Good morning. We’re back again. It’s about 8:30 A.M. Rich is zipping up his case, so we’re thinking that he’s going to be heading out soon. You might then guess that we are still at home. We left sister a note saying we wouldn’t be in today and that we’d like to talk with her tomorrow morning if she had time. We’ll get to more of that later though. For the time being … we’ve been up for about four hours. We just sat the first hour looking appreciatively around our back work space. I know it probably been stared down enough, but while we are doing that … we come up with new ideas … or if we are just sitting it allows us to feel very good about being in the space, and after yesterday morning we needed to be feeling better, so we lapped it up.
We’ve had our eggs too. Rich didn’t get a chance to get groceries, but he did bring home some eggs and cheese. That was really nice of him. We’re asking him to get us batteries before he goes anywhere else today though. It’s really hard to live life without a mouse. We told him that we’d meet him downstairs. Speaking of … it’s probably a good time to bring some stuff down. If we get it to the bottom of the stairs, Rich can bring it over to the dumpster and that seems to be half of the trouble. Good thinking! I think I heard the garbage men too so we’re thinking that it should be empty.
We decided that since we were going to stay home today that we’d work on all the projects we’d set aside for Rich. It’s going to be a lot of work. The first thing is the garbage brought down, but we’ll do this a little at a time. The next thing will be to clear the stuff at the top of three out of the four closets that isn’t already done. The next thing will be to clear out the front hall closet, the next thing will be to empty my top file drawer AND if there is time or ability … the next thing is to hang a few pictures. MAYBE that will be saved for Rich, but I wouldn’t bet on it at this point. We just want things done and not to be fighting about it anymore.
To take Rich’s side, I do appreciate that he is tired. He comes home after a game or two after working throughout the day. I do want it mentioned he works from home so slides in the things he needs to so that de-stresses that whole thing, but he does do a lot of work. He doesn’t have games tonight, so it’s going to be laundry day, AND it should be grocery day too. Ok, maybe one of us too should vacuum the carpet. We’ll have to see how things add up. I do know that if you don’t get this kind of work done during the weekend it is not going to get done on its own.
Good good … Rich tried to argue again and I’m just NOT going to argue. He couldn’t understand why I was helping with garbage … I just said it was a two-fer He wouldn’t have to carry the load all on his own nor would I have to go to the trash bin. I think sometimes he is just the most snarly man. He takes after his Mother in the cranky department. I do think his mother is a lot more positive … Rich seems to take great pleasure in coming up with negative stuff.
This morning there was another big problem about 7 A.M. when he figured out I wasn’t getting ready for work. He started to yell and complain and groan and told me that I had wrecked his ability to work he was so mad. After about ten minutes he left the room and went into the bedroom and then took his shower and got dressed. When he came back to the room, he seemed better. Still touchy, but he had figured out something to make himself more calm. I think usually it is an acceptance of something that hadn’t happened before. He said something about not knowing how our minds processed, but that he would take it for what it was worth.
This wasn’t his exact words, just the sense recall we have of it.
When Rich gets mad, most the time we regress to not talking. I don’t think we regressed this time all the way. We stayed semi-adult in that we could look up though not into his eyes directly. It doesn’t do any good to argue because that’s just senseless. He’s not in a receptive mood so why try adding our logic whether that is sound or not. We’re not all bad.
We’d figured out already that we had to do these other jobs … the other thing we figured out was that tomorrow morning we were going to ask Sr. to allow us to work two days from home – both Monday and Tuesdays. We thought it out over and over again … and it seemed to be the perfect solution. We’d been looking at other jobs and for a long time have been reading over work-at-home jobs. We’ve tried a few leads, but it’s hard to find something that just isn’t collecting money for some directions on how to work from home using one sales technique or another. I’ve come to figure out if they are not up front in telling you what the immediate job is that they probably are messing with our minds.
I read over what had been said by somebody in our system yesterday. There seems to be two components … the first is not wanting to work at all, and the second is not wanting to work outside the home. We did an internal sweep and we feel confident in saying that if we were allowed to work at home, we would do everything possible to make it a productive day. Anything at this point would be more productive than what is happening at work. We surveyed our space and figured that we could use the drafting table for most of the work. It would mean cleaning up fabric from the night before if we had used it, but it was a doable situation. We can just move the cut pieces over to the top of the file cabinet.
