Monday, July 13, 2020

Keeping Calm

Keeping things simple used to be my defense against the chaos. A kind of comfort zone. I like collections, but I don't enjoy clutter in a bedroom or a living room. There is too much energy generated in it for me. That is also probably why I live with so much white. I am drawn to the serenity in it.

I am turning more inward with my thoughts these days, and I am not alone. Where else is there for thoughts to go in these times than in one's head or on a page? Too much time spent away from friends and family or even strangers. Yes, there are fixes, somewhat. But "simple" has kind of now joined the stress side of the equation.

I used to have writing ambitions when I was a very young person, and then I suppose life became too fulfilling for that. For me, that kind of expression was a substitute for having the right people to relate to in my life. But now the too large world has become too small again all at the same time. The complexity of living rises higher with each passing day. 

I have not thought so actively on how to stay sane in a long time. But we took a recent break into the woods and camped out a couple of nights AFTER the 4th of July and in an undeveloped camp site. There are of course a few sacrifices involved in doing this. And really sleeping well is one of them. There are also fire restrictions, and so a campfire is not allowed.

But there was the amazing fragrance of the Ponderosa pines that had been lost in time. The sound of birdsong and other wildness in the summer night on a mountaintop. It was deliciously cool. There were small lakes and the call of red winged blackbirds. We encountered an active Osprey nest with both parents present. One river hawk was thrilling enough, but turning toward the lake we observed another clutching a large fish in its talons heading toward the perch high overhead.

This is only a skimming over of a few of the highlights. And not a single photo was taken. But the emotional boost was like taking a pill, only better. I can't wait to go back.

For now I am focused on being thankful. It's a rich field to mine.

I haven't shown any ironstone here for a little while. It is one of the things that I have decided to relax about. Meaning it may be one of those things that my kids will have to deal with when I am gone. Linens, ironstone, and books. I think they can handle it!

This small grouping is in our sitting room which never has the right light for photographs. A professional could tackle the lighting I'm sure, but this is what we have.

Lined up like little soldiers, my pitchers take good care and offer up good cheer.

These barrel shaped water pitchers are always the last to be offered up in the shop. They are so sturdy and each with its own character. They are my favorite to collect. I have several, and rarely if ever turn one down at a good price.

A snippet of handmade linen and lace makes a good foundation.

Some folks think of brown transferware for fall and winter, but it is a year 'round thing for me, and I am not done collecting it either. Whenever, that is.

I like this "durability" mark on the back of this "Hanley" pattern platter. A good subliminal message for all of us. It's my version of "keep calm and carry on" for now.

Another Monday...

 Take good care out there in the trenches my friends!



kims bliss said...

Missing my family horribly during this forced hiatus, but soldiering on with garden and nesting chores. Catching up on my reading as well! Your posts are always a welcome distraction from the crazy times we are living in. Blessings.

Unknown said...

Great post, Jacqueline. Such a unique bunch of emotions, peaceful/grateful,,,,horrified/anxious,,,energized/expressive...withdrawn/scared all rising and falling randomly, all day and night too. You described this so well. Right now I am ironung some beautiful linens ( I know you share this delightful pastime) and I am not done collecting either! Thanks for being here, your words helped me today.

Jeanie said...

I'm so glad you were able to get away, get in the quiet, the nature of it all, and just be. When you wrote this: "I have not thought so actively on how to stay sane in a long time." I know what you meant. Usually we just stay sane, we don't have to think about how to do it. These days it's clear we do.

Your white is calming and I, too, love your beautiful pitchers. I love it all.

Bernideen said...

I see you two are missing the photo icon on the sidebar and for the life of me I can't figure out why mine isn't showing up in "favorites" on my sidebar. I think it happened when I switched to the new blogger format. If you figure out how to get yours back (I see others who have this issue too) please let me know.
I always enjoy your serene blog ! Very calming and refreshing!

Sandi Magle said...

