Category Archives: In the Company of Cloth

notes from a quilter, collage artist, fabric collector

The hokey pokey

The school next door’s camp festivities today involved very loud music and an electronic bullhorn (to talk to about 40 kids, mind). Some kind of line dance. There were the usual irritations, too — leaf blowers (against the law in the summer here), garbage trucks, and not one but two near neighbors with hired hands running power tools all day.

LA pine

I’ve just pulled out the wireless earbuds and feel wrung out, relieved.

Same pine at night

The good news is that the heat broke. Now that it’s quiet, I can open all the upstairs windows again.

Digital collage
PCC prompt from last year
The overlay leaf patterns: also a PCC prompt

I’m just scrolling around looking for tree photos.

Angel Oak, Sc
PCC solitary tree plus photos and quilts of mine
Around the corner from here

Curb to curb

“Orbatarium” — one of my favorite garbage picks of all time

I used to be on the lookout for treasures on the curb. It was fun and full of surprises. One neighbor was an antique dealer with limited storage space, so we were often lucky. We’ve picked up stools, porcelain ewers, frames still in their wrapping, loaf pans and Bundt pans, wicker tables, tins of all kinds, and so much more.

These days, however, I’m much more motivated by putting things on the curb.

I’ve reached the age where getting rid of shit affords a nearly religious pleasure.

It’s not quite what the Swedes call “death cleaning,” though it’s hard to avoid the thought that our efforts will at some point make life simpler for the boys. It’s not quite Kondo-izing either since the house is pleasing and functional already and I don’t feel the kind of virtue that I associate with “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

There are other factors as well. My town switched up the garbage rules such that fewer and fewer items can be scouted in all their random and free glory. The antique dealer moved away. Also, I HAVE ENOUGH GOD-DAMNED FRAMES!

I cleaned out half of a cupboard this weekend. Now my two cuisnarts have room to breathe (Yes, I have one big one and one nut-chopper-sized one and I use both all the time).

Some items went straight to the curb. I’m happy to say, someone snagged the Zoodler (a counter-top device that turns zucchini into “noodles.”) Someone took the wooden bowl, even though it was cracked. A sizable collection of paper bags went first. Whoopee! With each disappearance, I feel a kick of joy.

Other items from the recently cleaned-out cupboard will get listed on Facebook — some on the Everything Free board, others on a sale board.

Note to self: remember the turkey frier.

First let me say, the frier was a garbage pick itself and hence part of the flow we label, curb to curb. If there’s a slight hesitation about giving something up, it can help to shrug and say those words out loud, “Curb to curb.” Clearly, price was not a big factor. I asked $15.

To my surprise, the thing generated a lot of interest. I fielded and juggled messages for days. After one no show, I was careful not to mark the frier sold prematurely. Some people saw that gap as opportunity. They got weirdly ruthless (“I CAN COME OVER THIS SECOND!”)

As badly as I wanted the process to be over, a sense of fairness came into play. I felt I needed to wait and see if the sale closed before offering it to someone else. This went on for days.

In short, it was a lot of work for fifteen bucks.

Maybe free is better?

One stand from Noreen, one from the curb

Home again

One of the best things about travel is returning home. Is this an old lady thing?

I spent the day cleaning and as part of that effort, asked K to move his workstation. Our kitchen table is fully visible and useable as a place to eat for the first time since March 2020. This feels like a minor victory, though I’m not sure it is.

LA cactus

After a week in Los Angeles, we did not swing through Denver as originally planned. D got Covid two weeks ago and was still symptomatic so it made no sense. We haven’t seen him since June 2021. We did get to spend time with our older boy though and that was great.

Pictures from the attic

Two things happened. First, we scheduled a vent cleaning. In order to give the workmen access to our upper furnace, we had to clear out one side of the attic. We found old papier-mâché animals, high school papers, a Build-a-Bear pillow from one of the boys’ birthday parties. There was a batch of pictures, all framed.

Second, we got word that K’s brother would stay with us for the weekend. Time to tidy one of the boys’ bedrooms!

That’s when I decided to resurrect one of the stowed-away pictures.

Before C was born, my mother painted this tropical reef scene for his nursery. We hung it immediately and loved it for years, but then put it away. Why exactly, is opaque to me now. Were the colors too juvenile or did the Marvel posters compete for space?

It was with a mixture of pride, longing, and love that I put the painting back on the wall. Hello, Mom!

Slept thru eclipse

I had set a timer and everything. Oh well. But I’m not complaining because sleep is a cushion and a paradise, except for the dreams this morning in which I had way too much to do.

Ours is a June garden and the approach of its glory is evident everywhere. I’ll leave you with some pictures.

And also, the Times headline is below, by way of tracking the unthinkable. This happened. Is still happening.