How To Make An Emergency FLYing Kit

I really don’t know why I didn’t think of this before to write as a blog.  Many have been sick with cold and flu this season and it makes it very difficult to FLY.  So what should you do?  I suggest you make a ‘Emergency FLYing Kit.’

What are two things that pile up when you get sick?  Dishes and Laundry.  If you are practicing the ‘Daily 9’s’ it shouldn’t get too bad.  They are the habits that keep you, your family and your home going.   I can’t help you with the laundry but I can with the dishes!

Emergency Flying Kit
That’s right.  It is something to put together ‘before’ you get sick.  It is as follows:

Paper Plates
Plastic Silverware
Plastic Glasses
Three ‘Meal Ideas’ that promote ‘Easy Clean up.’
Some may say using these things are not good for the environment.  I say NOT using them is not good for a sick caregiver such as yourself.  If you had a birthday party you are likely to have some leftover paper plates.  Maybe from the holidays.  Use them up. 
I average just two times a week where I will eat a meal on a paper plate.  I have plastic silverware and glasses if I really need them.  It is just me so washing some silverware is no big deal for me.  But if you have a family, the last thing you want to do are dishes.  
FLY stands for First Love Yourself others come next.  Do yourself a favor and put a kit together.  Put some napkins in there too.  If you don’t have to worry about all the cleanup you will have to do when you feel better, who knows maybe you just might recover sooner!
I hope you will take this idea seriously.  I live with Fibromyalgia and for me just eating on paper plates a couple of times a week makes a world of difference in my FLYing.
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Inheriting A Weigela Shrub

Timing Is Everything!

I knew I was inheriting a Weigela. I just didn’t know when. The church I belong to decided to remove the bushes simply because of the maintenance issue.  One of the shrubs is a weigela. Every spring I admire it and had placed it on my ‘wish list’. I was intending to buy one but if I can get one that is also ‘Blessed’, why not?

The lawn maintenance is done by church members.  This means after work or farm chores are done. Last night around 7 PM they came in to remove the shrubs. I was up to my neck in fertilizing my tomatoes and peppers in my vegetable garden.

I also had other projects going that needed to be followed through. I placed the weigela in a bucket of water until I was through.

A couple hours later I was finished. I knew I had to get the shrub into the ground before I went to bed but I needed a break! It was already dark and I knew I would have to be planting it by a trouble light. So I took an hour break.

*Before I go any further let me clarify something. Yes I live with Fibromyalgia and Arthritis with a disc degeneration in my back.  I am disabled and cannot work a regular 40 hour job. It doesn’t however keep me from not doing anything.

*Gardening is a love of mine. It keeps my mind off of the daily pain I experience by redirecting my thoughts on gardening resulting in beauty. Who doesn’t love beauty? I have been called a ‘work horse’ and I do love to be involved in things. What you don’t hear in my writing all the breaks I have to take during the day. I have to decide on the number of spoons and the size of them. I don’t always get it right and end up paying for it.

Planting My Weigela By A Trouble Light

I ended up taking an hour and a half break before I was going to attack this project. It was around midnight. I have a trouble light and knew I was planting it near my home so I had electricity to use. Note: I am sure glad I live in a small town! I didn’t have to explain to an officer that I wasn’t digging a hole to bury a body! I just had to get this shrub in if I wanted to save it.

The ground was rock hard. In order to get this done at I watered it down. It made digging with my potato fork easier but I created another problem – MUD! The following are my steps to create a new home for the weigela shrub…

Finding the best place.
Finding the best place.
Let the digging begin!
Let the digging begin!
Look at the size of those roots!
An hour later I was able to place the weigela shrub into it’s new home and give it a good watering.
These flowers are why I fell in love with this shrub.
If you think it was an easy job, I am telling you it wasn’t. I fought the clay dirt that turned to mud. No leg squats in the gym for me! I was getting plenty of exercise carrying all the extra mud. Wearing my rubbers over my lace up shoes helped me get the job done easier.
Looks like it didn’t experience much transplant shock by looking at it this morning.
This is the general area I planted the shrub. As you can see another project going on in the background. I decided to add to my fence another 8 feet. Got that done this morning. Will have a blog about that soon.

