Put a ring in it
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My mother was an Avon lady for many years back in the 70s. I don't remember when Avon started to sell jewellery as well as perfume and cosmetics, but I'm certain this is an Avon ring. The red suede apple ring box was given to me by S.H. eight or nine years ago. She gave me a necklace along with the box, not a ring. I still wear the necklace, but I was ready to give the apple away. I put the ring in the apple, wrapped it up and sent it to M. in New Hampshire. I posted a photo of the box I sent out on December 8 — now that Christmas is over and the presents have been opened, I can show the ring. Bear has been extra friendly lately. Lots of purring. Lots of lap time.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Getting rid of books is getting easier and easier. I have read three out of the five of these. Figured out the killer in the Fielding book way too early and forced myself to finish it just to see if I was right. I won't be reading her again. Going to keep the tree up for at least another week. I enjoy the lights and looking at the ornaments — remembering where each of them came from. The white cat used to have a black companion — the pair of ornaments purchased in the late 80s to represent the cats in my life at the time. The white one was for my dear siamese Nigel (who died in 2000 at age 17) and the black one for the pitch black Vincent (who died in 1991). When we divided up our things, my ex got the black ornament, and I got this one (I got both of the real live cats). When I hang this kitty on the tree I wonder if he is still hanging its mate on his tree.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I don't wear a watch anymore. My computer tells me the time. So does the microwave. And my cell phone. I have several watches in drawers somewhere, but the white circular one is the only one I've come across lately. The silver watch belongs to my husband — he doesn't wear it. The white one is windup and still works; the silver one needs a new battery. I prefer windup to battery. I grew up winding my watch every morning, part of the routine of starting the day. I like the sound. I like not having to buy a new battery and not having to dispose of an old one. The recipe box is part of my box collection. Not one of my favourites, so it's easily expendable. (Had a lovely holiday. Lots of dvd watching and the requisite pumpkin pie with whipping cream.)
Gift for a gardener
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My neighbours are avid gardeners and foodies. I just finished off a plate of Christmas baking they brought over. This is a big hard cover book about growing specific vegetables for recipes in the book. I enjoyed looking at the different garden plans for planting gardens to suit different world cuisines, but I'm not much of a follower of recipes, so it's time to give it to my neighbours and see if they are inspired. There's a great index listing dozens of veggies, which ones grow in which zones, and how to grow them. The plastic bowl is for flower arrangements; floral foam required (not for the neighbours). More of my Christmas tree.
One, two, tree
Monday, December 21, 2009
Have decided that if my husband ever wants to whack a tennis ball back and forth with me he will need a good racquet. This one has a wooden handle and a much smaller racquet head than any new ones — it won't do. My in-laws very generously give us money at Christmas. This year we'll get that extra racquet, some new balls, and I'm going to finally get a proper pair of tennis shoes. Since starting lessons in July I've been wearing a pair I picked up at the Sally Ann. They are court shoes of some kind, but they don't have enough ankle support. I fell last week (flashback to falling and breaking my wrist during a lesson last October), so I need to do whatever I can to make sure I'm properly decked out. This year our tree has LED lights, so these extra bulbs and plug are useless to me. I so enjoyed decorating the tree this year. Here's part of it.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
This was a freebie from a store for having purchased X dollars worth of other items. It's a storage box, meant to store 4 x 6 inch photos — the areas on the box lid are to display photos too. I thought I would use it to store something or other, but it has stayed empty for many, many years. I don't have anyone in mind to give this to, so I will put it into the pile for donation.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
These are napkin holders if I remember correctly. I just thought they were cute. Back in my cute phase. I had them displayed on a shelf when I lived in a Vancouver apartment, so that would be ’round about 1994 and 1995. They have been packed away ever since. Now that I know a couple of little girls old enough for tea parties with their dolls, perhaps this pint-sized furniture will be played with.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A 4in square blue and white tile with a rearing horse. Meant to hang on the wall as decoration. I like the crackled old glaze and chipped corners.
