Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Cleanup Update

This carload went to the Second Chance Shop yesterday. I know it's kind of hard to see because I covered over the tops of everything with old tablecloths. It was all crystal and glassware and I draped the fabric over it to keep it from clanking around and breaking. I'm happy to say that everything made it there in one piece.

I made it to the post office to send off two boxes with Hull pieces to a dear friend who wanted some before the auction house, a gift to a friend overseas, and another small box to my half-brother in New Mexico. Whew!

Then, a run back home to put the vacuum in the car - that's how much stuff there was, I couldn't fit the Oreck in there in the front seat! Then a trip to Marc Alan (and OMG what's with the girl with her mouth REALLY wide open on their page?!) for a spruce up of my now signature bed-head haircut.

Then home for a quick lunch and then to Second Chance II, where they have more collectibles and such to drop everything off. My mom's old golf clubs, all that stuff that you saw on the dining room table . . . gone - the before/afters are from different sides of the dining room (sorry :-)) and if you click on the photo it will biggify. A stop at the vacuum store to drop off the Oreck, and then I spent the rest of my afternoon visiting my sick Aunt. That sounds fake, doesn't it? But it is, indeed, what I was doing and I was there until about 7:15.

I didn't have to do much in the living room, although there is too much on the mantle at the moment. I did make a decision, however, about the antique quilt I was going to put in the Moroccan corner. It's not going there. There is just too much light that comes in through the shutters on that Southern exposure. I do have a large iron wall mount votive holder from Pottery Barn that will do very nicely there I think.

All that's really left in the upstairs of the house in The Great Cleanup of 2010 is the kitchen and the guest room (still staging a lot of yarn, I'm afraid). And then if I want to do more in the sunroom, but it hasn't been a serious concern because it's been in pretty good shape all along - still, I have culled the CDs and DVDs from in there, and also gone through the drawers there and found a million old cassette tapes. The real ones went to the shop, and the rest went in the trash. No need for them any more - everything's on CD.

In September it's going to be time to hit the basement.

Oh yeah . . .

but in the meantime I'll be continuing to shred paper (I managed to toss all the Christmas cards back to 2008 yesterday morning). I'm hopeful to get the desk in the kitchen figured out. As you can see, it's pretty horrifying.

And, of course, the bar, which is a constant catchall here. . . (sorry about the open trash bin!)

Thankfully it's mostly paper and "stuff." Of course, that's what most of this has been from the beginning :-) I think it will just be a matter of sitting down and seeing what can go, and for the stuff that stays, where it can be put away.

And so, onward . . . :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's All in the Car . . .

Well, almost all ;-)

So shoot me. I adore Clifford Odets, and really, who else but me is ever going to read John Ford? So I just tucked them back on an available shelf. But everything else is in the car. I'm not kidding. I'll take a photo of it on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To Everything, Turn Turn Turn . . .

I went to the Jewel tonight, and then picked up something for dinner, and I caught a glimpse of the moon, which I think is full tonight. It was a huge golden orb, hanging low in the sky, and it was so beautiful that it took my breath away. I hope, wherever you are, you got to see it, too.

Things keep moving out of here.

CDs, mugs (every time I open a cabinet in the kitchen I find something else that can go . . .

My children's books . . . OK, these were kind of hard to let go. But I don't have any children. My cousin K's daughter wanted them so they are not going far :-)

Three more big stacks of regular books. Cookbooks, book books, and a lot of play scripts. In case you're wondering, John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, is a really great play. Disturbing, but great. There was a film made of it in the early 70's that I remember watching in college. Ford was a contemporary of Shakespeare's - when you're a Theatre Major, you read a really lot of plays and a lot of them are historic (yes, I read Tamburlaine the Great, too (Christopher Marlowe), and the plays of Aeschylus and Euripes, as well as Lanford Wilson and Clifford Odets - I liked them all :-) ).

I had a huge collection of scripts, and donated all but that last stack about 6 1/2 years ago. And they've have been a "back shelf" all that time. That last stack was mostly scripts for shows that I was in (no, not Tis Pity She's a Whore - I wasn't in that one :-D). I've never looked at them again . . . and so, even though no one but me would know they were there, they are headed out to the car tomorrow night after work - I'm loading up the car then so at least some of this stuff is out of here so my awesome cleaning lady can actually clean.

