The Great De-Clutter of 2017 has made its way to my office. I avoided this room for some time because it is my neatness nemesis, a “catch all” room.
I’ve got my own personal sweat shop in here complete with multiple sewing machines and all the notions needed to sew anything you could dream of as a Halloween costume. There is enough loose fabric to clothe a small village. And beware office intruders as a few straight pins are always lying in wait in the carpet.
Then there is my fiber problem, sheep run from me in fear of shearing. I have yarn ferreted away in my drawers and closet in copious quantities. So much so that should I perish and someone find my stash, they would think me a hoarder. But the special kind of hoarder who covets wool not the kind that lets trash and cat shit pile up.
The office also accumulates a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. Stuff that had no where else to go. While organizing my desk I uncolored the following pile:
Yes, those are indeed a packet of wisdom teeth pulled from my head. (I would have fought back but they drugged me. At least they had the decency to let me keep the teeth.) Then a there are a few badges from old jobs, an old passport, a calculator for the hard of math-ing, and a receipt from my book buying habit.
It is pretty much a pile of trash. These things should probably be shredded and/or unceremoniously tossed in the garbage. But I just can’t. I may need them someday if I become a spy posing as a teacher (clearly not a math teacher) hopping from one county to the next to thwart evil. Or I might have to convince someone I am a member of an undercover, jaw shattering fight club by displaying the teeth of my enemies. You never know.
I have a sorry problem. Recently a friend pointed out to me that I say sorry entirely too much. It’s bad. Really bad. I know because I even hear myself saying sorry constantly, and I realize it sounds crazy, but I can’t help myself. It’s a tic. I am compelled to spout out the word sorry. I feel like I can’t breathe again until is say it. I am to the word sorry as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory is to knocking on the door three times.
The worst part is how inappropriately I use sorry. Someone will point out how they screwed up and I say sorry. As if it is my fault they fucked up. I apologize to them despite having nothing to do with the situation. People find this offensive, but I can’t help it. I genuinely feel sorry they screwed up, so of course I say sorry.
It gets worse too. If someone physically runs into me with their cart at the grocery store, I say sorry. Yup. That’s right. They run into me and I apologize for it. As if I am sorry for my mere existence, for if I didn’t exist they wouldn’t have had the misfortune to run into me.
I even apologize when I do something commendable. Sorry, but I went ahead and finished that paperwork for you. Dear god it makes no sense. I am obliged to always say sorry.
I’m sure some psychologist somewhere would tell me it is because I don’t value myself as a human, and I do not feel worthy to walk the earth so I must constantly apologize for being alive. This is true occasionally for sure. Who doesn’t struggle with self esteem? However I believe the real reason, or at least the slightly less depressing one, is that I must clearly be secretly Canadian. Ohh gee, sorry to break it to ya, but it’s the truth. I bet I was actually adopted from a nice Canadian family, and all those stories about the day I was born are actually fabricated for my protection…sorry.
Welp, it is almost Memorial Day, which officially ushers in the summer here in the south. This morning I opened my e-mail to receive this message from the neighborhood property manager:
(If you can’t read micro-sized writing it says, “We will be closing the pool due to fecal contamination. It will be closed for the next 24 hours. Thank you for your cooperation!”
Summer is all fun an games until someone poops in your pool. And do they really need to ask for my cooperation? I mean seriously, who the hell would be like, “This is bull shit, you can’t keep my from my communal pool rights. I’m getting all up in that cesspool. Try an stop me!” I just can’t even imagine.
Here’s hoping the pool incident is the last shitty thing that happens this season!
Recently my husband and I have turned our house into a construction site. It has been well worth it. I have a new kick-ass library, but that is not really what this post is about. This post is about boobs.
When taking apart light fixtures I realized that our home is full of boobs. I guess I just hadn’t been looking up frequently enough to realize that our ceilings were so well endowed. But as soon as we took down that first light fixture and I had to screw back on its nipple I figured it out.
We started with just a nice pair.
But then we went full on Total Recall.
Yeah! So as we renovate we are also performing ceiling mastectomies one boob light at a time.
I recently read an article that suggested you come up with ten crappy ideas a day. The premise was that if you do this every day you will begin to be better at coming up with ideas by working out and enhancing your “idea muscles”. Apparently then when you really need a good idea you will be more apt to come up with one.
It sounded like decent advice to me so today I tried flexing my idea muscles. It turns out my muscles have apparently atrophied as the task was much harder than I ever could have imagined. At first I tried to come up with ten ideas for titles of movies I would want to watch.
Apparently I can’t get my mind off the gutter because most of them involved seeing Chris Pratt scantily clad.
Then I thought I might try instead to come up with a list of names for future cats. That just seemed pitiful. It hits too close to “turning into the crazy cat lady” home, but I made the list anyway.
So I definitely have the “crappy” part of this ideation exercise down. I’m not sure if it will actually help me in the future, but it sure as hell is fun.
I have been trying to teach myself calligraphy. It is not going well. Everything I write looks like a glob of paint someone tried to mush around to vaguely resemble a squiggle. The letters look like a left handed alien wrote them while blindfolded.
I have tried books and You Tube videos, but I seem to require more remediation than they can provide. Lest you be concerned I might give up, fear not for I am stubborn as hell. I am going to poke away until I can write something legible, I promise.
Throughout the process it has occurred to me that our forefathers must have been patient beyond belief! It really slows down your train of thought when you have to re-dip your pen every few letters. Not to mention that the first letter often turns into a blob of ink (even if your use a blotting pad) and the last letters with that dip are so faint you rely on paper indentations to read them. I cannot imagine trying to write a play, novel, or even the freaking constitution this way. You would get a great idea for a sentence and forget it half way through because you had already had to dip and blot your pen twelve times before completing the first five words.
