While the cat’s away

The first week of camp has gone quietly here at the homestead. While I’ve yet to wade into the princess lair for the annual “she won’t miss it” purge, I have done some reorganizing.


Please ignore items on the adjacent stairs that are awaiting being picked up and put away in their proper spots elsewhere in the house. Just because I got the shelves cleaned doesn’t mean everything surrounding them is.

The shelves under the stairs in the living room tend to serve as a catch-all, home to stray CD’s, photo boxes and plethora of books. For some time, the hutch in the dining room has been my overflow cookbook storage area, previously home to (depending on the season) canning supplies, Halloween candy, Christmas china, etc.  Instead, these items have been taking up real estate on the dining room table, leaving me to feel like we are drowning in stuff. I’ve long meant to clear the bottom shelf there under the stairs to house my Southern Living Southern Heritage Cookbook Series. I’ve got a full set, collected over the years at various garage sales, estate sales and the like. It’s a gem of a set, worth making room for, one that gets consulted by myself, Edie and Betty on a rather regular basis.

A little bit of purging and condensing later, the eighteen volume plus index set of Southern Heritage cookbooks, all my canning cookbooks and a number of oversize books that don’t fit in the cookbook cabinet found themselves a new home.  One can now open the cookbook cabinet in the kitchen, find something and remove it without incident.  And the shelves look slightly more organized, at least for the time being.  Progress!

Also scratched off the to-do list this past weekend was a project I’ve been intending to do for literally years – create a family hallway photo gallery.  I’ve long wanted to take all the old family photos and hang them in one place.  I’ve debated how I want to go about making this happen for too long – the frames don’t match, don’t really flow at all really, but I was no in hurry to rush out and buy new ones for the sake of perfection or matching. Some of those frames – like the photo of my grandparents at my parent’s wedding – hung in my grandparent’s home for thirty some-odd years until my Granny passed away and Aunt Jenny passed it along to me.  Looking at it, I can picture it hanging on the wall at Granny’s, surrounded by other family photos taken over the years, framed and hung on the wall in a piecemeal fashion.  I simply didn’t want to reframe it. I wanted to create a gallery that looked slightly piecemeal, so that we could add to it in that fashion in the coming years. But how to start such a process?

I grabbed a hammer, some picture hanging hooks and decided which picture I’d start with on each wall.  And went from there.  I am quite pleased with the look, even though you can see some of the hooks over the top of the frames.  I probably should have gone with plain nails with some of those frames – I couldn’t help but notice on the newer frames the attachment on the back side for hanging are not nearly as substantial as they used to be.  At any rate, the gallery has begun and has the look I was going for.  After years of debating how to do it, the actual doing took about 10 minutes at best.

These two seemingly small projects meant other reorganization projects around the house, some of which are still in progress.  I also finally got around to weeding the garden, canning a few small batches (clean out the fruit drawer jams, boozy cherries, watermelon rind pickles), impromptu happy hour/dinners with pop-in friends, work, a swap, attending a fund raising event for Pat and FINALLY finishing Breaking Bad.  It’s been a quiet but productive week.  I miss my gal, but it is rather glorious to be able to pick up a project and work until it’s completed without interruption.

9 thoughts on “While the cat’s away

  1. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

    Sounds like a productive week. I can relate to the 10-minute job that you think about for years. You finally do it and wonder, why did I wait so long? Thanks for the little peek into your home 🙂

  2. pattisj says:

    I’ve been purging this week. It’s amazing how much we can collect! Our stairs form a temporary file cabinet as I sort and find things that need to go upstairs. I like the bookshelf space there that you have.

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