Mar 062015
Is this spring?

Is this spring?

It has been a while since my last post and yes, I’m still here! There has been an overwhelming amount of activity to take care of lately: skiing lessons, more doctor appointments for the baby, keeping up with the homeschooling, preparing my children to participate in a cross-country wedding and getting the house ready for our new arrival. Sadly, my blog has seen the brunt of my neglect.

Yesterday, the Fredericksburg area was treated to a surprise 6 inch snowstorm! While we have spring in mind, the weather has other ideas. This is the first winter I can remember in Virginia where we have had snow on the ground for more than two weeks at a time.


Of course, some are thrilled by the snow, especially my son who loves to go out and play in it.

Measuring the snow.

Measuring the snow.

Yesterday's snowfall?  6 inches.

Yesterday’s snowfall? 6 inches.




Exhaustion at the end of his snow play.  He barely made it in the door.

Exhaustion at the end of his snow play. He barely made it in the door.

In the next few posts, I hope to catch you up on some of our recent activities and the organizational lessons that came along with them.

Behind the scenes in March, I will be:

  • preparing our tax returns
  • doing some early spring cleaning
  • working on some home maintenance projects
  • cooking some healthy meals to freeze in advance
  • packing a bag for the hospital

What are your goals for March? Please share in the comments.

P.S. Reminder that this Sunday is Daylight Savings Time! Time to “spring forward” one hour at 2:00 a.m. Sunday and readjust all of our schedules.

 Posted by on March 6, 2015 General Tagged with: , , ,
Mar 092012

I have been enjoying the sunshine streaming in my windows each morning as I wake and sadly, this weekend that may go away. It’s daylight saving time this weekend. Time to turn those clocks forward one hour tomorrow night and start Sunday morning one hour earlier. Early birds must love this time of year but night owls like myself are going to be off-kilter for a few weeks.

Also, fair warning that there are now:



days left for Americans to file their tax returns for 2011. The tax deadline this year is:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You might want to consult my Tax Preparation Tips.

Also, you might consider doing the following to make your tax preparation next year a little easier:

Ruly Tax Organizing Tip
As you input your various sources of 2011 income, expenses, deductions, etc. make a list of what documents you need to complete your return and put it into a folder called “Taxes 2012.” Next year when January 1 rolls around and you start receiving various tax documents, you can check off the list to see what you have and what is missing.

 Posted by on March 9, 2012 General Tagged with: ,
Nov 042011

There is so much change and busy-ness afoot lately that I wanted to remind my U.S. readers of the following upcoming calendar items.

"Clock from the 'Haouse under the star' museum." Photo by Kaja Kozłowska. From the Flickr Creative Commons.

Daylight Savings Time
This weekend is the change to Daylight Savings Time. Set your clock back one hour beginning Sunday, November 6 at 2 a.m. (Yay! More sleep for everyone!) Those with small children will probably have an adjustment period for several weeks. My sympathies. Generally, it is recommended that you change your smoke alarm batteries and furnace filters at this time as well.

"Election Day 2009 (Boston)." Photo by Chris Hartman. From the Flickr Creative Commons.

Election Day
This coming Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day. Note that in some places (like Virginia) there has been some recent redistricting so make sure you double-check where your polling place is, when the polls are open and which candidates and issues you are voting for. Based on my own informal testing, your best bet is to Google your applicable state board of elections website for the most accurate information. If you live in Virginia, for example, you can find out where to vote here and what is on your local ballot, here.

Flu Shots
Finally, November marks the start of flu season. If you have not had a flu shot yet, it is a good weekend to get one. It can take up to two weeks after you have the shot to develop immunity so better to start as soon as possible. This year’s flu shot is identical to last year’s flu strains. I got my shot in September and aside from a little muscle soreness at the injection site did not experience any side effects. Two of my children received the live nasal drops version of the vaccine and also had no ill effects. Locally, the cost for a flu shot is running about $25 and many people can request reimbursement from their health insurer. This year, nearly every chain pharmacy and many chain stores are offering flu shot clinics or walk-in shots. We just got this nifty coupon in the mail from Target for a $5 Target gift card with flu shot so you might check your mailbox. On behalf of all those who can’t get flu shots, (like my son who is too young) I thank you for helping keep all of us healthy and safe.

Have a great weekend!

 Posted by on November 4, 2011 General Tagged with: , ,
Nov 022009

It is the beginning of a new month and a new time system as well. With the start of Daylight Savings Time this weekend, we now run an hour “behind” where we were last week. I have always been a fan of the “fall back” portion of Daylight Savings Time and the day makes more sense to me on this schedule. If everything seems off to you, I sympathize as I go through the same struggle each spring when I am perpetually an hour behind.

Before I preview what the next month holds for Ruly, I wanted to share with you the wonderful experience our neighborhood had with Halloween this year. There are some good lessons here for how organization can bring a community together. In the past, our neighborhood had a poor experience with Halloween. There were almost no trick-or-treaters and even if you tried trick-or-treating, it seemed there was almost no one offering treats so most trick-or-treaters gave up after a few houses. There was general dissatisfaction on all fronts with the holiday.

This year, I worked with a committee of neighbors to try to change things. We came up with a plan to organize the event. We created a list of houses offering treats and a route map and distributed it to the neighborhood. We also provided an estimate of how many children would be participating so that those offering treats would have enough. While most of our communications took place via e-mail, for our older neighbors without Internet access, we created an alternative “signal” to have the neighbors put up Halloween decorations if they were participating in Halloween.

Instead of a sad, disappointing holiday, we had a wonderful event that re-energized our neighborhood. While the number of households participating was not large in absolute terms, those that did participate did so enthusiastically. We had amazing decorations, generous treats, and delighted children. The event brought our community closer together and new friendships were formed. It is wonderful to see how a little investment of effort (and a little organization) can make a big difference.

In the month of November, wonderful things are coming to The Ruly Blog. We have several exciting new features to introduce, which will stay a surprise for now but which I think you will really enjoy. Please stay tuned! In general, the month will focus on organization related to food and eating. Whether you are getting ready to feast throughout the coming holiday months or trying to stick to a diet, Ruly has strategies to help you order your eating.

Have a wonderful week! Type to you on Wednesday with the Ruly Challenge for the month.

 Posted by on November 2, 2009 Previews Tagged with: , , , ,