Here's K (she's the one who loves the hand knit socks I make for her :-) ) and ME with the latest batch of stuff they took out of here. They came over Monday night and ended up with a small haul, each, as well as taking the children's books. I am always happy to see them.

Both Candy and Michelle commented on how they were not in this place of letting go where I find myself. I've thought a lot about this, and I think it's very individual for each person. They are both at very different stages in their lives than I am. My mom has been gone for six and a half years. I held on to her things that I thought I wanted to keep for all this time. And of course there are still some things of hers that I will keep - and I didn't let go of anything that came from Belfast with my grandmother. I'm not giving away heirlooms - but the truth of this matter is that I have no children to pass things along to - and so if my extended family would like things, I want them to have them.

And somehow I've come to realize that things are just not that important anymore. From the time I was a child, we moved a great deal. I had a group of things that were "my things." They were the only stable thing in each place we went. I spent my youth feeling like a gypsy - I was always the new kid, and it was was never easy - moving just when you thought you might have made some friends. But in each place, I had my things. They were always the same, and I even set them up the same way if I could - they were secure. They didn't change. Somehow they kept me safe.

And so, for a long time I had a serious attachment to things - and the safety I imagined they provided. But now, I'm in the place of letting go. These things no longer serve the purpose they once did, and in my heart I know that many of them will make someone else happy - at least I hope so. As happy and as safe as they did me for the time they were with me.

But my mom is not in her things. My life is not in my possessions. When you hold someone in your heart they are never truly gone, so there, in my heart, is where I hold my mom now. And my own life? I hold it all around me - and it's up to me to live it.

I heard a sermon once, many years ago, that has stayed with me. The gist of it was about living your life and moving forward - and that to do that, you have to have your hands free to catch the awesome stuff that comes to you from On High. Have you ever tried to catch something when your hands were clenched tight holding on to something else? Well, you can't - you have to let go. When you're holding on to the past, your hands (and your heart) are not free to reach out and catch the wonderful things that are coming to you.

I've held that vision in my heart all these years - it's how I know that it's time to let go. I'm not sure what's coming, but I know it's going to be awesome . . .

To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn - and a time to every purpose under heaven . . .

. . . which is why I'm embracing this turn of being in the place of letting go. Your turn will come at some point - and you'll recognize it when it arrives. Trust me - you'll know it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Garage . . .

Well, I wasn't really sure about doing this today, but I decided that there was no time like the present. The top row is before, and the bottom, after. This photo will biggify if you click on it.

I took two carloads to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore today. The old attic fan, garden pots, old tile, shingles, lava rock - things that they can use and/or resell.

My friend, C, in Denver was the one who suggested them to me. I take so much stuff to the Second Chance Shop, but this was not stuff that they would take in their resale shop. I drove over this morning, and they were quite happy to take the stuff, and told me that they would also take the clay garden pots as long as they were not cracked and even though they were dirty. Wahoo!!!! Gone!

I really need to powerwash the floor, but for now, at least, it's swept and stuff is tossed that could be. On the bottom left photo, in front of my bike, you can see the pile that will be gone come next Saturday. Some will go out on the curb on Thursday night, and the rest will go to Second Chance.

And in the bottom right photo, there is a large box with a red recycle bin on top. I'm going to put that old bin out on Thursday - I have no idea why I have two bins . . . I want to keep the good one and have them take this one back. And in that box are some chain lights for African violets. I no longer have the shelves that can use chain lights, and these have sat in the box, in the garage, since February 2004.

I emailed two friends, gave them a great price, and they have been snapped up. They will go in the back of the car on Thursday, and that big box will go out with the recycling :-)

The Great Cleanup of 2010 continues!!! But not now. Now, I really need a shower. I smell really, really bad. Really. :-D

A Beautiful Day in Michigan . . .