There is something particularly calming about Hanley pottery--I think that has a substantial feel to it, always a bit heavy and the rounded edges and shapes are very tactile. I've had more than a few pieces pass through my hands, and I'm always a little sad when they leave. Certainly not the best ironstone/stoneware in the world but it has something very old world about it...! Enjoy your posts very much, Sandi

Marilyn Miller said...

I don't know if I have ever seen barrel shaped pitchers. Very nice! Love those platters in the last two pictures too. Oh I love it all, including that gorgeous table cloth. Clutter, I try to keep under control, but the joy of having these beauties I too have decided family might just have to take care of someday. For now we can just enjoy! It's the little things that we must savor right now.

Junkchiccottage said...

Always love seeing all your serene whites and your ironstone pieces are gorgeous. Sometimes we have to take those small mental health breaks and have something to clear our minds and to let us remember the good things around us. The virus is a scary things but there is also so much beauty around us to help us stay focused on our lives. Glad you could get out in nature and soak it up and clear your mind. Happy Tuesday sweet friend.

Teddee Grace said...

Yes, "durability" would have been a good word for 2020 had we only known! Always look forward to seeing your photos and reading your comments. Your camping trip sounds delightful.

mary scott said...

I love seeing all your collections, especially the brown transferware. thanks

Beside a babbling brook... said...

Oh Dear, I'm sorry that 'simple' has joined the 'stress' side. This is sad, as 'simple' is *supposed* to be, an always-calming thing. But perhaps, I am not understanding you, correctly.....

Being here, on your blog, I can see how white can be calming. But for me, in our home, I do not do it, much. I do concentrate on shades of rose and pink, which bring me joy, though. We are individuals, and we need the colors, which resonate with each of us. -smile-

Lovely that you could get out in nature, and find it refreshing.

Oh and.... Clutter upsets me too!!!!!!

I do hope, you come out of your "a wee bit down" feeling, very soon. We all have them. But with luck, it will not last too long. -smile-

And..... Isn't blogging wonderful...? It gives us a space, to let our writing desire, flow. -happy sigh-


Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jacqueline, ever since I became aware of blog posts and blogging, your's were always a place of calm for me. Whether we are deep into a trying time or through times of great happiness, you can always make it seem easier to handle. I can smell the pines and, sorry there could be no campfire, as I would have been able to experience that from here also. The words that you use are enough, I did not need any photos, but your beautiful collection of linens and ironstone says it all..Stay well..xxoJudy

Michele said...

Thank you.

I have been battling depression a lot lately. Had a mid-day crying fit yesterday, only fixed by a FaceTime session with my soon-to-be 4 year old grand daughter. She was having giggle fits and my daughter thought perhaps I'd enjoy it, too. There is a God and He waved His Magnificent Hand to bring that on and comfort me when I needed it the most.

The isolation is getting to me.

These little things - like posts such as this lovely one - took me to a happy place. I sure appreciate it, J. I could nearly smell the pines myself.

You had ambitions to be a writer? Well you ARE a writer - an extremely talented one.

Stay well. Hugs. ♥

Blanca Martinez said...

Love everything about your post, love your ironstone and you are a great writer. I, a artist and a writer too, but I write better in Spanish.
Hopefully next time ups take some pictures of the beautiful place you visited, I love nature.God bless you.
I follow you for a long time but wasn’t able to comment because it wouldn’t go through.

On Crooked Creek said...

An exquisite post!
You took me along on your camping trip. . .
I could visually picture the eagles!
I smelled the pines and I heard the night sounds, too!
I hadn't noticed how similar your white primitive cabinet
is to mine that resides in our Family Room. . .
amazing what we notice when we s l o w down, isn't it?
Have a blessed week.

R's Rue said...


Debra@CommonGround said...

J, I always love coming here and it's usually as good for me as a therapy session. Most of the time I read your post and think about it, then come back to leave a comment. But whoops I've waited awhile. This has been a really hard time for me, probably more so because of having health issues. Hard to deal with in the best of times. Seeing your ironstone and transferware never tires. It always brings calm and comfort. thankyou for sharing your thoughts and heart with all of us!

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