Friday, December 23, 2011

Reducing victory...

Today, I finished tackling the attic/basement reducing and organizing.  By that I mean that I reached my goal of having just one section of stuff in the attic and all the office and teaching supplies in the basement, where I might eventually bring myself to reduce them further.  Doing so meant that I had to reduce the basement by two more boxes.  I have included two sets of before-and-after photos below.

Here you can see that this section of the attic is now completely empty.  You can also see my progress on cleaning the floor.

The strip all the way to the left is where the boxes were, so it is completely filthy.  The strip at the top is actually clean, but it has not been treated with orange oil the way that the bulk of this section of the floor has been.  The light colored board at the top is a section that had been replaced. I would like to stain it, but really I need a better piece of wood there.  Aren't the floors looking rather nice???

Here you can see what is left of my attic "stuff."  I rotated the storage bins so that I could add the two clear bins, the printer, the box of books, and the ceiling fan box to this section.  One of the smaller green bins has the paperback books I chose to keep, as does the red box.  I reduced five boxes of books down to just two.  [Remember I had built-in book shelves at my last house, so I am down a book shelf.]  You can also see how dirty the floors are, especially if you compare them to the clean section in the photo above!

As to my floor project, I need to purchase more orange oil and some more rags.  I temporarily moved the braided rug to the flowered rug, since I have made the executive decision that I am not going to clean the floor beneath the flowered rug.  I also think that I might not even clean the floor beneath all the stuff left, but will leave that section until I move. Since they have been dirty all this time, I cannot see how that would be harmful to the floors.

Mostly, I just want to be able to walk about my attic, with my puppy, and have both of us come back down as clean as we were when we went up there.  Right now, if Amos were to slip up there, he'd come back gray again, for he would be sure to sit down and lie down on the dirty section in all sorts of directions so that perhaps only his head was left white.

Part of why I wanted all the paper/office supplies/professional/educational stuff in the basement was so that I could eventually go through it all again.  I mean, I did reduce my desk boxes from three to one (not that I really think I will have a desk at a job again).  And I did give away a total of seven boxes of office supplies.  [I am a tad chagrined to admit that I could easily give away more.]  But primarily I wanted it all together so that I might contemplate tacking both the professional and educational stuff.

I realized, the night before last, while weeping a bit into my pillow, that the reason I am holding onto all those ancient research articles is that if I throw them away, I will feel like I am throwing away my Ph.D.  Mostly, I feel as if I am the only one who cares that I got it.  And, mostly, I feel like a failure for I barely used it.

I was a good teacher.  I know that.  It is one skill that I know God gave me.  But I stink at being political and from elementary school to college, surviving in education oft takes great political skill.  And, well, I really do stink at being a human being.  That also played a part in my instructional failure.  I know.  But I loved teaching.  I loved the Mother-Daughter book club I ran all those years after I left the educational world.  And I secretly loved being able to teach my co-workers the things they needed to know about their computers and printers.  Being Dr. So and So meant something to me.  But not so much to anyone else.  And so I keep hauling around dozens of boxes of binders of research and professional books.

In truth, I could probably reduce the entire top shelf, if I took the binders of lesson plans and put those ideas into my computer as a project.  Of the bottom two shelves, I would imagine I could get that down to one shelf, if not less than a shelf.  The middle two shelves are mostly a mixture of professional work, personal writing, family history, Mother-Daughter book club materials, literacy lessons, and stuff about the house and the car.

If I were able to be brave and a tad ruthless with my silly emotions about much of these things, I might be able to reduce this enough to move all the paperback books from the attic to part of this bookshelf.  That would be a good goal.  When I was reducing the paperback books (some I sort of wish I had back), I kept out three to read!  I really do miss those friends of mine all cooped up in the attic.

After the oven failure, I wanted some success.  Last night, I had reduced the books while talking with Bettina as she worked at her cleaning job.  [She's going on vacation, so my productivity is sure to decline.]  With those boxes of books and all the other things I pulled to donate, my car is full again.  Part of me is irritated that I paid to move all the stuff I have donated and reduced.  But I try to remember that aside from some help from my writing student and Sunshine, I packed up the entire house myself.  And, well, I suppose most 44-year-old have stuff, stuff, and more stuff.  I should concentrate on how very much less stuff I now have.  Much, much, much less!

Amos does not appreciate when I work in the attic, since I will not let him go back up there until the floor is cleaned.  His howls of lonesomeness echo those in my own heart, so they are hard to hear.  However, when we are together once more, he spends extra time snuggling and takes naps in my lap.  If not in my lap, then he at least puts his head on my shoulder while curled up on the top of the couch behind me.  Is he not adorable?

Wednesday, while in the basement, something spooked Amos.  He came running over and started leaping up for me to catch him. When I did, he immediately crawled up to my shoulders and would not let me pull him down.  I just left him up there until I felt his quivering cease.  Then, I slipped him down into my arms and let him shower me with kisses.  That usually distracts him, and I do not much mind a bit of puppy love.  Such a good gift I was given in this puppy dog.  Truly, I am so very humbled by all the comforting he does.  Of course, I am good at comforting him right back.

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!


ftwayne96 said...

Good picture of the two of you! A blessed Nativity to you, Myrtle! Take tomorrow off and relax.

Myrtle said...

What, no comment about those clean boards on the attic floor? How beautiful they are?? How disgusting the ones right in front of the bins look??? My aching muscles are quite offended, Railroad Bum!

I looked back on my blog, since I could not remember myself. I have been cleaning the attic floor every day since December 15th. That means, if I include the section scheduled for today, I will have been cleaning the attic floor for ten days.

I do think that, perhaps, I should give myself a break tomorrow and leave the rags in the dryer. However, if I were disciplined about it, I might could finish the attic floor before the world turns round to 2012.

ftwayne96 said...

You have done an incredible job cleaning the flooring, as well as everything else you have accomplished in your home. It really looks good -- an amazing transformation. You are to be commended! Myrtle Bernice Adams is hereby awarded the Housekeeper Order of Merit, First Class, for superior persistence and pluck in the face of overwhelming grime, dust, and filth.

You need some R&R, now. The turning of the calendar to a new year DOES NOT require that your attic be completely spic-and-span at 12:01 a.m., January 7th, 2012.

ftwayne96 said...

Amend that date to January 1st, 2012. Of course, January 7th applies to.

ftwayne96 said...