Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sorting and tidying for the new year

Usually I spend this last week of the year sorting through my own things: papers to toss out, messes to organize, getting ready to start the new year fresh. This year I've been going through Mom's things instead. All drawers in bedroom are cleared as is most of the closet. In a little metal trunk I found a lot of material, cloth for future sewing projects.
Oops, Emily can stay but these bags are set to go to the two local thrift stores.
Knick nacks and doodads and even a couple of my own books. I may take them round today. This will be my second trip to thrift stores and "Planet Aid" bins. And the dump.

Christmas was very sweet and peaceful. Just my son, my brother and myself. I made poached salmon and asparagus and pumpkin pie or lemon sorbet for desert. My brother bought me chocolates from a local and famous chocolate shop. They are famous for these little mice which I'm trying to keep away from the cats.

Also this giant bag of dark chocolate hot cocoa mix. Guess I'll have to have a hot cocoa party! What special treats did you all have for the holiday season? Do you do anything special between Christmas and New Years to mark the transition?

Just a side note, I am having mega trouble uploading pictures to Picasa. They get uploaded but to somewhere else on my computer. I dont understand the whole thing really. Eventually I can find them, I think in a Windows Picture program. Anyone know what this means?


Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Oh so glad to know Emily isnt going to the good will. :)
Such a lot of sorting to do. But some one is going to benefit from it all. A nice thought.
Will you use the material to make something? I love the mice chocolate. and the Hot chocolate mix. How sweet.. pun intended...of him. :))
I just found out last night that we have a second batch of company coming right after cons cousin leaves Tuesday. So I have a day before they come to get the guest room ready again and shall be busy with company for a few more days. No sorting stuff here. We havent seen this family, of four, for a few years so it will be nice, but busy. :)

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

ps, Forgot to mention. Happy to hear you three were together and had a good time. Dinner sounded lovely.

Teri said...

Sounds like a nice transition, at a pace that leaves time to savor memories and what the future might bring. I love the mice, reminds me of my childhood and pink marzipan pigs from a Danish bakery that my grandmother used to get me. Your dinner sounded delicious. Mine was with friends, not that yummy but it was good not to be alone, but with friends, as all my family is on the west coast. I have been going out to eat at my favorite places this past week, just to get meals I have been craving but don't have the time to fix for myself-ribs, tapas, chili.

I have had many pickups of donations since Mike passed-Lupus Foundation, Viet Vets, Purple Heart...and I keep finding more but soon my attic will have room to store more stuff, teehee. I hate to donate his nice tuxes and suits and shoes and one of the consignment shops told me of a group that suits men-in-need for interviews, etc and I have to seek that out, so I know my donation will truly help someone that way.

I look forward to seeing what the new year brings...

Mary said...

hi Suki--it's a bittersweet process, going through your mom's things. my mom saved every piece of paper she ever touched including playbills, programs, menus, maps, etc. she also saved things we have no idea about and many sentimental things. we had about 3 dozen huge dump trips, a huge yard sale and don't ask to see my basement ;-)

good luck!

like you i'm going through things and organizing--though i think it's really going to take a month, not just a week!

Cynthia said...

Suki, deciding what to save is the most difficult part of sorting; in your case, more difficult because it involves letting go. May you find yourself in comforting peace as you share your mother's things (and your own)with others.

marianne said...

dear Suki,
I don´t envy you having to sort out everything. Memories slipping through your hands. I like the idea of using the last week of the
year to sort out thing to start all fresh in the new year.....
I didn´t have energy today. I had to go to the optician, I have been testing all kinds of contacts but it doesn´t work. Today I felt dizzy and had headache from these experiments and this together with a medicine I use makes me nauseous.
But it is just temporary.
Hope I feel better tomorrow.
we had Christmas yesterday and everyone was there! Last year we thought it would maybe be the last time and again this year we had the same feeling. I had to feed my mom, she was happy. I brought them home, my dad was completely exhausted (he has to go to hospital monday again, this to annswer your question you asked in one of my post.) undressed my mom and put her to bed, I´m doing for her what she did for me as a child. Just like you and your mom. In the end we have to take care of them.
My mom will turn 84 monday.
I appreciated this Christmas that we were still complete. all the grandchildren were there and 2 with their new girlfriends. So many mixed feelings and emotions.

I´m glad to were together with your son and brother, what a lovely gifts you got. Love the mice. (I love chocolate too, looking at your gifts I think you do too).
Your Christmas sounds nice Suki!

