Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Volumes and Violins ( #AtoZChallenge )


The volume of stuff in our house is not disproportionately frightful in the sense of hoarding--right now everything in our house could probably fit into our living room with a comfortable pathway to other parts of our house.  But then there would be new space for more things.  That's where the scary starts...


Volumes



      In a number of places throughout our home you can find volumes of books.  Most of them are encyclopedias ranging from child level to adults.  About half of these are in Spanish.  I wonder how many homes still have encyclopedia sets? 

     When I was growing up, we had a set of Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedias that I used from elementary school until college.  That old set sat on a living room book shelf for decades.  Over the years my mother added new encyclopedia sets.  It seemed like any respectable home forty years ago had at least some type of encyclopedia.

      Now I don't know that encyclopedias are an especially wise investment for most families.  After all much of the information one might research can readily be found on the internet.  Still, I find myself looking things up in our encyclopedias.  When that happens I sometimes start getting lost in the book as I read through entries that catch my attention.

       And when that happens I feel like a kid again.  Back when I was a kid the encyclopedia was one of my favorite reading materials.  My reading habits back then probably are partly responsible for my eclectic interests.  A couple of encyclopedia sets might not be bad to have around the house, but maybe we have a few too many.  Volumes of encyclopedias need to go.   Now to find the party who is looking for rather outdated encyclopedia sets that are in very good condition.

And Violins



       I've got a few violins around the house, but I could only easily find one for my photo.  One violin that I used to use in my juggling act is packed with the props in the garage.  My electric violin must be in my office closet, but I'm not about to tackle digging that out quite yet.  Also sitting out in my office are a mandolin, a keyboard, and two guitars.  I could supply a band.   

       Unfortunately, I rarely play any of these instruments any more.  I probably should take the time to fiddle around occasionally, but there are a lot of things that I probably should do.  Like my juggling props I consider my instruments tools of my trade.  No telling when having them around could come in handy.  The violins are staying and that's my verdict!

       Do you still own any encyclopedias?   Did you grow up with encyclopedias in your home?   Do you have any musical instruments that you used to play but haven't in a long while?






35 comments:

  1. Loded the read Lee, you are certainly coming up with some interesting words as the challenge progresses.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I didn't have to look far for these words. Those encyclopedias are always right in front of me.

      Lee

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  2. We had a set of Funk and Wagnalls, too. I wish my mom had kept them. There was a picture of one of the largest snakes in the world that I can't find anywhere online. The snake wasn't the longest, but he was as wide as a man and it was such an impressive photo.

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    1. L.Diane, the F&W set really was a pretty good reference series--just made much more cheaply than the more prestigious sets. I'd find so many fascinating pictures in ours and stories about interesting things.

      Lee

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  3. I once had instruments and encyclopedias. Now, no encyclopedias. I do have several recorders. We gave the rest away.
    http://findingeliza.com/

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    1. Kristin, I should probably add a recorder to my ensemble. I'm keeping all of my instruments for a while and probably hand them down to my kids.

      Lee

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  4. I grew up with a 1965 encyclopedia set that came from my dad, and some 1971 yearbooks (I think that's what they were) with then-updated information about many of the subjects. They were all very out of date even back in the Nineties, when I used them. I remember finding foreign character surnames and forenames from those encyclopedias, without taking the time to ascertain if those were names only used by royalty, members of certain religions, etc., as well as not understanding yet that Russian surnames are gendered.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, encyclopedias and other similar reference books started becoming outdated on the day they were printed. That's the advantage online reference (when it's true). Still the books are fun to peruse. A whole different experience.

      Lee

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  5. Oops, I just asked about encyclopedias on your U post, then came here. Question answered.

    I grew up with a set and my mom might still have them, I'm not sure. I use the internet now instead. If only I had any musical talent, I might have instruments. I've never had a lesson on any instrument. That is one thing I'd go back and change if I could.

    Emily In Ecuador

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    1. Emily, I just popped over to respond to your previous comment.

      Music requires a lot of dedication even to learn just the basics. But it's like juggling and requires practice.

      Lee

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  6. My eldest daughter tells me I have to release the 'banjo whisperer' in me. I own 7. But I do play them. lol My theory is that somebody has to rescue them :)
    Stephanie Finnell
    @randallbychance from
    Katy Trail Creations

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    1. Stephanie, I've heard that if you don't maintain and play an instrument it will fall apart. In any case it's probably better for somebody to play them than keep them in storage. Do you keep any banjos on display? They would make kind of cool wall hangings.

