Monday, January 25, 2016

January Projects

January is the perfect time to purge and organize;
and, of this ( below) I am not proud!

One of my to do projects this past weekend was to clear out...
reorganize the not too big, laundry room.

I recently (two weeks ago) was forced to purchase a new washer and dryer.  I had spent the afternoon "doing" laundry and dried one too many loads.  It started with a low bump.. bump.. bump rhythm, then escalated to the machine jitterbugging across the floor to an ear piercing thumpty thump thump thump.  Thankfully the load in the dryer was very close to being dry.  By the time I demonstrated the dryer's new act to R., the dogs were begging to visit the vet, and...
the towels were fully dry.

I really didn't need a new washer.  Honestly, I was fully prepared to have a, oh my gosh,  non-matching  set.  We all know a good salesman can sell you what you don't need, while making you think you made that decision all on your own.  I ask all the right questions, like... will this model still be available in six months?   And,  he answered with the always predictable and solemn, "I can't promise".  So, of course, we purchased the matching washer.  I suppose it was a good thing, as the washer stopped washing mid-cycle the next day.  Can you imagine the state I would be in had I not succumbed to the pressure and passed on the washing machine?

I promise, it would not have been pretty. 

The point of this digression is, washers and dryers are much larger than they were ten or so years ago.  Meaning,  some things in the laundry room needed to be sorted, rearranged and cast out.  Phew!

Yes, I am not proud I had a shelf stacked with magazines.
   Seriously, there are magazines in that collection dating to the turn of the century....
the 21st century.

I know I'm not alone.  You get it,
don't you?
There's always a beautiful cover.

 Bon Appetite always has a recipe or two begging to be saved
for the right occasion.  One day,
I'll pull it out and make that amazing cake.
And, I'll remember exactly the issue it is in.


And seriously, does anyone throw away their Food & Wines?

And, I haven't even begun going through the Thanksgiving and Christmas issues or the Oxford Americans and Garden and Gun.  They are on another shelf.

Okay, I'm not really going to go through them. 
 I'm boxing them up; not looking at them.  
Yes, they're all boxed up and off to the recycle bin.

 But wait, Ohhhh, didn't that meyer lemon cake look yummy?
Please tell me it isn't in the bottom of the box.

Ahhh, there it is.
Maybe I should just keep this one.
I have a freshly emptied shelf.
What do you think?

I still have a few lemons waiting to be picked.....
I will share....

Okay, I heard you.
I'm making a copy.

I have the perfect spot for it. 

Please, help me remember, 
I'm putting it just inside that big over-stuffed folder of recipes.
The one on the bottom shelf in the laundry room.

Do you save magazines, or do you throw them away after you've looked at them?
I really need someone to tell me I am not in this alone.

Seriously, this is my year to throw out,  
and nothing is sacred.


Friday, January 22, 2016


Happy New Year!

I know it is closer to Valentine's Day than New Year's...
this is just how my life has been running the last few years.

We had our first snow overnight.
For me, it means a day of no school.

I have a book I'm anxious to get back to reading, and more than a few projects begging to be tackled (like a pantry and a closet), but what I really want to do is to sit down and write.

I have always wanted to write.  Which may explain my love of reading.  As a child I wrote imaginary tales.  My dad called them "fantastical" (I never mistakenly thought he used this as a form of fantastic).    When I was older I moved to writing mysteries, then onto poetry and stories filled with teenage angst.  A pen and a notepad were a favorite and constant companion.   Often when I am craving to pick up a pencil and write, I remember a story of a young girl who wanted to write fiction.

Once  in a distant time and place, a teacher assigned her seventh grade class the task of writing both a non-fiction and a fiction story.   One student in particular loved writing and telling far-fetched stories.  Receiving the assignment she tackled her least favorite first.  She was not particularly fond of reading non-fiction, and found researching a bit boring.  She didn't like using someone else's words.   Her dad had recently taught her how to use his "fancy" camera.  She would write her non-fiction piece about her dad teaching her to take photographs. She wrote down everything he had taught her.  She checked out books at the library.    She edited and reedited to condense all her information to fit
 the one page limit.  And, she was pleased.

With her camera story behind her, she pulled out her favorite pen  and began writing a white knuckled suspense story of two children exploring an abandoned house and finding an escaped convict hiding in a small room off the old creaky stairs leading to the attic.  The story clearly had a beginning, a climax and an end... in a seventh grade kind of way.   She edited and reedited to make sure her story fit the one page limit.   And, she was pleased.

The two assignments were labeled, and turned in.  The next week papers were returned.  The child anxiously awaited her graded work.   This was when she was surely going to shine.  She waited while everyone else reviewed their returned work.  Finally, the teacher ask her to come up to her desk.

The teacher handed her the non-fiction piece.  The grade was a B, okay, but not very interesting.   The teacher held the other assignment in her hand.  She looked at it, and looked into the girl's face.  She ask if the child understood the assignment.  The child nodded.  Reaching out the teacher placed the paper in front of the student.  At the top of the paper was the biggest, brightest red F the girl
 had ever seen.

The teacher looked at the child and explained, "I had to give you an F, because you labeled this fiction.  It should have been turned in with the non-fiction papers".  Confused, and with tears brimming her eyes, the child told the teacher it was fiction, it was a made-up story.  The teacher questioned the girl about the characters, and parts of the story, then picked up her pen and added an additional leg to F to make it an A.  She handed the girl the paper.  "If you continued to practice you could be a writer one day."

The girl did not continue to practice.  She grew up, the world grew loud and life happened.  She still loves to write.  She said in the New Year should get back to her writing.  Now, she suddenly finds she is standing nearer to Valentine's Day than New Years.

What a blessing a snow day can become.
Stay warm dear friends.
I'm off to tackle a project....
or maybe just settle in with my book.

I have so many books to write about....
 I'm going to need another snow day!