Thursday, February 25, 2010

Flylady Column, Feb. 25

Operating System Overload

by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Whether we like it or not we are in the computer world. As we have found out the hard way when something goes wrong with our operating system, the data we put in does not come out with the result we expected.

Let's stop trying to figure out what caused the problem and let's concentrate on the facts. It takes time to replace an operating system. Right now we have to understand its idiosyncrasies and work around them.

The first little quirk that is in our operating system is if we put too much information in, it tends to shut down and stop working. In order to work around this, all we have to do is load one thing at a time. Doesn't that sound familiar? We get overwhelmed and nothing gets done! When we focus on one habit or one thing we can trick the operating system into getting something done.

This got me to thinking using reverse psychology on myself. I may have a strong urge to do something, let's say eat chocolate cake, but I have given up bad carbs for Lent. There is half of a chocolate cake in the kitchen. So, instead of going to the kitchen to gobble down a plate full of cake, I decide to sidetrack myself. My water bottle is full so I take a great big drink and head to the opposite end of the house to do something else for just three minutes.

With a load of laundry in hand, I take it to the basement. Before I know it, that uncontrollable urge has been forgotten.

This is the part of my operating system that I understand and have learned to use to my advantage. Gotta love those little quirks! Sometimes our operating system can get us in big trouble. I am talking about our mouth and how fast we can fire off an e-mail, instant message, text, Tweet or Facebook post.

When we feel we have been wronged in some way, we are determined to defend ourselves and others. We feel like the protectors of all. This calls for some more sidetrackery! I love making up new words to describe our operating systems. This is the hardest urge of all to fight and we can do it.

When you feel that overwhelming response spilling out of your fingertips, grab a pen and paper and not your computer. Bite your tongue and go write. This is what we need when we are about to explode. Then you can vent without all the drama. I also keep hearing a cute song in my head by Carrie Newcomer, "Don't Push Send!" This stops me from hurting feelings and being rude.

Practicing doing just the opposite of what we really want to do can help us change our operating system. This takes time and a lot of FLY (Finally Loving Yourself) Washing. We can do it. We have the ability to sidetrack ourselves just long enough to stop our quirky operating system from making our lives more chaotic.

Are you ready to download your new operating system? Finally Loving Yourself comes in babysteps that can give you the results you really want!

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome), check out her Web site and join her free mentoring group at or her book, Sink Reflections published by Bantam and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Fireside. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley Used by permission.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Review of "Gypsy"

Photo courtesy of Phyllis Swigart

Blair Youngs, as Baby June, performs a vaudeville number in the North Platte Community Playhouse production of "Gypsy." The final performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21.

A Play About Dreams

I like a musical where I recognize at least some of the songs. The North Platte Community Playhouse performance of “Gypsy” provides at least two well-known songs – “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You.”

The final two performances of “Gypsy” will be presented at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, at the Neville Center for the Performing Arts, Fifth and Dewey in North Platte.

“Gypsy” tells the story of strip teaser Gypsy Rose Lee, but it’s more about how she became Gypsy Rose Lee than it is about her career.

The play is about dreams – dreams lived and unrealized dreams – and living life through others, finding one’s place in a family, and eventually becoming one’s own person. While there is some comedy, there is a solid story line weaving the threads of the three main characters into one tapestry.

The play begins with Rose and the girls following the vaudeville circuit during the Great Depression.

Rose, who could have been the poster mom for backstage mothers, is portrayed by Edy Gainer Worick. She’s brash, bossy, pushy and domineering. You really want to dislike her, but you also sense some real heartache in her past that has driven her to be a survivor, no matter the cost.

Rose makes no pretense about favoring her daughter, June, played by Blair Youngs. June is outgoing and talented. Rose makes sure everyone knows that June is the star.

Louise, portrayed by Brittany Drullinger, is the opposite. She’s shy and out of step while performing. Even though her mother ignores her and spends her efforts grooming June for stardom, Louise is understanding and forgiving of her mother’s favoritism.

