Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The sky is blue, the birds are feeling frisky, flowers are blooming and the windows are open. AND, this has been going on almost all winter with just a few brief cold spells. I know---I am not alone.

If flowers can get confused, so can this old lady. I have been hit with an overwhelming desire to clean house, top to bottom. Windows, oven, refrigerator, and walls. Even the outside walls are calling to me.

 I know that calendar wise, I am way early but I am on a roll. When I gave away most of my coats recently, the urge to purge and clean blossomed. Now I am attacking anything that is not seasonal and hasn't been used in 6 months as being unnecessary.  There are two piles, Humane Society thrift store and landfill.

Just the excess in my closet
With in the  cautious me lies the voice that reasons, “You just might need that hat if the weather gets cold.   Oh no, not the purses and shoes. So what if my foot has grown a full size. Maybe if I took some pain killers I could still wear them.”  

Fortunately, my long dormant Thoreau is not listening and I am  winning the purge battle.

What I need is not a place to house my stuff, but only enough stuff to fit my house. So I am chucking "stuff" into garbage bags willy nilly and scrubbing everything that is left. Better hide Mighty Dog, you are on the list of "to be scrubbed." 

With a little luck my energy and interest won't run out before the monster job is done. And of course if Winter ever does decide to visit, I can enjoy the view through spanky clean windows.

The good thing is that all this will be finished and no longer a “to-do” when it comes time to put in my veggie garden and tend to the flower beds when the calendar Spring actually gets here. Then I can concentrate on what I love to do, not what I have to do.

Think I am going to like this. Also there is always the chance that by doing my Spring cleaning the first of February, it may bring on winter. Kind of like washing your car to make it rain. Either way, I am good.  

My theory is not to rail against what can't be changed but just bend and go with the flow.  Kind of an urban version of the Serenity Prayer.
Has this puny Winter and false Spring set you off on premature activities? Mine have been satisfying but hopefully yours are much more fun.


  1. We also are experiencing record high's in WI. We are expecting to pull out for Arizona a week from Wednesday. I hope it gets cold, before then, or we will feel like we are wasting our money traveling all that distance for warmth.

  2. Similar story here. I have the urge (though not the time yet) to start chucking 'stuff' and turning over the gardens. We're at 30 degrees F as I type, so too early for peas still. I imagine we'll get a couple more storms like the recent one that dropped it's snow and disappeared in a day or two.

    You may have inspired me, though. Look out, 'stuff'! It may be your time to go.

  3. I hope it's ok if I just throw this out there. I'm thinking of moving from North Central Indiana to PA. Is the weather same in the winter or much colder? Does anyone live in PA. I've lived in Indiana all my life but so much sadness has happened here and I'd love to meet new people and have a fresh life. My mother had a very long and sad illness and even though people mean well it is all I am asked even since her passing. I'd like to have my own life. Maybe learn to quilt and see new places. I'm going to be 61 next month. Am I going through a phase or is it ok to move and start again?

  4. It's been a really strange winter that's for sure.

  5. We have been seeing dandelions, which I think are pretty.

    As for cleaning, not me. But it seems almost everyone one else is doing that. Several blogs and tweets about it. Good luck with that.

  6. Here in southern RI it's 40 and cloudy tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and in the 50's....I was looking at photos I took last winter....we had a foot and a half of snow on the ground.

    My cleaning takes place around my birthday in April...feels like a good way to start my personal year.

    My daffodils that are on the south side of the house next to the slab it's built on are up about three inches ...also the oriental poppies and columbine.

    Go figure!

  7. Wow! Wonder woman must have moved to Arkansas. Your strategy to get pesky to-do list items crossed off so you can do what you love is the way to go. Unfortunately my windows probably won't be clean even thogh I do accomplish my to do list. Since my stroke I am using my late mother's method: finish a task, write it on my to do list then cross it off! Enjoy your cleared out closets. Sort of gives you room to breathe, doesn't it?

  8. It's to be in the 60's here today and like you, Patti...I've been doing some clearing out, both in the attic and closet!

  9. Other than being a little bit drier than usual, our "winter" here in the Pacific Northwest has felt pretty ordinary. Not so for the rest of the country, it seems. I do hope you don't have a cold snap to kill off all those budding plants!

