What’s in YOUR Purse


Do you remember this old game show?

“Let’s Make A Deal” was a daytime TV staple. I’ve heard that it’s back now, but I haven’t seen it since those early days.

It really was fun though – bursting with energy and excitement. The host would go into the studio audience and offer money to anyone who could instantly produce an unlikely item, such as a roll of quarters or a can opener. Giddy women with large purses, chock full of stuff, would feverishly rummage through their bags and, more often than not, one of them would triumphantly wave the item in the air.

I used to carry a purse like that – but no more.

Now I’ve switched to a small pocketbook that fits the necessities and NOTHING else. My shoulders have thanked me. 😉

I dumped it out and here are the contents . . .


At first, I thought I’d miss the “knapsack” I used to lug around, but I must say that I really do not! I still have some larger purses in the closet that could be pressed into service for a long trip, but for everyday – a small bag rules!

phonecharmJust thought I’d show a close-up picture of my little cell phone charm. It’s a “lucky cat”, made by etsy artist, kayo2007

What’s in your purse?

Is there a can opener by any chance? 😉

‘Til next time,


Getting Organized

There’s something about January that sets the mood to get organized. I suppose it’s really a combination of things that can have us thinking that way.


First there’s the packing away of the holiday decorations – a mini feat of organization in itself!

Then there’s that extra time indoors since the weather is often cold and inclement. Suddenly, there’s time to notice the clutter!

Finally, the mere act of switching to a new calendar can often touch a primal urge to start fresh and create more order in our world. 🙂

cloverIn this spirit, today’s Lucky Seven features:

7 Quick Tips to make life a little easier!

1. Use small stick-on labels to date the items in your pantry that are kept for long periods of time – like spices, flour, condiments, and baking powder. By writing the date they’re opened, you’ll know at a glance if they’ve been around too long and need to be replaced.

2. Give each family member his own mesh laundry bag in which to toss dirty socks during the week. When they come out of the dryer – no sorting needed!

3. Place a coat rack in the guest room – even if it’s just one of those over-the-door styles. It will be much more convenient for you or your guests to retrieve their coats, than from your overstuffed closet!

4. Onto each recipe that you make regularly, clip a list of the “to buy” ingredients – the ones that are not staples in your home. Then when you’re making a grocery list – you won’t have to check and re-check the entire recipe to find all the items you need to buy.

5. Whenever you’re serving food or drinks in a room other than the kitchen, use a tray! It saves trips for serving and for cleaning up, too!

6. Before painting a wall that has a large group of photos, or before clearing shelves of knick-knacks for a major dusting, take a photo! You’ll be able to put everything back exactly as you had it.

7. To make chores easier to bear, swap with your spouse or roommate! Trade a list of three things you hate to do for three things he hates to do. You may not always like what you get in exchange but at least it will be different.


I’d like to order a 26-hour day, please!


I’m not sure about all of you, but lately I feel as if the day is never long enough. It’s bedtime and I haven’t finished everything I wanted to do. Carol expressed a similar sentiment in one of her recent posts. Reading her take on things gave me some comfort and also reminded me that we women are pretty lucky. It’s our nature to feel free enough to express our fears and what bothers us. In doing so, we help each other know that we’re often all in the same boat.

The more I thought about that, it reminded me of an old newspaper article that’s been stored in the back section of my recipe box. My mother cut it out of the paper in 1954(!) when she was a young bride. Then, when I got married, she gave it to me along with several of her hand-written recipes. I’ve used the recipes many times over the years, but the article has mostly been buried in the back of the box.


Here it is – a clipping from The Boston Globe, April 1954. Long before there were forums or blogs or the internet, women found ways to share life with each other. This article is from a regular feature that ran in the Globe called the “Confidential Chat”. Women would send letters to the newspaper offering advice to each other on marriage, raising children, taking care of a home, recipes, etc. The newspaper then published these letters in a column that attracted lots of participants and was widely read, for many years.

The article pictured above was one of the most popular and most requested (as a re-print) in the history of the “Confidential Chat”. And, honestly it’s as timely today as it was then. Women have always wondered how to do it all and still keep the house in some sort of livable order. They may not have worked outside the home in earlier years, but everything about running a home was harder and much more time-consuming then, so those ladies had no more time than the women of today who must juggle a job and a family. See if you agree that the article’s author, the “20-Minute Gal”, had a good plan.


Her theory was that most women are so over-burdened with the necessary chores like cooking, dishes, and laundry, that there’s no time or energy for the other tasks involved in keeping a home reasonably clean and tidy. She advised that you spend 20 minutes a day on an extra chore and to do it early in the day before you are tired. After 20 minutes, you must STOP. “Don’t cheat!” She said. She promised that after a few weeks, the house would begin to shine, and that in a few months – it would be a pleasure to behold.

