Saturday, June 28, 2008

A brief history of stuff

We are in the process of ridding our house of stuff. Some of it is hard to part with, not because it has any value, but because of the stories that go with it.

So i have decided to take pictures of some of the stuff and tell the stories. Then i can get rid of it all with a smile. At least that's what i am hoping for.

I used to take pottery classes with one of my sisters-in-law. We had so much fun. It's like a socially acceptable way for grownups to play with mud. I made many ugly little pots with thick bottoms, a few of which i still use. This pumpkin was made from a pinch pot. You can put a candle in there and it won't smell like you burned the pumpkin pie.


Look at this precious little tea set! There's even a wee cream pot. Em and i had many tea parties with this set. I once made cucumber sandwiches to go on the plates. Do you know how hard it is to make cucumber sandwiches? Cucumbers are slippery.

For a whole week once, Em insisted that we feed the cats on the plates. I wish i had a photo of our large boy cats eating from these little tiny plates.

Hey! I just had a thought (stand back!) If any of you with small children would like this tea set let me know and i will mail it to you. It would make me happy to know that someone is enjoying it.


This is back from when Em was in her Garfield stage. She even had a book, "How to Draw Garfield." I have no idea why she chose paper plates as the canvas for her art.


What on earth are those? They are fossilized shark's teeth, of course! I collected every one of these from a beach somewhere in Virginia as a child. I spent many hours poring over the sand looking for these. This predated my carnelian (from Stinson Beach in California) and agate (from the San Juan Islands here in Washington) hunting days.

Close up of shark's teeth. I still think these are really cool.


This is a pasta bowl that The Mister bought at a fundraising auction for $100. We had a friend who did one of those Climb Mt. Rainier for Lung Cancer thingies. We had to buy something, so here it is. I have never used it. It's kind of a nice bowl. Hmmmm. Maybe i should keep it. No, no, i must Stay Strong.


I used to make all of Em's Halloween costumes. This is a dragon. To me, every Halloween costume starts with a sweatsuit. I have made Unicorns and Turtles and Sea Urchins. No fairy princesses for my Em.

The wings are silver on one side and gold on the other. I patterned them after the wings of a beanie baby dragon.

I even drew silver and gold scales on the knees of the pants with puff paint. It kills me to give this to the Goodwill.


This is Nala, from The Lion King. Nala used to go everywhere with Em. Nala would jump over the hot lava pit in our living room and her favorite food was parsley stems. More than once i have had to perform delicate micro-surgery to reattach Nala's head after a particularly fierce hug.

I think Nala will have to stay.


flutter said...

You have to keep Nala, and really? I kind of love that pumpkin. But I am twisted

Gordo said...

The pumpkin IS kind of cool, but my favourite is the shark teeth.

My Mom made all of my Halloween costumes, too. The scary part is that I'm certain she still has them.

Anonymous said...

Meno, Seriously. I'd love that Madeline tea set. Can you send it to Canada? Can I trade you a book?
When we moved to Australia I offloaded about 500 but I've been buying them again.

furiousBall said...

that costume rules. and the felatio pumpkin rules as well

Say It said...

Great stories to go along with your stuff!

Lynnea said...

damn Sally beat me. W would love that tea set.

It is hard to part with something tied to great memories isn't it?

I love the costume! Very creative.

meno said...

flutter, Em saw Nala and took her back into her room. So Nala is safe. I like the pumpkin too. I made it so Em would have a safe pumpkin to light her room.

gordo, the shark's teeth are the bomb. They are (rumored to be) millions of years old. You should ask your mom.

sally forth, send me an e-mail with the particulars at and i will send it on it's way. I'd love a book.

furious, Fellatio Pumpkin is shocked at you.

say it, as they say "every stuff has a story." Or maybe it's just me who says that.

maggie, sorry, too bad i don't have two. (Tea for two and two for tea....) If i don't hear from sally, i'll let you know. But i think she'll get back to me. I used to love making costumes.

jaded said...

Felatio pumpkin has sharp edges, a real pumpkin would be a more prudent choice. Of course that lit candle will always pose a dilemma.

Gina said...

How could you get rid of that pasta bowl? It's awesome!

Can you see why I have so much stuff??

Cheesy said...

I so want to go to your garage sale! That pasta bowl RAWKS! [even if I did think it was a chamber pot at first]

LMOA @ furious-

The sharks teeth? I thought were cloves,,, gawd I am such a foodie~~

When you are done de-crapping would you please come supervise mine? You are my hero!

ms chica said...

