I like your shirt & I like this.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Detour Alert ~ C & C

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A previous post mentioned my Englebreit 'Snap Out Of It’ Collection. I said most of those things were gone but that comment started me thinking as to where they all went. Since I never throw things out, they’re still here- somewhere in all the Clutter & Crap. The mug is in a hard-to-reach short cabinet above the fridge- with all the other crap mugs I’ve collected over the years. I haven't opened that cabinet in well over a year. The doll is probably crammed onto a top shelf in a closet somewhere. The journals- used and unused- are in a closet drawer with a half dozen other untouched journals I might need some day. The old calendars- marked with dates/memories are in a another drawer. Why? Because I might need them some day. What in the name of Hoarders Anonymous am I thinking?

I decided to take some Clutter & Crap photos so I grabbed the camera –(from the insulated Seattle Caviar carrying case which I’ve had since 1996- I knew I’d need it some day.) and started aiming around my container laden office and- I swear this is true- and I am far more astonished than you are- as I focused on the two huge baskets on top of my bookcase- there she was- the 'Snap Out Of It' doll - sitting on top of a bookcase not six feet from me.

I swear to you I had no idea it was there. I spend 8-10 hours in this room every day and I had no idea it was there. That scared me and started me thinking about releasing myself from the burden of all this stuff...stuff I don't love.... stuff I don't need... stuff I forgot I have.

There's undoubtedly more surprising finds in store for me. I am a container freak. Visible Clutter & Crap makes me crazy so my C & C is housed in tins, boxes, baskets, totes, bins & drawers and it looks al-l-l-l-l organized but- it’s still C & C. I have stuff to put my stuff in. 

I stuff my stuff inside other stuff.

and  into overstuffed drawers.

and then I stuff the overstuffed containers into overstuffed closets.

It's amazing how much stuff one can stuff over the years. No-- what's really amazing is the sheer number of containers just in these pictures. Just in one part of one room.

What's IN the drawers and bins and baskets and boxes and tins and totes???  That's a whole other blog.

Yes, I am purging but I think I will keep the doll...maybe move her over here to my desk to remind me to pay attention...and remember.

to be continued.....


Wrinkles aren't necessarily a bad thing...

Monday, August 23, 2010

...as long as they're on someone else- or someone else's dog. The weather prediction for Market in Everett on Sunday was 30% chance of precipitation. Ha! Soggy socks and four rain-soaked bags of treats later, the sun came out and it was a pleasant enough day.  Sales were good, but this guy, OTIS really spread the sunshine and smiles. Every time I heard my squishy,soggy socks, I thought of this face and I ended up smiling all afternoon.

OTIS actually has three names but I was so busy snapping picture after picture, I have to admit I can't remember what the owner said.

Thanks so much, Otis! I'll be smiling all week.


Occasional Detours Ahead

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My blog is taking different directions for a while. I'll be posting about Blue Collar & fun at the Markets but there will be some very personal posts once in a while. This might be the time for you to seek the door with the lighted, red EXIT sign.  or go out for some popcorn for a couple of weeks. I need to purge and I need to write about it. Not for you, but for me. The Muse is upon me and I think I’m channeling Erma Bombeck. Don't I wish. It may end up sounding more like Stephen King meets Sigmund Freud. Frightening and disturbing.

The problem with climbing out of my occasional bouts of ennui is that I usually go to the other extreme- giddy with dozens of ideas for projects I want (or need) to do. Manic? Maybe, but I choose not to go there.. This time it's different. I need a major change. The wheels are turning and I'm not moving. I’ve come to to the realization that I must do something about all the stuff in this house. I’m overwhelmed. It’s stifling. Neither Neicy, from ‘Clean House' or the crew from ‘Hoarders’ have knocked on the door yet but…..it’s time for some changes before they do.

A former daughter-in-law once commented that when I died, she’d simply hang a sign

on my front door and let people think it was a gift shop. It would be sold out in no time. Incidentally, that comment has no bearing on the fact that she eventually became a FORMER daughter-in law. I still like her a lot.) She was teasing me and while I was amused at her comment, I knew it really was true. I was a stuffaholic. Stuff was my drug of choice.

