September 7, 2019

What's Today?

Good morning! Since retiring to the Upper Perkiomen Valley we are discovering that there are indeed many "perks" to living here and retiring as well. One challenge is running the household with my husband, Pat, at home every day. In our younger years, while he worked feverishly in IT, his job was never just a 9 to 5 endeavor. There were many days where the old beeper went off, always while Christmas shopping, or nights where the end of the day came and went and he was still at the office poring over code trying to resolve some programming puzzle. In later years he took other jobs and, although they were more settled, the hours were still not conventional. While he worked to support a home and family I mainly ran a small business and managed the household. I love being at home and found that wasn't always a predictable job either, but we make a good team.

Now we're working to share the responsibilities differently and one of them is finances. He is definitely a much better financial planner than me. Numbers tend to scramble my brain and I surely do love online shopping. I did manage to stay out of jail and didn't write any bad checks, but cash never lingered in my wallet for very long. Once we had unpacked the boxes in our new place he took over managing the money. I am on board with that! Now he can enjoy himself designing the perfect budget for our bills and taxes and savings and fun things like that. I was ready to turn it all over. This posed some problems, however. I had my own methods of accounting. They were more gut-based than anything with ledger columns. I knew that if it got close to the 20th of the month I better be looking at the credit card payment. There are also those auto pay bills that need tracking as well. Financial information is tracked online anymore and I held access to it all. We decided that it would be my job to give a daily accounting of where our money dwelled and what expenditures left what account. That's easy, but we had to learn just how to exchange that information. After there were taxes on an online purchase I hadn't included and swapping out the price of two similar items I ordered, both my fault, we agreed we had to have a better system. We both have separate offices and we needed a central location to gather the information. I began to design a "Command Center" for that purpose. As we came up with a plan other possibilities for our system emerged. We have appointments at new offices and new phone numbers for local places like pharmacies and our community office. We decided to include these items in our center as well. And since we are retired it might help to know that it isn't always Sunday.

Of course, if we were going to look at all of this stuff hanging on the wall it has to be attractive in my beautiful new home! It needed a title and some fun embellishments and this is the journey and final result. The system is working really well so far. I'm sure it will need a bit of tweaking over time and that's fine. I see it as I come out of the master suite every morning and the title makes me smile as I begin each new day. Maybe you'll find it inspiring as well!

First I made a list of everything I wanted to include in the command center. I wanted a calendar, not just for this month, but one where I could look back or ahead. Then it needed a holding area for items that are pending and needing to be addressed. And it should include a section for those items that are completed and needed shredding or filing. It had to have notepaper and pens and pencils, my daily to-do lists and a place for temporary notes like a chalkboard. I brought up my art program and either gathered pictures of what I wanted or drew them myself. I also measured the space and tried to come up with a design that would fit.

Next, I cut out templates from wrapping paper and assembled them on the wall for a general layout. I love wall displays and I have learned over the years that wrapping paper is indispensable for walls and for figuring out furniture placements as well.

I changed my mind about the placement of the message and went larger and above all of the components. I typed it up and enlarged it in my art program and then printed it out to scale. Rubbing a soft pencil over the lines on the back of the paper makes a great carbon and I taped the paper to the wall and drew over the lines with a dry ink pen.

Here's what it looked like after outlining onto the wall. A tube of black acrylic paint filled it in beautifully.

Painted with the wreath in place.

I had ordered the parts that I didn't already own after formulating my plan and they began to arrive. I already had the cat.

Now it was time to begin the assembly. The wreath was hung to find the center I wanted, a few inches more to the left than the original plan. I also found the pencil/pen cups needed a different placement.

The clothespins work great for clipping smaller items like receipts to the file holder. Each one has a magnet glued to the back and they are attached to a cardboard square with a magnetic strip under fabric.

This is the view from the master suite. I am currently using a little giveaway calendar from our old neighborhood. I left space to fit in a full-sized calendar for 2020 in the near future.

Thanks for visiting! Please come again!

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