If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Adventure

Being a newlywed, there are lots of things that Mike and I haven't done together yet.  This afternoon was probably a test.  We joined forces to put together an exercise bicycle.  (No, we aren't beginning to train for the Tour de France!  Do you think we have really lost our minds?)  You know, the whole experience really worked out lovely.  Maybe it was because Mike didn't have his glasses and was relying on me to read the directions - yes, he actually went along with following the directions!  Or, maybe it was because it was really an easy project for us to take on together. 

I must admit that when I saw that box sitting there, I did wonder how long it would take us to assemble it.  When I began to lay out all the metal tubes and angled parts, I wondered whether there was going to be elevated voices.  When I began sorting all the different nuts and bolts and washers, I wondered if there would be tools flying through the air and stitches.  You know, though, we really are a good team. 

I realize it is kind of an age-old joke that couples shouldn't try to assemble something together if the relationship is to be preserved.  As it turned out, Mike was glad to hold parts and let me use the wrenches at times feeding my power-hungry independent soul.  I was more than glad to let him use that little hex wrench thingy and turn the little short chops to tighten the hex bolts in the tight spots, too.  So, it went together smoothly and no animals, tools, or buildings were harmed during the assembly. 

In all seriousness, at one point I caught myself watching his hands at work and noticing the wedding band on his finger.  I thought to myself, "How can I be so lucky to have this man as my own?"  You know, I catch myself noticing that ring hugging his finger pretty often.  I notice it when his left hand is gripping the arm of the chair, when he is holding the steering wheel, when he rubs his hand across his whiskered cheek, and, well, just lots of times.  It is really amazing to me what that little twinkling circle means to me and I wonder if he has any idea how important he is to me and how flattered I am that he wears that ring as a symbol of our love and his commitment to me.

Morning People

My precious husband is a morning person and I am not.  I knew that long before I married him but I thought it would be okay.  I can remember his brother telling me stories of them going someplace together and how Mike was up before the chickens and all chipper and chatty while Jim was struggling to hold his eyes open and prop himself up. 

My Daddy and I were good working partners years ago when we were farming together.  He isn't a morning person either.  I can remember as a child that he was always watching the Tonight Show on TV after the rest of us went to bed.  I guess I just inherited that habit from him because I have always been a night owl, too.  When we farmed together, Daddy would stroll through the milk barn and say, "Mornin' Bud," on his way out to feed and I'd just sort of grunt as my response.  After a couple of hours, we both could carry on a civil and somewhat understandable conversation.  I'm still pretty much that way.  I'm up at around 5:30 or 5:45 A.M.  I shuffle into the kitchen for my first mug of coffee.  I don't know whether it is more important to get the caffiene into my body or to wrap my hands around the mug's warmth so that I can move my arthritic fingers.  Then, I check the weather report and spoon in some Cheerios and blueberries before I'm coherent enough to put on makeup and tame my Medusa head and scramble out the door sometime around 7:00 A.M.

Mike, on the other hand, can get up at three o'clock and be at work by five and be smiling and jovial all at the same time.  He told me this morning that I am a grump in the mornings and he really is right on target there.  Of course, I don't really know if he is talking about what I consider as morning - you know that point when the sky starts to light up because the sun is rising - or that point when he thinks it is morning and gets up and I maintain that it is the middle of the night.

Before and After

Well, I'm already behind and it is only the second day for my attempt at blogging.  I put this post together yesterday but I thought I should go back and review it before I posted and... I forgot it.  Well, here it is...

When Mike and I first began 'keeping company,' he was revamping the inside of this house. 
I must say, it was probably due for a bit of freshening and updating after about nine years.  So, it is a work in progress - a labor of love - but in a constant state of projects it seems.  During this past sixteen months we have painted every room of the upstairs and hauled in load after load of my stuff from my house in Rover, TN.  (How does one accumulate so much 'stuff' over time?)  I thought now might be a good time to pull out some pictures to check on our progress.  So, here is the beginning reveal of before and after...

We began with the master bedroom that Mike's mother had a guy paint for his birthday gift last year.  Then, we worked on the den and the kitchen.  That was all that was refreshed and furnished when we got married December 31, 2009.  Those rooms need a bit of tidying before I can take an after picture to share, though.  I'd hate for my new mother-in-law and more importantly, my Mama, to see how sloppy they look right now!

So, I'll show the bedroom that the granddaughters inhabit when they come for visits.  This front bedroom had a navy paisley wallpaper border which my mother-in-law had chosen more than twenty years ago when she lived in it at a different location.  This shot shows the dusty coating from the floor refinishing Mike had done, too.

