Wednesday, April 12, 2017

spring amazements and a big project

This weekend, I went to one of my favorite local garden centers to look around. When I walked into this greenhouse, I stopped in my tracks and smiled. One thing's for sure: When you live in an area that has long, cold, gray winters, it sure makes you happy to see color and flowers again.

I didn't rush and buy any flowers yet though as I knew I wouldn't be able to plant them this week. And right now, all I want to plant is some pansies and they were overpriced at this garden center.

What I did buy? ONE succulent.

Remember the vintage planter I got a couple of weekends ago at an antique shop?
It was calling for a succulent.

If you're wondering about the piece of art in the background...that's a metal and wood plaque by the contemporary American artist, Nancy Thomas. I found it in Goodwill many years ago.

I am amazed by what is blooming or coming out of the ground every day. One day the hostas were barely poking out of the ground and two days later, the leaves were already unfurling.

Today I was walking around my yard and I found these beautiful daffodils in bloom. A couple of days ago, they were merely green stalks.

And rhubarb! That appeared practically overnight, too.

 I had physical therapy this morning (and oh, by the way, I saw the orthopedic dr yesterday for my six week checkup and he didn't like how my knee and leg are still I started a prescription anti-inflammatory that will hopefully get that swelling down...and lucky me got another month of PT tacked onto my schedule, too), and this afternoon decided to start a big project.

As most of you know, I'm an avid reader and love my book collection. I have books in every room of my home except for the bathrooms. Downstairs in my family room, I have three big bookcases and two small ones. I also have big wicker baskets full of books because I have no more room left in the bookcases. Well, I decided to tackle the books today. Monkey was absolutely thrilled by this prospect.

I started with the first bookcase and cleared off the half the shelves, starting at the bottom. I carried those approximately 150 books upstairs (lots of trips) and piled them on the kitchen table. I looked up each book on amazon to see the average reader review. Anything less than four stars, I didn't keep it. After that, I decided which ones to list on paperbackswap and which ones to donate to my local library for their Friends of the Library book sale.

I ended up listing 44 books on paperback swap and bagging up another 47 to donate to the library. The remainder were the ones I kept.

Look - I already have empty bookshelves! My goal is to finish this first bookshelf by this weekend. I have a loong way to go, but this is a start.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter - if I don't talk to you all by Sunday!


  1. I see the namesake on the top of that pile - it's one of my favorites! Did you keep it? ;)

  2. wow! I know how much you like your books and I'm impressed you pared down so much.
    Best wishes on your knee and therapy, I'm a bit surprised too your knee is still swollen. But everything heals at its own pace and is different for everyone.
    Hope you get lots of nice spring days to stay

  3. I'm still holding out on my annuals but I want them so badly. I was in Costco this weekend and they had the nicest geraniums I've seen in a long time, plus they had about five different colors, which is more than I ever see at Lowe's. Good for you clearing out the books. We did that a few years ago and it was a huge relief. We had moved boxes of books several times in different moves, including a couple of cross-country moves, and weren't even able to take them out of the boxes to shelve them anymore because we had no room. It was good to weed through and just say goodbye to anything we didn't love. Now we can at least find what we need on a shelf. I hope you all have a lovely Easter!

  4. This garden center would have me smiling, too, Mel! The colors. We must be in shock after this dreary, rainy winter! I just heard one of my fave places has pansies for $12 a flat. Is that a good price? I'm thinking I really don't need that many plants to brighten up my front porch.

    Hope that knee continues to heal. The stairs will help but BE CAREFUL! As far as books, I was always happy and proud to shelve a book I read...but they became trophies and collected a lot of dust in the same way. I try to ditch them as soon as I read them except for the gardening, cooking, decorating stuff. I swap books with family members and donate to a local bookstore. Share the love and make room for more!!

    I meant to add that I love the little succulent. I would probably kill it!! It's so darn cute though!

    Jane x

  5. I do the same thing - once a year. Not based on reviews, but more often, what I know I don't need anymore. And then I donate them to the library. Though my downstairs shelves are full and so are the ones in the bedroom. It might be time to donate again!

  6. I am so proud of you! I did a lot of book editing when I moved a few years ago and then again when I started downsizing last year. I feel better about the books I've kept and donate or sell the others. Good for you. I hope the new meds help you leg! Hugs!

  7. I love all of your little things you get at resale shops. You seriously need to take me when you go sometime.

  8. Wow, that's a big project, Melanie! Your succulent is PERFECT in that little planter, I love it! That garden center looks like pure heaven! Lowes had great pansies the last time I was down the mountain, with very healthy root systems - do you have Lowes near you? I planted a bunch, and of course we're going into the 20's....hopefully they will be ok, I know they can take a bit of a frost.

  9. I completed this project a few weeks ago. I'd been carting around all those books for years!

  10. Looks like a little healing delay, sorry to hear it. I suppose that's as good a criteria as any for keeping a book, only four stars and up! We have too many around here too, but no plans to thin them out any time soon.

  11. My girlfriends love paperbackswap. That's where they get most of their books. What a great concept.

  12. I'm thinking that going up and down stairs carrying books might cause some knee inflammation. Be careful! Always feels good to tackle an organizing project. I need to take everything off my shelves that are a mix of books and craft supplies. Honestly, I barely touch anything there because it is such a mess. Definitely will take some time to sort out. Nature is pretty amazing how quickly it springs forth after the winter cold. Love that little succulent and the planter. Take care!

  13. Oh, your daffodils look so pretty, Melanie! It will be a while before we see anything blooming around here, but the robins are busy and the trees have buds. I'm sorry you've got another month of therapy ahead, but time goes fast when summer arrives, right?

    I love that sign and the message! Happy Easter!

  14. I'm so itching to visit some garden centers too! Melanie, your book project sounds like a lot of work but those empty shelves do look nice with the thought of finding new ones you want to read now. I hope the new med works soon on that swelling. I know PT takes a chunk of time out of your day but there will be a payoff from it. You take care, Dewena

  15. We have books all over the house and the attic is full. I have donated most of our paperbacks. Nowadays, due to lack of space, both of read on our phones or the iPad.

    I'm not happy to hear about the swelling in your leg and extra PT. Take care and get well.

    Happy Easter

  16. I love walking through garden centers this time of year.

  17. I did a similar purge of books about a month ago. I'm loving the new space I have to fill! The bird planter with the succulent is so darn cute. It's given me an idea for an Easter planter that I don't want to put away after the holiday is over. Enjoy your week, Melanie.

  18. I hope your knee is less swollen. Have you tried ginger as an anti-inflammatory?

  19. It is an exciting time of year in the garden, isn't it?
    I love what you did with that little succulent. A perfect pairing with your vintage planter.
    I hope the swelling in your knee subsides soon.
    Your book project looks like an ambitious undertaking. Just think of the new books you can bring in to fill those empty spaces ;).


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