Midweek Antiprocrastination Post

Jul. 19th, 2017 07:23 am
Welcome to Wednesday and time to tackle the thing that has been lurking and needs to be done. What will it be? What is that PITA of a thing? Care to share, we're here for you and will be virtually behind you with all the encouragement you need.

In need of a little challenge to get you to start something? My challenge to you today is to check on the fridge. Depending on your energy levels and time allowance, select what's most appropriate for you. Remember if you do want to break it up or end up having more energy/time that you initially expected, you can always come back and do another step later today (or tomorrow).

Step 1 - Open the fridge and do a quick check for anything out of date and needing to go.
Step 2 - Spend a bit more time and do a thorough check to the back of shelves/bottom of drawers etc and make sure that you've checked everything in there - take mental note of anything that needs using quickly.
Step 3 - Starting with the top shelf, take everything out, lift out the shelf and clean it, dry it, replace it and put back in a more organised fashion - you may at this point realise that some things would ideally be in a different fridge location, whether it can be moved may depend upon there being space in its ideal location.
Step 4 - If you've still got energy/time, repeat with next shelf
Repeat Step 3 if you wish, until all shelves/drawers and the little door shelves have been checked and cleaned. If you can, as you go, wipe down the inside top and walls of the fridge as well with a cloth and some sort of light cleaner to get rid of any lurking invisible unwanted life forms. If you are tackling just a shelf at a time, don't get the top/walls too wet so that no cleaner runs down onto food stored lower in the fridge.

Remember that there is no obligation to do this challenge and also even if you do start it, it doesn't have to be done all in one go - a shelf a day for the week would be just as wonderful if you wanted to tackle it that way.

So with that I shall say goodbye (I'm not back until fairly late tonight, so please do cheer each other along), good luck with whatever you decide to tackle and a reminder that the optional challenge is OPTIONAL and also does not have to be completed as the WHOLE task - step 1 is a success, as is any other step. Look after yourselves, remember to think of your rewards for completing any personal pain in the tuckus tasks and let us know how you get along.
'We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the rising generation. I am an oldster myself and might be expected to take the oldsters' side, but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of parents to children than by those of children to parents. Who has not been the embarrassed guest at family meals where the father or mother treated their grown-up offspring with an incivility which, offered to any other young people, would simply have terminated the acquaintance? Dogmatic assertions on matters which the children understand and their elders don't, ruthless interruptions, flat contradictions, ridicule of things the young take seriously--sometimes of their religion--insulting references to their friends, all provide an easy answer to the question "Why are they always out? Why do they like every house better than their home?" Who does not prefer civility to barbarism?

If you asked any of these insufferable people--they are not all parents of course--why they behaved that way at home, they would reply, "Oh, hang it all, one comes home to relax. A chap can't be always on his best behaviour. If a man can't be himself in his own house, where can he? Of course we don't want Company Manners at home. We're a happy family. We can say anything to one another here. No one minds. We all understand."

Once again it is so nearly true yet so fatally wrong. Affection is an affair of old clothes, and ease, of the unguarded moment, of liberties which would be ill-bred if we took them with strangers. But old clothes are one thing; to wear the same shirt till it stank would be another. There are proper clothes for a garden party; but the clothes for home must be proper too, in their own different way. Similarly there is a distinction between public and domestic courtesy. The root principle of both is the same: "that no one give any kind of preference to himself." But the more public the occasion, the more our obedience to this principle has been "taped" or formalised. There are "rules" of good manners. The more intimate the occasion, the less the formalisation; but not therefore the less need of courtesy. On the contrary, Affection at its best practises a courtesy which is incomparably more subtle, sensitive, and deep than the public kind. In public a ritual would do. At home you must have the reality which that ritual represented, or else the deafening triumphs of the greatest egoist present. You must really give no kind of preference to yourself; at a party it is enough to conceal the preference. Hence the old proverb "come live with me and you'll know me". Hence a man's familiar manners first reveal the true value of his (significantly odious phrase!) "Company" or "Party" manners. Those who leave their manners behind them when they come home from the dance or the sherry party have no real courtesy even there. They were merely aping those who had.

"We can say anything to one another." The truth behind this is that Affection at its best can say whatever Affection at its best wishes to say, regardless of the rules that govern public courtesy; for Affection at its best wishes neither to wound nor to humiliate nor to domineer. You may address the wife of your bosom as "Pig!" when she has inadvertently drunk your cocktail as well as her own. You may roar down the story which your father is telling once too often. You may tease and hoax and banter. You can say "Shut up. I want to read". You can do anything in the right tone and at the right moment--the tone and moment which are not intended to, and will not, hurt. The better the Affection the more unerringly it knows which these are (every love has its art of love). But the domestic Rudesby means something quite different when he claims liberty to say "anything". Having a very imperfect sort of Affection himself, or perhaps at that moment none, he arrogates to himself the beautiful liberties which only the fullest Affection has a right to or knows how to manage. He then uses them spitefully in obedience to his resentments; or ruthlessly in obedience to his egoism; or at best stupidly, lacking the art. And all the time he may have a clear conscience. He knows that Affection takes liberties. He is taking liberties. Therefore (he concludes) he is being affectionate. Resent anything and he will say that the defect of love is on your side. He is hurt. He has been misunderstood.

