Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cleaning Demon

On the last day of the year, I've pretty much spent all my time knee deep in boxes and pictures and toys, but I'm beginning to see some results.

I've divided the pictures into categories and made a half-hearted effort to file them by date.  The Christmas ones were kind of fun in certain years when I could go by what gifts were under the tree and what everyone had on.  The pictures from grandparents' houses were a little confusing.  I should have followed my mother-in-law's example and dated them all.  Too late now.

I had them all filed, closed, and in the cabinet when I discovered another box from Mike's parents' house.  More filing.  And labeling.  But it sure does look better, and I should be able to find at least the correct category when looking for something.

I threw away 2 plastic bags of duplicates and blurred or just bad pictures.  It felt good.  The bottom shelf has a box of 8 x 10s and larger - more than I would have thought and definitely more than we need.  

I then went over one cabinet and sorted through picture frames.  Really sad to have so many.  And sad that I stacked them so crooked.

Candles and votives are next in line.  We have way too many, but who can throw away a candle if it's not broken.

I pulled my Grandmother Box all the way out from under the bed and discovered I had overlooked a lot of the dolls I mentioned yesterday - a LOT.  

I was thinking that I must have eaten a lot of Happy Meals in Greensboro, but I think I discovered that you could just buy them without buying food, so I worked on getting them all.  Some duplicates and some I didn't get.  I hope Graysen is a doll person.

They all have pretty much the same face, but there are little differences that make them individual. 

I left this little guy out.  Only 2 boys in the set.


I also found more of the Gorham Doll of the Month ones.  I have 12, but 2 are April and 2 are December, so it's not the whole set.  

I love spending New Year's Eve doing just what I'm doing.  Mike is still in Texas, and once I get started, I'll have every cabinet emptied by tonight.  I'm almost afraid to open some of them.  We have way too many books (as well as too many frames and candle).

I can't believe what just happened.  Mama just came in with a big box of pictures to give me.  Those may just live in that same box.  I think there are a lot of duplicates.

We gave her a digital photo frame for Christmas and downloaded a lot of pictures for her to look at.  I think she really loves it.  I took some from her computer and some from mine as well as searching Facebook for pictures of families she knew from Andalusia and pictures of her church and various other relatives and friends.  Oh, and maybe a fourth of them her treasured cat, Miss Molly.

She mentioned wanting some more photos of Daddy, so I scanned the first two I came to.

Claude Ray, a special man who lived his grandchildren unconditionally.  We took those Christmases and long summer days for granted when they were going on, and now we only have the memories.  He loved all his grandchildren, but he and Gray had a unique bond, being his first grandchild.

Emily wanted me to send a picture of her at the same age Graysen is now, and this is one where they kind of look alike - if Graysen had a baby wig!

Guess I'd better get to sorting those candles - or maybe having a cup of coffee and watching some football. 

I thought yesterday about asking Mama if she wanted to ride to the Montgomery airport to see the Auburn football team leave for Pasadena.  I was afraid she would really want to!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Morning Decisions

Too many of them.

I had a hard time sleeping last night - a rarity for me - but that gave all these plans and thoughts a chance to start battling each other in my mind.

It would have been nice to make up my lost sleep this morning, but Mike is out of town, so I had to get the garbage out to the street, bring in the newspaper, and feed Darby and Stella.  After that, I decided to just stay up and decide what I'm going to do with my day.

The house was fairly clean until I started once again re-organizing all our pictures.  That's the actual photographs, not those thousands of digital photos on the computer.

Thank goodness this picture is blurred, or it would be harder to look at.

When I moved here and was lucky enough to have so much storage space, I just unpacked boxes and stuffed everything into the cabinets and closed the doors.  I think this section was vaguely "Pictures, Games, and Baby Books," but other things have sneaked in there.   Through the years, I've done a little organizing but never finished.

These are some of the boxes that are labeled with dividers.  I'm plowing through the stacks and stacks of pictures and only taking a little time out to reminisce and even toss out some of them.  Why is it so difficult to throw away picture of Gray's 3rd birthday party when there are multiple copies of each one?  And all those photographs of beaches, mountains, etc., that I'm sure looked outstanding and photo-worthy at the time.

Okay, that's ongoing and may take a few days, along with my attack on the toys in the attic.  I've been sending Emily picture after picture of the toys that belonged to them and asking if she wants them kept for Graysen.

Like dolls!  I haven't even reached the boxes of Barbies and Fisher-Price My Friend dolls that they loved so much.
What I have unpacked are Cabbage Patch dolls, which no one cares about keeping.  I'm not sure what to do with them.  The ones with yarn hair seem to have a little value, so I may try my luck on Ebay.  The little pink doll, which is not sentimental, cleaned up nicely and might sell too, Romper Room Softie.  Stuffed animals will also find new homes somewhere.
 I'm shocked Emily didn't want the Annie figures.  There are 3 more somewhere.  They were well played with.  She also doesn't want the Strawberry Shortcake figure with the receding hairline or the Pretty Pony with the missing tail. 
 These little dolls are called Amanda Jane and have very little value.  I think I was more taken with them than Emily because of all the cute clothes and accessories, but they're really too small to dress easily and kind of got put aside.  We're keeping those.

