Working Wednesday, September 22, 2021

So I read this article that said the best way to redo a room was to take everything out of it so it was empty and then just put back in what you need, which I though was brilliant until I did it and realized that I now I had acres of stuff piled in all the other rooms. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

What did you work on this week?

88 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, September 22, 2021

  1. I managed to catch up on the dishes. And the laundry. And already, both are accumulating again. Heavy sigh. 🙁

    Oh, and I broke a tooth eating a hamburger patty. I don’t have a regular dentist any more, so that’ll be fun.

  2. Ha ha ha ha ha.

    I have done… Not enough. Of anything. Not enough running, not enough work, not enough time with the kids, not enough (read: any) housework, not enough sleep.

    Crap. Must try harder.

    1. What Alannah said.

      So, I’ve discovered that the book I started to read last Thursday not only resembles a nice cup of ice cream, it also turned out addictive like ice cream. And it’s part of a series. I’m on book 3 of 4. Therefore, not much work has been accomplished apart from the day job…

    2. Breathe. You do not need to try harder. You need to cut yourself a break. The only item on your list that has any real value is time with your kids. Trust me, I’m older & when I look back I wish I spent less time on everything but being with my kids who are now in their 30’s & live hours away. The rest of it is less important than you think. Gentle hugs

  3. Jenby, I was always tempted to do as your book recommended. But I’ve too much stuff to get out of a room. And too little space in the other room… so I expected your problem to be faced.
    Unless one wants to get rid of all the excess stuff AND knows where to take it to (I hate to throw away stuff if it’s still okay).

  4. My latest thriller is in pretty good shape now, I think, at long last. Whew! Just a few more tires to kick.
    Plus I actually woke up in time to remind my child to brush teeth (not infrequently, I hand over a toothbrush at the bus stop).

  5. We put up some shelves in the garage. In the process I opened up two boxes labeled “craft” that had been packed some 7 years ago, just to see what was in there. One box had a partially completed rug, where I ran out of yarn. I put it into a see-thru container and put it up on the shelf. The other was a gold mine of quilting fabrics and patterns, which got immediately emptied out, and taken into my overflowing sewing room. I then worked to incorporate the pieces into my plan – washing, pressing, folding, sorting the fat quarters, storing the jelly rolls and lovingly caring for the yardage I found. Now I’m more convinced than ever that I should be making things with what I have already, rather than buying anything.

    Other than that, no really creative activities. But, more will happen. (I probably have enough fabric and yarn to keep my loved ones in quilts and afghans, not to mention keeping myself busy for the next 30 years.)

    As for cleaning things out – I did give a quilt to my college roommate when she visited yesterday. One off to a good home.

    1. Help! Can you define a “fat quarter” and a “jelly roll” as used in quilting fabrics? I know the quarter relates to a quarter yard of fabric, but how is it fat as opposed to an ordinary quarter yard cut from the bolt?

      1. Instead of being a 9″ x 36″ piece of fabric cut from the bolt, a “fat quarter” is 18-inches square, which is generally more useful than a long thin strip would be.

        Jelly Rolls, on the other hand, are long thin strips, usually about 2.5″ wide. They are often sold in a “roll” of many different patterns. I think of them as being what you would use to make a rag rug, but they can be handy for a variety of quilt patterns.

        1. Thank you very much! My mother quilted, but she never mentioned Jelly Rolls, and I don’t think we found any fabric pieces of that description in her stash after she died, either.

  6. I am going back to work today after a mini vacation and I am dreading it.

    Also, I didn’t get enough done. I have a small local show at a tea shop coming up in October that I didn’t get enough ready for. I bought more stuff and didn’t list what I have on Etsy, so the pile grew, a d my sister is coming for a long weekend and I have cleaned nothing. Sigh.

    I am listening to a lovely Trisha Ashley audio book, but sometimes hearing about people being productive in a creative and valuable way just makes me feel worse about my own day job

    But enough whining. Happy first day of Fall to those who live in a similar climate to mine. The full moon is behind us, so hopefully some of the crazy settles down and we have some positive changes with the season.

  7. I was released back into the wild and immediately asked to come back to work, so I’ve spent most of my awake time at the quarantine centre and am behind on the everything. I did make a pot of soup though, and a chocolate olive oil cake. That was satisfying. First thing I’ve baked in ages that actually worked out.

