Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grammy's Giveaway

What a week! I've been emptying out closets, drawers and cabinets, piling the contents on tabletops and kitchen counters, sorting what to keep, what to donate, what to throw away. If I were doing this on a TV show, there'd be a "what to sell" pile, too, but I have neither the time nor the energy to hold a garage sale right now, and posting stuff on craigslist would involve strangers coming to my home. (Ooh! Scary!) One thing I do know: when the time comes for my daughter to move in with me, there'll be room for her. She's going through a similar process in her present home, sorting out what to bring with her and what to put into a rented storage unit for the time being.

Over the weekend I set up a private Facebook message for my kids and grandkids (promptly dubbed "Grammy's Giveaway" by my granddaughter) where I've been posting photos of anything I think might be of interest to one of them. The first one who claims an item gets it; what isn't claimed before my next trip to Goodwill will go there with me and never come back. It's been kind of fun.

Here's a list of the items posted so far:
  • Barstool, wrought iron with beige, microfiber seat. Bought about two years ago at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Seat is 29.5" high--a tad too tall for my use. 
  • Crosley record, radio, CD player, rarely used. It all works, but the quality is only about two degrees above a P.O.S.
  •  Big stack of 45 rpm singles, mostly from '70s and '80s. I loved them all but haven't played the records in years. Still listen to a lot of the songs on iTunes. Big stack of albums, mostly from the same era. Don't care for the music? I once saw one of the "Trading Spaces" decorators line an entire wall with records.
  • Resistance chair and Smooth Rider Exercise Cycle for Resistance Chair: I bought these a few years back when the arthritis in my knees was so bad I could barely walk. Didn't use it but about three times then and don't use it now. I still really like the idea of it, though--for someone with more self-discipline than I have.
  • Sharp Z-57 Compact Copier. Anybody need a small-office copier with a big footprint? Bought it so I could make legal-size copies; don't need to do that anymore. Old but still works fine and parts (toner cartridges and drum) are still available. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Bissell Spotlifter Powerbrush -- Kim gave this to me when she got a big floor model carpet steam cleaner, which I liked so much that I bought a big one just like it.
  • Large afghans made by either my mother or my grandmother (I've never been sure) have been stored in a drawer in zippered plastic bags for years. Specify which one(s) you want. MULTI-STRIPE: Lots and lots of different colors. RED, WHITE & BLUE: Red, white, blue very pale pink. (Do you think maybe she couldn't see very well?) LAVENDAR, GREEN & WHITE: This is the prettiest one, in my opinion. I like these colors together. FOUND A NEW HOME!

