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Back to Unstuffing…

Well I am back in Niagara for a few days, helping put on a party to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday.  He actually turned 70 last month but my mother was away cycling around France.  Plus it’s easier to organize a party in June when you want to hold it in the garden, and you are inviting people who need to travel.

I rushed around quite a bit the day before leaving and got my strawberries done, my bread baked (although that ended up being a disaster and I’ll need to make more when I get back), and all my spinach cooked up. I made a large batch of spinach soup and threw it in the freezer along with the strawberries and bread.  The rhubarb is just going to have to wait until I get back early next week.  Fortunately rhubarb keeps well.

I also spent some time finishing unpacking my kitchen.  It’s pretty much all set up now, although I am missing some important items (such as my cutting knives) which means there is still another box of kitchen stuff somewhere in storage, yet to be found.  My goodness I have a well stocked kitchen!  I love it though.  The more I cook, the more I am enjoying cooking.  Bread failures aside, I am becoming more confident and exploring new and more complex recipes.  I love that I almost always have the tools – and typically the ingredients – to make things right on the spot.

Still, I have a bit too much stuff in the kitchen and some of it is going to be donated.  Unpacking these new boxes created some havoc and clutter in my living space, which is driving me nuts.  My (now former) roommate is a very tidy person and we kept the common area of the house quite clear of clutter.  I really enjoyed that and will continue to ensure that the house is as empty as possible.  I will not be bringing in any new furniture to the living room, for example.  It’s quite sparse now but I’m sure a bit of artwork on the walls will warm it up.

With all the extra storage space I now have, I have pulled everything out of my bedroom and am sorting through that, piece by piece, as well.  I had to keep everything in the one room for the past year: my office, my bedroom, my clothes, my dog stuff (crates, toys, towels etc.), my tools, my furniture projects, my empty storage boxes, extra furniture I didn’t need because the room came furnished, and so on.  Despite the rather large size of the room, it was depressingly cluttered.  Now it is much, much emptier!

After moving things out of my bedroom and into other parts of the house, I am pulling the things out of the back of my closet and other nooks I’ve stuffed them into, and looking at what I haven’t used in the past year.  I am going to go through all of what remains and either put it to use, or donate it.  My nicely empty bedroom is once again cluttered, but this time with distinct piles.  One of clothes, one of books and papers, and one of general stuff.  I have a whole house to set up – if I can’t find a use for something now, it has to go.

Fortunately there’s not really that much stuff (other than the papers) as I have been diligently been working at this de-stuffing process for over a year now.  Still, the struggle continues.  Perhaps it’s never ending in our consumer society. Try as I might not to, I still end up buying stuff – sometimes even new stuff, like the dairy thermometer I picked up last week.  But that I will definitely be using for my next culinary adventure: Cheese!  Oh, I’m so excited.  But more on that next time…

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