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Be You – (and try not to hoard)

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For your consideration today, a couple of doodled Little Peeps cards… I’m trying to pack everything up in my house and, unfortunately, that includes all my craft stuff.  So, doodling is about the best I can do right now.  Otherwise, I will do like I’ve done in the past and have stuff EVERYWHERE and try to create things in the midst of boxes, packing tape and general chaos.  Like the year I made a whole bunch of Christmas cards, despite the fact we were moving in a few days time and I was supposed to be tidying up, not making more mess.

As I pack up my stuff and decide on which pieces I should cull before I move (SO hard – you know I can’t get rid of stuff, right?), it occurs to me perhaps now is the time to develop some sort of decorating identity based on what I actually like, and what speaks to my nesting soul.  I am going to try and keep only what really resonates with me and not what I think I SHOULD keep, for whatever bizarre reason.  But this new plan has some fatal flaws.

For instance.  I have an ugly, stained-glass rooster lamp.  My cousin gave it to me when I moved in to this place, my first rental by myself.  It’s ugly, the lamp.  And slightly demonic-looking when lit up.  But I keep it because I love my cousin and she bought it for me because she thought it was quirky and different.  Like me, she said.  How can I get rid of it, knowing she bought it because she was supporting me in my individuality and going completely against her own decorating taste which would, in all honesty, have burnt the rooster lamp as some sort of effigy to the design-deprived?

I have ornaments that sit in boxes because they don’t really appeal to me, but the person who gave them to me does.  Getting rid of them would be like telling the person I no longer have a need for them.

I have teddy bears given to me when I was ill in hospital.  I’m 42 years old and I don’t need teddy bears, don’t particularly even want them, but there they sit, in my lounge room, on their own chair.  Because someone gave them to me.  Out of love and a desire to bring me some comfort when I was at my lowest.  I feel like I should keep them just because of what they represent.  Even if I really don’t have room for them, and the people who gave them to me in the first place would probably tell me get rid of them anyway.

So, this packing up process is going to be a tough one.  But probably an important one.  I need to stop hanging on to things that really don’t matter, and focus on what does.  I should surround myself with things that say “This is Me”.  As opposed to things that say “Someone really nice gave this to me and I like them a lot so I can’t get rid of it, even though it clashes with everything else I own and doesn’t actually fit anywhere and kinda makes me a bit miserable because I could actually put something nicer there that speaks to my soul and makes me feel good”.

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I should probably have a chaperone.  Someone who will shake their head and say “No, you do not need that broken teapot/frayed cushion cover/doll-with-no-legs and [insert friend or family member’s name here] will not mind if you remove it from your home. In fact, they will probably wonder why in the heck you have kept it for seventeen years…”

I WILL do it.  I will.  Maybe.  Bit by bit.  With a few relapses every now and then.
Although, my new place will most likely have an extra bedroom so, y’know,
that means extra storage space.

🙂

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Things I have learnt from moving

Things I have learnt from moving

We are all moved in to our new place.  It is a bigger house with more rooms and an extra bathroom.  It is not quaint nor does it have great character – it’s just one of those modern, soulless villa’s that are popping up all over the place in secure complexes around the country.  But I like it.  I loved our old, cute and quirky house but it was too small for us, freezing in the Winter and less than secure when burglars or other dodgy types came a-calling, and, anyway, we had to leave as the owners needed to move back in themselves. 

So, on the 27th of December we moved.  It was horribly hot – sun blazing down, humidity up and the new house is much warmer than the old one.  The removalists grumbled about the amount of boxes we had (“You’re both librarians!  You work in libraries! Why do you need your own books!?”) but they were friendly enough and chatted pleasantly throughout the SIX HOURS they were there.  Yes, that’s right.  It took six hours to move all our stuff.  I didn’t think it was ever going to end.  I was on my own (hubby was conveniently at work) and I thought I had entered some sort of Twilight Zone universe where a demonic moving van was forever full, never emptying and would continue to reveal more and more layers of stuff.  I actually helped the guys move and carry stuff (I’m not good at standing around doing nothing) and I think that helped to cut out some of the time I was paying for. 

