Hey Kids......it's been just over 2 weeks since we moved. We are about 98% settled in. We've found places for most of the things we still think we need. We will be reorganizing some areas, I'm sure, in the next few weeks and probably discarding more things. It's odd that when you first think of downsizing, you have so many things that you "have to keep" but as time goes by, you realize most of them are just THINGS and you don't really need them.
Of course, there are some family mementos that we would like to keep ~but truth-be-told ~ our son probably doesn't care about many of them and there will be no need to pass them down in the family. And, also, I have found that it is much easier to give up all the knickknack ~ paddy wacks ~ when there is no space for them.
I still have some journals that my mother wrote in and I have read them once. There isn't much substance in most of them. She would talk about what she wore to a ballroom dancing lesson or what she ate at a meal. Nothing that I could use as reference in a book if I were to write another one. So, I guess I will read the journals one more time and then probably discard them. I feel like I am giving HER away but no one will really care if she had 10 grapes and a salad for lunch, or ate at McDonald's ~ will they? (I had such hopes that she would have written about her thoughts and feelings as her mother did so I would understand her life much better ~ but sadly she didn't express her innermost thoughts.)
I am posting a lot of photos in this blog so if you are not interested in seeing them , you have been warned.
So...welcome to our downsizer....
Front entry before and after.
Family room before and after ~ Back door entry
Front door entry
Kitchen before and after.
Living room before and after. We had the walls painted a pale Jade.
and just in case you are confused....We have two identical green couches....
Between the kitchen and living room - before and after.
Looking from living room to kitchen area before and after.
just to the right of the wall of chickens is the door to the basement (middle of photo)
I don't have a photo of the stairs going down to the basement before ~ let me just say you could see the furnace, water heater and other mechanicals including the pips and drain....not too appealing.
Here's the wall we had constructed to cover up the mechanicals.
Basement before and after. We had walls put up for the laundry room/half bath and a guest bedroom.
First photo is the guest bedroom area....just past the furnace on the left of the photo. We had the old cupboard torn out, built a closet on the left side and put up a wall and door.
You can just see the closet on the left side....
All the cubby holes were there, we had them painted white.
Laundry room side of basement.....
Added our extra refrigerator, a storage unit and moved the washer and dryer
On the wall across from the above photo ~ we had a toilet and vanity and medicine cabinet installed for a half bath.
Master bedroom before and after.
Second bedroom which I now use as additional bedroom space and computer room
That will give you a good idea of what we have been doing for the past 2 weeks. We have a few more pictures to hang and I have an idea for displaying a barn-shaped frame with some little chicken pieces. When I get that finished, I will post more photos.
Some of you may know about the Portuguese roosters. There is a story about why these figures are considered lucky....
Question: What's the legend behind the ceramic Portuguese rooster that is seen in all local souvenir shops?
The Portuguese rooster, or "Galo de Barcelos," as is commonly known among the Portuguese people, is a symbol of honesty, integrity, trust and honor and also recognized as an unofficial symbol of the country.
Its legend is so old no one knows exactly how it started besides there being several versions of the legend.
However, the most known version tells that a crime had been committed in the Portuguese town of Barcelos, and a pilgrim from Galicia was passing through the town on his way to São Tiago de Compostela in Spain and was accused of a crime.
The man didn't have way to prove his innocence and was condemned to death by hanging by a local judge.
As a last request before he was hanged, he asked to appear in front of the judge one more time to declare his innocence once again. His request was granted and he was brought before the judge who was dining with some friends.
The pilgrim once again declared his innocence and in the presence of the judge's guests he pointed to a roasted rooster on the table and said: "As sure as I'm innocent, so will that rooster crow!"
The judge didn't believe him and ordered his immediate execution. But when the man was about to die in the gibbet the dead rooster stood up on the table and crowed.
The pilgrim was immediately set free and went his way in peace. Some years later he returned to the town of Barcelos and built a monument in honor of São Tiago and the Virgin Mary.
Here's my collection of Portuguese Roosters.
Somehow I managed to finish a book this week too.
What an interesting and informative story. I knew about November 9, 1938 when Kristallnach occurred in Germany. The Nazi Germans came to remove all the Jews from Germany and Poland and Russia. But what I didn't know was that about 20,000 Jews managed to find their way to Shanghai, China. Shanghai had been an international city of many cultures for many years. But even there, the "immigrants or refugees" had to find their way to get along in the city. At about the same time, the Japanese Imperial Army had invaded China and had taken up a good part of Shanghai. The Japanese were not intolerant of the Jews but they did want to be in power. In this story, I learned so much about the history of China and about this period of time in our world when it seemed as if no one was ever safe. There is also a love story between friends and family and cultures that weaves it's way throughout the story line. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in the not-so-distant history of our world and in learning the lessons of compassion, dignity, respect, love and sharing.
Here's the description.
November 9, 1938—Kristallnacht—the Nazis unleash a night of terror for Jews all across Germany. Meanwhile, the Japanese Imperial Army rampages through China and tightens its stranglehold on Shanghai, a city that becomes the last haven for thousands of desperate European Jews.
Dr. Franz Adler, a renowned surgeon, is swept up in the wave of anti-Semitic violence and flees to Shanghai with his daughter. At a refugee hospital, Franz meets an enigmatic nurse, Soon Yi “Sunny” Mah. The chemistry between them is intense and immediate, but Sunny’s life is shattered when a drunken Japanese sailor commits a terrible crime.
The danger escalates for Shanghai’s Jews as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Facing starvation and disease, Franz struggles to keep the refugee hospital open and protect his family from a terrible fate.
The Far Side of the Sky focuses on a short but extraordinary period of Chinese, Japanese, and Jewish history when cultures converged and heroic sacrifices were part of the everyday quest for survival.
and here's a review.
Another fabulous piece of historical fiction. The story of a Jewish family who flees Germany following Kristallnacht seeking refuge in Shanghai. Although they are not actively persecuted, they must face the challenges and restrictions of life in China where the Japanese have recently assumed power.
Just as they begin to acclimate themselves to life in a very different culture far from their home Japan enters the war and aligns with Germany. Unfortunately for them and the thousands of other Jewish refugees, the Nazis have not forgotten those who fled the homeland.
This is a marvelous story of family, taking a chance on love, bravery against impossible odds, and hope for the future. Well researched with characters that are both memorable and realistic. The historical information contained in the novel is written into the story more as background and so never felt like actually reading a history book.
Now we are getting ready for another garage sale next Friday and Saturday. After that, I hope we can settle down to some relaxation and enjoyment of our new home.