springtime order




Don't you love a good spring clean?  I do.  With the doors and windows open, the house is awash in the scent of the orange groves.  I love to move things around, clean inside, under and on top of everything.  The act of organizing, cleaning and purging honestly thrills me.  There is that sense of a fresh start, you know?








Hawthorne clipped from the garden.



One of the things I liked best about Country Living styling my pantry was the use of baskets to control odds and ends.  






Also, I stole the idea that my friend K uses in the Fuchsia Dome.  I swapped the bulky wooden hangers for these sleek velvet covered ones and gained about a foot of hanging space.  Critical in a one closet house.






Do you remember this Lily of the Valley lamp I bought at an estate sale a couple of years ago for $7?



I swapped the shade with the $2 lamp I bought at a thrift store in Utah and love it. Multi-state decorating.






I love the feeling of order and calm that spring cleaning brings about, it helps me pass through this difficult time. x

ps - thank you everyone for leaving such kind, sweet and thoughtful comments about Melinda.  You have no idea what they mean to me. x


47 comments

  1. cleaning and gardening help, but the reality is that you just want them back xxx

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  2. Now that I've met my book deadline, I am feeling the spring clean/declutter bug myself. I loved the basket idea so much I used it in my own pantry this past weekend!

    so sorry about Melinda. Not easy...

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    1. congratulations wendy! the baskets are great aren't they?

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  3. I always love your posts and I most certainly love your house! I'll have to look into those hangers. I have a closet to myself, Mr. has his own, but still, it seems tight. I've pared down but I need more space!
    I too get downright giddy at the prospect of spring cleaning. I don't often share this with too many since they look at me like I'm bonkers---no, just OCD, maybe.
    Happy Spring.
    Karen

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    1. haha karen. thank you. some people do think i'm crazy too. but the ones who "get me" get it. lol ps - the hangers are pretty amazing!

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  4. Always so inspiring to get a glimpse of your lovely and serene cottage,Janet. Now that i've reached the age , at which I am loosing a friend each year, I've decided that happy memories are my greatest consolation. Just remembering the joy that good friends gave us is powerful. I wish you peace and serenity.xo

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    1. thank you annette for sharing. i guess i'm entering that age bracket now. i hope i can handle it all as gracefully as you do. x

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  5. I am imagining the orange scented air as it blows gently through your cottage...
    Spring cleaning and de cluttering are very therapeutic.
    I find that the simple pleasures are often domestic chores.
    XO

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    1. the scent is sometimes too much! can you believe that it is that intense. domestic pleasures help us both in the same way leslie. x

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  6. As others have said, I always love seeing your precious cottage. A breath of fresh air. And, for what it's worth, I like your styling far more than Country Living's! :-)

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  7. SPRING cleaning is always BENEFICIAL!I started but then GOT SIDETRACKED!IT's raining again up NORTH...........so I feel like I should be reading today!
    Come visit me on the blog!STEPHEN left a GREAT comment!MADE me laugh OUT LOUD The last sentence!If you did not see the previous POST it was about bleeding lipstick!!!!!!!!!!!!!THE VINTAGE CONTESSA.NET

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    1. i cannot find his comment! yes, bleeding lipstick is a problem as we age. i have 2 tricks for that!

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    2. Dear Janet - What are they? Do tell!
      PS Your home looks so fresh and beautiful! Pammie xxx

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  8. Ah, your cottage is so inspiring, Janet. I love the sound of your spring cleaning ritual. I can understand how it helps you cope with stress. I clean when I'm stressed too. Your tile in your kitchen is so shiny. What do you use to clean it? I really would like to see the tile in my shower sparkle a little. SIGH.

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    1. thanks lisa. i just clean it with soap and water in case there is any grease and then wipe it with some vinegar - works perfectly.

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  9. HI Janet, spring cleaning could not look any cleaner the. Here with you. You know how much I love your cottage, and as cozy as it is it still is time laboring to keep it I'm tip top shape. Love all your spring additions. I am starting to get I. The mood for a good spring cleaning down to adding white panel curtains to the sitting room living space to brighten it up a bit more.
    Love, love your bedroom, makes me want to add some blacks to my whites, I am working on a bit of yellow these days, will see where it leads :)

    Happy Spring cleaning my dear.

    Xx
    Dore

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    1. oh i can't wait to see the yellow infusion into your beautiful home!

