Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I knew the day was coming. I was expecting it.

We've been cited by the Zoning Enforcement Branch of Zoning Administration. Our property is officially an automotive graveyard.

The certified letter arrived a few weeks ago and stated the following:
"Zoning inspections conducted...[have] revealed there is the storage and parking of inoperable vehicles in the front, side and rear yards of the above-referenced property, and the storage of vehicle parts and other miscellaneous items."
I admit it. Our back yard looks trashy. We’ve let the accumulation get out of hand. But keeping accumulation from occurring here is difficult because this property has been the family homestead since the mid 1940s. Also, we have a bit of land, so friends and family often temporarily park vehicles here; but temporarily has a way of expanding. And because my husband is a mechanic, he's forever working on some kind of project. When a delay in getting parts or bad weather ensues, he abandons the current project in favor of another one.

The letter goes on to name a few specific vehicles, all of which have expired registrations and some of which are not ours. The letter—some three pages long—also mentions these:
"...[A]utomobile tires, car ramps, hydraulic floor jack, brush guard, automobile exhaust components, other miscellaneous auto parts, riding lawn mower, and plastic storage containers."
Additional information, both from the letter and from the county code, states that we must not build any additional structures for storage.

We can file an appeal by submitting a particular form and the fee of $375.00, but we aren’t filing. This mess has got to go! Besides, the time of year for vegetable gardening is approaching, and we need some space.

As you may already have guessed, my husband has both the pack-rat gene and the fix-it gene. And, truly, he was planning to clean up the yard this spring, but after our annual yard sale, which we usually have in June. Now we have until April 14 to hide with appropriate screening, to throw out, or to store inside one of our three sheds all the junk and all the other material which we regularly use to work on our registered vehicles. Therefore, the notice is a good motivator, one with a definite deadline.

Of course, having problems with junk is not unique to us. According to the December 7, 2005 Washington Post article “Stockpiling Run Rampant,"
“Over the course of 17 years, a married couple living in a mid-unit, three-bedroom, three-story townhouse in Burke had hoarded so much stuff that their home was overflowing.

“The weight of the debris was threatening to cause the floors to cave in…. It took 15 dumpsters, each with a capacity of 40 cubic yards, to clean out the rat-infested house.”
Whew! We aren’t anywhere close to that situation, despite the fact that we’ve lived here nearly thirty-four years. Certainly, our four cats don't permit any rats here.

A friend of ours is in the towing-and-salvage business, and he came yesterday with his flat-bed. Pray that our friend stays well and can keep hauling all this week. He has just started. Six more vehicles and the riding lawn mower remain, as well as an entire shed filled with miscellaneous auto parts. We're going to need that shed to store the dune buggy.

(Readers, please note that I have hoarded the above Washington Post article since December 7. I was following my parents' motto "It might come in sometime"!)


At 4/04/2006 9:28 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Good luxxxxxx!..any spare porsches?..heh

At 4/04/2006 10:24 AM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

I can truely sympathize!! My parents bought the house I live in, in 1957. My late husband was a worse pack-rat than I am, I shudder to think of the genes we passed on! My son and I DID clean out the back patio last week, we use it for storage but now we can walk through without tripping over some unidentified something or other! Mostly books and papers in the house, but aquarium equipment Ben kept from the '60s. The garage is next, can I quit now?


At 4/04/2006 11:50 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Posted in fun, for chuckles only.

You may live in AOW's neighborhood if...

1. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.
2. You let your twelve-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
3. You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
4. You think a woman who is "out of your league" bowls on a different night.
5. Jack Daniels makes your list of "most admired people".
6. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.
7. Anyone in your family ever died right after saying, "Hey watch this."
8. You think Dom Pérignon is a Mafia leader.
9. Your wife's hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
10. Your junior prom had a daycare.
11. You think the last words of the Star Spangled Banner are, "Gentlemen start your engines."
12. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
13. The bluebook value of your truck goes up and down, depending on how much gas is in it.
14. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.
15. One of your kids was born on a pool table.
16. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
17. You can't get married to your sweetheart because there's a law against it.
18. You think loading a dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.
19. Your toilet paper has page numbers on it.
20. Your front porch collapses and kills more than five dogs.

