Take Back the Kitchen! a Happy Accident and a JTV Anniversary Contest Reminder



Cheddar, Mortadella and Tomatoes. Just what the doctor ordered after 8 hours at work Saturday, Preparing, cooking, serving, and cleaning an Easter Brunch. I made a Cook’s dinner — Grilled Cheese! 🙂

I woke up this morning to a dream of moving the PC out of the kitchen and returning the space to what it was originally intended for — Cooking! It’s funny how we can work things out in our sleep. I can’t recall if I’ve ever experienced this before. As I woke up I was lugging the big hulk of a desktop machine off the top of the refrigerator and into the office.

I think I may have been thinking about doing this for a few days and that since I was afraid I would not have the strength to heave it up off the fridge and to the counter while standing on the step ladder without it crashing to the floor I had worked myself up into a lather and ended up dreaming about it last night. The crazy thing is that I must have been pretty worked up about it for the event to have earned dream status.

Free access to cabinets and the freezer 🙂 YIPPEE!!

I know my brain’s been working really hard while I’ve been asleep lately. I woke up with a headache, clenched jaw or furrowed brow a few times this week. I am sure stress is eating at me, among other things, but apparently, last night it was something I could easily do something about. Also, having made it to bed so early — 11:18pm, I think it gave my brain more time to do some peaceful thinking and to work through at least one problem that’s been gnawing at me.

Somehow, while blissfully putting the world out of my mind for 11 hours, yes, I said ELEVEN hours of much-needed sleep, my mind worked through this problem of a tangled web of broadcasting paraphernalia cluttering my once spotless kitchen and I awoke with the answers!


No more PC on top of the fridge

So I got out the step ladder and headed up to the PC. Well, first I cleared off the counter I would be attempting to gently place it on! I was so lacking in confidence in my ability to do this successfully, that I was shocked when I managed to get it safely to the counter. Yippee! The biggest hurdle was jumped. Next was pulling the tape and cable down. Check! I then was able to unhook the peripherals and most annoying of all — the incredibly long ethernet cable. OMG! What a feeling of freedom. I was quickly getting my kitchen back!

I had just the place for the computer too. Out of sight, out of the way. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of all of this a few months ago!? Why did it take a dream to make me figure this out? As soon as I coiled up the ethernet cable and tied it with a velcro tie-wrap, hooked up the mouse, keyboard and monitor which I put back on the little table, but out of the way, I headed back into the kitchen to clean up after checking to be sure the computer and monitor were back in operation.


I think I can handle this little camera set up

So with the help of one of one of the classic rock iTunes radio stations blasting through the stereo speakers and the thought of taking my kitchen back, I bulled my way through the project, and now, as you can see from the photos, my kitchen is fully restored to it’s old self.

Well, OK! Not 100%! The little camera is still on the counter and the makeshift pedestal is still on the passthrough next to the lamp without a shade that functions as a photographer’s lamp, but HEY! This is amazing progress and it makes me feel so good! I can still broadcast, but now I don’t have to look up and see USB cables hanging down and I don’t have to worry about not being able to open the cabinets without tearing the camera out of place. I can walk right up to the freezer and open it without bumping into the table with the monitor and all of my cabinets have free access now.


The cabinet doors can close — not more USB cables and duct tape in the way!

Hmmm…do you think it could have been the viewer that came into Justopia.com last night that was saying he was going to call the fire department about my kitchen set up and that said that it was a hazard? HAHAHAHA! I wasn’t worried about it being a fire hazard, but I knew that it was only a matter of time before I tripped over the table or some other dumb thing like that so I bet it was all swirling through my head as I slept. And I thought I had a restful sleep! 🙂

Oh, and by the way, do you know what is the best thing to remove the sticky remnants of duct tape? Duct tape! If you apply the sticky side to the leftover sticky stuff, it will eventually pick up what is left on the counter or cabinets and you will have nothing left of it.



And this is NOT all of it!

And a happy accident did occur as a result of this cleaning frenzy. I was up on the ladder looking for places to store things that had no home and were sitting out on the counter, like the kitchen torch and bottles of piña colada mix and although I’d seen the boxes looking out at me whenever I opened the cabinets, I had not thought about what was in them or what was once in them in a long time ago. I hadn’t been up to the 3rd shelf in forever, and that’s a long long time. I can’t reach up there and I was really only storing things that I never us up on that level. I can reach the 2nd shelf, but can’t really see all of what’s in there either, so getting up on the ladder gave me a peek into what I’ve been missing.


A coffee set and an Asian tea set

I found boxes and boxes of Philippine memories stored away. You see, when I was living my AOL life I was living a rather nice, albeit incredibly stupid lifestyle. One that consisted of spending whatever disposable income ran through my bank accounts which meant living overseas = mad shopping. Every weekend. Shopping was my comfort. Food wasn’t. It was either too difficult, not enticing or too lonesome to do alone when out of the house, so I turned to spending my money on tangible items. In India it was silk rugs and jewels, in Argentina it was leather purses, jackets and shoes and in the Philippines it was pottery and weekends in Manila in the malls and at the Shangri-La.


