Monday, July 02, 2018

Not Quite Minimalism

Good old "Crotch" and Brentanos bookstore at Old Orchard where I spent every Saturday afternoon between 1976-1979 browsing the remainder tables in the basement after my allergy shots across the way. I loved that place, even when they started selling scented candles and horrible Brutalist art made from hammered copper. God, I spent a lot of money in that place over the years.

 In an attempt to distract myself  from my country careening into seriously bad shit, I've been doing a major clearing out of books over the past few weeks. I've been selling them to Half Price Books, and while you don't get top dollar, so many of them came from the Friends of the Library Book sale over the years at .25 cents to .50 cents I'm not coming away that badly either. Having a little extra savings in times like these seems reasonable. Besides, if you do get rounded-up, you don't want the terrible people left getting your stuff. Who am I kidding...everyone knows they'd burn the books.

So many of our volumes are from the past eight years of homeschooling. I don't mind hanging onto quality books that will be nice to have in a home library, but how many versions of "Easy Science Experiments You Can Do at Home" type volumes do I need? We've probably cleared out several hundred books, with more to go. I had a cull of my cookery books as well keeping only the ones I still use, or the very odd (or historical). It will be nice to get our collection down to a few thousand books instead of the current situation. I'd say 90% of the novels I own can go, save perhaps for the modern first editions, or out of print favourites.
Essential reading when you live in land-locked Nebraska.

I am not selling my anthropology books yet. Oh, I'm done with them but I'm hoping I can give them to a graduate student or someone that will have space for two large bookcases worth. The rare books are staying of course, and complete author collections, but perhaps in time some will go, though I won't be selling those at the bookstore. If you are an anthro student looking for something specific, ask me! There's a good chance I might have what you need. All in all, I am looking forward to easily finding what I'm looking for, and hopefully having an easier time moving if we ever decide to move...which we might consider as my car was broken into (again) and some bastard came and dug up my potatoes in broad daylight Sunday afternoon. They didn't get them all but still, what's the neighbourhood coming to?! We pay for security as well. Sigh.

In the process of culling books, we've been getting rid of the stuff you accumulate if you spend enough time in thrift stores. I was always happy to indulge Danny's various interests but as he's grown out of them, things just ended up in his room in the way. By the time you're thirteen you know what's meaningful and worth saving or what can go back to the thrift store it came from. I'm pleased the Star Wars thing is over. Very, very pleased. We've also been able to sell a number of games, Mega Blocks, etc.
If you follow my instagram, you've already seen the above video. I bought two padded boards at Hand Me Ups and sorted out my brooch collection sans the Christmas brooches as I ran out of room! Seeing everything hanging like that has made me realise I don't ever need to purchase another brooch. I counted nine gold circle pins. At least I am consistent with what I like. As with the wardrobe and books, if there's something you've had your eye on-ask! I might say yes.

The curriculum has been submitted to the Board of Education and I am officially on break. I haven't been to the pool yet as our weather has been stormy, but I am looking forward to getting there this week.

On a more cheerful note...
Danny got the record high score on the pitching machine at the arcade. Couldn't move his arm the next day (you have to pitch very quickly) but bragging rights! It is an awful game-it taunts the player with things like, "Hey, there's always football".
Potatoes harvested pre-robbery. I still can't believe anyone would do that! I'm having a hard time understanding how people can do many of the things they do, and live with themselves.

I have preserving projects going all week to get ready for the State Fair at the end of August. The cherry crop was excellent this year so there's pickled cherries, cherry vinegar and chutney to be made. I'll do a batch of spiced cherry jam as Danny likes it, and it always seems to be a favourite when given as gifts at Christmas.

The Wayne Chicken Show is just around the corner, and Danny will be defending his title in the Cluck Off. $100.00 prize for two minutes of clucking like a chicken isn't a bad day's work. I found a vintage apron with roosters on it to wear to the show. I haven't decided on my hat yet, and this year's State Fair hat is still very much a work in progress.

So that's about it. I'm dealing with a bunch of painful,  miserable health stuff, someone stole my potatoes, half the country has lost their minds, I'm selling and giving away most of my belongings and the only thing I'm really looking forward to is hearing my kid do a rooster call at a chicken festival in rural Nebraska.

Do let me know if there's something you're looking for.


Vix said...

