Tag Archives: furniture

Vintage Me

IMG_3264There are times when my memory gets jogged but for the life of me I cannot reconstruct the details.

My sister noticed this newspaper photo on our vintage hometown Facebook page.  Yes, I am officially one of the vintage people now I guess!  The article mentioned “centennial year”‘ so clue number one, it’s 1967.  This morning I rummaged around until I unearthed my five high school yearbooks.  I knew there had to be an excellent reason for hanging on to them all these years.  Leafing through the 1967 edition in an attempt to put names to these faces, this turned up.

filename-1Centennial year must have been a popular time for not listing identities of grade twelve students who went on bus trips.  I recognize myself, back row, third from the left.  I can name a dozen more.  Batting 500 so far.  But here’s the mysteries.

If thirty-four students attended, where (and who) are the other eleven?  Bathroom breaks?  Lost?  Smoking behind the bus?

Why was looking at furniture considered educational?  Maybe it was, but who made that decision? And thrust it upon us?

Did we voluntarily agree to this excursion? Seventeen and eighteen year olds in 1967 be like hey, let’s hop a bus to TO and check out carpeting and new age dining room sets.  Yeah!  I don’t know. And on a Saturday too.  Very curious.

Was that thing I’m wearing a precursor to my furry grey winter coat that a few years later W would say resembled a dirty polar bear?  Like he had seen a great number of dirty polar bears in his lifetime up to that point?   It’s not a very flattering look, but then when you consider everyone else is wearing similar versions of the same boxy big collared giant buttons style, I guess in respect to small town centennial year Canadian winter fashion, I fit right in.

Did we dine at the Westminster Hotel, or the Town and Country Restaurant?  Or was the restaurant IN the hotel?  What did we eat?  I had a friend once who ordered lobster and then couldn’t figure out how to eat it and was too embarrassed to ask, so she shoved the whole thing in to her purse and took it home.  Like that would fool our waiter into thinking we were so sophisticated.   But I’m pretty sure that happened on a different trip altogether.

I don’t think any of us furniture voyeurs went on to become famous designers, but many of us made it to the vintage stage of life, Fifty One Years Later.  Sheesh.  That’s either remarkable or depressing, I can’t decide which.

So many details about this trip elude me completely.  My brain is no longer able to recall the things that happened or the things we saw, or who I sat with on the bus or why not one of us is wearing a hat in January.

Chances are good that my mind registered very little of it all in the first place, having been known in high school for a lot of zoned out day dreaming. The little poem written about our 12B class includes the line …”while Linda is thinking of whom we can’t guess…”.  Understood to mean also “or of what or where or when or even why”. Mystery woman.  Or vacuum head.  Could go either way.

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Move It Move It

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Last week I made a valiant (and somewhat misguided) attempt to turn my basement upside down.  It’s looking pretty upside down to me now whenever I walk through it to get to the laundry room, so I guess you could say my efforts ended in success.  But knowing the details might make you rethink that conclusion.

I’ve been reluctant to tell this story because it makes me look like an idiot.  So I’ll just tell you right up front I have other excuses.  I’m old, for one thing.  Officially now, because the government said so.  They will be sending me money at the end of this month to remove all doubt.  Old people do some weird shit, and it’s not because they’re intrinsically stupid or anything, it’s mostly because they forget that there are things they’re simply not physically capable of getting away with anymore.

Here’s the background.  Don’t worry, it’s short.  Our television set is ancient and my son offered to wall mount his previous flat screen TV (they have a new and improved model) in our family room and hook it up for us, thus getting us back into the current century as far as home entertainment goes.

He can do this only if we move the monstrosity of a wall unit/entertainment center piece-of-crap furniture (which looks like a prop from that 70’s show) away from the wall where the new TV will go.  He suggested we throw it out.  But I’ve made silly promises to myself about things like that, so I can’t do it.  Besides, I must have somewhere to store our thousands of VHS tapes and DVD’s.  And other assorted crap which has no other home.  Sigh.

He also said moving it was part of the deal, and in no way or at any time did he suggest I should move it on my own.  He also didn’t give me strict orders not to, perhaps because it didn’t occur to him that I might try.   But I’ve been moving furniture around by myself all my life. Often up and down stairs.  I know how to empty things completely and remove drawers and take things apart until they’re manageable.  The trick is to take it slow.  Do it a bit at a time.  Preferably not in your bare feet.  That’s experience talking, right there.

The first thing to come off the wall unit was the TV which I slid carefully on to a sturdy end table kind of thing with a top surface at almost the same height.  So that was easy.  It did involve some unplugging of things but I was able to get everything reconnected and working again, so if W comes home in July to a still completely messed up basement, at least he won’t go off the deep end about having no TV.

