Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Don't I have something I should be doing? 10 Aha Moments

Well, the answer to that title is both yes and no. I do. Nothing but something! But not quite yet. Soon all these boxes and crates, baskets and basically any reservoir has to be put away. Just can't get to any room yet.

Allow me please the luxury to ramble and rant yet again from an entirely different perspective...  about my clutter. I know. I am sicker of talking about it than you are reading or listening. Truly I am.

(Coming soon to my breakfast table corner windows)

I have crawled through the fire and am freer than I ever thought imaginable.

Ten Revelations:

1. If it is worrisome, overwhelming, or causes pain.... it is begging for action, not words.

2. Eliminating family treasures truly doesn't erase them or their stories. If an object is buried in a box, it isn't that life-changing anyway.

3. There actually can be a place to store things you like or want or need... if tons of stuff you don't aren't hogging all the closets. Are you surrendering and sacrificing the living (including yourself) for the ones who have already passed?

4. Tidying up is really life-changing magic. (Marie Kondo has a point.)

5. An item really loses value like a car more often than not. It won't bring what you paid or thought it would/should/could at auction, so its value has been claimed in the prior days... kind of like money spent on food, entertainment, or travel.

6. As a culture we don't value space unless it is outdoors, but space indoors is truly liberating. When you see an empty room,  shoulders lift and a deep breath transpires.

7. If you eliminate something your dearly beloved parent, granparent, etc. loved, you have not lessened their joy or your joy you remember  watching them love it. Would you cook liver and onions for yourself just because your mom loved it? (ummmm. no.)

8. Selling an item for any amount (or donating) brings joy. My pickers told me they stop and pray, thanking God when they are able to make a good deal at an auction. Their whole family is blessed by that item. And at today's prices, if you really miss that old carpet beater. you can get one on Ebay for 6.75. (A Precious Moments runs about $5 for a grouping of 8-10.

9. Clutter is a breathing, deceptive animal that wants you to believe you will miss it, use it some day, organize it, gift it perfectly, fix it, make a killing on ebay with it, or cry forever without it. Liar. Life and breathing and choosing your own surroundings and treasures is the real treasure. You will never see it for its ugly self if you address only one box/drawer/closet/room at a time. Your mind will join in the ugly trick it pulls and think it is not a vicious monster.... but it is.

10. Nobody can or will urge, shame, motivate or force you to deal with it...ever. You can ignore, positive-spin, or remain in limbo or even hell forever until you die and your clutter and that of your lifeline becomes a burden or issue for your beloved kids. And really think about your ancestors. They either had less, held an auction for their parents, or moved and down-sized in their lifetime. Right?

Thank you. No pictures yet...  My monster has completely hooked together like Voltron... And it ain't pretty. The carpenters set a hope chest on top of a deep freeze today...  So... memories from WW2 overcomes my desire for a hamburger!!! Ah the metaphors, the symbolism. the... the....  GO TO BED. YOUR CARPENTERS RETURN IN 7 HOURS.AND I DON'T MEAN RICHARD AND KAREN... (if you don't get that, you probably don't have clutter.)

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Yep. Still Here!!

What can I say about this? Only that I had no idea what it meant to do 5 rooms at once, and no sane person would ever try it. Right now because the Engineer consultant got his truck stolen(!) we reversed the order of renovation. Over the weekend we put everything in three rooms but tonight one of those had to be emptied.  This photo was taken after a half hour on the first day...  I cannot bear to take a photo now.

It isn't the top layers but the whole enchilada...  We had to laugh, My dad had saved about 20 DISPOSABLE foil roasting pans...  Washed carefully....  plus at least 6 turkey roasters in varying sizes....  Our family has turkey a total of once a year! (Except in 2017 we had zero)... So technically we could throw away a pan every time we have turkey, and I would be about 91 years old before we ran out... 

I always secretly wanted to have everything out of the house and start fresh like <<Hoa*ders>>....
Be careful what you wish for, though to be clear I never though of this exact scenario. It is actually fun...  I leave you with a poem I learned in elementary school...  My dad did not like this poem...  It hurt his self image I think.

They said it couldn't be done.
With a smile I went right to it.
And that thing that couln't be done?
By God! I couldn't do it!

My helper.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Knock Down Drag Out

Going big here for the next few weeks. I contacted a carpenter, got a bid, and Monday he arrives. My son had the wild idea to knock out a wall and have a bigger kitchen. Then while he's at it, we will do new floors in 5 rooms, refinish a hardwood in another, and paint 3 rooms and a  hallway...  Have Mercy.  My grandmother used to say, "Little bit do good. Whole lot do better."We shall see...

I will post some pictures as we progress.

This wall will be gone and the doorway to basement will be gone so access will have to be through exterior cellar type door. No snakes allowed!

Remember when you found out you were going to have a baby and the only way to get that precious bundle was to go through it...  because it was a lot of work but worth it...???  It kinda feels like that... (only babies, to be clear, are way better...)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Money Well Spent... and a Nightmare

Good Saturday morning, Everyone. Since I vowed to keep it real, I think I have probably been more real with myself, as well. I told my son I had heard the "Rocky Bell." You know the one where Rocky is all down for the count and suddenly somebody whispers, "Win." So, that's how it's going here at Meadow Lane.

Um... nobody ever gave me a sign like this.  Is that in itself a sign?

For quite a while I had suspicioned we might be fighting some kind of invisible war in this old, and I mean ancient, house. I know I was doing a version of that old cartoon of Popeye the Sailor... "Well, I'll fight ye with one hand tied behind me...I will fight ye with my eyes closed... Yub yub yub...." I had both hands tied until I decided to get some things out of the house. And I have had my eyes closed when I would "clean and clear."

