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The Shed Makeovers Begin!

Having finished with my latest house declutter, and almost finished the redecorating (only the table-topper and new – desperately needed, I might add – dish towels remain) the house, I am turning my attention toward two other spaces on our property that need a lot of help: the storage (AKA tool) shed and the Tuff Shed.

The wannabe tiny house

I want to turn the downstairs of the Tuff Shed back into a tiny house.

Whoa, what do I mean, back into a tiny house? Did you not know that we lived in the Tuff Shed for almost two years before our earth-sheltered house was ready? J extended the loft, then we insulated the shed and gave it a decorative floor. When it was ready, we stuffed B and his things in the loft and as much of our other household items into the “first floor” as we could.

Long story short: after we moved in to the house, the Tuff Shed got junky. I recently made it a lot less junky, but I decided that’s not good enough. While it will probably have to house some boxes, I want to make it look much more like a tiny house than a storage building.

Which means I need to do a serious declutter and reorganization of the storage shed to make room for the things I want to get out of the Tuff Shed.

The first step was to get rid of the six windows and storm door that we were going to use for a porch which we decided we didn’t want to bother building. With J’s permission, I posted an ad to craigslist a couple of months ago to the Tulsa site.

Finally – finally! – someone purchased them and picked them up on Friday (January 5)! Woo-hoo! That’s given me space to temporarily move some storage shed objects into the Tuff Shed, allowing me to more easily move things around in the storage shed.

And now as I near the end of this post, I’ve decided I’m going to vlog each step in the shed declutter/reorganizing process. The video below is the first vlog, so watch and enjoy!


See, I TOLD YOU Processed Foods Were Evil!

On my old blog, on this blog, and in more than one e-book I have pontificated about the dangers of regularly consuming processed foods.

For anyone who still thinks that eating processed foods is perfectly safe, the following video will give them ten more reasons to rethink their thinking. It’s a video that B encountered and watched the other day. It’s humorous and shocking at the same time. Play it and weep!



Full Of The Full Moon

During the past couple of weeks, I got a double-whammy of mood-boosting (really, busting) fun. I mentioned in this post that lately I’ve been experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder.


We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post for this important update. After publishing that post, I remembered once upon a time reading something about sunlight being helpful for serotonin production.

I looked it up, and sure enough! Sunlight stimulates serotonin – the feel-good hormone – production in the brain. Then I muscled-tested and discovered that I’ve been a bit deficient in vitamin B6, one of the serotonin-stimulating nutrients. Well!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post…


Therefore, to combat the effects of S.A.D., I started taking B6. I just happened to have some on hand. B used to take it, before he started taking a multi, and I never felt right about just tossing the pills away.

See, you minimalist gurus, it’s not always a bad thing to hang onto things “just in case”!

I felt better for a couple of days. And then…


I don’t care what scientists say. They say that the moon phases really don’t affect human behavior. They’re wrong. I mean, scientists used to think the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth, right?

And it’s not just the day of the full moon that is problematic. That would make life too easy.

No, oftentimes people (“people” meaning me, B, and J) experience the effects of the full moon (or new moon) two days ahead of the actual date that the moon is going to be officially full (or new). And so it happened this time.

Most of the time, the emotional effects of the full or new moon are mild. Sometimes I barely notice them. But this month, my perimenopausal body was giving me signs that my perimenopausal hormones were a bit whacked out around the same time of the full moon.

So it might be more accurate to say I experienced a triple whammy of mood-busters.

As a result, for three days, I wished I’d never gotten married, I hated being a mother, and I wanted to get into my car and drive to Arizona (because there’s no humidity there) and live in southern Arizona state parks for the rest of my life (because there’s no humidity there and I’m tired of housework). J was a horrible husband, and B’s existence made me feel trapped.

Plus, why the BLEEP did we move to a place with such high humidity most of the year?

I won’t tell you all the thoughts that overwhelmed me. You’ll stop thinking I’m a wonderful person and you’ll never buy another romance novel from me again. *Sniffs.*

I will tell you that I came this close to sharing some of my thoughts with J. Thoughts that would have hurt him deeply.

Thoughts that I would have regretted speaking a couple days later.

But, I didn’t. I didn’t voice the thoughts. I was a good girl and kept my trap shut. (See, I am learning SOMETHING from all these dozens of months of mood swinging!) I was, however, cold and distant. I barely kissed J, didn’t offer any affection, avoided his gaze most of the time.

One time, he asked me if I was all right. “I’m fine,” I answered while ducking to avoid the bolt of lightning.

I was ready to move back into the Tuff Shed and live there as a single married person. Or rent a studio in Phoenix. Because, of course, there’s no humidity there.

Sure, I would have to go back to using a flush toilet and an actual washing machine if I returned to city living. Aw, snap! But listen, while we in southeast Oklahoma have been suffering from average southern Minnesota early winter temperatures – including a week of miserable humidity to go along with it – in Phoenix they’ve had daytime temperatures in the 70’s and 11% – ELEVEN PERCENT!! – humidity.

