Monday, December 28, 2020

"KC9TXR signing off"

Paul Edward Axsom II
May 6, 1960 - December 19, 2020
Our brother Paul was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Deane [redacted]. Paul shared his father’s name, but he went by ‘Eddie’ while attending State Street School, Central, and Columbus East High School. 

After high school, Paul served in the military achieving the rank of Sergeant in the United States Air Force, then continued his service in the Indiana National Guard with the Air Traffic Control, while finishing his degree in Electronics Technology.  Each organization recognized his commitment with honors. 
More recently, Paul completed Vet to Vet Peer Facilitation Training, pursued a ham radio license, belonged to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and volunteered in his community through R.A.C.E.S. (KC9TXR signing off).  Paul often mountain-biked on rugged trails through the hills of Brown County. He was an avid reader, enjoying history and fitness books in his spare time.

Paul’s stalwartness proved uncompromising during the 2020 lockdown. Wanting to remain independent he kept his medical condition a secret from most of his family and friends. His neighbors knew and ministered to him in simple acts of service - mowing his lawn, 
washing his clothes, and speaking to him about Jesus. Paul told his family about his illness only a few days before his passing. Paul is survived by three sisters - [redacted], who are scattered across the country. Unable to be with their brother they deeply appreciate answers to prayer through a local community of angels that showed up in unexpected ways during a world-wide pandemic and by the grace of God to love their brother Paul.

"'And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. '" 
                                                                                                               -Matthew 10:42

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Life upended...


About mid-December, I thought I'd take a week or so off from blogging, thinking I'd be back soon, and then the weekend before Christmas my world upended.  

On Thursday the 17th, I received a call telling me my brother was being taken to a Hospice facility.  We have not had contact in a long time and I had no idea he was even sick before that dreadful moment. He informed me he was diagnosed with colon cancer in June, he went through treatment, but "it didn't go well".

A master of understatement, he was single, never married, lived alone, and he had listed me as his emergency contact.

A phone call that compelled me to want to be with him, also came with the knowledge that being with him would be impossible once he was admitted into the hospice facility - due to COVID restrictions.  And it was impossible for me to get there before that door literally closed to me.

I was able to have one short phone conversation with him an hour or so later, after he'd gotten settled, but he was quickly overcome by sleep from the medications he was on.  The next day, Friday, I drove to the facility in hopes that I could visit with him - though they would only allow a "patio visit" where I would be on the outside of the window to his room.  I was there, but he had no idea.  He would not wake up.  

He never woke up.

I do not believe the Hospice nurses thought death was that imminent, but he died the next day, Saturday the 19th. 

I hope to post his obituary here soon.  A sister is writing it; she has a beautiful way with words.  For now I just want to let my blogging friends know why I am not here.  Why I have not been visiting blogs in the last couple of weeks.  That I am deeply saddened by grief.  I'm better than I was just 2 days ago when I was still utterly crushed and devastated with grief and regret.  The grief, of course, ebbs and flows.

Someday soon I'm sure I'll come back to regular blogging - maybe after New Year's, and maybe I'll even have the desire for sharing about the happy or even mundane things of life again.   I miss the camaradarie of my blogging friends.  The catching up with one another.  Lives touching other lives around the world. I am so thankful for each of you. 

For now, your prayers and kind words are greatly appreciated.    And, if you like, leave a note telling me who you told "I love you" today.  

I just told a good friend who texted today to check on me.  💗




Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Making Space - week 6

Inspired this week by a post Cheryl wrote at Thinking About Home, I decided to make some changes in my china cabinet.  For a while now I've had a pretty rose-patterned china set displayed there - china that was inherited from my husband's fraternal grandmother when she passed years ago.   

In the past, I've switched out the china for our wedding dishes (which is Noritake - Pleasure pattern) on a somewhat seasonal basis, but I hadn't done this in a couple of years, I'm thinking.  Anyway, Cheryl's post this week got me to thinking about a set of Currier & Ives stoneware (Old Grist Mill pattern) I brought home from my mother-in-law's this summer and I thought now would be a great time to swap out the china for these dishes.