My dad's actual bedroom and three others very similar...  Ugly little "secret" behind the pretty scenes of china on my table. Cat doesn't judge me. Why should you?  lol

So I heard about having my duct and HVAC system cleaned and sanitized. I kept that thought mulling around for about a year. (I move swift like fox rock.) Finally I checked the price, which was kind of steep. ($400 for this house) But I cannot ever let something lie.... I got on the list with a month's wait. I figured.... what? Here's where the blindfold comes in...  I had a semester of Psych in high school, and I remember the "Avoidance Technique." I suppose I thought they would bring in a magic wand of some kind and wave it about, utter a cleaning chant, and blue mist would come out the registers. Then I would write the check. Uuuuuh, no. Monday morning I spoke with the HVAC team (I love saying that because it sounds too HGTVish for words!) I casually as an afterthought asked if I needed to do any preparation. "NO... JUST SCOOT EVERYTHING ABOUT 2-3 FEET AWAY FROM EVERY REGISTER AND COLD AIR RETURN," the voice acted as if that would be easy, an hour's work at most.

I am keeping a few of most things...  With advice from my son only 3 made the cut to stay... Scruffy, Dinosaurs, and Batmunk...  

Many, maybe all of you, might need only an hour... But to move furniture and stacked (neatly ha!) boxes enough to actually get to registers in a couple rooms we dubbed storage...  It was monumental. It called for a simultaneous act of war against clutter... and it has resulted in more clutter than anyone (except maybe Mary with it sounds like a similar weight of inherited keepsakes) can imagine. In all rooms. Simultaneous chaos reigns.

However, the good part is coming. The furnace technicians arrived. They backed their truck up to the cellar door and put little trash bags over top of each register. I had to put my cat in a makeshift cat basket fashioned from a wire laundry hamper. She was so upset.... Dig dig dig she tried, but not a peep out of her. She hates motors and vacuums and her domain had turned into one giant vacuum cleaner. After a long time, they finished that downstairs and moved up here. Now... I know I do not know the circumstances or the pay grade of the two men who worked here. But from observation alone, one was in his early 20's or late teens, polite, quiet. One was in his 30's or 40's I might guess, also polite and quiet. One got on his hands and knees with 200 pounds of air pressure, foaming disinfectant, and a scrub brush and literally scrubbed every duct and grill until it is was clean as the day it was installed. He spent about 10 minutes of very physical scrubbing at each duct--- and about 30 minutes on the giant cold air return unfortunately located beside my stove and coated with dust coated with that grimy grease that escapes from cooking. And one stood... texting... Sometimes he picked up the air tube and helped it move around a corner. They were here about 4 hours or more. One desperately appreciated the large goblet of Mr. Pibb on ice I offered and one didn't need it because he hadn't worked up a sweat. Then I wrote the check. Yes, you have guessed correctly which age group did the work. But... I kept my big mouth shut. Even with all the heavy lifting and scooting I had done, keeping my trap shut about "were they on the same pay clock?" ranks right up there. And the one who did nothing????  He was fun at the end. He bounded over and turned on my AC (finally). ran around taking the bags off the registers, and inhaling with such appreciation the fresh-smelling air pouring out of the grills.

So, a few hours later my son walk in, takes a deep breath, and says he can tell a difference. I awaken this morning to zero sinus problems and I can feel the clean in the air... I have continued the Cause with my trusty vacuum, my Mrs. Meyers Peony-scented cleaner spray, and my Fabuloso from Dollar General.... and my beloved Steamer Mop...

Yes. Here's the Rocky bell at last. Nobody ever wants to put a clean nightgown on a dirty body...  With an old house pumping clean air out, I can't ignore any more nooks and crannies, baseboards and what-have-you. Bottom line. Rarely my dad was wrong. He would NEVER have paid to do this. He would have laid down and scrubbed each duct himself (which I have seen him do, but not for 25 years) or crawled through the system on his knees... but my Daddy didn't pay for anything professionally done other than surgery. Yep, You read that right!

About 15 more boxes and a couple little cabinets went for a ride from here with the Auction man on Thursday. And I have "pickers" coming to browse on Monday. (No, not the American Pickers.) I will let you know how that goes. This is getting too long!

Ya gotta love the kitty kat mentality to find comfort in the midst of chaos. She was so glad the cleaners had gone!

Have a great weekend. You know where to find me.

Whimsy and Hugs!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Looking up

This has been a busy week here at our house. Doesn't it seem short weeks (four day work weeks before and after holidays) always seem twice as long? Well, it is June with the Queen of Seasons in the wings.

I have created the most delightful craft/computer/planner/writing/art nook in the space vacated by the cabinet I sold. It really might not be beautiful in terms of decor, but... I just


having all my things in one spot instead of going on wild safaris in search of every scissor, punch, glue gun, and marker. Currently my project is a little album I am making for someone to give a friend.

I have some plans for the very blank wall! Of course, I do...

In order to claim this territory I had to destroy my kitty's top secret spot behind the TV, which made her pretty sad and forlorn, but by today she's fine. I am confident she is resourceful and will find another "zone of invisibility" (she thinks). Is there anything more dear than seeing the furry tail of an animal who believes she is hidden from harm's way (like visiting puppies or loud noises)?

Thought I might also give you a glimpse of the cabinet tops in my kitchen since the clutter treaures on top are freshly washed. That sparkle will last only for a very short while...

Nearly everything up there was Mom and Dad's, but I rearranged it with all pitchers and what-nots together, and I added a few giant bowls from the house on the corner. (I am henceforth calling this place I live home--- because it is... and referring to that other place I have not lived in for 12 years with terms meaning "not home" ----- because it isn't. I am oh, so clever to do that, eh?) You say it took her twelve years? Wow.

Have a fun June!

Whimsy and Hugs!