At 4/04/2006 1:59 PM, Blogger Lawman said...

I know how ya feel! My folks have had their place since the late 60's. Over the past 40 years or so, dad has managed to accumulate all sorts of stuff he plans on using "one of these days".

I've also noticed, no matter how much space your house has, you will eventually amass enough items to fill it completely.

It's probably the one thing everyone in the world has in common.

At 4/04/2006 2:01 PM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

You see how the Socialists just love the common people, the working class?

(Just kidding)

At 4/04/2006 2:09 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Come on freedonnow, that's high quality material.

At 4/04/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Ducky is the new and improved urban red redneck. The new and improved urban red redneck quotes Fanon, Chomsky and Marx . Unlike genuine rednecks urban red rednecks
have no fun and are devoid of humor. Who can be funny when one is
so self absorbed.

At 4/04/2006 5:03 PM, Blogger nanc said...

we moved to arkansas so we could be proud of our junk! so far a school bus, two ford p/u's, a dodge van, a ford escort wagon, a chev suburban, and a chev 4wd pick-up adorn our mountaintop - and they are all in working order, parked perfectly parallel with one another (fern's feng shui at work) and i pity the fool who trys to change us!

we bought this property before covenants and then the yanks started moving in and are starting to ruin it all as we found when we purchased our last two parcels. i guess big brother's coming...

anybody need a good used vehicle?

At 4/04/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Quoting Foxworthy?

I admit it. Your 20 points made me smile.

Our friend is still hauling. The third derelict vehicle just rolled out on the flatbed. Progress!

At 4/04/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

We still don't have covenants. But the county has a boatload of regulations--huge PDF file.

At 4/04/2006 5:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

My parents lived in the same place for 40 years. They had to hire junk-haulers too.

But the friend we have is doing us this favor FOR FREE. I hope that he makes a nice profit; he's been unable to work the past two months because of a knee replacement.

At 4/04/2006 5:45 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

No spare Porsches--just the dune buggy, which is not a terribly practical recreation here in Northern Virginia. And the dune buggy doesn't run right now, either.

At 4/04/2006 5:47 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
Part of the problem here is that I'm an only child. Once my dad passed away (He passed some 10 years after Mom), I had to bring a lot of stuff into this already-nearly-full house.

Once the cleaning-out gets done, the relief is palpable. But doing the cleaning-out is tough, both physcially and emotionally.

At 4/04/2006 5:47 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Urban rednecks?

At 4/04/2006 6:20 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Mr. Beamish loves junkyards.

At 4/04/2006 6:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Beamish,
You do? Well, we've got one! By this time next week, I should be able to say, "We had one." Otherwise, the county will start proceedings.

My family was here first. The back yard has been in this state for years. And, really, when the leaves are out, in my woods and on my honeysuckle hedge, nobody can see the mess.

One day, probably not in the too distant future, this property will be covered in McMansions. That's not progress, IMO.

At 4/04/2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Looks like it's time to do some serious spring cleaning.
lmao@ The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse and You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

At 4/04/2006 6:47 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

I understand.
I have computer stuff collected for future use and this includes 8" floppies(no mistake), ISDN routers and other precious items, which simply have no future other than memorabilia.

At 4/04/2006 7:05 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

AOW married a bubba?
Just kidding but time to get rid of the junkyard.

I'm going to steal your material ducky, some of those were hilarious.

At 4/04/2006 7:15 PM, Blogger George Mason said...


This blog touched the cockles of my southern heart. I don't know what these officials are complaining about. That's a normal yard down here.

Hey, Duckie, you're supposed to credit your source, not plagiarize. Did you learn at the feet of Kerry, Kennedy, or Biden?