  8. Move overseas – that will make you get rid of stuff! 🙂

    Seriously, while I can’t advise on *how* to declutter (everyone has their own path), what we have discovered is that it is awfully nice to pretty much (because there are still files that need to be gone through because we didn’t have time before we left) know what we have and where it is. It is freeing in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.

    I’m working on getting last-minute stuff done before our first houseguest arrives tomorrow. A guy I’ve known since 6th grade. Should be fun to show him around.

    1. We moved out of our house to rebuild it and moved in with friends abs then a small apartment and then back into the house in 2012-14. And threw out lots of stuff in the process. I mostly know exactly what we have, aside from about 5 sets of basement shelves I call Wall-e land because it’s all the junk my husband insists he will one day find useful.

      We have lots of additional junk but at least I know exactly what abs where to find it. And every so often I throw it out. Meanwhile the bulk of the house is not cluttered. Admittedly we still have pictires to hang upstairs and the books are not organized .

      Still as an incentive to decluttering moving is excellent.

  9. I recall reading that empty out advice and thinking that would work… IF and only if I had a second empty room/house to put the stuff in. Ohhhhh, do I have stuff everywhere.
    Some good advice came from FlyLady years ago; she advised that you only take out what you could put back in 1 hour. It’s not as satisfying as all at once but it’s feasible.

  10. Still working on the next Llewellyn book. Still trying to get the house and garage ready for winter. I need to make basil from the garden into pesto.

    Behind on everything.

  11. I love the idea of clearing everything out- sounds great in theory! I’d be like you and just have tons of stuff everywhere else. And it’s very hard to Marie Kondo when EVERYTHING YOU OWN BRINGS YOU JOY. 😉

    This week I’m working on finding a part-time job to get me out of my writer’s block mentality. And I’ve also been going to therapy; which has been both enlightening and frightening (there’s a poem in there somewhere, yes?).

    I hope everyone is having a good week.

    Jenny, I’m so glad I found your blog!

  12. Dishes done, bed made, mostly picked up. Now to the day job!

    We had the carpets cleaned with our lease renewal, and I had to shove the yarn I got at an epic estate sale *somewhere*. It went in the bathtub bc the bathroom isn’t carpeted and we use the other bathroom anyways.

    My shame is that it’s still there. It’s either there out of the way, or out on the floor or bed bc literally no more room in the closet. I’m keeping all the yarn, but the struggle to clean and consolidate is real…

    We recently decluttered stuff, but it barely made a dang dent, seems like. It also sat there FOREVER while we tried to ethically rehome. I finally gave up and goodwilled a portion due to the carpet situation.

    In other news, 2 border rows away from being done with a blanket! That used an bit of the yarn stashed, she says virtuosly. 😀

  13. Had a good laugh about emptying the entire room before putting back everything. Sorry.

    I leave the basics and then remove the stuff. The past few weeks have been going through clothes in various sizes. Culled a lot of stuff; gave away the good stuff and lightly used to the hospice. Some Things I missed window of opportunity to wear. Too big, which is bittersweet bc I loved the things…but was ruthless, not keeping thing bc I might gain weight and will need the basics. Interesting how the brain does that “what if” thing. Anyway, continuing on doing small jobs, outside maintenance and walking a lot. I’m making a list of things to be done in each room then tackling it instead of a little bit here and there.

  14. I need to clean out the closets and declutter, but then I always think, “I might need this” or “now that I know this is here, I’ll use it” but then I don’t use it. lol

  15. I’m wiped out. Don’t know if it’s partly a delayed reaction to the flu jab I had on Saturday (I had delayed reactions – which don’t exist acc the medics – to both my Covid jabs). Or I’m just exhausted, full stop. I’ve got to deal with the author’s responses to my rewrite of the first quarter of the book (which is in fact the last batch; I probably need to stand on my head, too). On the whole, he’s taken it well, but there’s a lot to sort out.

    I finished the shed walls at the weekend, apart from a bit of touching up, so have just got the woodwork to do. Feel too wobbly for ladders, though. I made two more batches of strawberry jam on Sunday, which turned out well. Also stewed some damsons I was given, and froze them along with a big batch of tomato sauce. I harvested my pathetic crops of potatoes & acorn squash (4 from 3 plants!), and had a marathon dead-heading session on my sweet peas & single dahlias – which I’ve resolved not to grow again, since they’re such hard work.