Since my Noritake stoneware also has blue in it, I tried mixing the dishes and I found I really liked the effect.  I also have some brown (and earthy-colored) Frankoma items so I added them, as well as some other old items - some I have pictured below and I will explain what they are.


It was a lot of work unpacking the Currier & Ives dishes and packing up the china, but it feels really good to have a change of scenery for the winter, and to have the Currier & Ives handy to use.  I'm going to enjoy that as these are a design of dishes I grew up with, and even though these aren't my childhood dishes, a little reminiscing sounds good about now.

Changing out the china cabinet was also good for providing me a reason to sort through more items and decide to remove some of them from our home.  A photo of those things will come at the end of this post, but let me first share a few unique items in my china cabinet.

My mother-in-law was a collector of invalid feeders.  In fact, she belonged to a national society of invalid feeder collectors and went to invalid feeder conventions.  These items ranged from plain utilitarian objects, to hand-painted works of art.  The blue and white one below is perhaps one of the prettiest in her collection and I think it looks really nice amongst the blue dishes.   The glass candle holder on the left is one of two that I have and those are from my childhood home where they were often used for holiday dinners.

~~~

The creamer pitchers below, I believe belonged to my maternal grandmother and I remember them always being in the china cabinet in my childhood home:


Aren't they cute?!?


~~~

Moving on...  The little cast iron couple below used to belong to my Aunt Louise.  I was given her name as my middle name and everyone in the family evidently understood that I was her favorite (I came to discover when I was older).  She had no children of her own, and truth be told, she was my favorite aunt.  Though all of my aunts and uncles were just the best people ever.  Anyway...   


Aunt Louise bequeathed to me her piano, and when her things were sold at auction, I bought this little couple as I remembered admiring them when I was a little girl.  It's quite possible I'm the one who wore the paint off their faces - playing with them.    Aunt Louise would love knowing I have these and that they transport me back to wonderful times spent with her in her apartment when she was a single, working woman.  She worked in our family's doctor's office until she opened up a Christian book and gift store - which was a fascinating place to spend an afternoon I remember.  This was in the 1960's and early '70's.

It occurs to me that now would be a good time to mention that about 25 years ago I also bought this china cabinet which belonged to Aunt Louise.  An uncle (Aunt Louise's brother) didn't realize I was bidding on it, and in an effort to get the price up, he started bidding.  I looked over to see if he really wanted it, in which case I intended to stop bidding, but I saw my aunt (his wife) nudge him with her elbow and nod at me to let him know he was bidding against me and I realized it was just a mistake.  lol  I'm not sure how much more I paid than I might have otherwise, but seeing as my aunt had given me her piano, it sure didn't bother me any.  

~~~

Next up...  While it isn't old (like most everything else in the china cabinet), I've enjoyed using this sweet cake stand I probably found a decade or so ago at TJ Max:


And I like to serve large salads in the cut glass bowls that sit atop the stand.  These bowls came from my childhood home, and I'm pretty sure they originally belonged to my maternal grandmother.  She died when I was a little thing - not quite 5 years old.

~~~

And finally, below is a plate that has an image of the church my husband and I were married in 40 years ago, and the little bride and groom figurine sat atop my MIL's and FIL's wedding cake in 1952.


We were going to use this figure as our cake topper in 1980, but because of miscommunications, the little couple didn't make to the church (on time, or otherwise).  Fortunately, the florist had delivered extra flowers, so we made quick work of putting some fresh flowers where the figurine was supposed to go.  It was a happy solution for our wedding day, but I was thrilled to have found these little people amongst my MIL's things and be able to bring them home.  They've been in a box for the past 40 years (and many years before that).  I am so happy to display them, and don't they just look perfect with this plate?