At 4/04/2006 7:45 PM, Anonymous Mustang said...

And it really doesn't help all that much that you relocate every three, four, or five years. You just accumulate "junk" faster, is all. There must be a law of physics to explain it.

At 4/04/2006 7:56 PM, Blogger nanc said...

i.w. - ah've been spring cleanin' for nigh on six yeeeahs!

At 4/04/2006 8:18 PM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

AoW- That was my problem! Only child, mother died in '91, dad in'97. We were in Cal. and hauled everything out there from Fla. Then came back, all in all, 3 households! Mine before marriage, my husbands, trimmed that down to accumulate some "ours", then my folks. Then hauled it all back to Fla. in'99. Duhh!! Still got tools from the '50s. Maybe someday, yeah right! It can be discouraging. Anybody want a 15 ft. boat, trailer, REAL cheap!


At 4/04/2006 8:33 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

AOW married a bubba?
Just kidding...

Hehehe. Sounds like it, doesn't it?

Actually, I married a Southern Californian whose mother is obsessive-compulsive about hoarding. Must have something to do with her upbringing during the Great Depression because nobody else in my husband's family is like that.

My husband has a mild form of the gene because his father was just the opposite!

At 4/04/2006 8:36 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

My husband and I haven't relocated since the day we married. But we're hoping to move within the next 18 months. We'll have to have a REAL cleanout then because we're not taking all these tattered possessions with us. We'll keep only what we want, and the rest of the family will have to come and get their own junk--or out to the curb it goes.

I admit that my home office is a disaster area. It's on the second floor, and I'm going to open the window and start tossing. The trash cans are pretty easy to hit from that vantage point.

At 4/04/2006 8:41 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

George Mason,
This property used to have a chicken house on it. Every morning, 80 were slaughtered and taken to a local restaurant. Those days ended, of course, many years ago. We took down the chicken house about 20 years ago; a brush pile is in its place. The brush pile might also contain some scrap metal.

That's a normal yard down here.

One of my neighbors hails from Georgia. She couldn't believe that we had to clean up our lot. Her wail: "But who is going to fix our cars?" And her just-built garage is so full that no vehicle can enter.

My husband and I don't have a garage. That's how primitive WE are!

At 4/04/2006 8:43 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Missing Link,
My husband hoards "car stuff." I hoard books and LP's. The difference is that my hoarding is inside, and away from the county's prying eyes.

At 4/04/2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Iran Watch,
Looks like it's time to do some serious spring cleaning.

A few hours ago, I took a stroll through the back yard. It's beginning to look empty.

Will I miss the clutter? Horrible thought!

At 4/04/2006 8:46 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
Still got tools from the '50s.

We saved some of my father's tools. They date back to the 1930's! My father was a carpenter/automotive mechanic, so you can imagine what we've got. Thank goodness that my mother hoearded nothing!

At 4/04/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Having moved a few times, I've learned to not only throw crap* away, but to avoid buying crap in the first place.

If I can't afford something that will last my natural lifetime or as long as I can get whatever it is, then I don't buy it.

For example, Chinese shoes cost $15 and last 3 months. American or Italian made shoes last 3 years but cost $75. I buy the more expensive ones and save over $100 over the life of the expensive shoes.

*crap = plastic crap that looks good when you buy it but isn't worth the time and space in your trash can.

We have a 3 story house with basement we're moving in to and nothing will be in the basement.

At 4/04/2006 9:07 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Once I had to find a headlight cover for the Beamishmobile and went to a guy's house out in the middle of West Bumphuck with my dad and not only did he have the part I was looking for, his yard was a literal collection of American automotive history, with cars, trucks, scholl buses, etc. from the 1930's on up to the early 1990s.

Junkyards are heaven for grease monkeys like me.

At 4/04/2006 9:07 PM, Blogger Kender said...

