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Apr 27

Since we’ve been packing in the past couple weeks we’ve also been attempting to rid ourselves of the clutter that tends to accumulate, no matter how hard we try to prevent it.  We really try to keep it to a minimum in the course of daily life but it sneaks up on us and suddenly I find myself with bbq tools that we inherited and have never been used, clothes that I haven’t worn in years, papers that are piling up, and all kinds of other junk. 

I’ve discovered over the years that purging is good for the soul. It makes me feel so free.  It’s nice not to be tied down to “things”.  Especially things that just take up space but serve no useful purpose.  Of course, my mother-in-law has accused me not having “a sentimental bone in my body” but this is not true. I simply like to be sure that things that I keep for purely sentimental reasons are kept to a minimum. 

Here are some of my suggestions to reduce the clutter in your house.  I’m no Martha Stewart but, in my experience, these ideas have helped:

  • Always have a box or bag dedicated to items you are ready to get rid of.  This way, if you notice something that you want to give away it doesn’t get forgotten and end up cluttering up your house for years before you finally remember to do it.  When it is full, drop it off in the Community Living Bin or at the Salvation Army or another donation site.  If you aren’t already on their list, sign up for Community Living (this is in SK) to come by your house every few months.  They always call to ask if you have items to donate and they pick up all kinds of things.  If you don’t have anything you just tell them and they’ll call you again in a few months.
  • If you haven’t opened a box in more than a year you are probably ready to get rid of it (except special memorabilia items).  People are always afraid to get rid of something in case they “need” it again some day.  In my opinion, holding on to mountains of junk for the slim chance that you might need some small item one day is a waste of space.  On the off chance that you do need something again there is almost always a way to borrow or buy the same object again.  I’d go out on a limb and say that if you’re not sure you’re going to need something again chances are good you won’t.
  • Use moving as an opportunity to purge.  Move as little of your belongings to your new home oras possible.  If you haven’t looked at or used something since you last moved, you probably don’t need it.
  • Memorabilia is tricky.  I think it’s probably fair to go through boxes of items that hold sentimental value occasionally just to see if it’s all still as “special” to you as you once thought it was.  You can’t keep every piece of baby clothing or every drawing you (or your children) drew.  You have to pick a couple things that are special and save those.  Even better, for truly special object with an important history, find a way to display them.  Shadow boxes, picture frames, decorative shelves, or whatever works. If it’s important to you, find a way to enjoy it on a daily basis rather than hiding it away in a box.
  • Label, label, label!  It’s so much easier to keep things organized if you know exactly what is in a box.  It’s easier to go through and decide what you want and what you don’t and you won’t waste as much time trying to remember where you put certain items.
  • Organize regularly when the mood strikes you.  Even if it’s just one of your cupboards in the kitchen or the linen closet in the hall.  It feels good and it will inspire you to find other ways to keep your home uncluttered and remind you of things you want to give/throw away.

So do I live by these principles?  Not as much as I’d like to.  But I know that I feel really good when I do.  I don’t know if this will inspire anyone but I actually feel inspired just by writing this stuff down. So I guess it’s just a good reminder to me.

Apr 25

This quote is from Rob Bell’s most recent book called Sex God.  I am not currently reading it but a friend is reading it and writing about it on his blog.  I find this little snippet strikes right to the heart of many issues that we deal with as humans, be it sex, eating, alcohol, drugs, money and so many other things.  Denial vs. Indulgence.  Why do we find it so hard to live in between the two extremes?

“In reaction to denial, people often head to the other end of the spectrum, which is indulgence. The pendulum swings. But we were created to live in the tension. And when you loseWeight Exercise the tension, you loseWeight Exercise something central to what it means to be human.”

Apr 25

I haven’t posted pics of the kids in a while so it’s that time again!
















Apr 23

We are now at T minus seven days til we roll out of Saskatoon.  Things are busy.  Saying goodbye can be emotionally tiring. It almost makes me look forward to actually being out of Saskatoon just so I can get on with the work of adjusting and not spend every single day realizing how much I will miss people.  Is missing a friend better than the anticipation of missing a friend? I don’t know.

I am missing blogging but I feel like I don’t have the mental energy to devote to writing about anything besides moving.  And that gets kind of boring after a while.  I am really hoping to be able to pick up with this again after we get settled in London.

But here is something for some amusement from Dooce because it reminded me of something my daughter would say:

One of Leta’s favorite ways to pass the time these days is to recite the age of everyone she knows. She loves to tell me that I am 31, that Daddy is 41, and that Chuck, he is five, and that is not very many. Whenever we ask her if she is tired she will shake her head like she can’t believe she has to explain this to us again and say, “No, I’m not tired. I’m THREE!” As if three is the opposite of tired. I’ll tell you what three is. Three is the opposite of A DISTINCTLY LIKABLE HUMAN BEING.

I wouldn’t say that last sentence is necessarily true. At least not all the time. But it’s still funny because all parents can relate to that feeling.

Apr 20

This week has been full of emotion for me.  The move is becoming real and the possibility of not coming back is weighing on me. We certainly are open to coming back but I have been facing the reality that it may not happen. I walked around my back yard yesterday and saw the day lilies starting to poke through the dirt and the buds on the lilac bush and felt so sad that I would not be around to see them bloom.  Our house is half packed and so there are stacks of boxes as a constant reminder of what is ahead for us. 

