I am sitting in my living room, watching the pink sky out my windows. The smell of pizza hangs heavy in the room, especially the shrimp pizza.
Valentine’s Day was nice, my husband bought me a bunch of presents, that guy. I didn’t buy him anything! I made him and the kids a batch of S’mores, you know, with Golden Grahams cereal, mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips. It’s always a mess, I never think it’s going to fly, but the secret is, smash it down good with your hands, and then leave it in the fridge for at least a day. It gets good and stuck together, so you can cut it into little crispy squares.
A couple of years ago a friend gave us his old food wrapper machine – you know, the little machine that sucks the air out of the bag and heat seals it. He had bought it and only tried it a few times, so decided to get rid of it – smart thinking. I try to follow that rule – if I haven’t used something for a year, it goes. And, I also try to be careful about what I take in, I wasn’t so anxious to get it. I never thought I’d find a use for it – was I wrong! You shrink stuff and it slides into your freezer like an envelope! So, I packed a couple dozen little S’mores in a bag and shrunk it and it went right into one of those medium yellow envelopes, and into the mail for my son down south.
I don’t like to give my father-in-law sweets, it’s just mean at his age, to tempt him like that. It makes him sick to eat too much of that crap, so I send him dog biscuits for his two dogs instead. I make them myself with cooked brown rice, cooked oatmeal, enough whole wheat flour to bind them together (I mix it in until I get a dough), a tsp of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt, a little bacon grease, and about a third of a pint of chicken liver. Oh yeah, it’s a mess, I get my hands right in there. It used to make me gag, but I’m over it. Normally I don’t use as much liver, and I get a little dry cracker type of snack. This time I got something resembling oatmeal cookies. I put frozen peas in for looks, and my dogs love frozen peas. I shrunk a couple dozen in the machine, loaded them into an envelope and sent them off. Grandpa and his dogs and his jackasses live in the middle of nowhere, I know they like to get a package. Gives the mail man something to talk about too.
I think I spent about $5 between the two packages, worth every penny to send a little lovin’ in the mail.
Right now I am enjoying Fruhling Putz – that’s German for Spring Cleaning. You live in your house, but you don’t really see stuff until you start taking the furniture apart and going through the old books and junk. I have the horrible habit of saving magazines – for maybe one article I want to read over and over, I don’t know. I finally tossed a whole stack. There was the Sunset mag from 1988 – fun to look at.
I had saved that old mag for four pages – an article about making sourdough bread, which now I do so routinely I haven’t even looked at the recipe for a year. I had picked it up in a laundromat back in 1988, when it was fairly new. People like to dump their old mags at laundromats, I also got a pile of Smithsonian that my kids and I perused for years before throwing them out. Old magazines are fun to look at, but they start to deteriorate, smell bad, and then they’re just junk. So, I tore out the four pages and folded them into my best recipe book for future reference, then tossed the mag into the recycling bin.
I went through an entire bookcase that way, found a lot of mags I had not looked at again since I put them in there. Out! Then I went through the books – all keepers, but wow, were they dusty. A quick wipe with a damp rag or one of those microfiber rags makes that whole side of the room look better. And as I dust, I read.
Today I will carry on with re-arranging the furniture, throwing stuff out. The last few days the trees have been swelling up with flowers, our F-150 is coated already with a thin layer of shiny green pollen. Yesterday the neighbor mowed her sideyard weeds for a few minutes before she dissolved into sneezes and disappeared into her house. We’ve been keeping our windows shut, despite the temptation to let in some of that fine warm air. It’s just a couple of weeks of discomfort, a good time to do some Fruhling Putz.