Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness


Catching Up

posted by Stace

Another block of time has passed since I was able to update the ole blog. Let’s see…

I spent all of last week getting ready for the garage sale for my dad. We had gone down and filled up a UHaul with the remainder of items from his house. It’s empty now. We had the garage sale last Saturday. We put out a few things we had here to donate, and actually made almost $100 for us, in addition to all the stuff we sold for my dad. What didn’t sell, we boxed up to donate. And we took 6 or 7 bags of books to the library to donate. I had gone through and cleaned out three bookshelves and put them out to try to sell. Only 5 or 6 books sold, 3 of them being my mom’s old “Bell’s Best” cookbooks. Oh well. I read almost exclusively on my digital readers (stand-alone Kindle or Kindle app on my iPad), so I felt like I should get rid of a lot of books.

Saturday was the garage sale, and then last Sunday, we went over to see my father-in-law. My dad went with us, and all of Tim’s family was there to celebrate Mitchell’s big day (a couple of days late!). We had steaks with all the trimmings, and cake with strawberries and whipped cream, and a great time visiting. We got to meet Brittany’s new boyfriend and even see Zack, so it was a good trip.

This week flew by. I started this post on Monday and attempted to work on it on Wednesday, but never got very far. I actually deleted it by mistake, so I had to start over!

Wednesday, Tim went to Zack’s district golf tournament, held at Tim’s home golf course, and drumroll please… Zack won! So he will get to go back to the state tournament to defend his 3A golf champion title again this year as a junior! Tim and Mitchell went to cheer him on, and Tim was so very proud of him! I imagine he’ll have a much bigger gallery at the state tournament in a couple of weeks :D

I went Wednesday afternoon to visit with my dad, pick up a couple of things for him at Walmart, stop by the library to get a book for me (Six Years by Harlan Coben) and a couple of movies for us to watch (Argo and Snow White and the Huntsman for Tim, and IronMan 2 for both of us, as a refresher before we go see the new one in May). I also ran to Sam’s Club and made a big run on household stuff. Thursday, Gail came down and we all went over to Ridgeland Pointe for “Family Night”. Basically, we visited with my dad in his room for a bit, then went down to the dining room and had dinner with him. Tim came home starving and had to eat again! LOL! He said, he could never live there, they don’t feed you enough, hahaha! I noticed that both my dad and the nice resident, Ms Myrtis that we shared a table with, neither of them ate much at all. I guess by the time you hit your 80’s and 90’s, you don’t eat as much as we do now, LOL!

Today (Friday) was spent on the road. We picked up Dad this morning and went to Hattiesburg to meet with a realtor. Tim had talked to her several times and emailed a bunch, and told my dad that he was pretty satisfied with her. So we met her at the house, went over a ton of things, and signed a contract for her to sell the house. She is going to have to oversee a ton of work (cleaners, painters, people to replace fixtures, install new appliances, etc) and then put it on the market. She hopes to have it sold in 3-4 months, but we signed a 6 month contract. I hope it sells then! At least there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel - we’ve moved my dad, got him new doctors, got him settled at his new “apartment”, gone to the house to get items for family members, sold furniture, and moved everything else out to sell. The house is empty now, and ready to be cleaned and gotten ready to sell. We’ve come a long way since February 15!

Tim has a busy weekend ahead - two tee times at the golf course, and a busy night of work this weekend. Me, I hope to catch up on some shows on the DVR, do laundry, read and maybe even watch a Harry Potter movie :)

P.S. I don’t often talk about current events here on my blog, but this has been a very news-worthy week. The bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, then the huge explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas. So much sadness and sorrow :(


Cleaning Out

posted by Stace

Well, I have now experienced the phenomenon of cleaning out your parents house. We went to Hattiesburg yesterday for another trip, with another UHaul. This time, we cleaned out every last thing from my parents house. My sisters and I had done some cleaning out of my mom’s things about a year or so after she passed away (it will be 11 years this June, goodness gracious). And now since we’ve moved my dad into the assisted living place near our house, we have been working at whittling down the remainder of the contents of their house. We took everything to his new “apartment” as we call it, that we thought he wanted or needed. My sisters and their kids have gotten everything that they want out, we’ve sold some furniture and big items to some extended family, and now we’re down to the last set of items. I swore years ago I would never have another garage sale, but you know what they say about never saying never… LOL!

So, yesterday was another long day, about 14 hours in all, and this week will be a lot of prep work. Everything that I spent all day yesterday packing, has to be unpacked and setup and priced for the garage sale. Thankfully, we had most of the big pieces out, so there was very little furniture to haul. It’s just down to kitchen stuff, linens, old clothes, etc. I wonder what kind of prices to put on things these days. I don’t have garage or yard sales and don’t go to them, so I don’t have any idea what people sell these kinds of things for today.

Get this - we found 2 or 3 film cameras, and he was like, sell those. I softly told him, Daddy, today people have digital cameras and cell phones for taking photos! LOL!

Anyway, we have the house empty, so we can now move forward with trying to clean it up, getting it painted, cleaning or replacing carpets, listing with a realtor, etc. It’s such a big job. And in so many ways, it’s so hard. Even though this wasn’t the house I grew up in, my parents lived there for many years, my dad about 21 in all, 10 of those with my mom. All of their earthly belongings have been divvied up and sent to various family and friends, and the rest of it is sitting in my garage, waiting to be paraded out to strangers, to sell for little or nothing. There’s something so inherently sad in that, the end of things, the summation of a life.

