Saturday, June 17, 2017

Polishing Silver and Depop

We have stacks of things to sell, things to do and things to organize around our house. A few of those stacks are in our bedroom.

I have a plastic bin full of Lee High School jerseys and shirts that are to be one day made into one of those clever t-shirt quilts you see all over Facebook. Note: Chris graduated from high school two years ago. I also have a duffle bag full of SA Celtics 2015 jerseys, t-shirts and shorts that are also to be made into a quilt. Chris' last game as a Celtic was August 2014. I'm a wee behind. But, these quilts are so dang expensive. And, I always wonder, will Chris really be excited about these quilts? He probably would have been two years ago.

G has a pile of clothes he wants to sell. He has some good things -- barely worn shoes, Adidas gear and other nice items. I have a bag of what I consider vintage clothing. Some Gap items from the 90s and a few other pieces from the depths of my closet.

We have a bag of clothes Chris has outgrown. Some of them still have tags on them.

I've tried the neighborhood sale sites on Facebook and had some success. Men's clothing just doesn't sell too well on those sites. And, no one seems to be interested in my so-called vintage clothing. I hate to just give these things away because I know they could fetch a price. I mean, they are indeed, 'so fetch' in and of themselves.

One of our babysitters has a business selling clothes on the Depop app. She has been super successful so I thought I would give it a whirl this morning. It's a Saturday with only a mid-afternoon birthday party on the schedule so why not.

I began snapping pictures of all these pieces, wrote captivating descriptions and priced these items to sell. Update: I've not received any interest. OK, it's only been a few hours, but still. These things are hot.

What is it -- one man's trash is another man's treasure? What if it's my considered treasure -- does that mean someone else thinks of it as trash?

The Depop app was to be one of those things that does work for me when I'm not working. That sounds like a Tony Robbins or some other entrepreneurial kind of inspirational thought. It's so simple. Upload and hit next and the offers should be coming in as if these were hot off the racks or from a sample sale.

(Clock ticking. No notifications on my phone.)

I like the idea of something working for me when I'm not working. That's part of the beauty of a fourth part. Think of the crock pot. That works for me and I don't have to be working in the kitchen. The DVR. That's a hard-working piece of technology in my house and all I have to do is ask it nicely to record my shows. The programmable dishwasher. It works while I sleep. The sprinklers. We program them to work while we sleep -- or when we think no one is driving around readying to report a water waster. (Maybe we just water our back yard during these summer water restriction months.)

An ideal fourth part is having other things working while you don't. Remember, it's about you. Only you. Doing those things that no one else is potentially interested in or doesn't understand (speaking from experience, G does not get the need to watch all things Bravo every evening).

My fourth part today on this un-event-filled Saturday started around 5:30 p.m. We went to the birthday party which was just about the hottest birthday party I've ever been to -- and it is the beginning of June and it was at a pool. (Oh yeah, we're in South Texas and it is June. We're touching the sun this time of year without any rain -- as mentioned above, water restrictions.) After I sweated off any bit of caloric intake from the past few weeks, the girls shoved some ice cream cake in their mouths and we came home. We walked into the nice AC and I ordered groceries. My favorite new working for me so I don't have to work thing -- Instacart. Not only can I shop online, they deliver within two hours. Yeah, there's an upcharge, but I don't have to even go near a grocery store -- not to shop or even sit in a parking space awaiting someone to load up my car with my order. Pure, sweet joy. Working for me. It's working for me.

Now, I just get to sit and type and catch up on some reading. We've been to the library a few times since school has been out and I typically check out a few cookbooks, a few non-fiction reads and a fiction book or two. I'm reading a Pat Conroy book, Beach Music. It's perfect for the summer and makes me want to visit Italy and Charleston. It's a thick book so it really isn't a pool or beach read. It's a read-inside-because-it-is-400-degrees-outside book. (Oh, the library has another one of those working for me things so I don't have to work -- I can place holds on books online. I do a quick search for a book, ask for a hold and when the books are available at my drive-through library window, I go by and pick them up. Come on.)

Is this working for me while I'm not working thing really just a fancy way to write, 'I'm kind of a lazy person who doesn't want to leave my house.' Maybe.

Even though we didn't have anything on the schedule today, G and I did do some deep housecleaning this morning. Some prefer spring cleaning. Nah, we like summer cleaning. I went deep in the dining room and he took on the bathrooms. Here's G's approach to deep cleaning a bathroom. It typically involves him walking out at one point, rubbing his eyes because he did a combo Clorox and some other chemical (we don't clean green around here on deep cleaning days) with a cloud of toxins following him. Hey, I've got some spit-spot clean bathrooms.

