I’ve been puttering around the house for the past couple of weeks. No, I have not been playing indoor golf! (In case anyone was confused!). I assigned myself three major in-home projects for this year. The first one I decided to tackle was cleaning out my spare bedroom/office/storage room. I started with the closet, which went pretty smoothly. I had a couple of totes that had, inside them, things to sell at a future yard sale (or sales). Of course, these were packed pre-pandemic and not touched since then. I went through them and decided which items I thought had enough value to post (for free) on our local online yard sale group. That involved taking photos of each of them as well as descriptions and price. I’ve had some things listed now for about 2 months and I’ve managed to sell two of them. I have photos of things I haven’t posted yet – I plan to rotate the items listed so I always have something new to offer. I managed to pack up two totes of things to sell, organized so I know what is in each tote should I need to get something out, and found room to tuck them in the closet I’d just cleaned out.

Next came the shelves. I have 3 sets of shelves in this room, including a 4-shelf large bookcase and two 4-shelf metal racks. One of the metal racks is for my extra kitchen gadgets (crock pot, air fryer, 22-quart soup pot, cast iron skillet, etc.). These are things I use routinely but not often enough that I have to have them handy in my kitchen. The other metal rack holds extra personal hygiene products, cleaning products, extra paper products, extra boxes of coffee pods, etc. The wooden bookcase holds all things associated with crafting. I also have three totes of crafting stuff, and another project is to sort through all of that and decide what is reasonable to think I’ll use versus stuff I thought I might make some day. So that shelving is being ignored for now.

That room does not have air conditioning, merely a ceiling fan. Once summer hit, it became obvious that I’d be working on things in there a bit at a time until I got all sweaty. I’m probably done with 90% of the two shelving units, but haven’t quite made a decision about where I want a couple of items to fit that is to my best advantage. Meanwhile, I had family photos propped up on one windowsill and a few stuffed bears propped up on the other. I finally took the time to research what I could use on the backs of the photos that would stick to my uneven, old plaster walls. I’d tried Command strips without success. I found this product called Alien Tape which is an amazing product! Well, of course it made sense to clean the glass of the photo frames before I hung them, so while I had the glass cleaner out, I went around and cleaned all of the glass on other items I had hanging throughout the place in other rooms, including mirrors. That side-tracked me for a bit. I finally decided how I wanted to arrange the family photos on my hallway wall, so that also side-tracked me from my organizational plans.

Then, of course, once one windowsill was empty, I needed to take care of the other one. I have, over the years, weaned my stuffed animals down to three bears, all of which matter to me. One is a small Koala bear with a sweater that has the flag and has AUS on it. I’d met a gal from Australia from playing the same Facebook game, and we became online friends. She and her hubby like to travel internationally, and I found out she was coming to the East Coast of America and would be spending a night in Lancaster County. Although all of her reservations were made before they even left for the trip and she wasn’t staying where I worked, she and Graham made the short trip to me from their hotel so we could meet and I bought them lunch. We only got to visit a little bit (I was at work, after all!) but we got a photo together and she gave me this keychain as a reminder of our meeting. The second one I have is a Boyd’s bear from my friend, Prin. It’s maybe 5 or 6 inches tall, and it holds a pillow that says, “Friends are never far away”. The third bear – whose name is Rusty – has been with me for 49 years. Rusty is a wind-up musical bear, and he was a gift from my Grandma and Grandpa Halbert for my sixteenth birthday. To make a long story short, they all needed a bath. I started with the smallest first and used carpet cleaner. Other than taking a while to be dried thoroughly and then vacuumed (my car vac came in handy), no problems. Then I got to Rusty. The poor thing, I discovered, had a gash at the pad of his paw, most likely dry-rot of the thread after all those years. I sewed him up there, discovered another gash on the inside of one leg and also sewed that up as well. After I’d done his entire body, in stages, with the carpet cleaner, I was blotting him and put my thumb right through the seam on his side. Yup, out came the needle and thread, and another few minutes for my weak eyes to be able to line up the thread with the eye of the needle and get it pulled through, and he got stitches for the third time. I treated him very gently and tenderly from then on, got him vacuumed, and put him in a safe place in my curio cabinet behind the clear door so he’d be less prone to getting dirty again. And the music still plays when I wind him up!

I have managed to go through a few more things that were stored on my metal shelving units and found a few more small things for the thrift store donation box. (Prin, the ravioli maker finally made it into the donation box!) I also changed a few things around to where I think they will work better. And since I seem stuck on getting that task completely done, I’ve grabbed all of the paper and booklets and letters regarding Medicare and my Aetna plan and am starting to sort through them. If you follow my blog, you remember the difficulties I was having with finding and getting a plan, so all of the paperwork both originally about Medicare and then, specifically about the Aetna plan, got put in a pile to sort through. This again becomes puttering, but it’s got to be done.

My other two tasks for the year are to, of course, sort through all of my crafting stuff and donate then reorganize, and to finish scanning photos into my computer and then putting them on a thumb drive so I can dispose of the actual tangible copies of the photos. If – and that feels like it’s a big if right now – I can get this all done by no later than the end of January (I’ve given up on being done by December 31, 2021!), then I can deep clean my living room, actually deep clean my spare room, and finish deep-cleaning my kitchen by the time spring is officially here in 2022.

So, I guess it’s best that I get back to puttering along! Or, as the new thing I’ve learned just now, I best return to JOMO!

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