Monday Morning Good Stuff

Monday Morning Good Stuff …

Truth be told, I didn’t have anything good to report this morning, and then put off writing anything at all until this evening. Saturday evening our twelve year old golden retriever died. We’d gone to Galveston for the day, first to attend the Greek Festival and then we hung around for ArtWalk. Dinner with the fam and when we got home late that evening, my husband found her in the backyard. He said she looked like she’d been lying in the sun (it felt good to her old joints) where she’d just fallen asleep.

Early Sunday morning, before church, he dug a grave for her next to our daughter’s Chorkie, Evelyn, who passed away in 2016. They are both under the sycamore tree, side by side, which seems appropriate. When Evelyn was still alive, she would climb on top of Hurley and use her for a cushion. Hurley was the sweetest dog ever, and mothered Evelyn, even though they were not biologically related. So I like the idea of their final resting places being so near each other.

I think at some point we are going to put a little birdbath out there as a marker. Or maybe some wind chimes in the tree. But there’s no hurry.

Be joyful, y’all. Even in loss there is joy for the memories.

Laura

Just Keep Trying…

I was very proud of myself when I managed to post three days in a  row. Then I got a little distracted by other responsibilities and missed a day. So here we are — I don’t have a whole lot to say, but in the interest of building better, stronger habits, I am determined to just keep trying.

Ran a few errands today and came home to continue working on my decluttering project. I am feeling very happy about progress so far. Of the eight items I posted on VarageSale, I’ve sold six. Six items that no longer take up room in my house or require any attention from me. Hooray!

I may have mentioned it earlier, but if not — I also have an Etsy store specifically geared toward things that are vintage, collectible, probably worth a little more than what I can get for them on a virtual garage sale site. You can check out my listings here: MoMo’s Attic Treasures  I’ll be listing mid-century china, vintage cookbooks, collectibles and the like. It is a bit time consuming, since I have to take photos, upload them, describe the items, etc. But I think I may enjoy it as I become more proficient at the process.

Some of the “goodies” that I hope will find new homes:

I am challenging myself to write interesting descriptions of each item listed. Little stories, if you will. For example, that chartreuse creamer has a tiny chip in the glaze on the handle. So I came up with a story to explain how the chip got there:

After a delightful afternoon playing bridge, Barbara offered to stay and help Lottie clean up. She carefully took the coffee service tray adorned with brightly colored Fiestaware to the kitchen.

Setting the tray on the counter, she asked “Wasn’t Midge’s dress adorable?” She turned to face Lottie, and accidentally brushed the little chartreuse creamer across the counter, slightly chipping the ring handle.

“Oh, Lottie! I’m so sorry!” Barbara just felt sick, but her friend smiled comfortingly.

“No harm done, dear. No harm done.”

This vintage creamer dates back to the mid-fifties and while in very good condition, does have a small chip on the handle, showing it was in service and not just for display. Priced accordingly.

While I’m no J. Peterman, I’d say it’s moderately entertaining, and not even half bad.

Be joyful, y’all —

Laura

Four Down, Who Knows How Many To Go!

Odd title, I’m sure, but I managed to sell four items that were cluttering up my house — a deep cast iron pot and four crystal items (candlesticks, a vase and a bowl). It felt incredibly good to hand those items over to their new owners, get a little cash in hand and know that I’ll never have to dust or wash those things again. In the next few days I’ll be uploading more items that serve no purpose and provide no joy here at Casa Jinkins. Hopefully they will quickly find new homes with people for whom they serve a purpose or provide some sort of enjoyment.

This evening I am organizing photo negatives that are thrown in a box willy nilly. After that task is completed (and I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel), I’ll finish organizing the photos that I brought home from my mother’s. I’ve decided to use simply pocket page albums to organize the old photos because it will be faster and it will also be easier to slip them out and back in if I need to scan a photo for someone. I’ll save the “creative” scrapbooking for my own photos — and I’m even contemplating simplifying that. Back in the day I would do these elaborate pages (and they were simple compared to what you see online now), but they take a long time. So I hope to do pages that are more focused on the photos and the journaling, because that’s what really matters.

For now though, I’m off to fix a quick dinner for my guy and myself. I just had to hop on here and touch base — posts three days in a row is a pretty big deal for me!

Be joyful, y’all!