Dillon Edwards portrays Herbie, a former agent, who Rose convinces to represent her girls. He falls in love with Rose, who isn’t interested in marriage but she keeps Herbie in line with the promise that someday they would marry. In the end, ….. well, I’ll let you see how that turns out yourself.

Just a note: Three of the performers are dressed in what appear to be very scanty burlesque clothing. I was close enough to the stage that I can tell you the ladies are wearing flesh-colored body stockings (I guess that’s what you would call them). In other words, they are very modestly covered and the scanty costume is an illusion.

Solid performances are given by everyone in the cast, with special kudos to the four main characters:

- Worick performed professionally for 16 years with her show band “Edy Gainer & Dezire.” She moved to North Platte three years ago with her family. While living in Las Vegas, Worick performed in numerous musicals.
- Drullinger is general manager of the Playhouse. She appeared in 22 shows at North Platte High School and 25 shows in college. This is her first appearance on the NPCP stage in a musical in 10 years.
- Youngs is a senior at Paxton High School, where activities include plays, speech, dance team and student council. She will attend the University of Nebraska at Kearney in the fall.
- Edwards is a native of North Platte and has returned home after attending Hastings College. He performed in “Guys and Dolls” and “West Side Story” at NPHS, and in the Playhouse production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Other cast members were:
- Bill Drost, who has performed in more than 50 productions.
- John Hales has performed in many plays, both on and off stage, including set production.
- Jerromy Cissell is employed at Staples and is in the Army Reserves. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after returning from a six-month tour with Up With People.
- Sam Fisher has appeared in several Playhouse productions. He will attend college in the fall and study political science.
- Daniel Piskorski is an art student at North Platte Community College.
- Florence Gonzales-Todd enjoys singing and performing music for church and with her husband Gregg in his rock band.
- Martha Orcutt not only performed on stage in this production, but also helped in the costuming department.
- Amanda Marie Ferguson is a freshman at NPCC and plans to attend medical school with an emphasis on neonatology.
- Allison Klimek teaches sixth grade language arts at Adams Middle School. This was her fifth musical at the Playhouse.
- Jennifer Wellan is a deputy county attorney in the county attorney’s office. She is also co-coaching the NPHS Mock Trial team.
- Jennifer Hinrichs works for Drs. Baxter, O’Connor and French. She has been in several Playhouse productions and performs with the Heartland Singers.
- Amber Kniep was a member of the Crème De la Crème at UNL. She has performed a number of years with the Frontier Revue and in Playhouse productions.
- Linda Mooney makes her first appearance on stage in “Gypsy.” She volunteers at McDaid School and enjoys watercolor painting and quilting.
- Jennelle Worick is a seventh-grader at Hershey School. Last summer she took first place in talent in her age group at the Nebraska National American Miss Pageant.
- Minnie is the newest and youngest member of the Worick family. Minnie is a 7-month-old terrier-poodle mix. She was adopted from the North Platte Animal Shelter.

Director Arlene Petersen pulled all the mayhem and music together in her “maiden voyage” directing a musical production. She is a Realtor and part owner of Coldwell Banker Preferred Group.

Musical director Barb Booth lives in Maxwell. She was a music educator in public schools until her retirement in 2004. She is a Realtor at Gateway/GMAC Realty and choral director at NPCC.

Kent Kittle was the pianist for the production. He is self-employed as a piano tuner and instructor and plays in the Hatchbacks jazz quartet. He has been pianist for many of the musical productions at the Playhouse.

The music for the play was written by Jule Styne, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The play is based on “Memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee,” by Arthur Laurents.

Tickets are available at the Playhouse from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, by going to or by calling 532-8559. Internet and phone ticket orders must be paid for with a credit card. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students. Tickets will also be available at the ticket window in front of the theater.