    I could do with a week just vegging, and a week away. Hoping for half-days at work and maybe a week off sometime in October. Also hoping they’ll decide to pay me: I earned out my fee at the end of Monday.

    1. Terrible pun alert, but I was like you’re already “vegging” because you’re in your garden playing with veggies (and fruit)! XD

      Hopefully you get some rest soon!!

    2. You’ve been flat out at work, never mind all the other things you’ve been doing (plus flu jabs have a reputation) – I think feeling exhausted is perfectly reasonable

      Definitely don’t do ladders if wobbly. Normally-non-wobbly husband fell off ours earlier today trimming the hedge. He is OK overall (a bit bruised). The ladder is not (that’s another trip to the tip needed, lol)

      1. Yeah. It’s been making me feel old, which isn’t fun. Though I’m getting more determined to retire next year, when I’m 66, and just manage somehow. Read an interview with Mary Beard at the weekend, who’s the same age, who said she thought she had ten or fifteen more good years. That’s struck home. Time to finally do what I really want to – make it work somehow.

        1. Jane, my 36-year-old property manager is recovering from tripping over a rope which caused a tree to fall on him.

          The issue is not your age, it’s what’s safe for you.

          Mary Beard is a Goddess. If she inspires you, terrific.

          And, Frances in Wales (I wish I were) is right in pointing out that flu shots have side effects.

          My point is that you are working like hell on this project. Bests to you! May you be paid the amount that reflects your labor! You’re great!

      2. Many years ago my great-aunt fell off a ladder. She was perched on the ladder, sawing off a tree branch with a chain saw. She was 98.

          1. If it helps I’ve felt too wobbly for ladders since I was about 8. I have a fear of going up them that is positively phobic. And I’m pleased to say I’ve been surprisingly successful at avoiding them in the 30+ years hence. 😁

        1. We used to have my great-grandfather’s stepladder (he died in 1916) which finally gave out when I had used it to access the attic via trapdoor, leaving me sitting rather awkwardly looking a good way down. Dad replaced it with a new one after that. I just said that while I was happy to wear great-grandmother’s cameo brooch, the stepladder was probably a bit TOO antique.

          1. Our house came with an old wooden ladder and though various workmen have used it I was very happy to see it sawn up and disposed of. Antiques have their place, but not for looking at guttering 2 floors up.

  16. I am working on not worrying myself into a coma and still doing my PT exercises every day. On Monday I did them during the 10pm news which is entirely too late as it makes it too easy to tell myself that I don’t have time to do them each day.

    I saw a hooded rain jacket that would be just right to take with me if I get to go to Scotland, but I didn’t have time to buy it before my doctor’s appointment. When I went back for it yesterday, only the water resistant model was left. I bought it anyway as my SIL tells me that there are no thrift shops near them, but what I really need is a waterproof model with a hood that stands up by itself. I now have 2 jackets that are suitable for a mild drizzle, but not a soaking rain, which is why my closet is so overstuffed. The main problem I have with a Marie Kondo method is that there are so few objects that are both utilitarian and “spark joy”. When you add in a limited budget and little transportation it leads into a lot of “also-rans” in your closet.

    1. I have a hooded men’s waterproof XXL rain jacket I would be thrilled to send you if you want it. I’ve been waiting for a soaking rain to wear it, but when the rain comes, I stay indoors instead. We can probably exchange addresses through Jenny. 🙂 Seriously. I’d be beyond thrilled to send it. Marie Kondo at work!

      1. That is a very kind offer, but as I am leaving on Sunday, I don’t think we have time. My time management is even worse than my decluttering.

        1. All right. That doesn’t give us much time! But if you decide you want it for the next trip, it’s yours.

  17. I have repaired the plaster in the entry and living room, found all the colors of paint I need to finish the job and just need to mask the wood work, lay down the drop cloths and finish the job.

    I have finally cleaned out a lifetime of USGS maps which we used in the days we hiked and backpacked. Mostly I wished them off on my nephew who has started backpacking. There must have been a hundred or more. His wife who is big into Marie Kondoing is not going to be pleased.

    The sewer job continues. I believe we are trenching to hell.

