New Home, New Lists


I am not sure that I like the current fondness for bucket lists – the concept of doing things before you die seems to focus on our eventual death – which, honestly, I’d rather not have on my mind all the time! BUT, having said that, there are several things I am going to take up or finish in Arizona, because I will have more time, a bit more disposable income and a chance to focus on some treasured activities that have fallen by the wayside in the past 4+ years.

1. Gonna take up genealogy again. Did a massive amount of work on the family tree many years ago – got my maternal side traced back to England, in the 1500’s. Stumped on husband’s side, father’s side, maternal grandfather’s side. So one branch of the tree is covered with leaves, and the others mostly bare. I have always known that I was a Mayflower descendant – from Stephen Hopkins, a “stranger” on the ship (not being a pilgrim, but a merchant recruited to provide assistance and governance of the new colony). He was a shady character, a bit disreputable, which is sort of fun to know, in a way! He and his wife Elizabeth were the parents of Oceanus, the child born on board the Mayflower.

2. I am going to sort and catalog all my family pictures, and save them to disk. Most family trees programs now have the capability to add photos, so I will “people” my tree with pictures, and get rid of a lot of photos that have no identifiers on the back. The family joke is “a bunch of us after church last Sunday” is not an acceptable label!

3. I am going to learn to machine embroider, and finish up some sewing projects. Back “in the day” we were required to take homemaking in junior high (shop classes were NOT an option for girls then!) and I learned to make Baked Alaska, and to sew. Once upon a time I made cute little outfits for my toddlers, and Halloween costumes too. I don’t feel driven to make outfits so much, these days, but to be creative and artistic with fabric in other ways.

4. I want to get back to lapidary, with decent equipment. I would like to take up rock hounding as part of this quest! I used to have a rock polisher that hummed not-so-silently on my kitchen counter in Tennessee. It was fun to see rough rocks tumbled to satiny smoothness, and my older grandson, Xavier, still remembers watching the process unfold.

5. I want to experiment with desert gardening. I am thinking of using greywater from our trailer, and have spent some time better spent packing in researching using greywater effectively and safely. I am not going for tomatoes or grocery gardening though; instead I will stick with my beloved herbs, trying to find varieties that can be grown successfully in the summer heat of 3000 ft. elevation Arizona. I’m thinking Mediterranean herbs – rosemary, lavender, creeping thyme and oregano.

What about you? Are there hobbies or adventures that beckon to you, no matter what your age? I encourage you to explore those niggles that summon you to experiment and take voyages (or hikes) of discovery.  No matter how young, or old, we are, we can enrich not only our own lives, but the lives of others by taking undiscovered paths, and forging new ones. Mixed with a generous dash of volunteerism and altruism, a simple, minimalist life, such as the one I hope for, can be one that enables you AND others to grow and nurture the world. Not a bad goal for a 50-something retiree!

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About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
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6 Responses to New Home, New Lists

  1. Susan Ideus says:

    I’ve wondered about your crafty side in such a small space. I have been thinking about that for myself. As much as I got rid of when we moved here, I still have lots of yarn and fabric and cross-stitch stuff. If we stay here, I’ll whittle it down. If we decide to take of RV’ing, I’m in a quandary. I love (read: need) to have something for my hands to do. Yet We’ve looked at trailers–not enough storage to justify my craft supplies. Books I can store on my Kindle so we only need to take a few for Harold. Are you keeping stuff in storage either in CAL or in AZ that you can access? Your move really has set me to thinking!

  2. ReaderWoman says:

    SID – our trailer has really good storage, amazingly enough. Under the sofa, under the bed, under the dinette benches – lots of nooks and crannies. We are storing everything but a few essentials in Cali for now – son may need furniture. In April, we will go back to Cali and winnow it down some more, and take the balance to AZ. To store. I have ONE box with books and yarn and crochet hooks to take on the drive down there. One box of kitchen stuff. Two suitcases of clothes. (1 for each of us) and a box of techie stuff (DVD player, TV, surround sound!) The rest into storage. It will be an exercise to see how many times I say where the hell is my (item)!! Bet I find out I can do without a LOT of it. (Hoping. Hoping…)

  3. Laura, back to machine embroidery: I did a lot of that on my fancy dancy computerized Pfaff. But, my favorite of all methods on any sewing machine was “free motion embroidery.” It required stabilizer material on the under side of the fabric (newspaper might do), a very sharp needle, and a lot of practice sewing with the feed dogs in the DOWN position. Your own hands become the method of moving the fabric around any direction you want. Don’t go fast. You’ll eventually see what speed works.

    My very first project was to have my young grandson draw a squid on a piece of muslin so I could fill it in with different colors of thread. He loved squids.

    Practice on sturdy fabric. Once you get the feel for it, I think you’ll fall in love. I liked it way more than using patterns already in the machine because I had one of a kind embroidery designs after learning how to work with free motion embroidery.
    — Betty has spoken.

  4. ReaderWoman says:

    Betty – I have a LONG history of Listening and Obeying women named Betty – my sister’s name. I have never machine embroidered – at least not on an embroidery machine. I have an middle of the road Brother Machine picked out (for my May birthday!) and will then be able to play around a bit with your ideas! Thank you! Laura has Listened! 😉

  5. Good for you. Keep in mind that ANY sewing machine will work with free embroidery. It used to be called “mending” on the sewing machine.
    –Betty has spoken again (ha)

  6. deborahadams says:

    Good luck with Number 2! Be sure to let me know when you’ve finished.

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