This was also the part of cleaning out that top file. I am envisioning it to be used for the storage of work documents. We also think that we are going to be using the briefcase again in getting papers back and forth. I do like the idea of the scanner at work, so we can send files over the Internet without having to take books out of the building.
The way we figure it is that there needs to be some kind of change. We would like to get back into the work, but there has to be a better plan to do it. Usually when we get to work there is so much resentment toward being there … we do anything different to calm ourselves down just to tolerate it.
There are many reasons for this in that … We had never intended to work over ten years at a company doing the same primary things day in and day out. We feel very burnt out. We figured though if we changed things up a bit we could handle better the situation. The first thing is to start to like the job better. It seems we can do routine things here without having a problem. We also think about things like at a certain time of a woman’s life, it must become more and more important to be at home. I don’t want to just leave sister, nor do I think necessarily that we are going to get a better job, that is fairly easy and pays the bills.
Hmm, just a break in the action – Rich just stopped at home, brought up the batteries which WORK! And, then he got some coffee and took down a SMALL load of garbage. *sigh* It’s at least moving and we are ecstatic to be getting the mouse working again.
I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request in that Sr. has always been accommodating to the neediness of her staff. A person working at home is a very popular thing right now. I’m not sure if Sr. is attuned to that, but there is more and more going behind the thought process. It seems that on most days I never really leave my office, so I’m not really needed in general. I would make certain adjustments to being in if I had to be and I would be in on my staffing days, my staff training days, and the Thinking group days, so I wouldn’t be putting anyone out.
I realize that I have to make amends as to getting things done in time for the Annual inspection, but after that if I’m still employed, I foresee going carefully through my drawers at work and throwing things that are unnecessary. I want a clean operation and I want things organized. I know that we’ve said this in the past and in saying it now reminds me that we haven’t clearly gotten all the bugs worked out in going from one calendar appointment to the next and in one computer/phone communication to the next. That will all have to be refigured.
Part of doing things will have to be giving Sr. some kinds of reassurances that work is being done. To do this we are going to need concentrating fully on doing work at work time. The biggest interference in this is the writing. We are fairly well trained to save sewing until the end of the night. If the place stays picked up it is part of a process of me being tuned in and taking care of things as they come up – like when we go in for another cup of coffee we take in the plate from our omelet. It’s a really big deal to have our place so much on top of the game.
I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to be this organized.
I still want a house, but I’m much better at this point, in that the apartment is very comfortable. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to take down the picture of the “new place” it does mean that I’m learning to deal with our space. It be a shame to put so much work into the back room just to be taking it down – though when the time comes, I will be that much further ahead in knowing what and how to arrange things at a new place. The biggest difference there was in asking Bob to put up the shelving units. Nothing would have gotten anywhere without that start. Ok, back into the warm fuzzy feelings.
I’m thinking we’re veering off the subject of working from home and I think that’s ok, we’ll let it slip back into the conversation when we are more relaxed with the idea. Right now we are close to feeling threatened in that it seems like such a wonderful life altering thought that anything, BUT that thought is threatening, especially Sr. saying no. I don’t know what to do in offering an ultimatum. I know I can’t leave the job if she says no, but I also don’t know how to get over the frustration and anger. It’s going already to be something to be talking to her a little more openly about my work thoughts. I think she’s getting a better idea of how we think in that she’s reading our book. She mentioned the little script and I saw it open on her kitchen table. I will be eager to get her response, but the part where she’s still talking to us; I have to take as a good sign.
I think we might be a little super charged in that we just did a sweep of the place for no good reason. We put away the extra batteries Rich left, went in and made the bed, we checked out the sewing room and we opened the front drapes - Anything to get us into a normal routine. I think we’re going to need making an executive decision here. Might it not be a good idea to take a shower and get out of our pajamas? FlyLady would vote yes, but there sure is something nice about working comfortably, but it would seem the smarter move to do things properly. I’m not sure, but maybe we can put on some sweats? We’ll need to compromise between flannel and jumpers. That would seem the thing to do. Ok, let’s try that then.
