Sort

It is that time of year again. My favorite time of year bursting with colors, and my worst time of year bursting with tears.

I was told the hurt never goes away, it just changes. Some years it seems it has; others it seems it hasn’t.

This is one of the hasn’t.  Last year I barely had time to think about anything else but condo purchase. This year, I’ve got the time.

I used to write about it a lot more, intent on gathering thoughts and feelings and memories; sorting.

I’ve never been much good at sort. I’ve always argued that Mc should be filed after Mb and before Md – if such name roots actually existed. They don’t warrant their own alphabetical sub category or file tab. Should the Mac’s be filed with the Mc’s? If not, accurate spelling will be imperative when trying to figure out which drawer to pull.

Then there’s the fabric stash. Grouped mostly by solid color, unless there’s a pattern; American Flag fabric would sit nicely between red and blue – if red and blue were adjacent on the color wheel. They are not. This is my confusion. Would Poinsettia fabric be best placed under mostly red, mostly green, assorted floral or catalogued as just Christmas?

Sort ranks up there on the difficulty chart with where to start.

I’ve started this before, and I’ve done ok. Tidbits here and there; succinct vignettes.

Written, shared, abandoned or saved. It’s going to take some cull.

I’ve been at this 8 years now. Haven’t missed a Tuesday, yet.

Background matters, but this isn’t biography.

I was born somewhere, some date, schooled, worked, and have been writing since 1973: poetry first, some stories, blogging 2007. It’s key, relevant, but not now.

Now, I’ve got to start somewhere, so it might as well be here:

  1. Haslett, Michigan, a slightly-above word-processing level computer, a phone-line dial-up, a bottle of wine (no idea what kind) and the unexpected blessing of one very persistent neighbor.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 29 sort ranks up there with where to start jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Simple:  http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/memoir-vs-autobiography-2

Complex: http://www.biographile.com/autobiography-vs-memoir-the-changing-landscape-of-recollective-writing/21575/

Sorting: http://www.smead.com/hot-topics/organizing-paper-files-1000.asp

 

Oatmeal Deviation

Everyone’s got that one thing that completely contradicts what they’re about.

I mean, we all have things that seem odd for us and odd to us.

Mine apparently is oatmeal. Who knew? When it came to my attention, I laughed. A lot.

According to my informer, I am incredibly precise about everything being done correctly and uniformly.

Yet, daily, my morning oatmeal ranges from runny to mushy to perhaps over-cooked and occasionally under watered.

Last Christmas (or maybe the one before) I gave my honest informant a special bowl that I thought would not boil over and measuring cups for her morning oatmeal routine. Because she’s not that fond of it, but stands by the fact that it is good for you, and filling.

I hit the yogurt wall a few weeks ago. Seriously, I cannot fathom ever eating a yogurt again. Not Greek, not low-fat, not full-fat, not whipped, not extra creamy, not organic, not even extra sugary dessert type which claim to black forest cake or lemon meringue pie. No.

Lately, eggs have joined the not-gonna-happen list. Hard-boiled, scrambled, cooked in a circular ring on a greasy grill – no. Although, my toothless stand-by of Impossible Pie has not been over-used or become unappetizing, thank goodness.

What exactly is my resistance to measuring oatmeal and water? Laziness… possibly, but I think I’d rather go with Scientific Variation.

Like that spin? I do think it could be considered more fun to eyeball and see what happens –  who doesn’t like a daily experiment? I have through tedious research and trial and error conquered the overflow factor with an obnoxiously large bowl which sometimes leads to a larger than the dietary proclamation of recommended daily intake/allowance/suggested serving size.

The bowl has also seen better days. The plastic base is beginning to show white stress marks radiating from the little bumped-up mould release spot in the center bottom. One of these days, I’ll likely end up dealing with the slimy mess of unrestrained oatmeal lava.

Still, that’s not enough to convince me to search out another dollar store cheapie. I own 3 sets of the same pattern dinnerware. Two open sets are cabinetted in separate groups of 4; the other remains an unopened wedding gift from 2001. I haven’t broken a deep soup bowl, yet, or a shallow cereal bowl, or a salad plate, or a dinner plate, either. The only items incurring damage have been coffee cups. None have cracked or shattered. A few have unfortunately chipped, which is quite unfortunate since mugs are the only non-backed-up food service item.

The oatmeal appropriate bowls don’t microwave as well my yellow plastic vessel. The asbestos-glove-required outside nukes up faster than the actual gruel. I do use the deeps at home nestled into the bottom of an old Meal-in-Minutes microwave bottom boat, which makes home hot food handling on tippy-toes as I reach for the over-the-stove unit designed for normal (taller) users just a bit safer.

At least laziness doesn’t play a role in this scenario. I’m know not too lazy to drag one to work.  I also know I’ll be annoyed with the microwaved results unless I also drag the pink thing and a potholder.

I could leave the potholder, but I’d have to carry the Tupperware on my daily walks to and from work. It’s seriously one of my best kitchen tools.

