Which is better?

I should be packing.  Or at least organizing.  Instead, I’m glued to the loveseat and the computer.  It’s because I can’t decide ‘just what to do’.  I’ve been circling the living room, kitchen and one of the spare bedrooms, moving this, repositioning that, and generally not getting much done.  

For example:  I found two large clear food storage containers — the kind you’d put cereal or pasta or rice or something in.  Maybe flour, coffee or tea.  When packed, they’ll take up a lot of space.  And they’re empty inside… so… what can I put inside of them to make them multifunctional?    I took some spices off my small Spicy Susan (a lazy susan laden with spices — a term of my own invention, BTW) and shoved them into one of the containers — the smaller one.  I doubt I’ll use cloves cayenne pepper or stick cinnamon before I move.  But then I found something that belonged in my bedroom, so I went up there, where I found a book.  I wonder if I can get any money by selling this old French novel? so I came down to the living room and googles “selling used books” and looked up the book in question.  It seems no one is buying Le Malade Imaginaire by Moliere.  <sigh>  So I picked up a few things on the coffee table and then noticed an empty box that might hold paperbacks, so I went upstairs where I have a partially filled box of books, and indeed, it was a good size for books.  Then I noticed the nice, tall black boots that have been sitting in the bedroom.  They’re size 5 and sadly, I am no longer that size.  Just for kicks I brought them downstairs to try on, and though they went on my foot, there was NO WAY I could zip them up.  I’ll sell them! I thought, so I went out to the garage to start a Things To Sell box.  The old wooden-wheel (not actual wood) roller skates I found in the garage that are also size 5 went in the box too.  So I came back into the house and stood in the kitchen wondering what to do next.  Then I spied the bag of “baked chips” that were in the pantry and I thought I’d have a snack.  Except the bag tore when I originally opened it and each time my hand went in the tear got a little larger.  So I transferred the chips to a baggie — but no longer wanted to snack on them.  (they’re not all that good, but they were free and I rarely say NO to free food especially when it’s chips!)  

The previous post For Sale had me looking for some clip art online this morning.  That led me to look up pricing on U-Haul, Public Storage, and other such moving necessities that I will be needing.  Moving is NOT for the feint of heart!  These were good things to get done, as I’d eventually need to do them anyway.  I also went online and paid some bills.  Always a good thing!

So as you see, I’m not really getting much done.  But I could get interested in crochet.  I may or may not have mentioned that I’m in the middle of a crochet frenzy where I’m making blankets for a couple of people who are buying them from me.  I can use the money, so I’m trying to crochet as fast as I can.  A few months ago, however, I realized that I was crocheting all the time and not doing any packing.  So I decided to ONLY crochet when I was watching TV in bed from then on.  But right now I’m perhaps 8 rows away from being finished with another blanket, and I’m really anxious to get some of the others done (or started — one lady ordered 8 (or 9?) from me and I still have about 4 left to do for her).

But I wonder… is it better for me to sit down and actually finish a blanket or should I wander around the house for another few hours wondering “what should I do next”?  So… I sat down to write a blog post!  Maybe I should hire some elves to do my work?  Do you think they’d work for chips?

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FOR SALE:  One Power Painter – used once.  One Herbicide Sprayer – still in original box.  One Mr. Clean Car-Wash thingy — never used.

Let me clarify:  Until 2001, I lived my entire life in apartments.  But one year I was lucky enough to be able to buy a HOUSE.  A self-contained, no-upstairs (or downstairs) neighbors, do-what-you-will house.  Starry eyed, I moved in and learned the harsh realities of house-ownership.

