Wow, it’s been more than a year since I’ve posted. Many things have changed around here. 2010 was a pretty good year, I didn’t have to babysit hardly at all and got to work a lot on my art. Of course once I’m in Art mode, the house tends to fall by the wayside. However I’m proud to say that while not looking it’s best I have managed to keep up the dishes, trash and laundry most of the time.

You can check out my original art on my website: http://www.hysongdesigns.com A lot of it is also up on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/hysongdesigns

I will try to be a bit more regular in posting here! This past week has been a bit hectic with some extra work hours and my new discovery, Zazzle! Zazzle is a print on demand company, meaning they don’t print up the product until you order it. I got interested in it as a way of providing inexpensive prints and posters of my more expensive paintings. Turns out I’m obsessed! Zazzle has thousands of products, from t-shirts and canvas bags to skate boards and Iphone cases. So I’ve been uploading not only original art but also photographs I’ve taken and designing products. You can see my Zazzle store at: http://www.zazzle.com/maryhysong?rf=238910401647012754


So what’s up today? It’s a 15 minute day, 15 on my list of things today then 15 here on the computer updating blogs, website, zazzle, etc. In my first round of 15 I: put away the clean dishes, picked up trash in the kitchen and took the bag outside, brought in a load of dish towels, folded and put away, picked up stray dirty dishes from around the house, sorted out the laundry pile and started a load to wash, made a fire, made some tea. In the next 15 I need to go outside and cut some wood and fill the wood boxes. What are you doing today?????


Lots of us say we don’t have enough hours in a day. But we all have the same 24 hours to deal with. So why is it that some of us can accomplish so much more than others? Partly it’s in our attitude. If we are always thinking “There aren’t enough hours in a day to do all this stuff” then that becomes our reality and we really don’t have enough time for everything we want or need to  do.

It is also partly that we don’t structure our time very well. We don’t pick up after ourselves or clean as we go when working on a project or cooking dinner. Then there is a big mess to clean up at the end which takes longer than necessary.

Some of us are terrible procrastinators. Here is an article I wrote about that:    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1056250/are_you_a_chronic_procrastinator.html?cat=4

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful day.

Peace disrupted

Well, my peaceful little journey to self sufficiency and an organized life has been terribly disrupted in the form of animal attacks. Somebody around here lets their big dogs run loose and they had twice now attached my chickens. The first time they also tore open a rabbit cage and killed one of my rabbits. I had 20 chickens, 5 laying hens and 15 young chicks. I now have one of each left. Though one chick was killed by a skunk. I have shot two skunks this past week. And I’m lying in wait for the dogs to come back. So don’t let your dogs loose; they might not come home again.  I am tired, sad, mad, disgusted and depressed. I didn’t even do my dishes last night.

A New Routine

There are two things I haven’t been doing that I really need to squeeze into my mornings. One is eating breakfast so my blood sugar doesn’t get too low. The other is Swish & Swipe, or S&S for short.

Swish & Swipe is simply wiping up in the bathroom each morning after you are done in there. Wipe off the mirror, wipe the faucet and sink. Keep some water with a little cheap soap (Flay Lady even uses old shampoo!) in your toilet brush container, then just take a quick swish around the bowl. If you do it every day it really will keep your bathroom sparkly. Another trick is while you are in the shower, just before getting out, take your soapy rag and wash one wall. That will keep the soap scum from building up. You will never have to spend hours scrubbing the bathroom again, if you do these little things.

So yesterday I actually managed to do both of these before I left for work.  Now I just need to keep doing them.

I can attest from previous experience that even if the toilet isn’t sparkly clean when you start, if you will do it every day, then it won’t be long before it is sparkly. Just remember baby steps and don’t burn yourself out trying to do everything at once.

Routine Re-cap

Since I’ve re-started Fly Lady way I haven’t actually gone back and done the baby steps as she outlines them here:


But I have made a concious effort to get back to doing things when they need done. So far my mornings are pretty routine:

Get up,make the bed,  make the coffee, feed the chickens, check the rabbits (especially now that we’re having babies), some computer time with my coffee, get dressed, make my lunch, off to work.

The afternoon varies depending on how late I work and what else is going on, the minimum is:

Feed & water the animals, water/check the garden, cook dinner, clean up after.

Ideally I should be doing a load of laundry a day, a swish & swipe in the bathroom and 15 minutes of decluttering.

What’s really happening in the afternoon and evening is that I manage to clean up the kitchen 4 or 5 nights running, then seem to skip or only do part of it one night. I manage a load of laundry about once or twice during the week and then play catch up on Sunday. The bathroom hasn’t been clean in some time. Wait, I’ll take that back, I cleaned off the shelves in there back about the first of the month. But forget the rest of it. And my goal of 15 minutes a day, well, I think I’ve managed 2 or 3 sessions a week.  There are all sorts of reasons these things aren’t happening. Some of it’s work, grandkids, too much computer time, unexpected company……some of it I can control and some I can’t.

But I have to say that there are some areas that are looking a bit better than they were, even if it seems like I’m moving at a snail’s pace.

I’m not sure at the moment exactly how to step things up. Though since my daughter has dropped her Thur night class, I don’t have kids that night and perhaps I can use some of that time to work on these things.


The Weekly Home Blessing takes just about one hour and it will make your house look a lot better.  You set your timer for 10 minutes for each task. This is not a whole house deep cleaning, but rather a surface skim and tidy up.

1. cull and toss old magazines, catalogues and newspapers

2.Change the sheets on your bed

3.Dump all the trash cans.

4.Vacumm, this is not move the furniture and vacuum every where. This is just the middles, the middle of the room and where you walk all the time.

5. Mop the kitchen and bathroom. Again, this is just th middles, you are just getting the worst of the grime and don’t worry about the edges and corners.

6. Wash the mirrors and the door knobs; I like to wipe off the light switches now too.

7. Use a nice big feather duster on your furniture. I don’t have a lot of furniture, other than my book cases, so I mostly dust pictures and cob webs.

Now you might only need 40 minutes at your house or you might need 90 if you have a big house. You can do it all at once or  you can break it up by task and do a little each day. If you have a large or multi-storey house you could bless one level one day and do the second level the next. It’s up to you how you fit it into your routine and your life. I don’t have magazine subscriptions and keep very few catalogues and we usually use newspaper for fire starting, so I can skip that step.

Now you are going to say your house is soooo messy you can’t even get to some of these things. That is ok. Just do what you can do. I can’t get to all my book cases to dust them right now either, so I just dust the ones I can reach. Every little bit helps.


I make a long list of things to do every Sunday, which is the only day of the week I don’t work away from home. Of course I rarely get everything crossed off the list by the end of the day. Not because I don’t try, but either some of it takes much longer than I thought it was going to or something comes up, like unexpected company, which is what happened today.

However there is small progress being made here and there. I finished making a little house for the chicks so they are no longer spending their nights stinking up the living room. And I scored big on 2 large metal drums to store my animal feed in, so now all the feed is out of the entry way.

I’ve managed to keep up with the dishes this past week, though I did get a little behind on the laundry.

I’ve kept up with my finances too and while there is never going to be enough money to consider myself rich, I can at least pay all the bills and if I mind my pennies I can keep a little money in the bank too.