cleaning


I haven’t done one of these kinds of posts in a while, but this post by sartorias has me thinking again about things in my room/house.

One of the good things about getting older is that you get less sentimental about things that you once thought were important. One of the bad things about getting older is that you get more sentimental about things you never thought were important.

In my own defense, I have managed to purge three large black bags of trash in the last couple of weeks, with another half bag waiting to be topped off. So, I am making progress. If you walked into my house you might not see that progress because most of the purging has been in two abomination rooms where I shoved junk to get it out of the way when company came. I am not proud of this behavior—and definitely paying the wages of that sin now—but I am moving on to it. Someday the decisions may be harder as I get away from pure clutter trash to somewhat more meaningful trash. I have gotten rid of some of that, too, either through donations or—gasp!—throwing away. Some of these decisions were made easier by the rat apocalypse that happened in this house the year after my mother died. I won’t say I’m grateful for the rat input, because I’m not, but some things were no longer redeemable. And the rats are finally gone after I did away with humane trapping and went medieval on them (after them destroying one appliance until it was unrepairable and having monthly visits of repair persons for about nine months straight).

In my trash sorting, I came across some patterns my mother had used to make countless craft aprons in the sixties and seventies, with the posh and retro lady shown above. On the aprons, she wore a tailored bodice, a skirt that flared out and could be lifted to show her matching underwear. The garter belt around her leg bore a sparkling rhinestone in the middle. Mom sold quite a few of them over the years through her work and friends of friends. They were exquisitely made—because my mother was a fine seamstress—and hand-painted with fabric paint. Cute, kitschy things. Maybe someone who is into retro might want to make them again. But not me. I am not the seamstress my mother was, for one. For another, this was my mother’s thing, not mine.

I thought I was strong. “I won’t ever use these patterns. I can throw them away for the sake of my sanity.” Not two hours later I fished them out of the trash bag. My mother drew these with her own hand, used them countless times. They had her imprint all over them. I just couldn’t do it. A friend suggested framing them and hanging them on the wall of my own crafting space. I thought that was an excellent compromise.

Here you see the pattern Mom used to cut out the material for the lady’s skirt, bodice, and knickers. These were redrawn in a kind of shorthand after the original patterns disintegrated. Mom had done so many of these she didn’t really need a pattern, but it was a security blanket for her, and if they weren’t precise, well, her artistry made them fit.

I didn’t even have the heart to throw out the old envelope they were in because it had my mother’s handwriting on it, “Donna’s apron pattern.” You can see on the lower edge where the rats chewed it. Miraculously, they didn’t manage to damage any of the patterns.

If only those old patterns were the problem. My mother painted, she did countless crafts. All that has to stay. Most of the paintings are good, I like them, they will stay on my walls. Some of the craft things may as well. Others will be carefully wrapped and put into one of the closets. Other things Mom handled I was sure I’d get rid of. Like this:

Me Virgo, she Aries. These graphics are so not my style, not what I want on my wall. But my mother put these puzzles together with her own hand, glued them to cardboard backing, and hung them on her wall. I cannot for the life of me consign them to the trash barrel. I can and will take them down from the wall, but they are also going into the closet. Let whoever gets this house and doesn’t understand the sentimental attachment get rid of them.

I will do my best to clean out as much trash as possible, but some trash isn’t real trash. At least not to me. Whoever winds up clearing out this property will just have to deal with that.

Random quote of the day:

“When you begin to sense that your imagination is the place where you are most divine, you feel called to clean out of your mind all the worn and shabby furniture of thought. You wish to refurbish yourself with living thought so you can begin to see.”

—John O’Donohue, “The Question Holds the Lantern,” www.johnodonohue.com/words/question

clutter4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

30 Oct
Get out your hankies. The 20 year old toddler:  http://yhoo.it/16mrLa8 

31 Oct
SHAME: We got home from the doctor late and I’m so exhausted I’m sitting in the house with the lights out hiding from the trick or treating kids. I usually love having them but it’s been a very stressful few weeks.

