Back in the ‘Hood

I took my favorite teenager on an extra long walk.

We went back to our old hood–a quiet, magical place on the edge of a popular walk-way.

I loved living there.

Even a garage in need of a paint job is charming in our old neighbourhood.  House proud residents display their affection for the area with details like the pretty copper sun on a garden shed.

Unfortunately, residents also show the love by being alert and vigilant to strangers with Chihuahuas lurking in their back alleys.  (This explains the bad shot of the lovely blue cottage.  I had to move…fast!)

I don’t know if Penny recognized her old stomping grounds, but she did lots of sniffing (and peeing.)


Two Broken Clocks

I’m trying to minimalize, organize and downsize my stuff.

It would be easier if I didn’t form irrational sentimental attachments to things.

An example of stuff I can’t get rid of:  two broken clocks.

I don’t even like the dome clock.  My mom bought it when I was in elementary school.  It’s shiny, fussy and broken…but my mom touched it once.

The wooden cottage clock is even older.  My parents brought it back from my grandparents’ home in Wales when I was little.  It didn’t work then–probably the reason my Cissie and Bampa were willing to part with it.

It’s fairly non-descript, but once you get to know it, you realize it has a sinister side.

You see, it’s not just a clock, but also a music box.  The sunflower next to the face is the wind-up mechanism.  Like the clock itself, the music box doesn’t work…mostly.

In all the decades this clock has been in my life, the music box sprang to life twice–both times immediately prior to harrowing and life-changing events.

My broken Welsh clock played music on the mornings of my mother’s funeral and my wedding.

Why do I hang onto something that creeps me out a bit?  Well, you see, my mom touched it once…

The Maximalist :(


I’ve donated an enormous amount of stuff over the course of my recent nomadic years.

Last January, I tackled the last bastion of clutter–the extra bedroom in the basement.

I bought a bunch of colour-coordinated bins, and spent a couple of days down there.

I hung all my unused art work on the wall to get it out of the pile.  I sorted through the boxes, and got rid of everything not deemed worthy of space in my bins.

I felt good–really good–about my efforts.

But lately, the bins have been bothering me.

They’re neat.  They’re tidy.  They’re a pretty robin’s egg blue…

…but they’re full of stuff.

Other than my Christmas decorations, I haven’t looked at any of it for years.

My sole interaction with this stuff has been transferring it from ugly cardboard boxes into expensive bins.

I can safely say none of it is bringing me joy.

What’s a wannabe minimalist to do?

I can move it all the garden shed where I’ll (hopefully) forget about it, or I can go through it again, whittling away at the pile.