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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

The Household M-Type Thing

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

The Household M-Type Thing

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black-eyed susan
As seen at heartofoshun and rhapsody11 ...

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now.
I have a tiny chip left of the chocolate-scented soap we bought at the Christmas Market in Lille, France. There are two bottles of Dove body wash and something man-scented of Bobby's. (He bought the Dove after the chocolate soap ran out and I started regularly using the man-scented stuff ...)

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator?
No, it isn't quite in season yet, although we may be able to get some from the Eastern Shore when we go next week. Their growing season is a little ahead of ours.

We have one growing in the garden, though. :)

 photo 2015-08-09 14.37.33_zpsis2rytuh.jpg

3. Is there anything moldy in your refrigerator?
Lol, probably. I'm not sure. Since Bobby does the cooking, that is his domain. However, I get to wash out the moldy containers when he does a periodic heave-ho.

4. Are there any dirty dishes in your sink?
Nope. Dishes are my domain and I do try to keep that caught up.

(Actually, Bobby is canning tomato sauce right now, so there may be, but as they are still in use, I don't dare interfere. He gets annoyed at me when he's cooking and I start washing up dishes--including the stuff he's still using!)

5. What would you change about your living room?
Less dog hair without getting rid of the dogs! We also need new couches, which we inherited from my grandmother and which have definitely had a good run.

But look at this pile of dog hair! ;)

 photo 2015-08-09 14.34.57_zpsc5yy0uok.jpg

6. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?
Dirty. With only two of us, it gets run about once per week or when it starts getting moldy, whichever comes first. We will run it tonight so that they are clean when we return from Ocean City.

7. Do you have a can of mushrooms in your pantry?
I ... don't even think I realized that mushrooms come in cans. So no.

8. White or wheat bread?
I don't think we have any bread right now on account of letting stocks of things run down before Ocean City.

9. What is on top of your refrigerator?
A bunch of booze! A couple of bottles of wine and hard liquor. Some hot sauce. When we get cards for birthdays or holidays, these go up there too. It's the celebration shelf!

Note the full pot of tomato-sauce-in-progress on the stove. The magnets are from just about every place we've visited; it's a cheap souvenir and fun to stand in front of the fridge and revisit all the memories.

 photo 2015-08-09 14.33.27_zpsypds53i3.jpg

10. What color is your sofa?

Seriously, the ones upstairs are light brown; the sectional downstairs is chocolate brown cushions on a dark brown frame.

11. What color or design is on your shower curtain?
It's light brown with tree silhouettes in dark brown and white. I tried to take a picture of the bathroom, since it is the room that everyone remarks on, but it's so small, there was no place to stand to get more than a sliver at a time.

12. How many plants are in your home?
Um ... Three pots of aloe. Two pots of cactus. A "money plant." A small palm. A peace lily. A philodendron named Mr. Ivy. A snake plant. A weird succulent that we bought for the apartment because it was so ugly we didn't think anyone else would buy it and the store was going out of business. A broad-leafed basil. So 12 right now. (Thirteen if you count the artificial tree in the guest room.)

Our one suitable window in the house for houseplants.

 photo 2015-08-09 14.34.46_zpstqmds0hx.jpg

That number will just about double in the winter because a lot of these guys will come in for the winter.

 photo 2015-08-09 14.36.33_zpscbjm2ndj.jpg

That number will quadruple in the spring when we start vegetables from seed in the basement.

Yes, I love plants. I'd have way more, but our house gets terrible light. I'd surround myself entirely in plants in the study if I could, like some kind of Lord of the Flies thing.

13. How many candles are in your home?
A lot. We're beekeepers, so we make our own and also have some "decorative" ones for power outages and ambiance that are in pretty bad shape because Lancelot used to chew them when he was a baby ...

14. Is your bed made right now?
Nope. Never, unless company is coming over.

15. If you have a coffee pot, what color is it?
Clear? Like glass? (I guess I didn't know they came in actual colors ...)

16. Electric or standard can opener?
Standard. I find electrical appliances for easy household tasks to be a weird use of space and energy.

