I’ve been touching on a lot of different projects while deciding what is staying out and what is getting packed away. I found a plastic box of mostly forgotten fibers that I am spinning up one after the other. These fibers are all going onto one bobbin. Once that bobbin is full each fiber section, I am putting drastically different colors next to each other to keep the different fiber sections easy to see, they will be plied back onto themselves for crewel embroidery floss, or to be used for color-work knitting in the future.
I am using different colors of my tatting thread to make a warp for my sprang loom, since I want this warp to be wider it makes sense to use up bits of thread I have lying around. This is one of the longer term projects I plan on keeping out.
I did order and receive the special thimble I will need to work on the Sashiko kit I received for Christmas. I plan on keeping the kit out as well as my sewing machine for any alterations I can make to my clothing in the next couple of months.
A few more rows have been worked on the gusset of my second sock, it looks like I will not get through all 4 however getting 2 completed by the end of May is still quite the accomplishment. That is about all for the crafting content, though much of my moving has to do with crafting since crafts are my hobby.
Most of what I have been working on is packing. While I have adjusted my plans some, it doesn’t make much sense to be in another city when I still have a lot of cleaning to do in my house, the basics remain. I need to pack what I plan on keeping so that it can go into storage. This will free up a lot of room and mental space for me to begin getting rid of what needs to be eliminated and cleaning places that I have not been able to get to for years. I love mom, she however, has 10+ boxes of Christmas decorations that we have not taken out in years. That is before all of the other decorations for Easter and Halloween. I plan on keeping the pieces that she made as well as the family ornaments from years gone by and getting rid of the rest of it. I am even thinking about re-packing one of the boxes I already packed simply because I have realized that I do not really value the stuffed animals within. I’ll keep one to remind me, then get rid of the rest. The decision makes me feel free and relaxed rather than anxious. Going through all of the paper that has built up over the years…that is another story. That has me stressed out. My sister is planning a series of bonfires as we sort through and burn the papers we do not need to keep, it should actually be a bit of fun.
That is about it, I have a very busy week ahead of me. I am trying to take some time every single day to get some crafting done so that I do not burn out. Right now I think I have gone as far as I can with the packing and I will wait until I get some breathing room in the house before worrying about the rest. Okay, that’s a lie. The handyman will be coming Monday to take some things from the external garage to the dump, then I plan on moving several plastic boxes out to the garage so I have room to get the bed set up for my sister to have somewhere to sleep on Wednesday night.
Until next week, remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!
This post starts off with Non-Crafting content. If you are only here for the (little) crafting I did, then skip to the *****
Have you ever had a week where everything just seems like, blah? That is what last week was like for me. I know where it is coming from, there were a lot of ‘business’ related things that I needed to get done, my sister and I are trying to get our mom’s estate settled. We sort of left everything up to the lawyer, now that we had to do some bugging the lawyer in finally telling us what needs to get done to finalize this. It’s stressful, since my sister is not good about getting this sort of thing done. I can already tell I’ll have to bug her to order the form to switch the name on the little bit of stock we are inheriting as well as calling the house and car insurance company to get our names on the policies. It turns out inheriting (even mom’s tiny ‘estate’ which is a house, car, and a couple of small stocks) is pretty complicated, oh well. I’m not going to be coming into any sort of money from this to be clear, just having legal co-ownership of the house I’m living in and the car I’m driving. This should all be done by next month, along with my taxes which I dropped off yesterday. So my free time, after and before work, was spent figuring out what I might need and gathering paperwork. Oh well, other than calling the insurance company to make sure that the house and car insurance are in my name I think we’re done.
I did not take much time to craft this week. Last week I started a project where I was going to take the samples of each breed of sheep I have wool for and spin it up to create granny squares with it. I started with the Hog Island, I do not have photos, and I did a two ply as well as a crepe ply. Crepe ply is where I took a section of the two ply (I kept 40 yards of the yarn as a 2 ply for the first square) and plied it back onto itself. This might have been a tidier construction if I had overplied the first 2 ply yarn, so I might do that for the next breed. Take 40 yards off of the 2 ply to make a square then overply the rest so that when I crepe ply it looks tidy. Things to learn!