Just following the instructions
Monday, December 14, 2009
Last year at the gift-swapping Christmas party, I received this book. I took it to the party tonight, unwrapped, in the hope that someone would be interested and take it away. They were and they did. Thanks A! I also wrapped up another white elephant gift consisting of an assortment of tree ornaments. The person who picked the ornaments was not pleased, but was fortunately able to trade them later for a book she did want. All I care is that I no longer have to pack them up each year. BTW, I came home with an exquisite miniature piece of art. A handpainted matchbook with a raven on the outside and inside, decorated with gold paint and a bit of collage. Inside the box is a scroll with a First Nations legend about the raven and how light came to the world. And a matchbook hardly takes up any room at all.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Party tomorrow night. Part of the fun is the gift swap. Everyone brings an inexpensive, wrapped item, preferably something pre-owned that they don't want anymore. Classic white elephant. Numbers are randomly distributed. The person with number 1 chooses a gift and opens it in front of everyone. The person with number 2 can either choose another wrapped mystery item or steal the gift from the first person. And so on. Anytime a gift is stolen, the person who had it taken away them immediately picks another wrapped gift or steals from anyone else with a gift. There is always one very popular item that gets stolen many times before the game is over. Much bargaining and cajoling and attempts to attract theft for an unwanted item. It's always a lot of fun. I was given this candle holder and candle at a client's Christmas party in 1998. I'm thinking if I haven't burned the candle by now, I never will. This has been put away in the Christmas box every year, and every year I take it out thinking I'll use it. Bye bye. (Oh dear, I just realized I'll be coming home with something new tomorrow night.)
Sent a Claus away, away
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Sorry A. I gave your Santa away. Just in time for the season. He will grace someone else's living room or mantel. I'm putting up a tree this year, but that's it. So far we've sent out 7 cards. A few more to go, but they will likely end up as Happy New Year's cards. Tonight is the first party of the season. Our social life is about to become busy. Blog entries about to get shorter — I have to spend time putting on makeup and dress-up clothes. A friend brought us a plum pudding today. Recipe for hard sauce included. Yum.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tonight I looked around for a group of things I haven't sorted through yet. Found 35 ties on a tie rack hung on the inside wall of one of the clothes closets. Last century I went through a year-long phase of wearing jeans, a man's shirt, and a tie. But I haven't tucked anything into a pair of pants in a number of years. More into comfort now than style. Some of the ties belong to my husband. He wears one to weddings and funerals. There are more to send to the Sally Ann, but I'll start with this one. I keep trying to get a good photo of the love bugs (or "bonded pair" in cat terminology), but Mika is very skittish when the camera comes out. The mutual grooming sessions are a daily occurance.
Martha Price Ridley, a village busy-body in St. Mary Mead
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I dropped by my favourite book store, Chronicles in Crime, yesterday, but the owner wasn't there. I am going to give her this Agatha Christie "Who's Who" as a reference book. I picked it up for not much money at a new secondhand store in Duncan, thinking it would be a good addition to my own crime shelves. But I'm not a huge Christie fan — it will be much more appreciated by someone else. An alphabetical listing of all the characters in all of Christie's novels. Plus a bibliography of every mystery and short story by date. And this lovely illustration of a moustache.
Dull as what was inside
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Remember when software came in huge boxes with heavy, heavy manuals? Thank goodness for downloads and pdfs. I couldn't believe how much the documentation for this ancient version of Word weighed. I enjoyed flattening the box and putting the manuals into the recycling box. I've still got old Quark and all the Adobe versions before CS came out. Sorting through those will take more than a few minutes at the end of an evening.
Think inside the box
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Might not look like much, but there are lots and lots of little things inside the box about to wing their way across the continent. I can't show photos because it's a Christmas box with presents for people who happen to regularly read my blog. It would not be proper to show them ahead of time what's on the way. A few of the things inside the box are things I've had and enjoyed and am ready to send to a new home, so they count for this project. I'm not much one for going out and buying presents just because it's the season. If I see something during the year that I think someone would like, I buy it and give it to them the next time I see them. If Christmas rolls around and I don't have anything....too bad.
Turf the tankard
Monday, December 07, 2009
This is Scandanavian I believe. Metal with a teak handle. I liked it. Bought it at a yard sale. Never used it, not even as a vase. Don't need it. Cold today, hovering at and just below the zero mark. Could drop as low as -7 tonight. The photo of bushtits on suet isn't from today, but these darling birds stopped by twice today to load up on fat food.
