Cleaning House

We all have those little tasks that we don’t like to do, and we do them because there is no one else who will do it. I can’t afford a house cleaning service, so I have to clean my house myself, even though there are other things I would much rather do. House elves, Harry Potter not withstanding, do not exist. I wish they did. Even then, I’m not entirely sure that they would like cleaning the bathroom.

In my house, the bathroom is small. It makes it a little easier to clean, except for the tub and shower fixture. I leave those for the weekends to clean. The kitchen also is relatively small and so is easier to clean. The microwave is a little challenging because I am not a tall person.

My office wouldn’t be hard to maintain at all if I would just file. I have piles of papers waiting to be filed. I should do that at breaks and lunch, but I’m busy reading or something. That’s my problem, I can find more things to do to escape cleaning my house than anything else. It wouldn’t be hard to maintain the housecleaning if I would just do a little of it every day. that’s the key. Do it a little bit every day. A half hour here, fifteen minutes over there, it would seem like it did it itself.

How do you approach house cleaning? Is it something you obsess about or do you do a little bit every day, the way that I should. Sometimes I really wish house elves existed. It would especially helpful if they could cook.

They don’t exist, therefore they don’t cook. They don’t clean either. It’s up to me to clean the house. I nearly added that I have to cook too, but I only cook two meals per day. I don’t do dinner. My brother takes care of dinner. I do the cleanup. I have several things on my To-do list and I mark them off as I do them. It’s the easiest way to do things.

I check my list every morning, marking things off and adding new items, I try to spread the chores out over the days of the week, so I tend to do broad scheduling for the To-Do list. That way I’m not overwhelmed. It might not be the most efficient system but it works for me. Maybe it would work for you too.

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Posted in General Opinion

Five Minutes

What can you do with five minutes of free time? You can write a little bit. Do some editing. Do a bit of exercising. Think of ideas for parties, stories, or whatever. You can brush your teeth, or hair. You can make a bed. I’m just trying to make a point that time is what you make of it. I wrote this paragraph within five minutes. It’s not hard as long as you just decide that, since you have five minutes, you should put it good use. You might even be able to read a news article or short story. I am talking about flash fiction there. You can read a blog post like mine in five minutes. I have been known to get up and pace for five minutes. It adds to my activity level and is ultimately healthy for me. Five minutes is nothing. Five minutes is more than it took to bring down the Hindenburg. The point is that if you try, you can do a lot in five minutes. Measure you live in what you did, not how much time it took. Time is artificial. It’s not something animals worry about. Humans just give themselves health issues worrying about time. in the end, time is nothing.

Five minutes doesn’t seem very long. It depends on what you do with those five minutes. You can use it to write a note, a letter, an email, or even text someone. It’s not that long. You can listen to your favorite song, most are under five minutes long. You can do so much.

You can pick up a room in five minutes, by that I mean pick up things and put them away. I can write two hundred sixteen words in five minutes. It depends on what is important to you. You can do some exercising, although I’m told that you need to do ten minutes of exercising straight to be effective. I don’t know about that. I’m no expert. I do know that five minutes can be long or short depending on how you are spending them.

We are given a set amount of minutes on this earth and we must spend those minutes carefully. It’s important to separate what’s important from what isn’t. That’s easier to say than to do, I know, but we should try.

I use five minutes to free write and get ideas out. I also use five minutes to sit and recharge on busy days. Meditation is a good way to spend five minutes. You just sit and relax. Don’t think of anything. Spend five minutes getting to know your body. You might learn things that surprise you.

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Posted in General Opinion

A Few Words About Attitude

Your attitude can get you places. If you have an aggressive attitude, it will take you places, but those places may not be what you really want. You have to define what you want and then develop the proper attitude to get it. Sometimes aggression is good, other times it isn’t so good. Too much aggression can be abrasive and repel people. You don’t want to repel everyone in your life. I’m not saying that there aren’t people who deserve to be repelled, but you don’t want to be one of them.

Some people take the attitude that they should have whatever they want whenever they want it. those are the people I call the takers. They take but don’t give much. They appear to be successful, but that really depends on how you define success. What good is success if you don’t have any friends?

That’s why I think attitude is important, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. I had a good attitude yesterday, but I still had a bad day. The stuff that was out of my control is what gave me the worst grief for the most part. It’s best just to let it go. Do your best to get through it. Learn what you can control and take control of it, but if you can’t control it go with it. That’s the basis of the Serenity Prayer. It’s true. Attitude can make a great deal of difference, but I sometimes you just have to acknowledge that something is out of your control and let it go.

