Sunday, June 1, 2014


My friend Cathy got onto a bit of a "health kick" and I kind of jumped on the bandwagon. It started with foods. You know - fruits and veggies pureed into pancakes, salads for lunch, even - *gasp* - sneaking salmon fillets into our house. Yeah, take that my anti-fish-family. There's salmon in our freezer!

My husband is the pickiest eater of the 3 of them. For instance, he loves meatloaf. Wait, let me rephrase that: he loves his mother's meatloaf. And it really is good meatloaf. But I like things to taste a little fancier. Why not throw some pureed fruits and veggies in there? How about some spices and flavour? Just because it's not on the recipe list, doesn't mean it can't be added! And then I don't tell him I've changed things up, and he eats it, says it's "ok" and "what did you do differently?" That discussion always ends with me promising to leave the recipe the way it is. But I never do. Sucker.

Our "health kick" turned into a bit of a "simplify your life" kick. Eating better meant I had to get rid of some items in our pantry, which made me clean out the entire pantry and re-organize it. I have literally never cleaned out our pantry in the 3 years we lived here. There were dust bunnies on the floor the size of actual bunnies. There was packaged food in there that expired in 2008. Our pantry may look empty right now, but it looks clean. I got addicted to the feeling of admiration for my pantry, and moved on to the entryway closets, then all of my clothes upstairs. Then our master bedroom. Then the kids toys. Let me tell you how many toys I am getting rid of: all of them. Not really, but it sure feels like it. I have weird kids. They don't play with toys. They prefer to play in our cabinets or with the tupperware. They love playing outside. They love going for walks. They do not love playing with toys. They are weird.

We have so much stuff. Just random stuff that litters our house. My husband, God love him, is a lot like his father. I am like my mother in this stance. I don't keep anything. I keep sentimental items. My husband keeps everything. Everything. Case in point:

I started cleaning out the closets in our downstairs entryways. I made 3 piles: shoes, baseball hats, sweaters/coats. These piles were made of items that I have never seen be worn. I took pictures, and sent them to Ryan. He replied saying he wanted to keep all the baseball hats and most of the shoes.

Let's paint a picture, people. One of the pairs of shoes were these ugly, brownish green shoes with no shoe laces and had an inch of dust on them. Never, in the last 8 years of knowing Ryan, have I ever seen him wear these shoes. I asked him why he wants to keep them. "They'd look good with jeans," he replied. I asked him if he's ever worn them. "No," he replied. When did you buy them?

"1994," he replied.

He has owned these shoes for 20 years. He has never once worn them. Do you understand what that means? In the 8 years we've been together, we have moved 3 times. And he moved a lot since 1994 with university and billets and apartments. This means he has brought these ugly no-laces shoes with him on at least a dozen moves. He has taken them out of boxes, packed them up again, and thought, "I'll wear these." And he has never worn them. They have taken up space in a closet for 20 years, collecting dust and yearning to be worn.

They are now in a bag on its way to a donation box.

I also found a backpack in the garage filled with his University projects. I never went to University, so maybe I missed the sentimental value of it, but he graduated a decade ago. Why does he still have them? Is there going to be something in the future where he'll need a paper he wrote in 2002? If there is a zombie apocalypse, will these University projects help him ward off the zombies?

No. They are now in the recycle bin. Shhhh don't tell him.

When we got married, we got so much stuff. And not even things we really need. We got this ugly bowl. I don't even know who it was from any more. But we had to keep it "in case they stop by." Never, in the 7 years we've lived in Strathmore, has anyone other than Ryan's immediate family stopped by unexpectedly. And even if someone did, I doubt the first thing they'll say to us is, "So, how did that ugly bowl work out for you the past 7 years?"

We have 2 spaghetti strainers. And not the small hand-held ones. The huge stainless steel pots. We have 2. That means, an entire shelf in our cabinet is used to store spaghetti strainer pots.

How many times in the past 8 years of our relationship have we ever used a spaghetti strainer pot?

Never. Not once. I think we tried to use it once and I got frustrated with it and went back to our regular-sized pot. Both of these spaghetti strainer pots are going into the garage sale. Shhh. Don't tell Ryan.

I am not a fantastic cook, but I can make a small list of things really well. Most of them are chicken dishes. I make a mean Chicken Parmesan. So, from all the dishes and pots and pans we have in our house, I probably use maybe 20 items. We have 500 items. We have dishes on top of dishes, scattered unorganized throughout our kitchen. It's the most unorganized kitchen I've ever seen. And we don't use half the stuff.

Garage sale!

The garage sale boxes are filling up, and my cabinets are empty. It's a fantastic feeling. So long, 65-pound mixer. I'm not even exaggerating. We have a mixer that is literally 65 pounds. You need to lift it with your knees. So long, coffee maker! Who makes a pot of coffee any more? We have a Keurig! So long, size 8 clothes. Like I'm ever going to fit into size 8 clothes ever again. Even with my diet. So long, maternity clothes! You will NOT be missed! So long, bicycle with wheels that never stay inflated (I bought it at a garage sale 5 years ago for $20).

Everything is going. We'll have so much more room in our house! It'll feel great. Lots of room to buy new stuff!

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