I Can Hear Bells from Everywhere

My Bubs is officially a sixth grade band member.
I am a band mom.

I am a band mom to a sixth grade percussionist.
Monday was Instrument Night, in which moms cry a lot as they write really big checks and then go home to eat ramen.
(Or maybe it was just this mom. The other didn’t seem so stressed. And actually, I don’t mind ramen, so that last statement may have seemed more dire than intended.)
Anyway, what does a big check buy on Instrument Night? Well, for a newly minted percussionist, it buys a carry-on luggage-style bag — with sassy wheels and a clever ull-out handle, thank heaven — housing a drum practice pad, a set of mallets, a set of drumsticks, an instrument stand, a metronome, a chromatic tuner, and a xylophone, though I was immediately corrected that indeed it was not a xylophone, it was a “set of bells,” that for all my worldly experience I would swear was a xylophone.
Here’s the sweet, sweet thing: Bubs wanted to “get the feel” for his new instrument, as for the last week he’s been learning how to hold sticks, how to tap rhythmically, how to keep time, and now that he had a rolly-cart full of official merchandise, he wanted to practice on the real thing.
Absolutely! Yes! Let’s do this!
He carefully demonstrated how to mount his drum practice pad on the stand; it screws on; it’s a dull sound, not the snare drum chaos I was expecting. I took my fingers out of my ears almost immediately, so Bubs didn’t know of my fear.
Then he moved on to the metronome, which he turned on and to which I found myself keeping time while I was watching ramen noodles boil. Why was the beat, beat, beat continuing? Why was Bubs not stopping the madness? Oh, because he suddenly had to go to the bathroom for the interminably long time that boys suddenly go to the bathroom. Books are involved.
Somehow I managed to find the power button on the delightful apparatus that I learned “stays home for nightly practice.”
Delightful.
Once Bubs was out of the bathroom, he returned to center stage to put together the bells — to properly mount them on the instrument stand — and grab his mallets.
“Ready?” he asked while I shoveled noodles into my head.
“Yes,” I mumbled and nodded. I had no free fingers to plug my ears. Why would I? Bells are melodic, bells are lovely, soothing, dainty…
What the holy hell.
I have never heard such disruption of my psychic calm.
Did you know an eleven-year-old boy can make a xylophone wail like it’s part of Metallica?
Or maybe that was only me wailing.
Because without even realizing it, Bubs’ mother had deserted her noodle bowl, grabbed a bag of dark chocolate chips of questionable age and a screw-top bottle of red wine — pairings are important, even in the time of crisis; dark chocolate absolutely must go with red wine — and vanished into her bedroom as quickly as possible. Door closed. Netflix on the Fish in Aquarium app — “so soothing!” squeals the ad — and a fistful of chocolate shoved into her maw as quickly as possible.
Band Mom. That’s me.
Ever supportive. Ever present. Ever tipsy.
It’s going to be a long year.

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I’m never going to earn Pearls

I made a small penny floor — an accent feature — in my kitchen, and now I hate every other single thing in the room. So dull. So drab.
Best way to un-drab boring tile? Floor wax.
It’s a guess. I’m not really much of a house keeper. I watched “Leave it to Beaver,” though, and June Cleaver mopped — while wearing a dress, heels, and pearls — covering her kitchen’s black and white drab with a shiny coating. Thus, I shall wax as well.
I made a trip to Lowe’s for cleaning supplies only. Who does that? But I did, and I drug Bubs with me. He loved the trip. Why? Because a mop can be a pretend weapon of sorts. And Bubs has surprisingly strong arm strength. He can whip a mop around his head quicker than a guy with a Lowe’s cart can scurry away.
(Again, Strange Lowe’s Shopper in the Small Tools Section, I’m sorry. So sorry. But Bubs did miss, in his defense.)
Still ambitious, and with Pandora roaring in the background, I drug every bit of furniture, junk, and kitchen-y crap out of the room, leaving the floor bare and vulnerable to the numerous orange scented cleaners I bought at Lowe’s.
I scrubbed.
I toiled.
labored over the floor.
Then I pulled the mop from the clutches of my imaginative warrior Bubs and got to waxing.
How hard could it be? “Dump the stuff in an “s” shape and squoosh it around the floor with a damp pretend sword/gun thing.”
Easy peasy.
I was even conscious enough to remove the dogs to the backyard so that they wouldn’t spoil my efforts.
I was in the zone.
Shiny! Pretty! Clean and so so shiny!!
A half hour later, I checked the final results and recognized immediately that waxing the floor seems to have a learning curve. Chunks of tile, still bare to the elements — unshiny, unpretty, so very very dull brown — that I missed entirely while executing my wax/squoosh plan.
Second coats don’t really work so well…still have spots…don’t know how that happened.
Third coats? I’m afraid of build-up…
So…here I sit, with all my kitchen accoutrements shoved into the living room and I don’t want to put a single one of them back into the kitchen on my sort of shiny tile.
But I need to clean the living room floor…and to do that, I have to take everything out of the living room and put it…elsewhere…perhaps in the back of a U-Haul van.
At least the kitchen looks much…emptier…cleaner…shiny-ish. And it won’t get dirty again because there’s nothing in it but my purse and keys.
Best place in the house to keep my purse and keys, in fact, because the other rooms are stuffed with crap I moved in there from the kitchen.
Poor June Cleaver. She would so hate me.