Even though the groom has a slightly misshapen head and neither look too happy, I think they are wonderful.

~~~

And that, friends, is a quick tour of the interesting things in my china cabinet as it looks today.  

Less interesting is a collection of items (pictured below) that I am sending out into the world.  The painted yellow pitcher has sat atop my refrigerator for years.  I think I bought it at a Goodwill store, so it will go back and maybe someone else will enjoy finding it again.  Or maybe it's not even something anyone would want anymore.  I don't know.  I'm just happy to let it go along with a few serving dishes, a lonely candle holder, a solitary punch cup, a glass dome that has no base to sit on, a creamer and sugar bowl that has lost its lid, and a stack of dessert plates we do not need.



Counting the stack of plates as one item, that's 10 more things leaving.


Week 6:  128 things gone








Sunday, December 6, 2020

The countdown to Christmas has begun...

I have to laugh a bit now at my grand idea of a daily "Advent Calendar" of projects.  I realized before I started I wasn't going to be able to do a project a day, but this past week I only managed to open two bags in five days.  That, of course, is okay, and now I think I have a more realistic idea of what I might actually accomplish this month.  And how long after Christmas I may end up enjoying my little "surprise" projects.  😉   

The first picture below is just to give an idea of what I pull out of a bag - I won't be taking a picture every day of this since it's really not that interesting (except to maybe see what I did as I was packaging things up).  Very simple, as you can see:

The yarn is Curio (sold by Knit Picks) in the colorway, Jalapeno.
The book wasn't in the bag, it's just the source 
of any doily patterns I may work this month.
 ___

And below is what was wrought with a teeny tiny hook 
and that pretty green thread:  

Doily #23


Truth be told, it was not my favorite doily of the ones I've done so far in this book.  It wasn't exactly a difficult pattern, but I had trouble trusting the instructions.  How many times do I have to tell myself that this designer is brief in her instructions, but when she says to do a thing, I need to do it - not second guess her.

Honestly, I could have made this doily over at least two times in the length of time it took me to hesitatingly crochet what I wasn't sure of, then frog back some because I thought I'd made a mistake, then I'd re-read the instructions, scratch my head at how this was going to work out, and then FINALLY just do what the designer said to do.  Seriously, like...  nearly every round this would happen.  There was also a fair amount of my mis-reading or misinterpreting the instructions.  It happens.  And those picots!  The picots just didn't want to behave.  Still don't after blocking.  Sigh.  I'm not a fan of making fiddly picots, but the very least they could do for all the trouble they are is to behave.  Stick out straight.  Look purty.

Anyway, I'm glad #23 is done.  I'm not even giving it a better name as I want to remember to NOT mess with this one again.

And Advent package #2 was kitchen cotton, which meant I was to knit (or crochet, if I like) a dishcloth (or, in this case 2 dishcloths).  You may or may not be able to tell I worked two different stitch patterns on the cloths below.  I'd like to say it was done on purpose, that I had a plan, but the truth is, without thinking, I started making the one on the right in a stitch pattern that really does no favors to variegated yarn.  I remembered this about half-way in.  Oh well...  no way was I going to frog a perfectly useable dishcloth.  I had enough yarn (and some from another ball) left to make a second cloth, so I have the opportunity here to be able to show which stitch pattern works better with variegated colors.  To be clear, it's not like I think the dishcloth on the left is exactly amazing, but something about this stitch pattern makes the colors a little less unruly.  After Marsha (Lefty Crafter blog) introduced the pattern to me, the Double-Woven Stitch, used in the Darrell Waltrip Dishcloth pattern has been my go-to pattern for working with variegated kitchen cotton.


~~~~~

I also got to spend some time on my Linens and Threads sampler.  Can you tell the difference?

Two weeks ago:



Today:

I mentioned before that this is a large design in this sampler.  What you see above is maybe one-third to half-way finished?  At this rate, I might finish it before Christmas.  We'll see, I guess.