My grampa was a tinkering packrat (moms side) and my dad has a car with a poisonous oak plant growing through the engine compartment (one of my little borthers cars..."gonna get to fixin' that soon") and a hounddog lives under the back porch.....

I am doomed I tell ya.....I have Redneck PackRat genes....

At 4/04/2006 9:16 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...


You have junk computer and software collection too?

It's starting to feel like family around here.

At 4/04/2006 9:22 PM, Blogger Mussolini said...

"20. Your front porch collapses and kills more than five dogs."

Okay, we ahve that here in Butte.

At 4/04/2006 9:36 PM, Blogger nanc said...

it is said that if you put an offering out for a packrat they'll bring something back and leave it in its place.

some friends of ours from mississippi put some very bad biscuits out one evening and they went missing for a couple of days and when they checked after that, the biscuits were put back in their rightful place! must've been some baaaaad biscuits.

we had a packrat get caught on one of those big sticky traps and lost its tail on the trap so we were for a couple of months in search of the tailless packrat. oh yeah, we eventually got him - the little bastitch, in its nest, had a tamborine, some craftsman hand tools, one of our son's coats, a flashlight, various sundry items and about 75 pounds of dogfood. i think he was getting ready for armegeddon!

now we know where the term "packrat" comes from!

At 4/04/2006 9:58 PM, Blogger nanc said...

f.y.i. - our friend orangeducks has a new article at autonomist about life in iraq - a must read.

At 4/04/2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I'll check that out later. Off to bed now.

At 4/04/2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

avoid buying crap in the first place

But we didn't buy all that stuff in the back yard. We scavenged and tried to recycle it here.

At the county's orders, all that valuabe recycle material is now going to the dump.

At 4/04/2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Typo! valuabe = valuable

At 4/05/2006 12:32 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

LOL! on the comments.

Well - I'm glad you saved that article, AOW, because you see that it DID come in handy!

My husband (The City Troll) is a terrible packrat. Oh Lord. He's a mess. I throw stuff out when he's not home - ssshhhhhhhh! Don't tell him! :-D Once while trying to clean out the basement I put a box of old, broken crap out and he carried it right back in. He has issues I tell ya.

Every time one of the girls wants to keep something that's old and broken I tell them, 'There is no need to keep old and broken crap.'

I agree on the good shoes mussolini. Good everything. My LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes have lasted 15 years. Love 'em. In fact everything I buy from Beans lasts for decades.

At 4/05/2006 12:34 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

Oh! And AOW - congrats on getting it cleaned up. You will feel like a new woman when it's done!

At 4/05/2006 4:35 AM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

a.c.-I threw out electronic klug from the '60s,computer parts(REALLY old),magazines, records and aquarium stuff from when Ben breed cyclids back before we even met! I have bags of books to donate to the library, records and cds given to the church! Three different sets of tools, automotive, woodworking and general handyman! One file cabinet is taken up with extension cords, old telephones and Nat. Geo. maps. I am a frustrated beaver, the dog hair piles up real badbehind everything. It HAS to go or I might start tossing Molotov cocktails! But I am still proud of my back patio!


P.S.May leave the boat for the garbage men, heehee...love to see them wrestle it into the back, snicker!

At 4/05/2006 4:37 AM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

mussolini-The problem is it was too well made back then and refuses to totally die!


At 4/05/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Glad to see that you're feeling well enough to make some blog rounds.

Redneck PackRat genes

Good turn of phrase there. But it doesn't fit my mother-in-law. From upstate NY and long ago transplanted to the elite circles of Southern CA, she in no way qualifies as a redneck.

At 4/05/2006 8:49 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
This winter, my husband cleaned out the kitchen junk-drawer. You wouldn't believe what all was in there!

Then, on Sunday, we couldn't locate our AA batteries for our clocks. He had "put them away." After several hours, we had the batteries in.

Sometimes the cleaning-out can be self-defeating.

At 4/05/2006 8:51 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Monica R,
The City Troll and my husband would get along fine--both are Oscar Madisons when it comes to saving stuff.