I can't believe someone stole your potatoes! I've had planters go missing but never food crops. Thieving scumbags.
Sorry about your health issues and the orange moron in charge of your country. xxx

bahnwärterin said...

oh goody!!
first - my best health wishes to you! and then - better to not cling on things, even books. especially in hard times it is better to travel light.... i´m not a minimalist either, but i know.
@looking forward: next week the cable will get fixed by a electrician - a half year & some days after it was broken down by the stupid lumberjacks and lying dangerously across the yard.... the BW finally gives up his job in berlin due to his ruined health.... and i try to be happy with the garden and the cat.
greetings from the land of book burners.

Mim said...

How awful of someone to steal your potatoes! Do you have any other veg they're likely to come back for? I feel slightly ashamed of the bramble patch at the end of my garden, but must admit a thief would have to be really determined to get in that way.

You've cleared out a lot of books. You must feel like you've got so much more space now. Space for BOOKS ;-)

ThriftyParka said...

Ugh! {{{hugs Goody}}} People are terrible, aren't they? I am investing in a security camera system. My car hasn't been broken into (yet) but as our little city has been hit by waves of drugs, addicts are becoming increasingly bolder and openly looking into car windows for anything of value.

I played your video!! I was immediately impressed by how you organized your broaches!!! And I heard your voice for the first time!! You sound like a sophisticated lady :)

I've picked up clear plastic, latched flat boxes (normally used to store small beads, or fishing lures) and I have used them to store broaches.....but I am in the same quandry as you, I do not need to buy any more broaches.

Purging books is tough, isn't it? I had to purge 95% of my collection when I moved 30 miles into the city. I remember driving my old station wagon, which was packed full of boxes of books. It took 3-4 trips to drive them to town where I sold them to a second hand bookstore. Didn't make much, but I'm OK with that.

Glad you were able to keep some of your potatoes, sheesh!!

Keep your chin up kid!! Maybe the thrifting gods will reward you with a sumptuous ball-gown "ala Vix".

Happy thrifting ;)

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

I am gob smacked that somebody would steal your spuds - in broad daylight too! I've had pots of flowers stolen from the doorstep/front window sills but this is some serious thievery. Shame on them.

How good of you to cull your books. It has to be done doesn't it? I've been trying to drum this into my OH who continues to squish in book after book on his section of the book shelves upstairs, but what really gets me is that he only ever reads on holiday. The day is coming when he won't be able to squeeze in another book...

As for the brooches I am astonished and awed at your (partial) collection. Here's a couple of suggestions for storage for the rest - I love your boards btw and think they look fab.

1)Get some large(ish) or lots of smaller attractive picture frames from thrift shops. Remove everything except the back; cover the back with nice material. Velvet is good; you could even give them a thin layer of foam rubber first then cover it with material. Pin brooches to it and hang up. Ready made wall art. I've seen this done in UK charity shops.

2) Clear plastic drawers; sort and label brooches accordingly so you know what's in each drawer as it won't be readily visible. Eg 'gold circle brooches'; 'mosaic brooches'.....

3) Pin brooches to old or no longer worn hats - put on wig stands and display.

4) Pin brooches and display on a dress maker's dummy. You could attache each brooch to a piece of card and pin on. I've seen this done in a UK charity shop.

5) Pin brooches to nice cushions and display. Seen in UK charity shops.

6) You could try buying a grid such as I have for my earrings (originally designed to hold kitchen utensils and bought from Argos) and pinning the brooches ito each of the grids.

7) Buy wide, thick if possible, velvet ribbon; pin brooches to lengths of ribbon with tops of ribbon sewn down to make a channel and thread through a wall mounted curtain pole.

Good luck with all your preserving, baking and creating plans AND enjoy your break!

Bibi Maizoon said...

Potato thievery? What is going on in the US? How low can you stoop to steal potatoes?
Anywho, congrats to Danny on beating the machine. Sending healing vibes your way during my daily meditations. Getting rid of books makes room for MORE books! (Actually, I'm getting a Kindle as shipping costs to Nepal are ridiculous.)
Take care, xox

Polyester Princess said...

