Curiosities of a Curio Cabinet.

Before I go any further in this post I need to state that this is NOT the “Flylady way” of cleaning.  I am having to cram three months of work in a little over a month and a half.

We got home from the road around November 8th.  The first couple of weeks were focused on getting my paperwork done while all the crap surrounded me and the dust kept piling up.  Joe had so many doctor appointments during those weeks that it was difficult to stay completely focused on my tasks.  Then Thanksgiving arrived and there were two days of feast prep while I stood in as Joe’s “Sous Chef”.  The day after Thanksgiving I got back to my paperwork for another couple of weeks.  Once the paperwork was out of the way then I could turn  my attention to the house cleaning.

I DO NOT advise anyone to take on these big projects.  I have been a bit snappy of late because I have not had much down time since we got home.  The ungrateful martyr has shown herself a time or two…..on Christmas Day to be exact…..because I’m getting really tired.

Usually, or at least in the past five years, I have until late March or mid April to begin thinking about getting back on the road with Joe.  He normally goes out by himself from January through March leaving me to take the time I need to get this work done and spread it over three months.  Not this year.  Due to Joe’s many illnesses we have to get back to work to pay the mounting medical bills.

Whine over.

This is a photo from my winter cleaning of 2011.  The red bag holds our Christmas tree.  The rolling cart to the left, along with the piles of Joe’s boxes and some of my junk, had been hidden from you by the tree.

A rolling cart in the corner

This little section of wall was the next days work.  Yesterday’s post I left off with the bookcases and wire hanging.  Once again, I had a goal of four hours to do the deep cleaning.  I set my timer for 15 minutes, as I have done all along.

The current cleaning project

The first part was to get the furniture moved out into the middle of the room….except for the Curio Cabinet, that stayed right were it was.  I vacuumed the wall and top of the curtain.  The next 15 minutes were spent on the carpet where my recliner chair had been and I used an upholstery tool for my vacuum on my chair to remove all the dust.  The next 15 minutes was spent in vacuuming and dusting the rolling cart and getting all the CDs and office supplies rounded up and stored away.

Cart moved

That case of printer paper which had taken up residence out in the middle of the floor had been emptied and….

Case of paper

Stored away in the bottom area of the rolling cart.  Along with my file folders.

Office supplies stored

I have a “love/hate” relationship with my Curio Cabinet.  I LOVE it because it houses all the strange treasures we accumulate in our travels. I HATE it because it is all glass and I have not found a product – other than plain old straight vinegar – to clean glass without leaving streaks.

Curio Cabinet before

The top shelf holds the blown glass pieces that Joe would bring home to me before I started driving.  The odd mixture of things he found I hold dear.  Now for an “awwww, that is so sweet” moment.  Teary eyed, Joe told me this about why he bought me little things from the road.

  • “When I was out on the road by myself I missed having you with me.  Waking up alone, eating alone, and being alone was not fun for me.  When I stopped at a truck stop and saw something that I thought you would like to have I kept it with me, right beside me, as I drove trying to get home.  That way, I actually had YOU right next to me.  Once I got home and gave the thing to you then I had the task of finding something else to bring you.  Just so I would have a piece of you with me all the time.”

Top shelf

The second shelf is an odd mixture of things.  Small military vehicles my Sister gave to Joe one Christmas, a box of cigarettes my Son-In-Law brought home from his trip to China, and more of the glass items from Joe.  Also the wash cloth animal thing we found on our bed at Disney World when we stayed there.  Don’t tell them we stole their wash cloths 😉

Second shelf

The next shelf is a mixture of Joe’s magical mechanical glass things, knives he has found, more of the glass from Joe, and the most treasured items are the “Thank You” gifts from some of the military people we meet on the road and buy their meals.

Third shelf

We’ve had several military personnel cut the badges off their uniforms and give them to us.  We so appreciate our United States Military people who volunteer their lives to keep us safe.  Neither Joe, nor I, agree with the war effort but we DO SUPPORT the men and women that sacrifice family and home for us.

