Thoughts about Clutter, Playing With Succulents and Stuff

This week has been crazy busy! Vacation, then work, work, work, then helping my friend move and then work and now, finally, I can get something that interests me done.

One of my friends’ moved to a smaller town about 10 miles away. It stinks because we were basically neighbors and could shout fart jokes and NSA watch list keywords to each other. Like any good American. But, alas, he moved to a new place and we helped him get packed and what not. While admiring his pile of worldly processions strewn on the ground, I came to the conclusion that I seriously need to declutter my space. When I moved in with that dude I’ll be married to in 27 days and 5 hours plus or minus a few minutes we basically were two households combining. I had a full apartment of kitchen, bath, bed and living room gear as well as his. I have always thought of myself as “move ready” such as most of my clutter (pictures, memorabilia, stuff like that) is stored in boxes and labeled. I just keep dragging them around with me. I am pretty good about keeping my things organized and away, but despite not buying anything since I moved in (except a small table at a thrift store and a few odds and ends from the same store) I still feel like I have too much stuff. I need to either display my pictures or par them down. Just this year, my grandmother’s house sold and I grabbed a bunch of odds and ends from there. It was packed to the gills, let me tell you. Just stuffed. She’d been living there for decades and was a bit of a pack rat. Organized, but man, mountains of stuff. I got some great bowls, plates, odds and ends and, my God, a full jeep hatch worth of photos. No lie. Seats down and everything. Full. Those have to be dealt with.

Since I moved in, I’ve tried to work some things around, but my decorating skills include: do nothing, suddeninspirationgetitdonenow. It’s been almost 2 years now, I really need to get on it. I’m thinking this winter, when it gets cold (who wants to play inside in the summer?) I am going to go through every inch of the house and par things down. From the bedrooms, to my closet, to the basement. Sell it, thrift it, give it away. We want to start storing food in case of emergency, or ay least have a system down. We’ll have more room for beer brewing, soap making (SOON WE ARE MAKING WEDDING SOAP, I PROMISE I WILL DO A BIG POST, REALLY, I’VE MEANT TO DO THAT FOR A WHILE WE JUST ARE TWO PEOPLE WE DON’T MAKE THAT MUCH SOAP) and really get our house organized. I am a wizard at organizing, or at least I was when I was by myself. My cupboards and under my cabinets were “faced” and I had “kits” that I set up for specific tasks, like a dog/cat grooming supplies, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies all organized in bins, labeled and put away. I could tell you verbally without looking where any single item was. Now that our households have combined, it’s been daunting to try and get two houses’ worth of stuff into one organized system. So, pray for me! 😉 Coming this winter! Hopefully I will have some tips for you guys as well, my first tip is: save your shoeboxes and other decent sized boxes. They’re essentially free and work just as well as plastic bins. Plus you can knock them down flat and store them easily.

My friend who moved lived with a roommate, who is a very nice girl and just getting into the dreaded plant hoarding. She’s get herself a decent garden and even a few plants I am jealous of. I gave her one of my baby spider plants and now it’s like 17 spider plants and might have eaten the couch. I talked to her a bit today regarding aloe vera plant issues she was having and hopefully she’ll be all sorted in no time. This inspired me to clean up my plant hoard a bit! Many of my succulents have a few years on their pots and have started to get quite impressive. Some have been turds. Looking at you, sedeveria fanfare. Ya jerk. I took the turd ones and clipped them down until they are just babies again and took a few clippings from my more successful succulents and combined them into one pot. What ever decides to live, wins.

wpid-20140601_104947.jpgclockwise, the turd fanfare, mystery weird plant that used to look like a flower, senecio radican, rhipsalis cassutha, the vaguely labeled “crassula species” and sedum “coral reef”

It’d be great if they’d all grow together to be a glorious display of succulents, but this is seriously the last chance for the turd succulents. I’m not asking them to look perfect, but looking for less Pink Flamingos and more To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. Ya know, crazy is okay, but not crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzy.

My Formerly Unlucky Now Lucky Bamboo is doing splendid!

wpid-20140601_105623.jpgwe’re like, uh, Wesley Snipes in a dress? Sure…Whatever, lady.

There is still the little rogue in there, I am confident that it is a baby bamboo, very exciting! And my herb bed is finally growing things. There’s some rogue flowers in there, which I am going to leave. I guess I can pick herbs around a few flowers.

wpid-20140601_105022.jpgthe big white spot in the middle is a flower, I didn’t get a close up

wpid-20140601_105030.jpgdill and LOTS OF WEEDS

wpid-20140601_105039.jpgcilantro and LOTS OF WEEDS

I need to weed, badly, but until I know what is what, I am afraid to do it. I guess it will have to wait. Hopefully not too long, I’ve gotta have this place beautiful (or at least tolerable) in 27 days, 4 hours and plus or minus a few minutes.

On that note, I better finish making my wedding dress

Jeep’s Back!

The Jeep is back!

wpid-20140314_125410.jpgshe’s a beauty!