A couch, two chairs and a coffee table are now stacked high with wall unit contents.  This includes two heavy drawers full of heavy things.  I am saving going through all this for another rainy day when I’m wearing shoes and have stocked up on garbage bags. Or when  I’m organizing a colossal garage sale.  I haven’t decided.   I could have stopped here, of course, and waited to move this thing across the room, but I had already moved other smaller things into the toy room to clear a big space and the sliding thing had gone so well.  I decided to slide the top half of the wall unit on to two end tables placed at either end.  This was trickier because of its length and having to go back and forth inching it off evenly a bit at a time.  Then the bottom half was easy to slide across the carpet to the new location.  I should have stopped at this point too.  But now I was cocky and confident enough to move the top half across the room by moving each end table a foot or so at a time.  The tops got very scratched up in the process, but they were already in need of a good sanding down.  Or a good throwing out.  Another project for another day.

With the top half in front of the bottom half, all that remains is to WAIT FOR ANOTHER PERSON to lift up one end while I lift the other and set it gently back where it belongs.  That’s how things are sitting right now as we speak.  However, there’s another little episode to relate here in which I briefly believed I was superwoman and could lift this huge thing on my own.  It didn’t end well, except for the part where I didn’t die.  It toppled over and fell face first on the carpet.  On the way down, one of the little glass doors opened (did I mention those stupid glass doors?)  Well, to make a long story slightly shorter, one of them made it to the garbage bin intact, but the other one went there in a gazillion pieces.  A lot of it got sucked up by the vacuum cleaner.

The good news is, the carpet has probably never been so well vacuumed in years.  And I’m WAY smarter than I was before.  Plus alive.   And we will never again have to wipe dirty finger prints off those two pieces of glass.  Not that I remember ever doing that, but still.  I’m trying to feel like slightly less of a moron by looking on the bright side.

Yesterday I wanted to change some things around in the bedroom because I’m tired of where the computer is and I wondered if moving it somewhere else would inspire me to sit down at it more often to write.  I stood in the middle of the room for a very long time considering the possibilities.  The feeling passed, and I didn’t move one damned thing.

Older and wiser!  At last, that could be me.

Chuck It Baby

001

The night before last I had a very restless sleep and spent yesterday powered up on caffeine.  This is never a good idea, because eventually my body does a sudden power down and crashes for many hours.  Hours in which the house could burn down around me and I wouldn’t notice or care.  Happily that didn’t happen, and here I am, up and once again pretending to be normal and on my second cup of coffee already.

One of the reasons I couldn’t sleep was because some time in the afternoon I thoughtlessly tossed a black opti-flow ink pen on to my couch without putting the cap on it.  The light mushroom brown material absorbed the black ink as it flowed until there was a nice round inky black spot staring at me when I finally happened to notice it.  Even for completely unobservant me it was relatively easy to notice.  So when I should have been in bed sleeping I was instead pouring out caps of rubbing alcohol and dabbing up incredible amounts of ink.  On to white (of course they were white) terry cloth dish towels.  It was like a tie-dye experiment gone horribly wrong.  Then I used up three tide pens to get out the last of it.  All night I fretted about what it would look like dry and in the daylight, and there were also a few thoughts flitting around in my head having to do with carelessness and being a moron.

It’s not too bad, all things considered.  A very faint bluish splotch which I will now make sure I sit on whenever we have guests.  I think another tide pen should take care of it once I work up the ambition to mess about with it again.  This is the same piece of furniture which has been broken since Christmas, 2012.  W is going to get it fixed.  You know that joke where you’re told not to worry,  your husband is going to get it done, there’s no need to remind him about it every six months?  Yeah, that one.

There should have been a center support on the front cross-piece of this couch, (who thinks about these things when you see it new) especially for people like us who load it up with the entire family for a memorable photo.  We’ve had it propped up front and center with wooden blocks (complete with duct tape) for almost two years.

So my very first thought when I discovered the ink was to just throw the whole damned thing out and get a new one.   Chuck it.  Start over.  Piece of crap.

But I’ve been doing that all my life, and it’s so wrong.  Wasteful, extravagant, bad for the environment.  Can you recycle a couch?  I got a new coffee pot because the old one was leaking a bit and it annoyed me to have to clean up after it.  It was still working and probably could have done with a good cleaning, but instead of trying that, I chucked it out.  I’ve thrown out microwaves rather than bother to see if they can be repaired.  When I decide I don’t like something anymore I get rid of it and replace it with something new.  I hope you’re reading this W.  You could be next.

Nope, turning over a new leaf here.  Going to recycle and re-purpose and maintain.  Make my mother proud.