Am I gardening like the experts would want you  to? Probably not. When I decided to get back into gardening I decided I was going to let go of ‘Perfectionism and Procrastination’. This is the reason I call my blog/website ‘Marilyn’s Way To Home & Garden’.  What this really means is learn to garden ‘Your Way’.  Sure you will have some hits and misses. Isn’t that what life is all about? Go ahead, do it your way and enjoy yourself!



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The Number One Tool To Help You With Fibromyalgia

Note: May 12th Is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

Maybe you cannot pronounce it, maybe you don’t understand it. Just know one thing. This is REAL and too many mostly women are living with it. It is called Fibromyalgia. I will also reveal the number one tool that has helped me the most in dealing with fibromyalgia but first some reasons why it is so difficult to treat.

Different Levels Affecting All Areas

There are all levels and it affects all areas. Fibromyalgia is a Central Nervous System Sensitization Disorder. This is why it is so difficult to manage.

Add Perpetuating Factors To The Mix

To best explain ‘Perpetuating Factors’ Devin Starlanyl Initiating, Aggravating And Perpetuating Factors Description click on the link. She has by far the best explanation and has written books as well.

Once one can ‘Identify Perpetuating Factors’, that is when the work begins at getting rid of them. This is so much harder than it sounds. Take it from me who has been diagnosed with it since 1989.

For the past year I have been reading up on how almost every illness happens in the gut. To rule this out, I have gone grain free, gluten free, almost dairy free (I eat yogurt/frozen and will eat cheese from time to time), sugar free, and junk food free. Yes, I slip every once in a while because this is such a restricted diet.

After Three Months On Dietary Changes

I can say I feel somewhat better. May that as it be, I still hurt, have sleeping problems and chronic fatigue. I have not reached the level where I can live a somewhat normal life because of these perpetuating factors.

Gearing Up To Seek Out Doctors Who Will Listen Again

It has been about four years since I have actively pursued ruling out other illnesses that can mimic fibromyalgia. In order to do this I have had to grow a thick skin metaphorically speaking.  Part of the problem is when a doctor doesn’t know, he or she won’t come out and say they don’t know and refer you on to someone else that may possibly know. THAT’s where many of the problems are found making it difficult to seek out a cause and be provided the treatment one needs to begin to get well.

The second part of the problem is if you seek out different doctors for various areas of your health, there is no guarantee that the doctors will consult with one another to help you solve your fibromyalgia. What is one to do then?

The #1 Tool That Has Helped The Most Is…

If you want to get to the bottom of this, I am here to tell you none of it is an overnight cure all. That said, there are many things one can do.

Get yourself a notebook/binder that will be your number one tool. Keep all of your health information, lab tests together and become your very own detective. It is the best tool out there today. The notebook/binder assists you in ruling out all possibilities.

Why Am I Ready To Battle The Purple Monster Again?

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and I simply won’t stand for any doctor to say it is all in my head. Of course it is all in my head! It is a Central Nervous System Sensitization Syndrome. The article explains it well.

That said, I will not stand for any doctor who believes it is emotional for the sake of it being emotional. Of course it is emotional! Not being able to live the life you had planned and being able to have all the opportunities that other healthy individuals receive is going to make a person emotional.

No one asks to get Fibromyalgia like no one asks to get Cancer. The difference between the two? Cancer has a cure giving you the opportunity to get better. Fibromyalgia does not. If not treated properly, both disease and syndrome have one thing in common. You can die from them. Usually with Fibromyalgia it will be the perpetuating factors that will be the cause as many who have fibromyalgia can simply die of a ‘Broken Heart’.

To the ones that don’t understand fibromyalgia, give your friends and family the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t understand it. Tell your loved one you don’t.

Finally the best thing you can do to help your friend or family member is to be patient and compassionate. When you have plans and the plans fall through because they are hurting, don’t start not asking to do things with them. Just be prepared that it may be a bad day. Just like we don’t know when we can get bad weather again from the next system that passes through, it is the same for fibromyalgia. AND get this… The two are correlated together. It has everything to do with the barometric pressure.

