Saturday, November 30, 2013

Do You Know What This Thing Is?

This is the story of an inherited piece and the joy of Google.  When I first unpacked this, I thought it was an incense burner.  Then I noticed that there were no vents to allow smoke to escape.


So if it wasn't an incense burner, what is it?  The loop on the handle looked like it's meant to hold the lid, but the lid loop didn't fit into it. (I later learned that this was due to corrosion.)



There were two bird's heads on the lip of the main body.  They looked like they're meant as hooks or supports.  I thought that maybe they would hold the lid tipped up, to let smoke out, but I wasn't able to make that work.


There was a grate, which would work for an incense burner.  And maybe the lid was supposed to be used to smother it, saving incense for later.


There was a mark on the bottom.  Meriden Silver Plate - Quadruple Plate 1339 1/2 - with a lion holding a rose. 

OK.  That's googlable.  Aaaand, it's a butter dish!  The grate is called a pierced liner "which served to keep the butter above melting ice."  And the lid IS supposed to hang from the handle. The bird's head supports are meant to hold a butter knife.  Cool beans!  I never knew that butter used to be sold in "one pound circular cakes, which measured roughly four inches in diameter."

Now I have to decide whether to keep it or not. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

If It Feels Like History, It's Harder For Me To Toss

I don't know which relative I inherited this catalog from, but the fact that it feels a little historic has made it more difficult for me to just toss it away.


New Illustrated Catalog of Fine Linen Drawn Work
A.B. Culver Jr.
Aguascalientes, Mexico
So I scanned it and I'm posting it here.  If it has any historical value, it has been memorialized.  I couldn't find a date on it, but other booklets in the box were from the late thirties or early forties.  Not that my relatives sorted things by date. 


I won't blame you if you don't want to look through all of these doilies and handkerchiefs.


I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a doily.  A real doily - paper doilies under brownies or cupcakes don't count.


Ah, look.  They claim to have made the "very first fine linen handkerchief ever made of Drawn Work. . ."  Definitely history!  Well, if you believe it.


Centerpieces, Tea Cloths, Lunch Cloths, and Table Cloths . . . I'm assuming that these are prestige items.


My Grandma D had a few doilies.  She had many more antimacassars.  I think that was because she had more comfy chairs for people to sit in than she had horizontal surfaces with nothing being stored on them.


I think my mother had one or two doilies.  She used them under decorative candy dishes.  Usually the candy dishes were empty.



Although I have vague memories from when I was very young of candy dishes with hard candies that had been sitting in the dish long enough to have sealed together into one, dish-sized hard candy.  That could have been at some half-remembered great aunt's house, though, rather than at home.

Oh, hey!  Collars and cuffs and shirt waists!  I've seen lace lady's collars, but not men's collars.


I don't have any personal experience with lady's lace collars, but I was aware that they existed.  They could be moved from one dress to another.  From the ad copy above: "Wheel Collars are now all the rage and we make the latest and most popular styles." 


Ending with lady's collars and cuffs and a baby cap.  I'm going to assume that you have to send for the price list because the catalog was expected to be used for years. 

And now that the whole catalog has been posted, I can throw the catalog out.  Even if the company were still in business, "North Side of Plaza" probably isn't a good enough address any more.  So I wouldn't be able to send for the price list.  I will have to face my future doily free. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grandma L's Diary

I read through Grandma L's 1960 diary.  I'd have been four that year.  I dog-eared the pages where she was complaining about my parents, who were doing it all wrong.  Also pages that contained OMG.  I may post some of it here.

I'm definitely going to type it up somewhere and then throw the book away.  That will only leave about two dozen to go. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Let This Be A Record

Today I resorted the things in my room.  The main goal was to consolodate everything that I still need to sort or value and then get rid of into one set of shelves.  Not the pictures still to be sorted.  Those are separate.  This is stuff that I still haven't convinced myself I couldn't get a few dollars for, and letters that I haven't read. 

I may be keeping more than is sensible, but the pile gets smaller every time I sort through it.  Right now I'm sorting through old 45 rpm records. 

Dad's:  Begin the Beguine, The Shifting, Whispering Sands, Deep Purple (Bing Crosby), My Happiness, To Each His Own, What Is A Girl?/What Is A Boy? (Jackie Gleason), Cold, Cold Heart (x3), Daddy's Little Girl, Riders in the Sky (x2), Tennessee Waltz, The Glow Worm, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Your Cheatin' Heart, You Always Hurt the One You Love, Born to Lose, Mockin' Bird Hill, The Wayward Wind, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and It's Been a Long, Long Time.

