Day 108: Rearranging the Kitchen (aka Procrastination Day 2)

V. boring — tl;dr: I rearranged the kitchen appliances and bookshelves and was delighted with the results.

I’m still putting off the trip to Costco to buy cheese to mail to Clare. I really thought I would go today, but just didn’t want to so I looked for something productive to do that was not cataloging books.

We have a very nice OXO coffee maker that makes very good coffee. But neither of us use it except very occasionally; in fact, we have not used it in several months. I mostly drink tea, but if I make coffee I use another OXO product — a pourover coffee maker. Dean uses an AeroPress (that I bought for myself but he took it over and it’s always full of grounds in the morning when I wake up and I want to start out with a fresh device for my coffee don’t get me started on that).

I’ve been thinking about moving the electric coffee maker to the basement, but I wanted to keep it relatively handy for the rare occasions that we may need to make more than single cups of coffee. I once tried to put it on its side and put it in our largest and most empty cabinet, but water leaked everywhere, even though it was empty and I turned it upside down over the sink.

Anyway — I ended up emptying the largest and most empty cabinet, rearranged the height of the shelves, then slid the coffee maker into the back of the cabinet. The coffee maker is quite tall, but not very deep and I had plenty of room for other appliances so I put our 6qt Instant Pot in front of the coffee maker and our pasta machine next to that.

The place where the Instant Pot used to be was now empty so I pulled the appliances out from the skinny broom closet that I hated to get things out of and put them where the Instant Pot used to live.

Finally I pulled out the Nespresso machine (that Dean uses daily) from another inconvenient place and put it on the counter where the OXO coffee maker used to be. Now there was room for the bread in the more inconvenient (but not inconvenient for bread) place where the Nespresso machine had been.

Later this afternoon I tackled the cookbook bookshelf and moved the wine to the top instead of at the bottom. The design of the bookshelf is a pain since books hid behind the decoration. Now there is wine behind the decoration and the cookbooks are easily available.

Oh, I also attended a neighborhood Zoom meeting about winter birds. I knew all the birds that the presenter talked about, but didn’t know everything he shared such as millet is fine to feed birds and some of the differences between male and female of the same species. The presenter also had a very loving way talking about yard birds. I’ve followed him on the Maryland birding list for years but have never met him despite the fact he lives only a few blocks away.

Day 107: Cataloging Books (aka Procrastination Day 1)

It has been brought to my attention that I need to go to Costco to buy a whole bunch of cheese to send to Clare. We also need toilet paper. I hate shopping at Costco because 1) people, 2) pandemic, and 3) I always buy things I don’t need.

Even though it was not on my original “to do when retired” list, I had the sudden urge to update my LibraryThing list of books to correspond with the books we actually had in the house. I knew this would be a long undertaking because we have lots of books.

Today I finished the living room bookshelves. It took all day but was actually delightful. Next I will tackle the bookshelf in our bedroom but probably not tomorrow.

Day 106: Belly Laugh

Until playing Drawful with Dean, Andrew and Alex on Black Friday I’d not had a good belly laugh in a very long time. Possibly over a year. I’d forgotten what it was like. It was delightful.

I had several more delightful belly laughs today when I was going through one of those CD/DVDs from my attic closet. This CD/DVD had some of Andrew’s projects on it. One that I barely remembered, although part of it was my idea, involved dolls.

The final project was, I think, a PowerPoint slide show (or a website — we did that occasionally and teachers were usually impressed) and about the amendments to the constitution.

I hope Andrew’s teacher got a belly laugh out of this.

Day 86: In Which I Write 5 letters

I awoke extremely happy (as I’d done for the past week — something I’d forgotten to write about, but there you have it, I have been very happy for over a week now) and eager to head to the study to continue sorting out my belongings. Today I’d planned on attacking my physical in-box.

I dug down to the very bottom of the pile of stuff in the in-box and worked on the least exciting task first: contacting the roofer again about a leak and contacting the retirement folks from when I was a teacher to gain access to my account. After that I wrote a condolence letter to Clare’s boyfriend on the loss of his grandmother. Then realizing I’d never actually written Clare a letter since she’d moved to Olympia, wrote her a quick note telling her how proud I was of her (oops, another thing I forgot to write about — stay tuned). I also wrote a note to my mom’s best friend, sending her a note she’d sent my mom and a note my mom had written to her but never sent. I sent my sister-in-law a note she sent us in 1981 and wrote her a small letter. Finally, I sent my childhood friend, Lori, a note just because she’d sent me a sweet birthday card (we share a birthday, including the year) and I’d not sent her a card this year because she was at Yellowstone all summer.

The thing I was proud of Clare for was that she was named as Emerging Leader in a Conversion!

Here’s what the US Federation of Worker Co-ops had to say on Instagram:

Clare Follmann joined @orcabooksoly last September prior to its conversion to a cooperative. She became its president in February and led the board and staff to finalize the conversion on April 1, 2020 – all during a stay at home order. Conversions are businesses that have transitioned from a traditional business structure to a cooperative one.

Clare led the staff in planning a move to a new space, hiring new staff collective members, and securing EIDL and PPL loans during the pandemic. Clare’s leadership and commitment to cooperation made Orca Books Co-op’s recovery and conversion possible and successful.

US Federation of Worker Co-ops

Days 79 – 85: Clearing Out the Attic Closet

Last Thursday I tore the attic closet apart looking for my box of recipes in which I’d hoped to find Jeremy’s Aunt’s parkin recipe. I was unable to find it but did end up with a huge mess in the typically messy, but rarely this messy side of the study.

After the weekend I decided that since half of the things in the closet were out of the closet, I might as well pull everything out and start organizing it.

I went through a 2000 square-inch box, a large grocery bag and a smaller gift bag-sized bag of DVDs/CDs — sorting them into piles (after often inserting them into my DVD player to see what they were, if unlabeled or labeled inadequately): Music other than Dan Bern, Dan Bern music, disks holding data files of photos, documents, and blank. These are all now in their own boxes awaiting further action. Note that there were many delights found on the unlabeled CDs and DVDs.

I also went through a shoebox size and 6x6x6 inch boxes of cassette tapes and divided them into piles as well (after often playing them on a cassette player if they were unlabeled): Dan Bern, music other than Dan Bern, people talking, and trash. These are also now in their own boxes in the closet ready for further action. Note there was a small delight found on a cassette tape that my brother must have recorded in secret. Hearing my family’s voices again was bittersweet but delightful.

I moved shelves around in the closet, puting things I rarely use in the very back and things I use more often in the front. The CDs/DVDs/Cassettes are on the back wall and my two “things to blog about” boxes are in front of them. Anyone looking in the closet would not realize that I’d just sorted it out, but they hadn’t seen it before.

I also moved a tacky three-drawer cabinet from the closet to under my desk and moved the paper to be turned into lists into that and moved the shelf the paper was on into the closet.

My next step is to organize the dozens of cables and put them into boxes that fit on the shelf that used to hold paper.

The often messy side of the study is nearly as tidy as the never messy side of the study and that is a delight!

There was a delightful sunset today. The image at the top of this post is how the sunset looked on the wall of the study (you can see some of the mess in that photo). The image below is the sunset through our tulip tree.