Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Cleaning and Fresh Eggs

Week of March 2 through 7

The arrival of spring always encourages me to clear out and clean up around our house. I think the bright, clean, freshness of spring makes me want to refresh everything around me. In this salubrious spirit, we decided to tackle the reorganization of The Husband's closet, among other spring cleaning tasks.

The Husband can be a very tidy man, and he often helps me clean the house. He is also married to a methodical, organized, anal retentive woman whose definitions of "messy" and "tidy" might be slightly skewed. (Meaning, he is generally very neat, I'm just crazy). Since our move, things have slowly but surely been finding new homes in our new house, and sometimes those locations have changed a few times before a permanent spot has been found. Such is the nature of moving, I guess. These vagabond belongings created a disorganized state that was compounded by the fact that, when we moved, our closet shelf space was reduced by half, while our hanging space remained the same. That, and we lost a coat closet. Needless to say, things in the closet were a little untidy.

The solution: more stuff. We bought a modular storage shelf with a right justified 3-2-1 cube arrangement that we hoped would fit on the funky-shaped shelf under the stairs in the closet. It didn't. To make it fit, we modified the building plans, and cut 3 of the pieces with the table saw, and now we have a right justified 3-2 cube arrangement that fits in The Husband's closet perfe
ctly. By culling out some unneeded belongings, regrouping some things and relocating his suitcases to the attic, The Husband now has a super tidy "home" for all of his stuff. He also has a happy wife whose eye doesn't twitch every time she walks past the decidedly "untidy" stack of sweaters on his closet shelf.

While in the spring cleaning spirit, we decided to replace our vacuum cleaner. My vacuum from college had been slowly dying for the last year, even after valiant efforts at cleaning and repair by the engineer of the household. The choice was: $100 for professional repair OR buy a new vacuum. After two months of debate (during which time NO vacuuming took place - gag) we decided to spring for a Dyson. Man does that thing SUCK! No sooner had we walked in the door with the Yellow Wonder, than The Husband was asking to put it together and use it. Not only does this vacuum work like no other, it somehow activates the carpet cleaning hormone in the male species. He vacuumed the who
le house. Buy one today!

The fresh, green crispness of spring also enticed me to try a new planting project. For years, I have wanted to plant a living Easter basket, but have never been able to remember far enough ahead of time to plant the grass. While at our garden center a few weekends ago, I spotted these adorable prepackaged eggs that made my living Easter basket project easier to achieve, so I decided to give them a try.

The packaging claimed that each egg contained everything it needed to grow a cute little plant in 6 weeks. The seeds and growing medium were included, I just had to crack them open and add water. Easy, right? Not really. The instructions on the packaging told me to use a spoon and gently tap the top of the egg until it cracked (a la a soft boiled egg perhaps?) When I peeled off the cellophane packaging, however, a second set of instructions folded neatly inside the cellophane warned me that removing the packaging before cracking the top of the egg may cause the egg to break! These cute little Easter eggs posed a paradox the magnitude of the chicken vs. egg controversy.

That first egg did break when I tried to gently remove the top. Turns out "gently" as defined by Catch-22 egg instructions means "wail on it". I modified my technique for the next three, as suggested by the resident engineer, and used a hammer and the more commonly accepted definition of a gentle tap, and achieved much better results. After gluing the first egg casualty back together, and filling it with the seeds and growing medium that had spilled all over the counter, I watered each of the eggs and placed them in the windowsill. Now I just have to wait (and hope) for sprouts.

Speaking of sprouts - the little greenhouse I planted last week (according to the clear instructions on that packaging) has produced little baby basil sprouts. Next week, the rest of the seeds should be shooting up!

All Around Our House Next Week: The Parents Visit and A Gardening Hootenanny

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