 This was Elise's favorite doll.  I'm not sure of the brand, and she can't remember her name, but she's definitely a keeper.

 Along with this cradle made by their Grandaddy Windham.  It's not going anywhere!  I'll make a little quilt to go in it, and I think it will be a treasure for Graysen.

The much-loved mermaids (no bath was complete without a mermaid entourage), Pretty Ponies, and fairy-type things survived a nice wash in the dishwasher and hair conditioner and are ready for more playing.

 Mermaids made the cut.
 But not the fairies.  Looking for homes for them.
 I found these sweet Madame Alexander miniature dolls that came with Happy Meals at McDonald's.  I tried to collect them all but am missing some.  They're also not suitable for little hands to dress.  I'm not even sure their clothes aren't sewn on. But they're cute, so I'm saving those.
I'm not sure where the larger Gorham dolls came from - just don't remember anything about them.  The smaller ones are from a collection of 12 - one for every month.  I got January and October and some extras.  They usually just came out at Christmas, so they're in good shape.

I'm looking forward (and Mike isn't) to bringing more boxes down to dig through.

The Beanie Babies are not going anywhere - well maybe the miniatures I'll part with.

  I started buying those every once in awhile many years ago and just found them.  They have no value either, but every one of them (except maybe the snake, which I don't have) is so cute.

The kittens and puppies are my favorites.

If I can tear myself away from sorting and organizing and tossing, this bin of yarn is taunting me.  I need to make a larger Viking hat for Graysen, some bathcloths for her, maybe another hat, and some dishrags for myself and the ladies at the dentist's office.
 The front door wreath seems to have been overlooked.

And the poinsettias need attention.

 Pinterest needs organizing.
Mama's door needs clearing of Christmas cards, but she first wanted a picture to show how much more social she is than us.

I can't stop without posting pictures of this sweet baby.  She was going through a phase of not wanting to nap and waking up in the middle of the night when we were there, so they were working on shortening her afternoon nap.
When Emily announced out of the blue, "Let's go get her," Elise and I raced her up the stairs.
At first she was startled and had a hard time processing what was going on.

But then Mama explained what was happening.

 Did some clapping games.

 And she decided waking up was a nice thing.


 Such a precious baby.  I can't express how much we adore her.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

End of December Comeback

I guess it's time to come creeping back to this blog and try to carry on.  So many things have happened in the past few months I'll never be able to remember them. 

I've figured out as long as I use Google Chrome, my pictures are able to be posted without any trouble.  Now I have to remember how to scan and edit photos again.  More reading that I don't have time for.  I want someone to just stand over my shoulder and tell me in 3 or fewer sentences how to do it.

First, today is the birthday of our firstborn Gray.  I can't say I remember the day he was born because "natural" childbirth was ignored, and I pretty much woke up and had a baby.  But he was adored from the first day, and 42 years later, he is just as special.  He and Stephanie spent the day with us Christmas Eve, and we had a great day laughing and reminiscing.

Ever since I saw a picture in October of Graysen with a Halloween snow globe, something has been in my brain that I had seen that picture before.

Today when I was trying to sort through some old pictures, I found it.  I naturally could not scan it to the correct size, so I took a picture with my camera, and that's why the quality is so bad.

Elise 1974

Graysen 2013

I think it's the position of the hands more than anything and the expression, but just looking at these pictures, Graysen and Aunt CC are definitely related.

Just  because trying to catch up is so overwhelming right now, I'll just post a few Christmas pictures and come back later.  And maybe talk about the trip too.

When we got to Seattle on the 12th, Mike and I arrived an hour or 2 before Elise, so we waited at the airport, which I enjoy more than waiting to fly!  Ryan picked us up and then went to get Graysen from her babysitter since we and all our luggage took her spot in the car.

Not unexpectedly, she didn't immediately jump into our arms.  Elise and Mike saw her a few months ago, but I had not seen her since July.  When she did accept us, it was Elise who was allowed to hold her while she looked Mike and me over.  

Here she's all dressed in her bear suit to go to the grocery store.  These girls have a special bond.

No one can make Graysen laugh like Aunt CC.  Or give better cuddles.

The trip to the grocery store was interesting.  Elise took Graysen in her stroller and wandered all over the store while Emily, Ryan, and I tried to coordinate all the things we wanted.

I like visiting grocery stores in other parts of the country to see the little differences, the different brands, the interesting ways of displaying various things.  This was Safeway in North Bend, a nice store with extra friendly people.  The bakery section was huge and yummy, and  Elise is still bitter about the tiramisu she was steered away from.

I used up all my time talking about a trip to the grocery store.  More later.

The weather today is very Northwest-ish.  I like it.  A good excuse to stay in and clean a little, organize a little, drink a few cups of coffee, and waste a lot of time on various things.  It's not wasted if you enjoy it though.