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Lost in abundance

My daughter and I cleaned out the refrigerator this week. I know–try not to be jealous of my glamorous life.

When we bought the fridge nine years ago, I was enamoured with its style: the stainless steel double doors, wide adjustable shelves in both doors and center, the freezer at the bottom. It was the latest and greatest thing back then. But it didn’t take long to realize a critical design flaw. The abundance of adjustable center shelves made it almost impossible to see anything on them unless the item was in front. Case in point: When we removed the contents of the fridge to give it a thorough cleaning, I found four jars of hamburger dill slices. Four large jars. Ridiculous.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “That would never happen to me. I know what’s in my refrigerator.” Maybe so. I bow to your organizational skills. For me unfortunately, when it comes to food storage, the old adage of “out of sight out of mind” applies, and those shelves assure that most everything in the center of that fridge is out of sight.

It wasn’t until the interior of the fridge was wiped down, the vegetable, fruit and meat and cheese drawers have been removed, cleaned out and returned to their proper spaces and I was drying off the adjustable shelves to put back that I realized the solution to my fridge frustration could have been put into practice from Day one.

The realization that just because the manufacturer provides four adjustable shelves for the fridge doesn’t mean you have to use all of them.

Imagine this fridge with 2 more shelves--too crowded.

Well, DUH!!!

I felt dumb. I consider myself an creative, think-outside-the-box problem solver. I take the phrase “we’ve never done it that way before” as a personal challenge to rock the status quo.

And yet, I’ve been fretting over two unnecessary shelves for the past NINE YEARS.

What’s worse. Had it not been for my daughter, I would probably still hate my hide and seek refrigerator:

Me: Why don’t we put all the dairy products and juice on the left side of the fridge.

Daughter: Okay. Margarine, sour cream, eggs and cream cheese on the bottom shelf, milk and juice on the one above it.

Me: Don’t put that shelf too high. I still have to put another shelf above it.

Daughter: But Mom, we don’t need another shelf. There’s plenty of space for everything right now.

Yeah, I know. I need to go grocery shopping...

Out of the mouths of babes.

Hopefully, my daughter’s out-of-the-ice-box-thinking will prevent any more further incidents like this one:

What kind of outside-the-box-thinking moments of brilliance have you had lately?

Pillow Talk

A rare photo of my bed when it’s made

There are too many decorative pillows on my bed.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate.

I should say there are too many decorative pillows on the floor next to my bed: 3 euroshams, 2 king sized shams, 1 large square, 2 smaller squares and 2 rounds. I don’t make the bed every day. It takes too long. That’s my excuse, anyway…

Why all the pillows? Because I love the idea of a beautifully made bed, I just don’t like to spend the time it takes to make that idea a reality. I would prefer to have bedding that was less fussy, but I resist the change. Why?

Investment – The bedding is seven years old. Even so, it’s in good condition. It was also custom made and a lot of money was spent on it. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that my mom is an excellent seamstress, so the cost of labor wasn’t the issue, and my mother-in-law bought the fabric as a house warming gift. But the fabric was still expensive, and money was spent.) The matching window treatment is also custom made, as are the coordinating window treatments in the adjoining master bedroom. Then there’s the coordinating paint and accessories, etc. It seems like such a waste of time and money to redecorate just to avoid making my bed every day.

Coordinating window treatments in the master bath

But in the end, it’s just stuff. Pretty nice stuff, but stuff all the same. Perhaps I should make my bed every day. Then I could enjoy the beauty of a beautifully made bed.

But sometimes I think the things we want to own end up owning us. It’s a struggle for me. I need to simplify, and enjoy the gifts that cannot be bought with money. The gifts that are priceless.