Monday, February 12, 2018

MORE STUFF! 2/12/2018

Today ends the first 'round of items "Going, Going, Gone" on EBTH (Everything But the House). I'm choosing not to look at the final bidding frenzy, just don't want to know the outcome YET!

Here's a few pictures of the things being sold "next time around":

Majolica Dessert Set - Plates, Cake Stands bought from Jerry Smith, Ltd.

Majolica Cake Stands and Dessert Plates

Majolica Leaf Dish

Majolica Leaf Dish

Sunday, February 11, 2018

AUCTION! Everything but this and that!

It's finally time to blog on about why I've been "side-tracked".

Months have gone by with my main focus being on "stuff" - what to do with it all? Rooms filled with stuff, but organized "out of sight". Cupboards are filled to the brim - no more room for anything else. How did this happen? It happened by buying, by inheriting "other people's stuff" and by having many interests in many things: cooking, art, Meetups, family events and "history".

I think I've mentioned my Meetup group called "The Society of Too Much Stuff" which I created a few years ago to address this matter of "stuff", especially my stuff and how to progress beyond just living with it and constantly spending time and money on upkeep of it all.

Over the years I've donated many, many items to various charitable auctions, thrift stores, Freecycle and to people that come into my studio for classes or an art walk. I have had a FREE table outside my studio in the hall for years. Now the Essex Studios FREE table is near the vending machines.

"Indigo Hippo" is a non-profit art thrift store downtown on Main Street. I have been donating a lot to them, too. This week my donation box was filled with candles, a broken bracelet and a Chinese paper umbrella. I had in mind "at one time" to have a Chinese themed party (again - did it a few years ago and blew the electrical circuits when I had too many appliances - electric wok, etc. connected on the same circuit). I gave the bamboo table runners to "the Hippo". I gave them stacks of black napkins and some sparkly silver threaded ones, too.

I'm ready now for the "big time" game of getting rid of higher valued items and testing myself with the fact that these items might go for "peanuts". The main thing I'm considering is that the SPACE without the items is more valuable than having things I don't really want to care for or care about.

Everything But the House (EBTH) is now auctioning off items. The bids are low and I'm hoping for more people to bid and at least make it worth my time and effort. I'm following my "dashboard" to see what's being bid on. I'll know soon what has sold!

I packed up another "lot" to take to EBTH and am donating one of my own paintings for one of their charitable auctions. There I go again ... giving away my art (been doing it for years).

Next Saturday our "Society of Too Much Stuff" will meet again. I will have met my goal to "SELL, SELL, SELL"!
Crystal & Silver Ink Well

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Widder Lady: Swiming at 80!

Widder Lady: Swiming at 80!: Being 80 (which is only a number for God's sake) now means further fixating on disciplined choosing. Each morning offers another chance ...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Swiming at 80!

Being 80 (which is only a number for God's sake) now means further fixating on disciplined choosing. Each morning offers another chance to choose a few more hours of doing something that furthers "good health" or doing nothing at all, just nothing. However, choosing to do nothing is actually doing something isn't it?

I've mentioned my daily doings which I list and share each day with my Facebook "Homemakers' Encouragement" group. We start off with someone listing their "things done - item by item" and the next person follows with their completed tasks. In my list I include: swim 10 laps, did water exercises.

I do some morning arguing with myself deciding whether or not that I "feel like it" - feel like slipping into the cool and sometimes very chilly pool water. The water welcomes me. The flowers around the pool say "Hello, It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"
The Pool and The Cottage

There's a CD player on the cottage porch which I use to play music of Caribbean steel drums, classical guitar and/or boogie woogie piano. Music helps.

Looking at the huge trees on the horizon helps me count each lap. I like seeing he bright open sky (sometimes without clouds - just a swatch of cerulean blue) which may signal a clear day. Other days there are varied cloud formations which may be an indication of rain "later". Then, there are the times when it's fun to swim as big rain drops splash down and around me. (I choose not to swim when it's lightning, of course).

After I complete my morning swim routine, I am chilly unless I take a hot steamy shower. It takes hours to warm up, but the "whole routine" does wake me up and gives me "a better mind-set".

I label myself as a "swimmer" because it's been the exercise I have been doing for a lifetime. I'm a casual swimmer, not an athletic swimmer. I swim because I like swimming. I like water. Mama started us off by taking us to the local swimming pools in Glendale and Wyoming, Ohio. We had lessons at the YWCA on 9th Street in Cincinnati. I took swimming lessons at 4-H camp and at Ohio State University. I even had my Red Cross Life Guard certificate! So, I definitely am a swimmer!

Later in life I've enjoyed swimming at a local gym, in hotel pools, lakes (not Lake Tahoe, too cold) and the Caribbean waters. The challenge now is to "keep on swimming"!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Widder Lady: Sunday!

Widder Lady: Sunday!: It's Sunday morning! In the past, I "went to church". Church was meant to be a time to learn a lesson from the Bible. Church m...

Sunday, August 13, 2017


It's Sunday morning! In the past, I "went to church". Church was meant to be a time to learn a lesson from the Bible. Church meant seeing friends and neighbors dressed in their "Sunday Best". Church meant music and prayers. Church was when we reviewed our behavior and promised to "do better" to "do good" for another week.

My "religious" life has included several different denominations: Christian, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, plus a year of Catholic school and all the associated events at its associated church across the street. Zen and teachings of the Buddha inspire me, too. CD's of Yoga Chants are often calming. I like watching television church services, too. I'm not Catholic but I do watch Easter and Christmas Vatican celebrations. It's all so amazing to see so many different religions! I even watched a Russian Orthodox program - people stand throughout the entire ceremony.

