Spring, er Winter Cleaning

It’s time to revamp and reorganize the blog. The Skeptical theme served me well for a couple years (especially since it was literally picked at random via a random number generator).  But a renewed interest has me itching to post pictures and the old theme was too narrow for what I’d like to do.

That renewed interest is knitting, brought by my current love affair with Outlander.  And since we’re in the middle of a prolonged cold spell, it’s not too late to make some chunky cowls and arm warmers.  Look for some project photos and knitting thoughts coming soon.  As well as some additional blog housekeeping.

I'm making a pair of "garter stitch mitts" by Ysolda from Ravelry.

Almost finished: Ysolanda’s garter stitch mitts.

Throwback Thursday

#tbt:  Apparently it’s quite The Thing on Twitter.  I’ve been thinking about reblogging some of my posts from The (Old) Stream of Conscience, and “Throw Back Thursday” seems as good a day as any, yes?

When deciding what post to reblog, I took a look at my 34 categories.  How to choose?  Why, my old favorite, of course, Random.org.  (I also used it to pick the style for this blog.)  It spewed out 14, which turned out to be the ubiquitous “Life & Musings,” i.e., pretty much any damn thing.  Since the blog covered 5½ years, there were 9 pages of posts to peruse; yet, the one I chose was on the first page.

It was written on December 8, 2012, in response to WordPress.com’s Daily Post challenge, which asked “What is your earliest memory?  Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.”  Mine was easy-peasy.  (I’ve edited only slightly.)

My Earliest Trauma Memory

And how appropriate for the season!

A two-and-a-half year-old me entertains Christmas visitors.

Entertaining visitors; permanent crisis averted

Harken back to a slower, quieter time: the mid-20th century, an age without digital cameras, when it took a few months to fill up a roll of film and get it developed.

Christmas day:  One 2½-year-old went to bed the night before, thinking of Santa Claus on his rounds, and worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep for all the excitement.

But I did fall asleep, which made the night pass more quickly.

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What’s in a Minute?

One-Minute Organizer set of books is written by Donna Smallin.

One-Minute Organizer (Plain & Simple edition)

While waiting for an appointment yesterday, I came upon an interesting book called One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple by Danna Smallin.  Leafing through it, I found some excellent quick tips for cleaning out clutter and getting my home (and life) in order.  I attempted to capture its wisdom with my tablet, first by taking pictures of the pertinent pages.  When that proved horrendously cumbersome, I tried to jot down notes on my tablet, only slightly less horrendously cumbersome.  I would have used the old tried-and-true pen-to-paper method, but had no paper.

After mentioning the book to my therapist (the appointment), she told me to take it with me.  So I did—with the intention of returning it after I’ve reaped its beneits.

The book is much like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and other inspirational books, with little tidbits of help on every page.

The first chapter is titled “Getting Started.”  It discusses the importance of goals, consistency, accountability, and rewards.   For me, one tip stands out from all the others:  take care of today’s mess.  Tackle those chores that need to be done regularly, such as the daily mail, dishes, and laundry.  To those, I would add email and paying bills.

That tip was a light-bulb moment.  My to-do lists have always been about “keeping up” and never about “moving forward.”  Just that one sentence has changed my thinking.  Now I can separate those things I need to do every day from those things that will help me reach my goals.

I’ve addressed today’s mess, having cleaned and put away the dishes, folded and put away the laundry, and dealt with the mail.  Tomorrow, the goals!

 

Calling All David Tennant Fans

Yes, Suzanne, I’m looking at you!  :mrgreen:

3. Another Thing I Learned from Twitter

Cressida Cowell retweeted a notice from David Tennant ForumsCressida Cowell has a new book in her How to Train Yor Dragon series.  After seeing the above tweet and the accompanying trailer (voiced by David Tennant), I rushed to Amazon to purchase the final installment of the adventures of 14-year-old Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third and his Common or Garden dragon Toothless, only to find this isn’t the final book.  Rather, it’s a compendium of dragon species, drawn from Hiccup’s boyhood notebook.

