Jul 27, 2018 5:13:00 AM
Ahh, the lazy days of summer are upon us. Summer breezes calm us, the lake beckons us to lap in its luxurious warm water, the aroma of barbeque teases our noses and makes our mouths water. No cares, just relaxation.
How in the world can we think about Christmas now? And why would we want to? Well, Leroy Anderson wrote “Sleigh Ride” in July, 1946 in the middle of a heat wave in New England, so if you had a good enough reason to think about Christmas now, you could put your mind to it. We all know that the holidays require extra time, energy and money, so why not take advantage of summer leisure and get a jump on the holidays?
Here are my six best ideas to save you time, money and energy during the holiday season.
Stuff as you go. Hide a small container, like a shoe box or Zip Lock Gallon bag, for each child. When
you’re out and about and find items that would be good for stocking stuffers, like movie tickets, gift cards, little toys and books, purchase and put in the hidden containers.
Come midnight on Christmas Eve, you’ll thank yourself when you think, ‘EEgad, we gotta do stockings,’ and you’ll have most of the contents ready to stuff.
Have you ever noticed how excited your children are when they find toys they haven’t seen in several months? That usually happens when you start cleaning out their closets.
When my kids were little, I'd box up some of their toys, books and games when they weren’t around. and put them up to the attic. When I’d get one of those stored boxes out, no matter what time of year it was, it felt just like Christmas. That's when I got the idea to wrap them in Christmas wrap and store them away until Christmas morning.
Kids love lots of presents under the tree and they'll love to unwrap stuff you've let hide for a few months of rest. (When items first go missing, they’ll wonder where they went for a little while, but they probably spend a lot of time looking for stuff anyway, if your family tends to be disorganized and eventually they'll get distracted and forget.)
Why not take care of Christmas cards this summer? If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a stash of Christmas cards plugging up one of your drawers. Get them out, pretend it’s Christmas, write a tender note, address, seal, stamp and hold until December 1. Think how easy it’ll be plopping them into the mail that early!
Remember Christmas is about love, joy and goodwill. Make your note to each person about them, not about you. Thank them for being in your life. Comment on how much you love them, how much they make your life better. Wish them goodness in all their days.
Note: I’ve always said, “Unless a person is a really good writer, he or she shouldn’t write a Christmas letter which usually ends up being all about the person writing it.” That's not what Christmas is all about.
Jul 20, 2018 5:22:00 AM
When you’re late (that's just a habit), you’re embarrassed and you set yourself up for dirty looks and eye rolls from those who’ve had to wait for you or maybe your lack of time awareness has caused you to miss the last flight out, or the buss to someplace you wanted to be. When you trip in the dark over stuff you left out in the light (that's just a habit), it can mean a trip to the ER and a self-condemning sermon all the way to the hospital. When you run out of gas (that's just a habit) and you’re late to work, you pour more gas on your talent for beating yourself up than you put in your car’s tank.
When you bump up against something caused by your disorganized habits, ask yourself what baby step you might take so this bump can get smaller and smaller and in time, disappear? Get yourself into the 21-Day Game. Pick one thing to do for 21 days remembering you’ve got all the time in the world to change anything you want to change. (The 21 days is just a segment of time in which a habit is established.) Don’t put pressure on yourself. This is just a game you're going to play. There’s no contest here. You don’t need to prove your worth to anyone. Your reason to change something is so that you'll feel good because of it.
Bury the Hatchet
When it comes to getting organized, the real starting place is to make amends with you. You have to bury the psychological hatchet you’ve been holding over you for all your past misdemeanors. Give yourself a break! You’re the only one who can do it, and all it takes is an apology. Tell yourself:
I’m sorry I’ve been so mean to you when things are disorganized. You are my best friend and I love you so much. I love how much I do in spite of being disorganized. Look how beautiful the yard is! I’m a great cook and I don’t waste food. I’m doing so much right and everything is fine. I want to be more organized and I’d like to start by going to bed every night for the next 21 days at 9:30 at the latest. That’s all. Just a plan that will give me more rest for 21 days.
Going to bed at a regular time may not be the activity you choose to do for the 21- Day Game (it’s a good one if you’re not getting your rest) instead, it may be to shine your sink, make your bed, floss, walk for 30 minutes, get dressed before breakfast instead of before lunch or dinner, meditate for 20 minutes—you pick what feels right and do it. But pick something now.
Jul 16, 2018 5:40:00 AM
Practice makes perfect. Think about how you don't even have to think when you tie your shoes! But when you were learning that skill you had to use up a lot of your conscious mind to get the suckers tied.
Now, while you tie them, you can be thinking about whether or not you're going to ride the ferris wheel at the fair today or what you're going to order when you go out to breakfast this morning.
Everything that you've practice into a habit you now do unconsciously. So what are some of things you practice every day that have become habits? Do you pile papers to file later? Do you leave your cloth bags in the car when you grocery shop? Do you put your keys, purse, cell phone and glasses just anywhere?
Jul 9, 2018 6:39:00 AM
If you drive down any neighborhood street in America, no matter what the cost of the homes, you’ll find at least 50% of the drive-ways have a car parked in them. That doesn’t mean the people in the homes have company, it most likely means the garages are full of stuff and there’s no room for the cars.
I was recently on a television talk show in Portland, Oregon and I talked about how we Americans have too much stuff. The hostess of the show told me she’s embarrassed to pull out of her garage because it’s crammed full. I said, “Well at least you can get your car in the garage!” She said, “It barely fits and it's a three-car garage!”
Jul 7, 2018 2:02:26 PM
Do you have a certain day each week that you take care of items on this list?
How would you feel, if all those important elements of your life were organized on a weekly basis?
Jul 3, 2018 5:59:00 AM
When you buy a whole chicken and cut it up into parts, you end up with the chicken back, neck, rib cage and giblets. In a slow cooker, cook those remains in a quart of water for an hour, and remove to take all the meat off the bones. (It will yield about two cups of meat.) To make bone broth put the bones back in the broth that cooked for an hour and cook for up to 20 hours in a slow cooker.
That bone broth is filled with vitamins and minerals and is great to have as a snack or used in soups and sauces calling for broth.
But you're here to watch my cooking video and get the Chicken Salad recipe so let's go!