stuff, momentos, letters, travel-stuff 
  • Travel-Stuff - could possibly contain photos, kid-stuff  and/or letters.
So I had to 'tweak' my organizational method and become more specific in what was being contained but then the complexity of my system got the best of me.
I'm thinking I may have had a little too much time on my hands..

Despite my efforts at creating an organizational paradise around here, a familiar refrain goes like this... "Joanie, where did you 'organize' my now?" It comes from "Mr. Something". The question is delivered dripping with sarcasm but I choose to ignore it. The 'search' begins. Believe me, looking for his stuff that I happened to 'organize' somewhere does not exactly promote domestic bliss.

Should he ask for , oh, let's say... "Duke's Immunization Record?"  It could be found in "Dog-Stuff" or "Letters" or "Papers".

Reportedly, that drives him nuts.

So in an effort to maintain household harmony, I do not 'borrow' from the unlabeled 'stash box' (that he doesn't think I know about). Just a non-descript blue box that sits on his desk. Currently, it has scissors, a stapler, tape, glue, a pencil sharpener, reading glasses and some papers in it. 

Good for him.

The Texas Riviera


Beach People. 
That's us.
The mountains are great, as is the prairie. 
But, should you prop us up in a beach chair with an umbrella,
be assured that if this were our last day on earth 
...we would've died happy.
Recently, that old familiar tug of the sea came 'round and since we had a few days off from work, we headed down to the Gulf Coast - The Texas Riviera. Port Aransas is only about an eight hour drive from Dallas and it fills the need.
OK - So it's not Fort Lauderdale but I've got to tell you - parking is plentiful, the restaurants are great and you can still find affordable ocean front accomodations.

Here's the view from our room at "The Sandcastle"...

Being on the lookout for oil slicks (damn you, BP) we were fortunate not to spot any. It looks like Florida took the first hit. Interestingly though, Port Aransas beaches were covered with three to four foot swaths of seaweed. After 'becoming one' with the seaweed and accepting it as a part of nature, it (ahem) sort of 'grows' on you. Seaweed clean-up crews were in force but by the time they cleaned it up, it was back again. You get used to it.
The sand dunes in 'Port A' reminded us a lot of Cape Cod but the water was a lot warmer here than on The Cape.
Although the humidity did nothing for my hair, the trade-off was that the sunsets embraced my soul.

Walkin' Our Baby Back Home


I was reminded the other day of a time when I was young, poor and in need of a sofa.

Unlike our many of the current generation - I was, (and remain to be) totally OK with hand-me-downs, thrift-shop purchases and used merchandise.

I recall it being a typical hot and sunny Saturday morning in Dallas when my roommate, Susan and I decided that our living room needed more than one Papasan chair and a TV set.

Since the Papasan chair belonged to Susan, I took it upon myself to spear-head the search for additional seating in our duplex apartment.

Susan and I were 'cut from the same cloth' so-to-speak and could care less about style - we were looking for cheap.

Retail was ruled out - a garage-sale was the way to go. Within a couple of hours and about a mile away, our well-used but workable sofa found us - for the low, low price of twenty-five dollars! That's what I'm talking about! Ka Ching! Sold!

Not the sofa we chose - but a close enough representation
Not a 'looker' and a definitely a little worn but it was nothing that a good vacuuming, insecticide and a colorful throw couldn't fix.

But, ... "How do we get it home?" My 1976 Ford Pinto & her Mazda GLC weren't up to the task so, necessity being the mother of invention, our the only realistic option was 'walk it' home.

Bracing ourselves for catching awkward glances and a catcall (or two) from passing motorists, we stood tall, shoulders back, heads held high and picked up each end of the sofa beginning our trek home through the streets of Big D.

Occasionally stopping to take a break, we would gingerly place our new purchase down on the sidewalk and take a seat. All the while, watching the world go by while taking the taunts of rubber-neckers in stride.

A small price to pay.

Vision Boards


I saw a segment on Oprah a while back on 'Vision Boards'. Have you heard of them? I had no clue what a 'vision board' was or how to go about making one so I found Christine Kane's blog that describes the process in its entirety.

In a nutshell, a vision board requires scissors, glue, old magazines, poster board and a little free time. The point of this activity is to create a 'vision' for how you would like to see your life progress. I made mine about a year ago and I've got to tell you - it's weird. 

My 'Vision Board'

So, you might ask..."What is Valerie Bertinelli doing in there?" Well let me tell ya - last year I was 40 lbs heavier than I am today. She was my inspiration. Don't get me wrong, I am a long way from looking like Valerie Bertinelli but a girl has got to have a goal - right?

The woman musing with the caption..."Everyone Has a Story to Tell"? I began my blog within a few months of adding it to my board.

The photo of two young friends with "If you need to lean awhile..."? It was a card received from a friend after the death of my dad. It reminds me of the importance of friends in our lives and a reminder to 'be there' for them.

The screened in porch with the day bed? I would show my 'oasis' to you you, but we have a friend in it today and I don't want to kick her out of the iron day bed that I found in a garage sale last year.

A few things have not yet happened but I'm hoping...

The couple on a beach taking a picture of themselves? That's reserved for when my husband and I retire.

"O"? It doesn't look good for my dream to meet my BFF, Oprah -  but I guess I'm OK with that.

The little dog?  The couple running together? Hmmmm. OK, so my life would not be impacted much if I didn't get the little dog and I am really not one for group exercise anyway...but, I still hold out hope for the stainless appliances!

Paranoid in South America

Anticipating travel to South America was both exciting and scary. Admittedly, reports of muggings, kidnappings and police corruption go...