Monthly Archives: September 2016

My World These Days…

I’ve been wading through the junk. That has resulted in a bunch of books being donated at markets, in the book bins, the dump’s swap shop, or wherever I can find a spot which seems appropriate. I actually sold two books this month! One of them for > $5 and not credit.

Considering that in a bad month in the bookstore I’d sell $300+ worth (about 100 vols.) and a good one $2k, selling 1 book isn’t significant. On the other hand, I’ve sold 3 lots of placemats, 3 metal baskets, and 3 vintage picture frames. Although I expect I will owe the antique store about $30 of my October rent, percentage-wise and otherwise, I’m doing better over all, nearly every month. It seems I’m making my rent + about 1/2 the time, the rest I’m a bit short. It’s getting better. According to every antique dealer I’ve talked to this month has been “dead.” My guess is that this is two things — political/financial uncertainty and changing weather. (Sales always go down a bit when it first gets cold or warm for the year. People go inside and stay there in the fall and go outside in the spring.)

 

financial-chart

Depending on how the overall economy does, stock market and such in the rest of the country, people will be more or less conservative. I hate election years because the financial impact of how people think the election went happens at the beginning of the holiday season.  If you do retail, it can make what looked like it was going to be a healthy year into a really bad one, overnight. There’s no real predicting it, you just have to realize that it’s possible that people will stop buying almost anything, until the new President is inaugurated and the political shift does or doesn’t affect the day-to-day.

People will then settle into a new spending pattern or return to their old one.

As a retailer, especially a retailer selling non-essentials, you see, feel, and then share it if people aren’t feeling “safe,” after the election.

  1. Your sales go down just when you expect them to go up for the holiday season.
  2. You buy, have bought, or committed to buy things you expect sales to help you pay for (sales you didn’t get).
  3. The end result is that now YOU feel insecure financially like your customers did following the election.

So, as a retailer, I hate presidential election years!

Rather than worry about it, as I can’t do anything about it anyway, I’m working on the stored stuff. Better items we aren’t keeping have been put up for sale. I need to purge the books in the booth, again, and move the entire thing around again too.

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Dear Pollsters:

  1. Yes I am registered to vote.
  2. Nothing you say, no matter how you load your wording, is likely to change my vote. (I’m a writer/editor, I play with words for effect too!)
  3. I will NOT watch the debate tonight. Why? I don’t have a TV.
  4. You do not know what 2 minutes is, or 4, for that matter. You really ought to buy a stopwatch, or use that function in your cell phone.
  5. I will vote, if I have to do it from my death bed.

 

Chore List 9/26

to do list 1

Living Room:

  • Spackle wall board prep is complete, at least for everything but the hall, which we are NOT doing right now.
  • Primer, 2nd coat: (as needed) and the street wall needs a full primer coat
  • Caulk/chinking: Remaining: Clean up
  • Trim pieces cut, painted, installed: between beams, up against beam on oak wall against trim piece kitchen wall? Two pieces on oak wall, 7 6 5 3 on street wall.
  • Final Paint: entire room (street, oak: back corner to hearth, hearth, hearth to front corner, kitchen, bookcase wall, hall walls (closet, bath, pantry), entry, stair interior triangle wall, other interior stair wall, and stair rail wall.
  • Cull/clean: get fabric to Jeannie’s for reupholstery. Window replacement on north side (trim removal done).
  • (long term) Replace window interior trim and mod hall door trim to match front door (and get rid of those F’n ledges!!!). Replace baseboards for same reason. Sand and redo floor. Move kitchen door?
  • Look at the room re “roller coaster” idea, Fix? Move green cabinet to hallway? Move mirrors to interior stair wall? Get DH involved with this.

Prepainting: In broad terms what remains in the living room prepainting effort:  clean up,  full primer on front wall whatever patching/prep is required in the hall on the stair walls.

Paint (final):Complete: kitchen corner to hearth to street window (oak wall), kitchen wall, street wall. Unfinished: interior stair wall, room side large stair wall, hall walls.

Blue stickies on the door (meaning job has been completed): 20 21 22 24 26

Shorten rack so that it can be moved elsewhere.

Measure furniture. Make a floor plan so you move the furniture and books ONE more time, not more than that! Move couch.

Hall: Replace smoke detector (future).

Kitchen: (Cull/clean) Get the 2nd Hoosier into the kitchen.  Dismantle the f’n 30 square foot counter and redo it to something saner!!! (long term) Pull the windows, put in the new wall and windows. Finish the sink window trim.

Laundry: (Cull/clean)  (longterm) Get the switch thing set up so you don’t have to pull the dryer out anymore!

Bathroom: (Cull/Clean) corners, window,  clear out.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) get couch downstairs. When reupholstered chair returns, put it here, not living room.

Attic: Get the remaining  base cabinet in there (or elsewhere) and the cabinet which came from the storage [cabinet  in attic 9/22]. Get the bookcases from office 1 into the attic. Get doors on the cabinet. Decide what from attic to sell: wrought iron tables, wallpaper lamp, other hanging lamps, plate rack, etc. and sell them. (Crib spring taken to antique store 9/2016 and sold!) Box of books removed and donated 9/26/16. More work on the attic: 9/27, 9/28, 9/29, 9/30, 10/1 books & trash removed.

