Friday, March 30, 2018

TGIF (Continuing on a Theme)

Oh man, oh man.  Lessee, what did I throw out during our move?  Old magazines, burnt out candles, old perfume, old nail polish, half empty bottles, clothes that don't fit, earrings without a match (and funky necklaces I never liked), old purses, old hats and gloves, old pillows, take out menus, restaurant sauce packets, old mail, old manuals, old paperwork, birthday cards and old printed recipes I haven't made in years, lots of old cookbooks were donated.

Still to go, but not my stuff, old ties, old belts, worn out shoes, extra cords, movies not watched, cds not listened to.  On the upside, my husband cleared out 40 years of medical paperwork stored in 2 six drawer files.  That was a big job.  We borrowed my parents' shredder.  He sold or gave away a rarely used kayak, a leaf blower, ladders, duplicate books (the very expensive arty kind), pottery, chairs, etc. etc.

The escrow on the house closes today.   We got permits for the pergola we built (without permit) and the installation of the portable spa (who knew?) and the escrow had been held up until these things were completed.  And getting a building permit is no easy task.  City Hall beat our asses all to hell.  Warning: if your city requires a building permit, GET ONE.  We ended up paying a hefty fine for flouting the law.  The inspector was very nice and didn't get as picky as he could have.  We met the basic requirements.  We made several trips to the Planning Dept to get this all done.  Made drawers, took measurements up the wazoo, reviewed code to make sure we were in compliance and would get our permit signed off.  It paid off.

So we are done with the sale and much relieved.  Yesterday, after the inspection, we came to our new home and took a refreshing swim in the pool.  It was 82 degrees outside and the water felt GREAT.  I think I'm going to be spending as much time in the pool as I did in my hammock between the cedar trees in my old home.  Different and maybe actually better.

So, clean up your shit, people.  Tell me, what stops you for de-cluttering?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Musings (on STUFF and JUNK)

People, please, I beg of you, throw your junk away! Don't be like us.  We've been sorting through crap since last Thursday when we moved.  Now we get to pay $400 to have the junk hauled away.  Old metal filing cabinets, an old bbq on wheels, rugs, electronics and sundry wires, 18 cubic feet of detritus.  I had hoped we could have cleared this stuff out over the last 3.5 years, since we knew it was there, piled high in the garage.  Alas, that didn't happen and now we are sweatin' it big time.  Shame on us.  Lazy buggers. 

This pile may be look bad, but it was only the beginning.  I am tossing all kinds of stuff that once meant something to me, to us.  I'm also giving a lot away to the SPCA Thrift Store.  I've got another load to run over there in the next couple of days.  That's stuff I can feel good about giving away.  Helping the SPCA take care of animals!

There is such a urge to acquire the newest, best thing.  We had 3 espresso makers.  For cryin' out loud.  We have dozens and dozens of frames of all sizes that we've not the space to hang them or put them on table tops.

When we moved 3.5 years ago, we cleaned out a lot.  I thought it was a huge amount.  I thought maybe we had pared down.  Nope.  So, please, even if you plan to stay in your home until they carry you out, have pity on your children and don't make them go through 50 years of stuff.

Speaking of 'the children,' how impressed are you by the nationwide March For Our Lives this weekend?  Have you seen Emma Gonzalez's speech?

Too exhausted from moving, I didn't attend any local march.  I did get to see friends' posts from different parts of the country.  It looked inspiring and I'm glad people of all ages showed up - big time - to support this student led march.  Seems as if it is always the young who have to push the old farts out of the way.  Just the way it is.  I hope this action changes lawmakers' minds, but I confess I am skeptical.  Hoping when these young people can vote they vote the rats out of office and shut down the NRA's lobby in Washington D.C.

I think the NRA is a terrorist organization.  Truly.  Look what they are doing to this country by way of bribing lawmakers.  By opposing common sense gun laws.  I have no respect for this organization, indeed, all I feel for them is deep contempt.  If I knew a way to dismantle them, I would.

Power to the people. 

Friday, March 16, 2018


In one week we'll be in our new place.  Gulp.  So much still to do. 

So...while hubby is watching soccer on the t.v., I'm stalling on my computer!  That's how it's done, right?

I'm moved to tell a story that is well known in my family: my sister's birth in a VW Bug in 1960.  Yeah, you thought Bugs were just for getting around in, didn't you?  Who knew they were an excellent field hospital?

Mom calls dad at work to say she's in labor.  She's got 2 kids that need to be taken to the sitter while she and dad get to the hospital.  He comes home, we pile into the car and off to the sitter's we go.  I don't remember any of this, being 2.5 years old. It must've been quite a scene with mother in full-on labor in the front seat.

So dad's taking us into the sitter's house, and while he's doing this, out comes my sister and onto the floor.  When dad comes back to the car and sees what has transpired, he panics and figures the baby is dead.  She must've been crying or something, and yet his belief is that a baby born outside of a hospital is toast.  He jumps in the car and blasts off for the hospital.  He's stopped by a cop for speeding.  The cop takes one look inside and says, "Follow me."  He gets an escort.

