Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Before And After

I faced reality and took a nap after lunch today. It was a good nap, no nightmares, just deep sleep. It was as necessary and good as the walk was and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

When I was at Mother's last week, for some reason I brought home a roll of shelf paper. And last night I realized that my drawers and my cabinets had possessed me and made me do it. So after my nap, I decided to start with one drawer. That went well. I cleaned out the mouse shit and excess crap in the drawer- mostly rusty canning jar lids.
I cut new paper, put that down and it looked so nice I went on with it. I did one of the junk drawers. Then I moved on to the silverware drawer. Why did I have so many wooden disposable chopsticks? You tell me. All I know is, I don't have them any more.

Next the knife and utensil drawer. I have no idea why I have so many knives. I use about three of them. But I have knives of all sorts. I have knives to carve turkeys with and I have knives to gut deer with. I am not kidding you. I threw out the completely shitty knives. I THREW THEM OUT! I do not need a knife made in Taiwan. Really. I don't. We also have at least half a dozen oyster knives. I kept them. Of course. Even the one whose handle is entirely wrapped in duct tape. I think that is Mr. Moon's favorite. At least I can close that drawer now.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor surrounded by all the shit you see above. That space in the middle? That's where I was sitting. I cleaned the mouse shit out of there and found the mouse trap Mr. Moon had set the night before with peanut butter as bait. It was not sprung (thank god!) but I believe the peanut butter had been licked up by the roaches.
I have dishes of Boric Acid mixed with confectioners sugar spread around the kitchen and I think it's helping. Hank says it will. Hank knows everything and I trust him but let's face it- for every roach I kill there are fifty waiting under the house to slip in and eat the mouse-trap peanut butter. This is just the way it is. Sure, I could hire an exterminator and if I start seeing the little brown German roaches I sure as shit will. But the big guys? Ah. Just Florida.

Anyway, I cleaned out that cabinet and threw away any plastic lid without a matching container and any container without a matching lid. And now it looks like this in there:

I keep all those yogurt and Earth Balance containers because I am always sending leftovers home with people so they come in handy. Why buy Glad containers when Dannon and Earth Balance give them away for free?

And I feel good now. Okay, I feel really hot and sweaty and in desperate need of a shower, but overall, I feel pretty good.

It's been an odd day, in a way, but a good one. Any day in which the space in which I live has been improved or cleaned or organized or just made a little bit sweeter to use is a good day. Let's face it- it ain't the big things. It's the little ones.

Tomorrow I go back to Mother's to clear out more things. This seems to be my fate and purpose lately and that's okay. Clearing out is good. God knows chaos will win in the end but striking a blow for order may in fact be the human's purpose on earth.

If so, I have done my job today. And we shall see what tomorrow will bring.


  1. Are you ready to smack me if I say "my grandma..." again? Because she totally keeps yogurt containers too :). Just makes sense.

  2. Well, I am nobody's grandma and I keep my yogurt containers too. And there must be something in the air today because this is exactly the project I'm embarking on at the moment (and by that I clearly mean I'm avoiding the mess on the kitchen floor made by cleaning by reading blogs on the interwebs. Sigh.) Maybe one can only do these things when it is unbearably hot in the house? And o, terror: every drawer in my house is a junk drawer. Open any damn one of them and you'll find: a toothbrush, a spoon, change, a tampon, an old bill from the city, a knife, underpants, a hairbrush, ETCETERA.

  3. What? do you mean to tell me that not everyone keeps yogurt containers? Gawwd. They are essential for sending people home with goodies and leftovers.....what you gonna do......give them the good china?

  4. You know what containers I really like? Miracle Whip... the plastic screw top jars (not the squeezy ones). They rock. :)

  5. Hi Ms. Moon,

    I read your blog all the time but never comment. I'm shy I guess. I'm not sure why saving yogurt and butter containers compelled me to do it today but it did. I save them too. They are great to send leftovers with people. They are also great for squeezing paint into for my kids art and for Easter egg dye. I do have a problem with lids that have no matching bowls and bowls with no matching lids. Pisses me off when I'm looking for one and I find just the right bowl and can't use it because there's no lid. Makes me want to clean my cupboard out right now. Anyway just wanted to share. Thanks for writing your blog. I love to read it!

  6. I don't know what it is about cupboards and why they are so difficult to keep organized, but mine look like that too I felt better just looking at yours. I will need to do this now in my own abode. :)

  7. I save them too. Don't we all?

    I love cleaning shit out. I really do.

  8. The before picture reminds me of my house.

    Good job.

    Glad you got some rest.

  9. I am glad not to have mouse shit in my drawers.

  10. I try to catch a nap everyday at lunch. It's amazing how much better you feel afterwards. Now if you would come clean my cupboards, I'll even get you a stool to sit on instead of the floor.

    I had a scary FL roach encounter...I was tan but A said I turned white. I swear he was as big as my hand!

  11. Your cabinet now looks like 1970! Those Revere pots and pans are 'only' guaranteed for 25 years, but they really last forever. I've had mine for 30 years.
    So glad I no longer live in the tropics...although when I did, I got so good at spotting roaches that I could outrun them and squish them with my bare feet. Ah, memories!

  12. We had roaches in the north. They'd scatter when you turned on the kitchen light. My dad rolled up little balls of boric acid and condensed milk and put them under and behind things. They worked!

    I love this post.

  13. Stephanie- Hell, you can say "grandma" all you want. Makes me happy.

    Sara- It is good for the soul, I think, to create small places of order. For me, anyway.

    Lo- Good china?

    Stephanie- Huh. Never considered those.

    Kelly- I'm so glad that leftover containers made you overcome your shyness. Don't be shy! Or, try not to be. Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting. Comments mean the world to me.

    Nicol- Glad to be of service.

    SJ- It does feel good.

    Ms. Fleur- I needed it!

    Syd- You would if your drawers were in drawers in my house.

    Mel's Way- You would not survive here, darling.

    Lucy- I've been using those for thirty years too BUT they were my grandparents' before that!

    Angella- Must be true, then. About the boric acid.

    Mwa- Thanks!

  14. HATE roaches. We don't have them here in the NW, but when I lived in Southern California they were everywhere.

  15. Oh man this is GOOD! I want someone to come do that to my bedroom closet.

    Of course there are roaches, or Palmetto Bugs as they were known in Miami, flying mouse-sized cockroaches that live a thousand years without water and would outlast a nuclear holocaust. Roaches are eternal. They've been around so long through so much that you can't even date a rock by the fossilized remains.

    But if you're ever invaded by the German cockroaches, here's what you do--invite some geckos in. They'll live behind your picture-frames on the walls in the daytime and roam the house at night devouring ants and German roaches. Elegant, economic and green. And you know how I know this.

  16. The cupboard looks mighty swell. Good job!

  17. "Don't judge me! I live in Florida!"

    I love it. You are a brave woman. We have our share of critters in GA but Florida is like another world to me. I think I could make it in your neck of the woods but I found my stays in Fort Myers to be especially dicey.

    I am a sorter-stacker-organizer. If I ever get overly stressed, I start the S-S-O'ing. You did a lovely job. I covet that yellow tupperware. Mom just bought me some vintage pieces of it at the junk store and it is storage perfection, in my opinion.

  18. You're doing a great job. I have a ton of chopsticks too. I don't keep yogurt containers but I do have some plastic boxes. You have a big family so you have a ton more stuff than me.

    I'll do your closet and Kathleen's xx


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