Showing posts with label treasures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label treasures. Show all posts

Monday, August 28, 2017

Keeping Things in the Neighborhood

          Shortly after we had moved in, a neighbor from across the street introduced himself to me.  He told me if we ever needed anything we could call him.  I think he was genuine in his heart, but his poor body was not in great shape.  He needed a ramp to get in and out of the house and was in no condition to climb our hill to inspect the house.  He had asked what changes had been done.  Because I had never seen the house before it went on the market, there was really no way to compare it but I don't know that he could visualize what I had tried to explain.
         I could see that he was in pain as he hobbled out to the mailbox and back to the house.  I don't remember seeing him after that.  I think his children must have taken turns moving in for a while as I would see others go out to retrieve the mail or be out in the yard or what have you.  They would come and stay for a while and then there would be a new set of people.  He eventually passed away, though I don't know how long ago.  It appears to have been fairly recently though.

          His house and garage contained items - lots of items that the family didn't want.  Some items had never even been used before. The family held a garage sale on Saturday.  From 8-4.  Their intent was to get rid of EVERYTHING - even if they had to give it away - which I believe for the most part they did.

          If there is a Yard Sale sign in our driving path, Jenna and Roland are drawn to it - like the yard sale has some gigantic magnetic force that pulls them in.  Roland did not have that much in cash - though Jenna did.  They must have spent 30 - 35 between them.  I'm certain that we ended up with over 200 dollars worth of stuff.  Actually, I KNOW we did.  We have missed our extra fridge and are in great need of defrosting our freezer right now.  There was a fridge on the back porch which cost 5 dollars.  It works.  Currently it is on our back porch though it is not hooked up. 

          Getting it across the street was the hardest part - from his back porch to ours.  But there were others who had stopped to make purchases who helped Roland with the task.  I think that is awesome.  Jenna said she heard they were from Eugene.  Wow!  That is a long ways to go for a yard sale.

          We have needed a wheel barrow since we moved in and purchased a small rusty one - I don't know the price.  The woman who took the money just gave Roland an entire bag of unopened soil.

Office supplies for 10 dollar included a shredder.  You want the shredder?  Not unless you're willing to take it all. 

We don't want anything left.  Come into the kitchen.  We'll give you every item on every counter for just 7 dollars.  Take it all.

          There have been times in the past when Roland and I have noticed an item at an auction that we think we might bid for and by the time it comes up for bid, it has been toward the end of the auction when other bidders have been drained of money, or else the auctioneers are tired, or something. "I have two boxes - no three for the same price."  We've actually found "treasures" that we have used more than what we had initially bid for.  For example, there was a crock pot among the boxes of stuff we had bid for - though the crock pot wasn't our intent.  We use it more than anything.

          Jenna purchased a boatload of hats and a really nice backpack designed for hiking  - quite brand new.  Roland purchased a box of western themed books. 

More dishes than we will ever need, but most he initially purchased with the intent of giving to neighbors when he is on one of his baking kicks.  "Here, take this plate full of goodies, give it to the neighbors next door, tell them to keep the plate."

          I don't know how many trips Roland made to purchase more stuff.  He said he saw a wooden ladder and purchased a mirror, brought them back and returned again for a painting. 

I know he was thinking of me when he purchased it because I love how the fog rolls over the hills, and this reminded us both of that misty smog.  And I do love seascapes. 

It is now hanging over our bed.  And the mirror in our front room makes the room seem a little bit bigger. 

          Jenna picked through her hats and we ran about a third of them through the dishwasher.  She and Roland hung them on the line as they didn't completely dry in the dishwasher - but still have their shape - so that is good.

They've been removed from the line and added to her wall.

           There had been a piece of furniture I was interested in but had no idea where I'd put it.  But it had been sold already.  The neighbors had evidently reached their goal by 2:30.  I had looked out the window just before 3:00 and noticed the sign and all the cars gone and the house looked deserted.
           We still haven't gone through all of our pictures, nor will I be taking any more pictures, but here are some other free items that we walked away with:

          We had started the morning going to another neighbors to pick apples.  They also gave us cherry tomatoes, onions, cherry jam and apple butter.  