How Do I Know What I Know To Date?

It is simply a matter of jotting notes down into a notebook/binder to collect information in hopes of solving your case. I no longer want to be talked down to. I have wasted so much of my life hiding. Hiding from ones that don’t understand, hiding from myself because I don’t know what to do next, and finally hiding from life. The latter is the one that hurts the most.

Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. If a friend or family member wants to let you know about the awareness day, stop what you are doing and ask them, “What can I do to help make your journey to find the answers related to fibromyalgia?” Most will say to understand that you may not understand fibromyalgia and that’s alright.”

If you liked what you read, PLEASE SHARE! You just help someone have a better day than they started with.


Do The 25 Scoop! And Cha Cha Cha!

When I created Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System (c) 2015  three requirements had to be part of the system.

           1.  SIMPLE

                    2.  EFFECTIVE

             3. DOABLE

In order for it to work it also had to be………


 Many systems suggest ‘decluttering 15 minutes’ at a time. Have you ever set your timer and then froze wondering how to go about it? I KNOW I HAVE!!!

So much of our attitude sits between our 2 ears. We have to get creative in order for us to make this 1. Simple  2. Effective 3. Doable.

One of the ways I have learned to distract myself enough to get this part of taking care of yourself, your family and your home is to count the number of items. It doesn’t matter how big or how small they are. Just start counting. I chose the number of items to be 25 simply because that is the day of the month I was born. Nothing more.

What happens when the phone rings and a friend says, “I will be over to visit you in about 15 minutes”? Most of us will get a basket or tub, run through the house and begin to SCOOP things up. If we make our habits jive with our individuality our chances of sticking with it are great!

Take doing the 25 SCOOP a step further and………


Next time you declutter put some music on and do a 25 Scoop And Cha Cha Cha!


If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at and I will add you to the group!

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Keep It Simple!

When All Else Fails, Keep It Simple!

How many times are we going to venture out looking for the ‘Perfect System’ to take care of ourselves, our family and our home?

Recently I ventured out doing this to make sure I was covering everything I needed to that would help my members of Marilyn’s Way. What did I find instead? CONFUSION.

Yes, there are some wonderful systems out there. Only in my dreams would I be able to do everything they ask. WHY?  Because in Dreams is where the perfect world exists.

The REAL World

Face it, we are in an age where information is available at the touch of a mouse. Never have we been able to find information so easily as we do right now. That said, are we using the filter Common Sense to keep us centered in our day? Apparently not. Instead we continue to look for the perfect _____________. Well, there isn’t one. So what is the next best thing? Keep It Simple.

So many of us want to be able to learn everything all at once.  The problem with this is failure seems to be the only thing that wins. Instead why not start at the bottom and work your way up? That is what Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs model suggests.


That is how I set up Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System (c) 2015. Make sure you allow enough time in your day to accomplish the 9 habits. From there, you add the next level and so forth.


Will there be days where you are not able to accomplish all the levels in the triangle? Of course there will. Do the best you can.

If nothing more, I have learned I must be consistent and prioritize my day. Doing this allows me to be the most effective I can be.

Fibromyalgia Flare

Recently I have been in the worst ‘Fibromyalgia Flare’ in over two years. I have certainly been challenged when it comes to taking care of myself, my family (furry 4 legged ones) and my home.

How did I keep my home from going back into CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome)?  What did I focus on?

The first level of Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System (c) 2015. That is the 9 habits that will get you from one day to the next and keep you out of CHAOS.


Sure there were days that I didn’t do a Load Of Laundry. That said, I simply would not let it go beyond 3 loads to wash. How have I been able to do the rest? By taking breaks and resting in between.

I kept it simple. I didn’t worry so much about the other levels to Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System (c) 2015. They would be there when I felt better.


If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at and I will add you to the group!


31 Days Of Cha Cha Cha Event!

Christmas will soon be over. More items will come in than go out. What does that spell? CLUTTER! CLUTTER! CLUTTER! 

