Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Important Questions

I often get questions about closets because organizing closets is one of my very favorite things. Let's imagine a typical question.

Question: I have tons of clothing in my closet, but nothing to wear. How do I know what to get rid of?

Answer: There are some important questions to ask as you put away your winter duds and pull out your springy ones.

Many people suggest asking, "Have I worn this in the past year," but that's too stringent for me. Such people have not spent the last six years having babies and chemotherapy. They do not understand a figure's ebb and flow.

I suggest the following questions instead.

1. Even if this item fit me perfectly, would I wear it?

2. Should a person my age wear this item?

3. Do I like it?

If you answered NO to those questions, let it go.

Similarly, if you answer YES to these next questions, it's time to toss.

4. Is it stained?

5. Is it unmendably ripped?

6. Is the fabric pilled?

7. Is it hopelessly faded?

8. Have you always hated the way it fits but held on to it out of hope?

9. Has it lost its shape?

10. Does it look OLD, and not in a good way?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Fun

Today I bid farewell to the Beehives and returned to Relief Society.

It will be an adventure, especially as I have only had a RS calling once, for two months, in college. And especially as I have never before been in an auxiliary presidency.

New things are fun!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Game

On the way to the park yesterday, Victor suggested we play a guessing game. We took turns thinking of items to guess.

Victor thought of an excavator, a dump truck, and a cemetery ("it's a big place where you bury people").

I thought of a cow and a grocery store.

Zeke thought of a crane and monster trucks.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reluctant No More

Victor has a new-found enthusiasm for praying.

That is, his prayers have gone from cursory to detailed.

Last night he prayed for a force field to protect our house. And to lift when we have guests. And to dissolve in the rain.
He also prayed that no old people will die.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Very Bright Cake

Victor turned FIVE this week.

To celebrate, Grandma surprised us with a visit!

Victor had requested "a cake with all the colors in it." Also, he wanted candy on the cake.

I remembered Laura's rainbow birthday cake from last year and decided to give it a try.

I pulled out my gel food coloring and some white cake mixes and spent the afternoon making very thin, very brightly colored cakes. Then we added yellow frosting, m&m candies, and Dum Dum lollipops.

Victor was very pleased. The cake was VERY bright. And the taste, somewhat surprisingly, was very good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Modern Family

I just cut off our home phone service.

The SwindleFun family has officially joined the modern age!

(If you want to call us, you'll need my new number. Please email me if you need it. Any of my paternal extended family can consult the family contact list on Google docs.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great Picture

I can't figure out how to link to it, but there is a terrific picture on the home page of National Review Online.

(Alisa and Rachel--just cover your eyes until you get to it, near the bottom on the right.)

It is a weathered rescue worker, glowing as he looks down on a four-month old baby girl who was found in the rubble after three days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Customer Service Accolades

1. Nordstrom. Top notch. They not only take any return (suit pants after two years that had worn very badly), they do it gladly and are horrified that you had a problem with the merchandise.

2. Home Depot. The pest control kit I bought was missing half of the poison stakes. I took back the empty container, explained my problem, said I had purchased them last year and had no receipt, and the clerk very promptly fetched new poison stakes and gave them to me. She even checked the box to make sure they were all there.

3. Bare Escentuals. The people who sell Bare Minerals really, really want you to buy their makeup, and it shows. They don't even make you return makeup that is the wrong shade--they just mail you a new shade, free of charge.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Good Service

Today, I had a very positive customer service experience at Bed Bath and Beyond.

I had purchased an ironing board cover with extra thick pad last year. But the pad went flat and was hampering my ironing.

While browsing in the store last week, I noticed that the ironing board cover I had purchased came with a 10 year warranty. Hot dog!

I called the store (thanks, Katrina) and asked if I could return my flat ironing board cover. I did not have a receipt. I no longer had the card with which I purchased the item.

"No problem," said Courtney. As long as you do an exchange, it doesn't matter.

And it was no problem. It took five minutes.

I have a lovely, new, thickly padded ironing board cover. With a 10 year warranty.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yesterday's Fun Project

When I was married, Grandma Hammond gave me a revolving spice rack. It sits on my counter, and I refill the jars when they are empty.

However, some of the jars never get empty, because I never use them. Coriander? Marjoram? Celery Salt? Mustard Seed? Crushed Mint? Caraway Seed? Pizza Seasoning? Savory?

So I emptied the eight jars that never get used, washed and dried them, peeled off the labels, and re-labeled the lids with things I use. Cumin. Ginger. Nutmeg. Ground Mustard. Chives. Poppy Seeds. Garlic Powder. Onion Powder.

Also, very old spices in the rack (Dill Weed, Bay Leaves, Rosemary) were dumped out and replaced with fresh ones from the cupboard.

The result: more room in the spice cupboard, easy access to the spices I use, and very clean jars.

(No, I do not use fresh herbs and spices unless I am making certain salads. I killed my first herb garden and never looked back.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Healthy Manners

Katie has asked a health etiquette question.

Question: My middle child got a stomach bug two days ago.  My youngest got it last night.  My oldest has pre-school today. I am assuming that he will get it as well, but I don't know...he tends to have a stronger immune system than his sisters.  Do I keep him out of school just in case?

Answer: Ask yourself, "Would I be annoyed if [insert name of classmate] came to school even if his siblings were throwing up?"

(You may consider differences in immune systems when answering this question.)