Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The first 30 days of the Happiness Project have passed and I can unequivocally say I am starting to feel happier.  I didn't get to do as much clearing out of clutter as I wanted to but I did get rid of a large amount of stuff that I had been trying to get rid of for a number of months.  Just getting rid of that stuff felt life changing. 

Today I had my annual breast MRI.  It is always so much fun to lay in the MRI machine with your face shoved in a hole while your body is shoved in a loud, banging machine.  While you are naked.  I wore my tiara to keep me safe.  Fingers crossed!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Day 29.  Today my brother arrived.  I picked him up at the airport at 11:30am and we came back to my place.  We had lunch and then went to the area where the event is going to take place.  We needed to beat traffic.  We drove around a bit and then had dinner.  Then we went to the event.  There was a lot of standing in lines and standing around but the event was interesting.  My brother loved it.  We didn't get to do everything since we had a high entry number and it was low number got to go first.  We would have been there until 12:30 if we had waited.  He had a 6 am flight and I still had to drive home so we left around 11 pm. I drove him to his hotel and then home.  I got home at 12:15 am.  I was exhausted!

It was an interesting event.  A once in a life time experience.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 28, 2015


Day 28.  Last Friday I got a call from my brother asking me to attend an event with him.  He was going to fly into the area to attend this event and wanted me to go with him.  Today I needed to clean the house since he arrives tomorrow.  Sweeping, dusting, wiping.  Get the house spic and span for my guest.

That was basically half a day!

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Day 27. Today was a big street fair.  I went with my friend J.  We had a great time.  He is a lot of fun and low maintenance.  He just wants to have fun and doesn't care if I stay 1 hour or 4 hours.  We dance and go to almost anything.  He doesn't care that I am 20 years older than he is.

I really enjoyed being out in the sun and in the community.  I saw a few people I know and I danced!  It was fun.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Day 26.  Today is roofing day.  The roofer showed up and, hopefully, fixed the roof.  I say hopefully because we won't know until it rains.

They took some parts of the deck off and put the flashing over the gutter (it was not over the gutter all the way) and sealed it with some silicone.  Then put the deck back on.  Now we wait to see what happens when it rains.  It could be awhile since it has not rained in a long time.

The roofer got finished much faster than I expected so I could do some other things.  I was so happy.  I love it when I get "extra time".  Extra time is when you have put the time aside to do something and then that thing is canceled or completed sooner.  Then you have extra time!  I had hours of extra time because he said it would take all day and it took only one hour.  I went food shopping and to the post office and the bank.  Checked things off my list!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 25, 2015


Day 25.  I did some clearing out and then I played Wii.  I rock at bowling.  Strike, Strike, Spare!  I had forgotten how much I liked playing games on Wii.  I have to put the little dog in her cage.  I accidentally knocked her little snout when bowling.  She did not like that.  Now I put her away when I am playing.  Keep her safe from all bowling accidents.

It is nice to have all the space now that some of the stuff is gone.  I am happier with less clutter.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Day 24.  Spent part of today packing up some clutter.  I moved some things around.  I have been taking some time charting out how I am planning on moving furniture around.  Reorganizing the inside of the house.  Changing the space.

It feels good planning the changes.  It will feel even better when I can implement them.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Day 23.  I went to see the movie The Intern with a friend.  I liked it.  It had some really funny parts.  I didn't like the actor who played the husband.  He seemed drab.  But I guess you can't like everyone in a movie.  It was good for a laugh.  Plus it was free.  The best kind of a movie!

I also finished a huge work project that I have been putting off.  I spent HOURS today on this project and finished it right before I left for the movie.

I had no time to do anything else today besides work and the movie.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Day 22.  Today was such a disaster.  You know I had the raccoon attack the pond.  They tore up the greenery in the pond.  Ate a few fish.  I thought that was the worst that would happen.  I added some fresh water.  Now I realize that only postponed the horrible thing that happened.

What I found out later in the day is that when the raccoons tore up the pond, they stirred up the bottom.  When they stirred up the bottom, they stirred up the gases that are on the bottom of the pond.  Those gases will such up all the oxygen and the fish will be suffocate.  That is exactly what happened.

