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My Junk: Not in the Trunk

15 Feb

When I got up one Saturday morning, the kids were not yet at full steam, and The Daddy was perusing the sale flyer from Lowe’s.

“Look at this!” he said, holding the flyer out so I could see. “A closet organization system for only $39!”

The picture looked something like this – some wire shelves and rods, etc.:

What does this really DO?

I looked blankly at him and the flyer. I clutched my coffee mug and tried in vain to activate my thinking apparatus. He continued to enthusiastically hold up the picture of the closet. “Wouldn’t that be great? We could get one for Benjamin’s closet and a couple for ours.”

I kept looking at it, but couldn’t manage to apply the idea or his enthusiasm to our own closets. “And how exactly would it help us?”

He looked at me quizzically, probably trying to figure out how a person who seems to have at least a moderate intellectual capacity could be so totally dense.

“Nevermind,” he sighed. “We can talk about it after you’ve had some more coffee.”

Which is never a bad plan of action, where I am concerned.

I’ve written about my inability to organize things here before. And I admit, it’s really a problem. For awhile, after we moved into the new house, we had so much more storage that my ineptitude wasn’t as obvious. In fact, there are so many drawers in the kitchen that I couldn’t even fill them all up. But empty drawers didn’t seem right at all. My solution? Multiple junk drawers. A kids’ junk drawer; a Me junk drawer; a junk drawer for rarely used items; a takeout-menu-and-school-stuff junk drawer; a junk drawer for coupons and stamps.

The Daddy finally caught on. “You know,” he said, “we really don’t need FIVE junk drawers.”

“But what else am I going to do with all that space?”

“There could be organized drawers, with specific purposes.”

“They are, kind of!” I proceeded to show him the loosely defined purpose of each drawer.

“But why are there rolls of Scotch tape in every drawer?”

“Because I always need tape at the last minute when I’m trying to wrap a gift before we rush out the door on our way to some party or another. If there’s tape all over the place, then I don’t have to open all the drawers looking for tape. Whatever drawer I open, BAM!  Tape is there!”

He looked at me with what could be best described as loving pity. “But couldn’t you put all of them in one drawer and then remember which drawer is the drawer that contains five rolls of tape?”

“Well, you nailed the problem right there…I would have to remember which drawer they’re in. You can see my dilemma.”

Indeed, he did not see my dilemma. I am lucky he loves me so much.

I predict that if I have to add remembering where the tape lives to all of the other important things I have to remember, something else is bound to suffer. Perhaps I’ll forget to close the garage door, or Benjamin will go to school without pants on, or I’ll wear mismatched shoes to work, and it will all be because that part of my brain was replaced by remembering where the tape resides.

I’m sure you’re thinking I’m just being dramatic here, but consider this: Last week, we decided to start allowing the dog free roaming privileges while we’re gone from the house (we previously crated her so she didn’t eat the drywall or the carpet or whatever she might do while she was still in the puppy phase). My morning routine when leaving the house was 1) get the kids’ shoes/coats/hats on, 2) get my stuff on, 3) gather lunches/backpacks/my purse, 4) throw a protein bar and my cell phone into my purse, 5) put the dog in her kennel, 6) turn off the kitchen light and shove gently guide the kids out the door with all of our various bags.

For some reason, not doing 5) put the dog in her kennel short-circuited my brain such that I was no longer able to remember my cell phone and protein bar.  I forgot those things for 2 or 3 days until my brain was able to build a bridge and get over it.

I’d like to think it will someday get better, but in reality it will likely get worse as I get older. I can just see myself, a little old toothless lady in a muumuu, wandering around our organized closet yelling, “WHERE’S THE TAPE AT, DADDY?!” and The Daddy shouting in my “good” ear, “IT’S IN THE KITCHEN! IN ONE OF YOUR DRAWERS. REMEMBER?” I’ll insist that I AM in the kitchen, and then he’ll have to convince me that I’m not and remind me where the kitchen is located. Exhausted by the mental strain, I’ll probably just lie down and watch Wheel of Fortune instead.

That man is a living saint, I tell you. A living saint.

It Even Looks Like a Roll of Tape

Garage Sale Grump

25 May

First, I want to say that it took me three days to write a post that would normally take me 20 minutes or so, because of THE PUPPY. It’s just like having a newborn again, except it’s completely different. My human newborns didn’t bite me with tiny razor-sharp teeth, nor did they bark, dump their water bowls over, or chase the cat. Yesterday, Benjamin said, “Can we get some more puppies?” and immediately, in perfect unison, The Daddy and I issued a firm NO.

Despite the rambunctious streak, she’s very sweet and amazingly cute. See?