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Mullets are New Again

My Bubs wanted a mullet.
He wanted no haircut at all, ever, for the rest of his days. But I insisted. And bribed. So I won.
And when he finally landed like a long fabled hundred-pound fish into the light of a barber chair, where scissors awaited, he still slumped like I was about to club him and throw him back into the water, where he really wanted to be anyway.
I couldn’t have that.
The clubbing. Or the caught-but-released-with-no-haircut part.
My metaphor fell apart somewhere in there.
Under the watchful eyes of the Barber Lady, I had to resort to groveling, and the only tactic that worked was, “Yes. Fine. Mullet. Let’s go.”
And a mullet he got. Yes, he did. Four inch fringe laying across the back of his neck.
Well.
Girls know, when hair dries, if it is genetically predisposed to the least bit of wave/curl/bounce, the genes will present themselves. Pain in the rear, I can tell you, as one who looks like a standard poodle after being drowned by a giant wave that overtook the bow of the good ship Lollipop and now looks extraordinarily strange wearing patent leather shoes and ankle socks.
Bubs did not know that.
So when Bubs’ hair dried, he recognized that he has a lovely curl to his tresses. Sorry. My genes. Not great for a boy, I see that.
But would he let me return him to the original barber chair? Um, no.
We bargained…again…and his main concern was having to interrupt his gaming.
Okay. It’s a problem. I had a solution.
Bubs leaned his head back, releasing the fringe to hang loosely behind him. I cut quickly, deftly, with a pair of scissors the size of a human femur, and then scooped up bits of hair with a shop vac. And it was going great, in that the main clump was affable, willingly relenting to the vacuum, while nearly invisible tendrils were less forthcoming.
It was a requirement to go for the strands on Bubs’ neck. Required.
And maybe the hose stuck to his neck, like…stuck…and while he was screaming, “Get it off,” repeatedly, I was thinking, “Oh, great, his neck is going to look buried under a hickey from a giant catfish, which is a seemingly less embarrassing story than the truth.”
Fortunately, a quick flick of the Off switch resolved the stressful situation and no bruises remain.
Bubs went back to gaming, clearly unscathed and thus erasing any immediate trauma from a literal red neck situation.
I ended up vacuuming the living room, which was an unexpected Martha Stewart moment that my non-cleaning inner non-Martha appreciated.
And, best part, I wove my fish metaphor back through this story.
So. Win/win.