Good good … we’re back. Went with the sweats and the purple shirt – funny thing about cleaning your closet … everything seems brand new.
So … It’s almost 10 A.M. and we’ve got to be moving on here … I would like to continue writing, but I know there is work ahead too. Let’s give ourselves a chance to relax into it, k? Where are our thoughts?
There’s a little guilt in thinking thoughts of the book. Right now isn’t the time to be working on that though. We really need to get done with the house project first so that we can continue to move smoothly through all its day to day projects. I think when we start, we are going to bring a load downstairs, and then we are going to work on Rich’s closet first. We’ll do everything for now with the exception of the pictures. We’ll take things down from above Rich’s clothes and sort and or throw. Then we will bring his tackle boxes up to see how much space they are going to take up. I’m thinking that we might build from left to right, in that if there is extra space, maybe then we can bring the stuff from on top of our clothes (Rich’s old closet) to the space above his clothes currently. I think given a choice I would like his plastics gear on our clothing side rather than the odds and ends discombobulated stuff. It looks much neater and more organized.
That will work, then if Rich’s closet gets cleaned out, then we’ll work on getting the sheets and blankets taken care of. If Rich’s stuff both tackle and odds and ends fit on the top of the sewing room closets, then the question would be what would go on top of our stuff. I’m pretty sure given the choice, I’d rather have the empty side – for maybe something to come rather than the sheets and blankets.
That seems to be building up to being a neutral closet anyway. Maybe one of the things I can do is bring in the small black bags from the front hall closet. That would help organize that space.
Looking at the front hall closet … it seems there isn’t that much hanging up in that all the coats and leftovers in there could probably go to the back rod. The floor is mostly folding chairs and pictures, so maybe the odds and ends would fit up on the top. Hmm, I’m thinking now that maybe the stuff underneath the ironing table might fit in the closet. Part of that is the books and the boxes from the books. I would like to have the under table space back if possible, although I could live with it either way.
Hmm, starting to fall into a plan here! The other stuff that goes on top of the shelving in the front hall is Christmas stuff … we don’t have much there though so all is good.
Ok, that’s all planned out. What else can we talk about that isn’t work orientated? We’ve given up the idea of finishing the class at Morton. We still have to do the work, but figured that we might as well do it on our own since the school really isn’t adding much to the structure part and that is why we had taken the course. I don’t think it was a waste of $99, but we do realize we could have made better use of it.
Again we’re thinking here that we have been pretty influenced of late by John’s passing and trying to be more up-to-date with my mother and sister, and of course Linda. A major part of that though is in really appreciating having had the Grandmother that we did, especially her influence due to the quilts. I don’t think actually we finished there yesterday. Maybe we could go back now and then we might be more likely to get back into the deep cleaning projects, hmm?
We just reread or at least skimmed over where we’d left off yesterday. It will be a trick to see if we can pick up on all that. I know last night before Rich came home we’d really typed fast to be getting in what we had. It seems mostly we’d gotten past the part where we were cleaning up in our bedroom and had talked a little about garbage area in back. I think here we are going to insert a few pictures. We described it a bit when we put it in Facebook, but we’ll probably do it here to put things in better context.
The first picture is our closet being organized. You can see the clothes aren’t too crowded and there’s room for the suitcase and the shoe baskets. What you don’t see here is the space behind the brown dresser. It is really one of the nicest closets, because what’s here doubled is also doubled on the other side and both sets are doubled in the sewing room. I don’t know if we’ve done enough to eliminate the doubt here yet. I want you to be able to visualize the space and what we’re talking about. No, I haven’t figured out yet why it’s so important that we publish our life. Just know it is. The space in the middle is crowded with boxes and clothes that aren’t essential, but that I wanted to keep. Out of sight now out of mind – and if Rich wants a basket to bring up dry clothes then we can easily share a basket for the shoes. Yep yep … we think in this kind of detail.
I think there’s something to be said here. It seems that when we get overwhelmed and this might be a pattern, we have sudden needs to reorganize. Things have to make sense down to the smallest details. Maybe if you’ve been reading us all along, you’ve already come up to this conclusion.