How many cats did your mother have?
what will happen to them now?
It is not only things you have to take care of but animals and a house as well. Quite a task for you.
I wish you strenght Suki this coming period.

Warm hug Marianne

sukipoet said...

Cris, I dont sew, but I was going to contact Lynn and Mim to see if they wanted some material. The rest will go to local thrift shops. Oh goodness, you sure have been busy with guests! Wow. Hope it is all fun for you and not too stressfull. Take care, Suki

Teri, glad to hear you were with friends at Christmas and also that you have been treating yourself well with meals out. That is such a good thing to do. We women cook for others most of our lives and I think it is so important to be cooked for sometimes. Sounds like you have been doing alot of work sorting your husbands things. It takes time and it is satisfying to find people out there who want/need these things. May your new year be filled with peace and joy and laughter, Suki

sukipoet said...

Mary, that does sound like a lot of dump trips. So far I've had only two. It will take way more than a week to sort through mom's stuff. I just meant that usu. this last week of the year I sort my own things, but this year it's Mom's. I'm actually sorting thru some of my own things that i collected since moving here too. The thought of moving them again is nauseating. Have a good week sorting. Be well, Suki

Thanks Cynthia. I am trying to go slowly and with care.

Marianne, oh my sounds hard with your folks. I'm sorry. I know it is upsetting to see our folks this way. The kitties are my kitties. I brought them up with me from Cape Cod. Mom was never a big pet person although she and Dad had several dogs through the years. thank you for your wish of strength. And happy birthday to your Mom! Blessings, Suki

m. heart said...

hi suki, pleased to read you had a nice holiday. a photographer once sent me a box of those same chocolate mice as a thank you gift...i never forgot how good they were! the same chocolatier (sp) opened a small shop in northampton for a while but they are closed now, unfortunately.
i spend the days after chirstmas going through all my old things as well. i have quite a load to bring to the salvation army again this year and a big pile for the dump. out with the old, in with the new i guess.

sukipoet said...

M. Heart, I think they Burdick's, has a shop in Cambridge should you ever be there. The other is in Walpole, NH. Have fun sorting stuff.

katie jane said...

Hi Suki, so glad you had your nice quiet Christmas. We did too. Just the two of us. We had filet mignon and crab legs! Very non- traditional fare, but it's what we love.

Now that the Crhistmas Crunch is over I actually have some down time until after New Year's. Been cleaning out and organizing, myself. And working on some new art projects.

Don't throw away too much of your mom's stuff. You may want to start a collage scrapbook of some memories and buttons, books and letters, and fabric would be wonderful.

soulbrush said...

glad you were all together. hard to clear out her stuff, but also cleansing thing to do. i don't sort things now, wait till spring, i go deeper into hibernation till february, when i get cabin fever. haven't got a clue about picasa....sorry...hugs xx

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, Oh Boy, I'm ready for a nice cup of hot chocolate!! I received gift cards for the art supply stores...woohoo I'll go shopping Monday! I missed my big night out Friday for services as I am handling an allergy/cold.
I remember going through my parents things...a tough job but when it was done I felt I had served a purpose and the ending was complete. All those bags of have done a fine job of sorting through everything.
I don't organize for the new year but I do look into the next year, write, set some goals. I haven't done it for years but I think I'll enter a local juried art show. In the past I have been accepted and rejected by jurors but this one is about collage and I would feel good showing a couple of new pieces. We shall see...they accept cd's so now I need to photograph and burn onto a cd and fill out the form and send in a check?!

patti said...

Good for you Suki, it's a big job. I went through all my mum's things when she went into a nursing home. I had piles just like you - things in good condition to keep, sentimental things, things to pass on to goodwill and things to throw away. I was exhausted at the end of it all.

Remember this sorting is going on in your mind as well. It's a great way of processing the past, making space for the future.

Teri C said...

Sounds like such a relaxing day of finding treasures and sorting out your life.

kj said...

it feels so good to de-clutter, doesn't it? i loved seeing your mother's fabric. i'll bet you kept that.
i'm glad you had a peaceful christmas, suki. and thanks for your words of encouragement to me recently. they've helped.

Lynn said...

I do not know what your computer is's loading photos to your Pictures file but they should be there anyway. Why they are not uploading to Blogger is a mystery to me. If I think of something I'll let you know.

I am saying "No thank you" to pro-offered chocolates, and ice cream...and anything no, I am not "treating myself" that way. I am enjoying how my body feels without it so very much. I look forward to a second year of the same.

Good job that emotional one of sorting and giving away. I applaud you for getting this much done so soon.

