Tag Archives: cleaning

List Legacy

IMG_2258

W has a t-shirt that says “I Drink and I Know Things”.  It was gifted to him by a friend who knows him very well.  If I had a shirt like that it would say “I Clean and I Find Things”. Not all that funny, but accurate as hell.  Mostly what I find are forgotten lists of things I’ve jotted down so I won’t forget them.  Totally useless endeavour when the list goes missing, and confusing as all get out when one turns up and makes very little sense to me in the here and now.

When I decide to clean, even if it’s something as simple as using the Swiffer duster on a shelf that the morning sun hits, illuminating a grey film that was invisible the night before and making me wonder how we can actually breathe in here,  I end up rearranging things.  Could be just items on a shelf, or could be all the furniture in a room. You just never know.

Twice this week I have moved stuff around in my bedroom, trying to accommodate a big old chair that’s worn out and uncomfortable and takes up too much space in the living room.  It’s next move may be out the front door.  The second time around for the rearranging involved moving the desk back to where it was in the first place (big sigh accompanied by eye roll) and going through its pile of miscellaneous papers which seems to accumulate even faster than the dust.

And I found a list.  Yes, I know, no one at this point is surprised.  It’s in a little black note-book which also contains some account numbers and passwords that are no longer valid because I’ve changed them.  This is exactly the kind of thing you don’t want to leave behind after you die, unless there are people you need to seriously annoy posthumously.  I have also written down my cell phone number because I have never bothered to memorize the damned thing.  It’s easy enough to find on my phone, so why did I bother doing that?  One mystery after another, right?

The list appears to be things you can do at our camp.  Or at anyone’s cottage I guess.

  • Wake up early 
  • Drink your coffee on the deck
  • Watch the early morning mist burn off the water
  • Go for a boat ride
  • Paddle a canoe
  • Go barefoot
  • Dance in the rain
  • Explore
  • Take pictures
  • Watch the birds
  • Play horseshoes
  • Make an inukshuk
  • Build a bonfire
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Watch the sunset
  • Always carry a wine glass of sufficient size to knock a bear unconscious 

That last one was SO worth waiting for.  It’s not mine, but I don’t know who to credit for it.  Someone brilliant, obviously.  I would add to that one to always keep the glass topped up so you can throw wine in the bears eyes and temporarily blind him before you turn around and run like hell.

That was more fun than finding an old grocery list or a paper from a page-a-day calendar, although I found both of those as well.  The calendar page says

Dont die green.  Die crisp and toasty brown, well lived and well loved.

Kinda sounds like bear food, but whatever.  May we all live long enough to get crispy.

Happy Sunday!

Advertisements

The Mysterious Can Opener Caper

IMG_3274
The very new and the very old and why are those apples so shiny?

It’s obvious to me by my title choice that I have been reading way too many crime stories lately, featuring detectives who are enamoured of their own wit in naming cases.  I download sometimes up to three free e-books a day with not a hope in hell of ever reading all of them.  But I do it for a couple of good reasons.  One, they’re free.  And two, if I can’t get past the first chapter I have a minimum amount of remorse hitting “home” and choosing another title.  Because hey,  they were all FREE.

As usual, I digress.  I have a can opener story.  I mean, come on, doesn’t everybody?   It wouldn’t surprise me to find authors giving them away for free on Amazon.  Get Book One of the Suspense Filled New Can Opener Trilogy Thriller!  I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

Anyway, this little black electric can opener I’ve had for many years was on sale for less than ten dollars way back eons ago.  I never thought at the time what possible reasons there could be for such a low price, but I wonder if the freaking racket the thing makes had something to do with it.  There can be no stealthy opening of cans in my house.  Unless you want to root around in ‘the drawerfor the hand held quiet ones.  We still have three of them I think.  Pretty sure two of them still work.

As with many such incredibly cheap items, this thing refuses to die.  If I’d picked up a forty dollar deluxe model it would have broken down in six months.  There is no doubt some Murphy’s Law about that very thing.

With use, however sporadic,  the little blade gets gooped up with the liquid from whatever I’m opening, and the little wheel that turns to rotate the can also gets grungy, as does the handle I press down to start the gawd awful wake-the-dead noise because I normally open a can only when I’m in the middle of some kind of complicated messy food prep. Like making tuna salad sandwiches. Trust me, I can make that complicated and messy.  So my point is, the thing gets dirty. And although I always have good intentions of cleaning it up in a timely fashion, the task does get overlooked.  Until it’s so disgusting I can’t do that anymore.

Yesterday afternoon I realized a soapy wipe was not going to be good enough this time around, so I armed myself with a pointy paring knife, dish soap, an old tooth brush, and super hot water from the sink sprayer, thinking if water somehow gets into the motor and ruins it, well it is old and cheap and who cares unless I electrocute myself later.

As I was scrubbing away and cursing the man who designed this impossible to clean piece of crap (it’s always a mans fault when something is hard to keep clean, have you ever noticed that?) the silver handle popped off and clattered into the sink.  And suddenly it was super easy to wash, and the little wheel was now exposed and clean in no time.  Seriously. And it all popped back together again.

It was one of those eureka moments.  The piece comes off so you can throw it in the dishwasher.  The guy who designed it (probably a woman) was not such a moron after all.  This is the second time I’ve been dumbfounded in the kitchen this month.  (Contrary to popular opinion, this does not happen on a daily basis.)  My son unscrewed the top from my immersion blender so it’s easier to clean the blade half.  I did not know it was meant to come apart.  Well, now I know two new things.  I wonder what other totally obvious things I’m missing.

This is why life for some people is a continuing exciting adventure of discovery.  In which a small thing like getting your can opener cleaned up can be the highlight of your day.

