Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life changing?

Whatever else I might think of Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I would not recommend it to anyone without the caution that some of the sentiments are cringe-worthy.

That being said, I do think her ideas about folding clothes for storage are well worth considering. So much so that I applied the technique to organizing my cloth stash with happy results ...


which isn't surprising considering much of my cloth is thrifted linen clothing. Now the question is, can I follow Hunter's good example and use what I have rather than looking for more? The jury's gonna be out for a while on that one.

Meanwhile, Spring has sprung in the Hill Country, complete with a mega-dose of pollen ...


That's a black (not a green) truck, in case you were wondering. Aka "the little black truck," which ably picks up various gardening necessities ...


Don got a half-yard of soil to prepare new homes for some of the plants that self-propagate throughout the property. Here's his work in progress, with a wheelbarrow to show scale ...


I confess that transplanting is not my gift, although I did transport some of the rocks shown above. I simply don't have the patience to prepare the soil, water in the plants, and then look after them the way Don does. And never would I have thought to put buckets on the west side of each transplant to block the afternoon sun, which has been warming things up into the high 80s this week ...


No, my fortes are more along the lines of cactus whacking, pruning, weeding, and other "destructive" activities. Still, I have my constructive moments, as with this series of "baffles" ...


strategically placed to slow the flow of flood waters that barrel through our yard during heavy rains. Composed of the aforementioned whacked cactus and topped with dried grasses ...


these rows of debris will eventually decompose, at which time the newly created compost/soil will be carried through the yard by future rains. Fortunately, the aesthetic in our neighborhood allows the time necessary for said decomposition.

Finally, here's a follow-up on the nascent bud of mealy blue sage I photographed a week or so ago ...


Now I'm waiting on the thimble flowers ...

 
which are looking like they'll make quite a show this year.

23 comments:

Stephanie Jo said...

My ongoing dilemma is how to keep cloth organized and yet visible enough not to be entirely forgotten. I’m better at the first part than the second.

I like your baffles and the color of the mealy blue sage . . . oh!

deemallon said...

I love Kondo, but you're right, cautions are in order -- her thing about not rolling socks just cracks me up - trust me, the socks in this household do not mind. But! I've applied the 'book shelf saturation' idea with success -- i.e. culling and culling until the shelf feels a certain way (good, less cluttered, more energized). You can test the saturation level by putting one or two books back -- she sure is right that you will feel the overflow.

I'm jealous of the truckload of dirt and 80 degree temps. There is still quite a lot of snow on the ground and my joints are groaning for some heat!

Liz A said...

Stephanie -

Considering I'm a retired librarian, you'd think the organizational part would be my strong suit. But not. I work best when things are in plain sight, but vertically stacked cloth is inherently unstable. I have great hopes for this new configuration.

And yes ... I always look forward to the mealy blue sage. If only I could capture its color in cloth. Glad you like it, too.

Liz A said...

Dee -

My "aha" moment came when I was able to see bare rod between the clothes hanging in the closet. I'm itching to accomplish the same thing on our bookshelves, but I'll have to convince Don first.

As for the weather, spring and fall almost touch here, with just a bit of winter to keep us honest. We pay for the gift in the summer, which lasts a good 6-7 months.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

shading with the pots...
the baffles....
LOVE! looking at this! it helps me get excited by the work ahead on the HILL.

and your boxes....these are what i intend to get to pack my STUFF in.
Everything. Books, Art Supplies, Cloth for keeping, Drawings, Wall
Art, the Treasures that will need to be rotated into the daily world and
then exchanged.
the New Place Space will be very very small. So i imagine using these kinds
of storage containers that will be kept in a shed, stacked. Larger tubs
would become a mess with repeated searching, but these i imagine to
accomodate finding things as i need them then putting them back. Now
that my brother is gone, i will begin so the pic here is very timely.



Marti said...

Don't have a lot of cloth to organize so it all fits easily into a section of a dresser drawer bit we do share an organizing trait- arranging by color. I could look at your stash over and over, just to see the colors and how beautifully they are displayed. I find that organizing by color makes it easy to create stitched cloths.

Springtime in Texas is glorious and when we lived there, many a drive was taken to see bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, Indian blanket, etc. Lady Bird Johnson's Wildflower Center was a most visited place, as was Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg. Got lots of seeds and plants from them as well as my two favorite planters, two Kokopelli planters from Mexico that have moved with us ever since we left Texas. I still look forward to receiving their catalogue every year.

Hunter said...

Oh, my gosh. What beautiful colors. I wish I could touch them.

Hunter

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I didn't read that book, but that IS how I store my fabric. Is she the one that says if something doesn't bring you joy out it goes. I'm going to try to adapt that to my spring cleaning. We'll see how that goes.

I have the same gardening patience that your husband does. I like what he did with the large rocks. I would do that too but we have so many leaves that blow into them that it is an awful mess in the spring. in 1976 and on we went to farmer's fields where they leave rocks for people to collect and take away. We have moved those rocks all over the place in our yard. They embed themselves into the ground and every several years I go out and raise them again. I treasure them almost as much as gold...well...maybe silver. We have about a month to go before our weather suits working outside.
xx, Carol

Stephanie Jo said...

A note to Marti and Liz - I have bought all my wildflower seeds from Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg for many years. I would love to visit there. And the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - oh, a trip there would be a dream come true! However, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove (rhododendrons and redwoods) is only 20 minutes away from our home.

