Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

About my stuff...

Rule #35 - No profanity please.

     It’s crash time. It’s a major renovation project for us. Not just a coat of paint on the walls… even then, we both tend to add vocabulary to the English language. Little did I know the snowball effect on my life this project would have.

     We contracted to have our kitchen gutted and redone, and to put hardwood flooring through into the dining room. And, as they say, the prep work is the hardest and longest. So true here.

     It took us over a year to get planning for this project underway. It took longer to save the money for it, but we did it. We found our contractor, got our design done, got the components ordered, got a construction schedule, and now have deadlines to have things done. That was easy, compared to the next steps. Emptying both rooms was a taxing and enlightening experience, to say the least. It was time to rearrange all of our stuff.

     Lucky for us, my sister-in-law works for Hallmark. They may have overpriced cards and kitschy gifts, but they ship stuff to their stores in great boxes. We started to pack up as if we were going to do the one thing my husband wants to do most - move away from the over-taxed life in Maryland!

     Before we could do anything with the boxes, though, we needed some packing material. Hmmmm… what would work? I know, I’ve been meaning to clean out the linen closet. We could use the old towels and sheets as packing material. Genius! And, oh, the treasures I found. My husband has over 30 pair of socks that were stuffed in the linen closet, just waiting for him to wear out what he had and pull them into use. We found underwear that we bought on sale, for both of us. Uh oh…. Time to clean out my underwear drawer! The trash dudes are going to love us this week! Closet and drawers, done and done. Back is a bit sore, but I’ll live. And language stayed civil, for a change.

     Now we have a pile of linens and towels decorating the dining room. Time to pack up the china cabinet, an old book case and a media storage cabinet. I would pull stuff out, wrap it up and turn around to more stuff. It looked like the stuff morphed into rabbits and kept reproducing all over the dining room table. I pulled out and boxed up more stuff. Holy (insert cuss word of choice here)!

     Now I needed a place to store the stuff in boxes…. Hmmmm… empty living room corners. That’s the ticket! We hauled the boxes into the living room and stuff them behind the furniture. We have boxes stacked 4 and 5 high near the fireplace. Dining room stuff is on one side, and kitchen stuff on the other. Ok, we can now move around the living room again…sort of. Those boxes were heavy and hard on the knees. (Insert fresh sets of cuss words)

     Next job is the kitchen. Now we have to be organized. What will we need for the four weeks of the renovation and what can we do without? We packed that up accordingly. Wait a minute… I forgot to set up a cook station in the living room. Move stuff around. Ok… got that covered now.

     I now have to crawl into those inaccessible nooks and crannies in the back of the lower cupboards. Hmmmm… I found antique food stuff! How did we get 3 bottles of Karo light (for candy making and when I cat-sit my grand kitty who is diabetic)? What is this molasses stuff? Wow, we do have grits, so scratch that off the grocery list. How many instant puddings do we really need? That can looks funky, so don’t even bother opening it and trying to recycle the can. Chuck it all. Keep the oriental rice noodles, though. (Creative language use course is now paying off)

     Everyone has a junk drawer in their kitchen. You know, the one that magnetically attracts rubber band, twist ties, General Mills box tops for education bits, pens, pencils, crayons, magnets… and so on. I thought I was so cool limiting myself to 1 junk drawer (in that room). Now to go through all that stuff. Pens that don’t work will no longer live in that drawer. Pencils can be sharpened and kept. I’m seeing a pattern here… keep the old school that doesn’t fail and lose the new school stuff that wears out. (Fresh assortment of cuss words used here)

     Purging kitchen gadgets has to happen too. What have I used recently? Hmmmm…. Short list here. Pull out the 5 or 6 items and keep them with the cooking utensils. Box the rest and they will probably be donated when we restock the shelves.

     Well, everything is now out, boxed, organized, moved… all that stuff from 2 rooms, consolidated down into boxes, tote bags, grocery bags and 2 plastic bins (for the food stuff).  I can’t believe how much stuff we accumulated in those rooms. We now have 3 rooms temporarily in 1 and find ourselves crawling all over our stuff. Language gets creative as we accidentally stub toes on boxes of stuff and get feet tangled in cords for our electrical stuff.

     Someone once told me that profanity is a lazy mind trying to sound important. There is some truth to that phrase, especially when you hear profanity-laced speech coming out of people’s mouths for the heck of it. I hear people use the F-word and make it sound like an exhale. Don’t these people know any other adjectives? What’s the point of sounding coarse? But then, if you are hurt, or angry, what’s a choice word or two going to hurt? We just don’t need a stream of obscenities… that is so NOT cool.

     It’s all I can do to keep my language clean through this process. Doing all right so far, I’ve got to say. Hope it stays that way…. Well, it should. After all, moving the stuff back into the rooms should be more fun than moving it out. It should be like Christmas all over again. Then I get to rethink about how much stuff I really do need.

     George, help me out here!!! Tell me about your stuff…

(George Carlin - Stuff, from Comic Relief, HBO)

Now, how much stuff do you really need? Hmmmmm……
dining room stuff
kitchen stuff
And we are living in one room right now...

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