Mine: Rainbow Connection, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, and Blowin' In the Wind/Puff the Magic Dragon.

Unknown:  Chasing A Dream, Blueberry Hill, I'll Take Care of Your Cares/Ballerina, Song of the Islands, Over the Rainbow/You Made Me Love You, Till We Meet Again, Anytime, Hopelessly Devoted to You, and a box set of La Traviata, on clear red discs.

Dad had a preference for LPs, so some of these may have been records that I bought cheap to remind me of him, or that I inherited from somewhere else and kept because they were songs he played and songs he sang us to bed with.

I may keep the red ones for awhile, but the others are going.  Also going is a box of LP albums, album sets, and 78 records that were definitely his.  His name was on most of them.  Two were in the cardboard box they had been mailed to him in.  I'm glad I went through the box even though I didn't keep any of the records in the end.  There was also a photo album that he had kept in high school.  There were enough pictures of other kids to show that he had friends.  But most of the pages were filled with pictures of planes.

He was always interested in WWII planes.  Some were post cards.  Some were the size of, and had backs like, playing cards.  Some were smaller photos.  I'm going to mail them to Beloved Son, because he's shown interest in Dad's army time and his army time wouldn't have happened without this prior interest.  If BS wants to throw them out after looking at them, that's fine. 

I did my due dilligence.  I looked online, checking on the 78's.  The best advice there is that if it was a popular song, it isn't worth the bother of trying to sell.  Early jazz and pre-WWII country, western, or hillbilly might be worth something, but Bing Crosby won't be. 

Give me a sec.  There are at least four albums of 78's in the Going Away Shelves.  Some titles I'm not familiar with.  Probably not Dad's.  "That Mink On Her Back (Brought the Wolf to My Door)."  One of them is a picture disc with Cowboys and cows.  I may check on a value for that one.  It has fine scratches, but may not have skips.  Probably a lost cause, but out of nearly two boxes worth, checking on one or two won't hurt me.

So "Out Where the West Winds Blow" is number one of two to be checked.  Number two is "The Voice of . . . Barry Goldwater."  It's his acceptance speech from his nomination for president.  I had no idea that those were pressed into LP's. 

There's about a box full of LP's left, and those were probably mine.  These were the ones I was feeling guilty about, though, so those will be easy to go through.  The culls are by the front door, ready to be taken to the van.  With them are my old speakers and tape/CD player.  Getting those out of my bedroom is freeing up significant floor space.  I'm going to enjoy it.  I'll let you know if I can get big bucks for Barry. 

Oh, my.  I just took it out to see if it had been played much.  It hasn't been.  And it's an eye-catching transparent bright yellow.  A gold LP for Goldwater.  Nice. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

I Have Become Accustomed to Taking Loads to the Thrift Store

I think I posted, once before, about donating things to the thrift store and not posting it here, because I had done it enough that it had started to just feel normal instead of feeling like a little victory.  Well, I don't know how many times I've taken things there without posting them here.  I'm trying to remember - I think the last batch went three days ago, and it was a fairly big batch that had to be dealt with in stages.

Let's touch the guilt.  There's a little voice squeaking away that's implying that I didn't post about it, not because it seems normal, now, but because I've been lazy about posting.  No.  That's not appropriate.  Not for here.  The rule for this blog is that it's here to help me, not to give me one more chore to do.  If I don't feel like posting, I won't post.  That's not being lazy, that's using the blog the way I planned to use it. 

Too bad, little voice.  You lose.

But let me think for a minute about what it took to make this last donation.  Usually, a donation means I've sorted through a box or drawer or shelf and pulled out things no longer needed.  They stay in a box or on a shelf near the front door until there are enough things to take to the van.  If there's enough right after the sort, they're supposed to go to the van the next time I go out the door.

I allow things to stay in the van for up to a week before I allow myself to feel guilty about it.  It saves gas if I drop off a donation while I'm driving nearby on another errand, so I tell myself I'm doing that.  Occasionally I'll make a single run right away, but that's only if I feel like giving myself a little boost of accomplishment.

This load was in the van for two or three days. Not bad.  But before that, some of it was sitting in the back yard.  Why was that?  Because two or three weekends ago, I sorted through all of the things in the room off of the garage.  The little voice isn't even trying to make me feel guilty about not having posted about that.  Do you know why?  Because I completely sorted the room off the garage, which was an annoying mess, and however I may have dropped the ball afterwards, it was a big thing and doing a big thing is not lazy.

I know what's out there, now, and which plastic bins have which things in them.  Most of it isn't mine, but I still sorted it.  I convinced someone else to part with three or four boxes worth of stuff.  That's a major thing for me.  I have a real reluctance to poke at other people.

