Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nesting

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.

The purge felt good, and afterwards, I celebrated with roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower (ate most of them before I thought to take a photo. Recipe to follow) 
and a glass of Fredonia.
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.
Non-stick spray
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.

7 comments:

  1. I've never heard of twisting off cauliflower...you know I have to try it now, lol! Thanks for posting the recipe - I've tried roasting cauliflower once and it didn't turn out very well.

    Good going on the cleaning - that is on my list for tomorrow, along with some furniture moving. You might want to save your memory box for after the surgery when you won't be as mobile. In anticipation, maybe you should stock up on the Fredonia? Love the name - my grandmother grew up in Fredonia, Kansas!

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  2. Good job with all of that cleaning and organizing. I'm a real sissy so if I had your basement I'd probably never go down there. I originally come from Southern California and almost nobody in the whole place has a basement so it is something we never grew up with.

    Great recipe! Thanks for sharing it.

    Margie M. writes at:
    www.myhealthylivingthruweightcontrol.blogspot.com

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  3. Lynn, you are the queen of roasted veggies. Thanks for another good idea. Although I don't know if it can beat your other cauliflower recipe that I love so much.

    And you have inspired me. My laundry room is like a cavern. And also very scary to walk into. A vacuum cleaner is just what I need to use out there. Thanks!

    And to Shelley, if you follow Lynn's OTHER roasted cauliflower recipe, You can't go wrong. IT is the best!!

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  4. As I was reading your post, a thought came to mind that it seems like when one gets one area of their life in control they start to line up others. It is all about that life style and behavior change. Sounds like you had a good day and enjoyed the video. I love old homes, it brings back memories of when I'd spend summers with my grandparents. Their home was not 100 years old, but it was the entire neighborhood of older homes. They were all different and unique vs. the cookie cutter house divisions you see today. Enjoyed the post!

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  5. I also found a link between collecting clutter and collecting fat. And decluttering and defatting too.

    I used to play on my grandma's cellar door. Rain barrels and cellar doors.

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  6. I do the same before surgery.

    I hope this brings you pain relief. There is this marvelous moment when post surgery you hurt less than before. Takes a while to get there, but you will. And once you've healed you will be able to get back to all the things you love doing at your size now!

    I can't help but be jealous of your surgery though. I know that pain and I wish you (and I) didn't have to live with it. How you cope is remarkable. I'll be following to see how this buff n shine goes for you.

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  7. I'm growing brussel sprouts in my veggie garden this year and I'm TOTALLY going to use this recipe. THANKS!

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