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Harvesting the Prairie

I was gone to Wyoming for a lovely nine days. Two weeks late for the full eclipse, sadly, but a wonderful trip nonetheless. Crowds were bad enough. I can’t imagine the bottleneck today, though Wyoming is a great state for a swarm of folks looking up. Lots of room to spread out, and I wish I could be there to see the 360 sunset during the darkest part of the eclipse.
Good googly moogly, that would be an awesome sight.
But anyway, back to me.
I returned from the mountains and altitude to flat lined prairies. Still resplendent in their simplicity, though I miss the northwest vistas covered in antelope.
Life awaited. Vacation was over. And there was the lawn, right where I left it.
Usually my lawn maintenance schedule is fluid. I ignore the growth until I can’t stand my own whining, “I don’t wanna.” Once I’ve annoyed myself enough, I slump and head to the garage to get started.
First, I surveyed the damage. Nine days of light rain and lowered August heat certainly invigorated the tender follicles of my vast three acres. I sighed, heavily, and I got to work.
I felt like a barber, planning the attack on a ruly mane. Cut the whole thing on the highest setting — a 6 — then a four, then hopefully trim the beast into a manageable 3.
Only a few times did the beast chug on the 6, giving me false optimism. Because rounding the bend on turn four hundred twenty-three, the Deere laughed and laughed to a stuttering choke.
Poor Bubs. I had to interrupt his catching-up-from-vacay gaming marathon so he could throw on his boots and help Mom roll the neutralized beast out of the mounded, unbaled clippings and into flatter terrain.
When we stood from our thirty degree incline, from all of our weight thrown behind a reluctant mule, Bubs got to his feet, announced, “Whew! I’m beat,” and returned to his pixelated onslaught.
Things proceeded more easily from there. Sure, I had rolled over the lawn for three hours, and it was tamed at last.
But for the ditches.
I can’t ride the ditches. The slant makes me nervous. With every sideways angle, I envision myself on a gassed up, wheels still rolling turtle that bucked me just because it could. Thus, I concede to terror and simply walk the rest: the ditches, the edges, the gardens, the chicken coop, the veggies…good grief, it’s a lot.
But walk-mowing is exercise! It’s a labor of love! It prevents a call from the city for unsightly grounds tickets.
After another hour of sweating so heavily I appeared to have relieved myself during the toil — though I assure, I was so dehydrated that urinating was the last thing my body needed to do — I approached the last few hundred feet of still unmanaged green, and the mower bucked, refusing to be shoved into even one more unfettered verdant isle.
I encouraged the mower, “It’s only three feet tall. Aim low. You can take it.”
But, no. The mower said no. At which point I got insistent and with a last guttural hurrah, I shoved the sucker forward into the unknown.
And from the front of the machine, out rolled a full-sized, gloriously orange pumpkin.
So.
Lesson learned: don’t mother the gourds. They’ll be fine.
Also — best part — I live between competing Hank Hills, though one has more lawn ethic than the other. The left just gets it done to get back to fun stuff. The right, well, he is meticulous. Yet because of the rains, neither of them had gotten around to sculpting their grasses. Which meant, that after collapsing over the handle of my mower and relenting to the weeds that lay blessedly in the shade — pulling them by the handfuls simply because they were stationary and I wouldn’t have to walk any more for a while — I was The First to Mow. I was manicured! I was kempt! The Hank Hills of the prairie were NOT!
Ha! And again, Ha! I won!
Less than 12 minutes later, while I was still recuperating on my butt next to a pile of weeds and non-desirable bits of roughage and still mentally begging the fridge to bring me a cold apple cider beer, I heard the start-up of the Engine on the Right.
Hank Hill was ready to nip the superfluous three inches from his own beloved landscape.
I still won.

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A New App

I went to Wyoming.
I took pictures.
I took many, many pictures. Some with my phone, some with an uber nice, borrowed camera. I called it my “Now and Later” system, in which I could see the phone pics immediately but hadn’t quite figured out the viewing procedure for the Good Camera.
(I knew I’d figure it out eventually, once I was exhausted of oo-ing and ah-ing and was finally ready to see what I had seen all day. But frankly I fell asleep, and didn’t figure out the play back thing until I was re-settled in Oklahoma. Huh. Well. All the better that I had my Now Camera. Anyway. I digress.)
I was in the truck for a total of 54 hours and traveled 3,200 miles in said vehicle.
It was a camper without the beds. Or the kitchen. Or, of course, a bathroom, but God made truck stops for that necessity. Plus you can get more M&M’s after you use the facility, so it’s a win/win.
So the speed limit in Wyoming is 80 mph. Which meant I clipped along at a hale and hearty 85, because that’s what we do, and who wants to stop every two seconds for a gorgeous shot? Because really, it’s an Every 2 Seconds I Stop state — that should be their motto — but now that I’ve rethought it, maybe not…
Thus, I employed my Vintage Through-the-Windshield App on both of my cameras. And if you look through the bug juice created by the filter, you can see all the pretty stuff, like the sky in the above example. PLUS you get the Ol’ Time Vintage feel to your photo.
Love it. Used it a lot.
(A LOT. In fact my photographer friend was nearly apoplectic at my insouciant use of the Vintage Windshield app. He may never speak to me again.)
I’ll show you Later photos later, to complement the trip narrative I have planned for you. It’s like a “My Vacation” without slides…just picture after picture using Vintage Windshield. It’s gonna be great.

