Garage Finds


The other day I tackled a small area in our garage. By tackle, I mean I cleaned it the hell out. We have a slight hoarder situation going on in there (ahem), and it desperately needs to be resolved. I know this job will take many hours of attention before it’s completed, so my goal is to work only on limited areas at one time. That way I can actually accomplish the cleaning without feeling defeated by it. Prayers and good thoughts are graciously accepted, y’all.


Anyhoo – I cleared out about ten square feet, removing everything from that space so that I could decide what was to be kept and what was to be not kept. During the work, I found some things that had been left here by the previous caregivers. Trash was easy. It went straight into the bin. Other items are not so easy. The first questionable item uncovered was this fabulous vacuum…



It’s gorgeous! But I’m not keeping it. I haven’t even bothered to plug it in to see if it works. It doesn’t matter if it works! It’s gone.


The next thing I came upon was this sweater…



Actually, I found a few articles of clothing. They were tired and dirty, and all of them ended up in the trash. Except this sweater. It’s in with the laundry because I’m gonna wash that sucker and give it a whirl.


After the pile of stuff was out of the space, I found this old calendar tacked to the wall…



For now, it can stay. Not sure why really, but it doesn’t bother me.


Then I uncovered these pic-a-nic baskets…



The big one has service for four inside! These actually belonged to us, but they’ve been buried since we moved, so I forgot they existed. Still, we don’t use them, so they’re outta here.


And then I found something lovely. Something that stirred my heart and made me smile. A pencil sharpener…



Left behind by the previous owners, it is a thing I shall use and love. I can’t explain my adoration of this item, I only know what I feel.


I’m pretty pleased that the only finds I’ve chosen to keep are small (the calendar, the sharpener and the sweater). Everything else has to go. If you’re local and want the baskets (or the Eureka vacuum), let me know and I’ll make sure you get them. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind.


Cleaning this garage may be the death of me, but I swear I’m gonna get it done. And if I do keel over at the completion of this task, at least I’ll have a clean, tidy garage to die in.

Squeaky Wheels



You know how the other day I saw the First Lady of L.A. speak at an event? Well, one thing I forgot to tell you was how I felt after listening to her presentation.


I felt hope. I really did. Ms. Wakeland instilled a belief in Los Angeles. After her speech, I really did feel our city could be bettered, and then some, by its citizens. Us! I left that event with a renewed love for Los Angeles. I was excited to study my local measures for the upcoming election and ready to do my part. It was a lovely, civic pride I felt, and I liked it.


And then, early the next morning, LA Sanitation blew it all out of the water when they decided, all on their own, to simply take away our trash bin. Not merely empty it, mind you, but remove it entirely. When I called to let them know they had erred, I was told all kinds of things that added up to nothing. In short, we may have to go over a week without a replacement bin. Damned governmental bureaucracy. Starting my day off ugly.


And then I spoke to Mister. And he reminded me that although the LA Sanitation doofus I dealt with was indeed fairly useless, it wasn’t the end of the world and I was only dealing with ordinary, city problems. That helped me calm my ass down.


Then I remembered something else. One day I was waiting in line to get to the subway (there was a Rams game in town and the train was overloaded). As I stood in line, I overheard a family behind me. I think there were two kids and their parents. (I never turned around to see them, so I’m not sure.) When one of the kids started complaining about the wait, I heard the dad say, “Be strong. Remember the refugee children. Be strong like the refugees.” I nearly laughed my ass off, but I kept it in check. I guess for them, that’s the new “there are starving children in China, you know!”


After remembering to “be strong like the refugees,” I completely calmed down. I still sent a letter to my local council office and to the general manager of LA Sanitation, but that’s only because they need to fix their shit. And if no one ever alerts them to their screw-ups, well…


When I was completely calm and ready to deal with the rest of my morning, I went outside to sweep leaves. Not only did it need to be done, I also thought the task might prove meditative. I walked out the side door and there it was: our original trash bin. It had been returned. I wheeled it into the yard, finished my chore with the leaves, then went inside to send a follow-up email to all the people I’d had it out with earlier. I thanked whoever got the job done and allowed that as far as I was concerned, the matter was resolved.


So the squeaky wheel gets the grease after all. Okay. I’m not too keen on having to have squeaked in the first place, but sometimes you’ve gotta make some noise. I hope I never have to deal with LA Sanitation again. That’s the truth. But if I do, at least I’ll know who to send my complaints to. Dag.




The other day, as I was starting to come out of my summer flu cloud, I thought I’d take a mosey to stretch my legs. My intention was to walk slowly and cover about 3 miles. Sadly, the walk just didn’t take.


I managed to move at a snail’s pace, which was difficult enough, as I tend to walk quickly. But hey! I was meandering just fine! Only I wasn’t just fine. I could barely handle it. I got about 3/4 of a mile from home and knew I had to turn back. It was the right move, as it turned out. And I gave myself a break. But that’s not what I want to tell you about.


Before I turned in the direction of home, I came across a bunch of trash on the curb. (That happens near the end of a month, as folks move to start new, beginning-of-the-month leases.) I’m not gonna lie to you. My heart flutters when I see a big pile of someone’s discards. You never know what wondrous thing might be in there! If you’re thinking I’m a wee bit on the crazy side for this garbage-fueled propensity of mine, remember – you can take the girl out of the trash, but you can’t take the trash out of the girl.


Anyhoo – as I studied that big pile of potential, the sparkly stuff caught my eye and I got closer to check it out…



Someone made that, y’all! Someone made themselves a table top with busted-up CDs. I fairly loved it. But I’m a sucker for sparkly stuff, and I was still under the weather, so maybe I was being a bit crazy. I don’t know.


I do know that had I been in tip-top shape, I may have hauled that table top home. For what purpose, I’m not sure. But that didn’t happen. I’m guessing that if Mister is reading this, he’s letting loose with a sigh of relief. He didn’t just meet me and it wouldn’t be the first time I brought home trash.


Next time…




I like clean. I like it a lot.


This is the trash Mister removed from the overhead crawlspace in our garage. This is the trash we had to then dispose of.


Friends, if you should move house in the future, please dispose of your own trash. Don’t leave it for the next people. That’s not cool. Not even a little bit.


Sermon over.