When you live in a house, you might have a lawn.  This requires mowing, edging, fertilizing, seeding, and other various and sundry machinations to make your lawn look presentable.  I learned this when I moved in and didn’t have a lawn mower.  The grass was as high as an elephant’s eye… ok, not that bad, but almost.  A co-worker gave me his old mower.  Sadly, it was not the ‘self-propelled’ or ‘4-wheel drive’ kind — whichever it is that makes it easier to push around your lawn.  Now, granted, my lawn is not very large, but I was a nearing-50, non-athletic woman who had never mowed a lawn in her life.  In my previous urban life, there was no lawn.  And when I lived in a big complex in Arizona, what little lawn there might have been was cared for by professionals.  So, it came as a shock to me that lawnmowing was sweaty work, in that, it would be my sweat doing the work.

I have moved approximately 152 times.  Ok, not that many.  But it feels like it.  My first move was when I was about 27 and here’s how it went.  I put all the personal belongings move1that I could fit into my Plymouth Duster (named Geoffrey) and headed off into the sunset.  My belongings included clothing, a set of Corelle dishes my mother gave me, some towels I had purchased at the local discount store (in the days before Walmart or the Dollar Store), most likely some books, and anything else my mother ‘donated to the cause’… like maybe a pot or pan or two.

The second time I moved, was from a studio apartment into a one bedroom apt. in the same complex.  I carried boxes, and used the ‘grocery cart’ of a neighbor to move my belongings from one building to another (all being on the ground level.  This was a blessing!)  Subsequent moves in Phoenix meant stuffing my car and making multiple trips.  (I suspect that by this time my parents had visited and added to my ‘belongings’.

Eventually I moved from Phoenix to the NY metropolitan area.  This required one of those little U-Haul trailer things that you pull along behind your car.  The smallest one, as I was poor.  I cried when I had to leave some of my cherished belongings behind.  (I still miss you papa-san chair!)  All my furniture was left in the desert.  I was about to start over.

moving vanThen I moved to another state, and my company moved my 2 bedroom apartment full of belongings — including furniture! — via moving van.  Hallelujah! Once ensconced in my new apartment, I began to look at houses, which were affordable given my location and salary.  I had FINALLY hit the big time!  I was going to live in a house! This was when the stars appeared in my eyes.  I was going to have a garden!  I was going to wash my car in the driveway on a sunny day!  I was going to PAINT the kitchen cabinets!  People who live in houses do those kinds of things!  I was going to do them too!

It’s a 3 bedroom house and ALL THE BEDROOMS ARE MINE!  That means that the closets are mine to do with as I please.  And I please to fill them up with belongings.  Suitcases of varying sizes from carry-on to steamer trunk-ish.  (They are not just sitting there idle though, they’re full of stuff.  Blankets and such.  Websites tell you you should do that.  So I did.) One spare closet has “out of season” clothing.  It also has “clothing-I’ll-never-wear-crafty closetagain-but-just-can’t-bear-to-part-with”, miscellaneous Christmas décor items, and my no-longer-used “Red Hats” (in a lovely hat box!)  In the other spare room I have removed the clothing pole and transformed the closet into a craft mecca.  Scrapbook paper, paint and sponge brushes, stickers, photos, glue, felt, and all kinds of other crafty craft things fill this shelf bedecked closet.  (Yes, I kept the pole for the future homeowners to use should they want to hang clothing in there!)  This closet also houses a category of items I call “Wire-y things” which includes old computer power cords, extension cords,  telephone cords, maybe even a CAT5 cable or two.  Anything with a wire-y function.  Also, some unused tools and painting supplies (wall painting as opposed to craft painting)

The last bedroom — the master bedroom — has two closets.  I assume the are intended to be “his and hers” closets, but in my house they’re MINE and MORE MINE closets.  One is where my ‘every day’ things go.  The work clothing I am currently wearing (sometimes seasonal or job specific — I had a certain dress code at Job 2), tshirts, unmentionables, socks, etc.  I have so many socks I had to stop trying to shove them all in the small dresser drawer they used to occupy.  Now they live happily in a cloth bin in the closet. 


click to enlarge!