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  10. Beautiful! One thing I always like to do when seasons change is to switch out the throw pillows. A big impact!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Featuring Artist Scott McBee

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    1. thank you karena. i have a throw pillow problem that CL just added to. it is a big impact!

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  11. I have been doing a lot of spring cleaning, too. It feels wonderful! Except then it inspires me to go out and buy more stuff! Haha I think it may be a brain defect. I think normal people get cleaning and organizing and think "why do I have all this stuff?!" And I'm like "wow, I need 85 more wine glasses!". I think I am going to donate a few silver trays I'm sick of though. lets celebrate the victories, no matter how small.

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    1. PS-you were right! I did do all pink eggs.

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    2. i am so impressed by your ocd. lol

      glad you did all pink - that takes commitment and courage and so much style!

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  12. Does your maidenhair fern do well in your bedroom? I kill one every year, but I'm determined to find the secret and make one last.

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    1. so far so good with the fern. i'll keep you posted. it has really taken a beating since bringing it back from utah. trying to find the exact spot for it to thrive has been challenging. i think this east with a slight south exposure will be ok for it. fingers crossed. x

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  13. Dear Janet,

    I'm guilty of neglect, when it comes to commenting on your blog like your other good readers. I've been reading for a very long time. I remember writing a comment about the move to the town where I live, back 5 years ago when I was just planning it. You were supportive about it then. :) I always read your posts, but when I've tried commenting, my little tablet will allow me to type away, but my comments will disappear instead of posting. When that happened more times than my patience could handle, I stopped trying.

    Now is the time to try again. I must extend my condolences on your dear friend Melinda, lost to ovarian cancer. I'm so sad for you.

    Your loss reminds me of one of my own. I did move 5 years ago, and met a spunky woman at my new workplace. Renee and I became fast friends. She'd been living in this city for about 10 years, but really didn't "click" with anyone in particular. She had a collection of friends in other cities and states. Though she found another job, our friendship continued to flourish.

    Renee called me one day over 2 years ago, while waiting for the results of a virtual colonoscopy, which is a CT scan of the abdomen. She said, "they see masses, and are worried that it's ovarian cancer." Well it was true. She went through multiple surgeries, infections, chemo, drug trials, more tests. She was a trooper. We really bonded during her treatment, which has made her passing in July 2015 all that much harder. My heart goes out to you. It is an unfathomable loss.

    Mine was complicated with a miraculous but confusing event - my son's first baby was born 2 days after Renee's memorial service. I was pulled from my profound grief to experience incredible joy and happiness. The conflicting emotions haven't made dealing with my grief any easier. I didn't know half the time if I should be really sad or really happy.

    My husband of 4 years doesn't have grandchildren of his own. Though I have 4 others, they're older and live far from us. Our new grandson is an hour away. :) My hubs has suprised himself by falling totally in love with this sweet baby. It's provided both of us with much joy, and we look forward to our visits. It has helped me with the grief.

    I love to knit, and was invited to a book club by a neighbor. I eat a whole food plant based vegan diet, and enjoy cooking too. These have given me outlets and the chance to make new friends.

    I miss Renee terribly, but it is getting better. It will for you too. I meet her daughter for dinner on occasion, and we reminisce, laugh and cry together. It helps. I heard someone say once that "the only way out is through.". Unfortunately, it's true. I hope you can find your way through it too.

    Colleen

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    1. thank you for sharing colleen. so sorry for your loss. it's indescribable and yet life must go on. the whole world keeps going and we just don't feel like it. but time does heal to a certain extent i'm told. having a baby around sure does help. i just found out that Melinda's son and wife are expecting their first. she so wanted grandchildren...

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  14. It seems to have worked!
    Colleen xoxo

    P.S. Love your house and garden, as always. Love that you've changed out your old hangers for the skinny ones. I have those now too. I like the non-slip feature, but my husband doesn't at all. He has some nerve damage in his dominant arm which causes it to tire easily. The velvet hangers require that his arm work harder to remove his shirts and jackets - so he's back to the old plastic, tubular, slippery hangers. Enjoy the little things :)

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  15. Janet your home always seems so well organized, peacefull and beautiful. I always seem to be clearing out but then stuff just seems to materialize. it isn't that I buy things but I see things I have stored away and it brings back memories and before you know it they are out on display, like my kids drawings from so many years ago and my late mother's real china tea set from her childhood. and I have become lazy. I injured myself last year and employed a cleaning service I thought temporarily, but they are still coming. not sure why I cant let them go. I have been lucky in that I still have my closest friends but at our ages health can be precarious so you just have to cherish the time you have with them. I know it must be hard for you to be without your dear friend Melinda. hope you had a joyful Easter.

