Showing posts with label clutter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clutter. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Moving a Bookcase in Six Steps


It's chaos.

I'm not talking about what's going on in our country. My chaos is personal and oh so mundane, but real: The chaos I create when I want to move one thing. Just one lousy thing. Doesn't matter what it is, a lamp, a table, a bookcase, or a box of research. To move one thing requires moving a lot of other stuff—before, during, and after moving that one thing.

This morning I wanted to move a short, almost empty bookcase from its temporary spot against the wall to a permanent place alongside my desk. A matter of three feet, if that.

Step One: Move the bookcase and various piles of paper files, books, and boxes from beneath my desk and the other side of it to whatever surface is available and not in the path of moving objects.

Step Two: Remove the floor lamp from the side of the desk to wherever it's not in the way.

Step Three: Nudge little by little the desk (a sturdy pine kitchen table, so somewhat nudgable) more towards the wall.

Step Four: Remove the odd-size boxes from where the bookcase shall go.

Step Five: Take the bulletin board off the wall from behind the door.

Intermission:  Oh-Oh. The Husband and I won't be able to close and open the office door if I place the bookcase against the side of the desk. So I try other configurations. No. No. And, No. Sigh.

Step Six: Decide that we don't need to close the office door, and put the bookcase where I originally wanted it.

Done!

Seconds later, the Husband peeked into the office.

"Oh, you moved the bookcase," said the Husband. "That's good. Will we be able to open the door?"

"I think your little table will fit perfectly here," I said, nodding at the empty space where once temporarily stood the bookcase.

"Sure," said the Husband, but not with that much enthusiasm. "Do you want me to move it now?"

"When you have the chance today."

"I can do it now."

Meoooow. Molly the Cat sniffed her way into the office. The girl hasn't bounced her way up the stairs before breakfast in weeks. Curious to all the noise and chatter of the humans, she was.

The Husband cleared stuff from the little table, lifted it from the top of the file cabinet, and carried it to its new space in the office. Yes, it definitely looked perfect there.

"Anything else?" asked the Husband.

"Maybe after breakfast," I answered, thinking about a dresser that I want moved downstairs. Sigh.

The Husband glanced at the door now kept open by the bookcase. "Will we ever need to close the door?. . . I guess not."


Today's hook up is with All Seasons, hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshSTG. Click here to check out other participants and/or to join in.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Pleasure of Mess


Sunflowers from the grocery store. I sprinkled a jar full of seeds throughout the backyard a month ago. As the Mama said about things she planted, "If they grow, they grow."

Tiny roses from the roses that the Mama planted in the box I built many years ago and which I demolished on Friday. I should've either reinforced the box or removed the plants and potted them elsewhere for the Mama. Something I thought every time I watered the box the last few years.

Bougainvillea and jasmine from the out-of-control vines in the front yard. The Mama would've been pleased to see the jasmine in full bloom, but also would've sighed that the vines had taken over. And, now, it's up to me to figure what to do.

"What are you writing?" asked the Husband, looking up from the newspaper. The remains of our lunch sprawled on the kitchen table.

"Nothing."

A few minutes later, I looked across the flowers on the table at the Husband and said, "I want to make a table runner."

"What's a table runner?" the Husband asked.

"I'll have to take out the sewing machine. But first I'll need to fine a place where I can set it up permanently, but every space in this house is taken."

"What's a table runner?"

"A piece of cloth that runs down the center of the table," I said, sweeping my arm down the center of the table.

"What's its purpose? To put things on?"

"Something like that." I really don't know.

Maybe I don't really want to make one.

The trio of vases full of sunflowers, roses, bougainvillea, and jasmine sit in a row down the center of the kitchen table.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Five Things On My Desk


I have more like 200+ things on my desk if I were to count individual papers and photographs. My desk was originally a kitchen table, which means chaos rules.  Though I think it's relatively neat at the moment.

Okay, five things that are on my desk.
  1. Two seeds—an apricot pit and a lemon seed from fruit in our backyard. Well, there aren't any more apricots. The Mama, the Husband, and I happily ate them all. Molly the Cat turned her nose to them.
  2. A brown rubber lizard. I got it and several of its siblings more than 30 years ago. I gave the siblings away as trick gifts. Yes, I've scared people with the lizard. It doesn't have a name. I wonder if it would like to be called Buddy.
  3.  My address book that fits neatly in my purse, if I remember to bring it.
  4.  A paperweight that has a dandelion inside it. The Father-in-law gifted it to me long ago.
  5. Recipes for soft gingerbread cookies, lemon-poppy seed quick bread, and a friend's mom's recipe for Spanish rice.
What's on your desk? 

P.S. It's just past midnight and still 72 degrees.  I'm listening to a chorus of crickets. It's rather delightful.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How I Spent My "Gone Reading" Day

I need to put up my "Gone Reading" sign more often. I got some good reading done yesterday. It did take awhile before I actually ran to the bedroom and escaped into another time and place but when I did I read for two hours before it was time to make dinner. In the evening, I went back to the mystery I was reading until I turned the last page of the book, which I will tell you about another day.

