Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mental Brownies and Eyeball Conversations

I have nothing exciting or even interesting to report and I'm too tired to make stuff up so here we are.

We're making progress on the Big Clean Sweep of 2011. It's going slower than I thought it would but it's going. Our goal is to be moved out by the end of March but we have a lot of work to do between now and then.

We just finished (and by "we" I mean me and the voices in my head) going through all the clothes in our closets. We ended up with 7 big bags stuffed full of clothes to donate. How did we manage to accumulate so much stuff?? I ended up sorting through 106 t-shirts between the 3 of us. And that doesn't include the dressy t's hanging in the closet.

We're hoarders. I really had no idea. We're not the stinky kind that saves their trash and can't use certain rooms of their house, we're just the insane kind that thinks it's normal for 3 people to have over 100 t-shirts.

I loaded the bags into the car this afternoon and decided to take them to the Salvation Army instead of Goodwill. When we first moved here I donated something to the Salvation Army and even though I can't remember what it was, I do remember that all I had to do was pull up to the door and a bunch of guys came out and unloaded my car for me. Since all these bags of clothes were pretty darn heavy, I chose that option.

I've been to the Salvation Army Thrift Store 2 or 3 times over the last 8 years and every time I go I have trouble finding it. I even had Google Maps opened on my cell phone and still spent a good half hour completely lost in an 8 square block area. Houston is so gonna kick my butt.

After I dropped off my donations I decided to stop at the store on my way home because we were almost out of milk and I had already mentally baked a pan of brownies.

I assessed my overall appearance and saw that I looked about the same way I have over the past 2+ weeks: ratty shorts, tshirt, flip flops and no makeup. That has been my uniform lately. The only difference was that today I was wearing a bra. Oh, and my hair looked good cuz I just had my roots done.

I was feeling way too white trashy for Winn Dixie so I decided to slip into Rite Aid to grab a gallon of milk. Besides, I needed eyeliner too.

As usual, I set off the little shoplifting alarm as I entered the store but no one came running for me so I went about my shopping.

While I was checking out I told the cashier that I was probably going to set off the alarm again when I left and I asked her if she'd like to look through my bag.  She looked aghast and said, "Oh no! No, that's okay." She acted as if she would never do such an offensive thing to a customer. I just don't get that. If I was the store owner and someone set off my shoplifting alarm, there'd be a cavity search going down, that's for sure.

I quickly got back into my car and out of the parking lot before me and my white trashiness could be spotted by any of the high class migrant workers who shop at Winn Dixie.

During this process of cleaning and organizing I've been saving some of the boxes and containers I come across because I know I'll need them when I get to the art room. That's gonna be a nightmare. As I was cleaning out our bedroom closet I came across a pile of shoe polishing supplies that Jayson uses to shine the one pair of shoes he wears every 10 years that need to be shined. I couldn't find anything the right size to put the stuff in and it couldn't just sit there on the shelf looking all cluttery so I used a cereal box to make a container that's just the right size.

I was going to post a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how you, too, can spend hours and hours customizing a cereal box to fit supplies that your husband is probably going to throw in the trash when he sees them, but then decided against it. Mainly because I sort of made it up as I went along and learned what not to do when doing this sort of thing. If I ever do another one I'll post instructions because now I know how to do it right.

But I'll give you the gist of it. You start with an empty box of Special K Red Berries. I'm sure there might be other cereal boxes that would work although I don't know why you would want to use them since Special K Red Berries is the best cereal ever.

You open it out flat then sort of eyeball how big you'll need it to be in order to hold whatever you're trying to put in it.  Then you make new score lines for the width and height you want. I got really confused with this step because even though I didn't measure anything it still felt like math.

Then you refold the box along your new score lines and make the necessary cuts you need in order for the box to fold correctly. Yeah, I know that's vague but it's really just a trial and error thing. And I did make several errors and snipped off sections I shouldn't have but I just used my cover papers to hide my boo boos.

I didn't want the top of the box to close like a cereal box, I wanted a little flap thingie so I just made a few cuts after I folded it to get what I wanted. Over the last 20 years I've made just shy of a kajillion different kinds of boxes, bags and envelopes. After a while you get to where you can design your own without much effort.

Once my box was the size and shape I wanted it, I covered it with 2 different decorative papers from my stash.  I didn't have a sheet big enough to do the whole box (other than wrapping paper and I wanted something sturdier) so I used 2 different ones and just made it look like I meant to do it that way on purpose.

Oh yeah. One little tip. Cover your box before you glue it together. Otherwise it's a pain and it will end up looking gift wrapped instead of covered.

Then I sewed some buttons on the front and used a piece of decorative fiber for the closure.

Voila! A container that's just right size for the stuff inside it. I'm sure Jayson will be appropriately impressed.

Actually, here's what will happen. After we move I will make a lovely little label for the shoe polish box and place it on the shelf on Jayson's side of the closet. Then I will show him the box and explain to him that his stuff is inside there for whenever he needs it.

He will cock his head to one side and look at me with that "WTF? Are you insane? What a colossal waste of time!" look on his face that I've grown to love and adore.

Then I will look at him with my "Don't you EVEN freaking start with me! I've been working my butt off and you know that if I don't take the time to do something creative on a regular basis I will end up on a bell tower with an assault rifle!" look that he will recognize immediately although I doubt he's grown to love and adore it yet.

Then Jayson will reply with a look of "Okay fine, whatever. Let's just all remain calm here, nobody needs to get hurt."

Then our silent eyeball only conversation will end with my look of, "That's what I thought. Now let's try this again."  Then I will break the silence and ask him what he thinks.

He will reply, "Cool!"

And they all lived happily ever after.

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