Showing posts with label clearing clutter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clearing clutter. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Time

A multitude of tasks have been completed and now I am amidst clearing shelves and clutter from the downstairs study.  Amidst, is an appropriate term, inch by inch and my interest wanes despite my discomfort with the sight.   Photos in frames have been rearranged and tidied up on top of the two movable book shelves. Two tiny crystal  lamps which belonged to my grandmother and which Jerry rewired  are now atop the shelves.  I have no other place for them but at least for now do not want to send them on their way to Goodwill.

This room is the  primary area where we  display photos in a gallery of sorts and it is also my project room, the library, and the computer site. More photos in boxes and piles, amassed from my departeds reside in the  back bedroom off this room, where I can close the door and keep going through  that sorting.   I have found if I put  something away by the time I return to it, I can't find where I left off.  So I take advantage of the luxury of space to keep my mess active.  In the far corner of this picture is the small portable sewing machine; my other machine which I prefer to use has its own  sewing closet off the rec room.   

The last many days have been dreary but today the sun is shining although it is plenty cold but at least the cold north wind is not blowing from yesterday where  34 degrees felt  like zero.  Just the day before that I was about wearing only a vest but now it is time for the heavy coat and hood.   With sunshine I am likely to amble away from the midst of this mess; outside to give the squirrels a new suet box and to just check on the smells and colds of winter.  

These two chairs which we moved from CA face the computer
space and the gas inset fireplace; built in book shelves to the left 
behind the chairs is  activity clutter.
Actually I suppose it is not all that bad compared to some, but I dislike disarray; it makes me very uncomfortable, I suppose it is the Polish clean genes from my grandmother and shades of Aunt Jinx's ghost.  I have talked myself into leaving for  the outdoors,  ...the benefit is all the doors could be closed off to hide this if someone happened over and down to our TV/rec room the other side of the wall.  But then upstairs is
devoid of activities and that is where most of our entertaining is done and guests gather.  And  this is the benefit of retirement, to dabble when and how long as I want to do so.  

The scene behind the chairs

Behind the chairs is a magnificent large leather covered coffee table acquired for the rec room but which I have confiscated here to provide my measuring cutting space, one of the four stools which slide under it is quite handy for working from, the other three serve as  stools, tables in the rec room. 

 Below is an in process idea, which just might be accomplished soon.  A way to recycle an old friend t-shirt from 1998, Newcastle Mandarin Days.  I found just the right fabric for the back of the pillow, setting  there on the right.  
Here is a tshirt which is about to become a pillow
These folding doors are the entry to this inner sanctum
and the green door is to the downstairs bedroom or
the room with the photo messes.  Built in book shelves
are to the right and the left, all  filled.
So this is  one reason why I have not had time to blog post, much else to do.  Alright then, so many projects, so little time, too many ideas, time for fresh air the sun is calling!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PA and Carl Chronicles

Uncle Carl working well with the therapists although when they visit in the afternoon and I ask him later in the day if they were there he says, "no that was yesterday."  He is now back to his preference of not shaving, groiwng that white stubble, "I'm not going anywhere."  I remind him that he does not want to go back to the "crazy house" which is what he calls the SNF.  I am just hopeful he gets back to consistent use of his walker without tumbles and stumbles and falls.

I missed a great photo op Tuesday where Carl sat in wheelchair beside "his" chair, staring at the fireplace marble and back to the entry and all activity.  Lenore, an old lady who has had her eye on him for over a year had sat in his chair!  Seeing this, I immediately knew he was ticked, that's where he sits and supervises all activities and comments about all the "old women who sit out here and sleep."  He may be the oldest one there, but he thinks they are old.  Back to the scene where I asked him "Why are you sitting there like that, how about I move you over here?"  His strong clear reply, "No thank you.  I am comfortable right here!" A big improvement from his weak voice at the SNF.   Lenore sits there grinning.  Lisa, one of his favorite aides came along and noticed and said "Darn, there's Lenore.  She does that to get his attention."  They moved Lenore and got Carl into his catbird seat and all was well!  I really should have snapped that photo though, priceless.  Evidently Lenore did not go near the chair while Carl was in the hospital and SNF.  And he will not even acknowledge her!  My Uncle, still a lady killer at 92!  :)