Keep fighting heredity. Don't let your kids become pack rats.

At 4/05/2006 8:51 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

We don't have many of those porches left in Fairfax County. But all over the place, people have these huge storage sheds.

At 4/05/2006 9:49 AM, Blogger nanc said...

aow - my husband gave me a very small pink arrowhead about the size of your small fingernail a number of years ago. a couple of years later he asked me where i put it and i replied, "in a safe place." soooo, a couple of weeks later i found him rifling through our portable safe, stuff flying everywhere - i asked, "what are you doing?" he said, "looking for that arrowhead you said you put in the safe!" i responded, "i didn't say i put it in the safe - i said i put it in a safe place!" he asked, "so where is it?" and i told him, "it is in such a safe place even i don't remember where i put it!" i'm sure we'll run across it one of these days...

At 4/05/2006 10:14 AM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Have you got out the weed whacker yet?

At 4/05/2006 10:18 AM, Blogger nanc said...

if you're talking to me i.w., not yet...my most recent purchase was a leaf blower - 150 mph and i'm about to take it to everything! i know it will move cats, small dogs and chickens off my deck in a hurry!

At 4/05/2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Merry Widow:

Oh, I'm a firm believer in the old stuff that was made well.

I refuse to have any more than one of our three phones be anything modern. We have the requisite plastic piece of sh.. that has push buttons for those annoying credit card calls "Press..."

Our other two phones are bakelite anchor-weights that use an honest dial, made in the 1930s.

Nearly all of our clocks in the house are key-crank, too.

I understand completely about the "good stuff" that "refuses to die."

At 4/05/2006 11:31 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Just so, mussolini. A lot of my furniture was my grandmothers. Still quite serviceable even at 70+ years old.

Nothing like a good mechanical clock either. I've got a World War II Chelsea radio room. Keeps perfect time.

At 4/05/2006 1:21 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I have both packrat AND throw-it-all-out tendencies which invariably means that while there is a pile of junk sitting in one pile, which I don't even see, I am throwing out everything in another pile--and then realizing I needed that. Doh!

Flylady.net has some good motivation and tips on how to clear out the junk, if you need the help.

At 4/05/2006 1:29 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

We've got a handsome, battery driven (converted to electricity) 1930's radio. The face lights up, and you should see the honey tone in that wood... We bought it at a flea market!

My hubby has the tool/computer pack rat gene, so half our basement looks abysmal, but motto is: If I haven't used it in six months it's OTD! (Excluding, of course, holiday decor.)

At 4/05/2006 4:13 PM, Anonymous themerrywidow said...

AoW- Living in Fla. on the East coast I have a seperate battery drawer! Try to keep it stocked, with teen daughter with cd player plugged into head! Did get rid of another 2 bushels of dog hair, terrazzo is wonderful! Also cleaned off my computer desk, I can now see the monitor! About to haul off and throw away old extention cords, no polarization in outlets!


p.s. Thanks for the encouragement in my forays! Bet it helps you too!

At 4/05/2006 7:19 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...


Anum Muhktar linked your blog. I have seen everything but how has she missed Jason Pappas . That is the first place I would go.

At 4/05/2006 7:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Really? Maybe I can collect more fatwas. LOL.

In Cubed's inimitable words, "Go ye forth and collect fatwas."

Thanks for letting me know. I don't visit "Anum's Truth."

That second word, "Truth," puts me in mind of Orwell: "Ignorance is strength" and those other paradoxes he used in 1984.

I would compare "Anum's Truth" to Orwell's Ministry of Truth.

At 4/05/2006 8:01 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I understand my blog as I am Jewish
but my topic is mostly the left. I understand AC and your blog.

What does Jason Pappas have to do to earn respect ?

He was nominated by a Jihadi group for an award. Mr Beamish was also snubbed and is sending a team of Lawyers.

It looks like Anum plans to be around for a while. So everyone get ready.

