Monthly Archives: February 2012

Been out of town working, again.

Which means I have no new totals.

I’m tired, but the job is nearly done. Have another friend who wants me to help her clean her house so she can put it on the market in the spring. Seems to be what I’m doing these days?

The world is a very strange place sometimes.

Off to bed. Got things to do HERE tomorrow!


A pathetic total, but it’s a tally just the same…

We’ve been busy working on DH’s office. But most of the stuff that was going away because of this has already gone, so it hasn’t affected the tally much.


To dump (swap shop):a potpourri sachet, 6 plates
To dump (trash): 1 pc of unusable clothing, 1 pair of shoes, a shirt,
piece of electronics, 3 magazines/catalogs

To family: 11 books
Sold: 1 book case, 1 machine piece, 6 books, 1 tablecloth, a piece of steel
Reveal 3

Donated: 4 things
Given away: 11 things
Used: 3 mailers, 2 shelf uprights, 1 cabinet, 3 shelves, 2 brackets

Returned: 1 piece electronics
Found new home/put away: 7 things
Moved from LANDING PAD: 2 bookcases

Bought: candle stick, 2 dishes, 4 candle stands,
2 shelf brackets, 1 pc electronics, 4 books, a drawer thingy
a pitcher, a covered dish
From the dump: 10 books
To a landing pad: 5 shelves

today 14+24+26+10-32 =42

old 9046 89.9%

new 9004 89.5%
needs to be 8344 82.9% 2/29
660 to go

What we actually ate for the week, making kraut & freezing veggies (or not)

Doing this as a narrative was nuts, so I made it a table.

Saturday2 restaurant mealsLO ham & asparagus risotto w/ peasrisotto used, peas used

Day Lunch Dinner LO/Used up
Sunday ? scrambled eggs w/salami & mushrooms LO = 0, used salami
Monday meatballs (froz), pasta & gravy 2 restaurant meals LO pasta, 1 cabbage
Tuesday fried pasta w/breadcrumbs, gr beans, gravy, etc savory bread pudding w/ham, sweet bread pudding w/raisins used most LOs(lunch) LO bread puddings
Wednesday LO bread puddings, gr beans w/almonds LO bread puddings, soup savory pudding used
Thursday deli end sandwich, 1 restaurant meal fresh pasta, peas LO peas
Friday deli end sandwiches, sweet bread pudding ham & asparagus risotto sweet pudding used, end of ham pkg used, LO risotto

Monday I made (1st time) sour kraut. Not sure about this? I don’t like cole slaw or sour kraut. A good friend makes hers and she doesn’t like commercial kraut, but likes her HM stuff. So I thought I’d try it? It was yummy when first mixed: cabbage, salt, lemon, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and onion. If nothing else, I discovered there’s another way I like cabbage. The recipe makes 2 quarts. It’s supposed to sit out for 3 days and then be refrigerated. We put 1 quart in the fridge right away, since we know I liked it that way (and to see what the difference might be),and I tasted the one that sat out each a.m. just to see how it had changed. (I liked it, but not as much.) Apparently I really like crunchy kraut. I stopped tasting it Thursday when the 2nd jar went in the fridge.

First batch of HM sour kraut

Saturday’s test: I ate a large spoonful from each jar today. The stuff that had been out on the counter was actually less “hot” than the other. Not what I expected!

I will make kraut again, but probably only 1/2 a cabbage/1 quart at a time, I doubt we’ll use up both quarts before they go bad. Also, as a side, like one large spoonful at a time, this is fine. I wouldn’t want to eat a lot of it at once. But as a winter side so you get some fresh or nearly fresh stuff? Cheap! Yeah, I’d do this. I won’t grate the carrots finely next time, they “disappeared” and made the stuff look a little sick (orange) by the time I got the cabbage etc. mashed enough to get the juices flowing. Also, I’m unlikely to make this again until I either 1)Get DH to make me a cheese press (I have plans for a cheap one.) or 2)Get one of those old-fashioned pull-down lever type juicers. Anything that means I won’t stand around whacking cabbage with a wooden meat tenderizer, trying to get it juicy! It would have made a great Lucille Ball schtick, but as real life it was only marginally funny. No doubt I’ll laugh about this at some point, but I’m not there yet!

I’ve been shopping three times this week. The 2nd trip I found ham slices on sale! Also got cookies, biscotti, margarine (all on sale) a cabbage (.10 a lb more!) and orange juice. The third trip I got marked down fresh pasta, a bunch of discounted deli ends and some cheap chicken & beef for the freezer. Also, bought 2 bunches of asparagus, one for risotto and one to freeze, if I can find a way of packaging it? I don’t like frozen asparagus in bags, the tips get broken and what’s the point? I can afford to buy asparagus pieces, canned or frozen. It’s the spears that are so expensive, and so it’s worthwhile to freeze some.