To feel okay about going reading, I decided to cross a few things off my To-Do list. I finally put the photos I had scanned back in the Mama's albums. Some of them even went back on the correct pages. Hopefully, the Mama won't notice. I filed away some documents and put papers to shred in a neat pile on the floor.

I even researched what kind of milkweed grows in our area and where to purchase the milkweed seeds. Milkweed is what monarch butterflies munch on as they pass through from here to there. When I was a kid, monarch butterflies were a common thing to see around here. Not anymore. Over the decades, their food source has been wiped out every where through development, which, of course, has contributed to their decreasing population.

Belt Holder

Last week, the Husband and I did a thorough cleaning in our bedroom on account of the carpet beetles that suddenly showed themselves. Damn, bugs. On one hand, it was good thing because it forced the Husband and me to take out everything in our drawers and closet. "Oh, I didn't know I had that," said the Husband more than a few times.  We got rid of a bunch of clothes and reorganized things. And, you know what, we only had a few things that had no place to be.

The Husband's belts, for instance. Yesterday, I got tired of seeing them sprawled on the dresser, so I put on my thinking cap. Essentially, I found a bunch of curtain clips in a drawer and. . . Voila!


As you can see, Jane Austen had to get in on the action, too.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Brickload of Fun


Rattle, rattle, rattle. 

This afternoon, I pulled a little red wagon down our driveway to the end of the street, around the corner, and over to the next block. The Husband walked ahead of me, looking for the house in front of which 20+ red bricks, three 18-inch scalloped bricks, and one half-circle of scalloped brick laid waiting for us. All free, courtesy of a recycle-friendly lady who we've never met.

Yesterday, an email popped into my box from the local freecycle group to which I subscribe. Usually, there's nothing that I want. Well, actually sometimes I do, but then I hear the Husband's voice in my head say, "What are we going to do with it? We still have a storage room full of stuff that we need to deal with." I heard him say that in my head as I read about the free bricks, but my inner voice overrode it. Bricks! These bricks can come in handy.

I quickly wrote a response and asked if the bricks were still available. Yep, they were. I wrote that I would take them, sent off my email, then said to the Husband, "I'm picking up some free bricks tomorrow."

"Where?"

"I don't know yet."

Pshew. He did not say what I heard in my head. What a guy I married.

It turned out the brick-giver lived one street over from us. "Do you think the little red wagon could carry those bricks?" I asked the Husband at breakfast.

"Sure," he said. "I was thinking the same thing." 

The Husband is so adorable.


I could hardly wait to go pick up the bricks. Not because I wanted to bring them home, but because of the means by which it would happen—pulling a little red wagon with the Husband.

As I hopped around the house trying not to be impatient about going already, the Husband finally asked, "What are you going to do with the bricks?"

"I don't know yet. Maybe make a pizza oven."

"You need more than 20 bricks."

"Well, they're a start. Right now, I'm just building an arsenal for us."

"An arsenal?" he asked. "Are you thinking that we will need to be ready to throw bricks someday?"

"You know what I mean."

At noon, we were on our way. I pulled the loud rattling, little red wagon all the way there. I hoped I wasn't waking up babies or the elderly from their naps.

The Husband is a former warehouse manager ("I was a supervisor," he will correct me, and I will respond, "In title only. You did management work. Your idiot bosses were just stingy."), which meant the bricks were loaded onto the wagon professionally and nothing fell along the way. We took turns pulling the wagon and pushing it from behind. The two of us must've been a sight to behold.

We got a load of free bricks and we had loads of fun getting them. Best of all, today is the 23rd, our monthly date. Pushing and pulling a little red wagon full of bricks down the street was a great way to start us off.  As the Husband said, "It doesn't take much to make us happy."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Whole World on My Wall


The map of the world hangs on the wall above my cluttered desk and my more-than-often-than-should vacant mind. Above the map hang a few cobwebs. I'm sure Molly the Cat would be fascinated with the cobwebs if she would look up. Fortunately, the desk is too cluttered for her to find a spot to park while I work.

The map? Yes, the map. I like maps. Except for topo maps, I can read a map. Reading maps, even street maps, are fun. For me.

When I think of Africa, I see the number seven in a serif font. Australia makes me think of a terrier.

On this world map, Greenland is orange. As are Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Korea. I see no key for colors so maybe it means nothing more than that's what the creator of the map wished to color those nations.

You would think I'd gaze at that map a lot. Nope.

I put it up to inspire me. But, it only reminds me that I haven't traveled more than I would've thought I would by now. If I think long and hard of the why not's and how comes, well, let's just say I don't want to mentally go there. Still, I don't want to take the map down. I like to remind myself, now and then, how big of a world that we live on. So huge that quite a lot of people don't realize they share the same space in the infinite here with so many people who live in countries they have no idea exist.