  18. Emptying out, cleaning, and putting things back is the best way, but it helps if you have incentive to finish the putting back part. When you live alone and don’t often have people over, the putting back part has less urgency. However, this fall/winter I’m going to finish a couple of house projects that I predict will be much easier than I expect and I will kick myself for not doing them sooner. The reward will be paying someone to redo my main bathroom–replacing a tub with a big shower being the big part of the project.

    I got back Sunday from a trip to Yellowstone, which is my favorite place on Earth. I had not been back since 2007, and I was overwhelmed. I can’t believe I stayed away so long. I’ve already made reservations for next year. (I like to stay in the park and those reservations go fast.)

    Tomorrow I’m off to London for a week, part work and part play. Then I will be home for the foreseeable future…

    Oh, and on the creative side, I made blueberry (well, actually juneberry) muffins to use up some unneeded sourdough starter. Not the best muffins I’ve ever made, but they served their purpose!

  19. I’ve made a decent dent starting to unearth our garage. It started off life as a single garage, but due to an extension by previous owners is now longer than usual – a one-and-a-half car garage?

    Anyway, it’s full of junk. No space for the car. We moved here in 2018, sort of set up areas for storage of some things, and then life happened, and it all piled up.

    More piled up than would have normally due to the pandemic as it’s where I store donations and stuff for the tip before it actually leaves the property, and charity shops and tips were both closed. Husband did multiple tip runs this past weekend to clear most of the tip stuff, and I have donated some of the donations.

    Discovered I am apparently a box hoarder. Not full boxes, empty ones that ‘might come in useful’. Have decided that there needs to be a limit…

    Spent several hours in there, and there is now a decent pathway front to back and to the most important bits (e.g. tumble dryer). Much more to be done, but a good start has been made!!

    1. You remind me of this tweet from “Madam Anthro”: “One thing no one ever talks about being an adult is how much time you debate yourself on keeping a cardboard box because it’s, like, a really good box.”

  20. This week I’m working on re-centering/healing/making a new game plan, since I got fired from the new day job last Wednesday. (I definitely made some mistakes, but mostly he said my mistakes indicated I wasn’t passionate enough about the industry, which is accurate, but I wish he’d mentioned that was a make-or-break requirement BEFORE he hired me.)

    So I spent a long weekend visiting a good friend, and now I’m doing the little things to get my life back in order (grocery shopping, grad school homework, etc.) before I start applying to new jobs. I definitely think this is for the best in the long run—better to find a job where I feel like I’m doing something actually useful (whether that’s marketing something I respect or serving people food), then to be in a situation that wasn’t good for me.

    Nothing but good times ahead.

  21. I had an unscheduled Morning Off thanks to Spectrum pushing some kind of update that disconnected it from our modem. Home Tech Support arrived back at the ranch after morning clients and has now fixed us, so – with internet restored – I have to go log in to work.

    Very productive morning though. 🙂 Wrote the one scene a WIP was missing, finished cleaning up the last chapter, did the chapter breaks, did the AMZ description, did the playlist. Now all I need is a cover (and a little bit of time away before publication set-up and final review).

  22. As someone who has been moving her crap around since August, that advice sucks. I think it only works for someone who has one planter full of artfully curated succulents, three artfully curated books, an artfully curated sofa, and an artfully curated tray on a artfully curated coffee table.

    That ain’t me.

    Last weekend we had company so we did a bunch of floor work before they got here then I spent Friday cleaning up while Paul worked overtime. On Saturday Paul cooked a brisket and I made biscuits and other food and the friends got here in the middle of the afternoon and we had a very nice visit, played cards, drank a local moonshine, and laughed our slightly drunk assess off.

    Yesterday was a floor day as Paul also worked Monday and then last night started his regular shift. Today I went to the lumber yard an hour and a half away to get more plywood and now I’m sorting through medical expenses getting ready to submit to the health care spending account people. Tomorrow and Friday will be floor days and then on Saturday we leave for Edmonton and then a few days in Jasper! I’m so excited to be going away. If you are a thief thinking about breaking in, remember there are 2 RCMP officers living within rock throwing distance and everything is a mess so you won’t be able to find anything of value anyway. Please refill the cats’ water dish on your way out.