I had to read the part about the stolen potatoes twice. Whoever does such a thing, and what is the world coming to. Mind you, my ex colleague has a potato and onion farm, and both often get dug up from their fields.
Love seeing part of your collection of brooches. Love the idea but I'd need a whole wall. Mine are now in these shallow drawers but I'm running out of space so need something else. Also running out of space on the book front. I regularly do a cull, but it's not making much difference as long as I keep buying them. Sorry to hear about your health problems, hope it's not too bad. Hugs xxx

Miss Magpie said...

Wow I can't imagine someone stealing potatoes I mean that's not just casual theft...

You see you and Ann make me stop worrying about my own brooch collection, I can think I don't have as many as them so I'm good lol.

When we moved I filled my Mother's whole car with books and have got rid of more since. Now as I read, if I know I'll never read it again they go straight into the charity bag.

Bibi Maizoon said...

O! I forgot to mention: I had an aunt who collected brooches & had far more than she could ever wear. She sorted them seasonally and pinned then on foam boards covered in velvet & had them framed like shadow boxes. She had them hung on her walls & would switch them out for Xmas, Spring, etc.

Beth Waltz said...

A thug stole your spuds? In broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon in Omaha? I do wish a) I'd been there to hear what you said b) I'd be there when you catch up with the culprit (because s/he will return).

I did the book purge last year. The house tilted to the north and the KIA's shocks will never be the same. And there's still no visible space left on any of the shelves...

Healthwise, I've discovered that limiting my daily intake of national news helps almost as much as decreasing my daily intake of sugar and other poisonous substances. Never watch the news before bedtime!

*cluck*cluck*cluck Yes, we can hear Danny rehearsing a'way out here.

Bobbi said...

Darn hobbits, stealing potatoes like that. People really suck sometimes. They looked wonderful.
I can't even imagine trying to clean out my books.
Your brooch collection is amazing.
For some of us, the Star Wars thing just keeps growing..
Stay cool out there!

Emily from Etsy said...

A pox upon anyone who would have the temerity to steal potatoes out of the ground from a neighbor! Particularly when 5- and 10-lb. bags of potatoes are so inexpensive at the supermarket.

Congratulations to Danny on his pitching achievement! I can totally understand the sore shoulder the next day, even though I never get the high score in anything. At middle age, just playing a rousing game of pinball will make both of my shoulders ache the next day. It seems that I push the flipper buttons way too hard for my own good. : )

Your brooch collection is incredible. And people have shared such wonderful ideas for storing and displaying whatever you decide to keep.

Sue said...

Spud thievery OMG!!! Move down to little old NZ, we will look after you and you would love it here. Our leader is a young female that has just had her first baby. No old orange fart in charge of us.

Goody said...

It was a shock. I once had someone lop the top ioff of my rosemary that was shaped into a topiary, but this was odd. A few years back a clump of dianthus went missing but I blamed the squirrels. Maybe it wasn't their doing after all!

I'm sorry to hear the BW is in poor health-best wishes for better days. Today, someone posted signs around Omaha encouraging people to call and report their neighbours to have them deported. No group is taking responsibility for posting them, but I don't think it would be too hard to find the culprits if the city wanted to (which they don't). People are tearing them down, but it is still sickening. You might be the "land of book burners" but at least you aren't still holding up the 1930's as the better days of the past. We have learned nothing at all from the 20th century.

We've agreed that if we bring in any books, two must go! I'm really starting to appreciate e readers.

@Thrifty Parka
You might be the only person alive that has ever thought I sound sophisticated! I had speech lessons to lose my accent (and I can speak "Properly" for job interviews, etc.)but now that I'm old I'm just embracing my "Sout-side" speech ;)

Soooo, I took your advice and found a lovely 40's wooden frame but when it came time to take it apart I realised I love the print in it too much to remove!!! Guess I need to find an empty frame ;)

I'm taking him back to the arcade tonight-thinking of bringing instant ice packs with for his arm.

I really want to see your brooch collection-it must be like a museum. We were able to get rid of enough books and videos that I finally have enough room for an air-hockey table, which I have wanted since I was ten. Don't know if I will actually do it though.

There will be hell to pay if I catch the person that swiped my taters! Believe you me. I feel like I should sit in front with a pitchfork and a rolling pin in a "Don't mess with mama" pose.

No disrespect for the Star Wars fans, just that the stuff is mega $$$.

I was really shocked by the potatoes, but I guess the lure of freshly dug spuds was just too much.

I honestly wish I could move down there-you might have the last decent place to live left on the planet.