Half of it was tossed and half of it was set aside for donation.  There were also nearly a dozen cardboard boxes liberated, more than the recycling bin could hold.  Next week should see the last of them gone.  And some odd-shaped plastic bins were released to donation. 

There wasn't much of my stuff in there, but I decided to donate two old sewing machines that belonged to relatives, and probably tossed a few things.  It's been long enough that the details are fading.  The sewing machines were a big thing to let go of.  There's at least one relative who would be unhappy to think that they were no longer "in the family". 

So there was a pile of cardboard boxes and plastic donatables in the back yard for a couple of weeks.  I can remember when things were put into the back yard temporarily and then stayed there for months.  I'm a bit pleased that this particular set started to gall me by the next weekend and that I actually got them gone within two or three weeks because of that.

Another bright spot is that when it was obvious that I wasn't loading up whenever I noticed the stack and felt annoyed with it because I didn't want to do all that heavy lifting, I asked for help loading.  Got it, too.  With no complaints.  I need to do that more often. 

So there was a donation load delivered to the thrift store a few days ago.  And it was the result of me asking for help.  I asked for help because I was staying on top of no letting things just sit in the back yard.  And the stuff was sitting in the back yard because I HAD TOTALLY CLEARED, SORTED, AND ORGANIZED THE ROOM OFF OF THE GARAGE!

OK.  Now I can see that part of the reason the little voice was telling me that I was lazy with posting, here, is that it knew that I needed to acknowledge, not the load to the thrift store, but the bigger accomplishment behind it.  Cool.  Not bad, little voice. 

And the trash and recycling got picked up yesterday, so if I go out back now and bin the last of the cardboard boxes, the adventure of the Great Sorting will be complete.  I probably ought to get dressed first.  Now would be good.  (waves)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tossing a Few More Photos

I feel justified tossing inherited photos like this one.

 
 
This is Grandma L's front yard.  The stump had sentimental value for her because it was made by a live Christmas tree that graced her front room when her kids were . . . well, I'm not sure how old they were, but they were all living with her.  They had live Christmas trees two years in a row and planted them both in the front yard in a time before the street had sidewalks. 
 
This is, I believe, the tree that wasn't planted with the pot.  There were some casual mentions made about why one of the two trees was so much taller and bushier than the other.  The short one had been stunted for several years until someone got curious enough to go digging and discovered that the poor thing was pot bound. 
 
I don't mind keeping the story, but (sorry Grandma) I'm not keeping a picture of a sentimental stump.  I've got lots of shots of people standing in front of the actual trees.  That's enough to keep the story in mind. 
 

 
 
OK, Grandma.  You got me.  If you stand one of my kids on the stump, I'll keep that picture.  Well played.  


Friday, July 19, 2013

Is Guilt Hereditary?

If you don't remember Mother's financial planner, it's here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Back From Vacation - Am I Feeling Guilty Yet?

I deplaned Sunday and went back to work yesterday.  Finished reading ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life on the plane.  And only forgot to pack two things:  my bathing suit and something else that I'm forgetting, now.  Neither forgotten thing caused any trouble.  So, on the whole, I'm not feeling very guilty.  Just a little guilty for being a bit behind at work due to the vacation.  The vacation was rejuvinating, though, and no one at work has been put out, so if I think about it, the guilt goes away.

Oh, I could feel guilty about putting the plane ticket on the charge card, but I've had much larger balances in the past and I know that this one won't last long.  Also, I went to bed at a decent hour last night, which ADD FWOYL strongly recommends.  So yay, me. 

I'm trying something from ADD FWOYL called a stubby list.  That's a to do list with from 3 to 5 things on it, each of them meant to be done today.  You write it on a large post-it or, since I don't have those, on a small, portable tablet.  You write the few items in big letters, at least half an inch tall.  You carry it around.  I crossed off two things, yesterday.  Hang on a sec . . .

. . . OK.  That was one more. Might hit the rest before I leave for work this morning.  You never can tell.  And three is enough to make me happy. 

I'm testing some scents from ZOMG Smells.  [BTW, want a cool picture of a trio of Brachiosaurs?]  You can buy a selection of ten testers for not very much and go exploring.  It fits in the guilt blog because there is a scent from my teenhood that intrigued me and that I've never been able to identify or find.  It was the background scent at a shop in Ports O' Call, back in the early seventies.  It was musky and . . . thought provoking.  So I ordered ten of their squees (squee is their name for a tester sample) with a musk in them.  We'll see what happens.

