Archive for April, 2009

A few thoughts on dish detergent stockpiling

The clutter has kind of eaten me alive lately but it was good. I got the boxes of baby clothes out to their intended recipients in plenty of time for babies to wear them, I’ve gotten some larger baby doodads (prohibitively expensive to ship – like, more than the cost of a new one) to the consignment shop, and am currently going through clothing and linens to donate for the church rummage sale (so what if I am a C&E kinda gal, I can still donate, yes?)

I came to another realization today, and it actually utilized some of the Seven Habits training I went through at a previous job, which was sort of scary. I seriously have had “Scarcity mentality” about a lot of this stuff. I finally used up a bottle of dish detergent this evening and went into the cabinet under the sink to get another one. I seriously have like ten different bottles of dish detergent under there. Srsly. I am pretty sure people without clutter problems do not stockpile ten dish detergents at a time. And that’s not even counting the dishwasher soap! So I think something I should do as I go through things is to start writing all these similar items down on rosters, taped inside the cabinet or whatever where they generally tend to live. And cross them up as they are given/used/etc. So that I can glance at the list when going shopping and realize “Oh HELL no, I have like twelve of that already, I definitely don’t need more!”. My BFF does this with the things in her deep freezer and fridge. She has dry erase boards on each and keeps track of exactly what is in there instead of going *freezer diving for surprise dinner* like I do.

Bit by bit, I am trying to wrap my OCD packrat brain around the way that normal people live. For Bob’s sake, if I run out of dish detergent, I can GO TO THE STORE AND GET MORE. There will be more. It might not be ZOMG ON SALE like the stuff I tend to stockpile, but it also won’t sit under the counter losing its efficacy while it dreams of being the Chosen One and getting used.

I have also decided that it is far more important to get the one item that I really really want, love, need and will use instead of several different “well, this should be close enough” things that are on sale. The Fluevogs really opened my eyes to this concept. I pretty much had a heart attack at the price of them, but they’re really only about as much as I would spend on two pairs of shoes normally, give or take. Two pairs of shoes like the several which have taken up permanent residence in my closet as they don’t feel good to walk around in but that I kept anyway because they were “close enough”. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades indeed. When my mom was my age (or a little younger, I guess), she spent a LOT per item of clothing, because it was mostly made in this country, good quality, and not made in bulk. She had far fewer clothes but they all fit because she had to choose carefully, and couldn’t afford more than a few items per season/year/whatever. She now goes nuts at Goodwill and has closets full of “close enough” items. I am heartsick at all the brand new things, still with tags on, that I find, having squirreled them away when I buy them at “end of season” clearance prices at Target or wherever, but that don’t *really* fit or flatter, and that I feel guilty about because of their addition to the clutter and the expense of buying them, regardless how “cheap” they were.

Honestly, I know this stuff must be so obvious to most people that they would be pointing and laughing, but typing it out is helping to reinforce the idea that I don’t need to get all these things, that there will always be more, and that quality over quantity is a mantra to live by.

I watched a program on WWII last night on PBS and a woman was talking about their house in Levittown and how thrilling it was to own a washing machine for the first time. How frakking much do I take for granted?! How many people would look at the clutter, shake their heads, and cluck “this could have been your sunroom addition if you’d only have saved the money and not spent it on all this stuff you don’t need”.

I think along with the weight loss this year, I need to take some cues from my fiscally responsible friends and weigh spending decisions much more carefully. I need to stop shopping at limited-quantity places like TJ Maxx and eBay because it always makes me feel like I can’t “think about it” because they only have one or two and it would be gone. So? On the occasions I have actually made myself “think about it”, there have only been one or two times I actually regretted it later or even, in fact, remembered what I was supposed to be “thinking about” in the first place.

Also? I wish I had taken an economics or personal finance class in high school or college. I had absolutely no concept of the value of money when I got married, and I still struggle with it. My dad lived through the depression, my mom through WWII, and both of them kinda spoiled us as kids with all the things they weren’t able to have when they were little. I am trying very hard not to do that with the Squidlets. They have more fun with the cardboard cones from yarn than they have with the purchased things we’ve been given, most of the time.

I need to shut up and finish the dishes.



ps. I also went to water aerobics tonight and last night I walked Lucy Fur the world’s most codependent Border Collie (LFTWMCBC) with my mom. Exercise! Yay!


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Updates owed

But today is reserved for cleaning up the aftermath of the kids’ closet and our closet vomiting their contents into the living room so we could chose funeral-appropriate clothing for the last few days.  Plus the clean laundry. Plus the kitchen. Plus swimming lessons tonight. Plus a 22 month old who hates wearing her diaper now. Plus I want a stiff drink – like some fancy sweet coffee thing from a barista or something. Plus I am so getting ice cream. Plus I haven’t been on my official “walk” in a week, but I did chase Squidlets all over for two days of funeral plus a day at the in-laws’, so I did get in some exercise. Plus where the hell is that coffee. Plus I still have to get the holiday letter out. Plus we didn’t hear from the tree man. Plus I want to shampoo the carpet but it’s been rainy and damp forever and it’s not an appropriate time to do it because it’d stay damp forever and I have to get miss K to stop brushing her teeth as she’s been at it for 15 minutes now.