I’ve been reading freezing/preserving books from the 1950s. They talk about buying boxes to package home-frozen vegetables. I can’t find the boxes. One book talks about using other boxes as forms for freezing foods, then removing the box and you have formed frozen brick of (whatever). I’ve heard of this technique with cooking pots, for stews, etc. but never thought to use cardboard boxes as forms? If you buy the brick-type frozen foods could you reuse those boxes as forms if you opened them carefully?

I really want to freeze that 2nd bunch of asaparagus. If I use the box technique above, there’s no real advantage. I’d be stuck with unprotected asparagus spears just like I would if I just froze them and stored them in a plastic bag. The formed bags would be neater to stack, but the fragile vegetables won’t be protected. I’ll just have to “flash freeze” the asparagus and put them in a rigid plastic container or find an aluminum one, like a frozen lasagna comes in . . . if I can?

One other thing that I learned while doing this, we’re still eating out a lot! We used to eat dinner out a lot, but aren’t so much now, but we’re eating out more than I thought. All of the restaurant meals are because one or both of us were out running errands, or some such. Today it was finding a new printer/scanner and stocking the antique booth. I don’t remember what was up on Monday. The single meal was me out and about, meeting friends, etc.


Okay, back to work

I figured it out . . . .

(Math Alert!)

10,060 pieces out for the year is 838 a month. This is nearly the end of the 2nd month. That means that I need to have gotten rid of 1,676 by next week. I’ve gotten rid of 10,060-9046 (as of my last tally) which is 1,014 since the beginning of the year…or I’m short by 662 pieces.

Neatly, that is:

838*2 = 1676 (what I should have gotten rid of)

1676-1014= 662 (what I’m short)

If I get the box shipped to Indiana, that’s 50-70, I have 2 boxes to deliver locally, that’s another 100-140 approx., those will give me about 25% of what I need. If I just file/shred more of the mail lying around here, I can probably at least do at least half of it. There’s at least 150 pieces of mail that need sheeting, filing, shredding around here.

For a shocker, well it shocked us, I’ve actually sold MORE books this month than anything else!

That hasn’t happened for a long time! I almost certainly can’t make enough money selling just books to pay for the booth & storage, but the booth rent is paid, although the storage probably won’t be. My goal this month was to take in enough I need to pay for both, and that probably isn’t going to happen unless someone buys the two big pieces in the booth.

February always was the worst month of the year for the shop too, so that’s going to figure in there somehow? But one or more dealer and/or collector has found my booth this month. Yeah! That means I’m selling books for .33 or more. The most I get from the wholesale orders is .30 a book, usually it’s more like .21 a book. (I fill the box for a set price.)

I’m off all afternoon. I have an appointment late morning and then have a date with a friend later. I plan to go to the storage between. Maybe I can grab a box or two from my office and put it in the storage or grab something from the storage to donate? We’ll see!


The Uncounted

Just so you know, this is the storage unit. This stuff is NOT in the house, there’s other stuff in the house

What's NOT in the house!

So ~all~ I have to do is empty the house enough to get some or all of this into the house so I can go through it. No problem, right?



My past few posts have NOT been about being a hoarder or de-hoarding. (I’m sure you noticed.)

There are reasons:

1)I’m sick and tired of making the silly lists
2)I hate that I’m behind and it’s only the middle of the 2nd month
3)I’m overwhelmed.

This blog is a “noble experiment” to keep me honest/on track and accountable. Well, honest or no, I was off track before the first month was out. To purge the amount of stuff the goal requires, I’ll pretty much have to do nothing else, at all, period. The issues that got me here, which are still in the background, just won’t put up with that, so this briefly became a blog about meal planning, etc.

I’ve been out of state working for nearly a week this past month, but that isn’t long enough to make a huge difference. That’s 165 pieces I’m supposed to purge. A fair chunk, but I’ve done 300+ in one day, so that’s no excuse.

What’s happened is that I’m discouraged because I started behind and I’m still behind. I can do almost anything I set my mind to, I’ve found, if I believe I can attain the goal and see movement. Frankly, I expected to perhaps be behind after 2-3 months or even 6. But starting behind and then never catching up wasn’t how I thought this would go!

I’m not between a rock & a hard place, but two internal razor blades. I want/expect myself to be able to do this, at this level. The hoarder in me is screaming its head off, “It’s too much! It’s too fast!” Both pieces are right.