    Darby

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  16. Janet, I keep saying I'm going to buy those hangers...hmmm so why haven't I? My husband's closet is really small so if I could gain some space in there that would be great. We do keep all his dress clothes and shoes in our bedroom armoire, otherwise they would be in my closet!

    Your house inspires me to get busy...I've had a stubborn case of Plantar Fasciitis the last 6 weeks so all aspects of my house being clean and orderly have sort have gone out the window. It seems like it's getting some better so hopefully very soon I will be doing some Spring cleaning too!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. linda i got the hangers at ross. they were quite affordable. tip for you feet below.:) x

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  17. Janet,

    My brother and his wife were suddenly taken away from us in a motorcycle accident many years ago. They were young newlyweds. It was so devastating. My mother told me that the only way she lived through it was her faith in God and to work in the garden. It comforted her. Her garden was so beautiful and peaceful. My mother also lost her best friend recently. She misses her terribly and I also loved her friend.

    Note to Linda: I also have Plantar Fasciitis and did a lot of research - bought the insoles for my shoes and did the exercises shown on the package. Also, looked up physical therapy on Youtube for it and the exercises really helped me and still do when it flares up. Yours might be worse than mine was, though.

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    1. thank you for sharing your story. that must have been devastating. i'm glad your mom found solace in her faith and garden. i really believe that is the answer for me too. yesterday i spent the entire day out there and slept so well last night. it felt so good. thanks for the tips for linda too.:) x

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    2. Anonymous,

      So very sorry to hear about the loss of your brother and sister-in-law. How horrible that must have been for you and your family.

      Thanks for your info on the P.F. I had it 5 years ago and got rid of it pretty fast that time. I have been doing the exercises, rolling a tennis ball under my foot, icing, NSAIDS... probably the thing I'm most guilty of is not resting it enough. I am trying out different insoles...just curious which brand you are using?

      Thanks,


      Linda

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    3. Thank you, both.

      Linda - One package of inserts for Plantar Fasciitis was Dr. Scholls(sp) (the purple ones), the other is Profoot Plantar Fasciitis inserts for women. The Profoot inserts come with an exercise sheet that I keep on our fridge just in case of a flareup - and it works almost immediately. Also, Crocs helped me too, even though they are ugly. A certain stylish 2 inch heel shoe caused mine - my fault.

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    4. Funny because I just bought the Dr. Scholl's Pro Pain Relief inserts at Target this morning. (before I saw your comment) I had tried the Active Series but after wearing them for a few days I started noticing my right foot hurting in other places. My ankle is really bothering me right now. :(

      Thanks for the info and have a nice day!

      Linda

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    5. Linda - Sorry about your suffering with your foot - truly I am. I would find a very highly recommended foot doctor if all that you have done already has not worked. My mother has to wear a prescribed custom made brace for her foot and after a month her foot started feeling better. She has more issues with her feet than PF-sounds like you do too. We are so lucky to have found a great foot doctor for her that was recommended by her hair dresser.

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    6. Yes, if it isn't better by next week I will probably look into going that route. Actually my ankle pain is gone since I quit using those insoles and it's back to just the heel hurting today, and not as much as it has been thankfully.

      Thanks for your kind thoughts...

      Linda

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  18. You've inspired me to get some spring cleaning done at my little cottage. :)

    LOVE the new lampshade, too!

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  19. I love a good spring cleaning too. Your place looks fabulous.

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  20. Really beautiful, Your post inspiring me to do some thing..

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  21. I am so inspired by your lovely style. Thank you for sharing your home... Can I ask you a burning question? What do you seal your black honed granite with? We are having Absolute Black honed granite installed in our kitchen in a couple of weeks, and my counter top fabricator is warning me that it's high maintenance, especially when it's honed. Do you use an enhancer sealer or a regular sealer? This really IS a burning question as I have researched the heck out of it, and each person I speak to seems to give conflicting advice, but no one I've spoken to actually HAS black honed granite in their kitchen. Your advice would be so appreciated.
    iS

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    1. hi kim. it's been almost 10 years since it was installed and i think it was sealed when they installed it. i think. but we've never done anything to it since. it's so low maintenance it's ridiculous! nothing burns it and it's never once chipped. i clean it with hot soapy water, that's it. hope this helps. xo

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kindness is never out of style.

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