The Hog Island fleece was a bouncy dream to spin up, though there was considerable VM (vegetable matter) in the combed top so it will take a few years for the fleece to be ‘really clean’. I’m not using any harsh chemicals to clean it so that will have to do. I then started spinning up some Icelandic Fleece I had as a worsted yarn using short forward draw. I was really good about keeping up with this….then I got bored. Okay, so the Icelandic top is probably a year or two old and has compacted down a bit. Since the wool is pretty grabby to begin with this means that it is a bit of a pain to draft from. I believe that I have plenty to make my two samples with, however the granny squares are going to be quite open since I am going to use the same size crochet hook and this yarn is much finer than my first breed. I really look forward to seeing how it will turn out. In order to use up the rest of the fiber I am also spinning up a woolen preparation for the rest of the Icelandic I have on hand. It goes faster and I am pulling the fiber sideways instead of straight out so they do not seem to grab as much. Of course using a long back draw helps as well, well it is an attempt at a long back draw.
The only photo I have for this week is some of the Icelandic on a bobbin as I spun.
As you can see the grey yarn is quite fine, I really hope I was patient enough to get enough yardage that I can crepe ply some of this.
Until next time I hope that you have a great week and Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract.
*This post is not going to be very crafting heavy, though I do have a crafting section, if you are only here for crafting please skip to the line of asterisks.**
2021 is going to be my year! I am looking forward to the new challenges that I will face this year as well as the changes I am choosing to make. Do I think everything is going to be smooth sailing, no of course not, however I am going to control what I can and leave the rest up to fate.
From the late 90s to the early 00s Mom and I collected Beanie Babies. We had a lot of fun and I have some amazing memories of the times we spent looking for certain beanies. The prices of these toys have not help up to the times so I found myself with literally hundreds of beanies sitting in tubs in the back hallway of my childhood home. In theory I could create sets, set up sales on ebay and see what I could get for them. I put up three posts of some beanies that had sold for huge amounts in the week I put the posts up. Two weeks later, I have not received a single offer. Oh well, to the donation box the rest of the beanies are going to go. I kept a few for myself that I have very fond memories of, okay so I kept a small tub for myself (I cleared out three huge tubs so this is still a lot of progress), and sent some to my sister that she would like. I made the conscious decision that I was not going to take these tubs of toys into my new life, and eventually new home. I did ensure that some of my friends and colleagues with children wound up with some, okay a lot, and I feel good about these decisions. I still have four huge tubs I need to put into garbage bags to donate, however I have made significant progress.
Along those lines later today I am going to be clearing out my car of junk so that I can start fresh for my new job. Theoretically I should be vacuuming and getting things detailed, that is not going to happen so I will focus on what I can do. I have also cleaned out my fridge of all of the items I have not eaten the past two years (condiments included) and need to wipe that out later. I know, some people are able to do these tasks on a regular basis and so accomplishing them is no big deal. I am not one of those people, I have been listening to decluttering books, organizing books, and minimalism books in the hopes of gaining control over my ‘stuff’. These changes are not just for today, this week, or this year, these changes are how I am going to be able to maintain these changes long term. They will take time and effort, however I will be rewarded in the end by only being surrounded with a functional, aesthetically pleasing, home that I enjoy being in.
Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith allowed me to understand what I need to do in order to craft my new home to work with my aesthetic as well as my needs. As much as mom used to make fun of my Grandmother’s bill paying desk, I am going to buy a little desk with cubbies right on top so I can organize and pay my bills in one cleared off space. Right now I am doing that on my computer desk with my supplies in a little metal drawer underneath my computer monitor. I hate having to move my keyboard out of the way, or going to a separate table to write out my Thank You notes as well as greeting cards. I have also made up some pinterest boards that are going to help me with my decorating choices when the time comes.
