Good-bye Books

I drove all the way to Mesa BY MYSELF last week.  My first solo road trip in years.  I had six boxes of books that I was ready to divest myself of. I took a few to our local used bookstore for store credit but still had more than one hundred books that I needed to find a home for.

A filled car trunk

After much debate with myself over the merits and work of trying to sell on ebay or craigslist and exploring selling to Powell’s on-line I stopped and had a think.  The goal was to clear out the house a bit, not make money.  Of course a little extra cash right before Christmas is always nice too.  But I really didn’t want to spend the next six weeks trying to sell books.

In the end I decided to take my books to Half Price Books in Mesa.  I knew they would take everything and I probably wouldn’t make much money but the books would be gone and I would get a little cash.  My hope was to get between $100 and $150 dollars.  Plus I would have the added bonus of a little me time in the car.

Mesa is about a 2 hour drive.  I figured I would leave about 9:00a, about an hour to sell the books, have lunch somewhere and maybe stop at the new outlet mall on the way home.  Everything pretty much went according to plan.

I found the store with only one u-turn.  (In my world road trips always include at least one u-turn.)  Half Price Books bought almost every book with just a few slated for the recycle pile.  I was very excited to see that and was starting to think more money.  Especially when the woman apologized for it taking so long because I had so many good books.  But alas the total was only $90.  I felt a bit disappointed but reminded myself of my goals and hoped others would find pleasure in reading these books I was no longer interested in.

Starting the drive home I felt sort of hollow inside.  Had I just made a huge mistake?  I had expected to feel exuberant, thrilled with my “konmari”  progress, happy for some “found” money.  I left the radio off for awhile and puzzled over my feelings.  Maybe I was just sad to be letting go of some of my past?  Irritated at the thought that I would never have gotten rid of any books if I  still lived in Montana in a house with several  huge built-in floor to ceiling bookshelves?  Anxious about the step I had just taken toward my future small dream home?

I never had an aha that’s the answer moment.  Most likely my feelings are some combination of all of the above.  I decided to stop at Cracker Barrel for a late lunch.  I love browsing the store and thought it would cheer me up.  I had the fish special and afterwards took my time looking at everything in the store but I wasn’t tempted to buy anything.  I skipped the outlet mall too.  I am not really much of a shopper anyway and I felt exhausted.  I went to bed early still puzzled by my post book selling reaction.

I feel better today but  disappointed that I didn’t have a more euphoric experience.  My reaction to life is so strange sometimes.

Day 3 of the Flooring Install

Apparently I am going to write a blog post every day this week while trapped in my bedroom.  I figure this will make up for the next two weeks when I probably won’t write any.

This is the kitchen at the end of the first day.  Interesting couch placement.


The living room, dining room and my “office”.

Now you can see why I am not spending anytime downstairs!

Further analysis reveals I never want to live in a tiny house. A small house, yes, but teeny tiny? No. Having spent the better part of three days in my ~10 by 10 bedroom I am over the tiny house fascination. I need a kitchen table and a decent sized work space. I need to be able to walk around. I like my eating area to be separate from my work area.

Here is my setup for breakfast and lunch.  I suppose the top of the cubby is the break room as that is where I stored my lunch!


Here is the set up as an office.  The lap desk is actually very useful as the tv tray “desk” is pretty small.


On the upside I am excited to see the actual install of the flooring begin today. The prep work has been rather boring, messy and noisy. After the first day I realized just how much dust was being generated and covered my couches with moving blankets and an old sheet.

The unveiling of the primary color linoleum was great.  I still love the color and think this is going to turn out smashing!  But when the secondary color came out I paused.  Was it the right color?  It seemed much more yellow than I remember.  We are only using the second color as a border in the kitchen and in the half bath, but still…  I felt panic starting.  I told myself I was looking at in the living room where it wasn’t actually going.  So I patiently waited until they got pieces cut and then moved them into the kitchen.  Now it looks more cream than yellow.  Phew!