Roland topped the night off by making apple pie.  He is not happy with it however.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Belated Gifts

            We celebrated Jenna's birthday at the end of the month (see here) because of the move.  Sadly more would have showed up if we had stuck with the original date.

            Savannah and Bella had both shown up to the bowling alley with gifts, but Kyle did not have one - which is okay.  In the past we have always expressed our interest is with the guests themselves and gifts aren't even necessary. 

            Kyle was overly quiet that day.  Seemed sad, almost.  Was it because she hadn't brought a gift?  The other night we took her and Jenna to the movies as Jenna had been given tickets by the school earlier in the year for her good behavior.  They expire at the end of this month.

            Kyle must have loaded up between April 23 and this past Monday, as she entered the car with an armload of gifts - on top was a green and black fedora - which Jenna immediately put on her head before rummaging through the box of "treasures" that Kyle had handed her.

            So many wonderful gifts that Jenna truly enjoys, among which were: a little bubbled game of trying to get the candy into the frogs mouth, a small lava lamp which Kyle had made, two camouflage barrettes (one in the shape of a flower), green headband, notebook, pencils, fingernail polish, zippered pocketbook, playing cards, silicone popsicle maker, 4 packets of kool-aid, a small jar of body butter . . .

            We had taken them to see "Finding Dory".  Kyle was way more talkative than she had been at Jenna's party.  Maybe she just does better on a one on one?  Different girl.  Much happier.

            And yesterday Roland received socks and tee shirts for Fathers' Day from one of the boys.  He loves Superman and Superheroes.  These gifts were so awesome!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Where's My Purse?

My mom once told me that the first purse that she ever owned was red and had a picture of a cow.  She was five.

I don't know if that's actually when she became obsessed with having a purse with her at all times.  But they seemed to be a part of her when I was growing up.  Back then she had several purses – assorted shapes and colors.  I don’t know how often she changed them.  I know she went through many.

As a child, I don’t think I paid attention to the weight of mom’s purse, but as an adult, I realized she was often toting around the equivalence of a bowling ball – I kid you not.  And some of the heaviest purses were also the smallest ones that she owned.

Okay, maybe as a mom it does seem necessary to lug around an extra case of bandages, a pocket knife, a sewing kit, a comb, 40 pens (only two of them worked) , a fork, and even a hot dog – because you just never know.  Much of the weight was due to the pound and a half of keys that she carried, not to mention the twenty dollars worth of tips usually all in quarters and pennies.


A heavy purse that constantly gained weight – at a rather rapid rate.  Many purses became garbage due to the overloaded abuse of items.  And then she would go through her closet to retrieve one she hadn’t used in a while – do a thorough cleaning as she transferred over and gradually add weight to it all over again.

There are a few posts on my blog in which I refer to mom and Alice, the only two residents that always have her purse in hand.  I would think that mom could give it up by now.  But it’s a part of her.  But she might as well just tote around a bowling bag – seriously.  Why in the world would it need to be that heavy at assisted living?  She doesn’t have/need keys or change anymore.  This afternoon I learned that my mom is a kleptomaniac (one of the stages of her dementia)
As she was asleep at the hospital, I decided it would be a good time to clean out her purse. I found a large set of keys.  I knew they weren't hers.  There was a door stop and one of Harold’s picks (which the aide on duty says he never uses anyway – well, yeah – if it’s in mom’s purse I don’t imagine he does have opportunity to use it) a DVD of Fiddler on the Roof (amazingly not broken or scratched) 4 tubes of lipstick, an unused tube of toothpaste (still in the box) four latex gloves, monthly newsletters, the pictures that she had removed when she moved in (three of them bent) one toy maraca, I think a whistle, three coin purses, two pairs of glasses, three plastic spoons (one was wrapped) 4 packages of tissue – not to mention all the many wadded up tissues that were in each compartment, two scarves (one was a long one for winter), the cell phone we had disconnected before she went into assisted living and several barrettes, 


It turns out the keys belonged to one of the sisters who comes to helps out with the Relief Society activity that is offered to the residence once a month.  I remember she had the cell phone that belonged to maintenance for abut three days.  I turned that in too.  Oh, mom!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

We’re Just Not Yard Sell People

There are a handful of certain people who somehow feel magnetized to drive to yard sales – some spend their entire weekends exploring through junk and treasures and actually driving from yard sale to yard sale – not me. 