He then sometimes avenges himself by getting on his high horse and becoming elaborately "polite". The implication is of course, "Oh! So we are not to be intimate? We are to behave like mere acquaintances? I had hoped--but no matter. Have it your own way." This illustrates prettily the difference between intimate and formal courtesy. Precisely what suits the one may be a breach of the other. To be free and easy when you are presented to some eminent stranger is bad manners; to practice formal and ceremonial courtesies at home ("public faces in private places") is--and is always intended to be--bad manners. There is a delicious illustration of really good domestic manners in Tristram Shandy. At a singularly unsuitable moment Uncle Toby has been holding forth on his favourite theme of fortification. "My Father," driven for once beyond endurance, violently interrupts. Then he sees his brother's face; the utterly unretaliating face of Toby, deeply wounded, not by the slight to himself--he would never think of that--but by the slight to the noble art. My Father at once repents. There is an apology, a total reconciliation. Uncle Toby, to show how complete is his forgiveness, to show that he is not on his dignity, resumes the lecture on fortification.'

(From The Four Loves, by C. S. Lewis. Chapter 3: Affection.)

John 3:16 ad

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:57 pm
On my way to work today I saw a bus stop ad that had the text of John 3:16, the verse reference, and the name/website of a church on it.

As church/Christian ads go, it's pretty good. (Much better than the one I used to see in Columbus that really bothered me. It had a bible reference - probably the 10 commandments - and the text "What part of 'Thou shalt not' did you not understand?" Really, is that the message you want to send people about God and Christianity?)

And I found myself thinking that treating John 3:16 as a key summary verse is very Protestant. Partly the focus on belief (not that belief is insignificant if you're Orthodox, but it's different), and partly the "God gave his Son" which seems to imply more emphasis on Christ's suffering/death than on his resurrection. (Again, not that the suffering and death are insignificant if you're Orthodox, but the emphasis is different.)

I'm not sure off the top of my head what one verse I would pick as an Orthodox summary verse. Partly I think Orthodoxy is less favourable to "use a verse to sum things up" than Protestantism is - so that even having a "quintessential verse" is a rather Protestant thing to do. But putting that aside, I think a better Orthodox summary verse could probably be found.
Here we are approaching the middle of the week and it's time to think of something to tackle that's been a pain lurking around and waiting to be done. Something that's maybe been getting lost in the welter of important 'do me now' things. Or maybe it's something that's been niggling at your conscience and making you feel bad because it hasn't been done and has just been sitting there making you feel worse about it.

Can you bite-size it? Make it smaller and easier to achieve? If it really is just too big, can you split it into chunks and tackle at least part of it?

For those in need of a mid week challenge.... Can you find five things that are in the wrong place and move them either to where they need to go or to interim storage if their ultimate destination is currently unavailable or unsuitable? Five things too easy for you - make it ten or fifteen. Or repeat it at a second point through the day to get more done.

On another note, I was reading a blog post this morning about kitchens and kitchen organisation, that I thought might be interesting to others here (with the added benefit of a stonesoup recipe at the bottom of the post). The blog is Stonesoup by Jules - the principle being to create recipes that use fewer ingredients but still taste good - today's recipe if for an avocado and bacon salad. Anywhere the link is here and it's to a feed on Dreamwidth rather than elsewhere.

Good luck team, share with us how you're getting along. I'm off to work now so won't be able to respond until I get back this evening, but now that my good thoughts are with you all.

bath/shower cleaning help?

Jul. 8th, 2017 03:47 pm
The bathtub and shower is one of those areas that I Don't Want To Deal With. Ever.

Right now, I have just spent 10min scrubbing at said area with Lysol all-purpose cleaner and a sponge. This removed a lot of the brown grime from the tiles and the sides of the tub, but there's still some grime visibly there, even if we don't count the grout that's approximately mahogany and should be approximately snow. And I have positively murdered my right hand in the process. (I need that hand to type with! I need the tendonitis / carpal tunnel / wtfever hand pain shit not to be flaring!)

Can people recommend good—ideally low-dollars, low-spoons, low-time, and especially easy-on-the-hands—ways to (1) deep-clean (2) keep clean the bath/shower area?

Thanks.
I want to put this link somewhere I won't lose it.
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