Ice and Ill

We’re encased in ice. The driveway, which wasn’t shoveled in time, is a fine sheet of black ice. I might try to hack away at it with a corner of a shovel in an hour or two, when we are supposed to briefly go above freezing. I would rather that the postman didn’t wipe out on our front steps.

I’m working for a bit. Waiting for some return e-mails, and keeping up with the news. But mostly, I’m monitoring a sick kid upstairs. Strep throat again. He’s watching a movie wrapped in a purple blanket. A glass of ginger ale with a bent straw and bite-sized carbs on a green napkin.

There are certain rituals that MUST happen when you’re sick in this house. Mommy and boy movie time is one thing that always happens. A few years back, Jonah got a five-day stomach virus. We watched all the Marvel movies, from XMen to the Avengers, that week. I’ll go upstairs and join Ian on his movie binge in a moment.

Since I’m sealed in this tomb of ice and illness, I’m cleaning the tomb. I put away the Christmas ornaments and manger. I can only deal with Christmas clutter for two weeks. I think my OCD is getting worse, as I get older. Today’s plan is to purge all the random plates and bowls from the kitchen. One green plate and one small blue bowl will get packed up for the Good Will.

And I have to read every article about Trump’s secretary of education pick. I’ll have to do some school choice articles soon, and I’m trying to choose the best angle.


22 thoughts on “Ice and Ill

  1. We are saving mismatched kitchen stuff for a sort of hope chest for our kids, to set them up in mismatched glory in their first apartments.


    1. Excellent!

      I have a set of (matching!) Star Trek glasses my sister gave me that I have already earmarked for that purpose.


  2. I wish someone weeded things from my kitchen. We recently stayed in a vacation condo that was much less cluttered than our house (and had a huge amount of storage space in the kitchen). I loved it. But my kiddo, on coming home, looked around our house and said that he likes it, because it is more cluttered, and that makes it cozy.


  3. I hope Ian feels better soon! I removed some cups and a mismatched plate, plus an extra & unused grater and I’m donating that tomorrow, together with some school supplies that are just taking space. Our house is SUPER cluttered, though. I’m not good at all at de-cluttering. 😦


    1. “I’m not good at all at de-cluttering. 😦”

      I’ve been in some discussions on this, and the consensus was that KonMari type stuff mostly works if you are the only person you need to consult. Once you need to talk to 2-3 other people when working on a room (as you might well in a kitchen), the odds of success are diminished

      I’ve done about half our house in the last 1.5-2 months (especially over the breaks), but I nearly always need at least one other person’s ongoing input–so I can’t do the kids’ rooms without the kids, and I can’t do the living room without my husband. I suppose a lot more efficient/ruthless person might be able to do a family home solo–but that’s the stuff of future therapy.


  4. Why are sets and matching so important for dishes? I know that they are, I just don’t get it. My dishes are all white, but they aren’t a matching set. I like the different textures.


      1. O, my sister has that set of unmatched blue and white dinner plates. It drives me crazy, which is why she is always careful to use it when we are over for dinner. If she can work it in, she asks me to set the table, knowing how much it bugs me.


      2. In my student days, I had utterly unmatched plates/stainless etc. So I had my best friend over for brunch one day, he said ‘pal, your table service is eclectic’. Natural response: ‘So’s y’mutha!’


      3. I also have a set of mixed pattern pottery (not china, I think). In a scenario that would drive those who don’t like mismatched dinnerware completely crazy, I actually bought them that way, as an unmatched set. And, you can still buy them. I won’t add the link. : -). I love them.

        I also *like* having our mismatched collection of mugs. I thought about getting rid of those, but then realized it’s actually convenient when people are carrying coffee mugs around if they’re all different.

        My sister used to drive me crazy when we were little, ’cause she would wear mismatched socks & earrings, on purpose. She prepped me for my kiddo, who wears mismatched shoes. She wore mismatched shoes last summer to a camp for 6 year olds, where she was TA’ing, and said that she “broke” one of the kids, who could not understand, and nearly melted down over her mismatched shoes. She was able to calm him down by telling him that she had an identical pair at home, and that she hadn’t mismatched the shoes at the store, leaving some other poor kid with mismatched shoes.


      4. bj said,

        ” I thought about getting rid of those, but then realized it’s actually convenient when people are carrying coffee mugs around if they’re all different.”



  5. I have the problem where I don’t have anything I want to get rid of, I just don’t have enough space. I’ve downsized from a 3 bedroom to a studio, and I have a decent set of kitchen appliances because I cook and bake a lot and I have wedding gifts from my first marriage. I have managed to find a place to put things, but my apartment goes from cozily stuffed to unbearably cluttered is about 20 minutes. In our most recent move I got rid of a few single-purpose things that I don’t use very much and that I can use other items for, but I still feel a bit of remorse about some of them (inc. a nice pan I wish i’d kept.)

