Saturday, March 21, 2015

Organizational skills, or the lack thereof

For some bizarre reason, people who don't know me well always end up telling me what great organizational skills I have. They assume that because I tend to be a little compulsive about a few things, like shelving CDs in alphabetical order by artist, that I'm well-organized in general. Pshaw. It is pure illusion.

The S.O. and I just returned from spending 3 nights at the Younger Daughter's place. We swapped days off with the other campground hosts because they need specific days off at the end of the month. End result was that we wound up with four days off in a row. That made the 100 mile drive to Farmington worth it.  So we decided we'd pack up our laundry and go bother Tammi for a few days.

Okay. Three nights away from the Guppy. How much time could it take to pack and how many bags could we possibly have when part of what we were taking was a week's worth of laundry? Common sense says it should have taken us about 30 seconds to get ready to depart: throw some toiletries in a ditty bag, toss it in a suitcase with one change of clothes per person, load suitcase and the laundry basket in the car along with Cleo and her food and insulin, and hit the road. Didn't even have to worry about bringing a litter box or cat litter because Tammi had both on hand. If only life were so simple. . .

Hitting the road turned out to require a lot more than just a simple change of clothes and our toothbrushes. We were going to be gone for 4 days so that meant rounding up all the chargers (cell phones, camera batteries, tablet) and making sure they came with us. After all, it would suck to get to Tammi's, be in the middle of playing Angry Birds on the tablet, and not be able to recharge the device when it went dead. Had to have my knitting, so that bag had to go into the car. Had to have the manuscript I'm editing -- I'm getting paid to do that and a deadline is imminent. Couldn't forget the empty 20-lb propane tank that we needed to swap for a full one. And so it went. Several hours later the car was finally packed and came close to bulging at the seams with the various odds and ends that we couldn't live without for a few days.

Coming back was worse, of course. Suitcase, basket, cat and her accessories, propane tank, miscellaneous tote bags with my knitting, editing job, chargers, whatever plus the goodies I'd picked up at the Container Store in St. Louis -- because, you know, if I just buy enough totes and baskets and miscellaneous racks by god I will actually end up being organized -- along with our other retail therapy and flea market finds, like a major score on an Atlas canning jar with a zinc lid -- it's full of spools of thread, some of which are totally unused. I'm sure whoever sold it filled the jar with the thread to turn it into an objet d'art, but I looked at it and saw at least $12 worth of thread stuffed into a jar selling for only $7. What a deal -- nifty canning jar that I'll wash and use as a canister and all that perfectly good thread. And, on top of all that, we had to find space for groceries we knew we needed because we'd pretty much left the refrigerator empty except for condiments. . . and my days of mixing ketchup with hot water and pretending it's tomato soup are long past. By the time we got out of Farmington, the trunk was stuffed full and the back seat was piled high. And about half that stuff sat in the car overnight because we ran out of ambition after unpacking the most important stuff.

Small digression. I love the Container Store. I really do buy into the illusion. If a person just has the right combination of totes and baskets and shelving units, all the clutter in her life will magically disappear. I love walking through that store fondling the merchandise. I look at the almost infinite variety of storage boxes and other goodies and keep thinking "I could find a use for that." And I did find a really nifty basket/tray thingie that's going to be useful here in the Guppy. Sometime later today, probably while the S.O. is off fishing, I'll do a major reshuffling in the way I've got our groceries organized. Then tomorrow I'll get to listen to the S.O. curse when he can't find his cereal. Good times.

The canning jars filled with odds and ends seemed to be a thing at the antiques mall where I got the Atlas jar. Very strange. I probably spotted at least a dozen in various vendors' booths. There was another jar filled with sewing notions (old zippers, packages of zig zag tape, etc.), one filled with colorful scraps of cardboard, and a few others. All struck me as very strange. I'm guessing someone got the idea from Pinterest or some decorating magazine. I know there are several publications that specialize in telling people how to decorate with flea market finds. Thus, I'm reasonably sure that whoever sold the jar I bought never considered the possibility that a potential buyer would ever be more interested in the jar's contents than in the jar itself.


  1. take me 1/2 day just to get my shit together and then have to get someone to help lift it.

  2. It would take my wife and I four days to prepare for a four day trip.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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