Friday, August 17, 2012

Whilst the Owl is away the Pussycat shall play

        The Mighty Manimal is away for a week, and  we have been busy,busy, busy here in the forest valley. By busy I mean sorting through the loft and packing up boxes and boxes to be taken to Goodwill. By 'we' I mean me. The dogs and cat have been laying about as usual. Supervising, they call it, but they're supervising from the front porch while I slog away upstairs, so they're not supervising too closely are they?
     I worked on packing things on my last days off, and a bit after work during the week.  I also brought more boxes home from work to further the project, which looks like it will be ongoing for awhile.
Doesn't the truck look pretty half loaded with useful things that  are of no use to me personally?
      Today is my day off again.  This is the last week before school starts, and I will be switched from my summer job of 40 hours a week to my "real" job, which is weekend shift plus one day which equals only 24 hours a week  It will be less money, but also less gas to get to work and more time at home which I intend to invest in continuing to declutter my part of the home.
     Be The Change you want to see in the world, right?    
     I spent this splendid Friday morning hauling boxes out and loading the truck, and when it was full I drove it to the Goodwill in Martinsville.  Although I seldom listen to the radio as I drive (I prefer the noise in my head) I switched it on as I started up the road and the song playing was Dust In The Wind, which seemed quite suited to the occasion.

We live halfway between two towns, so halfway between two Goodwills, but gasoline in M'ville is several cents a gallon cheaper than elsewhere, so I went there and filled up the tank and got groceries all in one trip. The difference in price on a full tank of gas more than pays for the drive there and back.

    The Goodwill unloading guys complimented me on how I had everything boxed up neatly, and in categories even! Well of course I did.  I'm a tidy person, it was organized in the closets and drawers and cupboards...I just transferred it to boxes. 
     After Goodwill I stopped by Traderbakers, my favorite flea market, to wander around happily, marveling at the enormous amount of useless junk there is in  the world. Naturally I didn't buy anything. I felt positively giddy with virtue (ok, imagined virtue).
     Then I got groceries and came home to my happy doggies (It was not just trooooo love, I also brought them biscuits). There was a message from Manimal, saying he's going to a Parisian Flea Market tomorrow morning. He's eager to see what french junque is like. Haha. I messaged him back requesting that he Please NOT buy me anything! I do not recall that I mentioned what I'm doing with my free time this week....
      After lunch and a nice phone chat with Smallest Child, who called from New Orleans, I realized I still had several hours left before Goodwill closes, so I scampered up the stairs, slung a great many more things into boxes, and hauled them down to the truck. In the process of hauling, and casting my eye about (there's a pretty image) for other things that could be hauled away, I realized that with eleven boxes fewer books in my life I don't need two bookcases, so as I adore the big one (and the men who gave it to us when I was a teenager) I hauled the skinnier white painted one to the truck. (Quickly before I could think of anything else to put where the books had been!) I figured out I don't need a sewing machine cabinet with no sewing machine in it, or that cleverly designed wheeled wicker file folder organizer now that I have a big desk with file drawers. Or some baskets that were storing junk in a posh looking way, now that I've got rid of the junk. Or three drawers full of  video tapes, or a box full of music cassettes from my dear departed mama. Or my huge wheeled book bag now that I'm a college drop-out. I haul hay, straw, manure and vegetables these days, and use a wheelbarrow.
       The second trip to Goodwill was even more fun than the first. I truly love decluttering. As I drove I made up a song for the occasion all about how happy I am to put useful things back into the world, and how I don't want to have to take care of anything I don't care about, and how I like having space for the good things to breathe, and a bit about the joy of saying Goodby to things that were once a good buy.  It was a verrrrry happy and spritely little song. It may or may not have had the words 'useless crap' in it somewhere, I can't quite remember.  As songs go I'd say it was right up there with Ballerina Corner and The Cricket In The Lamp, and was quite a bit better than Little Elvis.
       Then I came home. Happy. I went up to the loft (which it is too dark now to photograph) and gazed benevolently at the empty spaces where boxes and overloaded shelves used to be. I came downstairs and studied the big homemade calendar that covers half the fridge door and realized that The Manimal will be home in two days, which gives me two evenings  after work to tidy up and do laundry so he doesn't come home to something resembling a bomb site.
    I also realized he will be going away on business again in a month. That gives me four weeks to collect some more boxes, sort some more corners of the loft, and discover all the other things I can happily live without. I'm hoping to get to tghe back of the second closet on the next go-round. I got one side of it done today, but there's a lot more in there, most of it mysterious and as I haven't needed it in 4 years I imagine it can mostly GO.

