Chandeliers and Wasps

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I’m apparently “grounded” for the next three weeks. My project schedule has been up in the air and much of my planned August travel is now off. That’s allowed me a streak of time to do things at home here in Fort Worth – and explains in part how my day seemed to revolve around chandeliers and wasps.

This morning, I volunteered a few hours of time getting my sorority’s house at Texas Christian University (TCU) ready for fall membership recruitment. I like to polish silver, so I tackled all of the pieces in the house. When I finished, some of my sisters were trying to figure out how to clean the chandelier in the foyer.

Cleaning chandeliers is actually easy. The key is to disassemble as much of the piece as you can – I suggest having a basket lined in a soft towel to place the pieces in – and then soak all of the crystal pieces in a mixture of 1/2 warm water and 1/2 white vinegar. The white vinegar cleans the glass so that it sparkles. While the crystal is soaking, wipe the metal parts of the chandelier clean with a polishing cloth. (I’ve noticed that they tend to collect bugs and such so it’s good to have a towel under it to catch those parts!) If the chandelier has the “candle” pieces, they can yellow over time. Home Depot sells replacement sleeves – every few years it’s good to replace them if you want to brighten the appearance of the piece. Once the glass has soaked, dry it with old t-shirts (or other very soft cloth) and reassemble, being careful to avoid finger prints. Voila… a chandelier that sparkles!

After that adventure, I was in the mood to do some summer cleaning at my own house. I’ve decided to take on at least one small organizational project a day. Today I cleaned out the large trash drawer in my kitchen and took every trash bin in my house outside to clean with the hose and Pine Sol.

I also made a trip to the Container Store to purchase shelf organizers so that I can get a few things off my kitchen countertops. (And yes, I credited it to their new loyalty program!)  I’ve figured out that the “stair-step” style organizational shelves help me see what is in my pantry which prevents me from purchasing duplicate items at the grocery store – and reminds me what I have so that I use it!  I’ve also decided I’m tired of digging to find lids for my food storage containers every time I am making lunch or packaging leftovers – and my baking supplies on my top shelf need to stop falling on my head when I try to pull down a specific pan!

I also needed to figure out why my vegetable garden appeared to be dead so I went to check my sprinkler settings.  While I was doing that, I got attacked by a nest of wasps under the eaves of my roof!  Ouch!!!  A paste of baking soda helps take the sting out – a good home remedy for those who are not allergic to the sting.  Luckily I am not!  And they avoided my face, but I got several stings in my scalp and my right hand from trying to swat them away – my hand feels like it was slammed in a door!

After that kind of drama, I have decided to take it easy.  I made a caprese salad for dinner (stacks of vine fresh tomato, local mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves drizzled in balsamic with pink sea salt and white pepper) and I’m enjoying a couple glasses of sauvignon blanc from Jessup Cellars in Napa.

Caprese salad - giant vine tomato slices with fresh basil (giant leaves!) and local mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with pink sea salt and white pepper.

Caprese salad – giant vine tomato slices with fresh basil (giant leaves!) and local mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with pink sea salt and white pepper.

And I’m using the down time to do some travel planning – I just purchased tickets for upcoming trips to Minneapolis and San Francisco.  And I’m doing research on port stops I’ll visit in Indonesia on an upcoming trip – Jakarta, Semarang (the highlight of which will be the fantastic temples at Borobudur), Probolinggo (hopefully to see the active Bromo volcano), Surabaya, Komodo, and Bali (one of my favorite annual haunts).  I’m also doing some other research to figure out how I want to use my systemwide upgrades on American Airlines as I’ve had an overabundance of award travel this past year!

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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