On the top shelf of the closet I have computer bags and backpacks.  They’re really nice bags and I don’t want to get rid of them — you never know… some smart employer might still hire me to do their national training for something or other!  Then won’t I be glad I have a variety of computer bags to choose from!  The second closet is “current season, but less likely to be today’s choice”, or “clothing for special occasions”.  This closet also has the size 5 denim jacket I’ve had for years which is adorned with pins from places I’ve been, including Italy, Disneyland, Canada, Colorado, and Hollywood (to name a few) along with some pins from my former place of employment.


spinnerThen of course, there’s the kitchen.  I’ve come a long way since my first set of Corelle and some second hand saucepans.  I love to cook.  Ok, I love to eat, which means I cook a lot.  Ok, not a lot.  But enough to warrant a wok, a microplane zester, a pizza cutter, pie plates, cake pans, cookie cutters, a salad spinner, serving platters, and a myriad of glassware.  Sometimes I fantasize that I’m Sandra Lee and that a crew comes in and changes out my kitchenware seasonally — so I have 4 sets of dishes, one for each season.  I’ve been using the Summer set since last  year.  Knowing I was moving, it just didn’t seem necessary to take the others out.  

Now I’m faced with moving again.  I have a LOT more stuff than I started out with, and I’m poor (as in the U-Haul scenario mentioned above).  I’m parting with a number of van clipcherished belongings, but I’m still clinging to items that refresh my good memories of days gone by.  My next obstacle is how to transport and store my items until I can find a job and place to live (near my mom).  THEN I will weed through the things I’ve moved and decide what stays and what doesn’t.  But for now, I NEED my crockpot.  I NEED my yarn stash!  I NEEEEEEED my book collection (college paperbacks, cookbooks, mysteries, etc.) I may not read them all the time, but I like knowing they’re there if I want them.  And my furniture!  I learned when I moved from AZ to NY, DO NOT SELL YOUR FURNITURE!  You get pennies for it and have to spend thousands to replace it.  And (refer back to the poor statement above) I don’t have thousands!  So, I’m working on both purging and getting quotes on transportation devices (PODS, UPACK, UHAUL, ETC.) and storage units, and using a lot of vodka.  

The moral of my story is this:  The longer you live the more things you know how to do.  The more things you know how to do the more stuff you have to do it.  The more stuff you have, the easier it is to stay where you are and the harder it becomes to relocate to a different place.

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The Spirit is Willing…

In the Gospel of Matthew we hear that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  And boy oh boy is that true!  I’m sure you feel the same way.  You know you shouldn’t have an entire <pie, pizza, box of cookies, 6′ sub, container of ice cream, etc.> but it’s just so good that you do it anyway.  (And NO, this is not something I do, but it IS something I want to do!  I just feel too guilty to actually go through with it!)  You know you shouldn’t stay up late and watch the end of that movie because you’ve only seen it like 1000 times before… but you do it.  You know you shouldn’t get irritated at the cashier at Joann’s because it’s taking forever for the lady she’s checking with1 million strings of beads and is questioning the price on every single one, but you do it anyway.  (my homage to my 2 years @ Job 2)  So, in essence, your spirit was willing to know better, but there’s a part of your brain that overrules your brain and cancels out all your intentions to do the right thing.  Or, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Same thing, right?

Every night I “plan” my next day before I drop suddenly off the cliff into the deep ravine of sleep.  (That’s what it feels like… one minute I’m wide awake and the next thing I know it’s morning.  I’ll put a show on TV, set the timer for 30 minutes and never make it past the first commercial.)  But what I’m going to do the next day depends on a few things:  What day of the week it is (I work from 2-4 PM 2 days a week, so will it be one of those two days?). am I scheduled to meet any friends (for dinner, don’tcha know.  This quite likely requires hairwashing/blowdrying, which means a minimum of 75 minutes… better give me 90), or am I going to church or a church-function?  Do I have errands to do, and if so, how many?  