I have been sick with a cold that I just can’t seem to kick. Someone is ALWAYS sick at our house!  Seriously.  It’s ridiculous.  I’m having a bit of a hard time coping with being sick and dealing with all the mental heaviness of what we are about to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am still excited about this move.  But my emotional connection to Saskatoon is very strong.  When the SOLD sign goes up on the lawn and your belongings are packed in boxes it’s hard to ignore what’s going on around here.  So I am trying to spend as much time as possible with the friends that I love and hoping to cling to them in this next week before I have to let go for a long time.  Hope I’m not smothering you guys. :)

And one final thing:  We have some acquaintances whose seven month old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia this week.  It is an aggressive form of cancer and it sounds like her chances of survival are small. If you pray, please do so.  I had to have a good cry when I imagine what it would be like to see Kieran, who is just a few months older than this little girl, sick in the hospital with a low chance of survival.  Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate our children until we are faced with their mortality.  I am trying to be thankful for my kids this week, even when they wake up at 5 in the morning.

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Apr 13

The hubby got his laptop this week. His reward for getting into school. My reward for putting up with the neglect that was a result of his studying for the GMAT is committing to a year of neglect while he does his MBA.  LUCKY ME.

But it is fun to have this sweet little piece of technology.  We are both total Mac-whores.  What can I say?  I am writing this while sitting on the couch and watching TV and loving it!  Mmmmacalicious!!!

Apr 12

Here’s a wee quote from a blog I read that’s been kicking around in my head today:

Witnessing is what I was taught to do – to evangelize and tell people about Jesus. Witnessing assumes a fundamental chasm between yourself (as the one with all the knowledge and insight) and them (who need converting.)

The author goes on to distinguish between “witness” and “with-ness”, the latter being the simple act of being with people and being connected to each other. We should not allowing the narrowness of our North American experience to make us think we are better or smarter or holier than those who are poor or neglected in this world.  Withness is about simple caring and compassion. Not about me imparting my “vast wisdom and knowledge of spiritual things” to someone who I believe knows nothing of spiritual things.

We are mistaken if we think that Christians are the only spiritual people in the world. Or that there is no truth in the spirituality of other people in the world.  Truth is everywhere. And wherever truth is, we can all claim it. This is a little nugget I picked up from Velvet Elvis.  I have a post coming on that yet. 

Apr 12

Well, our house is officially sold.  For a ridiculous amount of money.  At least compared to what we bought it for 3 years ago. Ridiculous.  The market here is stupid. But it’s working out in my favor so I won’t be complaining about it.  I feel a bit sorry for the people who bought our house.  Don’t get me wrong. I won’t be losing any sleep over it.  But wow.  That’s awesome.

Anyway, with the house sold, the moving company hired, the last major thing in my mind is to find a place to live in London.  This has proved to be more difficult than previously imagined.  Landlords in London have proven to be less than helpful when it comes to us poor Saskatchewan slobs who want to rent their fine Ontario properties.  They have no motivation to email me pictures of the inside of the property when they have lots of prospective renters in London who can just come and see the place. Personally, I’d say emailing some pictures is less work than giving the grand tour to every Tom, Dick and Harry. But whatever.  Do they even have houses in Saskatchewan?  I thought you all made big caves out of bales of hay and ate prairie dogs.

And then there’s the little (BIG) matter of the internet. 

Dear clueless landlords everywhere,

The internet is a big place.  If you post an ad for a rental property online it does not magically disappear when you have rented said property. You must actually indicate that the property is no longer available.  Or, better yet, TAKE THE BLOODY AD DOWN!  Yes, dear landlord, you can actually REMOVE items from the great interweb.  They are not placed there for all of eternity to frustrate prospective tenants in the ages to come.

Also, pictures are important.  People want pictures. People need pictures. Especially if they are looking for a place to rent from far away.  It will save you time. It will save you money. You will not get phone calls from people like me who don’t want to rent a dump. And believe me, there are lots of people willing to rent dumps out there.  You will not loseWeight Exercise anything by posting pictures online.  You will just stop wasting your valuable time.  Trust me. M’kay?

A frustrated browser of classified ads and internet rental listings

So the hope is to cruise out of Saskatoon on April 30.  Time is running out. It’s going so fast I feel like I don’t have time to properly say goodbye.  Sometimes I think it’s better this way. Less time to dwell on the fact that we’re leaving. Other times I feel like I’m being robbed. But this is the way it is. So we keep going.  Now that the house is sold I will be starting the real packing.  Fun times. I know. You are all jealous.  Who doesn’t love packing? :)

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Apr 7

To those of you who read this blog, I have not disappeared from the face of the planet. I have many things that are blog-worthy in my life right now.  Many to do with Ontario’s stupidity and ethnocentricity unique perspective on life, the universe, and everything, and the joys of trying to find housing in London and selling a house and packing and keeping two young ‘uns from driving me off the deep end.  But I am too busy dealing with the above to blog in detail. But please keep checking in. I’ll be back soon.  Our house goes up for sale on Monday.  We look at offers on Wednesday. I expect it will be that easy.  If it’s not, well then I guess I’ll have more to blog about. Stay tuned…

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