Another Sunday night: not enough time
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Tomorrow a reporter is coming to the house to interview me for a short piece in our city paper. I'm getting rid of some of the mess on the kitchen table so we will have a place to chat. And moving some extra chairs upstairs. And taking away a couple of the cat beds that are on the sofa and easy chair. (You'd think the cats ran the joint or something.) I'll get up early and give the bathroom counter a swipe.
More cheese please...and some mac to go with it. OR The most fun I've had getting rid of anything so far.
Friday, December 04, 2009
There’s this guy, Ian Golder, who collects boxes of macaroni and cheese. He's a little bit famous for this. I had heard of Ian and his macaroni years ago and kept this bit of trivia lodged in some dark recess. I too have loved boxed mac and cheese over the years. When I was in grades 5 and 6, my family lived right across the street from my school. My brothers and I went home for lunch, even when my parents weren't there. As far as I can recall, I boiled up and ate a box of Kraft dinner pretty much every single day. We also squeezed in two TV shows over lunch, Hercules and Rocket Robin Hood. I'd run back and forth to the kitchen during ads until the macaroni was ready. Many years ago, when my mom and I helped clean out a friend's house — she was over 100 years old at the time — I came across an ancient, unopened package of macaroni and cheese. I have no clue what year it’s from. I thought the packaging was a great example of vintage graphic design, and I displayed it on a shelf in my kitchen, along with vintage spice tins, for a long, long time. Ever since I've lived in this house though, Magic Chef has been in a drawer. I figured it was finally time for him to go to a new home, so (thanks to the Internet) I contacted Ian, asked him if he wanted this box for his collection, and, well, the photo says it all. Thanks Ian, for appreciating this old bit of cardboard and tin. (If you google Ian, there is video of an interview he did not too long ago on Jimmy Kimmel. You can also see some of his collection at macandcheesebox.com).
Thursday, December 03, 2009
My mother was an Avon lady. For years and years. Every elementary school teacher would get an Avon product for Christmas and as thank you presents. I don't have much Avon left in my possession. These bathroom accessories don't fit in with the decor in either bathroom in the house we're in now. I was putting spare change in the soap dish for awhile, but both pieces have been out of sight in a cupboard for the past couple of years. Don't want them any more.
Five years to live
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
That's the timeline I've started to imagine when I look at my surroundings and pick out things to maybe or maybe not get rid of. The "if I died tomorrow" idea is no help, because obviously I would spend a last day doing something other than decluttering and writing about it. "One year to live" is too short a time to be useful in making decisions because I would need very little to get through a year. Most likely I would call in movers and have them take loads of stuff away except for what I wanted to give to family and friends. So I'm trying to use five years as a term to gauge how much I want to keep something. If I think I will use it or enjoy looking at it, smelling it, touching it for the next five years, then I'll keep it. If not, I'll get rid of it. As soon as 2010 rolls around I am going to get brutal and make more of these decisions. This pace of one or a few things a day has gotten me out of my "keep everything" mode and prepped me (I hope) for more agressive organizing and shedding. This paper towel is from 1980. From my very first assignment in ceramics class at art school. After our projects came out of the kiln, we put them on a big table with our names on a paper towel in front of the item. The next morning we came in to see what grade the instructor had given us. I got a 10/10. Yes, I've kept this paper for 29 years. The ceramic object itself (a shoe) is on a shelf in the spare bedroom at my parents' house. Otherwise I'd post a photo of it too. I'm thinking I might play with matches and give this a ceremonial burn.
Same old same old
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Looking around the house I realize most of what I have to get rid of falls into just a few main categories. Books, clothes, knick knacks, and paper. Then extra kitchen stuff and cds. After almost a year it's getting repetitive, — but those are the things I've accumulated, so those are the things I have to get rid of. I'm going to start the month with a pile of books. I am getting so much better at weeding out the books that I know I will probably never read, but just liked having on the shelves. Such as Lorna Doone. Or the autobiography of Shelley Winters. Or Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch. All of which will show up as soon as I take photos and put them in the box by the front door. Today's titles are mostly crime fiction.