    1. Honestly if I see anything in a house that makes me think it’s artfully curated then my next thought is usually that it’s clutter and should be thrown out… 😁

  23. I’ve pretty much been on a mum buying kick and plunking them down in any available spot in the yard. The rock garden has a few. There is a gap along the house that now has three. I fell in love with one that has three colors growing out of it a yellow, a purple and a bronze. Really very pretty. So I bought multiples of those. Yesterday we went to Lowe’s so my husband could pick up some materials for a project and I went through withdrawals at not going over to the nursery section. When we first got there my peripheral vision on my left was hit with a bright light only to discover that the Christmas lights were up. Awesome, now I’m ready to start Christmas shopping – not.

    1. Aaaand your first sentence made me do a mental double take. (it’s late here, and I’m British 😂)

      1. Oh, me too! It’s morning now, but I still spent a while wondering what ‘mum’ could be a typo for, having concluded you couldn’t actually be purchasing additional parents and parking them in your front garden.

        1. You guys! I didn’t want to have to get out the dictionary, so I was using the shortened version of chrysanthemum. I thought that was the international usage. Anywho, this morning I was a bit saddened when looking out the kitchen window to see that a rabbit had knocked over a few of the smaller plants and had himself quite a snack. He was picky and only ate the yellow ones. But I have hope of a regrowth as there are quite buds left behind.

          1. We did get it, eventually; and ‘mum’ is the nickname here, too, but used quite rarely – unless you’re a florist, probably.

  24. Just keeping up with cleaning and the Zoom meetings. I need to start repotting some plants before bringing them inside. I just need to commit to doing one a day. And have to get the Fall decor out before too long.

    1. My DD has ADHD, and the absolute worst visual organization scores you can get, and in addition to not being able to track time or find things could get distracted by anything in the process of getting ready for school. For the sake of her schooling and all our sanity I got very aggressive about making sure everything she had had a specific place .
      Neither kid ever wanted to get rid of anything so we ended up with what I can only describe as a progressive deaccessioning policy. Only essentials and the current favorite toys in their bedrooms. Any time tbey got new toys an equal space amount got moved to the family room shelves and an equal amount then went yo the basement toy closet and an equal amount then went to the attic. Every few years I would ask them about throwing out attic stuff at which point they would relinquish about half….

      As the oldest grandkids rbey had insane amounts of toys but this progression of locations did at least keep the clutter manageable and dd out the door on time most school days .

      I could still stock a preschool .

      1. My sister used to run a preschool and at the end of every summer she had The Great Toy Wash to prepare for the new school year. You couldn’t possibly have that many toys unless you owned 3 houses. However, I am impressed by your system.

  25. I was just thinking how much I love reading your books with their distinctive writer’s voice. No one tells a story like you do. I haven’t read anything as good as Faking It. I sure hope the Nadine book is published soon.

  26. My rooms are all too small to even contemplate removing everything first. The only way it would work is to actually get rid of everything so I can start over. Which I sometimes think about. I have been working on decluttering, but now it’s down to bigger items that require assistance. I am tentatively planning to get my bedroom and kitchen repainted this winter, so that will definitely mean getting rid of stuff. I even talked to my contractor and got paint decks to review so it might actually happen.

    Anyway, on topic I finished knitting a baby sweater for my great niece in process. I also did laundry and actually folded sheets while they were still warm out of the dryer. That hardly ever happens because I hate folding. I don’t know why. I took a very short walk between passing showers and ordered grass seed. Not related.

  27. Can’t speak for the whole week, but I lost a whole day searching online for a new hair dryer.

    Mine fizzled out and I’ve been searching for something new that doesn’t include reviews about similar fizzling. My gosh it’s hard to find.

    Anyone with suggestions for a hair dryer that won’t have a meltdown?

    It’s amazing how many are out there nowadays and with so many bells and whistles! Thing is, I don’t need bells and whistles. I just need something to dry my hair when I don’t want to wait hours for nature to do it for me:)

  28. Decluttering. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha… and HA!

    Coworker and I just emptied and destroyed two so-called desks. As I emptied drawers, I chortled and snickered and uttered the sinister laugh above. Next to me was an institutional garbage can with a 30 gallon liner. What is this? Garbage. I have a stack of boiler logs, chiller logs, and chemistry logs, and some date back to 2010. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Anything over 7 years old is history… literally. Others are kept for 1 or 3 years. The trash can liner is too heavy to lift out of the can.