Don’t waste energy trying to control something that you have no control over. it’s as simple as that. that’s the secret to life. Of course, the reverse is also true. Some people sit and moan over things that they have full control over and don’t control. Sometimes we have to let things go and other times we have to accept responsibility. That’s how life works and we need to learn what we can and cannot control in our lives.

I wonder how many people out there think that they don’t have control when they actually do. I wonder how many times I have done that myself, suffered through a rough patch when I had the power to smooth it myself. Sometimes it is just hard to see that you have control when you are in the depths of a problem. That’s when you have to step aside and look at the problem. If you can just do that when things are at their worst, you can tell whether you should continue the fight or go with the flow. You always have the choice.

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Feline Freedom League November 2015 Report

From: Agent Probie To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 1 November 2015
Subject: Mission Report

I understand the need for increased security, but I have to admit that I don’t understand why we need passworks. I can never remember my passwork and I need help every time I try to write my report. Is there a way we can use paw prints to log into the system? I think that would work out the best for me. I’m sure that I’m not the only one having trouble with passworks.

Speaking of passworks, I think we should be given access to Agent Snickers’ files so that we can pick up where she left off. I think we could do a better job of picking up her duties if we had access to her files. Would that be possible? I know there is probably a lot of things in her files that we need to know. Please advise on how to access them.

I sent the messages to the agents you designated. They did not respond. Is it possible they did not get the messages? did they not have the correct passwork? They should have responded. Did they get the message? Please let me know if they got the message. It was very difficult to access that small box humans talk on, to send those messages.

From: Agent Smudge To: Mr. Whiskers Date: 1 November 2015
Subject: Mission Report

Agent Probie is being a bit impetuous or maybe just nosy. I don’t see that we need access to Agent Snickers’ personal journal, which is the only thing we don’t have access to now. she changed the password on that, as was her right. Agent Probie needs to be schooled in the proper terminology as I believe that he means password, rather than passwork. That said, I also believe that using paw prints would make our reports more secure. The admin password that allows us to view each other’s reports could stay the same but I think we could use paw prints to access the reporting system. As much as I hate to admit it, Agent Probie had a good idea there.

However, I know that paw print scanners are expensive and I will try to explain to him why we are unlikely to get one any time soon. if we can’t afford to replace Agent Snickers, we can’t afford a paw print scanner. It’s as simple as that.

As for the messages Agent Pica attempt to send to Team Harris, I am of the opinion that the messages were intercepted. The humans guard those boxes. It is silly to try to use one to contact other teams. It’s the best way to give our plans to the humans. The thing the humans call the Internet is the best way to communicate. No one knows who or where we are.

Michigan Humane Society: Somebody here needs you.

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Daydreams as a tool

My writing process involves playing scenes in my head as daydreams. I use daydreaming to play out possible scenarios in my head to try to work out the most likely outcomes. It’s like running a simulation only the simulation is in your head. I also use daydreams to get to know my characters. I daydream about their lives before the story. Sometimes I write those daydreams down as short stories that I know will never see publication. Daydreams can help to have the character before the events of the story. My daydreams help me do that.

I have also run daydream simulations when I have a decision to make. While the daydream can’t predict the future, it can help me work through possible outcomes as I see them at the time. That can be invaluable in making the decision. With fiction, it’s easy to do what your daydream tells you to, real life is harder. Make your decision based on the best daydream outcome, but don’t expect your daydream to come true. It won’t, not exactly as you daydream it, anyway.

Daydreams can be a good tool to use in problem solving as well. The process is the same as the one I use for writing scenes in my stories. You just think about the problem you are facing and daydream the results for each solution that you come up with. Sometimes a solution will present itself that you might not have thought of without letting you mind run free to daydream.

I guess I really mean, let your mind run free to find answers to your problems without judgment. They say that’s the best way to brainstorm and it’s true. A daydream can be a mental simulation of a solution that costs nothing, but a little of your time. They can have the benefit of allowing you to determine the best course of action, whether for your fictional characters, or you, yourself. That’s priceless.

When I have to with a scene in my writing, I walk away from the computer, go some place that’s comfortable, and relax. Then I start the process of daydreaming. Very often I can return to my writing and write the scene. It works for me. It might work for you.