I came out today and there were a bunch of fish floating on the surface.  A few were still breathing a tiny bit.  One was still fully alive.  I grabbed him and threw him in a bucket.  I called the pet store and asked the owner if he knew what was going on.  He didn't.  I was worried that there was some weird bacteria.  Then I Googled it.  That is when I learned about the bottom of the pond containing some much goop and crap that is caused some gasses that can kill the fish.

I saw one fish that was still alive but barely.  I grabbed him and put him in a bucket and 15 minutes later he was back to his original color and breathing normally.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 21, 2015


Day 21.  Today I started working on a project for work that I have been putting off.  This would mean I was Tackling a Nagging Task.  It felt very fulfilling to start working on it and getting it off the to-do list.

I also had lunch with a friend.  I would check off Clear out the Emotional Clutter and Identify the Problem and Solve it on my Happiness Project.  It is always good to have lunch with a friend and talk about issues and things going on it your life.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Day 20.  I pulled out some clothes to see if any of them fit.  It was a bunch of skirts and sundresses.  I don't know why I keep them.  I never wear skirts or sundresses.  But I guess you never know.  So I keep the ones that fit.  I am getting rid of the rest.  I am also getting rid of some slacks.  There is a pile of clothes to donate.

I am still in a quandary about what to wear to this wedding.  I am not sure what the weather will be like and I kind of want to wear slacks.  But I don't have any that are appropriate.  I could go shopping.

I then emptied some water from the pond to see if I can get rid of the smelly water.  I filled it with fresh water.  I can't imagine what my water bill will be.  Ugh!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Day 19.  I decided to go to the park to a festival with some friends today.  I had to run some errands first and took the bus so I was the last person to arrive.  It was a fun time on a nice day.  There were stages with vaudeville acts and stages with music.  There was food and drink.  I brought my food.  I even brought Joy at the request of one of my friends.

When I got home I started mapping out where I am going to move the furniture when I move my office.  I think I mentioned this before.  I want to move my office from the room it is in to a larger room that has better light.  Then the room that is my office will become a guest room.  I have to move a phone line and the internet before I can move any furniture.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 18, 2015


I am so tired.  Why am I tired?  I set up sensors to tell me when the raccoons try to attack my pond.  They tried to attack the pond every 10 minutes from 12:30 - 3:30am.  I would just lay down and the sensor would go off.  I would chase them away with a hose.  Then it would start all over again.  There were 3-4 of them.  They were fighting with each other and making all kinds of weird noises.  Scarey!

I did basically nothing else.  I was so brain dead from lack of sleep.  Yawn.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I wanted to spend time de-cluttering but last night raccoons attacked the pond again.  This time they tore up more of the greenery and the netting.  The pond looks horrible.

Now I have to spend the whole afternoon cleaning things up and figuring out what to do to stop it.  I went to the hardware store and bought a sensor.  I hooked it up to a radio and put the radio in the house.  I put the sensor by the pond.  That way if something goes near the pond the radio will turn on.

I hope I get some sleep!

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


It is day sixteen of the Happiness Project.  I had free movie tickets to see Everest and went to see it with a friend.  It was great to catch up with him.  Plus the movie was really good.  Since it was free, I was not expecting too much.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It was beautiful and nail-biting at the same time.  I will not be climbing Everest.  I can mark that off my bucket list!  Too dangerous.  This whole experience made me happy.

I have been doing really well with some parts of the clutter clean up this month.  It is half way through the month and I have yet to clear out any clutter.  I have been very good at keeping any new clutter from appearing. I have been doing the evening tidy up and the "one-minute rule" to keep the house clean each day.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Day Fifteen.
Today was not very productive.  I don't know what I have or what I ate but my stomach has been upset for days now.  Today I had an ankle doc appointment and I could barely eat before I went.  The doc has decided I should try shoes where my heel is lower than my foot.  Like earth shoes or Birkenstocks.  I am not thrilled about this because those shoes are not very stylish.  I am crunchy but not that crunchy.

I did make some outstanding phone calls and tried to set up some appointments.  I found out moving my office to the back room may take longer than anticipated.  Getting the internet and phone moved will take longer than I thought.  I can't have an office without a phone and internet.