Laura

I’ll Never Be A Minimalist…

IMG_1180I’m a very sentimental person. Whenever I use or admire one of the many “hand me downs” in my home, it’s a point of contact with the person it originally belonged to. I use an old bottle opener with a Bakelite handle that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, GG. The Pyrex salt and pepper shakers that my mother handed down to me before she passed away have a very 1960s’ “race for the moon” feel that bring to memory snippets of my very young childhood. There are a few EAPC (Early American Press Cut) glass serving pieces my Grandma Power gave me when I moved into my first apartment. I’m pretty sure she picked them up at a garage sale — she loved garage sales, and I enjoy that memory of her. Things like these, that are in regular use and help to keep the memories of loved ones alive — I will never get rid of them if I can help it. But the rest of it? I am cleaning house, my friends.

Last night I spent about an hour posting items for sale on VarageSale. The most time consuming part of this is taking decent photos to upload to the site. Decent photos are important because potential buyers need to be able to tell if the item is in good condition. I look at listings on eBay, Etsy, and VarageSale regularly, and if the photo is blurry, I just keep moving on. I’d already taken quite a few photos of some things I want to sell, so actually posting them goes pretty quickly. I woke up this morning to discover a lady wants to buy three of my listings: a crystal vase we received as a wedding gift (can’t remember who gave it to us), a crystal rose bowl that was at my mom’s (have no idea where it came from), and crystal candlestick holders I bought for a party we had about eight years ago that I haven’t used since.

$28 for things I don’t use, and I’m decluttering, too. It’s a win-win!

IMG_1181I’ll never be a minimalist, though, because I’m just too sentimental. When I see my mother’s copy of “Etiquette” by Emily Post sitting on my bookcase, it reminds me the importance she placed on good manners and the importance she placed on how we treat people. Flipping through that book when I was a teenager was how I learned about “bread and butter” letters (a short letter of thanks to one’s host and/or hostess after an overnight visit). And when I look at the children’s world globe (still reflecting the United Soviet Socialist Republic!) my husband gave me our first Christmas with a sweet, but cheesy, note that said he would give me the world, I remember the butterflies of newlywed love. IMG_1182

Yeah. No. I’ll never be a minimalist.But I am working on making sure what’s here deserves to be here.

Be joyful, y’all!

Laura

One Foot in Front of the Other

The list of hats I wear is pretty lengthy and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never had one fall off my head. Right now, in addition to running the blind business and working on stories for the magazine, I’m trying to continue making progress in several areas — organizing my work and personal space, getting our ducks in a row for home projects that we will finally be able to do when our mortgage is paid off this spring. Making sure my guy and our girl aren’t ignored, neglected, or forgotten in the hurry scurry of all the rest of it. Working on keeping my priorities in the correct order. One thing I am striving to become more diligent at is looking at my calendar and making lists. The other is to remember to have fun and not make this journey all about checkmarks (unless they are the fun kind one marks off bucket lists).

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Ready to fuse glass at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. (Remembering Norm Abrams of The New Yankee Workshop: “And remember this. There is no other more important safety rule than to wear THESE safety glasses…”)

I’d love to hear if any of you have tips on how you keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Be joyful, y’all!

Laura

Monday Morning Good Stuff

A lot of times these “lists” are thrown together off the cuff groupings of no-brainers. This particular list is full of good stuff, with strong scriptural support. I plan on going back to this from time to time, in hopes of getting stronger in the areas where I struggle.

via 10 Things Real Christian Women Shouldn’t Do

A Flash from the Past

In my purging/organizing frenzy, I’ve run across a disc that holds most (if not all) of my blog posts from Xanga, when it was still a thing. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to import them here, so I’m going to go through and copy/paste entries that might entertain you. This one is especially poignant for reasons that don’t need to be explained — a simple reminder to keep praying for all those in the Caribbean, that they will recover and come back stronger than ever.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

The green-eyed monster has me by the tail . . .

Cane Bay

This is where my sister-in-law is right now.  And where I am not.  While the average Jill might be a little green with envy, a tiny bit jealous . . . I am CONSUMED.