Linda the Chicken Lady, Jamie the Yarnsnob and I boarded the bus to the Michigan Fiber Festival yesterday morning. It was a smaller bus than two years ago; still, it got us there and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I really do enjoy Michigan more than Stitches, and since they were on the same weekend this year, there really was no contest for me.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am in the midst of The Great Cleanup of 2010. This includes yarn and fiber . . . I went to Michigan looking for some specific stuff - a good substitute yarn for Rowan Lightweight DK yarn for the Kaffe Fassett coat I'm wanting to make, beads for the Shipwreck Shawl, and a bead spinner for same. No luck on any of those things.

But I didn't come home empty-handed. You didn't think I would, did you? ;-) I bought a rug-hooking kit and hoop. Michigan is the place were I first got interested in this, but I never bought a kit because they all seemed so complex. But I have my beginner kit from Midwest this year, and so this Monk Santa kit has called to me for a number of years . . . It's going to be pretty kewl looking when it's done. Those bags are the wool strips to use for it.

There are two very small skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts handpainted silk roving. The dark one is called Corvid, and the multi one is nameless. I don't really know why I keep buying silk - I'm just determined to be able to spin it (thus far, not very well . . . :-S). So these little treats seemed like good practice for me and they were not expensive. And finally, a little button for the closure on the little bag I wove earlier this summer at Midwest.

Not bad, huh? :-)

I was very tempted by some beautiful wood worked looms, but now is just not the time.

And I managed to FINISH SOMETHING :-D

These are my Watermelon Socks. I started them on my trip to Morocco, and just never got them finished. There wasn't much left, and I was done before we were out of Indiana. They are matchy/matchy until you get to the toe. No idea why that keeps happening :-D This yarn is from Fresh Isle Fibers, in Canada. My friend, Laurie from The Knitting Garden was knitting on a pair of these a few years ago at the first Loopy Ewe Spring Fling, and I just loved them! Unfortunately, getting the yarn is not easy. You have to stalk the woman's website. Still, one day, I managed to get a skein, and now I have watermelon socks. And make no mistake - these are for me. :-D

The day started out rainy, but by the time we got up to Allegan, the weather had cleared, and although it was a little humid, there was no need for hats or umbrellas, and it was cooler than it has been in years past. Still, inside the industrial halls (where the vendors are) it's warm and party fans are the order of the day - both Linda and I have them, and I can't tell you how many people asked me about mine.

Here's a group of us! Jamie, Monique, Mimi, another guild member whose name I neglected to get (sorry!) and Linda. This was just after hot dogs and fries - and the concomitant discussion of what goes on a dog (If you're from Chicago - dogs have pretty much anything you want, EXCEPT ketchup. No ketchup. No. Just not done.) Poor Mimi, we gave her a pretty hard time ;-) - and just before the last look at all the vendors.

The only negative thing I can say about this year's festival was that the tables and seating that used to be in the pavilion (above in the photo) were missing - same thing with the other pavilion where the Guild made us an awesome lunch. I hope they get that figured out for next year.

And now, it's on to my day, which is looking to include the gym, and then the garage . . . film at 11 ;-D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm There . . .

How do you get to the place where you are ready to let go? I'm not really sure, I just know I'm there.

Lest you think I have been slacking around here - here's my dining room table. Full of stuff that's going to go. I've gone through the top half of the built-in china cabinet and assorted cupboards and shelves in the kitchen. Can anyone tell me why I thought I needed SIXTEEN of those bigass glasses??? They are beautiful, but I discovered that if you fill them too full and are not very careful when drinking, you will be wearing your alcohol/pop/water/whatever rather than drinking it . . . yeah, not so good. Still, they are beautiful and I did buy them at Marshall Field's, so it pains me some to let them go. I kept four - one in each color :-)

I've been doing what I can each evening. It's been slower going, but going it is. I've asked some of my cousins to come over and see if they would like any of this stuff - some of it was my mom's . . . and so next week they will be stopping by if they have an interest.

Like I said I don't quite know how I got here, but here I am.

I have a pretty substantial collection of American Art Pottery, most particularly, Hull. It started with two pieces that were my grandmother's and built from there . . .

I will keep some of these pieces, but I talked to an auction house today. Most of it's going to go (oh - this isn't all of it - this is just the stuff that's in the big china hutch.

So much stuff . . . it's time to let someone else enjoy it. I've enjoyed it all for a long time, and now, I'm at the place of letting go.

