Well, it’s been a couple of weeks now since we started our summer project of getting rid of 1000 things. When last we left, we were 87 items into this project with 14 weeks left to go. Well…then we took a trip to Key West, then we dawdled around the weekend after that, and now, here we are, three weeks later and we haven’t done jack squat. What do they say? “The best laid plans…”
So, if my math serves me correctly, that meant by the end of the weekend we should have gotten rid of 268 items total to be on track. Oh dear.
In a bit of a panic, I started thinking about where I could quickly gain ground. Without batting an eye, I knew it was time to head to the kitchen. But could I REALLY come up with 181 items in there? Then, like the Grinch who smiles with a “wonderfully awful idea,” I recalled the large middle kitchen drawer with 1/3 of the space devoted to koozies. Yeah…you heard it right…koozies.
As I opened the drawer, with the vast array of colorful, plush beverage insulators staring cheerfully up at me, I pondered, “What does it say about two people when they have 1/3 of a huge kitchen drawer filled with koozies?” I thought about the many answers one could give, kind-of like the “top five answers on the board are…,” but then I just settled on, “They must be so fun.”
This koozie drawer has been the bane of my existence for a while. So it was with great pleasure that I unloaded the pile of cuties and spread them on the dining room table for inventory. How many, you ask? 49. Who in their right mind has 49 koozies??? You’re talking to her…right here baby.
So, now we would begin the discussion of which koozies were worthy enough to make the move with us.
The whole “which koozie is cooler?” thing seems to be more of a guy issue. At least for my husband J., there is this whole process of envisioning himself sitting in a lawn chair waiting for his turn to play the winner in the next round of washers and his buddies commenting, “That’s a cool koozie.” For me…I’m like, “Does it keep my beer cold? Does it not fall apart? Is it easy to get the can in and out of? Check. Check. Check. I’ll use it.”
To my surprise, we were pretty quick at culling koozies. After about 12 minutes, we had narrowed our pageant winners to 12 koozies (a 75% reduction in the inventory). Pretty good, I thought.
So, who were our pageant winners and why? The 12 lovely contestants, 6 in the flat category and 6 in the stand-alone category, making it to the finals were…
Texas musician koozies honoring the former Steve Tenpenny Band (my brother’s band) and Kina Lankford.
Wedding koozies from two of our couple friends, both who made awesome decisions to get married in Mexico. Fun times we will always remember.
Two koozies from places where people (including us) have had a lot of fun and a lot of beer.
Jim’s Place koozie from Lake Fork, Texas…because J. says its just “solid,” and shouldn’t a picture of a bass just BE on koozie?
The Univeristy of Texas Ducks Unlimited koozie…because who would throw that away? Hook ‘em.
The U. S. Customs Service koozie…because J. says “that’s pretty bad-A.” (Nevermind that YOU don’t actually work for the U. S. Customs Service. Somehow holding it makes you a little bit cooler. I guess.)
The Talladega Superspeedway koozie. I was actually in agreement on this one. This was a purchase we made when we went to the race at Talladega. If you don’t know anything about racing, it’s actually a really fun gig. And some of the best people watching EVER!
Then there’s the Delta Gamma 1996 Crush koozie. And why is it that I need to keep this? I’m pretty sure all it says is, “I was in a sorority. And, yes, I’m getting old.” Nevertheless…it made the cut.
Then, last but not least, we kept this little biker chick gem (and by “we,” I mean “J.”). Why? Because this koozie is, in his words, “so quality.” I could go a lot of different directions with this, but I’ll just let sleeping dogs lie.
We did have one honorable mention. A nod back to one of the great burgeoning companies in the computer industry. Any of you out there work for this former great like J. did? Here’s to you old friend. You were worth taking a picture of, but not quite worth keeping.
So, that was it! The koozie clean-out alone got our count up by another 37 items. But we had a lot more road to travel.
I rolled up my sleeves (actually I wasn’t wearing sleeves). What I really did was pour myself a beer (so appropriate), and I started in on the other kitchen drawers.
We have this HORRIBLE drawer of kitchen utensils where you are constantly digging to find something. And then, in the remaining space of the koozie drawer, like 100 dish towels (most of which are majorly stained…so glad I just got some nice new ones from my friend L.R.) and hot pads. This was going to be fun.
As I began to clean and sort, I had to shake my head in amazement. I hollared in to J., “Why do we have 5 pizza wheels and 3 ice cream scoopers?!?!” The last time I checked I wasn’t running a Domino’s® or a Dairy Queen®. Good grief. (We’re keeping the new Cutco® wheel and scooper we got for Christmas this year. Thanks, Mom and Dad.)
“That’s probably why I can’t ever find a dang thing in that drawer,” he said. “I can’t find the freakin’ pizza wheel for all the pizza wheels in the way.” Oh, so true. I had to laugh.
