Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Morphiing 'Office'

Over the weekend I rearranged my workstation here at my Mom's yet again and as I did so I was trying to count the previous times and visualize them in the right order. I've taken pics of most of them except the very earliest one or two before it occurred to me.

This top picture is of the latest iteration. Or at least part of it. The area to the left of the laptop here is shown at the end.

The first workstation was in a tight corner in the family office that was once my Dad's and is now where my nephew spends most of his time gaming or doing school work. That only lasted the first night as I could see it had no possibilities. No room, no light and no privacy.

The next morning upon waking, I moved my desk in beside the bed in my Mom's room which I'm sharing with her. That first week or so there was a chair and a small chest up near the head of the bed on my side so my desk had to be near the foot and I sometime slept with my head at the foot so I could stay plugged into the headphones to listen to music or meditations as I fell asleep.

On New Year's Eve a couple hours before my shins had their fateful encounter with the dastardly dishwasher door, I moved the chest down near the foot of the bed after clearing a mountain of papers, books and magazines off of it some of which had been there since this was my Dad's side of the bed. This allowed me to have the desk near the head of the bed and I was very glad for that a week later after the ER visit and doctor's orders to stay off my leg until the swelling and signs of infection were gone.

These next two pictures were taken the evening I got back from the ER January 6th and was preparing my little nest for the duration. I didn't have to stay in bed 24/7. I usually moved my 'nest' out to the living room couch in the afternoons and stayed there until Mom headed for bed.

The last week of January and the First week of February as the restrictions against being on my leg were lifted, I did another major rearrangement to make room for my reference books and notebooks and files within reach.

I turned around the purple chair full of stuffed raccoons which I'd buried in my sweaters and PJs and stuffed the raccoons under and behind it and moved my wardrobe into the other room. Then lay a board across its arms to act as a shelf.

That was the week I knocked my coffee over on that board while putting a clipboard back in its place and ended up with coffee stains and water damage to three of my reference books and nearly began bawling like a baby in front of my Mom's physical therapist who was working with her on the other side of the bed as it happened.

It was about that time that my sister fixed the printer that my laptop had been introduced to on my visit in 2007 and suggested setting it up in here. Which is when I restarted the family photo scanning project I began in 2007.

Only a few days after pictures 4, 5 and 6 were taken my sister took me to the library and let me check out on her card. And again five days after that. For the next ten weeks I had upwards of twenty more books to make room for. And to move when the rearrangements continued.

And they did continue. I'm wondering if there is something pathological with me and re-arranging. Sometimes I feel like I do more re-arranging and re-organizing of things then I actually do productive things with and in the space.

Anyway. for the most part the 4th through the 6th pictures represent the way my workstation looked until at least late March. Even early April.

I can't remember without scrounging in my old posts when my sister and I discovered that my sitting on the edge of the bed was damaging the mattress.

At that point I had to either find another seat in here or move my workstation into another room.

So I took the board off the purple chair and moved the blue plastic drawer tower over beside it with one shelf of carefully selected reference books atop it.

When working, I was penned in behind my laptop and anything I didn't have either on that shelf to my right or the bed to my left I would have to get up to go after it, braving the distraction infested waters of this house.

The rest of the books, notebooks and files were in two boxes stacked on the small chest where the printer had been and I moved my Mom's sewing machine bench over for the printer to set on.

This was where I spent most of the day of the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon. Sitting in the raccoon's lap.

Which was April 18. So it wasn't long after that when I discovered that the weight of that board and books was crushing that plastic drawer tower so that the drawers couldn't be opened and closed.


So I had to get them off.


And to do that, I moved the lightest thing, the printer, onto the plastic drawer tower. I put my Mom's sewing machine bench in place of the purple chair which I moved past the foot of the bed and put the board across its arms again on which I kept my crochet and needlework projects for a short time.

This left a very narrow path for me to get around the foot of the bed. An interesting trek in the dark.

The books that had been on the plastic drawer tower were added to those in the box on the little chest making it two rows deep.

I hated this set-up from the first day I spent with it. I had to try to predict every item I might need during a session and bring it over to the bed, moving my pillows to the foot to make room for books and sewing. Setting up ate into the time for work. The printer/scanner was nearly impossible to use while sitting next to it like that and was constantly in the way of my elbow while typing. And my poor tailbone hated that bench.

So a couple weeks ago I moved the bench next to the little chest and put the printer on it. And for a seat, I moved in the shower-chair which my Dad used during his battle with cancer.

But I liked this setup little better because it was now such a tight fit that I couldn't move my desk without knocking it against something which risked disturbing my Mom's sleep. And as before when the printer was on the bench it was too low to reach without stressing my lower back. So using it for more than a single quick print or scan was not an option.

When I learned my Mom was spending the weekend with my brother's family in Portland, I made plans to use the night or nights she was gone to get cracking on the family photo scanning again. I imagined myself zipping those photos onto and off the scanner bed.

So the moment my sister and Mom left Saturday afternoon, I began to rearrange again.

And while I was at it, fetched all the boxes of photos from the closet in the family's office, thinking I would keep them on Mom's side of the bed until her return as a goad to try to get as many finished with as I could before having to move them back out.

But then I found a way to make room for them over in my 'office.'

But this meant sending my books further into exile past the foot of the bed onto the board on the purple chair.

Which makes it very hard to go after anything I didn't think to bring over before my Mom goes to bed and the only light is the lamp beside me. Hard to put them away without disturbing her when I'm ready to lay down myself. Usually that means piling everything on the chair.

After all of that, I never did get to work on the photo scanning while Mom was gone nor have I yet. The explanation for that has been in the previous posts--my sister decided to spring-clean and rearrange the living room Saturday night and Sunday was taken up with computer maintenance tasks and Monday and Tuesday my attention was on the sweat pea sweater embroidery project which did some morphing of its own which I'll probably describe in tomorrow's post.

1 tell me a story:

Jamie 5/27/2009 9:40 PM  

looks like you all have been busy...

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