I should buy another. It’s rather contradictory that I don’t already own two, because, well… yeah.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 22 Consistency and inconsistency jakorte

 

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Plastic Parties: http://www.tupperwarecollection.com/v2/tw_index.php?page=home_parties_history

Don’t Do This: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/13/microwave-cooking-tips_n_5488231.html

It’s Complicated: http://www.webmd.com/diet/oatmeal-benefits

 

 

C.o.E.

Chain of Events.

The longer I live the more I believe that older people (caveat: older than you or I) might have a right to be cranky.

Live a while and at some point you begin to realize things are not… as they should be.

Customer service? LMBO.

Now, I realize it is not the technician’s fault that they get overbooked. It’s not their fault that one minor repair after another turned into one major repair after another, so I try not to let on how stressed I now am that I only booked half a day off of work, and due to incompetencies of contracted large-corporations shipping customer service overseas, I now have to call in another half-day.

It’s not their fault that I call in an hour ago to speak to someone across the globe, and that the request that someone please call me with a real ETA to let me know when they are coming doesn’t get paged to them until they have already been standing in my kitchen for 20 minutes.

It’s also not their fault that the $75.00 deductible I pay really isn’t for much of anything except to tell me my appliance is old, and while it has lasted longer than newer models on the market, it still may be not lasting much longer, flipping a plastic piece into place and using a  hex-nut driver to level it off.

Of course, this isn’t a crisis. Of course, there are way worse things happening in the world; horrible things that we cannot control. Perhaps that is why we (ok, “I”, fine, whatever) try to control what might be controllable even when logic and past experience dictate frustration and failure.

I obviously know that calling 1-800-overseas again isn’t going to make me calmer or make the service person appear on my doorstep any quicker. I think I’m only after recognitive acknowledgement that there is a continual problem that someone (who prefers to remain anonymous, like the man behind the curtain) should think about addressing. Put succinctly: Stop lying, or at least be a bit more vague than you already are with your promises.

I curl up on the couch for a minute fighting the urge to cry, keenly aware that having arrived at this state over a still functioning refrigerator is ridiculous. Truly.

But, that’s what happens when I get angry, or I wake up thinking about my brother Greg, or how the injustice of every 9/11 triggers a deep NY sadness, or the fact that fall will be followed by the darkness of winter and an indirectly related reminder that according to the government for “tax purposes” I am no longer married, like that part of my life never existed and I must report myself as “single.”  Or, maybe it’s just I’ve had it with unreliable repair services and being in charge of freakin’ everything.

I eventually decide I need a cool down; more accurately a warm up.

On the porch. With nail polish remover, nail polish base coat, nail polish color. And a cute little strawberry margarita in a can that’s been patiently sitting in my loud, shaking fridge since late July.

About halfway through, I remember why I don’t drink very often. My arms get floppy, and I get tired.

My peaceful calm-down lean-back anti-gravity lounge gets interrupted by a lone fluttering fall leaf that bounces off my forehead onto my woman shelf. I annoyed-ly flip it off and come face-to-chest with an ugly chain-of-event truth from last weekend.

I am and obliviously have been (since pre-repair-waiting began at 6:30 am this morning) wearing my button-down floral camp-shirt inside-out.  You see, I washed it, and hung it to dry, and even though I noticed I had slipped it over the hanger seams-side out and came up with a warped justification that it would be good for the shirt not to dry on the hanger in the usual fashion with weighted-pressure on the shoulder, and that the fabric would wear more evenly if I left it as was. Truth: I was just too lazy to turn it. Truly.

Dressing in the semi-darkness this morning was another lazy move. Turning on a light would mean having to draw the curtain which would mean having to move the white shelf board that formerly held up my mattress but was replaced by plywood when I moved. It never made it to the garbage (lazy) and has since found a re-purpose of holding back the drape instead of a using a matching tie-back that I just haven’t had perhaps 15 minutes of un-lazy time to make, yet.

Bottom line? Here it is:

Life is all about the chain of events. That, and what lazy will get ya.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 15 lazy chain of events 09 15 2015 jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discover Links:

How to Do it Right; http://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/laundry-linens/clothes/dry-clothes/

Seriously Symbolic: http://www.household-management-101.com/laundry-symbols.html

The Death of a Fridge: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-refrigerators-make-a-loud-shaking-noise

Weed-ed

Nope, they didn’t. Fit, that is.

I crammed and jammed and endured as much thistle poking as I was willing to, and finally conceded. My weeds could not be contained in my one sad about to split sack.

Sharing an extremely large, porch-privacy providing, completely inaccessible by vehicle, gorgeously manicured, green common space squared away between four buildings is a beautiful thing.

It also wonderful to live in a community that cares about general landscape neatness, floral beauty and keeping up on foliage containment. It’s also exactly why I was so embarrassed to have discovered I had been hosting three jungles of vegetative junk.

