Resolution

Hike 9 of #52HikeChallenge

Liberty Canyon Natural Preserve

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One of the main ways I find new trails is seeing them from a distance. I see this trail from the freeway on my way home from work. It looks difficult. You can only see the first part of it (1 on the pic), and that part is straight up with no curves. As I was hiking up this trail, I was wondering why seeing a daunting hill like this makes me want to climb it.

It's because I can. Ten years ago I weighed nearly 300 lbs. and got winded walking up the stairs in my own house. Now I can do this.

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This unnamed trail was 0.9 miles straight up to the top of a 1400-ft. peak. There was no winding relief in the path and no shade to be had. Every time I reached a peak (numbered on the first pic), there was an even higher peak hiding behind it. There were some downhill portion which tricks you into thinking you are getting a rest, but it just makes the next hill that much harder to climb.

The last peak was the steepest, rockiest, most treacherous bit of hiking I've done so far. I could not have even attempted it without my hiking poles, and my trail runners were almost not up to the task. I finished my first bottle of water right before that last peak. My rule is to turn around when that happens, but I went this last little bit so I could get to the top and because I knew I wouldn't need as much water on the way back down.

I was wrong about that actually. The strenuous activity of climbing this trail along with the lack of shade and breeze pushed me over that fine line between "hot and sweaty" and "overheated." I gulped down the last of my second bottle of water about 150 yards from my car.

I'd actually planned to take that leg of the trail to the right at the peak, but I was done in.

This was a pretty trail from start to finish.

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Early poppies
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The view from the top

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Future Hikes

Not this one! This will be brutal in the summer.

Needed Gear

I need a big dumb hiking hat that has lots of ventilation and shades my whole and neck. I need hiking boots. I need one of those dumb water bladders I hate.

 


Hike 8 of #52HikeChallenge

Sapwi Trails Community Park

Sapwi loop

I had a different trail in mind for this morning, but a sick kid derailed my plans, so I headed to a trail close to home. I tend to avoid Sapwi Trails because I don't like neighborhood trails. I prefer trails that lead back into the hills where I can see little evidence of civilization. I drive by this park often and the trails look like they are on a dry, brushy hill.

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Still, it's close. I checked the geocaching app and decided I would hit this trail with a mission. I'd look for the three geocaches and then head home. Once I started on the trail, I remembered how pretty the lower portion is.

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The first of the geocaches was easy to find on the bridge. I didn't find the second cache and was pricked by a dried thistle while looking. The third was easy to find as well.

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After the third cache, instead of heading back, I saw that I could hike a little farther and make a loop. Then I felt bad for hating on this trail, because the upper portion was pretty as well.

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The last of the fog burning off

You can see from the map at the top of this post that it didn't work out like that. That leg of the trail was recently cut, but now it's a dead end and doesn't connect back to the other trail. I found this out after soaking my socks and shoes on the grassy trail.

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After I backtracked (do not like!), I found the other end of the missing connector, but something in the bushes scared all the birds and creeped me out, so I didn't take it all the way back to see where the trail now ends. Also, I wasn't dressed for bushwhacking in my trail runners and cropped leggings.

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It ended up being a longer hike than I'd intended.

Future Hikes

This trail connects to Hillcrest Ridge trail, which I've accessed from the other end. Eventually, I'd like to hike it end-to-end.


Hike 7 of #52HikeChallenge

Urban Hike Edition

Whole foods loop

I had Presidents Day off and I needed to pick up some tempeh from Whole Foods, so I decided to give an urban hike a go. I barely like a neighborhood trail, so walking through town is even less appealing, but I wanted to try a nearby path that is a shortcut to the library, so I gave it a shot.

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How is an urban hike different from a walk. Apparently, it is the sense of adventure.

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It sounded ridiculous to me, but it turns out, that really is the difference. I checked my trail map frequently and was able to avoid most major roads. It was also nice to stop at Whole Foods for a rest, a Zevia cream soda, and a tangerine.

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My shirt reads, "Bucky & Steve, not Adam & Eve."

On the way back, I found a wonderful bike path that led to the other side of the library. Checking the trail map again, I found a little connecter back to the trail where I started.

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Future Hikes

Next time, I'll ride my bike.


Hike 6 of #52HikeChallenge

Los Robles Open Space and Los Padres Open Space

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I hiked Los Padres Trail last year as part of the Conejo Open Space Challenge, which starts again on March 1. This time, I added Los Robles Trail East and Vista Loop (also called Los Robles Overlook Trail).