1 Nov
The Sears robot is still calling to say I need to reschedule the repair appointment for the dishwasher. I’ve called the Repair Desk several times. After complaining again to them that I don’t need repair I got yet another call from the repair scheduling robot and a tweet from SearsCares. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that SearsCares breaks down to Sear Scares. It’s been my experience with them lately.

2 Nov
Compassion fatigue.

3 Nov
The Amazon Prime goodie bag went into the dumpster along with a box of other clutter. The need to purge the Room of Doom is strong.

3 Nov
Having posted about my virtuous purging of junk I then opened a box of crap I ordered from American Science & Surplus:  http://www.sciplus.com/   They’re sort of a depository for unwanted but interesting junk. Kind of like my house. Left hand, right hand.

6 Nov
Color outside the lines, but read between them.

6 Nov
I shall rename myself The Great Phlegmingo. I’d really like to stop coughing now, weeks after getting the cold.

11 Nov
Another epic starring Bird, this time whistling Blue Danube and imitating my mother and I coughing:  http://bit.ly/1buZWwd 

11 Nov
Every once in awhile, after not reading one of your novels for a long time, you surprise yourself with how much you like it. Mostly it’s cringing, though.

16 Nov
Why do people adopt children only to abuse them or “give them back” when things get challenging? It sickens me.

17 Nov
The only thing worse than watching jury orientation online is watching it at the court house.

17 Nov
Sears now claims they never got the plumbing invoices I sent October 29. I think sarcasm is in order, don’t you?

18 Nov
I postponed jury duty because my legs are not up to the hilly walking conditions in downtown L.A.

18 Nov
In other science news: You are what you eat may not be just another outmoded hippy slogan: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/11/18/244526773/gut-bacteria-might-guide-the-workings-of-our-minds …

19 Nov
You know what I don’t need? Someone who doesn’t know a thing about the day to day of my life giving me advice about what I “should” do.

19 Nov
I stayed home from work today because my knee was in such bad shape I needed to sit with ice on it for as many hours as I could stand. It’s somewhat better.

20 Nov
Some days Mom is victorious over the microwave. Other days it is beyond her and I get these phone calls asking me to diagnose over the phone. On those days, I wish to be shot in the head. But not really, Universe! I’ve got too much to do.

20 Nov
I just bought a mystery solely because the detective is named Pamela Thompson.

21 Nov
Well, I’ve had my Christmas miracle. My mother apologized to me.

21 Nov
The only thing certain in this world are death, taxes, and Kardashians.

22 Nov
Dear PJ: you cannot hide the similes by using “as if” instead of “like.” We can still see them.

23 Nov
Apparently I needed to be punished more. My knee was just starting to get better and I fell at Ralphs and wrenched it worse.

26 Nov
Mom went back in the hospital this morning. She either has an infection or a persistent virus. Either way she’s spending the night for tests and evaluation. Thanksgiving seems cursed as something happens every year. But she seemed better tonight.  I hope that direction continues. (She came home November 27 and has been strong and doing well since.)

28 Nov
Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was great. Carl cooked the entire meal and brought it over. Delish–and a wonderful surprise. I have the best friends in the world.

29 Nov
Mom remembers her dad going for supplies by horse and buckboard wagon to Watson UT when she was a kid. It’s now a ghost town.

30 Nov
My fantasy of buying a small smart TV lasted all of 24 hours before I got real. Too much other important stuff to spend the money on and we don’t need fripperies. Got caught up in Black Friday madness without even shopping. But sometimes being a responsible grown up sucks. 🙂

2 Dec
The guy in the Pinocchio suit stares into the abyss of his existence and despairs. Disneyland, 1961: pic.twitter.com/yPVGRvSkH0

2 Dec
This article encapsulates the caregiver situation quite well: http://bit.ly/1avcAck

The loneliness of the long distance carer. May I just add, **** you Amy F. Grant and Katie F. Couric, and anyone else who talks about the “privilege” without understanding the facts of working class people having to deal with this.