The Clutter Connection and Real Life Organizing by Cassandra Aarssen have both helped me to understand that I need my items to be visually available. Aarssen also runs an organization that talks about clutterbugs and she frames all of her information in that terminology, this is well worth a look. She also helped me to understand that I am not ‘lazy’, ‘naturally messy’ or any of those other self-defeating terms. I simply organize in a visual way because if I try to do the ‘everything put away’ thing I lose stuff or forget I own it. Since I have started trying this method I can find things when I look for them. This means that in my new home I am going to go for bookcases with baskets for my crafting supplies as well as two glass cabinets. I already have one that I am going to store Mom’s Hummels in, the other is going to be for the beanie babies I choose to keep. That way things are not tucked away but displayed with pride for me to enjoy.
Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K White has allowed me to embrace ‘the container concept’. This is simply coming to accept that the size of the container designated for something is the size that it is. That means if something has to be eliminated because it does not fit in the container and is not loved as much as something else then that is it. You cannot keep more than a container holds. This is going to be very helpful to me when it comes to Mom’s collections. One cabinet for her Hummels, one for the Beanies. If there are items that do not fit in the container, then ask “what gets taken out?”
I am cringing even as I write this next part, I am going to apply these concepts to my craft collections. I know, it hurts to think about it. I do plan on setting up book cases for each of my major hobbies, knitting/crochet, weaving, spinning, papercrafts, and dioramas. I also intend to have two bookcases for books, one crafting books and the other fiction/DVDs. This does seem like a lot of bookcases yet for me this is the perfect balance of organized and visual. If the items are in baskets while on bookcases they are contained, organized, and visual enough for me to see.
I realize that for some people these concepts are completely ‘duh’ yet for plenty of other people like me these books will make you sit up and take notice. The best advice I received from these organizing and decluttering books, I am not alone. There are other people quietly suffering with the same problems that I have and grew up with. Mom did not know that she was a non-visual organizer compared to my visual organizer so things were a constant misery of lost items and accusations of slovenly behavior. I cannot tell you the number of times mom ‘knew’ that someone came in and stole something because she could not put her hands on it. Dana had the same story to tell.
Onto the crafting! Purl Together has come up with a ‘Finish it or Frog It’ challenge that they have started for 2021. The first step is to gather all of your WIPs or Works In Progress and take a photo. Having some people talk about their 15-50 unfinished items makes me feel better about my nine. Six of these were put on hold while I had surgery and recovered from my surgery, and at least two are probably going to be frogged.
The forest green piece on the bottom right side of the photo is a baby cardigan I waned to have finished by today, as you can see that did not happen. I have finished 2″ out of the 6″ I need on the first sleeve then I need to pick up the second sleeve, seam the sides, hide the ends and sew on buttons. The buttons are supposed to arrive on Monday or Tuesday so if I finish then I will be very happy. The 8×8 cabled cowl on the bottom far left of the photo is something that I am capable of, however the tight, huge, cable makes the width of the cowl much too small for my tastes. Since it is a bulky Knitpicks yarn I can easily find another pattern. I was very happy to find the cardigan that I started with a Jimmy Beans Wool Kit almost half done, I hope to finish that. There are a couple of mindless projects I can take with me, the half-granny triangle shawl out of lace weight yarn will take forever to crochet up, yet I love how it is turning out.
Between the New Job, Organizing, De-Cluttering, and a New House, 2021 is certainly going to be A Little More Abstract.
Yes, right now my room still looks like an absolute mess. However, I can see what this room will be once I get these large pieces of furniture out of the way. Right now I have the cabinet I showed you last posted filled an organized, I am amazed how much fits in there. The cardboard tube organizer that I used in a maker video for my public library turned out really well so I am using it on top to keep supplies visible.
I did have to buy a second cubby in a different size and configuration that you can see next to the original. I put a storage rack that was mostly empty into the corner to hold a combination of mom’s kits and some of my kits. I am using the open blocking mats as shelf liners. You can see part of one of the dressers I need to destash in the near future, with a lamp and a sock project on it.
I am not completely finished getting everything sorted and organized, however I have made a ton of progress. There is still a bin I need to sort through, however I have also started displaying some yarn for inspiration. I believe that this is the first time ever that a large majority of my crafts have been entirely in one place that I am likely to frequent. I still have items downstairs however it is cold, and since I live right by the woods I am concerned I might have another dang mouse. Most of mom’s acrylic yarn is down there also.
