Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘moving’

A Shoehorn

The line between a hoarder and a creative collector is very delicate. I’m beginning to see how wobbly I walk that line. It may have to do with the intention behind it. The last few weeks in the process of moving my daughter into my house has had me looking at that line a lot more closely.

Still sorting and shoveling in the sewing room

I’ve emptied a closet full of crafting and fabric tubs, as well as the linen closet to make room for my daughter. She brought her bed, linens, dresser, while I provided an emptied bookshelf. Everything on the bookshelf had to go…somewhere.

We have both moved so much stuff last month that it’s giving each of us pause. Boxes have been filled for donation. She sold most of her furniture with only two cherished pieces in storage for now. More will be sold at the summer yard sale.

I managed to give away the queen bed and frame that was my guest bed to a young couple. My daughter’s box springs came to the house, her old mattress went to the dump. My sister and I took care of that. We are so proud of ourselves for all the lifting and maneuvering of heavy obstacles at our age and in our condition. My sister loves trips to the dump; chatting up everyone who works there with her friendly nature. Couldn’t have done this without her.

When expected help didn’t show up, my daughter and I looked at each other and decided we would manage on our own to move the last heavy item. Then there was the cleaning of 3 years’ worth of living in 400 square feet with appliances older than my daughter. We also had the free use of a moving van to move her stuff in storage closer to my house where she will have easy access to go through and continue to purge. We didn’t need a truck that large by any stretch of the imagination but she had fun driving it just to say she could do it. There is something very empowering in doing things you didn’t think you could do before.

We were both so tired that meals were catch-as-catch-can. To be honest, I didn’t know how exhausted I was getting until it was all done. Then it caught up with me big time. I went down for a week and could do nothing but sleep. Eating wasn’t going well either. So, I’ve been taking some gentle time for myself and doing next to nothing. Trying to read and leave comments was a short-term project most days and I’m not sure I was totally coherent nor were my comments. After a fair amount of rest with some exercise for good measure, we are both beginning to feel human again. The next move is up to someone else.

Sewing room shuffle

Do you ever have the tendency to push your limits too far? What do you do to recover? Did you find yourself purging excess in this first month of the year?

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

A Month in a Flash

I’ve wanted to write everyday but either my brain or body were just too frazzled to make any sense of it all. So, bear with me here.

Christmas gift that lasted through the new year. Thank you dear friend.

Christmas was small and quiet. Only five of us for dinner. The focus this year was my niece who is in her second year at University. She and her mother are Jewish but they do Christmas with us because we love each other. It was a very practical year. She received a simple white robe from my sister and an extra set of sheets for the extra long twin they have in the dorms from me. I washed them both and mailed them after personalizing the robe so it didn’t wander off while unattended.

The rose is significant and larger than I thought it would be.

After a week of recovery and dealing with leftover food, the process of taking down Christmas began. There are rules here in this park. No outdoor decorations after January 15. I picked the first dry day and took down all outside lights. Since Christmas is my favorite holiday because it’s so festive, I have a lot to put away. More is being given away.  Paring down takes time. Grieving must be allowed.

When you add in the fact that my daughter is moving in with me and her things must have some room, we have utter chaos in play. I had to completely unload the ‘guest’ room and figure out what to do with it all. Crafting and its accoutrements had filled the closet and spilled out everywhere. She brought in kitchen spices and things she needs for her kitchen that must fit in mine. Most of her things are going into storage or being sold, donated or dumped. We are really ‘fluffing the Chi’ in our homes this time. Nothing is untouched.

 

A gift from my son. Kinder as in Children.

 

From my son to his sister. I have seen it all now.

My feet revolted so I went to use the exercise bike at the gym on Monday to stay off them for a couple of days. I ended up at the store afterward buying two of the two cubic ft. bags of planting mix for my Lemon Cyprus that was blown over in the wind Saturday night. It felt just under tornado strength from the way my windows in the bedroom whistled most of the night. I will move its mate this weekend while we are having a short dry spell and give it more room. So much for staying off my feet.

 

Today I ignored the waves of foot discomfort again to walk the mall and have a long coffee break with a friend before things get really crazy around here. By the first of February, things should be only slightly chaotic which is normal for me.

My sewing friends enjoyed the last Christmas potluck party on Tuesday and now I wish I had taken photos. The table was so pretty, the food so good, and the company inspiring.

Today is the start of more normal, healthy eating. I don’t think my clothes or my feet could wait another day.

Did the last month go by in a flash for you as well? Is this new year shaping up to have lots of changes for you too?