This is St. Croix, U.S.V.I., and St. Croix is where I spent 15 of the most glorious months of my life when I was a teenager.  In fact, this picture that I copied for your viewing pleasure happens to be of Cane Bay, where I made my certification dive when I was 15.  Yours truly swam out to sea and dove a deliciously scary 80 feet down the Cane Bay Wall (which continues to drop a toe-curling 3,200 feet before hitting bottom — think phosphorous glowing fishies a’ la “Finding Nemo”).  I saw the most amazing creatures, collected the most beautiful shells, made the most wonderful memories.

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Colony Cove, formerly The Barrier Reef

While it has been 24 years since we returned to Texas, I am positive this is the condominium we lived in the first three months we were there.  The name has changed — it was called “The Barrier Reef” when we lived there, but the view is the same, the design of the condo is the same, I’m certain this is it.  In another photo on the website, I identified the condominiums next door as Mill Harbor, hence my confidence.  I learned to snorkel off this beach before advancing to my scuba adventures.  The reef we explored was full of sea life and named “The Barrier Reef” because it resembled (on a much smaller scale) the Great Barrier Reef off Australia.I remember wandering through the 300+ year old streets of Christiansted and shopping in store fronts that were built by Danish settlers in the 1600’s.  My best friend, Cindy, and I would roam the shops and then grab a sandwich at Reed’s Deli followed by a trip to Steele’s Smokes and Sweets.  Did you know that the aroma of flavored tobacco mingling with the sweet scent of chocolate is intoxicating?  We bypassed the smokes (although the antique lady’s pipe with a pink coral bowl and long ebony stem made smoking a pipe seem almost elegant), indulging in the chocolates that were to die for.

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The Cruzan Rum Distillery

I don’t know why, but many of my memories are tied to scent:

Each morning, our school bus drove past the Cruzan Rum distillery.  Even now, at the age of 40, when I smell rum, I think of Good Hope School and the school bus . . . weird, I know.

 

 

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The Good Hope School

It was an awesome school — a private school built on beachfront land donated by Laurance Rockefeller.  We had a rotating schedule, which was geared toward making sure that we were wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at least one day a week for each subject.  (So, if you had Math, English, and Science on Monday, you’d have English, Science, and Math on Tuesday, and Science, Math, and English on Wednesday, etc., etc., etc.)  I had one open period in my schedule and I often spent it in the art classroom pretending to be talented or sitting on a rock down on the beach until my next class started.

I met probably the most intelligent and interesting educator of my life while a student there.  Richard Collings was my European history prof and even now, I occasionally correspond with him.  An amazing man, he was born in England and travelled all over Europe and other parts of the world.  He was able to teach history with so much more depth and make it so much more interesting because he’d actually been all the places he was telling us about.  While he managed to keep us on track lesson plan-wise, he still allowed us time to discuss issues that were important, confusing, or interesting to us.  One topic that came up repeatedly was the hostage crisis in ’79 – ’80, when Americans were held prisoner for months on end in Iran.  We were 9th graders, and for the first time in our lives, we realized that sometimes things happen that our parents might not be able to protect us from, or even themselves.

In my mind’s eye, it seems almost like yesterday when we left.  Three days after my sixteenth birthday, we boarded a plane and came back to Texas.  It was really difficult for me, because I’d made some very close friends in the brief time I lived there.  I wrote some heart-wrenching poetry (thank you, teenage angst) and slowly but surely readjusted to life in the “real” world.

Someday, I hope to return.  I’d like to take my husband with me and share “my” island with him.  If I’m feeling particularly generous, I might take my daughter, too . . . but it would be an awesome “just the two of us” trip.  Jami might have to stay with her MoMo. 


A lot has changed since I wrote this — our girl is grown and finishing college. My mom passed away two years ago. As much as my mom was a homebody, I think she enjoyed our adventure as much or more than we did. She settled in to life on the island really well, learning to drive on the left side of the road quickly and was not hesitant to get out there and explore, even while my dad was at work — taking care of us, running errands, participating in the HOVIC women’s service league. She bought cookbooks to learn how to fix the crazy things Dad brought home from his snorkeling and diving adventures — I can still see her standing over the stove, frying conch fritters and letting my sister and I make “creatures of the deep” with the leftover batter. Sometimes I think she adapted to life there better than any of us. I know if she were here now, she would be praying for the islanders, too.


I have borrowed photos from a variety of sources discovered through Google Search for the purposes of this blog post. As best I can tell, they are not copyrighted.