Pokemon Go: Gen 2 Is Coming!

Yes, I’m still playing Pokemon Go. Yes, I like playing Pokemon Go. YES, I’m very excited about the addition of Gen 2 Mon to the game.

I finally reached the point this week where I was at the mercy of the egg … and some extended walking of some Mon to eventually get enough candies for evolution. Being at the mercy of the egg is not a fun situation to be in. When the only Pokemon you need are those that come in 2K or 10K eggs… well, your odds are slim. And that’s disheartening.

So yippee, Gen 2!!

I also thought it might be interesting to me, later, to know where I was in the game when the Gen 2 Monsters arrived. So here are some of my stats.

I’m a little more than halfway through Level 31.
I’ve caught a total of 6,157 PM.
I’ve walked 1,111.7 KM.
I’ve hatched 375 eggs.
Evolutions, 1262.
I have 12 gold medals, 11 silver medals, 4 bronze medals. (And one not to medal level, yet. Total medals available to me right now are: 28.)

Missing from my Dex in Gen 1 are:
– Hitmonchan
– Dragonite (I need 63 darn candies)
– The regional Pokemon (sigh)

Missing from the launch of the babies at the end of 2016 are:
– Magby
– Cleffa
– I’m 5 candies away from evolving the Togepi.

So that’s where I am right now. I cannot wait to catch all of Gen 2. (Not to mention the last two from Gen 1… that darn Hitmonchan, man. Sheesh.)

Cleaning House and Doing the Work

An open letter to anyone reading this who supports Donald Trump (who I will refer to from now on as “45” so that I don’t have to type his name again.),

I’ve always been a pretty moderate liberal. I was raised in the south, in a military family. Liberalism wasn’t something I was born to. I’ve occasionally voted for a conservative candidate and I’ve always felt like the way to influence others was to simply make personal connections and model the type of behavior and beliefs you’d like others to adhere to.

I’ve always felt like the “other side” deserved a voice and a platform and I’ve worked hard to give that to them. I’ve been friends with people whose experiences and views varied widely from my own and so long as they weren’t blatantly uncivil or aggressively attacking others, I felt OK about maintaining those relationships.

Quite often, this tactic worked. I’ve had many people tell me that I helped them change their way of thinking and acting simply by being who I was. I’ve had people thank me for sharing points of view and information that they’d never been exposed to because it helped them understand “others” better. I have had people tell me that they did not understand “gay people” until they got to know me and TW and were able to see us as just normal human beings with kids and jobs and dogs and a life that was very much like their own.

Everything should have been fine. Life should have gone on like that. It was good.

Except it was a lie. All of it.

I started noticing it awhile back, I don’t remember exactly when but it’s been in the last couple of years. People I thought I knew well, people I thought were decent human beings who just tended to vote the conservative ticket for fiscal reasons or religious reasons or normal reasons like that were displaying some behaviors and using language that concerned me.

So I started paying closer attention. I watched what those people “liked” on Facebook and what they didn’t “like.” I paid close attention to what they said and how they said it and I began to see the hate underneath.

I started posting more political content. I started stately plainly and clearly that “45” was not a qualified candidate. I stated clearly and plainly that the hatred he was campaigning on was not acceptable. I posted factual story after factual story and some of you got very quiet on my wall. Very quiet indeed.

It became apparent that some of you were actually going to support “45” and that was something that I could not tolerate.

If it had been any other conservative candidate, it might have been possible. But not this candidate.

This candidate is unqualified, in every way, to be president of the country that I love.
This candidate has a temperament that is completely unsuited for the position of president.
This candidate is a misogynist, racist, lying, xenophobe.
This candidate took advantage of your fear and used it against us all.
This candidate took advantage of the anger and hatred in your hearts and he used it to take control of this country.

I cannot and will not ignore this. I cannot pretend that I have any respect for people who supported (45). I cannot pretend like I have any desire to find common ground with any of you.

There is no common ground to be found.

You supported a candidate who has pledged to destroy every single thing I believe in. You supported hatred and racism and sexism and homophobia. You supported a candidate who is not qualified for the position.

