Sunday, November 29, 2015

wishlist 2015


...in which our plucky heroine attempts to make things easier for those who don't already know her pretty well....

This list is a work-in-progress, since like each year for the past several, I've been participating in Daegmar's Sekrit Santa gift exchange... It is actually pretty difficult to find Things that fit the requirements (keep the exchanged gift either handmade/homemade or if purchased to be $20 or less); since most of what will make a real difference in my life are not things, but"the gift of time and the sharing of some resources, rather than actual stuff." ; it seemed a good idea to provide both general guidelines to what I like and do not like, as well as a modest annotated list of assorted Useful and Delightful things:

Random wishlist notes:
my favorite colors: The kind of blue that you get from indigo: nightsky and dark denim. The greyish color of natural linen. Taupe. Grey. Soft dull turquoise. The dark black brown of some kinds of undyed sheep wool. Bittersweet chocolate brown. Black.

In general, food is not a Fjorlief treat and neither are scented things. Girl does not particularly like chocolate and is allergic to cherries and hazelnuts...

I mostly do not collect things, in particular I don't collect acorn kitsch, even though the house is named Acorn Cottage, nor do I collect chicken things, even though there are often hens in residence...

Annotated wishlist items that are less than $20, in no particular order:

Tool Girl can never have too many tools. Lee Valley is most reputable, and has a delicious selection of tools and trinkets... This jewelers hand vise, or these small brass calipers would fill gaps in the tool collection

These smaller pocket size DMT pocket diamond hones would be very handy

Wake The Dead's combination of celtic style instruments and arrangements, and Grateful Dead songs, makes me really happy. Any of the three CD's would be a nice addition to the Acorn Cottage library: Wake The Dead, or Buckdancer's Choice, or Blue Light Cheap Hotel

I've a small collection of these scarves, in the 30" x 30" size, they are a delicate cotton fabric and handprinted in India, stay put on my head and cover my thinning hair, and keep either the too much sun off my noggin, or help keep my head and ears warm, depending on the season. This one is in ocean colors, and this one indigo dark with warm flowers are both different from what I already have...

I love the woodblock prints of Mary Azarian, and while her actual prints are far out of price range, this lovely poster is quite affordable

These handpainted ceramic buttons are a different riff on indigo and white, and would be a great accent on a new springtime frock...
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some rather more spendy, but also Very Useful, things:

It would be a very good addition to the infrastructure here to acquire an extension ladder. One that is long enough to reach the gutters, or the attic hatchways, and strong enough for someone that weighs over 200 lbs... must needs do a bit more research as to what would be suitable

The air pump I have for my bikes here at home is ancient and funky, and replacing it is fairly high on my list of useful tools needed. The last time I was at REI I took a looksee at the various sorts available, and this one looked like it would do, also available from the Planet Bike website..

I have several friends that own Excalibur food dehydrators, all quite happy with how useful they are, it might be a good alternative way to preserve food for stable shelf storage here
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The list below first took shape back in 2011 in response to a 10-gift wishlist meme, and it seems like most of what I wish for, that can be given, involves more the gift of time and the sharing of some resources, rather than actual stuff. Gradually, with the assistance of friends and family, over the years almost more than half of these, six of the ten, have become reality in my life. Not sure if that this maybe means time to revisit goal setting, but am very sure it means that there is everyday gratitude for the help that made these possible
  1. company while sorting/organising supplies - the sewing room, and the workroom both need attention, and I make much better progress with someone else there to keep me company, is a lot more fun to sort fabric etc with the option for tea and chat...
  2. raised garden beds built/load of garden soil and compost acquired - a truck with an open bed, or money for a dumptruck load, and a number of strong shovel wielding folks. I have a plan, just need helpers.
  3. massage - for many years I had an ongoing every other week housecleaning for massage trade. Even a modest amount of attention paid to sorting out the knots and such that have accumulated in the last six  seven  ten+ years would help me a lot
  4. bicycle maintenance and tuneup - I have no experience with how to care for my bike, having only fairly recently started riding again. Would love to learn more, and know that the useful tool of bicycle will be adjusted and cared for properly
#1 has happened from time to time, but there is still quite a ways to go with inside the house efforts. #3 is partially a reality, as I have ongoing acupuncture treatments that fill an analogous but not identical niche, and I no longer have the stamina to trade housecleaning as skilled labor..

In the last five years, six of the ten things I had originally listed have been accomplished, either by my own efforts or the kindly help of friends or family. Our plucky heroine has gone cross country and back again on a sleeper car on the train, have wooden wall shelves in the small bedroom, both bedrooms now have hard flooring instead of carpet, there is a wooden kitchen cart that adds extra countertop in the wee kitchen, concrete blocks that can be used when the water cachement system gets built are waiting in the carport, and the backyard debris has been hauled away!
  1. debris hauled away - this involves someone with a truck, and help going all round the outdoors of the homeplace, to remove everything that needs to not live here
  2. standard concrete block - in sets of four or six... why, 'cos I have a number of plastic barrels destined for rainwater collection, and they work a lot better if they are elevated. Concrete is damn heavy to cart home on the bus.
  3. wooden kitchen cart - to add additional counter space here, will make having more than one cook in the kitchen a lot easier. FORHOJA has drawers for storage
  4. install the hard flooring - this is a big project only because it involves removing the entire contents of each of the two bedrooms before the flooring can go down. Probably a weekend for each room, one day to move stuff out, one day to put flooring down and move stuff back in (just a guess, the rooms are pretty small, but there is a lot of stuff. Or...
  5. wooden shelves on the walls in bedroom and sewing room - more shelving will allow better storage of fabrics and other supplies, as well as guest bedding
  6. cross country train trip in a sleeper car - I want to visit my friends and family in New England, I love train travel, and it would be an adventure instead of an ordeal.

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