Joyful Tidying?

I confess to not paying a lot of attention to trends on keeping house. I was raised by Jim and Sarah and Jim and Sarah were basically tidy people. My mother kept a clean house and we were assigned chores to do. My father kept a relatively clean work shed and he insisted that tools be put back where they belonged. Neither one of them had a lot of junk in their car. If we spilled something, we were expected to clean it up. As a result, I keep a fairly tidy house. I don’t see this as a good thing or a bad thing. It’s how I like my space. My husband probably wishes I liked my space a little less tidy or rather that I didn’t insist that his spaces be occasionally tidied up. Some of my favorite people do not keep a tidy house. I don’t see that as a character flaw. I see it as something they don’t spend time on because they prefer to spend time on something else. It’s a free country (sort of) so go on with your bad self.

Enter Marie Kondo who wrote a book about cleaning house that sold like hot cakes. Good for her. I’m pleased for anyone who can move that many books about anything. Now I keep seeing people talking about whether something sparks joy in them. I find this confusing. Stuff, in general, doesn’t spark joy in me. People and animals spark joy in me. I don’t pick up a shirt and find it joyful or unpleasant or anything really. It’s a shirt, if it’s clean, and appropriate for where I’m going, I put it on. Towels also do not spark joy. If they are clean and dry, fantastic, I use them to dry something else. Stuff just doesn’t make me that joyful. At best, there are a few items in my house that embody what little nostalgia I’m capable of mustering, which isn’t much.

Out of curiosity, I watched a few episodes of Kondo’s new Netflix show. At least now I know what people are talking about but I’m still confused. I’m willing to admit that it is entirely possible that I’m not normal in this regard. Perhaps the vast majority of people out there are worried about how their socks feel about being rolled up. Perhaps, there are people out there willing to take a long time folding their clothes so they stack a certain way in a drawer. That’s not how I want to spend my time and I’m someone who regularly folds and puts away my clean laundry. I just can’t imagine anyone I know who doesn’t keep a tidy house now, deciding to suddenly making a hobby of folding laundry. Is that a thing that happens?

I’m not saying Marie Kondo is without merit. She seems delightful, and again, kudos to her for making serious bank on this. I understand that there are people who are in need of assistance in clearing out excess stuff, but I’m one of those people who always want to see the follow up shows for “reality TV.” I want to see what the tiny house people are doing a year later. I want to know how the hoarders are doing, and now, I want to see if people really change their life style after Kondo enters their home. Still, you probably can’t go by me. My husband says I’m in a constant state of Swedish Death Cleaning.

 

Guatemalan Coffee

My awesome brother-in-law brought me coffee for Christmas from Cafecito Organico in Los Angeles.  The beans are imported from Finca La Cascada in Guatemala and they’re roasted to delicious perfection. It’s a little darker roast than I usually like, but it’s certainly not dark and it does have those citrus notes I love so much, which is tricky because it’s also chocolatey in the way beans get when they’re roasted longer. Funny thing is you generally start to lose those light citrus flavors when you roast longer, but Cafecito Organico walks that line just right with this coffee. It’s good stuff. Check them out if you’re in L.A.img_2645

 

**Joan – Cafecito Organico has other darker, richer coffees that you would prefer should you feel the urge to order some, although you would like this more than most of the coffees I drink.

Gatomboya Coffee

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done a coffee review, so I thought I’d talk about my local roaster today. Rare Bird Coffee is in Falls Church, within easy walking distance of my house, and provides most of my coffee, bless them. Last week I picked up Gatomboya, a Kenyan coffee. I definitely tasted the cherry and marmalade notes (which just tasted citrusy to me), but I’m not sure I picked up the plum. Despite that, this was delicious coffee. Oddly, while it is good hot, it was even better cold. Naturally, that’s with me drinking it black. I think most of the flavor would be lost in this delicate brew if you add milk or even more so with cream.

 

**Joan this is not for you.

Fun at the Maryland Irish Festival

My sister, Joan, and I went to the Maryland Irish Festival last weekend and had a really good time. I was in the cultural room with other authors, the Annapolis Irish Rowers (who are loads of fun), and all kinds of people with information about Irish history ancient through modern. The guys with the ancient weapons were particularly enjoyable. The next time I have a booth somewhere, I’m totally bringing a halberd. They really draw a crowd. And there were dogs. There were Whippet and  Greyhound Rescue  groups, a Newfoundland group and the Potomac Valley Irish Wolfhound Club. I, of course, left my booth every time a dog came by, but my sister only managed to get these two photos. The festival was a lot of fun. The music and dancing were fantastic. The vendors were great and the Guinness and Tullamore Dew flowed like water. As it turns out, the water wasn’t that easy to find but the beer certainly was, so if you go next year, bring a designated driver and your dancing shoes.