Sunday, June 29, 2014

... on pruning and knickknacks...

Pruning is extremely important for any gardener. It is the removal of branches, sometimes even living branches, to maintain healthy plant growth. It usually occurs in winter. It was also one of the most difficult aspects of gardening to learn because when you see something that is seemingly flourishing, why go and chop it away!  
I’ve been thinking about pruning today because I had a major house cleaning. I would call it “Spring Cleaning” but I suppose I missed the mark. Either way, my house is incredibly clean. This is probably my first major cleaning since my pipes burst in January; and, unfortunately because of my commute, the water flooded my first floor for six hours and the damage was thousands of dollars. Fortunately, my insurance covered most of the costs.  I’m finally at the point of letting go of the anxiety of that entire trauma. My house was only restored (new carpeting, cabinets, etc.) in May so it really hasn’t been that long since I settled in to my normal routine.

From January to May, many of my knickknacks (oh, wow, have I acquired many a knickknack over the years) were crowding every corner of my second floor town-home being safely away from the first floor construction. Last weekend, I reorganized my office and moved knickknacks back to their homes. During this process, some items were let go and some moved to a different place in my house. While I was cleaning, dusting each of my pieces, I understood the importance of personal knickknack pruning. My corner cabinet for one is much less crowded and because of that, I am able to enjoy my pieces more.

For the most part, I’ve been who I am since I was 15 years old. That’s 25 years of gothdom-- 25 years of collecting and 25 years of my friends gifting me coffins, bats, and other creatures of the night; and, while many of these gifts were simply perfect, some weren’t me but were kept because my loved one had tried so hard to find a little piece of the macabre. But, I have learned that I don’t have to keep everything. That super cute skull bag from twenty years ago has been replaced with a more grown up bat handbag. It’s a perfectly fine bag so it was turned over to the local thrift shop so that someone else could enjoy it. This is true for some of my Halloween novelty items as well. When I let them go, I can make room for new growth (including my “new” antique funeral coach sign at the top of my cabinet).

The cabinet was actually built by my grandfather and lived in my grandparents’ home throughout my childhood. When he passed about a decade ago, I acquired some of their furniture. This item was originally brown but with some black paint, a bat stamp, and some scrapbooking paper, it really transformed. So pruning doesn’t always mean out with the old and in with the new. It means that I have to discern which “branch” to cut at the right time in my life.

After my hard work, I enjoyed some pasta (Halloween pasta that I have saved as a special treat for myself for days like this).  


  1. I like the pruning analogy! I've been engaged in a huge cull of possessions lately too. My local charity shop has made out like a bandit and I'm left with the items that mean most to me right here, right now, and that is a fabulous, liberating feeling!

  2. I love it because it benefits you, it benefits the charity, and it benefits shoppers!

  3. I love your cabinet and little batty hook for your bag! I love your analogy too.

  4. Oh, my! I had a pipe burst in the wall of my sitting/altar room a few years ago... it was like the Biblical flood in there, but only for about 5-10 minutes, thank goodness! Fortunately only a couple of unimportant things were ruined, and the apartment complex paid for the repairs and new carpet. And I finally "got around to" doing the cleaning out and updating I'd been saying I wanted to do for months. Moral: Be careful what you wish for...

    I LIKE the way you decorate! Now, if I could just get rid of most of my husband's junk... errr, stuff... then I could do something similar. ;-)

    1. A great deal of the items in my home have been collected for decades BUT weren't on display until I was divorced and had my very own place.

      I'm getting married in December and my fella will be moving into my house. I have a feeling that my house will transform a bit. He loves me for me but he's more J.Crew with a touch of funk :p Plus, that Victorian stroller freaks him out. He knows it's not going anywhere though :D

  5. Congratulations! Isn't it wonderful to be with someone who lets you be yourself, even if you're different from them? Third time was the charm for me! :-)