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Touring Okies: Western Heritage Museum


After travelling 3,252 miles in a truck for 54 hours — 54! — the Bubs and I landed back at home, deep in the heart of Oklahoma, to spend my final vacation day touring the City.
Over the course of a packed week, we saw Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and a little bit of Montana, stirring our Westward juices — it’s a thing — so that once we arrived back on the prairie, we settled in for a while at Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, a place I haven’t visited since it was called The Cowboy Hall of Fame.
I erroneously referred to its previous name, and Bubs was sad. “Aw,” he muttered. “Hall of Fames are boring.”
I did not know that.
But when I corrected myself, with the proper title, he cheered instantly and said, “Oh! Well, museums are fun!”
Also something I did not think I would hear from a pre-teen.
I had always thought there was a Fun for Adults part, with paintings and sculptures and yucky boring stuff, and a Fun for Kids part, with a wild west town replica made perfectly for children.
But, now, in my adult-youth, I find that the whole darn tootin’ place is fabulous.
Paintings: because I marvel at technique and skill.
Old West Town: because hey, that stuff doesn’t get old
Gardens & Ponds: because of my gardening gene
Museum Store: because there’s a little bit of Retail Therapy for every place we roam
Rodeo Corral: fascinating; did you know “tenny boots” were a real thing?? I’ve heard that expression always and thought it was fake, fake, fake
Wild West Women: obviously
Prix de West exhibit: again, because of the Art Gene
The Old West in Entertainment: because I can stare at boots worn by Sam Elliott in “Name Whatever Westerns He was Even In” for a shockingly long time
Air Conditioning: because after returning from the West, where the last day’s morning was a drizzly, glorious 54 degrees, and arriving in the middle of Summertime August, I’m still whining at the heat, and doggone it, “Let’s look at the whole entire and complete museum because it’s cool in here and so stinkin’ hot out there.”
We loved the museum. Loved, loved, loved it. I encourage all visitors to go there right now. Right stinkin’ now.
And touring your own hometown is always an adventure. There’s something you don’t know about it; go find that thing.
And I’m facing the fact that I wasn’t ready to let the West go just yet.

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Penny Fall/Fail?

I’m gearing up for the annual trip to Wyoming, except this year, we are going further into Wyoming, so far in, in fact, that we’re going out.
While usually we skim the state’s fringe by hunkering home base into Cheyenne, this year we are heading northwest to Jackson and Yellowstone, but we’re staying three nights in Idaho, which makes perfect sense, because…well, I don’t know, but when I was looking for room to sleep, this one yelled “yes” to me.
I booked it! Paid the deposit! Woot! Rest isn’t due for a whole week! (And that was last week!)
Blink. Blink.
Okay, so vacationing is expensive and for the next two weeks until we leave, my wallet is on lock down, which hampers the Bubs’ summer fun.
Hampers mine, too.
For instance, I wanted a haircut before we leave. Solution: pull hair into ponytail; snip the ends, et voila, an instant “layered” look. (That’s what I’m telling my stylist who will fix this hot mess when I can afford to see her again. Until then, I like hats.)
What to do with all the hours left to while away in poverty?
Pinterest. Internet is paid up for the month and it doesn’t cost to look, so, yes, to Pinterest!
Yesterday, I loved Pinterest.
Today…not so much.
Remember when my kitchen gave me no joy, thus I ripped out a huge chunk of cabinetry to “open the space, let me breathe more freely with joy, worry about where to put actual kitchen-type items later”? Yeah. That’s a hot mess, and I was sure Pinterest would have the cure.
Penny floors. Have you seen them? I’ll wait here while you Google it…
Lovely, right?
And what’s cheaper than sitting on the naked floor, gluing pennies to give it a nice coppery glow, while the Bubs languishes in all the video gaming time he and I both need to turn my cement slab into a masterpiece? Nothing. Nothing is cheaper than that.
I dug out my hot glue gun, turned it on to burn away the dust it had collected, assembled four dollars worth of rolled pennies, and proceeded to glue away! I even tried to put all of the coins face up, so my superstitious Mom won’t freak out at the good luck leaking into the slab. (I can tell you now I’m not as OCD as I once thought, because Abe be darned; within seconds I only wanted the stupid roll of stupid coins stuck to the stupid ground and I didn’t care about stupid heads nor stupid tails and why oh why did I have to go to the Pinterest?)
Well. I can tell you this, which is no surprise…four dollars doesn’t go very far. And if you lay four hundred pennies out end to end, well, you have a place mat. I need a bedspread, though crib size, and four dollars in copper lays out to the size of a place mat?
Pennies are hateful.
Bubs’ piggy bank was bleating to me from his room. Really. It lured me in there with its, “I have more money than you right now” witticism, and I followed the sound, because you know what? My kid really and truly stored more money — though silver — on his dresser than I have in my vacation depleted bank account.
I grab said piggy and go to shaking.
What is the only thing that will draw my Bubs away from his intense gaming? The sound of money. Which bodes well for his entrepreneurial future, but completely busted me in the maternal venue, as in “Mama, why are you robbing me?”
I proceeded with, “Honey, only the pennies. And I’ll pay you back.”
“Pennies?” he warbled. “But that’s the bulk of my stash!”
While I lauded his verbiage, I dratted his excellent hearing and puppy dog eyes that guilted me into almost putting the loot back. Almost.
Because the hot glue was still hot and Mama was in the midst of a project.
Anyway, I told him I heard a mysterious noise coming from the PlayStation or whatever system he has and convinced him it might be shutting down, which immediately made him vanish from sight.
And I glued more pennies.
Another three dollars, and still I have a lot of blank cement left to cover.
I need more glue. And many, many more pennies.
(Pennies add up to actual dollars so quickly, don’t they?)
Which requires having the pennies, thus rendering my project dead in the water until I donate platelets for money or work for three weeks after returning from vacation.
I have to write my son an August — maybe September — dated check for $7.24 to cover the costs of my crafty side.
Sigh.
Stupid Pinterest. This never would have happened if I hadn’t been dazzled by the four-minute demo video that lured me into thinking, “Hey, pretty! Sanctioned nonsense as an adult! And yes, yes, I have a glue gun and one jillion pennies!!” (Nope. Nope, I don’t.)
That kind of thinking is what gets people in trouble.
And proceeding to dig into a closet I haven’t opened since the 1900’s to look for a throw rug.

