A Way Forward, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

I’m not sure if this is a path or a dry creek bed (is that symbolic or what?).  Whichever it is, I see that the way forward is somewhat obscured and, like my own way forward, could use some decluttering.

Path or Dry Creek?

Path or Dry Creek? It’s tough going forward when you’re not even sure of the path.

Here’s the path over the path – a covered footbridge from yesterday’s walk. In this view, the library is behind me. I hope that’s not symbolic…

In this view, the library is behind me, I hope that's not symbolic

Here’s a quote I got through the Unclutterer, referring to a post on Declutter 101 about establishing “Clutter Preserves” — I love it!

“Accept reality by establishing dedicated clutter preserves. Like wildlife preserves, these are limited areas where clutter may live freely, so long as it stays within boundaries. In a bedroom, one chair becomes the clutter preserve. Clothing may be thrown with abandon, so long as it’s thrown on the chair.”            … from Declutter 101

And yes, my clutter preserves definitely need to shrink. But now I have a name for them. It’s surprising how much that helps. Once recognized, I can more easily establish boundaries, and with current clutter contained I can spend more energy on unpacking boxes and dispersing the archived clutter that’s been roaming freely throughout the basement for years now.

One problem with letting clutter roam free is that it’s then able to go forth and multiply. Here’s to birth control for clutter. Mine definitely needs it, does yours?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Path


Views, Tree-cutting Guilt, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: New Horizons

I miss having a view of the horizon. I’ve loved the trees here in Georgia, but they do obscure the view. Here’s my one sliver of horizon-view — can you see a little pink over the retaining wall? That’s the sunrise.  I didn’t have this view until a couple of months ago.

New retaining wall and sunrise When we moved here, there was already an oak tree towering over the driveway. At first, I parked my truck beside the wall, but surprise! —  the acorns fell from such a height that I got “hail” damage on it when they fell.

The tree was only a couple of feet from the wall, and not far from the foundation of my neighbor’s house on the other side. I did worry about it every time we had a storm, but worried more seriously when I saw that, with the old wall down, there wasn’t a tree root in sight. What was holding the tree up? By that time it was even taller, leaning slightly toward my house, and with most of its branches on this side. I still feel bad about this, but I had the tree taken down. That’s what gave me the sliver of horizon.

Behind the retaining wall

Here it is with the wall down — no roots!

Tree down in the driveway

Here’s the tree-top, down now, in my driveway. I didn’t have the heart to go outside.

Now here’s a horizon view from Sam’s condo in Midtown —

Western horizon view from Midtown AtlantaAt least it was the horizon view — now there are new business and apartment towers being built, and this horizon view will soon be slivers too.

Views can be scenes, perspective, convictions, and beliefs. I want to expand my horizons in all those ways. I’d like to find a place in the city after I get my house downsized — but I’ll have to remember that all views can change. Meanwhile here’s one more photo from the same location, a bit more panoramic, still “before” new towers.

Midtown Atlanta evening view

Here’s to 2017 — may all your new horizons be panoramic.  I’m looking forward to finding new views as well as new opportunities — how about you? 

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: New Horizons

Cabin Fever, Cabinet Fever, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

My fortune cookie said “Now is the time for peace in your life” but I can’t relax while I still have so many messy spots in the house. There’s still a long way to go from here to Hoarder Came Clean, but staying in on rainy days has been a big help. I’ll take every little victory I can.

My kitchen pantry cabinet went from piled up to somewhat organized… (in what universe do I need 3 boxes of cornstarch when I can’t remember the last time I used any?)

Kitchen Pantry Cabinet

Edited somewhat by the time I took this photo… and edited a bit more afterward.

Some pretty old stuff had migrated to the back — and why it was in the food cupboard is anyone’s guess. Here, for example, are the contents of a chocolate tin full of matches. My favorites here are like a story of my life.

Vintage matchbooks

Vintage matchbooks and boxes, and yeah, I’m pretty sure a matchbox won’t hold all my clothes.

Every place used to have matches to give away and apparently I liked to have them as souvenirs. Now I remember my onetime favorite Kansas City restaurants, long closed — The Souper, The Prospect of Westport; and restaurants from the UK, Athens, Amsterdam, New York City.  There’s Asti (NYC), where the waiters were opera singers and everyone waved white handkerchiefs and sang “arrivederchi Roma” when leaving. It might even still be there… ah, sadly, no, I just looked. It closed in 2000.

There are even matches from the Milgram’s grocery store chain, stores long since acquired. All this reminds me that I probably have a bigger collection of matchbooks somewhere. I presume they’ll show up in their own good time. As for now, I found a “lazy susan” in the basement and organized the cabinet so I can get to everything. I’m not sure what to do with all the matches. (Bonfire of the vanities?)

Here are my reorganized cabinets, upper and lower … oops, now I see I neglected to clear out the drawer between them. It’ll keep me entertained on the next rainy day.

Upper kitchen pantry-cabinet "after"They’re still too full. I’ll have to remember to cook from the pantry first, not from the grocery store. It’s past time to whittle down supplies. Meanwhile, I can relax a little, with one more corner at least semi-organized.

Lower pantry kitchen cabinet - "after"

Do you have any cabinets left to clean out? And can you relax until you do?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

And for opera lovers, more on Asti