maxine7's Profile

Display Name: maxine7
Member Since: 1/8/14

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I live by a busy subway stop in New York, so I roll out a big length of brown paper and set the books out neatly in rows face up with "free" written on the paper several times. It's tucked in the blank space by the entrance so it doesn't block the walk but everyone going by can see the covers as quickly or slowly as they want. Then I go down the block a bit to watch out for the very occasional grabby person and to straighten the rows every so often. If you set out books in boxes people would have to stop to go through the boxes instead of quickly eye-balling the covers. I prefer to be invisible and let people enjoy their lucky finds. The main thing is to have the items clean, orderly, and individually visible with a liner between them and the ground.


Keep Moving Forward: On Staying the Course with The January Cure Comment of the Day
1/24/14 05:49 PM

HOARDERS' MANIFESTO

As part of an inside-out apartment rehab for the past year, I've given away at least 1,500 art, history, and lit books along with many household items. It's been a delight to stand off in a doorway and watch the excitement of people encountering the sidewalk display. The book-to-person combinations have been fascinating. Both the giveaways and my now-sparkling keepers have new life.

That being said, I think the value now attributed to purging body, soul, and house is indicative of a disturbing degree of self-loathing. "Baggage" is made the enemy of freedom. Instead, it should be seen as the fuel of ingenuity.

I've been making a "hoard list" of long-held items that I activated in the past year. The Proustian rush of scraping a door frame with the same tool that I trained with when I was six alleviated much of the aggravation of caring for my elderly father. A bell jar found 35 years ago now roots roses that will grace a subway entrance.

Every time you throw away and replace in an orgy of purging and spending you waste time and fuel that extends from your lost Saturday back to the container ship churning the Pacific, propelled by misbegotten oil.

We need to embrace the past and future held in possessions that are alive with our identity and possibility. Every moment conserved when a needed element is on hand is a moment that can be devoted to turning dross to gold. And that dross is concentrated into gold, not discarded as useless waste. We should cultivate our belongings and feel pleasure rather than guilt in their presence.


Keep Moving Forward: On Staying the Course with The January Cure Comment of the Day
1/24/14 02:32 PM

Re: tree and birds. Maybe you need one of those owl-silhouette scarecrows up in the tree. They can actually work. As to the light, you could lift the canopy---cut lower branches and keep the upper shape. What breed?


You Can Do It: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List January Cure: Assignment # 5
1/8/14 06:59 PM

My huge project is to rehab my apartment for my old age by April 2015 when I'll be 60. Now I'm doing my library/office, and for this January I've picked my dedicated page-proof table. I want to stop checking corrections in my kitchen. The surface has to be kept empty, so I'm making small corner shelves above for staplers, post-its, and so on. For years that corner was my lumber and repair-needed pile floor-to-ceiling behind a screen. It's already been cleared, scimmed, and painted. A long-unpurposed green-metal industrial file bin is now under the table to the side as my out box.


You Can Do It: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List January Cure: Assignment # 5
1/8/14 10:34 AM

People work hard to get moss to grow; consider keeping it as a design element.

Don't cut the tree on the neighbor's side and make it lopsided. Instead, look online for a correct tree-pruning cut picture, get a ladder and folding pruning saw, work from the bottom up cutting out deadwood and broken branches (storm?), and then take out a few crossing branches that confuse the shape. You and hopefully they will love it even more when you make it your well-groomed pet yourself. But not too well-groomed; tree services go too far.


You Can Do It: Pick a Project to Cross Off Your List January Cure: Assignment # 5
1/8/14 10:11 AM