It's hard to believe there are less than three weeks until Christmas!  In a year where time has often felt meaningless, it's hard to believe it's about to just evaporate away in a few short weeks now.  I can't quite decide if I'm practically giddy at the thought of saying goodbye to 2020 or sad to be grieving such a dreadful year. 

It's my choice, so I'm going to choose to be glad.  I think.  Remind me if I forget.  Can't change what is behind, we can only hope for the future.

Are you finding time to do crafty things in these weeks before Christmas?  Or any of the things that bring you joy in this season?




Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Making space - week 5




Continuing on my decluttering mission, I headed into the deep recesses of the china cabinet.  Doing just a cursory search through there, I was able to easily make the decision to get rid of 4 old cloth napkins that had been used once upon a time for bread basket liners, but time has caused the stains (butter, no doubt) to be too obvious to use anymore.  Also leaving are 8 different votive holders I haven't used in years, 4 old tapers, a pottery creamer that I don't care for, a pottery oil lamp that is pretty, but I just can't find a place where it looks good (and our battery-operated lanterns are much more practical if we have a power outage), a little souvenir toothpick holder, and two Christmas candle holders that are kind of awkward to use - so they were usually passed over.



The fake flower/greenery declutter is a result of getting a new land-line phone system and having to move a small flower arrangement that hid the cord on the old phone.  Realizing I was glad for an excuse to get rid of those, I looked in a couple of drawers where I had tucked some other fake greenery and decided it was time for more of it to go.  I found 7 separate pieces I was happy to part with.  Don't worry...  I have more.  I'm in no danger of finding myself needing fake greenery or flowers and being up a creek without.  

Wow.  The number of things outta here are accumulating fast.  

Week 5:  118 things gone

~~~~~

If you'd like to join in a low-key decluttering activity that fits with the pace of life, see my post explaining this Making Space endeavor.  Check out the bottom of same link for graphics you can feel free to use.




Sunday, November 29, 2020

Ready to settle in for some winter crafting...

I'd like to say I made great progress on the ripple blanket I showed last week, but it took me a while to get it figured out.  I wasn't liking the pattern I started with and not finding one pattern that did what I wanted it to do, I looked over several and blended together things I liked.  That said, there was a lot of crocheting and frogging before I hit upon the size of chevrons I liked and the number of chevrons that would give me approximately the size blanket I want to make.  

And then once I got the chevrons down, I kept changing my mind about the slight contrast color being gray or black, and when I decided it should be gray I had to try two different shades of gray. Or was it three?  All of this was kind of exhausting -  and frankly, if my son hadn't asked for this and requested the colors (while giving me some discretion in choosing what I thought looked best), I might have just given up already.  Or I would have made this a little more free-flowing than it's going to be.  Anyway, the finally decided upon Dark Heather Gray doesn't show well at all in the picture below (it's between the blue and the white), but I think it works well in person.


Oh, and I almost forgot...  I had to do the math (several times) to figure out how tall each color section should be - because I'm graduating the heights of the white sections while leaving the blue and gray sections the same - the end goal being a blanket that measures somewhere around 72 inches long.  

While it will take me a while to finish this, hopefully it will be fairly smooth sailing from here on out. 

BTW, Marsha asked me last week what color the blue is.  It's Vanna's Choice in Colonial Blue - a brand of yarn that's gone out of production, if I understand correctly.   Colonial Blue is a slightly muted royal blue - more muted than it appears in the picture above.