And then, there were the oven mits. 8 oven mits? Seriously??? There are NEVER that many people helping me in the kitchen. We’ll keep 3. (Sorry C., the TCU mit isn’t making the cut. It has charred fingers…which DOES mean it was used well, though.)
I bagged up hot pads and multiple utensils left and right. Two people do not need 5 whisks, or 3 potato peelers, or two garlic presses, or NINE spatulas, or TWELVE hot pads, or multiple wine stoppers (okay, considering the koozie drawer, maybe we DO need multiple wine stoppers…but just a couple).
And then there’s my personal favorite…the broken, melted, random category. Chopsticks? Who are we kidding here? Here were 11 items to chunk.
And then there’s THIS.
I have NO idea what this is. (J.W., my kitchen guru, do you know what this is???)
J. says, “It’s for stirring.” But I’m like, “What are the holes about.” He’s like, “So liquid can go through them.” I’m not sold on this answer, so if anyone out there can help me with this, it would be much appreciated. I’m holding onto this because I’m afraid I might have something really awesome and I’m just too dumb to know what it is.
We did have to compromise on a couple of things.
J. hates the wine opener on the left, but loves the wine opener on the right. I just never feel saavy enough to use the one on the right, so we’re keeping both.
And I just flat out hate this awkward spatula thingy. I don’t think it’s pliable enough. But J. likes it. He uses it when he makes hummus, so we’re keeping it. (Actually, I have to come clean on this one. I sort-of think this is a utensil that neither of us has been using properly, and we’re BOTH just too dumb to realize it. What are those prongs on the other end for? And why is the spatula end not curved and it’s asymmetric to boot? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?? Anyone???)
And then, there were my 5 absolute favorite things in the drawer. There was no way in heck I was parting with these.
(1) The melon baller. Use this all the time, especially for my son N.’s favorite watermelon.
(2) The egg separator. Love it. It just makes me feel good to use it and end up with that perfectly round yolk just resting on the top.
(3) My favorite mini-spatula in the whole wide world. It is so tiny and cute. It cuts the perfect brownie squares out of the pan or lifts up the perfect single slice of quiche.
(4) The “no boil over” utensil. This thing is awesome! You put it in the bottom of a pot of water, or anything that you plan to boil, and it won’t boil over. Science and engineering at its best!
(5) My 1/8 measuring cup. Hang on to one of these if you ever get one. A lot of the standard measuring cup packages never come with the 1/8. I’m pretty sure life might cease to exist without this.
And then, there was the one thing that I never use, but I just can’t part with. My grandparents’ nut cracker set.
This reminds me of hunting pecans in the fall under their huge pecan trees and cracking them on the little end table in their living room in between the sofa and the recliner. Why don’t we sit around and crack nuts anymore? I think because it takes time. Maybe we would all connect a little more with one another if we just sat around and talked and cracked nuts. That’s a bygone ritual that needs to come back, in my opinion.
So I tallied up the koozies, the hot pads, the oven mits and the utensils, and could not believe what I was seeing. 81 items! If you read my first post on The Summer of 1000 Things, that was EXACTLY the number of items that we got rid of on the first “official” weekend. This was getting weird now. Even weirder…that left exactly 100 items to go before the end of the weekend.
I was getting tired of this kitchen, and, if you can’t stand the heat… So, I brilliantly moved, yet again, to our master bedroom and our collection of…drum roll…VHS tapes. Cha-ching. The motherload.
Here’s just one drawer, and we’ve got two people…filled to the brim with purchased VHS movies and, yes, oh yes, movies that I recorded off of the television in the ’90s. Sweet.
The unloading began, and our son N. was totally involved in this. I would say, “Let’s look at the words and read whether or not we need it.” He would pretend like he was examining it and then got really good at saying, “Nah,” and throwing it in the sack.
Final tally…59 purchased VHS tapes and 22 tapes with movies I recorded (typically 3 on each tape).
But there were a few I couldn’t part with…Disney (because we have a 2 year-old now), Doris Day (because I always wanted to sing like her as a kid), Jimmy Stewart (because you just can’t get rid of a Great until you have replacement DVDs), and The Eagles: When Hell Freezes Over (a different genre of Great, and I’m not sure if they have this one on DVD…they probably do).
Oh, for the love of God! I was still 19 items short!!!
There! You beauty! You fantastic woven creature housing absolutely nothing purposeful. Yet ANOTHER stack of magazines in a basket (you might recall the 42 magazines we threw out the first weekend).
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6………19, 20, 21, TWENTY-TWO! It was party time!!!
184 items all in 1 afternoon!
And, I even found two missing pieces from one of N.’s puzzles at the bottom of that magazine basket. (I had been stressing over that dadgum puzzle for at least 4 months. I was certain the cleaning ladies had sucked those pieces up in the vacuum cleaner.)
Everything was right with the world.
Now, can somebody pass me a koozie? ;o)