  10. Several years ago we had unbelievable warm weather in April--80's, almost 90's in Vermont in April. Since we always had a week long school break in April, that's when I did my spring cleaning. That particular year my cleaning frenzy went right outside and I cleaned up the garden and went out and bought plants. I knew better. Really, I did. It was April in VT. But I planted things anyway and enjoyed them for exactly three days. Then it got really cold and stayed that way right through June. All the little plants died, of course, along with a little bit of my spirit. I think that is when we started planning winter escape for retirement.

  11. It's warm in KC too, but not enough to make me start spring cleaning. Normally this is the time of year I go to nurseries...just wanna smell dirt!!!

  12. Here nature is also like spring. There are already bulbs showing their noses and now the weather forecast says that we will have severe frost in the weekend. There is already outdoor skating.
    I've just finished my springcleaning, and I am glad because in March I am off to Israel to visit Dina. In July I shall leave for Australia to see my daughter and her new baby, who is about to be born now and is even a few days overdue.

  13. I saw what a weird winter the Mainland was having. Looks good to me but not sure I would have your spring cleaning gusto. It takes a lot to get me going.

  14. Patti, thanks for the link to the amazing trio: dog, cat and rat. It's so beautiful I am going to send it to my daughters.

  15. No, I haven't done anything prematurely, but then, the weather has been pretty normal in Hawaii. Right now, we are experiencing typical rainy and cool weather. I clean when something catches my eye and I can't bear to see it anymore -- so out it goes.

  16. I hate house cleaning, but we have been purging and Gary takes stuff to the flea market so sell to add to our budget, love the color of your walls, so cheerful. About a week ago I saw two robins, no more yet, but they'll be here soon.

  17. Hey, you go girl. Even the spring weather has not enthused me to finish what I started right after Halloween. But perhaps peer pressure will do. Eh? Oma Linda

  18. Here in North Carolina everything is confusing .. buds are budding and even people are breaking out in spring clothes!...and this is just the last day of January!
    I know for myself that the more I throw out the better I feel ... sounds like it is the same for you.

  19. I'm on a sock knitting binge, but our weather is cold and rainy. One of the beauties of living in an apartment is it forces you to keep clutter to a minimum.

  20. It's warm here in NY, too -- makes me want to get out my paint brush and spruce up the place. But I'm trying to hold out for some cold weather, so, you know, I don't have to actually go to work.

    Rita -- Depends where you are in Pa. Scranton, Williamsport and State College, for example, are pretty cold. Southeastern Pa., from Philly to Harrisburg, have hot summers and mild winters.

  21. I think (HOPE) that I'm immune to the urge to purge! Isn't there a pill you can take for that?

  22. You always get these posts up when I am not looking. Someday, I will be first to respond. Will that make me a first responder?

    Yes, the spring fever hit her too. Fortunately, my clever granddaughter figured out how to open those fancy-smanchy windows I had installed a few years ago. I figure 10 years is long enough to wait to clean new windows. What do you think?

    I got the dogs this morning and they are nice and clean. Dianne

  23. Maybe I'll finally be inspired by reading all these energetic comments! I like the idea of moving house to get rid of clutter and baggage then it's got a date that it HAS to be completed by.

    We have something here called Freecycle - it's really good for the things the Op shops (Thrift store?) won't take and what doesn't sell at garage sales. Sue

  24. Oh, my poor closets are screaming to be thinned out. But this old woman has not yet been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. Maybe you can send some of the urge this way and get me started. Once I get going then I roll quite well and get a lot done...its getting me started that takes awhile. You are going to be so ahead of most everyone else with the cleaning and while you are having fun in the garden we will be cleaning. :( Loved this post sweet Patti...I love ALL your posts. Hugs and give Mighty some nose kisses for me...run Mighty run...scrubbing is coming. lol

  25. Muffy,
    I know how you feel. My brother is visiting in Florida now and kind of wishing Ohio was having colder weather.

    It has been weird hasn't it Barry? I may put in some sugar snap peas in a week or two. I'm sure you have a wait yet.

