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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon: Continuing to purge and reset

The Sunday

Good morning, readers! How has your week been so far? It has been pretty warm over here this week - no jackets around but plenty ofhappy colorful flowers everywhere that it feels wonderful to look outside. We finished some yard work last week - planted quite a few plants for our flower garden. We've had quite a struggle with our yard for a while that it feels super amazing to return home every workday to cheerful plants waving their hands. Our tree saplings in the backyard also flowered yesterday, which was a surprise because we weren't expecting anything from them for a few years.

The Spring Cleaning Decluttering continues...

Yard work aside, I have been occupied most of last week with my decluttering project. It's amazing where all clutter accumulates when you pause to look at it. I've been doing a mostly digital declutter this past week - I got my emails tamed and put in systems that prevented future clutter. My solution to that is to send all emails that can accumulate (usually flyers and deals) to a dedicated email account that always kept only the latest email from a sender and not gathered all in a single pot (thank you Microsoft Outlook). I'm trying to reply back to personal emails immediately (yes, I can be very bad at responding back, luckily my husband is very good at keeping me on track with keeping in touch with people) and delete/unsubscribe from the fluff emails that rarely get dealt with.

Other than emails, I have accounts in a ton of other places. I love trying out all the apps that come on the market, more so if Lifehacker reviews it. The downside is that there are all these unused accounts sitting out there that I have forgotten about. It's worse when you try to delete one and they warn you that doing so will prevent me from creating a future account with them using that same email address. Right, make it really hard for me. But, I haven't been going and closing out all those accounts, though I have been spring cleaning the ones I do use (Springpad for my projects and recipes, Evernote for book reviews and articles or stories I write, and Pocket for articles I want to read later). What's left on the digital clutter is Twitter (I may choose to procrastinate here since I don't use much Twitter anyways, or tailor it to my current interests and try to use it more), Facebook (which I've skinned down twice already but am still not very active on it), and Goodreads (which I think is in far better shape but could lose more baggage). These are however low priority on my list now, so I may probably revive these tasks next year.

Now, the physical declutter begins

Photo credit: Denise Krebs at Flickr
While the digital declutter is a mostly done project for now, this week I'll be doing more of the physical declutter. Luckily, we do not have way too much stuff here, having just moved a year and a half ago. But there is still a lot that is hiding in corners, closets and bathroom cabinets. I'm very embarrassed to admit that I threw a whole grocery bag's worth of stuff from my makeup drawers. Quite a good chunk are stuff I don't like anymore or have become old, crusty, and hidden in the dark recesses of the drawers. Before you start looking scandalous, let me salvage some of my pride by saying that I only have three drawers under the bathroom sink and it wasn't that ghastly. But after doing the top drawer, I cannot begin to explain how relieved I was to see a beautiful well-organized drawer staring back at me. I had bought a few baskets for the other two deeper drawers but they were a tad larger than I had space for, so back to the store they go today to get exchanged for something smaller. Next, there are two cabinets waiting to be purged and ordered and I need to think what kind of an organizer I need in there.

This is really the last main space I hadn't organized since moving here, so there are no major purges pending, but chances are my own desk at home could do with some more breathing space. I don't have too much clutter here as I did have a couple of months ago, but there is still one box full of papers and receipts and what-not that need to head to the shredder soon.

So that's pretty much my coming week. Even though it sounds very busy, I love to declutter. There's something ruthlessly satisfying about throwing something and realizing that I just made some space available. It would be nicer if I never had to declutter and was always on top of things, but that sounds very dystopian. What about you? Have you been doing any spring cleaning?


No spring cleaning, but we need to do a little more. We've gotten a good start earlier this winter (oxymoron on the spring cleaning, but there you have it). I have found a tool that helps with the e-mail called However, my wife doesn't like it that much. But you might want to give it a try, just to see anyway. I use Springpad, Evernote, and Pocket too...also a feed reader called Inoreader. I have Feedly but it's not used as much anymore and I'm thinking about ditching it. For day to day tasks, I've been using an app called As for the physical declutter, that still needs a little work, but hopefully in the next few weeks.
readingtheend said…
Oh, throwing thing saway is SO satisfying. It's one of my favorite things to do. At this point, having moved six times in the last six years (ugh), I've pared down my belongings a fair bit. The clutter now is clutter I really have to DEAL WITH, rather than throwing it away. I'm particularly bad at filing bills and things -- I know I should do it, but I keep just stacking the papers on top of my filing boxes and promising myself I'll worry about it later. :/
bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
I've been doing some decluttering too and it feels so good!
You go girl! I'm proud of you.
Vasilly said…
Ha! No clutter at all does sound a little dystopian. :-) I'm really enjoying your decluttering posts. I have a bit of decluttering to do when it comes to the stacks of paper that are taking control of my house. Not that I've read your post, I'm a but more inspired to do something about my stacks.