MAYA, 10 WEEKS OLD

The other big thing going on is that we have a closing date on our new house. In July! Which means we’re moving! And we need to get serious about it. We definitely don’t want to take everything with us, so I’ve finally decided to have a garage sale. For real.

I say “for real” because I claim to be planning a garage sale every single spring. Someone will say to me, “I’m having a garage sale next week,” and I invariably reply, “Oh! I’m going to have a garage sale this summer too!” And then I spend some time explaining how I say the same thing every year, but THIS year is going to be different. THIS will be the year I actually DO it. But have I ever done it?

Nope.

And here’s the reason: I am completely stymied when I start thinking about the logistics of the whole thing. It’s not the location – no siree, I currently live on the corner of an extremely busy 4-lane street. Hundreds, possibly thousands of people will see my garage sale without any advertising or signage at all. Nor am I worried about placing ads or collecting money or talking to strangers or fighting off the pushy early birds. I’m not even really worried about pricing, because pricing can and will change throughout the weekend, based upon what it is, what time it is, and if they are genuinely nice when they ask me for a lower price.

What I’m worried about is organization. Displaying things. I don’t want to put stuff on the ground on blankets because nothing annoys me more than to go to a garage sale and spend my time looking at the ground. So I need tables, or some other manner of raised flat surface. I don’t have a surplus of tables in my house, so then I think, “Okay, I’ll rent some.” And then I look into that and realize the cost will take a major bite out of my profits. Without fail, someone responds to this complaint with something like, “Get creative! Put old doors on saw horses. Hang things on a ladder. Put a piece of wood on a barrel and use that as a table!”

I want to kick the people who say that to me right in their well-meaning shins, because if I was creative I wouldn’t be suffering this mental organization disorder, and plus, who has a collection of barrels just lying around? Whatever would I have bought in barrel form? What are all you people buying in barrels, for heaven’s sake? Wine? Whiskey? Monkeys? Laughs?  And after the monkeys have climbed out and are swinging from your curtains, where are you storing the empty barrels? I can’t even think of anything I would need an entire barrel of, other than maybe chocolate. Or patience.

So you can see my dilemma. My brain gets overwhelmed by hellish visions of being up all night, feverishly constructing complicated, multi-tiered displays out of ladders and fishing line and saw horses and BARRELS and duct tape, and then I just call the whole thing off. Who needs that kind of stress?

Anyway – off to Costco to buy a barrel of laughs for my garage sale. If you have a barrel at your house, I seriously want to know the following things: 1) what came in it (beer doesn’t count…we’re not in college anymore), 2) where you got it,  3) if it’s ever come in handy, and 4) where you store it. And if I can borrow it.

SELFISH BARREL HOARDERS

Image via Wikipedia

The Dirt Pile of Our Dreams

11 Apr

Back in snowy December, we reserved a lot upon which a construction company agreed to build our dream house.

“We’ll break ground in February, and then your house will be done in June.” Simple pimple!

Even though we had two months until ground breaking, there were still things to do and think about. We had to choose colors…siding, wood, granite, tile, carpet, front door…even door knobs. (Or should I say door levers, because that’s what we went with in the end. Knobs are so 2010.) Did we want recessed lighting? A garage extension? Pre-wired home security system? Clear or obscure glass in the shower? Disco ball in the great room?

(No, that wasn’t really an option, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have one.)

We did all of that, and then we waited impatiently. And waited impatiently some more. Finally, one day in late February, they dug a hole! A big house-shaped hole, surrounded by mounds of dirt. And then nothing else happened.

In this and other cold-climate states, there are laws addressing the time of year in which the frost in the ground is…defrosting. While that’s going on, people who construct things can’t drive their necessary-for-construction vehicles around on the soft ground, lest they commit such crimes as cracking the tender pavement and mashing the sensitive curbs. I had no idea these laws existed before this particular spring, nor would I have cared. But what it meant for The Dirt Pile of Our Dreams was that it would remain nothing more than a dirt pile until the laws were lifted.

So, since February, we’ve been stuck in construction purgatory. Daily, I checked the frost law update web page (they even have a web page for it!) to see if the status had changed. Daily, we drove by our mound of dirt, monitoring the progress on other people’s houses, because at least it was something to DO. Daily, we valiantly maintained patience and perspective, at least on the outside, while we waited for the day that the trucks would roll in.

And that day is TODAY! Today, the frost law enforcers (seriously, there are frost law enforcers who come and take your equipment if you defy THE LAWS) will abandon their posts, and with any luck, the burly concrete guys will begin pouring our basement walls.

Halle-frickin’-LUJAH!

I LOVE TRUCKS

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