    I can't help you but perhaps some of my readers can. Big moves can be both fun and a bit scary. Check Citydata.com. You can get a lot of info there.

    This has been one for the books all right.

    Miss Dazey,
    Thanks, I just hope the mood lasts.

    Lets hope we don't get a late hard freeze to take out the flowers.

    I like your approach. That is the sure way to keep you list down and done.

    Once you get going, it is hard to stop. Have fun.

    I worry about a cold snap now also. Toes are crossed. Must be nice being "normal".

    Oh I know how that can happen. Each year, I get premature with my tomatoes. I get fooled every time.

    Those darn catalogues really get us going don't they? Can't wait to get my hands dirty.

    REader Wil,
    Sounds like you have some great trips coming up. Have a great time in Israel and congrats on your upcoming grandchild. How exciting.
    Glad you liked the video. I thought it was really neat how they all got along.

    With no real seasons, it much be hard to get in the mood. I remember in Florida having a hard time getting going.

    You and islandwonder really don't have a seasonal time to let you know it is time to do the heavy cleaning and probably keep caught up all year.

    Linda Starr,
    Wish I had the temperment to have a yard sale. We don't have flea markets here. The color is actually Blaze Orange, it comes off almost pink in the picture. I got tired of living a beige life.

    Linda in NM
    That is a job that needs to be inspired. Once you start, it is hard to stop but it is that starting that is difficult.

    We are having similar weather. You are right, once you start, it is hard to stop. Pretty sure I will regret some of it but I'm having fun now.

    I live in a tiny house and it still hasn't stopped me from collecting. Socks are great on a rainy day.

    I know the feeling. If it got cold right now, I would quit everything. Thanks for giving Rita some info.

    Ha ha If you find one, let me know.

    You have to get up around 5 AM Central to be a first responder. I am an early bird.
    I have to do my windows a bit more often than 10years thanks to pet nose marks. They are everywhere.

    We did have Freecycle but I am not sure if it is still functioning. It is a good way to get rid of stuff. Thanks, I'll check ours out.

    Don't know where the urge comes from but when it hits you, just go with it. Maybe yours is waiting for the real Spring.
    Thanks so much.

  26. The very mixed up seasons do confuse me especially when I see small shoots appear on previously dead branches, at least 6 weeks ahead of schedule. I like the idea of getting a heard start on cleaning ...note I said idea because the mind is willing but the flesh weak lol. As for clearing out what has not been used for 6 months ...that would not work for me ...I like to keep new things (usually sale bargains) and use them when I need them ...found a pair of jammies I bought a year ago ...tags still on. lol ...it would have to be 5 years for me ...I'm a hoarder. xx

  27. Oh are you meant to clean at Springtime? Well actually here in the UK it snowed a bit today so that's my excuse as to why I'm still in the hibernating state of mind.

    I do clear out old clothes quite often though and sell them on ebay or give them to a Charity shop.

  28. Ordinarily, I get the urge to deep clean in January, but this illness has thrown me off my game. I have done little in the past month, except a little bit toward our taxes. Maybe that can change soon.

  29. Oh geesh- I haven't cleaned my windows in ages! Fingers in ears, LA LA LA LA. This weather is curious- I am wondering what is lurking up in Canada waiting to pounce on Arkansas. This can't last.

  30. Oh how I wish I had your Get-Up-And-Go about purging---Things need purging here--But, I don't seem to have the true desire to do what needs to be done....Oh Well, as Scarlet said: "I'll think about it tomorrow..."!!
    I applaud you, my dear....And it's great that you are doing it now so that you can DO all those things you love when "Spring" actually comes.....!

  31. The La Nina in the Pacific predicted we'd have a mild winter--the definition thereof I am not sure, but I do remember not much snow if any after December. So far...so good.

    I cull clothes as I buy. I only have so much space so I force myself to give up 1 for 1 of anything in the closet. I do have some coats I'd like to get rid of but several church's coat give aways have been flops due to warm weather.

    I bet the electric companies are crying in their fuel surcharges as my bills have been significantly less than last year.