When Pat was fishing in Alaska, the money was very, very good and I learned very, very quickly from the other fishermen's wives about retail therapy. We stayed home and ran the house for three to five months at a time with no husbands around to deal with problem plumbing or flat tires. We helped each other. We did lunch. and we Shopped. 

We even had a mantra.

 I want it. I need it. I deserve it. 

 I bought stuff. Stuff for the house. I decorated. I painted and wallpapered and accessorized. The house was stuffed with stuff. It still is. The same stuff and more. Those days are gone and the stuff has got to go.

The woman I was then is not who I am now.

My life has turned upside down since Pat died in 2007. So many changes. Every minute of my life is totally different from the way we were. Forty-two years of us funneled down to me – alone. What have I learned? What do I know for sure?  One thing: You can cherish the past but you can’t live there. Moving On. I won’t purge the memories. Must I get rid of that lovely big menu from that wonderful dinner at Thirteen Coins? It’s mounted on my wall. I smile when I see it. Do I need to see it to remember how I felt when he asked the waiter for it - as a memento for me? I’m not sure. I just know I can’t keep living in a house so filled with stuff.
I do know thisis not the answer.
Oh, I've tried to purge before but never very successfully. I always found more reasons not to get rid of the stuff. Sentimental, economical- always some excuse for putting stuff in a detail labelled tote and putting it in the garage. This time I want to analyze WHY I've needed to keep all this stuff and what mind-set I have to acheive to be able to let go of  it. It's become a burden and I'm sinking under it's weight.

To be sure, I am NOT wiping Pat and those 42 years from my life. I have a house full of THINGS that I don't (and probably never did) need but I seem can't get rid of them. I paid good money for them. It wold be a waste. So many excuses, so many things, so little room left.

I'm going on a journey. It will take time and planning. I found a good road map.  The Wastefulness of Decluttering; or How to Make Less Count for More. Leo Babauta's article begins with  this quote:

It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.’ ~Bertrand Russell

 and ends with this one

‘Don’t water your weeds.’ ~Harvey MacKay

with lots of good advice in between the two. It's short, sweet and well worth reading, if you're interested.
<---------------- Zen Habits is where I stumbled across it.

to be continued...


Snap out of it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My dear friend, Kat, reminded me of something from the past that I'd forgotten.
The chick in this Mary Englebreit (illustrator-extraordinaire) print used to be my personal icon-my words to live by... my mission statement.

I had this little gal all over my office. prints. coffee mugs. doll. journals. boxes. cards. calendars. People gifted me and I bought everything I could find.

She was me.
I was her.

For whatever reasons things got moved or stored or used or worn out
and all I have left is:

My point is NO wonder I had ennui. I forgot to Snap Out Of It.
Thanks, Kat, for the heads up. I snapped out of it. I'm back.

By the way, I'm no longer Ms Englebreit's biggest fan. Lovely work, she does indeed, but no longer my cuppa latte. I'm sure I've been replaced with lots of folks with lots more disposable income. Having given her loads of money over the years, I consider it an amicable parting. Sure- she'll miss me but, she'll get over it.
After all, she says Life's a Chair of Bowlies.

Oh yes.
I'm back.


I am suffering from ennui

Thursday, August 5, 2010

en·nui ~ Fr. [ahn-nwee]  – noun. definition: a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest, inspiration or satisfaction; boredom.
Synonyms: listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor, beverly

If you google the word "ennui" you might see my picture. This week I have No drive. No inspiration. No desire to do anything although there's SO much needing to be done AND worse yet, I have the time to do it.
I just....can't.  It's not depression it's "there's nothing I want to do, nowhere I want to go."
I think it's ok to wallow in this for another day or two then I'll have to find the spark. Today I'm content to listen to my audiobook, raiding the fridge every hour and taking naps in between.

Like all my New Year's resolutions, this too shall pass.
I shall return.
Boredom is sooooo boring.