This is the new sorter on the other side of the closet. Doesn’t it look miraculously uncluttered? I’m really pleased that we took out a whole section of old clothes. There is a little worry that we should have cut them up, but for now like mentioned before it was better to take down the overwhelmed thoughts. You can see too that there is a hanging area, so that Rich when putting away clothes can work from here with space to play. I think usually he takes down his or my load and then stands by our closet to put things away. This area though frees up space to the imagination. It must be working because before Rich left, he mentioned that he wouldn’t have a game tonight and that he should be doing some clothes. I feel so proud we came up with at system where he doesn’t have to bend and things are all sorted. There was also a bit of new order when he changed from his clothes last night he was very certain to put things in order and that was really appreciated.
This was part of the staging area we talked about before. You are only getting a little part of the sheet, but it is really full. Some things that we’ve been saving we just had the need to now be throwing out. There were some clothes left by Thom and Maury. We could have seen this over to Joe, but then we got to a point where we said enough is enough … It just has to go. Another thing that went was the down mattress liners. I had one on each bed at the time, but Rich decided after he got here that they were too warm, and that they were sticking him with feathers. Rich questioned throwing them out because they were still good, but at some point you just have to say enough. If it were FlyLady, she would say something about if it wasn’t loved, useful, etc. Get rid of it!
One other thing that was finally thrown was the wall hanging made by the kids Grandmother. I’ve been carrying it around since we were married. It had been made for my ex, but he didn’t take it with him when he left. I’ve thought for a long time that it was too good to throw, but there were spots on the front where the material had deteriorated into holes. For a long time we just looked past these, but this time it was like … we don’t have room here, and if we ever moved into a new place we wouldn’t want it up and we knew in the condition it was in that none of the boys would want it either – so out it finally went YAY FOR THE TEAM!
This was the other side of the area filled with garbage. The two brown boxes hadn’t been thrown yet from the last trip cleaning up the back closet and then there were other boxes added. The two white boxes and all that was broken down inside them are from the boxes my Grandmother’s stuff came in. Gradually as we comet to explain, we went through every box and emptied it and now everything is being accommodated into our stuff. The plastics in the back are part of what Rich wants storage space for in the closet. He’s got a ton of lures that he wants to sort through before the next fishy season. Fishyman actually asks for so little, we have to make sure to accommodate his needs. We’re still remembering the story of him only having a tiny corner above the fridge free for his stuff at his last house. I know that we’ve discussed this in the past so we’ll not go into it here; needless to say I’m glad there is space for his needs too. Heaven knows we’ve taken up a lot of apartment real estate.
This is our blanket found in the cleaning of the closet that we were just soooo EXCITED about. It was called a postage stamp and you are just seeing about a quarter of it. We folded it around the big cushions and it was amazing how close it matched to the couch. I couldn’t be happier. It seemed to make sudden sense that the one thing our quilting room was missing was a great big old quilt. I didn’t make this one, but I’m fascinated with it. It was made by someone in Kentucky … the matching pieces are at my sisters because I had been so discouraged at not finding this for over a year. I was sure that it was thrown out. Every inch there is a new block … It must take the most talent to get things to looking this great. It’s by far more demandingly good than anything I will probably ever make. I had bought it from money left over from my father’s estate … and there will be no losing of it THIS time! At the time it had come off the bed, because Rich didn’t want to mess it up and he was more happy with a green comforter he’d brought from his old place.
The suitcases and boxes for the books are what we were talking about might fit in the top of our closet. We’re crossing our fingers!
This is how the south wall filled in after we did a LOT of going through boxes. Things fell in the most extraordinary order. The pieces added in this picture beside the blanket were a few more pieces added to the second shelf on the left.
This is all the pieces that we have that are bigger than a yard or two. We don’t have such a big stash here, but it is ok, because we are so well covered in other areas that are important to us. The third shelve to the left is new too. It contains all the bigger pieces of flannel that came from my Grandmother’s collection. It’s a real soft flannel and might actually be something else. It is the stuff that is used for baby quilts. It’s really soft and tears and my fingers. Obviously the fingers and hands are rougher than I’d imagined.
There are a few small changes that need to be made like I don’t like the picture shelf three down from the right. There’s a bunch of little hand projects in plastic and I don’t like the way they are flopping. Maybe what we’ll do is after the guide pieces come out of one of the wickers we can put the plastic projects in there and then we can come up with something else more decorative for this shelf.
