7 QT: The Entry Way is no longer scary, Interwebz musings, and GIFs aplenty

I know that you've all been waiting with 'bated breath to see how the cleaning and organizing of my entry way went. Well, now you will find out! Get ready to look like this:

First, you might want to refamiliarize yourself with what sad shape my entry way was in…

I realize that the trailer was a little bit "Blair Witch Project" in terms of the roaming flashlight and semi-darkness.  Here are a few still shots of the "Before":

Another thing you should know is that even this is better than what it was originally, because before we did not have that neat metal black shelfy thing from the Container Store.  Then my mom took pity on our pathetic entry way and got us one.  Thanks Mom!

Well, on Thursday night, the kids went to bed early (being sick and non-napping and all).  My husband stepped out to do some shopping, and I decided to tackle the entry way.  I put on my headlamp and got to work.  I definitely armed myself with our little vacuum cleaner, because I HATE spiders and there were plenty of dark corners where they could have been lurking.  Fortunately for me (and them, I suppose), I did not see any, though I did vacuum up several cobwebs.  <Shudder>

After an hour or so of organizing and dejunking, I'm pleased to show you the "After" pictures:
 <angels singing>

I put Ruby's art work up over the useless burglar alarm panel.  

Lesser used boots/shoes up top

More frequently used boots/shoes and winter gear 

Ruby's other car seat (on top of Allen's soccer stuff, which is not being gotten into much right now) and the diaper bag on top of the car seat.

Mickey Mouse bag contains other cloth bags…maybe I'll actually remember to bring them to the grocery store and get a 5 cent discount now.

<more angels singing>

So much better!  And it did not cost anything!  I snagged some other containers from elsewhere in the house.  I also made liberal use of white towels, which I know is not very classy but that's just how it is.  You have a lot of something, you use it.  That is the Cook way.  Thanks, Real Housekeeping, for forcing me yet again to clean up my act…literally.

It took me a while after I was done cleaning to remember to remove my headlamp...
It's a good look for me, don't you think?  Dazzling!

--- 4 ---
I want to reflect a bit further on the Cook way that I mentioned in take #2.  I really should say "the Haas way" because it is a value that my husband chiefly derived from his mom and her parents.  I've mentioned before how Allen's grandparents (and by extension his mom and his brother, too) are astonishingly well-versed in making do and repurposing.  They were repurposing things wayyyy before it was cool or trendy, and they continue to do it to an extent that is far surpassing counter-cultural.  

Now, I don't want to imply that I come from a family that doesn't do those things, because I certainly do.  But I'm not sure that my family takes the same glee in it.  

Case in point: last week when it was snowy [don't hate me for writing that, all you midwesterner/northerners], Allen and his brother Andy made plans to go sledding.  Allen mentioned something about being able to build a sled for Andy but then decided against it; too much work and probably lacking all the right materials. This left Andy temporarily sledless, and he was pondering what to do.  

Allen suggested that he just go buy one at a store.  "Where's the fun in that?" Andy wanted to know.  To him, things are literally not as fun if you have to spend money.  It's so much more satisfying to find way to do something for free or at least for dirt cheap.  Andy ended up remembering that he had an inner tube (which I think he scored for free from a distant relative of his wife's that they met in North Dakota this summer) and used that, and I bet he derived great satisfaction from the thought, "I did not spend any money to have this fun."  

And you have to admit, that's a radical way of looking at things in our culture, and especially for a 24 year old guy.  I tend much more towards the "if you need something, go out and buy it" approach, but after being married to Allen and being around his family and their ways of doing things, I've become more creative in repurposing things, so I believe that's a change for the better (although I don't ever think I will get to Andy-levels of gleefulness about not spending money.)

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the interwebz this week…

Someone got their knickers in a twist about how self-serving and obnoxious most Facebook status updates are.  Read it if you like, but the author's thesis statement can be summed up as follows:
1.  Facebook status updates are annoying if they serve only their author's purpose (usually self-promotion of some type) and add nothing positive to the overall FB landscape.
2. Facebook statuses are benign if they are informative and/or funny, because--to quote the author of the jeremiad article--"these do something for me, the reader.  They make my day a little better." (Italics original to the author, not my own)
To which I can only respond:

I joined Twitter…and it was pretty uneventful.  I have a feeling I'm going to be one of the lamest tweeters out there. The truth is that I just don't have the right kind of phone to be a true tweeter. I have a non-smart phone, so I log in to Twitter via a website, and I just don't want to do that all the time.  Twitter seems to exist for sharing spur of the moment thoughts, repartees, and anything else that is 140 characters or fewer (the FB status hater mentioned in take #5 must REALLY hate Twitter).  A smart phone seems to be the correct medium for taking such actions.  

Same with Instagram.  I could just take pictures on my digital camera, upload them to iPhoto, and then share them on Instagram, but that hardly seems like a justifiable way to spend my time.  I guess for now I'll just have to bore people with my blog and Facebook and the occasional bush-league tweet.  

In a smaller subset of the interwebz, there was great excitement over a certain Edel Gathering.  It sounds like basically a fun party time in Texas for the who's who of the Catholic blogosphere and 175 lucky ticket holders.  Upon finding out about it, I immediately emailed Rhonda and begged her to go with me.  Fortunately for my bank account, she reminded me that it costs a lot of money to fly to Austin and stay in a hotel and all of that, so I guess it's not meant to be this year.  
It made me think about why I would even want to go, anyway.  I think it is because I sometimes wish I could just get together with all the ladies whose blogs I read and just have a good old fashion cawfee tawk:

But maybe it's for the best that I'm not going.  Because it would probably turn out a lot more like this, with me being the Aidy Bryant character (on the left, natch) and all the cool bloggers (Haley, Grace, Jennifer, Dwija, and the rest of 'em) being the Cecily Strong character (on the right):
I am hip! I am with it!
And with that lovely image, I bid you a Happy Friday. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. I showed Jared the Entryway Trailer. Snickers and laughs all around. You guys take the cake, you really do!

    The entryway looks great, FYI.

    And, gee, I sound like a real killjoy about the Edel Conference! :-( Just not to be this year, sadly...

    1. Not a killjoy, just realistic about this year's limitations. Another time, though, once we've become fabulously wealthy…we will rock that party! And I will try not to be awkward.

  2. #5: Hilarious!

    As for the entryway, go you. I'm in awe. We have a mudroom/"cubby" room which serves as spill-over from the kitchen and storage for everything in general, including the stand mixer, the canner, the snow wear, the cloth grocery bags, the shoes...etc. It's a whole lot bigger than what you have and it's a complete disaster despite being reorganized every two or three months. :(

    1. Thanks Kathleen! Well, don't be too impressed, because if I had to place bets on how long this new and improved entryway is going to last, well, two or three months would be an outside bet. Way outside.

  3. Good work on your entry way! I need to do some cleaning and organizing today too . . . we'll see. It stinks that fun things can be so pricey, doesn't i? I'd love to go to the Edel Gathering too, but it would be a bit too much money this year. (Of course, that didn't stop me from putting my name on the waiting list for tickets . . . ) ;-)

    1. Yes, why is it that going somewhere awesome usually necessitates spending the big bucks? Oh well, another time. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Please, girl. You'd be the gal that everybody wants at her table ;) Wish you could be there! <3


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