Happy New Year Suki.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Bittersweet memories for you.

I am reading about photographing just now. My new focus :-)

Dianne said...

Dear Suki, I am so glad to hear you spent your Christmas day with your brother and son. As you know, I love the chocolate thing, to eat or drink! The mice look so sweet and yummy.
Yes, this time is a time for sorting through and reorganizing. You have a huge job sorting through your Mum's bits and pieces, it must be so hard to know what to keep and what to give away.
When you upload your photo's in Picasa, does it give you a chance to say which file you want to save them in? Make sure they go into a file in "My Pictures" and then you can find them again. You can create new files in "my pictures" e.g. paintings, website pics etc. Then you can "drag and drop" the photo's from one file to another.
Hope I am making some sort of sense? Happy New Year!
Love Dianne x x

sukipoet said...

Katie Jane, glad you had a peaceful and quiet Christmas and have some time now to flow rather than deliver packages! I have a pile of stuff to put in a memory album, though hadnt thought about swatches of materials. So thanks. It is hard to think of what to keep since I have no container. What I mean is, I have no home in which to place the things I keep. I lose the sense of keeping "stuff" when I have moved 4 times in the last 4 years plus anticipate now another move to ?? On the other hand I want to have some momentoes of course. I am keeping all mom's jewelry and her box of old doilies and table clothes etc. All the albums of post cards and all the family mementoes from my Great aunts and so forth. Then there are the dishes and kithen ware which I havent even begun to go through. !!! I will or could have enough to fill a small house when you include the furniture.

Soulbrush, spring is a great time for clearing out. Some kind of energy in the air. I do it then too.

Patti, thanks for sharing your experience. I wish there were a goodwill around here but there isnt. There are two thrift stores though, but that is it unless I drive for half an hour of more. I like what you say about the sorting going on in your mind too. That is so true.

Blue Sky Dreaming. The gift certificate sounds great fun. I hope your cold or allergy is better now so you can enjoy the art store adventure. Your goal to apply to a juried art show sounds great. Isnt it wild the CD thing? So easy really. I mean easy to apply.

Well I have many many more things to go through. This is a whole 5 room house although I have already cleared 2 rooms of Mom's stuff as I had been using them for myself. It is my task for the next month or so. As I sort and redistribute and discard, I hope to, as Patti says, also sort through the memories and experiences about Mom and Dad in my thoughts and maybe even sort thru the choices I might make next.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Teri. I guess theoretically it might be relaxing, but for me, in reality, I find it overwhelming a bit to make all these choices alone. for example if my SIL had been alive and well, I always thought we would go thru Mom's things together, like sisters. Course she might not have wanted to I guess so I might be doing it alone anyway.

Hi KJ. I am a great organizer so I love doing that. Putting like things with like and seeing what is there. I just need to remember there is no rush and to take my time with things, like opening all the books to make sure no money or other personal papers are in them before i send them on their way.

sukipoet said...

Lynn, it is great that you have kept to your diet and saying no during this very difficult season to do that in. Hurrah for you. It is actually Picasa program that has stopped uploading pictures from my camera. It used to be so easy to do now it is complicated and frustrating. Eventually I can get them into Blogger but I have to find the pictures first. Happy New Year to you too.

britt-arhild: I like your new focus and it gives me an idea. You often stimulate creative ideas with your comments. Hmmm, maybe i should do some reading abt photography myself. I have gotten so many good comments on my outdoors photos. Maybe I can improve somehow and expand.

Dianne, thanks for your ideas abt Picasa. The Picasa program used to automatically create a new file each time I uploaded new pictures. and then the file was there for me to see the pictures immediately. I have never tired to work with pictures from the "my pictures" program site although that is now where these pictures seem to be going. I'll have to keep fooling around with it all I guess, but I find it aggrivating that Picasa is no longer working the way it was. Hmmm.

Kikipotamus said...

Hi, Suki. I got in the habit while in Japan of doing a major house cleaning for the New Year. They also have a most rigorous bath for the occasion.

As for the pics, I do not use that program. But it sounds like you have two that moves the photos from your camera to your computer. From there you have to put them up on Picasa?

If you need to know where they are going...the next time you "eventually find" one, click the UP ARROW icon on the tool bar to see the file path. You may have to click up more than once to see higher and higher in the file path.

Then you will always know what folder they are being saved to, and maybe you can upload them to your Picasa site from there?

Just brainstorming. I don't really know for sure.

studio lolo said...