I started unfriending people on Facebook, shortly before the election and have continued to do so every day. I’m sure I’ll be unfriending more of you. Luckily, I don’t see many of you face to face very often — but should that happen, we won’t be having a drink, I won’t be buying you coffee, and we won’t hang out reminiscing about days gone by.

I choose not to have relationships with people who support the calls for violence that occurred during “45’s” campaign. I choose not to have relationships with people who bought into the promises of “45” that will harm women, lgbt, minorities across the board and people who aren’t Christian.

Some of you were friends from school Some of you were friends from online message boards 20 years ago. Some of you were friends from work. Some of you are my family,

There are a million things I can do to make a difference in the lives of those who are in danger because of your votes. There are a million things I may have to do to keep myself and my children safe because of your votes. There are a million things I can do to make sure no president is ever elected by running a campaign based on hatred, ever again. And, I’m going to do those things.

The time I spent chatting with you on Facebook or playing Words With Friends with you or texting you or reading your blogs or being there for you when you needed someone .. that time will be spent on people who care about me, my partner, my children and the people of this country that you so blatantly threw into the fire with your votes.

I’ll miss you. Some of you terribly so.

If you ever come to understand just why I’m so angry and why you made such a horrendous choice for this country, I’d be happy to have a one on one conversation with you. But until then, I’m out. I have work to do.

That 70’s House: Hurricane Prep

Hurricanes are stupid. All of my birthday weekend plans have been shot to hell because of this stupid storm. WHATEVER. Happy birthday to ME and all that stuff. Poop.

Then there’s all of the rush, rush, rush to get things from the yard brought into the house or secured in some way that might hopefully prevent them from becoming projectiles that break your sliders or injure your car or knock down the stupid crepe myrtles or something.

Whatever. I took care of moving all of the things and tying down all of the other things and it’s done. Except for Mr C’s American flag that I CANNOT GET OUT OF THE HOLDER NO MATTER HOW HARD I PULL ON IT. That flag will be the death of me. Take note. In case people ask later.

We went to the dump, thank GOD it was still open. (And, I should thank the hurricane because it forced me to deal with the outdoor trash can that is full of last month’s party trash and has been growing maggots and flies for weeks. ewww.)

We went to the Post Office and finally mailed packages to Michelle, my nephews, and Sassymonkey. I chatted with the postal clerk and an old dude who came in just to tell the postal folks that he wouldn’t be in tomorrow to pick up his mail. Lol. LOL. lol. Don’t worry, though. He has his tins of sardines and crackers and bread and some tins of cat food for the kitty. He might decide to just drive north for a bit, since he has so many trees in his yard and even around his part of the lake. But he might not because he might not be able to convince the cat to come out from under the bed. Whatever. He’ll be fine. He just won’t be coming for his mail. LOL. LOL. LOL.

We went to the Ace hardware and good god it was busy. All the people buying all the candles and the flashlights and I don’t even know what else. (We got a new battery for the car’s fob, more dog food, and some bungee cords to further tie down the frame to the swing.)

We drove around for some Pokeballs (and we added our mons to TWO gyms. TWO. That never happens in this little town full of #teammystic and #teamvalor trainers.) It would be bad to run out of balls in the middle of the storm, right?

We went to the Hitchcock’s for bread and butter. They didn’t have any Kerrygold and we got the last loaf of whole wheat bread, the last bag of sub rolls, and the last bag of bagels. We also grabbed some more cream cheese because BAGELS. There were many, many people there — buying I don’t even know what since the shelves were bare. Water. Diapers. Sausage. Yea, I don’t know about the sausages, either. Maybe for a grill, if they lose power? I dunno. Country folk, man.

And the TRAFFIC! The main road, 100, looks like Archer Rd traffic or University (in Gainesville) on game day or Waukegan Rd (in Chicagoland) – except with more pick ups and RVs and less horn honking. I suspect much of the traffic is folks moving inland from St Augustine and Palatka and such.

We have TW’s mom’s special hurricane kit, which she received from the senior center for last month’s dud hurricane — full of snacky stuff we can eat if we get really, really desperate. (I can’t imagine being that desperate.)

We have plenty of water and will fill the tubs and the dog bowls and the prairie dog bottles and various pitchers and bottles we have laying around.