Liz A said...

Grace -

Whenever I do a picture walk through the land I think "Grace will like this."

And the tubs ... I did a lot of online price comparing before getting these, which are approx. 16x23x6. I probably won't put lids on them as I like being able to see the colors, but the lids do fit on quite comfortably with the larger cloths folded this way. I'm still dithering a bit with how best to deal with smaller bits and pieces.

Liz A said...

Marti-

I love that you use what you have and that your cloths are so tied to land and time. I must confess that this fascination with color is new to me and I'm not sure quite where it will lead.

And this ... on my first trip to Texas (almost 20 years ago), I saw Kokopelli depicted in a gallery along the San Antonio Riverwalk. The image stayed with me and became a part of what drew me here.

Liz A said...

Hunter -

I love the feel of linen, above all others ... its "hand." I guess that's why I've chosen to use it for so much of my stitching over the years.

Liz A said...

Carol -

Yes, Marie Kondo is the author who uses the phrase "does it spark joy?" as a way to decide what to keep or let go. I've found it useful, especially when I add the thought, "If I'm not actively using this, would it give someone else joy to have it?"

As for leaves in the rocks, we're currently living through the annual live oak leaf shedding and they do indeed get caught up in the rockwork. Fortunately, the leaves are somewhat stiff and lend themselves to being blown out of the crevices. Still, the ones that remain break down and form rudimentary soil, so we are forever weeding the rocks. Ha!

One last thought ... because of the floods that occur between droughts in the Hill Country, the rocks on our floodplain actually "rise up" as the soil is washed away.

Liz A said...

Stephanie -

Thank you for bringing my attention to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove ... if ever we head to California (which is on my "someday" list), I will certainly keep it in mind, especially if we go in the spring. I do miss the rhododendrons and azaleas I took for granted on the East Coast. When I was growing up, there was a huge white rhododendron that reached up to my second floor window. Likewise, Texas mountain laurels (Sophora secundiflora) can't hold a candle to the mountain laurels (Kalmis latifolia) of my youth.

Sue McQ said...

Liz aka Liz Scissor Hands...

Those linens are like candy to me!

You and Don make a great team (I am sure in many ways) with your gardening aptitudes. Thank you for sharing photos.

Blessings to you and yours and "to come."

Liz A said...

Sue -

It's always great to have you stop by.

Linens as eye-candy ... I do love them.

And teaming up ... how fortunate we like doing different things, as more gets done. Likewise, we sometimes manage to avoid the things we least like doing, each in our own way.

A doll has surfaced. Now we just need the baby

Mo Crow said...

all the spring cleaning going on up there in the north countries is getting contagious even in the Land Down Under, busily doing an autumn clean aka Procrastination with a capital P, it keeps this old place almost civiized! You'll laugh I tried to let 4 books go but put them back on the shelf, I don't need to cull until we have to move when this place is sold one day, hopefully in the not too nearby! would love another 4 years here until I am eligible for the age pension then Old Man Crow & I can pack up, put what's left in storage and become grey nomads!

Mo Crow said...

BTW I read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, what a great book she is a very good writer) after all (I was so disappointed by both The Lacuna & Flight Behaviour) what did you think of her book of essays?

Liz A said...

Mo -

The one Kingsolver book that I truly enjoyed was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle ...

And "grey nomads" made me laugh with glee ...

Barry said...

LA - pretty amazing rock garden - love the way we can partner with the landscape. Go well. B

Liz A said...

Thanks Barry - whenever Don talks about going to the local nursery to get plants, I remind him "Just make sure they can withstand intense heat and won't get eaten by the deer." At which point he usually ends up going around the yard harvesting more zexmenias, mealy blue sages, and feather grasses to transplant. And fortunately, we have rocks aplenty so the possibilities are endless.

Nancy said...

Some of my cloth IS folded by color and it DOES make it easier to find what I want...but digging through the crazy can be equally inspiring! Did you ever read: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Ban-Breathnach-Abundance-Daybook/dp/B00HTJWEP4/ref=pd_sim_14_9?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00HTJWEP4&pd_rd_r=JTS0FWQG77TT98BX56JM&pd_rd_w=jlLGT&pd_rd_wg=SWmcz&psc=1&refRID=JTS0FWQG77TT98BX56JM
I think it was this book, back in the late 1990's, which suggests you store your linens in pretty baskets. I always thought that was over the top. My sister didn't. Let me tell you, when I was helping her move a few years back...it sure made it a lot easier to stack basket into basket into basket and put them in the car. lol Easy to put away too.
There is magic, utility and psychology in what we keep, let go of, and how we store that, yes?

Liz A said...

Nancy - somehow this comment got away from me, so I'm late in responding. In any case, yes I did read that book, but I don't recall the cloth storage idea. Now I'm thinking perhaps I should look back to see what other ideas might be in there. If nothing else, it might be a good bedside book, as I can never put down fiction if I start reading it at night.

One other thought: I'm hoping we won't be moving again (at least not anytime soon), but I've already cleared the table once to make way for a project, then easily replaced the bins when I was done. And Don is looking forward to stacking them all up in the closet when we have our Easter gathering next week (unless the new grandchild arrives early and we end up otherwise occupied)