Tag Archives: recycle

Celebrate Personal Victories?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Last week I finished a huge project. Mega big. Finished cleaning out my Dad’s basement workshop. This may sound like a small deal, but it was a humongo challenge. Been working on it for ten years. Off and on. Pretty on the past eight months.


One small part of my Dad’s workshop bench. Before.


So spent part of last week celebrating my accomplishment. Did wild and crazy things like a jammie day,  a massage, bought clearance beads and actually read a fiction book. There was also dark chocolate involved; I stocked up on six bags just to be sure I don’t run out this next month – Valentine’s Day!

I don’t think we celebrate our victories enough. We’re so used to rushing on to meet the next goal, project or to do list item, we don’t revel in the moment.  Celebrate all your achievements. What may seem like tiny victories mount up to big accomplishments.

It also recharges your battery. Which is why I could spend three hours on Sunday cleaning and rearranging the garage so I can get Subie’s car doors open. Parts of Dad’s shop ended up in my garage. Living room. Office. Exercise room. To be sorted later.


Workbench after. All built by Dad.  Quite the amazing man.


Time to celebrate with more chocolate. Plus I’m making big party plans to really commemorate this event by getting Subie detailed inside and out, replenishing my stock of no-stink BenGay and visiting the chiropractor.

After any mission, one must check equipment and do maintenance. Words to the wise.

I recruited help when I needed it too. It takes a platoon to accomplish most goals. Life is logistics.

One of the biggest hurdles was making sure tools and hardware went to non-profit organizations; Habitat for Humanity Restore and Tools 4 Troops got a lot. I know they will be used and help out families and veterans. Dad would like that too.

Got mega or mini victories to celebrate?

Party on!


Filed under Motivation

Closet Cleaning Reflections?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

The closet purge is finished. The bedroom clothes closet to be specific. It took more than a week and a half of dogged determination, but it’s done. The Mission Op also included the dresser, vanity and coat closet. Sweet crackers how did I get so many clothes?


Spec Ops Cat helping out with the dresser purge. Yes, his butt is to the camera. What a great little furry assistant. Can’t show you what he did to my sock drawer; brutal. Hard to put things in a drawer when a cat is in it. I tried.


Truly a trip down memory lane when I finally tossed the dark green gauze dress from the Mazatlan, Mexico trip. Or purged the blazer jackets from the late 1990s. Most of them.

There are a few rules when starting on this type of operation:

What is the goal? Mine was to get the new clothes in the closet and the old ones out. There was not enough room for both. The tangible reward of my upstairs hallway not looking like a dry cleaners back room was also a major perk.

Go in with a plan. I started with a small group to ensure purge victory – cashmere sweaters. With stupid hot flashes I can’t wear most of them anyway. Sort by category.

Boxes and staging area at the ready. Made sure I had enough cardboard boxes and my plastic totes at hand to put the purged items away and stack until the garage sale. This also required cleaning up the exercise room so I could put all the boxes in there for temporary storage.  Lids on boxes also thwarted Spec Ops Cat plans to cuddle on all items and spread his fur.

Music required. I used my disco music favorite hits CD and cranked it up. Since I tried on every single piece of clothing, it really helps to keep the energy up. No video cameras were allowed in the vicinity.

Have an extraction plan. Garage sale at my friend’s house is set for May 12. Hope to sell some of it. Leftovers will go to the Women’s Shelter. Set free the items and get them gone. I’ve been known to load boxes of purged items into Subie and drive them around until I passed by Goodwill. They were out of the house!

Reward yourself in the process. I got new purple orchid hangers to help with the purge. Whatever it takes to accomplish the task. There was Dove dark chocolate involved too. Sure I danced off the calories. Kinda.

Next on the agenda? After the garage sale I need to tackle purging the exercise room, garage and kitchen. The office is on that list but I’m in complete denial about it.

By the time I get that list done it will be Fall. Or time to go play in the Fairy Rock Garden first. Sounds like more fun.

Got a purge plan for this Spring? Dance on!



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Filed under home

Can You Build A Tin Man?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Last Friday I had lunch with one of my favorite people, author/editor/buddy http://www.cindyhiday.com and we met at my favorite Café in the antique shop. This place is my home away from home and I always find treasures and creative ideas which reboot my crafty creative cup. And I get to eat goodies!


Don’t you just want to hug him? A smile would be nice. He got his heart!


