Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Celebration of Sunrise

So much to do today and so little time. I'll be burning my candles from all ends - front, back and center while I run around to do errands and try to get two repairs finalized. I have the normal "day off" stuff to get done - laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping - but there's a pile of stuff next to me that also has to be dealt with today. Hmmm ... looking at my clock, I have twelve hours before I talk with Aearwen and start to wrap up my day. That's probably not enough time. 

Sunrise and mountains - two things I love. I'm looking
for beautiful sunrise and mountain photos for you
to enjoy today. 

Time - it's really not our friend in so many ways. There's always something that's left undone at the end of the day. Of course, optimists might look at that undone item as an unspoken guarantee of awakening the next morning. Pessimists might look upon it as one more indication of poor planning, inefficiency, and general malaise. I just look at it as normal - I don't think I'll EVER actually get everything done that I have pending on any day's agenda. 

I love the lighting in this one, the clouds, the reflections below. What
a wonderful and happy way to start the day! 

Highly organized people make lists - "To Do" lists of various complexions. I've always found keeping a list or a journal or similar things to be time I really don't have. My journal is my daily blog - whipping thoughts into organized chaos. My to-do lists often are photos of things I have to remember to purchase when I go shopping. Everything else exists in piles around my workspace. Not very efficient, but when dealing with a physical reality, not a writing task, the "everything else" actually takes up physical space. 

I'd probably call these mountains a bit closer to hills, but it's
still a wonderful and celebratory sunrise to share with you. 

Thus, around my desk today are two beading repairs that HAVE to be wrapped up, a pile of cyber-notifications that have to be dealt with, and some photography and product scan experiments that I have to try out today to move forward with the latest major project for the shop. It'll be a cold and busy day for me today. 

Here's hoping your Wednesday turns out to be spectacular. Stay happy, stay cozy, and spread love. I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully feeling much more accomplished. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Surfing Through Changes in Life

We're finally set to get a bit of snow over the next day or so. It's rather bizarre - winter has really come late. although we had snow already in October. It's like winter stuck its toe into the state and decided it wasn't worth while spending the time all the way up here, focusing on the states south of us instead. Mind you, I'm NOT objecting. It's been really nice to not have to deal a lot with icy roads and snow piles. Realistically, however, a lot of our water relies on our snowcover, so we probably should start actually getting some. 

See that clumsy red arrow pointing to the green area? Yeah - that's
my snow cover. We're supposed to be white, but we're anything but.
We're supposed to get anywhere from 1"-3" over the next 24 hours
which will get us a step closer to where we should be, and no snow
doesn't mean warm - it's been REALLY cold. 

Today will be the first day back at work for Chickie since last week's big move. I gather from her Facebook posts that the cats are finally settling in and that some boxes have been successfully unpacked. Her Saturday text to me was along the lines of "Five hours, $1300, and a gazillion stairs and I'm almost finished." Ooof! She's at the new place now, though, and had two full days to get started unpacking and moving in. Space always seems so much larger in empty rooms. I'm quite sure her stuff will fill the rooms thoroughly without much effort. 

Our four businesses share a trash bin like this that is emptied every 2-3
days. We also have a recycling bin just as large along with four secondary
smaller recycling containers, and they are rarely enough for our once-a-week
pickups. Between the coffee shop/restaurant and the t-shirt printers, they
generate a lot of waste. 

I got rid of the four bags of trash from the back of my car pretty easily yesterday, and I'll need to put at least two more into my car tonight because my trash bucket is overflowing but I still have trash to remove from my house. That's what happens when you do a good cleaning - you end up with a lot of rubbish that you thought valuable at one time in your life. 

Something that was of great value to you as a child, might
have little to no value for you as an adult. 

How can value change for an object? That's both simple and complex, but it basically comes down to the fact that our values and tastes do change over time. That's why we have a variety of friends over the years, why we change the colors of paint on the walls, and why we read in this or that genre. We aren't static - we surf on our boards over the waves of time and as those waves grow and recede and push us inexorably back toward the shore, our perspectives alter with circumstance. 

I'm petrified of ocean waves, but admire surfers who will tackle
the big ones. 

Here's hoping the changes today bring into your lives will be good ones. Have an excellent Tuesday and I'll be back tomorrow. One more week of dry land exercises and then I'll finally be able to return to the pool. I can hardly wait! 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sunday Was Very Productive

Today's schedule is totally messed up. No gym today - just won't work. Breakfast in 1/2 hour at 5:00 am, then on to the east for my Chiropractor appointment, dropping back home afterward to pick up my laptop and head back out, open the shop and turn on the computers, then lock everything back up and get to the doctor's in time to get my stitches removed. Back to work and start my day. WHEW! All of that before 9:00 am. 

