Goodbye, black and white cats

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Jinx and Fu have moved out of the house. The transition was a long time coming, but it was necessary, so one month ago, I posted the following on Facebook:

Jinx and Fu need a new home. We thought we had lined up a home with someone they know and love, but it fell through. They really can’t live here much longer, and I really don’t want them to go to a shelter.

They are sisters and litter mates, and we became their foster parents four years ago, when they were 8 years old. They are super affectionate: Jinx (long hair) loves to be picked up and cuddled and given belly rubs; Fu (short name, short hair) loves to curl up and nap on you and adores being brushed. They both love to play and are vocal when they want your attention. They are in perfect health. They are indoor cats, though we let them out on our back deck since it is so high.

If you or anyone you know would be willing to take two cats who are sweet and beautiful (and vocal and need lots of attention), let me know. (They are bonded to each other, so I’d love them to stay together.) They have their own incredible cat tree/ condo/ scratching post extravaganza, which of course goes along with them.

Continue reading “Goodbye, black and white cats”

Culling cookbooks

Whew!

That’s the sound of a long, long day of culling our cookbooks.

David thought it would be a good idea to clean out the pantry this weekend. We’ve got a small walk-in pantry closet with shelves on two sides, which is a boon as we have a pretty small kitchen (10 ft x 10 ft) for a house this size. The pantry serves all kinds of purposes – it even holds brooms on the back of the door! – and has a pretty well-defined setup.

  • Top left: Extra bulk-purchased supplies like paper towels and ziploc bags, as well as our raclette cooker (and a coffee maker for guests)
  • Left shelf #2: Beverages! Besides hot chocolate mix, Ovaltine, and Torani syrups, we have enough flavors of tea for a variety of tastes.
  • Left shelf #3: Canned goods
  • Left shelf #4: Spices, spice mixes, etc.
  • Left shelf #5: Lunch boxes and water bottles
  • Left side floor: Reusable shopping bags and a tub of dog treats

I am fully aware this is more detail than anyone desires. I’m going to continue recording this for posterity, though!

  • Top right: Snow cone maker and supplies, milkshake maker, giant tub of cookie cutters
  • Right shelf #2: Pasta, rice, baking mixes
  • Right shelves #3 & 4: Cookbooks
  • Right shelf #5: All Q’s baking doodads (cookie cutters, food coloring, icing bags, etc.), as well as the pancake griddle
  • Right shelf floor: Basket of paper plates and cups, paper bag filled with paper bags

Now, back to the cookbooks! I love them, because as you all well know, I collect books on areas of my life that need improvement, as though the books themselves will miraculously change me. Our cookbook collection was purged ten years ago when we moved here, and again about four years ago before we went to Europe. Today, however, we got serious.

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After cooking with Blue Apron for the last six months, David and I have realized the difference between cookbooks we would use and those that just collect dust. We like cookbooks to have photos, step-by-step directions, and suggested side dishes. David, especially, likes recipes that are a little different. We like to use fresh ingredients, rather than start with, say, a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. We sorted out those types of cookbooks and ended up with one shelf of books we’d look at to plan regular meals.

The second shelf is more “specialty” stuff: various foreign cuisines, desserts (cookies, especially, for Q), party cookbooks (tapas, fondue), and cookbooks of sentimental value.

David has been “mathing it up” all day, telling me that we still need to get rid of all but five of the cookbooks since we have more recipes than we could ever need, numerically. I, on the other hand, am quite pleased with myself, as I have culled an entire shelf and filled a box to take to Powell’s to sell. It was difficult; I got rid of quite a few I thought I couldn’t part with, and there were quite a few times today that I wanted to quit. This kind of purge stresses me out quite a bit. But I persevered!

Next step: meal planning and cooking. Let’s see if we can break away from the support of having food magically appear à la Blue Apron and make it happen all on our own.

People think I’m…

Flaky. Unreliable. Forgetful. Scatter-brained. Undisciplined.

I’m not saying that people don’t also think I’m all kinds of nice things. Smart. Funny. Friendly. A good storyteller. Good with kids. A voracious reader. An excellent sister [smiles and waves at Gina Marie]. I really and truly don’t discount those things, but they seem to get overshadowed by the Big Problem:

I let people down. Frequently.

Why, why, why?  I’ve analyzed it a million times and come up with a million reasons. Some are based on my behavior: I overcommitted or double-booked.  I didn’t check my calendar.  I didn’t write it down.  I did write it down, but then I forgot or lost the list or the paper or the calendar.  I thought about ____ but it was never the right time to go/call/do whatever or whoever I needed to, and by the time I remembered again, it was too late.  Other reasons are based on my character or innate traits: I have a bad memory. I must have ADD. I am undisciplined. I am a screw-up.  More responses come from other people: I never call them back.  I never check my voice mail/email. I must not value their time.  I must think I am more important than they are. They thought they could count on me to _____, and now it did not get done.

This brings to mind a lyric from one of my favorite songs by The Wonder Stuff:

I’ve been a long-term disappointment to myself
But it hits like a hammer when I’m that to someone else…

I hate disappointing people.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.  Yet it seems to be a constant in my life.  It’s on my mind this weekend because our church was calling for volunteers for a local organic festival being held this weekend.  I really want to volunteer, to walk the talk, as it were, but – again – I can’t ever seem to get enough of a handle on my life to actually do it.  So another weekend and another opportunity to give back to my community have passed me by again.  Urgh.  Not to mention not getting in touch with my friend Cindy about scrapbooking, not communicating with Charles about workout appointments, not getting the promised treats for Quinland’s slumber party, not getting my Girl Scout paperwork in… and those are just the things that people have brought to my attention.  There are probably five more things that I was supposed to have done in the past 48 hours I am not yet even aware that I have forgotten.  This is how my life goes.  I need a memory stick to upgrade the RAM in my brain.

  • {Clutter} released: Five more magazines and three unread newspapers!
  • {Body Fat} released: Tons of housework and laundry and thirty minutes of pulling weeds in the dirt.