Oh, sure.  When I was a kid it was different.  I felt so grown up walking away with treasures from various neighbors’ yards.  But now?  Unless we’re looking for something specific and happen to be passing the yard sell anyway . . . junk.  Lots and lots of junk.  The same you can buy at the second hand store.  Yard sales wear me down.  And today was no exception.

Normally my sibs and I don’t hold yard sales.  Items are donated, thrown out, or given away.  Yard sales are too much work – and you end up donating or throwing away everything that’s left – which in our case was most of it.  Patrick was really dreading that part – but I told him he didn’t have to take it to a donation center himself.  We had enough in the driveway that someone would pick it up – oooo – but not on the weekend.  It felt like we returned more things to the house than what we carried out.  How is that even possible?

Sunny gave me a bag of floppy discs that I will try to go through.  Turns out most of them were mine - or half anyway.  And I had already copied the pictures.  Not all floppies could be opened. I ended up copying what I could and discarding all the floppies.  Are those considered antiques?

We had two gentlemen arrive at the same time – both well over 70.  One pointed to the empty reel/film canister and said, “I bet most people won’t even know what that is.”
My nine year old didn’t.  But then I didn’t recognize the film splicer to be what it was.  I really felt foolish when I asked Patrick about it because I have worked with film splicers before – for two different companies.  Silly me.

And Bob – who Corey has mentioned in at least four of his posts held up a porcelain one-piece nativity of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in a manger and asked the price (I had decided that all large knickknacks, statuettes, porcelain things would be 75 cents and the smaller ones would go for a quarter.  Wasn’t enough. 

“Two dollars?” I said wondering if he still thought it worth more.  He gave us a twenty dollar bill and would not accept change.

It was very sweet of him to donate to the cause – as he really didn’t have the need for the statue as I had to explain two or three times what it was. 

We sold most of the larger glass dishware and all of the tacky things. We sold items that I had never even seen before – some that were still in their original boxes and I suspect had never even been open.

The proceeds are going towards mom’s needs.  Not enough to pay even a week of her stay, but perhaps enough that Patrick can give some money to both Kayla and I when she runs out of medication or her bras where out or something like that.  Pocket change . . .  

Mostly it was just Patrick and I who were out there.  Sunny was keeping Jenna entertained and Kayla and Bill had gone with his family.  Roland's oldest sister seemed like the type who would spend all day driving around from one yard sell to another.  His family loves flea markets and second hand stores.

We’re not yard sale people.  I don’t know if Patrick or Kayla has ever even purchased yard sell items before.  I have.  Roland has.  Yard sale treasures that were junk put out by somebody else becomes recycled again. There were some ceramic fish on the table that I remember buying at another yard sale just up the street almost forty years ago.

Sometimes what's one man's junk is another man's treasure and sometimes what's one man's junk is always junk.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

That’s a Lot of Costume Jewelry!

          I don’t remember being in the ward when the name of Roland and his sons were read over the podium for new membership records. They must have been read the week that mom and I went out of town.

          It was September of 2000.  We had gone to San Francisco to clean out my grandma’s apartment.  A place that housed her possessions but she had not actually lived there for over a year – and yet the rent was still being paid.  How wasteful.

          Mom and I lined the halls with donations.  We had called Salvation Army, DVA, any thrift store or charity that would come.  Nobody would take it all, but every organization took a lot.  Hard to believe that apartment actually held all that much.  I never knew what a very Large apartment my grandmother lived in.