 

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Okies on Tour: The Glass (Gloss) Mountains

What does Fourth of July mean to me?
A day off.
And a day off is simply destined to be a road trip day.
It just is.
Because I’m a tourist in my own state, I wanted to see the Glass Mountains, AKA the Gloss Mountains. Lore calls it both, seemingly because a British gentleman said “glass” like “glaws,” because…he was British.
Which, frankly, led to all kinds of questions, like, “Why was a British dude in the middle of the prairie in the middle of the upper half of the middle of the state in the middle of the US??”
But no marker answered that burning question.
Has no one else pondered that anomaly?
I wanted to see these mountains because for years I’ve seen them pictured beautifully within the pages of promotional dental office calendars.
And, as per the pics, when the mountains are shiny with sun-setting light, they are truly lovely; striations of coloration all over the place. Ask any dentist, they’ll tell you that, “Yeah, those hills look like plateaus of stained glass panels atop the prairie. Now, rinse.”
I might paraphrase, but I had to see those hills for myself, right?
So I pointed myself northwest and I darn near missed my target.
The entire Glass/Gloss Mountain State Park is book ended by signs saying “Welcome” and “Thanks for Visiting,” within a half mile distance to each other.
Circling back to the parking lot, I parked and prepared to scale the less-than-ominous looking butte of a “mountain,” elevation 200 feet, according to Wikipedia.
Scale we did, and do you know, proper foot wear is a must when climbing the side of anything rising to the sky at a 70 degree angle? My toes clung to the plastic sole of my flip-flops, while I kept telling myself their lack of tread was a point in my favor. Goats don’t have corrugated plastic soles on their feet, so boom, I win.
Fortunately, the short distance was equipped with a metal handrail presumably re-purposed from a ship from the 1880’s, it was so rusted and bent — scoliosis of metal, nearly curly, I tell you — and I clung to that bad boy as though it were a lifeline, because it was. For the last fifteen feet or so, I was no longer walking across pieces of ladder laid over the rock face and instead climbed upon boulders, white ones that looked like chunks of quartz. The all-rock terrain tested my toes, lungs, and gratitude equally.
But I made it.
I made it.
When I pivoted to see how far I’d traveled, well, I got a little woozy. See the above photo. Notice how the “trail” seems not to exist but was instead carved by millions of furry-bodied lemmings who sloughed away any edges as they fell to their doom? I did not Photoshop this, folks.
Needless to say, I was willing to sit a while and enjoy the valley view before tumbling to a painful lemming-like death.

Up top, I followed a “Trail” marker for the twenty feet necessary to reach the “End of Trail” marker, which stopped abruptly at the edge of an equally high precipice.
I had hoped for an elevator.

I thought there was no good way down.
And after psyching myself up for a good long while, I literally tiptoed my way down the side of the hillock, across those ladders, nearly bounding with over confidence at the end, telling fellow “hikers”, “Aw, shoot, it’s not as bad as it looks,” as I hustled back to the car.
Because, hey, over-and-down-on-foot was the only way down.
Except it wasn’t. Look at this guy who literally jumped! What a show-off.

