Thursday, August 18, 2011

Whipping through my to-do list

My upcoming VACation has turned out to be a source not only of ANTICIPation, but also of INSPIRation and MOTIVation. Usually I'm mired in PROCRASTINation, but lately I've been moving as if my hind end were on fire. Maybe it's just that the excitement won't let me sit still.

Whatever the source of this unexpected burst of energy, I've been getting so many things done that I'm feeling rather pleased about it. I started out by cleaning out closets, drawers, and bookcases, and last week I hauled ten bags of clothes, 21 boxes of books, including the ones below, and a whole bunch of other stuff to Goodwill. It took two trips, my car packed tightly on both of them.

Among other stuff there was a three-piece set of luggage, two briefcases, sheets, dishes, a large framed picture, a set of canisters, some vases, a small, porcelain-headed clown, and a dozen cute little jars I bought sometime before 1997 and never did use.


Once all that stuff was out of my way, I was able to clean corners I hadn't seen for a while. In the midst of the cleaning my old, trusty vacuum cleaner broke. It still worked fine for bare floors, but a little piece of plastic broke off the box where the carpet attachment plugs in, and the plug kept falling out. I considered the aggravation of continuing to use it as it was, the cost of buying replacement parts, and the cost of a new vacuum cleaner. After a little online research helped me pick out a new vacuum, one that happened to be on sale at the time, I called my daughter Kelli and asked her if she wanted to go shopping with me.

We went to the mall, where the department store had one vacuum cleaner left in the model I wanted, and we had to wait for about 45 minutes until the lone salesclerk was available to help us. I might not have been so willing to wait except that the sale price was $80 off the regular price and I had good company while I waited. When the clerk finally rang up the sale, we were surprised when the cash register displayed a message: "This purchase qualifies for a free gift card." I whispered to Kelli that I didn't want to wait another half hour for five or ten dollars, and right after that the clerk finished entering the sale information on her gift-card screen and another message popped up stating that the value of the gift card was $75. The clerk was as shocked as we were and had to check with her manager to verify that this sweet deal wasn't too good to be true. 

I now think of my new cleaning appliance as my "lucky vacuum."


My spare bedroom is generally neglected because it's so seldom used, but having had boxes of Goodwill stuff piled in there, it was time to give it a good cleaning. I washed all the bedding from the mattress pad out. Sadly, that was one too many washings for the quilt I use as a bedspread, and many of the little quilt pieces came partially unstitched. The easiest thing to do would have been to get a new bedspread, but I like this quilt and wanted to keep it because a couple of years ago I found two framed pictures that match the quilt beautifully. So, I've spent the last two evenings on the sofa, needle and thread in  hand and the quilt spread across my lap, mending and stitching each loose piece I found. Never mind that I never actually got around to hanging those pictures on the wall; I'll do it now for sure.


Speaking of sewing, I used to do a lot of it. When my girls were little I made nearly all of their clothes and quite a few of my own. In recent years I got away from sewing, but when I redecorated my living room, it was my intention to make the window treatments myself. I had no deadline for doing that, but I bought the fabric, and sometime later, when  a sewing machine I liked went on sale, I decided to upgrade. Kim happened to be going into Baton Rouge that day, so I asked her to pick it up for me. She did. She brought it to me, I took it out of the box and looked it over, then put it back on a closet shelf to wait until I was ready to get out the manual and learn to use it. I mentioned to someone the other day that I had a "brand-new" sewing machine that was "about three years old" and had never been used.

Well, in the meantime, the bedskirt on my own bed died because of too many dog toenails latching onto the crocheted lace, so I've been keeping my eye out for a new bedskirt. I needed an ecru color, and you'd be surprised how many shades of ecru exist. Finally, I found one that was just the right color, but it had pleats on the corners and I needed the corners to be split. I thought about it and decided I could do that myself on my new sewing machine. So, a couple of days ago I did. The bedskirt turned out great, and the sewing machine couldn't have been any easier to use.

The sewing machine is still out on the table in my den. Yesterday I altered a too-large pair of pants, and they turned out well enough that I plan to do two more pairs (making them fit and turning them into capris) in the next couple of days.

Coincidentally, the receipt for the sewing machine was in the packet with the manual, and the date on the receipt was 12/15/04. Time really does fly.


I've had to cut out daytime television in order to accomplish all this busyness, but I've still managed to get a little reading done. And I'm still on the Appalachian kick, working my way through Vicki Lane's Tales of Appalachia. I'm trying to pace myself so I'll have the last book to read while I'm traveling, but they're entertaining enough that I may not be able to wait.


On May 31, 2007, I wrote about misplacing (or losing) a handful of my favorite photos:

"LOST: A handful of old photos I've been trying to find for almost two years. They're some of my favorites, ones that I've pulled out and scanned to make copies for others. Unfortunately, those scans were on my last computer, the one that died, so I don't have backup copies. I usually keep my photos filed by decade, and I'd pulled some of the best ones from each file and put them all together in a folder so I could keep track of which ones I'd copied. I'm still hoping they'll turn up, but after searching for them for so long, I've run out of places to look. So far I've insisted on thinking of them as "misplaced." Now I'm beginning to move out of denial and consider the possibility that they might be lost for good. It breaks my heart."
Well, last week I found them. They were in a plastic bag in a box that I thought contained nothing but old printouts of genealogy information entered into my database long ago. I was about to throw out the whole box, then decided to flip through the pages one last time. I'm so glad I did. One of those lost pictures was this one of my little sister:

You can tell she was a fun person even then.

I was also missing some (less important) pictures I knew I'd taken on our trip to Eureka Springs 15 years ago. Those turned up, too, neatly organized in an album. Who would ever have thought to look there?


For ten days of this recent cleaning spree, I was puppy-sitting for Lucy and Oliver, Kim's dogs, while she was on vacation in Sturgis, South Dakota. Butch pretty much found himself a quiet corner and stayed out of the way, but Lucy, Oliver and Levi stayed right with me and supervised every task. The work might have been less challenging without them, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.


  1. Wow! You've quite inspired me! With the Taurus moon coming up, I've had urges to go through my closets, as well. You managed to give those books away...and I've told myself I can do that too!

    By the way, I love those little glass containers...I can see why you bought those. They'd be perfect for the jams I'm making right now, heh!

    Glad Levi got to help, along with his friends! Enjoy your holiday...xx

  2. I love it when Spot investigates what I'm doing and wants to sniff things.

    Now I know why you haven't posted here lately! You're making me take a hard look at the mess on my desk.

  3. Woman you have been busy! Glad you had good company supervising you! Wouldn't want you doing anything wrong, you know. Love that quilt! You just don't find good, hand-made quilts much anymore. I'm glad you could fix it and keep it around for many years to come.

  4. Wow! Inspiring! It feels so good to get rid of stuff!!!

    And I love that you have so many qualified snoopervisors to oversee your tasks!

  5. boy, you have been busy. I am glad you are going to Tenn.
    We went one year, daughter and me. She went to see Elvis's grave and home then we went to Ky. which I wanted to see. I didn't want to see Elvis's grave.


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