This quote not only rang true, it also made me laugh.

It’s not that I don’t try to be orderly and neat. I am neat to the extent that anyone living in a house that urgently needs many more closets can be neat. I remember when my parents were remodeling — the first time (remodeling would be constant for more than 30 years) — my mother built closets everywhere. If there was a piece of room that wasn’t dedicated to some other purpose, in went a closet. When we bought our triplex condo in Boston and it wasn’t finished yet, we had them put in closets everywhere. It was the only time ever I had enough room for all the stuff we had. Then, we moved here. I love the house, but where are the closets?

Today was the day I realized that no matter how hard it is to get blood from me in a lab, there are an unlimited number of ways I can bleed all over my kitchen.

Is it because my knives aren’t sharp? No, it’s because I do sharpen them. I have a knack for encountering sharpened blades with some part of my hand. In this case, I was looking for a small spoon and my right index finger got overly intimate with a small knife I keep in the drawer. It’s a great little Sabatier paring knife, useful for everything from slashing open the top of bottles whose “pull here” seal pulls right off in your fingers, to dicing vegetable. It’s only a 3-inch blade, but it’s sharp. I know. I sharpened it.

I said: “Ouch.”

I looked down and I was not even a little surprised to discover I was dripping blood into my flatware drawer. This isn’t the first, tenth or two dozenth time time I’ve nicked a finger and proceeded to bleed copiously everywhere. Clearly I’m not lacking blood. I’m just lacking useful veins.

Slicing fingers is my version of dropping the jar of applesauce.

Have you ever dropped a jar of applesauce? It makes a horrible mess. Jars are made of tempered glass, so when it breaks, it disintegrates. Not just big pieces you can easily pick up. Lots of tiny, almost sand-like — and very sharp – pieces.

You drop the jar. Glass is everywhere and sauce is covering all the shards. Inevitable when these events occur, I am barefoot — maximum, wearing socks. Nothing that will protect my feet. I should mention that it was this kind of accident that convinced me that marble or tile floors were for the less clumsy.

So there I am in the kitchen. Wherever I look, there’s glass, half of which is covered by applesauce. No matter what I do? I’m probably going to have bleeding feet before I’m done.

Should I wear shoes in the kitchen? Well, probably, but at this point in life if I haven’t learned that lesson, I probably never will.

Life is disorderly. It doesn’t matter how hard you try. It’s just like house cleaning. Why bother? You’ll just have to do it again before you put the cleaning tools away. The number of “things” you will acquire will always exceed by 50% the space you have allotted for it.

Order is temporary, a brief and unsatisfying respite between periods of messy disorder. In the end, disorder always wins.

Categories: House and home, housework, Quotation

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27 replies

  1. I like that first quote. I’m kind of the same way with knives. Yikes.


  2. Marilyn, I feel your pain. We do not like to wear shoes either, but it comes at a risk, doesn’t it? I also hate to break food jars that have lots of food left in them. It is wasted money. Remember the Cat Stevens song made famous by Rod Stewart, “the first cut is the deepest.” Keith


  3. You are so funny. I need to carry knives to the lab, too. My hand with better veins is taboo because of breast cancer surgery. The nurses look longingly at the bulging veins on the back of my left hand. They try to put in huge needles, and I warn them that they only get one chance and that size doesn’t work. Sometimes they listen, and sometimes they have to send for a better nurse. I had never thought of bringing along my own knives. ๐Ÿ™‚ I laughed out loud at your applesauce jar story. Sadly, it was too easy to picture, but too funny the way you told it not to laugh. All I can say is, enjoy your chaos. It sounds like the best way to go!


    • One day I realized I was too old to worry about getting organized. Life has been better ever since.

      I had both breasts removed from breast surgery but that hasn’t affect the veins — or lack of veins — in my arms. I’ve heard this from others, but I wonder why it didn’t affect me that way. Maybe it’s because I had both breasts completely removed and what’s left are fake?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are not fake! The reason it affected my veins is that they removed two lymph nodes, and they are just being cautious. I had no cancer in them, but they advise never using that arm for taking blood pressure or blood because it could swell permanently.


    • I’ve gotten much more easy-going about dealing with chaos and cleaning and organizing. First, I CAN’T do all of it anymore. And, since my son and his friend Arthur moved back in — and it is great to have them here — my son is the lord and master of chaos. He collects old things. Victrolas and a couple of thousand 78 rpm records, old film movies and projectors, chiming clocks, miniature steam engines, toy trains and where once there was some room, now there is just Owen and all his stuff. And his tools.

