Thursday 5 February 2015

February Vacation 2015, Day 3

Today I got really discouraged. The plain and simple fact is I have TOO MUCH STUFF!. Much too much. There is so much stuff in the basement, that there's no room to move things around to clear out the sewing area and start working. Or to stack the renovation materials until I'm ready to use them. And trying to clear it out so that I can actually get the renovations done is kind of overwhelming. Especially when there's only me to do it. I'm trying to de-clutter, but it's the wrong time of year for a yard sale. And selling online means having to take pictures and post them and then wait for responses. Then wait for people to get around to come and pick up their items. A slow and tedious process. I've considered having a winter garage sale, but right now the snow is blowing horizontally, we're expecting 10-20 cm and it's -16C without the wind chill factor. Do you think anyone would come? Our drop boxes for both our local thrift store and Value Village are overflowing. And I'm not about to haul it all to the nearest Value Village an hour's drive away. I could call the collection crew for Value Village, but then I'd have to wait for them to show up. Also wrong time of year to leave much outside for them to pick up. 
So I've decided to lighten up on myself. This is supposed to be a vacation after all. And if I don't get the renovations done, that will just give me more time to save money to get the light fixtures moved and the extra for the flooring. :-) I don't want to go back to work more stressed and exhausted than I was before I started my vacation. 
But I didn't do nothing today. I got rid of these:
I had 5 of them. They're called strawberry jars, but I didn't grow strawberries in them. I liked to plant portulaca in them. But they're made of terra cotta and in order to preserve them, they should be stored inside over the winter. The first few years of these jars' lives, they were not stored inside and there is some deterioration, but I have stored them in my basement for the last 5 years. And there they stayed. And I finally decided that I don't want planters that I have to haul inside and find a place for every winter. And I also didn't want the hassle of trying to sell them when they are already starting to deteriorate. So I offered them on the facebook freecycle (i.e. to give away) group for my community. Wow did they go fast - posted them this morning and they were gone this afternoon. ! I had several people interested. I wonder if there would have been that much interest if I had been selling them instead of giving them away.  
And I did manage to clear enough space in the basement to move the DRIcore down there. Otherwise it would have been challenging getting the strawberry jars up past the DRIcore sitting in my entryway. However, I now have to squeeze between my hot water tank and my washing machine to get into my laundry room. But I have enough clean underwear that I can get by without doing laundry for awhile. LOL!
I also posted a vintage cream and sugar set to the facebook silent auction site and already have one bid on it. It's a toss up for me. I want to unload a lot of stuff, but I also want to make some money to pay for the renovations. So, some items I post for sale and some to give away. I still haven't given away the old microwave, the big blue desk or the stacks of cookbooks. I thought about dragging the desk out to the laneway and putting a "Free" sign on it. The desk is actually in the garage, but if I am able to make more room in the garage, I can move some basement stuff out there. Not that I want to keep that much of it, but one of my nephews moved to Alberta from Ontario. He's currently living with friends but hoping to get his own place sometime this year. So I'm saving some stuff for when he gets his own apartment. And he doesn't want the desk. Or the microwave. I have a newer microwave for him. I didn't ask him about the cookbooks, but they're mostly older and how many cookbooks does a young man need? If I haven't unloaded them by the next time he visits I will offer them to him. He will also get the Pavillion dinnerware if I'm not able to sell it. That's why I won't come down in my price. Unfortunately, I was foolish enough to spend a lot of money on it, so if someone isn't willing to give me a reasonable price for it, I just won't sell it. Or I'll keep it myself. The dinner plates are a really nice size, especially for a holiday dinner. No, on second thought I really don't want to keep it. It takes up too much room. I already have my Corelle for every day and I use my vintage dishes for good. Just how many dishes does one woman need?
I have a bunch of exercise videos to give away as well. A whole box. A few years ago someone posted to a freecycle email that she was giving away her VHS videos as her VCR had gone kaput. I still have a TV with a VCR that works, so I took all of her videos: drama, documentary and exercise. I've given some away, have watched some and will keep some. Jane Austen's Emma and Sense and Sensibility are among the ones I'm keeping. And I need to get rid of some, especially the exercise ones. I had great ideas when I brought them home, but found them just too high intensity for me. Among several I tried, there was one called Making Fitness Fun. It didn't. I'll use my Wii Fit for that.
Next week, if we have better weather, maybe I will just load up the truck and take a trip to Value Village. But I need to get more sorted out first to make the trip worthwhile. And I can't load up furniture by myself. 
When the lady came to get the strawberry jars, I put on my boots and coat and carried the last jar out for her, then went to get the mail. Look what I got in today's mail:
One of my great nephews is graduating from high school this year and has already been accepted into Western Michigan University. I plan to make this quilt for his graduation gift. I paid $7 for shipping this pattern which includes a couple of pieces of paper in a zip-loc bag, plus the receipt and the envelope it was mailed in. The postage was 69 cents. However, that $7 was a bargain compared to the $25.95 that one vendor wanted to charge me to ship to Canada. It's a pity the pattern wasn't downloadable so that I could have eliminated the shipping costs altogether. 
Finally, I did some cooking. I enjoy cooking but just haven't done much in awhile. I don't always make the time. There was a recipe for Rockin' Moroccan Stew circulating in the office. Everyone was talking about it. Everybody that tried it, liked it. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention since I'm the only vegetarian on our team and I didn't figure it would be a recipe that would suit my diet. Then one of my nursing colleagues told me that I'd like it, too, that there was no meat in it. So I found the recipe, bought what ingredients I needed and today tried it out. And it is very good. Next time I will probably cut the amount of chilli and curry powders in half. It was a little too hot for me, but quite tasty nevertheless. Of course, I substituted parsley for the cilantro. 

Lots of very healthy ingredients in this dish: kale, yams (I used yams, not sweet potatoes), chickpeas, sweet pepper, tomatoes. A nourishing, tasty and warming stew for eating on a blustery winter day. 
Tonight I think maybe I will watch Ben Hur, a two video set that was in those VHS videos I got. And continue with the Bobble Afghan. That is not a very rewarding pattern to work on. I can spend 2 or 3 hours an evening working on it and it still doesn't look like it's gotten any longer. It's still only about 21 inches long and it needs to be 45! I'll be so glad when it's finished. But next week the Mystery Afghan Crochet Along begins. And whether I'm finished the Bobble afghan or not, I will set it aside to "investigate the mystery."
On second thought, maybe I'll work on the crocheted Christmas tree skirt tonight instead, And probably watch something a little lighter than Ben Hur.
Right now it's time to feed the cats.

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