4 Dec
RIP Willis Ware, brilliant engineer and lovely, lovely man.

5 Dec
The resolution to a plot point that has been hanging unsolved for years finally came to me in the shower this morning. Unfortunately, I was in the shower, couldn’t write it down, and I was so busy after the shower I forgot, and now I can’t remember what it was or even which novel.

5 Dec
Adorably awesome! Lea Salonga and Darren Criss sang A Whole New World together at a bar: http://bit.ly/1kfEmiB

6 Dec
RIP Irreplaceable Nelson Mandela.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nelson-mandela-becomes-first-politician-to-be-miss,34755/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default …

6 Dec
I put on an episode of Finding Bigfoot last night. Mom fell asleep just after it started and woke just as it finished.

Mom: What happened?
Me: They didn’t find him.
Mom: Oh, okay then.

8 Dec
I keep buying books I haven’t got time to read.

8 Dec
And after two years of living as if this is a temporary situation it’s finally setting in that this is probably a long haul. I’m okay with that, but it’s a necessary shift in perspective that may allow me to handle things better.

8 Dec
“It’s not the Calvary coming to save us, ” said the sportscaster. Which is a whole different save than Kobe returning to the Lakers.

8 Dec
I read so slowly these days that I can go from comfort read to comfort read. No more waiting for release days. *sigh*

9 Dec
People and ghosts in rooms talking. *sigh*

11 Dec
Hurray for heated mattress pads!! My poor mom has been freezing, but she’s snug now. 🙂

11 Dec
Is the big reveal ever worth playing the reader? Does that answer ever have a yes? Why is there air?

12 Dec
Baby Pygmy Marmosets pic.twitter.com/eODml0ov3H

And now for something completely different… The Marmoset Song: http://youtu.be/4oiLfTnrC40 

12 Dec
When Mom gets really down she threatens to stop dialysis and I have to josh her out of it. Today would be one of those days.

13 Dec
I love it when people driving Smart cars make a really big dick traffic maneuvers. I originally said “really idiotic traffic maneuvers” but VRS decided to go with big dick and I left it that way.

13 Dec
Dear Sir: Most sentences should not be a paragraph long. Less is more. A tortured use of punctuation does not remedy this problem.

15 Dec
RIP to the great Peter O’ Toole.

16 Dec
Sears finally kept their promise. They’ve sent me a check to cover my plumbing costs for the Abominable Dishwasher Incident. Thanks, Sears.

Random quote of the day:

 

“Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.”

—attributed to P. J. O’Rourke

 

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

That about sums up the last four days. We had a great 90th birthday party for Mom. She loved her sweatshirts and is wearing one of them every time she goes out. The cake was awesome and the company stayed late and we had lots of fun.

I came down with the crud Sunday evening (fortunately after cleaning up from the party) and have been sleeping quite a lot. I feel more like a human being than I have in days, so hopefully that will continue. I’m going to take the rest of the day easy.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. I hope.

No tweet puns in the immediate forecast.

 

I’m still awake, don’t know how. 25 Feb

On this date in 1808 Stendahl bragged in his diary about killing three hares, his “first quadrupeds.” 25 Feb

I was awake from 4:30 AM Fri to 12:30 AM Sat then slept ten hours. Torrential rain when I went to bed, bucolic sunshine upon waking. 26 Feb

I decided to celebrate the weather change with a massive sinus headache. Fun times. 26 Feb

Snow in the San Fernando Valley, first since the 1970s. More rain tonight and lows in 30s even here at the moderate beach. 26 Feb

I went to the garage to clear more boxes. Only got thru 2 before my nose and fingers froze. 26 Feb

