Securing Your House for a Bed Camp Day

The biggest push-back I’ve had from friends about a full day Bed Camp was that they never would be able to get rid of their family for the day and night. For a full day Camp, not a mini-camp or tune-up, we’re talking maybe once or twice a year. Off the top of my head, here are a few ideas…

      • No kids yet but husband or live-in? Easy if they travel for work or at least possible to find a friend’s couch to crash on.
      • Aunts, Uncles, Grand Parents would be happy to spend time with your darlings
      • A friend takes your children for your day, you take theirs so they can enjoy one, especially since once they hear about yours, they’ll want one too.
      • Kids go on overnight school trips, summer camp, sports camp, acting camp, science camp…..
      • There are plenty of sleep-over invitations as they get older.
      • Children of divorce likely stay at the other parent’s house sometime during the year.
      • Your friend goes on vacation or a business trip and leaves their space free. Don’t offer to walk the dog, but do offer to pay for the dog walker.
      • You or a friend have a weekend summer house that sits empty during the week.

What did your family do when you were enjoying Bed Camp?

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Spring Cleaning Life

April just days away. Spring cleaning season begins. I’m going to do it a bit differently this year. I’m going to spend the next six months clearing my house and my life. Four children and lots of their old things. A basement loaded with stuff not used in years. Bookshelves overflowing. Closets and desks. Not to mention getting some clutter out of my mind.

It’s a big job that will have to be broken down into manageable tasks. There are going to be lots of lists. Suri will play a big part in this.

First, I have to remove the clutter so I can see the junk. Little things first and eye glasses are little. I’ve found quite a few pair on shelves, in closets, in drawers – prescription and non-prescription. Clear glass, tinted, transition and really dark.Two pair of ‘vacation sunglasses’ in the ‘what was I thinking category’? They were nice on that tropical beach, when I was more relaxed and uninhibited, but once home, they just didn’t work.

So, eleven pair of glasses in all. Hate to throw them away, they weren’t cheap and are still in good condition.

“Suri, where can I donate eye glasses?”

Make sure your location services is active and turned on for Suri so she can find you someplace nearby to drop the glasses off.

Small amount of space cleared out and useful items donated. A little thing for me, but hopefully not for someone else.

Where Do You Find Good Books to Read?

I used to be able to walk to no less than five Barnes & Noble bookstores, plus more than a handful of independents, and troll the isles looking for good books. If you want to go past the Best Seller lists, maybe find older books on offbeat topics, you have to browse in a good store. Even after I switched to an electronic reader, I still searched the shelves, guiltily scanning the bar codes with my GoodReads app, knowing I wasn’t going to buy anything from that retailer. Most of the stores are now closed and it’s harder to find good, interesting books to read.

What was the last book you read and how did you find it?

Take a hike….or a bike

Move the body. Sweat. Keep up your exercise routine. Jog. Run. It doesn’t have to hurt and you don’t need to dread doing it. If you’re going to do something, find something you like to do and you’re more likely to find the time to do it.

Living in New York City, I do walk a lot. Greenwich Village is a good place to wander about, with quiet winding streets, beautiful houses and the river just a few blocks away. My bicycle usually comes out before my Spring clothes. Even when I don’t bike by myself, I’m in control of my immediate space and if I don’t like the conversation I can slow down or speed up and get out of earshot.

The Hudson River Park on the West side is a beautiful place with the most fabulous views you could wish for. There is a turn just shortly after entering Battery Park City where the view of the harbor suddenly opens up and I gasp at the beauty of it. Gasp. Every time. I feel my body relax and my mind clear. The water, the Verranzo Bridge, Lady Liberty, Governor’s Island. I stop for a moment and feel the calm. If I’ve timed it right with my playlist, Andrea Bocelli is singing a beautiful aria in my ears and the majesty of the moment intensifies. That view alone can get me on my bike, especially when I’m stressed.

If not a gasp, find your pleasure. Find something that gets you moving that you love…even if it’s just a seasonal opportunity that replaces your regular workout. Mix it up and take advantage of what you have. Trade in the weights for a dance class, hikes and bike rides. Finally try yoga. Give a purpose to your walks, get a team together and walk for a good cause with good company. Most of all, enjoy the time and how good you feel after.

Summer Lemon Pasta

A bright and fresh summer dinner with many possibilities. I first saw this recipe in the San Jose Mercury News some years ago on my Wednesday troll through newspaper Food Sections. Since then, I’ve seen it several times in other publications. It is one worth repeating on your table as well. ¬†Also a good Bed-Camp lunch or dinner.

Summer Lemon Pasta

1 pound Spaghetti or pasta of your choice
2/3 cup Fruity Olive Oil
2/3 cup good Italian Grated Cheese, plus more for sprinkling over top
1/2 cup fresh squeezed Lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped Basil
1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
Freshly Ground Pepper

Put a pot of salted water to boil.
Combine olive oil, grated cheese and lemon juice. Mix together well and set aside.
When the water boils, add the pasta and cook as directed on the package.
When the pasta is done, scoop out a cup of the pasta water and set aside, then drain the pasta and place in your serving bowl.
Add the sauce, chopped basil and a few grindings of freshly ground pepper and gently mix together. If a bit too dry, add a bit of the pasta water and gently toss again.
Garnish with some lemon zest and additional grated cheese.

Serve with a green salad, bread and wine for a compete meal.

If you like, you can add peas, diced chicken, tomatoes…

Getting Red Wine Stains Out of Your Sheets

You’re relaxing during a glorious Bed-Camp Day in bed. Whoops! Red wine spill on your sheets. Now what? Unless it’s a soaking spill, just blot it up, move to the other side of the bed and go back to what you were doing. You can deal with it tomorrow. Yes, really, you can.

Red Wine Stain

When you’re ready to confront the stain, before you check the Web for ways to get the wine out, put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. The Web will offer solutions that include many products you can buy, or suggest hydrogen peroxide, white wine, vinegar, club soda and detergent, salt … oh, they do go on.

By now the water is boiling. Take your sheet to the sink and pour the boiling water over the stain.

Boiling WaterDone. Stain is out. Also works on cotton napkins. Easy.

Stain is Out

Note that I’ve used this on cotton items only. For darker colors, you should check first on a corner to make sure the fabric is colorfast.

Leave the Junk at the Door

It’s easier not to bring clutter into your life than to deal with it later. Think junk mail. It never stops. Catalogs still arrive from stores I haven’t shopped at in years. I haven’t owned a car in over fifteen years and the number of firms that want to sell me car insurance is astounding. The unwanted mail piles up pretty quickly and all has to be carried out to the curb for Monday recycling.

My solution: I keep two baskets near the door. One on the piano gets the mail I’ll read. The second, bigger basket on the floor, gets all the mail I will never look at and will go straight to the curb. It’s also a really good way to keep the toy catalogs away from the kids.