          We designated each room for different things.  We had a garbage room, a record room, a knickknack room, a poison room.  Mom hadn’t lived in San Francisco for years.  It’s not as though either one of us knew our way around – or even had the transportation to do so.  We didn’t know the proper method for disposing all of the pills we found, or the dozen or so ketchup bottles that had been on the shelf for the last 25 years and would have asphyxiated us if they had broken.

We could have probably made a few bucks had we had the means to transport the many items to pawn shops or antique stores.  But alas, we were there for only six days.  And six days was not enough to even to clean even just one room – though we did manage to find the closet with the hideaway bed. 

My grandma went through various stages of being extremely heavy and actually having lost the weight.  Complete wardrobes in various sizes – why would she hang on to all those clothes?  How in the world did she ever find anything?  Maybe she couldn’t – and that is why she continued to purchase.

We discovered actual rooms that had been used as closets.  Tons and tons of clothes.  Enough to clothe all the homeless people of San Francisco.

We would venture out only once a day.  Grab something to eat and dispose of items that the charities and another organizations wouldn’t take.  Or else we would go to the bank and make deposits.  We actually found the nation’s penny shortage in my grandma’s apartment.  Last day.  No time for the bank.

Mom put the many rolls of pennies into a backpack  to carry on the plane.  I laughed when the alarm went off.  After checking her bag, they let her through.  I’m thinking that she wouldn’t have been able to board the plane with all the securities that were added to (and continue to add) just one year later.

Grandma was a hoarder.  As soon as mom and I returned home, we were able to tackle our own basement.  We threw things away.  Many things.  For mom’s house was so much bigger than Grandma’s apartment, and what a nightmare that would be many years down the road when someone else (most likely her children) would have to come clean.  Neither of us believed it would be so soon.  Neither one of us ever imagined that we would have to put mom in a home.  Not my mom.  Not her mom. 

While growing up, I remember mom wearing a variety of jewelry.  I’m not certain when it stopped.  But there came a time she really didn’t wear jewelry all that much.  And yet she seemed to inherit a large portion of costume jewelry from each of my grandmas after they had passed.  She still has them.  I don’t know why.  I don’t recall ever having seen her wear any of it.

My mom has not passed, but we have gone through her possessions as though maybe she has.  Making use of what we can or selling whatever can be sold.  Kayla and Corey are both having a hard time with it as they are still her possessions and she is still alive.  But she’s got dementia.  And she doesn’t remember as much as she did just a few years ago.  And she doesn’t even remember her house anymore – let alone her possessions.

Just a few months ago, I can remember asking her about items that I knew were hers.  She didn’t claim them however.  In her mind, almost everything in the house belonged to Nate – my niece’s husband. They lived in mom’s basement – still do. But they do not own everything.  But mom’s reality is so much different from our own.

Jenna had a grand time sorting through all of the jewelry that mom had accumulated.  None of us wear jewelry.  Sunny does once in a while.  Ellen and I think they’re quite bothersome.  Jenna would take it all if she could.  But she doesn’t need it.  And yet she appreciates it more than each of us do.  It’s beautiful.  It’s feminine.  It has a different value to eight year old eyes than those of us who are over twenty.

Sunny would like the beads – not to wear but to tear apart and use for bracelets that will be created by her preschoolers.  Go for it, Sunny.  How exciting it will be for my grandmothers to see their jewels shared joyfully among so many – even if they are just three and four.  For theirs is a pure joy.  You don’t see that much excitement among as many adults.

Mom had closets full of clothes as well.  Mostly in three sizes.  A lot of clothes – but not enough to clothe all the homeless.  Not enough to fill as many bags as her mom had.  Not enough to line the stairs from her apartment on the third floor to the downstairs lobby.  Still more than one person needs.  But not nearly outrageous as her mom.

Actually there are not as many beads in the collection as there were tons of clothes in grandma’s apartment.  It actually makes it easier for me to toss things so my kids won’t have to.  I don’t wish to be a hoarder.  I may be hoarding memories.  I’ve saved a lot for Jenna.  We are 42 years apart.  I figure she will need something.  But I want her to want it.  I don’t want her to be the one cleaning up after me saying, “What the heck was mom thinking?  Nine staplers.  Who needs nine staplers?” 