~~~~~~


And then there were a few hours of stitching on my Linens & Threads cross stitch.  But not enough that a photo does it justice, so I'm not posting one today.  I'm just letting you know it got some love this past week.  😊

~~~~~


And I've got my Advent Project of Projects all bagged up and ready to begin:  


I look forward to showing you next Sunday how much (or, I suppose, how little) I actually tackle of this.

I've already forgotten what's inside!  Yay!


We're supposed to get snow this week, 
and it looks like I'm ready to settle in and craft!







Thursday, November 26, 2020

Give Thanks!

Being an out-of-the-ordinary, quiet Thanksgiving day here this year, with a small turkey breast in the oven and some time on my hands, I thought I'd visit my blogging buddies - not really expecting many to be posting.

Fortunately, Cheryl's post at Thinking of Home was the first post I landed on and I was so blessed by the song she linked to, I am inspired to follow suit and share a word of praise to my Heavenly Father -  the One who provides, the One to whom thanks is due, the One in whom I place my trust and faith.

Before clicking the link on Cheryl's post today, I don't think I'd ever before heard the hymn Behold Our God, but it's truly a beautiful song - in word and tune.  Simple and easy to sing.  Do visit Cheryl's blog and listen to the version she linked to. 

And just because I was curious, I went looking for other versions of this song.  I'm always fascinated by technology that allows musicians to do things with voices and instruments that couldn't have been done even 20 years ago.  If you're so inclined to click on the video below, I hope you not only enjoy what Michael Lining has done with technology, but that you let the words and music touch your spirit.



I hope you have a blessed and truly thanks-filled Thanksgiving today.


Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of lights, 
with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
~ James 1:17 NASB



Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Making space - week 4


So...  this week is an odd little hodgepodge of things leaving.   Putting the autumn decorations away (which were few), clearing the last of MIL's things from their spot in the living room, and sorting (a bit) through a closet and the pantry, I was able to see my way to removing an odd assortment of items from our home. 


It was so freeing to finally reclaim the last corner of the living room from the last bits of things I'd brought home from MIL's and hadn't quite decided what to do with.  Several of us bloggers have talked about decluttering in layers. I didn't realize what a weight this layer has been.  

You know... I feel like I've reclaimed my living room several times over the last 6 months, but the truth is things keep migrating back there.  I think because it's near the front door and putting things in a pile in a corner of the living room is my way of saying "it needs to go".   But too often things just sit there.  And collect.

I think I may need another staging area for stuff needing to leave the house.  Or, perhaps better yet, I think I'm going to start taking things directly out to my car once they start "stacking up".  Of course, that's what the decluttering "experts" say to do.  I just have a stubborn, "gotta learn it for myself" streak that's a mile long.  To go along with this new way of doing things, I may take more individual pictures, as opposed to collecting stuff together for several days before taking a group shot.  I can put my collage skills to work again.  Figuring this out as I go... 

So what do we have here...  Plastic containers I finally admit I really don't like using.  Cereal stays fresher left in its inner bag (rolled down well and fastened shut) than it does in these plastic cereal containers.  I almost never think to put pasta in the pasta holders (probably because we don't eat much pasta anymore).  The gloves have a hole in them, the boots don't fit anyone (did I take a picture of these another time?  They seem familiar.)  Anyway, son that they used to fit said to give them away.  A vintage manual hair trimmer (not valuable, but someone might like it for its vintage appeal - maybe).  More googly eyes and a little crafty hanger thingie.  A head set that doesn't fit any of our current electronics.  A couple of potholders that came free in the mail (in MIL's name, no less) and are so useless they should probably just be thrown away.  And lastly... I think I count 11 hangers there.   I wonder if I kept a running tally of hangers leaving the house if I'd be shocked at the number?  We have a lot of hangers...

And that's it for this week!  

Making Space: 90 things gone



Monday, November 23, 2020

One Thousand Gifts online Bible study...

Well, as is somewhat normal for me, I've started a thing a bit late, but it's so good I thought I'd share about an online Bible study - in case anyone reading would like to jump in. The study started last week, so really today is only one week late.  Totally surmountable.

At https://www.faithgateway.com/one-thousand-gifts-obs-registration/ one can register to participate in a free 5-week Bible study on the topic of Thankfulness.   The study is based on the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

While I just got started this past weekend, it was easy to catch up.  I'm not a stickler for filling in every blank of a study book, but in listening to the audio book (downloadable for free from Hoopla) and watching the videos, I've already gained so much!  The e-book of One Thousand Gifts, as well as the Study Guide, are both also available free on Hoopla.  I get access to Hoopla free through my county library system.  You might want to check to see if you do too!  For this or any reading - and movies too!

Anyway...  if you're interested in a Bible study and think you'd like to learn a bit more about being thankful, this might be something you'll benefit from.  With Thanksgiving this week (in the U.S.) it seems like the perfect time to begin.  Just a few days in and I'm hooked.

If you're interested, you can click on the link above or on the graphic below to get to the site where you can sign up.  A caveat:  As with many online things, you may find yourself receiving e-mails you didn't ask for.  They are easy enough to delete and/or unsubscribe from I'm finding.  

I hope you have a very happy, contented Thanksgiving - whether it's with friends, family, or with just yourself.  Honestly, I think focusing on things we can truly be thankful for (instead of disappointment in what we may be missing) can make this year's a most blessed Thanksgiving day.  If you're reading this and don't live in the U.S., well...  I hope you have a blessed and thankful Thursday too.  :)




Love and peace to you all!


Sunday, November 22, 2020

A little of this and that...

Having gotten myself in gear with my Linen & Threads sampler I managed to make a bit of a dent in Part 4 this week.  While you can't tell from the picture (below), Part 4 is a BIG design. While I spent hours on it this past week, it's probably only about a quarter done.  Why does one big design feel bigger than two or even three smaller ones I wonder...


Even though it's slow going, it's always fun watching a design take shape. 