What to do? Have a 31 Days Of Cha Cha Cha Event! It stands for ‘Throw Away’ ‘Give Away’ and ‘Put Away’. January is a great month for this event. Many will be taking down Christmas trees and decorations and will already be in the Cha Cha Cha mood!

Every day in January find something to Cha Cha Cha each day! It is a fun way of saying each day to Throw Away, Give Away, and Put Away 1 item and see what a difference it will make. If you are in the beginning stages of decluttering focus on 3 items each day.

It is your event to do as you choose. I know I can find one item of each for each day in January. Can you? Make the month of January a fun one to beat the winter blues! ~Marilyn.


Special Note: I will be doing the Cha Cha Cha with you and blogging about things I learn along the way. Come join the fun in my ‘Secret Facebook Group’ ‘Marilyn’s Way!’ To do this simply send a friend request to me at and I will add you to the group where we discuss ways to remove CLUTTER and CHAOS from our homes and build great friendships along the way.

One thing that we all know is ‘Housework Never Ends’. We get up the next day and do it all over again. Learn how to make it easier on yourself by practicing 9 habits each day from Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System.

Living With Fibromyalgia 3 Tools To Heal You

Most of the time in my blog I write about Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System along with home and garden interests. I also have been living with fibromyalgia since 1989 and would like to write about ways I have helped myself to heal.

When I talk about healing it is not of fibromyalgia itself. At this time there is no cure. It doesn’t mean that I can’t heal my spirit. When I write about healing it is about the spirit.

One would not want to wish having fibromyalgia on one’s worst enemy.  You see fibromyalgia affects the central nervous system. It is like having an outdated computer. One day it can affect your pain level. The next day it is your fatigue. And yet a third day it can affect your level of nausea. Then when the CNS does not know what is happening, the default of ‘Itching’ kicks in.

There is not one thing that is the main cause of fibromyalgia and that is why it is such a frustrating illness. A ‘Flare’ is when all of this is going on at once. What can we do who are affected by this? The following are 3 simple tools that will assist you in healing your spirit.

  • Start Where You Are

That’s right. We need a beginning, a middle and an end to each of our days. Before I began to focus on healing my spirit, I was a ‘5 year pajama junkie’. I never had a starting point. Each day ran into each other that turned into weeks, months and years. There is a saying, ‘I have fibromyalgia but it doesn’t have me’. By focusing on your spirit you have just gained control of yourself again. Where ever that is will be your starting point.

  • Use What You Have

Look around you. Many of us deal with trigger points in our muscles. This is where the blood supply can’t get. You have heard the saying, ‘I am tied up in knots’. That is the easiest explanation. One of the goals is to break up the trigger points. You don’t need to have fancy tools to do this. A tennis ball in a sock so you can position it to the right spot on your back will work. Our goal is to get blood and fluids flowing in the area again. For legs, you can use a regular rolling-pin. Roll it up and down your leg. You will feel where the trigger points are. For feet nothing is better than a good epsom salt soak. It will give your feet some flexibility again.

  • Do What You Can

This is one of the most important tools. There is ‘Always’ something you can do to help yourself heal. Read uplifting passages. Establish ‘Me Time’ each day. Learn to pace yourself.

Above all else, drink your water. This alone will help you with your fibromyalgia. Many of us get dehydrated and don’t even know it. Have you ever left out a piece of meat or better yet a chicken drumstick too long? Well that is what happens to our muscles. They shrink up and won’t work properly. It is important to stay hydrated.

Fibromyalgia is multi-faceted and in order to gain some type of control in your life it is best to start with your spirit. As of this publishing, there is no cure. There are only simple ways to make ourselves a bit more comfortable. We have to learn to be our own detective. What I have given you are 3 tools to get you started in healing your spirit while having fibromyalgia.

“I have Fibromyalgia but it doesn’t have me.”


Note: PLEASE SHARE! The above is my perception of living with fibromyalgia. I am not a doctor and do not claim any cures. My purpose is to help others with fibromyalgia to learn to build their lives in spite of having fibromyalgia and one way is to begin to heal your spirit. ~Marilyn


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Finish It Up Fridays!

Recently I have found a name and a description for the 5 working days of the week. I like the addition to Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System. Of course it is always optional and can be used for variety.