I can see Jason pretending he is Rodney Dangerfield.

" I tell you I get no respect from the jihadis ...."

The question is will we return the courtesy ??? It is blog protocol ????

At 4/05/2006 8:52 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

My sidebar says "Sites I Like." So I have no protocol obligation.

I am puzzled, however, why Jason is being ignored. Does he mind?

Mr. Beamish is long overdue for his fatwa.

At 4/05/2006 9:06 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Widow,
Did get rid of another 2 bushels of dog hair


I keep pulling cat hair out of my downstairs computer's keyboard, so I can identify with your comment.

We took tonight off from the backyard cleanup. Tomorrow, back to the task.

At 4/05/2006 9:08 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Invariably, when I get rid of something, I need it. But my husband's problem with "collecting" is that he rarely needs what he keeps.

At 4/05/2006 9:13 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

A lot of my furniture was my grandmothers.

I refinished my great-granparents' four poster. Wow! A real gem of a piece.

My father used to have a sawmill (1930 or so). He cut down a black walnut tree and milled the lumber, then had a neighboring furniture-maker create a unique sidetable. It is one of my treasured pieces, of course.

Several pieces in my house date to the 1860's. They are sturdy and in use.

All of my antiques are serviceable, and some were rescued from throwaway piles.

The old stuff lasts!

At 4/05/2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

motto is: If I haven't used it in six months it's OTD!

You're strong if you can stick by that motto.

At 4/05/2006 9:20 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

A house isn't a home if there isn't some kind of hoarding. The components of that hoarding vary, of course.

One of these days--fateful words--I'm going to get out all the funny material I collected over the years in the classroom. I have a book to write about what students say and do. Funny stuff!

At 4/05/2006 9:59 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I don't know about your area but here in Saint Joseph, Missouri after the code enforcement officials ticket you once they will go by to see if you have stuff in your yard about once a month. They got me a couple of times, once for an unlicensed car and once for a rolled up carpet. We were puting in a new carpet and I hurt my back (again) and hadn't got the old one hauled off. Code enforcement here takes photos of your yard and sends them to you telling you what the problem is. The photos get to you in the mail the day after they are taken. How do they do that? It takes me three days to get a letter across town. The upside a lot of our city officials are out of work since yesterdays election. I posted on that.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 4/05/2006 11:27 PM, Blogger nanc said...

okay, okay, okay - i'm the one who saves the twistie ties off the bread wrappers! it's out - are you happy? now i can sleep tonight...snore...

At 4/06/2006 6:57 AM, Anonymous themerrywidow said...

nanc-Ben did that, when we were packing to return to Fla. I threw away a drawer full. Since he was otherwise almost perfect(heehee) I didn't kill him!
AoW-We used to have a 22lb. Maine Coon, his fur was everywhere! Lots of it, 3 bushels to puppy-wuppy's 2! Now I have a shorthaired grandkitty, she just walks all over the keyboard.
I do have my maternal granfathers rocking chair, one bar on the back keeps breaking. Am also getting rid of all the verticles, hate them, but Ben wouldn't have anything else. There are a few compensations to being a widow(sure!)
P.S. AoW- maybe I can get rid of an old filecabinet today!!!!!!

At 4/06/2006 9:18 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Twisty ties off of bread bags? Hell. We get the new plastic clips. Makes me angry trying to get them off the wrapper.

They are the first things I throw away when I open the bread. I just tuck the edge of the wrapper under the loaf. Frustrates my wife all to heck. She digs the little boogers out of the trash.

I think it's an unspoken game....

At 4/06/2006 2:35 PM, Blogger Cubed © said...

Well, I'm a "_ _ _P" on the MBTI, so you KNOW that our place is - well, not the best organized. I "file by pile."

My daughter was still in grad school when she got a notice from the "city" (total population of that tiny little town is about 300 - we literally know who all the cats' relatives are, down to half-siblings and cousins!) telling her that her yard was a mess and her grass was too long, and she had three days to clean up and mow.