~~~~~


Next up...   Lucy at Another Day blog gets credit for this next idea.  Last week Lucy mentioned that she is bagging up mini skeins and creating her own advent calendar.  What a great idea!   Lucy explains her motivation for making her own, but my motivation (in addition to not needing any more yarn) is that I've lost some interest along the way, and this might just be a kick start I need to more seriously dig back into my yarns and crochet threads. 

I decided to come up with some easy projects that I might be able to complete in a day or so.  I'm packaging up different yarns and threads, with the plan being to open up a bag each day of Advent and hopefully be inspired to make a thing.



Lest you think it might get overwhelming, or simply not possible to complete a project each day, I've thought of that already...

First, I've chosen very simple, and familiar (to some degree) projects.   And we're talking dishcloths, small doilies, bookmarks, small cross stitch motifs to add to my Linen & Threads' sampler...  stuff like that. The point (in my mind, anyway) isn't so much a variety of projects, but rather the point is to dig into my yarns and get my fingers busy with it again.

And secondly, keeping with my "go with the flow" sort of attitude when it comes to crafting, I'm not going to burden myself with rules and expectations of having to finish everything.  In fact, I give myself permission to completely skip a day (or days) of opening a package.  If I end up with unopened packages at the end of Advent, then the fun just extends beyond that time frame.  

So you see, it's all good!  I'm even using up some years-old paper bags, so I'm decluttering as well.



I don't think my large basket is going to hold it all as I've only got about 8 days of projects bagged up here.  I've got another week to decide on what projects and yarns and threads will get bagged up.  Shouldn't be a problem to pull it all together by next Sunday's post and then I'll be ready to begin.

