Thursday, December 29, 2005


I’m glad we are on a holiday - seeing as how I seem to be more busy not working. Does that make sense? Of course it could have something to do with the fact that all four kids are at home all day long and it has been raining since Christmas break began.

“Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”

From “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Samuel Coleridge

Did I mention it has been raining? For a WEEK. For a FEW WEEKS. Yes, there is standing water in my back yard, which boggles the mind since I live on a hill. Because of that, we have been indoors for that long. If only it was snow… Remember how I said it was in the 20-degree range a few short weeks ago? It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been in the upper 50s and 60s lately. Crazy. It’s that darn “Pineapple Express.” That’s what weathermen out here have dubbed it anyway. Apparently, the weather makes it’s way from Hawaii (hence the “Pineapple”) and douses us with warm wetness.

Poetroad was referencing this weather pattern the other day, but only he accidentally called it the “Banana Express.” I was quiet for a second before I queried, with stifled laughter, “Did you mean to say the “Pineapple Express? You men – everything is about the “banana” isn’t it.” We couldn’t stop laughing.

Christmas was fantastic, by the way. As usual, Poetroad and I stayed up most of the night working on gifts for Christmas morn. This year, he enthusiastically tackled the project of refurbishing his first drum set (a very nice Junior set) for our soon to be eight year old. He had spent weeks ordering the necessary parts (buying some new hardware, new wraps, etc.) and cleaning some of the original hardware, and it only took us three or four hours to put the things together. The drums look SWEET!

I was going to mention something else, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what. Oh yeah – what I have been doing this week….

This week I have been (with Poetroad’s help) reorganizing the entire house. The fact is that we have a large family living in this small space (it’s a six people, a dog, and a cat, to approximately 1500 sq feet ratio). Europe. I pretend, often, that I live in one of those fancy apartments in Europe. I tell myself, “If the Europeans can live in small spaces, so can I.” That’s what IKEA is for – to help us live in small spaces, right?

So, in an effort to maximize our productivity, we are purging the contents of our home with a “top down” approach. That means that we have been clearing out all of the contents from the closets, from under the bed, from the storage areas, etc., starting upstairs in our room. Next, we tackle the kids’s rooms, and then we eliminate stuff downstairs. The final project will be to clean out the garage (if we can get to it by then).

I asked Poetroad, “How long do you think it will take us to finish this project.” He paused, and then replied, “Conservatively speaking, six months. But I’d like to finish our room this week.”

Okay, then. Guess I’d better get back to cleaning.


Gracie said...

Do you think you might have the Shopping Disorder of Retail Bulimia. The bingeing and purging of shopping and tossing. Good times. I have the shopping disorder of Retail Anorexia. I think about shopping all the time, I go shopping often but I rarely buy and when I do, I frequently never get the tags off...just return it before it adds any extra weight to my life.

bluesugarpoet said...

That's the funny thing - I don't really buy anything anymore. I don't even go shopping (except for the essentials: food, lightbulbs, cleaning supplies). When I do shop, often I will put things in my cart, walk around the store for a bit, and then put everything back before I even leave the store.

Also, I have lived with the policy for quite a few years to get rid of one thing for every purchase I make. Mostly, it's the papers that pile up. Junk mail, school papers, magazines, etc. Piles and piles.

Note: Please refrain from offering helpful solutions regarding purging paper waste. Suggestions will not be received favorably and without implied criticism acknowledged.

And gifts. Stuff people give us - particularly the clothing - I am sorting through. My sister-in-law has the habit of giving my horribly stained and ratty clothes. Boxes of them. Now when I am offered stuff, I say, "No thank you." The refusal of gifts doesn't go over too well at birthdays, though, so I still have that to deal with that stuff.

Plus, I am constantly putting away and getting out (and sorting through) seasonal clothing for the four kiddos (yes, we have seasons here - some colder months and some warmer months). My girls wear hand-me-downs from each other, so that stuff is stored in totes in the garage.

At this moment, I have two trash bags full of paper waste in my room (all to be recycled). Much of it is stuff from teaching - hard to part with, but if I ever do go back to the classroom, I'll make up new handouts, etc. Teachers, you know how hard it is to amass lessons when you are first starting out; it is just as difficult to do this when you quit and go back to work years later.

But even a little bit of extra stuff in a small house does not go unnoticed.

Mimi said...

and here I am with a box of books. May I still mail it?

supergirl said...

We are a family of 4 (adults) living in 1200 sq ft. When I was younger this felt too cramped but now I like it. Small, functional spaces are better than having just too much room. And heating costs are lower!

Gracie, your shopping disorder is hilarious! I don't like buying much either and actually don't enjoy the act of shopping. But then I buy things I need all in one shot and now I have 2 credit cards that need to be paid :(.

Gracie said...

BSP - I have no advice to offer - you've seen my house - you know - when I had one. Paper is like constant avalanche around here. Fortunately for me one of my roommates is one of the most anal retentive people on the planet so it keeps me self-conscious about my junk.

Gracie said...

This reminds me of a time when I was a kid - My mom is afflicted with Flat Surface Syndrome (Illness that prevents a person from leaving any flat surface naked - charactarized by an overwhelming compulsion cover said flat sufaces with 4-12 inch piles of various paper items.)

One day my dad coudn't take (not) looking at our 40 inch square coffee table anylonger and in one fell swoop whisked it all into the fire place, with a big yell and lit it on fire. I was about 10 and stood there mouth agape, curving into a horrified grin, until my mother began to cry over the distinct possibility that Dad had just burned up all the bills for that month. My case of FSS is much more mild and sporadic, while my mother's is incurable.

bluesugarpoet said...

BOL - my mom has that too!

(and I am trying my darndest to not pass that genetic disorder on to my kids)