What do I plan to do?  Well, today it was laundry, tidying the kitchen (including emptying the dishwasher), going online to check the supermarket sales for this week,  laundryand organizing (and perhaps relocating) boxes in the living room, which is piled waist high in boxes, filled and partly filled.  Today’s one of my work days, so I don’t want to work up “too much of a sweat”.  (I showered last night!) How’s it going?  I’m typing a blog… that’s how it’s going.  (well, ok, the laundry is in the washer too!)  Sometimes, blog paragraphs write themselves in my head while I’m doing other things; making coffee, in the shower, while I’m in the car doing errands, and so on.  I repeat them to my self over and over so I can remember them until I get to the keyboard.  And by then, the paragraph has gone through several revisions, and rarely gets typed the same way it started out in my head.  So, when it’s a particularly annoying paragraph, I try to get it ‘on paper’ as soon as I can.  (I do prefer keyboard to actual paper, but it’s the same theory.)

But back to that spirit… I’ve mentioned that I’m moving, and my SPIRIT is willing… my jeanniespirit is WANTING to pack and be moved.  What I really want is a Jeannie, or a Samantha to blink or twitch and all my belongings would magically float or just appear in the appropriate boxes, which would then tape themselves up, label themselves, and stack themselves by category.  Sigh… wouldn’t that be magnificent?  Really!  All my troubles would be packed into that ‘kit bag’ and I could smile, smile, smile!  What would really be wonderful is if they could then magically transport my belongings to their new ‘final destination’ for me.  That would be just peachy — and less expensive!

The flesh on the other hand, is sitting on the loveseat typing away.  Wording and IMG_0392rewording, (looking up just what a “kit bag” is in case anyone asks), wondering if I should make more coffee at 11:00 or not (or not is winning out… I’ll just start to think about lunch instead!) The flesh would rather be sitting on the chair crocheting one of the 6 blankets that need to be done.  Ok, only 1 needs to be done before the move, but the more I get done before that the better!

By the time I’m to get ready for work, I managed to do the laundry (and mostly put it away!), I emptied the dishwasher,  and I checked the store ads online.  <blech>  Oh, and I had lunch to sustain me through my grueling 2 hours of work!  But I’m already thinking, “hey you, what’s for dinner?”  The meat I had intended to cook didn’t look so good, so it’s getting 86’d.  [Interesting… look that term up!]  But the packing and the purging?  No, I haven’t done any.  Maybe after work I’ll be more ambitious?  We’ll see.

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Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the Music!

calendar clip artA few years ago, I found a fun website that tells you what food holiday it is every day of the year!  That’s right…. every single day, all 365 of them, is a day to celebrate some kind of food or drink.  Also, which foods sponsor a month, such as National Sandwich Month (August).

For a while, I’ve been posting on my Facebook page every day just what food my friends, relatives and acquaintances should be celebrating that day.  Day after day, week after aprilweek, month after month, I diligently reported to them to celebrate.  I mean, what if you missed National Chocolate Pudding Day? (June 26) Or what if it was National Oreo Day (March 6) and you accidentally bought Chips Ahoy!?  Maybe you want to be prepared for National Blueberry Pie Day, pictured here.  Did you know that March 24th is National Cocktail Day?  I’m sure you need to know that.  Mark it on your calendar now.  Go ahead… I’ll wait.

watermelonSome days are easy to ‘get’ and some are unfathomable as to their placement on the calendar.  Eat a Cranberry Day falls suspiciously near Thanksgiving.  December 25th is National Pumpkin Pie Day.  The entire month of December is National Egg Nog Month. Likewise, National Watermelon Day falls on August 3rd. It makes sense that National Grilling Month and National Hot Dog Month are both in July.