Although these aren't my specific four bags of
trash, it's pretty close since I also used white bags. 

I have four bags of trash in the back of Minion right now. My own trash receptacles are filled to bursting and trash pickup for me isn't until Wednesday. So I'm taking four bags from yesterday's "going through memories in multiple boxes" marathon to the shop and I'll add them to the dumpster there. Much larger, but also used by all four of the stores and so often overfull. Good thing is, though, it gets emptied every couple of days, so if I have to carry the trash around for another couple of days, I can do that. 

Mine is older than this, but the idea is still there. And
yes, I do have a triceratops in my collection of nine. 

The memories cleanup resulted in some things that I'm very glad I still have. I have the nine small bronze dinosaurs (actually eight dinos and a mastodon), that my Dad bought for me when we went to the Natural History Museum on Sundays. They're perfect and beautiful and even though one fin of the Mosasaur broke off when I was a kid, the rest of them are pristine. I even have the description cards for eight of the nine. I'm impressed and I'm delighted to have them back once again. 

I also found a nice Origami intro book with paper that
I will also send to the girls. I was never very successful at
Origami, but they might enjoy trying it out. 

I found my participation certificates from my time as a finalist in Miss Teenage America - a silly thing, but it was fun for a short time - and lots of photographs, slides and negatives from my high school and early college years. I think I'd rather digitize most of those, but the good ones that are printed I'll probably put into albums. I'm sending my cello music to my nephew's kid. He started cello this year. He's welcome to them, even though he won't be at that level for a long time. I know I won't be using the music. There was also some costume play jewelry that I thought my youngest niece's daughters might enjoy, so I'll sent that to her. 

All in all, it was a very successful clean and the football games were fabulous as well. Combine with a great dinner from China Restaurant and I had a winning Sunday. Chickie got moved OK and is now unpacking and setting up in the new place, and the cats have settled down from the traumatic move as well. All seems good. We'll see. I'll be back tomorrow, but have a wonderful Monday! 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Moving and Memories - The Unpacking Dilemma

Today is Chickie's moving day. I don't know when her movers are scheduled to arrive, but I guarantee her apartment will look quite empty by the end of the day and she'll be facing wall of boxes to unpack at the new place. Although items are culled out when packing for a move, there are always things that get stuffed into a box and trundled along to the new location that really should have been abandoned or tossed years before. 

Chickie's friend Nancy has paid for the movers to come and
get Chickie and her stuff moved from her apartment
over the river to the new duplex home she bought earlier
this month. 

Life is often like that. An attitude, a memory, a feeling or an opinion is attached to us with firm bonds, but as time goes on, feelings and attitudes change. New information arises, new disappointments happen, and what was true then, may not be true any more. Sometimes old and outdated feelings are tucked into the back corners of your mind, there abandoned and gathering dust and cobwebs. Other times, however, those outdated feelings and opinion are expunged entirely - not easy to do, but sometimes necessary. 

It's never this easy to get rid of bad memories, but
it sure would be nice if it was. Outdated thoughts,
memories and attitudes need to be shown the light
and pushed out of the door sometimes. 

As Chickie begins the process of unpacking her stuff into her new house, she'll rediscover items that she'll look at with surprise. Why did she decide to keep A but discard B? Why did she toss this broken item into a box and move it all the way across the river? Where on earth did she think the four boxes of X were going to go? But even though packing things up can be a total pain, unpacking things can be exciting and, in some cases can be a rediscovery of beloved memories and objects. 

It can be daunting to face a wall of boxes after a move.
You've spent hours and hours getting everything packed,
and now have to turn around and reverse the process.
Moving takes a lot of energy and self-motivation and
that can be really hard sometimes. 

Maybe it's time for all of us to take a few moments of time and look at our dark corners and blocked off memory walls in our minds. Don't do a full cleaning and lighting job, just choose one small corner, one memory, and take it out. Really look at it from all angles. Is it that summer day when you twirled around so many you fell to the ground dizzy and laughing? Maybe, instead of a good memory, it's one of loss or great hurt. All memories have value - we are the sum of our memories. Choose one memory, look it over, examine it with care, acknowledge it, and then, if it merits it, return it to the dark corner or wall that room back up. Not everything should see more than a glimpse of the light of day. 