What I found up on the 2nd and 3rd shelves of a couple of the cabinets was daunting. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted it spewed ash and rock from it’s core and afterwards, in the ensuing typhoon, the ash turned to mud called Lahar that ran down the sides of the mountain like a vicious animal running to attack it’s prey. Villages were wiped out. These villages lost so many inhabitants and the lahar ate up not only people, but buildings and cars and everything around it. When I lived there we treked up the lahar fields toward the volcano as part of a leadership development activity. What was I thinking?! It was the less rainy season and was oppressively hot.


The trek was an all day affair with rope climbing necessary and walking, walking, walking. I was hot and miserable, but it was an awesome sight. We got to sit down for lunch that the locals prepared over a fire dug in the ash with chicken and rice wrapped in banana leaves and of course, mangoes. It was one of those — “The best meal” ever incidents. You know the kind when you have just done something so physically exhausting that anything would taste good? But I truly think this was a great meal. Simple, uncomplicated and so tasty. I can still remember it today. And most of all, the leadership team was “bonding.” No one wanted to make this trek, but I’d made it one of those mandatory things so people were not pleased with me. By the end, when they all saw I was just as miserable and that I did it and made it the whole way, I’d earned a little bit more of the respect and credibility I was after.


Anyway, I digress. There was a lot of ash. I don’t mean a lot, I mean the remnants of 10 billion metric tons of magma, according to the Wiki entry. Now that’s a lot of stuff raining down from the beast. The devastated Filipino, never at a loss for creative ideas, turned to pottery making and I’d see it everywhere I went. I was lucky enough to make friends with a family that adopted me during my time in the Philippines and one day when I went out to their Antipolo home, they treated me to lunch at a fellow artist’s home/studio/restaurant. I brought two friends that were on an extended site visit for a few months and we had a wonderful lunch and were able to take a stroll through the studio to see Lanelle’s work. Her pottery was in stores in all of the malls I went to during my stay in the Philippines and in hotel gift shops and at the airports.


Needless to say, I came home with a lot of it. I gave some to friends and family as gifts, but I came home with so much I needed a place to put it all and it appears that the 2nd and 3rd shelves of a couple of kitchen cabinets were the answer.

I should sell some of it. Put it up on eBay, but each piece holds a memory. It appears I have another issue to work through — sentiment. I am hoping I might wake up one day this week with the answer to that problem.


The next installment? Crystal Vases and Limoges porcelain produced at very small factories on the Clark and then a trip down memory lane to India for a look at more Kashmiri rugs than anyone needs in their home. We won’t stop before looking at a plethora of leather brought back from Argentina. I am beginning to think that perhaps I should open up a shop — Justopia’s Imports. What do you think? And no I won’t drag you through more shopping/purchases.

And there’s plenty more 🙂

JTV Anniversary Contest Reminder

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow night at 9pm Eastern for another JTV Anniversary contest question. There are just two left so be sure you are keeping up. I am repeating the prior questions each night so you have the opportunity to get your research done and to send in your responses before anyone else! I’m looking for the Date and Title of the Blog Entry you found the answer and the answer. I will accept your responses at justopia@justopia.com anytime after I stop broadcasting on Tuesday night, March 18.


6 Responses

  1. That is progress! The kitchen looks great. I have some of my best ideas and solutions come to me when I am just waking up in the morning.

  2. Thanks Sumdance! It feels so good to have purged the kitchen even though most of it just moved to another room. But it’s all much more contained.


  3. Hi justopia, I hardly come around JTV anymore, but a few days ago I came by mooncricket’s room to check up on things, he decided to draw pictures of JTV members, and one of them being you. 😀 It also made me remember all the days I frequented your blog and learned of new ways to cook things and sometimes learn of JTV chatter.

    Today you wrote about none of those things, but it is great to find out that you dug up some memories of the past. Philippines, is one of the places I would want to go someday, and seeing that you had a great time there and still have fond memories of the place, makes me want to go even more. I can only imagine how you feel when you dug out those treasures, reliving your experiences and reminiscing about the past, can either bring joy or sadness, but from what you recounted it seems like a joyous moment indeed.

    BTW mooncricket really wanted you to see his drawing too, so I leave you with the link! Have a great day justopia! May I meet you again.


  4. Hi Oddnumber,

    You’re right, I didn’t write about JTV or Food yesterday, but that’s the beauty of a my Sunday’s off. I usually take off not only broadcasting, but blogging as well. However, the night before I was too tired to write so I thought I should get to it yesterday and the dream was my muse.

    I was in a room before heading to bed and Mooncricket came in and gave me the link. It was a great highlight, I like what he did. It is awesome. If he ends up making the flipbook, it will be a lot of fun.


  5. I am happy u feel like u have taken that small area of ur life back. Awalys feels good to take control and resove the situtation. Good for you Justy.

  6. So am I Dezining and … I woke up with another dream that has me working on another aspect of my life that needs taking care of — asap! I hope to make some progress this week.

    I look forward to “seeing” you and Sweet in the kitchen tonight!


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