21:10 – Slides from heaven?

It’s day ten of this years first 21 day declutter challenge.

When my dad passed away almost 4 years ago, he left behind a few things, among them a couple of boxes with slides, photos, letters, videos and audio tapes.

When he was a young man, my dad used to work on a ship. I was only a little girl, but I remembered he would travel to all sorts of “strange” places like Africa, Australia, Asia…  I think he told me once it was easier for him to count the countries he had not been to than it was to count the places he had been.

When he was out and about, he would take pictures, video and even send messages home by reel-to-reel audio tape.

Quite a few of the pictures he took, seems to have been taken in the 60’s, especially around the time, he worked on, what I think was, a survey ship.

I’ve been looking trough these boxes now and then, even gotten rid of a piece here or there… but… it’s time to actually hit these boxes and do something with what’s in them.

Quite a while back, I went through all of the slides, and picked out the ones I thought was worth keeping. I’ll be scanning the keepers, so that I have them as files, should anyone ever want any of them. After the scanning I will most likely discard the originals as I have to borrow equipment to be able to look at them. If the result of the scans are OK, I might make a mini album of the best ones later on.

When I looked through them, I sorted them into discard and keep, but… I decided that my brother should really have a look at them, before the non keepers are thrown away.

You see, I loved looking back at the slides my dad took, and I thought my brother would love it too.  Even though some of them were almost beyond recognition as they where pretty ruined, it still gave us a look into a life my dad had had. A life that we know very little about, as I was just a toddler, and my brother wasn’t even on the horizon at that time.

Last time my brother visited, we had a little stroll through history, and decided together which ones we want to keep for us to scan 🙂

I will bring them in for scanning or do the scanning myself sometime this year, but for now at least… I can get rid of the ones that are not worth keeping.

It was never a big collection (actually it was pretty small) even so, there are 373 slides going out the doors today (we are keeping about 220).

There was a bit of a debate on how I should count these as items out-the-door, 1 slide as 1 item? 5 slides as 1 item? or 10 slides as 1 item.

I’ll be doing regular photos soon, and to me it seems like 10 photos = 1 items is a ratio I’ll be happy with, and as slides are photos, it makes sense to me that 10 slides = 1 item 😉

Throw in 5 empty slide boxes (not counting the boxes the slides are in) and we have 5 boxes + 37 items (373 slides) =

42 items going out-the-door! 


Which brings my new grand total to 655 🙂 

Oh no, here we go again :-)

I told you last year about this photo project I was starting up on… well late November I packed everything away (I desperately needed a tidy house), and it’s been out of sight since 😉

I was thinking that now is as good a time as ever, to start back up again…

Yesterday I pulled everything out, and stacked it nicely on and around my dining room table. As you can see, from the picture below, it’s quite a load…  “tons and tons” of albums, negatives and loose photos.

The goal is to sort out the keepers and scan them, as I want them digitized. Then after that “little” deed is done – OK maybe not so little, as I have a few thousand photos, and I’m sure, that even after I ruthlessly go through them, I will end up with another few thousand to scan – I will sort out the ones I would like to put into albums.

I’m hoping to get down to about a couple of thousand photos to scan, and less than a thousand to put into the albums.  Wish me luck, because from the pile you see, it’s not going to be an easy task! Guess I’ll just have to eat this particular “elephant”, one album at a time… 😉

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that

It seem like I can’t seem to concentrate on one thing these days, If you saw my living room and guest room you would have a laugh. There are stuff all over.

I told you before I started on my kitchen, that it seems like I’m working on a “zillion” projects, and that’s exactly how my house looks 😦

I’ll clue you inn on a couple of them.

Dads boxes:
After dad passed away last year, there was a few things that ended up in my house. Some things I held for my brother, which he have received during this year. Remember I told you about them earlier in “My Grandfathers cabinet” and “Hand over“?

There was also a couple of boxes, with letters, pictures, films, audio tape, and other stuff dad had held on to, for sentimental value. It’s a mix of stuff from his life and stuff from his mothers life (she passed away quite a few years ago).

I did look through it last year, but I realized that because of some of the formats he had, like old 8 mm films and old Tandberg audio tapes, I would have to find someone that could help me figure out what on earth was on that stuff, and I packed it all away for later.

Well, I decided that later is now. It’s time to figure out what to do with it all. And I’m slowly going through his boxes.

