Saturday, July 18, 2009

Entirely Out of Character

...and possibly out of my mind.

My bff Landee has inspired me. I'll tell you how. Although I have a very small and non-famous following to this blog, I will share with you one of my favorite blogs and then explain just how she has inspired me to tackle something Entirely Out of Character. Landee has a fantastically infamous blog, which is rapidly gaining more and more followers. Someday I hope to be able to say I knew her when. There are a lot of things I admire about Landee. Sense of humor, confidence, healthy and fun, just to name a few. Today, I am going to introduce you one of the big ones. Organized. Here are links to a few of her blog posts in June.
The awesomeness of her organizational undertaking has inspired me. I seek not to imitate, but to emulate. And I have bravely decided that I am going to tackle my kitchen. I need to blog about it because this is the sort of thing I only tackle once or twice a decade. Considering I'm only 34, that's pretty sad, huh? And yet, also truly momentous. I'm already telling myself that I must be crazy. I'm already afraid that I will lose steam halfway through and never really finish. (amazing, that self-imposed sabotage...) But, I'm trying to make myself accountable through blogging.

I am admitting I have a problem. Even though, this is only one of them. My junk drawer is overflowing with tacks, coins, hair thingys, christmas lights lightbulbs, fingernail clippers, ziploc bags of chalk, more hair thingys, phone cables. Need I list more? My spice cabinet has things in there I've owned since I was 19 years old. What the heck is up with that? Some of my culinary heros, like Alton Brown, Paula Dean and The Pioneer Woman would be horrified. I'm tired of shoving through the bottles of soy sauce, worcestershire, and tobasco to find the Lawry's or the greek seasoning. Or thinking the vanilla will be in the place I expect and finding it shoved to the back. My pantry is a mess of cans, snacks, baking supplies....I know you understand.

I also know nothing is ever perfect. I get it. I know I share the space with people who don't know the silent thoughts I have about where something is kept and the very good reason why. There's always a good reason, right? I shoot myself in the foot though, because I refuse to be a wife or mother that gets snippy and demanding and verbally angry over such things. My mother was a very demanding and verbal person over how things were to be done in her house. Towels were folded a specific way. The vacuuming was done a specific way. There were completely toy-free zones in the house. She would clean and clean and clean until those yellow rubber gloves were seemingly sewn to her hands. I remember one night we were in the kitchen and somebody dropped an entire gallon of milk on the kitchen floor. You should have seen the whispered desperation flying around the room; kids and father alike. We just couldn't allow mom to find out.....we couldn't bear the inevitable wrath to follow.


I'm wondering if perhaps a healthy, moderate amount of fear isn't such a bad thing. Perhaps I do need to be more demanding about how things are going to be run in my kitchen. It is my kitchen. My office or my workplace, if you will. This is a universal knowledge. The kitchen is the woman's space. I spend great amounts of time every day of the week in that place. If I'm in the house, 95% of the time, I'll be in or very near the kitchen. Friends, I'm in the house a lot. I like being home, ok? My Honey has in the last few weeks kind of taken over the doing of the dishes. Now we may load the dishwasher differently and wipe down the counters differently, but if my Honey is willing to do the dishes, who am I to deny him? (thanks a bunch dad for griping because mom wouldn't ever let you do the dishes or clean made me think I needed to allow my hubby the opportunity) Most times, if I decide to give him a break and do them, he will stop me and tell me that he's got it. Occasionally, I think he gets tired of it and there will be a lull. And yet again, here is another example of where I shoot myself in the foot. As I said, I don't particularly agree with how he loads the dishwasher or wipes things down. Utensils and stuff aren't put away where I want them. But, I don't say anything. Is it really worth an argument? Pickin' the battles, people. Just pickin' the battles. I just move things back to where I want them and occasionally, reload the dishwasher later before I run it. But over time, things have very gradually gone from right to all messed up.

Wow. I talk too much. Can you say D.E.L.A.Y???

Well, here's the beginning of the process. Stay tuned my friends. It's going to be a rough ride, but I'm determined to stay in the boat.

The cabinets above the space that is supposed to be for the computer. I hope to store things in here such as the cookbooks (shown), the dog treats, batteries, meds, and...gulp...the art supplies. My kids love coloring and stuff a lot lately. They make the mess, and with effort, I get them to clean it up - but then I have to put it away. Perhaps easy access will also provide easier cleanup. And, can I just ask you - why do I love the idea of color wonder so much and yet totally hate them at the same time? Hate the books, hate the markers, hate those blasted foil packs they come in at the grocery store. Oh! I almost forgot. I wanted to move the top shelf down, but for some odd and completely annoying reason, the idiots who put these up only allowed for so many holes for each shelf, leaving the spaces in between completely blank. Is there some safety issue or some reason why we can't have holes all the way down? Oh no! You can't put the shelf there! Dumb! So girls - I dug out that drill and I drilled me some new ones. Take that!!

The spice cabinet. I'm not kidding about having a few things for so long. Btw, notice the first shelf and how it bows in the middle? The support snapped off and I didn't even know it. Now I have to get all of that down, take the shelf out, try to dig the plastic piece that's blocking the hole out and put it all back. Sigh..........didn't I just go through de-shelfing and re-shelfing?

This is a picture of the junk drawer, already partially emptied. My kids helped by digging out the loose change ($6.61, including a 1955 Canadian penny and a Dave and Busters token) and the tacks (67).

The kitchen table covered with everything I pulled out of that cabinet (and the junk drawer). Those daises came from my garden though. Aren't they lovely? And those plastic drawer thingys had permanent marker on them from previous uses. Did you know that the Mr. Clean eraser can get that stingy permanent marker off? Fresh!

The pantry. Perhaps not as bad as the other two, but I think there might be a lot of wasted space here. Gonna figure that out.

::::talking to myself:::: - "Hang onto your hat, sister. It's gonna be a bumpy ride." ::::talking to the people I live with, most of which won't even know I've spoken:::: - "It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Roll with it. The intention, the plan, and the mental image of the finished product is lovely."


Landee said...

Aw shucks, Stands! Thanks for the shout out. I'm so glad my atrocity has led to something good for once! Those cleaned out cupboards look amazing. Are you finding the more you throw away the more you WANT to throw away? It's a slippery slope... but in the good way!

I need to come and see the "after pics" in person soon!

StandsMom said...

Well you're welcome and thank you...except, you know these are the 'before' pictures, right? The trash is a slippery slope and so liberating! The 7 phone books, for instance.

Memzy said...

Ooooooh. Aaaaaaah.

The McLaughlin's said...

Ok, you posted this saturday, two days ago. I want to see your progress! Waiting patiently...

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