Here it is below in its revamped state.  The paint was the builder-beige which was left at the bottom of the five gallon bucket from my house in Rover.  The bed, rocker, and bedside table was a gift from my Great Aunt Mae.  It was transported in July, 1981 by my Granny who stitched the poppy quilt.  She went down to haul the gifts and her sister up to Franklin from Mobile, AL.  Granny tells the funniest story about how hot it was in Aunt Mae's house and she was having a hard time trying to sleep.  So, she went to get a cold drink from the kitchen in the middle of the night and found out "that old heifer had a fan blowing on her!"  I guess sister spats happen even when you are the age of Grannys.
Maybe some day I'll make time to actually cover those rocker cushions with that plaid fabric instead of just wrapping it around them.  A spring break project maybe?  I"ve had the fabric for years - I think I bought it to cover that chair when twenty-six-year-old Bryan was a newborn.  I like it better now than I did back then!

The table closest to the camera is the one I used as a kitchen table when I lived in Rover.  Now, the granddaughters use it as a tea party table.  I intend to hang a mirror over it and make some curtains out of the fabric that my friend Kathy gave me and this room will be done.
The most recent project has been the bathroom on that end of the house.  It was covered in a busy floral wallpaper.  The charming beadboard below the chair rail warmed my heart but the flowers were just a bit much for me. 
See, sweet, but a bit busy.  After hours of spraying, pulling, scraping, and tearing the borders down in the bedrooms, I decided to just take a chance and roll paint over the wallpaper flowers and just look how wonderfully it turned out!
I'm still trying to decide about the gold mirror and light fixtures.  One day I think I need to paint them and the next I like how it seems to warm things up in there.  I'm sure that time will point me in the right direction - or a consult with some 'real' designer, maybe. 

Here is another, more clear shot of all those flowers.  It is also a pretty good picture of the floor vent, too, isn't it?
I'm also struggling with what art I'm going to hang on the walls in this bathroom.  I'm kicking myself for not buying that painting I liked at the starving artist sale several years ago but had no idea where I'd hang it.  This would be the perfect place!  Another reminder that when you run across something you love, go for it.
 I really think the cute little night light and shade I got at the Presbyterian Bazaar and blue vase Kathy gave me look a bit better on the vanity than the vent cover, don't you?
I'm really glad I thought about taking the before pictures.  What inspired me was that I remembered that I had taken pictures of the house in Rover before I bought it.  That is the way I shared the looks of it with my son, Bryan, before the deal was sealed for me to buy it.  Then, I began taking pictures of it after I'd filled it up with all my stuff.  It was really an interesting progression from the blank slate of the new house to being stuffed.  Of course, I really thought that was where I'd be for years and years.  I never thought I'd be working to put my stamp on another house so soon!  I'm not complaining in the least - this has truly been a labor in love and the trade-off of getting such a wonderful guy to share my life with is beyond value!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Into the Unknown - It makes me wonder...

I'm always encouraging other folks to write and publish.  That is my job.  That is my belief.  I never hesitate to participate in the former - jump at every opportunity and always go overboard.  Then, there is the latter.  I'm not so good at that.  I've nudged myself forward and decided that it is time I take action.  So, here I am publishing... 

This form of publishing is an unknown realm for me.  I hope I can adapt to it quickly and fall into an easy routine of it.  If not, all this prep work to make things look appealing and reflect me as a person will have been in vain.  Who knew that a person had so many choices when it comes to a simple post?  The background, the fonts for titles, headings, posts, and so much more have a multiplicity of choices for customization and creating a space that is uniquely a portrait of me.  I aspire to have a space which looks like some of my favorite online bloggers's but I've got to learn how to insert pictures and when to change fonts and what fonts express which mood and all sorts of ins-and-outs of this medium.  I've also got to decide whether to allow interaction from the outside world and this prompts me to wonder why anybody would ever want to read or see what I have posted - even my family tries to ignore me sometimes and rightfully so.  It seems I fear the unknown the most and here I am taking a leap into the unknown and hoping for the best.

I love Saturdays!  There is a whole new attitude about life on Saturday.  It can be the relaxing end to a hectic week or the gearing up for a week ahead.  It is a pause in my life when I can step outside the everyday shoes of wife, teacher, daughter, mother, grandmother and just go barefoot.  I can lie abed late that morning or stay up late that night and rarely is anybody's schedule going to be impacted.  If somebody took Saturdays away from me, I probably would be grumpier - even grumpier than I was yesterday and that is pretty gruesome.  I NEED this time to stop and let all the things I've been chasing get out of sight and all the things which I'm running from pass me by. 

The only thing that has been wrong with this Saturday is that I didn't get to share that luxurious time with Mike.  Bless his heart and tired bones.  He had to go to work.  I hate he's had to miss this and I really miss his company.  He needs at least a month of Saturdays in his life and deserves even more.  I wonder when he is going to get such a luxurious indulgence and hope it is soon.