Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Hate to Damage the Psyche of a Good Chair

     The last few weeks have been a blur of what to eat/not eat, what needs washed, dried, folded, put away, wiped up, wiped down, swept, mopped, scrubbed, mowed, pulled, watered, filled, drained, heated, cooled, painted, sanded, waxed, taken, dropped off, heard, written, crossed off, let in, fed, taken out, walked, hugged, ripped out, replaced, straightened, shined, polished, caulked, replaced, checked, adjusted, verified, etc. I bet yours have been about the same. 

Gratuitous photo of Audrey with her buntings. Because I know some of you require pictures.

     The most difficult part for me? Was the eating/ not eating. I had a health scare, and I have the all-clear from my doctor now. I feel like I can breathe again. But saying I had a health scare makes me feel like I am downplaying how I felt by about a kajillion. I started eating clean, eating what I should eat for my kidneys, to be precise. 

     Let me just tell you that in my whole life I have always eaten a lot of junk. Not lots of McDonalds or something - but lots of sugar went into this container of awesomeness. I was downing way more soft drinks than I want to admit. I swear there were days when I drank ten cans of Pepsi. No lie. 

     Add to that chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. And other candy. Every day. Many a day. And the baking. And the no-bake stuff. And the desserts, which are official. All that other stuff was unofficial, in case you were wondering. 

     Have I mentioned cheese? Because I really, really, really like cheese. Really. A lot. Times ten. 

     All that stuff (and oh-so-much more) was bad for me. And I stopped it. And I was making myself miserable. Also, I was hoping for a miracle when I had my next blood tests. I was hungry and sick of berries, cucumbers, cherries, celery, watermelon, onion, garlic, and whatever else was on the super-kidney list. I may have been feeling pretty sorry for myself. And very much afraid. I'm not good at admitting it when I'm afraid. I just get cranky. This way nobody can tell if I'm just my regular cranky or afraid. Great plan, isn't it!?

     Like I said, the blood tests all came back improved with everything in normal range, so it paid off. I lost nearly 30 pounds in those seven weeks, and my thyroid is now doing better than it was. It's still not good though, just improved. 

     My point, if I ever had one was "The last several weeks were miserable for me. Now I am feeling a great sense of relief." 

     On top of the great sense of relief, I am also feeling better in general. The pain I have had all of my life? The daily, constant, inescapable pain I always had in my neck and shoulders? It's gone! I'm going to attribute it to eating clean. You really should try it. You will probably like it! 

     I will still have occasional treats. Key word: occasional. Meaning not all day every day. (This note is more to remind myself than for you. I am sure you know what occasional means.)
  To celebrate my new-found peace and health I did a little shopping of the Craigslist variety. We agree we want a large table in our dining room. We want a large table which we can make extra extra large. My goal is a table which starts at nine feet and can expand to fifteen feet. We will use it at nine feet for day to day and pull it into the long room and run it and other tables all the way from the stove to the fireplace. 

Which would make this the 'before' photo

And make this the 'during' photo.

        Sorry Charlie, there is no after photo. Not yet. 

     Craigslist did net me these beautiful chairs from Yugoslavia. They are quite old, they are sturdy, they are comfortable, and best of all, they are mine.

    They don't match the table at all. But I do not care. Wait, that's a lie. I care. I am not sure if I can paint them yet. I know I can paint them. I mean I am not sure if I can do that to the chairs. I do not want to damage their psyche.  For now the table will be covered with a tablecloth. But I love that table so much that I like to look at it. So the chairs may have to take paint. We'll live with it a while and get to know them. I do not have to decide right now.

In Summary: 
  • I feel better
  • Chairs

  *To read more about our Ryan Homes Ravenna click the "Our House" button at the top of the page.    

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Paint Chip Notebooks

Paint Chips to Mini Notebooks
Who has a clever mother? That's right, this girl, right here!

     My mom came over yesterday with these little notebooks she made from some paint samples we had picked up some time ago. Since most people love little notebooks, this seems like a really cool thing everyone can do and give to all the list-makers in our lives.

     She used regular old paper and figured out how/where to print the name so she could personalize the sheets of paper for me. You wouldn't have to do that, of course. How awesome? You could make them as thin or thick as you like.

     I think you all have some getting busy to do!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Help Me to Help Her

     I can not help but fall in love with beautiful old dressers like this one. She has so much potential, don't you think? Look at those legs, those delicate little wheels, the perfect hardware, the lines! Look at that awesome piece on top. it actually screws off from the back like a mirror does. I took it off to clean it when I first brought it home.