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Unfortunately, I started out about the same time as a small family, I outpaced them in the beginning, but not quite enough to lose them. When we reached the overlook, I took a long break to let them get ahead. Other than them, I mostly saw mountain bikers, but they whiz by and are gone. A few other hikers I saw came from the opposite direction.

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I saved Los Padres Trail for the last part of the hike because it was one of the most scenic trails I have been on, with adorable bridges and beautiful creeks.

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I hiked it in late spring last year, so I thought an earlier hike would mean more water in the creeks. I hadn't accounted for the fact that we have had much less rain than last year, so there was even less water. In fact, except for this one creek, there was no water.

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The incline was more gradual than most other long trails I have taken, but it was a good workout. My booty hurt the next day.

Future Hikes

There are lots of trails in this area that I haven't explored yet.

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Hike 5 of #52HikeChallenge

Rancho Simi Recreation & Park District Open Space

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Long Canyon Trail

I check out this trail every time I take Autumn Ridge Trail. I approached it from the Simi Valley side of the mountain, using the Wood Ranch Trail Head. I had planned to take Long Canyon Trail - Autumn Trail - Woodridge Connector, which is a longer hike than I like to take on a weekday morning before work, but when I started up the trail, I discovered a smaller, more difficult trail parallel to the main trail. I took that and made a 1.5 loop on Long Canyon Trail. It was the perfect length.

This trail was more heavily trafficked than I expected, so it must get crowded on the weekend. On the way back down the hill, I was in front of a gaggle of golden girls who were quite chatty. I tried to outpace them, but those ladies were spry, so I was able to hear the entire post office debacle from one woman who tried to send a package to her grandchildren.

I liked this hike. It was pretty and strenuous. I probably won't take it again, though. The trail head isn't close to home, and I have hiked most of the other trails around it, which are more easily accessed from the Thousand Oaks side of the mountain, which is close to home.

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AllTrails

I finally paid for a Pro subscription on AllTrails, which worked out well. I tried recording my hike for the first time, but forgot to actually start the recording at the beginning of the hike, so the first leg is missing.

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Hike 4 of #52HikeChallenge

Hillcrest Open Space Preserve

This hike was one that I had scoped out on a previous hike. It was just under three miles, including the short trek to where I had to park. I was fine with a shorter hike because for once I read the trail description first and I knew this one would be a beast at the start. I've been wanting to take this trail for ages because I pass the trailhead often and I always wonder where that trail disappears to.

The trailhead forks at Hillcrest Ridge Trail and White Sage Trail. I took Hillcrest Ridge Trail up and White Sage Trail back.

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That hill looks deceptively easy from the road.

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It doesn't even look that bad from the bottom, but it is steep as hell.

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The worst part of this hill is when you get to the top and discover there is another one right after it.

View looking back the way I came.

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Hill #2.

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View from the second hill, looking in the opposite direction. While I was stopped taking this picture and guzzling water, another hiker passed me. She said, "You always think you're done when you get to this point." I said, "But there's one more." She held up a hand as she passed me and said, "Two more, but the second one is easy." That means the first one isn't.

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The other hiker headed up the third hill.

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This is the 360° view from the top of the fourth hill.

Hillcrest Ridge Trail from Michelle on Vimeo.

If I had continued on Hillcrest Ridge Trail instead of turning onto White Sage Trail, there was an even higher hill to climb. Not today Satan.

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On White Sage trail, I came across these markers in reverse order. They honor firefighter Angel Castro, who battled the Hillcrest Brush Fire in 1978. This area also burned in the Woolsey Fire in November 2017.

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Hiking selfies.

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White Sage Trail was peaceful. It led me down into the clefts of the hills, blocking the distant hum of the freeway and hiding the surrounding homes from view.

Future Hikes

I want to take Hillcrest Ridge Trail the whole way, but it is a 4.7-mile out and back hike, so I will have to plan a little better to do that one. It definitely needs to be on a cool day when I get an early start.

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Hike 3 of #52HikeChallenge

Wildwood Park

My oldest child has been asking to go on the Paradise Falls hike for ages, and the time was finally right. I guess my weekend hikes have been on less popular trails because I have never seen so many people while hiking. Wildwood is popular in general, this hike in particular. We arrived around 9 AM and couldn't find a spot in the main parking lot so we parked farther down Avenida de los Arboles at a park. I didn't mind because it added just enough distance that our hike ended up being almost exactly three miles.

