It feels like nesting, this indescribable urge to clean and organize my house. Part of it is the surgery looming in two weeks and another part is a need to declutter. Since losing weight, I’m no longer a pack rat and I don’t like stuff overstaying its welcome. If I’m no longer using it, maybe someone else can. (Which reminds me, you have until tomorrow night – Sunday, June 6 – to throw your name in the hat for my latest giveaway! Click here for more info.)
Nesting started last week when I pruned the heck out of the lilacs in the back, turned over the compost heap and spread it all along what I hope will be new garden beds next year, mulched, cleaned the bird bath and the bird feeders, vacuumed the porch, organized the linen closet, ripped up carpet, and painted the floor.
Today, I cleaned the basement. And when I say I basement, I mean quasi cellar.
Our house is nearly 100 years old. The foundation is stone and the floor is concrete, although clearly someone laid what looks like 1940s linoleum at some point – flooring that is now almost completely flaked off.
You get to the basement through a 4½-foot door located in the kitchen. (And yes, that’s a YELLOW plastic cat door. It was my dad’s idea. Swear.) Even my friend Shari – at barely 5’ tall – has to duck her head. The gas meter reader isn’t as fortunate. He’s 6’2”. My stepson, who is also over 6’ tall, calls our house a death trap for tall people.
I clean in a Z pattern: southwest corner to northwest corner to southeast corner to northeast corner, which is where the second exit is located, the one that takes you up a few stairs to the outside cellar door – the one Claire likes to hop down.
With my trusty old shop vac, I sucked up a year of cobwebs and dust bunnies, and I moved luggage and boxes and chairs around to make the space more spacious and user friendly, particularly around the washer and dryer. Surprisingly I only hauled out two 30-gallon garbage bags of trash and a box that was rotting. Unfortunately IN that box were the games Scrabble and Battleship which also suffered those funky water marks and odor. I thought I’d transferred everything to plastic bins, but obviously I overlooked the game box. Dang it.
In 90 minutes, the basement was no longer scary, and if you’re my height or shorter (5’5”), you can safely walk upright without getting creepy crawly sticky things in your hair.
18 days until surgery. Think I’ll tackle windows next. And maybe the Memory Box. You know the one – the thing in which you dump all your letters, homemade Mother’s Day cards, ticket stubs, photos, grade school report cards, and fat pants (yup, that’s where I keep the size 28 black stretch pants). It’s one of the last bastions of unorganization that I need to organize. But the Memory Box is a daunting place, not only from an organizational standpoint, but an emotional one, too. It’s like Pandora’s Box in reverse. Most of the stuff in there is good, but some of it is not. I might need a bit more Fredonia before I open that bad boy.
Anyhoo, here’s the Brussels sprouts recipe I promised. It took me nearly a year to finally make it the way I like it. I’m done experimenting!
Hope you’re having a productive weekend, too. If not, I hope it’s at least fun.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower
Serves 2 normal-sized servings or 1 Lynn serving
5-6 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cleaned and cut in fourths
8 oz cauliflower, either cut or twisted off into small bite-sized portions. I prefer to twist.
1/8 to ¼ t seasoned salt
1/8 to ¼ t other spices such as garlic powder, pepper, celery salt/powder…whatever floats your boat)
1-2 T veggie broth (any broth would work)
Place the veggies in a deep roasting pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the spices on, spray the veggies and mix with your hands. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Pour in the broth and mix. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until done the way you like it.