Then each week during advent I'll enjoy showing in my weekly YOP post what I've completed that week.

~~~~~

And finally, this weekend, I got started on a large project that I hope to have finished by Christmas.  Youngest (25 yo) son asked if I'd make him a new crocheted blanket.  He picked out the colors and asked for a ripple pattern.  

Just a peeky peek this week!

A lot of rows to go, but other than figuring out widths of the color changes it's a pretty mindless project.   And while I'd love to have it finished by Christmas, I'm not going to stress over that either.

In case you haven't picked up on it, I am very much about not stressing right now.  It's been an eventful year - in so many respects.  I'm going to do my best to keep my little corner of the world peaceful.






Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Making Space - week 3

 


Week Three!  Yippee!

Spending just a little more time in the bedroom (and master bath), I pulled together just a few items this week.

But first a bit of a back story:

Many years ago when we were house-hunting, at one house I opened a linen closet and it was so completely full of disheveled sheets and towels I'm not sure what kept them from toppling out.   

Never mind being surprised that the sellers didn't think to remove some of the linens and neaten it up (if only for the sake of making the closet look more spacious), I still remember feeling kind of badly for these people at how frustrating it must have been to rummage through that mess of linens just to make a bed, or find a clean towel. And that when they did find what they were looking for, it would be wrinkled and no longer fresh looking.  For the record, we have lived in our current home for 22 years - so this memory is at least that long ago.  Which goes to show, I'm thinking, the degree to which the impression of this closet was made on me. While we've never had such a fully-stuffed linen closet, I decided right then and there we did not need nearly the number of sheets that we ourselves owned.

A related thing is that at some point (I don't remember when) I developed the habit of stripping the beds, washing and drying the sheets and pillow cases, and putting them right back on the beds.  Whether this habit made easier my decision to whittle down our sheets, or my whittling down sheets made developing this habit easier, the fact is these two things fit hand-in-glove with each other.

At some point in the raising of three boys and having four beds to regularly launder linens for, my idea of a necessary minimum number of sheets became to have one sheet set per bed, plus one extra set for each of the different sizes of beds we owned.  The only reason I kept an extra set of sheets per bed size was in case someone became sick in the night and a quick sheet change needed to happen.  And yes, I've been thankful that on several occasions I was able to instantly pull out a clean set of sheets and quickly remake a bed for a sleepy, ill child.  

Anyway, the years passed, and each son took his bed (and sheets) with him when he moved out.  We've been down to just one queen-sized bed for a couple of years now and I must have forgotten my rule at some point because somehow I've managed to amass quite a few more sheets than I ever intended to.  I got rid of some in the October minimalism challenge, but it's time to get rid of the rest of the superfluous sheets.  


I know what's pictured above doesn't look like much compared to the length of the back story, but it is this week's "declutter".  There's actually a bed skirt and two mis-matched sheets above.  The pillows have been on our bed for years.  They're a bit flat and really... no longer attractive, so out they go - finally.   The brushes and combs never got used (except for maybe once) because they don't work well with my hair, and the hairdryer parts don't fit on my current hairdryer (let alone that I never used them with the hair dryer they came with - however long ago that was), and then there's a small plastic box with too-small-sized compartments that are just fiddly to me.  

This next part is a last-minute (but important) edit:  

To be completely honest, when I first wrote this post, I wrote an admission that I was hanging onto to three sheet sets - one still new in the package that I brought home from MIL's this summer.  But today it came clear to me that I will be happier rehoming those brand new sheets.  And here's why:

It's a sheet set identical to one we had many years ago (I'm sure, given to us by MIL) and looking at it, I know I'm not going to really like them (neither the pattern, nor the feel of the sheets).  Truthfully, it's probably a more expensive sheet set than I will buy when we need new ones as I much prefer a coarser sheet that is crisp when new - so someone else will (hopefully) be extremely glad to find this set at the thrift store. 

I so appreciate how this exercise causes me to look honestly at things I'm hanging onto for no good reason, or for reasons that don't respect where I am in life, or what I know to be true about me and what I like or need.

So, for week three of my Making Space challenge, my running total of items outa here is:

Making Space:  67 items gone


~~~~~


If you'd like to join in a low-key decluttering activity that fits with the pace of life, see my post explaining this Making Space endeavor.  Check out the bottom of same link for graphics you can feel free to use.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A bit of stitching...

This past second week of November saw the finish of Part 3 (sounds so much better than "March's section") of the Linen & Threads' 2020 Mystery Sampler:


I am soooo behind on this project, but I'm glad that when I got back to it, I was happy to be working on it.  Gives me hope that I will finish it.  

Someday.  😉

This may be my shortest YOP post ever, but that's all I got!




Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Making Space - week 2




Well, here I am at week two of this challenge!  So far, so good!  