We hiked Mesa Trail to Teepee Trail to Paradise Falls. (Yellow on the maps.) We spent some time exploring the area around the falls. Then we took Moonridge Trail, with a little detour on Lynnmere Trail, to Indian Cave. We climbed up through the cave and back down. (Pink on the maps.) The last leg of our hike was along Indian Creek Trail.  It was beautiful and shady and followed the creek out of the park. (Blue on the maps.) Indian Creek Trail jumped to the top of my list of favorite trails, along with Moonridge Trail.

COSCA Map

Paradise Falls

Alltrails.com map

Paradise Falls Alltrails

The start of Teepee Trail.

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Guess what we found on Teepee Trail.

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Paradise Falls

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I'm glad we decided to take that little detour on Lynnmere Trail. It was so pretty and crossed over Indian Creek and back before reconnecting us with Moonridge Trail.

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We climbed up and through Indian Cave.

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We crossed Indian Creek again, and found another waterfall on our way out.

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Future Hikes

Next time, we'll enter at Indian Creek Trail and take Moonridge Trail all the way past Paradise Falls to Lizard Rock Trail.

Eventually, I would like to take the Santa Rosa Trail and Box Canyon Trail loop, which is about six miles long.


Hike 2 of #52HikeChallenge

Conejo Ridge Open Space and Skyline Open Space

Today's hike was a bit of misadventure in map reading. I usually print out the paper maps from the COSCA site. I already had this map printed out from a previous hike I did in the Los Robles Open Space, so I highlighted my planned route on the same map. It wasn't easy to find a loop I wanted to take that was about three miles long. The most interesting trails were dead ends or on a much longer loop. I eventually decided on Bobcat Trail and Los Robles Trail, partly because I was amused that the trailhead was across the street from the kids' old preschool and I had never noticed it.

About halfway through my hike, I checked the AllTrails app because I was at an intersection that wasn't shown on the highlighted trail on my paper map, and the trail started to look more treacherous than I expected. I was completely disoriented by the AllTrails map and it didn't show Bobcat Trail. I couldn't even tell from that map where I was in relation to where I thought I was, so I turned around and went back the way I came.

When I got home and pulled up all the maps, I realized what had happened. (More on that below.) I was on the correct trail and if I had kept going, I would have taken the loop I had planned. Instead, I did an out-and-back hike. Oh, well, I still hiked about 3.5 miles.

Planned Hike

The full size paper map showing the teeny tiny area where my planned route was.

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Paper map view.

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Aerial view.

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The first part of the trail was straight uphill (as usual!) and very pretty.

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Long shadow selfie in the morning sun.

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Mountain lion tracks.

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Bobcat tracks.

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Deer track.

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There was a little loop within a loop on my planned route (far left on the maps above). It goes to the top of a hill and down the other side. This rusty beast was at the bottom of the hill on my way up.

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This metal thing (emblem? cap?) was embedded into this little patch of cement at the top of the hill.

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This photo was taken at the top of the hill. View of the Conejo Valley facing North and East. Thousand Oaks straight ahead, with bits of Moopark, Simi Valley, and Westlake.

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This photo was also taken at the top of the hill. View of the Conejo Valley facing South and West. Westlake and Agoura between the hills on the left. Ocean on the other side of the mountains on the right.

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I didn't find the trail leading down the other side of the hill, so I came back down the same way I went up. It was at this intersection that I started up Bobcat Trail, according to the paper map, and Fairview Trail according to the AllTrails map.

This is the AllTrails map that confused me in the app. The blue dot shows where I was. In addition to the trail having a different name, I can now see why I disoriented by this map. You can see Foothill Dr. at the top center of the map. That is where I thought I had started, so I couldn't figure out how I could get from where I was back to that point on the trails. That's why I turned around.

When I got home and looked at all the maps, I realized why I had been disoriented. It is because I needed to scroll farther to the right to see the trailhead I had entered.

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This is the AllTrails map I looked at online when I got home. The Foothill Dr. shown on the screenshot from my phone is marked 2 here. The Foothill Dr. where I entered is marked 1 here. When I was on my phone, if I had zoomed out or scrolled more to the right, I probably would've figured it all out.

In the map below, the red is a loop that AllTrails mapped. The blue is the actual route I took. You can see in the middle at the bottom where I turned around and went back. On the return trip, I did not take the little detour up the hill again. (That blue tail on the far left.) The pink is the route I would have taken if I had kept going instead of turning back.