Way back in the 40's at the beginning of WWII, we lived in a beautiful home on a sloping hill. I remember the sunlight pouring in the windows. I remember wearing long white socks that snapped on with garters and shiny black patent leather shoes. We went to church. When we came back our home was filled the wonderful warm smell of  beef pot roast. I remember lying on the floor and reading the funny paper. And, often the record player was playing big band songs that Mama would whistle to.
*Note: Found this "treasure" at Valley Thrift Shop. Serendipity! It's a square tile "etched" in black.

After "things went South" and a lot of "stuff" happened, we were in a rental two family in east Walnut Hills. That's when I went to Assumption school for the second grade. We attended a  Presbyterian church on Madison Road (now demolished for a condo development with only the steeple part left). Then, with Mama pregnant, we moved "out to the country" to a tenant farm house with the outhouse and a well for water.

Our church was Withamsville Baptist Church. It was primitive with its stove heat and outhouse, too. Lulu Hall played the piano and sang, too. I loved the old hymns and still do. My folks got an old push pedal organ where I played those hymns, too. I sang in the choir for awhile and taught Sunday School. Sometimes we would go to the Wednesday evening services, too. Eventually I was baptized Baptist. The "dunking pool" was at Linwood Baptist Church on Linwood Avenue. That church is still there. (Two doors down I purchased a home as an investment - to rent and eventually sell). I still have some memorabilia from that home - a picture of Christ knocking at a door.

After our Baptist days, Mama and Daddy joined a Presbyterian church. I married Harry H. Garrison at Westwood Methodist Church and then during that marriage attended Walnut Hills Methodist Church where I also taught Sunday School and became Methodist. (I think my church affiliation is still Methodist). After the divorce, I didn't attend church. After remarriage, I didn't attend church either. My spiritual development has become more attached to nature, to creating, to life itself. It evolves with each passing day. It arrives with energy, hope and acceptance.

Maybe it's just being "older" or maybe even being happy with "life as it happens" that puts my church-going days into perspective. I know and I know. I live and I live. And, with this knowing, I understand and accept that "all is well". That's my "church message" for today. Tomorrow a new page will be turned and new lessons will be revealed. In the meantime, it's Sunday everyday!

Monday, July 10, 2017


"Waste not, want not" is an admonition passed down for several centuries to "we people" who believe it is wise to conserve, to save, to protect "whatever".

Being frugal and/or thrifty is a mindset passed down through generations of our ancestors who knew the value of "making do" or "do without". Continuing with this embedded thought process, many people today are choosing a minimalist lifestyle. There are many books, blogs and Facebook and Meetup groups available to those of us who are making frugal and thrifty choices each day.

Reaching back into my own family history, it's evident that many of our ancestors practiced a "thrifty/frugal" lifestyle not because of "want" but because it was required and imposed upon them by two world wars and "The Great Depression", There are Great Depression cookbooks and plenty of recipes for SPAM!

My mother's parents "made do" and died in their 40's. Seven children were orphaned and split apart. The oldest daughter (Mama, now Angel Lois) became the surrogate mother to her younger siblings. Her sewing skills kept all of us (including three of her own children) well-dressed. She herself was always well-groomed and elegant in her own "designer " outfits. We were "poor" and often without funds. After the war our home was a tenant farmhouse without running water and an outhouse. We finally had running water, but never an indoor toilet at that home.

Our history of "second-hand" would mean that clothing would be passed down from person to person, family and friends, included. We would remake garments into something "new". I remade a winter coat from my Aunt Gretna as one of mt 4-H projects. My sister and I were wondering what happened to our beautiful  prom dresses and other incredible garments made by Mama. Conclusion: they were "recycled" down the family line or to next-door neighbors and friends.

Daddy worked at Cleveland Wrecking and Liquidators during our years at Potter Farm Lane (1945 to 1955). He was an inventor, too. He would bring home items that became furniture. Old army cots were used for our relatives' long summer visits. Daddy made beautiful furniture from piano lids, end tables and a dining room table, too. I still have one of his "door" and "pipe leg" tables at my art studio. It served as my desk for years. And, here in the cottage, I have a beautiful wooden office chair that came from one of Daddy's "recycle stuff" employers.

Mama, too, ran our local "Heart Mart" on Route 125 in Withamsville, Ohio. It was wonderful! I got a winter coat for 10 cents. I still have a crystal amber necklace from a button box! The green crystal one was stolen years ago and I've tried to find one like it for my entire lifetime. Thrift store shopping is an adventure and entertainment as well as SAVING by not buying retail!
Mama restored this buffet.

Our parents knew how to take something old and save it. Mama "rescued" an exquisite buffet from a porch. She restored it and found a marble top for it. I have it and enjoy knowing that Mama saved it from a trash heap.

As I take inventory of all the "stuff" around me, the stories (provenance) of these items are more important to me than the item itself. Each item has its own story even if it no longer has someone to pass the story down to another person. Walking along the aisles of a thrift shop makes me wonder about whose dishes were those? Who painted that picture? Who read this book?
Detail of Mama's restoration work.

Little by little items accumulate and eventually reach the point of "time to return and recycle to the universe".

It's an on-going process. Having my "Society of Too Much Stuff" Meetup Group has helped me know what to keep, what to pitch. And, remembering what Edgar Gibson says, "Keep only those things which have special meaning." I know that it's time to rethink such thinking.

Now what do I need? What do I want? Nothing more today!