That's an impressive dragon costume, perhaps you have it available in my MILs size?

Anonymous said...

I just laughed so hard @ ms. chica, I like to fell out of my chair!

that costume is awesome. like you, I have a strong belief in the sweatsuit base of every costume. is that perchance, lame? (curses, I can't figure out how to make an accent mark over the e, really, I'm not trying to say the costume is lame...)

well, good luck with the clean out. I really need to do that, too, but I keep putting it off. in fact, I've been putting it off for about 10 years now. you reckon it's a bad thing that we still have stuff in boxes that have never been unpacked?

QT said...

ms chica!!!

The shark teeth are my fave and I wish I could think of a way to justify you keeping them...

peevish said...

The shark's teeth are super cool, and the jack-o-lantern shows you have real promise in the muddy arts.

peevish said...

I mean sharks' teeth. Unless they all came from one shark.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and promise you you are not going to miss a single one of those items once they are out of your house...

Mrs. Chili said...

Nala DEFINITELY has to stay.

Mr. Chili and I collected shark's teeth from Florida one vacation, but we put them back on the beach before we left.

I LOVE the pasta bowl...

meno said...

patches, yeah, but men have never been known for being prudent about where they stick their wicks. (Bob is so going to kill me.)

gina, it is cool, but i've never used it. I tend to mix pasta in the pot so there's one less thing to wash. Classy huh?

cheesy, it's about as big as a chamber pot. Can't handle your de-crapping, sorry. Mine is killing me.

ms. chica, you are on a roll, girl! You made me laugh.

holly, she's a funny lady, that one. It is indeed lame. (i don't know how to do the accent mark either.)

qt, you know what i did? I have a small collection of cute boxes. So i put them inside one. No more storage problem.

peevish, playing with mud is fun and theraputic.

the end, i know. The real person we need to convince is my husband. :)

mrs. chili, Nala was well loved. She stays. Hmmm. Maybe i should keep the pasta bowl. You are te third person who like it.

Girlplustwo said...

damn. i knew i'd be too late for the tea set.

Tink said...

Shark teeth! Hoop and I have tons of old medicine containers filled with those. It's a sick addiction, really. Because what can one do with a bunch of old teeth? I love the dragon costume! I would love to see pictures of the others too.

fiwa said...

Ok - I can see purging big stuff like the pasta bowl and the pumpkin (even though the pumkin is really cool. I can't believe you made that.), but don't get rid of the sharks teeth! They're cool - put 'em in a bowl or a vase or something.

I'm glad nala is staying too. Some day Em may want to give that to someone else.

luckyzmom said...

There is not one of those treasures that I would get rid of. Which is why we only get one car into our 3 car garage and why all our closets are crammed full. Oh, and there is the stack of plastic tubs in the guestroom full of my "too small but I love them clothes"? I would offer to store your treasures for you if there was any room.

I have and have read many books on organizing and taking pictures is one of the strategies some suggest. I have intended to do just what you're doing and I cheer you on, therefore giving myself hope! Go ahead, toss it all and be free. Good girl meno!

Sari said...

I thought the pasta bowl was a chamber pot, too! ha ha

I would definitely have kept Nala, glad Em rescued her.

I also liked the pumpkin!!

My husband would love you - get rid of all your "stuff", take pictures of it and put it on disks. I swear he'd "lose" them somehow, just to have less stuff.

Jonas said...

Call me crazy, if you will, but I don't think it's possible to have too many fossilized sharks' teeth...

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Why must you get rid of the pumpkin? How many halloween decorations do you have? It's great.

And that costume? Holy cow! I recall your angsty posting about your table runner, but if I'd known you were capable of this, there would have been zero sympathy. (Lorenzo wanted a costume I was going to have to make, but we inherited a fireman costume from the Capacious family, so I'm off the hook! ...this year.)

Brad said...

NO! NO! not the pasta bowl!

I'd totally take that and the sharks teeth of your hands. But then I am a pack rat.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Yeah, I couldn't get rid of any of that stuff either. Some day I'd need sharks teeth and Nala for some super-special project, and THEN what would I do? (I still have the kids' baby envelopes...from where the tooth fairy took 'em. What the hell will I do with those?)

meno said...

jen, sorry. I bet your M would have loved it. It's very feminine to have tea parties.

tink, I wish i had pictures of the other ones. You will just have to imagine how i did each one, starting with a sweat suit.

fiwa, okay okay! I'm keeping them! I out them in one of my fancy little boxes.

luckyzmom, thank you for the support! I think i can, i think i can.

sari, the pumpkin is kind of cool, but it's pretty small and what am i going to do with it???

jonas, i have decided that you are right. they stay.

de, i have none. I barely decorate for Christmas. Bah! Humbug! I loved it when i inherited a costume.

brad, you want i should save it for you? You are close enough to actually give it to.

mona, make a necklace??? Then someone might think you are a fearsome cannibal.

