Friday, July 06, 2007

It is a sad testimony to my cooking abilities that I do not actually know the proper and safe way to thaw out ground beef from the freezer. What's even worse is that I didn't realize that I didn't know until I realized it had been sitting out on the counter for a couple hours. (Note to self: must learn!)

I am one of those people who doesn't shop very well in advance - it's quicker and easier to stop off at the market on my way home than to plan a gigantic shop and carry it out.

Yesterday I was a bit MIA because I spent too much time reading a blog called Psychology of Clutter. I picked up the link through Bellamoden and it's like I've been waiting for it all my life. I know I am one of those clutter-and-junk people, but I don't exactly know what to do about it. One of the most liberating things was to find out that something isn't clutter just because it's sitting out. Clutter is stuff you don't use, and yet hang on to. Typically so that the stuff that isn't clutter has nowhere to go - and piles up everywhere.

My closet is a federal disaster zone, and I think I saw a couple of raccoons in there the other day. My bathroom, office, yarn stash and parts of my kitchen aren't cluttered; my bookshelf is. My office at work is neat as a pin.

So I'm working through all that.

Apart from a nice meal out at Opryland and some very strange entertainment by a costumed "jazz" band, we didn't do much for the Fourth. I saw fireworks over my neighborhood as I drove home...oh, and then there was this:


That is a stingray, from one of those Aquarium-restaurant...aquariums. In the center was a big shallow concrete pond that looked like a skating rink for stingray - they just kept going around and around in circles, and seemed friendly enough except for the scars on their backs, and their teeth are pretty frightening when you give them something to eat. We didn't see the signs about how to properly feed them by holding the little shrimp in your knuckles, so we sort of tossed it at them whenever they slid up the edge looking for food. There are also giant fish tanks full of tropical fish, pirahna and other exotic-looking critters. I think it was about $4 a person. It would be a really fun place to take kids.

This particular stingray was just a baby, maybe fifteen inches across. You can see on his back edge there's a red scar. Wonder what that's from..."Excuse me, pardon me, OW, Morton! What are you doing? I said 'excuse me,' will you please control that tail, goodness sake."

I'm off work and going to Chattanooga today for some shopping. Have a great Friday! I joined the Tour de France knitalong - you should too! (I have to name-drop them like crazy, they are offering prizes for mentions!)

Tomorrow: more pictures and a story about the car wash...



Blogger bellamoden said...

Hey! Thanks for the props - isn't that site

Have a good weekend!

10:40 AM  
Blogger bellamoden said...

Ps: while I do own I don't have anything there yet.... you want

One of my favorite books is "home comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson... the how-to for everything!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Batty said...

I love The Joy of Cooking, and for healthy fare, the Cooking Light cookbooks and magazines. Pretty darn hard to mess up those recipes, and they come with lots of how to advice!

I didn't know about the proper way to defrost ground beef either, but my husband told me. He used to work in a pizzeria when he was in high school.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Jinjifore said...

We take Boo to Stingray Reef probably at least once a month in the winter. She won't feed the stingrays, but I like to, and she'll pet them if they come up. And while stingrays are cool, the real point is that for $5 you get unlimited carousel rides. :)

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Laurie P said...

Clutter? It took me two months to declutter my house so I could put it on the market. Opening a cupboard or closet can still be a problem. Years ago, hubby saw a book on the shelf having to do with home organization. The smart ass said, "Gee, I'm shocked you can find it." Sigh. I'll take a look at those sites. :)

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning my blog on your site. I'm glad you found it helpful. BTW--wow, you have a lot of readers.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Have you seen Squalour survivors? I ended up on a bunch of sited like that and the psychology of clutter the other week. I ama hoarder, a 'it might be handy some day' clutterer.

I spent a fascinated hour on squalour survivors, unable to look away. I felt ill all day. I felt superior. Then I went home, and threw out a pile of old newspapers and cooking magazines, put books I've never read into a pile for charity, along with clothes I've never worn an a juicer I've used once.

It feels so good to get that stuff out of my life. I'm a fan of Merlin Mann and his site 43 folders. He's currently doing a big declutter, too, and he said that even though it might not be costing you any money to keep that stuff, there's a very real cost to it all the same. I can't believe how many moves I've dragged some of this stuff aroung with me for, out of some sort of weird sentimantality.

This last week I've been conscious of avoiding collecting more clutter - when I go shopping I ask myself will I use it? Do I need it? Do I already have something like it?

I'm now actually considering moving out on my own so I don't have to deal with my housemates' clutter (among other reasons)

Congratulations on your decluttering! Here's hoping we can both keep it up.

10:50 PM  

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