Thursday, June 01, 2017

Spring Cleaning

Is there a patron saint for lentils?
I've been busy, busy, busy - but with less driving, yay! Turns out (you see, I forgot, duh) I currently have a licensed driver with HIS OWN CAR living in my house. So the other night, when Rachel texted me to pick her up from school at 5, and Brian was finishing up work at 5:15 during a torrential rainstorm that prevented him from walking home, Theo went out and got everyone, while I stayed home and made dinner.

Folks, that made all the difference. I felt better than I have in months, being able to focus on things I need to do at home, rather than running in and out of the house ALL THE TIME. I made TWO dinners, as a matter of fact - Skillet Lasagna (which, years ago, one of the kids affectionately dubbed Kill It! Lasagna as he stabbed at it with his fork, and yes, the name has stuck) and the miraculous lentil soup, which everyone liked AGAIN and believe me, this rivals the miracle of Fatima, in my book.

Unfortunately, Theo is leaving for a European hiking/Eurail vacation on Saturday, which is just the height of selfishness, in my opinion. Kids these days...

Probably should take them out of those pots...
Susie and I picked up some flowers from Home Depot to adorn our front porch and back deck, so the neighbors don't complain about our trailer trash ways. I haven't exactly planted them yet, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.

And, hooray, my bug boyfriend is coming this afternoon! We've had ants crawling out of a crack in the threshold between the kitchen and the front hall for almost a week. I keep squirting Windex down there to try to drown them, because I can't find a trail of them outside heading into the house.

This isn't my first ant rodeo, as you can tell. I'm hoping the bug guy can also do something about the weird, teeny-tiny bugs that are crawling around on the window sills between the inside window and the screen. Of course, this means I have to clean the entire upstairs so my bug boyfriend can go into all the bedrooms and deal with the windows there, too.

I mean, I've heard of cleaning up for the maid, but for the pest exterminator? Crazy, but true.

In fact, I also had to clean out the front hall closet, as it is right near where the ants are entering and I'm sure he'll look in there, too. And, once I tackled that, I realized there was a reason (aside from general laziness, which had been my working hypothesis) that everyone has been leaving their shoes on the foyer carpet and throwing their jackets on the stair railing. You see, the closet was so full of junk, they all just gave up on using it.

And, granted, I was still using the closet-organization system I devised when the kids were little (OMG, 14 YEARS AGO), with 3 baskets on the bottom for them to throw their cute little shoes in. This doesn't work so well when they are all size 8 and up, apparently.

Won't look like this for long, I assure you...
It was time for a change, is what I'm saying.

So I got rid of the baskets (that we had since my babies were little, sob) and replaced them with 2 hanging shoe holders. I swept a mound of dirt out of the closet. I discarded approximately gazillion pairs of old flip flops and sneakers. (Okay, more like 7, but it felt like gazillion.) I pulled all the winter coats out and put them upstairs in their respective owners' rooms. I got rid of the ugly hangers. And, most important of all, I took out the HUGE amount of plastic bags I was saving in that closet for I-don't-know-what reason.

Now, I am a person who has been making a serious effort to cut down on our use of plastic bags. In fact, it infuriates me that they are the default go-to in our supermarkets. It drives me crazy that their use isn't taxed to pay for their recycling/disposal. I HATE PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS.

But it appears I am a major part of the problem. Here, people, is what was in my closet.

Also? These:

Perched unintentionally ironically atop my compost bin...

Also? A whole bunch more in my car, theoretically on their way to the plastic-bag recycling bin at our local Harris Teeter. That's A LOT of plastic bags, people. Apparently, I'm not quite as eco-friendly as I would like to think.

But, hey, there's that compost bin, right?


  1. I'm with you on the plastic bags - I refuse to use them. But my husband? He is totally on the plastic bag bandwagon and will stuff them anywhere and everywhere. When I find his current stash, I inform him that we are NOT hiding plastic garbage bags in the decorative tin in the dining room. Then I ask why he doesn't toss them in his car and return them since he goes to the grocery store EVERY DAMN DAY! He has yet to give me a good answer.

    As for Theo? How dare he leave you high and dry just as you've gotten used to having another driver back in the house?

  2. I smirked when I saw the first plastic bag stash - I thought I was so winning that contest, then was crushed with the subsequent pictures. I hate em too, but what else do you line the bedroom garbage cans with? Do y'all just WASH your garbage cans regularly?

  3. You can always do what I do with plastic bags. Turn them into "plarn" and crochet sleeping mats. I have been sending them with a friend who does mission work in Honduras in the mountain villages, but I have seen people also donate them to homeless shelters. It makes you feel a little better about plastic bags when they are being used for something useful. As for the whole driving thing....oh my word. Yes!!! I totally get it. I have a college driver home for the summer and a teenager that is recently is amazing how happy I am when one of them does the pick up/drop off of the other kids...or runs to the store for milk and I can just happily stay home. Bliss.

  4. I use reusable bags religiously at the grocery store but I am not as good at other stores. Plus I swear the darn things BREED in dark spaces. I like the plarn idea, might have to look into that. And I have an extra driver home for the summer, but she doesn't like driving much, nor does she have her own car. Less useful.

  5. They charge for bags here now. BUT instead of them being just nice paper or cloth bags they've come out with these heavier plastic bags that just don't seem like a solution.