But why is it that September 30th is National Hot Mulled Cider Day?  Why isn’t this closer to Thanksgiving… or Christmas?  Or sometime in the chill of January or February?  Why is National Gingerbread Day in June? (the 5th) Why isn’t National Croissant Day on July 14th?  (It’s January 30th)  I’m sure we’ll never get to the bottom of these issues.  And maybe we shouldn’t.  Maybe there were just too many days to celebrate.  Some days have multiple entries.  February is a short month, and many of it’s days have multiple chia3celebrations to choose from.  In my opinion, most of them don’t ‘go together’ so I’d choose one or another, but not both.  And I’ll warn my dear Facebookians about that.  March 23rd is National Chia Day (I don’t think they mean the pets), National Chip and Dip Day (isn’t every day?) and National Melba Toast Day (my apologies to my friend Melanie Trost, who used to get mail addresses to Melba Toast…not from me!)

Some celebrations give you bare bones to work with. The rest is up to your imagination.  Such as Make Up Your Own Holiday Day (March 26), National Picnic Day (April 23rd — and why isn’t this in June or July?), and Eat What you Want Day (May 11th), or National Cupcake Day (December 15).   These days give you more leeway in what you celebrate.  As opposed to National Chocolate Cupcake Day (October 18), National Vanilla Cupcake Day (November 10) which are much more specific in the flavor du jour.

Some of my favorites are dedicated to the pursuit of the buzz.  And by that, I mean alcohol. (But you knew that, didn’t you?) 🙂  Appropriately on January 1st — the very first thing we should take the time to celebrate every year is Bloody Mary Day.  She’s not ‘national’ or ‘international’, or ‘world’… but I suspect she is!  On February 18th, celebrate Drink Wine Day!  Like the aforementioned National Cupcake Day, this one doesn’t specify the flavor of the wine consumed, so feel free to knock yourself out (figuratively!)  If you’re attending a wine tasting that day, you’re in the right place at the right time!  March is chock full of alcohol-celebration days, but I’ll just mention Bock Beer Day on March 20th.  April 24th is National Sauvignon Blanc Day.   In May you’d expect to find National Mint Julep Day at the beginning of the month… you know, to coincide with Kentucky Derby Day… but no… it’s on May 30th.  James Bond might approve of National Dry Martini Day on June 19th…. I know Hawkeye Pierce would!  July 19th is National Daquiri Day!  Make mine frozen!  If you’re celebrating National Prosecco Day on August 19th, CALL ME!  After a few glasses I’ll tell you anything you want to know… maybe even what my websource for all this information is!


Harvey Wallbanger

(mwahahahah!)  The whole month of September is dedicated to California Wine Month.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate, am I right teachers?  🙂  October brings apples, pumpkins and National Vodka Day (Oct. 4) which is one I look forward to all year round!  On November 8th we remember National Harvey Wallbanger Day.  My source claims that Harvey was a bummed out surfer dude who missed riding a gnarly wave and drank till he banged into a few walls.  Whatever.  I don’t suggest you follow his lead. December 31st is National Champagne Day, which, if celebrated in the manner of Harvey Wallbanger, leads you right back to Bloody Mary Day the next day!


April is National BLT Sandwich Month

Some foods get a month in addition to a day.  Peanut Butter, Pasta, Potatoes, Rice, Peaches, Ice Cream, Candy, Seafood, Papaya, Hamburgers, Strawberries, Eggs, Salad, Salsa, BLT Sandwiches, Grilled Cheese, Celery, Noodles, Chocolate, Cherries, Oatmeal and Soup all get celebrated for an entire month.  There are others, I just picked out an eclectic few.

Some foods (or drinks) need more than a day, but not as much as a month.  You guessed it… these days get a week of celebration.  What foods would thus qualify?

In April, celebrate National Egg Salad Week the 2nd week of the month.  I assume this is to use up your colored Easter eggs.  The fourth week of September is National Wild Rice Week.  I guess this is in connection with September being National Rice Month, but someone wanted to single out the wild variety over Uncle Ben’s.  From the “don’t ask too many questions file”, the first week in February is National Shape Up With Pickles Week

Some days fall on a specific calendar location, regardless of the day, or in some cases, the month.  The 3rd Thursday of June is World Tapas Day.  National Hot pancakesCross Bun Day is Good Friday … whenever that falls in the particular year you’re in.  Also, Easter Sunday itself is National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day (please tell me there’s a National Baked Ham (sans pineapple) day too?)   National Pork Rind Appreciation Day is Super Bowl Sunday.  Go figure.  I’da thought that would have been Kegger Day or Dip Day or Please Spray after you “go” Day…  Pancake Week is the fourth week of February.  There’s a week I can get behind!

