Tag Archives: keep trash donate

In my kitchen, again.

No matter how happy you are, no matter how much you live the life you believe in your heart that you want, there are moments that you look at the door and think “I could just walk out. Right now I would like to just walk right out the door.”

Not forever.  Just for the morning.  And not because you aren’t happy, just because occasionally it feels like you live in the movie Groundhog Day  –  “Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.” I walked in to the kitchen this morning wearing my winter uniform (velour jogging suit and a tank top) just as I did the day before.  And likely just as I will tomorrow.

“I am not making breakfast.  I feel like all I ever do is cook food and clean it up.  All day.”

If you live across the street from your best friend than you can put on a baseball hat, grab a cup of coffee and walk out the door.  Thirty seconds later I was standing in a different kitchen with only one of my children, drinking coffee and bullshitting about absolutely  nothing in the way that only women can.

Sitting at her kitchen table I can just sit.  I don’t have to fold her laundry, though I have. I don’t have to let her dogs in and out ten times, though I can yell at them for barking.   Somehow her kids and their incredible loudness is funny to me, almost entertaining.  It’s a change of scenery and sometimes that is all I need.  I don’t long for a new life, I just want to live it in a different kitchen for an hour.

I walked back in the house feeling good.  “I emptied the dishwasher and I washed out the casserole pan from last night,” sad MQD.  A good man picks up your slack.  I could have thanked him.  Or given him shit for reporting to me like he was a kid deserving of a gold star.

Instead I just smiled and said “That’s it?”

There is a changing of the guard that takes place between parents.  I had been “off duty” and I was clocking back in, I could feel it.  I was getting the full report of the status of things and he was checking out.  When you take away a man’s man cave and make it in to a guest room/baby room you can expect him to lock himself in the bathroom for an hour on Saturday morning.

We listen to Spotify all day from the desktop in the kitchen.  There is always music in our house.  Always.  I was on the couch in the living room, laptop perched on my knees, coffee just out of reach of the little one.  “I found a new artist you might like.  You should listen to them.  When you get your ass back in to the kitchen,” he said.  That smirk of his is going to save his ass a thousand times over.

This morning I had a moment when I thought it was hell on earth to relive the same day over and over again. Two hours later and I am smiling ear to ear.  Bring it on, Winter.  I am going to wear this velour sweatsuit every day.  I am going to wear this hat every day.  I am going to stand in my kitchen and think about what we are going to eat next only moments after cleaning up from the previous meal.  And I am digging the ever-loving shit out of it, yes, I am.

Life isn’t that complicated. Living the same day over and over again gives you the chance to get it right, eventually.  It’s not even 11 o’clock in the morning and I feel like I have this day by the balls.  What’s up, Saturday? Wanna feel my sweat suit? This is what Happy feels like.  Sorry about the coffee breath, you’ll get used to it.


Keep: This grey hat that will henceforth be known as The Hat I Wore All Winter While I Grew Out That Shitty Haircut

Trash: A handful of stretched out rubber bands and nasty bobby pins from the bottom of the hair accoutrements  catch all drawer in the bathroom.

Donate: A pile of headbands to Emily June, because this Winter is the Winter of the Hat not the Headband.  I have decided.


Breaking up is hard to do

So is dieting.

I think breaking up and dieting are both really shitty ways to spend your time. So, instead of dieting I prefer to just eat healthy most of the time and commit to staying active.

Instead of breaking up I think we should just take a break. You and me. I know I said I would write every day this month. But I have something better to do. With family in town for the weekend I think I need to focus 100% of my energy on how really fantastic my kids are. Not everyone wants to talk about that I have recently noticed and I need to take full advantage.

Please don’t diet while I am gone. You’re probably already missing me. Don’t add insult to injury.

And if you are quietly rejoicing because you have come to the conclusion (as I have) that my plan to Keep, Trash and Donate all month long and regale you with tales from the inside of my closets and drawers is painfully dull perhaps even more boring than last Decembers Christmas countdown of ornaments?? Well, just keep that to yourself. I am a sensitive girl.

If you are bored in my absence may I suggest you play Pantyhose Face? or Frozen Pizza Box TV Face? Dieting and breaking up are both really difficult. Entertaining yourself shouldn’t be. And if you still need amusement? Go visit my friend, Le Clown at Clown on Fire. He thinks I am smart and funny. He has other good qualities but so far those are my favorites.

See you in a few days!

Since 1917

Dear Duke’s Mayonnaise,

I love you so much.

