Archive for July, 2010


July 27, 2010

It seems like every time I unload something from the house, I have to post about it. Because I love getting rid of stuff. There is a term for loving to throw away things – I just can’t remember it right now.

Most recent stuff to unload: 4 rather large boxes of books – they’re at the library book sale right now. Half and half paper books and book on tape – and I mean cassette tape.  Some of them I was never going to read (gifts or stuff that came extra with the lots of books I was buying online) – some I never want to read again, they were so bad.  Those books were good for a while, but since neither of us have vehicles with cassette players anymore (and haven’t for a couple of years, and that is where we do all our active listening), it was time to let it go.

I hope they go to a good home, but honestly, I’m just glad to be rid of them. I do feel for the technology aspect of it – I mean, it was a sort of older technology, and you wonder who still has tape players.  (We have one, but it’s mostly for the kids.   The library has tons of books on tape.  We actually don’t sit around and listen to books – that’s what the car is for.)

Even with this unloading, that was really only 2-3 shelves worth, out of our whole house.  Geez.  My whole life is about stuff – getting it, moving it, and then dumping it.

Up next: unloading several bags of little boy clothes onto my sister.  Heh-heh.  Let that be her problem.


I’d like the Darth Vader special, please

July 23, 2010

So here I was at the dollar store, looking at the cheap play dough.  It’s 2 small tubs for $1, choices of color; red, green, blue, yellow.  Then, next on the shelf is a special group package, 5 tubs for $2.  That’s one extra tub for the same amount of money – no brainer, right?

Except when I picked it up, I realized the colors were red, green, blue, yellow, and black.

That’s right.  Black play dough!  What do you need black play dough for except for the special Star Wars kits?  (Black play dough feels a little bit like a loss of play dough innocence, I think.)

I picked up the yellow and red tubs.  You can keep your black play dough, dollar store.


July 16, 2010

We went on a long trip a little while ago. Technically, it wasn’t camping. We spent a couple of days in Ottawa, and then the rest of the week at a rented cabin in a provincial park in Quebec.

The funny thing about this for me, was that while I like having a fridge while on vacation – which makes the whole kid food thing easier – was the realization of what you can do without.

First off, no matter what, you have to decide what you’re going to fill your fridge with, and more interestingly, what you’re not.

What I think is important is the survey of what’s been left from the previous inhabitants. I used to think this was awful and sketchy, but now, if there’s food in the cupboard, I will now consider using it. (When I think about all the food that gets discarded because somebody might think it’s sketchy even while it’s perfectly good, it makes me sad. Look – I wouldn’t eat a sandwich someone else started, but I would think about using the remainder of their ingredients had they left them in the fridge. But no meat. Meat seems easily suspect.  But if there was a tomato, I would seriously consider it, after washing and checking for blemishes.  What harm could there be in a tomato?)

In my list of priorities, I’ve got to have salt and pepper.  Everything else is optional.  So right away, condiments get put on an endangered list. Unless you’re really into them – no ketchup, mustard, or anything like that. Really, no pickles, despite how much I love them.   Nothing that would take more than a single meal or two to eat.  That leads to thoughts about packaging, and how much is right for what you’re wanting to use.

For the single camper – there’s no way they can go through a package of burrito shells – so they might opt for pre-made burritos, even though that’s kind of wasteful and maybe not the stuff they’d put in the burrito, as well as being way more expensive per-burrito than they would if they could buy the raw ingredients.  I once stayed at a hostel where there was an entirely commercial fridge dedicated to the food left behind by the back-packers that might be useful for the ones coming being them.  I know it was a big hostel, but that’s still a lot of food.  I would, by the way, totally use that food had it been appealing to me.

I don’t know where I’m going with this.  Maybe I’m just spoiled by living in my house with my fridge and my ideas of using as much of my stuff as possible is not really worthwhile in my camping reality.

Maybe the weird idea that going back to nature, if you’re not totally eating off the land, is really consumptive and wasteful in a way.  Which seems counter-intuitive.

Funny family

July 9, 2010

Bits of funny from the family:

Henry: I got a good idea!

Me: What?

Henry: Trains!

(At grocery store, in front of cracker display.  Henry loves crackers.  I am trying to decide if I want to buy some, and decide not to.)

Henry: Buy crackers, Uma!

Me: No.  We have plenty of crackers at home.

Henry:  (Taking a box from the shelf.)  You can never have enough crackers.

Me:  Okay.  (Because I realize he is correct and I can’t argue with that logic.)

While sitting in the car:

Henry: (singing something from the Handy Manny cartoon) Hop in, Jump up, c’mon on let joe.

W:  It’s “c’mon let’s go.”

Henry:  (loudly, clearly annoyed)  I was talking to myself!

(While playing with playdough)

Me: What’re you making?

Henry: Volcano.

Me:   Do you want more playdough?

Henry:  I need some ash.  (Unfortunately, he can’t pronounce his “sh” so it just sounds like “ss.”  Yeah.  W, on being informed of this, commented that “doesn’t everyone?”)

While I was reading “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” to Henry, I came across the line “Mike loved Maryann…” to which Henry asked “Are they married?”  (Maryann, to those uninitiated, is the steam shovel.)

W, on finally using the new non-stick pots and pans we bought last year: ” It’s like the pan is giving you the food!”

15 minutes

July 3, 2010

I heard somewhere that all you need is 15 minutes a day to clean your house.

It’s really appealing, but I don’t believe it. I spend at least 10 minutes a day just sweeping up crumbs in the kitchen alone. A dish washer is helpful – mine happens to be W, but that’s because he hates vacuuming.

I’m guessing laundry doesn’t count.

And what happens with things like serious cleaning – windows and heavy-duty things like that?

Well, I mis-understood.   I checked it out on the arbiter of all things – the Internet.   It takes 15 minutes per room – and this is the important part – to pick up. It can actually take 30 minutes to 2 hours to really clean each room.  Floors, walls, windows, vacuuming, dusting, the works.  Well, that puts a whole new light on things.  A whole, new, dingy, depressing light on things.  But it makes so much more sense.

Now I just got to find the time – before my in-laws show up.  In two hours.  (I guess I got to pick up a couple of rooms or else do some serious triage on the cleaning, huh?)