Prowling the aisles I came across this amazing Tin Man some talented person made out of cans. Isn’t he adorable? Someone really made this work. Complete with his heart. I had to take his picture. He was on sale, but since I own my very own ruby red slippers, I figured someone else would come along who needed the Tin Man.

That is the fun part of the creative process, you never know where ideas will come from. Who sat around and saw a soup can and thought, “That’s the Tin Man!” Then acted on it and actually built him? Even more fun to ponder is the author who created the Tin Man out of thin air! Imagination rocks.

When you’re going about your week and happen upon some interesting items, give a thought to other ways they might be used. Exercise your imagination. Who knows, you might come up with a Tin Man too!


Filed under Creativity

What Do Plastic File Cabinets, A Cement Rabbit And An Electric Chain Saw Have In Common?

by Kimberly A. Cook          (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Those are the items I used to cut up the old cedar fence boards in my garage. Having a creative mind really helps when some of my home improvement projects go sideways. Besides using orange extension cords and yellow Caution tape when the fence blew down, I reckoned the leftover cedar boards were perfect for my fireplace. Just not in six-foot lengths.

Bunny working very hard on the job. Bun power!

Bunny working very hard on the job. Bun power!

Those who are keeping track remember the Skill Saw debacle, it worked but was too heavy for my right hand and lower back. In the interest of hoping to be able to use my right hand again, the fabulous recommendations of an electric chain saw from friends on this blog seemed the ticket.

Saturday afternoon I set out to take a shot at getting at least half of the boards cut up. Already had the shiny new Black and Decker electric chain saw. Read the manual. Poured in the bar and chain oil. Geared up with ear plugs, face protector and gloves. Then realized I had a problem. The chain saw requires two hands. Whose going to hold the boards?

Where are the minions when you really need them? Figured I could use the leftover plastic file cabinets stored in the garage to put the boards on and cut between them. Didn’t really work; boards moved and so did the file cabinets. Spotted the wood barrel from my Dad’s shop. Turned it over. Not the best working height, but it was stable. Next I needed something heavy to hold each board.

Bunny! Of my many yard art finds, I have a fabulous cement rabbit heavier than sin who made the perfect bunny wood weight. Bunny did his job, I fired up the new Black and Decker and soon there was cedar sawdust everywhere. I got so inspired I cut up all the wood.

Fours hours later with concerns I might not be able to walk or use my fingers on Sunday, I tidied up the garage, including saving the cedar sawdust. My friend Joann, pyromaniac that she is, uses leftover candles and sawdust to make fireplace starters. Nothing goes to waste! Got all the wood neatly stacked, put bunny back out on the patio and I was done for the day.

Somehow the wood pile looks a lot less impressive when it’s all cut up and stacked. But I’m ready for winter. Right in the middle of summer. Every girl needs her very own electric chain saw. And a cement rabbit!


Filed under Creativity

Time To Spring Into Action?

by Kimberly A. Cook                (Twitter@    WarriorTales)

It’s official, Spring is here. The hyacinths have bloomed! These little bulbs pushing their way up into the sun and blooming always feels like Spring and Easter and bunny time to me. Granted, we are having an early Spring and the poor East Coast folks can’t even find the ground, little lone bulbs blooming, so we will celebrate for them.

This truly, absolutely means it is Spring!

This truly, absolutely means it is Spring!

I got all excited with the nice weather last weekend and went out and downsized my extra garden pots. Since we recycle, reuse and up cycle everything we get our hands on out here in Portlandia, I had to find a home for my used potting soil. Luckily, a co-worker at the day job volunteered to haul it home and till it into her garden.

This involved me using my fabulous 18 gallon Rubbermaid heavy totes I love and filling three to take to work Monday. We transferred the full totes in the parking lot and all is right with the world. I did ask her if we could do it as soon as possible in the morning because I didn’t want the worms to make a break for it and commandeer my Subaru. Or take up residency inside. Worms relocated. Excellent.

Now my sidewalk is clear and looking pretty spiffy. Also cleaned up the bird bath, refilled the feeders and cleaned the garage a little. Best reward? Able to bring out the table and chairs to sit in the warm rays of the sun with family in the afternoon. Perfect! Then took the table and chairs back inside since it will rain on Wednesday. Works for me.

Now, if I could just get as excited about cleaning inside the house and finishing my taxes. Somehow it doesn’t seem as much fun. Got Spring cleaning on your mind?





Filed under Garden