During all of this frenzy of organization I have found many things that I forgot were around, or simply did not know where they were. There is a pair of Christmas stockings that I need to sew the trim on, Mom made the stockings and never finished them. Mom had a ton of plastic canvas kits that she wanted to make, when I feel up to it I am going to have to sort through those. The one that brought a tear to my eye, though I’m telling myself it might have been dust, is the alpaca yarn squares that I wove and mom edged for me. We were going to make a vest out of them, however the project was abandoned well before finishing them. I am going to make a table runner out of them to remember her by, I just need to find the right yarn to use to attach them together.
*whisper* I also found the organizer in which I stashed all of my DPNs, I knew I had DPNs!*whisper*
I have also found out that I can do more crafting than I thought I could if I hold my wrist carefully. I’ll make a post about progress in crafts later. Until then!
Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract, and if you are an introvert please check on your extroverts! Stay safe!
There is always something new going on. I have been sending out applications to try and get a full-time job, last week I dyed a cotton as well as a bamboo warp and weft with the Enchanted Mountains Weaver’s Guild (which was a ton of fun), and yesterday I had to put down my cat one month shy of 21 years old.
Despite being a long haired cat my Dad, who was extremely allergic to cats, just adored her. He would sit on his chair in the living room and tap the arm with her brush, Precious would leap on his lap and start purring like a motorboat. When he passed she was beside herself, didn’t know what to do. After a while she realized he wasn’t coming back, but she had mom at home to dote on her all the time. For the past few years Mom and I suspected that she was going a bit senile, in addition to her progressive kidney failure and the heart problems we found out about spring of 2018. The vet tech said that if we started giving her medicine for the heart troubles she might live to see 20. We decided against the medication and Precious lived almost a year past expectations. I am lucky that I had her when Mom passed in October of 2018, however for the past three months she has been getting progressively worse. Between missing the litterbox, yowling half the night, and just lately not eating as much as usual, it was time to let her go. Now I get to spend the weekend trying to clean up all of the stuff she left behind and figuring out if I can salvage the bathroom or if I am going to have to invest in getting it completely retiled in the future. I’m not mad about any of it, I appreciate the time I had with her and I am sorry that I had to let her go.
I have done some spinning for Tour de Fleece, however not nearly as much as I would have liked. There have been opportunities for me to work on different crafts, just today I am receiving supplies to see if resin casting is something that I can reasonably do at the public library I work for. One of the trees, a choke berry tree I believe, had to be cut down outside our library. The director was very opposed to this action, however we needed a new storage shed. The maintenance person managed to salvage several of the berries and now I have the opportunity to play with resin as well as creating a keepsake for my Director. Win-Win!
I have made considerable progress on my Furls Crochet Coffee Cup Sweater, right now I am working on the body and hope to start the sleeves mid august. The only problem I have with it is, I will need to either wear something underneath or the yarn had best full quite a bit and close up some of the gaps. I knew that this was a possibility when I saw that I would be using double crochets for part of it. This might give me opportunity to bust out my t-shirt collection to wear as a layer underneath. I Have started knitting my third quarter poncho pattern from Jimmy Beans Wool and look forward to seeing the finished product.
I guess I have been busier than I thought. I will either be starting back up at the University Library I work at or be starting a new job. If the former I will have more time to blog, if the latter it might be a little while until I get into a rhythm again. If I obtain a new job I will post notification of a hiatus.
Until next time, remember to live life A Little More Abstract.
This will contain no crafting updates or lessons. It has been only five months since Mom joined Dad and I am still processing my grief. If you have any fresh grief or if you are particularly sensitive, you may want to skip this post. Crafting updates will resume with the next post.
My memories of my Grandmother, Mom’s Mother, are of her smoking at the kitchen table, cooking dinner, eating pretzels while watching Wheel of Fortune, sitting on metal lawn chairs (not those woven ones with metal frames but heavy metal chairs I wish I had today) while listening to the Cleveland Indians on the radio and watching fireflies, and her crocheting. She was always crocheting or sewing. I have more memories of my Mom, but still, crocheting, plastic canvas, (she learned loom knitting because it was mentioned in the Knitting Retreat series by Betty Hechtman, a good series that I read because it got Mom interested in Loom Knitting), and always encouraging my desire to learn new techniques. Mom never tired of telling me how proud her Mother would have been to see me learning all of the new (old/traditional) crafts. Of course, I never got mom to try spinning, though I did trick her into learning needle tatting so she could help me teach a class on it; that was so much fun. I came to realize just recently, how lucky I was to have crafting be a part of my memory as far back as I can remember, while I was working.