Today I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets.  I threw out a very gross open bottle of chocolate flavored red wine.  I am donating a small bag of canned goods that I bought when I decided I was going to try and get over my disdain for kidney beans.

When I rearranged my stuff in the pantry I realized I had three unopened containers of Duke’s Mayonnaise.  Because when I go down the condiment aisle and I see you there I always think it is better to be safe than sorry.  What if there was an emergency that could only be fixed with egg salad? or a turkey sandwich?  Or the delicious chicken recipe I actually got off of the Hellman’s website? Or what if I decide to make grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner? Did you know that mayo makes the best grilled cheese? Don’t butter your bread, use mayo.  You will never go back to using butter.

You’re a damn fine mayonnaise, Duke’s.  You really are smooth and creamy.  Now, come to Mama.

Mommy dates

All month I have looked around my house with my What can I get rid of and declutter lens. This morning I am looking at my house with my Holy Shit, I have a Mommy Date microscope.

When I was very young and dating and someone would stop by my dorm room or I would try and look at my place from a young man’s point of view. This was pretty easy. I didn’t have to clean anything. I made sure there was beer in my refrigerator and that there wasn’t a pair of men’s boxers on my bedside table or a proverbial pair of boots under my bed. I had beer and I wasn’t taken. We were good to go.

When I was older and a single mom dating it was more confusing. MQD came to pick me up for our first date and I can remember looking around my place and hoping that the mini-kitchen in my living room wouldn’t freak him out. I had Pottery Barn curtains. What if I was too far gone in to the land of Grown Up to interest him? I hoped that my futon would make it clear that my 20’s weren;t too far behind me.

This morning I have a Mom Date. We met at a local children’s museum. She blew my mind when she asked me for my number. And then she won my heart with a late night call freaking out about an email she thought she had sent to the wrong person. We email. We text. I even called her the day I got a shitty haircut and slugged back way too many glasses of wine on my front porch. She’s funny. I think she might even like-like me.

But now she is coming to my house. To let her child crawl around on my floor. I have to vacuum. Like Vacuum with a capital V. What if her kid finds that leaf I missed and he chokes? My bathroom is clean. But it doesn’t smell like bleach.

Donate: this frog. Please ignore the dog hair on my couch!!! Please!

Should I offer to make her lunch? Oh man. That’s too complicated. Coffee? Should I apologize for my oh so not green and environment-friendly love of the Keurig cups? Hopefully my offer of real sugar or Truvia made from stevia and not cancer-causing Equal will win me favor.

I suggested we take a walk if it isn’t freezing. Does that make me sound like a fitness freakazoid? I am obsessed. A little. But I don’t care if she is. I should probably not drop a line like “Hey, some of my best friends are totally lazy!”

I’m guessing I should probably not say “So, I guess you read my post…” even though she has read here in the past. I mean it is asinine to assume that she checks back every hour on the hour and she is coming over practically any minute… Gah.

Keep. The viking helmet on our bookshelf in the kitchen because it was a wedding gift and it makes me happy. Who would not want to be friends with a gal with a viking helmet?

Donate. A metal polka dot frog because while it matched the beach-y decor of my downstairs bathroom ten years ago it has no place in my life now. And there is no reason for it to hang out in my living room junk drawer.

Trash. A handful of receipts I had stashed in the catch-all tray in my living room. No one ever returns peanut M&Ms or Diet Coke and let’s face it, that’s what I buy on the regular.

Wish me luck. I brushed my teeth. I am wearing yoga pants. But I might change. Jeans? Oh man, this is so confusing. How do you make sure you look like a good Mom friend but not too Mom-ish?

Maybe we should have mimosas….

Exercise Your Right!!

Exercise your right to vote.  Please.

I can look back on the last 20 years in a number of different ways.   The Clinton years, the Bush years, the Obama years.  The college years, the beach years, the Chapel Hill years.

This morning I noticed that the last twenty years of my life can be divided up in to the teeny, tiny bra top years, the wind pant years (coinciding with my Sporty Spice phase) and the more recent running skirt phase.

I won’t keep you.  I’ll make it quick.  Trashing the ancient teeny tiny running tops, donating the wind pants, keeping the running skirts.

Now go put on your exercise clothes and exercise your right to VOTE!