      I can’t fight it. Every once in a while, I subtly suggest he might want to sell or give away at least SOME of the stuff. He always tells me he is going to do it, but I haven’t seen any evidence of it to date.

      I’ve given up. Life just is. I’m glad Owen is here. I’m glad his friend is here. It has enabled ALL of us to have a home which none of us could manage individually. And there’s someone who can get the things that are too high up for me to reach and someone who can FIX things. AND Owen can cook — and is getting better because he’s a quick learner. For that matter, Arthur cooks too — and they both shop for food and run errands.

      So if they also bring a little chaos? Why not? We aren’t lonely and neither are they. We have a family group. Messy, but happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. After more years than I care to count, I am now kinda happy with chaos. Especially the kind I can do nothing about! Maybe your very sharp knives should be in a different place?


    • ALL the rest are in a wood block. This one I keep “locally” because it’s small and I use it for so many different things — and I’m out of room in the block. It used to have a sheath which made it a whole lot safer, but I lost the sheath. I think I might have accidentally thrown it away — or it’s still somewhere in the kitchen, under something that hasn’t been recently moved. I with I had room in the block. Maybe I need a bigger block, but they are expensive and this is a very good one. I’ve had it for almost 20 years. The knives it came with are long gone, but it has accommodated New knives, new scissors, everything.

      I don’t know if there is any ROOM for a bigger block. We are so cramped for space — especially in the kitchen, probably because I do a lot of cooking and have a lot of spices and pots, pans, knives, pans. We don’t use our dishwasher but we store the pot lids in it, which is great because I have never had anyplace to put those covers.

      But bleeding all over the flatware probably isn’t a first rate idea either. I wish I hadn’t lost the sheath.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Today was the day I realized that no matter how hard it is to get blood from me in a lab, there are an unlimited number of ways I can bleed all over my kitchen. I find this hilarious considering that once a pathologist had to drain my blood into the needle by gravity because the vein wouldn’t cooperate. She was not very good at her job.
    If it wasn’t for you I would be so upset with myself for my untidiness. Blood not shed in vein.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a horrendous story. I feel you buddy…


    • I always tell them when they are trying to get blood using the wrong needle (sigh) that they should just hand me a kitchen knife. There’s plenty of blood — just bad veins. I got lucky the last two out of three times I had to have infusions. I had a sympathetic AND very capable nurse. I wish I could say the same of the lab, but once they missed, they stop poking and listened, so the next jab was right on the money.

      It helps to be in the same department as the cancer labs. They have THE best nurses — and they are very nice people, too.


  6. Yep, disorder always wins!
    Hope your hand and foot are both ok, xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You describe here another story of my life…. me being more than half blind, plus HH being the man magically ‘attracting’ every possibility of something or other to fall, shatter or he himself tumbling upon down stairs, steps or even nothing at all…. it creates rich pickings for blood baths.
    So, now we have established those facts, you arm yourself with your Sabatier for yr next appointment with the hospital and drawing blood will never be an issue again… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    (hope you are aware that I am joking; after all, we don’t know each other that well ๐Ÿซ‚)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I’ve always told them that I should just bring my own knife. They shudder because they think I’m serious. Sometimes I think I’m half serious. I do NOT lack blood, just good veins. So does my son, who is a huge guy, but this does run in families. My grandaughter went to school to study phlebotomy because now she can take her OWN blood. Which she does. She makes them give her the needle and does it herself. Crafty, eh?


    • My son is beginning to lose the sight in one eye. So far, there doesn’t seem to be any treatment for it, but he is getting another opinion. It seems impossible that there’s NOTHING they can do for him.


  8. Iโ€™m with you on order Marilyn! Just be more careful my friend near knives

    Liked by 1 person

    • That great little knife used to have a sheath, but it vanished. I either accidentally threw it away OR it is under something that hasn’t recently been moved — like the big cooking range. OR it fell between the counter and the bookcase or between the baker’s rack and the fridge. One way or the other, I know it’s not a great idea to have an unsheathed knife in that drawer, but I need one small sharp knife where I can quickly get it — and anyway, the block is out of slots.

      I stopped bleeding faster than usual this time. Maybe that’s from the iron infusions?

      Liked by 1 person


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