Way to psych the public out, guys!  Which leads me to one of this posts alternate titles: Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day!

To celebrate, here’s a list of

Seven Mothers I Have Known and Loved

My mother holds Ted, her second grandson.

Grandchildren are joy.

  1. Of course the list begins with Marge Overholt, my own mother.   Because it can’t be stated too often, she was the nicest, kindest, best person I’ve ever known.  Ever!
  2. Cassie Clara Carter, maternal grandmother, middle name included for the lovely alliteration.   She once threw water on me while I was lying in the sunshine on the back stoop after lunch.  Yep, Grandma with ‘tude.  Nonetheless, if I’d had a daughter, she would have been named Cassie.
  3. Margie Overholt, sister-in-law.  Some people are born to be a mother.  Margie was one of them.  When my best friend met my nephews and niece for the first time, she said, “They really are as wonderful as you said!”  I credit Margie for that as much as genetics.
  4. Debra Overholt, “niece-in-law. ”  You know how there are some people in this world you just mesh with?  Debra was one of them.  A genuinely sweet and loving person.  She was a mother for only three years, but what a great mother she was.
  5. Christine Forsythe, sister-in-law’s sister-in-law.  Some bright and shining people leave a first impression that never fades.  That’s Christine.  I wish I knew her better, but her time has been dedicated to her children and family, as well it should be.
  6. Phyllis Nielsen, my best friend’s mother.  Like everyone on this list, she was highly intelligent, extremely talented, and most importantly warm-hearted.  She even let me have pecan pie for breakfast one Christmas!  (I was an adult, ok?)  😀
  7. Kristen Ireland, niece.  Oh no!  Mother’s Day snuck up on me and I forgot to get her a card!  Love you, Kristen! 
Honorable Mention:

The internet has given us a new kind of friend.  We may not know them in person, but through online contact, we come to know their essence, the person without the facade.  Natalie, you are one such person, and I cherish our friendship!  Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday Seven: Goals for April

My goodness, time flies when your having fun sleeping off drugs.  I have several Sunday Seven posts in the works, but they require time, care, and love to complete in the manner which they deserve.  Since I completely missed last week, let’s do something quick and dirty today.

A newly green tree adorns a calendar for April .2014

April showers bring… newly green trees.

Seven Goals for April

(No, filing taxes does not count.)

  1. Get up by ^^’ o’clock every day.  (The actual time is too embarrassing to post.)
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables.  It’s not a “well-formed” goal, but it’s good enough for now.
  3. Reboot my Kitchen Survival series, searching for healthy substitutions to The Campus Survival Cookbook recipes and menus.
  4. Post at least once a week here and once a week at SciFi Chicks.
  5. Spend 15 minutes a day cleaning out the kitchen and/or paperwork.
  6. Make one trip to Goodwill.  Should be easy—the car is nearly full.
  7. Get out and walk twice a week—preferably with camera.

And let’s not forget—no television shopping!

I think that’s a pretty good list.  Let’s hop to it!  (Easter-ish pun intended.)

[Adorable calendar found at freedesignfile.com.]

Hiccup takes Astrid for a ride on Toothless

Sunday Seven: More Dragons!

Yes, it’s another How to Train Your Dragon Sunday Seven list.  It won’t be the last.

Last June, in my first How to Train Your Dragon Sunday Seven, I listed seven unexpected or moving moments from the film.  Yet the movie is so rich in its story and animation, there were several things I missed upon first viewing.  So here are seven things I noticed upon watching the movie a second time.

