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All last week, it was cloudy and gray with Winter temperatures. And then, two days of freezing rain.

This year’s crocuses never had a chance. No wonder the raccoons got desperate.

Top Cat and I woke up in the middle of the night. Top Cat said he heard the cats knocking over things in my work room. So I put on my bathrobe and stumbled down the hall, turned on the light in my workroom, and found two sleepy cats blinking at me. And everything was in place…

It wasn’t until we got up for reals in the morning and I went into the pantry that I figured out who and want was going bump in the night. Raccoons had got through the cat door — and made it past our crack team of Watch Cats — and raided our stash of Raisin Bran and Teriyaki Sauce, which they mixed together with a five-pound jar of sugar (which was made of glass, which broke). Yum.

It was while Top Cat and I were picking the buffet off the floor that we came across a heavy Tupperware box containing a five-piece set of silverware, service for 12. The Tupperware storage box, that’s all me — I have three other sets of silverware stored in Tupperware boxes (when Top Cat and I got married and combined our households, it turned out we had a lot of silverware). But neither of us can remember seeing this 60-piece set before (with four serving pieces). It looks to be brand new, but we know we certainly did’t get it as a  wedding gift, and we certainly didn’t buy the stuff ourselves, and we would never have taken it from a relative’s estate because we refuse to take any more stuff from relatives…

When 60 pieces of silverware can show up out of the blue, this proves that we still have too much stuff. Which brings me to the Way of the Owl.

One of the dear faithful readers of this blog recommended this book to me and it’s a beaut. I’ve always had a fondness for owls (doesn’t everybody?) but this book turned my vague affection into love. Go read it.

I like owls so much that I’ve acquired a fair bit of owl stuff, stuff that I’ve gone through this past Winter during my Great Get Rid of Stuff mood, stuff that is packed up for the day when Top Cat and I drive upstate to  donate all our stuff the thrift shop that benefits the Heart of the Catskills Animal Shelter.

But I had second thoughts about my owl stuff, after reading this book, Wesley the Owl. All of a sudden, I thought Oh my DoG, I have to keep all my owl stuff!

So I went and found all my owl stuff and I unpacked it and I sorted it, and I was ready to put it all back in my jewelry box when I remembered the Way of the Owl.

 The Way of the Owl has no use for jewelry. In fact, the Way of the Owl has no use for anything but love for a life-long mate and plenty of tasty mice. And I already have my life-long mate, and as the raccoons can tell you, there’s plenty of  tasty things in the pantry.

So in the end, I picked one piece from each group of owl stuff (below):

So except for the four pieces that I’m keeping, all these owls will be joining the rest of my stuff headed for that great animal shelter/ thrift shop in the country:

That’s one whole jewelry box of Trifari, with another jewelry box of Coro, Sara Coventry, and Craft; and another box of vintage ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s necklaces, earrings, and brooches; and about half a dozen pieces of sterling silver. There’s about 200 pieces in all.

How did I amass so much stuff? Well, I like pretty things. I like questing for treasures. I like collecting in themes. I like wearing three or four brooches at once. I like the stories that each piece reminds me of.

But I’ve enjoyed these pieces already and I promised that I would donate them to a good cause, and there’s no better cause than supporting the good work done at the animal shelter, and there’s no better way to be than keeping a promise to your fellow creatures.

That’s the Way of the Owl.

6 comments to Still Too Much Stuff.

  • Deborah

    We’ve had squirrels come in through the dog door and wreak a little havoc, but it only leads to the screened-in porch, not the house. So glad for that. I saw a Carolina wren looking under the flap the other day, but it didn’t come in.

    Good ole Wesley! Love him. I can’t stop watching the Decorah eagles on livecam.

    It seems a little weird to feel comforted by the fact that you don’t remember where the silverware came from, but I do. I do that, mostly with books (to the point I started writing where & when I bought it in it).

  • Carol

    Please tell us which owls you kept. (I hope you kept the owl with the “ivory-looking” eyes and breast. It’s beautiful. The animal shelter should make a lot of money. Lots of folks collect vintage jewelry. We never had an animal break in the house, but there was an explosion in my parent’s kitchen one night. Mother had jars of canned ketchup in a cabinet and it all just “popped”. The kitchen looked like a crime scene.

  • JOAN

    I’ll be monitoring one of the (manmade) Burrowing owl nest sites/burrows for this season, collecting data to be compiled and evaluated by the Fish and Wildlife Service locally. The burrows (natural) are being mowed over by heavy equipment for housing development and a huge detention basin for flood control. ALL the natural burrows in the vicinity of the city park have been destroyed. Habitat loss is a huge problem for this little birds. I don’t hold out much hope for them as the human activity level will increase with development of the park “wilderness” area…ripping out the native trees to plant ornamentals and exotics…must have that tended to, landscaped appearance. UGH!

    I’m sorry you have to get rid of your owl collection, but I do understand the need to purge…I’m in the same mode.

  • Was the silver cutlery a ‘thank you’ present from the racoons, perhaps?
    (I am not going to mention all the owl stuff in case I find myself begging you to hang on to it …)

  • Carol

    Oh are we voting on what you kept! I want to cast mu vote too. The small owl pin in the last photo along the top-silver with red eyes!! Please say you kept him.
    Great collection, you are very generous to donate them all. They are going to a good cause.

    I haven’t started finding things yet that I have no idea where came from. I am guessing this is a warning to me for future happenings.

  • Susie Land

    Not voting on your stuff, I read Wesley, who doesn’t think owls are neat? But I never had owl jewelry – my dad had a fake owl he kept on a wardrobe in the bedroom. It had shiny glass eyes that caught the light in the dark and gave me nightmares! I was always afraid to go in my parents room because of that owl…

    A great read, recommending a book and maybe a new collection? The Sound Of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

    I swear, I won’t ever feel the same about snails in the garden…and how about a gold snail necklace?

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