Random 5 for November 7, 2021 – Vinegar, friends, construction, clutter, house additions

This is what my mom used for everything!

What’s your thing? – Everyone has their interest that they will seek out, spend money on and everyone thinks them crazy. I once worked with a woman who collected Pez dispensers. Seriously? I’m a vinegar person. There is a specialty store near me with wonderful balsamic vinegars and high quality olive oils. This has replaced “shoe” fetish for me (another sign of aging?). I buy in cases and I had run out of everything during the pandemic so we made a trip. You can taste before you buy. It’s like a winery but with vinegar. I walked out with a lot more than I planned (I always do). I purchased a chocolate balsamic vinegar. It is very tasty and interesting. It will be great on salads that have fruit in them or anything else. I’m sure my mom is rolling in her grave. Her idea of vinegar was white or apple cider. Not even balsamic was in our home.

Reconnecting – I’ve heard from an old friend who I haven’t seen since the pandemic. Her husband is not doing well although he has outlived the expectations. He was one of those hard drinking and smoking guys and he’s paying the price. He lived his life his way and I’m not sure he would change anything given the chance.

Prepping ahead – I’ve spent the last week cooking and freezing so we have microwave meals while the kitchen is ripped up. Construction starts on Wednesday. I did the standard chili and casseroles but I found it hard to project what I would be interested in eating several weeks out. We’ll do take-out to mix it up. I made sure I didn’t overdo it as I can get tired of anything repetitive.

Clutter, clutter – I hate clutter. I live with a guy who thrives on stuff so there is a higher level of clutter than I would have on my own. With the kitchen emptied, there is stuff all around. Stuff that doesn’t belong where it is. I have to work on calmness. It’s going to be a long couple of weeks. Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Old memories – A long time ago, I did a large addition to a house while living in it. Worst idea ever although the end product was fabulous! The kitchen and bedroom were both part of the addition so there was nowhere to hide. It took over four months. I know I can survive. The question is how grumpy will I be?

So how was your week?

57 thoughts on “Random 5 for November 7, 2021 – Vinegar, friends, construction, clutter, house additions

  1. I didn’t know there was such a place as a specialty vinegar store. I haven’t made salads in a while, but I did like balsamic vinegar for them. I have much clutter around me now – more than ever as I bought all the pantry items for Winter. It is usually bought in September, put away, but not this year, due to the supply shortage – I’ve wrapped up this project finally this week, going to the store every morning before I walked and doing a mile or two in the store which is still undergoing renovations. I just come home, dump and go out. This weekend will be to organize somewhat – I hate clutter but don’t see it contained until I am retired and can do more than just bite-sized pieces.

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      • I look around and could scream, but I don’t like shopping in Wintertime and though I’ve had all three COVID shots now, I’ll still stay away from stores as much as possible – right now Michigan is the 2nd biggest hot spot in the U.S. When I worked on site, Saturday was my designated day for errands, Sunday for yard work so I always looked forward to Fall through Spring for some down time. I should have done better with organizing today, but I decided it was windy but nice and I am five or six days behind here in Reader, so here I am. We are expecting some snow tomorrow so I can start decluttering then and write next week’s posts. I want to declutter downstairs so I can get a treadmill downstairs. (I hope I will use it more than the exercise bike.)

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          • They take up a lot of space. My friend was an avid tracker with her dogs until a few years ago. So she had a treadmill she used in the Winter or on rainy days to keep fit for tracking practice and events. So she got a new dog, a Golden Retriever, a few years ago and it barks whenever she gets on the treadmill. She will put the dog outside, or in the other room when she uses it, but it barks the entire time and she had to stop using it.

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  2. Chocolate vinegar – now that sounds great and weird at the same time ( must find some)
    We are fans of balsamic vinegars – taste can vary so much – like with olive oils …I think I must avoid stores like the one near you.
    I hate clutter. No one seeing the house right now would believe that with Christmas/ shipping materials/ and being an animal wrangler /staff of ancient cat and dog who thinks she is a child…so many toys….Stuff all makes me nervous, but doing my best. This house is half the size of our old one…and we have come to grips it isn’t working – especially with covid stuck at home and various projects for work and fun that cannot be completed in one day. Visitors are out of the question. Eventually we will find a suitable place – and we are determined to not “fix it” to fit…meaning I must have bookcases and storage.
    Hoping you are coping with the remodel- it will be wonderful when done!