Seven Things I Caught When Watching How to Train Your Dragon for a Second Time

  1. During the DreamWorks logo/credit, after the boy in the moon casts his fishing line,  a Night Fury flies across the night sky.
  2. Hiccup is left-handed.  At the time I hadn’t read any of the books, so I was curious as to why the creators made this choice.  Once I’d read How to be a Pirate (the second volume in the How to Train Your Dragon series of books), everything made sense.
  3. Gothi, the village elder, watches the teens’ dragon training session with the Deadly Nadder.  She also observes the Zippleback training session, and thereafter is joined by more and more villagers.
  4. Also during Nadder training session:  when Snotlout, trying to impress Astrid, throws his weapon at the dragon and misses, the Nadder laughs at him.
  5. Towards the end of the “Forbidden Friendship” scene (when Hiccup tries to befriend the dragon in the cove), after Hiccup has made it successfully through the dragon’s maze, his hand reaching out is in 3-D.  Since I’ve only seen the movie in 2-D, I hadn’t realized this was an obvious  3-D “gag.”
  6. When Hiccup and Toothless race through the archipelago without the aid of the cheat sheet at the end of their “Test Drive”), Toothless does a 360-degree barrel roll.
  7. After the teens arrive at the battle scene with the Green Death, Astrid throws a salute to the others when she and Hiccup peel off to save Toothless.

There you have just some of the delightful wonders this film provides.  What are your favorites?

And just because it must be said:

Only 88 days until How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters!

In a scene from How to Train Your Dragon 2, Toothless plays with a large, colorful dragon.

Could it be that Toothless has a girlfriend?

Fishlegs joins Hiccup on the back of Toothless to save Meatlug from capture.

Back on the Dragon Train!

The second season of DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk wrapped up this week, and FX aired How to Train You Dragon last Friday.  So this seems like a good time to return to my Dragons obsession.  This week we’ll look at the television series.  Next week we’ll revisit the movie, and after that we’ll take another look at John Powell’s fabulous soundtrack.

I wasn’t terribly consistent in reviewing the Defenders of Berk episodes at SciFi Chicks, but I never missed an episode (unless thwarted by electricity), and my obsession love for the franchise continues.  And so I present…

My Seven Favorite Defenders of Berk Episodes

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Sunday Seven Is Back!

Downton Abbey.  It’s one of those shows I dislike, but always end up watching.  Given the unremarkable season 4 finale of television’s Second-Most Overrated Show (Game of Thrones being the first), I’ve come up with some ideas to make next season less predictable, more enjoyable and unexpected.

Seven Ways  Downton Abbey Could Improve… But Won‘t

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Welcome, 2014

Happy (almost) New Year!  The new year brings with it the chance to reboot ourselves, however mundane or all-encompassing that might be.  It’s filled with hope, a time to start afresh, to look at our lives and figure out what needs improving.  It’s not just the standard “eat less, exercise more” routine.  It encompasses all aspects of our lives.

I stopped making resolutions years ago, but it hasn’t prevented me from trying to establish or reestablish good habits.  It’s an on-going process which lasts throughout the year.  That doesn’t mean I’m always successful or that I don’t backslide, but it’s a constant attempt to improve my life.  And it avoids that dreadful “all or nothing” thinking.

For a remodeled kitchen, I like stainless steel appliances, light-to-medium wood cabinets, and a dark countertops.

Perhaps the look of my new kitchen. [Photo credit unknown]

This year I’m hoping to remodel my kitchen.  It’s an intimidating task because I have a massive amount of preparation to do.  I started a blog called Ms Pack Brat about five years ago to chronicle my attempts to get my home and life in order, but it was more “miss” than “hit.”  Perhaps it was one blog too many.  Hell, it may have been two blogs too many, what with SciFi Chicks (where I spent most of last year).

This new year presents itself with an opportunity to renew and revitalize The New Stream of Conscience.  I certainly have plenty to write about.  Why not make this daunting kitchen remodel (and its prerequisite cleaning and clearing) a focus?  Why not write about how I adapt FlyLady’s principles to my own life?  And let’s not forget about exploring cookbooks in an effort to eat better.

Hey!  That’s a plan!

Photo credit: Small Kitchen Ideas