May 12, 2022: Baskets, Buds, Blooms and more

Greetings dear readers! And then there were 21! Basket blocks, that is; up from 9 when I last posted:

I weave the construction of these into the rhythms of my days, especially when I need a break from other tasks, usually cutting pieces for 3-4 at a time and chain piecing. Working with these prints and colors is a lot if fun.

My main task this past week, however, has been continuing to clean out 38 years worth of accumulated “stuff!” The dumpster is almost full and we’ve made numerous trips to the town dump and swap shop. Our garage, a storage room in the basement, and the attic were all out of control bursting with material accumulation. Many things were no longer usable because of mice and deterioration over time.

There are a number of reasons we save things, including the idea that life is long and we’ll get back to them, the idea our children will want them, and having the space and not prioritizing pitching things the moment they become useless in our lives. Let’s just say that at this point in our lives, Al and I realize that most reasons to save what we’ve been storing don’t make much sense any more. The exceptions are some photos, items, and memorabilia related to family history and activities and a very few items of personal sentimental value – so we’ve been ruthless in our purging! No regrets! Hundreds of books were taken to the recycling bin at the dump. I gave away a tub stuffed with wool fabric; same with yarn. CD’s, unused musical instruments, old dishes, worn out backpacks, children’s toys, old sheets, stacks of cooking and art magazines, and on and on… I think the house is so much lighter, it might float away!😊 But, boy does it feel good! Quite frankly, most of us buy too much; I’m determined to keep our storage to a minimum from now on. Fabric might be the exception?!🙂

I did find my husband’s grandmother’s sewing box in the attic – the inside was shredding, not worth saving🙁.

Unfortunately, it was mostly full of junk like rusted needles, old spools of thread, pieces of elastic, buttons (not collectible), etc. – not even a thimble! But it did have these interesting items – they’re not matches!

The town is Pittsburgh, PA and I’m guessing these are from the 1940’s. I was taught to use nail polish to stop stocking runs!🙂 There were also a couple of garters in the box for the time before panty hose!

I continue to make time for my walks and this is a favorite month! Color returns and I love studying buds.

Ferns unfold:

These are shagbark hickory leaf buds:

Not sure what bush this is (near the bog); such a gorgeous pink and green combination!:

Or this- it looks like the bud wants to fly away with leaf wings:

These are ”samaras” from red maple trees – lots of people know these as “helicopters” or ”twirlies.”:

Blooms that caught my attention:

And amazing trees in the neighborhood:

I’ve just finished an excellent book by Rebecca Solnit, whose books I highly recommend:

It’s ”a reflection on George Orwell’s passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and on the intertwined politics of nature and power.” ”Solnit has written an exquisitely layered book….Her exploration into how and why cultivating beauty matters reminds us of the singular fact: life is both flower and thorn.” The range of topics covered is so interesting and the writing is excellent. Not a book to ”escape” with, but one to make you think.

Covid still haunts us, especially those of us in the Northeast, though we are trying to live as if it’s not going to kill us if we get it. My son in NYC just had it for the second time, even though boostered and careful. A friend has it. I’m masking again in some places, but not afraid – yet – of some indoor gatherings. I went with a friend to a jazz club to see Dee Dee Bridgewater – fantastic!!! Made me realize how much I’ve missed this kind of thing:

My quilt bee has been gathering in person the past couple months and I’ll leave you with this photo of my friend Rosemary – 90 yo! – with her latest wonderful creation. She remains a great role model of how to age gracefully:

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

18 thoughts on “May 12, 2022: Baskets, Buds, Blooms and more

  1. pamdempsey May 12, 2022 / 10:44 am

    Your basket blocks are lovely! I love the colors together. Beautiful pictures of nature. I admire your purging efforts, I need to do the same. 😔

    • gladiporsche May 12, 2022 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks Pam! Having the dumpster really motivated us to do this. I recommend one if you’ve got enough stuff to make it worthwhile.