One of my problems with ADD is getting stuck.  Having something that I want to do or need to do, but just not being able to take the next step.  And then having the task age.  And age.  Knocking loose a task from so long ago if very energizing. 

So far I've tried The Chieftain's Wife:  " — the feminine side of pillaging and dominion. Royal jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, dusty musk."  It's close to the scent I remember in some ways, but it's a lot lighter.  Let's see.  Should I try Wait Until Evening?  "A dark, funky, musky blend of patchouli, myrrh, red ginger, spikenard and blackstrap molasses."  That sounds promising.

Hmm.  Sharper than the target scent.  Definitely interesting, though. 

I think for my next post I'll list the old family things that are hanging.  You know, pictures, letters, home movies, etc.  I was thinking about doing that in this post, but now that I think of it, it's going to take some time and thought.  And some stacking and counting.  So, not this morning. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If You Love Your Children LABEL YOUR PHOTOS!!!

I Have sorted, scanned, and labeled photos - an indeterminate trickle of them.  I tossed a couple dozen duplicates.  I have also filled in several slots on the family tree from notes on the back.  I enjoyed that.  

In line with the title of this post, I've also found many more photos that are unlabeled and unidentified.  They were added to the folder labeled "Who the Hell Are These People?"  I may have to visit relatives to see if someone else can place a name to some of them.  Oh, the horror! 

And speaking of horror, 


I've decided that this photo went unlabeled due to the enduring shame of a recurrance of toddler cannibalism in the gene line.  The horror, I say!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Quick Check In

We made it back from a wedding and a big road trip.  I only tossed 15 duplicate pictures this morning.  It was a small step forward.  maybe after enough steps . . . 

I need to see how badly things backed up at work while I was out for a week and a half before I relax.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Last Two Boxes . . .



     . . . are very densely packed. 


This is going to take awhile.  And it's going to take some research after all the sorting and scanning.  These are the boxes with the really old photos.  The ones that came glued to a cardboard backing, to make them more like paintings. 





I don't feel so bad about unidentified adults.  I figure the burning question, "Who the hell are these people?" will be answered eventually. 




But the unidentified babies may be forever orphaned.  Sigh.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

YES! The Last Boxes from Idaho Are Being Sorted!

Recap - -
My mother died near the end of last May.  I live in central California.  She lived in Idaho. I have two sisters.  There was coordinating and travel and more coordinating needed before we could begin to deal with her things.  She had been trying to go through things, but was not a person who easily threw things away.  And she had been married twice, both times to people who tended to accumulate things that might be useful later.
At the beginning of last October my Dear Son and his Divoted Girlfriend brought back the last of the things that we were either going to keep or that needed to be sorted through in depth and couldn't just be chucked.  They came home driving a van and a truck with the truck pulling a rented U-Haul trailer.  All three vehicles were stuffed with boxes and other things. 
I've been sorting ever since.  The boxes over-stuffed our small garage and got mixed with our storage boxes.  It's been hard to tell how close I was to getting everything sorted.
Yesterday I brought in what I thought might be the last two boxes.  There was something that I was dreading.  You see, there were a couple of things that I knew I'd packed to be brought home that I hadn't found, yet.  One was a certificate that just tickled me. If it wasn't in one of those two boxes, then either there was another box that we hadn't found, yet, or there was a box that had gotten mislaid.
Last night I found the certificate that I had packed in Idaho.  I am chuffed to know that these are the very last two boxes to sort through. Well, the last two with photos and papers. There are at least three boxes with green decorative glass and small corning ware lidded casseroles. I'm not worried about what might happen to them if they stay in the garage unsorted, though, so they almost don't count.  
You have to admit, that's a cool certificate.  This is my great great grandmother.  The 1920 census lists her as a metaphysical healer, so she was still at it 25 years after being certified.  She also left a journal that only had four entries in it (my heritage!  none of my forebears ever completed a journal or album), one of which talks about the magnetic therapy she was doing.
Cool beans, Great Great Grandma Archibald.  (She married after getting the certificate and was thereafter no longer Sister L. M. Bates.) 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I May Be On The Last Two Boxes

To be precise, I may be on the last two boxes of pictures.  There are still a few boxes of green glass decorative pieces and at least one box of small corning ware casseroles.  Also, there's a box in the van filled with things that I would like to try selling, but haven't taken to a suitable place to sell them. 

And the stack of cook books to be taken to a thrift store is still sitting by the door.  I think of anything boxes and designated as half gone, though.  We've never retrieved anything from a designated box, so I am confident there will be no backsliding.

