I have abosolutely no idea why my font size is all over the place, but I'm going to roll with it.
Well - it was a very productive weekend, which was nice. Friday night I dragged my reluctant self up to the attic to get down the boxes for the Christmas decorations. I’d originally intended to do it on Thursday, but it was just too damn cold up there. Friday was a hair warmer, so I girded my loins and hauled everything down. Of course, once the boxes were down I got fidgety to start working on stuff, so I broke down everything that I thought Charlotte wouldn’t notice. I anticipated some distress if all the pretty Christmas things just disappeared.
We got up and out to Lenscrafters on Saturday because Bob wanted input on new frames. That didn’t take as long as we had anticipated – the first pair that the sales associate suggested ended up being the ones he picked. Because of the type of lenses he wears, they’re sent out for manufacture, so we didn’t need to wait around. I ran one errand since we were at the mall anyhow, and headed home in plenty of time for me to shovel the front walk. You see, I made a tactical error. We don’t use the front door, so I deferred clearing the front walk because of the way my shoulder has been hurting. On Friday we got the call to schedule the delivery of the new loveseat. The front door is the only door that furniture will fit through. See the difficulty?
It ended up being easier than I had feared. Once I settled on the correct shovel for the job, most of the walk cleared quickly – but it did reiterate to me that I need to stop fooling around and replace it with something less picturesque and more functional. The stairs are the biggest issue right now – there’s a half an inch of ice fused to the top step. I managed to break up about a third of it, but even the steel garden shovel just bounced off the rest. Clearly I should have at least cleared the stairs, even if I wasn’t down for doing the whole walk. I’m hoping that a few days above freezing now that I have the snow cleared off will melt it enough that I can clear the rest. If there’s still snow and such left come Saturday I’ll just ash the whole thing heavily and mop the floor after they’re gone.
I came inside to discover that Charlotte had kitted herself up to go play in the snow – she’d gotten her boots and snow pants on by herself, and was working on the coat. I helped her with the rest and sent her out with daddy while I caught my breath. She likes the snow this year.
Once Charlotte came inside, we dove into the un-decorating. I got her psyched up to help me, and that seems to have taken care of any regrets about taking the tree down. I set her up with the containers for the shatter-proof ornaments and a bag for the hooks, and she did a startlingly good job. Meanwhile I worked on the glass balls on the top two thirds of the tree. It went fairly quickly – I found that by laying out all the empty ornament boxes at once, clearing quadrants, and looking for the box instead of picking up a box and looking for the ornaments, it went a lot faster. I didn’t lose any of the small ones deep inside the tree this year. Once the tree was done Charlotte went down for a nap. Or to put it another way, she folded like a cheap lawn chair. After a couple of hours, it was apparent that she was NOT going to get up voluntarily, so I moved ahead with packing up the rest of the décor and hauling the boxes up to stage for the attic. When she finally did wake up, we put the tree outside and packed up the couple of things in her room together. Vacuumed up the needles, put the furniture back, looked around, and declared my work to be Good. After Charlotte went to bed, I hauled it all back up into the attic. I’m usually a little sad to put the decorations away, but this year I was ready to have my house back. Maybe because I’m so excited about the new furniture.
Which reminds me that I need to figure out what to do with the *old* furniture – GoodWill or bulk pickup.