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Future Hikes

When I was up on top of that hill, looking East over Thousand Oaks and Westlake, I could see a couple hilltop trails that I thought I would like to try. Looking at the full Conejo Open Space map, I was able to figure out which trails they were.

Hillcrest Ridge Trail - White Sage Trail

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When I had the full map open, I saw a trail near my house that I didn't know about, and it looks like I can loop it with Las Flores Trail (a horse path that runs alongside the road and the freeway) and Erbes Rd., so that I can start out right at my front door.

Las Flores Trail - Coyote Hill Trail

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Hike 1 of #52HikeChallenge

52 Hike Challenge

Last year, or maybe the year before, I took up hiking. Once someone told me that hiking is just walking, it seemed much more like something I could do. I live nearby to many COSCA trails, so one day I parked by a trail head and started walking. Eventually I figured out where to find the trail maps, and I bought better shoes, and added gear like hiking poles and a fanny pack that holds a first aid kit and water bottles. Hiking became a part of my routine. It was easy to hit the trails a couple times a week because I worked from home with a flexible schedule.

In October, I started a new job and now I work mostly in the office. My hiking, and fitness in general, has languished by the wayside. I missed the mental aspects of hiking as much as I missed the physical aspects, so I joined the 52 Hike Challenge for 2020. I can do one hike a week, and I am going to try to do a new trail each time.

Lang Ranch Open Space

My first hike of 2020 was on New Year's Day. I chose a trail close to home. I have hiked Autumn Ridge Trail a few times, but mostly taking the Sunrise Trail loop. This time, I mapped out Alapay Trail so that I could add a new leg to my loop. At least I thought it was new leg until I was on it and realized I had hiked it before. Starting at the Autumn Ridge trail head, Autumn Ridge Trail is mostly uphill and Alapay Trail is mostly downhill. One thing I learned hiking last year is that when you live in the midst of the Santa Monica Mountains, the first mile of every trail is uphill.

Trail map.

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Aerial view.

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This is a view of Autumn Ridge Trail taken from Alapay Trail. You can see the tiniest glimpse of Bard Lake through the cleft in the hills.

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Facing the other direction on Alapay Trail, I wondered what that even higher trail was. I think it is Meadow Vista Trail.

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I took this picture to remind myself to check out Rocky Incline Trail on the map to see if I could work it into a future loop.

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Over a year later, there are still remnants of the devastation of the Woolsey fire.

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This grove of charred oak trees on the Albertson Motorway near the Chumash Center survived the Woolsey fire. Green leaves sprout from the blackened branches.

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Future Hikes

In Lang Ranch Open Space, I would like to do the following hikes this year.

Long Canyon Trail* - Sunrise Trail - Woodridge Connector* (loop)

Long Ridge Trail* - Meadow Vista Trail* - Rocky Incline Trail* (loop)

Oakbrook Vista Trail - Sandstone Hills Trail* - Vista Point* (out and back)

*new trails


Resolution Update: July

It has been a few months since I updated about my resolution to get rid of ten things a day this year. The long gap is due to the fact that I haven't been getting rid of much. A box here or there to Goodwill and a bag of baby clothes here or there to my sister. Tonight, I got rid of 115 things in about an hour. I needed this purge of things to help me purge my mind of some heavy things I wrote in my journal. It worked. Now - well, as soon as I finish this post - I can get some sleep.