The bottom line is… EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY…. find yours and celebrate it like there’s no tomorrow!


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Are You There, Lisa? It’s Me… Carol!

I’ve been listening to Lisa Scottoline books on my phone.  You may be familiar with Lisa’s books.  She has two kinds…legal thrillers and girly books (ok, her website calls them Humorous Non-Fiction, but she discusses things like pedicures, mother-daughter relationships and Spanx, so… they’re girly books… but not girly books — if you know what I mean!)  If you know me, you know I don’t read legal thrillers.  I don’t like that kind of ‘thrill’ in my life.  But, one week when there were no more of the regular series I listen to at my library, I picked up a Lisa Scottoline book (on CD).  I enjoyed it very much.  So, I’ve just started downloading her books onto my phone and I listen in the car.  Or in the house.  Or at the office.  I like using my phone to download books, because I can listen in multiple locations.  As opposed to the computer, where I can only listen at home and in the room where the computer is.  Also, if I get a book on CD, I can listen in the car, but if I’m engrossed I either have to stay in the car or wait until my next drive somewhere to continue.  It’s really hard to pop out a CD and start it again at the point you left off when you get into the house.  With the phone, it just carries on from the last spot.  Actually, it goes back a few seconds, which is nice.  I heart it.

This week, I’m listening to “Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog“.  The chapters are short and are generally unrelated.  Well, they’re related because they all have to do with her life.  But the chapters are not necessarily related to each other.  Much like my blog – except when I do a series, like Christmas, or the week I did for my Daddy.   But more importantly, is the voice.  I have her voice in my head. 

A few months ago, I spoke at church for the whole weekend. Five times.  When I wrote my talk, I wrote it the way I usually did, but when I read it, I found myself emulating Lisa Scottoline’s voice.  When I read the line, “Let’s say little Mary has just had her second child and is living in Minnesota.  So why is she still listed with her parents?”  Yes, it was Lisa’s voice in my head as I was reading this line, especially the is living in Minnesota part.  .

When I write my blog, I mentally say the things I write.  You know what I mean… I hear the words in my head.  When I write, I hear a voice much like Lisa Scottoline’s in my head, but it’s MY voice, not Lisa’s.  Well… I thought it was MY voice.  Maybe Lisa is actually doing the voiceover in my head.  It could be… you never know.  But if she is, she isn’t getting paid for it.  I have no money.  Sorry Lisa.

But listening to her books makes me think I could write stuff like that… except that Lisa has a life and I don’t.  Lisa writes books, has a daughter, four dogs and a pony.  I’m trying to empty my house so I can move out before I run out of money.  I spend all my time finding boxes and putting my life into them.  Even though I don’t have much of a life, I’ve had a LONG life.  So I have a lot of boxes.  A LOT of boxes.  But I digress.  I could write the kind of “daily life” stuff that Lisa writes.  And since I hear her in my head, I’m sure it would be a best seller.  I think we could be friends, except she’s off carbs and meat.  And she likes movies where things go boom. And football.  And my guess is, if she likes baseball, she’s NOT a Yankees fan.  But I’m almost certain, she wouldn’t be a Red Sox fan, so there is that.

Can you hear me, Lisa?  It’s me…. Carol… and I’m heading North soon. 

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Cinnamon Hockey Pucks

IMG_0658Most Sundays, I indulge myself with a breakfast of Sausage Biscuit and Senior Coffee from McDonalds.  I get the coffee black, come home, pour it into my own cup and add my own fixins’.  Then I gobble down the biscuit and linger over the coffee — usually in front of the computer, checking to see what the rest of my friends are doing on Facebook.  

