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January 13, 2003: One by one

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Because we have two more weeks until we have to go back onto the road, I promised myself that I wouldn't let those two weeks slip by without doing at least a few things that I want, and a few things that I need to do as well.

To that end, we've been happily scheduling this whole week away. We've taken the first, tentative step towards turning the backyard into something other than a weed-infested swamp. I've scheduled a platelet donation and am going to try to eat steak or whatever it takes so that this time I will actually *pass* the stupid iron test instead of failing by one point like I've done the last handful of times I've tried. I talked to a friend who knows how to knit and scheduled a time to meet with her so she can show me how, because it's something I've always wanted to learn. We have dinner plans with friends or family for at least three nights this week, and tonight is an AD&D game at our house so that's a fourth evening taken care of. Next week is still mostly open, but there are already plans in the works for fun and calories.

I've also been slowly tackling some of the little projects I've been putting off. For instance, today I managed to put my secondary desk in order (the one where the laptop lives) and also did a whole stack of filing. And yesterday I tackled the linen closet.

The linen closet was, at one time in the distant past, neatly organized. The problem, however, is that the cats laid claim to the linen closet early on as one of the prime napping spots. This meant that the neatly folded extra blankets on the bottom two shelves got rather un-neat and un-folded as various furry felines have burrowed and shifted them around to make themselves as comfortable as possible. The general untidiness of the linen closet has not been helped by the fact that there were still sheets in there for a bed we no longer own, and a scary pile of old towels covered in bleach stains and other snags and discolorations of assorted varieties.

So yesterday I dragged everything out of the linen closet and did a rather thorough cleaning. I set aside all the sheets left from the much smaller bed in a pile to add to the slowly growing box in the garage of things to be donated to a worthy cause, and then ruthlessly weeded through all the towels, keeping only those that are in nice enough shape that I would not be embarrassed to offer them to company. Everything else (including the blankets, which were sporting a rather impressive fringe of cat hair) was dragged downstairs and run through the washing machine to see what was salvageable, and what would be relegated to the rag heap that lives on the shelf above the washing machine.

The linen closet is nicely neat and organized again, with all the pillowcases stacked next to the sheets, and the hand towels and washcloths each in their own little pile. And once I was done and the extra blankets were folded so that they would actually *fit*, the linen closet doors could actually shut.

This, of course, raised great consternation among the feline population of the house, who all then proceeded to congregate in front of the linen closet doors and thump at them repeatedly, all the while crying in their most pathetic voices. This is because despite the fact that they have our entire king-sized bed, four fleece-lined cat beds of their own, three cat trees with shelves created for the sole purpose of kitty lounging, and the furniture in the living room, the only place that was remotely acceptable for lounging right at that very moment was the linen closet. Did I feel guilty? Um. Do you even have to ask that question?

This morning, while putting away the last of the newly cleaned blankets, I opened the closet and found myself face to face with a small gray face, who gave a trill and a purr and curled even further into the blanket on which she was nesting. Despite the fact that the doors now close completely, she had still figured out how to get back in to one of her favorite haunts and was happily ensconced on top of the pile of freshly laundered blankets.

Sigh. I suppose I should have expected no better. And short of putting child locks on the doors to the linen closet, there is simply no way to keep the cats out. But at least I have the satisfaction that it was perfectly organized again, if only for a very short while.

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