Except maybe for this gawd-awful carpet in my bedroom which originated on the ark and looks like total shit.  No point in getting completely carried away.

Fall Is In The Air Too Soon

Shorter days, cooler nights, freezing-my-butt-off mornings because I refuse to close the windows until it’s officially September – all indications that another summer is slowly but surely biting the dust.

September
September (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

Since summer hours are ending, we have been advised of a work schedule change starting next month.  It is just plain weird and gives me all over the place shifts and long tedious mega days in a row interspersed with three and four-day weekends.  Yep.  No one asked me for my input.  But I believe in karma and that the instigator will eventually end up in hell, so it’s all good.

For several days I’ve been moving furniture around, preparing for the delivery of a new bed, which arrives this afternoon.  They promised.  I confirmed.  They will haul it in and set it up.  Good thing, because both my arms are broken.  Last night I moved the present bed to its new location, leaving a big empty space in my bedroom, and myself with the dilemma of where to go for the night.  It’s a big people-empty house with a lot of choices.  I went all the way across the hall.  So much for an adventurous spirit.  I can’t believe how much noisier it is over there where the window faces the street.  And how not firm the mattress is.  And how much brighter it is in the morning facing north-east.  There’s more than one reason why we give that bedroom to guests I guess.

Anyway, W – if you’re reading this – Surprise!  It’s pretty much a done deal and there’s nothing you can do about it now.  Don’t go off and leave me unsupervised for long stretches of time if you expect everything to remain the same.

As if anything stays the same forever.  I’m going to have to see a doctor about my carpel tunnel soon I think.  All this moving stuff about hasn’t done the condition any favors and now my right hand goes tingley and numb more often than I’d like.  Never would be a better option for this symptom.  It’s gone from annoying to just this side of worrisome.  So of course I’m trying to ignore it until the time comes when I drop something really important and breakable.

There are other things happening that are too new to talk about yet.  Some days I feel like one of those Joe Palooka punching dolls that gets knocked around and keeps bobbing back up for more.  This too shall pass.  The strong shall survive.  And probably complete wimps like me will too.

JOE PALOOKA

In the meantime, life goes on, and we all pretend we’re normal.  The sun is still shining, the grass is still green.  I have brand new sheets for my brand new bed, in a color called “toast”.  Frankly I would never eat a piece of toast if it was that color, but for sheets it’s okay.  The lights will be off anyway so it doesn’t matter.

Okay!  Nothing much left to do until the exciting DELIVERY and nowhere to go until it happens.  I’m off to enjoy the last holy Thursday of this disappearing month.

Hit Where One Lives

Annoying Orange: Kitchen Carnage
Annoying Orange: Kitchen Carnage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning I was awake at five o’clock and could not go back to sleep.  So I decided to get up and move some furniture around.  Seriously.  This is the kind of thing I find myself doing when I’m home alone.  I vacuumed and did a bunch of bedding laundry and generally spent a lot of time taking things downstairs and bringing different things back upstairs. So basically, putting many things in many different places. Hmm.  Writing it down like this makes it sound easy. It was not. Some of those things were big and awkward and heavy.

Now I’m tired,  I have a sore shoulder, an aching wrist, a few bruises and a crappy attitude.  The timing is perfect to answer an annoying question or two.

What do you find annoying, irritating or unbearable in these categories?

Candy? Chips? We're Not Sure
Candy? Chips? We’re Not Sure (Photo credit: nep)

Candy –  gooey, sticky, messy, chewy, sickeningly sweet.  Does that cover all of it?

Song– constant repetition from outside sources, and even worse, inside my own head

Bad Habit– talking loudly on a cell phone in a public place.

School subject– before an exam, memorizing a bunch of hooey that you will never again need to know in this lifetime.

Personality Trait– refusing to listen to the other side of the story, forming an opinion without getting all the facts

Colour– flourescent lime green

Season– long, cold, dark, stormy, miserable winter

Animal– an annoying, irritating unbearable animal doesn’t really exist.  Perhaps we should ask animals for their opinion of us.

Celebrity– the whole idea of being famous and having your personal life thrown out there to the wolves.

Foods – how we process things to death and then wonder why we’re dying from eating them

Tone of voice– high squeaky little girl baby talk from the mouth of an adult

Style of music– I really, really do not like Rap.

Vehicle– Any vehicle can be annoying given the right irritating driver.

Sound– crying,  when you feel powerless to soothe the hurt

Event– anything that requires ridiculous amounts of money to pull off, when something simple and less lavish gets the same result.

Anything else? Oh, probably, but that’s enough negativity for one day, wouldn’t you say?  I’m going to go ice my shoulder and sulk for a while.  But it won’t be an unbearable sulk, just a mildly annoying one.