It sure is beautiful, isn't it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If it's not One Thing . . .

So. In my travels in and out of the house yesterday, I discovered that a mud dauber wasp had made a nest on my security door. I know these wasps are beneficial because they eat spiders and there are a bazillion spiders around here, but it's a wasp nest. On my FRONT DOOR.

Yeah - no.

So, today I went over to the hardware store and bought some foam and waited until dark to bomb the nest. Here's what it looked like from the inside of the screen door. Both photos are pre-foam. I foamed it from both sides. Tomorrow I'll knock it off the screen somehow.


I took a well-deserved break today - had a great workout at the club, and I even took a nap on the couch! My Moroccan corner in my living room is taking shape, and that makes me happy. There is an antique quilt that is going to go on that naked wall. It's not Moroccan, but it's very beautiful - made by my Great Grandmother. It will be beautiful there. And, I spent some quality time working on a prayer shawl for some friends of mine in Denver.

Dinner - well, I finally had the energy to cook something healthy, which is a relief. This release of old stuff and extra stuff and stuff in general is, as I had hoped, proving to be very beneficial to me in so many areas. As Linda M. mentioned, good karma :-)

I'm not quite ready to pronounce it finished, but I have such a good handle on it. It really is a good feeling. And there are already more bags in the living room, ready for the Second Chance Shop on another Saturday :-) This probably won't be as meaningful to you if you have not been at my house and seen my kitchen junk drawer, and I didn't think it take a before photo. Who knew that they make "Junk Drawer Organizers."


Please tell me that I'm not the only person who has THREE garage door openers for a garage door that doesn't even exist anymore . . . I'm thinking these were a legacy from my late mom and the original garage door on this house.

That means it's been more than six years since I have cleaned out this drawer . . .

We'll see what the week brings. Next weekend I'm heading up to the Michigan Fiber Festival on the Windy City Knitting Guild bus with Linda the Chicken Lady and Yarnsnob Jamie. I'm SURE it's going to be a very fun day :-)

The dryer is buzzing. . .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm so Wiped . . .

It's 10:30

It's been a busy day :-) In addition to the work in the house today, I made it to the Post Office to mail some books off, then to the Second Chance Shop to drop off a carload of stuff, then to K-Mart where I found awesome baskets, then to the credit union to make a deposit, and then to JoAnn Fabrics where I finally got stuffing to stuff the leather pouf I got in Morocco. And then to Burger King, which is so not best for me, but I was really hungry. And then home, and back to the Great Clean Up of 2010.

I found a lot of really interesting stuff . . . including a beautiful Cross pen set, and these. These are my old character shoes and ballet slippers. In another life, I used to work in the theatre. These shoes have seen a lot of time on the boards. I've carried them around with me for about 20 years now even though I haven't worn them in all that time . . . they are so worn and molded to my feet that no one else's feet would ever fit them . . . I sent them to their Great Reward today . . .

And in their honor, I'll take a moment of silence

and let the photos do the talking . . .

OMG - I'm in love with my linen closet :-) Thank you K-Mart for having the perfects baskets. I'm missing a couple of photos, and I'm too wiped to take them now. So - all the stuff is off my bed (really - and it's all either put away, donated, or tossed), and the cedar chest is cleared off. I'm done . . . until tomorrow, when I have to go to the hardware store and get a small teacup hook to hang the mini lantern that is currently resting on the top of the three-level shelf, and a new can of Enforcer. It's foam that you use to spray wasp and yellow-jacket nests. I discovered today that mud wasps are building a mud nest on my security door between the metal and screen. I can't imagine how I didn't see it before now . . . you have to spray in the evening when they are sleeping . . . I'm not too excited about it, but at least the cans have super range. You can spray/shoot from about 20 feet away.

I'm happy with the progress I have made today. My office, the linen closets, my bedroom, the main bathroom, and half the kitchen and half the guest room are done. There's more to do, but I'm thinking about taking a break tomorrow. I think I deserve one!

And Kristi - thanks, I love my lantern and am so excited to have it finally hanging in the living room.

Onward . . . Again. . .

Today, it's my room . . .