Today I spent the whole day thinking it was Wednesday.  It is Tuesday.  I even emailed a client asking for something stating a deadline that is tomorrow but I said it was today.  Then I texted a friend apologizing for forgetting a date today that is tomorrow.  I may be too tired.  I may be too busy.  It may be a vacation hangover.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 14, 2015


Day Fourteen is a slow day.  Not only is it an overcast day, but I still don't feel well.  I worked a little and I ran to the pharmacy for my meds.  Then I wanted soup really bad.  So I stopped off for some pho.  Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup.  It is a little bit spicy which is great when you have a head cold.  It come in a vegetarian version.  It has a vegetable broth with veggies, tofu, basil, cilantro, and noodles.  If you like it really hot there is jalapeno too.  It is awesome when you don't feel well.  It was just what I needed today.  There is so much I had some for lunch and have enough for dinner. 

Today was a day of rest and making phone calls.  I took care of Nagging Tasks.  I called for a doctor's appointment, followed up on my MRI, contacted my internet provider to move my internet connection, and ordered medicine. 

I just went outside and it is raining.  Well, not really raining but there are rain drops but more like a mist.  The ground is wet.  The dogs are cranky.  How exciting!  It is not enough to help the trees but it will get the dog pee smell off the sidewalks.  Here on the west coast we are not allowed the wash our sidewalks unless there is a safety or medical reason (blood on the sidewalk, someone gets sick, or there is a fluid on the sidewalk that will cause someone to fall.) I get nasty looks when I clean out my bird cage in front of the house!  But I have to clean the cage or the bird can get diseases.  We are not supposed to wash our cars, water our lawns or plants, or wash the house or windows.  Everything is dirty!  We can't wait for rain. 

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 13, 2015


What happened on day thirteen?  I will be honest.  Not too much de-cluttering. 

1. I unpacked my replacement lamps.  The other lamps had a problem and I had to send them back.  I unboxed the lamps and put them together.  Then cleaned up all the Styrofoam mess and put it all back in the box.  I hate the Styrofoam mess.  Those little pieces get stuck everywhere.  Then I put the new lamps in the bedroom and just looked at them.  I love them. 

2. Then I tried on some clothes.  I have to go to a function and I need to wear some fancy clothes.  No my jeans, t-shirt and biking pullover that I wear almost every day will not cut it for this event.  Since I lost the weight, I don't really fit in most of my clothes anymore.  So I dragged out some clothes I have not worn in 15 years.  Some of the clothes still have the tags on them.  I found two outfits that fit and are appropriate.  The dress code is smart casual.  I am not sure what that means but I think it means for men slacks and a dress shirt.  I will have to consult with a professional about what I should wear.  I also think the shoes, bag and jewelry can dress anything up or down.  While going through the clothes I found clothes that are way too big and can be put in "storage".  I call the back of the closet or in a bin, storage.  I only keep expensive stuff like dressed or slacks or suits.  The rest can be donated.

3. Something attacked the pond.  I am not sure what it is so I put out the security system.  That means putting items around the pond so the heron can't get to it.  If it is the heron.  Whatever it is, it tore up the greenery in the pond and got a fish.  All that was left was a fish scale on the slate.  The other fish were terrorized. 

4. I also went to a vegan festival with a friend.  I didn't get what I normally get (the humus bowl) and it was a disaster.  I got a japanese burrito and it tasted like fish. Yuck!  I took three bites and I threw it away.  My friend got the humus and and I ate her pita bread.  We also got fresh soy ice cream.  I got the cherry chip.  Yum!   I think the burrito made me sick later in the evening.  I feel sick now.  Ugh!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Hey it is day twelve of the Happiness Project.  Today I got many smiles on my chart.  If you read yesterday you saw my Happiness Project chart.  Each day I mark down what tasks I complete.  Today I worked on:

  • Clearing out the emotional clutter
  • Tackled a nagging task
  • Used my To Do List
  • Followed the One Minute Rule
  • Observed the Evening Tidy up Rule
I took care of buying a battery and putting it in something that has been needing it for a week and asked neighbors to help me with a task in order to satisfy tackling a nagging task.  I had a To Do List when I went shopping and to run my errands.  I had time while on the phone and while cooking dinner to open mail and recycle the necessary parts for my One Minute Rule.  I did my evening tidy up before I went downstairs.  A good day!