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    • I wouldn’t buy to remodel again unless I can stay somewhere else. Too old for this. Boxing, unboxing, don’t know where anything is. Argh! Clutter affects me negatively. Hopefully by the end of the year (which isn’t too far off) all will be well (or I’ll be institutionalized!).

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  3. We’ve had large construction projects in the past and we never moved out. I have never felt I had the option so it requires a lot of talking to myself to get through the chaos. It sounds like you’re preparing well, and the reward will be waiting. We have a couple of those grand stores, too, where the various olive oils and vinegars can be sampled first. I haven’t returned since things began to open up but I must before the holidays. I went to a party at one of them and was introduced to the idea of the vinegars added to sparking water, like a little cocktail. Amazingly good!

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  4. I think that is very interesting about the vinegar and oil store. There is one downtown here and I believe we won’t just stroll past it next time. I want to check it out now. I am decluttered… I don’t like stuff all around. It’s pretty hard to not be cluttered and confuzzled with a big project like you are doing. I just keep hoping for you that it moves along quickly. I got so tired of projects last January that I went out to the garage and hid in the back seat of my vehicle.

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  5. Different flavors of balsamic vinegars (including regular) are a personal weakness too. We have a few shops around here and I never regret paying for the good stuff. I’ve been involved in enough whole-house and major room remodels (usually done by hubby and me) that I never want to do it again. Nest time, I’d hire professionals and get out of town. 🙂

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  6. I envy the kitchen makeover but not the disruption. Three years ago we had major painting and repair done on the house and felt we could stay while it was being done – never again. Good luck. Cranky comes with it.

    With the pandemic and some of the shortages that came with it for a time, I seem to hoard staples, especially baking supplies and paper goods. And I want to have a backup for everything. Last Christmas, before and after, I kept buying candied fruit for fruitcakes. I still have some in the freezer for this year. Take care!

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  7. I’ve visited a couple of those vinegar and oil stores. Such fun! It is like visiting a winery, with those little bits of bread they supply so you can dip and taste. My daughter, who is never hesitant about having too much food in the house, bought more than I did. I think the last store I visited was in Santa Fe, NM.

    Yesterday my sister was in a funk, so she called me to go watch the spawning salmon and stop off for lattes. She was changing her kitchen countertops, and though that was a relatively small job, the clutter was annoying her.

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    • The disorder really gets on your nerves. It hasn’t started yet but we’ve emptied out almost all the cabinets so nothing is handy. Makes me cranky. I’ll keep focused on the end. It would have been easier during the summer but you get what you get.

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    • These are easy to drink straight they taste that good. Long cured balsamics have a gentle finish to them and when infused with a flavor are downright yummy! My mother never did that and she did a lot of homeopathic stuff.


  8. Flavoured balsamics are incredible on ice cream (I absolutely LOVE blackberry balsamic)! Talk about discovering a very wondrous thing!

    Take lots of deep breaths while the latest home reno project begins. It won’t take care of the misplaced clutter but it will make the process a bit easier. 🤞🏼

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  9. We love vinegar here but don’t buy LOTS of it – just a few faves that we consider “necessary”. It’s amazing how many types there are though. Chocolate? YUM. I’m just not sure I can handle any kind of reno. My husband thinks we need new windows – I shudder at the thought. Moving furniture, taking down drapes and curtains and screens and….well….need I say more? I’m telling him I’d rather MOVE than go through that! LOL


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  10. I used to live down the street from a fabulous olive oil and vinegar store and I had quite a collection of both after a while. I had to leave them behind (told I couldn’t move liquids, by the moving company) when I moved across country and my friends back in Ontario are enjoying the variety of flavours now. I have replenished the vinegars somewhat, but mostly the basics: white, red, apple cider, rice, balsamic…
    Eyes on the prize, Kate! You got this renovation thing…


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  11. I want to go to the vinegar store next time we visit!! And I am so with you on clutter. Marley loves having lots of stuff around and I would be happy with a whole lot less. Oh well. Good luck getting through the renovation.

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  12. I’m with you on the clutter. Pulling apart the hutch in the living room for a week was bad . . . and clearing out the pantry for a 3-4 day repair was tough . . . but emptying out the ENTIRE kitchen at once for weeks ~> OVER THE EDGE!

    Keep breathing!

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