To Recombobulate or Not: that is the question

FL Sister id tagI’ve been accused of inventing words. Like I would DO that!  Like there aren’t enough words in the dictionary already. Or like I would try to improve on Mr. Webster! Really! The very idea!

Okay, put away the truth serum, I will reverse that denial. I hereby plead guilty! But the title of this post is not evidence of that creative word quirkiness. I have proof that REcombobulation is a real word and I found it in an airport – St. Louis, I believe.

REcombobulation area sm

OOOOPS! Sorry about that. Let me REcombobulate …


REcombobulation cropped sm

Yep! There it is in plain English …

The huge sign was there just after the part where I had to unpack the carry-on of all “hazardous, explosive and noxious materials” as well explain the seam ripper and needle threader to the TSA man as I stood there in my bare feet holding my scarf, my sweater and my laptop while trying not to drop my watch, my bracelet and the zip lock baggie of 3oz grooming supplies. I desperately NEEDED to be REcombobulated!

Becky with RE sign sm

See, I even have my scarf on straight!

Now, the DIScombobulated verbage – and status thereof – is not unfamiliar to me but this RE sign was a new encounter. Never having seen such a sign, I had to investigate its origins. So as I sat waiting in the gate area I googled “combobulate” and here’s what I found:

(Verb) To put together in a somewhat mysterious manner. To manufacture by some unusual or novel means.

Very helpful. Especially the part that gave me an example of usage: Usage: We must think out-of-the-box in order to combobulate a solution to overcome all these seemingly impossible challenges.

After reading that, I realized that much of my life has been spent combobulating! I am a combobulator! I have combobulationary gifts! And now, after going through the St. Louis airport, I had taken it to a new level – I had achieved REcombobulationary success!

I felt validated and affirmed beyond what any sign maker might have imagined!


Dictionaries can be a wonderful tool for establishing self worth!

As far as I’m concerned, the DIScombobulated part is so much easier to achieve! It comes without any effort whatsoever. I think it has something to do with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – that part about everything falling apart instead of improving.

You, too, may have encountered “discombobulation” in conversation before. Or maybe in your sewing studio. (that word sounds so much more productive and efficient and organized than “sewing room” – know what I’m sayin’? I mean, “studio” sounds like a step away from DIS and toward RE – combobulation, I think.)

So I carried my new identifying word home with me. I would now not only be a master combobulator but I would also pursue REcombobulation in multiple areas of life! Here’s my thinking: however quirky my original combobulation might appear to be, if it can be REcombobulated after life causes it to be DIScombobulated then it becomes a pillar in the stabilization of my arena of life and it is therefore to be considered valid and real and wonderful – and not quirky at all!



This is NOT my studio. I just keep the picture to feel better about how my studio gets when “creativity” is at high levels.

My first challenge to the REcombobulation Transformation was, not surprisingly, my STUDIO. It had fallen out of combobulation in a major way. Fortunately I could consult Pinterest where I found the following advice from

Now I warn you, this is some hard core stuff. This writer surrounds her organizing posts with layers of other organizing posts. Like: 11 Things you need to throw away. Which is right next to: 100+ Cleaning and Organizing Hacks. 100? 100+? I feel like I should put a big red D on the front of my shirt. (For DIScombobulated, of course! And DISmayed! And also for DISaster!)

But, the ideas I found could be a giant step toward studio REcombobulation!

Questions to Declutter Your Studio:

  1. Have I used it in the last year? (Tools)
  2. If I were shopping right now, would I buy it? (this one brand)
  3. Is the only reason I’m keeping it because I don’t want to waste money? (you already did if you aren’t using it)
  4. Am I holding on to it for sentimental reasons? Someone gave it to me?
  5. Do I have a similar item that serves the same purpose? That I like better?
  6. Do I have a realistic plan for using it? Bag it as a kit
  7. Does it really fit me or my living space? (brights and I only use homespun)
  8. Is it broken and I plan to repair? Sharpen? Mend?
  9. Is the project FINISHED that I used it in? (backed, bound, labeled, etc.)
  10. Can it be cut into a pre-cut scrap? 2 1/2″ strip, square, charm, layer cake

Does all of that help you at all? I surely do hope so because I feel better just thinking and writing about getting my studio REcombobulated. Even though now, after all this talking and writing, I need to go make supper and I don’t have any time left today to actually get REcombobulated.

But at least now I have a partial plan for it. Kind of. Starting soon. Maybe.

orderly studio

This is NOT my studio either. It’s just my inspiration, motivation photo. Can that count as REcombobulation Step1?

Wait – didn’t someone once say “DIScombobulation is the mother of creative genius” ???

I was sure I saw that embroidered on a pillow somewhere. Or on a cool pallet board sign in a cool font with a cool decorative flourish in the corner.

No? You could be right. I think that was “Begun is half done.”

Does talking about REcombobulation with blog friends count as having begun? No?

Would you mind leaving your best REcombobulation tip here while I go combobulate something for supper?

Categories: Sister isn't answering her phone, so I'm telling you ... | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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