My friend told me that I was a hospice worker for plants. I help transition them into death. My thoughts on that is that I’m not just a plant hospice worker, I’m an excellent plant hospice worker. Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. In a way, you excellent gardeners are selfish. Keeping those plants alive for your own enjoyment while I send them on to Jesus for everyone in Heaven to enjoy. Hallelujah. I don’t let the entire process get drawn out, the plants I buy are dead within a 7 day span. I spend hours picking pretty blossoms out. I let each of my children pick a plant or two. I then spend a few more hours transitioning them to the pots on my porches. I buy spring rugs, I rent a machine to power wash the porches and I dedicate an entire weekend in spring to making a happy, flower filled setting around my home. Then I promptly go inside and never think about them again. Within 7 days the dry and wilted stems are reaching to the sky as if in a very lonely cry for help. This macabre display is what stays on my porches until the following spring when we begin our plant hospice activities once again. This is irrefutable proof that gardening skills are not passed on via our genetic code. My mother is an excellent gardener and my father was in charge of the city garden for years. In West Texas. Cacti die from dehydration in West Texas. If you can get plants to thrive in the desert of West Texas, you can get plants to grow anywhere. He would supervise the people sentenced to community service for their crimes or misdemeanors. He would put them to work growing food for places like Meals on Wheels and the city food pantry. My dad has serious gardening skills. But that’s just not my bag, baby. Being organized hasn’t necessarily been my bag either. I’ve moved a lot, so I have the benefit of the huge ‘move purge’ that happens each time, but usually every drawer is a junk drawer and each day includes at least one moment of frantically trying to find one or more items. I don’t like clutter so my disorganization is neatly hidden behind closet doors, but it’s still there. The last few times that we have moved, we have had the benefit of a moving company. They come in, they pack everything in your home, load it all in a truck, drive it to your new home, and then put all the boxes in your home. Ideally the room name on the box matches the room they throw the box into. In my experience, the unloading of the truck happens at a frenzied pace in which the movers all but toss the boxes into each room willy-silly and woe be on to you if you didn’t label the boxes correctly or already know exactly where you want each box to go. You and your boxes are standing in the way of getting home early and miller time. This is how my lifetime of trashy romance novels and my epic collection of Halloween decorations were stored in the safe room. I don’t happen to have a room labeled ‘trashy romance novels’ or ‘boo ya’ so I had to decide in a split second or they were staying on the driveway. I waved them into the long, dark bowling lane-esk room of cement safety and patted myself on the back for getting the items out-of-the-way. I had no idea we had moved to a location that had actual tornadoes and we would absolutely need a safe room. A safe room that you could actually fit your entire family into along with seating, water, flashlights, a go-bag and your important documents. When you need a safe room in Missouri, you are going to be in there for a while and you might have to climb out. Most people save the family pictures and precious mementos that document a lifetime. If our home had been hit in the last 4 years, I would have epic stories of highland warriors in kilts and spooky spider fabric to clothe my family. Happy Samhain, you mighty warrior! The kids cried last year because we couldn’t squeeze our fat pug into the safe room with us. You don’t know drama until you’ve had to pinky swear to a 3 ear old that you would sacrifice your own life so the pug wouldn’t die. At the beginning of the storm season this year, I decided to get organized. Martha Stewart level organization. Organization as if she was producing a week-long TV series on organization, writing a book on the topic, building a new store line dedicated to an organization system, type organized. I went through every closet, every drawer, every scrap of paper, under and over, around and through all the nooks and crannies of my home. I got credit at a used book store from the books I swapped, dropped off countless bags to Goodwill, trashed, cleaned, scrubbed, moved and shoved every single item in my house. You know what happens when you get organized? You go broke. Storage systems, totes, racks, shelves must be bought. Your family goes hungry because you are too busy to cook, you have unplanned garage sales, and you may find treasures you haven’t seen in years. Finding treasures could be a good thing. Or it could be cursed like the doubloons in Pirates of the Caribbean. “This is either madness… or brilliance. It’s remarkable how often those two traits coincide.” – Captain Jack Sparrow. I found some treasure. I’m not saying it is cursed, I’m saying that finding treasure set of a cascade of unexpected events. How is it that any one decision seems too small to be one of the biggest decisions of your life? I found a home-made, fabric purse made with vintage fabric. I wasn’t particularly entranced with the little purse, in fact, I put it in the pile for the garage sale. But Landry swooped it up and began to carry her treasure around. Soon my 7-year-old asked if we could buy her a purse as well. I explained to her that the purse was made by hand and we couldn’t go buy her a purse just like that one. In a sad little voice, she asks if I could make her a purse. How hard could it be, really? Heck, I’ll just make one for each of the girls. We began our treasure hunt. The search for X. We trotted to JoAnn’s Fabric and promptly spent enough money to buy 10 designer purses because I had no idea that 4 yards of fabric per child was extremely excessive for a small purse. I don’t research my projects, I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. I then spent 8 hours on Saturday and most of Sunday attempting to figure out my sewing machine. I’d had the machine for 10 years and this was the first time I pulled it out of the box. I read my manual, I you-tubed videos, I looked up troubleshooting ideas online. I could not get that machine to work the way I wanted it to work. Finally ,I shoved the thing aside in anger and pulled out the embroidery fabric I had found in a closet on my organization journey. I sewed these puppies by hand with no pattern, no measurements. The time, money, blood, sweat, cursing, beer and tears I spent on those first three bags was ridiculous. But my children rewarded me with clapping hands, excessive praise and the purses are not forgotten items, they are loved and toted around. What the heck am I going to do with all this left over fabric? I should just use up this fabric and make a few more purses to give away. But I need to go back to Jo-Ann’s fabric store to pick up a few more things. I went in for a ‘few more things’ and I got lost in Jo-Ann’s fabric, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and every Antique and Junk shop from Texas to Nashville for the past 4 months. With no thought as to what I was going to do with any of the items – I made an entire dining room full of purses, mounds of jewelry and key chains, a garage full of furniture I’ve made over or created from scratch. I went from hyper organized and broke to looking like a hoarder and broke. Thus the journey to X became an Etsy shop I’m trying to get off the ground. It was a lesson in technological frustration, but I opened up my Etsy shop (Pieces of Reesie). I’m attempting to reserve a flea market booth for the items like the dressers, desks, lamps, bed frames, chairs and book cases that are just too large to ship. A large portion of it is taking on an Industrial or Steam Punk vibe I really like. So we will see. This is either madness or brilliance. It’s funny how often the two coincide. *If you are up for it, please go check out my Etsy shop PiecesOfReesie. I added the link at the top of my Blog site so you could find and click on it easily.