But none of that was forefront.  I chose my weeding attire based on three sizes too big and don’t care if I ruin it. So, that’s how I ended up in a pair of size 24 white, black, teal sparkle-accented plaid capris, and one of many oversized completely un-matched red t-shirts, common silicone blue gloves, and a wretched pair of ripped tennies – “kicks” if I wanted to be cool. I obviously didn’t, and didn’t care.

At least, not until an hour and a half later and only 2/3rds done following a straighten-up breather. I was about to bend back over with my saggy plaid derriere pointed towards 3 other buildings when I caught a breeze of laughter.

It seems my colorful conquering coincided with some court-yard neighbors hosting a BBQ or two.  Of course, I’m going to assume the laughter was not related to my trials. Truly, it uprooted my usual stubborn streak, making me all the more stubborn.

At the finished end, all that did not fit in the garden bag went back into the garden.  A myriad of unidentifiable weedy things ended up in a pyramid placed as much out of sight as possible. Call it au natural composting, or whatever. I figure the result will be the same as if the darn things had just died on their own, withering from unusual heights.

The before and after pictures are worth thousands of words, but here are some additional thoughts, anyway.

A garden full of weeds isn’t really a garden. A full bed may seem successfully lush, but insincere effortless encouragement is not the answer.

Spirituality, large professions of faith (growing wild and over each other, free-ranging a variety of competitive tentacles) mean nothing if they are not fruitful, or vegetable-full or even flower-full.

As in life, stripping away the extraneous often reveals not much to work with, shaky ground and results in a lot of standing around with hands on hips trying to decide whether to begin again with an ambitious plan or abandon for the simple pleasure of grass.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 08 weeding even ugly pants jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Officially, it’s Tartan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tartan

Officially, Not Compost: http://organicgardening.about.com/od/howtocompost/a/Composting-Weeds.htm

Officially, Baking Soda: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/413064597051138303/

 

Weed-ing

Last weekend I set the 3’s goals again, and promised myself I would wash the garage door and get the weeding done. Small beds wouldn’t take long.

About the garage door, yeah, I know most people don’t spend their weekend washing theirs, but this was another didn’t-do that had been bugging me for a while. A deep layer of dirt and last year’s fall leaves held on in blotches, despite summer’s multiple downpours.

Each time the door went up long sticky strands of debris floated up with it. I was tired of dodging grossness to retrieve groceries.

It was a messy job. Cobwebs and dead bugs, sticky leaves and grass clippings finally gave way. About an hour and a half later, I set out for the other side confident I could do what I had to do quickly and painlessly. I knew what a weed looked like, thanks to years of reluctant experience.

Sometimes, the things our parents made us do were truly for our own good, a boon to our life-coping skills. Sometimes, it was just cheap, get-the-kids-out-of-the-house –labor. I’m still undecided which role weeds played in the development of my character.

Armed with gloves and a paper grocery sack, I took a look and started to form a new impression. It was all weeds, which was actually a good thing. Indiscriminately yanking up shallow rooted plants required no gentleness, and no particular order.

Easy; for about 3 minutes, until one large-fisted grab allowed a million prickers to penetrate my Arbor Brewing Company cloth gloves. Provided for immediate and personal continued use during One Brick Detroit’s tree planting in The Greening of Detroit, the gloves were tremendously helpful and suitable for tree planting; not so much for thorn-bush removal.

I regrouped with a good hand washing, a mug of iced tea, and re-armed with thick silicone painting-stripping protective gloves. I wasn’t about to let weeding become a challenge. The more I picked around the barbs, the more I came to realize, I was probably looking at an ill-kept (as in never pruned) rose-bush of some sort. Also hidden within this bed, were two short, sort-of roundish, stubby evergreen shrubs.

I kept at it, though, eventually losing track of real-time. Finishing the first bed felt good, kind of. I’d been leaning over, imaginably unattractively in my too big bright blue plaid and mega-large diamond-rhinestone capris. A Friday night BBQ got going on across the courtyard. I decided to ignore it, and ripped on.

Working from the back to the front was one of my better non-ideas, as in, I really didn’t have a plan. I’d just walked in and went at it. By the time I got out of (by getting rid of) the deep, I pretty much had to kneel to give my entire-body-lifting thigh muscles a break. When I finally stepped back, I felt I had come close enough to conquering that little bit of mayhem to move on: to the bigger bed.

My make-shift “I surely won’t need something larger than this” Whole Foods re-used refuse (old paper shopping) bag was about 2/3 full. I refused to go back inside to get another one, mostly because I know myself and was pretty sure it would be the hard to talk myself into finishing up tomorrow.

Nope, whatever I was going to pull was going to have to fit.

Quote for the Week:

2015 09 01 Determination and Ingenuity jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Glove Deep: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-gardening-gloves/

Serious: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/09/best-garden-gloves-from-consumer-reports/index.htm

Visually: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+store+garden+gloves&sa=X&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS483US483&espv=2&biw=1777&bih=861&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0CCUQsARqFQoTCLXHoLeD18cCFQV6PgodEo0Bzg&dpr=0.9