Sunday, May 26, 2019

Still Tweaking the Spare Room

Uppuma - Indian Style Cream of Wheat
On Friday, I cooked uppuma for my breakfast - this is made with cream of wheat, to which I added curry leaves, chilies, and peanuts.  I posted how I make it, here.

Later, Friday afternoon, I removed all the large cooking pots and cake pans, etc., that were being stored on the bookcase I had in the garage and got friend M to carry it outside, where he and I cleaned it (so much dust and cobwebs, etc.!)  I thought I could bring it inside the house to use as storage space in the spare room.  However, upon closer inspection, I realized that the bottom portion of the unit was water damaged and the particle board had begun to split.  It was still useful in the garage, but, not something I wanted inside the house.  So, M carried it back to the garage and set it up there, now nicely dusted and clean!  Well, that answered that question!  Now I know that if I want a taller shelving unit in the spare room, I will have to buy one.

In the meantime, I found a different container for my button collection:

Old Button Box
My mother and I used to buy buttons when they went on sale for $.10 per card, many, many, years ago.  Plain buttons, decorative buttons, in all sizes and colors.  Plus all kinds of trimmings, too.  My mother stored them in this repurposed wet wipes container.  I used to store it in one of the desk drawers.  On Friday, I pulled out this other container, a small round thin wood box that I had covered with gift wrap paper, several years ago (I used to store spare batteries in it), and dumped the button collection into it:

New Button Box
Everything fits in nicely and, best of all, I can close the lid!

Closed Button Box
There's another round box like that, covered with the same paper, which holds all my decorative edged pairs of scissors for scrapbooking.  I'm thinking of gluing a button to the top of this box to make it easier to tell them apart.  For now, the button box is placed on the chest of drawers, with the other sewing supplies and the scrapbooking scissors box is on the desk, near the scrapbooking papers.  

If I get additional shelving in the spare room, these would be the sort of things I'd store on them.

In addition to playing with buttons and cleaning the garage shelves, on Friday, I scrubbed my bathtub, did some grocery shopping, and decluttered these plastic Easter eggs and bunnies:

Plastic Easter Eggs and Bunnies
The Easter Bunny no longer comes calling at this house since there is no little girl to get excited about waking up to find trails of glitter leading to hidden eggs containing treats (she didn't like candy, so, she received things like hair bows, novelty erasers, coins, etc. in the eggs).   These days, the only bunnies one is likely to encounter here are dust bunnies, of which there are plenty!

Today, Saturday, I pulled the desk and the chest of drawers away from the walls and swept behind them!  Then, I swept the floor again and went over it with a damp mop.  The main reason for pulling the furniture out was to reach the outlets behind them - I plugged in a radio I had in another room and set it on the chest of drawers, and I plugged in an extension cord to the outlet behind the desk, to make it easier to plug in the sewing machine or a hot glue gun, etc.  I also need to buy a desk lamp for the table.  

After that, I went through another file of papers (car insurance and auto club membership) and tore up everything other than the most current ones.  I took a full bag of paper to the recycling bin!  

Breakfast, today, was a rice cake spread with peanut butter.  For lunch, I pulled out a container of spaghetti  sauce I had in the freezer and a package of ground beef I had browned and frozen.  It was a matter of thawing them in the microwave before heating them together in a saucepan while the water boiled and the spaghetti cooked.  There is more meat sauce left for a couple of meals, as well.  For dinner, I had a sandwich with the last of the beef steak I had cooked earlier.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny day
- Chatting on the phone with aunt C
- Lunch from the freezer
- All what I was able to accomplish
- No phone calls from the doctor on Friday, either

Tomorrow, a member of the extended family is hosting the monthly rosary and a brunch to commemorate her father's first death anniversary.  I will be giving cousin P and friend F a ride to the event and back.  I haven't made any other plans for tomorrow, but, I'll probably sort through more files in the evening, after I get back.  The forecast calls for scattered showers, tomorrow.  Depending on how much rain we get, I might not have to water the garden for another couple of days.

How is your weekend coming along?  What are your plans for Sunday?


  1. We call cream of wheat "semolina" but I use it mainly for sweet puddings, not savouries. The buttons look good. Just a thought- would it be better to glue a few buttons round the rim of the lid? If you put one on the top, it prevents you from being able to stack things on it in the future. My Sunday is busy, I'm in charge of the children's group at church today.

    1. I like your idea of gluing buttons around the rim! Not only will I be able to stack things on top, it will use up some of those extra buttons in the collection! Thank you, Angela!

      Hope you don't get too tired working with the children's group, today. Take it easy once you get home.

  2. I have the old button cans from my grandmother and mother. While they occasionally bought buttons, the cans have mostly buttons cut from clothes after they got too worn to wear. A couple of years ago, my sisters and I made Christmas ornaments from some of the buttons from the cans. That was a lot of fun as we remembered the clothes the buttons came from.

    1. Those would be special ornaments to be brought out every year and hung on the tree, I'm sure. I used to do crafts with my daughter, using the buttons from my mother's box!

  3. You are always so industrious, Bless. I need to sort our various boxes and collections of bits and pieces. I think about it but never get around to doing it. As a small girl, I used to play with my grandmother's button box for hours when we visited. I'd sort them into colours and patterns and loved it.

    1. I'm trying, Eloise. I feel I am being very unproductive, some days. I wanted to get so much accomplished this first year of retirement. You are still working, and have a busy social life, so give yourself time to go through your stuff. I do recall you decluttered your kitchen not too long ago and I was very impressed by how efficient you were with it, too. I tend to dither about what I want to keep and let go of!

      I used to play with my mother's button box as a child and my daughter played with it, when she was a little girl! Hours of sorting into different colors and sizes and so forth. :)

  4. Ikea has a great selection of bookcases in all sizes and you can order online - and they're super easy to assemble - I did the one for my craft space. Also, thrift stores sometimes have really nice ones for a great price. Love all the neat changes you're making in your home!

    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Yes, we have some bookcases from Ikea, already, and they are very nice. I looked at some online, too, and saw a couple I liked. I need to measure my space, decide how deep and wide I want the shelves to be and then, go shopping.

  5. Good of you to be tweaking. I am having some serious houseguests in mid June (9 to be exact for several days) I have a list made of to-do's so I can get ready on time. Fingers crossed Mom issues are non-existant.

    1. Sounds like you are going to be busy, Anne! I hope you will be able to get ready for your guests and there will be no Mom issues. Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for you!

  6. Ive never made Uppuma from cream of wheat. I’d like to try it one of these days.

    You’ve been busy with cleaning and tidying. I’m sure after all your work now you can’t call the spare room ‘the dump’. LOL
    If you have a Habitat Restore nearby, you might be able to find good quality wood book cases. The downside is because they are already assembled it’s hard to bring them home.

    1. The lady who showed me how to make it used cream of wheat, I think because it was more readily available in that Wisconsin town than semolina. But, after that, I've been using cream of wheat, myself.

      Nope, the spare room is no longer The Dump! :D It is now back to being the Third Room (because it is the 3rd bedroom). Maybe I need to come up with a better name for it?

      Thanks for suggesting Habitat Restore! There is one about 15 miles from me (about a 30 minutes drive on the freeway, depending on traffic). Maybe I'll take a drive that way, one day, and see what they have. But, transporting a fully assembled bookcase might be a problem, as you mentioned.


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