Knowing we were having a last blast of heat before the pre-winter chill down, last week I decided it was time to go through my clothes closet.  The thought that I might do some serious purging was foremost in my mind.

I know there are those who advocate for taking everything out of the closet at the same time so that one can see everything, know what's in there, and I guess more easily decide what isn't needed.  The thought of doing a closet sort that way has always felt overwhelming to me.  Nevermind that we'd need the bed for sleeping before I'd likely manage culling through everything.  So I decided to do the sort by categories. And each category on separate days.  Frankly, my closet is already sorted by categories, so at least that part was already done and the culling through each category maybe took an hour or so each.   

So, my suggestion (if you're like me and don't think it would be wise to pull everything out at the same time) is to sort things inside your closet by category first. And, frankly, keep the closet that way.  That part isn't hard, in my opinion.

My ultimate goal with this task was to only have in my closet items I wear.   So with that in mind, I broke the categories down as follows:

1st - tops
2nd - bottoms
3rd - shoes

And, again...  I did each of these categories on separate days - just because that's how it was going to work for me.  And I think that was a very good idea.

Here were my steps:

First, after everything in one category was out of the closet (and on the bed), I removed any items that I could tell at a glance I no longer wanted taking up space in my closet (or home).  These were items I either I knew are uncomfortable, or weren't my color, or for some reason I always passed up for something else.

Second, assuming everything left passed the test of being something I knew I liked to wear, I tried everything on.  If it fit and felt comfortable, it went back into the closet, if it didn't fit I made the decision to either donate it, or box it up for the possibility of losing some weight and wearing it someday in the future.  I was both happy and a bit embarrassed that the vast majority of items fit and went right back into the closet.  The good news is, at least for the duration of our socially distanced existence, I have plenty of clothes to wear.  The bad news is I still have a closet full of clothes...

Anyway, the routine was pretty much the same for the tops and the bottoms.

And then it came time to sort through my shoes.  Now, seriously...  I don't think I really have a shoe problem, but the pile of shoes I came up with to rehome challenges that notion:



For the sake of camaraderie and maybe having something to say to help another declutterer, I thought I'd make some confessions.  There are two pairs of shoes here that are brand new and didn't get worn partly because they aren't comfortable.  And several other shoes I bought because they were kind of cute, but even though I gave them a go, they ended up being uncomfortable to wear too. The others... I got a good run out of them.    

I told myself (yet again), Stop doing this!  Stop buying shoes that I know are going to be uncomfortable!  For me, this is mainly shoes with no arch support, and too narrow of a toe box.  

And then, for the sake of moving towards this being a productive exercise instead of a self-defeating one, I decided to focus on the idea that somewhere out there are some women (probably with younger feet than mine) who will love those new shoes I'm no longer going to torture myself with, or berate myself over.  

Figuring that most of us have thrift stores and such that we know gladly receive our cast offs, I thought it might be interesting, even helpful to others decluttering, to give mention to places I become aware of that may not be widely known about.  In this case, Hubs recently found out about a local organization called Changing Footprints that collects shoes to be distributed to agencies that serve a variety of people in need.  In addition to giving good shoes new homes, they will also accept old, worn shoes and these they ship to Nike who recycles the components of the shoes - to minimize what may end up in a landfill.  Hubs found out about this local-to-us organization at the physical therapy place he went to this summer after his knee surgery.  So keep your eyes and ears open, folks - you never know what you'll notice as you go about your activities.

While today's post isn't a big haul in terms of clothing pieces, it sure feels good to lighten my home of other things from my closet, like hangers, shoes, a couple of purses.  All in all (counting a pair of shoes as one item), a few items of clothing, a couple of purses, and counting the hangers individually...  today's count is:  38 items.  Added to the running total:


Making Space:  53 items gone


If you'd like to join in a low-key decluttering activity that fits with the pace of life, see my post my post explaining this Making Space endeavor.  Check out the bottom of same link for graphics you can feel free to use.