Why I decided to have some fun names for each day of the working week is to provide structure. Remember Sundays many families have sat down to a chicken dinner. When one thought of Sunday they immediately associated it with church and chicken dinner. Today I am writing about Friday.

‘Finish It Up Fridays’ is simply that! Whatever projects you have been working on during the week, today is the day to finish them up so Saturday can be fun time and Sunday a day of rejuvenating yourself. Examples of ‘Finish It Up Fridays’ are:

  • Undone Paperwork With A Deadline
  • Balancing Your Checkbook
  • Any Household Project You Started During The Week
  • List Is Endless

If we learn to plan our lives one week at a time, the days and months go so much better. Why? Because breaking things up by days, weeks, months, quarters, and years makes ones life a bit more manageable and isn’t that what we all are searching for?


If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at and I will add you to the group!

Turnaround Tuesday!

Let’s just say Monday hasn’t gone as planned. Not to worry. ‘Turnaround Tuesday’ is just around the corner.

I have been increasing my exercise and now the ole knee is acting up. I am finding trigger points caused by my fibromyalgia everywhere in the right calf of my leg. I have been consulting with Devin Starlanyl and Justine Jeffries experts in the field and have some solutions in the mix in which I will be sharing at a later date.

Trigger points don’t care if you need to get dressed to shoes. They hold on for dear life because that is their job. It took me longer than usual to ‘Get Dressed To Shoes’ as I needed to use my tens unit on my leg. Nevertheless, I got my shower and dressed to shoes. During this time I implemented my ‘Swish & Swipe’ in the bathroom. After all, I was already there. This is also the time that I ask the question, ‘What’s For Dinner?’. I am happy that I made a batch of chili this weekend so a bowl of that and a tossed salad is what I had for dinner this evening.

One thing when you are laid up for half the morning, there is lots of time to think. I decided to put my mind to work on planning for this week I call my ‘Merengue Planning Day’ of Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System that I created for myself to become ‘consistent’ in ‘spite’ of my fibromyalgia’. Things I plan are the bills I need to pay, phone calls to make, paperwork that needs to be filled out , a few meals I plan to make and the day I plan to do my ‘Doo Wop Errand Day’. Tomorrow I will run to town for things I need. I am hoping for it to be a quick trip and to leave in the morning. My list is made and ready to go.

Trigger points in fibromyalgia love to zap your energy as well. It is a tug of war as they want to stay in a knot where I am trying to work them out like bumps out of saltwater taffy. An unplanned afternoon nap had to take place if I was going to get the rest of my 9 habits done. Releasing trigger points is exhausting. Nevertheless necessary.

Working trigger points in muscles is like working the bumps out of saltwater taffy.
Working trigger points in muscles is like working the bumps out of saltwater taffy.

I am glad that I put a ‘load of laundry’ in the wash after I took my shower and before my afternoon nap. The clothes are now in the dryer and I am hearing the buzzer go off. I may have to run a fluff cycle because during my planning session I realized I have more projects than normal for this week. When this happens I corral them in a plastic tote that I can work out of instead of it scattered everywhere. I have a couple more things to put in the tote.

My projects for the week are corralled in the tote. Trixie reminds me that she needs to be part of my week too!
My projects for the week are corralled in the tote. Trixie reminds me that she needs to be part of my week too!

The buzzer is going off again on the dryer. That means it is time to end this blog so I can get them folded and put away.

What’s left? I need to set up my coffee pot for tomorrow. This is when I make sure my ‘Sink is Shined’. I will pick out my outfit for tomorrow when I put the folded clothes away. My ‘Launch Pad’ consists of my purse and ‘Where’s My Keys?’ I have them both in a convenient place to make it easy to take when I head out the door.

I am sure glad I remembered that tomorrow is ‘Turnaround Tuesday’ so I could make plans to turn things around for the week!


If you like what you just read, Please Share! If you would like to become a member of my secret Facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we talk about getting rid of clutter and CHAOS from our home send me a friend request at and I will add you to the group!



A New Dance! Crisis Cleaning!


