Archive for Hazel’s Stories

WHY I Love Chores

House work concept vector illustration.WHY do I love chores? OK, I don’t. Not really. But hear me out….

I LOVE having someone else clean my house. But, for the most part, I prefer to clean it myself for various financial and Zen reasons. I’ve often thought of housework and exercise as the cheapest forms of therapy.

Whenever I feel resentful about chores I remind myself WHY I do them. And then I feel better. It helps me to remember that it’s a CHOICE I’m making; that I’m living my life by design, not by default.

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Is your kitchen counter messier than mine?

My kitchen counter on better days.

My kitchen counter on better days.

← This is my kitchen counter. If you think it looks like THAT at all times — not a bit of clutter; complete with fresh fruit and flowers — you will either be disappointed, or relieved, to learn that it also looks like THIS on a regular basis →OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

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Mom’s Boxes Part 5: The Old Man of the Mountains

George D. Hankins

READERS: This is the sort of story I intend to write more of over the next few years to share with my family. It’s also the sort of story I encourage you to write about your own family! It doesn’t have to be fancy, with footnotes and such. Just capture the memories for future generations.

This is a different kind of New Mexico family history in that no one in my family was born in New Mexico! My mom, her parents and two sisters, and my three brothers were all born in Indiana. My dad and I were both born in California. But most of us came to call Albuquerque home.

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Mom’s Boxes Part 4: Grandma’s Lawn Chairs

I wrote this blog post for APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers), but it’s essentially Mom’s Boxes Part 4, since I found most of the photos in mom’s boxes.

Photos keep memories alive. And they tell the story of a family over time. They show how it grew and how it changed. Some people have the forethought to mark the passage of time by taking photos of their kids each year wearing the same outfit (oversized at the outset), or standing next to a fixed object. And sometimes everyday objects in a family’s life seem to inadvertently bear witness to these changes for us.

Click here to read the rest of the story, and to view my family photos.

[Tweet “What special stories have you discovered in your family’s photos?]

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Mom’s Boxes Part 3: Trip down memory lane

Me and Mike enjoying a picnic of lemonade and raisins in 1964 Indiana.

My brother, Mike, and I have agreed there’s something about going through Mom’s boxes that we hadn’t fully bargained for: Going down Mom’s memory lane includes going down our own memory lanes. This can be heartwarming, and great fun…and also embarrassing, sad, and exhausting. It feels like my life is flashing before my eyes in excruciatingly slow motion.

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Mom’s Boxes Part 2: Panning for gold

My 2nd great grandmother

My 2nd great-grandmother,
Margaret Keysling Hankins Smelser (1833-1921), of whom I’d never seen a photo. Gold!

When my mom died, in 2001, she left us 33 boxes of scrapbooks and other memorabilia. Not 33 scrapbooks; 33 moving boxes full of them. In Mom’s Boxes Part 1: The Shed I described what we did with them for 16 years, and why I’m finally going through them now with my brother Mike.

 

We’re making progress…..

I’ve been posting on Facebook about this project (#momsboxes), including photos of some of our great finds. People leave comments like, “Wow, what a wonderful treasure trove you’ve got there!”

Well….yes and no. The analogy that comes to mind is panning for gold. Do you know how many tons of sand and silt one must sift through to find a few nuggets of gold?!

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Mom’s Boxes Part 1: The shed

See that wall of boxes in the back?

When my mom died, in 2001, she left us 33 boxes of scrapbooks. Not 33 scrapbooks; 33 moving boxes full of them.

By scrapbooks I mean albums, binders, and notebooks full of memorabilia — photos, cards, letters, memoirs, and souvenirs. And who knows what else? These are in addition to the scrapbooks and photo albums she created for each of her four kids specifically, which we already have in our possession.

As her executor, guess what I did with them?

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The egret represents freedom from clutter

freedom

Great Egret

People sometimes ask me why I have a stork for my business logo. Is it my fault that not everyone knows an egret from a stork? Granted, New Mexico is not exactly known for egrets, but I do see one sometimes down by the Rio Grande.

Anyway, the egret that inspired my logo lived in Minnesota. Here’s the story:

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How NOT to Save Your Photos

photos

Photos found in donated books (click to enlarge)

I volunteer weekly at my local Friends for the Library. We price and sort donated books for our monthly used book sales (at which I also run a cash register), and we have a lovely used book shop in the Main library downtown which is open six days a week. We raise around $200K every year for library programs such as the Summer Reading Program for children.

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More Cooking for Dummies: 12 Things I’ve Learned

Hello Fresh 4

Chicken Caesar Salad with homemade croutons

Remember, I am not a cook. Or, well…maybe I am now? I have stripped fresh rosemary leaves off the stem, butterflied chicken breasts, whipped up pan sauces, cooked green beans in a frying pan and steak in the oven, made my own condiments (aioli, teriyaki sauce), and performed many other culinary feats. I can see a little bit more now why people like to do this cooking thing (smells great, tastes delicious, creative, meditative).

It’s been over six months since I subscribed to the Hello Fresh meal kit service, but I’ve taken time off here and there. I love being able to pause the plan when I want to. I have to pay attention to the delivery schedule, of course, to make sure I’m not charged for or sent a box I didn’t want, but they’re reducing the cut-off time from seven days in advance to five to make it easier.

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