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Lisa’s Turn

Portland, Oregon: As you probably know, we are focusing on down-sizing this summer. Maybe we will sell this monstrosity. Maybe we won't. Either way, there are too many closets stuffed with junk that needs to go away. Also, our house will be 25 years old in May and requires several repairs and updates. We hired a building inspector to see what-was-what. Happily, he found nothing serious, but still a few things that need attention - whether the house goes on the market or not.

We have new steps from the rear deck. We have new screen doors. Our 25-year-old SubZero fridge has a new fan/motor/thingy. (A $120 part v a new fridge - YEAH!)

While I have been home (pretty sick for six long weeks), I have continued to slowly organize, purge, shred or donate items from cupboards, closets and drawers. (Why did I have so many built-in cabinets installed in this house???!!!) However, there was one area we have pretty-much ignored: Lisa's closet.... our only child who went away to college in 1999, and hasn't really lived at home since.

I had a large file box filled with "mementos" of her life from birth (in Manila, 1981) until she went to preschool in Taiwan (when she was 4). I tackled this box last week... which led to such lovely memories as:

Why did I keep strips of construction paper glued to construction paper? FOR THIRTY-PLUS YEARS? Not to mention several sheets of construction paper covered with glued-on beans and noodles, turning to dust.

Picasso can rest safe.

Honestly, there wasn't much of this, but still... why? (Only-Child Syndrome?) Of course, I kept the above "school photo" of our adorable 4-year-old girl from pre-school in Taipei. I remembered the blue dress - it was corduroy.

And a photo of her pre-school class at Child's Way in Tien Mou (arrow pointing to Lisa). I barely remember this school, but I do remember her teacher - an American woman. (Lisa remembers waiting for our driver to fetch her after preschool. All the cars would line-up to board their charges, but all the windows were tinted, so the kids could never find their ride. Lisa said our driver, Marcus, would always roll-down the passenger-side window so she could see him... though I was most-always in the back seat... but she does not remember ME picking her up from school at all.)

Another stack of photos has been created this weekend to send to the photo scanner dude. Will it ever end? When will we finish finding photos?

This left boxes from Grades Kinder-to-12, plus college, for Lisa to sort through - and four boxes of toys, souvenirs, music boxes, etc., that a little girl would collect throughout her childhood.

Lenny and Leo were going to Phoenix for the Redskin v Cardinal game Sunday, thus providing the perfect opportunity for Lisa and Lucy to fly to Portland for a few days to complete her quest.

So this happened:

Blackberry Crumb Bars from Chocolate with Grace. I made a half-recipe in an 8x8 pan. (Wonderful, please try this recipe - no mixer required.) Lucy requested chocolate chip cookies - BUT NO NUTS!


Lisa and Lucy arrived Saturday afternoon and Lisa immediately began her task.

So maybe Lisa's plan for making a fortune with Beanie Babies or Furbys did not come to fruition, and maybe it wasn't the smartest idea to go through boxes of toys with a four-year-old present. Lucy wanted to keep everything in every box! Lisa was using her phone to see the value of things on eBay, but nearly everything was pretty-much worthless, or valued less than postage.

Donate your stuff now, people!

New Kids on the Block comic books!

In 4th grade, students in Oregon study the Oregon Trail. It is a big deal, complete with potlatch. Lisa found her Oregon Trail journal in which she detailed her pretend journey from the mid-west to Oregon with her 7 siblings in a covered wagon. Mary sewed her costume:

Then... and now

Lisa finished half of her work Saturday evening, and we had dinner with her friend, Jen (Lucy's godmother). A great evening. So wonderful to have her home and so wonderful to GET RID OF STUFF!

But as we get rid of stuff, more stuff is being added to our house! What? Why?

Snickers, stitched in wool

More needlepoint bragging! I started this pillow of our beagle, Snickers, just before he passed away. I even changed the pattern to match his markings. The canvas was 75% complete when he passed away TWELVE YEARS AGO. After that, I couldn't face even looking at the canvas. It sat untouched, until last summer, when I finally finished stitching. The canvas was turned into a pillow last week and it will now grace our bed - our beagle's favorite spot in the house. It is so rare that I make a pillow for our house/us!

Honor, stitched in silk/wool blend - pillow fabric is Thai silk

So... another for our living room. The character reads Honor. Don't I have the best finisher? I send the completed canvas, fabric and trim and "person who wishes to remain unnamed because s/he doesn't want any more customers" returns artwork!

Lisa's task continues... stay tuned.

Until my next update, I remain, your dusty correspondent.