De-Clump Where You Live

Clump # 258: Thirty minutes worth of bedroom de-clumping; day sixteen of National Blog Posting Month.


Above, the thistle, thorny bane of most gardeners’ existence.  Pull it up and it roars back tenfold.  Good symbol for today’s job: the clumps I have never been able to eradicate from so many sweeping-ups of other areas in the house.  Somehow they always land in our bedroom, where guests won’t see.  But what does it do to our psyches that the place where my husband and I live and sleep is our dumping ground?

It changes today.  I set the timer for a half an hour.  Believe it or not, the piles below have a certain logic.


Most appallingly old?  Girl Scout paraphernalia from when I was scout leader for my older daughter’s troop.  I always imagined myself donating it all back to the place where I purchased it, but today I stuffed it in a Goodwill donation bag. Phew.  I hope some other mom or girl will appreciate it.


I want to say … “See?  All gone!”  but I still have pesky remnants to contend with for another–long–day.  But at least this area looks better:


These three remotes have been waiting to go to the recycling place at Best Buy for way too long, caught in the stuck energy of all this stuff.  Well, they’re out of here now.


This clipped Cryptoquote solution came fluttering out at one point.


A nod to imperfection that tamed, somewhat, my bubbling self-recrimination and gave me hope for imperfectly cleared space beyond.

Banished Snake Pit

Clump #59:  Unwrap and clean plates.  Recycle old, broken laptop and wires at Best Buy.

Within spitting distance of 30 days in my month of September, 30-clump, 30-post challenge!  The study is almost all cleared out. It’s a little echo-y … might take some getting used to.

This was a gift from my husband a long time ago.  Smaller plates to make for smaller meals and healthier bodies.  He had told me to take them back and see if there were others I might like better.  Since then they’ve been stashed in the study.  Today I decided that plain and simple was just fine with me, and popped them in the dishwasher.


I thought this wicker waste paper basket was a nice relic from my parents’ home … and then I looked inside and saw the snake nest of jumbled wires.  Also, an old, hidden, broken laptop from my father’s valiant, but doomed, effort to get my mother to join the computer age. Back to Best Buy!


I think I’m getting recognized there as the woman who brings things in to recycle, but never buys anything.


While I was out today, I noticed that the fall season has suddenly fallen upon us.


Everywhere I went, the signs were glaringly obvious.


Aww … I miss getting costumes ready for the kids.


Here I am, cloud-crazed again.  This was the view from a cart corral in a grocery store parking lot:


I’m feeling very grateful for the impetus this blog has given me to take more photos.  As a result, I’ve become much more attuned to the beauty around me … and above me.

Out of the Boxes

Clump #52:  Empty last box of parents’ belongings.

This is the last of the dreaded cardboard boxes to clump out.  Phew! The 30-day, 30-clump, 30-post challenge continues with deep appreciation for all who have joined me in spirit and with encouragement.  Thank you!

Here are my parents on one of their post-retirement trips.  Good to keep in mind those happier days.


I thought this one would be a piece of cake … office supplies and an old, non-functioning printer.


Here is the printer, an old telephone, and some printer ink cartridges popped into the car to go to Best Buy.


They took the printer and the telephone for recycling at the Best Buy Customer Service desk.  The clerk said the only thing he couldn’t take were the cardboard boxes the printer ink cartridges were in.  Curbside paper recycling at home, then.

This was the dispensary at the entrance to the store, receiving: Plastic Bags; CD’s, DVD’s & Cases; Rechargeable Batteries; Ink & Toner Cartridges; Gift Cards; Wires, Cords, & Cables; and Remotes & Controllers.  Now I know!


I thought I was home free until I got to some sad things, like the soles of my dad’s shoes.  I had unsuccessfully tried to relieve his pain with orthotics.  Also, a New Yorker cartoon page-a-day calendar I gave him for a daily chuckle.  He didn’t get too far with it.

The cartoon he left on top was a good message for accumulating,  and reducing, material things: make sure you truly desire all that you own.


Enduring Memory

Clump #50: Take donations to Goodwill, LensCrafters, and Best Buy.

Another old family photo featuring my dad, in honor of his birthday week and my effort to clean out the room housing many of his things.

The photo below features three of his four daughters; one more was yet to come.  I’m in the middle.  Looking at the picture in this resolution, I’m guessing that’s not a pacifier in my mouth, but a smear of food. Time to get out the camera.  My dad would laugh remembering how he’d always hit his head on the corner of the cabinet above him in this crowded house.  The good old days!


Here is a hunk of junk I managed to get out of our crowded house today.  My husband added a pile of old t-shirts to the Goodwill load, saying we’re becoming “Clumpaholics.”  Funny guy!   The Joe Jitters shirt from Moose Lake, MN, on top, was hard for me to part with … so many good memories.   Somebody  help me — I’m drowning in sentiment.


I took seven pairs of old glasses that had belonged to my parents to a LensCrafters/Lions Club drop-off.


That felt very good.


I also took my father’s computer hard drive to Best Buy, where they kindly took out the disk for me, to recycle the rest.  They’re not allowed to clean or destroy the disk, for liability reasons.


Here’s the part I must now destroy.  The sales clerk/geek squad member recommended drilling a hole in it somewhere around the large rounded area.  Or bashing it with a hammer.  What have we created here?  The world simply baffles me.


Back, for a moment, to the post entitled Back to the Garden.  I was made aware by one of my readers that I was not clear in my description of something I learned at an iPhone photography class at Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, PA. Here is the correct description: the volume up button on an iPhone can be used as a shutter (not the top on/off button), and tends to be more stable than tapping the camera icon.


Another good tip: the teacher recommended avoiding use of the zoom-in feature on the iPhone camera.  Better to use the normal setting and manipulate it later (zooming in, cropping) for image clarity/quality.