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 11, 2015


Today is day eleven of the Happiness Project.  I am moving forward with the project now that I am back from my trip.  Today I am using the To Do List to move forward with the things I need to get accomplished.  I have a million things to do and I want to get them done.  Items to frame.  Vendors to contact.  Things to move.  Decisions to make.  Lots of lists to keep me on target.  Least of all, food to shop for.

I am really hoping that clearing away the emotional clutter and the physical clutter will help make me have less flares and sick time.   Less stress.  Better sleep.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Today is day ten of the Happiness Project.  I posted my September chart of happiness.  So far I have been working on my emotional clutter.  Today I tackled a nagging task.  I had some outstanding project with a client and I have been procrastinating dealing with it.  I have been procrastinating and procrastinating for two months.  Today I finally emailed the client and asked for the item they owed me so I could finish the project.  They were happy to hear from me.  I thought they would be angry which is why I procrastinated.  Another reason not to procrastinate.  You never know what will happen and it makes no sense to assume you do.

I have also been working on Observing the Evening Tidy Up.  That means that before I go to bed or go downstairs, I go around and pick up any items that are lying around.  Hang up a coat, put my keys in the bowl, dishes in dishwasher, shoes by front door, and mail recycled or dealt with.  That keeps the house tidy and I don't have to do as much in one big clean up .

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Today is day nine of the happiness project.  I arrived home from my trip today.  Usually I would drop all of my bags and things and sit down.  Today I tried a new way.  I took the items from the car and took them to the room where they belonged.  I immediately put the food away.  Then I put the CDs away. (yes, I have a car that takes CDs.)  Then I put away the items in my office: umbrella, tripod, backpack.  Then when I was watching TV, I unpacked my suitcase and put everything away.  I unpacked my bathroom bag and medicines.  Next thing I knew I was all unpacked.

It felt good to have it all done.  Then I ordered food to be delivered.  After I ate, I made the bed and put out the clean towels.  Everything was done but the laundry.  Since it was so darn hot, I am waiting on that.

Here are the last of the photos with Joy.

Joy having grapefruit with brulee
Joy enjoying a sunny day with the top down!

Finally at home.  Time to relax!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Today is day eight of the Happiness Project. Almost home and the closer I get the more I am thinking about how things will be different.  How I want to rearrange the house.  How I want to do things differently.  It all seems to easy in my head.  It is just so much harder in real life. 

On a side note I heard this weekend that my very young niece has a very serious eye problem that has required her to be hospitalized and all sorts of specialists to be called in.  Folks have been asked not to call and my sister-in-law is posting information on her blog so she doesn't have to keep repeating stuff.  I am respecting their wishes and send them my thoughts.

Joy at the Rogue River.
Lunch at a Rest Stop.
The Peerless Inn in Ashland.
Ring shopping in Ashland. Joy bought a beautiful Oregon Sunstone.
Best Vegan Milkshake!!
Joy is enjoying another vegan burger. 
Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 7, 2015


Today is the seventh day of the Happiness Project.  This trip is making it easy to feel less cluttered.  I have been sleeping deeply.  I actually slept past 6:15 am.  I am spending a lot of time thinking about my project and can't wait to get home to actually work on it.  Meanwhile we can enjoy Joy's journey.

Joy is enjoying a glass of micro beer.
Joy is at the otter tank.  That is an otter of Joy's left shoulder.
Joy is at an ocean blow hole.  She is also enjoying the afternoon at the beach.  The wind has picked up her dress. Naughty girl!
Until tomorrow...

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Today is the sixth day of the Happiness Project.  I had a rough day yesterday after doing so many things.  I went to see sea lions that were not there.  I saw a lighthouse, a churn, and went to lunch.  It was a packed day and I was out in the sun for too long.  Today we saw a lot but I stayed out of the sun for the most part. 

I have been thinking about my plan to reorganize the house.  I want to switch things up a bit and I have been planning things in my head.  I have to see if any of my plans will work once I get back.

Thai food for lunch. Joy likes her food spicy.
Joy took a hike up to this waterfall.
Joy enjoyed watching these ATVers. 
Another view enjoyed by Joy.
Joy needed to buy groceries for dinner.  She was making vegan and non-vegan pizza.
Until tomorrow...