The problem with new boxes of pictures is that I have to check to see that I haven't already scanned another copy already.  That would just be making myself a sorting problem for later.  It would also be passing up an opportunity to chuck a duplicate photo.  And I'm starting to get such a lift from chucking photos. 

Chuck.  Chuck.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Confess - I'm Equivocating

 

OK.  I'm equivocating on this one.  I admit it.  I keep thinking that things like this are historical.  I mean, not only have my kids never
 
seen anything like it, I've never seen anything like it.  This was pre me.

If that isn't historical, I don't know what is.  Apparently, there were studios, or production companies, that would copy old movie shorts onto 8 mm and 16 mm film, suitable for use with a home movie projector.

I remember home movies, of course.  My dad used to take them at the drop of an occasion, committing our lives to record.



He had years worth recorded long before he could afford to buy a projector.  We would take them to other peoples' houses, most often my grandparents' place, to show when they would announce that they were having a movie night.

Then after we could afford the projector, we would still take them to movie night.  Partly because it was more fun with more people and partly because Grandma and Grandpa had a screen and we didn't.

I was in junior high before he bought a screen.  He told us it was a special kind.  It wasn't white with a scattering of glassy sand on it.  It was grey with a special pattern.  It was lenticular.  It was to be handled With Care.  So we were mildly proud of it. 

But even being proud of having a technologically advanced screen, showing movies on it weren't necessarily more fun than showing them on the wall, which was how we had to show any movies we watched at home in our non-lenticular past.  Showing movies on the wall had kind of a home cooked, MacGuyver feel. 

Abbot and Costello:  Knights of the Bath.  News Parade of the Year:  1946 and 1947.  Words to conjure with.
But that's not what I'm equivocating about.  Although that may be why I'm equivocating.  It's this catalog and these three 8mm movies.  I keep thinking that they're semi-historical and it wouldn't hurt to pack them away.

It's silly.  I don't have a projector.  I don't know where those three films came from.  We never watched them when I was a kid.  It's not them, particularly, that I'm being nostalgic about. 

Oh, well. Maybe I can find somewhere to sell them.  Until then, they're not taking up much space.  So what if I have no projector.  Watching them isn't really the point.  I'll sort and toss some other things instead.  I'll let you know if I ever do anything with them.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

More Pictures Tossed

 I filled the recycling bin again this weekend.  It wasn't all old letters and pictures, though, so I'm not taking a picture.  Also, it just doesn't seem as significant the second time around. 

I don't feel that I've lost anything because the thrill is less intense.  I'm satisfied with a sense of satisfaction, especially if it means that I'm starting to make a habit out of pruning the overstock.




 What sort of thing have I pruned this weekend, you ask?  Well, I got rid of a letter from 1945 that someone kept for the racy innuendo on the joke stationery.

This is proof that sex wasn't invented in the 1960's.

I also scanned and tossed a few of my mother's old report cards from elementary school.  It may be nice to have the image, but I don't need to store the actual card and give my children a chance to throw it out when I'm gone.

I also don't think I need to keep the polaroids of the minor bumper damage that either Mom or Dad sustained in June 1992.  Even if either of them were still alive, they wouldn't have that car and the time for any action regarding those scratches is long gone.


It's been more than twenty years.


Yes, it's a nice flower.  And since it's an amaryllis, it was probably a Christmas present. 

There were a few years where my sister sent them an amaryllis bulb for winter forcing every Christmas.  The first one was bright red, so this isn't the first one.  And it's a nice thing to remember, but I don't need to keep the photo.

My parents really loved their last house.  They put a great deal of time and though into choosing it, and they made thoughtful renovations.  They increased the usefulness and value of the place a lot. 
They also took many pictures of every addition and change.  Mom kept up the process after Dad died and after she remarried.  I've found multiple packets of the same renovation, neatly sorted and wrapped.
 
I've kept a few from each of the major changes, for posterity, assuming that posterity might be interested.  But I've tossed all the copies and chucked most of the year by year documentation.

   Of course, I'm still running into pictures of people that I don't recognize.*  Who knows who these people are?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The shadow knows!
 
 
 
 *(And I have no clue why Blogger isn't letting me put text beside this photo. It lets me post beside all of the rest.  If you know how to fix it, please let me know.)

 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

More things tossed at the end of April

I've been tossing more things and taking more things to the thrift shop.  I just hope I'm getting rid of more than is coming in.  I've parted with more than a few books.  That's starting to feel normal.  What doesn't feel normal is that I've collected all of the books that I haven't read, or haven't finished reading, and they make a full shelf.  That's five feet of books, if you were curious about the size of the shelf.