The performers are volunteers and if you aren’t a performer, then please support the Playhouse and the performers with your presence. It’s going to be a slushy weekend, just the perfect weekend for attending a play and supporting the talent in this community. I enjoyed it and I think you will too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flylady Column, Feb. 15

Scarlet O’Hara Syndrome
by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Our homes are filled with tons of stuff. There is only so much space in our homes but our stuff is expanding to fill every crack, crevice and cubby hole. It has grown at a cancerous rate!

In fact, it is not only multiplying at a remarkable rate but it is consuming us at the same time. It is robbing us of our self-esteem. It is stealing our time and it is alienating us from our family and friends. We have to put a stop to it.

I want you to think about when you first contracted this disease of stuff. In our book “Body Clutter,” we ask you what your comfort food was. We wanted you to look at why that food soothed you. I am going to use this assignment when it comes to our clutter. Clutter doesn’t happen overnight. It gradually sneaks in the door.

My clutter began to accumulate from having nothing but the clothes on my back after a bad marriage. Within a year I had accumulated everything I could possibly need into my two-bedroom cabin on the farm.

I like to think of this as the Scarlet O’Hara Syndrome. I was determined to never be without my stuff again. As a result of this stubborn resolve I unconsciously began collecting. Not for the sake of a cherished item but because I was trying to fill an empty hole. This is much the same way we do it with food. We will never be able to get enough stuff to fill that hole.

I want to help you eliminate this need for more stuff and at the same time give you the courage to let the clutter go. You don’t need “stuff” to define you as a person. This clutter is standing in the way of your peace.

I want you to take Scarlet’s quote – “As God is my witness, they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again." – and use it to help you eliminate your clutter. Let’s take her determination and use that power to Fling!

I am going to reword the quote for my FlyBabies:

“As God is my witness, CLUTTER is not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry for stuff again.”

We can stop this cancer in its tracks with our SHE (Sidetracked Home Executives) traits. We have determination! We can hyper-focus and we want to FLY! Finally Love Yourself!

Are you ready to get rid of your clutter, one bag at a time? That is how it came into your home. You can't organize clutter; you can only get rid of it. Organizing clutter is no better than a Band-Aid on a cancerous tumor. The growth needs to be removed before the healing can take place.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at or her book, Sink Reflections published by Bantam and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Fireside. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

True Valentine's Message

Having fun

Does sitting on a bucket on a bitterly cold day in the middle of a lake waiting for a fish to bite sound like fun to you?

It did to this family. I saw them ice fishing Saturday afternoon on the lake at Iron Horse Park south of Interstate 80 and got their permission to take their photo. It was too far away to hear so I didn't get their names. I wasn't about to walk out there!!

They are bundled up warmly, with their backs to the biting north wind.

Personally, my idea of fun is geared more toward being inside where it is warm and the bitterness of winter and scorching sun of summer can't find me. Perhaps having a cup of hot tea, watching a movie, reading a book, chatting on the computer with someone halfway around the world, playing word games - oh, I can definitely think of several things more fun than standing in the cold.

It probably doesn't matter to this family if they are catching fish or not. The main thing is, they are communicating, spending time together and building memories. What you do isn't nearly as important as the fact that you do it.

I hope this family caught plenty of fish. Even if they didn't, I'm pretty sure that 15-20 years from now the kids will still be talking about the time they were ice fishing and how cold it was. And, every time they tell the story it will get better and better.

What memories are you building with your family?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Please vote

I met Anna Kononova of Russia two summers ago. She and a friend were working in North Platte for the summer as a way for Anna to develop her English-speaking skills.

I was coming out of my doctor's office one afternoon and two young ladies were walking by. They stopped to ask me for directions to the library. Of course I HAD to ask them where they were from originally. When they said Russia, I was quite interested in their story.

It happened that a reporter from the newspaper was arriving for her appointment at the same time as I was talking to Anna and her friend, so I introduced them and suggested to the reporter this might make an interesting story for the paper.

The story was eventually written, then the TV station did a segment on Anna and her friend. From all that, people opened their homes to the two young women, taking them sightseeing, feeding them and making them feel welcome.

