March of the elephants
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Haven't gotten rid of jewellery in awhile. This is a brooch. A nice brooch. A gift from a friend, probably around 17 years ago. I used to wear it, but now I am wearing new bling. It doesn't take up much room, so I'll put it in the box to go out. If anyone wants it, they can have it. Here's a view of the shed. The garden grew like stink at the end of summer.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I bought a Canon EOS10D from my brother a few years when he upgraded. My brother is a gifted photographer and loved this camera. I know how to get great results taking a very specific type of shot with it. Recently I did a photo shoot that I wasn't completely happy with. I decided it was time to give the Canon back to my brother and search out a camera I can rely on. The newer ones have better technology, and much bigger LCD screens, which I need for my aging eyes. I was going to mail the camera, but the chance came up to have it delivered to my brother in person. So I quickly packed it up on the weekend — body, batteries, charger, manual, etc. and sent it. I didn't have time to take a picture of it. (Thank you to the person whose photo I grabbed from their "for sale" ad on the internet.)
Four for the road
Monday, September 28, 2009
Last Friday I read poetry to strangers in hotel lobbies. Me and 5 other poets. Part of the Victoria Downtown Business Association promotion of the arts. It was a blast. Six hotels, 5 hours — I have no idea how many poems I read. Met lots of tourists and locals. Most were receptive; only a few rude responses. My favourite excuse for not having 45 seconds to listen to a poem was "Sorry, I have to go have a pee." My weekend guest arrived Saturday morning and left yesterday. Went around tonight and took photos of four things to get rid of. Two plants. The spiky one was a favourite of my recently deceased cat. She would chew on the leaves and then throw up. So I kept it around for years just for her. It has a very tall (7') stalk on it. One of the fellows who helps me garden is looking for some houseplants, so he will take it away next week. The african violet is very sad and will go to the compost heap. The pillow has been on the sofa for about 3 years now. I'm simply tired of it. The woven faux suede strips get all tightened and twisted around. I don't want to keep smoothing it out — it's a bit like adjusting tennis racket strings. And I want a brighter colour next time. The bi-fold closet doors and cupboard door went out a few weeks ago with other stuff from the shed. I have a wee twinge about letting the nice wooden one go. Just a twinge. I'm sure it will pass soon.
Too much mental clutter
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Company's coming. I have had insomnia for a few nights running. Worked til 9 tonight; tomorrow is going to be insane. I'm giving myself a break from this until Monday. Will post four things then.
Goes along with the books...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This has a teeny tiny beam. I use a more powerful booklight now. Which goes along with needing reading glasses at night as of a few months ago. Which goes along with normal ageing. So I'm told. I don't like it. I am trying out a headlamp LED as a booklight, but find it's easier to direct it to the page if I wear it around my wrist. Go figure.
I should have filled this a couple of times before I ditched it
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A bit of a scramble today. Trying to get rid of rats. Set another trap. Filled in their tunnels going under the deck. Of course they will tunnel back out, but perhaps it will be a bit more inhospitable. The problem is we closed off the deck on the sides so the racoons couldn't fit under anymore. So the good news is no more racoons. The bad news is the rats have a safe, dry breeding ground once they make it under the deck. Sigh. I have lots of little shot glasses. Even though I hardly ever drink. Mostly I use them as tiny flower vases to hold a single flower. Nice in threes. This one has no matching partners. I haven't had much time to pick flowers this summer and now it's almost over anyway. (I used to take a photo every time we caught a rat. I gave up. It would have been a large album.)
Closed on Monday
Monday, September 21, 2009
I had a discussion with someone tonight about how hard it is to give up books. Someone who managed, not without difficulty, to winnow his collection from 3000 books to around 300 when he moved to a smaller place. That is one reason I hope I don't have to move for many years! For me, it's hard to give up books in general. But these in particular I have no problem getting rid of. I went to exchange them for something new today, but I forgot my favourite crime book store is closed on Monday. The Ian Rankin I couldn't finish — it's an early one, pre-Rebus I think. The Sharyn McCrumb was so lightweight it was pretty much transparent. The Stuart Woods (Dirt) was a fun read but I'm not going to re-read it. Daniel Kalla is from Vancouver, my old stomping ground, and I'd heard good things about him, so I picked up three books at a sale. I didn't get very far in this one. I will give the other two a try. Tami Hoag is interchangeable with dozens of other crime writers; a bathtub read. Random flowers are Clematis viticella 'Alba Luxurians' and a hydrangea.
Someone invented this
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Somebody somewhere has a birthday today. Want some candles? The candle holder plays Happy Birthday. Breaking umpteen copyright laws I'm sure. We don't really celebrate birthdays in our house. And even when a cake does appear, I forget about these candles and which junk drawer they've been living in. Random flower is crocosmia.
