Saturday, November 12, 2011


I admit it. I have a lot of homely stuff. Some of my favorite stuff is homely: vintage books with cracking, faded bindings; printed papers and articles stuffed into loose leaf notebooks; notebooks and journals of all sizes; old magazines of odd sizes. The homely stuff is perhaps more interesting to me than the pretty things. Those things don’t inspire me in the way that ideas do.

Anyway, when we moved to the modular home, we brought with us one of those cheap, “some construction required” bookcases which we set up inside the back door in the utility room. It served a purpose, holding cookbooks, cleaning supplies, Nellie’s accessories. From there it became a catch-all and an eyesore. It was impossible to keep it clean and eventually I noticed that the bindings on my cookbooks were fading in the sunlight which streamed through the back door of an afternoon. I suggested a cabinet with doors would be a better alternative for the spot. I dreamed of a nice piece of furniture, but in my dreams I had more room. Unfortunately the space is neither wide nor deep, so we again opted for a “some assembly required” cabinet which we purchased at Home Depot last night on our way home from the movie, J. Edgar.

The cabinet came in a flat box -- six feet tall and barely five inches deep -- and it was heavy! It took two associates and Mike to load it into the Magnum. This morning at home Mike and I (mostly Mike) had to unload it without benefit of assistance. Just lifting it up a few inches was difficult. The idea was to slide it out and lay it vertically on the garage floor behind the car, then back the car out over it so that we could open the box and do some initial construction in the garage. We only needed five inches of clearance to back over the box. Did we have those five inches? No! Fortunately Mike was backing slowly when we discovered this.

On to Plan B: Open box in garage and carry pieces to house for construction project. Despite confined quarters, this worked. But first, I had to empty the old bookcase and clean that corner.

What happened to the bookcase? Well, we carried it to “Hallie’s room” where we squeezed it into the back corner for storage of the homely stuff. It’s not aesthetic, but it meets a need for now.

It took Mike about four hours to construct the new storage unit. Now when you come to my back door, it will look like this. I have more “settling in” to do tomorrow.

All in all, it was a productive day. I also bought our Christmas cards. And I made raspberry sauce with my own frozen raspberries. I thickened them with cornstarch, then strained the seeds. I’ll serve it over the black bottom vanilla pie I made. KW


Leah said...

Excuse the comparison, but the "trick" of backing the car over the box on the floor sounds like something Lucy & Ethyl would have done. The difference is that Lucy would have backed over the box.

Great cabinet. We all have clutter & finding a place to keep it hidden is always a win win situation.

Funny story about myself. Once I bought a chest of drawers (to assemble) from Ikea and it was HEAVY. The purpose was like yours, Kathy. I had "stuff" in a storeroom off of my patio. A chest dating back to 1956 (yes, 1956, not a typo) held paper memorabilia. The ancient chest was in bad shape. Drawer bottoms coming loose, etc.

My new chest in a box stayed in my trunk for several weeks. My plan was to have the handyman remove it the day he came to assemble it.

My calendar became busy. I hadn't called the handyman. Christmas was coming and the box was still in the car. My son, Brian, & brother, Richard, were coming to visit. One was due one day, the other the next. My plan was to apologize to Brian about the box in the trunk at the airport. He could take the box out before we went to get Richard the next day.

I forgot to say that the back seats were folded down so that the BIG box could fit it the trunk. I had exactly one passenger seat in the car. Well, things went downhill from there. Brian's flight from Kansas City was cancelled due to a huge storm (Dec 2008). He was coming in a day later...the same day as Richard. EEEK!

There was over an hour between their arrival times. My plan was to rush home with Brian. Brian would remove the box and then I'd race back to the airport to get Richard. Didn't work out that way. Brian's plane was late and Richard's was on time. We all connected within a few minutes in the concourse. When we got to the car, they saw the one seat and the giant box in the trunk. I said "Now what?" Of course, I apologized profusely.

Brian felt it would fit in the trunk horizontally, with the seats put back in place. They maneuvered the box and it fit. Whew! When we got home, the box came out of the trunk. Car back to normal and me, too.

Those big boxes are intimidating. I almost did a Lucy all by myself.

Leah said...

A great book called "Clutter's Last Stand" by Don Aslett is in my library. It's on Amazon.

Chris said...

Your new cupboard is bee-u-ti-ful and fits perfectly into its spot! Now comes the fun part of organizing--and seeing where it leads you.

On another note, I hate helping Dan carry heavy loads--I'm always afraid I'll drop my end and somehow end up killing or maiming him.

Kathy said...

Hi Leah! Mike has his own particular brand of misadventures. We refer to them as "Mickey Warnock Experiences." I never thought to compare them to Lucy. I was glad to read that Brian was able to turn the box so that everyone could ride. I enjoyed the story.

Thanks for mentioning the book. I'm always afraid those "anti-clutter" people will force me to change my ways and be what I am not.

And Chris! You are so nice! The difference between you and me is that I'd be thinking, "Serves him right if I drop my end and it kills him!" (LOL) In talking with other wives, I've discovered that most of us are called upon to lift and carry from time to time.

Leah said...

Kathy: Books about organizing give me ideas that I may or may not use. Someone else's choice of clutter control may not be your cup of tea. But to find out how the experts deal with it is fun. Once I read an obituary about a woman in Calif. "whose junk drawer was always neat & tidy." I had to chuckle when I read that.

Chris: If you didn't have a husband, you'd be driving around with large boxes in your trunk for weeks, like me.