  • Games:  Backgammon, Pictionary, Password, Code Sudoku, Scruples, Scrabble, Outburst, Ouija Board.
  • Oreck XL hand-vac with shoulder strap, perfect for upholstery or auto vacuuming. Comes complete with four brushes, two extenders and a couple of extra bags. I got this as a bonus when I bought the big Oreck (after I saw it lift a bowling ball on TV), didn't really need this small one so used it only once or twice.
  • Audio cassette storage boxes: Two nice-looking stackable boxes that can be repurposed and used to store craft items, office supplies, nails and screws...I don't know...matchbox cars? Cassette boxes (and I can provide those if needed) can be inserted to partition the boxes into smaller spaces. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Task Force 12" Mitre Box with 14" Saw: I remember buying this--needed it urgently for some project--but I can't remember why I needed it and I haven't needed it again.
  • Pile o' Wires -- almost didn't even list this, but, as they say, one (wo)man's trash is another man's treasure. There are electrical wires (old-style extension cords with no ground), telephone wires, plus TV cable wires and a couple of computer cables.
  • Black-Widow Spider Halloween Costume -- Elastic on sides makes it one-size-fits-all. (Black pants, hoody, and "hand socks" NOT included.)
  • Strait-Line kit containing laser level, stud finder and sonic laser tape. These are nice tools, but I don't expect to do much more redecorating, and I'm content to hang pictures the old-fashioned way (or using simple techniques I've learned on Pinterest).
  • Three ring binders: 1" stiff back (salmon colored); three 1/2" flexible backs; pocket inserts; multiple sets of dividers. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Broken watches -- I'm thinking they might be used some way in a craft project, e.g., attached to a picture frame for newborn's first photo, with hands set to time of birth. Or worn all together as a fashion statement. My first thought was to place tiny portraits under the glass, but I don't know how you'd get the darn things open.
  • Hanging/folding makeup kit (plastic) -- never used. Also good for holding craft supplies, coupons, hair bows, scarves, belts, tights/hosiery, etc. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Five-quart plastic jug with spigot. Very narrow, takes up little space in refrigerator. Has a very, very slight leak. When I used it in my refrigerator, I kept a folded paper towel right under the spigot and that took care of it. Great to fill with Kool-Aid, etc., for use outdoors by small kids. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Beer or soda can dispensers -- plastic-coated wire. Three of them. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • "Bread Buddy" -- Used to use it, but I eat bread so infrequently that I now have to keep it in the freezer. Put loaf of bread in container, pull wrapper back over sides to slide bag toward opening, then snap lid over bag.
  • Vintage Premium Saltine Crackers Tin - from 1978, has a few very tiny dings, which is not bad when you consider it's been part of five major moves.
  • Carter's Onesie (size 3-6) months, plus matching hooded bath towel -- still has tags. I bought this for Keaton (who recently turned 10), but he outgrew them before I got around to packaging them to mail. Put them in the back of my closet, still in the plastic shopping bag, and forgot about them through Presley, Cohen, Henley, Owen and Olivia. They're perfectly fine--just not gift-worthy, because they'll need to be washed after all that time.
  • Christmas mugs -- good for hot chocolate or, when filled with candy canes and wrapped in a bow, a cheap spare gift. (That's how I got both of them.)
  • Ceramic Campbell's soup mug
  • Stackable food storage containers (incomplete set, but mostly there). Base sits on shelf, lazy susan part pulls out and turns so you can pick out what you need. Frankly, the idea of these is better than the reality of them, because the lids are hard to put on and take off. Hm. It just occurred to me that the containers could be discarded and the pull-out lazy susan might be handy for storing spices, canned goods, etc. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Tupperware ring mold for Jello OR shrimp (not Jello AND shrimp). FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Five-piece set of Mickey Mouse Chinese mini-pliers (my assumption only). Have no idea where or when I acquired these. The package has never been opened, though it appears that I did my best to try to get it open. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • Caulking gun and caulk, bought about a year ago because I need a line of caulk at the base of my bathtub. (Still do.) Apparently, I'm either too weak or too stupid to use this properly, so I gave up. FOUND A NEW HOME!
  • VuPoint 35mm slide & negative converter - Converts your old slides and negatives to digital images. This was a Christmas gift I requested and very much appreciated a few years ago; however, I switched from PC to Mac and it is no longer compatible with my equipment. The box says it's for Windows XP and Windows Vista, latest versions of Windows at the time I got it. Don't know if it's compatible with Windows 7 and 8, but if you have lots of old negatives, it might be worth checking it out.
  • Astrology Kit - Quoting the box: "Everything you need to cast horoscopes for yourself, your family & friends."
  • The Ken Brown Calligraphy Kit - Lots of fun, but watch out for that India ink.
  • Six brushed-stainless cabinet knobs, 1-1/2" diameter. Mount them several inches apart on a nice narrow board to hang ball caps, etc. Cabinet knobs would also be pretty if they were mounted on a pretty board in two (or three) rows, with small, framed photos hanging from the knobs by cords. Also, five stainless hinges. Any "outside-the-box" ideas for using these?
  • Double-switch wall plate, off-white antiqued with gold, fleur-de-lis at top and bottom.
That's where I stopped Sunday night, but there's more to be listed as soon as I clear a spot on the table for picture taking. 

I spent yesterday getting the "taken" items cleaned up and ready for delivery, including washing and drying every single one of those damned stackable food storage containers, then moved on to washing, drying and reorganizing the food storage containers I plan to keep, the ones that have been stacked so precariously in the cabinet that one false move can cause them to tumble out. Now I wish I could think of a crafty use for the umpteen extra lids I discovered.

I also discovered two more broken watches--the total is up to six now--so I'm now thinking I'll keep those and use them in a project like one of these someday. Besides, they don't take up very much space.

Yesterday I uncovered a box of more than a hundred 3.5" floppy disks, some of them (and I wasn't always sure which) containing confidential information of the kind I would shred if it were printed on paper. So, while I watched TV last night, I sat with that box next to me on the sofa and a plastic shopping bag in my lap. One by one, I put each diskette into the shopping bag (to catch any flying pieces), cracked it open like a nut, and removed the thin magnetic disk that stores the data. Every so often I'd stop and use scissors to cut a stack of those filmy magnetic disks into pieces. Now I feel comfortable in disposing of them, but I've learned that this kind of electronic refuse isn't safe to toss into trash that might end up in a landfill. The same applies to cassette tapes, videotapes, CDs of obsolete software and expired batteries, all of which I have plenty. Finding a disposal site will be another big undertaking. Oh, well.

I'm just now realizing that I already covered a lot of these topics in another post just six days ago, which tells me that the "thin magnetic disk that stores the data" in my brain isn't functioning as it should, possibly due to overload. That being the case, I'll stop writing for now and get back to the physical activity of purging and reorganizing to make room for Kim (FOUND A NEW HOME!).

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