The dining room only requires a broom, a vacuum and a Swiffer duster. But, it was deep cleaning time, so I went through the cabinets and decided it was OK to toss tax returns from 2003 through 2008. I also found some Paris trip ideas I had tucked away in a travel box. Added those to a stack to read through to plan the big trip.

The other activity I took on since I had the dining room was to polish silver. I only have two pieces that I don't even think are 100 percent sterling silver, but they were tarnished. A pitcher and a baby cup I have from my grandmother. So, while G put on gas masks and wore hazard suits to clean the bathrooms, I polished. Lots of elbow grease and a little chemical paste later, I had shining pieces. The girls were so impressed with the before and after. They are gaining that appreciation for these antique pieces I have that one day will be theirs.

They won't have to buy them on Depop. But they will have to put in a little work to keep them preciously preserved.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Graduation and Pancakes

My husband works graduation every year. Some years are uneventful -- no one sneaks in a deflated beach ball or forgets to wear a tie -- and other years bring interesting challenges -- hair color not in standard hues or phones making their way out to the procession. This year, as has been the case for the last few, G is in the honor court. Selected by students, he sits alongside the graduates responsible for a row of students. He gets to watch them all night.

It is an honor. He appreciates the recognition. And, he gets to wear a gown. No mortar board, just the gown. 

When Chris graduated, G serving in honor court worked in our favor. I only had to worry about three people, the girls and I, finding seats, and Chris was just a few rows up from G. They were on the same side of the arena. Picture taking was a breeze and keeping up with their faces was not a problem. Both knew where I was and could find me in the crowd.

Chris graduated on a Friday. This year, Lee graduates on a Saturday night. So much for a family fourth part. 

We did go to the pool, but then as G left, I thought he was just going home to relax. Then, I remembered, he had graduation. With a start time around 7 p.m., he had to be there about an hour or so earlier (I think). He saw us lazing around in our post-pool wear and he was suiting up. Bless him. One, it is about 200 degrees today with a high percentage of humidity. Two, it's Saturday.

Aside from graduation, we have only one official activity on the books. The girls have a birthday party to attend tomorrow. This morning, we bought the presents -- buying for an eight-year-old boy is a challenge. Thank goodness for Legos and water guns. We also bought some other necessities at Target. La Croix, bathing suits, magazines and a swan float. 

Yay. We go to the beach Monday. I cannot wait. This is the only week-long trip we can take this year. Camille's Simone Biles program only allows for one week off and we jumped at the chance to get out of town. Port Aransas and Island Retreat are as familiar as G in the Lee graduation honor court. We know what to pack, what to wear, what to do and what to eat. 

I'm making a couple of casseroles -- millionaire spaghetti and King Ranch chicken -- along with desserts -- Trader Joe's vanilla cake and Rice Krispie treats. Then, we're packing up the cooler and the truck with all sorts of chips, cereals and snacks. I'm bringing almonds and Tone It Up protein bars because yeah, I'm on Weight Watchers.

The girls and I have started packing because I'm doing that cooking and assembling tomorrow. My fourth part will come Monday through Thursday next week. All day. Each day. The biggest effort is loading up the truck to go down to the beach to set up our tent, chairs and towels. Oh, and making a few sandwiches to go with us. 

Because the counter tops were full with beach fixings, I opted for an easy dinner tonight. Bacon and pancakes. Emptied the dishwasher and ironed while making dinner. (Maybe a few of the pancakes were browner than recommended.) The girls and Chris ate it up. I even ate a few pancakes. I had enough points left for dinner that I could -- and drink a Chardonnay that paired nicely with the buttery cakes. Come on, who cares about the pairing? It's Saturday. It's summer. And, I had four points available for the wine.

Fourth parts in the summer are sometimes so usual, you hardly notice them until you are a few hours into them. I've been watching season three of the Great British Baking Show on Netflix for the last hour or so and didn't even know it was almost 9 p.m. I've been going strong with a fourth part since about 7 p.m. This doesn't include the few hours we spent at the pool or the time after our Target run. 

I have to remember that fourth parts are a well-deserved right and during the summer are almost luxuriously effortless. I have to hold on to these moments because they don't come as long or as often during the school year.

And, just like those Lee graduates, I have to remember the days past are important as they influence the future. But, those future days have to be curated. They have to have purpose and meaning. They must have fourth parts intermixed with the other parts.

They must have a few extra points allowing for pancakes.