During a crafting triage session, where people can bring whatever they are working on for a bit more help, I had one patron show up. She is a lovely middle aged woman who wanted to know why she couldn’t get the same results twice when using her knitting loom. We determined that she needs to keep better records of what she is doing, and even out her tension. However, during this session, while she was working from a couple of tangled skeins of yarn I came to realize that she did not know how to hand wind her yarn into a ball. I’m not talking about using a notepinne to create a center pull ball, just a plain old ball of yarn. The kind that tends to go bouncing all over the house if you are not careful. By checking YouTube I see that they are all promoting how to wind a center pull ball as the only method, oh well. We spent some time working on this new skill, and at the end she had three balls of white yarn and two more tangled skeins of blue to practice on.
What this really caused me to realize is how very lucky I am to have been raised by a Mom that was crafty. Actually Dad used to make things with macrame and I remember him doing Rug Hooking for a time, so Dad was crafty as well. I have Aunts, Dad’s sisters, that Quilt, Sew, Knit, and Crochet so there is still a ton of Crafty influence and encouragement in my life. You know how it goes, intellectually you understand how lucky you are to have the support and influences that you do, but until you are faced with someone that hasn’t had those advantages it doesn’t occur to you, Not everyone knows how to make a ball of yarn. Those people that pull a length of yarn from the edge of a skein and cut it off really do not realize how much damage they are doing to the usability of the rest of the skein.
I miss mom, as spring begins to bloom and I realize that I do not need to traipse all over the back hills to pick every single daffodil that dares peek it’s head above ground, the ache becomes more apparent. I am glad that is is with her parents and Dad, happy that she is no longer trapped by the ever growing limitations of her body, and pleased that she and Dad are looking down on the family. Remembering the good times helps to ease the ache and deepen the sorrow all at the same time.
Okay, rant and reminiscing over. There are more crafts to do, the weather is warming up, I should work on cutting down the weeds so I can create pretty flower beds out front.
Until next post, be happy for your support, remember your loved ones, and Live a Life A Little More Abstract.
Today is when we set our clocks ahead an hour, thereby losing an hour of sleep but gaining an hour of daylight. For me this means that spring is ever closer, and a quarter of the year is almost gone. I know, that will not be true until closer to the end of March, but time is certainly marching on. Taxes are soon going to be filed, the cat is going to the vet tomorrow, gardens need to be prepared, and it really needs to stop snowing. Thinking about all of this is giving me time to remember what the name of this blog is really about. It is too easy to take life very seriously, and think of things in a very linear way. Sometimes you need to think in ways that are A Little More Abstract, about life as well as craft.
February is always a bad month for me. The end of January was my parents wedding anniversary, February 21st was the closing of the 10th year since we lost my father. This is my first full year without my mother. March begins a new month, a fresh month, working our way toward spring. Lent is upon us, if you are Christian, so we begin a march toward Easter. The word ‘March’ in the phrases, “March toward Easter”, and “Time is Marching on” tend to bring the unfortunate connotation of drudgery. You think of an army slogging its way toward a battle, instead I think of a steady progression. When soldiers March they tend to do so with their heads held high, marching proudly toward their destiny, whatever that may be.
This is where my shift in perspective is coming into play. I need to figure out where my destiny is going to lay. These past 10 years working several part-time jobs and taking care of mom has been a wonderful learning experience. I have had the time as well as freedom to learn a lot about myself and what I am capable of in addition to some of my limitations. Now it is time for me to face what the spring and summer will bring. I know, this entire entry is a bit maudlin, but that is what this time of year does to me.