The odd thing is that I used to be a reading maniac.  Very few readable things entered the house without be getting lost in them.  I'd say that means I ought to stop buying them, but if giving myself permission to buy them and set them to the side gives me more time to do other things that need to be done, I'm going to take that extra time. 

It's not my book release that made this family heirloom thrift shop bait.  This one was being used to hold cook books in the kitchen.  My son organized the kitchen counters and declared that we had too many cook books and that we were only going to keep as many as would fit in a much smaller shelf, which he supplied.

To my credit, I only tagged one cook book as a definite keeper and two others as possibles, if other folks found them usefull, too.  I also moved all of my medieval cook books to the shelves in my bedroom.  But my son gets credit for the main cook book reduction and for freeing this old thing.

It's made of cheap wood and was originally stained dark brown.  But the stain eventually faded in places and the finish started to peel off.  So it became part of my furniture painting project. 

You see, at the time most of my furniture was second hand and did not match in any way.  Some of it was things I was only keeping because they had come from relatives.  I painted them all light grey with purple trim.  This piece didn't have any obvious trim, so it ended up completely grey.  The project furniture has been replaced over the years.  This may be the last one. 

No, there's a two drawer nightstand in my bedroom that's still useful.  It's still sturdy, too, so it's probably going to be around for awhile.  If I ever coordinate things in the bedroom, it can be repainted. 

The important thing is that there's more room on the kitchen counter and that I'm not trying to find a way to keep using an inconvenient piece of furniture just because I'd feel a bit guilty letting it go. 

I release you to the world, little grey shelves. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Is It Unlucky to Toss Luck?

Found among the inherited letters:


I'm going to assume that four-leaf clovers lose their luck as they dry and dessicate.  Either that or we're going to have one lucky, lucky landfill. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Closer Look at the Blue Chip Stamps

If you're interested in a better look at the savings stamps I threw away over the weekend, here are a few pictures.


That's two different sized books for the Blue Chip stamps, but each holds the same value.  The smaller one is for the larger TEN stamps. 

 
 
You either went to a redemption center, or sent away to cash in the stamps, where were given away as promotions by grocery stores, gas stations, and other retail and service establishments.  There were rumors, at the height of interest in trading stamps, that you could get them at some funeral parlors and whore houses.  But whether you went in or sent away, you ordered your merchandise out of a catalog like the one above.  Or the one below.
 


I only glanced through the catalogs, before I threw them away, but they were mostly filled with housewares.  Tables, chairs, towels, sheets, and such.  A few toys and pieces of sports equipment.  A few personal articles. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Guilt Has Left The Building

I had an extended weekend, this week.  It inspired me to hit the boxes and to sort and weed my files.  The result is below.



Those are receipts and bank statements that are no longer needed.  Those are letters that my Grandmother kept and passed down to my Aunt, who passed them to me.  They will not be passed down to my children.

Yes, I took a few notes, but the notes are on the computer.  That takes up next to no room at all.

I gave myself permission to throw away these.


These are Blue Chip Stamps.  They have been lovingly moistened and pressed into books.  Once upon a time they could be saved up and turned in for nifty things that you'd maybe feel guilty about spending money on, like fondue sets.  Now the company is out of business.  Or, at least, out of the redeemable stamp business.

These are also part of my legacy from Grandma L.  There were S&H Green Stamps, too, but fewer of them.  S&H is still in the participation promotion business, but they've gone digital.  You sign up online and create an account.  Then some stores will add points to your account.  Seven thousand points will get you a five dollar gift card to either Applebee's or Starbucks.  Higher point amounts have more options.

I had three books of S&H Green Stamps, so I checked it out.  Here's what their website said.
--------------------------------------

** NOTE: All Green Stamp submitted for conversion must include a notarized statement that includes a count of the number of stamps being submitted, the name of the store(s) where they were obtained, the location of those stores, your S&H Member Number (you will receive this number when you enroll with S&H greenpoints), as well as your name, address and daytime phone number—in case we have any questions.

Once your Stamps are validated based upon the information provided in your notarized letter, you can expect to receive an update to your greenpoints balance within 2 weeks from the date of our receipt of your Stamp shipment.
----------------------------------------
You have got to be kidding me.  This sounds to me like a company weasling out of a court order saying that they had to accept the stamps by making it too much of a burden to bother.  And it worked.  The stamps are in the trash.  Way to be sleazeballs, guys.  I'm sure that your mothers are proud. 
 