    Coworker and I performed janitorial services, mops, bucket, buffer, stripper… the floor still needs to be replaced, but it looks like we tried. I even used paint scrapers.

    So there are two cheap metal desks that lack the rails for our hanging files. Then we needed to reconnect the two computers that go on those desks. Bwa…


  29. I THINK Marie Kondo may have been working from a slightly less cluttered space than some of us, including me. I was sabotaged years ago by my mother, whose parents had an antique table she ended up with and decided was too large for anywhere in her house. It’s also about five hundred years old, so she couldn’t just give it away. She leaned on me until I agreed it could go in my bookroom/library, which has shelves all around but had nothing in the center of the room, and she arranged to have a couple of guys move it. I got home from work to discover that the guys had concluded that the only way to get it into the bookroom would require removing the door and the door frame to the room, so they left it in the middle of the living room. I no longer have a civilized living room . . . I have an aisle in a cat gymnasium. No one has been able to sit on my sofa in years.

    This week . . . mostly finished cleaning out the refrigerator (freezer done separately), leaving mostly stuff in cans and bottles that presumably is still good. Ran a Zoom meeting on Friday, had two dental appointments (newest technique is shrink-wrapping the tooth, very interesting) and finally found 3-oz cans of wet cat food. Just got off one more Zoom meeting where I was cheerfully informed that shipping lines have been so disrupted that we can look forward to another few months like the worst of the pandemic — stock up on caned cat food, household paper and non-perishable food, and if you need to order holiday gifts, do it now. Covid is affecting truck drivers, longshoremen, and cargo ships, and shipping costs are skyrocketing. Just what I needed to hear.

    1. “Canned” cat food, not “caned.” My keyboard doesn’t always respond to me when I hit the same letter twice in a row.

    2. I’d definitely sell it, Ann. That’s horrible. You need a relaxing, liveable living room. My parents expected my brother and I to keep all the family furniture & antiques – mostly Victorian, but a couple of older pieces, including a chest Mum believed was C17. She even wrote an inventory with instructions on keeping each item in capital letters beside it. But my brother lives in a small modern flat, his grown-up kids weren’t interested, and I knew I didn’t want most of it, so we sold it – for peanuts, as there was no market for it since the fashion for minimalism.

      I know it would have hugely more difficult if Mum had been alive, but they’re just things. And you need to have a home that works for you.

      1. I agree that the next generation usually isn’t so interested in Stuff (C. Northcote Parkinson wrote about that, too, in one of his lesser-known books, possibly in MRS. PARKINSON’S LAW). In this case, the table technically belongs to my brother, so *I* can’t sell it in good conscience. It’s a little too tall to sit at — I think in Henry VIII’s day people were still eating from some equivalent of tabletops on sawhorses, taken down between meals — so it was probably a work table that people stood at.

  30. My one and only routine declutter project is clean out my closet in January. I usually take all the hanging clothes out, cull what I need to, sort the keepers by type-pants, skirts and long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless-and replace in the closet. I have to be in the right mood, ready to cut hard. But that’s the only time I follow the empty it out plan.

  31. I did the “remove everything” activity when I put in new hardwood floors–though only one room at a time. It was definitely an effective way to reduce clutter, though I never want to do it again.

    This week I’m focusing on doing things I’ve been putting off for far too long. I’ve been painting the front porch–a little bit every day. My son is coming this weekend to help me deconstruct the rotting back deck, and the contractors will be here next week (fingers crossed) to replace the house siding that has reached “end of life.”

    Good thing I gave up going to Starbucks for the pandemic so I have spare cash to pay for it all. 🙂