  1. Q-Tip, used and discarded while contemplating where to start (I started in the bathroom, where I was)
  2. Toner that I don't like but have been trying to use up before I open a new bottle
  3. Empty bottle of hand sanitizer that I keep thinking I am going to refill but never do
  4. Lip gloss that tastes gross
  5. Lipstick sample that I hate because I don't wear lipstick
  6. Lip crayon that I got from my sister but is really too dark for me
  7. Smokey eye shadow kit because I have the exact same colors in another palette
  8. Mascara sample
  9. Mascara sample
  10. Eye pencil sharpener because I have another one
  11. Shower scrubby that is past its prime
  12. Nivea creme sample that I have had for ages and never used
  13. Apricot scrub sample because I don't use that kind anymore
  14. Moisturizer sample
  15. Cleanser sample
  16. Night cream sample
  17. Shampoo sample
  18. Conditioner sample
  19. Shine serum sample
  20. Tampon, last in a box of a brand I hate
  21. Pad, last in a box of a brand I hate
  22. Reusable bag because I needed something in which to put the items for donation
  23. Makeup case that is too small and dark
  24. Sesame Street ponytail holders (6) because we shaved my daughter's head and by the time she can use them again, she won't be into Sesame Street
  25. A collectible spoon I bought my mom in Nashville; it's going back to my parents' house to stay with her collection (I moved on to my closet at this point)
  26. Slacks I wore once and which didn't fit well
  27. Gold flats with no arch support
  28. Sweater with a hole in it
  29. Sweater I wore when pregnant that makes me look pregnant
  30. A cooling fan for my netbook that is a piece of crap
  31. An empty jewelry case
  32. A placemat that has no mates
  33. An old thermometer
  34. Ointment sample
  35. Ointment sample
  36. Old nail polish
  37. Ointment sample
  38. Cheap plastic ring with a green stone
  39. Button
  40. Soothing eyepad sample
  41. Empty Ziploc bag that was holding those samples
  42. Empty Ziploc bag that was holding random stuff from my husband's nightstand from when we moved
  43. Tan bra
  44. Black bra
  45. Newspaper from the day my youngest daughter was born that my mom wanted me to keep but I hate keeping stuff like that
  46. Hello Kitty Christmas stocking
  47. Alarm clock that I love but that is pretty useless as an alarm clock
  48. Sleep mask that is a little too tight and gives me a headache
  49. Broken booklight
  50. Pack of heavy duty felt pads that go on the chairs to protect the floors
  51. Surface protection variety pack
  52. Outlet plugs for childproofing (one bazillion)
  53. Massage roller that never gets used
  54. Another broken booklight
  55. Ticket stubs (2) from a tour of the CN Tower years and years ago
  56. Half used roll of gift wrap tape
  57. Pen with turquoise ink
  58. Bathroom cabinet
  59. Picture rail
  60. Fleece-lined Crocs that I bought to use as slippers but which make my feet sweat
  61. Another pen
  62. Baby wash sample
  63. Swiffer duster handle
  64. Mostly used roll of packing tape
  65. Massage oil sample
  66. Floss sample
  67. Surge protector older than any other piece of technology in this house
  68. Door stop that doesn't work on any of the doors in this house
  69. Diet Pepsi bottle (I moved on to my nightstand)
  70. Used Gap gift card
  71. Empty necklace box
  72. Receipts (including the one on which I wrote this list)
  73. Fake gold necklace
  74. Heavy chain necklace that was a free gift with purchase
  75. Pink bead necklace
  76. Green bead necklace
  77. Orange box in which I kept those necklaces
  78. Green box in which I used to keep other necklaces
  79. Broken vibrator
  80. Used batteries (4)
  81. Box in which I kept THAT THING
  82. A nearly empty bag of chocolate chips
  83. Empty water bottle (I moved on to my husband's nightstand)
  84. Cough drop wrappers (dozens)
  85. Used tissues (gross)
  86. Empty medicine blister packs
  87. An appointment card for my esthetician
  88. Trouser socks (3 pairs) (I moved on to one of my dresser drawers)
  89. White socks (8 pairs)
  90. Black socks (4 pairs)
  91. Lingerie bags (3)
All that and I never left my room. Well, I did take out the trash and recycling when I was done. Tomorrow, I will take the donation bag and box out to the garage until the next donation pick-up day. It feels good to get rid of stuff.

Resolution Update: Day 90

If you recall, my New Year's Resolution was to get rid of ten things a day. With all the moving, packing, and purging that I have done, I would be that I have gotten rid of 900 things this year. That number makes me sick, especially when I think of how much stuff there is left in my house.

I downsized from a four-bedroom, 2000-s.f. house with  a three-car garage to a three-bedroom, 1400-s.f. (maybe) house with barely a two-car garage. We're not done unpacking yet, but most of our stuff fits. With each box I unpack, I get rid of a few more things.

I was at an impasse in the living room until a couple nights ago. I simply could not figure out how to fit our home office furniture into the living room. At our old house, we had a living room, a family room, and a home office (the fourth bedroom). We had to combine all the functions of those rooms into one room in this house.

As I was sitting in the living room, staring at boxes still packed, and furniture shoved up against the walls, I thought, "Why am I holding on to the office furniture?" We didn't even use most of it at the old house. I have two desks, a three-drawer lateral file cabinet, a smaller cabinet with one lateral file drawer and one sort of open area with a roll-up style door, and a hanging cabinet. We also have a huge laser printer/fax/copier/scanner. We have used all the functions of the printer, but we no longer have as much need for it as we once did, plus we still have my color inkjet printer, but that isn't networkable.