We have some cash and an almost full tank of gas.

All of the things are charging that need to be charging, including the hotspot and the iPhone battery back ups.

I think we probably have batteries for the lanterns. Well at least for one of them. Probably.

TW is worried that she doesn’t have enough library books. (She does.)

The dogs are worried that all of the outside things are inside and the rain isn’t stopping like it normally does.

Neighbor Frank (and his wife) were planning to come home this weekend. Now they aren’t. Smart call, though we’ll be happy to have them home again.

Hurricanes are absolutely, totally, and completely STUPID. I’m going to take a nap.

That 70’s House: The Dump

In February, when were at That 70s House for HOURS during the home inspection, we chatted a little with neighbor Frank and he spoke enthusiastically about “The Dump.” It’s so close! Just a mile up the road!

TW and I smiled and nodded and later we said things like, “Country folk are so adorable!” and “The Dump! How cute that neighbor Frank told us all about “The Dump!”

Flash forward a month and we chatted with the original owners who were over at neighbor Frank’s, killing time before the big signing. Mr. C went on and on about “The Dump.” He said things like, “It’s so convenient and it’s free.” and “It would cost me more to pay someone to haul the trash away than it does for me to just take it to the dump every few days.”

TW and I smiled and nodded and later we said things like, “I love country folk who love their dump!” and “LOL at Mr C being all thrifty and stuff.”

A couple of days later, I happily filled out the form to start curbside trash pick up via the form on the website that clearly said they handle residential trash in Bradford AND Clay counties. And, nothing happened. They didn’t reply to my form request. They didn’t call me.

We went back to Chicagoland to get things ready to move and one of the first things I did was to call the trash company to set up home pick up. The nice woman asked for my address and looked it up and said, “Oh, it looks like your pick up will be free!”

And I laughed, remembering Mr. C and his “it would cost me more to pay someone to haul it away…” comment. I was all patting myself on the back and giggling a few hours later when the nice woman from the trash company called me back and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re just over the county line in Bradford County and we can’t provide you with free service.”

I laughed again and said, “that’s ok — how much will it cost for the service?” and she said, “oh, I wasn’t clear — we can’t service your area at all.”

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. At that point, I was still laughing but laughing at MYSELF and at TW and our amusement with the old country folk who love their dump so much that they can talk about it for minutes and minutes. Hahahaha.

Once we moved in, neighbor Frank mentioned THE DUMP and the woman who manages the dump. He suggested he might go along with us to the dump the first time we visited because the woman who manages it can be a little… persnickety. Having someone vouch for us would probably make things easier. TW and I smiled nervously at each other. Hoo boy. What had we gotten ourselves into?

A couple of days later, we had so much trash… I couldn’t put it off any more so I loaded everything into my car and headed down to THE DUMP, (without neighbor Frank.) I introduced myself to the woman who runs the dump. I showed her my proof of residency. She put a little white dot sticker on our windshield and then told us her life story. (OK not her life story but some personal stuff about her health.) And that was that. It was pretty painless.

Except, every time I load the trash into my car, I feel queasy over just how much trash we use. What’s worse is we can only recycle paper, cardboard and aluminum cans. NO GLASS. NO PLASTIC. It’s… upsetting.

And, that’s why I ended up paying to repair the stupid beeping microwave instead of buying a new one. Every time I toss something into those dumpsters, I cringe. EVERY darn time. MUST CUT BACK ON WASTE. MUST.

Ugh.

Welcome to country living… I love THE DUMP! (sort of)

That 70s House: All the *#*$()#*@)$(!*! Beeping

Backstory: I hate appliances that make noise. I don’t even really like the beeping my car makes when I unlock the doors with the fob. And I very much dislike the beeping it makes when I’m backing up. Beeping is stupid. I particularly hate appliances that don’t let you MUTE the noise they make. When we replaced our microwave a few years ago our only criteria was that we be able to mute the damn sound. When TW’s mom replaced our almost dead toaster oven and bought one that BEEPS non-stop (and cannot be muted) TW suggested we trash it before we moved and purchased a proper toaster oven that does not make noise. Being thrifty and a little stressed over home buying/moving costs, I said no. So we still have that damn horrendously loud toaster oven (more on that later…)

So… we bought a house, you might have heard about that. And after all of the papers were signed and the keys were handed over to us, we happily drove directly to our new home with lots of ideas about how we might spend our first few moments in OUR new 70s HOUSE. I unlocked the door and went directly to the alarm system where I dutifully typed in the code that was provided to us by the previous owner, Mr. C…. and the damn alarm started blaring.

