Thursday, September 29, 2011

Flylady (A New Mini-Series)

Welcome to my first attempt at a mini-series of sorts.  I have spoken about my love for Flylady often over the course of this blog but it has always come in bits and pieces instead of really giving you a birds eye view of what she is all about.  The best place to learn everything there is to know about Flylady is at the the Flylady website.   I am not about to take away any of her "thunder" but, rather, I'm going to share some of her basic ideas along with what I've learned along my journey with this system. 

I first met the Flylady about 8 years ago.  A friend of mine told me about this great site that helped you totally organize cleaning your home.  Well, I heard the words "organizing" and "cleaning" and was already hooked.  This 8 year journey has been just that, a journey.  I learned what worked for me and what didn't work for me plus, along the way, I started to understand the program more and more which made it easier.  I have "fluttered" my way through a few years and finally feel like I'm "flying" for once. 

Where to begin?  Well, with babysteps, of course!  If you feeling overwhelmed by your home, please take time to pop over to THIS page and read the Flylady's encouraging words.  Baby steps are just that, one small thing at a time.  If you are like me, you'll read step one and say "Seriously, that is all you want me to do", than you'll look at steps 2-10 and try to do them all.  All I can say is  . . .don't.  This system works if you take it one step at a time. 

Baby Step 1:  Clean Your Sink.  That's right, just clean your kitchen sink.  Put out a clean towel, and make sure that there isn't a dirty dish in that sink!  If you click on that link, it will take you to the Flylady page where she gives detailed instructions on how to clean your sink.  It really does work.  Now, I don't do this step in detail anymore - at least not how she describes.  For my stainless steel sink, I have found that Liquid Barkeepers Friend works miracles. 
I usually clean my sink twice a week with this cleaner.  The other days, I just wipe it out before running the dishwasher at the end of the day.  Periodically I do take a toothpick or skewer and use that to clean around the edge of the sink as well (you know - that little lip that catches all the junk!)   I do work really hard to leave my sink empty at the end of the night but it doesn't always happen.  I hate washing dishes so if anything doesn't fit in the dishwasher, it waits for the next day :-) 

Honestly, if you have never done this, it will amaze you how good it feels to walk into a clean kitchen - or at least a clean sink area - in the morning.

You are now done with day one of your Flylady Journey :-)  

Step 2:  Get Dressed to Lace Up Shoes.  Flylady is HUGE on getting dressed "to your shoes".  Basically, it is the simple concept of getting up in the morning, getting ready, and getting clothes on, right down to your shoes.  By wearing shoes, you are ready for anything - an emergency, taking out the trash, or chasing the dog down. 

Now, this is reality in my life . . .I don't wear shoes in the house.  I really don't like wearing shoes.  Instead, I keep a pair of flip flops, crocs, or other slip on shoes by the back door so I can easily put them on when ever needed.  With little hands under foot, I don't want to step on them either.  So, for me, I get dressed to my . . .bare feet :-) (I don't even like to wear socks - even in the winter!!) 

(And remember to clean your sink at the end of the day - now you have two steps down! FYI - you don't have to bleach your sink every night, just that first night.  The rest of the nights you just wipe it out and leave a clean towel ready for the next day)

Step 3: Is simply to do what we have already done.  That's right, on day 3, just do those first two things again and you are on your way to success. 

Next week, I'll talk about a whole group of steps that have to do with writing some things down and finding hot spots.  This will also start the bare bones of a control journal (I call it my Home Management Journal) 

So . . go clean your sink :-)

What I'm Reading

Olivia's Touch  by Peggy Stoks

Synopsis: Local healer Olivia Plummer is excited to learn that a doctor is coming to the tiny frontier town of Tristan, CO, but her excitement turns to antagonism when Dr. Ethan Gray demands her arrest for practicing medicine without a license. However, within the week, the good doctor manages to cut his hand so badly that Olivia is the only person who can treat it. Seeing a chance to bring the two together, the sheriff orders Olivia and Ethan to work together until his hand mends. Olivia's simple faith in a God who heals touches Ethan's soul and heart, and he realizes his actions may keep Olivia from healing others, as Colorado passes a law prohibiting anyone without a license from practicing any kind of healing. Unfortunately, Olivia comes across as a saint, while Ethan is the obnoxious, know-it-all doctor, which leaves the reader wondering why they end up together

My Review: I would like to clarify that though Olivia Plummer is deemed as a "healer" - the term really refers more to a midwife who has learned how to treat other illnesses and injuries.  She is natural at what she does.  I would also like to disagree with the above Synopsis - I did not feel that Olivia came across as a saint; nor Ethan as obnoxious.  Rather, I saw how each one changed throughout the story due to the influence they had on each other.  There was a bit of a mystery in the book that took me most of the book to figure out.  This is book one in a series and I'm hoping to pick up books 2 and 3 at some time so I can read those as well.

My Rating: * * *  I really enjoyed reading this book and would easily pick it up to read it again in the future. 

A Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling (Book 1)

Synopsis: She had promised herself that once they left the fjords of Norway, she would never look back.
The promise of free land lures Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway, and after three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America, they finally arrive at the docks of New York City. This new land promises a rich heritage for their children, and here they hope to build a good life.

After a long journey by train and then by covered wagon, the Bjorklunds finally arrive in Dakota Territory, where they settle on the banks of the Red River of the North. But the virgin prairie refuses to yield its treasure without a struggle. Will Roald and Ingeborg be strong enough to overcome the hardships of that first winter?

Proud of their heritage and sustained by their faith, they came to tame a new land

My Review:  Very simply, my review for this entire series will be the same - I love this series of books.  Lauraine Snelling is a wonderful author who is able to paint a picture of what is happening in the story.  You feel like you love the characters and fight for them at times. 

My Rating: * * * * *   Yes, 5 stars.  As I said, this series is fantastic!  I would recommend them to anyone! 

A New Day Rising  by Lauraine Snelling (Book 2)

Synopsis: The dream of their own farmstead and a good life in America had brought Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund across the Atlantic to pioneer the virgin prairie of Dakota Territory. But Roald's tragic disappearance in a winter storm had turned Ingeborg's dreams into a living nightmare. Against nearly impossible circumstances and overwhelming grief, she struggles to keep the farm and her family together.

When spring appears, Roald's distant cousin Haaken arrives to help with the heavy field work, and Ingeborg is able to once again concentrate her efforts on home and children. After the bleak winter, she cannot ignore the joy that Haaken brings to their lives or the attraction she begins to feel toward him. When Roald's brother from Norway also arrives to help the family, things become very complicated around the simple prairie dwelling!

He reminded her of a Viking of old--
could he be persuaded to stay

My Review AND Rating: My Review is the same as above AND so is the rating!  If you are looking for a great series to read, pick this one up!  I'm currently reading book three :-)