Saturday, July 18, 2009

Distraction - Not Finishing the Job

Not finishing is not happening to me, but it is trying to! The carpets are clean, but they have taken overnight to dry. Some are still a little damp. I keep thinking of things to do other than putting the house back together. In the kitchen, I temporarily placed the plastic shelves from the office, which are full of financial reports I have received in the mail and wish I could understand, some old camera equipment that I already brought to the camera store to sell for me on consignment but they wouldn't take, and some precious patent leather shoes that my kids had to have for band but that the current band kids seem to have to have in a different brand. I need to either put these shelves back in the office or clean them off and maybe leave that nice-looking space in the office clean. (I call the second photo, "Even the Dog Leaves When I Put the Shelves Back Next to the Couch.)It's a decision.

Instead of making the decision and getting the shelves out of the kitchen, along with all the other things I have taken off the carpets and end tables and temporarily placed in the kitchen, I keep thinking of things I should get ready to sell on Craig's List, banking statements I should peruse, a balance sheet I should create, and the Netflix DVD of the Gilmore Girls season 3 that I need to finish before Monday.

But the project was to get the carpets cleaned, and that means putting everything back on the carpets or otherwise disposing of things properly. That means upstairs, too. I'll finish it...before I take on any other projects, and as soon as I finish posting my thoughts about it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cleaning Downsizes Dirt & Helps Organize

This is the perfect opportunity for getting all the carpets cleaned: no one's around but me for a while, our young adults are planning to visit in a few weeks, and the upstairs was done about a year and a half ago and the downstairs carpets are 2 and 3 years old. I'm ready! The effort of getting as much as possible off the carpets and getting other surfaces cleared so that furniture can be moved is tremendous...especially in a home with too much stuff! Every one of our too-many end tables has too many dustables; these have been moved to the kitchen table, mostly.

My original plan was to take as much off the carpet as possible and move the rest to the hardwood and tile areas. A sudden brainstorm reminded me to leave a large path for the steam and vacuum tubes to run between the driveway and all the carpets. With my free hardwood and tile areas decimated, it still was workable.

Without mentioning names, I will mention that I made one mistake. I was lazy. My daughter was home for the July 4th holiday, and I was too lazy to tell her I was planning to get the carpets cleaned. I didn't ask her to leave her room ready. It wasn't negligence; I kind of felt sorry for her because she has been working outdoors in this searing heat so much lately, and she had to drive 4 hours each way to be here. I wasn't feeling too energetic myself. So the weariness of it all kept my mouth shut. The hardest thing we did over that weekend was put fluids in her car - it entailed a trip to Walmart, complete with asking a man who was also shopping in the automotive area for advice on transmission fluid. There were two kinds, neither of which were actually "transmission fluid." Fortunately, the guy was able to help us. Why the transmission fluid wasn't right next to the two kinds of other transmission things (cleaner? lubricator?)I don't know!

My daughter left her room ready for a room cleaning, not a carpet cleaning. I tackled that one first or I would have never gotten the house ready! I put some of her things on shelves, put clothes into a big plastic laundry basket and stuffed it in the closet, and cleared some things onto the wooden platform that she has as a canopy over her bed.

The other difficult room was the office. There are a lot of things stored on the floor! Plus I did move DHs work table out, by first moving everything from on top and underneath. There is still a snarl of wires about a foot wide and 7 feet long under my work/computer tables. I decided to just leave it there. It's not as if it drops food on the carpet anyway. I'll sit down there and vacuum by hand under it.

I still have more vacuuming to do. I worked hard to get the upstairs vacuumed. It took 5 separate vacuuming sessions. For me, this meant 5 trips upstairs to get the Roomba placed into each room and started. Actually, it took more; some to rescue the Roomba from a tight spot.

The downstairs isn't vacuumed yet. That's today's chore. I have to use the regular vacuum for some of it. Oh, and the stairs! That is the hardest vacuuming of all - note to self: do it first!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bells Sold, Collection Downsized

Members of the American Bell Association (ABA) are connoisseurs of bells. They know which bells are collectible, and they know which bells they like. Sometimes the two categories don't go together too well. I think most everyone in the group has some bells that are worth money and others that are favorites even though they wouldn't appeal to collectors. At the ABA convention, a group of 150 collectors from all over the country and a few from overseas talked about bells, looked at bells, and bought and sold bells. There were slide shows about such bell categories as Disney bells, hanging bells, and bells with men depicted on them.

There was a "behold room," where several members graciously displayed groups of bells they brought. One table had bells by John Macombie, who may be the most popular bellmaker currently producting metal bells. One table displayed a collection of Chinese enamel bells; the whole table shimmered with bright blue and green tinted bells. The person who essentially planned and ran the convention brought her collection of all things with a flamingo theme.

There was also an auction, lasting 6 hours on Saturday. This was where the most serious buying occurred. I had some serious bells in the auction. Some sold well, although prices were generally low this year.

Also, a "sales room" was open specific hours. I had a sales table. I spent about 20 hours selling bells. It was a lot of fun because of the interest and love of bells expressed by everyone who visited my table...and most everyone did. I went to the convention with 11 boxes of bells to sell and came back with 9 boxes. So, I downsized!

Distraction: I bought 3 bells. I couldn't help getting a little bit into the quest. I bought one bell because it was pretty and a low price, one because I had wanted one like it and had bid on it and lost at the auction...I got the same bell for about 30% less at someone's sales table after the auction! Also, I got one bell that I bid on at the auction. It wasn't a valuable bell, but I liked it and I think my daughter will like it. No one else bid on it, so I got it at the lowest price. I bid on 3 more bells, but it was clear to me in all cases that someone else bidding wouldn't stop raising the price no matter what, so I gave up each time. When I got home, I realized that the bells I bid on and didn't win were not as nice as others like them that I already have. I was mostly glad I didn't win them. After all, I'm downsizing here, not building a collection!