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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cleaning and Re-organizing

Cleaning and reorganizing is something we all need to do at least yearly, and I have to admit that with my life as busy as it has been, it was something that kept getting put off. On top of that, I am one of those people who picks things up that people put out on a table in the trash room in this mobile home park - they are not trash, but things people no longer need, or sometimes they just maybe passed on and the relatives just threw things out, or perhaps they move and things get thrown out in the process.  Everyone puts things on that table that they no longer want and then others come and get the things.  I have always taken things that seem like something I or someone else I knew might be able to use.  But finally it has caught up with me and so I am in the process of "weeding," which is not really a negative thing. I fill bags that go into the car, some to the trash room if they are really trash, or if I think it is something the thrift store might not want (which is very little).
The quilt above, "Charlie (the little Chihuahua) and the Creature from Beneath the Surface (a Jerusalem Cricket that came from underground to take a look around) is by Anne Copeland. Although Charlie (my pet Chihuahua) actually wasn't present when the ugly fellow came out to see what was going on, I suddenly thought how funny it would have been if he did. I had a photo of Charlie standing on his hind little legs which were sort of behind him, so this was perfect for the quilt. This quilt is one of my UFOs.

As I was cleaning I came across a lot of old business cards from different times in my life when I played many different roles, as many of us seniors have done through our lives. I had multiples of each card, but the thought of throwing any of them out was difficult.  This was after all, times in my life that would never come again. It feels very difficult to throw away any part of your life. However, I am definitely determined to get this place organized for once and for all, and to keep it that way, so I looked to find a good solution,. Before long I had it. I had an old business card organizer - the kind that you use generally to collect the business cards of others.  So I began filling it with the cards from my life.  If I felt particularly sensitive about a particular business card, I stuck an extra one underneath it. I wouldn't be throwing absolutely everything away after all.

Now I am on the next stage, which is to organize my files into some expanding folders I had purchased. today just for that purpose. I also have a little holder to put bills and paperwork that must still be dealt with in some manner in. I am about to attack the pencil and pen, compass and magnifying glass, etc. holders.  I don't really need 25 of every pencil, every pen.

By the way, speaking of pencils and pens, I learned this little really interesting lesson many years ago from my former anthropologist husband and now excellent friend, Spencer Heath MacCallum.  He gave me this little writing from some capitalist who had come up with this wonderful idea.  So here it is below:

Every time you purchase a pencil, do you know how many people you are employing?  Start with the wood of the pencil. There have to be loggers who cut the wood, and then truckers who haul it to some factory.  Then there are the factory workers who form the wood for the pencil into its familiar shape.

Then there are those who paint the outsides of the pencils, and those who imprint it with the type of lead (the size, and perhaps the brand name, etc.).  Then there is the little metal piece that holds the rubber eraser.  OK, it is some kind of metal that (likely tin) that has to be mined and then processed, perhaps through many processes to make that holder.  Then it too goes to a factory where it is shaped and formed into the piece that will hold the eraser onto the pencil.  And of course there is the rubber.

It is growing in the forests in some country where it then is gathered as a liquid, and again, it is processed, and then dyed, as I think rubber in its natural state would not be pink (or other contemporary eraser colors), and it is formed and shaped into those little erasers.  Then there is the lead, and again, lead must be mined, carried to trucks (as are all of these parts) where it is then taken to be processed for formed into the lead that becomes the innermost part of the pencil.

And then all of this must be assembled. Now a great part of the process might be to do these things automatically via machines, but then someone had to make the machines, and someone had to maintain them, and someone else has to run them.  And of course there are the quality control people.  And then the packaging people.  And then the people who take the orders and know where the pencils will go.  And then the pencils are loaded onto trucks and delivered to the places.  Of course, people have to build these trucks and they have to be maintained, and they have to have gas and oil.

Once delivered, the stocking people have to note them into the inventory, and then they get put onto the shelves, where the sales people might just help you to find them, and even if not, you will take them to the cash register to pay for them, so this is the end step that I can think of in the life of the pencil. e

Doesn't this make you feel good to know how many people you are helping to keep employed every time you buy that simple little pencil?  I wish I knew where I read this originally so that I could give credit where it is do, and if by some good chance, fate is kind and helps me to remember, or if I find out somehow, I will be sure to let you know.