Daydreaming has a special place in my writer’s toolbox. Just find a place where you can sit and daydream. I’ve been known to do it while people are talking around me. If a TV show that I am watching with others doesn’t hold my attention, I just let my own mind entertain me. I find it easy, with practice, you will find it easy as well.

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Freeing Your Thoughts

If you have a problem to think through, you should spend some time gathering your thoughts. It can be beneficial. Usually, I need someplace quiet, although sometimes it helps if I have music or something. There is no right place to come up with thoughts to solve your problems.

On th other hand, thoughts can come unbidden at any time. They can just flit into your head whenever they choose. I don’t mean that you can’t ever control your thoughts, you can. Once you have a train of thought, you can guide it to the solution to your problem. What I’m talking about here is the brainstorming that your mind will do if you could just relax and let your thoughts wander.

It sounds easy. All you need to do is relax and let your mind drift, however, depending on the severity of your problem, this is either very easy or very hard. I’m sorry I can’t be more precise, but letting your mind go where it will often helps you come up with a solution to whatever your problem is.

I find it’s best to go someplace where comfortable and think. I do a lot of thinking while walking in my neighborhood park. The only problem with that is that I don’t often have the option to write things down. What I should do is record memos of my thoughts. I can do that with my phone. I could transcribe them later. Another place that I do a lot of thinking is my bed. I often have thoughts flit through my mind before I go to bed, which presents another problem.

Sometimes my thoughts keep me from getting the sleep that I need. When I have this issue, I usually end up taking a very long time to fall asleep. That’s when it is best just to start writing. That gives the thoughts some place to go and gets them out of my head, which often lets me sleep. It doesn’t work all the time, but when it works, it does some a great job.

Many times, I can’t control my thoughts. They go where they will and I can’t stop them. That’s not to say that I don’t like my thoughts. They can lead me to some creative places, but I also relive things, changing the ending, which is a pointless exercise. We all have things that we would like to change, but since we can’t, it is useless to pretend otherwise. Thoughts are like that though. They are what they are and our only hope to control them is to lead them into someplace good.

I just sit somewhere comfortable and let my mind go. It wanders wherever it wants to go and I try to note what it comes up with. That’s actually the basis of free writing. Just sit and let your mind wander. I think of it as a mini-vacation in my head. That’s my favorite method of brainstorming, you may not find it as helpful. Everyone is different and that’s ok.

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Mystery, the word conjures up a sense of confusion. At least it does for me. there are many kinds of mysteries. There’s the story genre in which someone has to figure out a puzzle. There is the religious kind where you have to take it on faith that something is true. There’s something like the occult – what does happen after death? Then there is the mystery of where you left your car key or phone.

Drawn out, the word sounds like a hiss – mysssteryeee. It’s not to be confused with horror or mayhem. You don’t need either of those to have a mystery, although both could be incorporated into a mystery. A crime can be a mystery, who did it? why did they do it? a mystery could have copious amounts of blood or none at all.

Anything unknown is a mystery. That’s the definition after all. there is nothing to be afraid of with most mysteries. If the mystery is a real life serial killer, however, you should be afraid especially if you live in the same area.

Halloween brings out thoughts of mystery, spookiness, and other things we don’t know and fear. The time of the year is what brings the sense of mystery out, not necessarily Halloween, but the shorter days and longer nights. It’s dark later in the mornings now, here in the US. That adds to the sense of mystery and the unknown. What will the winter be like? In ancient times, it was more a case will we survive the coming winter. That’s the mystery there.

My favorite mystery is the universe itself. What is out there? Are we alone? is someone out there wondering if we exist? What would it be like to live on Mars? We could be on the brink of finding out. What don’t we know about the Red Planet? I’d say a lot, but then there’s a lot we don’t know about our own world, the Earth.

Mysteries can be fun. Follow the clues and find the answer. Gaze into a crystal ball. Is that the future or a reflection? How did the ancient Britons build Stonehenge? Why did they build it? What was its purpose? People rarely build things without a purpose. Even a folly has a purpose – to amuse people or make them wonder about it. What or who lives in the depths of the ocean? What is it like there?

Whatever you might think, you probably have some small mysteries in your life. You put two socks in the dryer but only one comes out. where did the other one go? did it fall into another dimension from the dryer? Why only one sock? Embrace the unknown. It’s only mysterious until you learn the answer. It is more fun, sometimes, not to know what is lurking in the depths of Loch Ness.

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