Skipper in a sailor suit was my fave
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I've added a new tag. Sentimental. I loved playing with Barbies when I was a girl. I think my first Barbie was a talking one — “Stacy and I are having a tea.” My brother pulled too hard and snapped her neck string on the first day, but my parents either bought me a new one right away or must have been able to exchange her, because I ended up with a talking doll that worked for years. We were on a family trip to California at the time; I remember watching the moon landing in the living room at my aunt and uncle's place. l still have a couple of dolls and a Skipper case somewhere, but this Barbie and Midge case came to me about 11 years ago from a friend who was moving and divesting herself of some things. I recently managed to sell it for $15 (the plastic lining on the inside was a bit ripped up and other plastic was cracked) and that money is going towards my SPCA donation fund for this year. My mom used to hand sew beautful clothes for my Barbie dolls. Those I still have. So much work for such teeny dresses. Thanks Mom!
Litter box cover
Thursday, September 17, 2009
In her later years, my dear cat Phoebe, who died in July, took to squatting on the edge of the litter box. This meant she ended up spraying pee outside the box. So I had to buy lids for the plastic pans (why do we call them boxes?) so at least the liquid could be contained and easily wiped off the inside of the covers. Thank goodness the remaining cats manage to confine their business to inside the box, meaning I have three covers not being used. Today someone was over helping me move stuff into the shed and asked if I was getting rid of any of the covers because they knew someone who wanted one. Just like that. One cover gone. I will probably post the others on craigslist. I babysat Lucy this afternoon. She looks angelic, but she can chew her diaper off in a couple seconds flat if she wants to. Stayed outside to keep her away from feline hostility and because it was a gorgeous end of summer day. I put things into the shed, Lucy watched. I sat in a chair and watched kids play in the street, Lucy sat by my feet. When Lucy's mom came to pick her up we humans went to a street market nearby. Lots of crafts, some produce, music, wine tasting — a lovely evening.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
More stuff from the old shed that I don't want taking up space in the new shed. This fixture came from our downstairs bathroom. We changed the lighting when we put in a new vanity, sink and mirrored cabinet eight years ago. If I haven't found a new place for it in eight years, I doubt I ever will. Random flower is corydalis, from springtime. The blue ones are my favourite. They are delicate, often don't make it through the winter. I will have to plant more next year.
Odds and sods
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
After eight and a half months I think I might have used that title before. Keep hoping I'll find the time to write a longer entry about stuff and how I came to have so much of it (for hardly any money) and why some things are so hard to get rid of. There really are people who don't form any attachment to their possessions and can divest themselves regularly of either excess items or things they simply don't like anymore. I suppose there are people who get rid of clothing when the seasons change and buy all new. I belong to a different tribe. The other day I was wearing a dress around the house that I sewed (with my great aunt's help) in 1982. It's indestructible and I can wear it to answer the door without any embarrassment. Work is always hectic and it's been a weird summer. I grab a few minutes at the end of the day to post a photo and write a few words. Tonight's offerings are a small silk photo frame and some gaudy cuff links. The frame was a promo item from a local Thai restaurant — I bought it at a yard sale for a quarter. I was going to remove the iridescent ovals from the cuff links (also from a yard sale) and use them in a mixed media collage. Yup. Another lifetime.
The drinks tonight are on someone else
Monday, September 14, 2009
So I won't be needing this corkscrew. It was backup anyway. I use a beautifully engineered German corkscrew for when I do drink wine, which is not very often. Tonight I am going to a gala reception celebrating the start of the symphony season and glasses of wine and champagne will be passed around on silver trays. There’s always cambozola cheese and crème brulée and pot au chocolat and olives and other cheeses and petit fours and it’s all yummy. Too bad the party doesn’t start until 10:30. I will be taking a cab home tonight.
Muggy summer day
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Ah, the last of my Far Side mugs. They were fun, but I have new favourites. My friend in New Hampshire recently sent me a lovely mug with famous authors on it, so between it and three or four others in rotation, I haven't used this one in ages. Not even for pens and pencils. Random bird is a Rufous Hummingbird. Mostly we get Anna’s, but once in awhile, a rufous will show up at the feeders. They are more solitary than the Anna’s, and prefer more territory than they get in the city.
Three in, three out, nets out
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I went to a garage sale at the Arthritis Centre this afternoon, just as they were packing up. Came home with three new books. So here are three going out. I have never read the story about the slave girl; it came from my mother. I remember enjoying Sweet Eyes at the time (1992), and I have at least one other copy of The Handmaid's Tale. The apple blossoms are from an earlier time. We are now eating the meagre harvest. Why do all three of the apple trees take a break the same year?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Not the best colour for me. The fabric is really nice on these, and the vest has mother of pearl buttons (made in Germany, good quality), but I don't wear them. The blazer is too long for me — I've been watching What Not to Wear. Broken applicance update: Phoned Sears today because we bought our dishwasher there. They can send a repairman on Sep 22. That's 11 days from now. Phoned someone else, the ad in the yellow pages said “same day service,” and they will be here tomorrow. Hope it's not a serious problem. The house call to give us an estimate for repair will be $65.
