Posted in Family, Just Funny, Minimalism, Uncategorized

It’s Not the End of the Road

For the last 20 years, a print entitled, “End of the Alley” has been on display in my house. I fell in love with this picture, I think because it reminds me of a print my mom had when I was growing up.

Whatever the reason, I spent my birthday money on it some years back, and hung it in the most prominent location in my home: the wall behind the toilet.

Sidebar: I have this long-term goal of one day becoming a successful minimalist by eliminating one possession per day. Unfortunately for my online-shopping-self, it’s kind of a ‘one step forward, two steps backward’ process.

8d4ab-end2bof2bthe2balleyAnyway, my quest for simplicity finally led me to this 16×20. I love it dearly, but it is woefully dated and needs to go (much like that herb-laden wallpaper border in the kitchen.  But that requires a stepstool and a boxcutter and two hours of my time, and I’d rather whine about it than strip it. But I digress.)

I took “The End of the Alley” off the wall behind the toilet and placed it in the Goodwill box.

A couple of days later my husband announced he was having urinary issues. “What’s the problem?”  I asked, “UTI?  Prostate?  Asparagus?  What?”

“Well,” he said, “for years I have been peeing at the ‘End of the Alley’ and now I don’t know where I’m supposed to go.”

Good grief.

Later, my son was generously helping me pack up the Goodwill box when he saw the frame and mourned the loss of the familiar picture that brightened our bathroom since he was in Pull-Ups. “Don’t you like it anymore, Mom? Cause I think it’s kinda cool.” And I admitted that I really do still like it, but the frame makes it look out of style.“Maybe I could reframe it and hang it in the bedroom.”

“You COULD reframe it,” he said, “but I wouldn’t advise hanging it in the bedroom. Dad may still try to pee at the ‘End of the Alley’.”

Good call, son. Good call.

Posted in Just Funny, Minimalism, Uncategorized

Perhaps her heart was two sizes too small

Everyone, it’s assumed, liked Christmas a lot
But Steph, who’d felt scroogey, most certainly did not.

Oh, she loved all the sharing and wee balls of rum
And songs about drummers who rum-pa-pum-pum,
But she hated the shopping and wrapping and glitter
And taking the tree down alone made her bitter.

Utility BeforeIt could be perhaps
that her socks were too pinchy
Or the stuff in the utility room
made her grinchy.
But whatever the reason,
the socks or the junk,
She stood here in January,
feeling the funk.

She snarled with a sneer,
“I can take it no more –
This house is too full,
the stuff has to go!”
Then she got an idea!
An awful idea!
Why, Steph got a wonderful, awful idea!

She gathered some empty containers and sacks
And took down the lights and the ornament of Max.
She packed up the wrapping and shiny red balls
And rolled up the garland that decked out the halls.

“Now all I need are some boxes to fill.
I’ll pack up my stuff, and I’ll go to Goodwill”
She cleaned out the closets and shelves of the clutter
And emptied the fridge of the last Nutter Butter.

She boxed up a wreath and a vase and a candle
And even got rid of the “R” on the mantle.
She slithered and slunk with a smile almost gruff
And cleared out the house of all excess stuff.

She got tired more than once, and thought she was through,
But she mustered the strength of ten women, plus two.
She kept working all day and into the night
When she heard a deep voice that gave her a fright.

She turned around fast and saw You-Know-Who
The teenage boy Kevin, who was no longer two.
He looked at his mom with gleaming blue eyes
And said, “Why are you cleaning and boxing up, WHY?”

And you know, that ol’ Mom, was so tired and so sick,
Of working alone, that she schemed really quick.
“Get out the step stool and climb really high,
Take down the tree topper, then be a good guy

Haul these to the dump and then when you can
Load the rest that’s for charity, into the van.”
Her jobs hushed the boy, then she patted his head
And said, “Thanks for helping!” and sent him to bed.

utility AfterNow the chaos was vanishing
from under her roof,
The odds and the ends
were all going “POOF!”
She’d bah-humbugged throughout
the whole holiday season
But please don’t ask why,
no one quite knows the reason.

It just could have been
that her socks were too pinchy.
Or maybe her heart
had become mean and grinchy.
But the most likely reason
for holiday gloom
Was all of the stuff in the utility room.

Posted in Hippy-Dippy Stuff, Quirks and Other Weirdness

Mini Me (or “I Want to Be a Tiny Home Owner”)

Dear HGTV,

You make me lust over Tiny Houses. You dedicate no fewer than five shows to these treehouses and miniscule apartments and itty-bitty cabins in the forest, and you make this suburban hippie wanna-be drool over the idea of reducing my carbon, albeit wedge-heeled footprint.

tiny-house-in-the-trees-01And I want one. Like 250-square-feet of luxurious TINY. Seriously, I do. Minimalist Me gets lost in the idea of simplicity. (“Minimalist Me” is not to be confused with “Minimal Me” who got lost in Lane Bryant years ago.)  

ANYWAY… HAVING less makes me feel less…stressed, less distracted, less greedy, less overwhelmed.

The idea of utilizing every square inch makes me giddy. No empty space under the bed for dust bunnies or lost socks.  No wasted 28-foot-long hallway to vacuum.  eclectic-kitchenNo room for superfluous baskets collecting laundry we don’t really even need for another 3 weeks.  No spacious countertops serving as gathering places for dirty dishes and receipts and junk mail and “to do” lists that never get “to done”.

Oh, HGTV, you make it look like a tiny fairy tale. Organized, appealing, immaculate, idyllic.

But before I consider the plunge from excess to existential, I have a few questions:

  1. Where is the best place in a tiny house to install the 80-gallon hot water heater for my jacuzzi tub? And will there be ample storage space for bath salts and essential oils??  (I mean, they aren’t called ESSENTIAL for nothing.)
  2. If I attach a single speaker to an oscillating fan in the center of the dwelling, will it suffice as surround sound in such a small space?
  3. _DSC8105_HDRShould Forest Whitaker and Jared Leto decide to break in during the middle of the night, is the apartment-sized refrigerator capable of doubling as a tiny Panic Room?
  4. When one of our spawn stays for an overnight visit in our tiny house, can we have automatic airbags installed in the floor to serve as additional mattress space? Will this violate fire code?
  5. I understand a retractable wall desk unfolds in front of the compost toilet so the tiny bathroom can also function as my tiny office, but is it possible for another space to double as a tiny workout room? On second thought, nix that. I’ll just post pictures of the exercise equipment so I can continue using it all exactly like I do now.
  6. Where do I go when my significant other eats a not-so-tiny serving of baked beans? Normally, when the flatulent aftershocks hit, I can escape to the far end of the house.  But if the far end of the house is only 7 ½ feet away, am I going to start thinking, “I’ve made a tiny mistake!”?
  7. tiny-house-sanoma-county-2And my last question is, when I light a candle for ambiance, or to mask the effects of the aforementioned baked beans, how long can we survive in the enclosed tiny space before the candle flame reduces the oxygen level to a deadly 19.5%?

Sincerely,
Potential Future HGTV Tiny Home Owner
(That’s “tiny home” owner.  Pretty sure “Tiny Homeowner” is on TLC.)