Sunday, March 20, 2011

Organizational March Madness!

For those of you who aren't fortunate enough to know my sister-in-law, Stacy, you are missing a treat. She has the ultimate gift of hospitality coupled with organizational skills matching no other. I have an area of my countertop I call "my useless corner" because it is tucked in the corner between the fridge and dishwasher. The designers of my kitchen thought the "drawers" that are 4.5" wide adjacent to one another on the corner would be of some use. NOT. They aren't even wide enough for a potholder or dishtowel. The fridge space is not open, but a wooden "box" so the side next to the corner is dark and difficult to maneuver around although the space is 18" wide by the depth of the bottom cabinets. (Picture will be following) On their visit during mom's birthday last month, I asked her to help me come up with an efficient use of this space. I reminded her that I was serious on the visit this past weekend. She laughed and said she had been thinking of some solutions and was waiting for me to bring it up again.The "useless" corner that started it all!

I am organizationally challenged. I can do the basics, but sometimes look at things in a jumble and cannot picture a way to make sense of it. It has gotten better since we moved and shed ourselves of some 30+ years of accumulations, but still there are myriad places I need to work on. Stacy can look at it and instantly come up with a great plan! I gave her carte blanche to go at my area. She said that really I had so much space in lots of areas in my kitchen and pantry and laundry room, but I wasn't putting it to its best use. After her girls and grandchildren left, she sent me to a nap, her energy kicked in and she started to work. (I know she worked so much easier without my sentimentality and inefficiency in her way.) She single-handedly organized the following areas of my home in one afternoon and one morning: my pantry is now sleek and so functional. That in and of itself is a marvelous feat. She totally reconfigured my laundry room and its cabinets and repurposed so many of my storage spaces that I now have what she calls "white space" waiting for more items. One of our proudest "green" solutions in the laundry room was to take a newly discovered bicycle storage hook from the garage and put it opposite the dryer for me to hang shirts or other things on hangers or to dry. She organized the area under my kitchen sink. It wasn't really that full, but she purposed it so that I have all my cleaning supplies, trash can liners, and even an area for my cutting boards to be stored vertically there. She repositioned some of my drawers for efficiency and usefulness. She took a "coat closet" which has never held a coat since we've lived here and turned it into a pantry annex for my small electric appliances (ones I don't use everyday such as crock pot, waffle maker, seal-a-meal, electric skillet, etc.) and tupperware. The great thing is it is adjacent to my kitchen and very handy. I had been using it for my vacuum and broom, etc. but so much of it was space being wasted.

Laundry shelves with "white space" picture 1.

More laundry cabinets "White space" #2.

Repurposed bicycle rack. It will fold up and away when not in use. Don't worry, it's high enough I won't hit my head on it! She thinks of everything!

Pantry all clean!

The best part of it is the servant's heart she displayed while working, tinkering and problem solving. She would giggle with delight when a plan came together. Such as getting a little help from the men in the house to demo a shelf out of one of those skinny cabinets so I would have a vertical place for my cookie sheets and baking stones or researching the internet for the perfect Rubbermaid turntable for a certain set of supplies. Her pleasure in a job well done and thought out was infectious!

I can't thank her enough for sharing this gift with me. She did mention that she did it for fun and not a business, so don't call her. We have a relationship that goes back to the earliest days of high school and included her being in my wedding where she and my brother became reacquainted after, as my daddy would say, she had "all growed up." The rest is family history.

Thank you, Sister Friend!
Under the sink. Cleaning supplies in the tub on the left. It's white so you can see what's in there. On the right, we have a repurposed pot lid holder for my cutting boards, a tray and longer aluminum foil, waxed and parchment paper.

The new place for cookie sheets and baking stones.

The drawer under the oven that used to hold the cookie sheets, etc. Now for iron skillets, etc. that used to be on top of the fridge in the laundry room.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reflections on a Psalm

This morning as the doves are calling to one another,the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and I'm on my back patio reading this Psalm, I just had to share it.

8 O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,

you have established strength because of your foes,

to still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet,

7 all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

It speaks for itself in so many ways, so I won't say much. Our majestic Lord put us on this earth to enjoy it's beauty, majesty, His fun imagination evidenced in creation, from microscopic organisms to the blue whales that roam our seas, to the infectious smile of my grandson, to the freckles on my chocolate lab's nose or the pink blossoms of the azaleas in the front yard, it was all created for us by a most imaginative God.

Thank you is not enough for all these sweet evidences of your love for me, but it is all I have. Thank you, Jesus.