      Lee

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    2. Sorry so late in replying. Been a well of a heek. ;) Yes I do keep a 'wall' of instruments. It reminds me to play. lol But I only keep a few out due to fear of theft. No need in offering too much

      Delete
  7. We never had encyclopedias at home. We always went to the library to use theirs. I always heard that encyclopedias weren't an especially good investment, because information in them changes so frequently.

    I haven't been able to play any of my guitars since the stroke. My right (picking) hand was affected. I have a few: two six-string acoustics, a couple of classicals, two electrics, a twelve-string acoustic, and a travel guitar. I wonder how much of it is actual physical limitations and how much is my reluctance to suck at it while I get myself back into shape.

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    1. John, the supermarket encyclopedias like we had at home amounted to a weekly investment of a dollar or so per volume. Those fancy sets were typically over a thousand, but made to last several lifetimes if well cared for. There was always some good solid info that helped with school reports and such, but the yearbooks were necessary on the expensive sets.

      I think you should go ahead and suck it up and suck at it for a while. Might be good therapy and you might be surprised at what you can do.

      Lee

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  8. oh, how I wanted to have encyclopedias! A salesman came to our farmhouse to share his wares. I held A in my hands as I raced to the LR. It was magic.

    We didn't get the set ($$) but it was a lifelong love I still carry with me.

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    1. Susan, my parents would have never sprung for one of those premium sets and I always envied my friends who did have a set in their house. Well, there was probably only one friend that I can think of whose family would have had that set. Not many households could afford that.

      We'll probably keep our Britannica set that we have now even though it's nearly 30 years old. It's in like new condition and it does look nice on the living room bookshelves.

      Lee

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  9. We used to have encyclopedias but now I'm married and my husband thinks he knows everything.

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    1. Eve, if he's like me then he probably does know everything.

      Lee

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  10. Growing up we had Encyclopedia Brittanica but when I was married with young children we couldn't afford to get them and by the time the kids needed them for school projects it was just as easy to go to the library. Wish I still had the set we had growing up.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Janet, you were one of those lucky kids. The set might be nice to have, but the one you had as a child would be likely very outdated now.

      Lee

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  11. Here's a question for ya, Arlee... Do you think yesteryear's encyclopedias were more accurate that the information we find disseminated on the internet today?

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    1. Calensariel, collectively on the whole I do think the printed books were more accurate. There is plenty of good knowledge to be found on the internet, but one has to be careful when using some of it.

      Lee

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    2. Yep. I think "information" was held to a higher standard back then.

      Delete
  12. Impressive collection there Lee. We had encyclopedia's for the children when they were small but gave them away when grown up. I don't remember as a child having them? We probably used the library. I have plenty reference books that I use often including a rather old The MacMillan Encyclopedia ..

    No, no instruments here at home .. at our holiday home we have a piano. The only thing I can play is the fool ..

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    1. Susan S, I guess a lot of people didn't have encyclopedias not only because of cost, but maybe more so because they didn't have a good place to put them.

      A piano would be nice to have. I wish I had learned to play a piano.

      Lee

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  13. Great theme this year, Arlee! We didn't have a big set of Encyclopedias. We had one big book of everything that I poured over. It also came in handy as a booster seat when a toddler needed to sit at the table!
    It would be hard to get rid of instruments, but maybe a donation to a youth orchestra to help out a kid who needs one?
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Mary, "a big book of everything" is a good reference source to have on hand to read and to sit on. My grandkids all seem to be learning to play instruments. Probably one day my instruments will go to them. A donation elsewhere would be a good thing as well.

      Lee

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  14. The encyclopedia shelf was the first I was allowed to read in the house library (without supervision) ;-)
    I spent hours on end soaking up information! The closest thing I have to that now is a dated Guinness Book and a vintage Webster's Dictionary.
    Just curious, how did your violin fit into your juggling act?

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    1. Diedre, I still could read the encyclopedia every day for hours.

      I was introduced as a classical violinist, then I'd go into some silly shtick which led into juggling--I was "the Juggling Violinist".

      Lee

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  15. Grew up with Encyclopedia Britannica volumes as well as other child versions. And when my mum died, there were old 19th century copies in her house as well as newer editions. I got the most modern ones as my brother kept the best ones (I hope).

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    1. Roland, a fine well-preserved set of encyclopedias is worth keeping and even interesting to read. They look good on a bookshelf.

      Lee

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  16. I remember having the World Book series. Funny how we'd use that for report writing in school if we couldn't get to the library for other references.

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    1. Sue, the World Book was my favorite. I don't remember growing up with a set, but I guess my mother got one when my brothers and sisters were growing up. If I didn't have to cite other sources, I'd always write my reports with the encyclopedia.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I still have my parents set of encyclopedias and I still look into it and enjoy seeing how things have changed. I used to play piano and enjoyed it but University got in the way and I gave it up.

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