I don’t have any immediate needs for shelving, but I don’t want it to look this sloppy. I wanted that shelf to be more of a showcase. I might just add some boxes from the other side that is more hidden. We’ll see. Again all the larger plastic bags on the top are from CS quilt projects and they are being explained by pictures below on the rows of colored sheets.
Yup yup, we are back to this side. You are probably getting tired of it by now, but as you know we have tendencies toward … everything new seems to get another picture. This side also shows some updates from my grandmother’s stuff. The last three cubbies are for her. One has knitting and crochet needles, a pattern and other such stuff, the next has about 12-15 packages of rick-wrack and the upper has some odds and ends primarily like a few feet of lace including a tiny part that is hand crocheted.
The boxes by the hearts are what will probably move out of there. But, something I’m proud of is the thread collection. We’re going to be adding to this soon.
We’re hoping it’s already on its way. I’m starting in this sense to feel like a seamstress. The idea is options and the idea is look at all the colors aren’t they beautiful? It’s the same warm welcoming affect we have from looking at fabric. I don’t know if this is something common to most people – to be drawn in by color and texture or if it’s something I inherited. One way or another we are feeling a lot of joy from it.
This picture shows a few more things that are new. A couple of the wickers – the big ones were empty so we found things to put in them, quite by accident. Well one at least. The one that came more naturally was the two quilt tops made by my Great Grandmother. It had been put on the shelf in the kitchen, but it made a whole lot more sense to bring it into this room. I didn’t think of it at first, but if you sit around and stare at things long enough … ideas and inspiration come to you. It happened after we brought the big quilt in for the couch.
And, then almost as easy a thought as all that, we remembered that we had one other thing to gather back to the room – we still had the cross-stitch projects we’d worked on in our past. I figured Wow! Of course they belong in here. Especially the part of having a great big collection of DMC thread – I don’t know if it is too old to use yet, but it was surely loved. That was one of the things I loved about cross-stitch … there were so many pretty colored threads. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it. I figured my Grandmother obviously did crochet too as a side to her quilting. My mother picked up the crochet too as well as my cousin Marsha, and CS and I have picked up on the quilting. Maybe if we do both quilting and cross-stitch, my kids’ kids will pick that up too. I’d almost forgotten too that my mother had picked up cross-stitch after I had … I still have the first needlework project – EVERYONE in the family does needlework, but my first real effort had been done with the other girls we met up with in Norway. It’s cool stuff really!
Next to the big baskets were two extra special little surprises. There are two small doll quilts that are completely made. One day if CS comes by, we’ll ask her if she wants one of them. That kind of stuff just seems fair.
Oh and one more thing. One of those boxes we were talking about is in this picture right between and joining the two pink sets of boxes. It has an arc of candy and it says “Favorites.” There’s another box with doohickeys in it like buttons, pins and such, but this box is empty except the thought that it was my Grandmother’s so obviously it is now special.
Shoot one more thing … we also gained those primarily white stacks in the corner.
We explained this in another place, but there was almost a whole box of this kind of stuff, some so raggedy we threw it away, but the gist is that there are old sheets and fabric from shirts cut down. My Grandmother and her generation wasted little of nothing. Some of the shirts brought back bad memories because they would have belonged to my Grandfather, but other than that … we loved getting such a cool collection of stuff.
This is like one of the pictures you knew we have been holding back with, but am now thrilled to show. We got the idea of using these kinds of cubbies from CS. CS has bigger ones and she uses them for collecting bigger pieces of fabric, but that isn’t what my collection is about. In general if the piece was big enough then we figured it should go back to CS collection. Here the boxes are like 6x6x12. The pieces that fill these are coming from the scraps. Anything about 18x21” or the size of a fat quarter, but not yet more than a yard or two are going here and the idea is to then recycle so these pieces go to being cut smaller for quilts down the line. You remember the little squares and rectangles in the left pink boxes?
That’s what happens to things that are smaller than a fat quarter.
The value of this section other than it just looks so gosh darn cool is that you have a chance to sort by color where the pink cubbies you are sorting by cut size.