Yesterday we put out 14 bags more of trash from the house, so much accumulation of  stuff, never throwing anything away even Styrofoam trays!  Jerry continues to scavenge the man cave tools.  I found a gorgeous brocade satin short jacket from Aunt Marge, that I am bringing home,  It is tiny and more like a shrug, but I could not bear to toss it, the fabric is exquisite.  I have no idea what to do with it, perhaps a pillow, something altered for Blondie, one of the traveling bears to wear?  Who knows, it is too tiny for me, but I so loved the fabric that into the closet it goes.  Another acquisition of  two matching nightstand type lamps of heavy clear cut glass.  Jerry will have to fix the plugs and  bulb holders and we will have to acquire shades but I could not resist these.  I'll donate the one  I bought at Target to Goodwill and replace with these in one guest bedroom.  Jerry has lots more "equipment miscellany" and  antique and small tools he's taking home and once again I will not be able to bring back all the painting supplies I want.  However we will bring two of the old 1920 at least chairs; these two have been recovered and next trip I want two that have not and still sport the black leather seats.  I have a photo of my mom at about 2 years old sitting in one of these chairs, which Carl had stashed in his loft.  We would only get pennies for them at a sale, so since I know they are old and likely belonged to my grandparents, home they go with us.

I found more old black and white   photos including several of myself as a young girl sporting pipe curls, laughing and tormenting a dog. Carl was the photographer  of the family and Jerry found an old Brownie camera still looking in perfect condition, which is also going home.  We are going to have to clean out somethings from our home before we become the accumulators of everyone else's treasures!  I  found an old, tattered  paper box of Marge's photoswith several from her family that Lowell, nephew will appreciate.  Last trip I  found some photo painted china plates of his great grandmother of whom he had never seen a photo.  I am happy to find homes for these photos.  Yesterday I found a couple others from 1920 of Marge's family and I hope Lowell can identify them.  His brother is in his 80's had has Alzheimer's but still knows who the photos are.  I surely enjoy all my photos and cannot wait to return home and scan and share on Sepia Saturday. 

I have learned something about Aunt Marge this trip; she was really studying dressmaking and sewing a skill on which she was never nearly as proficient as my grandma or Aunt Jinx who were masters.  But I have found correspondence courses and lots of books and patterns which Marge accumulated and studied.  Still I laugh when I find clothing she altered with uneven hems and gaps of stitches. Refer to my blog story of Margie Sway!    Jinx, I've told  before on this blog, would take Marge's things and "fix them."  I can imagine how determined Marge was to match the perfection of her sister in law.  Maybe that's why Marge related more to my mother, who was not the least interested in sewing, but who could get along.   I expect too that Carl would throw a barb her way now and then about  wanting his mother or sister to sew something that needed mending!  Who knew what Marge was up to, awaiting to surprise them with a top skill!  Never happened. 

Yesterday one of the firemen came by the house when we were working.  He said 30 years ago Uncle Carl had installed him as a member and he often stopped and talked with "Tux."  Matt had shared  the news at their Tuesday evening meeting so now the word is out around and they will stop and visit him.  This man works at the municipal water company and had tears in his eyes as he spoke about conversations with "Tux" and how he is one of a kind, the WWII generation dying off.  I am so thankful for that contact.

Next trip we will order a dumpster.  I really wanted to have the house cleared and sold off, but not right timing.  We do use the washer and dryer while here too.  And I have been doing Carl's laundry and pressing his shirts.  As departure approaches, I feel wistful, wishing I lived closer so I could pop in and out to see him and do laundry.  One complaint of Logan House is the disarray they have of laundry--so many things missing, a jacket a set of new flannel sheets, etc.  I mark all Carl's things carefully but they just are absolutely careless and further wash everything together, light, white, dark colors, an anathema to me, the queen of laundry sorting into tiny loads if necessary.  Well nothing I can do, other than as I have, it's in the hands of the One who handles it all His way in His time.

Jerry has plans to stop in Detroit at General RV to look at a Discovery.  I really do not want to, but am humoring him.  No way are we buying this trip and after meeting Elliott in Decatur at the Fleetwood RVcomplimentary lot, I feel we should keep what we have.I do not want a new one with problems ad nauseum.   Maybe next year at the Fleetwood Rally. 

