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Saturday 7.23.05: Week in Review

The week slid by, low-key, no socializing, just the two of us in the House of James, on Planet Susan.

Ebay sales were low-key, so I decided to pull back on auctions for the rest of the summer. Still, I spent a lot of time photographing and listing items in our store -- mostly parrot knickknacks as I thin out that collection. Much to my surprise, a little parrot whisk broom was bought almost immediately for $50. It's from the 1920s and was used on dressing tables as a clothes brush. I'm always stunned when something I didn't have much respect for is so highly desirable. Luckily, I'd put a satisfying price on it.

As I sit here looking at a stack of Bing Crosby sheet music, I'm scratching my head wondering why the parrot brush was so much more desirable than the crooner. Rarity, I guess. Bing Crosby memorabilia is plentiful on ebay and the current generation of buyers couldn't care less. Why couldn't I have an equal size stack of Judy Garland?

Collections. One of my favorite activities these days seems to be rearranging things in the never-ending quest for some open space.

We have a large (18 x 38 inches) section of a carved ceiling beam from a temple in India. It features 8 graceful parrots and must weigh 100 lbs. It has been sitting on its side in front of a bookcase downstairs and every time I needed a book I had to slide it one way or the other. We finally turned it into a coffee table. You can tell I've been watching to much HGTV. Jim & I made it into our "decorating on a dime" project: went to Target and found a couple of sturdy baskets for a base, then searched out a place that sold plate glass. VoilŠ. Two birds with one stone.

I also found something called Museum Putty. It hold delicate things in place in case of earthquakes, etc. It allowed me to have fun lining up some small wooden figurines on a very narrow shelf going up the stairs.

Genealogy. A couple more family death certificates arrived this week and I spent too much time pondering their meaning without having any facts. Almost makes me wish I believed in sťances -- I have quite a few questions to ask. Among her parents and six siblings, my grandmother Kitty was the only one to thrive in adulthood, living into her nineties. For sure, she is a great example of psychological resiliency in the face of many adversities. But now I think she also benefited from robust physical health and resistance to infections. With 21st century medical care, nearly everyone in her family would have lived longer, if not happier, lives.

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