Anna has now posted a photo in a contest and she has asked me to help her get some votes. I believe she told me the photo she entered was taken in North Platte, but I'm not sure about it.

All you have to do is click on this link:

Anna's photo is No. 46. Click on the blue button in that box. Once you have voted a small box will pop up with a message. It's in Russian so I have no idea what it says, but Anna explained it's a message similar to saying your vote has been accepted.

You do not have to register and voting is free. You can vote daily until the end of the contest, which is the first part of March.

Thank you for doing this for Anna.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Make It Fun and the Family Will Help

Make It Fun and the Family Will Help

By The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

As sidetracked people, we are put off by anything that sounds like mundane housework. We are a fun-loving people. Why do we have to be stuck doing jobs we think will take us forever, when others are out having great time?

I have heard you many times as well as my own voice. We have a challenge every day to muster up enough gumption to get us moving. This is why I have tried to make it fun.

Timers have added an extra bit of fun and challenge to a project, but they also keep us on track. We all need to be reminded from time to time on what task we are doing. We can stay focused if all we have to do is 15 minutes. Children love timers, too.

Housework is such an ugly word. This is why I have tried to help you realize that you are not working when you are blessing your family!

We have been raised to believe that house cleaning is an all-day affair. No one needs to spend that kind of time maintaining your home. When you establish your routines and start dancing through your day with every move blessing your family, it is not like work at all.

I have always hated to dust. My mother made us remove everything from the tables, then dust and put everything back. It took what seemed like hours.
Now all I do is pull out my magic feather-dusting wand and buzz around my home while I am on the phone. Before I know it, our whole home -- every surface -- has been dusted. No mess or fuss! It has been done and I felt like a fairy princess gliding and dancing around my home. When was the last time you had that much fun dusting? If you take 2 minutes and feather dust every day, you will never have to see dusty finger streaks on your furniture. You know, the ones where someone in the family writes, "DUST ME!" In fact, you may never see dirt and dust again.

A real feather duster is a fun tool and mine even has some purple feathers in it. I feel so special when I use it. Just let me warn you, they can be addictive. When your family sees how much fun you are having, they will want to do it for you. This is kind of like Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence.

Children love the feather dusters too. It’s a tool that becomes a toy and does a job in the hands of your babies. Of course, you have to set the example and teach them how to use it.

Have you ever wondered how to get your children excited about keeping their rooms clean? I have a friend who figured it out many years ago and now she is making it available to everyone. Her creativity has children cleaning their rooms all over the world. Pam Young created the persona of the House Fairy. Go check out this other great tool for our children at Your children will run to clean their rooms.

Housework doesn't have to be dreaded. It can become a fun family game with everyone pitching in to help. You just need to make it enjoyable.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her Web site and join her free mentoring group at Or get her books, “Sink Reflections,” published by Bantam and her New York Times best-selling book, “Body Clutter,” published by Fireside. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.


All hope had been lost for any Haitians still missing after the Jan. 12 earthquake that left thousands dead. The rescue mission had many days ago been declared to be a recovery mission.

No one could still be alive after this length of time. That's what the authorities said.

However, today - Feb. 9 - a 28-year-old man was pulled from the rubble, emaciated but ALIVE!

What a strong message that sends to all of us -- NEVER give up hope. Even when all the odds seem stacked against us, we must have hope.

So many people in the world today seem to live without hope in their lives. Children in abusive homes. Battered spouses. Countries at war. Patients with terminal illnesses. Families living in poverty. The list is endless.

If I could give a gift to everyone, I would give hope. Hope believes in a better future, a better family, a better spouse, a better careeer. As long as there is hope, there is the promise of change for the better.

Authorities believe the young man who was pulled from the rubble in Haiti today will recover. Think of the rejoicing of not only his family and friends, but people around the world, for his miraculous recovery has given many others hope for today.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Questionable inventions

Do you ever see a new product and wonder why on earth it was needed?