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Today is day five of the happiness project.  I took a lot of stuff with me.  I kept telling myself that it didn't matter since I was driving and I could take as much as I wanted.  I think that worked against me.  I never read a magazine and I took three.  I took two books to write in and I never wrote a word.  I took my tennis sneakers and I never wore them.  I took more audio books than I could listen to in two trips.  I could have pared my stuff down a bit and had less to carry.  The lesson is just because you have the room doesn't mean you should pack stuff in every crevice.

Joy at my friends house taking a nap
  Not too many Joy photos today.  Joy had to stay behind when we went sightseeing, she wasn't feeling well today.  She will be feeling better tomorrow.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 4, 2015


Day four of the Happiness Project.  It is hard to work on clutter when I am on the road.  I am certainly making due with so much less.  I am very organized on the road.  I don't want to leave anything behind so I am ultra organized with my things.  I took a lot of stuff on this trip because I was going to be in the car for five days.  I drove from CA to OR.  I drove for five out of the eight days.  I had plenty of snacks and drinks and vegan food in case the places I stopped didn't have any.  Come prepared!

Joy eating breakfast at the B&B

Joy eating lunch in Oregon

Getting some gas in Oregon.  They pumped her gasoline, checked her oil and washed her window.

Taking a rest break.

Joy on the Oregon coast.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Still driving and thinking.  Working out my emotional stuff in the car.  Okay maybe I am not but it sounds good doesn't it?  I am mostly trying to see how long I can go before I think about the situation.  Pretty long if I have the audio book on.

Joy on the California Coast

Joy at the Avenue of the Giants

Joy getting comfy at the B&B

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Okay, it is day two of the project.  Since I am out of town, it has been hard for me to tackle the clutter issue when it comes to objects.  So I decided to work on emotional issues.  I spent some time today in the car thinking about my emotional clutter. I have a lot of baggage right now and it needs to go.  I am working on it.

While I was driving I listened to an audio book about a women who had a loss and was making it back to real life.  See, working on my issues through an audio book!

On this trip I decided I wanted to do something fun.  I thought about how people bring gnomes on their trips and put them in their photos.  I wanted to do something similar.  I looked around for something that meant something to me.  For an object.  But I could not find anything in the house so I went to the mall.  Then I found it.  JOY.  If you have seen the movie Inside/Out, you will remember Joy.  She was the positive emotion that countered all the negative emotions (fear, anger, sadness, and disgust).  She was the one who tried to make it all okay.  I took the Joy doll with me on vacation and took photos with Joy all over the place.

Joy and I eating lunch on our first day on the road.

Joy at the Inn
Joy eating her delicious vegan dinner
It was a blast taking these photos.  It made me smile.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I have been reading this book titled "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  I read the book before and blogged about it back a year ago.  Now that my life has gone through a change, I decided to do my own Happiness Project.

A Happiness Project is when you pick a time frame and choose things you want to work on that will make you happy.  In the book Gretchen takes one year and every month she works on a new topic.  Such as family, spouse, work, home, etc.  Then she makes a grid of topics that she wants to work on. Some of the topics might be Spend more quality time with spouse.  Or Create a work blog.  She also made some rules to live by. 

After a year of pondering I decided I wanted to do a happiness project.  I started on September 1.  My first month is all about Clutter.  Actual clutter, emotional clutter, all sorts of clutter.  My title is: Clear out the funk.  Sub title: “I just need some time in a beautiful place to clear my head.”  

My Categories are: 
  • Clear out closets and garage
  • Clear out emotional clutter
  • Tackle a nagging task
  • Restore, maintain, organize
  • Use my "to do list"
  • Identify the problem and solve it
  • Follow the "1 minute rule"
  • Observe evening tidy up rules
Each day I need to observe as many of these categories as I can.  If I do observe any of them, I get a star in that square.  The point is to get as many stars as I can. 

I am so ready to do this and find my happiness.  I am going to blog about it while I do this project.  Why? you might ask.  I think there is a connection between happiness and health.  Happiness and rheumatoid arthritis.  Happiness and getting up and moving.  Happiness and life.

If I am right, my happiness is going to make me feel better.  I know that just feeling happy is not going to cure my RA.  I just think there is a correlation and I want to see it in action.  Happy patient keeps RA at bay.  Stay tuned.

Until tomorrow...