Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Junk Drawer

Does everyone have a  junk drawer?

I have one in my kitchen. It’s the place I put things that are useful but odd. I keep random pencils and pens there. A ruler, matches, and maybe a rubber band or two I pull off the newspaper. It’s where I go when I need scissors. I keep a screwdriver there; the kind you can change the head for different projects. It proves handy because then I don’t have to run out to the garage for a small project.

I think I’ve had such storage in every house I’ve occupied. If I didn’t have a drawer it was a basket on the counter or a small box on a shelf. There is value in having a junk drawer. Maybe.

The other day I needed a pencil so rather than go to my office, I decided to save time by grabbing one out of the kitchen junk drawer. 

Big mistake. The drawer has become a catchall. I started clawing through the mass of outdated coupons, batteries, a baggie with extra cabinet hinges, and pens. I found an old solar calculator I never use, a spool of red twine and the tape measure I’d been looking for since March.

I found a miniature toy truck that needs work, two padlocks with keys in a baggie, and a golf ball. There were three of those plug-in air fresheners but I’m pretty sure you can’t buy the refills anymore. 

I found markers, a pocket sized level and a baggie with allergy pills in it. There were several business cards stuck in the front. That is highly unusual because I have a special place for business cards in my desk.  (I’ve always kept them together since watching an episode of Dick Van Dyke as a kid…the one where Rob and Laura need to find a painter for their house and Laura pulls out a stack of business cards she’s kept together over the years.)

I could account for nearly every item. But I wasn’t sure why I stuffed a large purple ribbon in the drawer and why I kept a random church bulletin there. It wasn’t even from my church. 

I pulled everything out and spent an hour organizing it. 

Yes, I did find a pencil. The tip was broken. It didn’t matter. I forgot what I wanted to do with it anyway.

At least I ridded my kitchen of the clutter. I’ve always said there are two things that make you tired and rob you of time: clutter and procrastination. 

Case in point. Please tell me I’m not alone. Do you have a random storage area? Are you brave enough to share your own “junk drawer” experience?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Meet Sonja, Fish Creeks Newest Resident

While reading an article sharing fun blog posts, one woman suggested authors should try interviewing characters from their books. Intriguing. I hope you’ll bear with me as I give it a try. I’ve created here a radio journalist to interview the main character of Libby's Cuppa Joe, Sonja. Thank you to my friend, Geoff Fuller for lending his name to my radio personality.

Ready? Here goes…and be sure to let me know what you think.

Geoff Fuller: First let me welcome you to Door County, Sonja. I understand you’re from California. That’s a big move.

Sonja Parker: Well, yes, but I’m originally from Wisconsin. I took a job in California when I graduated from college, but I grew up in Kenosha. 

Geoff: What made you choose Door County?

Sonja: My family spent a lot of vacation time in Door County and every year we came for the Pumpkin Festival in Egg Harbor.

Geoff: So have you been here during what we call “the season”?

Sonja: We visited some during the summer, but more often we came the week after Easter or in the fall. I’ve always loved Door County.

Geoff: Were you in the coffee shop business in California?

Sonja:  (laughs) No. Actually, in California I worked in a logistics. We distributed faucets and the like, but I majored in business administration and minored in entrepreneurship in college. 

Geoff: That leads me to ask, why a coffee shop?

Sonja: Well, I always wanted to own my own business. My dad owns his own landscaping business in Kenosha. I guess it’s in my blood. Then, when Libby’s Cuppa Joe became available, I could see all of the possibilities. 

Geoff: Possibilities. Does that mean you see changes to Libby’s in the future? And by the way it’s good to see you didn’t change the name. Libby’s Cuppa Joe has been a part of the Fish Creek landscape as long as I can remember.

Sonja: Yes, I am keeping the name and of course I plan to continue to offer a great cup of coffee, but eventually I do hope to add a few specialty coffees to the list as well. 

Geoff: Well the folks here are happy to see Libby’s Cuppa Joe reopening. 

Sonja: Thank you, Geoff, I am very excited to be here. Door County is the gem of Wisconsin. Living and working here is a dream come true.

Geoff: Folks in Door County, Libby’s Cuppa Joe will be open for local traffic from 8 in the morning until noon weekdays starting in March and will officially open for the vacation season in May. You can read more about Sonja, the business and get the full scoop by purchasing Libby’s Cuppa Joe by Rebecca Waters. Now available through Amazon or your local Barnes and Noble.

Well, there you have it. What do you think? What else do you want to know about Sonja that isn’t in the book? By the way, if you haven’t read the book yet, grab your today.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BOOK AND READ THE FIRST CHAPTER.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Ah...Summer? No. Argh, Summer!

This little guy doesn't
seem to mind the heat!
I must not complain about the sweltering, energy draining, oppressive heat we are experiencing in southern Ohio right now. I can’t. I complained when we had cold, gloomy days in winter. I longed for endless sunshine during those short days of January and February.

I remember clearly in March and April and well into May when I grumbled about the constant dark clouds and torrential rains. During that time I thumbed through back issues of Southern Living dreaming of the garden I would plant when the sun began to shine. I had visions of summer when I would lounge on the deck sipping sweet tea while enjoying an array of colorful flowers.

Don’t misunderstand. I enjoy the crisp air of a wintry day. I love the clean look of the soft snow covering bumps and flaws in my yard. I enjoy sitting by the fire and reading a good book. Winter can be beautiful.

And the spring rain? The sound of a thunderstorm is in many ways restful and welcome. Unless of course it goes on so many days the ground is saturated and the fear of flooding seeps into my thoughts late at night. 

Summer has at last arrived. Not as I imagined it, though. My air conditioner is working overtime. I plan the mowing of my lawn in segments. I mow the back yard in the morning before the sun is high in the sky (though not too early so I won’t disturb my neighbors) and the front yard in the evening hours as the sun begins its descent westward.

I water the flowers and vegetables I planted and pray they’ll make it. 

Instead of sitting on the deck reading or listening to music or painting (all part of my wintertime fantasy about this season), I find projects in my basement to keep me busy. The basement is the coolest part of my house.

The thing is, it feels like the middle of August instead of the first week of July. But I remind myself…I must not complain.

I know I’m not alone. Is it that we are never satisfied? Is it that we are always looking ahead? Or behind?

Or is it quite simply…the weather? I'm not sure. All I know is that I'm dreaming of autumn.