Have I mentioned I’m sick of the high humidity here?

Back to the full moon. I was actually pretty proud of myself. I didn’t go ballistic, or have any crying fits. Go, magnesium! But by the actual day of the full moon – my third day of mental misery – I was begging God to do something.

And, He did. He made the next day to be the day after the full moon. And who ever has emotional difficulties the day after the full moon?

Okay, I do, but only if I happen to have P.M.S. then.

Anyway… that proves that God is not out to get me, after all. Because if I’d been God, I’d have made sure that that bolt of lightning would’ve fried me inside out by day three.

That day after the full moon, I hugged J and told him I loved him and was sorry for being so distant.

“I was wondering if you were mad at me about something,” he confessed, not having dared to hardly talk to me the previous three days.

“Only that you existed,” was my honest response.

So, now I’m back to being happy. For two more weeks.

And then, (cue scary music here) THE NEW MOON!


Decluttering The Short Bookcases

It’s easy to clutter up bookcases. You acquire some books for free (like the old Golden Book Encyclopedia set we’d acquired at our local library), someone gifts you a knick-knack and you feel obligated to find space to display it, and so on. I don’t know about you, but I am also guilty of hanging on to books that are no longer important to me, simply because I paid good money for them!

Ironically, I don’t have this problem with bigger items such as furniture. Maybe it’s because it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that books don’t take up that much space.

Anyway, in this post I showed you how I decluttered and rearranged the two tall bookcases. Now, I want to share with you how I decluttered the two short ones in the hopes it will inspire you to either do some necessary decluttering or to rearrange things in your house in a better way (interpret “better” however you want 😉 ).

Here are the bookcases as they were for almost two years:

Several of those books are books I had bought for B’s education before we decided to homeschool. The white box contains various conventional homeschooling materials, as well.

The “Math Their Way” books on the bottom shelf were sitting there because it took me forever to decide what to do with them – recycle or give away.

Now, the other bookcase. Notice The Golden Book Encyclopedia set on the top shelf.

The bottom shelf used to house the binder with recipes as well as all the DVD’s.

This not only looks messy, but also includes books I’ll never use again. Two are on rainwater harvesting, the other is a nutrition/cookbook that is decidedly not vegan, and full of cooked-food recipes.

A-hem, we are high-raw vegans now.

Notice in the next photo how the Childcraft books (also freebies from the library) are on the top shelf.

Okay, here’s the first bookcase (that had the homeschooling stuff) after I did some decluttering, and before its “final” state.

Notice that most of the homeschooling material is gone. I’m not giving it away quite yet, but I have a feeling B is going to stick to more natural ways of learning than workbooks.

Also notice that I moved my music books from the other bookcase to this one. On the bottom, you’ll see that I found another home for the headphones case, and moved the basket of CDs, which have been in the bathroom, to this shelf.

Here’s the other bookcase in its “in-between” stage:

Gone is “The Golden Book Encyclopedia” set. Gone is the “traditional foods” (i.e., non-vegan) cookbook, as well as the two books on rainwater harvesting. I also moved the binder with recipes to the pantry bookcase in the kitchen.

Note that the Childcraft set is still on top, and the DVDs are still being stored on a bookcase.

All right, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the AFTER photos!

During the transitional stage, I had the music books in the empty space where the homeschooling box had been. But in the final analysis, I decided to store sketch pads and other art-related materials and books there instead, moving the music books to the other bookcase.

The art materials used to be on the shelf of J’s old computer desk which had served as B’s computer desk for about a year. I never did like the look of that big ol’ desk in the living room area, even covered with a tablecloth (which gave me something else to launder!), so we’ve done something else for him (coming up soon!).

Notice that the basket of CDs is gone. After doing some decluttering and rearranging of a couple of other areas in the house, the CDs fit somewhere else. The photo on the bottom shelf came from one of the tall bookcases that I decluttered previously.

This was the bookcase that used to house the DVDs and encyclopedia set. Notice that the Childcraft books are now on the bottom. I did this because the bottom shelf is shorter than the top one, and so my music books wouldn’t fit on the bottom but they fit just fine on the top.

The DVDs are in the same place the CDs are.

Summing up my declutter

I had to quit dreaming. B isn’t going to go back to regular homeschooling, no matter how much I wish he would let me use my teacher training! A lot of the excess stuff in people’s homes tend to be items that they might use “someday”…but in reality, chances of that happening are slim to none.

I got rid of the books we just weren’t going to use anymore.

I decluttered and reorganized other areas of the house to make room for certain items, such as the CDs and DVDs.

I arranged the shelves in an order that made sense, as attractively as I could including adding a couple of accessories where there was room.

Need to downsize? Sick of looking at stuff that you no longer use? Your home organization not making a whole lot of sense? Want to give your bookshelves room to breathe? I hope this post inspires you to move to make some positive changes in your home!




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