  32. I haven’t been working this hard for so many days in a row in YEARS. Pack things, clean new home, pack even more, move over to new home (last things were moved over here today by Sven and MIL), clean old home, unpack and try to not die, collapse or vomit from exhaustion and stress. We also keep discovering flaws and problems now that we actually move here at the new place, like that a couple of the doors don’t close properly or only with a looot of force, and that since we ripped out the 6(!) layers of floor the previous owners had and replaced with new, the doors don’t go all the way down. I can stick my foot out from under them. We ordered a new washing machine, and IT is probably fine, but the pipe it’s connected to is leaking, so we’ve now been without washing machine for 2.5 weeks (our old died 1.5 week before the move). Plumber comes tomorrow (Friday) and MILs helping with washing until things are fixed, but I’ll be glad when it’s all done. After several failed attempts to find a second hand dinner table, we bought a new one…which turned out to have uneven table-top halves and pieces broken off on the whatstheEnglishword insertable table parts (those you put in to make the table longer if need be). Sooo MIL, who’s probably as worn out as I am, and I will return that table this afternoon and pick up a replacement. Since we don’t have a table yet (nor any chairs, but those will be delivered tomorrow), we’re picnicking our dinner on our coffee table, which isn’t super-comfortable. We’re currently internetting through hotspots on our phones, because the glass fiber internet we should’ve received yesterday is 1. not connected here yet so a contractor (that SHOULD’VE done this yesterday but FORGOT) needs to come out and do that and 2. the internet company hasn’t sent the modem or anything yet, and it’ll probably take a couple of weeks before everything’s all settled on that part. We were SURE we’d planned and arranged everything on beforehand, but nope, things keep popping up like weeds out the ground and scream for us to fix them asap. Argh. And then I’m not even mentioning that we don’t have a couch yet or that the curtains haven’t been delivered yet or that I have no idea how the dishwasher, microwave or oven work yet or…. Let’s just say there’s still lots to do here. Right now all I want is just one, ONE, day where I don’t HAVE TO do things, but can choose to not do them. Whew. Argh.
    On the upside: The new fridge looks to be fine, and we’ve been sitting outside on the patio for a while every day, which is great. We’d like to have better outdoor chairs and things than we have, BUT at least we have 2 chairs and a small table, so we CAN be outside. MAYBE SIL will help us buy new stuff for outside next week…if there’s still anything left by then, since the outsides–season is more or less over and everything that’s for sale is probably already gone by then. Oh well. Our old place should be clean enough to go on pictures and be shown to possible buyers, so hopefully that’ll be up for sale next week. And my mum sent me a package of socks and home-made herb salt. I love my mum.

    1. Deepest sympathy on the house-move traumas, Shass. Hope you can have a breathing-space soon.

      The word you were looking for is ‘extension’, I think. And your internet is going to be ‘fibre optic’ – which is excellent.

      1. No, Mary Anne’s right: it’s a leaf. I don’t know why, either. (And this is yet more evidence that my brain is packing up. I was getting confused reading simple words earlier.)

    2. I do have a spare table, though you and the family would be standing to eat at it, or using barstools instead of chairs, perhaps.

      It’s a truism that the first month in a new house you SLEEP at the new house, but you LIVE at the hardware store. When I moved, I ended up at a local lumberyard I’d never visited before, and when I wrote a check for my purchases I pulled out my wallet to produce a driver’s license for identification, as we used to do. They waved it off, and I said, “but you don’t know me,” and they said, “we don’t need to; we can see you’re in the middle of A Project.” (paint-spattered old clothes and shoes — this was the place, famous locally, that supplied the PVC pipe that the paleontologist used to recreate the sound of a brontosaurus, so they were certainly used to unusual projects)

  33. The table-insertion things are called leaves in English. I have no idea why.

    At least the washing machine chose to die BEFORE you moved it.

    Best wishes from someone who moved in February 2019 and still can’t find everything.

  34. I love all these posts.

    My MIL was a visiting nurse in an area which included New Britain, CT, a manufacturing town where many immigrants lived.

    The visiting nurses timed their visits to avoid local cleaning days. On Tuesdays all the Italian women removed everything from their homes and cleaned their dwellings top to bottom. On Thursdays the Swedish women did the same.

  35. I did this for one room 6 months ago. Worked really well except that the leftovers are still sitting in my hallway.

    I keep telling myself that it’s because lockdown means I can’t take it to a charity shop, but the reality is I still haven’t sorted through enough to even decide on charity vs throw.

    I am fairly determined to get through it this weekend – interesting boxes that might be useful one day included, since I have the same tendencies to hoard boxes as Frances in Wales!

    One of my favourite quotes is “junk is the stuff that you keep for 20 years and then throw it out 3 days before you need it.”

    I am happy that I’m now at the point where most things have a place to be in, and most are in their place. The last piece is dealing with a cluttered hallway!

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