     The thing is I am not one of those people with the gift of vision. I can tell she has great potential, but I do not know how to bring it out. I can see a great scroll for graphics, but I can not figure out what to put there. There's even a place on the top drawer for a headline or title. Or maybe something else, totally different.

She's looking for love - in my face

In order to demonstrate my pure genius and lack of true artistic talent I will show you the u.s.p.s. envelope they used to give me my stamps and postcards, which I tore apart so I could trace these elements from the computer screen. 

     Please do not let my inability to even trace deter you from sharing your genius ideas with me. Somehow I can manage to execute since I have a cricut machine with Make The Cut software and a printer.

     My goal is to use free graphics. Maybe from Karen at The Graphics Fairy.  

     I will most likely be linking up and asking for help anywhere I can think of because I want this to be really great. I'm going to try to find some of my favorite pieces and track down the people who did them and ask for advice. I don't know if any of them will actually come to see this and offer suggestions, but it can't hurt to ask, right? 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Arms and Hearts

     Lately I have been here a lot. In this space, observing people. I see my children grown up and growing away. Away from me. Well, away from needing me like I became accustomed to being needed. Sure, they still need me for things. They need someone to roll their eyes at (because, hey, mom is annoying or just plain weird sometimes) or someone to feed them. Sometimes I still get to do things like laundry and giving them rides. They probably see those things as the biggest favors I do for them. But when I get to bring out their warm, fresh, soft clothes I don't feel tasked. I feel love. When I get to give them a ride and have their full company for those few minutes, it's warm and familiar. Even if we don't talk, there's something so enveloping about being in a car alone with someone you love. Hearing the same music, witnessing the same scenery, breathing the same cool car air.

     Lately I miss those days when they were younger and had to be with me all the time. The days when all of them would have to pile in the van and listen to the same radio. The days before iPods and cell phones. The days when a Joe Scruggs cassette tape in the car was pure bliss and we all sang along. They were always surrounding me like their own little gang back then and it was heavenly.  They were so eager to receive anything I was offering. Now they have their own cars and their own music and their own interests and friends who are not each other and me. Any one of them is capable of going off on their own and not needing me for - I was going to say an extended period of time, but the truth is - forever.

     I still need my mom all the time. I need her to help me keep my emotional, moral compass. Agree with me that right is right and wrong is wrong. See the same injustices, or show me what she sees differently. Help me with scary stuff (which is anything I have never done before) Tell me it's okay that I leave so many projects somewhere between 85-99 percent complete. Somewhere, deep in the heart of me, I know my children still look to me for advice, for pointers, pro tips, if you will. But some days I still want to scoop them up into my arms and just rock them to sleep. Some days I still want to be their everything. Just because I love them more than anything in the world.

     I miss those days when these things were so important:
  • Little Mermaid nightgowns & bedding
  • who got the most m&ms
  • Osh Kosh socks - but they could never, must never, match
  • Cowboy vests
  • Beauty & the Beast sheets, comforter, canopy
  • traumatic wedgies
  • Love You Forever, Roger Poger, Owen and his fuzzy blanket
  • trips to the library 
  • Disney Store
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Dairy Queen Cakes
  • school field trips
  • season passes to Fiesta Texas or Geauga Lake
     These things just don't hold any power now. Except in memories. In memories they are powerful beyond words. Okay, sometimes m&ms can still be important.  There is no more urgency when someone needs a drink of juice. They do  not need, or even want me to fix their hair. Or even my opinion on how their hair should be cut or styled, if you can believe it!

     I no longer have a first grader, a preschooler, a toddler and a newborn. I have a student with a job, a mortgage banker, an employed guy who also takes care of neighborhood pets, houses and yards, and another student with a job who has decided to apply to become a mortgage banker as well.

     I miss the buzzing hive of little voices and all those sets of eyes and ears made me feel so necessary and important. One day, there will be an even louder, stronger buzzing of little voices and  even more sets of eyes and ears. More people to impress with fresh warm cookies and  fingers desperate to grasp sippy cups of oh-so-important juice. Books and cuddles and rocking chairs and trips to the library and the zoo and all sorts of new discovery. I get it now, all those crazy women trying to marry up their kids and clamoring for grandchildren. Their arms and hearts are aching to be completely necessary again. The wonder, once you have experienced it, of sharing every little thing with someone is what it's all about. There's your meaning of life, right there.

     You're welcome.