"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: spring cleaning

“utopia in my own backyard” . . . (or at least in my pantry!)

a flexible glass tube flower vase "lost" and now "found" . . .

a flexible glass tube flower vase “lost” and now “found” . . .

I’ve been doing a massive Spring cleaning out of my pantry. It is a nice-sized room that adjoins our living space and also serves as a passageway of sorts to our back deck where we grill and have planters of kitchen herbs for three seasons of the year. When the weather is pretty mild, we basically keep the doors open and enjoy the additional view and extension of our living space. The trouble is that the “view” in the pantry wasn’t much of one, mostly foodstuffs tossed in there, looking more like a disheveled storage room than anything else (after all, it’s a pantry, right?)

We’re now on our second day of taking things out in order to give away what we won’t be using and reorganizing it so that storage will be more practical and the room more presentable. The funny thing is that we have unearthed a number of “finds” – that is, things we wished we had (like the cute little glass flexible vase in the photo above) and rediscovered things that meant a lot to us – like some McCoy pottery bowls that show their age but are wonderful, nevertheless.

McCoy pottery bowls. . .

McCoy pottery bowls. . .

So, the saying that “utopia is in your own backyard” comes to mind while also wondering what to do with the huge sack of rice saved in case of a disaster.

To dress up the pantry space, I thought I might experiment with some pieces of vintage Japanese indigo blue/white fabric plus some blue wood-block printed “Tree of Life” cotton from India. We’ll see how that works out when the sticky-back velcro tape arrives tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, it’s comforting and discomfiting at the same time to realize that I haven’t changed much over the years: there are duplicates of the things that I love (Le Creuset, vintage copper, pottery bowls, ruffled quiche pans) and also things that I completely forgot about! Like the little flexible glass tube vase that I cleaned out and which now holds the remnants of Mother’s Day bouquets that my daughters sent me last weekend.

This whole cleaning out process reminds me of a French phrase:

“les plus de choses changent plus elles restent les mêmes” (the more things change, the more they stay the same!”



spring cleanup . . .

Even though it’s been unseasonably warm this winter moving into spring, I’m catching up on some spring cleaning this week. I’ve been meaning to clean up the plant shelf where G. had brought up some gorgeous dusty rose marble planks to provide a surface for the orchids. They’ve been coming along and their bloom is still approaching its peak.

I had a grocery bag full of clippings and dead leaves from the plants, especially the maidenhair fern which had nasty, dried-up brown fronds.

maidenhair fern after repairs

I also noticed that the overheating going on inside me has abated with the wise treatments given yesterday by C., my gifted Shiatsu practitioner. A levelling and cooling off that feels really calming and steady. By next week, some ceiling repair around the skylights and painting will take place in the kitchen and living area. Benjamin Moore’s “Navajo White” paint is my favorite color and has followed me from place to place wherever I have lived. The storage closets will be cleaned out altogether and organized so that we can find cottage and Christmas things more easily. My plan is to provide a swift exit for anything that we won’t use and that we don’t need. Outdated books and CDs will be donated to the local library. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G that remains will have its place. It has already begun to look more spare and feels as right as rain.

To top it all off, here is a photo of little Josie, lending a hand to vacuum the floor at the cottage the day that we left. Priceless!