Yesterday, I was at Walmart for greeting cards, prescriptions and paper towels.  You know what that means, right?  I also bought Cheese-Its (how could I not?  the back-to-school individual packs were 12 for $4 — but the entire box was 12 servings for only $2.88.  I love Cheese-Its.  This discovery was God’s way of saying, “Carol, buy some of these today!“), body lotion (I was out of lotion, but it wasn’t on the list and had not been a part of my original shopping plan), and a bag of lightly salted [Great Value] potato chips.  A $1 bag of potato chips is hard to walk past, and the lightly salted made me think, “Well, at least they’re not super-salted so they’re not as bad for me!”  

Ice cream was on my shopping list, but ever-conscious of my financial limitations, I will only buy ice cream that’s on sale.  And something I just have to have.  Just because those Outshine bars are on sale, don’t think I’m going to be tricked into buying them!  They aren’t ice cream.  So, I wandered through the frozen food aisle, but didn’t find anything in my intended price range.  BUT… there at the end of the aisle, was the refrigerated dairy section.  Specifically, the refrigerated bakery section — you know the place I mean — the one with the tubes of cookie dough and the cans of doughy deliciousity.  I hemmed and hawed and then my eyes hit upon a mini-can of cinnamon rolls.  YUM!  They were destined for a trip to my kitchen!  

So this morning, since I’d gone to church last night, I wandered downstairs in my ‘jammies’ and put the coffee on, poured some OJ over ice (unadulterated… but there’s more left for a 2nd, adult beverage later!) and popped those 5 discs of cinnamonny goodness into the toaster oven set at the correct temperature.  In 13 to 17 minutes I’d be chomping down on some fluffy, gooey, cinnamon rolls.  My mouth watered as I anticipated them coming out of the oven, all hot and scenty.  

But.  I was disappointed.  When the timer binged, I rushed to the toaster to find flat little brownish things in the oven.  <insert sad face here>  I took one to ‘taste test’.  No, it didn’t seem ‘quite’ done.  So I popped them back in for another 4 minutes (the longer time allotment on the package) and woefully masticated the first disappointing roll.

BING!   Ahhhhh… they should be ready.  But no, they were still FLAT.  As flat as they were when I’d put them in there.  Something must be amiss.  Maybe the toaster oven was still set to ‘toast’?  No, it was clearly on BAKE.  Maybe instead of the 375 degrees they suggested, I should turn it up a little — after all, this is a toaster oven, not a full-oven (which I don’t turn on during the summer!)  So, I flipped the heat up a little higher and waited a few more minutes.

Now I had DARK BROWN hockey pucks.  Hard, crunchy, dark brown hockey pucks.  Not the fluffy pastries that I was anticipating.  

But, having grown up hearing about the starving Armenians and the children in Poland who would love to have my uneaten food, I ate two of them.  Smothered in the icing the manufacturer kindly provided.  Or maybe… it was hockey puck camouflage?

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The Worst Party…Ever!

In my neverending quest to pack up my troubles in my old kit bag and ease on down the road, I have recently solicited the assistance of a friend.  Due to the great numbers of packed and semi-packed boxes that litter my living room and three bedrooms, I decided we’d concentrate on the garage.  If I made room in the garage, I reasoned, I could move the PACKED boxes in there, thus making it clear just how much was left to be done.  (I’ve been working on this (alone) for a painfully long time, and truthfully, I just want it to be done!)  So, we’ve been slaving away in the [hot] garage sifting through boxes and bins and containers filled with my life.  Some of the boxes were moved here in 2001 and have not been opened since.  I was surprised to open some of them – prior to disposal – to discover long forgotten memories, a few photos of pleasanter days with former coworkers, my first teddy and my original Raggedy Ann (whose face now has leprosy.)  My assistant comes ONE day a week.  We’re making some progress – but not nearly enough.  Did I mention I’ve been doing this for a painfully long time?