    But we are planning for our summer projects AFTER Hubby gets dental implants--that is if any money is left. We have insurance but these cuties are EXPENSIVE. However Hubby's weight loss has been at least partly due to continual sore gums because his dentures--he has had 2-3 sets just don't fit and he gums it or wears only the uppers. My gums would hurt too if I did THAT!

    We are going to do some more remodelling in the house after he recovers which is about 10 weeks.

    That probably puts us into summer.

    My lift chair is getting new upholstery.

    We planned to go to one of his Navy ship reunions in September but he has decided to cancel. We have some relatives in very poor health that might require an unplanned trip.

    Hey you might get so much itme on your hands you cam pull out your Kayak and explore a nice quiet little stream with Mighty.

  32. I should have been washing some windows today, at least the ones I can reach. I don't do ladders anymore! It was unseasonably warm today. I cleaned my kitchen cabinets out and a couple of closets just before Christmas. I have many more to go and really need to throw some stuff out as you are doing. Good for you that you are getting all this work done now! Take care and enjoy this nice weather.

  33. Wow, that is great, Patti! Good for you. I love the colors that you have chosen in your room too.

    I'm looking forward to some cleaning and organizing soon too.

    Whatever the weather ends up doing, I know that you will enjoy it no matter what.

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

  34. Angie,
    As long as you have room, go for it. My house is too small to allow even mild hoarding.
    I'm hearing this weird weather is almost world wide. Sigh.

    LLCool Joe,
    Gosh, does that mean you don't do spring housecleaning in the UK? Think I might move.
    I figured when seeing how neat you kept things that you wouldn't have a big mess of excessive clothes.

    So sorry you have been puny and not up to cleaning. Don't feel badly, I generally don't even feel up to it when I am perfectly well. This is rare.
    Be well soon lady.

    Southwest Arkie,
    I know, there is one lone weather man who seems to think we are far from over. I do hope we get some snow. I'll pass on severe weather though.

    I usually subscribe to Scarlet's attitude also. Can't explain this urge,am just going with it.

    I hope the implants go well for hubby. Dentistry is sooooo expensive these days.
    I use propane for heat and have used very little this year. Sorry for them, thrilled for me.

    Smart of you to do it piece meal. I am generally an all or nothing kind of girl. Wish I weren't.

    Oregon gifts,
    Glad you liked the color. Usually people wonder how I can sleep in such a "loud" room. Just got tired of pastels

  35. I say if it feels like spring, and it does here too, do your spring stuff while you have a spring in your step. I think the weather is changing here tomorrow, but it is beautiful today.

  36. When you finish, there's plenty to be done here in CO - we have lots of big windows. However, with any luck it will snow here this weekend. (I'm ever hopeful.) I like the idea of having just enough "stuff."

  37. Hi, Sorry I haven't been around this week. We have been traveling and taking more photos... Hope you are having a great week.

    Great post. We really have had a mild winter so far... The plants/flowers don't have a clue what is going on.. Even the birds are getting frisky already... ha

    I heard today that Chicago had the mildest January they've had in 80 years...Unbelievable.


  38. Same here. I played in the dirt all afternoon, digging out monkey grass, moving some plants.

  39. Retired English Teacher,
    Thanks, I am trying to make hay in all this sunshine. I hear we have a change coming also.

    Oh how I envy your snow. Enjoy playing in it as I scrub away.

    Looking forward to the pictures of your trip. It has been weird all over hasn't it.

    Mary Lee,
    I know, I am keeping my hands busy so I won't start planting. Have a feeling we have at least one more attempt at cold coming.

  40. I'm happy to say I got my "spring cleaning" done during the last week of December. We do our purging for the new year in Hawaii. Still... now it's February and I can see where I need to clean a bit more. I hope you get warm weather soon.

  41. While we are having it mild in Europe and Russia it's a hell of a cold winter. Odd how all has kind of flipped. But while it's warm here I don't have ant urge to purge. I still am in lazy mode. I think I need more daylight hours.

  42. Kay,
    Isn't it a shame that major cleaning doesn't last longer. The windows I washed now have new pet nose marks. Dang.

    Kleine Motte
    You are right. As warm as we are, Europe and Russia are having record cold and snow. Hard to figure.