About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pantries and Chaos and Knitting, Oh My!

Monday morning, dark-thirty. This is the top cupboard in my pantry.

Top shelf contains rice, cereal, and part of my pasta collection. [You think I have a *yarn* stash?] Bottom shelf is miscellaneous baking stuff and oils/salad dressings. The second shopping trip on Saturday was a 10/$10 haul at Uppity Grocery on name-brand salad dressings. We now have three new bottles of ranch, two of raspberry vinaigrette, two Caesar, two honey Dijon, and one poppy-seed, tucked in behind sundry vinegars and assorted oils.

And here you have the middle cupboard. Top shelf is storage bags and sweet stuff: miscellaneous bottles of honey, pancake syrup, Andes Bits for making brownies, dark Karo for pecan pies [they’re not just for Thanksgiving around here], and a bottle of home-canned pears that my best friend gave me for Christmas one year and which I am too sentimental to actually eat. And a jar of mincemeat, bought on closeout a Thanksgiving or two ago. LittleBit loathes it, so I will probably bake up a pie while she’s backpacking and have a slice for breakfast every day for the better part of a week.

Bottom shelf is mostly veggies and some canned soups and two packages of fruitesque desserts that the kids will probably have to throw out when I die, because they look better than they taste, at least to me. And more pasta lurking behind the fruit in a Mylar bag. Brother Stilts and I put up 60# of pasta apiece one night in #10 cans and Mylar bags, in the fall of 2002. Pasta, like diamonds, is forever.

Here's a close-up of the fringe that I bought on Saturday:

And some actual knitting content. This is where I was on Wednesday morning in Huntsville:

This is where I am this morning, something like a foot in length at this point:

And a close-up:

And this is the bag that it travels in, a gift from Txknitter at Christmas.

Why the pantry photos, you may be wondering. Those shelves are not going to stay that tidy for long, though the basic setup had not changed much since my last kitchen reorganization a couple of years ago. I just tweaked it a little this time around. I like to memorialize any small victories in the battle against the forces of chaos. There are Polaroids of the kitchen in the old house from when the kids were little. With seven people in a thousand square feet, I fought a losing battle. Those photos were my way of saying that I intended to die with my boots on.

My mother and her sister and Gram made keeping house look easy. My sister appears to have inherited that gene; her home is always welcoming. I, however, have not inherited that gene, and I have spent large chunks of my allegedly adult life embarrassed about my housekeeping skills. Or relative [pun intended] lack thereof. It has gotten easier, in general, with the move-out of each successive child. Fewer bodies to work around, if not necessarily less stuff. I did pretty well at the last apartment, with two and then one child living at home. I did very well here until I became an independent beauty consultant to bridge the gap when the children's father was out of work for a year, and thus no child support. And then it all rapidly slid into chaos, except for my inventory and business records.

I shut down that business the end of last year. Unlike a lot of people, I actually turned a profit my second full year in business, and I had a lot of fun doing it. But I compared the minimum quarterly investment in product and support services with the net income, and with the effort required, and with the raises I'd gotten in three years at my day job, and I realized that I no longer needed to work so hard. And I sold off most of my inventory at 40% off, and now I knit and putter. Don't tell the forces of chaos, but I think the good guys might be winning at last.

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