Temperatures falling around the area.  Lots of gorgeous colors still on the trees although the winds and rain have shed leaves, there is still plenty of color around.  Another day of activities ahead.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Different worlds of communication

I've just spent several hours tidying up my project room, which is the big downstairs bedroom that is off the study and that also serves as my work out room. I love being able to just leave my projects in process out in what may appear disarray in that room. That way when, the mood strikes me I can go in there and start to work on sorting photos, scrap booking or whatever the pending project may be. I don't have to pack it back into a box and put it away because that room doesn't get any other use. And it's downstairs and not visible to guests when we entertain upstairs. Lucky me!

But, something needs to be done sometime soon, so I chose today. Janine, one and only grand daughter is coming for a week in April. She will be here the same week that Jerry's brother, Rod and family will be here. Rod & Katie are teachers in So. Calif. and Janine is a college student in No. Calif. but every one's spring break is at the same time. So we will have a houseful for that week.

This bothers no one least of all, Janine, who announced she would be taking over the downstairs--this is our finished basement. I agreed she could have the bedroom down there but Grandma would have to tidy up her projects--some of which are strung across the bed. Janine likes the big screen TV & the rec-room and so fancies herself to be in charge of the lower floor. While I can keep my sewing strewed across the coffee table in the study I could not leave the bedroom in it's mess. So now things are packed up and into the closet. Trouble is, I won't likely get to doing anything with those photos, etc. for who knows how long now--out of sight out of mind.

Today while tidying I sorted and threw out some things. I started with a small box of photos and trinkets from my grandmother. She had saved these and I brought them from PA in 2004 when mom died. I did toss out photos of people no one knows. I have asked the only two who might--Aunt Jinx and Uncle Carl and they could not identify the people, so no need to keep these. Old black and white photos from how long ago. I found wedding photos of my cousin Roland who lives in Madison, WI and will mail those off to him. Another treasure which I'll pass along to him are photos of my aunt and 2nd cousin, Stella's, trip to visit them when they lived in Milwaukee. These show he and his folks and his brother and he should enjoy them. It was always a big deal to the Polacks in PA to take the train to Milwaukie...I made that trip every other summer with my grandparents. Rollie can pass them along to his daughter or one of his son's. Those are in an old black and white photo book, remember how the old photos were developed into these spiral photo books? They'd charge us who knows how much for such a thing today!

What I find very strange is how well the old black and white photos have lasted. Some of the photos are from the 1940's and 1950's, yet they are just as clear and certainly better than the color photos we took in the 1970's.

What brings me to the blog now is a telegram that I found. My grandmother had saved a Western Union telegram which Uncle Carl sent her in maybe 1944 or so, when he was in the Army. And there it is today in 2009! A telegram wishing her and all Happy Valentine's Day. Way before cell phones, texting, Facebook and/or email. Hey, this must even be prior to Hallmark cards in all their glory which are used to celebrate and greet today!

I wondered if it scared her when she opened it, because telegrams were not a good thing in World War II. She kept it a long time, so I cannot part with it in 2009. It will go into the Ostroski-Kochanowski Family scrapbook. That is when I get back to the projects! A historical relic of communication from the past. How different it is today.

So here it is, the scan of the telegram and photo of my grandparents and me. That's Teofil Kochanowski (Grandpap) and Rose Ostroski-Kochanowski (Baba to me) , me and Carl Konesky, their son and my uncle. He changed the Polish spelling to something more Americanized Konesky then he and the siblings all began to use Konesky.

I was the star of every photo. On the right, is Uncle Carl home on leave from the Army. There was no date on this photo, but I guess it about 1945 sometime. The clothes were out on the line which shows in another photo taken the same time, and yet in another there I am in the wash tub outside. So it must have been nice weather. And I know this was when they still lived on 2nd Avenue in the old row houses. They and Mom bought the house on Catalpa St. when I was about 2 years old, so here we are prior to that.

I just noticed that an old factory smokestack which would have been across the river looks like it's coming right out from my grandmother's head. Funny. The 2nd street row house was near the river and I know they were all too happy to move up the hill onto Catalpa St.