27. Comet or Soft Scrub?
Soft Scrub, although we have a septic system so bleach is not something we can use often.

28. Is your closet organized?
Surprisingly, yes! Even more surprisingly, it is better organized than Bobby's, the neat freak! Now if I could just master putting things back in my closet when I take them out ...

29. What color is the flashlight that you use the most?
We have a yellow flashlight that we use for walking to the compost bin in the dark and setting up firepits in the summer. Most of the time, I take my chances on stepping in dog poop and just go out in the dark.

30. What kinds of things are in your junk drawer?
I don't really have a junk drawer. I kind of have a "junk space" that I call my study. When we have to clean up because people are coming over, things tend to get piled here. And I take things off shelves or out of cabinets/drawers and then don't put them back for years sometimes.

My study, in a rather neatened state. (Yes, it usually looks much worse than this!)

 photo 2015-08-09 14.42.03_zpsqpdmvmka.jpg

 photo 2015-08-09 14.42.21_zpsvx479og8.jpg

31. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?
We mostly drink out of glass Mason jars that double for canning.

32. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now?
ALWAYS. In the winter, we make iced tea in our soup pot. In the summer, we make sun tea out in the yard, half plain and half with fresh herbs from the garden. I mostly drink water and tea, so we keep it in good supply.

33. If you have a garage, is it cluttered?
We don't have a garage. We do have two sheds. They are not, at the moment, cluttered because Bobby just had two months off and decluttered the entire house. (Including my study, brave man.)

34. Curtains or blinds?
It depends on the room. Blinds in the bedrooms and study. Curtains in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and basement. All still dirty with woodstove ash because I didn't get a chance to wash them in the spring.

35. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Just one. But I do sleep with a stuffed black-tipped reef shark named Ra'Uf and sometimes my miniature Arctic long-haired unicorn, Nelyo.

Nelyo on the left and Ra'Uf on the right. It was difficult getting them to sit together long enough to take this picture!

 photo 2015-08-09 14.41.10_zps3vlq7exb.jpg

36. Do you sleep with any lights on at night?
No. If I get up in the night, I have to shuffle my feet on the floor to avoid stepping on any Goldens.

37. How many ceiling fans are in your home?
Five: study, bedroom, dining room, and two in the basement. Our house does not have central air conditioning, so ceiling fans and a whole-house fan are a necessity. (Bobby does put in two window AC units in the summer.)

38. How often do you vacuum?
Never because I do not have a vacuum. Every vacuum we've bought burns up because of the dog hair. So I sweep everything with a broom. We don't have any carpets, so there is no point in having a vacuum: again, it is something that takes up space and uses energy unnecessarily. When we had large rugs, I had a carpet sweeper and used to scrub them and hose them down in the yard in the spring.

39. Standard toothbrush or electric?

40. What color is your toothbrush?
Green with dark blue markings.

41. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch?
Yes, we have one at all three doors. The one at the side door is now completely covered in moss. It looks hella cool, actually, like we did it intentionally, but really, it's just because we were too lazy to ever clean it and the composted pine needles it collected apparently made a nice substrate for moss to grow.

 photo 2015-08-09 14.39.10_zpsznzcvhjy.jpg

42. What is in your oven right now?
Bobby's bread stone.

43. Is your microwave clean or dirty?
We don't have a microwave.

44. Is there anything under your bed?
Dog hair and probably a few of the Goldens' toys. And more dog hair.

And a can of whoopass. See #55.

45. Chore you hate doing the most?

46. What retro items are in your home?
I don't think any? We've inherited a lot of items from family members but nothing I'd term "retro." We do have a rather old cake mixer.

47. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office?
Yes. I have my study, and we have a library in the basement that Bobby uses.

48. If you have a yard, who mows it?
Bobby. I used to mow it when we had a reel mower because it was really good exercise. But that was a short-lived thing because it was a little too good of exercise. We decided to put our conservation efforts elsewhere.

I was cutting the grass once with the reel mower and a guy stopped and offered me lawn services. I think he felt sorry for me!

49. Is there anything on your kitchen floor right now?
Dirt. Kibble. Dog hair.

Food scraps and spills tend to be short-lived thanks the the dogs producing all the hair.