This will biggify if you click on it, but it's really embarrassing that I have SO MUCH STUFF.

There's my shelf - more books, and a lot of junk. There's my closet - and I don't even have that much clothing . . . There's the view to my nightstand, and that photo in the bottom corner? That's all the crap that was IN my nightstand (OMG . . . ). Last, there's a view of the top of the cedar chest.

I just loaded up the car - not quite as large a load as two weeks ago. But it's enough - it fills up the entire back of the wagon and some on the back seat. This is a view looking in to the living room, and then looking back out. The pictures and mirrors on the ottoman are staying, as is the blue and gold fabric, but pretty much everything else is in the car.

Wish me well - it's so effing hot here . . . I thought it would cool off when it poured during the Sox game last night (they were ahead when I left at the beginning of what became about an hour and half rain delay - and they won!), but no. It's hot and it's humid, and I'm sweating like a Big Dog. But I soldier on . . . hopefully will have some awesome "after" shots for you for tomorrow :-)

Here's a great thing that happened today:

The electrician brought my Moroccan lantern back. It's electrified now :-) It even has a dimmer in case I ever need any mood lighting ;-D And on my list of errands - right after my drop off at the Second Chance Shop, is a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to see about stuffing for my leather pouf. My Moroccan Corner is coming along!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crap, and more Crap . . .

The trash is out. The recycling is out. A huge bag of wire hangers is out, and a huge bag of shredded documents is out. There are bags all over the front room, ready to be loaded in the car on Saturday to go to the Second Chance Shop.

Tonight, I tackled the linen closets. This first one is at a bad angle so it's difficult to get photos of it - I did top and bottom.

This is the top half,

and this is the bottom.

Somehow, not so dramatic a change this time, but believe me, a lot of stuff got shifted around.

Top . . .

and bottom.

This is the second linen closet . . . It's about halfway done. I cannot tell you how much crap went directly in the trash out of this one - old, expired meds, junk, sample sizes of weird stuff - 20 million bars of soap . . . just all manner of crap. Now it remains to get stuff organized in here . . . that should be interesting. I'm thinking baskets of some sort.

And I discovered that I have a 29 year supply of travel size Crest. There are at least 8 tubes . . . It's official. I have turned in to my mother.

The dryer is buzzing and it's WAY past my bedtime. It's so hot here . . . I hope I can sleep.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Breakfast on the Deck . . .

Not what you were thinking, is it? :-D Sorry for the bar in between - it's part of my window.

Clearly I need to CLEAN THE DECK :-D Meanwhile the wildlife enjoy breakfasts of plums every morning. At least I think they are plums. I used to think there were crabapples. But I think they are plums.

I should be on the bike, but I seem to be consumed with this cleaning frenzy, because. . .

. . .the roll continues.

Here's the drawer before.

And after.

And the cupboard under that drawer

I'm just trying to decide why I'm keeping my old hot steam hair rollers . . .

Yes, the Lady Schick Steam Rollers were the Cadillac of rollers. True, they were the all-time best hot rollers ever. But do I really think my hair is going be long enough ever again to roll it?

Um . . . see photo of me up on the top right of this page. Yeah, no.

And do I need THREE curling irons, one with assorted attachments?

And is there a reason that I had not one, but TWO diffusers?

Am I ever going to have a curly perm again? Not likely.

And have I used any of this stuff in the last, oh, SEVEN YEARS????

No. What am I holding on to all this stuff for?????

Clearly, this cleaning frenzy was totally necessary.

I kept the smaller travel set of rollers - someone might be here who needs to roll their hair. And I kept two of the curling irons. OMG I have an EMPTY SHELF :-D

The ladies at the Second Chance Shop are going to be really happy to see me on Saturday afternoon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

On a Roll . . .

Filing done and magnets downsized . . .

Closet functional and magazines filed . . .

No more books on the floor. . .

Enough books were downsized from the kitchen that the spinning and beading books fit on part of a shelf out there (closer to my wheels), and the rest of the books and journals fit here where they have always lived.

As you can see, I've managed to keep it nice in here for a WEEK. I cannot tell you how awesome that is :-)

I'm tackling the bathroom drawers next . . . Well, I'm giving them a good start :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To Infinity, and Beyond!!