A couple of friends of mine have (or been able to get their hands on) some old equipment, and I have found out what’s on the 8 mm films and dias (negatives in frames). I have to admit, its kinda weird, and fun to come across people you know, and see them 50 years younger 🙂 The films I have already delivered to a company that will make them digital, the dias I’ll probably deliver to the same place next week or so. I’ve found a photo place that are not to expensive, and I’ll probably have them scan some of my stuff, rather than me go out an buy a very expensive photo/negative scanner.

I’ve also found out some of what’s on the audio tapes, but here I’m running into a bit more trouble. There are hours of tape, and the places I know that can digitize this, is hugely expensive, so I’m kinda hoping I can find someone with an old Tandberg player that I can borrow, so that I can digitize it myself… we will see… I’ll leave that for later.

Some of the stuff in the boxes are from my dad’s mum and even some from his dad’s, mostly letters and some pictures. And some are letters to and from my dad. The letters are a little strange to go through, because most of them are from family members that are sadly no longer with us. So reading them is like being hit from all sides. And it’s hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go.

The same with the pictures, there are pictures of people there, that I know nothing about, and there are pictures of people, that are family members. I know I can’t keep it all, so I’ll have to pace myself going through them.

This is one of the things I’m working on right now, my dad’s boxes. And I know, it will be an ongoing project to decide what to keep, and get most of it digitized.

My photo collection:
The other thing I’m working on that are creating havoc in my house, is my own photo collection. Starting on my dad’s stuff, I realised it was time to tackle all of my photos as well. It’s been a plan of mine for a long time, to do something about my photos. I don’t know if you remember, I mentioned my plans for my photo collection in the post “Who the hell am I keeping it for?

My photo collection consist of, tons and tons of albums, loads of negatives, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is).  Somewhere along the way, I also decided I wanted them digitized.

In the article mentioned above, I realised that I, in reality, am only keeping the photos for me, and that I therefore do not have to keep everything…  and the conclusion was to keep key pictures as real photos, scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. And that is the task I’ve just begun.

And here is where the mess comes in. I’ve pulled all my albums and photo boxes out on the floor, And so far that amounts to 9 huge albums and 4 boxes, in my living room and 6 albums and several boxes in my guest room and a bunch of unused albums. Throw that together with my dad’s boxes and you understand my problem, yes? 😉

How am I doing with this task? Well so far I’ve only created the mess, but stay with me over the next few days (weeks), and I’m sure I’ll have a progress report or ten for you.

So there you have it, the stuff I’m working on right now. I have a funny feeling, this is something that will take quite some time, before I am where I want to be with this, but I have to start somewhere, right?



Who the hell am I keeping it for?

I had a pretty interesting conversation recently, about what we keep. Why we keep it. Who we are keeping it for. And what interests will they have in what we leave behind!

As a woman with no kids and husband, there are not that much family left to give my family heirlooms to. The only ones left of my blood relatives are my mum, brother, half sister and some second cousins…

I have a large step-family (trough dad), but I’m assuming that whenever I’m not around any more, they might only be interested in some of my personal things. I can’t see that they would be much interested in things from my blood relatives, with maybe the exception of some of my dad’s stuff.

Thinking about this conversation have made me realize, that I’m keeping some thing from my past and my family’s past, that most likely nobody after me, will care one iota about! So who am I keeping it for? Well it turns out I’m obviously keeping it for me, and me alone! And that’s a pretty enlightening thought!

This morning I suddenly realized that keeping in mind, that I’m pretty much keeping things for me, and me alone, is going to make an big impact on my decluttering process.

I have a few bigger projects/tasks in mind for this fall. And I think the conclusion above is going to make these projects a whole lot easier to accomplish.

As an example I’ll tell you about – My huge photo collection. Tons and tons of albums, loose films, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is). My intention have been to put the photos into albums (been working on it, on again, off again, the last few years) and the rule was, that what doesn’t go into albums will be tossed!

Somewhere along the way, I also decided I want to scan them all, so that I can have them as digital photos. Then I could clean up my albums. Since we are talking thousands of photos, this have seemed like such an undertaking, that I haven’t gotten it started yet.