That's what I think about the new soap dispenser that automatically shoots out some antibacterial soap when you slip your hand under the nozzle. The reasoning for the new product is because on the regular hand pumps in liquid soap dispensers you have to press down on the pump to get the soap. Who knows what you may have been doing that required you to need to wash your hands. Cleaned the cat's litter box? Cut up fresh chicken? Changed the baby's diaper?

Obviously germs are going to land on top of that pump when you press it to get soap to wash your hands.

So, OK, if you have an automatic dispenser then your hands won't ever have to touch the bottle.

But, wait a minute. Let's walk through this process. Your hands are dirty and laden with germs. You walk up to the liquid soap dispenser and use one of your dirty hands to push down on the pump to get some soap so you can wash your dirty hands.

You lather up the soap with very warm water and rinse thoroughly. So.... are you going to touch the top of the soap dispenser again with your clean hands? If you answer that with a yes, please tell me WHY.

When I've washed my hands, I don't go back and touch the soapy dispensers or containers.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but it does seem this was an invention that might not have been needed.

On the other hand, maybe the novelty of it will encourage youngsters to use more soap and water and wash their hands more often. That would indeed be a good thing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I've not been as faithful about posting to the blog as I had planned to be in this new year. I was doing pretty well until I ended up with some suspicious-looking patches. After a visit to the doctor -- who said if it looks like shingles and acts like shingles, you've got shingles -- I spent about two weeks in the house.

Now, since I was at home, you might ask why I didn't get anything written. Fair question. While I had a mild case of shingles, my body was still fighting an illness and I just was "blah."

More about shingles later.

The Fly Lady Feb. 3

How to Save Your Saturdays

by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Our whole lives we have played "Catch Up on the Weekends"!
This put a sense of dread into our daily life. We no longer looked forward to a wonderful weekend filled with fun with our friends and family.
This all started when we were children. It is how our mothers did it! We would have to spend all day Saturday cleaning house or we were banished to our rooms for the evening. I truly believe this is why we despise cleaning house. It has always been a punishment for us.
I want you to have a reward for your Home Blessing Efforts. A Saturday to play is a great gift for you.
The solution to saving your Saturdays is very simple. Let's think about how many hours you spend frantically cleaning to catch up from a whole week tossing your routines out into the street. Between our piling and procrastination, our homes look like a bomb went off.
You can look at a room and see evidence of the things that were done this week. You know, the package that had to be wrapped for a birthday party or the whole week's worth of mail piled on the kitchen counter that is about to fall into the floor.
On Saturday you don't wake up all excited about cleaning all day. You sleep in a bit, then drag around in your pajamas for a couple of hours with a pot of coffee to get you moving in the right direction. By the time you get started it is already noon. The next six hours are spent cleaning like a banshee so you don't feel terrible. All the while you are yelling out orders for everyone in the family to get in gear.
I get sick just thinking about what we have done to us and our family, all because we lie to ourselves with these words: "I DON'T HAVE TIME"! The truth is that what you don't have are ROUTINES.
You have the time, you just choose not to do anything because you don't think you have six hours to do it right. Well, you don't have six hours to clean like a banshee -- but you do have 15 minutes. Implementing just five minutes in the morning, when you come home from work and before bed will give you back your Saturdays.
Maybe we can call this our 5-Minute Room Saturday Rescue. The secret is to pick up after yourself and get the family to do it right along with you. It can become a fun game. Set your timer three times a day -- mornings, when you get home from work or school, and just before bed. Everyone has to put away the things that belong to them. It is up to you to remember to do it. When you forget you only make it harder to do the next time.
This does not mean you can leave the dishes in the sink and on the table. This is part of cleaning up after dinner and shining your sink. If you do this all week long then on Saturday you can do your Weekly Home Blessing Hour. With your piles put away and hot spots extinguished, your Weekly Home Blessing Hour is a breeze. Then you are off to have some fun.
For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out the FLYlady's Web site and join her free mentoring group at, or get her book, "Sink Reflections," published by Bantam. Also look for her New York Times Best Selling book, "Body Clutter," published by Fireside. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

Good words to live by