Military badges

We were given a “Coin” by one person.  These don’t have a financial value but they do have a value for the Regiment, or whatever it is called that the soldier belongs to.  These coins are HEAVY and they are exquisite.  This is the back side of the coin.

Military coin back

This is the front side of the coin.

Military coin front

Down to the next shelf.  Joe’s collection of hats.  The yellow one is from his business, long ago, when he was a crop duster in Kansas.  Listening to his stories of his younger days I’m so glad I met him when he was older.  He was quite an arrogant show off in his younger days.  I have been after him for several years to get his stories written down.  He has some fantastic stories to tell.

Fourth shelf

Finally, the bottom shelf .  Our trip to Oklahoma City to see the “Phantom Of The Opera”.  I didn’t want to go to an opera.  I dug my feet in, whined a lot, gave Joe a miserable several days.  AM I GLAD HE DIDN’T CAVE IN.  I would have missed out on something fantastic.  There is memorabilia from his Prostate Cancer treatments, money from Canada when he delivered trucks to Kamloops, Canada a couple years back, gifts from  his children, and just oddities of our lives.

Bottom of cabinet

Once that monster was cleaned inside and out, leaving the house to smell strongly of vinegar I went on to the paper shredder.  Good grief, that thing can make a ton of paper dust.

Paper shredder

We traded out a microwave cart from the kitchen to hold our printers.  More of the wire hanging was done in this corner and the rest of the walls were vacuumed as was the floor.

Microwave cart as printer station

This used to be the “Junk Drawer” in the kitchen.  Now it is empty 😀

Empty drawer

More office supplies live in the bottom of the cabinet where empty flower vases and rolls of packing tape used to live.  The hair clippers I use on Joe remain in this cabinet because there is no place else to store them.


This section took just a little over three hours to do.  I called it a day and quit.  By this time my back is sore, my arms are sore, and I’m waffling between being grumpy and totally stoked because my living room is getting clean.


  1. Progress made in small increments creates HUGE changes.
  2. As you walk into the room you are working on praise yourself for the work you have already done.
  3. DON’T focus on the work yet to do.  That will dishearten you and we don’t want that.
  4. Repurpose furniture to fit your needs.  It might not fit in with the furniture you do have but it serves a purpose.
  5. What are your most cherished things?  Do you have a way to display them?  Find a way to put some of YOU in the space.  Honor yourself by doing that.  This little thing means that you care about  yourself and are honoring your spirit.

Tomorrow’s post will be about more wires and the tangled web they weave in our lives.

More wires



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

3 responses to “Curiosities of a Curio Cabinet.

  • JasmineKyleSings

    Keep going it’s looking great!!!

  • gardenpinks

    It is looking great Leslie. Just as a matter of interest how big is your sitting room? I am curious because you manage to fit so much in there 🙂 It amazes me just how much room printers and office supplies take up, I’ve got reams of printer paper squirreled away all over the place!! I use an online office supply outlet and when their boxes of printer paper are on special offer I order a box of 5 reams of paper and then wonder where the heck to store it all 🙂 Keep going Leslie and don’t get the grumps – you can see where you have been! When our girls used to get grumpy because they had to tidy up their messy bedrooms I used to tell them there was no need for the grumps it was their mess 😀
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Our sitting room is 15′ by 15′. Square footage I think is 225′. Too small all the big stuff we have in it. A professional decorator would be appalled!

      I get the grumps because of my problem of too much to do in so little time. If I would just ignore most of this stuff I’d be even grumpier 😦

      I purchase a case of printer paper yearly. 10 reams per case. 500 sheets of paper in each ream. I go through half, or better, doing my paperwork. Grrrr.

      Thank you, Lynn. My house is clean, finally and I’m playing in my room now :D. Grumps are over 😀

      I see you have a new blog posting. I’ll be over in just a bit.

      Love you – Leslie

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