Are you ready for a new dance? Most are this time of year. The dance I will be talking about today is ‘Crisis Cleaning’.

The extended family is coming to your home for the holidays. Most of us hold our breath in and afraid to let it out. We seem to panic when company is coming. Why? Peer pressure is probably the main issue.

We have all been here before. Some several times. The point is yes I need to do a ‘Crisis Clean’ and this time I will do it confidently. Why? Because I am giving you a step by step way to crisis clean hitting the high points of your home first that will help you get through this dance.


  1. Get Dressed To Shoes – Before you do anything when it comes to the house, this is the most important step that helps you to begin. I could tell you all the reasons but that is for another time. Take faith and ‘Just Do It’.
  2. Three Zones To Focus On – Bathroom, Kitchen and Living Room. This is where your guests will be spending their time. Do these three areas first and in this order.
  3. Entry and Bedrooms – After the three zones are done.
  4. Start with the Bathroom – We start with the bathroom. Why? Part of getting dressed to shoes will be spent in the bathroom. You are already here so let’s do the ‘Swish & Swipe’. It helps to give a bottle of Windex and some paper towels a home. Set them by the toilet bowl cleaner in the cabinet. Swish the toilet and swipe the mirrors and sink.
  5. Kitchen – Lots of action will be taking place here!  Have you turned your dancing music on yet? ‘Do It Now’. If you have dishes in the sink and on the counter, move them aside. Empty the sink and fill it with hot water and some bleach. Let it soak. Grab a trash bag and begin to move from left to right and clockwise around the kitchen and get rid of trash. There is always plenty in the kitchen. This will free up some space.
  6. Living Room – While the sink is soaking, move on to the living room with your trash bag and start tossing. Magazines and newspapers first, the rest next. Slip into the bathroom to look for trash there. This is the first ‘Cha’ of the Cha Cha Cha. We will take this bag and put it outside in the trash. This includes all trash cans in these areas as well. We have to ‘throw away’ before we can ‘give away’ and ‘put away’ We are not going to be getting into detailed decluttering but if we see something that can be given away it is going into a box. Scan the three rooms quickly and without much thought. Whatever you collect take it to the car to be donated on your next errand day. Here comes the hardest. It is the ‘Put Away’ part of the crisis cleaning. It will be a challenge but can be done. Go to each of the top 3 rooms and gather like items to be picked up and put away in the general area it belongs. Do some light dusting in the living room.
  7. Break Time! – Remember this is a crisis clean. We just want our homes presentable for a short period of time while having guests. If we have to ‘Stash n Dash’ so be it.  The only way one can keep it clean is by creating 9 habits to practice each day that take care of ourselves, our families and our home’. We crisis clean for 30 minutes, take a break for 15 minutes, repeat until done.
  8. Back To The Kitchen – Scrub around the faucets and the faucet itself. You can also scrub around the edge of your sink. Drain you bleach water and next fill up one side of the sink with hot soapy water. It is time to do the dishes and get them done whether it is hand washing or putting them into the empty dishwasher. We cannot scrub our counters and appliances until we get rid of the dishes and anything else sitting out. If you are hand washing your dishes, as soon as you are done, move on to drying them and putting them away. This is crucial. It helps you get to the next step of wiping counters, cupboards and appliances down. Move from left to right, top to bottom and move clockwise around the room using your left hand to lift objects so you can wipe with your right hand. Continue to work around the room until you get back to the sink. Depending on how dirty the counters are you may have to back track to clean you dish cloth out and then go back to where you left off.
  9. Floors, floors, floors – Vacuum all your floors if you can to pick up dirt and dust. Then mop the floors and you are done! If you have some free time touch up the entry and if you don’t have time for the bedrooms, you can always shut the door!


If you want to gain control so crisis cleaning isn’t an issue I invite you into my facebook group Marilyn’s Way where we practice Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! that involves 9 daily habits plus a weekly one for a specific day. Once we get comfortable with the first level we move on to the 2nd. It is monthly zone events for specific weeks. Finally the 3rd level is where we have our special events that last all month long in specific area certain times of the year to assist in maintaining your home. You can join by sending me a personal friend request at and I will add you to the group.