That was two years ago, and she just got another notice to that effect. We'll see if anything happens. Personally, I think she ought to borrow a goat and a sheep to do her yard work.

Her husband is also a pack-rat of Olympic proportions. His specialty is receipts. Even my daughter, who is very "relaxed" when it comes to being neat and organized, sometimes goes around and bags up receipts and chucks them. Some of them go back 4-5 years.

You know you're doing the right thing when the "Collector" doesn't even notice when some of the collection is disappearing...

BTW, everybody, there is a fantastic site called "www.Flylady.net." It is phenomenal. It shows you how anybody, no matter how..."relaxed" you are, can get out of "CHAOS" ("Can't Have Anybody Over Syndrome").

Absolutely amazing.

At 4/06/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I have a special corner in a specific drawer for twistie ties. Probably one of my more-organized spots. LOL.

At 4/06/2006 5:58 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

We, also, get those plastic clips. I don't like them, so I keep reusing my twisties.

At 4/06/2006 6:00 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

You know you're doing the right thing when the "Collector" doesn't even notice when some of the collection is disappearing...

My husband would've noticed vehicles missing from the backyard, however. LOL.

But I have managed, on occasion, to clean out some corners here in the house, without his noticing.

I've heard of FlyLady. Another commenter here mentioned that site; I've also seen it mentioned in the newspaper. Guess I'd better check it out!

At 4/06/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

in Saint Joseph, Missouri after the code enforcement officials ticket you once they will go by to see if you have stuff in your yard about once a month

Uh-oh! I may have to move!

At 4/06/2006 6:07 PM, Blogger nanc said...

i just stockpile my twisties and put a clothspin on everything. you never know when you're going to need a couple million twisties - like if you were going mountain climbing and got stuck on the side of a cow's face and you could hook them all together, tie them to a stump sticking out of the side of the mountain and tell your partner, "hey, check this out!"

At 4/06/2006 6:15 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I think I have about 50 twisties. I keep them in a scoop which I rarely use. Works for me!

At 4/06/2006 6:50 PM, Blogger nanc said...

you never know when you might need one...or 75...

At 4/07/2006 8:29 AM, Blogger Cubed © said...


Yeah, the vehicles are the tough ones..."My husband and I don't have a garage. That's how primitive WE are!"

All right! At last! A kindred soul!

Re: "Invariably, when I get rid of something, I need it."

And of course, you know the corollary: The time-honored way of finding some long-lost item is to buy a new one because things are so disorganized you can't find the one you already have!


Number 19, "Your toilet paper has page numbers on it," brings back old memories.

Med school is a very tough experience, and 30 days before graduation, we made a special "countdown calendar" by marking the sheets on a roll of toilet paper from 30 down to 1, graduation day. An Advent Calendar of sorts.

I've always had very fond memories for toilet paper with numbered sheets.

Hmmm...come to think of it, folks, I've used twisties to fasten lengths of welded wire fencing together for my animals' pen...they work well!

Let's hear it for the twisties! A "Twistie Fan Club"? "101 Uses for Twisties"? The annual "Most Creative Use for a Twistie" award?

At 4/07/2006 9:19 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Last night my husband and one of his good-hearted friends work until midnight. Our back yard is starting to look better now--by the county's standards. But the space looks empty and wasted to my husband and me. LOL.

What used to be the single-car garage here was enclosed in 1947 and used as a chicken brooder for at least 3 years. But after my uncle died, that building, which we call "The Little House," was upgraded a bit--no bathroom however (We did have running water for the sink). Nonetheless, my husband and I lived in that little cottage for some 10 years while we did caregiving for my grandmother who lived alone here in "The Big House." She couldn't stand anybody living with her because of her hours: Up at 5:00 a.m. and to bed at 8:00 p.m. Now we use The Little House for storage. You wouldn't believe what's in there!


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