Not that I, personally, lost much by throwing away these stamps.  I had 3 filled books (1,200 stamps each) + a partial book with 208 stamps + 35 stamps in strips + 85 stamps in blocks 3948 points. That's 56.4% of the way to a $5 gift card.   

They do say, "Can be donated to Food For All, the United Way, or American Forests' Global ReLeaf tree-planting program."  But they don't absolve you of the third degree in order to donate, and it's just not worth it for that little. 
 
I kind of wish that they hadn't added a little grumbling and mean-spiritedness to my weekend, because other than that, I'm feeling lighter.  It's nice to have that much paper off of my back.
 
I still have about four file drawers to sort through.  And there are probably a few more boxes in the garage.  But I made a dent.  I may come back later and post about the things that I tossed after scanning.  Or maybe not.  The point of this blog is to make me feel better about getting things out of my life that don't need to be there, not ot give me something else to feel guilty about.



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Another Possible Keeper

or
WHAT DID PEOPLE DO BEFORE GOOGLE?
 
 
Well, one of the things they did was manufacture cardboard calculation and answer wheels.  I've seen ones for calculating tips, for tracking calories, and for comparing prices. 
 
Of course, if my relatives had left behind any calculating or comparing ones, the prices on them would have been too low to be of any use.  Yes, I know.  There are ways to use them by just shifting the decimal place or multiplying the result . . . but if you could do that, you could probably do the percentage or division directly in the first place.
 
But do you know enough about U.S. Presidents?  Information about Presidents isn't a simple calculation.  You either know the fact or you don't.
 
 
 
Think about it.  You could be sitting in a bar and shooting the breeze when some know-it-all starts talking about a President and gets the name of his Vice-President wrong.
 
Just whip out this simple device and put him firmly in his place. . . assuming he wasn't talking about a President who presided after 1956.  If he came after Ike, you'd better hope you remembered to bring your smartphone. 
 
But that's not all it can do.  Flip this baby over and you have all the election information you could use about any of the 48 States.
 
 

Well, all the information you could have used in 1956.  Learn which Presidential Candidate the State supported in 1954, how many electoral votes the State has, which offices are up for vote this year* and the name of the current Governor.*

You can get both information wheels in one handy device for the reasonable price of 25 cents.  Although possibly Time Magazine gave them away with subscriptions. 

I think I may keep this.  It won't take up much space and it's kind of cool.  I can always throw it away later. 

* this year and the current being 1956.




Saturday, April 6, 2013

I Think I'm Keeping It For The Mystery

It's in one of those holders that are like cardboard frames, the old kind that are really heavy and make you think that this must be something important just from the heft of it.

 
 
They don't make cardboard like that, these days.  And there's not a whiff of a name attached to this photo.  Not on the back, and not inside, either.
 
This is an unknown, mystery person.  And look at that hair.  Who goes to a professional photographer, dressed up, with a tie, with hair like that? 
 
I can't throw him away. 
 
 
I believe I tossed the paper insert of Elizabeth Taylor, though.  Although I sometimes wonder if anyone out there collects these old frame inserts.  I also wonder how many families are like mine.  We apparently have a tendency to keep the advertising insert that came with the frame, just putting our picture over it.  Sometimes, if the insert is glossy, we'll turn it around so that the surface against our photo has less chance of absorbing moisture and sticking to it.
 
When I do it, it's out of laziness.  I'm usually not near a wastebasket or recycling bin, and it's easier to leave it than to make a disposal trip after loading the frame.  Sometimes I wonder if others do it to add more cushioning to the layers.  I've put a lot of framed photos into files lately, and gotten rid of a lot of frames.  So I've seen a lot of these inserts.
 
Only one Elizabeth Taylor so far.  


Friday, April 5, 2013

It's in one of those holders that are like cardboard frames, the old kind that are really heavy and make you think that this must be something important just from the heft of it.

 
 
The don't make cardboard like that, these days.  And there's not a whiff of a name attached to this photo.  Not on the back, and not inside, either.
 
This is an unknown, mystery person.  And look at that hair.  Who goes to a professional photographer, dressed up, with a tie, with hair like that. 
 
I can't throw him away. 
 



I believe a tossed Elizabeth Taylor, though.  Sadly, I did find myself wondering if anyone collects these old frame inserts.  And I kept it for days, even for days after I had taken the frame to the thrift store.

I'm guessing most people take these out when they put their picture into the new frame.  My family tended to just leave it behind the picture, maybe as added padding.  Or maybe they just didn't want to throw them away.  They even kept the ones with no pictures on them. 

 
I haven't thrown this out, though.  I may keep it, if only because Dad used to rant on and on about the evils of Roosevelt. 

