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» Saturday, January 19, 2019Getting Things in Order
To my relief, I have managed to get many things done this week. I reported earlier than I was cleaning out the china cabinet and the top shelf of the hall closet and getting rid of some things that we do not use, or that I do not like. I did get to go to the Lidl grand opening on Wednesday, but there were already more than one hundred people in line, and the parking lot was standing room only, so I didn't stop and went to Walmart instead. (Apparently Yoplait has come up with some "Dunkin" yogurt flavors. I cringed at the thought of cinnamon roll and bought the French vanilla latte in the forlorn hope that it might have some coffee flavor. Well, it does, but so minute that it might as well be a molecule. Mostly what it tastes of is sugar. Ugh. I miss their café au lait flavor so much.) When I came by Lidl after finishing at Wally World, when there were parking spaces, it was still crowded and some radio station was blasting unpleasant and obnoxious rock music out front. I wasn't much impressed at what I saw, but my opinion was surely colored by the jostling, impossible crowd.
So many people have been talking about Marie Kondo [the organizing consultant] that on Thursday I watched three of her shows on Netflix. I hadn't read her book, and by the way people were talking I thought she was one of those dreadful minimalist people who favored icky modern metal and plastic furniture, white walls and sofas, and no memorabilia in the house. Well, except for the no-more-than-30-books philosophy she supposedly has, she seems very sensible. It's like watching Hoarders except these people aren't drowning in possessions, they just have too many. She helps them sort them out and see what they need, and what they don't, and organize what they keep in a better fashion. (One lady had her entire downstairs den filled with Christmas decorations she hadn't put away!) This is what I've been trying to do for the last year. In fact, spurred by Marie, I went and did what I originally intended to do on Thursday: reorganize the top shelf of the spare room closet. The party supplies are kept up there, and I tidied those up, put the wedgies that we used to have on our bed in the corner in case company wants to use them, and stored the slim-line CD cases on the CD carousel stored up there, instead of having a box of cases and the carousel. Then there was enough room for the hot- and cold-vaporizers, and even some space to spare.
Friday I started gravy [spaghetti sauce] and pork in the slow cooker, then indexed the gifts in the Christmas boxes in the spare room closet. Now I know everything I have and can apportion the items to the appropriate person, and then know who I need to buy for.
Finally I washed Tucker. I usually take him to the dog wash at Petco, but the price went up to $12 last time I went, and the weather was cold and damp. But he had to have a bath; he smelled like a boys' locker room that the janitor hadn't visited in three forevers. So I got out the knee pads I got from Amazon, cleared away things from the tub, got the shower head down, dumped a bewildered Tucker in the tub, and gave him the bath. He behaved very well; in fact he was a little more coöperative than usual, even though he acted as if he were suffering terrible torture to be under water. Our water was warmer than they usually have at the dog wash, so that may be part of it.
I discovered a couple of problems, however. The main one was that the drain needs to be cleared. To keep hair out of the drain, I have a screened dome, and the hair collects and blocks the drain, and since it already needs flushing, so Tucker was standing in at least an inch of water. Plus, when I used to wash Willow in the tub, I would always then hand her over to James to dry. I had to dry Tucker myself, with no raised platform to do it on as at the dog wash. I ended up sitting on the toilet lid and holding the little wiggle worm on my lap. I needed as many arms as an octopus.
But it worked out. I got him dry enough, I washed and dried all his bedding, and James came home to a clean dog. And an exhausted Linda, but, stuff got done. And the knee pads worked fine. Much better than the towel I used to kneel on.
Today the weather reports were dire: it was going to rain. We had Hair Day, and James' club meeting had been postponed to today because of a model show in Chattanooga last week. So we went to Ron and Lin's for about ninety minutes and James got his hair cut and beard trimmed, and we chatted with everyone, and then got back on the road. I discovered I'd only had six and a half hours of sleep and I was a bit drowsy, but when I'd downloaded e-mail this morning, I'd found a 60 percent off coupon from Michael's.
So James gathered up the model he was taking to the meeting, and I got in the car, heading...well, I headed north. I was down to a quarter tank of gas, so I decided to go to Costco for it, as it was cheapest there. And there is also a Michael's at Town Center down the hill from a Costco.
I stopped at Michael's first, checking out all the departments, including the spring decorations. Ugh. Only January, don't want to think of spring, temps in the 70s, flowers blooming and making me sneeze, aching joints from my allergies, and pine pollen. (Not to mention having to turn on the air conditioner again!) But I found something great to use my coupon on. I have only seen sets of Speedball calligraphy markers in the same everlasting strict colors: black, brown, red, green, and brown. Today I found a dozen in other colors: purple! teal! even yellow and orange! The coupon was just the trick to be able to afford the set. I also found some planning stickers on clearance for my journal.
When I finished at Michael's, I went to fill up the car, and had then thought to go on to And That! to see if they still had inexpensive pistachios, and then go to Hobby Lobby. As usual, my mind strayed to books, which is how I ended up at 2nd and Charles and disappeared into the rabbit hole of used books. I don't usually find much there, but today I did pick up a book about a couple who open a bookstore in a small West Virginia town and the third and final book in a young adult trilogy about a girl living in an alternate universe Boston. I considered and then skipped The Willows in Winter because it seems to be too much about Toad. Toad is my least favorite character in Wind in the Willows; I prefer the sweet stories about Ratty and Mole palling about. The chapter "Dulce Domum" is one of my favorite Christmas tales.
I just returned home after that and messed about on the computer until James got home. We had supper at Uncle Maddio's, not having had pizza in a good long time. I'd had only a small sandwich for lunch and ate every bit of my personal pizza with bacon and black olive upon it (and no awful mozzarella cheese—hate the stuff, tastes like mucus to me). Maddio's makes the best crust, all lovely and crisp.
Watched a couple of This Old House segments when we got home, then James disappeared downstairs to the depths of his man-cave to fiddle with plastic and glue and paint, and I've been here listening to the podcast "Happier With Gretchen Rubin."