Not all dark memories need to see the light of day, but
cleaning away the cobwebs before walling them back up
can be a good thing to do. 

Enjoy your weekend. We'll be going through those boxes of old things that DH prepped out for me, and then enjoying the semi-final football games which should both be excellent. I'll be back on Monday. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Abandoned Houses - Memories and Structures

I'm flying solo (more or less) at the shop for the next few days. Chickie is off today doing the last of her packing and getting ready for the BIG MOVE tomorrow. Then she'll be back at the apartment on and off over the next week or so cleaning, patching, and getting it ready to return to the landlord along with the keys. Places always look so different after furniture and items have been removed. Walls that held memories of discussions, laughter and tears echo aimlessly until new lives come in to imprint upon them. The old adage of "If these walls could speak" sets up residence once more and lives move on. 

This is Ashcroft, Colorado, also known as Chloride and several other
names. It's located ten miles south of Aspen. In my mining book I
was writing for several years, one main characters lives in Chloride
until the 1930's. 

One of the things I adore is the exploration of old houses. There aren't as many of those around these days as there were when I was young, but my youth was spent exploring in places I very specifically was NOT supposed to enter. My summers, if you might recall, were spent in Aspen, Colorado, which at that time was still a sleepy old mining town just finding its feet and a new life with the arts during the summer and skiing in the winter. Throughout the town were old, abandoned miner's houses and shacks, because it's too high in altitude with weather too grim for too many months for camping out alongside the Roaring Fork river. 

Quite a few miles south of Ashcroft and Aspen, closer to the
border of Colorado and New Mexico, was the town of Animas.
This mining shack still stands, paying homage to those who
worked the mines. 

My parents rented, and then purchased, one of these old abandoned houses. It was actually pretty well kept up - inhabited regularly so patched and painted. It dated from the 19-teens, so it was an older house, although not as old as some. The walls were thick - almost a foot thick. That was for the purpose of insulation and structural integrity against the winter cold winds and the heavy snowfalls. There were windows present in each room, but wall dominated each exterior expanse. There was a front porch - a bit rickety so we rarely used it, and a back entry directly into the kitchen which was our normal way in and out. A side yard allowed for our construction of a more modern house a few years later when we split the lot in half. 

OK, this isn't a home, this is the Crystal Mine, near
Marble, Colorado. I remember a few car trips to Marble
in my summers while in Aspen. The Crystal Mine
is nestled deep in the hills. Although people still
live in the area, access is difficult so the residents
are summer residents only. 

I explored throughout the town and on many of the streets, abandoned houses were the norm. They were settled in their weathered wood, surrounded by waving grasses and weeds, and the music of the grasshoppers and squeaks of the mice sometimes sang along with the ever-present breeze. I always had to be careful - some of the flooring wasn't safe to walk on, and the houses were mostly pit foundations - holes dug for cold storage cellars, large boulders in the corners to hold up the housing structure, and quite the fall into darkness if the flooring gave way. Exploring the homes was exciting and I couldn't resist their siren's call. 

The mining town of St Elmo, Colorado was founded in 1880. It's up
high - more than 9000 feet above sea level. When mining was at its
peak, more than 2000 people lived here. The town was abandoned
in the 1920's and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's
a lovely ghost town, with a lot of similarities to the Aspen I
knew as a child. 

Did you ever do something in your youth that you probably shouldn't have done? I'm sure we were all guilty of something in our past. If you're up to it, share with me. I'm going to put abandoned houses into this post, bundle up, and go out into the cold. We're getting a nice cold snap now and are getting our coldest temps of the season thus far. BRRRRR! Have a great Friday and I'll be back tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Treasure - The Old Trunk

The old steamer I opened yesterday used to belong to my father. His initials were right there, at the top handle. It stood almost four feet high and was almost a foot wide, and it was the suitcase he took with him for many years, even though it weighs a ton. 

The top of the trunk had my father's initials attached. The
trunk itself was large and very heavy. 

For many years I kept my mother's old designer dresses and materials inside this. When I needed something for a costume ball, or she needed unusual material for a Halloween costume, the trunk was what we opened. I guess I switched it to a different use after college, because it didn't contain fabric or old dresses any more. 

It's hard to get a sense of how big the suitcase
was, but it stood probably almost four feet tall. I want
to throw it out, but I'll have to do that in the large
garbage bin at the shop. My home garbage collectors
would charge me extra for such a large item. 