What? I know I typed it correctly. I typed it again. TW typed it. We pressed all the buttons and still the BLARING. OMG, the blaring. I had no phone battery so TW stepped outside to call our fabulous real estate agent and ask for help. She didn’t have the code. She called the seller’s agent and they said they didn’t have the code, (this makes no sense. You’re telling me less than 15 minutes after closing they had thrown away the seller’s entire packet which obviously included the code? Whatever.) They said they’d try to reach the previous owner and TW and I frantically pressed buttons while the alarm BLARED NON-STOP.

I had almost reached the point where I was willing to take a hammer to the thing to shut it up when it stopped. And, ten seconds later Mr. C comes ambling through the yard … he’d been at neighbor Frank’s house the whole time and had just gotten a call from the real estate agent about the issue.

Mr. C shuffles over to the alarm system and types the code into the system and umm, that wasn’t the code he had given us. LOL. He sheepishly said, “oh, I’m sorry.” and then meandered back to neighbor Frank’s house while TW and I stood there and stared at each other, waiting for the ringing in our ears to stop.

The first 30 minutes in our new house did not go as expected. And, that was just the beginning. It turns out we bought a very loud beepy house. WTF, right?

Later that same day, I used the microwave for the first time only to discover that it beeps like a SOB and there’s no way to mute the damn thing. Whatever. It’s old. Microwaves are cheap. We’ll replace it later. (Though when it broke in May, I chose to repair rather than replace but more on that in another post.) So, yea. MORE damn beeping.

Let’s move forward a month, we’re actually moved into the house and one of the first things we did was buy a new washer and dryer. I researched for a full month before purchase and ended up buying the brand, if not the exact model I’d originally intended to buy. I knew it made noise but also knew I could turn it off. But I didn’t realize the damn thing SINGS. It sounds like a high class ice cream truck. Weird… but I can turn it off, though I haven’t because it’s out in the Florida room and the brick walls block most of the noise. So far, it’s not annoying.

What was annoying was hearing a weird beeping noise when I was in the bedroom, some time in June, and not knowing what in the hell it was. Maybe it was a truck outside, backing up? It sort of sounded like that but not really. It also sounded like it was in the house or really close to the house but there was no truck outside. I investigated and never did figure out what it was. Maybe the old AC making a weird noise, as old ACs do? Whatever, the noise stopped. Until it did it again a few days later. TW and I investigated together and finally realized it was coming from… the MFing refrigerator!

Sure enough, the refrigerator was warning us that it was too warm. Why was it too warm? Was it broken? It didn’t SEEM broken? After much research, I decided it was because I’d put food that was hot in there after I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. Sheesh. MORE freaking beeping appliances. What the ever loving fresh hell?

I figured that was it, nothing else could beep. Right? Wrong.

The dishwasher went haywire and started beeping like crazy. I couldn’t make it stop. Well I could, finally, after opening and closing and pushing all the buttons finally noticing a CLEAR/RESET button and that made it stop. I have no idea why the dishwasher went crazysauce. It seemed fine. I ran it again and it was fine. Until it did it again a couple of weeks later. Same thing. No idea why it did it. The dishes were clean. It continues to wash just fine and it hasn’t beeped since then. (Though I’m sure it will beep again one of these days because of course it will.)

To top it all off, the damn toaster oven that we hate because the MFing thing beeps for five minutes after you use it, has started setting off the SMOKE DETECTOR. I keep cleaning the toaster and for a day or so, it’s fine, and then it’s back to setting off the smoke detector again. I’ve given up and just resigned myself to the fact that it’s going to beep and the smoke detector is going to blare every time someone uses the damn thing.

All the freaking beeping.