Yeah.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finding Things


Don't you just hate it when you can't find find what you want?

And, you know it's where it ought to be.

Back in April, I wanted to start reading Craig Ferguson's memoir, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot.  (Click on that link and it'll bring you to Amazon. Just saying.) It was one of the books that the husband and I got for ourselves last Christmas. He finished it at the beginning of the year and placed it on my pile of books to read that I stacked on the recliner in the bedroom.

Because I got tired of feeling bad that he had to move all the books onto the bed when he wanted to sit on the recliner to read, and then back again when he was done sitting, I thought I'd switch the books elsewhere. I did in February. I brought the pile into the office and wrote a blog post (not an amazon.com link) about what I was not reading.  I must have been still in a got-to-be organized mood because I stacked them neatly away somewhere.

I forgot where.

I didn't know that I forgot until I started looking for Craig Ferguson's book.

Several times, I looked high and I looked low.


In the same places. 


And, several times more.

I gave up.

But, then.

A few weeks ago, I began searching for a misplaced credit card.

I found Craig Ferguson's book in the shelf  right behind the black backpack.

The credit card? We got new cards in the mail the other day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Reusing and Repurposing

The mama is a professional reuser and repurposer, and she doesn't even know it.  See the photo of different types of containers. I picked all those things up from behind her seat at the kitchen table the other day so I could mop the floor. That box is not empty. It's loaded with empty peanut butter jars. I'm sure I could find at least a dozen boxes full of empty jars stashed in the garage and the tool shed. Maybe one of these days, I'll take some of the boxes down to the recycling center.

For as long as I can remember, the mama has saved jars, worn out clothing, boxes, paper bags, bread ties, containers and trays that food come on, tree branches, wood, linoleum tiles, and so on and so forth. She turns them all into functional things such as dust rags, garbage bags, seed containers, and plant saucers. The mama has a lot of soft kitchen towels that she made out of rice bags when rice was sold in white cotton sacks. As for tree branches, she keeps the sturdy tall ones that she prunes so that she can use them to hold up branches full of apricots, in the summer, and persimmons, in the fall.

Over the years, I've become like the mama.  My cache of stuff is full of fabric, old clothing, buttons, jewelry, yarn, and such that I want to one day turn into purses, bags, jewelry, curtains, and other fun, but useful, things.

How do you reuse or repurpose things? Need some ideas? Here are a few sites to check out:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Free Online Printable Recipe Cards

My recipes are written on scraps of paper and backs of envelopes that are messily piled together on my designated cookbook shelf in the kitchen. I also have jotted recipes and stored them on my computer, which I will only find again by accidentally stumbling upon them.  Computers are definitely not the place for me to keep them.  In short, I need to go back to using recipe card boxes.

Recipe card boxes are neat. I love finding them at garage sales and thrift shops. I just don't use them for their original intentions. The one on my desk holds business cards and all my library cards from different cities, for instance.

Anyway, I think the day for transferring my recipes onto cute recipe cards is coming sooner than later. Earlier this month, one of my favorite cooking and crafts blogs—Skip to My Lou— began offering printable recipe cards for free. Yep, f-r-e-e!  Who doesn't like free stuff, especially when the things are cute and useful.  Thank you Cindy, the creative cool owner of Skip to My Lou!

There are two designs from which to choose and you can select either a 3x5 or 4x6 format. The instructions are easy to follow to key in your ingredients and directions. When you're ready, voila, you click your print button.

I tried a 4x6 format for my first recipe card. Cute design, don't you think? I like that the card says "From the kitchen of Su-sieee! Mac."  It makes me feel like I'm a cook.

Ready to try it out? Here are your links:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Indecisiveness


One of my latest projects is divesting myself of stuff. See the photo of the snake pen. It’s inkless. Shall I:
a) throw it away?

b) toss it into one of my boxes of mementos, which I’ll open another day to decide whether I’m ready to dump what’s inside?

c) keep it forever and let my executor dump it after I’m dead?
I bought this pen years ago when I was going through a period of “Ooh, how cute. I’m a snake, I must have it.” Fortunately, that was a short phase and I have only a meager collection of stuffed snakes, snake figurines, and picture books featuring talking snakes.

No doubt, unknown readers, you understand my snake reference, one of the 12 signs in Chinese astrology. According to the Chinese Zodiac.com web site, “…When it comes to decision-making, Snakes are extremely analytical and as a result, they don’t jump into situations....” Yep. This snake pen has been lying on my desk for several days, ever since I went through my cup of pens and threw away the inkless ones. But unlike this cute snake pen, they were just plain pens of no consequence.

Maybe I’ll have made my decision about the disposal of the snake pen long before I have to deal with my spaceship looking pen. That still is full of ink!