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January 27, 2002: Wrap it up

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To further my sporadic organizing streak, this weekend I tackled the wrapping paper. Over the years I've accumulated a rather impressive selection of rolls and folded sheets. However, because it was thrown rather messily into a large cardboard box and crate when we moved here, and before that it lived in the bottom shelf of the linen closet, I've never really had any clear idea what sort of inventory I possessed. And then I found this marvelous zippered soft-sided gift wrap organizer and I just knew I had to have it because then it would finally be all in one place and actually accessible. So now it's all organized; the rolls tucked neatly on one side of the organizer and all the bows and ribbons and labels and folded sheets of wrap and tissue tucked neatly on the other, strapped in with velcro and zipped up tidily away.

Now I finally have a good idea of what sort of wrap we have, I can say with firm conviction that Richard and I are not allowed to even *think* about buying any Christmas gift wrap for at least the next ten years. We are swimming in the stuff. I'm not sure what has convinced me, each year, that I needed to acquire at least one or two more rolls of the stuff, but I am not kidding when I say that we could easily fulfill all of our present wrapping needs for both extended families for quite a time into the future. In fact, it's entirely possible we may never need to buy Christmas wrap again because I own what may be the only true never-ending roll of gift wrap in existence.

I'm not sure exactly when I acquired the roll, but I know that it has been in my possession for at least four or five years now. It's red, and decorated in cats, stacked into Christmas tree pyramids and draped with loops of Christmas lights. I'm sure this comes as a shock to you that there are cats on the wrap. But I digress. The important thing here is that I have had this roll for years and it shows no sign of running down. Most gift wrap rolls come with just about enough paper to wrap one year's worth of gifts (assuming you are either really boring or else amazingly anal about using all the same paper), with a few scraps remaining that you save because someday you might wrap up something small, but then they get thrown out eventually because the cat decided they looked edible, or they didn't quite fit around the small things anyway. This roll, however, comes with far more. I think this roll came with miles of paper to begin with, and then it has some sort of spontaneous paper-generating magic inside the cardboard that keeps spitting out more and more and more red paper with festive pyramids of goofy little cats. I think we could safely wrap the entire *house* in this paper and still have some left over. I mean, granted I think the paper is adorable, but still, it's starting to make me wonder. The problem here is that I have no idea where I got it, and that's the frustrating part. Somewhere out there is a store that sells never-ending paper. If they had cling wrap and aluminum foil in the same sort of quantity, I'd be so set.

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Last weekend we went to Home Depot/Base (whichever one it is that *didn't* go out of business. I can never keep those two straight) and bought ourselves a small pile of 8-foot long lengths of wood. This weekend we began the task of turning that pile of boards into paperback shelves. While I managed to quickly excuse myself inside the nice warm house yesterday afternoon, Richard and my dad played outside in my dad's workshop with loud screechy saws and plenty of sawdust and drills and measuring tapes. They trimmed the boards and then drilled holes all along the lengths of two of them so that the shelves can be adjustable. And then we loaded the nicely trimmed and drilled boards into our car and drove them back to our house, full of enthusiasm for today's chore, which was to sand them and paint them.

Except that neither of us had any enthusiasm whatsoever for the project once the appointed time came for it this afternoon. We did manage to get our lazy butts down to two different hardware stores to purchase primer, paint, and painting supplies, but once we got it home we eyed the stack of boards leaning on the wall with lips curled and eyes narrowed and decided that perhaps we really ought to wait until we're more in the mood. The current assumption for when we'll be in that mood would be in two weeks time, when the boards are scheduled to be attached to a rather large and unwieldy sheet of plywood shortly before they're nailed permanently to the bay window wall in the master bedroom.

I suppose if I was being really naive about this I could put some bright and cheerful little side note here that perhaps we'll get the sanding and primer done before then, in the evenings when I'm home from work. But I know us too well. Ah well, the painting - and my future organizational plans for the shelf this set will replace - can wait a little bit longer.

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