Anyway, we finished cleaning and tidying up the old house yesterday, handing back the keys and bidding the place a final adieu.  I was going to take a small cutting of rosemary from the garden but forgot so will have to plant a new one at the new house.  We have no garden to speak of there – sand and dead bits of grass is all we look out on through the dining room window.  But I will try and make it look presentable – grow a few pots of herbs and flowers, maybe put up some trellis or something if we’re allowed and get some climbing, flowering plants to cheer things up a bit.

Moving is not fun.  I don’t know why people like doing it.  I never want to relocate ever again.  Ever.  But of course I will have to at some stage.  We don’t want to rent forever, after all.  I did learn some things whilst moving though, and I guess that’s the important thing (well, that and having a roof over our heads). 

Things I Learned from Moving

  1. Just because a box is labelled, doesn’t mean the contents match the label.
  2. Be careful when labelling boxes – think about what you are writing.  For instance “Bedroom Toys” will make people snigger and go “Ooooerr!” until they unpack said box and find it is full of teddy bears that you keep in your bedroom.
  3. You DO have too much stuff.
  4. There are not enough boxes in the country for you to move all your stuff.  You WILL have to beg, borrow and steal boxes from your friends, family, co-workers and random people on the street.  
  5.  For someone who has “nothing to wear”, you WILL mysteriously have more clothing than the entire population of Paris during Fashion Week.  And several hats (which you don’t remember buying).  You will have nowhere to put them and they will sit in sad little piles all over the house.
  6. You WILL regret leaving your portable wardrobes behind at the old house.
  7. In the process of packing, you WILL become so tired that you find yourself sleeping, standing upright, leaning against the fridge with a waterproof marker pen in your mouth.  You will have black lips.  The stain will not come out for three days.
  8. You will learn that friends with utes, trailers and any other large vehicles are extremely useful. 
  9. You will learn that moving during the Christmas/New Year period is a really crappy time to do anything.
  10. You will learn that your bed, at the end of a very long day, is the most valuable thing you own. 

We are still without phone or internet so I am blogging this quickly at work (it’s ok, it’s a Saturdayand I’m not actually working today).  I hope your Christmas and New Year’s were blissfully stress-free and lots of fun.  I wish you all a wonderful 2013 – hope your resolutions are easy to keep!  (Mine are going to include de-cluttering and culling my stuff…we’ll see how that pans out!).

When the cat’s away…

When the cat’s away…

Christmas Eve.  Normally I love Christmas Eve – it’s magical and atmospheric and the calm before the eventual storm of December 25th.  This year I am up to my eyeballs in packing and moving and I have had barely time to acknowledge what time of year it is.  I’ve finished my gift-buying (if I haven’t gotten you something by now, it ain’t gonna happen!) and can concentrate on the tasks at hand.  Except that I’m not.  Concentrating, that is.  I’m blogging.  Whoops.  I cannot face another box or the sound of packing tape or the smell of marker pens as they are scrawled all over the boxes to tell us what lies inside.  I’m so tired.  My kidneys are not coping well with the stress and my overall inability to take care of myself properly at the moment.  Am looking forward to being settled in the new house though not looking forward to unpacking everything.  Why do I have so much stuff!?