Anonymous said...

What is with the perverted comments in today's posts (yours and mine). Only kidding; I think it's funny. The costume rocks! In the future, consider donating such items to your local school theater group. I'm glad you're giving the tea set away; I was going to suggest that you allow some other little girl and her mommy to do the tea party thing. What am I saying? I'm going to have to go up to Kendall's room and get rid of hers! :)

Mignon said...

I was on vacation, dammit! And I actually have a Madeleine. Anyway, my Madeleine would much prefer the sharks' teeth and dragon costume. Wanna trade? I can send you... um... elk meat? A couple nice notecards from this lady? (I always buy the rabbits and cows.)

Robin said...

okay, you have to keep the costume, the shark's teeth and pumpkin. not for me, not for you, but for Em. my mom's been gone for twenty years and the memories are abundant but every once it while, i need to look at and touch something she made for me or something she owned and now i have. i just need to. i know you can't keep everything, but keep as much as you can, shove it in a corner somewhere and someday, Em can decide what she does and doesn't need.

the pasta bowl can go though ;-)

Lynn said...

I am in awe of you for being able to part with these treasures. Like you, I find it easier to part with treasures (like your tea set) if I am giving it to someone who I know will use's like I'm finding it another loving home so I don't feel so guilty for letting go of it. Keep up the good work.

Diane Mandy said...

How are you getting rid of your things? Ebay? Craigslist? I am sure it will be hard to part with some of what you've shown. They represent such nice memories, but stay stong!

Congrats on your 2-year blog anniversary!

crazymumma said...

I want the pumpkin.

and yes. Nala stays.

TTQ said...

purple to yellow...

Anonymous said...

Thing Two said in the car today:
"Want to know a secret? Sometimes I think about something awful happening to [Nala] and I start to cry."

One of the things was parts coming apart. I'm on stand by with needle and thread so he needn't fret!

Schmoopie said...

Nala is cool.

Em still looks adorable in her costume! ;)

meno said...

mrs. 4444, oh, that's just furious, he's a pervert! I will be mailing the costume to another mom! That makes me happy.

mignon, sending the costume on! Yay!

robin, the only thing i'm keeping are the sharks' teeth! Don't tempt me to do otherwise.

lynn, thank you! i have found good homes for the tea set and the costume!

diane, some craig's list, some donation, some dump, some used book stores. And thank you.

crazymumma, you want it? YOu can have it if you e-mail me before Monday, that's when the blind people come.

ttq, in preparation for my new picture. Which i did myself this time. Aren't you pround of me??

daisy, that's one of our jobs, to repair the damage done from fierce lovings.

schmoopie! it damn near still fits her too!

Anonymous said...

I have become rather heartless in the disposal of Stuff in my so-called old age. It's been enlightening and freeing and just a little scary all at the same time.

I recently dispensed of two boxes full of my youthful "memories" when it occurred to me that upon my death, my poor children would have no idea what to make of boxes full of nondescript movie ticket stubs, beer bottle tops and bar napkins, no matter how many memories they held for me.

The picture keepsake concept is a fantastic idea.

Clowncar said...

You don't see the word "wee" used very often these days. Thanks, M.

And those shark teeth are too danged cool. So is the tea set, but we already have two. Will you send me the shark teeth? :)

And why does that pasta bowl have 1 handle. I predict dropped pasta.

contemporary themes said...

I like the pumpkin! So cool!

Susan C said...

Have you ever used freecycle to find homes for your discards? I routinely bring carloads of items to the Salvation Army, but when something has sentimental value, I want to personally know that the item is going to a good home. My daughter's Radio Flyer red wagon went to a couple who planned to use it to pull a toddler down the aisle during their wedding.

Some Japanese yen and defunct Austrian schillings went to a jewelry maker.

It really helps ease the pain of "separation anxiety" when my stuff with stories gets turned into new stories.

gwendomama said...

wow. a girl who is dear to my heart - i was not just her nanny but her othermama courtesy of her own - abby has this very nala. when she got her, she spent the next 5 years sleeping with her and trying to SQUISH HER HEAD down, because, though she loved it, the head was just 'too big'...
she actually still sleeps with her 18...