Success! It was not the starter, it was the battery! Ha! Hurray for being right! There we a few other things that needed to be taken care of, such as the serpentine belt, which I have seen break and that is NOT a good time. And I forgot that I had a light out, so that was replaced. All and all, a fair price for the work and done in a timely manner. Of course, this month I bought a bicycle and now I get to add Jeep repairs to my bills. How fun! Oh well, good thing I’ve got some cash saved up. Hopefully the bike will reduce the city driving wear and tear on the Jeep.

It’s 52 degrees here! I opened all the windows, I don’t even care! The dog, Angie and I went outside and had a bit of a look around the backyard.

wpid-20140314_125853.jpgfound the suet holder! SQUIRRELS!

wpid-20140314_130109.jpgmy flamingos survived, not well, but they survived

wpid-20140314_125937.jpgCALL SOMEONE THERE IS SOMETHING GROWING ON THAT TREE!

Even Lucia, the cat, got into the shenanigans:

wpid-20140314_130227.jpgdon’t ask why there is a hammer in that picture. my 3 seasons porch is currently a seasonal closet, apparently.

I am so glad! It’s a shame I have to go to work this evening, but at least I have most of my day to enjoy the nice weather!

It’s Like Riding a Bike, Literally!

This morning I woke up:

wpid-20140311_112637.jpgOMG YOU KNOW WHAT I REALLY NEED RIGHT THIS INSTANT RIGHT NOW?!?!?!?!

and decided I needed a bicycle. Like now. Ok, the weather has finally been getting nice, so that might have been what put the bug up my butt about it. I went to the local bike store, talked to the guy about what I needed, something to tool around town in, nothing fancy.

He brought me out a beautiful black bike. I tried it out, liked it a bunch and then he brought me out a HIDEOUS yellow flowery bike. I then punched him. No, not really. I humored him and threatened to coat it in black matte spray paint. He brought back out the black one. Thank you. Did you know they don’t come with kick stands? I didn’t. Ok, fine. I got a kick stand. And a lock, obviously. About another $40 bucks. Let’s just say I blew my budget. Not out of the water toward the moon, but it made landfall. But, this is why I never buy things frivolously, because, dammit, I want a bike, I want it now and I want to spend good money on it. If I don’t buy silly things, like bottled water or knicknacks or really anything I don’t NEED, I can buy things I really, really want when I want them. Behold!

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-03-11-10.45.27.jpg.jpgpictured: the bike! and my jeep in the background.

Our first trip I wanted to tool around a bit, but I did need to go to the grocery store and it really wasn’t that far from “tooling around a bit” in terms of distance. So I went to the grocery store. Aside from a minor bump in the snow, I survived just fine, thank you! I do remember how to ride a bike! Honestly, I haven’t ridden one in easily 7 years. Probably 8, and that was only for a minute. The last time I had a bike was when I was a teenager. I just realized that this is the first GIRL bike I’ve ever had. My last one was a boy bike. As you can see, I can swing my full skirts over the bike and protect my modesty. Because that’s a thing. Or was, whatever. I’ve crunched my pelvis before on a bike, so I don’t mind the space.

We (the bike and I) made it to the store! Look at us all fancy and environmentally friendly!

wpid-20140311_110823.jpggreen, as long as I didn’t fart

Anyway, I really had fun and plan to take it out again this afternoon. I do have to do something around the house before I can go outside and play!

Reuseable Produce Bags!

Yesterday, I sewed up some reusable produce bags. I’ve moved to bringing tote bags for groceries and stores for years (before it was cool, like when I was 7 and went shopping with grandma) but it always annoyed me that I still used those stupid little plastic produce bags. I’ve read about making your own from tulle and until very recently, did not have a sewing machine to make them. But I did it!

wpid-20140120_134816.jpgthey cost me 99 cents.

Many of the tips for making the bags suggested using yarn as a drawstring. I wasn’t sure about that, I’m a quick drop and go shopper and I don’t like to dawdle. The tulle sort of clings to itself enough that I feel this was the right decision, for sure. I  don’t usually make huge grocery trips. About once a month we stock up the freezer for meat and get bulk olive oil or toilet paper, but mostly I buy produce, nuts, beans and flour. We don’t use milk, or fruit juices or other bulky items typically. That’s just us. I make almond milk straight from almonds. All our bread is homemade. If I have totes, usually I won’t even use a cart or a basket, instead I throw my items right in the bag and then pull them back out at checkout.

Here’s with 5# of weight:

wpid-20140120_131205.jpgOr for more realistic people, bananas,

wpid-20140120_134639.jpgonly terrorists don’t like bananas

And here’s my haul today:

wpid-20140121_094130.jpgsnow peas, onion, romaine, bananas and oranges. oh, i also got frozen blueberries. 

If you make these, I would suggest to bring a small tote just for the little bags so you can get at them easily. Also I removed the produce from the bags when I got home. I landed the snow peas in a bowl with a damp cloth napkin and the romaine is loosely wrapped in a cotton towel. Everybody else can live on the counter.

So, PLAN PLAN PLAN and let’s stop wasting plastic bags!