    More than dishes is the problem that I have way too many clothes, but when I go through them there aren’t any I want to get rid of. I didn’t buy any clothing except underwear in 2016, but it didn’t solve the problem that I already had too many clothes. I don’t shop a lot, but I haven’t appreciably changed size in 20 years and I don’t really adhere to trends, so I tend to hang on to things for forever. I’m hoping to keep up the no purchase policy in 2017, except I’ve already bought two pairs of shoes, a pair of pants, and a blouse. I’ve had to modify it to a no new clothes in the US policy, but it seemed silly to not buy beautiful and inexpensive-for-the-quality things in Italy. I’ve already identified some shoes I can get rid of, so I might instead try to keep purchases to a minimum but have a something in-something out policy.


    1. Does it work to get rid of things you haven’t worn?

      I recently uncovered a stash of clothes that I had put away, probably 15 years go? Maybe I put them away when I was pregnant? I discovered 3-4 things that I have reincorporated into my wardrobe, but the rest were actually too big (or too silly). I am working hard to get rid of things I am not wearing, even if I *could* wear them. One of my issues is that I’m lazy about actually moving them out of the house.

      And then, there are the “souvenir” items, like the sweatshirt from Bondi beach, from 21! years ago.


  6. B.I. said:

    “I’ve downsized from a 3 bedroom to a studio,”

    Oooooh–my sympathy. A studio kitchen would be TINY compared to a 3BR kitchen.

    Maybe just tough it out and wait for a bigger home?


  7. Just the kids’ sippies/water bottles are a NIGHTMARE.

    I think it’s going to take a couple days to do our kitchen (I’ve got a walk-in pantry which I suspect is probably about the size of BI’s entire kitchen).


  8. bj

    Yeah, I don’t have much I haven’t worn, but I do have a bunch of things I’ve worn once or twice, and which aren’t really me but I purchased because they were pretty and I wanted to branch out fashion-wise. I really should donate them to someone who would wear them more often. I also have a fair number clothes I really like but that look better when I’m 3-5 lbs skinnier, but my weight does fluctuate downwards so I don’t want to throw them out even though I wouldn’t wear them right this minute. Not having an easy way to donate is also a big hurdle. To donate clothes I either have to take an inconvenient bus ride or borrow a car. There used to be a Goodwill drop box within walking distance, but they got rid of it to put in luxury apartments (I will bite my tongue on snarky political commentary). Right now I have a bag of things I am willing to get rid of taking up precious floor real estate. It’s not enough to organize an organization to pick it up (there’s about 3 shirts and one pair of pants in the bag, plus a few household odds and ends), and it’s been there for about 5 months just bugging me. Better me would organize a donation drive with friends and get someone with a car to donate everything.

    Amy P

    Thanks! It was painful but worth it for the cost savings (fiance is in Prague this year, so it made sense to downgrade to a cheap studio when we’re paying double rent). The studio should be temporary, so I need to tough it out. There’s no point getting rid of stuff I’ll want in about 9 months, and the thought of rebuying something I just threw out makes me crazy. It helped that we had an even smaller crappier-but-more-expensive summer sublet last summer, so this studio can at least feel like an upgrade.


    1. B.I.,

      This wasn’t quite on your scale, but there was a recent year where we went from a rental house with a two car garage to spending a year in a second floor duplex. The official indoor square footage was only slightly smaller, but we had to give away, sell, store, or bring inside everything that had formerly been in the two car garage–while dealing with a new baby and all of her baby stuff. We were PACKED in that duplex–I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single bare square yard on the living room floor. But we were out in a year.

      When we finally got to buy our house, our stuff just disappeared into the echoing vastness. It was great. It still is great.


  9. I did a cleaning out this summer for a clothing swap organized by friends, but then I came home with more clothing than I left :/


  10. Matching plates? Matching mugs? LOL! Matching kitchen goods is pretty much the lowest thing on my list of priorities. I’d like to get more than 4 hours of sleep in a row and stop dreaming about magic gerbils or whatever insanity was in my dream-brain this morning. If you can persuade me that matching dishes would accomplish that, count me in.


    1. Weird dreams are the worst! I came into work all upset about not being sure if the planets orbit in a plane (all lined up) or if some move at an angle to the others. I had to track down one of our resident physicists to find out because I could not get it out of my head. Now he thinks I’m crazy.


      1. And, why would you ask the question without telling us the answer? Fortunately, it’s easy to google: They are coplanar, because they were formed by a disk of dust, according to quick internet searching.


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