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

Thursday’s Child

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

This rhyme was first recorded in A. E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire 

This popped into my head this morning on waking. My mind had it wrong. It kept singing Thursday’s child works hard for a living. Since I’m a Thursday child I figured that’s why I push so hard and work so hard. The joke’s on me. I do remember thinking once when reading this rhyme correctly, that “the far to go” part had something to do with all the moving around the world I’ve done. It’s such a sweet rhyme, I think sometime my children were so fortunate to both be born on Friday’s. For them, the rhyme holds true. They are both loving and giving with tender hearts. Mother Goose, who this rhyme is attributed to, got it pretty darn close.

My son took this and sent it to me. He said this is what hard works looks like. Me sitting down on the job.

I was raised by parents that thought if you were sitting down, they would find something for you to do. If we wanted to just sit, it was done outside and out of their view.

I changed the oil, now help me up please

Working hard comes natural to me and I still do it though as I age, with much less vigor. My daughter bought a little sign for me that says “Don’t just do something, Sit there” I make her tired just watching me. There is a lot more sitting going on these days but rest assured, if I’m sitting, I’m still doing something. Reading your wonderful blogs, writing in my many journals, or doing handwork.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to sit and watch television without having my meal at the same time (yes, I know it’s not good to do that), have my laptop working or some kind of needlework to keep my hands busy.

Sewing and quilting is not as much sitting down as jumping up and down. You sew a seam and get up and press the seam. It keeps one from getting stiff from sitting. My motion tracking device reminds me hourly to get up and move just in case my knees don’t. Most days during the summer months, that’s not a problem.

There has been so much to get done that I have to make a list of priorities. My driveway is clear again so there can be no complaints from the management. Don’t look in my shed or under my beds though. Every day is “clear something out day.”  I reorganized my sewing room to store an extra board, and the top of my closet because the shelf was off its brackets. I so wish my organizing friend lived closer.  With all the work I have done, I still have far to go.

Slowly, ever so slowly the process goes

How about you, does your day of the week apply?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

The Puzzle

I am not always good at solving puzzles. I don’t “do” puzzles for fun. A sewing pattern or quilting directions are puzzle enough for me. If I buy box furniture that has to be assembled, I call my sister. She has a better spatial sense and reads directions better.

It all together and in place.

My sister thought it was fun to put it together

My son, “Tech Support” was here for 10 days to attend a couple of graduation parties and to deal with what was left behind last winter that was too heavy for his rental truck before the management decided to write a complaint. The have been across the street every day since my neighbors back yard started disappearing down the creek. That means they are looking down my driveway. So far they have been distracted.

We started that weekend with a community wide yard sale. Last year on this weekend it was 100 degrees and nothing sold. This year it was 60 and raining. I managed to sell my dining room table and chairs. None of his stuff sold so it all had to be moved.

It was too big and heavy-looking so it finally sold to a neighbor.

My son has excellent skills with puzzles and they were seriously tested this week. They didn’t test him, they tested my ability to watch him put this puzzle together with confidence. I didn’t get nearly enough photos of the progress. To save money on fuel, my son drove his small car instead of a friend’s bigger pick-up truck from his home in Arizona. It doesn’t tow much weight and he had a lot of heavy steel to tow. Rental trailers were heavy and expensive.

He actually reads and understands the directions!

So then comes the brilliant idea to buy a trailer. I suggested we take my Suburban to fit the box in the back with more ease. Tech Supports eyes got big. “I thought they came all put together.” When I expressed doubt, he made a phone call. Sure enough, it came in a box to be put together at home. He had one day to put it together and one day to get it loaded before his long drive back. Tools had to be purchased and of course there were hitches that didn’t quite fit, lights that were broken and wiring that needed to be done. When I needed a trailer, I rented one, let them hook it to my hitch and drive away.

His sister is pretty good with puzzles too but mostly offered moral support and maybe a hand once in a while.

I was greatly surprised at the lack of blue words coming off the driveway as this puzzle was systematically put together. Many trips were made for replacement parts and other tools. I’m an old woman. I have very few tools here. The extent of my help was to hold onto things, hand others and feed the machine that figured everything out. I must admit, I shook my head a lot thinking this tiny trailer was never going to hold all that weight.

We started with it upside down, added wheels then flipped it over.

Can I tell you how impressed I was that Tech Support got this puzzle solved and everything loaded by 10 p.m. his last night here? We were up very early to load up clean laundry and snacks along with other miscellaneous items that had been previously left behind. I fully expected a call if he got as far as the top of our hill saying that the tires had popped. Instead there were the calls to report that he was sitting in standstill traffic and finally the one I most wanted. He had made his two day driving destination into California to attend the memorial service for his step-father. He won’t be alone on the last leg of his trip to Arizona so I can retire my worry beads and get some much needed rest.