Office 1: . Get the counter cleaned. Remove everything from the bookcases and get the cases moved into the attic.  Bring in the new dresser currently in the wood shed. Stack on top of it (same size, and small) the 2nd dresser, currently in the storage.

Office 2: Clear off the blue desk. Sell/cull items awaiting that. (long term) Move the office function downstairs.

Dining Room:  Take down candlabra, sell. Paint china cabinet and relocate the 2 Hoosiers.

Storage: Remove the 2nd Hoosier for the kitchen.Get at least 5 boxes out and deal with the stuff in them. Move to 10 x 20 unit. Get the 2nd dresser to the house

Garden: Continue, finish and keep up the weeding, so that the weeds don’t take over the yard and next year’s vegetable garden is a disaster accordingly! 9/11 was last time this was noted, but I’ve worked on it sporatically since.

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 44 9/11 “Tally” page information (tab, this blog) moved to history 9/17.

Rugs: Almost nothing done.

Writing:

  • Memoir retype effort: 57.9% 61.4% 62.5% complete (I’m amused that I seem to do this in 3% chunks. I’m not counting or anything, it’s just that the sections are short, and it’s difficult emotionally, especially the first 3rd, so I’ve been doing it until I felt like quitting, then I let myself stop.)
  • 3 stories into novel:  Worked a little on one of the stories, call it 07% now 9/9, 9/20
  • kitchen book: nothing new as of 9/5
  • possible future editing jobs: nothing new

Rugs: removed completed piece from prototype as I found all the yarn and measured how much I have — no enough to finish the piece as it had been set up. The canvas is prepped, but that’s it at the moment. Found an error I’d made when I’d originally set up the canvas, am working on fixing that.

Stamp images found for most chores on the list.

Today We Paint!

Partly because yes, we’re ready, or nearly so. But mostly because it’s starting to get cooler and we need access to the woodstove in the living room.

The plan today is to paint the largest, the back wall. [We painted the largest part of that wall, the area behind the hearth.]

Finally!

I Wish…

  • I had heart-warming stories to tell about my family, or
  • Warm, funny, ironic stories about the holidays, or
  • Charming things I’d made, for sale, or just owned.

I don’t have any of that, well maybe the last one. I have some wonderful things I’ve bought.

I don’t know how to do emotions in words. It has just occurred to me that the reason I’m afraid, yes afraid, of writing the middle of any story now is the “rising action,” that is, the emotional start of the tension that makes the plot and thereby a story.

I know all too well how to express my own, but my life has also taught me that I don’t do emotion from the same perspective others do. I read Nora Roberts or other romance authors and frequently my reaction to the complications which heap upon the hero is to think  –“Run!” And, of course the characters don’t. Partly because if they do, there will be no story. But partly because that isn’t really an option people, most people, entertain and also partly because “regular” people just don’t get overwhelmed as quickly as I do.

More, also, there’s the thing about if I put *my* emotions in it? My default/brainwashed brain says: “No one will read it!”

Goodie. Another wall to break down — just what I wanted!

😛

 

 

100 Item Rule: Supplies/Joining Pieces

Things which join pieces together (glue, string, monofilament, & wire): 81 pieces. I tossed one item. 9/23

Rumination on Aunt Sophronia

Who is Aunt Sophronia?

She’s a mythical character, the narrator, of a 19th century housekeeping book, the Complete Home by Mrs. Julia McNair Wright (McCurdy, 1879).

The book is one of the older “housewifery” books I own. In many ways, it’s amusing, but in others, it addresses things which might be so, but its perspective I don’t share. There are various and sundry points which it makes me ponder.

First of all, she is addressing a white, WASP audience, which is talked about as the only right way to live. I guess if you’re a person of color or other belief system, well, you were beyond reproach. In any case, the book was not written for a multicultural, multiethnic audience.

Secondly, this is from the era when they believed that airing was important. It is, but not the way it’s talked about. However, it was the science available to them at the time.

Third, it is also an era where WASP folk of any substance had servants.

With all that in mind, here is a quote:


“Practice economy as a Fine Art: make a duty and pleasure of it: it is the mortar where in you lay up  the walls of home; if it is lacking, or is poor in quality, the home building will crumble. Don’t be ashamed of economy: study it; consult about it; don’t confound it with meanness: economy is the nurse of liberality. Meanness is going into debt for luxury: is keeping behind-hand the wages our work-people have earned: is making a show on the street and withholding charity: is presenting cake & confections to our callers, and stinting the kind or quality of our servants’ food.”(p. 65)


Almost everything we own/do would be considered a luxury by the standard of the late 19th century I think. The statement “meanness is going into debt for luxury” seems appropriate. It’s normal now to live beyond our means, but how could we live differently in this culture? Have we been sold a bill of goods? Is keeping up with the Joneses, imaginary or not, the marketing tool of mass merchandising?

complete-home-cover-and-spine

Have I been a sucker my entire life? Maybe.

Without the ‘net, a car, etc. you’re pretty much going to be in poverty, wouldn’t you? Yes, there are ways around some of this: libraries and public transportation.

Frugality these days means paying off your house early or having no credit card debt. If, as the book suggests elsewhere, our job is to pass a home (without debt) and some money to the next generation, how would we live differently?

I have no children, so my next generation is my husband’s nieces. My brother’s child has two working parents and is an adult, married woman, not needing (or wanting) anything from us. So — what would I change and should I?

I’m not sure, but it is an interesting thought experiment.