A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I'm back from my folks'. Dad is doing better but still coughing. So far he's seen five doctors, all of whom focus on the lung damage from smoking (which he quit 42 years ago) but I would swear he has that virus I had - twice - starting MLK weekend and lasting almost six weeks (well, I got it twice in a row so maybe that's why it lasted so long.) Anyway, Dad seemed encouraged when I described my symptoms, which matched his, and told him it just took forever to get over the cough but I eventually did. He seemed interested in my depression issues, too, as this has really thrown him for a loop. He managed some good naps while I was there (sans coughing) so here's hoping he's on the mend.

Chiloe reminded me to take pictures of our craft weekend. Unfortunately, I got the reminder when I got back and did not take my camera with me. On Saturday I did no scrapbooking, having taken three plastic tote boxes full of stuff that needed sorting and organizing from the attic clean-out. Got that 95% done. Today I frogged the fairy face to do it over, but the light is so bad at Mom's that I just brought her home to finish. Instead I worked on my "Spring" quilt and almost finished the first hollyhock sash. I'll take a picture when I finish that one. In the meantime, here are some misc photos that were on the camera.

Don't want Chiloe to go to long without a picture to look at.

I tried to take a photo of the fairy. The color is a little closer to the final thing but still not there. The camera is making the pink too pink. Still, the fabric is almost exactly this color, so I'm getting closer.

"How I Spent My Spring Break"

We don't have a "real" attic, just a crawl space between the ceiling and the roof . Over the master bedroom and smaller bedroom there is enough room to store the flotsam of our marriage. Two things have prompted me to attempt to get that space cleaned out and sealed up. 1) We hope to be moving out in the next couple of years (or three) and 2) DS2 is moving back home - into this room where the access stairway is - next month. I suspect he will be there until we move out, so I want this attic project done before he moves in.

In addition to getting the attic space cleared out, DS2 wants to do some "sprucing up" in "his" room before he moves in. We also need to have an electrician in to repair the outlets in both bedrooms. So, the pressure is on me to finish this project. I have managed to move down about 25 years of the 30 years that is up there. I figure two more trips up (handing stuff down to DH) will finish up the clearing out. Some vacuuming and insulation replacement shouldn't take too long, then a wallboard installer to replace the sheetrock and we'll be good to go. This picture is of some of the stuff that has come down. Of course, then it all needs to be opened and decisions made whether to keep or pitch. Keepers need to be re-packed for storage and later move.

Most of the stuff is pretty easy to decide what to do with, but there is always the flotsam. Definitely not trash (well, there are two shrunken heads in this batch that are headed that way) but also don't "fit" any of the collections as they are packed up. This stack includes a silk scarf map of North Africa ca. 1955 and two beautiful Moroccan leather portfolios. Do we use them or frame them? Under the folios you can see the border of an old photo of a band. DH thinks this may have been the band for the Moody Tabernacle when his grandfather preached there but he isn't sure and doesn't know anyone in the picture. At best it's a piece of his family history; at worst one of my musician sons would love this framed for their home.

These six pieces of broken China (the lid is not even of the same pattern) were in a box labeled "Callan China." My grandmother was Lola Callan. Her father was a descendent of one of the first frontiersmen to hunt, then settle in, western Pennsylvania. A leader in town politics, her father had traveled to Johnstown, PA, for a short visit where he contracted typhoid fever and died, leaving his wife with four small children and a fifth on the way. His family 'allowed' his widow and their children to run one of the family businesses, the Callan House Hotel, to support themselves. The children had to quit school (Grandmother was in third grade). Some years later, Grandmother had married Granddaddy and they had two children of their own. During the Depression they lost their home and had to move onto Granddaddy's parent's farm with most of his brothers and sisters and their families. Grandmother had an especially hard time as the "outsider" in this group. By the time I knew her, Grandmother was determined to fill her house with NEW things, not those old reminders of hard times, so I was quite surprised to find this box among her effects after she died. I have no idea which Callan family these belonged to. Her father's or his mother's or ??? Still, I've wrapped them carefully in bubble wrap, added to the box a copy of the family genealogy and dutifully packed them in Grandmother's memory.

There's not a whole lot positive to say about this experience. I'm finding it surprisingly depressing counting up all the wonderful times in my life that are over and done and gone and thrown into the garbage (literally and, in some cases, metaphorically as well). It was particularly tough to trash the baby clothes that I had saved in hopes that my sons might use them for my grandchildren. You know all those stains that you THOUGHT you got out before you packed up this stuff? Just give it 25 years and watch those stains magically reappear and gross you out.

However, I can revel in how delightful it has been to pack (and pack and pack) the car for trips to the self-storage unit. Our orange trees are in bloom and the fragrance is heavenly!

I'll close with this shot from my last trip to Disneyland Resort (I was working an event at California Adventure). This is one of the new signs over the security post on the way into the park. Chiloe knows me well enough to understand why I HAD to have this picture. I'm hoping to get back to the park in a couple of weeks so that I can let that inner child have free reign once again.


Anonymous said...

Whoa! That is a heck of a job! I loved the china story. So neat to have little snippets of stories to pass down.

: ( That's me thinking of the baby clothes. Is there any way that you would cut them up to make a quilt out of the good pieces for the future grands? Go, run to the garbage before the garbage man comes and rescue them! Then I will be like this : )

Chiloe said...

Thanks for the pictures: will you believe I had NEVER seen a pic of orange tree flowers: they are beautiful !!! and I can only imagine the smell .:-)

Must be hard to throw away things. (I'm a pack rat ... ) YOu know 8 years after a child wore clothes, stains are already there ... (it's especially true with baby clothes , and the milk)

Missy got a great ideas for a quilt with those clothes.

You are so lucky to have so much details of your family history (less job for your kids if they want to know ;) )

That fairy face is such a pain ...

We're going to Disneyland Paris on april 26th !!! First time for everybody !!! Yeah !!!!!!!!! (let's keep our fingers crossed for a good weather .... )