This section will fill up more as we go through more scraps. And, this is primarily our business! These are the kinds of pieces that will go toward building the quilts we give away. We will be able to color coordinate them better as we collect pieces, but for now we’re mixing and matching. Do you remember the project that we are working on?
See it takes all kinds of colors to make a rainbow. These colors being used in this project are more like natural sand colors. That’s what is so special about quilting … everything is unique and for the most part one of a kind. It’s just mind-boggling how color combinations come into play. I could look at the above cubby wall for hours. But, I know I have to be moving on.
These are the bins that we talked about earlier as to placing an order. I can’t tell you how excited I was that everything was falling into order. We’ve got two more of these coming which is perfect though in the end we might build up the wall to about six. But, if we built it much higher it would indicate there are things that aren’t getting completed. The bottom bin is about halfway filled and it has little scraps of the baby flannel. Some of the pieces are cut already, but most are just scraps. I think my grandmother did a lot more with 4 ½ x 4 ½” squares where I seem to do smaller like 1 ½ x 1 ½ and 2 ½ x 2 ½. The reason for the halves is that after you sew them together there is a seam allowance of 1/4” on each side so the finished project is a whole number.
The next two bins will be for my sister’s remaining stash of scraps that is now under the table in a big blue garbage bag. They should fill up the majority of the other two bins. Object then would be to KEEP cutting and sewing until they are all used up … and by then you can look around to almost any sewer and say … do you have scraps you don’t want. Lot of people don’t throw them away, because they COULD be valuable, but most don’t get around to it because sometimes it’s a lot more fun to get nice big new pieces of fabric. AHA! I’ve got a calling in life and now we’ve got the system too!
That’s a clean garbage by the way. Nothing slimy or deteriorating goes in that garbage … most items in a sewing room are scraps SO small that they would be good for anything … though I’m thinking in the old days they would have been used as stuffing. We’re not there though. Fortunately, stuffing is more effective and efficient now days.
This one I really got the giggles for. It was amongst some of my Grandmother’s things. I didn’t know that she thought these kinds of thoughts and since its singular we’re thinking it was important to her in some respect. After living nearly a hundred years it is amazing to see what comes or is left as a result. It tickles me that my Grandmother had this kind of life where this would make her laugh and that she too was perhaps some days close to being a little crazed by it all.
Another thing that we’d found was a church newsletter where she was pictured with about a dozen women who were obviously from the quilts they were displaying quilters. They got together after Bible study and the news article that joined the picture talked about the hundreds of quilts they made for charity. I couldn’t be more proud of a document as to having fallen in our hands. It’s just so special.
That was a big part of the day yesterday as I was going through my Grandmother’s scraps one at a time, I felt such presence by her and it was almost as if she could be really laid now to rest that the things that were so important to her had come to a place of being. I felt like ok … from this time on … it’s me and Grandma’s will that will be carrying on. It was the most satisfying feeling and it took sometimes long moments between one set of tasks and another because we felt so contemplative.
So here we are about back to square one. There is a project on the table and it requires some attention, but just the special kind toward evening. I would really love to be able to sew by day, but there is so much other stuff to be doing as well. We still have to make an income and of course there is the writing. Words do not just appear. Well sort of they do.
We have to be patient in waiting for the next two shipments … both of the bins and the things ordered through JoAnn’s. We’ll be looking forward to the lights especially for the cutting area in the living room and the piano keyboard. I saw Rich this morning adjusting the present light over the drafting table so he could see his paperwork. He’ll be getting that light to use as he wishes in just a couple of days. Last night after he got the full tour he had put on his pajamas and we both had a little late dinner. Then we watched or at least listened to a couple shows with him. We’d cleared all the clutter on the drafting table and just worked on cutting down the little pieces. There is so much fulfillment that comes with this task, I’m finding it hard to imagine so many people not having had touched base with their quilting selves. It seems that’s going to be my legacy.
Quilting and writing. I feel so extraordinary in being able to do this kind of thing. I think anyone could with a little patience and opportunity. I really thank my Grandmother and sister for having brought this all back into my life.
We should then be getting on with our day … You know the projects set up in front of us.
There’s just this one little last shot. How can you end a perfectly good day without appreciating the dark stillness about us? If you haven’t found your passion yet, it is time to look!
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