He arrives at the front door of the hospital, runs inside to get help.  While he's doing this, mom's ob/gyn pulls up, sees the car, sees what's going on.  He jumps in the car to drive mother around to the Emergency entrance.  Dad runs out with nurses (one presumes) and the car is gone.  His wife and newborn (dead) baby are gone.   What fresh hell is this?

They figure it out, finally, and dad is reunited with his wife and very much alive baby daughter.  The doc pulls him aside and advises him to go home and hose out the car - quickly - as all that birthing blood and liquid will be a bear to get out if it's allowed to dry.  So he does.  And the neighbors are baffled: why the heck is he at home hosing out the car?

We drove that car around for several more years.  It was involved in another notorious episode in which my older sister and younger sister were settled in the car waiting for dad to come out of the house.  My older sister let go of the emergency brake (just for ducks) and the car began to roll downhill.  At the end of our street was a canyon.  Yup.  A canyon.  My older sister jumps out of the car to avoid going over the cliff and the car ran over her, which caused it to turn into a driveway just before the canyon's edge.  The story goes she did it to save our little sister.  I think she just didn't want to die.  In any case, she was relatively uninjured and the baby was safe as well.

Imagine my dad's surprise when he comes out of the house to find that damn car gone - again.  What's with this car?  What bad juju spirit is this? 

To think I could've been an only child.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Musings

The long slog towards moving continues.  Yesterday we had a glorious sun filled spring-like day and so we hauled our STUFF out of the garage and into the drive way for an impromptu moving sale.  I had be griping on Face book about 'cheapskates' who wouldn't pay asking price for items.  A couple of wise friends reminded me that the whole point was to get rid of said STUFF.  Thanks to their sage advice, I was practically giving items away, and people were delighted.  We did manage to sell both road bikes!  I gave a little plastic ukulele to the two year old grandson of a man who lives down the street.  He was shy about it, but happy.  He managed to get over his fear of dogs and gave Lucy some good back rubs.  Grandpa, child and I were sitting on the warm concrete just having a good old time plucking strings and playing with the dog.  And Grandpa and I laughed and joked about what a challenge it was to stand up after a good long sit on a hard surface!

Damn, but we have some nice people living on our block.  They came out today to look and chat and catch up on our doings.  I kept asking myself why we hadn't all gotten together before this.  Our newest neighbors from next door came by and said that their 10 year old twin boys were sad that we were leaving, because we are "nice people."  Two widows down the street showed up to admire our STUFF and revealed that they have been next door neighbors for over 50 years.  They both take in young people to rent rooms.  One gal has international graduate students who stay with her a year at a time.  She loves the company, the intelligent conversations, and acts as a sounding board when the students are writing a paper or preparing for a lecture.  She bought one of our bikes so that her students wouldn't have to buy one upon arrival and then attempt to sell it when they leave.  How thoughtful is that?  She was widowed just about the time we moved in, and she has responded to her new life in a positive and healthy way.

Living next to one of the widows is a young couple with a 19 month old son.  They came by, were delightful and talkative and I sold her some kitchen items for real cheap and she was thrilled.  She inquired as to our children, and I explained we have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren between us and she seemed genuinely impressed.   I love talking to young people.  Their grown up lives have just begun and full of energy and hope for the future.  Reminds me of when I was their age.  Now I'm the elder, and I'm looking at the long (or short) arc of a life.  I get kind of dreamy about it all.

We sold one of our cars last week, too.  Got a good price for it, and helped out a young woman whose car had been totaled and she needed a reliable vehicle to get to work.  The money will help, as we found out that our roof needs replacing.  We had a second opinion done by a trusted source.  We don't have to arrange it, but we will credit the buyer so she can have it done.  It came as a total surprise to us, as we were not informed of any roof problems 3.5 years ago!  (Not real happy with the realtor who sold us the place.)

So, escrow is a bit of a moving target, depending on completion of some inspection work.  I'll be so damn happy when this is completed.  I'd like my life back, please.

We did have a great break on Saturday night when we drove to Petaluma for a gallery opening.  A friend of ours had two photographs selected for this juried show.  We went to see all the work, and to support his efforts, and dined on really delicious pizza afterward.  I drove the 1.5 hours well prepared with good music cds, though the hubs was a little baffled by early John Prine.  JP was a musical hero of mine in my youth, and I learned many of his songs on the guitar.  So I couldn't believe the hubs had not heard of him.  I had to cut the cd short to spare my beloved, and put on the Beatles Let It Be album.  Wow, what a flashback. 

Yes, I'm feeling nostalgic these days.  How could I not?

You Can Go Home Again

 I took a vacation in the first week of May.  I went back to my high school and college stomping grounds, still populated by many friends of...