Some more Stuff

Stuff. I have written about my tendency to hold on to Stuff before. I hold on not just to scraps of paper and pictures and acorns and single mismatched earrings. I hold on to people, too. It is both my greatest quality and my weakness. In recent years I have learned to embrace the “people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” theory. Previously I tried to keep everyone in my life for a lifetime. I thought it made my life richer. Sadly, I think it may actually just dilute the people that are there day to day.

I have embraced the theory. I have. I have let go. And I have done so with peace in my heart and the knowledge that just because someone is no longer in my day to day does not mean that they were not there for a reason or that their season may not come around again.

I try to live this theory as it applies to my Stuff, too. I don’t always succeed. Right now in the back corner of my attic storage is a lampshade with black fringe from my Leg lamp costume. I know it is an item that served it’s purpose, it had a reason. I should let it go. But I want it to be a Lifetime piece, I do. I know it has no practical purpose… but you just never know. What if I need it?

In the last seven years I have moved three times. Prior to that I had moved only a handful of times in my life. I took advantage of each move to let go of some things. Having children makes the keeping of everything impossible. Holding on to each and every precious item, it is adding to the pile of Stuff that they will someday lug around.

Daylight Savings Time allows for a perfect morning. We all woke without the use of an alarm clock, our bodies gently nudging us towards wakefulness before the alarm clocks starts screaming Wake Up! You’re Late! (I wake to Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life every single day. Start each day with a laugh and a little perspective.) While Em ate breakfast I rummaged around in my junk drawer in the kitchen for three more items. I promise I won’t spend all month showing you shit from my kitchen junk drawer. Really.

Trash and Donate were easy today. For the trash I have two cheapie cat toys. A catnip toy that has a hole in the corner and a weird little ball that sheds blue plastic pieces. Lucy is a huge fan of cat toys and I am a huge fan of her not choking. We no longer have cats so these items have outlived their usefulness. They have neither a reason nor a season coming up in the near future so in to the trash with them. As I tossed them in to the kitchen garbage can I got a little misty. For the first time in more than 15years I will not be filling a christmas stocking with cat toys for an ungrateful beast that shits in a box in my house. A heartbreaking realization, I know.

Donate – I often wonder if the collect box tops for education campaign is real or if it is akin to the collect soda pop can tabs for cancer campaigns of my youth. I had jars of tabs, bracelets made of tabs, tabs in my pockets, in my backpack. I don’t remember ever doing anything with them, but I knew it was tacky not to pop them off before I chucked a can in to the trash. (In to the trash! Gasp, those crazy non-recycling 1980s.) I clip boxtops from the few items of prepackaged food we buy and I toss them in my kitchen drawer, or in to the bowl of fresh fruit that sits on the counter. Very occasionally I get it together and turn them in to the school. This year I have managed to send them in on three separate occasions and it is barely November. Yeehaw, stay at home mom for the win!

My Keep item is one that has surely outlived it’s season. But dammit, its reason is genius! 17 years ago I used to go to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va quite often. Any and all funds that were not spent at Anheuser Busch’s amusement park were spent on their fine American made product, the Budweiser. Even as a young gal I oozed class and style. I didn’t always have a frosty mug with me, sadly, and I couldn’t just go around slugging beers from a can. I could snap on this metal handle and Tada! This item has a two-pronged approach to assisting you in catching a wicked buzz. Not only does your beer stay nice and cold because your hand is not warming it up but you can’t put it down without it tipping over so beers had a tendency to disappear before my eyes!

I can’t tell you the last time I used this. I pull it out on occasion to show someone. Typically someone visiting from my college days. But this item has lived in every junk drawer I have had for the last 17 years. It has outlasted the purge of moving to a new state. I can’t get rid of it now. Dare I say that this item has no reason, it has no season? Is this a Lifetime junk drawer item?

For today I am going with a solid, yes. Yes, it is. I wanted to show you how handy it is. No can of beer to be found. Here it is providing a handle to my jar of Fish Oil Supplements. Fish Oil has done wonders for my achy creaky joints in the morning. Amazingly enough a solid decade of Budweisers did not seem to make me bounce out of bed feeling like a million bucks. Who knew?

Stay tuned for 26 more days of my treasured pieces of crap. Can you even imagine the wondrous items yet to be revealed?

Whatcha Gonna Do With All That Junk?

Keep Trash Donate month has been brought to you by butts.  And by boobs. What’s next? Gettin’ in my drawers, of course! My JUNK drawers!

This morning while I waited for the waffle iron to heat up I opened the dreaded junk drawer in the kitchen to see what kind of treasures I might find.

