Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Five, Decluttering Edition

I haven't participated in the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five for quite a while now. I suppose it is time, being fall and all--and hoping that doing this one will help me get motivated to clean up the totally trashed home office in which I am sitting at this moment...
1. Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?
Both. No, really. I am not a hoarder (that is my beloved spouse, actually) but I can accumulate way too much stuff, and then I reach a point where I say, "Enough, already! Out with this stuff!" and I become a minimalist. I wish I'd be a consistent minimalist.

2. Name one important object (could be an heirloom) that you will never part with.

We have a Mah Jong set that belonged to my in laws that has an interesting history. (The tile game of Mah Jong is nothing like the online versions, btw.) This game originated in China, and is usually a gambling game. (Wang of Pearl Buck's classic, The Good Earth , spends too much time at the Mah John parlor. Gambling is not required, however. Our set, we are told, spent time in India during the British colonial period, and during W.W. II stayed out on a table so that officers coming in could play, and when they left another just continued on in a game that lasted the length of the war. The tiles are bamboo and ivory, with beautiful hand carved and painted faces. The box that contains them is teak with an inlaid ivory dragon. We think our set dates from the heyday of Mah Jong, which was the 1920s. Handling the tiles is an aesthetic pleasure all by itself. Our set has travelled with us all over the country. During our USMC days we would teach the game to a new couple at each duty station so we'd have someone to play it with us. Nowadays a family get-together with the kids, such as Thanksgiving, is not complete without several hours of playing the game.

3. What is the oldest item in your closet? Does it still fit???
I don't have stuff in my closet that does not fit. I keep them for a while and then...well, see answer to question number one.

4.Yard sales- love 'em or hate 'em ?

I usually hate them. My husband makes up for it though. I think he is addicted to yard sales. To be fair, I must admit that he has found some great stuff. Like the wooden cradle he found last year about this time. If we pass up several yard sale signs and he does not stop, he starts telling me he wants "husband points" in his account. Yeah, right!

5. Name a recycling habit you really want to get into.

I can't think of one, but I am open to suggestions!


Jennifer said...

mompriest suggested composting as a recycling habit, and I thought that was a great idea!

I've never played mah jong, what is it like?

oh, and note the new blog (used to be at ordinary time)

Anonymous said...

oh, and great play! :)

Anonymous said...

That looks like a really great mah jongg set--I've never played, but ahve seen the game played back when I was in grad school. It seemed very complicated!

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Kievas, when you and the wife and I and the husband meet--we will show you.

It seems more complicated than it really is. It does take a while to learn to play, but it is actually kind of like rummy or gin, only minus the cards.

Basically you are trying to collect three's of a kind (a pahn) or fours of a kind (a kahn). There are many variations, but that is the basic idea. The one with all pahns and kahns wins the round. We almost never finish a game in one sitting, because a game consists of 16 rounds. We usually start one evening and finish the next...or maybe even the next visit. We have come up with some "cheater" ways to shorten the process.

DannyG said...

Oldest thing in the closet: That would be my brother's fraternity jacket which he gave to me 20 yrs later when I pledged the same fraternity. I have kept it hoping one of his sons would follow the tradition, but no joy. He has two grandsons, though, so there is yet hope that I can pass it along.