I can picture you sorting through your mother's things with love and tenderness. I think giving them to charities is a wonderful idea so others can enjoy a part of her because at one time she chose these items for a reason. I like how Emily is supervising, just like a kitty!
I'm happy your holiday was shared with loved ones. And what a chocolate score!!

Lynn said...

Suki, when I put my memory card in the computer I open Picasa. Then I go to IMPORT at top of menu and click on the first option that says G folder or something like that... The first option offered. That brings the photos into Picasa. Another of my programs also puts them in Pictures or I can go to the bottom of Picasa page and hit export and that moves them to Pictures. When I open Pictures later I have a folder there that says Picasa Exports (or Imports) and click on that and find my photos stored on the computers hard drive (in Pictures)...When I am on Blogger I go to browse and then to Pictures and then to Picasa Imports/Exports folder and find the photo(s) I want and import them by clicking on the photo and that brings it to blogger.
I go back and do the same thing again to get a next photo.
I hope this helps.

sukipoet said...

Kelly I think you are more computer literate than I. I have clicked that arrow to see the path but it doesnt seem to mean anything to me. Before, the pictures just uploaded automatically to picasa. I opened the software program, Picasa, and then plugged in my camera and the photos uploaded to the Picasa array of photos. That has stopped working. It is interesting to me how hard it is to verbally talk about computer stuff. If a person who knew how to do things were here with me at the computer they could probably figure out the problem in two minutes with no words. But words make things sound so long and complicated. Curious. Anyway, I will try doing as you say and see what happens. Thanks.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Laurel. I do love passing things on to folks who might love them and use them. I've always thought that way, to pass things on rather than holding on to everything. Emily (kitty) is a big help to me. That's for sure. I'm so glad my kitties are here right now. They are such good friends as are all you guys out there in blogland.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Lynn. That sounds pretty much what i was doing BEFORE. But now it doesnt seem to work anymore. That's the thing. And I dont know why. maybe windows is blocking picasa or something.

Kim said...

Hi Suki,

I do not use Picsa to upload, so I can't help you. I just go to "new post" then click on the photo icon and up load that way. You probably have a lot more control doing it the way you do, but I can't help out.

Emily is very precious.

Now I do not claim to know what you are dealing with going through your mother's things. I know it must be done and it must be brutally difficult. I send you lots of strength as you continue with this project.

I suppose I do not have any special things I do to make the transition from one year to another (except purchase a new calender for my purse). I can say I have had a few days here with my husband (who often has great needs) while my children slipped off for some time together. During these few days I have worked on preparing things for my web site and a submission, replying to comments and visiting my blog friends. I suppose I am trying to put things in place to begin fresh with some parts of my life.

Your Christmas sounds wonderful and those little mice are as cute as can will you be able to eat them? Ahh, I know you love that cocoa.

Take some special time for yourself, too, Suki!

sukipoet said...

KIm, good to hear from you. I dont know if I can bring myself to eat those little mice. they are just too cute. But I am eating the candy and drinking the cocoa.

I do as you describe to upload photos to blogger but the question now is where are the photos as Picasa program is perpetually "not responding." I feel very frustrated about it all although i will read Kelly and lynn's directions again to see if I understand better.

Sounds like you are having a busy end of the year! a purse calendar sounds like a good idea. I dont have one. I got my free desk calendar of a book a day. But i really like a small ring bound week by week thing too. Actually, I love calendars a lot. In fact I just remembered now I used to make my own special calendar with lots of room for notes. Hmmm. Be well and happy new year Kim.

Kim said...


Those mice are just adorable. I know I would take photos of them in lots of different places just in case I decided I wanted to have a nibble sometime. I am glad you are enjoying the other chocolate, though.

I am constantly carrying a calender with me. I never used to do that and found it very difficult to get used to keeping a calender. Then my friend suggested I buy a daytimer and use it as my wallet, too. Bingo...that worked like a charm. I now carry only a small moleskine calender, but I use it. :)

Gosh, I wish I could help you with this photo upload issue. I am just totally ignorant about this kind of thing. Mmm, do we know anyone who is a photographer who has a blog? They might be helpful. I will clearly give it some thought. I will also ask my children if they have any thoughts.

Hang in there, Suki!

sukipoet said...

Kim that's so dear of you to want to help. As you can see I am somehow getting the photos uploaded but it is a struggle whereas before it was so easy. Maybe this kink will work itself out.

A Moleskin calendar. I love it. I want one. I need a new sketchbook so maybe will go to some store and see if they have this calendar too.