Keep – rainbow shoe laces.  MQD went to Boston this summer for a wedding.  Like a good husband and a good dad he brought back presents.  Emily and I both received a pair of rainbow shoe laces.  I am not sure what it means that we both got the same gift.  Or that it was rainbow shoe laces but they were a gift and I am keeping them.  Perhaps not in the kitchen drawer any longer, but I am keeping them nonetheless.

Trash – I remember the day that I grabbed a couple of condoms from my midwife’s office.  In the bathroom in the waiting room there is a basket filled with condoms.  Lucy was ten days old. I had an appointment to get an IUD already scheduled.  Evidently I was afraid that the spirit would move us prior to that date.  Clearly it did not.  Expired condoms (or soon to be expired) hanging around are dangerous.  In to the trash they go.

Donate – I have had this unopened package of letters in the drawer in the kitchen since I made MQD his Big Birthday Party Poster “Twenty-nine is so METAL!” I am well known for grabbing two packages of something when it is likely one will do.  I did not want to run short on letters and I had yet to settle on a theme.  On the off chance the theme of his birthday party had turned out to be alliteration brought to you by the letter Q I did not want to run out of letters.  Hence, the two packages.  Monday morning I will toss these in to Em’s backpack. Surely her teacher can make use of them.

That’s it.  That’s all I’ve got.  Belly full of waffles. Sun is shining.  Lucy’s teeth have popped through and her fever has broken. Em is drawing quietly in her room.  MQD is hiding in the bathroom (because that is what Dads do, it’s in the manual.)   Shaping up to be a good Sunday.

It’s in my genes…

MQD took the day off of work today “to spend some time with the family.”  I am not sure this is what he had in mind.

“I’m glad you’re gonna be home.  We need to get Halloween put back up in the attic and I am going to clean out the upstairs closet.   And since you’re home will you take a picture of my butt in all of these jeans?” I point at the big pile of jeans on my bed.

Instead of raising an eyebrow and asking me “Is this what you do all day while I am at work?” He kicked back on the bed  in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas and waited for me to drop my pants.  That sounds like Sexy Time right there, no?

Yesterday I decided to Keep, Trash and Donate one item every day for the month of November. I shall call today day one and day two since I am keeping, trashing and donating more than a few pairs. I am keeping 13, tossing 2 and donating 9 pairs.


The Keep Pile

I shall spare you all the details and just deliver the highlights of what I learned today.

1.  Turns out I had only 24 pairs of jeans total.  I am a gross exaggerator with zero credibility now.  I do not have 30 pairs of jeans after all, not of the too small or the too big variety.

2.  What I do have are lots of hugely unflattering jeans in various sizes for various reasons all stemming from the fact that I have had two children and I never throw out  a pair of jeans.   Exhibit A.  Let me present to you I Have The Same Jeans in Three Different Sizes. Here they are in descending size.

I pulled off the jeans in the top picture and said “These are obviously too big and make me have a totally flat ass.” MQD agreed. It stung a little.

This was the first pair I tried on and I was starting to doubt the wisdom of asking him to help me with this task. But he didn’t just stop there.  “Yeah, it’s like you stuck a cutting board in your pants.”  A FUCKING CUTTING BOARD.  Moving on…

3.  When you have a baby and you plan to breastfeed that baby willy nilly all around the town you make peace with the fact that people will see your knockers. You (if you are me) never really love the fact that people will see your stretchmarks and your gelatinous gut.  You like to save that for showing the entire Interwebz.  So you purchase an assortment of strangely high-waisted jeans that give you SADDLE BAGS.

This was a discovery I just made this morning.  Three of these four pairs will be donated.  The fourth will be going in the trash as the bottoms are terribly frayed.  I know, I should upcycle them and make a purse and a coozie and a lampshade but it isn’t called Keep Donate and Make Some Ugly Shit You Found a Tutorial For On Pinterest.  Exhibit B: Mom Jeans – More Unsightly Than I Knew

To the people of North Carolina,  I may force you to see my stomach while I nurse my baby but I will no longer subject you to the saddle bags created by my Mom Jeans that pretend they are not Mom Jeans just because they are Lucky or some other decent brand.

4.  I am a really lucky girl and I am in a way better head space than I even knew.  My husband nodded in agreement while I said “these look awful on me” and I did not throw something at him.  Perhaps just because he was hiding behind the baby. But I’m calling it progress.


Stay tuned to see what I Keep Trash and Donate tomorrow.  I can’t promise more ass pictures.  Not until I get myself a new pair of jeans anyway.