If anyone reading this knows somewhere that it could be sold to a good home, let me know.  The cardboard's not as good as the cardboard in the old picture folder, but it's fairly thick. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Help Me! I Opened THAT BOX Again!

I opened that box again.  The one with all of the letters that Grandma L kept all those years.  The one with envelope after envelope of pictures.  The one (shudder) with the eleven diaries. 

I am pomising myself, now, that I will repack the box into a smaller box before I go to bed.  I will not leave this spread all over my desk and stacked on the floor around my chair.

On the up side, I filled a wastebasket with pictures that I won't be keeping.  And I filled the recycling wastebasket with envelopes, clippings, a handful of letters (that I read to make sure there isn't anything in it that I'd want to keep), and a bunck of the smaller boxes that were inside the big box.

I feel pretty good about that.  I still have a stack of photos to sort and scan.  And I still don't have a working scanner.  They can go into the nifty card-sorting boxes that I bought recently.  The rest can go into a smaller box.  That will fit on a shelf in my closet, rather than out in the garage. So I can keep picking at it. 

So.  A little guilt for spreading this stuff around again.  A little pride that I've gotten better at culling photos.  It doesn't hurt that Grandma L had a habit of multiple copies.  A lot of the snapshots that got tossed tonight are copies of views I already have scanned, sorted, and indexed in the box file.  That helped. 

The diaries will be dealt with last.  If I wanted to feel really virtuous, I'd take out the wastebaskets before I went to bed.  We'll see. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nothing is Certain But Guilt and Taxes

I got my tax files out last night.  Feeling guilty to have left it this late, of course.  I sorted the receipts from donations to the thrift store, starting a new file for ones from 2013. 

I considered using the receipts to post lists of the things that I've donated, but don't really feel the need.  And, no, it's not laziness.  Typing it in would not be a problem, now that I've got the window open and am typing in it. 

No, it just doesn't feel like a big accomplishment to sort through the house and box or bag a bunch of stuff to give away.  It's starting to feel sort of normal.

I still need to do more of it, of course.  But I suspect that I'm going to.  Yay, me.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review and Random Additions

I just did a quick read through the blog, mostly checking out the pictues.  I was noting which pictures have already been used here.  This caused me to feel a bit virtuous, because I was getting more orgainzed.  But I couldn't help reading entries, here and there, and couldn't help noticing misspellings, repeated words, and sentence structure that could use more than a bit of improvement. 

Eh, dump that.  If I went through and organized the pictues, I can go through later and update the writing.  Feeling better.

So here are some things that I threw away without listing here.

These are cards that came with the gifts at my parent's wedding.  They were in a box along with some photos.

The photos weren't of the wedding.  I only have one photo of the wedding that isn't in a newspaper clipping, and it's a snapshot.

The photos in the newspapers sort of imply that there was a photographer at the wedding, but I've never found those photos anywhere.

When I say photos and newspapers, there were at least three different newspapers and three different poses.  Newspapers didn't send photographers to weddings in the mid-fifties, did they? 


This is a picture that I threw away.  I didn't see it when I went through the blog, but I remember writing about it.

I remember saying that I could identify all of the people in the photo.  The headless woman holding the cake is my Grandmother.  The legs are my Grandfather.

The child in the playpen is not the child that the playpen was set up for.  She's also not on time out.  I could tell you which grandchild the playpen was set up for, too.  But it's not a good picture, so it went.

Wait a minute.  There's a second set of legs there in the corner.  Well, that makes me a liar.  I can't tell you with certainty who they belong to. 

The faux leopard skin compact on the left would have been donated if the mirror inside it hadn't been broken.  It's been in storage and out of powder for decades.

I need to remember to tell the kids the story of Grandma L's leopard skin hat.  The moral of the lesson is that, yes, people do pay furriers to put fur items into a refrigerated area for storage, but, no, the crisper in your refrigerator is not a suitable substitute for that.

The next photos are of things that went into a yard sale.  I'm pretty sure the yard sale got mentioned here as being about to happen.  I refuse to feel guilty about posting the pictures late.

I don't seem to be able to place them side-by-side, no matter how small I make them.  Oh, well.  It's a free blog.

These are from Aunt L. 




Let's see where the words go.




That was odd.  I couldn't forward down to the bottom because interface would forward the second photo in the stack along with the cursor.  But once I put in a sentence there, I could forward to the end, no problem.  I'm sure there's a reason. 
 

To loop back to the present, I think I'm going to throw away this snapshot.  (Do people still say snapshot?)  It's a dairy calf that we saw when we went to the Los Angeles County Fair in 1961.