OK - so no Buzz Lightyear, but here's the Space Bag update:

OMG they work :-D But not without some serious wrangling. It was not easy to get that bag zipped shut. It kept popping open. I tried a variety of techniques before finally succeeding. I flattened this out a little more, slipped it under the bed and prayed that it wouldn't pop open in the middle of the night and scare the crap out of me. So far, so good.

And then, since I had two more bags . . .

I figured that I would put the four pillows that were taking up space in them. I put them under the bed, too.

These comforters and pillows do not get used very much . . . I hope in a year or two, when I pop them back out of these bags that they really will come back to their original sizes. But for now, I have a whole lot more space. Thank you Michelle :-)

So, here's an update in the guest room. You saw yesterday's yellowy photo of all the yarn on the floor, but the before picks here are from last Saturday. I spent most of my day organizing and cataloging yarn and fiber and deciding what could go. I mean, some stuff I've had for years and I never used it - so it's time.

The boxes of photos were taken to shelving in the basement where I can access them easily when it's time to start the photo scanning project.

Pillows and comforter out of the closet and another set of metal cubes put together to hold some of the yarn from the armoire. Bags of yarn and fiber out from behind the daybed and in to the bottom of the closet.

BTW - all the closets in the bedrooms of my home were done by California Closets. They are WELL worth the cost. I had them do the walk-through closet in my studio apartment downtown, and I wish I had had them do the hall coat closet when they were here last!

And there's a view of the bags of yarn ready to go to a new home :-) I sent three packages out to people yesterday . . . there's still plenty left :-) Once again, that link is: Annie97's Trade/Sell I keep repeating it because I would LOVE to get some of that stuff out! And no, you cannot have my Marshall Field's bag :-)

I also put a few things on eBay - mostly older TV collectibles. If you're interested, look up seller Annie97. I've got a couple more things to add there next week after the first ones close (hopefully sold :-)).

I'll bet you're wondering where all the extra hangers went. One huge garbage bag of plastic ones to The Second Chance Shop (they won't take wire ones), and one huge recycle bag of wire ones will go out with the recycle on Thursday. They must mate and make more hangers like the papers do . . . ;-D

What's next? Well, I just went through the books in the kitchen. I know, you're thinking "how many books could she have in the kitchen?!" Um . . . well, there are built-ins there. so I have almost ALL my books in the kitchen.

It's always very hard for me to divest books, but I now have double rows on some of these shelves (i.e., there's a row of books hidden behind what you see here on a number of these shelves).

Still, I managed to divest some more . . .

and it's time for me to READ the stuff on my "to read" shelf (which is in my bedroom :-D) and then start going to the library again instead of the book store. There are more in this photo than the visual would lead you to believe. They are stacked up nearly a foot. The Second Chance Shop will be happy to have them. :-)

So, that's the update from The Third Coast today. It's only 9 a.m. (I really am a Lark in the Morning), and I have an interesting afternoon planned. Happy Sunday - and I hope that wherever you are, you are keeping cool :-)
p.s. Seven years ago today, my life changed forever. My then-husband came home from work, and after dinner, told me that he had been carrying on an Internet relationship with his high school sweetheart - that he had spent his entire life wondering "what if" and found out that she felt the same way. He said that this was best, and when I said "best for whom?" he said "clearly not you."

Pretty shitty, pretty cruel . . . at the time it was brutal, but now it's a testament to moving forward - I would never have thought about it today except that it's my dear friend Pam's birthday. I was reminded of this on FaceBook, which then made me think - Wow, seven years have passed. Another life. And so - it's just a post script now in the fabric of my life. I just thought it interesting that I forgot about it until actually reminded.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Onward . . .

Sometimes things get worse before they get better . . .

The color is seriously whack on this, but that's all the yarn that was in the armoire, out on the floor . . .

And really - Michelle says these Space bags work . . .

I have my doubts.

Check back for the update!

P.S. Apparently the link I put in for my destash didn't work.
So: Click Here. This is a Ravelry link so you have to be logged in to Ravelry to access it. I'm thinking that there will likely be even more . . . we'll see how the day goes.