Archive for March 9th, 2018

March 9, 2018

Where are little cats X, Y and Z when you need ’em?

by Janie Jones

I had meant to use some of my winter holiday where I had 16 consecutive days off of work to get some real stuff done around my house.

As it happened, I did very little besides sofa surf and eat way too much.  Then I spent much of January and February feeling really poorly.  The best physicians and specialists Big City can afford were all about giving me this pill or that pill but no one really was telling me what was causing me to feel poorly.  It is a bit of a pickle, as it is very likely it is a combo of things, but I don’t like to just take drugs that mask symptoms.  I’d much prefer to nail down the problem and work on something to actually fix the problem(s) causing the symptoms.

Anyway, I digress.  This post is not meant to be about my health.  Instead, it’s about me trying to manage some positive changes in my environment.

So,  on Thanksgiving eve the floor contractors sort of finished the job.  I quickly put some furniture in place to make the living and dining room areas usable and went Christmas decorating crazy.  Then, as I mentioned above, everything else came to a grinding halt in the wake of holiday revelry and relaxation.

Sounds lovely, no?  But in actuality, this meant that a large pile of boxes (large as in floor to ceiling covering a 6×8 foot area, or the majority of my basement except a walkway around the pile from the stairs to the spare bedroom, the pantry closet and the laundry room and a narrow area just wide enough for my exercise machine) has languished unpacked.

This is perhaps not a critical issue, but I do use my basement every day for exercising.  Leif will use the spare bedroom when he visits and of course I need to do laundry weekly or so.  So it happens that I am constantly reminded of what a disaster it is downstairs.

Now, if you dear readers have not yet discerned from many years of perusing my drivel, I am a bit of an organization freak.  I have been dubbed “Just-so Janie” and it is some how physically painful for me to be in an ugly, messy environment.

Not like I’m some feng shui freak, but chaos and disorder and dark and dingy do make me feel a little anxious, cranky and sap my energy and enthusiasm.  So perhaps a little part of my aforementioned health issues might be in some part a small measure of the emotional drain associated with the mess in my basement.

The problem with the basement was exacerbated by The Plan.  The Plan being the organized way to deal with the unpacking.  See, it didn’t make sense to unpack all that stuff which belongs mostly to the dining room and kitchen until the remodel of the dining room was complete.  What’s more, there was a lot of crap in the kitchen cupboards that needed to go in the basement pantry closet (tools, remodeling supplies, cases of beer/soda, extra canned goods, paper towels and Ziploc bags, you know stuff you tend to buy in large quantities or are big and bulky) that I couldn’t move downstairs until downstairs was cleaned out.  And there was a large number of boxes of extra kitchen stuff stacked on the open soffits above the cupboards that couldn’t be unpacked until the extra stuff in the cupboards was moved.  If you too are a neat freak I’m sure you’ll understand my pickle.

Well, a few weeks ago I finally got motivated enough to paint the dining room.  Then I built the new china cabinets.  But the basement mess felt so big and so deep and so tall I didn’t know quite how I’d move it at all.

In the end I took two vacation days off from work and, in a truly Seussian fashion, yesterday, the first day off, I pulled everything out of the kitchen that didn’t belong there.   This included the boxes filled with my extra kitchen items (I have a problem.  I collect Way.  To.  Much.  Kitchen. Stuff) which I unpacked.  By the end of the day I had a contractor 33 gallon trash bag full of newspaper that had cushioned my cherished possessions, an immense pile of empty cardboard boxes, and, naturally, crap everywhere.

The mess is daunting, and I’m not done.  There’s still about a dozen boxes in the basement of china and decorative glassware and specialty kitchen crockery.  The pile of cardboard and wrappings is still growing.  I feel like I need one of those clean up cars belonging to the Cat in the Hat.

 

cat in the hat clean up car

Image from The Cat In the Hat, by Dr. Seuss

 

But it was rather thrilling to excavate beautiful things I haven’t seen or used in 4+ years.  I can’t explain my joy at once again seeing my collection of antique green glass dishes and my special occasion china, my favorite wine glasses with the raised bumblebee motif, and my unbelievably insane collection of bowls of all sizes.  I did a little happy dance around the pile of empty boxes.

I am really excited to have all my cherished possessions on display and available for use again.  Plus, I have a new dining room table and some elegant velvet upholstered chairs that have languished in their shipping boxes since late October waiting for the dining room to be ready for their debut.

So much more work, but so much more ultimately thrilling than going to the tropics for spring break.

Back to work!!!