I did the only thing I could think of, I shelved the whole business to try and calm things down. I respect the hoarder. She has good reasons why she’s there. She protected me for a long time and I needed that protection.

But this is here and now. Here and now, I don’t need to be protected in the old way and the stuff stops me from doing what I want to do NOW. Dealing with stuff all the time keeps me from accomplishing almost anything else. Therefore, I have to get rid of the stuff.

Want to go around the rat wheel one more time with me? (No, I wouldn’t either.)

Talking about food plans, even ones that don’t work, is much easier!

The goal is 28 things a day, that isn’t a lot. My current total is 8 more things gone, that’s the net for several days. Gah! Okay, I’ll get back to work. My pathetic tally is below.

Sold: 10 books etc.
Reveal 4
pantry consolidation 2

Bought: 8 things

today 16-8 = 8

old 9054 90.0%
new 9046 89.9%

Why am I doing this…tell me again? No, I know. I like beating my head against the wall that is me. Damn, this feels just like trying to fight the flashback. I finally got that I can’t fight it, I have to accomodate it. Okay, so that’s what I’ve been doing with the hoarder. But this latest push to get out from under has just made that part of me go ballistic. Time for Plan B, except I don’t have one.



Menu planning for a week…this works?

I made up the list of seasonal foods January to March. I first separated them into two categories: produce/proteins. I further sorted the produce into vegetables/fruits/seasoners. I made lists of entrees and side dishes I make using the produce. Then I made up the cards.

Well, the card idea didn’t work as expected. There’re a LOT of vegetables available from Jan. – Mar. that are white or mostly white:

cauliflower,fennel, leek, onion, parsnip, potato, sun choke, and turnip

were on my list. The complete list is 23 vegetables, so about 1/3 of them are white veggies.

When I randomly sorted the cards, I wound up with either two soupy things together (lots of my winter dishes are soupy) or I’d end up with two white things together (braised leeks and mashed potatoes, for example). I finally further sorted the cards into white/non-white categories and then back into the entree/side categories and did the sort from there.

I didn’t include the meats/proteins, I wanted to see what we’d eat if we went nearly vegetarian?

Most of the proteins on my list that are in season between January and March are fish. We don’t eat fish. [I love fish; I grew up a block from the ocean.] About 22 years ago, I heard something about some fish being hard to find and decided that I’d help keep fish around by not eating them. Of  21 protein sources on my list, I only buy 5: beef, chicken, eggs, pork and turkey.

This week’s menu:

Fennel & Mushrooms (D) on rice, maybe with Parmesan (I like cheese on almost everything, DH doesn’t.) Involves making a LARGE batch of rice! The large batch is 3x my usual one-meal size.

Stirfry, with snow peas, will use some of the rice (L) or veggie “meatballs” with mushroom/onion gravy on rice (have some veggie burger mix, HM, to use up.)

Fennel & Mushrooms (L) without rice and baked potato soup (D) or mushroom soup (O), if I still have the mushrooms

Potato soup, with or without ham (L) and fried lettuce (O) or salad, depending

Cabbage rolls, stuffed with the end of the rice and whatever else I can find (D? O? Depends on what I find) and frozen veggies, probably peas (O).

Maybe left over cabbage rolls (L) or an omlette

Since there’s no meat in any of this, we’ll probably eat some meat and potatoes dish or dishes for dinner. It used to be that when I wanted to do this I shopped my freezer first, but we tossed almost everything, so this also depends on what I can find cheap at the market.

My shopping list for this week is:

Ham or Canadian Bacon (it had been in the freezer, sigh)
Snow peas
Meat of some kind

If any or all of this is reasonable or on sale, I’ll buy it. If not, then the entire plan thing is subject to change.
Doing all of this, I remembered my real problem with menu planning.

I can plan all I want, but I usually only buy food on sale and that’s what we eat! How do you plan around that?

What I actually bought:

At the salvage mkt: 3 pcs of candy (to keep me from being hungry at the supermarket), 1 brownie mix, 3 cans of chili. [None of it on the list.]

At the market: 1 doz. eggs, fennel, milk, radishes. Did not buy: ham/Canadian bacon, snow peas.

At the farmstand: 1 doz. eggs

I forgot I’d gotten eggs at the market. So… tonight’s dinner? Hashbrowns, frozen (already had them) and scrambled eggs with mushrooms and salami (I hadn’t told DH I had plans for the mushrooms, and he’s making dinner.)

Now I need to completely revise my ideas, to use up the 24 eggs AND account for 1 pkg less mushrooms, and no ham/bacon or snow peas.

So much for planning! How does anyone make this stuff work?