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Completely inappropriate for Earth Day.

I’ll post about our awesome time at Boston School Forest and the birdfeeder K made and the fun the Squidlets had, after I upload pictures. But for now, I shall lust after a pair of Fluevogs.


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Updates and stuff

A lot of stuff to update on.
Water aerobics on Thursday, 4/16.
Visited Grandma at the Home on Friday, 4/17.
Did yard work on Saturday, 4/18 (I consider that my exercise).
Grandma passed on Sunday morning, 4/19. We visited my in-laws’ that afternoon.
K had her first swim lesson in a couple of months 4/20. Asked where the previous instructor was (graduated from college & moved away).
I went to water aerobics 4/21. It was awesome.

This morning, K came into the bedroom while E was having her morning “snackies” and found the pretend microphone. She stood up, and said (into the “mic”), “I am Barack Obama! I am the president of ALL the WORLD! You are John Dickain! And you’re not the president!”

I was heartily amused by this. This afternoon, we plan to do the Earth Day hike at the Boston School Forest again. yay!


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Oh hai, peroneal tendon.

I remember you. I also remember the skiing trip which ended up with my becoming intimately familiar with you and my ACL. So you’re sore. I can deal with that. I know the soreness stems from water aerobics last night. Now I know I shouldn’t do the running in shallow water exercise. I’ll find another exercise, maybe deep water core training, to do if the shallow running thing happens again. And I can walk, I just have to walk slower. But you know, the 2 mile walk tonight was, yet again, 35 minutes. Even though I thought I was being slow.

I do find a certain amount of irony in the fact that the period of relative inactivity I am now leaving behind me came about largely in part because of the insanely active lifestyle I had when I was younger. Invincible. A daredevil. All these old twinges remind me why I gained the weight (well, that and the babies), and why I need to lose the weight NOW before I gain more and it becomes even more difficult.

It has been nearly a month now since I began this exercise regimen. It’s really become a habit – I think I would miss it if I had to skip a walk or water aerobics session. That’s a huge sea change all by itself. On the walk tonight, my knees grazed each other. A month ago, my thighs would have kept them apart. The scale might not think I’ve lost weight, but my clothes know I have.

I am setting a small goal within the main 50# goal. I want the reflective vest I am wearing now (because I can finally zip it up) to be loose on me by fall. I don’t think that’s a huge, impossible goal. I am all about the baby steps.

Thank you to everyone who is cheering me on! It makes such a huge difference in my attitude.

Squidlet update: K was talking on the phone tonight to grandma K, and E came up beside her, toy phone to her ear. Every time K said “yup!”, E would say “yup!”. It was adorable. And the girls, especially K, picked up the living room by themselves tonight. With a LOT of prompting from mom and dad, but the picking up was done by them. It’s a step forward. There was something else, but I forget it now. Hopefully I will remember and then I’ll amend this to add it.


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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOSHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish you the best of weather, the best of company, the best of food, the tastiest birthday cake, and a winning run at the Pub quiz tonight!

Much love from your wee ones’ Aunt E.

(and hopefully your package of goodies arrives soon!)



K constantly goes on about her Auntie Tosha. She knows exactly which things have come from you and explains to me how they had to sail across the sea to get here. And apparently Makka Pakka brought them the rest of the way from the seaside to our doorstep.


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Today, K had her third visit to the Dentist (Doctor Steve, the most awesome dentist that ever was), and for the first time, she opened up and relaxed for him. She got to wear blue sunglasses in the big chair, and let him polish her teeth with strawberry tooth polish. She had a fluoride treatment, which is a much less icky business than it was when I was little – I had trays that I had to bite down on for like twelve hours (5 minutes) and then I usually threw up. Now, they paint this goop on their teeth and dry it off and voila! done. I captured some of it with the camera and will be putting up at least a couple of pictures for posterity. Watch this space.

Tonight, during the Squidlets’ bath, E once again announced she had to poopy and got out of the tub and piddled in the little potty. I am tickled pink, not holding my breath, but enjoying the progress.

Grandma is doing much better and may even be leaving the hospital this week! She will be 90 this year, so we hope to treasure every moment we can with her.

Tonight at the grocery store, I splurged on some chartreuse spider mums to put in with my corkscrew willow branches. They’re breathtaking. And the willow is rooting itself, so I plan to plant it outside when it’s warmer. I planted two Juneberry bushes, three blueberry bushes, and two lingonberry plants outside today. I used some of our homemade compost. Our daffodil leaves are just poking up through the soil. Spring is coming! I consider the couple of hours spent digging, planting, shuffling water and compost around, and just generally getting stuff done around the house as my exercise tonight. No walk, but a goodly amount of moving, regardless.


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