Thursday, May 29, 2008

Out with the old and in with the still old but now painted

Before my manic makeover
In seven days my children will be out of public school for good; I have six weeks to complete my manuscript; I have curriculum to order; I have schedules to create and so obviously, I decided that the best use of my time would be to renovate the kitchen. I allowed myself three days, a $100.00 budget, and I recruited my workhorse of a mother to be my interior decorating partner. Ours is an old and roomy Victorian in which "modern" and trendy furnishings appear stifling and out of place. I wanted a farmhouse looking kitchen. I wanted color and cheerfulness with my morning coffee.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Don't hate me because I'm stylish

There is a very fine line between "shabby chic" and "tacky," which I crossed when purchasing this lamp at a thrift store last summer. The five dollar price tag and earthy color scheme hijacked my good senses and lured me into an impulse buy I would obviously soon regret because...c'mon now, look how hideous it is. I mean, what would be the theme in a living room where this eye sore was perched on a side table? I am guessing 1970's Patriotism, which I promise you the rest of my home decor does not reflect - although I did tell my husband, as a joke, of course, that I planned to stencil the phrase, "We the People..." on the open wall space above our new un-cool antique. He smiled, but in a worried kind of way because actually, I am quite unpredictable.

Still crazy after all these years

"Please, please take my picture!" he begged of me. Well, maybe not verbally but I could tell by the way he was lounging all silently on the porch that nothing would make him happier than a glamour shot of the two of us together.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hey buddy, play by the rules!

I was quite a late bloomer in the dental department (losing my very last baby tooth in college) and I have passed this gene on to my children. At five and six-years-old, most lisping, straw-drinking through gaps in their mouths kids, are still apt to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, a tiny fantastical creature could indeed sneak under pillows to exchange a just as tiny tooth for money, and it is fun to let them marvel so. What's not so cute, however, is a wise and agenda- driven, nine-year-old carrying an emerald green, tooth toting treasure box (provided by his school teacher) staring you straight in the eye, conspiratorially, saying "Look, I know who the tooth fairy really is, so...", which translates, "Let's cut the red tape here and dole out the cash." "I'm pretty sure," I tell him slyly, "it doesn't work without a middle man."

Memory Eternal

At our wedding rehearsal, my grandfather, Bob, a rugged and ornery WWII veteran, was bright and engaging. He loved all the attention from my soon-to-be husband, Troy, and his groomsmen who laughed at his jokes and treated him not gingerly but like one of their own. He called me "snakeface" when I was a baby and told wild and fanciful stories. He'd pretend to sleep while I brushed and put ribbons in his hair. He was a live wire, a fighter in the most heroic sense of the word and today, I remember him fondly.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tell me a story I'll never forget

Now the soldier's dreams changed. Often he dreamed that he walked in a cloud of butterflies. They shimmered with color, surrounding him so closely that they shielded him from the devil. When he awoke, he knew the butterflies were the prayers of the poor.

- An excerpt from the Bearskinner, a gorgeously illustrated, thought provoking, soul stirring book for children that riveted my nine-year-old son and brought me to tears with its rawness, potency, and grace.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Well, hello there!

When I was picking up Elijah from school for a late morning doctor's appointment, I came across these little beauties loitering outside of the art room. They were so delightfully whimsical, I had to fight a raging impulse to sit right down beside them and initiate an intimate conversation. "Hello there," I whispered instead, from a standing position, and then I swear to you that yellow one winked at me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A true fashionista

So the rules around here state that family members may dress themselves provided the outfit is modest and weather appropriate. Having basically seen it all, there are very few ensembles that can stop me in my tracks and make me wish I were secure enough to throw on a hot pink headband, Richard Simmons style, and feel great about it. This floral number was one of them.

My sweet, sweet surprise

I have a rather cruel habit of letting my porch plants dry out until their wilting stems and crisped by the sun petals practically beg for a drink from the watering can. Yesterday, I apologized while lifting my drooping geraniums down from the hooks that keep them high above ground level and away from sticky fingers who think flowers are always prettier in one's own sweaty hands. I gasped when I noticed this most perfect and teeny nest nestled sweetly between the leaves in my planter. While I was busy ignoring my chores a mother bird had been following her instincts and I am happy she's chosen to stay with us awhile.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rest, little darling

No matter what had transpired between them hours earlier; no matter how overwhelmed and exhausted she may be, a mother need only gaze into the face of her sleeping child to find a new reserve of strength for tomorrow.