Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Next week, I'll go to Paradise or a Play. It all depends.

We have finished a quick tour of hell. It involves walking in circles in a massive grocery store searching for my mother. You have to follow that motorized scooter or it disappears. Mom and I have a joke that we have papers that disappear into thin air.

I have a feeling my mother may be part Harry Potter and disappears in the grocery store. Last week it was an old man with two bottles of wine that I kept seeing. This time it was another woman older than myself. She really was not dressed as well as my mom. But finally I saw mom beside the organic food milk case carefully looking over discounted yogurt. I felt like saying, "Since when do you eat yogurt?".

But I kept my mouth shut. No matter how old you are and how old your mom is,


In about an hour I will unload the cabinets and reload them with canned vegetables. It is the only way to slow my mom from stocking up. I get her to straw boss my putting the cans back in.

The dirty thirties is never far from my mom's memories. She can remember the past in striking details.

I am currently packing up perfectly good clothes while they are perfectly good to give to the thrift shop that operates at the workshop my brother attends. I'll gift them with some canned food.

How did I get so many clothes?

1. I retired. You just don't wear clothes like you did when working. I have three pairs of jeans I alternate. One is very important. It is tight at the waist and reminds me to cut back on my eating. I let a professional outfit go every month or so.

2. Apparently, the fear of going without is a hereditary trait. It didn't show up on my sister's DNA test of our ancestry but it is there.

3. Also hereditary is the ability to find a good deal. I have two sisters. One can spend money faster than me and the other can find a good deal faster. You stop at a yard sale. The first one will get in the car with a piece of junk and the other one will have found a gold chain for a dime. I'm not exaggerating. I of course get in the car with another book or two or ten.

4. I like to dress well. I just don't understand why I forget a pair of pants have a rip in them until someone taps me on the shoulder to tell me.

5. At one time I worked so much, I really did not know I had amassed a monopoly on black and navy pants at below wholesale prices. Let's not talk about shoes. I am taking a few of them to the thrift shop.

Anyway, the only way to get my mother to slow down stocking the canned food is to let her help me reorganize the cabinet. I would call that hell too. But mama did not raise a fool. The fact that our cupboards are full is something I feel blessed to have on Earth. The real reason I get my mother to tell me how I should put it back in the cabinet is that I did not inherit the organization gene.

Now purgatory is lunchroom duty in a middle school. Whatever you do, never agree to play music. The kids only talk louder than the music. Believe me.

This is where I learned that time slowed and there was a different vibration in the air before a child threw a carrot.

I exaggerate.

But did you know there are kids who will throw small pieces of candy instead of eating them. They are usually male. Although I did keep a girl after school for throwing peas at the table.

One of the reasons I used to decide to teach at an alternative school was no lunch duty. And the fact that the children were really pretty good children. They just had tough lives. This time I'm not exaggerating.

This is before. 


  1. Is that all just for your mom? If the apocalypse happens, I'm going to her house.

    1. She is prepared. A friend of mine's mother overbuys soup. It is overwhelming. Grocery shopping is something mom loves to do. It doesn't go bad. Well sometimes it does. That is why some of it is going to the foodbank.

  2. Damn, you're stocked up for a while. I may or may not have thrown a few carrots in my day, never ate at the nasty cafeteria though

    1. I suspect you threw a few carrots in your day. I would have to. But we did not do that when I was a kid.

  3. I think you will always have side dishes for ever. Thats a lot of canned goods.

    1. The worst part is so much of it is salt free and tastes awful. But we will not go hungry.

  4. We were just talking about this the other day, hubby and me, about lunchtimes when we were in school. I went to a strict Catholic school and we were not allowed to talk during lunch when we were in the cafeteria. I am sure it had to have something to do with the amount of noise it would generate in a covered building. We also couldn't leave until we had stayed there for 15 minutes (to make sure we didn't just quickly eat our food to get onto the playground for the rest of lunch recess).

    I think there is a certain mentality from those people who grew up during the depression who might develop a bit of a "hoarding" tendency. Hubby's parents were from that generation and their motto was not to throw away anything because you don't know if you are going to need it or not down the road. That resulted in us, on their passing, to dispose of more than 30,000 pounds of stuff they had accumulated over the years. Conversely, my mom also from that generation did not "hoard" but she was economically not as well off as they were in their later years, hence, maybe she couldn't hoard but would have hoarded it she could?

    I on the other hand am a minimalist. I have the least that I can get away with. I need to prepare better for a "rainy day" but that's why we keep a pretty good amount of cash around, just in case......

    Giving clothes away to help worthy causes is always a good thing to do.


  5. Being a minimalist is a good thing. Since I am getting older, I want to get rid of a lot. I know it will eventually be an incredible burden which I may not be able to handle.
    I would be lying if I did not say the overbuying is frustrating. Last week mom had 12 cans of pork and beans since they were on sale. They are always that price. If it makes her happy, I just buy it. But it makes me bat sh--- crazy when I think about it. There is a point you waste your money stocking up. She got upset with us that about five jars of mayonnaise went out of date. I felt like saying, well if you didn't buy so much of it. But that hurts her feelings. So I go through the cabinet to take some to the foodbank.

  6. Back when I used to shop with coupons I would tend to stock up on things and our cabinets were always overflowing with food. We were always ready for some major disaster where food would be at a premium. Now I shop for a few days at a time and our food on hand has depleted to where there is a lot of empty space in the cupboards and refrigerator. We could still probably live a couple of weeks on what we have, but when it's just my wife and I we don't eat all that much anymore.

    No shortage on my wife's clothes for now. She's still working and she buys something new nearly every week. Right now she's taking up most of the space in 3 large closets. I've got clothes in 3 closets too, but I have far fewer than she does. But since I stay home almost every day now I mostly just wear a few things that I keep in rotation.

    I'm still trying to work on downsizing, but I have a hard time getting rid of stuff.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Not eating much is part of the equation. Mom is used to hearty, working appetites. We all eat small portions and feel full which is good when you are older. But it is hard to walk away from a deal.

  7. Dear Ann I think you've just explained what my hubs has been trying to tell me for years - I need can rehab! I like your rationalization of the propensity to over-stock. Yeah, there were times when there wasn't a crumb in the cupboard the last few days before payday. Ketchup sandwiches aren't bad when it's all there is. I must say, I feel a little jipped every time a can expires - I thought they were supposed to last forever.
    Our clothes have been systematically dwindling in number these last few years as like you, according to changes in lifestyle. The guys at Goodwill know my jeep will always be full and come to greet me in twos when I pull into the drop-off ;-)

    1. It is hard to walk away from a bargain. I rarely shop clothes now. At one shop where I was a great customer, they look puzzled at me that I no longer look. I am just taking my sister so she can pick up a few things. She is much better than I at getting rid of unwanted clothes.

  8. My parents grew up in the thirties and had the same stocked cabinets syndrome. They could never pass up a deal and would buy canned goods by the case. I'm the empty cupboard type. Sometimes there's little more than milk, eggs and yogurt in my frig.

  9. That is an awesome food storage--as long as nothing is bad. I believe in having a food storage, especially with teenagers in the house. I shop smart, but I spend so much money on groceries there really is nothing left over for clothes. Thus I should probably start shopping at that thrift store you donate to. ;)


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