Have to get rid of a problem
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Just spent an hour trying to bail out the bottom of a dishwasher that isn't draining. All the tricks on the internet didn't work. There is no room to get a decent sized bailer into the space around the heating element. I ended up saturating a cloth over and over again and wringing it out. There is still some water, but that's all I can handle tonight. I think we'll be calling the repair person in the morning. Too tired to post about anything else.
Loved this colour
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
I take photos of everything that leaves the house now. Sometimes more than one thing leaves in a day, but I don't end up writing about it until later. I bought this salad set at a yard sale on the street where I live, about 6 years ago. It went to a friend, who said she was planning to give it to her daughter. I loved the colour, the packaging, the fact that LIFE magazine endorsed this salad set — it was neato. I would never have used it though, just would have kept it the way it was and looked at it occasionally. Now I can look at the photo whenever I want to remember it. Just as good as having the actual item in the cupboard. My parents have been visiting for a couple of days, so I haven't been out in the garden to take photos for random flower of the day.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The owner of my favourite bookstore, Chronicles of Crime, knows her stock and is always ready with a recommendation. I bought one James Lee Burke from her, and then before I read it, picked up another couple from yard sales. Turns out I just couldn't get into the first one (tried twice), so I decided not to even start on the other two. I'm sure they are worth a read, but I guess I'm not in the mood. There are 17 bookcases in the house (ok, some of them have computer manuals and cds and magazines in them) and a few hundred other books I haven't read yet, so I am not going to force myself to read these ones.
Monday, September 07, 2009
I only had this one black arcoroc bowl, not a set. Kept pennies and spare change in it. But there are three or four bowls/containers around the house with spare change in them. I consolidated. At some point I will have to roll up all the pennies and nickels and take them to the bank for some real money.
Flip the bird
Sunday, September 06, 2009
I used to work with someone who collects red birds. I was always on the lookout for them. I ended up with more of them than I had opportunities to give them to her. There are still a few leftovers. This one was acquired at a yard sale, and on closer inspection at home, I didn't think it was nice enough to pass on to her. Random flower shows the seed pods from Clematis tangutica.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
I updated to Snow Leopard yesterday morning. When I went to blog last night, my blogging software wouldn't open. I just didn't want to deal with it. And the version of Aperture I'm using doesn't work now either. I will have to upgrade that today. Snow Leopard was only $35, but the Aperture upgrade is $99. I would have upgraded eventually, but now I'm forced to do it if I want to handle my blog photos the way I want to. I just downloaded the new version of RapidWeaver and so far so good. This toolbox has found a new home. It is strong and heavy and was made by a family friend eons ago. It came to me when he passed away and I used it to store a few things, but even though I'm fairly strong, I don't want to strain my arms and shoulders. This thing weighs a ton even when it's empty. Here are a couple of photos of the new shed. We are still moving things in. (The roof peak behind the shed is the neighbour's garage.)
The shoes lasted longer
Thursday, September 03, 2009
I got married in these shoes. In 1988. To my first husband. They were very comfortable to stand in for a whole day. I clipped a white fabric flower on the top of each shoe to fancy it up for the wedding. I can still get them on, but they are too snug. Some sentimental value remains because they remind me of a wonderful time, but it is time to let go. The tomato with the extra appendage is from the garden and was part of my dinner tonight. Delicious. Fried me up some okra too. Wish I could grow that here.
Drawing the lino
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Continuing on the theme of renovations. When we moved into our house 11 years ago the previous owners left some extra lino for patching. We did end up using some of it a couple of years later — the problem was that the scraps had shrunk from not being glued down, and when we patched the floor after fixing up the kitchen it was (and still is) very obvious because the squares no longer lined up properly. Never redo a kitchen without redoing the floor! Patching lino sure didn’t work for us. Ah well, we’ve lived with it a long time and will probably continue to live with it for another year. But there’s no way I’m keeping these pieces of lino around any longer. Random animal is my friend’s dog Lucy in her new wheelchair. She just stands in it and glares most of the time, but there’s hope yet. (For my Mom who keeps asking how Lucy is doing.)
Four for nine
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I’ve made it through 8 months! As I look around at a house that is still very cluttered, I’m not worried about finding something for every day of the remaining four months. Today my neighbour’s nephew showed up with his mom to pick up some of his things from my neighbour’s basement. He’s setting up an apartment — I managed to give him an extra toaster (yard sale score for $2 but I replaced it with a better one from a yard sale, also $2) and a brown ceramic bowl that is quite lovely, but I’m at the stage where things I really like have to go too. His mom took the window and screens. The window was taken out from the house when we did renos 10 years ago. It was stored in the shed. The screens are also from renovations. They didn’t fit the new windows. We weren’t able to use this particular window in our new shed, and I don’t feel like storing it for another decade.