      I promised Ember to get pics of me in the dresses that made it through the closet sorting.  I've no one here to take a picture, will persuade The Manimal be photographer when he returns. Meantime here's a very bad picture of me in his bathroom mirror this morning (before I hauled boxes and got the whole front of my dress filthy ,which is what I get for deciding it was too hot to wear an apron.)

On the one hand it is true I didn't hold the camera very still, but even if I had, I AM kind of fuzzy looking. This is my "I don't need to see anything" look. There's also a variation that involves wire rimmed glasses.  Modern peasant, that's what. I tend to be at the outer extreme of low maintenance. The Manimal likes this just fine, which is fortunate as it's unlikely to change. I don't fancy becoming fancy to please anyone.

    Between sickeningly hot weather and a ghastly flea infestation that required smelly sprays the dogs, cat and I have more or less taken up residence on the front porch the past ten days or so. Not something we could do in town where people are expected to sleep in bedrooms and eat in kitchens or diningrooms and bathe in a bathroom.
      It's been quite fun, really. The necessity to sleep out there honestly lasted just two nights, the rest of it has been simply because we're enjoying it. Especially during thunderstorms.

Here's Daniel lounging on the summer bed (aka the futon mattress from the livingroom)

Also of note, and also related to the flea infestation, Daniel has gotten all his dreadlocks cut off. He hates haircuts, which is why he had dreadlocks.  He WILL BITE if you wave scissors about in his vicinity. His only GOOD haircut in 12 years was the summer Smallest Child and her Sweetheart (now her handsome husband) visited and gave him a playful and cuddly (and sneaky) haircut on a blanket on the front lawn.  It took an hour, but was amazingly peaceful.  They have serious skilz.
        Not having an extra pair of hands or any charming helpers I muzzled the poor lad with a  thick strip of plastic shopping bag (soft and drool proof) Then I sat on the bed with him, holding him down gently with one leg across his body. Then I chatted to him and sang songs to him.  He started out not liking it, squirmed like crazy and vocalized his complaints (echoing through the forest valley). Eventually he got tired of wrestling with me and fell asleep, and I had to wake him to turn him over and do the other side. Fairly peaceful. His second best haircut behavior-wise. AS far as appearances go, his haircuts are always ghastly looking. He's half Miniature Schnauzer and half Toy Poodle, bad hair is just part of the whole package deal.



Here's Sir Daniel sleeping peacefully the morning before the scissoring. Longest dreads he's ever had.  Without them of course, he looks like a small grayish rat.  Still, he's my bestest pal ever.

No longer dread-ful.

That's about it for news at the moment. For those in the family who are sentimental, bid a fond adeiu to this. I once spent a couple of weeks working on this paint job because the idea of a plain old brown magazine rack was just appalling to me.  Turns out we are not the kind of family to keep our magazines in a rack anyway, and those spindles are foul dust catchers.

More When it happens!



  1. Yet more happy stories! Swoon! Your loft will be spacious and luxurious someday soonish.

    If only I'd heard your happy, spritely little song.

    Danny looks 175% better now.

  2. You are probably lucky to have missed the song, there are REASONS I'm not a renowned songwriter. (three of the foremost being tune, lyrics and subject matter)

  3. Oh I love that dress! You look so pretty in it :0)

  4. Thank you! It looks almost exactly like every other dress I own. It is my way of dressing that caused a professor friend to dub me "a counter-culture person". I hadn't thought much about it, but I suppose he's right.

  5. I Like the pick up it looks very useful, i just hope it has a tools for maintenance.


If you disagree with me try to keep it clean, or I'll wash your mouth out with homemade soap.