20-Minute Gal’s Famous 20 Minute Plan

In one 20-minute period per day, you can do one of the following:

Clean all lampshades in the house

Wash the tops of all doors and windows – which takes a lot of dust out of the house and saves on regular dusting.

Wash the glass on all pictures in the house.

Wash all mirrors

Clean all ceiling lights

Clean and wax one piece of furniture

Wash one window and wax the woodwork casing.

Clean one rug

Ordinarily you’d probably take all the curtains down at once in a room, but instead do ONE pair only. Swish them in soapy water – don’t count the drying time – and then give them a touch-up with the iron. If it takes longer than 20 minutes to have them ready to re-hang – get new curtains! Life is too short to spend a lot of time caring for curtains!!!

Sort items in a closet – but only in 20-minute intervals!

Clean/sort one bureau drawer for 20 minutes – again, don’t cheat. Maybe the first time you are just taking out things you know you can eliminate.

Wash one painted wall. Start at the top; work your way down.


There were more suggestions for 20-minute chores and she encouraged you to come up with your own, as well. It makes sense to me, and now that I’ve re-discovered this clipping, I’m going to give the “plan” a genuine try!

You have to love the spirit of sharing and encouragement that went on with this Confidential Chat group. The Boston Globe’s “Chat” was discontinued after the internet began to thrive, but it’s nice to see how women of previous generations sought to connect with each other, and that there was such genuine support in those connections.

We continue the tradition today with the friends we meet on blogs and other online forums. We, too, console and reassure and cheer for each other. In the words of an old song . . . “We are women. Hear us roar!” 😉


Keeping the Plates Spinning

spinningplates Have you ever seen a performance on TV, or maybe at a circus, where there’s a man spinning plates on tall sticks? It’s quite a trick! If he doesn’t pay attention to all of them at the same time – one or more will surely go crashing to the ground.

With our busy lives, isn’t it the same for all of us? We’re in a daily struggle to keep all of the areas of our lives running smoothly so that nothing “breaks” from too little attention. Our “plates” are our families, jobs, homes, school, health, leisure, and of course our blogs!

Some days, it’s really hard to keep all those plates spinning! There are times when one of them seems to be wobbling a little more than the others and we want to shift our focus to just that one. The problem is when we take our eyes off of the rest of the plates – they all begin to wobble, too, and then we feel as if we’re running in circles, trying to keep everything going.

I don’t pretend to know the answers, but I sure would like to figure it out. How can we pay attention to all of the important areas (the plates) in our lives at the same time? One solution would be to eliminate a plate or two if possible, but you may say that ALL of yours are necessary. Another idea might be to rotate the plates – so that they all have a chance to spin, but not necessarily at the same time, or on the same day! They could be organized into “groups” according to importance. The family plate is important and has to spin every day, but laundry does not. So you could decide which “less important” plates to add to the daily spin. I think we sometimes get into the habit of thinking we have to do it all at the same time. Instead of trying to keep 8 plates going every single day, maybe having just 4 or 5 in a changing mix of categories would work.

Hmmmm, maybe that’s it! Certain plates spin on certain days! By the end of the week they’ve all had attention – but it was easier to deal with them in small groups than to try and keep the entire bunch going all at once.

I‘ll work on it and get back to you! 😉

In the meantime, what do you do to keep the things in your life balanced? 🙂


It’s On My List . . .


Lists. Do you make them?

Does a having a “list” ease your stress about the things you need to do?

Or do you feel it’s better to be blissfully unaware of the vast number of upcoming obligations you have?

Me? Well, I’ve had an on-again/off-again love affair with lists. On the one hand, I believe they are definitely helpful when you need to pack for a vacation, or plan a party. And I’ll admit there’s something very satisfying about crossing things off as you complete them. You get that wonderful sense that you’re actually making progress!

But creating multiple lists of things that could be done, should be done, and must be done, can be a little overwhelming – not to mention time-consuming. After all, in the time it takes to make and refer to multiple lists; you could be accomplishing a task that’s on the list. 😉

wallclockgreenMy grandmother was the most organized person I’ve ever met. For example, if her kitchen clock stopped running, she could refer to her notes and tell you not only what battery was needed, but also the date she last replaced it, and the price she paid for that replacement!zcardfile I haven’t inherited the organization gene to that extent, but I always thought it was pretty impressive that she had so much info at her fingertips.

filecabinetThese days, I figure I’m doing pretty well if I can keep the file cabinet from bulging too much with its receipts, important papers, and appliance manuals. If the drawers close – I’m happy.

As for lists??? I’m in a “do not need them” phase – except for my grocery list and a blog topics list. But you never know. I might be tempted to keep track of things next time the battery in my kitchen clock needs replacing. 😉