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The Packrat Bricolage Rule:

Posted by Miss Knotty on May 13, 2007

When I throw things away on a large scale, I’m very tentative and thoughtful about what I’m throwing away.  Here’s why:   I’ll throw something away and then find a mystical, magical MacGyver use for it and be kicking myself.  It’s the Packrat Bricolage Rule (think of it like a shirt-tail cousin to Murphy’s Law).  (I just totally made that up, but it sounds good, so I’m adopting it.  If ever I refer to the PBR, you, my friends, will know what I’m talking about). If you decide to adopt it, remember – you read it here first!

I’ve been cleaning out cabinets and throwing away, and preparing a Good St. Williams (The Patron Saint o’ Bargains) donation pile – you know the stuff – gift vase sets/candelabra that you accrued over time at white elephant gift exchanges and/or at gift exchanges occurring at then-boyfriendo’s parents’ house at Christmas and they wanted you to have something to open, because they’re nice like that, but it’s actually nothing you’d ever use or want*, and would likely re-gift, except that now you’re moving and it’s now been relegated from ‘re-gift’ category to ‘Goodwill donation’ category, so that you don’t have to move it into your new place (that has limited storage space) and then keep up with it until next Christmas time and re-gift.  Plus you’re not with then-boyfriendo anymore, so just looking at it reminds you of him, and then you think (briefly) about the (brief) relationship, have a brief (and have-to-take-thoughts-captive) moment that you’re glad you’re not together anymore**, because now you don’t have to look forward to more well-intentioned “gifts”***.  Then you feel more than a little guilty because they were trying to be nice, and here you are 3 years later being a brat b*%$^ and writing in your blog about it.  All that said, it’s still going to Goodwill.), mannequin legs, beaded curtains from a decidedly less fashionable period of home decoration that you’re glad to be over, giant pictures of the Eiffel Tower, also from said less fashionable deco period, and various other detritus that certainly isn’t worn out or really even that used, but that you don’t need to keep and won’t be using.  

I decided to take Lise’s idea for a spin (see the comment from the Permanence post, to mark the date of going permanent – I’ll be dyeing some yarn.  Here’s the update: I went to Goodwill yesterday to look for an adequately large pot for the dyeing of the yarn-age.  My GW only had one enamel pot, not too terribly big, but probably big enough for a couple of 100-gram skeins at a time – and I have 500 grams (about a pound of yarn – fingering/sport weight.)!  I wanted to dye it all one color and do a shawl, but it looks like I’ll have to split the big skein and do smaller lots, and then weave in ends later.  Sigh. My life is just soooo hard. (listen here for a very, very small violin playing a very, very sad song). 

I went and purchased the requisite Kool-Aid for this experiment: 16 packets of Lemon-lime, and 16 packets of grape (the stuff I read on the web said that I need about 1 packet for each ounce of yarn, and I have just over a pound of yarn).  I got the Disney/Finding Nemo grape instead of Kool-Aid grape, since it’s supposed to be more of a tempering agent for the Green than a color for itself, and the Disney grape was cheaper than the Kool-Aid.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  Watch this space for updates.

A friend on one of my mailing lists mentioned a crockpot for sale at her Goodwill.  Sigh.

Thinking of crock pots makes me want pot roast, which reminds me that it’s just about dinner time, and I only have 1 can of tuna in the pantry and nothing to spread it on (my bread is… shall we say…. past its prime), and while I could have cereal, I don’t have any [potable] milk, so I’ll have to run to the grocery store.   

Anyway, I’m going to take down trash and go get bread and milk.  I want some foodage.

______________________________________

* The vases were very nice, but they were brown (not a color I use in ANY decorating ever) and way too small to have any actual use other than as a collection of very small vases – something breakable and something I’d have to dust… yeah. That about sums that up.  (for my opinions on these kinds of gifts, I refer you back to the bric-a-brac discussion in Stuff on my Fridge.)  I do not, however, have to keep these for-EVER, because I never actually got them out of the box and/or used them, and fully intended to re-gift them at the next White Elephant I went to, because, while cutesy, they were pretty much useless to me.

 **Necessary back story for people who’ve only come recently to the readership (hee, I still laugh at the idea of having a ‘readership’, but I know I have people who read, so there that is.): Ex-Boyfriendo and I dated (exclusively, and long-distance) for about 7 months, from July-ish 2004 to February-ish 2005. I “officially” broke up with him in February 2005, but we stayed friends for a time after that, and now we don’t talk.  I wish him well, and I hope he feels likewise, but we don’t talk, so I don’t know if he does. 

 ***I realize this all sounds very cold-hearted.  Please note that I’m not cold-hearted; I’m just over it.  It’s been over for more than 2 years.  It’s in the past.  Plus, I’ve had time to edit this a lot, and now it’s more of a bare-essentials version.  There’s a long version, but it’s really pretty dull.  You’ll be glad that I expounded at length about buying Disney grape drink, rather than going on and on about irrelevant blather about my way ex-boyfriend.

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