I swoon at heights, truly, and yet I considered, “If I’d had a parachute, would I have preferred its twenty second ride to the laborious ten minute stalk-of-terror it took to return to prairie civilization?”
I nodded sagely to myself and answered Me honestly when I replied, “Hell, no.”
By the way, from experience I’ve learned that the Glass/Gloss of the mountains looks Red/Rouge, with a Matte/Anti-gloss finish on cloudy days.
Which means I need to gear up with my camera and return to the mountains on a sunny day. I’ll stay at the bottom, too, I believe.
No parachute requested, thank you.
Happy Fourth, everyone!

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I Throw in My Ranching Gloves

Faulty gate latches and my own blind excitement about a road trip led to the pathway to destruction for five of my beloved chickens.
Four hens and the most beautiful little rooster I’ve ever loved, gone to the unmerciful jaws of two bored dogs who wanted to play keep-away with live bait.
Two beautiful, no-evidence-obvious-but-still-they-were-dead corpses greeted my dusky return from the road, after we Okies toured the state’s northeast Green Country.
I tell you, while the sun said goodnight, my heart cracked in half.
No other signs of life came running from corners to rest for the night. How could I blame them if they were there? I’d stay there, too, wherever that may have been.
This morning, I went to cluck with my girls. The rooster was silent; he lost all of his tail feathers and any vestige of pride while I warrior-ed the road yesterday.
And there, in front of the gate, was one of the girls I thought I’d lost.
Mangled, weary, but bright-eyed and quiet.
I bawled like a four-year-old, then retrieved the Neosporin and coated her wounds.
She’s in the coop now, in the shade, near water and food and the rest of her tribe, who still can’t cluck their condolences. It really is every bird for herself. And I can’t blame them for that, either.
But for the last hour, I’ve had my eye on every hidey-hole in the yard, armed with bandages and tears in case another feathery friend wants to trust me again.

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The High Cost of No Joy

You know I read Marie Kondo’s tiny, unassuming work called “The Life-
Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It’s about only having things around you that give you joy.
Easy enough idea, hard to practice.
Any way, this little idea has stayed with me the full two months since I read the last page.
And you know, while walking through the kitchen — not my favorite room of the house — I realized, “Hey, I have no joy with this under the counter cabinet in which things go to die.”
It’s a cavernous cabinet space, full of a copper Lazy Susan as big as a tabletop, covered over with all the pots/pans/roasting pans I do not use, nor wish to.
The interesting thing is that if I do require some certain something from that Susan — the last time was Thanksgiving, but memories are lasting until July, I guess — and I get her spinning too quickly, appliances hurtle against each other like bowling pins and fall to the back, the far, far corner which would require a mechanical arm to reach.
Which is fine, really, because how often do I use a roasting pan?
My point is this: things go to that back back corner of doom to rot.
Thus, guess what? The yawning maw of that space equals no joy, for me or for the poor roaster.
With sledge and crowbar in hand, I began liberating the Lost Kitchen Toys.
Well.
One side wall later, I realized the other side wall…and the drawer space…and even the cabinet door…are not needed so much, either.
(Except, upon reflection, the drawer was great for my now homeless kitchen towels, truth will out.)
Turns out, when I demo things, I have an anal desire to keep the construction zone tidy, which means I was never far from the Shop Vac, my third favorite home upkeep tool.
So. Now I have an immaculate work space: a clean, appliance-free, towel liberating area, with which I have less than any clue how to address.
What to do? Throw the dog bed in there, of course.
How many homes have an in-kitchen pooch perch? The hygienic ones, of course. But those silly people actually cook  in their kitchen, thus they are on a different plane than I and my happy pup.
I realize restoring this kitchen space to something workable will require a handyman, and several trips to Pinterest, but since I’m in no hurry, I shall wait for the perfect Genius Idea to leisurely trip across my brain.
Until then, I have thrilled my canine to no end.
Also, I freed myself from six newly-discovered-to-be-joyless-to-me blouses from my own clothes closet, which tells me it’s time to take a shopping trip.
And while I’m out, maybe I”ll peruse the Home Depot shelves, see what ideas they spark.
But mostly, I’ll just clothes shop. So much more joy there.
However, my towels, stuffed in a wicker basket until Whenever the Future Presents a Better Idea, well, they have no joy.
I tell them it’s only temporary. But who am I kidding?

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