Yesterday I managed to wrap all of the warps for the shoelace weaving project I will be teaching tomorrow, put together a shelving unit for my studio when it is completed, and set up pans for the 12 stepping stones I hope to make out of cement. I intended to begin pouring the stones yesterday, but since the weather is supposed to get up to almost 50 by the middle of the week I decided to hold off on actually mixing and pouring the cement. I have the sand poured and the glass set, so it is just a matter of adding the cement and leaving them to harden. Hopefully things will be in good shape by Wednesday, when they are coming to install my new garage door, and Thursday when I hope to mix the cement. The decorations on these stones are pieces of glass, but I believe I will change that out for mosaic tiles or decorative stone for the actual class. The glass shards are too much of a liability to consider as a good solution.
I have completed 2/3rds of the Jimmy Beans Knitted Cowl and have begun the final third. It is actually my goal to have that knitted by the end of this week so that I can block it out and take a final picture for a blog post next week, fingers crossed. I have not make much progress on the second installment of the Crochet Pouf but that is going to be my second goal, I believe. This may get sidetracked depending on how complex the first installment of the Sherlock Afghan is on Saturday. I also have socks and dishcloths I am fiddling with, hopefully things will get past the stage of stitching into nothingness and some progress will be made.
So that is the end of it for now. Shifting time, shifting perspective, and a shifting list of priorities. Learning more about myself and what I can do, playing with cement is new, and reminding myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. So until next installment.
Keep crafting and remember to keep your life a little more abstract.
When it comes right down to brass tacks I tend to be a bargain hound, I find it very hard to resist a good deal. This, of course, gets me into a bit of trouble, but who needs groceries some weeks when I’ve got yarn? It isn’t quite as bad as that, but I do stock on freezer meals when they are on sale so I don’t have to worry about getting something for dinner some days. Part of that is the fact that between my 3 jobs I work 6 days a week therefore cooking is a luxury not an every day thing. Enough of my digressions, the point of this is that I subscribe to a lot of different crafting sites mailing lists so that I can take advantage of bargains when I come across them. Some are well worth my time, some I can do without. My weaknesses come in the form of under $10 bargains, especially those touted as half-off.
If something is under $10 and I can use it, I will probably pick it up. With under $20 I tend to take some time to think about it, will I actually use it, do I have enough of this already, etc. then I buy it or not. Anything over $20 has to be something that I have been thinking about/craving for at least 2 weeks before I even consider it. This causes me some problems with the independent knitting patterns for sale on Ravelry. I know that it took you quite some time to come up with your pattern and you are trying to make a living off of it, but at $7.50 it is a bit expensive for me, especially if it is novelty and not like a sock or a sweater. This brings me to the new quagmire I have gotten myself into, Happily Hooked, a digital magazine I subscribe to, is having a 26 week course called the Stitch Mastery Program starting tomorrow, and guess what? It was under $10.
This course, for non members, is $20. It comes with 26 weeks of learning a new stitch every week complete with videos and 2 projects for each stitch. So my bargain hound soul is singing with the idea of 52 projects in 26 stitches, and six months of learning for $1O. Those of you thinking about the hooks, yarn, etc. I have a ton of that from Mom.
While I did not need another project/set of projects, I am very happy to be learning yet another new skill. I think that 2019 is going to be a year of learning. When I get working on the projects I will let you know more.
Okay, so the 2 pounds of Shetland Moorit arrived so I am working on carding it into rolags to spin up for my Hap. I was feeling under the weather a bit so in between my knitting, crocheting, laundry and dishwasher loads, I curled up in bed to look over past issues of Spin-Off Magazine. While paging through I happened across a pattern for little wrist cuffs as well as ankle cuffs. Each of these take a bit over 100 yards of fiber, well I have all sorts of little scraps so I decided to go for it. In December I purchased the international box from Camaj Fiber Arts Spinning Boxes, she was selling off past boxes. There were some very pretty fibers based on Korea and Norway/Finland that I decided to spin into a little skein.
I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. However, it is only 78 yards. Yes, not even enough for one of the patterns. Oh well, I have more little samples (I have already started) so I will be incorporating two mini batts, and three more random colored combed tops that look like they will fit the bill. I am already almost half way through spinning this batch, it already looks like more singles than the last attempt.
The patterns are from Spin Off Winter 2007 pages 46-47 titled “Anklettos and Wristlettos: Fringe Benefits” by Phreadde Davis.