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  Before inheriting my mom’s desk supplies, I only had two staplers.  I think I now have seven . . . I had expressed interest in using her unused notebooks and other desk supplies.  Ellen took it to mean that I wanted everything that had ever been in the desk. I think I got it all.

For the most part, most everything I took was practical and in no way had any sentimental value.  I asked for lidded containers and space makers and forks and plates.  They didn’t even have to be good ones. 

I had had my eye on mom’s knives ever since she bought them.  Ellen had wanted them too.  So I let her have them.  I know she will take better care of them than my household will. 

We’re getting things from Carrie’s grandmother as well.  It’s been five years since anyone has lived in the trailer that she and Randy will be moving to.  It’s actually not bad.  It’s a lot roomier than our current house.

Roland.  He’s a hoarder.  And so is our brother-in-law, Bill.  Kayla and I have both gotten rid of a lot.  And our husbands have managed to replace it within days.  So for those of you who read my blog, please pass this message onto my children: Mommy hoarded memories, but it was daddy who filled the space by hoarding more unnecessary stuff.. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aunt Gertrude’s Dolls and . . . Jenna’s Rocks

          Kayla and I took the kids for a visit to Aunt Trudy’s house.  She had two dolls that reminded her of Kayla – and she wanted her to have them.

          Aunt Trudy is a collector of dolls.  She has TONS of them.  There are two display cases which house a lot of dolls.  The larger one holds her story book collection and the smaller one contains the dolls which represent various countries.  There are also dolls displayed on the dresser, her bed, and other shelved areas.  I shouldn’t have been surprised about several others that she had downstairs – but I was.  20 – 40 more boxes full of Madam Alexander dolls.  It is mind boggling really.

          Every girl in the family (including Roland’s oldest two – amazingly) has been in the “doll” room and has coveted various dolls and a few have even made dibs about which ones they would like to inherit.  I’m at the point now where I just don’t care.  If I don’t get any of the dolls, it will be okay.  I don’t have room for the things I want.  It seems wasteful that the few dolls I do have (or ones that have been sent to Jenna) are tucked away in boxes in the shed. 

          Aunt Trudy rarely ever lets guests leave her house empty handed – especially the children.  She has always given us shirts, stuffed animals, knick knacks, and of course dolls. 

          One year she asked if Jenna would like a doll.  I said I didn’t think so.  She was still young and curious and was entertaining herself with examining polished rocks from a bowl that Aunt Trudy kept on the coffee table. 

          “I think I have some more of those rocks in my garage,” Aunt Trudy said. “Would she like to have those?”

          “Oh, I believe she would love them more than any other has ever loved any doll that you have given to anybody”

          And she did.  Never has Aunt Trudy received such enthusiasm or appreciation for any doll than the amount Jenna expressed for those rocks.  She would entertain herself for hours each day as she would sort the rocks by color, by size, by shape and by favorites.  Five or six years later (I don’t know how old she was when she received them – but it was before pre-school I think) she still has most of them.  And she loves them. 

          Jenna has ALWAYS liked balls.  I think she was born LOVING them.  And she has always thought of rocks as “Nature’s balls” – or anything which is round.  She discovered a curled up potato bug when she was one.  That was pretty cool.  She was barely starting to talk when she decided to chase the moon as she held out her arms and called it a “ball”  She’s still never been much into dolls though – especially dolls designed for display only.  How boring.

          Kayla accepted the dolls and took them out to her car.  I don’t know if she will put them on display or not.  Unlike me, she actually does have casing for them – but like me, she finds them impractical.  They are “fun” to look at – but the novelty is short lived.  They become dust collectors for a lot longer than the “fun” lasts. And those two – though the looks themselves really do resemble Kayla, Anna and Garrett – are porcelain.  If I’m to collect dolls, I would rather they weren’t porcelain.

          Bless Aunt Gertrude and Jenna for their love and enthusiasm for treasures and for the desire they both have in sharing their joy.