Yes, I’m obviously a bit melancholy with this post, please forgive me. I still miss my Beau so much. Yesterday was one month since we lost him, and I still miss him so.

On to bigger and better things, but first, a lot of work to do with this garage sale!


I love Winning!

posted by Stace

I love winning things in online contests! I haven’t won anything big in a while (well, big is relative, of course). I have won a few books lately (and believe me, I LOVE to win books!), but nothing much “bigger” than that, money wise.

Just a few minutes ago, I got an email from the Rachael Ray Show’s website. I have watched (recorded to DVR and watch at my leisure) the Rachael Ray daily one hour show for several years now. I signed up when they first launched their “Club Rachael Ray” which is where they offer give-aways. They give prizes to their studio audience pretty much every show, and many of those they offer online. I try to enter them regularly, and have never won anything.

Today, they emailed me that I had won a Shark Steam Pocket Mop! Now, for someone who likes to keep house and cook, this is a great thing to win! The email said to watch my mail in the coming weeks, so I imagine it will just show up on my doorstep one day in a few weeks. Which will mean I get excited all over again! I’m sure I’ll post again then, with a photo :)

I’m pretty excited! It will steam clean my tile floors, without using any chemicals. On the Target website, it’s listed at about $120 bucks, so a nice prize to win :D


Cleaning the Pantry

posted by Stace

I often joke with Tim about the saying “hunter/gatherer”, because that really shines through with the two of us. Tim is a hunter, but only goes out to get what he needs. I’m definitely a gatherer, and some would probably say, a hoarder. I don’t like to run out of things, like toilet paper, dishwashing soap, shampoo, and mostly - food! Tim is always joking, telling me, you’d think you lived way out in the boonies, instead of a mile from a grocery store, the way you stock up on stuff!

I have a big pantry, but mostly, it is just really deep. I know I should be grateful to have a lot of storage space in my pantry, but it’s sooooo hard to find things because whatever I put in the front of the shelf, obscures whatever is stored or stacked behind it. I’ve been going back and forth for a while now, wanting to declutter it and reorganize it, and I finally got around to it.

I threw out almost half a garbage bag of food. Things I had bought for a certain recipe and never used. Hey, if I haven’t used them in the past couple of years, I’m probably not going to use them now. Half opened packages of various seasonings. Cans that were past their expiration date. Etc.

One of the main goals was to clear up room on my counter-tops. I have a pretty set of white canisters to hold my flour, sugar, etc. But, I don’t have a lot of counter space and Tim was always fussing that we need more room. So, I bought a couple of the Oxo Good Grips storage canisters, and packed up my pretty ones “for when we get a bigger house, and I get a bigger kitchen”. :D I made more room on my counters, and right now at least, I have more room in my pantry.

I did NOT take before pictures. I would like to say that I forgot, but it’s more like I was ashamed. I had stuff packed in and really had no idea what was buried in the back of most of the shelves. I’m not sure how long my nice, clean pantry will last, but right now, I’m really enjoying it! It makes me more motivated to keep it this way, but I know that sooner or later, my hoarder/gatherer gene is going to kick in and I’m going to make a massive buying trip to Sam’s Club, and that will be the end of my clean pantry! LOL! :)

Here’s a couple of after shots…

Bottom of the pantry, the bottom shelf is so deep, it has a lot of wasted space, but, oh well!

A close-up of the Oxo containers, I really really like their products, and these are no exception:

Top of the pantry… I really like having that rubbermaid small basket on the top shelf. I can’t reach that shelf without climbing in a chair or ladder, but I can pull down that basket that has some small bags of rice and pasta in it. Works really well for me :)


Washing Dishes is Fun Again & a QOTD

posted by Stace

Or at least, washing dishes is fun for a few days, LOL!

The sprayer on my kitchen sink broke in early December, and I told Tim we should just wait till after Christmas to replace it. That led to early February, but it all worked out really well for me. We looked at Lowe’s and didn’t see just a replacement sprayer (although Tim told me later he did find one), so we decided to get a whole new faucet set. My sink and faucet are original to the house, so they are over 15 years old. One of us said something to the effect of “it sure would be a shame to put a nice, shiny new faucet on that old, scratched up, rusted sink”. I can’t remember who said that at the moment :D Anyway, I picked out a new sink too. I really like being able to pick out fixtures and lighting and stuff to replace what we have here. Everything put in by the builder was the lowest level possible, so now I have a nicer sink, two inches deeper, and a nicer faucet that doesn’t leak, with a sprayer that works. Ah, washing dishes is fun again!

Here’s the old one:

And the nice shiny new one:

So, that leads to an unusual Question of the Day: Do you have a good cleaner for stainless steel? Or any tricks to keeping my new sink as clean and shiny and protected for as long as possible? I have always used BarKeeper’s Friend (a powder, sort of like Comet) or SoftScrub on my sink, but I’m wondering if I should be using something else. Something for stainless or something special for sinks. It sure has a lot of water spots all the time!

Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any tips or suggestions on keeping a stainless steel sink clean. And have a great day!