Friday, March 25, 2016

A Cleaning Break

Here's the latest display in the window of one of our neighbors. You may remember the peculiar ceramics on view there previously. They've now moved on to masks, apparently.

Yesterday morning, when I went in to work, I was aware that it was Thursday -- but I completely forgot that it was our last day of work before Spring Break! That realization didn't come to me until I was sitting at my desk -- woo hoo! How this snuck up on me I'm not sure. But yeah, we're off today and all next week.

It's going to be a mostly domestic vacation. We may take a couple of day trips, but for the most part we'll be staying home and working on projects around the house. Some of these I've already begun: When Dave was in Doha last week, for example, I cleaned out the kitchen pantry, where I discarded petrified oatmeal from 2012 and found that we own six open packages of couscous. We're in a similar situation with arborio rice and icing sugar, and don't even get me started about bags of flour. (And multitudes of different kinds of flour -- all-purpose, bread, whole wheat, etc.)

I also need to organize our spice cabinet. It is tightly packed with little jars, and we can only see the front phalanx. Everything behind that is lost in the shadows. Dave has the unfortunate habit, when he's cooking something, of simply buying whatever spices he needs, rather than rummaging through what we already have -- so we have duplicates of many things. I think we need a spice rack of some kind, even though Marie Kondo makes fun of them and says they're dust collectors.

And of course there's gardening to do and my journal-transcription project to work on. I will not lack for activities!

I did some spring cleaning at work yesterday, too, throwing away everything in the library Lost & Found bin. I adopted a couple of items: an ugly but functional ivory-colored umbrella and a plastic tupperware-type container. But everything else -- mostly plastic reusable water bottles, many of which have been there since early last fall -- went in the trash. All that plastic -- sigh.


  1. Aha! We are just starting a two week holiday - this afternoon; Good Friday is not a holiday here - and I plan to spend a lot of it tidying as well.

    You knew I'd have a lot to say about this, didn't you? :-) For starters, I recently did our spices (mostly - we are also still shopping around for a good solution for the last few bits and bobs) and it was fun combining the partly used containers together and then filling the empty ones with other spices from bags. I labelled them and everything. Lovely afternoon. I have been coveting a spice drawer but in this kitchen we can't have one - maybe if you have the space in yours? I mean something like this: . Isn't it glorious?

    Right. I've been meaning to clear out the upstairs hall which is still full of what I took out of my daughter's room (I've been stationary for a while but now I'm getting up and running again). I could keep commenting on this for ages but I might go and make myself useful there.

  2. How about using one of the kitchen drawers for spices ?
    I have tried spice racks on the wall and I agree with ms Kondo, they do collect dust (and quantities of cat hair ..!!). Spice cupboards I have found impractical as they are always above the cooker and thus too high - being vertically challenged I can reach only the two bottom shelves.
    The drawer closest to the cooker worked out perfectly. Opening the drawer I can see almost all of my spice collection at once.

  3. I have two turntable for for my spices in the cabinet. makes it easy to see what's there. all that plastic couldn't have been recycled?

  4. Jessie and Vergil put in a spice drawer when they rebuilt their kitchen. It's cool. But most of us don't have an "extra" drawer in the kitchen. I know I don't. I use an old wooden Coke crate, set on its side for my spices. That holds most of them and due to the depth of the "shelves" you can't put more than one bottle in front of the other. And I have some shelves that are built in that I use for the rest. I think we all probably keep spices longer than we should.
    I hope your holiday contains fun as well as work. You deserve it!

  5. Spices, I think that we have some from the dawn of time, you have inspired me to chuck them. Cleaning up my bird space yesterday set me on a cleaning frenzy, and by frenzy I mean, one room vacuumed and dusted. Since it is dark here most of the time the cob webs and layers of silt and the detritus of everyday living, are not quite so glaring. When the sun does peek through it is like a horror movie- the one where everyone gets terrorized in the old barn full of gigantic spiders and massive webs. Clutter is my challenge, one we do not share. Have a great week! Olga will be so happy about it!

  6. Sounds like you will have plenty to do while off of work. I down-sized so much when I moved that spring cleaning doesn't take very long at all any longer. However, now that I think about it, a good clean out of my desk is in order.

  7. We have a clear plastic tote for our spices, but since I have no idea when I last even looked in it I'm guessing we should just toss everything in there & start over! I'm pretty sure we have some spices that were part of a wedding gift over 25 years ago. Ha!

  8. Cleaning and decluttering is a never-ending job! Have a good weekend :)

  9. I know this teacher feeling of easter break. I was usually exhausted and just crashed. However, I did take some trips.

  10. Marie Kondo is not the last word on everything.

    Hmmm, the kitchen pantry does look as though it needs some kind of re-arrangement. Or maybe a custodian to keep an eye on what is being used and what is not.

    Ms Soup