In the meantime I am getting a few things done but it feels more like busy work.  I am missing my routine and office space very much.  Waking at 3:30a everyday isn’t helping. I don’t know what is waking me up but once I am awake my brain kicks in and sleep is done.  I am starting to seriously drag.

Yesterday about mid-morning I got very tired of all these sitting tasks and cleaned my son’s room. It has been quite the mess for awhile and I have tried everything to get him to clean it.  Took me an hour and a half of picking up (mostly throwing away) but I was finally able to vacuum the floor.

Then after school while he rode his bike and I was waiting for the hubby to come home with dinner I “KonMari’d” his dresser drawers.  I cannot believe what a difference a folding technique makes!  Everything fits neatly and he can see exactly what he is looking for. Life is good.

Before none of his drawers would close properly because every time he looked for something everything ended  all wadded up. Now he can easily see what he is looking for:


Bathing suits and swim shirts on the left, crew socks on the right.


Running shorts and t-shirts.





Here is my bullet journal, ready for tomorrow. This is the monthly page for Oct.  See how busy I am going to be?


I am almost finished this cute Christmas Angel. I just have to finish the halo, overcast the edge and glue on some holly.

Now I am ready for my next project.  I have gone through my books, again, and found about 50 I am going to try and sell to Powell’s on-line.  This means I need to make a list of the ISBNs.  At least it will pass the time.


The chaos of the new flooring install has begun. It is a bit of a relief to have it started. I am surprised at how stressed I have been feeling. We spent the last four days moving everything we could upstairs or out to the garage.  I have made a list of things I can do upstairs and created a little work space in my bedroom.  I even remembered to make a lunch for myself and stash it in a cooler upstairs.  Hopefully my husband remembers to bring dinner home.  Today the workers are taking out the tile in the kitchen and everything is covered with plastic.



See how scary this looks?  This is my old office, now the playroom, currently the storage area of downstairs items.


Five days of no cooking, laundry or cleaning.  Five days of not being able to find anything.  None of my precious bits of solitude.  A complete disruption of the normal rhythm of my days.  I can’t even watch tv as “my” tv and dvr are downstairs.  Every time I think about it I feel the start of a headache.

Instead I am trying to focus on what I can accomplish this week. I can do lots of stuff on the computer:  research Christmas present ideas, work on my calendar for 2016, create a sheet for counting the hunger loose change jar at church and of course write a blog post or two.

Other projects for the week include setting up a bullet journal for a One October start date.  I have been reading a lot about it and want to give it a try.  It seems like it would be my sort of thing. I want to spend an hour a day cleaning out my son’s room.  I have a needlepoint project I can try and finish this week while listening to the “Treasure Island” audiobook.

I may also sort through my books using the “KonMari” principles.  Since they are all upstairs and pretty much together I thought this would be a perfect opportunity.

I have set aside most of next week to moving things back downstairs. The plan is to do more KonMari type purging with the focus on DVDs and CDs.  I also want to rearrange the dining room/office area a bit. I really miss having my office upstairs.  As I feared, my son doesn’t use his new play room much at all.  I debated swapping back with some more modifications but I really don’t want the toys scattered downstairs again.

Instead I am going to tweak the office set up a bit and see if I can make it more to my liking.  And if that doesn’t work and the play room is still  being under-utilized maybe we will swap back after the first of the year.  I love the idea of redoing my office from scratch.  I would like to get rid of all the makeshift pieces of furniture and buying a new set up that really fits the space and my needs. Doubtful but a girl can dream!

So I have managed to pass the first couple of hours.  I am still feeling pretty stressed.  There is a lot of noise downstairs:  a loud fan, their radio, loud conversation and all the banging and scraping of tile being removed.  And now there is the added fear of “what if I don’t love the new flooring?”  Agghhh.

I remind myself to breathe.  I am going to go sort my son’s Christmas books.  I will not panic!  I will consult the list of things to do this week and keep busy.  Deep breath.