Sunday, June 28, 2009

Culture Clash

In the midst of all the preparations for the estate sale last week, I took a break for a baby shower for an acquaintance. Julie (I can't begin to spell her Tibetan name) fled Tibet years ago when she was studying with the Dalai Lama, spending several years in India before arriving in the U.S. Although she has lived with an American family for a couple of years, the difference in cultures was made evident at the baby shower given in her honor. Julie works at the Chinese restaurant run by a friend of ours and the staff hosted the baby shower for her there. Because everyone was officially on duty at the restaurant at the time, no presents were wrapped (except mine and those of her American host family) and the spread of food was distinctly Oriental (and yummy!). When shown the baby shower cake we had to explain why there was a picture of a stork and baby on it and what that represented, which was a bit of a hoot. We also had to explain several of the gifts, including receiving blankets, "onesies" and pacifiers. I don't know if all that was a cultural thing or just a young lady who has never been around children and doesn't have a clue. Either way, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at her house after the baby is born, watching her trying to figure out what goes where and why with all her gifts.

And it certainly was an entertaining break for me--I haven't laughed that much in a long time. Friends and laughter--it doesn't get any better than that.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Taking a Moment

Before the air conditioner is turned on for the day, I'm taking a moment to breathe fresh air and listen to the crickets and tree frogs. My brain had me awake at 3AM, worrying about the large number of antiques belonging to my mother that did not sell. Next is photographing them and putting them on eBay, I guess, because I hate to see them all go to charity.

The town of Dayton has been hard-hit over the last decade, losing many of its large businesses and factories. Most recent was NCR (National Cash Register) which is moving its operations to Georgia after being started here in Dayton over 150 years ago. So many people are either out of work or fearing for their pensions or jobs, including some in my own family. Not a good time to be trying to sell items that exist simply for their own beauty, much less necessities.

The good news is that a lot of nice pieces went to friends or a good home. We have most of the things we're giving to charity packed up, we can see the floor in many rooms once again and I'm hoping to get a second wind by spending the weekend at the trailer with Denny and Patches. Then I'll be ready for phase two of clearing the estate.

If I am to keep to our planned schedule of having the house on the market by the first of August, then Denny and I will be spending a lot of hours at the house and not online blogging. Or taking pictures of tiny living things instead flowers painted on porcelain. Therefore, blogging here will still be erratic at best and I won't be checking in on my favorite bloggers quite as often. Soon.....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ten Days Late.

And no, it's not THAT--I'm too dang old to be pregnant! It's just been ten days since I've posted something, which was brought to my attention this morning by a friend checking in.

The trouble is, how much can you write about dragging out box after box of china, porcelain, cut glass, carnival glass, doodads and gewgaws? Maybe tomorrow I'll take some pictures of the chaos that is currently my mother's place, although we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Good thing, as I'm having some of my mother's antique dealer/collector friends over Monday night for a sneak preview of the sale.

In the meantime? I'm snappish and crabby and cantankerous and belligerent and right now I'm not suffering fools gladly either. Put tired on that list, too. Denny says we've fought more since Mom's death than we have in the last 27 years of our relationship and he's right. Put two bullheads together with totally different ideas of how to do things and you have two people clashing big time. But Denny and I also know it's just because of the stress of dealing with the estate so we're okay with each other and we're shrugging off the snappiness as a temporary aberration. Today we're at the trailer, just hanging around and chilling (as much as one can chill when the heat index is supposed to be 100 degrees today.) Gah!

So all is well, just nothing to write home about. Next will be the excitement of painting, refinishing floors, ripping off the kitchen countertops and much, much more. What are you people who own houses THINKING???????

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Remiss


Indeed, I have been remiss in posting. My time online (except for brief periods of madness playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook in an attempt to keep up with Deana) has been spent researching collectibles rather than reading blogs and updating my own.

Yesterday my cousin Datha drove over from Indiana to help with the unpacking, sorting and setting up of multiple crates of well-wrapped goodies. These were things my parents had purchased back in the day they were antique dealers. That was pre-1994 so the prices that are currently on the items are sadly out of date for this economy. Antiques and collectibles run in cycles like clothing styles, and so what was popular when they were buying and selling a decade or two ago simply is not of interest to the current group of collectors. Thus I am trying to figure out what the market will bear price-wise and tag things accordingly.

Because Patches is starting to get a bit neurotic from traveling back and forth to Grandma's house, I am staying here and Denny is commuting from the campground. At the house, Patches has a cat door and free access to the fenced backyard while at home she has to wait to be walked on a leash. I don't think she likes the aroma here at Grandma's house either--a mixture of stale cigarette smoke and musty basement dust currently from all the things we're hauling out, brushing off and moving around. Denny left after dinner last night, which meant Datha and I could relax with an Amaretto Sour and talk the night away. And we did.

Today, we'll do it all over again.

Monday, June 01, 2009

To Post or Not to Post


A blogging friend who is ill is questioning whether or not to blog about her bad days or if she should maintain a cheerful facade for her blog followers. And that got me thinking about the way I've blogged over the past year.

My original intent when I created my blog was to document our travels after I had written the umpteenth e-mail to friends and family reiterating the same information for each one, yet trying to make each e-mail personal, also. That's when I decided to start a blog so that I could share the sights we'd seen and the things we'd learned and I would be able to keep my e-mails short and personal. And that's pretty much what the blog was about until late in 2005 when my mother had a health issue and we flew home on an emergency basis. And then there was my shattered kneecap and recovery in mid-2006 and then my FIL's death and dealing with his estate last year and now my mother's death and dealing with HER estate right now. So the blog became my catharsis and my way of sharing what was going on when making a phone call would have been too much to handle. And the support I've gotten from people I've never met has been wonderful and has buoyed me in ways I could never have imagined.

Maybe some readers have disappeared because Denny and I aren't traveling and the blog at this point isn't a travelogue. That's okay, because at some point this summer or fall it will be once again. But for now, as my sister-in-law likes to say, "it is what it is". Good, bad or indifferent, this is where we're at right now and that's what the blog will document. But I know that there will be pictures of mountains and lakes, tales of geocaching and stories of flat tires and minor disasters related to the RVing lifestyle in our future. And there will be cheese with my whine. Bet on it.
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