  2. priscilla1940 May 12, 2022 / 11:16 am

    Thank you so much for all of your sharing blogs . I forward to my husband and he enjoys them too. We also are continuing to clean out “accumulated stuff” but it’s taking us a while. We’re in our 80’s and don’t have the energy we had 10 years ago but we’re getting there and what a good feeling! Your thoughts, ideas and photos all make the world a better place and we appreciate you!❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


    • gladiporsche May 12, 2022 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Priscilla, for your kind words! I’m so glad we are doing this purging in our 70’s because it can be physically taxing. Good luck with yours- it’s worth it!

  3. Cindy May 12, 2022 / 12:21 pm

    I loved browsing through your basket collection – such different and varied fabrics. The joy you find in creating different combinations is evident. Congratulations on successfully purging – I’ve been on the slow track and only make headway in fits and starts. sigh. Too. Much. Stuff. Ruthless and no regrets is the way to go.

    • gladiporsche May 12, 2022 / 8:44 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Cindy! Getting a dumpster was a great motivator!

  4. acityquilter May 12, 2022 / 2:41 pm

    lovely baskets every one! downsizing and purging does require ruthlessness…and yes we do accumulate too much stuff…due to moves i’ve been forced and now it’s a habit to keep incoming to the bare minimum…even fabric!

    • gladiporsche May 12, 2022 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks Grace! Good for you for minimal acquisitions! I hope I can get to the same place!😊

  5. Marie Tymrak May 12, 2022 / 4:10 pm

    Both the essay about why we save things and the nature walk pictures were exactly what I needed this morning. The inclusion of “what we think our children will want” seems universal among our friends as well. I’ve enjoyed Solnit’s essays in another collection, so welcome news of this book. Thank you!

    • gladiporsche May 12, 2022 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks Marie! Solnit’s “The Faraway Nearby” is one of my favorites. Have a lovely weekend!

  6. Cynthia @ wabi sabi quilts May 12, 2022 / 4:38 pm

    I’m in love with those baskets, just so lovely and fun. Solnit’s essays are on my “want to read” list. I really admire your balanced life – walking, nature, quilting, reading, music, etc. It’s a great feeling to declutter and downsize our stuff. I’ve done it through the years with moves, but the challenge is always to not refill our spaces with more “stuff”.

    • gladiporsche May 12, 2022 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you, Cynthia, for your kind words. I knew I wouldn’t be bored when I retired! I’m acutely aware of the fragility of life and the certain decline that inevitably comes with advancing age so I’m serious about my mantra “cherish each day.” That includes doing my best to enjoy a variety of activities. You’re so right about needing to not fill up those emptied out spaces again!😊

  7. Jocelyn Thurston May 14, 2022 / 3:16 pm

    Your baskets are floral beauties! Foundation paper piecing you say?
    Wow, that is quite the cleanout you two undertook. I tried so hard to get Tony to clean out more when we moved from the farm but he was firmly attached. However, we did fill a dumpster there too.
    When driving here a while ago, two otters ran across the road in front of us. As you mention they do move around. But neat to watch one swimming.
    Love your beautiful photos too.

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2022 / 8:12 pm

      Thanks Jocelyn! I’m really grateful Al and I were in agreement how to approach the cleaning out! He tends to be more of a hoarder than me, but has come to his senses!😊

  8. Wendy C Reed May 16, 2022 / 11:44 am

    Your baskets are glorious! So cheerful. I would like to say that your “clean out” has inspired me to do the same. We shall see! Your nature shots are always so much fun. Have a great day.

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2022 / 8:15 pm

      Thank you Wendy! Hope you do get to “cleaning out” because it feels so good! I saw on your blog that you were in Wells when we were in Kennebunkport! Sounds like such a fun retreat!

  9. marissthequilter May 18, 2022 / 7:45 am

    Your baskets are beautiful and I am enchanted that you are weaving their creation into your busy days. Congratulations on the purge, even if it means you might need to anchor your house down (!!). I have noted Rebeccas Solnit’s name and want to read her work.

    • gladiporsche May 19, 2022 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you so much Mariss! I highly recommend Solnit. Orwell’s Roses is excellent; I also loved “The Faraway Nearby” and “River of Shadows” was fascinating!

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