Reading in August

Well, that month didn’t go as expected, now did it? Oh well, it could have been worse, (and we did get an awesome #fakereadathon with Sharon out of the deal.) I’ll take it, particularly since I fell behind on tracking books and actually read more than I’ll show here — those will appear in September’s list, which I’ll need because life is just going to get weirder.

Total read: 16

Non-fiction: 6
YA: 5
Graphic novels: 4
Audio: 1
Cybils Shortlist: 7

When You Wake Up Unemployed…

The world is weird. Very weird.

When you wake up at 3am and can’t go back to sleep because your head is so congested you actually wish it would explode, you get up and take some meds and wander out to the deck with your phone waiting for the meds to kick in.

But, there’s only one email box to check and it’s unsurprisingly empty because you’re an inbox zero kind of person and you cleared it a few hours ago and nobody sends newsletters at midnight.

There’s also no Convo (the messaging platform your little team uses to communicate throughout the day) to check.

There are no Facebook groups or pages to manage.

There are no feeds that you need to catch up on.

The internet is always slow at 3am but it’s much, much slower when you’re unemployed.

And, when you wake up again at 7:30am and open your browser … only two tabs open instead of 12.

There’s still only one email box to check, instead of three.

There’s no spam to pull. There are no problems to solve.

The internet is apparently somewhat slow at 7:30am, when you’re unemployed.

So you wander off to mow (most of) your front lawn.

And then you get your paperwork taken care of for the company you’re no longer employed by. As you seal up the company phone and get dressed so you can run it over to the UPS drop off, you discover a small problem with the aforementioned paperwork but that’s solved within two minutes. So you drive the 1 mile to drop off the box and spend 10 minutes wandering around the little five and dime store that is home to the UPS drop off and smile because you live in this tiny little town with this tiny little store. A line scratched off of my to do list and a happy little diversion, too. #Win.

When you get home, you discover a potential issue in your inbox but even that one is resolved pretty quickly so there’s nothing left to do except file for unemployment benefits.

As frustrating as that little task is, (error messages on submit, hahahahahahaha, welcome to my life), it still only took 30 minutes.

And suddenly, it’s 4:30pm and I wonder how in the hell that happened.

An entire busy day where I worked in service to myself or my family and not my company or my community. How weird is that?

So weird, for me.

I haven’t gone one single day in the last 10 years without assisting a member of my community or a co-worker. Not one. Weekends, I worked. Holidays, I worked. Vacations, I worked. I worked the day my daughter got married. I worked the days by grandsons were born. I worked the days I moved to Chicagoland and then back to Florida. I didn’t work all day, some times it was just one email or one text message or one Convo message or five minutes of pulling spam. But I have always done SOMETHING work-related.

Waking up unemployed… crazy weird and I get to do it again tomorrow. Better yet, I get to figure out LinkedIn. Oh good grief, LinkedIn. Sheesh.

#fake

I wrote this a long time ago, on BlogHer, and since the formatting is broken and the content type isn’t one that’s used any longer, I decided to republish it here. People still ask about the history of “#fakecat” and “#fakehusband” and it’s so much faster to just point them to a post than to try and explain it.”

Lots of people are wondering why @sassymonkey’s husband is called the fake husband (or #fakehusband, since hashtags became a thing.) Since I’m the one who started this madness, I should be the one to explain it.

It’s a long and complicated story and it’s a bit of a joke. It’s also not something you should feel left out for not knowing. So, now you’re going to know.

Way back, years and years ago, @sassymonkey started talking about a cat. Her cat. Her cat named Piper. She talked about this cat constantly. She was beginning to sound like a crazy cat kid (not lady because lord, she was young back then.) She talked about this cat on message boards, on blogs, and possibly in chat rooms.

Some of us (me) asked to see photos of this cat that we heard so much about. No photos appeared. No photos appeared. No photos appeared. Thus… fake cat. She was LYING about this cat just because, well, just because people online sometimes lie about stuff. I know, shocking, right?

Finally, after YEARS and YEARS of hearing about this fake cat, she produced a picture or two. Well ya know, anyone can find a picture or two of a cat. We (I) was sure this was just some fake cat she’d made up and found photos of. No matter that she has since produced dozens and hundreds of pictures of aforementioned fake cat, and some video. The cat remains fake. Once fake – always fake.