I couldn't understand why I was unwilling to let this IKEA furniture go but, if I needed to, I was going to sell my giant teak china cabinet that took me a year to find.

This weekend, I am taking pictures of the office furniture and putting it on Craigslist. I will keep one desk and the two-drawer cabinet. Those two pieces will fit easily into a corner of the living room.


Resolution Update: Day 69

We have finally moved. Unpacking is going very slowly. Part of the problem is that we don't have a new washer and dryer yet, so I spend most of Saturday at my mom's house doing laundry instead of unpacking. We should be able to get a set this weekend. We decided not to cheap out -- to get what we really want and plan to keep them for a long time -- so we had to wait for another pay day to roll around.

Because the unpacking is going so slowly, the getting rid of things has slowed down as well. I am probably not getting rid of things at a rate of 10 per day right now, but I have not given up completely. I just put two boxes out for a donation pick up on Monday and I expect to have two more boxes to put out next Monday (along with a desk the former tenant left behind). Once the rate of unpacking picks up, so will my daily rate of getting rid of things.


Lent

I am an atheist but I celebrate Christmas and Easter as secular family traditions. Easter starts with the Lenten season, which starts tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days until Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. For Lent, I usually give up something like sodas or Cadbury Creme Eggs or steaks or American Idol.

This year, I am giving up everything. I feel like my life has gotten a little off track. I am putting my energy into the wrong things. I am going to use this time to reset. I am going to see if I can give up every bad habit I have and divest myself of any extraneous demands on my time and energy.

Here is a list of things I can do without:

  • Candy
  • Chips
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Diet soda
  • French fries
  • Fast food
  • Television
  • Staying up until midnight
  • Graduate school (after this class ends in two weeks)
  • Using Google Reader at work
  • Take out for dinner
  • Skipping breakfast
  • Donuts
  • Frizzy hair
  • Not exercising
  • Facial hair
  • Hairy legs
  • Clothes and shoes that don't fit well
  • People I don't like
  • More stuff to donate
  • Tweeting and texting in the car
  • No division between work and home
  • Paying attention to politics

Resolution Update: Day 42

Oh, it's been a month since I posted? That's because I have been busy getting rid of things. In the past 30 days, I have easily given away or thrown away or recycled well over 300 things that were cluttering up my four-bedroom, 2000-square-foot house. We are moving a week from tomorrow into a three-bedroom, 1400-square-foot house, so I have not just been organizing and decluttering, I have been downsizing as well.

The downsizing was not going as well as the organizing and decluttering until recently. This week, I sold a kitchen table set, and a matching couch and love seat. The buyers of our house bought two of my side chairs and our refrigerator. I was hoping they were going to buy our beast of a bedroom set as well, but they decided on something else.

This week, I am mailing off a package of toiletries to the troops in Iraq, via anysoldier.com. I had a basket with lots of travel size toiletries that I kept in the spare bathroom for guests. My husband suggested donating them to deployed troops (he is a veteran of the first war in Iraq) and @staceylt, a military wife recommended anysoldier.com to me. I found a unit that specifically wanted toiletries and hadn't received much so far. This unit had a good number of women and also requested pads, so I bought some of the ones that come with a wet wipe attached. My BIL works in a health food store and had tons of samples of all-natural toiletries and muscle pain creams and things like that, so I threw that stuff in, too. That box is crazy heavy.

The next week is going to be light on the getting rid of things because we will be concentrating on packing and moving. As we unpack in the new place, I expect for many neglected areas to be freshly organized and whipped into shape. I don't anticipate a problem with continuing to get rid of ten things a day, at least until later in the Spring.

 Here are few things that I know are on the chopping block after we move:

  • Old bike, two pairs of roller blades, safety gear for roller blading, softball gear and soccer gear. We are going to take it all to Play It Again Sports and trade it in toward a treadmill.
  • Two motorcycles.
  • A ton of baby clothes. The baby is ready to go up to the next size, but I won't have time this week to go through the next batch of hand-me-downs from the toddler.
  • More toys
  • Half the stuff in the home office because that is the one room I didn't get to (again...always) and we don't have a home office in the new place. I am going to try to use a corner of the living room, but I am not exactly sure how well that is going to work out. I may be getting rid of our big, three-drawer lateral filing cabinet from IKEA, which I really like, so I will be sad about that one.
  • More kitchen stuff
  • Cleaning supplies. I swear they multiply in the closet.
  • Broken bamboo rug (did not fare well in the home office)
  • Woven rug from Pottery Barn
  • Picnic basket
  • Baby's exersaucer, travel swing, doorway jumper
  • Curtain rods and curtains. I am not sure how our window covering configuration is going to transfer yet to the new place. I think we will have some excess.
  • Baby bedding set
  • More books
  • Bathroom rugs (we have two bathrooms instead of three now)
  • Creepy things that I don't like that were given to me that may get "lost" in the move

