You Want It, We Got It


The wife and I are Mr. and Mrs. Just-In-Case. Over the years, if there’s been some small, inexpensive thing that could make our lives easier, we’ve purchased it.  As I bitched about in my ‘Autumn Housecleaning’ post, the problem is that we never get rid of things we no longer use.

Living as we have, in the same houses for decades, we have accumulated the greatest collection of ‘stuff’, some of it fairly non-standard.  We lived for a couple of years beside a single mother with two young daughters.  She acquired a long-term boyfriend who was there for more than just the free sex.  Whenever he tried to clean up, fix up or paint up, she never had any/the right tools, so she would tell him to go next door, and ask Archon if he might borrow something.

A tree branch had grown over the driveway where he wanted to park his car. Would I have a saw that he could use to cut it off?  We used to go camping when the kids were young.  How about a small, light bucksaw? Perfect!

Later, he wanted to clear out a lilac bush which had overgrown a fence corner. Did I have a small axe or hatchet that he could cut out the sucker shoots with? See ‘camping’, above.  Weekend after weekend this went on, many requests common, some, not as much.  A circular saw, a hand drill and set of bits, a pipe wrench(?), tape measure, carpenters’ level, (3-foot professional, or foot-long home version?) a pry-bar, (standard crowbar or 8 inch window jimmier?) all quickly, freely provided.

Finally, she wanted to reward him for the things he’d done around her place, by baking him a cake. For this, she wanted a spring-form cake pan.  “Go next door and ask (Mrs.) Archon if they have one.”  If it involves food, ‘Of course we do!’  As I handed it to him, he asked, “Do you guys have everything?”

I guess she didn’t understand the ‘spring-form’ concept. You’re supposed to unlatch the little clip on the side to increase the diameter and have the cake slide out.  Apparently she tried to remove it with a large butcher knife, ruining the non-stick, Teflon coating, and gouging the aluminum pan.  She felt badly, and bought a replacement at a Dollarama store, but it wasn’t the quality that the wife had found.


Even now, there are things in our house that I’m sure few other homes contain. The son owns a jewellers’ loupe, that thing that you stick in your eye and hold in place with your eyebrow, which magnifies things 10 times.  He bought it from a local jeweller after he left high school, but can’t remember why.  I’ve used it often over the years to check the detail on some of the coins I’ve acquired.

Mortar and Pestle

Recently, the wife encountered a recipe that called for powdered ginger. We have fresh ginger root, grated ginger and dried, chunk ginger.  We also have a small, powerful little electric ‘thing’ useful for such tasks as grinding coffee.  It would quickly turn the dry chunks into powder, but the wife decided to go a different way.

(To the son) “Call your sister, and ask her if we can borrow her mortar and pestle.  She just bought one that she uses to crush herbs for cooking, home remedies and aromatherapy.”

The son replied, “Why bother her? When she bought the new one, I bought her old one from her.  It’s in my room.”  It now sits in pride of place, below the overstuffed spice rack in the kitchen, groaning under every spice known to man, and a couple only to Martians.  ‘Eat your heart out bland potatoes, Matt Damon.’

Into each life, a little weird must fall. It’s just that it falls a little harder and faster at our house.  😉

13 thoughts on “You Want It, We Got It

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I think if I loaned out my wife’s good springform pan, she might be the one borrowing a hatchet. I will help my neighbors do things, but I won’t lend them my tools. It’s a lesson my father tried to teach me, but one I had to learn the hard way.


    • Archon's Den says:

      She was always very good about returning things, so we trusted him.
      I learned about not lending things from a co-worker. I lent him about 12/14 of my irreplaceable Science-Fiction books, and still hadn’t got them back a year later. When I called him on it….he’d lent some to another friend – who’d given some to yet another guy…. I lost about five, and it took me years of haunting second-hand book stores to replace the missing titles. 😦 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale says:

    I have news for you… I can probably compete with you in the “stuff” department. I swear my husband had to keep every friggen last screw, nut, bolt, plier, tool, doohickey, whatnot and thingamajig.
    I have a neighbour who seems to own nothing. Has a pool, but must borrow the net; baked often, but somehow had no loaf pans. Problem with neighbours like mine, is they forget to return my stuff and I have to ask for ’em….


    • Archon's Den says:

      There shouldn’t be a competition, ’cause we’d both lose. Start dumping it now.
      My sister was like your neighbour, especially when she lived right across the street. She would ‘borrow’ from Mother, occasionally by asking. Less frequently by reporting what she had helped herself to. The pan that did the roast had kibble poured into it, and set out in the back shed, where the dogs would knock it outside, where the kids would kick it onto the driveway, where it got run over.
      Mom replaced 5 roast pans, and 4 irons that never returned. Her oldest son took a double, 4-foot fluorescent fixture from our back shed, and replaced it with an incandescent, and never stepped inside the house to mention it. 👿

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        Eesh. No fears. I am in both “dumping” of stuff stage and no longer having items to lend stage. You wanna make a banana bread. Go to Canadian Tire and buy yourself a damn loaf pan. Might cost you 10 bucks!


  3. cyranny says:

    I am also a member of the “the stuff collecting” club. Not in general, but I totally rock in the kitchen. You just gave me the idea of writing a post about my (insane) spice collection. I also am pretty obsessed with knives… I often thought a burglar might get scared if he had a look at my kit!

    My boyfriend occasionally breaks something, probably as a silent attempt to get rid of some of my kitchen stuff… The problem being that he usually breaks my favorite knick knacks!! And I end up buying a newer version of it!


    • Archon's Den says:

      I just realized that you and Dale. above, are ‘neighbours.’
      I have to be very careful in the kitchen. I knocked over an oil bottle, which broke the end off a hand-made, leaf-shaped pottery spoon-rest. 😳
      The wife’s 24-place spice rack has 27 spices, and her 16-place herb rack has 18 – with less frequent fliers hiding in the cupboard. She grows fresh on the back deck, and uses the above grinder to mill some of them. 🙂
      We’re all knife-nuts….well, we’d all be nuts, even without knives. Including hand-made kitchen tools, we have 4 swords, and probably more than 100 various knives in the house. If you’re interested, I did a post about some of them called Hash, if you’d like to click the link.


  4. BrainRants says:

    You just described Chez Rants. “Can I borrow your slow cooker?” (Crock pot). “Yes… I have three… which one or size do you need?”


    • Archon's Den says:

      A neat and tidy Military man who could live out of a shipping container, a hoarder?? 😳 Hard to believe. 😉
      The wife has discovered the joys of crock pots. We have two. (So far)


  5. We have a mortar and pestle at our house . It is very convenient. I can understand having some eccentric items lying about the house. You just never know.


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