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We affectionately call this rock, “The Sadie Rock”. It bears a small resemblance to the English Pointer we had at the time we found the rock. Sadie is long gone now. Don and I held her head and paws when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge ~ she was truly the dumbest dog we ever owned, but she was our dumb dog.

I sat down tonight to write about the things I want to change in my life and I ended up taking photos of a couple of rocks I have picked up over the years. I – we – have way too many rocks. The last time we moved, we left quite a collection behind, but we quickly amassed a new one.

Many are just the right size to slip into a pocket, which is probably how they came to be added to our rock collection. Others, like Sadie Rock, took some effort to bring home. Sadie Rock weighs around 3-5 pounds. She’s metamorphic rock from the high desert above the Alvord playa. She makes a great book end, and since we have a plethora of books as well as rocks – that is a good thing. There’s not enough shelving for all of our books. Or rocks.

Or antique bottles and jars.

I am on a major decluttering binge, combined with deep=cleaning the house. Arthritis, a full-time job, and other duties interfere, but I have made good progress: I’ve washed down the entire kitchen (still need to clean the refrigerator inside), cleaned out the pantry, tossed out stale herbs and spices, cut my canning supplies in half, and even de-greased the top of the refrigerator. (Who puts in a stove and doesn’t include a hood with fan? The people who remodeled our house before we bought it. Ugh.)

I cleaned out and washed the walls in the laundry room – who knew I had so many duplicate cleaning supplies? A small bag of out-dated medicines and vitamins was delivered to our pharmacy for disposal. It was a small bag because I managed to haul off a LARGE bag of said items to the pharmacist last year.

I am half-way through the bathroom.

I keep finding rocks and instead of tossing them outside, I carefully haul them up the stairs to the loft, which is the last area I will be cleaning. I will have to make some hard decisions about rocks when I get to the loft. I am hoping it will be so much closer to spring and I will have a good idea where to put my “special” rock garden. I’ll have to toss all the agates. It’s not like we can’t drive a couple of hours to the coast and pick up more. I may have to admit to myself that I will never use the obsidian shards, though. Those were harder to come by.

The project, which is basically Stage 1 of my New Year’s Resolution “to change my life for the better (how’s that for a vague resolution?) so I can create and finish projects without feeling guilty about the household demands (yeah, now we’re getting specific: get rid of the excuses so I can’t fall back on them)” is slowly taking shape. One idea I had was to collect all the jars, bottles, and jugs – mostly vintage, but some antique, and all worth less than $10/a piece – into one spot. I can’t part with them! But presently, they aren’t even on display. And that is a travesty. (Saves on dusting, but…)

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The idea of displaying all those glass items is troubling in a house with few open walls. I had an idea – confirmed by visiting Pinterest – that I could take an old wooden ladder and hang it sideways on the wall to create shelving. They call this style of decorating “shabby chic” and it’s perfect for my tastes. But to find a ladder! Wood ladders are not easy to come by.

I coerced a girlfriend to go with me. We hit every antique store in Oregon City (I wasn’t willing to expand my search: the Aurora antique shops and the Sellwood neighborhood antique shops attract more tourists and are pricier). My friend, it turned out, isn’t so much in to antiques as I am. But she was a good sport. And at the last place – an antique mall I didn’t know was an antique mall – we found The Ladder.

Wandering through that old barn structure, going from antique vendor to vendor, I was struck by how “this could be my house if I keep collecting things…” Yes, I live in an antique mall. I can’t keep up on the dusting.

And I want more.

Back to the ladder – it isn’t a bunch of funky paint colors, which I was sort of hoping for, but it is unique with the round rungs (and the warped bottom rung – or top rung, if your turn it over). My husband asked what I paid for it and guessed $30. Diane and I high-fived as we said (together), “CLOSE!” I paid $45. Ouch.

It needs to be painted. And hung. it’s perfect.

So far, I have been working around my obsession with old things (who am I kidding: OUR obsession). I need a vintage hutch for the kitchen (found one I like, but it’s $495 and I don’t have that kind of money right now). In May, I will travel to Reno to bring the remnant of my inheritance home which includes three chime clocks (two wall & one mantel) and a Star thread case. The Star thread case is full of Lions’ Club memorabilia which I will try to sell on eBay.

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I think mine has six drawers. Stole this from Pinterest, there was no photographer credit. Each drawer pulls out with loads of room for items to be displayed (theoretically, spools of thread). If I was a seamstress, this would be a real treasure for thread keeping. I’m not a seamstress, but I think I have enough odd, little, things of vintage and antique status that I can use it well. It is currently full of Lions’ Club memorabilia of undetermined value. I will be doing a lot of research when I get it home.

I want to hang more photos of my grand children around the house. I need to update my photo albums. I have an entire photography update needed, which include scrapping some of the genealogy stuff. Yeah. Just start me on this project. I was pretty good about albums until about 1990. That means I have 26 years of photos that need to be converted to albums. I have the albums and the photos.

And then there’s grand kids. I want them to be in photo frames and hanging around my house. I have very little wall space in this 1150SF bungalow. Open floor plan = no wall space for photos. I think some people hang them all the way down to the floor. Wouldn’t that be cool? Not with dogs, though. Or cats.

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This isn’t really a good conclusion to my post. This is a rock I found in the northern Cascades, in a remote stream that we had to bush-whack to get to. I won’t be putting this baby outside – ever.

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It is yellow jasper.

Don and I were hiking up about a spot that has a couple names (to us): “It’s-just-a-quarter-mile-from-the-read-lake-honey” and “Mossy Rock”. The lake is actually unnamed and the quarter mile from the road was up sheer cliffs, only to discover there was a spur logging road that came down within a hundred yards of it.  Mossy Rock refers to the deep moss covering of a rock slide another fifty feet to the north of the lake.

We were hiking and playing in the shadows of the fir trees when I spotted the rock in the water of the creek flowing down the hill. Pulled it out, looked for more (there were no more) and hauled it home. Took me forever to figure out that it was jasper. I need to label it so my kids know what it is when I am gone – and the story behind it.

Everything has a story. Every rock picked up. Every moment memorialized. I am loathe to toss rocks outside to weather and age because I fear their stories will get lost. So many human stories are lost. No one will know why we kept Sadie Rock when we die. They may not even recognize that it resembles a dog’s head. It’s “Just A Rock.”

It’s never just a rock. It’s a wonderful discovery. A treasure. A monument to a moment passed in our life. A cairn on the path of life, showing the next pilgrim the way.

God help them if they follow me…

 

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