Flash forward a few years and suddenly, @sassymonkey starts spewing stories about going away. On vacation. To foreign countries that aren’t Canada or the US with some man. Named “L”… who eventually became “Lee.”

Well ya know, people make this stuff up all of the time on the internets. And who in their right mind goes on vacation, to foreign countries, with a man named Lee who she’d never met before the day she told us about this trip? Because lord knows, if she had not told us (me!) about this man before announcing this trip, he was not freaking real.

Again, she is making this stuff UP. No matter that there were photos of @sassymonkey with a man in foreign countries. You can get a guy to do anything, pretty easily, when you’re a woman like @sassymonkey (or any woman actually.) So… this man, obviously a FAKE boyfriend.

And when they bowed to the freaking patriarchy and tried to kill me… he became the FAKE husband (#fakehusband.) And so he shall remain. Once a fake, always a fake. If she starts spouting stories about fake kids… well that might really kill me. But they’ll always be fake, no doubt about it.

Kondo ALL the Photos. Not Really, Just Kidding. I Swear

It’s been a long time since I posted a Kondo update, hasn’t it? Unfortunately, this isn’t really a Kondo update. It’s just a post about photos. All the photos. The problems related to trying to Kondo them. The things I’ve learned from Kondoing mine and watching other people Kondo theirs. And, about why this category was easy and hard and also the best of all the categories, for me.

When I read Marie Kondo’s book, her thoughts on storage of photos really resonated with me because I had a lot of photos in boxes and albums that nobody ever really looked at. Just thinking about the photos in the boxes made me anxious. Not because the job of going through them would be difficult but because I hated the idea that I’d been storing those photos that way for so long.

I did not want those photos in those boxes. I wanted them to be looked at or to be in a place where they could be looked at and enjoyed.

Thinking about the photo albums made me a little anxious, too, because those albums were a mess. I’d often taken out individual pages to scan, upload and share old, awesome photos. But, I never put those pages back. I also had pretty much torn apart some of those photo albums when I got divorced in an effort to be sure I was leaving photos for the big kids’ father. And, of there was also the problem that I had used photo albums that all but destroy photos. Who knew those sticky paged photo albums could be so damn sticky? ugh.

And then there was the whole issue that TW had a ton of photos in boxes, too. And her mother, OMG the photos in boxes.

Where TW and I had a couple of shoeboxes of photos, TW’s mom had large U-Haul sized boxes just full of photos. For 7 years I’ve looked at her boxes of photos and felt sick about them. Photos should not be stored in that fashion. If they’re dear to you, then they should be taken care of. They should be stored in a way that it’s easy to look through them.

So… I had a lot of feelings about photos. I also found myself with very little time or energy to deal with MY photos but I did it.

Michelle and I went through a shoebox full during Christmas break. Or maybe it was in January when she got stuck here due to the weather. Whatever, we did it and it was good. I went through the rest a few weeks later and really enjoyed the process of choosing the photos that truly brought me joy. I really enjoyed doing away with all of the duplicates and triplicates and of getting rid of all of the extra sheets of portrait studio and school package photos. Nobody needs six pages of the same studio photo. That’s just ridiculous.

The photo albums were harder, and to be honest — I didn’t finish those. I don’t want to destroy the photos that are stuck to those damn album pages so I’m going to need to do some real work to get them out. But I’m going to do that because the albums aren’t really a pleasure to look through when there are three pages of photos of the same oceanscape or six pages from a Christmas in 1986 where nobody is looking at the camera, you can’t actually tell what package anyone is opening and they all pretty much look the same. There WILL be joy when the I have albums or books that truly represent those periods of time through really good photos or interesting photos and that’s my goal.

I’m not sure what TW’s goal might be for her photos. She hasn’t really gone through them, yet. I did go through a couple of small stacks to get rid of the duplicates and triplicates but since I can’t Kondo HER photos, she’s going to have to do them when we move.