Hopefully once I have this yarn spun, plied, set, and dried, I will not be either bored with this idea, working on the hap, or ready for more installments from Jimmy Beans Wool. I will admit to a small amount of introspection, I am aware that I have been keeping myself too busy to really take the time to miss my Mom. February tends to stink since we lost Dad near the end, I have already found myself crying for no apparent reason simply because it hit me hard that she isn’t around. Oh well, back to distractions!
*This is just an update on my life, if you only want to read crafty stuff, hopefully the next post will contain that. There is mention of Mice and permanent ways to get rid of them, if you are big into non-lethal rodent control then you will not want to read this post.*
I am still trying to get around to reviewing all of the things that I got myself for Christmas, but the ongoing Mouse Saga seems to be two steps forward and three back. In the last two weeks I have found droppings on the counters and just today in a drawer. Fortunately my handyman is amazing, he looked to see if there was anywhere they could get in from the outside and sealed those up. He spoke with a couple of farmers and old timers and they advised him how to keep the mice out with an indoor/outdoor safe spray that smells a bit like Citronella and is supposed to keep them out. He sprayed all around outside and quite a few doorways, I put it around the doorways from the kitchen to the rest of the house (after locking the cat away) and am waiting for it to dry so I can let the cat out.
Neither of us have found any detritus anywhere else in the house, so I think that they are contained. If I see any more droppings I will let him know and we will get some snap traps. (Don’t bother yelling at me about killing mice, once they are in the house they will always seek another house to get into.) He will also get some special traps for outside to keep them from coming in, that will be Wednesday after Christmas. I will need to run all of my pots and pans through the dishwasher, I’m going to throw out all of my baking goods, the thought of using them is making me nauseous, (not that I have time to bake). I also plan on throwing out all of the plastics that I haven’t used in years and possibly putting the pots and pans that I haven’t used in a while in a plastic tub with a lid once they have been through the dishwasher. Getting the outside sealed up and the deterrent spray were my two steps forward, my three steps back are a bit frustrating. The first step is having to run everything in the kitchen through the dishwasher. Actually the next two steps back were in one action, some of the tiles along the peak of the roof blew back leaving something like a foot of the attic exposed to the elements. Thank goodness my handyman is amazing and he managed to get a patch on, but I am so frustrated that it seems like there is always something else going wrong. On a brighter note, I also remembered that Mom and I collected Beanie Babies and they wound up stored in the back hallway.
They were almost all packed away, but most of them were in cardboard boxes and I decided that since I had some plastics I bought for the organization I wanted to kill several birds with one cleaning. I wanted to make sure that none of the beanies were compromised, get rid of any that I know I don’t want to keep, make sure that there were no mice in the back hallway, vacuum the back hall, wipe down the walls, get the beanies in better storage, and have them in a state so that my home organizers don’t even need to concern themselves with them. So I had 8 huge plastics, I think 125 quarts each, and they are completely full. I ordered another 4 from Walmart online and bought 4 more from a dollar store. I plan to spend some time tomorrow finishing up packing the beanies, then perhaps rewarding myself with a movie. I have decided on two big garbage bags full of stuffed animals I’m donating which doesn’t seem like much but since I have memories attached to all of them it really is progress. The unexpected benefit is, I get to remember the amazing times Mom and I had getting these beanies, we spent a few weeks eating tons of happy meals when McDonalds were having their beanie special, the flea market where her aunt worked, the shop in town where we used to get them, and so much more. Sometimes it is hard to realize that you are able to experience all of your emotions at once, happy, sad, melancholy, angry, frustrated, tired, etc.
Well, that is enough out of me. Things are progressing quite well. I am moving forward on the cleaning, and remembering good times along the way. The roof was sorted out before it became a big problem. All entrances for the mice seem to be sealed, and a deep clean/disinfecting is on its way. Wednesday my handyman will be up to work on getting preventative measures in place, Thursday and Friday my organizing team will be up here and I will find out what my Grand in fees gets me. Then I will be able to start my New Year Fresh and Bright!
Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays (no matter what you celebrate), and I will be on again soon.