Over the weekend Mum and I had added stress.  19 year old Bronte (the tabby cat) had another bout of cystitis (the 2nd in a month) and we had to rush off to the vets in the middle of the night.  We had to find a 24 hour vet that wasn’t too far away and luckily we did.  They were awesome – very caring and thorough and, despite the late hour and the fact that Bronte had to stay in over the weekend, the account at the end was very reasonable and not at all scary.  Bronte behaved herself (for once) and is now back home with Mum, complaining about not being fed (she’s always being fed but she’s kinda senile and forgets whatever she has just done) and sleeping the rest of the time.  The vet did lots of blood tests and found that Bronte is actually very healthy for such an old cat.  Relief!  She is very dear to us and I would hate to lose her.  Mum would be devastated…   Bronte came to us via my old job as a vet nurse.  Her mother Minnie had been run over (unfortunately by her owner, accidentally) when she was 8 1/2 weeks pregnant.  She had suffered a pelvic fracture and a diaphragmatic hernia plus of course we had to get the kittens out to see if we could save them.  After a lengthy surgery to repair her diaphragm and a caesarean to remove the kittens, and then a hysterectomy, poor Minnie was a bundle of stitches and feeling very sorry for herself.  We managed to get all three kittens out safely – Bronte was the first “born” and she was a fighter from the get-go.  Feisty and much bigger than her siblings she was determined to survive.  She spent the first hour of her life in my pocket as we worked on the other kittens.  Poor Minnie suckled those hungry little kittens despite her pain and discomfort from the surgery and was the best mother ever.  She healed up nicely and was a beautiful cat.  Bronte and her little sister, Beauty, survived but their brother did not and passed away at a few weeks of age.  The owners wanted me to have my pick of the remaining girls and so I chose Bronte (she being the strongest and most wilful – I figured she would be heathy and tough) and at 6 weeks, brought her home.  She ruled the house from day one, bossing our dog and other cat around.  I have photos of her hanging from the Christmas tree and play fighting with our very large German Shorthaird Pointer.  She’s such a character and I will miss her when she finally succumbs to old age.  We’re praying she gets to 20 – that seems a nice round number!

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It is super hot today and will continue to be for the next few days.  I feel sorry for the birds that are outside panting in the heat.  I hope when our landlords move back in they will remember to fill the bird bath each day.  It’s easy to forget and the water evaporates so quickly in this weather.  This poor crow was sheltering in our mulberry tree this afternoon, outside my window.  Such beautiful blue eyes.

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Anyway, I should be packing, not bird-watching or blogging.  Feel free to come over and help me.  I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas.  Think Santa would have room in his sleigh for a few extra boxes?  I’m sure he could just drop a few at my new address for me… 🙂

Movers and Bloomers

Movers and Bloomers

Just a short post today – none of my usual waffle (you’ll be pleased to know).  I am drowning in a sea of boxes and packing tape and despite the fact we packed until 8.30 last night and there is roughly 30 full boxes sitting in my living room, we have barely made a dent…the trouble with being library folk (and avid readers) is that we surround ourselves with books which take up a lot of room and a heck of a lot of boxes to pack.  Sigh.  We’ll get there, I know, but I’m a little stressed out with Christmas and work and relationship worries and just, y’know, stuff.

Anyway, decided I am not going to get any more cards or other crafting down before we move so I have started packing up the craft room.  I finished off one more card yesterday morning.  It’s for an old work friend of mine.  He always loved my cards – so much so that he keeps them year after year on his pin up board because, he says, they make him smile.  Good enough for me!  So every year I try to make him a card I think he’ll be amused by.  It’s nice to make things and have them appreciated.  I don’t know how his girlfriend feels about him keeping this stuff but that’s not my business!

Anyway, I was trying to think of how I could change a well-known Christmas carol or poem into something funnier.  Being Aussies I thought I had better have a go at changing an Australian song.  So, I went with “Six White Boomers” – the chorus to that goes (for those who don’t live down under or aren’t familiar with the song):

…six white boomers
snow white boomers
racing santa claus through the blazing sun
six white boomers
snow white boomers
on his australian run…

Boomers are kangaroos, in case you didn’t know.

Anyway, I changed it to “…six white bloomers, snow white bloomers, hanging on the line in the blazing sun…”.  I printed out some images of frilly knickers, cut them out and stuck them on a “line” (which in hindsight I should have wrapped around the backing paper but never mind…I was in a rush!) and added the words below.  I should have probably added a bit of colour to the bloomers themselves and my cutting out was a bit shoddy but I am pretty happy with it otherwise.  I would have made some more of these cards if I’d had time but one will have to do for now.  Hope my friend likes it.  Hope you do too 🙂

Bloomers Card

 

Sorry, that wasn’t so short a post after all…:)