Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Safe

My father bought the safe at an auction at Texas School for the Deaf when I was ten.  It was pretty old then--I'm not going to say how old it is now.  For years it sat in our garage.  I don't remember my parents keeping anything in it.  After Daddy died, my husband asked if we could have it.  He hauled it back to Houston, and his buddy still jokes about the difficulty they had getting it into our garage.  It must weigh close to 1000 pounds.  It's beautiful inside, with flowery material lining the bottom, small drawers and cabinets inside that can be locked and double doors with the outside locked by a combination locked and the next set with a key. 

Before he died, my husband asked that I save it to his son, Bryan, Now that I'm getting ready to move (later than expected--they postponed the move-in date, much to my annoyance) it is the right time for Bryan to have it.  He came in from Bastrop by himself.  I expected at least two or three helpers but he strode into the garage and announced he could move it himself.  It took several hours but darned if he didn't manage.

I'm feeling nostalgic.  I will miss the old safe.  It's been part of my life for so long and I'm very protective of old things..  Not that I've spent much time with it, but it's always been there, an object from my childhood that has hung around. But it wouldn't fit in my new 2-bedroom apartment; it would stick out like a sore thumb.  So now it's off to the next generation, and fortunately Bryan didn't break his back moving it into his truck.  I know he'll take good care of it.  He likes old things, too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quote for the Week

Do not regret growing old; it is a privilege denied to many.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Not-So-Green Thumb

Years ago my mother grew African violets.  They thrived in her family room. They were healthy. They were beautiful. Even though most of my attempts at growing plants were failures, I thought perhaps I had inherited the African violet gene.  So I bought a plant, put it near the window in my bathroom, nurtured it tenderly, fed it African violet food, and watched it shrivel and die.  I bought another violet and another.  They died, too.  I felt like the Dr. Kevorkian of the African violet line.  Lest I murder any more lovely violets, I quit buying them.

Last week I had lunch at a friend's house and admired the lovely orchid on her window sill.  "They're so delicate, they must be hard to grow," I said.  "Not at all," she answered.  "I just put four ice cubs in the soil every Friday.  That's it."

 Now I have a yen for an orchid.  Wouldn't it look charming in my bathroom window?  Even I could put ice cubes in the soil once a week.  I saw a stunner at the supermarket this afternoon, a glorious deep purple, not unlike the color of the African violets I destroyed so long ago.  I craved that plant. It cost $34.  I looked at the other orchids, which cost less, but none of them could compare.  I wandered around the display, mulling over the prospect of buying it.  I worried that I might kill it and thought of how I would feel as it gradually....or quickly turned brown and died.  I worried that my cat would try to eat it.  Are orchids poisonous?  I decided $34 was too much to spend on a plant that had no future.  But I've been thinking about it all day, all evening.  Maybe.  On the other hand, maybe not.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quote for the Week


Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Best and Worst Things about My Home

No, this is not my study.  I have much, much more storage space than that--18 drawers, 12 shelves.  That's the best thing about my house--incredible amount of storage space.  It's also the worst thing in that I seem to have used every inch of it.  Now that I'm getting ready to move from a 5 bedroom to a 2 bedroom, I am having to clean out the storage spaces.  Decisions, decisions.  Do I want to keep the notes from a speech on language development I heard ten years ago?  Do I want to keep that close up photo that shows all my wrinkles?  How many pairs of shoes does a person actually need?  Are those love letters from my college boyfriend something I want to keep for my children to read and chuckle over after I'm gone?  It's an exhausting task. 

I'm removing pictures from the walls.  Framed covers of all the romance novels I wrote, pictures of my children, a picture of me at age 2.  Did you know you can cover holes where the pictures were hung with toothpaste?  Works amazingly well.

No prospective buyer wants to be distracted by your keepsakes.  Get them off the shelves.  Full  bookcases?  Clean them out, leaving so few books that anyone viewing your home will wonder if you know how to read. 

What do I do with my shelves of speech therapy materials?  Too bad, prospective buyer.  They will have to stay.

Lately my whole life has revolved around the task of clearing out my house...and I'm barely half done.

More to come, probably...if I survive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Quote for the Week

It is better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.
               Diane Grant       

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Books of March

Voted one of the best books of the past decade, this mystery revolves around an academic conflict concerning birds' relation to dinosaurs.  Are they living dinosaurs or simply related?  A specialist in bird evolution is found murdered; his body has been  overrun by parasites.  A graduate in the department is also murdered.  Are the two murders related?  Do they involve another specialist whose theory is in opposition to the murder victim's?  Will our heroine Anna's dissertation defense be postponed because of the murders?  Will "the world's most irritating detective"  (Anna's nickname for him) solve the case?  Do we care?  I didn't, mainly because Anna, the main character, was so unappealing.  Everything makes her angry.  She stamps her foot a lot.  Everyone sweats a lot.  Everyone has a traumatic backstory.  I finished the book so I can discuss it next week at my book club meeting.  Sometimes everyone else likes a book better than I do.  We'll see.
Guilty Pleasure Books

 I am exhausted from cleaning, trashing, shredding, donating stuff from every room in my house in preparation for putting the house on the market, so naturally I need some escapist reading,  And who wouldn't love an art restorer, assassin, spy for the Israeli secret service?  Like James Bond, Gabriel Allon always gets his man.  (I am secretly in love with him though I fear I'm too old for him. Oh well.)


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