Thursday, December 01, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Destination: The Boudoir

First off: Happy Birthday to my little sister, Lobelia, over at Wrought By Lobelia!  She's a relatively new PHFR participant but I don't know if she'll get a post up on this her special day.  Pop on over, take a look at my adorable nephew and niece, ogle her knitting projects (she's amazing--she taught me how to do a provisional tubular cast-on this week) and say Happy Birthday!

round button chicken
~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~ Every Thursday at Like Mother Like Daughter
Mayhap you recall my epiphany in the loo? Wherein I discovered what contentment truly is? Well, this week, I've had a similar experience in my bedroom.


I was tidying up our bedroom when the light on our bed caught my eye. I couldn't get a photo that captured what had appealed to me, but I really loved how the colors looked together in the morning light.  Our bedroom is blue and green and I find the combination so soothing and serene!  And I thought this spot just looked so comfortable and welcoming.  This is The Viking's side of the bed so I took a moment and prayed for the man who takes his hard-earned rest in this place each night.

I stepped back and took a wider look at his side of the bed.  The basket of books (plus the sound machine) is pretty to me because it is a testament to The Viking's increasing love of reading.  Seven years ago, when The Viking built this bedroom (yes, HE built it), he wasn't much of a reader.  Thus, I didn't worry about finding something narrow enough to put between his side of the bed and the door.  But since then he has become more and more of a reader and finally asked if I could find some way for him to have a bedside table.  My using-what-I-have solution was to turn one of my many thrifted suitcases on its side and place a basket on top.  I don't usually have ingenious ideas like that (if I say so myself).  But it works, don't you think?

As for the hat: the firefighters wear them for ceremonial events like funerals and parades.  The Viking was so pleased at how irresistibly handsome I found him to be in his uniform that he joked he was going to put it on every evening after work.  One day, he saucily tossed the hat on the bedpost, saying it would help me not to forget how attractive he is.  It's been there ever since.  Except when he's had to wear it, of course.

This is just a close-up of my bureau.  More green and blue, an old (stained) dresser scarf, an ancient photo, the very edge of vintage purse now in use as a trinket box since its strap broke off...just a few things that make me feel contented when I see them while taking off my earrings and putting away my socks.

When The Viking built this bedroom as part of an addition on this house, we decided to follow the lines and angles of the original roof.  Which is very steeply pitched.  Which resulted in this corner under the eaves that some find to be just crazy but I just love.  Which resulted in this unusual corner next to my side of the bed.  I tried an overstuffed chair and then an occasional table over there but they never looked quite right.  Then Mom came to the rescue with this steamer trunk she had in her attic.

It is fully intact: the clasps still work, it has all its drawers and it even has its original hangers.  It weighs a TON and I cannot imagine having to travel with one of them but it makes more sense when you remember that people who had these trunks also had servants to tote them for them!  I keep things like scarves, gloves and purses in its drawers and put an old favorite dress of Redheaded Snippet's on one of the hangers.  It also has many handy places to hide a chocolate stash!


This is one of The Viking's favorite knick-knacks.  I don't know how old it is or how long he's had it as it predates me.  As long as I have known him he has had it on display in his room.  The Viking is not much of a collector but he does have a few precious items that he likes to display.  This is probably his favorite of all.  Every once in a while he'll take it off the shelf and fiddle with it with a very happy smile on his face.

And this is obviously one of mine.  I do not collect dolls, just so we're clear.  And, I'm sorry if this applies to anyone reading this but, I find the idea of adults collecting dolls to be creepy.  That being said, this is the doll my parents gave me for Christmas when I was 6 months old.  Baby Guffey is one of the first toys I remember playing with when I was very young and she has always gone where I have gone.  She used to be so beautiful and said, "Mama" when you tilted her up or down.  But then she got caught in a flood in the basement (because I was careless about putting my toys away) and she was almost completely ruined.

Years later, Mom secretly took her to a doll hospital to have her restored as another Christmas present for me.  She had made a partial recovery when a dispute arose between Mom and the doll healers so Mom took her home and decided to finish the job as well as she could herself.  Mom made that dress, bonnet and pinafore herself, sewing it at night after I had gone to bed.  And then was apologetic that she couldn't do anything about her hair!  I was so touched and grateful and I've treasured her ever since.


This another one of Mom's homemade gifts: a pillow she made for The Viking and me as an engagement gift.  She presented to us with great solemnity, though with a twinkle her eye, saying it was something useful that every couple should have.  It has two sides:

We have had this on our bed since we got home from our honeymoon.  The Viking says he always peeks at the pillow to get the forecast when he comes into our room each night but I don't usually pay attention to which way it's turned when I make the bed.  He's also been saying for years that he wants to commission Mom to make one that says, "Tonight's the night," on BOTH sides on behalf of husbands everywhere.

This is The Viking's Viking and an opportunity to explain his blog name.  My husband is of Swedish descent, has a very Swedish last name and looks very Scandinavian.  When my sisters met him for the first time with his angular features, bright blue eyes and red beard (when he was young at least), they said, "He LOOKS like a viking!"  And they started calling him "The Viking".  I seem to remember them also calling him, "Redbeard," and "Eric the Red," but, "The Viking," was the one they used most frequently.

Most of the guys down at the fire station have nicknames that they print across the backs of their helmets.  The Viking's is, "Swede," so, "The Viking," was the obvious choice when I needed a blog name for him.  And, of course, people are always giving him little viking gifts.  The two pictured above were both gifts and The Viking keeps them on his dresser.  Which brings us to...


I had originally intended to post photos of The Viking's dresser as a way of saying, "Oh dear me, would you look how cluttered and REAL and undusted and REAL this piece of furniture is?  If only my husband was more tidy and didn't leave so much REALITY around for me clean up!"

And then, THANKFULLY, the Holy Spirit muzzled the shrew in me and opened my eyes.  And I saw that, yes, these photos are indeed REAL; snapshots of the dresser of a REAL man.  Look at the assembled items: contact case, contact solution, deodorant, medicine, watch, loose change, hardware catalog, firefighting DVD, toy vikings, gun cleaning supplies, water glass...all trappings of a man.  And I asked for forgiveness and finished my tidying, giving thanks for a man who works so hard he doesn't have time to tidy a dresser.

And, finally, in the spirit of full disclosure, I thought I'd share a real photo of myself.

There I am in glasses, with no makeup, wearing my favorite, old ratty sweatshirt I've had since college (HOW does it still fit) and barefoot!  I am committing a lot of no-no's in light of Auntie Leila's post yesterday, but in my defense, I am not feeling well today which is why I haven't done hair or makeup and am wearing the glasses and sweatshirt.  I go around barefoot most days (FlyLady be darned) unless my feet are cold so that's nothing new.  But otherwise this is a step up for me!  Usually when I'm bumming it I stay in my pajamas.  I actually gave this some thought and decided I can still look relatively decent even though I feel like rubbish.

Now if I can just learn to find the same contentment I've discovered in my bathroom and bedroom in my own appearance, THAT will be an accomplishment...

Where have you found contentment today?  Look around and share what you find!

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