50. How many mirrors are in your home?
One in the bathroom and a full-length mirrored closet in the basement.

51. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home?
No! I'm excited if I find a quarter in a pocket when doing the laundry!

52. What color are your walls?
Depends on the room. In the study: white (but the ceiling is painted like a sky). Bedroom: blue. Bathroom: brown. Kitchen/dining room: cream with a dark red accent wall. Living room: desert tones.

53. Which rooms in your house have wallpaper?
None. I don't get wallpaper or why one would want patterns on the wall. I think I'd go nuts. (I've read Charlotte Perkins Gilman too many times, I guess ...)

54. Do you have a peephole in your front door?
No. We live in Carroll County. It's very low crime and everyone's armed. (No, I don't think that the first is because of the second. I am a moderate liberal on issues of gun control.)

55. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home?
Well, we have weapons in the house, although I do not delude myself that they are protection weapons, like they're going to do us any good if someone wants to come in here and hurt us. Except for the can of whoopass that I keep under my bed. Now that might be handy.

Several of the "protection weapons" are just out of sight in the study photos, on the wall.

56. What does your home smell like right now?
It smells like the early stages of cooking tomato sauce, which actually smells pretty disgusting. But it will give us a winter's worth of delicious tomato-based sauces, so it is worth it.

57. Fave candle scent?
I don't do the scented candle thing.

58. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now?
Stuff Bobby made. He always makes bread and butter pickles and relish. Sometimes he'll make dill spears, but since I don't like dill pickles, those are done only every few years. And the cucumber harvest sucked this year--I think we got a bad batch of seed--so we are sticking to the basics that we can accomplish based on bartering eggs for cucumbers with Neighbor Bob.

We also have this jar of Polish pickles that Bobby's grandmother gave him this week.

 photo 2015-08-09 14.34.11_zpspxxciu9x.jpg

59. Who are in the pictures you display?
Bobby and me. We have an Old Tyme Photo from Ocean City that is our family photo. I wanted it to be the setup where I am a whore bathing Bobby in a wooden washtub, but he wanted to be a sheriff, so I got to be a whore, and he got to be a sheriff.

 photo 2015-08-09 14.35.13_zpsf2y8kb6j.jpg

Then we have several photo collages from our travels in the hall, and we occasionally appear in one of them.

60. What color is your favorite bible?
Huh? I'm not a Christian. I own a Bible, but I also own a Koran ...

I'll go with the popular answer that my favorite Silmarillion is the one with the green cover and the picture of Fëanor bear-hugging the Silmarils with a headpiece that looks like a man-eating owl. It is very ... loved. It is also full of little notes and stuff from a decade of being dragged along with me through life. <3

 photo 2015-08-09 14.43.15_zpsdwz5dy6d.jpg

61. Do you have plenty of cabinet space in your kitchen?
We have adequate but not extra. Once we start accruing too many coffee mugs and Tupperware, things start getting tight.

62. Ever been on your roof?
No, Bobby does roof-related things.

62. Do you own a stereo?
Not really. We own several iPod docking stations. I'm listening to one now!

63. How many TVs do you have?
Just one, in the basement. (Actually, I'm remembering that there is one in the guest bedroom but it has never been hooked up!) I refuse to have one in the living room because it drives me crazy at gatherings when everyone is talking and eating and drinking and having a good time and some eejit has to put on the TV to watch "the game" ...

64. How many house phones?
None. We are showing ourselves to be millennials by having cell phones only.

65. Do you have a housekeeper?
Lol. No. Although, during the school year, we pay my mother-in-law to come over once per week to do some cleaning up that doesn't get done otherwise.

66. What style do you decorate in?
We decorate how one would expect a pair of nature-spiritual types to decorate: lots of earth tones and natural motifs.

67. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints?

68. Is there a smoke detector in your home?
Absolutely. There are two, actually: One in the hall outside the bedroom and one in the basement hallway, since the woodstove is in the basement. The latter is also a carbon monoxide detector.

69. In case of fire, what are the items you would grab if you only could make one quick trip?
I'm assuming the Goldens not to count as items. My purse. My laptop. My Kindle. Ra'Uf and Nelyo and as many plants as I could carry. The safety box with all our important papers in it.