Oh, now the weather guy tells me that wasn’t snow but graupel, small snow pellets in great quantity. 26 Feb

lilithsaintcrow True. RT @sblackmoore: If a character survives a book without losing something important you’re not trying hard enough. 28 Feb

Something to give some perspective. Beautiful progression: http://bit.ly/huotRo 28 Feb

pj_thompson @lilithsaintcrow re: characters losing something by the end of the book – Do you think that’s true of comedic novels as well? 28 Feb

When I was a kid I thought writers wrote the books in one shot all the way through and figured the plot out as they went along. 28 Feb

How did they know to plant clues and foreshadowing, I wondered? When I’m doing rewrites planting clues I remember that and laugh. 28 Feb

Of course, I was right about them making it up as they went along…At least for the pantsers like myself. 28 Feb

Spent a few days adding new material to WIP when should be cutting but that new stuff will allow me to cut other stuff in the saggy middle. 28 Feb

lilithsaintcrow Lilith Saintcrow @pj_thompson Yes. Definitely. 28 Feb

pj_thompson PJ Thompson @lilithsaintcrow So that’s what I got wrong. 🙂  28 Feb

lilithsaintcrow Lilith Saintcrow @pj_thompson Tragedy is easy. Comedy is much, much harder, because it skates that edge.  28 Feb

TrishaTelep Trisha Telep @lilithsaintcrow @pj_thompson That’s not funny! 28 Feb

lilithsaintcrow Lilith Saintcrow @TrishaTelep @pj_thompson *snork* 28 Feb

pj_thompson PJ Thompson @lilithsaintcrow @TrishaTelep Dying is easy, comedy is hard, but comedy don’t get no respect. 28 Feb

On the drive home I realized that the MCs in my comedic novel did lose something. Not body parts unless you count the holes in their hearts. 28 Feb

Yet if it hadn’t been for a good friend reading an early draft I would have skated over that exquisite pain. Thx, Kev. 28 Feb

It’s been a cleaning frenzy at our house.  While I’ve been dealing with boxes and boxes of stuff in the garage, I finally was forced to the realization that I cannot do all that needs doing myself.  It’s a strange combination of guilt and relief I’m feeling right now.

It’s 5:45 and we’re still waiting for the doctor. Last time I take a 4:45 appointment. [Note: We didn’t leave his office until 6:30.] 17 Feb

On the way to work I listened to NPR and they had a little bit about astronauts going into hibernation sleep on long space voyages. 18 Feb

As I stopped at the sensor where my garage pass opens the door Keir Dullea said “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” Hal: “I can’t do that, Dave.” 18 Feb

Fortunately, the pod bay doors opened, but I was laughing so hard by then. Sometimes life is a synchronistic delight. 18 Feb

So, read a good book and try to stay awake or kill mutants? Which of these? …The good book… 19 Feb

On this night in 1814 Byron was debating the existence of God in his diary. 18 Feb

There’s hope for us older gals after all… 18 Feb

Lightning. Thunder. Min went under the bed. 19 Feb

Torrential rain and wind at the moment. Sure glad not to be out in it but my dinner is going to get wet. Poor delivery guy. 19 Feb

I would’ve liked to stay in my jammies all day but the Box Unload Marathon cannot be denied. Woe! 20 Feb

I can’t believe no one has tweeted in the last 47 minutes. Not sure I trust you, Edwin Droid. 21 Feb

To do list: finish Drood, start The Mystery of Edwin Drood. 21 Feb

selfavowedgeek Berrien C. Henderson Retweeted by pj_thompson Signal Boost: Francesca Forrest’s story, “The Yew’s Embrace”–http://www.strangehorizons.com/2011/20110221/yew-f.shtml 21 Feb

For the 1st time in my life I paid someone to clean my house. I actually feel kind of ashamed. But I expect I’ll get over it. 21 Feb

With my bad knees and shoulder I couldn’t do the scrubbing needed and Mom sure couldn’t. 21 Feb