Saturday, November 8, 2014
Home, sweet snow-covered home
The weirdest part with watching the gas prices was realizing that gas was selling for more in Wisconsin than in Illinois. Usually the reverse is true. And of course Missouri is always much, much cheaper than any of the other states -- I have no idea why, although it probably has to do with state sales taxes and fees. Missouri makes up for having cheap gas, though, by taxing food. That definitely startled me the first time we grocery-shopped. Granted, the sales tax on food is lower than the sales tax on nonedible items, but even so. . . taxing food always feels wrong to me. But, as usual, I digress.
We're home. It feels good to be home, back in a truly warm house with a large, dry bed. After a month in that 3/4 size bed in the Guppy, it feels good to be able to sprawl again. Sprawl, heck. It feels good just to be able to turn over in the bed without worrying about either falling out or nailing the S.O. with an elbow or a knee. It also feels good to be able to walk around the house like a normal person with no sidling sideways like a crab to negotiate tiny spaces. I don't know how people who are full-time RV-ers do it. Not everyone who's given up living in a real house to be on the road permanently has a Class A leviathan or a 5th wheel 40 feet long with multiple slide-outs. Does all that sidling eventually start to feel normal? I don't know. . . I do know that right about the time we finally seemed to have figured things out and had more or less adapted to life in a small space, our month at the park ended.
Now that we're home, I need to get back into my usual routine of spending a couple days a week at the museum sorting through the mystery boxes in the attic and the storage building and then cataloging the good stuff. I have found some nifty things over the past year or two. Of course, I've also found some truly weird and useless items, which isn't surprising. Too often people will donate stuff that's actually pretty useless, like stacks of ancient magazines. I tend to joke that we get the stuff that people are stuck with after the estate sale is over. It's old, it's not worth anything, and the St. Vincent de Paul store won't take it. But, hey, it's OLD, so you know the museum is going to want it. Besides, the museum won't charge a garbage disposal fee like Waste Management or Arvon Trash and Transit do.
You know, a few old Life or McCall's magazines are nice to have. If nothing else, they can be used as part of exhibits that highlight a specific time period, e.g., a 1953 Saturday Evening Post might be interesting as part of a display about the Eisenhower era. But there are limits, especially when there are duplicates. On the other hand, when someone does show up with boxes of old magazines, we can't just say no because you never know what gems might be hiding in the trash. This open-handed acceptance policy would not have been a bad thing if someone had been sorting through all the boxes as they came in, but apparently no one was. Too much came in too fast when the museum first opened. Box after box got shoved up in the attic or out into the storage building, all without much in the way of labeling. I can understand why it happened, much as I might wish it hadn't. End result? A gazillion mystery boxes.
Or worse. One of the little gems I found the last time I went up the ships ladder to the attic was a box labeled "Curwood books for resale." The box did indeed contain a couple dozen books by James Oliver Curwood. I could be wrong, but my instinct is that it's real hard to re-sell anything when it's hiding under a pile of other stuff in an attic instead of being shelved in the used book section of the gift shop. I'd call it a head*desk moment, but I'm not sure that term applies when you're not actually sitting at the desk. Would those books have sold if they'd been sitting in the gift shop for the past 20 years instead of up in the attic? Who knows, but for sure they were never going to sell where they were.
Besides getting back into some sort of routine at the museum, I need to get this winter's quilt project(s) started. For the first time in many years, I have no quilts in progress. Nada. That feels weird. Usually I've got at least one project going, even if it's just at the cutting pieces stage. Right now I haven't even picked out a pattern for whatever is next. I do have other sewing to do -- I'm making new curtains for the Guppy -- but that's not quite the same. I need to pick a quilt pattern and start cutting pieces soon.
There are other things I need to do, too, like locate The Hat. I have a cap I knitted many, many years ago (acrylic yarn lasts forever) that still drives my kids crazy. It can't be winter unless I'm wearing The Hat. Along with locating The Hat, I should also track down mittens, scarves, and other items necessary now that temperatures have dropped below freezing and there's sloppy white stuff (about two inches as of this morning) on the ground. And the S.O. needs to remember where we stashed some snow shovels. There's two inches of slush on the front porch at the moment and nothing handy to remove it with.
The S.O. claimed he wanted to spend most of the winter here on the tundra so he could watch snow slide off the barn's new metal roof. If today's weather is any indication, he's going to have a lot of opportunities to do that.