I had a plan for Sunday, but my enthusiasm for it was low, so I got a late start. Nonetheless, I hauled myself upstairs and dug into the mess in our bedroom. I figured that was the next space to purge and organize. Bob had gone out on Saturday and gotten a length of pipe to replace the rod in his closet. The one that’s in there right now is more parenthetical than straight, and it has nothing more controversial on it then a fairly reasonable assortment of dress shirts and dress slacks. The problem is that it spans over sixty five inches, and that’s more than the rod will handle under load without bowing. My closet, on the other hand, has a steel pipe for a rod, and it’s not going anywhere. My closet rod is also quite a bit higher, thereby increasing the useable space underneath the clothes. The idea is that we will redo his closet like mine, thereby both making his neater and more efficient. I mention this because my first goal in the bedroom cleaning project was to clear away the small drift of my stuff that was in front of his closet, thereby improving access for that endeavor. That strategy didn’t survive contact with the enemy for long at all. After the third thing came to hand that needed to go *somewhere* in MY closet, I realized that I needed to deal with that clutter first, and I ended up entirely cleaning it out. Not my initial intention, but it worked. We have very scant closet space (and *I’m* not just heaping things on the floor,) so it wasn’t too terrible. Nonetheless, I managed to fill two bags for GoodWill, and generate an entire load of laundry of things that I’d forgotten were in there. Once that was put to rights, it made dealing with the rest of my mess easier. The small dresser top was mostly just dusting, although when I got over to the bookcase by my side of the bed, I ended up going through all the drawers in that dresser looking for more room. That turned into another exercise in throwing stuff out. I think that’s why it took so long – instead of just clearing off the clutter, I ended up going through shelves and drawers and such, and got rid of enough crap to stuff a trash bag and fill three bags for GoodWill. Heck – I went through my jewelry box and purged THAT! I even got the hanging candle holder that has been sitting on top of the TV for three years hung.
Mind you – the bedroom is far from done. Bob still has his closet and all of HIS piles to deal with, but my stuff is purged and out of the way. I didn’t go through all of my clothes, but I’ve been fairly good about that in an ongoing fashion, so it’s not too bad. Come spring, I’d love it if some of those clothes fit again. It’s possible…
I’m hopeful that once Bob has cleaned up his mess, I can ask me dad to come over and show me how to take outlets *off* the switch. It would be helpful if we could plug in bed side lights and alarm clocks without having to run extension cords across the bathroom and closet doorways, and instead use the outlet behind the head of the bed. Then once that is done, I might contemplate painting an actual color in the bedroom. First things first, though. Closet cleaning.
While I was doing all of that, Bob was putting up the bow rack in the cellar stairs. I’d suggested that he could do HIS piles in the bedroom, or if he couldn’t locate the pipe it would also be good if he got the bow rack up. He got pipe, but declined to work on his mess. It’s probably just as well, because we likely would have been tripping over each other. So three of the bows are now in the basement stairwell, and won’t be hanging around my dining room all summer. That’s good. I need to figure out how to store the other eight. I’m thinking rafters in the basement… Then he decided to install the new thermostat. My first impulse is to say “anything to avoid dealing with his closet,” but I had pitched the idea that once the thermostat was in, I could set it to kick the heat up for an hour and a half while we’re getting dressed in the morning, and I suspect he was charmed by the idea of not having to get up to an icy cold bedroom – and I can respect that. So the good news is that the new programmable is in, and appears to be working. I’m sure that I’ll be adjusting the programming, but so far so good.
After all of my clutter was dealt with, I decided to attack the upstairs hall. Most of the visual clutter was outgrown clothes of Charlotte’s I had set aside for a co-worker, and stuff for donation that I had pulled out of the closet, so while he worked on the wiring I clipped out name tags, bagged it all up, and entered the donation stuff into Intuit for next year’s taxes. (I clearly need to get over to GoodWill next weekend before that pile takes over a room.) But that allowed me to get the top of the cedar chest entirely cleared off for the first time in ages. Mind you, some of it just went straight to the floor, but I’m encouraged that the pile of things needing to be dealt with is getting steadily smaller. I’ve decided that I’m going to get our stuff pared down to fit in the house we live in if it kills me.
The other thing that I need to do is pin mom down the next time that she’s over to get the proper provenance of the family pieces and *write them down.* The porcelain lamp on the cedar chest for example – I *think* someone told me that a great-grandmother brought it from Germany. But which one? Things like that.
I also did four loads of laundry.
Not bad, eh?