Nothing moved as it was all quite heavy. He had the car packed heavy too.

It was cold and wet in Oregon, baking hot in California

How are you at following the directions that come with products? Are you a fan of puzzles?

“Sometimes the hardest pieces of a puzzle to assemble, are the ones missing from the box.”~ Dixie Waters

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

The Best Laid Plans

I’m a planner.  My son, plans very differently from me. I will ask what his plan is and he shrugs like a teenager instead of a full grown adult male. I’m sure something is working itself out in his head but I don’t see it. My plan was to have less stuff, his was to move anything that he couldn’t sell and pay less for storage.

I have plenty of  stuff and I’m working feverishly to pass most on or make use of it. We have both sold a great deal and given away more. My little corner of that storage unit is now in my house, driveway and shed along with some of his stuff. I figured I’d go through it this week as he drove his 26’ rental truck to the Northern Arizona Mountains where he has a shipping container purchased and placed conveniently and inexpensively. No more storage costs. The container can later be used for other projects.

This driveway was clear before Christmas

This driveway was clear before Christmas

The pile kept growing. We tried to sell the chain saw at the 100 degree yard sale last summer. Bargain rate if you are interested.

The pile kept growing. We tried to sell the chain saw at the 100 degree yard sale last summer. Bargain rate if you are interested.

There was a time frame to do all this as his navigator/alternate driver/friend flew in to ride back with him. It took us two days to pack the truck with some unprofessional help. A teenager thinking about the video games he was missing and a wonderful blogging friend who was a tiny force of nature. Crystal worked circles around the teenager and me. My son was methodical in a way that was testing my patience. It was cold in a way this city hasn’t seen in decades. Once it was all loaded, he began to be concerned. It fit but felt too heavy. The morning he was going to pull the truck out of the storage area, the gates froze shut and wouldn’t come open. Obviously a clear sign of things to come.

Four layers and I still got too cold when the sun started down.

Four layers and I still got too cold when the sun started down.

By 9 a.m. my son and his navigator/2nd driver managed to get the gate open by hand. The manager stood inside his office door in his long johns with his hands flapping in the air looking helpless to assist in any way. Once the gates were open, we fled after pulling them closed again.

My boxes in the back corner. Only the Holiday boxes will stay.

My boxes in the back corner. Only the Holiday boxes will stay.

Is this the end of the story? Oh, no. It took one stoplight for it to register fully that this load was not going to fly. An attempt was made to rent a tag-along trailer to distribute the load. There wasn’t one to fit the truck. Just go ahead they said at the rental place.

My wise son took the truck to our refuse and recycling center and had it weighed. 6000 pounds over is significant. So the next option was to call mom. That’s what we are for, right?

All but the tan posts go with this unit

All but the tan posts go with this unit

They spent the better part of a precious driving day, offloading his commercial steel shelving into my back yard along with anything too heavy and no longer worth the move. It would have to be sold from my place with him negotiating long distance. As they drove down the highway in the very late afternoon, I got a call that the truck was behaving nicely and all was well.

All together and full of stuff

All together and full of stuff

I wish I could say that there was rest for the weary after all this. I cleaned out the unit the next day in slightly warmer temps, loaded the third seat back into my vehicle by myself to get it out of the incoming weather and moved and sorted things to go to different places. Their truck made it into Utah and headed across to Arizona. Ahead of the weather I’ve been mentally holding back for them. I thank everyone who kept good thoughts with me for this to be a safe journey.

Cleaned out and empty. Ready for the next customer.

Cleaned out and empty. Ready for the next customer.

Anyone interested in a commercial steel shelving unit with the plywood shelves or several different weight bench thingies? I have some of my mom’s end tables that might go to the thrift store in the next load unless you want them?

P.S. They made it safely all the way. Yay!!!

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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What’s New?

I’m trying to figure out this New Year thing. Saturday turns into Sunday and everything is supposed to be different? My house looks like the same mess it was in yesterday. In other words, same stuff (putting it nicely), different day. My mind is as chaotic as my home is right now so forgive the fragmented writing, please.

packing boxes mixed in with Christmas decor.

packing boxes mixed in with Christmas decor.

I was awakened at midnight by the fireworks that sounded like gunshots going off in my neighborhood and it took a while to go back to sleep. I’m a very early riser. Why do we humans like to celebrate things? Maybe  to keep life from being mundane. Animals don’t do celebrations. Every day is good to them. I know there is a lesson in there.

I got time for Christmas. Something I really need.

I got time for Christmas. Something I really need.

