Saturday, July 21, 2018

Really good day at the museum

Hand-made skis that are 9 feet long.
It struck me the other day that I was having a really good day at the museum, and it wasn't just because there were no visitors. The public contact part is always the hardest for me so I'm automatically feeling a little more mellow when I'm the only person in the building.

No, it was a really good day because when I looked around the office I realized that I could actually see the tabletop. No piles of stuff needing to be sorted or dealt with, at least not on the table. The deck was, so to speak, clear. No correspondence waiting for a response, no weirdness, nothing.

Ditto the basket next to the computer. For months there has been a stack of stuff teetering there waiting to be scanned, cataloged, filed, whatever. That leaning pile of paper is gone. Oh, the basket isn't totally empty but the stuff that's at the bottom has been there for years and can probably stay there for a few more. It all relates to a part of an exhibit on collecting as hobby so it's not leaving the basket until the stuff that matches up with it is ready to go back to the person who lent the objects in the display case to us.

I know I will be rebuilding the leaning pile soon, but not immediately.

And it was a really good day because when I looked out in the exhibit area, everything I'm responsible for is basically done. There's always some minor tweaking that could happen, but all the major stuff is wrapped up. No more apologizing to visitors for the clutter or plaster dust, no explaining that the empty space on the wall will be filled soon. It actually feels a bit odd. Who knows? Maybe I'm finally going to manage to get outside and do some weeding in the native plants garden.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

I cling to the strangest things

I have days when I wonder if I qualify as a borderline hoarder. I hang on to the strangest stuff. Like most people these days (or so I assume) we have a plastic bags stash. In fact, we have two: one for the usual plastic bags you get from the local supermarket or Target and one for the slightly smaller and flimsier bags that come from Family Dollar or Dollar General. The small bags are good for the small wastebaskets in the house; the regular bags fit the bigger burnable trash can.

So after taking the trash out the other day I reach into the bag stash to get a fresh bag for the trash can. And then I discover I don't particularly want to use the bag that made it to the top of the pile, at least not yet. It's like in the world of throwaway plastic bags, it's a keeper. Why is it a keeper? Because I'm unlikely to ever get another. The bag, pictured above, is, of course, from Arizona, but not just any part of Arizona. It's from the Bashas' market in Chinle. How likely, I ask myself, are we to ever shop at that particular Bashas again?

Actually, the odds aren't that bad. Chinle falls almost exactly midway between where the Younger Daughter lives in southern Arizona and where my mother and sister live in Colorado and sits on the shortest, most logical route, US-191. We've been through Chinle three times in the past 18 months; odds are we'll be going through there again. And if we have the Guppy we'll be camping. If we're camping, we'll probably go to Bashas. Even if we're not, it would a logical place to stop to pick up snacks or drinks.

And if we go to that Bashas, I'll once again marvel at the meat case and wish I liked mutton. You know, in the typical supermarket if you find lamb or mutton, it's in small discrete pieces neatly sealed in plastic. Little tiny lamb chops that are almost too cute to cook. Leg of lamb that was shrink wrapped in New Zealand. At the Chinle Bashas, however, there is no doubt you're looking at disassembled sheep. Not surprising, given that the supermarket is in the heart of the Navajo Nation, but a little disconcerting when you're used to seeing meat that's been packaged in a way that makes it easier to ignore the fact it used to be a live animal.

As a side note, shortly after we'd been through Chinle with the Guppy and had camped at the Cottonwood campground that's inside Canyon de Chelly Natonal Monument I read a review of the campground on a website. The person had been there about the same time we had and laid it on thick about "if you come, be sure to stock up on groceries in Holbrook or Winslow because there is no supermarket in Chinle!" Holy wah. How does a person fail to find a close to brand new modern supermarket that sits right on the major north-south highway through town? When we were there we figured out pretty fast that any town big enough to have multiple major chain hotels (Holiday Inn Express, for example), chain restaurants (Denny's, Burger King), gas stations, and that sits next to a popular tourist attraction (Canyon de Chelly) is going to have a grocery store of some sort. And it did: Bashas.

So what's the moral of this rambling on about plastic bags and travel? I need to let the S.O. be the one who deals with putting a fresh bag in the trash can. He doesn't care where any of the bags came from as long as there are no holes in the bottom.