Opening the suitcase (and it opens from the top, where the initials are and hinges in the center bottom), I opened it to memories of college and Mexico. Two large carpets and a serape were inside the suitcase. Hoping against hope that the moths hadn't ravaged the items inside, I pulled them out. 

Carpet number one, folded in the middle. The
outside should be a brighter white and the inside is
actually a deep blue. Stylized candles frame
the long sides. It's handwoven from wool yarns
and is really quite lovely. I always liked these. 

The carpets were large area rugs that Mom had bought during our first extended trip in Mexico. We spent a lot of time travelling around the country and my "brother", Peter, joined us for a lot of it. Although he was British, he had lived in Mexico City for most of his life and spoke Spanish fluently. Mom relied on his bargaining skills to get the carpets at a good price, and he bargained them down to about half of what the shop owner originally had requested. For years the carpets were in our Aspen home. 

Although the first carpet (the folded one) wasn't quite
as moth-eaten as the second one, I still trashed both
of them. I have a house full of lovely things, and don't
really want to introduce moths into my home. 

After I started college, Mom gave the carpets to me and I had them in my dorm room and a few other homes when I had the room. When I didn't have the room, they were stored with Mom. Although I was hoping I could salvage these, I couldn't. The moth damage was intense. I trashed both of them. 

The serape just makes me smile. It's happy and
colorful and whimsical. I don't know if I'll end
up keeping it. The moths have to be toast before
I allow it into my life again. I'm willing to give
this one a chance, though. It's now in a bag with
mothballs, and we'll see if that works. 

The serape was a little different. Although it too was damaged, it didn't matter as much. I have it in a plastic bag with mothballs, getting a serious dose of mothproofing for a while. I figured if the "Man With No Name" had a hole in his serape, it wouldn't matter to him, as long as he killed the attacker before a second hole appeared. I'm killing the attackers - small, nasty insects who want to eat my serape. If necessary, I'll trash this too, but I want to give it a chance first. 

Clint Eastwood's serape was more useful, but mine
is more colorful. LOL

On Sunday I'll go through the rest of the boxes. I suspect I'll toss almost everything - if I haven't missed the things in 40+ years, I probably have learned to live without most of them. Have a wonderful Thursday and I'll be back tomorrow - probably shivering a bit as we dive into our first cold temps of the season. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Memories Pending

As DH and I work towards reclaiming our home and merging our home with our hobbies (ie, materials we've kept at the shop that now have to find new spaces in our house), it's had unexpected positives. Yesterday he brought in and unpacked my childhood - boxes that had been in storage with my parents or other relatives until they shipped everything back to me. I've had those boxes in the breezeway, unpacked, for more than twenty years. DH brought them inside, unpacked them carefully, and now they are lined up on the floor of the den, waiting for me to go through it with him this weekend. 

Seeing my items in open boxes along the cabinets, I'm really looking
forward to remembering parts of my childhood I thought deeply
buries and sharing them with DH. 

This is early stuff - quite literally things from my childhood. Old stuffed animals I loved, kits and art supplies I used that I can still use, treasures from trips I took, memories. All memories. It's going to be a lot of fun to go through these on Sunday. He was sending me photos of bits and pieces while I unpacked and I'm really anxious to delve into my history. 

Looking through these items will kick-start some childhood
gears of thought that probably could use a good oiling. 

He's envious, in a way. He has very little, if anything, of his own early years. He was the third child of three, and there weren't a lot of things that survived into adulthood. Although his parents lived in the same house until they died, and it had a large attic for storage, his Dad cleaned things out periodically and boxes simply weren't kept. DH has some items that were in his room and that we retrieved when we cleared his parent's house out prior to selling it, but not a lot. 

I love this quite by Neil Gaiman.. I'm looking forward to
revisiting some great childhood memories. 

On the other hand, I had packed my boxes early - when we had been moving and I had to store boxes in the basement of my aunt's house. They stayed there for many years, then were shipped to me after her death and after my parents had moved to their condominium from their house. So the items in these boxes potentially hadn't seen the light of day since the late 1960's. It's a treasure trove of memory and stories. 

Not all memories are good, and not everyone had a childhood that
they would look forward to revisiting. I know that. I understand
that. I'm fortunate - I had a happy childhood. 

What about you? Do you have a few things that spark old memories for you? Have you moved things from one place to another just because you couldn't bear to give it up, even if you don't use it? Sometimes memories can hold on root-deep in objects, giving up their fierce grip reluctantly and sometimes only under necessity. Have a wonderful Wednesday. I'm going to be plenty busy today, so I'll return tomorrow.