Christmas is over. I love/hate Christmas, though this year was unlike any of them. I had a lot to do this year that just didn’t get done. I spent most of my time working on a quilt for my son. He is moving all his stuff to snow country. After expressing a fondness for a soft plain quilt he saw in a craft show, I made it my mission to get one made before Christmas so he would have it with him. I had no idea what I was doing and no pattern or measurements. He wanted “soft” so that’s what I made. Flannel on one side, Minky® on the other. Other than an embroidered fleece blanket for my niece to take to college next fall, the quilt is the only thing I finished this year.

Quilt for Tech Support.

Quilt for Tech Support.

Isabel Rose is her name.

Isabel Rose is her name.

When the truck pulls out with everything from his room and the storage unit, I will start my new year. Sorting and selling. We have already sold many things through a neighborhood website that just popped up. Yay!!! I still have a village to sell and all its inhabitants. There is nowhere to store them year to year anymore and nowhere to display them. Anyone need a collection of dust catchers?

Alpine Bakery

Alpine Bakery

New for me this year will be just one thing. Find ways to move more. Just my body, not my house.  None of what I do involves a lot of movement. I’m also planning to try new things this year. Maybe connecting with more blogs that ask us to write something specific, and possibly take some classes to meet new people. I tend to be a hermit. One of those extroverted introverts. People scare the dickens out of me but we need each other.

People sharing ideas and good fun

People sharing ideas and good fun

Also new this year, we’ve had an unusual amount of snow already and extra cold temps. Looks like more is on the way. I won’t mind once the kid has his rental truck safely where it’s going. I don’t wish driving in this crazy weather on anyone.

Handmade by a quilting friend, this snow-mama came home with me.

Handmade by a quilting friend, this snow-mama came home with me.

It already feels like a very different year. In my bones different. Let’s hope it brings more good than not. So are you really expecting anything NEW about this New Year?

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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Creeping

I thought I had loads of time to get it all done. Every year the same thing happens. I hear everyone commenting about the stores getting ready for Christmas in September, not even waiting till Halloween is done. Well let me be very clear here, three and a half months is not enough time for me.

All are welcome here

All are welcome here

Somehow, and I can’t imagine how it happens, Christmas is creeping up on me with less than four days to go. Where the heck did all the time go? It was there just a minute ago.

Could it have gone here?

Snow barely covered the ground but kids were enjoying every drop.

Snow barely covered the ground but kids were enjoying every drop.

The first snow this year. I spent too much time watching the children play in it from the sewing room window where I should have been working.

Oh, to be a kid again.

Oh, to be a kid again.

Could it have gone here?

It all froze. First time in the last 4 years we have had this much snow and freezing rain.

It all froze. First time in the last 4 years we have had this much snow and freezing rain.

Our second snow this season brought the city of Portland to its knees. The aftermath is beautiful but the 3 hour ride to cover the 22 miles from the airport after picking up my son complete wore us both out. Cars were littered over all the roads and interstate. No one was prepared for the amount of ice on the roads. My son, the expert driver, got us home without bending anything.

Nothing but gray skies as far as the eye can see.

back-porch-12-14-16-cropped

It sure is pretty if you don’t have to leave the house.

 

I’ve been busy working on things, some of which I can’t show you right now. Shh, they are presents. Here is one I made for my son’s birthday last month at his request.

My son has a great sense of humor

My son has a great sense of humor

I had a tiny photo of my tree skirt on a previous blog and a better photo was requested. I have more started but the details I add take a great deal of time. I think I’ll start on them next month.

The whole tree skirt

The whole tree skirt

Lots of added detail like the gold bows sewn on before it's assembled

Lots of added detail like the gold bows sewn on before it’s assembled

There is a spot to hide a gift under the heart.

There is a spot to hide a gift under the heart.

My son flew home for Christmas and collecting all his belongings to move them into a shipping container on a friends piece of property. The shipping container was less expensive than a year’s storage fees and when it’s no longer storage for his things, it can be used as a shop and work space. So along with the Christmas decorations and preparations, we are getting ready for another shuffling of stuff and moving it. Not the best time of year for it but storage unit fees are getting astronomical. Is anyone starting to question our sanity?

Someone has to make use of these things.

Someone has to make use of these things.

I also made time to walk my daughter through a project she wanted to do and we were flying by the seat of our pants with no real pattern. We made it up as we went and it turned out pretty good for her first time. She likes using my machine so I can hover and calm when fear arises. It’s a gift for a hard to gift friend of hers. We are both proud of her.

I still have a dozen projects to finish in the next three days. What are the odds? Will the baking get done? How about you?

Is Christmas creeping up on you like a cat stalking a bird or are you ready to smack it down?

 

Since I most likely won’t get another chance, I’m wishing you all the joy this Christmas season can bring and hope that the New Year will bring a new start and peace in your heart.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

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