Spring is in the air, even at twenty below.

The days are getting noticeably longer around here, was light at 5:30 when I walked home from the bus yesterday. If you ask me that means spring time is here. Yeah spring. And if you’ve been reading here long enough you know that on June 22 I declare fall. Days start getting shorter so I’m calling it fall.

Fall makes people grouchy, especially when you declare it on the second day of summer. Double-plus especially when you live in Minnesota. Minnesotans look at the summer like a cherished gift from Mother Nature. That’s because around here we know what total bitch Mother Nature can be. Mother Nature.. well named. You can die messing around with Mother Nature around here. Get locked out of the house getting the paper in your jammies at 5:30 on a Sunday morning in January and you might not live to tell about it. Then again getting locked in the house with my mother on any day and you might wish you weren’t going to live to tell about it.  <<rimshot>>

Still, the days are getting longer and that alone brings hope of better times ahead. And prompts me to think about that simplification objective I laid down for the New Year. I’m all over that one. And my life coach, life partner, Consigliare, and Warden is helping me along the way. Here the progress report and actions taken:

Project Simplify.

Objective one: De-clusterfuck the house.

I kinda have shit everywhere. I got a desk last year, first time I’ve had one all my own. They tell me it’s on the 4 season porch. I’ve only been there a couple times, but I know it’s there. It’s a good place to rifle through stuff when I can’t find something. Today that desk holds a ton of crap up off the floor. Papers, books, in-basket is under there somewhere, letters.. Mrs S puts any mail I get on that desk. I remember to go check it about once a month.  The good news is shit on the desk is mostly current. The bad news is there are the closets and the basement that make the national archives look fresh.

I spent a half hour in the closet in the guest room. A closet I don’t even use, here’s a great example of crap..

–        A video camera that uses mini-discs. Used twice in the early 2000’s to record hockey games it is now completely useless. Except maybe to play back video of those hockey games. Which I will never do. Dumpstered.

–        Several copies of various software programs. Among them: Excel 4.0, Windows 3.1, Starcraft, and box with something called WordPerfect. Saved because I spent a shitload on them and you never know might want them one day. Or not. Dumpstered.

–        A box of pictures my Mother gave me years and years ago, pictures of long dead relatives whose names are lost to history. Dumpstered. Later un-dumpstered by my wife who always gets a little anxious when she hears me rummaging through shit and mumbling about how much crap we have. She gets pissed when I throw out pictures, even pictures of my family.

–        Shadowbox of something called memorabilia from my high school days. Choir letter, grad tassel, high school pins, blah blah. Dumpstered. And, as I said to my wife as I was tossing it- If you haven’t looked at something in 20 years you should let it go.

–        An original box set of the Dungeons and Dragons rule books from about 1975. Saved. Research shows that those things are selling on Ebay for a small fortune. Shocking, something with value.  

The Basement was worse. Textbooks from college, a journal I wrote, assorted electronics equipment, the boxes from items that have long since been tossed out upstairs, hockey equipment that would fit a 10 year old, a safe that only  my father has the combination for, so we’ll call that lost forever, and the innards from every Franklin Planner I ever had, spanning the years 1993 to 2008 when I stopped buying paper planners. It’s sickening how much shit we first world folks acquire in a lifetime. And even worse how little of it we actually throw out.

Maybe I need some criteria-

1)     Have I looked for this item in the past seven years? Why seven? Why not, make it a jubilee thing.

2)     Is there still a place for this item in the modern world or is it obsolete.

3)     If it’s obsolete is there collector value, be honest. Mrs S spent about $8000 on two Longaberger baskets years ago. The Longaberger sales lady said that all her baskets were collector’s items. What she didn’t say, no one collects that shit and the only person who made anything was the lady hosting the stupid party. I’d like to dumpster them but she’s talking about putting them upstairs one day. What day? One day.

4)     Is it a cherished memento? Yea or nay? Is the person who cherished it still alive? Have to ask these questions before you start hauling around 3 generations of shit.

Objective 2- Eat good. Gooder than I had been

This one is going swimmingly. We have not consumed a single pre-packaged meal since the New Year. Everything has been made at home except one pizza. From scratch. I know, I freak’n rock. BTW, replaced my spices… some had gone bad etc. Took the empty glass spice bottles to Valley Natural and refilled them from the bulk spice bottles. 1/3 the price and no wasted trash.

Did the same for flour and sugar. I know, it’s incredible. Have eliminated waste and advertised brands in the same fell swoop. Call me hippie.

BTW, if you ‘re still reading this.. and you got it on Facebook, congrats. You survived my great Facebook purge of 2013. Deleted 150 so called friends. Facebook is getting less and less useful to me as I get older, and more and more intrusive with their privacy BS and tracking technologies. Fuck’m. I know 240 people so I don’t know how I could have 240 friends. I kept the ones I knew, got rid of their kids and parents and made the ones I really care about close friends. And cranked up the privacy so no one can find me who I don’t want to find me. Mom.


There you go. Operation Spring Cleaning in full effect. Is there anything I missed folks?  


Filed under Life

4 responses to “Spring is in the air, even at twenty below.

  1. You have inspired me. But inspiration is not the same as doing. Congratulations on your progress. And I totally agree with Mrs. S on the photos.

    Here’s what you missed from my house: My kids’ stuff, owned by the kids who live in apartments. I’ve been trying for years to get the two, in the working world, oldest to spend enough time at home to sort through their stuff. When I asked the eldest if I really needed to keep the toy kitchen set stowed in the basement, she insisted I keep it. Do you know how much space that consumes. And what about that manual from the summers you worked at camp? And, oh my gosh, Beanie Babies…

  2. I did not get this on Facebook. I don’t think I did. But I don’t think we were Facebook buddies in the first place. Huh.

    I am also declusterfucking our house. I’ve got a goal, purge 2013 items in 2013. I’m currently at 151.

    At my head, spring isn’t official until pitchers and catchers report for training. Fall begins when I hear the first acorn fall on the garage roof.

  3. While I don’t have a boxed set of D&D rule books, I do have the first edition DM”s guide (autographed by Gary Gygax), Players’ Handbook, and Monster Manual. I cannot bring myself to toss them, despite the fact I haven’t looked at them in about 15 years.

Lemmie know what you think..

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