70. Do you know how to work your electrical box?
No. I am what the French call les incompetent. I can fix a toilet, though.

71. What temperature in your home is most comfortable to you?
About 68F, although it fluctuates much higher and much lower than that on a regular basis since we don't consistently use AC or electrical heat.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Oh, this meme is definitely more fun with photos!
    • It was fun to take them! I wrote a list as I worked with items like "moss mat" that I wanted to make sure to include. :D
  • Double take here at the 'ogórki konserwowe' :D

    Re dog hair: I can so relate.
    • I've probably told you before that east Baltimore has a huge Polish immigrant population. So we get Polish language churches, Polish import stores, etc. :D Bobby's grandmother frequents one of the latter and often passes things on to us.

      I would guess with Tonik's particular blend of breeds that he sheds a lot. Probably even more than Alex, which is saying something, since he currently has hair coming out by the handful. Phil, thankfully, sheds relatively little for a Golden Retriever.
      • That's nice to hear :)

        Yes, he sheds like crazy, and these days especially due to the heat. I brushed out about four or five brushes *full* of his hair today and it didn't seem to stop coming out. Poor thing.
  • I'm having a lot of fun reading this meme. It's endearing how we all are so different in certain things and so close in others.

    Before I got to #45 I was already getting the hate-dog-hair vibe. lol. My cat sheds hair in tumbleweed-like balls. :D Also, he gets really sweet and loving when I'm wearing black.

    That sheriff/whore photo is a riot!!! lol, that must have been so much fun to take.

    Beekeepers - that's awesome! I have a friend who keeps bees too. I find it fascinating.
    • The Goldens, likewise, seem to have an uncanny sense for when you're wearing dark or nice clothes that aren't enhanced by stripes of golden-white hair. Phil doesn't shed too badly. Alex though? OMG. His undercoat has been coming out in handfuls for weeks now. Just when I think I have it all out, another round begins. I don't know where the dog gets all that hair from.

      The picture was fun--the costumes are backless! You put them on over your regular clothes, the employees tie you up in the back, they give you a variety of nefarious props to choose from, and you're done in minutes. :D These Old Time photos are a cottage industry in Ocean City, Maryland's coastal resort town.

      We unfortunately have no bees right now. We pulled one of our two colonies through the awful winter we had last year, but then the unrelenting rain in the spring meant they couldn't forage and the colony never strengthened and eventually just died out. We'll try again next year ...
  • Great pictures! I know what you mean about a clean house! I have standards--they are just lower than most peoples. I had a giant closet in my big apartment in Park Slope (where I was when I met you). I used that for clean-up. If I was having people over, I just threw everything in there. That one space looked ridiculous. One might find anything in there--we had a giant bag of finished/dead pointe shoes, which we kept in case of an emergency--then she would rummage through the bag and pull at the least destroyed pair for one last use.

    I love looking at people's homes like this. Humanizes them or tells me they are just as neat and perfect as I thought they were--out of my class entirely on the housekeeping front. I insist that I definitely am not a true hoarder, but not very neat either.

    Edited at 2015-08-10 05:57 pm (UTC)
    • If you ever think I need humanizing, I will send photos of my house! :D

      I just honestly do have better things to do with my time than clean my house. I find it pretty sad when people have hours and hours to wile away all week doing things like mopping and cleaning clean bathrooms. Ironing curtains! What a sad life when that is the best thing to do with one's time! We tidy up when people are coming over, which is frequent enough that the house never gets disgusting. But yes, there is pretty much always dog hair on the floor, the cabinets are almost never wiped, and the bathroom counter is a clutter of my jewelry.

      I do keep the kitchen pretty meticulous just because we eat what comes from there.

      But the old saying that you can eat off a particular woman's kitchen floor it is so clean? Why would you want to do that? That's an unrealistic standard. I have plates so I don't have to eat off floors. And since I don't eat off floors, so I don't care if they're a little dirty. My feet aren't offended by walking on dirt and dog hair!

      When Bobby and I redid the kitchen and bathroom floors, we chose tiles that would hide the dirt best ...
      • My kitchen is clean now. Except for the floor, of course. (I like to eat!)

