Amsterdam Birds, Selling Used Books, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

My friend Donna’s planning a trip to Amsterdam, and I’m getting nostalgic about the trip Sam and I took last fall. On a morning walk to the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, we found lots of monochromatic images.

Misericord Owl - Amsterdam Oude Kerk

Misericord Owl – Amsterdam Oude Kerk

Oude Kerk interior - Amsterdam

Oude Kerk interior — choir stalls on the right.

I found lots of birds that day (OK, I’m always collecting pictures of chickens). Here’s a handsome tombstone.

Oude Kerk tombstone

Amsterdam gull - across the street from Our Lord in the Attic

One more bird – across the street from Our Lord in the Attic.

Meanwhile, here on the homefront, I haven’t been wasting my time. Just a couple of weeks ago, Bob’s vintage 1909 Harvard Classics “Five Foot Shelf of Books” went to a happy home courtesy of eBay, as did the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica set I sold earlier in the summer.

Harvard Classics Five Foot Shelf of Books

Even the Harvard Classics are monochromatic.

My Amazon book sales have been slow, so those two sales helped a lot on the clearing out. I’ve never thought of books as “by the pound” but mailing those out, I realized that, combined, they totaled over 150 pounds of books.  As of today, I sorted out another box full and loaded them up to donate to the library tomorrow morning. I’m so sticky fingered about books that I always find it hard to let them go.

I have to buckle down now, though. On that library trip tomorrow I’ll be picking up a copy of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We’ll see if that speeds up my basement cleaning project.

Wish me luck?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

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23 thoughts on “Amsterdam Birds, Selling Used Books, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

  1. Nice selection of monochromatic photos. I purchased The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and followed her suggestions. First with emptying the closets and placing every piece of clothing on the floor. I released and my closet is organized and color coordinated. Very easy to find everything. My drawers are neat and organized with only what I need. With the books, I piled them all on the floor. clapped to move the energy and then went through very quickly placing 200 books in the donate pile. The trick is to not open the book. Hope you love this book as much as I did. My house flows and feels very welcoming now. Looking forward to reading of your progress:)

    • Ah-ha– that explains why it’s taken me so long to go through the books! Not opening the books themselves will be really hard — I’m always curious about what they are and where they came from, and I get caught up. I’m glad to hear it worked so well for you, and hope it helps my progress too.

      • Opening them brings memories and thoughts about possibly reading them again or making excuses for keeping them. This has been my issue. Recently I have this urge to rid the house of all clutter even if the items are loves. Sometimes I wake and think, this stuff has got to go:) Then after it is gone I sometimes miss it or look for it because I need it. Hope you are able to release and not look back.

      • Oh yes, I always thought that if I liked the book, I would want to read it again. –And sometimes I have. Or if I’m just unpacking a box of Bob’s books I want to see what he was reading (or meant to read) earlier in life, and then I get fascinated by looking through the book and reading the flap copy. I sound like sorting the books is a hopeless task, but, I am eventually getting through it. I see now that it could have gone a lot faster, but this way it was a richer experience. I guess I have to look before releasing.

      • Agree with the richer experience. There are times going through the books I am flooded with memories of a time or place when I read the book. Some of those I opened remain and that is fine. There are some things that need time. Not so much for my clothing but the books mean more to me as well. I had four large bins with paperwork and material from a Congressional Fellowship that meant the world to me. Those four bins were heavy and took up a lot of closet space. One day I went through and emptied one. Then there were three for a couple of years. It was a move cross-country that caused me to downsize and I kept only what fit in a small bin because I did like knowing this is still with me. Now I am down to a couple of momentos. Sounds like books were your connection with Bob and have a much deeper meaning. Enjoying the memories and learning more about him may be very good for the healing process. Release what isn’t working and let the rest time its time. You will know when you are ready, no sense rushing it. Whatever works for you is the right thing! Love and Light!

      • When I retired I brought home four boxes of “stuff” from my desk and file cabinet, things accumulated over 2 or 3 decades — they sat in my garage for a few months, then I started to move them to the basement and first took a look through. “Why did I keep all this stuff?” I thought. But, that was my own stuff and, goodbye boxes, easier to discard and recycle. As time goes by, the rest is becoming easier too. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences — Sandy

  2. That handsome tombstone is one of its kind. Very clever, whoever did it. It almost looks like you had to plant your right hand in cement to get the shape of the bird’s tail. That is certainly a collection of Harvard Classics, and I bet a collector’s item too. I don’t see them being sold most bookstores, the vintage kind, so I hope they found a good home.

    Always hard letting go of anything especially if we have them right by our side, even if we do not know it. They are always there, lurking, vying for our attention and they can be sort of “back up company” when we are bored 😀

    • The local used-book store told me they weren’t interested in the encyclopedias or in the Harvard Classics — odd, when they were so easy to sell on eBay. And on the hand-shaped chicken– so funny, that reminded me of grade school and drawing turkeys for our Thanksgiving Holiday (aka “turkey-day”). The teachers had us draw around our hands (with fingers splayed), then make the outline into a turkey, with the thumbs for heads.

      • Perhaps the bookstores didn’t know where to put such a large collection of books. Or they were afraid they’d sit there on the shelf ages collecting dust…maybe their clientele are fans of modern books, who knows.

        This arts talk reminds me of the time in school where I made colourful paintings using my handprints – slapping my painted palms onto blank canvases. Fun days.

      • Ah, you’re right, the books would take up a lot of shelf space.
        On painted palms — historically, handprints were the some of the first paintings people ever did. When we do that as children, we’re linked to our ancestors who were inventing cave art all those thousands of years ago. Kind of a nice thought, isn’t it?

      • It is a nice thought. Painting with hands sounds so primal in that sense when you link it to cave drawings. When we paint with our hands, we literally see our own reflections in our works of art.

      • I love what you said about it being primal, and that we see our own reflections. That reminded me of biology class (long ago) and “ontology recapitulates philogeny” – then I had to google it to figure out how to spell it. Now I’m sad to see that, though it may be true in our sense of children’s early art mirroring humankind’s early art, apparently I had remembered the theory but not the part about it being disproven. Oh well, happily, I also see that it’s readily available on a T-shirt. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic - Sylvain LANDRY

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