Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cleaning and cooking

This weekend I was in a spring cleaning mood.  Yes, I know it is not spring.  Tell that to the weatherman.  We had a high of 65 today.  Our low will be in the mid-40s.  There is no rain in sight.  So today I tackled a closet.  Not just any closet, but the junk closet.  This closet is 6x7.  It held a lot of stuff.  It does have cases of Gatorade and water along the back wall.  Wow, so much stuff in front of it that we haven’t been rotating those bottles.  Some of the water was dated 2010.  Not that water goes bad but the plastic bottles start to denigrate.  Some of the Gatorade was dated 2011.  Need to get those out and rotated. 

What was piled in front of the drinks?  Buckets of rice and wheat.  No wonder I wasn’t rotating the drinks.  It’s a pain to move those buckets!  What was in front of the buckets? Papers, clothes, and just stuff that got thrown into the closet to get it out of the way.  It started filling up the closet so much that there wasn’t much room to walk in anymore. 

This closet has a double rack for clothing along one of the side walls.  There’s nothing in that closet that I wear.  What was in there?  Cute dresses that Girl wore when she was little.  Old uniforms of mine when I worked for the government.  Lots of uniforms.  There were two different unions: one just gave people money for uniforms and hoped they spent the money on uniforms, while the other reimbursed you up to a certain amount each year.  If you didn’t buy uniforms you didn’t get a check.  Those who were just handed a check wore crappy looking uniforms and those who got reimbursed always looked good.  And the public expected us to look good.  I was in the group that got reimbursed, so I always bought new stuff each year. 

I didn’t get rid of the old stuff because we were always supposed to have a bag on us that included two weeks worth of clothes.  My bag always included seven pairs of pants and 14 or 15 t-shirts plus a couple of uniform shirts.  That’s in addition to my closet full of daily uniforms that I would wear.  So in total, I always rotated about 20 sets of clothes.  We really got so filthy that we had to change every day.  By the end of the second day the pants would be standing stiff without me in them!  

Now that I don’t work for the government I have all these clothes taking up almost five feet of space between what’s hanging and the stacks of folded t-shirts.  I retired from there two years ago already.  So I put them all up for sale.  Pants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters, you name it, it’s for sale.  Boy was pissed off.  He wants them.  I do let him wear some of the t-shirts.  In fact, all the grandkids have been given old t-shirts to wear.  The kids at school think the grandkids are cool when they wear them!  Don’t worry Boy, there will still be plenty for you.  There are some of them that I can’t sell because they have special designations on them.  Only the generic shirts can go for sale. 

There were three huge stacks of papers and books.  Some of the papers dated back to when I was in college.  Not only were there reports that I wrote but also class notes and articles.  Who needs that?  Not I.  OK, maybe the really cool A++ paper from when I was in 8th grade.  It was a history report and I interviewed my grandfather, who came across the US in a covered wagon…they were really poor because it was in 1904!  He told me about them living in Utah on 1/3 acre and had 100 chickens in the yard.  He was also the oldest of 5 kids and they lived in a three room (two bedrooms and a main room) log cabin.  The four girls were in one room.  His parents in the other.  His bed was the kitchen table.  So I still have that paper.  I’ve kept it over 40 years, so why not keep it longer?  But, really, class notes and articles for The Evolutionary Development of Homo Sapien. Cognitive Brain Development.  and Applied Statistics.  Those all went into the recycle bin.  So did the papers I wrote for those classes.   I filled the entire recycle trash can.

I was pleasantly surprised that there were no mouse droppings to be found in the entire closet.  I don’t know how that could have happened but I’m sure glad it was clean.  I’ve had so many problems with moths and there weren’t any moths trying to attack the buckets of rice or wheat.  Yes, they are in mylar bags and then in five gallon buckets but those moths are amazing in what they can get into. 

The kids start back to school tomorrow.  Finally.  Three weeks of Christmas vacation is a week too long.  Boy did ask to do some chores for money today.  He got all his regular things done so I put him on a task that I said I’d pay by the t-post (every 8 feet).  I had him clearing brush.  It was a miserable job and I was happy that he wanted to take it on.  He cleared 9 posts for 72 feet.  8 posts to go if he wants to earn more money.  

During their vacation I had each of them cooking dinner for us.  I didn’t want them to use the stove while I wasn’t home but microwaving was fine as was getting all the ingredients together and then cooking them when I got home.  Some of the dinners were easy, like chili-mac.  Boil noodles, open a can of chili, and top with grated cheese.  On Friday, Girl decided to make a broccoli/cauliflower casserole.  She made a white sauce, added seasonings and cheese, reduced it in the oven, poured it over the steamed vegetables, then baked it in the oven.  It sounded good and looked good.  It was awful.  I guess we should have determined if we all liked that much turmeric before she made it!  I told her to write directly into her cookbook the date she made it and what she liked and didn’t like about it.  She also put a note in there that if someone doesn’t like turmeric they won’t like that recipe.  Boy made meatballs in a broth over egg noodles for dinner tonight.  The meatballs were mushy but had good flavor.  I had seconds.  Girl hated it.  I want them to get used to reading and understanding cookbooks.   It certainly brings meaning to using fractions and measurements.  I’d like to say it gives me a break but it doesn’t yet.  I still supervise and remind them to go in order and not accidently leave out main ingredients, or in boy’s case today one teaspoon of salt, not one tablespoon!  But sometime in the future I will be able to come home from work to a piping hot, tasty dinner made by two very talented young teens.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder. We had a "moment" yesterday while looking through multiple piles in the back room looking for a needed item.