Resolution Update: Day 11

Things I got rid of since the last update:

2 pack-n-play sheets

19 cardboard coasters that I only used for birthday parties

1 Hello Kitty water bottle made in China

3 pairs of decorative edging scissors

2 USB drives

A bread basket with warming stone

Things I already got rid of:

13 candy canes

2 pieces of peppermint taffy

1 terrible book

1 organza gift bag

12 silver plastic chargers

12 gold plastic chargers

3 baby blankets

8 toddler pants

3 toddler shirts

1 toddler sweater

3 baby pants

4 pr kids socks

1 basket

1 pr panties (never worn, they fit like crap)

Vase w/fake rununculus

2 dish towels

2 doz votives

10 skinny taper candles

3 taper candles

1 lg earthenware bowl

2 pkgs jelly beans leftover from making turkey cake pops

1 drinking glass that I dropped on the kitchen floor

Mega Bloks bus w/driver

3 pillar candle holders

1 doz stocking stuffer toys and doo-dads

Stamping supplies

Scrapbooking supplies

3 casserole dishes

Potato ricer

Loaf pan

3 mixing bowls

Wooden salad bowls

Microplane

Mandoline-style slicer

8 disposable loaf pans

16-year-old down parka

10-year old leather jacket

5-year-old puffy pink jacket

5 pairs of pants

3 sweaters

2 bathing suits

2 pairs of shoes

3 belts

More of my clothes

Baby clothes

Baby shoes

Bibs

Diaper bag

Insulated bottle cooler bag

Baby play mat

Bumbo seat

12 champagne glasses

5 cookbooks

Toys

Children's books

Wrapping paper, bows, etc.


I make things more difficult than they need to be.

My New Year's resolution to get rid of ten things a day was a continuation of what I'd already been doing to pare down our possessions before we move to a smaller house. It isn't really about reducing the amount of stuff we own, it is more about streamlining our lives. We have very busy lives. Apparently, I am an overachiever and I won't admit it. (Several people, in different areas of my life, have pointed this out to me recently. I still don't buy it.)

I had a set of three ceramic mixing bowls from my mother-in-law. They were pretty and went well with our kitchen decor. They also weighed a ton. I nearly gave myself a hernia every time I took them out of the cupboard. I had those mixing bowls for five years. Last month, I did more baking than I normally do and it became apparent that I had to get rid of those mixing bowls. It wasn't an easy decision, though. They are nice. They were a gift. They are functional and in great condition. But, I had to ask myself this, "Do they make my life easier?" No, so they go. They went.

I wanted to replace them with plastic mixing bowls with a pour spout and rubber grips, so I put a set of those mixing bowls on my Amazon wish list. And, just as I was getting to this part of the post, I thought, "You have a good job, jackass, why don't you just buy them for yourself?" [please hold]  So, I just did, along with a new mandoline slicer to replace the comically dangerous one we used to own and new measuring devices that will help us reduce the number of them we need to own.

For some reason, I don't like to buy new things that would make my life easier if I already own something that is performing basically the same function. A few months ago, I finally bought a new trashcan to use for recycling in the kitchen. The lid had broken on the old stepcan and no longer worked with the pedal. It pissed me off every time I had to lift it to put something in there, or it fell on the floor because it sat at a weird angle on top of the can. I lived with that broken thing for a year. A year! What the hell is wrong with me?

Last night, I bought 100 paper coffee cups with plastic lids. I finally said, "Screw the environment." I am tired of having every cupholder in my car filled with a dirty glass from my house. I take a drink with me to work in the morning, but I can't bring the glass in when I get home because my hands are full with kids. Once I get into the house, I have to let the dog out, get the baby's bottle, and get the toddler's dinner. Then, I forget to go back out, and I bring a new glass out in the morning. Now, I can just throw away (recycle) the dirty cup when I get to work. Seriously, the environment can suck it.

The next thing I am going to do is buy duplicates of some of my make-up and moisturizers so that I can keep a little bag in my purse. I tried putting my regular make-up bag in my purse but then I would be too lazy to go downstairs and fish it out in the morning when I wanted to put on make-up, so I ended up carrying it around all the time and never wearing make-up.