Okay, so this wasn’t really a caper, and also not particularly mysterious.  It’s about a kitchen utensil, so I don’t know what you were expecting.  I did hint at death by can opener, and that was pretty exciting, right?  And the story is free.  So we’re all good.

Happy last day of April.  Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine.

Sharing My World 57

image

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 14

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

With cleaning and yard work I wonder if there is anyone who needs help more than I do.  And that’s why I have help already with both of those things. Although this summer I’m going to attempt the lawn maintenance on my own because it’s so expensive and I could use the exercise and I have lots of time for it.  So far I’ve done nothing.  But I have contemplated raking.  Well, that’s a start isn’t it?  I’ve also sighed and rolled my eyes at the flower beds.

W often helps with the cooking (and I don’t even have to pay him for it) but he likes to cook things like potatoes and perogies and bacon.  I would like to hire a soup and salad chef.  Can you imagine how damned healthy I would be if it didn’t involve having to chop things up on my own?  Yes, I am exactly that lazy and often buy salad kits in a bag because putting one together from scratch just feels too labour intensive to be tolerated.  I admire people who can chop things small enough so that a spoonful of soup contains six different vegetables, instead of one hunk of green pepper big enough to choke you.

If this excellent chopper I’ve hired could also do interesting things with chicken and fish and the occasional steak, I would probably never enter the kitchen again.  And no doubt boast about it to my friends.  And have them over for dinner parties.

What makes you laugh the most?

My first thought was to say my daughter because she can make the most ordinary story hilariously funny, but its actually both my kids, especially when they’re together.  One is loud and a little crazy, and the other is deadpan dry humour personified, reminding me of my dad who always said droll things with a completely straight face.  I love that they find the funny in things, and that they’re drawn to people who make them laugh too. Life would be hell if you couldn’t laugh at it.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Strangely enough it was little triangular salmon sandwiches.  White bread, canned pink salmon mixed with salt and pepper and white vinegar, real butter on the bread, sweet mixed pickles on the side.  These were a treat for special occasions and picnics and usually meant for company. If we’d had them every day I can’t imagine they would have had the same appeal.  I still love canned salmon, with the bones mashed up in it, and  don’t care at all for fresh salmon.

Second place goes to a concoction my grandmother used to make for us, little potatoes and fresh yellow beans all soft and mushy in a white creamy buttery sauce.  Maybe she made it when we were starving and that’s why I remember it being delicious.  Or maybe it was simply delicious.  I’ve never tried making it myself, afraid to crush the memory.

List at least five favorite flowers or plants.

Sunflowers, daisies, black eyed susans, tiger lilies and anything that has red leaves.  I love the smell of tomato plants and the look of big ripe red tomatoes on the vine.  I might try planting some yellow beans in my back flower bed this year.  They’re supposed to be pretty hard to kill.  Most other plants are no challenge for me, they wither and die if I look at them sideways.  Or don’t look at them at all.  Perhaps that’s part of the problem.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a quiet week of listening to myself breathe and wondering why I’m wheezy.  Allergy meds don’t seem to have any effect.  Maybe I need something stronger.  Like vodka.  Or weed.

I’m grateful that I’ve finally made it to the end of the last season of Weeds on Netflix.  What a binge watch, and what a bizarre show and what a dumb ending.  I like Mary Louise Parker or I would never have lasted to the final episode.

Next week I have another visit to the university hospital and then I see my family doctor and then I think I will beg them all to leave me alone. Unless of course they find something dire, and then I will rethink that plan.

And THEN I might do some art work.  Sadly, when something begins to feel like work, I stop doing it.  I am looking forward to rekindling the joy.  It’s in here somewhere.

share-your-world2

Some Days Are Like This

imageNormally I would not in a hundred bazillion years share a photo of my fridge interior with strangers.  Or friends or family or anyone.  You just never know what totally embarrassing thing might be in there waiting to make you look bad.

But I am rather proud of my flyer-advertisement-worthy appliance today so you get to see it.  Plus, I have nothing else to tell you except my fridge cleaning story.  Close your eyes and put your headphones on, I don’t care, I’m telling it.

In a fit of blazing enthusiasm, perhaps brought on by the heat, I emptied this thing out, took out all the pieces and cleaned the shelves and the drawers and the glass pieces thoroughly in warm soapy water and dried them all with many towels until they were shiny clean and as sparkly as old well-used pieces of fridge can get.

Putting everything back together was a pain in the butt.  There are shelves that slide back and forth and in and out, and no matter how they are arranged there’s aways some stupid food product that won’t fit right on any of them.  What ever happened to fridges where you didn’t have any of these annoying choices and you could blame someone else for where you were forced to put things?  Throwing out mystery items and  expired things helped to balance my mood.  Like olives with a best before date of April, 2014.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Proving that housework never ends (until you put your foot down and tell yourself to just stop it) I carried on to the pantry cupboard and straightened that up as well.

The reason for doing all this?  I was making a shopping list and I have a bad habit of not looking hard enough for something and ending up purchasing another one of whatever it is that has gone missing behind a bunch of other stuff….you know how it goes.  So now I have a really great list and no energy left to go anywhere with it.

But wow, look at that fridge!  There’s actually an empty shelf.  And many many lemons for some reason that escapes me right now.

A super organized person I’m guessing could make two shopping lists.  The second one could be called “Do Not Buy” (because you already have lots even though while you are shopping you will forget this and throw random items that you purchase regularly in to your cart just in case.)  With my luck the lists would get switched.

So super organized might not be as super as we assume.  I’m not going to risk it anyway.  But I AM going to risk grocery shopping once again, this time armed with a little more knowledge than usual.  Let’s see how that goes.