Well this morning it dawned on me that, since I have no kids that will be interested. My half sister and my brother have no kids of their own (yeah we are really hopeless at producing kids). The family line is pretty much dying out with us (which is kinda sad when you think about it). So who am I keeping all these photographs for? Obviously no one! I can’t imagine my step family being interested in photos from my mums line of family, grandparents, their siblings and so on. Most likely they would just toss away the lot of it.

So what am I saying? Well for this instance, I’m saying my task of scanning suddenly got waaay less complicated. Conclusion is to keep a few key pictures as real photos (but only of people I know), scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. I mean seriously, I hardly ever look at those old photos, mum don’t ask for them and she is the only one left, who might know who they are. Dad have passed away, my brother wouldn’t care less, so why should I be so darned compelled to be the photos keeper?

So I just decided, I’m only going to keep the photos that are important to me! And me alone! So there 😉

Phew, I think I just went from several thousand of potential scans down to a third, hopefully less! But we will see how it goes when I start the job this fall 😉

But for now, I’m pretty happy with my conclusion.

I mentally decluttered a lot of things today! Especially since this doesn’t only apply to the photos…

What about you, have you ever thought seriously about what you are leaving behind, why and for whom? It might be pretty enlightening… and you never know, it might just shift a few priorities around!

April tally!

Month four! Sorry it’s a bit late, I almost forgot about it for a second, but here it is 😉

Let’s see, what I have I been able to shed this month?

APRIL TALLY of things “out-the-door” =  58 items and about 4500 emails

  • PC nicknack’s – I forgot to count out the items when I did this job, but what I can see from the picture I got rid off:
    • 2 mouse
    • 1 laptop hard-drive
    • 1 wireless adapter
    • 7 converters (Europe to US and the other way around) (count as 1)
    • 1 Bluetooth headset
    • 1 Apple charger station
    • 1 FM radio sender
    • Bunch of USB, firewire cables (count as 1)
    • Bunch of other stuff I have no idea what was (count as 1)
  • 2 bundles of sticks
  • 18 books
  • 1 bottle of port 😉
  • 1 compact camera with chargers, extra batteries ++
  • 1 handbag
  • 8 clear plastic boxes
  • 1 old broken cooking thermometer
  • 15 vases and other flower related stuff
  • 1 screwdriver set
  • Around 4500 emails at my work mailbox (still working on the 5000 I promised)

So what else have I’ve been up to? Not much, except for enjoying the heck out of spring 😉 And I’ve done a major patio overhaul.

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There is Spring in my step!

We are having some really pretty days here this Easter, the sun is out, and I can’t help but hang out in my yard 🙂

Walking around this morning I suddenly glimpsed a tiny, tiny bit of red out of the corner of my eye, and it stopped me cold.

Could it be? No really.. could it be my first Ladybug of the year?

I stopped and took a closer look, and there – hidden in the middle of some dead leaves still hanging on my “blood birch” – was the first Ladybug I had seen this year.  I don’t know what it is, but for some reason that first Ladybug in my yard each year, put’s a smile in my heart. It’s almost like that – for that tiny moment – all is well in the world.

Maybe it’s because seeing a Ladybug, brings back a moment in my life, a good memory from when I was about 6 years old. When my best friend at the time and me, ran around in the neighbourhood (in the middle of urban city), picked summer flowers (that we would “sell” to strangers walking by) and “hunted” for ladybugs to count their spots, and see which one of us would find the most “spotted” one 🙂

This years Ladybug inspired me to take some pictures of my tiny garden (with my phone) – and I just thought I wanted to share my joy of Spring 🙂

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A second chance

I love taking photographs, and over the years I have taken thousands and thousands of pictures.

I have a Canon 50D, a proper DSLR, but even so, it’s nice to have a small camera that can easily go into your bag.

Up until last year, I used a small Canon Ixus camera. It has gone with me everywhere, since 2002.  But last year I swapped it out, for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30, that gives me a bigger zoom range, than my old Ixus ever did.

I decided to get this, even as much as I loved my Ixus, so that I could have a decent zoom range without having to always drag my heavy DSLR with me.

As a backup, my faithful Ixus was put away in a drawer.

Yesterday though, my Ixus’s life changed slightly, when a friend from US, decided to take it with him, to the other side of the ocean, to keep as his second camera 😉

Farewell old friend – I wish you happiness, and I hope the two of you, share as many pleasurable moments as you and I did.

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