Having a friend has been great.  One, there’s someone to chit-chat with to help wile away the hours,  We’ve been working about 5 hours a day (with a lunch break) but it doesn’t seem like 5 hours.  When I’m working on my own, 30 minutes seems like 5 hours.  So, that’s a benefit.  And two, since she’s ‘volunteering’ to do this, I don’t want to waste her time by dawdling over my ‘finds’, so while I am reminiscing, I’m trying to keep it at a minimum!

My friends constantly ask, “So, when will you be moving?”  or “Is your house on the market?”  Think about it.  If someone were actually to BUY my house and say, “We’d like to move in in 2 weeks…. could I be OUT in that time?  NO WAY!!!   So, no, my house is not on the market.  And I can’t say when I’ll be moving because my house is still full of boxes.  Packed and semi-packed.  [It’s a vicious cycle of question & answer…and it wearies me!]   Every month I tell myself, “The end of <fill in the name of the next month> I will be getting a moving vehicle to get out!”  Then the end of that month comes and I tell myself the same thing.  Since we’ve just started August, my new goal is the end of AUGUST.  I expect to see some REAL progress towards moving by then.

To that end, as my friend will NOT be able to come and assist next week, (her elderly


a ‘before’ pic

mother-in-law will be coming and she needs to get her house mother-in-law-ready,) I’m determined to make some progress on my own.  So, every day, I set up my ironing board “table” (covered with a plastic table cloth that won’t get garage ‘ick’ on the ironing board cover — just in case I am overwhelmed by the urge to iron) I move the car out and a chair into the garage and I attempt to make a difference.  This week, I spent most of that time ‘finishing’ things we’d started, but didn’t quite finish.  I ‘found’ the shopping bag of kitchen-y items I’m donating to a church ministry and put it with the box we’d created last week (since we couldn’t find the bag!).  I took 3 (or 4?) boxes of donations to the Thrift Store on Tuesday, and when I got home, I put another box into the car.  I climbed up on the stepstool-ladder to get 3 boxes from a top shelf (one was empty, thank goodness!) and put some soon-to-be-packed boxes in the empty space.


This morning I hit Goodwill with a box of small kitchen appliances and this afternoon I delivered a hardside dog crate and box of miscellaneous dog bowls, leashes and balls to the Humane Society.  (Satisfaction level high!)  THEN I came home and tackled the corner I’ve been dreading.

You see, my kitchen doesn’t have a great pantry area (some cupboards, but some are too high to reach and some are too deep to see the back of), so I decided to dedicate a shelf in the garage that’s right outside the kitchen door to such things as “extra soda, extra juices and extra beer/wine coolers”.  Then… I forgot about them.  They’ve been out there for MANY MANY YEARS.  I dreaded touching them.  The Budweiser bottles were rusty.  The diet coke cans were half empty.  The cranberry juice bottle was no longer clear… it was stained with cranberry colored sadness.  

But these things all have to go.  They are simply NOT moving with me, no matter how much I paid for them or how loud they cry.  And I can’t leave them behind like a surprise gift for the new owners.  So, I set up my ironing board, donned my work gloves, and moved the cans and bottles one by one from their long forgotten comfy place. Not wanting to dirty my kitchen counter with this long forgotten rust, I placed a few bottles and cans at a time into a small plastic bin, took them into the kitchen, opened and emptied them.  Then the empties went out to the recycling bin, and I repeated the process.

As a result, it looks like I’ve had a BIG OLD PARTY.  My recycling is filled with beer bottles & cans, wine cooler bottles, soda bottles & cans,  and a few wine bottles.  Looks like I had the BEST PARTY EVER.  But there was no actual consumption of beverages, nor was there any terrific food.  Not even any people.  It’s very sad.

It was the WORST PARTY EVER.  But I made a dent, and tomorrow I’ll do a little more!

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