As for TW’s mom’s photos. That’s been interesting. It took her almost a month to go through them and decide which to keep and which to discard. We bought her one of those plastic archival type boxes to put the small snapshots into and we’ll get some of the bigger boxes for her to store 8x10s and 9x11s. I think she went through a bunch of them and wrote dates and names and locations on some of them — which is good because many of them belonged to the generation (or two) before here and TW didn’t have a clue as to who those people were. If they are important family archives then later generations need some sort of clues as to why those are important.

Which leads me back around to my own photos again.

I need to remember that when I’m creating my albums. If I have any inkling that these photos may mean something to my kids or my grandchildren or my great grandchildren, then I should make sure I leave them some clues, too.

AND, I’m bound and determined to make sure that we are all displaying photos in our home that really bring us joy. That’s a big goal for me for our new home. Come visit this time next year and see if I’ve done it.

Now go Kondo your photos. Get rid of the duplicates and triplicates. Don’t keep 16 pictures of the same tree (unless that tree really, really brings you joy.) Don’t keep 60 pictures from Christmas ’84 unless all of those photos truly bring you joy. Instead, create a visual archive of your life that really sparks joy — on every page of the album and in every picture frame.

KonMari Update: Finished. Sort of. Not Really.

I meant to write this update before 2015 ended but I procrastinated badly that last week of December and am just now catching up with everything. What I didn’t procrastinate with was Kondoing the things.

When I last updated you, we had these things left:

– Knick Knacks
– Art (you know, that stuff some people hang on walls but we generally just store in closets. sigh)
– Seasonal decor
– Sentimental things

We also had some things that we needed the children to go through and planned to have them help us out with that during the holidays: the nutcracker collection, the videos and the board games.

Where are we now? Done. Sort of.

We went through all of the knick knacks and art and made some sizable donations to Goodwill right before the kids came for the holidays. We still have a few more things to donate and we have some art and large framed mirrors and such that we’re holding onto until after we choose a new home. It’s possible that even if they bring us joy, they may not fit in our new home… we’ll review right before we move and purge again, if necessary.

We went through the seasonal items and I thought that would be harder than it was. I don’t know if it was TW’s mood or what but she found less joy than I expected her to find and it was a piece of cake to get through that stuff. (We cut down Christmas by 2 rubbermaid tubs and a cardboard box!)

We went through ALL of the sentimental things, once. We did a quick “no joy” pass on all of the things we’ve saved and there are three bins in the office that we need to go through once more to see if everything sparks joy. We also put all of the photos in one big box (except for what’s already in albums) and we need to go through those (and the albums.) Michelle belle helped me go through a shoebox and two small albums while she was here and that was kind of fun to do with her.

As for the things we thought the kids were going to Kondo? We went from four HUGE boxes of nutcrackers to two. I’d like to have gotten down further than that but…whatever. It’s not my stuff, though we’ll probably be storing those boxes for the oldest youngest child until we die.

Four of the five kids went through the games and only a small number sparked joy. I would like the fifth child to weigh in but if she doesn’t make her way over here soon, I’m probably going to just bite the bullet and discard the bulk of this stuff.

The videos that the kids originally struggled to let go of, (while I was trying to Facebook them photos asking “Joy or no joy.”), were suddenly much easier for them to discard and they agreed that I should just let it all go. I’m not sure I can do that, but it makes it easier to discard the bulk of it without worrying that they’ll be unhappy about what didn’t bring me joy. So, I need to go through the cabinet and just get that done. I think I’ll actually do that as soon as I finish typing this post.

I also realized that there are some things in one of the sideboards that we never went through because they were art or sentimental or knick knacks but since they were out of sight, I forgot about them. I’ll convince TW that we should do those tomorrow.

So really, we’re very close to being finished with this (oh, except of course for Elly’s room which we’re still working on, one small batch at a time when she’s here every week or two.) It feels good but TW said the other day that we’ve done so much but it still feels like there’s more to do. I feel that way too, and expected it. It was always sort of my plan to do another pass through all of the things as we pack up to move — and then really think about our possessions again once they’re being unpacked in our new home. I do expect we’ll let more go over the next six months or so. Not a lot, but just looking around while I type, I feel like there are some things here that don’t really bring joy… I like them, but joy… probably not.