spring cleaning

Well.  I have to say my Mother's Day started in splendid form:  I awoke to a cheery "Happy Mother's Day!" from both Marcus and Alex, both of them bearing gifts and a truly glorious breakfast in bed, with all of the fixings.  And then -- and then, my friends -- they brought the book I'm currently reading to me and left me alone to read for a good hour.  Do you know what a luxury this is?  I, who generally only read on solo flights or in the carpool lane when I'm picking Alex up from school, I was lying in bed, propped up by pillows, reading.  It was decadent, I tell you.

This was only made better by two things:  (a) I spoke with my mom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day (she and my dad are visiting my sister, and when I called, my niece was giving both my mom and my sister spa treatments -- she's 8 -- so they were in fine form), and (b) a friend from Trinidad called, and I was able to give her the glorious news that I would be in Trinidad next month (speaking at this conference -- if you're in Trinidad, you should come!).  By the time I hung up the phone, it was already about 11 a.m, and I was still in bed in my pajamas. 


And then, I got up, and lost my mind.

I looked around my house, and decided that it was time to make some changes.  You know that yeah-it's-a-nice-house-but-I-wouldn't-know-because-of-all-the-clutter-dear-God-I-have-to-address-this-now feeling?  Right.  That descended upon me, and I became a woman possessed.  I ranted and raved that things just were not right, and I could no longer live in this zoo, and dear Lord it was time to get a handle on it.

Marcus looked at me levelly.  "You know," he said calmly, "you could clean out the closet in your office.  I bet you could get a lot more stuff in there if you actually cleaned it out."

Touché, mon frère.  Touché.

And so, Marcus brought the gigantic recycle bin inside, and I got to work.  There were old papers, receipts, old business cards, all kinds of things just crammed into the closet.  I was merciless, getting rid of anything I hadn't seen in a year and wasn't important, tossing things into the bin with scarcely a second look.

Then suddenly I came upon a stack of 4x6" prints of some photographs I took a few years ago.  Actually, they were prints of a photograph I took a few years ago:  about 25 shots of the same tulips.  I looked at them in wonder.

Why in the ... and then I remembered.  I had originally made those prints for the purpose of making custom greeting cards to give to family and friends -- you know, sort of personal stationery.  I even found the blank cards and envelopes I'd purchased to make them. 

"Huh," I thought.  "Well, I guess I'll keep these and start making those again.  Cheaper than buying cards at the store."  And so then I put them aside, and went back to cleaning the closet.

About 5 minutes later, I came across another stack -- this time, of a different image.

And then another, of yet another image.  "Well," I thought, "I could always not make cards, and just write notes on the back of the images and send them to friends." 

And then I came across another.

And then I came across some 8x10 prints that I had made and never done anything with.  By the time I'd finished clearing out the closet (and endeavour that took a good hour and a half), I had a huge stack of photographs.  Even if I tried to use every one of the photographs for cards, I'd be sending cards until I was old enough to use a walker.

I stood there, staring at the massive pile.

And then, I had an idea.


I've decided the large pile into three equal stacks (one of them shown, above).  Each stack now contains:

  • 13 individual and unique prints, each of them different from the other, each at least 8x10", signed on the back; and
  • a stack of unsigned 4x6 prints or smaller, many of them duplicates -- lots of duplicates.  I have no idea how many are in each stack;

and I've decided to do a giveaway here on the site. 

So simply leave a comment below including the phrase "I'm in," and I'll enter you into a random drawing to win one of the three stacks of photos.  For the most part, the photos have at one time or another appeared on Chookooloonks over the last 7 years or so -- and I will be honest with you, these are older photos, so I'd like to think that my photography has gotten better over time.  But I figured if you're a collage artist or a scrapbooker or want to make your own greeting cards, or heck, just like to collect old photographs, you guys will probably find something better to do with them than I.

(And if you want to comment but have no interest in receiving the photographs, go ahead and leave a comment without the phrase "I'm in," and I won't include you in the giveaway.  I totally get it if getting a stack of random photos from a stranger isn't your cup of tea.  After all, I'm getting rid of them myself, yes?)

So there you go.  I'll announce the winner in Wednesday's post.  Good luck!

* * * * * * *

(Incidentally, some outstanding business:   congrats to Mary, who commented "Wonderful photo of the iris-I feel like I could stare into in for hours and still find something to evoke a new feeling. Also, thanks for the heads-up on the Bryson book...I could use a laugh or two or ten (love his work). And, finally, Happy Mother's Day to you...aren't you lucky to have your lovely girl to teach you so many different lessons about life. Enjoy."   Mary won the signed copy of my friend Hélène's book, Plate to Pixel!  Congrats, Mary -- keep an eye out for my email, requesting your snail mail address!)


Have a great week, everybody.

Top image:  Photographed with my Nikon D300, 50mm lens.  aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/5000, ISO 200.


 Song: Hard time killing floor blues, as performed by Chris Thomas King.  No real meaning behind featuring this song today -- I just love it.