Saturday, January 10, 2015

Banishing the Saturday night blahs

I decided to banish the Saturday night blahs by cleaning a shelf or two in the pantry. Jordan has been after me to do this for some time, claiming there were probably things back there ten years old. Let me tell you first that this turned out not to be a way to banish the blahs--but it sure did make my sore back ache. At first, I was quite smug--didn't find much that needed to be thrown away--a couple of individual packets of board-stiff prunes, a stray lollipop, an individual cup of applesauce that had turned a really funny color. So I washed the first shelf--hadn't thought to buy fresh shelf paper nor extra garbage bags because I knew I wouldn't have much to throw out. I'd just straighten a little.
When I went to put things back, I began to examine the sell-by dates which they often make way too hard to find--and loaded two garbage bags. The worst offenders were Crisco (who uses that anymore?) and CoffeeMate (ditto--no one uses it) with 2002 dates. Even in this house, with a grandson who inhales peanut butter, I had to throw out an unopened jar--out of date (I thought the label looked different!).
Once I offered my oldest granddaughter some dry cereal. She took the box and then went over and whispered to her mom, who said to me gently, "She doesn't want to eat it. It's out of date.' At tne or eleven, Maddie was smarter than I am.
Tonight I picked up an open bag of ziti wrong side up and it scattered all over the floor. Had to stop and sweep--in spite of my efforts I heard Sophie crunching away on dry pasta I'd missed. Hope there are no gastric repercussions from that. I could feed an army on the partially used packages of pasta I have. Why do I have two unopened bottles of malt vinegar, two bottles of chocolate sauce, and a barely used, years old bottle of red plum vinegar (must have been a dilly of a good recipe). I think things got pushed so far back in the pantry (it's very deep, which is bad) that I thought I didn't have any and bought new--like two out-of-date bottles of Worcestershire.
I've barely made a dent in the storage places in this house where I've lived for twenty years but I quit for tonight. Maybe that old advice to move every five years or so is good--makes you clean things out.  Periodically I clean my closet floor and straighten all the shoes into neat pairs--pretty soon it's a mess where I have to hunt for the mate to the shoe I want to wear. Wonder if this will be the same?
I'm going back to my manuscript. I'm convinced writing is easier than cleaning. Erma Bombeck once wrote that she'd rather scrub the floor than face a blank sheet of paper in her typewriter (okay this was a while ago). You got it wrong, Erma! I'd rather look at that blank screen.

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