A custom junk drawer organizer and why it was totally worth it to get that quesadilla from Chipotle

I am an organized person. It’s something that comes naturally to me. I find great joy in purging and redoing a space so that is more accessible and useful. Many of my home projects evolve from realizing a space is not organized well for it’s purpose and looking at ways to improve it. It’s my happy place.

Even so, everyone needs a good junk drawer. Someplace to throw that screw you just found laying on the floor that probably is important but you’re not quite sure why yet. You need a holding place for things like that but every few months even the junk drawer needs a good re-organization.

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Transforming an Altoid Tin into a mini First Aid Kit

There is a classic scene in the TV show Friends where they discover that hyper-organized Monica has a secret closet where she keeps all the random stuff she doesn’t quite know how to organize but can’t throw away. It is the opposite of the rest of her life. It is messy, overflowing with junk and unorganized. While I don’t have a Monica closet, I do have a Monica bin where I keep things that I come across for which I have sentimental attachment or think “this might be useful for a project someday”.

Someday is now.

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A Fun Time Seeing “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Portland Stage

I don’t remember how it came up. It wasn’t even close to Christmas. It was actually the end of summer and I was talking to my future husband for the first time. His team had just beat mine in volleyball and everyone had headed to the local bar for the post game social. For some reason, that I’ve long since forgotten, he started reciting quotes from It’s A Wonderful Life.

It wasn’t just the well known ones that everyone throws out from time to time. He could recite the entire movie line for line.  Although his favorite, to this day, is an exaggerated version of George Bailey muttering “Harry, Harry” after his brother arrives at the end of the movie. It’s his go-to quote because he can say it while doing one of the worst impressions of Jimmy Stewart I’ve ever heard.

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Pepperell Mills Tour

A tour through Maine’s textile history at the Pepperell Mills in Biddeford.

My happy childhood unfolded in Saco. My parents grew up in Biddeford so we still had close ties to that area too.  Most people from the two neighboring towns tend to have connections in both places. While there is a rivalry, it is more of the sibling variety and the two towns remain entwined in many ways including a shared history with the now empty textile mills that line the Saco River.

The Biddeford Mills Museum offers seasonal tours of the Pepperell Mill complete with colorful stories that take you back in time to glimpse the past. The first room on the tour was a light filled expanse now empty other than a few random items discarded off to the side. It was hard to image the room as it must have been when oil lamps provided light and looms lined every bit of the open floor space leaving little area to maneuver.

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An Afternoon at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay

I do not have a green thumb. It’s not even slightly tinged. It doesn’t stop me from trying to grow things. Every spring, I over commit to my garden and fill my stash of ceramic pots with whatever catches my eye at the garden store with little understanding of what I actually need to do to keep the various plants alive. Given this approach, it’s probably no surprise that my results are spotty.

I enjoy the chance to see truly well designed and maintained gardens even if I know I’ll never achieve that type of success with my own personal landscaping. When I read that the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was hosting Maine Days over Memorial Day weekend, with free admission for Maine residents, I knew I wanted to head up and take a peak at what was growing. Admission is normally $16 for adults although free for members.

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