People must have thought slower back then. Half the time my fingers can’t even type as fast as my brain works and I forget the thought before I can get it onto the computer screen. If I had to use a freaking quill to try to record my ideas I would be in deep shit. Or perhaps that is my problem. Maybe I should slow down a little. Take my time and process each word before writing it down. Ehh, who has the patience.
I live a kamikaze lifestyle as it is, no point in changing it now. I’ll just be grateful for computers and the delete key, but I have much more respect for Shakespeare and Jane Austen.
Does anyone else miss catalogs? Growing up I loved it when that giant Sears catalog would fill up our mailbox. It was more than just toilet paper for my grandpa; inside one glossy tome you could peruse anything from a mail order house to toys.
Personally I spent most of my time looking at the jewelry section. Even as a young girl I still preferred shiny bobbles to anything else. I spent hours staring at pages littered with glorious gemstones. One page would show off tens of different offerings. I loved it.
I went page by page and picked out my dream piece on each one. Time melted away as glittering daydreams kept me occupied. Then I learned that if you cut carefully you could make paper jewelry. I meticulously trimmed out all my favorite piece and cut slits in the backs of the rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Then I could wear them. A little tape on the back of the earrings and voila, you had yourself a brand new pair of stunners. It turns out all those little jewelry pieces were printed fairly life size if you are an industrious enough eight year old and are willing to power through a few paper cuts around your neck.
Now the days of those mammoth books delivered straight to your mailbox are gone. Instead web pages display wears, but somehow it is just not the same. I miss the smell of the fresh ink and the crinkle of the pages as I flipped through them. And I really miss being able to try on my favorites.
As part of the Great De-Clutter of 2017 I have been trying to organize and thin my recipe collection. This is no small task as I collect recipes like normal people scrapbook. I make special little spots for them mounted on white paper in nice clear sleeves.
The problem is I never throw out the ones I make and do not particularly adore. That is how I wound up with three notebooks full plus an ever growing pile of clippings waiting to be cemented into my treasured notebooks.
So this week I have begun the surprisingly painful process of ridding myself of the recipes that did not pan out. During this process I discovered my grandmother’s pork stuffing recipe. When I was a little kid I would freaking beg for this stuff. Every Thanksgiving she would make a big bowl of heaping grey stuffing and I would pile my plate as high as my mom would let me.
Now looking at the recipe I am horrified that I ever ate it at all, much less bagged for it. For the love of god all it is it ground pork with a bit of seasoning and a potato. I was literally eating a pile of pure ground pig.
I got a little curious if anyone else eats pork stuffing so I did some digging on the inter-tubes. I got a few hits that looked promising. But when I clicked on the first few sites they were all, “Did you mean dressed pork chops, or pork roast? Who the hell would eat pork dressing, you weirdo?” After being chastised by the internet I was starting to wonder if the recipe was just something my ever unique grandmother made up.
The third hit down game me a little clarification. It directed me to “Yankee Bread Stuffing,” which seemed totally promising since my grandmother was from Rhode Island. Upon closer examination it was kinda similar. It at least had ground pork as an ingredient along with celery, onion, and bread. It definitely had a bit more going on flavor wise than the pile of pork I used to eat.
After clicking through some more hits it seems apparent that only my carnivorous family ate their dressing sans bread or at least a bit of celery. In the end the pork dressing recipe from my grandmother is a keeper. I can’t imagine actually making it to feed to someone, but its part of me and so it stays.
The Great De-Clutter of 2017 is not off to such a “great” start. It turns out purging is much harder than I was first led to believe. Today I tackled the cabinets under the kitchen sink.
For god’s sake it should have been easy. We are talking keep the Windex, toss the rusted over can of Pledge kind of easy. One would think these decisions would have been straight forward. They weren’t.
I never knew it was possible to spend longer than five minuted pondering the fate of two Brita filters.
We don’t even use the Brita anymore! The problem is I want to keep the Brita jug because it makes a good lemonade container in the summer. So it seems like if I keep the jug I should naturally hold onto those filters. Even though we don’t use it to filter water, those damn filters were expensive, and since I still have the jug it only makes sense to keep them. Besides if there is ever a zombie apocalypse and we need to have clean drinking water I am going to be really pissed if in the midst of a de-clutter frenzy I tossed those damn filters.
So I am keeping the filters. I suck at decluttering!
Things rapidly got worse though. Turns out I am a total hoarder. Don’t believe me? Look at this…
Yeah, that’s right. It must clearly own two houses except I don’t. At least this proves I am brand loyal.
And then I made my most shameful discovery…
I have a Resolve problem. Dear god looking at this you would think I own an incontinent zoo. I do have two spiteful cats, and yes when my husband moved in they expressed their distaste for their new roommate by crapping on the carpet, but those accidents surely do not necessitate FIVE bottles of carpet cleaner!
After a bit of organization and tossing here are my results.
It looks pretty, and on the plus side it seems I will not have to buy any more cleaning products for the next ten years or so.
Holy cow y’all. A tornado must have hit my house while I was asleep last night. That or maybe our house elves had themselves a destructive magical duel. I don’t know what happened, but there is crap everywhere I look and I am positive little old me could not possibly be the cause.
No matter who created our house of horrors, I suppose it falls on me to fix it. Ohh, the life of a woman. So today I have commenced, The Great De-Clutter of 2017.
Painful as it may become I am determined to rid our home of all unnecessary things. I downloaded myself a nifty de-clutter calendar and, watch out world, I am tossing stuff at every turn.
I’ll take a few photos along the way. Fair warning, I suspect a few of them may be of my husband crying in the corner as I trash 20 years worth of gaming and car magazines.
Wish me luck!