        But the old saying that you can eat off a particular woman's kitchen floor it is so clean? Why would you want to do that? That's an unrealistic standard. I have plates so I don't have to eat off floors. And since I don't eat off floors, so I don't care if they're a little dirty. My feet aren't offended by walking on dirt and dog hair!

        Yes! I also won't buy anything for my house that shows stains or ordinary wear and tear easily.

        Entertaining is a great way to keep one's house moderately clean. I entertained a lot when my kids were little and it really, really helped.
        • The people who lived here before us had a white tile floor and white cabinets in the kitchen. WTF. And they had small children and a dog; I don't believe they were neater than we were.

          I would frequently mop the floor (usually before guests came over!), and as soon as I let the dogs back in, there was mud/dirt/leaves on the white floor again. Our back door opens from the kitchen/dining room, and neither the dogs nor the humans in our house use the backyard for just sitting and admiring; we get dirty, and then that dirt was tracked across the white floor. That floor is now brown tile for a reason!

          I haven't been able to replace the cabinets yet, but they're on the radar. In addition to be white and showing every little thing, they were some cheap Ikea model that the previous owners put in just to say they put in new cabinets and, eight years later, are now literally falling apart.
          • In addition to being white and showing every little thing, they were some cheap Ikea model that the previous owners put in just to say they put in new cabinets and, eight years later, are now literally falling apart.

            OMG! Know exactly what you mean. Cheap home improvement--installed by people who don't know what they are doing--is a good description of our current apartment. We have already made vast improvements by painting two rooms (even the not-so-old paint jobs were badly done) and installing new flooring in three of them. We chose dark flooring also that will not show any minor flaws and don't show it badly when they are in need of being mopped.
            • Yes! That is the previous owners. My dad calls them Mack and Myer for Hire. He'll see something and be like, "Oh, that must be left from Mack and Myer for Hire!" There are still some pretty heinous aesthetic things that need doing.

              Most disturbing, though, is that there were quite a few straight-up dangerous things about the house, namely festoons of mold in the basement and a radon level that was off the charts. Their kids' playroom was in the basement. And they got caught by the home inspector trying to rig the radon test because they knew they'd be on the hook to fix it before we'd agree to buy the house. When he reran the test, it was three times the limit recommended by the EPA. I guess if you allow your kids into the lung cancer basement, doing the same to strangers isn't going to weigh on your conscience!
  • Oh the terrasse where I saw my first firefly!

    I love how you conserve your produce for the winter months - there is nothing like the taste of sunripe tomatoes when the sun hasn't been out for weeks!
    • Awww, yes, that's right! We had a relatively light year for fireflies (locally lightning bugs ...) this year, I suspect thanks to the hard winter and then the cool, rainy spring/early summer. I missed driving home from dance class in the evenings when the corn is just starting to get tall and seeing them sparkling by the thousands in the fields.

      We put up a batch of special vegetable chowder every year and get it out on the first snow of the year. ;) It is wonderful to be able to eat from the garden year-round.
  • My favorite part about this meme is seeing everyone's different takes on the Bible question. I love all the covers on those paperback Tolkien editions, although I never owned them myself--I remember being baffled by how silly they looked as a kid browsing the Tolkien shelf in the bookstore!
    • Every response I had seen before doing mine listed the Silm as their bible! Kind of says something about the crowd I hang out with! :D

      I don't think I paid attention to the cover at all when I bought my first Silm. At some point, I realized that it was weird, and then it dawned on me that it was supposed to be Feanor. It is not how I see Feanor at all. The only thing that recommends it to me is that he has beautiful hands. There are so many fan artists who do much more beautiful work than the professionals hired and paid by the publishers to represent the book.
      • Ah, I completely agree about the art!

        I adore Alan Lee's Hobbit and LotR illustrations, but I remember being SO ANNOYED as a baby fan that none of the Silmarillion drawings I could find were remotely like what I pictured in my head. Back then, of course, it was a lot harder to find fanart, too--I think I knew about Jenny Dolfen and Anke Eissmann, but it was nothing like it is now, where I can wander over to tumblr and find half a dozen gorgeous illustrations of whatever OTP suits my fancy!
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