Lost and Found

27 02 2010

HOW long has it been since I’ve posted here? A long time. What does that mean? That I’ve fallen off the wagon? Was I ever on the wagon? Yeah, it’s that bad.

Being organized and clutterbusting is something that has always been a luxury for me, an “extra” life item that I can only attend to if I feel like I have all of my other ducks in a row. My ducks have NOT been lined up recently and so the clutterbusting efforts have all gone to hell. And back.

Yesterday I felt both a tiny bit of breathing room AND an urgency to deal with some stuff. I needed to find a couple of items so I made it my business to start looking around for some things.

I work for an organization that generates a massive quantity of paperwork. We have to send master copies to some giant corporate office that I imagine looks like the labyrinthine mess in the movie “Brazil.” Well, this week I got an email that one of my pieces of paper from early December is “missing” and that I must find it and fax it to corporate. Hahahahahahahaha! I have to say, this really got my adrenaline flowing. Because in spite of all of my good intentions, I have not ever developed a good filing or organizing system for all the papers. I did try at first, but it quickly fell apart.

But guess what!!! After about an hour of running around the house and picking up ALL the pieces of possible paper, I DID FIND IT. It wasn’t ideal. It was LUCKY. Because if I had had a system, I could just say, “Oh! December 2? Piece of cake! Here it is!” instead of sweating bullets and pulling pink papers out of various bags, boxes, piles on the floor, nooks and crannies in the car, and finally coming up with it.

Then I had to find the receipt for a gift I’d given my husband for his birthday last weekend (thank goodness it was only a week ago!) that he wanted to exchange. I THOUGHT it was in the bag I’d brought the gift home in (when they ask, do you want your receipt in the bag? I always say yes! Yes to more chaos!), but no. Not in any bags. Finally, after much panicking and self-loathing, I found the dumb receipt scrunched up in a ball at the bottom of my purse. Niiiiiiice. But I did find it.

Last thing I found was the special credit card associated with our health insurance, which I am supposed to use when making any medical purchases. It was filed in a basket of Important Papers and Items, but which I did not think to look in. DUH.

Things I have Not Yet Found:

  • Major credit card I lost in mid-December but am loathe to change because it is associated with a ton of online accounts, which I will then have to go and change. I know it isn’t lost OUTside the house because it has not been used (except for online purchases) so I know it’s somewhere inside.
  • Residential parking permit for my workplace. This is a pain because now I am paying $2/hour for parking at meters. Which is stupid since I paid $90/year for the residential permit. Ugh.
  • Armband for my Bodybugg. Which renders it useless.
  • Charger thing for my phone. Stupid.
  • Of course, a bunch of other things I can’t even remember.

So, the state of the Clutterbrained union is: could be better. Could be much, much better. But until I prioritize this, I do not think there is much hope. In the meantime, I will bumble along, losing and finding things at random. Sigh.


Christmas Cookie Meltdown

19 12 2009

OK people, fresh off the victory of my pretty bathroom counter, I am now about to crash and burn. But this is a PERFECT example of the madness that will come from a cluttered life.

So. I’ll go waaaaaaay back to the beginning, to my lovely childhood in a hamlet in New Jersey, where our jolly neighbor Mrs. Kiesselbach would gift us with this incredible plate of buttery spritz cookies each year. We LIVED for these cookies. So beautiful and perfect and delicious. Imagine my delight when I reached adulthood and realized I could purchase this nifty contraption and make them myself. (Mrs. K was long gone by then)

I bought a fancy metal imported cookie press. I made spritz cookies which awed and delighted my loved ones. (and me, too) But then one year the little metal ring that holds the cookie mold forms onto the tube went missing.

You can’t make the cookies without the little metal ring.

I really wanted to make the cookies again. But I did not want to spend big bucks on a whole other fancy metal contraption. So I bought a cheaper plastic version. I made cookies.

You can guess what happened: THAT ring went missing, too.

You an see the photos. We also have these beautiful metal rosette forms for making these dip-and-fry snowflake and tree cookies that melt in your mouth and are so delicate and amazing. But guess what? THOSE forms, which I have managed to save since my high school days, came with a little metal stick with a wooden handle knob on the hand.  The stick screws into the form so that you don’t burn your fingers in the hot oil.

Can’t make those kind of cookies, either. And, we have been invited to a holiday cookie exchange party TOMORROW, which I was so excited about. Until now.

Now, I KNOW there are other cookies I can make that require nothing more than a bowl and a metal sheet. But that isn’t the point. The point is that I am so completely MADDENED by the absence of these small essential items, that render the entire collection of baking things USELESS, that I could jump off the roof. But I won’t.

But this very thing is what is emblematic of my Problem. It isn’t 100% about aesthetics, it’s about many aspects of my life NOT WORKING because I can’t find some stupid thing.

It’s ALMOST functional. But not. We keep all the baking things together in one special baking cabinet. The cookie cutters, and sprinkles and food coloring and other fancy stuff all stays together. So in that way, I know where the stuff is at least SUPPOSED to be. But then these small things go missing and the whole thing is shot to hell.

This is one of the functions of many people living together. AND we are fortunate enough to have someone who helps us clean once a week. (I can only imagine the sheer horror if that was not the case) But what happens is, these little things go in the dishwasher or the sink, and then Someone (I am not pointing fingers, it could be ANY of us) sees this random piece of plastic or metal and has no idea what it is, and maybe it goes in some random Junk drawer, or maybe the trash. I have sifted through the junk drawer and found no cookie-press rings. I am so sad.