This is so obvious, but it has taken me 35 years to figure it out.


Resolution Update: Day 8

Things I got rid of since the last update:

I nearly forgot about getting rid of stuff last night, then I spotted a crystal cookie jar on my countertop that was only supposed to be there for the holidays, so I got rid of:

13 candy canes

2 pieces of peppermint taffy

Things I already got rid of:

1 terrible book

1 organza gift bag

12 silver plastic chargers

12 gold plastic chargers

3 baby blankets

8 toddler pants

3 toddler shirts

1 toddler sweater

3 baby pants

4 pr kids socks

1 basket

1 pr panties (never worn, they fit like crap)

Vase w/fake rununculus

2 dish towels

2 doz votives

10 skinny taper candles

3 taper candles

1 lg earthenware bowl

2 pkgs jelly beans leftover from making turkey cake pops

1 drinking glass that I dropped on the kitchen floor

Mega Bloks bus w/driver

3 pillar candle holders

1 doz stocking stuffer toys and doo-dads

Stamping supplies

Scrapbooking supplies

3 casserole dishes

Potato ricer

Loaf pan

3 mixing bowls

Wooden salad bowls

Microplane

Mandoline-style slicer

8 disposable loaf pans

16-year-old down parka

10-year old leather jacket

5-year-old puffy pink jacket

5 pairs of pants

3 sweaters

2 bathing suits

2 pairs of shoes

3 belts

More of my clothes

Baby clothes

Baby shoes

Bibs

Diaper bag

Insulated bottle cooler bag

Baby play mat

Bumbo seat

12 champagne glasses

5 cookbooks

Toys

Children's books

Wrapping paper, bows, etc.


Resolution Update: Day 7

Things I got rid of since the last update:

1 terrible book

1 organza gift bag

12 silver plastic chargers

12 gold plastic chargers

Things I already got rid of:

3 baby blankets

8 toddler pants

3 toddler shirts

1 toddler sweater

3 baby pants

4 pr kids socks

1 basket

1 pr panties (never worn, they fit like crap)

Vase w/fake rununculus

2 dish towels

2 doz votives

10 skinny taper candles

3 taper candles

1 lg earthenware bowl

2 pkgs jelly beans leftover from making turkey cake pops

1 drinking glass that I dropped on the kitchen floor

Mega Bloks bus w/driver

3 pillar candle holders

1 doz stocking stuffer toys and doo-dads

Stamping supplies

Scrapbooking supplies

3 casserole dishes

Potato ricer

Loaf pan

3 mixing bowls

Wooden salad bowls

Microplane

Mandoline-style slicer

8 disposable loaf pans

16-year-old down parka

10-year old leather jacket

5-year-old puffy pink jacket

5 pairs of pants

3 sweaters

2 bathing suits

2 pairs of shoes

3 belts

More of my clothes

Baby clothes

Baby shoes

Bibs

Diaper bag

Insulated bottle cooler bag

Baby play mat

Bumbo seat

12 champagne glasses

5 cookbooks

Toys

Children's books

Wrapping paper, bows, etc.


Resolution Update: Day 6

Things I got rid of since the last update:

(I went a little nutso last night.)

3 baby blankets

8 toddler pants

3 toddler shirts

1 toddler sweater

3 baby pants

4 pr kids socks

1 basket

1 pr panties (never worn, they fit like crap)

Vase w/fake rununculus

2 dish towels

2 doz votives

10 skinny taper candles

3 taper candles

1 lg earthenware bowl

2 pkgs jelly beans leftover from making turkey cake pops

1 drinking glass that I dropped on the kitchen floor

Mega Bloks bus w/driver

3 pillar candle holders

1 doz stocking stuffer toys and doo-dads

Things I already got rid of:

Stamping supplies

Scrapbooking supplies

3 casserole dishes

Potato ricer

Loaf pan

3 mixing bowls

Wooden salad bowls

Microplane

Mandoline-style slicer

8 disposable loaf pans

16-year-old down parka

10-year old leather jacket

5-year-old puffy pink jacket

5 pairs of pants

3 sweaters

2 bathing suits

2 pairs of shoes

3 belts

More of my clothes

Baby clothes

Baby shoes

Bibs

Diaper bag

Insulated bottle cooler bag

Baby play mat

Bumbo seat

12 champagne glasses

5 cookbooks

Toys

Children's books

Wrapping paper, bows, etc.