Friday, June 14, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Progress Edition

round button chicken
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.  Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter.
One week and a day to go before the big party and so we're kicking it into high gear and trying to put the finishing touches on everything that needs to be touched so we (read: I) can move on to the cleaning and cooking part of the preparations.

But first, a breath and a pause to record some progress.

As you know, we've been hacking things all over the place.  We hacked curtains, curtains, and even more curtains (hey, you know that phenomenon that occurs when you say a word too many times in close succession, suddenly rendering the word meaningless?  Works with typing a word too many times as well), patio chair cushions, and cheapy-chic bathroom decor.  And we've been gardening a lot.

But that is not all, oh no, that is not all!

I know I told you about the clematis we got at 50% off at Lowe's (through the mighty power of guilt), but I haven't yet told you about this one.  Mom went back to Lowe's a few days ago (for something like peat moss or mulch or something) and saw this clematis that looked even more poorly than the first one we got!  Clearly, someone is not doing their job over at Lowe's or maybe they just have something against clematis.  Anyway, Mom scored this one for $5 which was 75% off!

And she planted it next to the lattice The Vicar erected to camouflage the rubbish bins.  Mom says she's never seen soil like ours.  Everything grows in it like gangbusters.  Of course the copious amounts of rain we've had helps...


I went out back this morning and was literally stopped in my tracks with jaw slacked when I spotted these flowers.  This is the pathetic, little, $5 clematis we planted less than a week ago!  Unbelievable!

Do you remember this, the improved front porch display?

Well, with a skosh of spraypaint...

It is now complete as a junked (or junqued as I like to say), upcycled trellis for our 50%-off rescued clematis which is doing nicely and filling with buds (though maybe not with the fervor or speed of its 75% off rescued cousin in the back yard).

Now, as soon as I figure out how to use those brick hooks, I can get our house number up and be done with this area!

This table is another small hack.  The table itself was donated to us.  And while I like it, I could not find a way to incorporate it into any room of the house.  I simply didn't have the room for it.  So we painted it and Mom donated a slab of marble she had trash picked years ago (and had used for this very purpose in her own back yard) for us to stick on the top.


I say, "we painted it," when I really mean Calvin did.  He had been a trifle more sassy than usual the day before this photo was taken and The Vicar decided it was because he was bored and idle.  So a bunch of extra tasks were sent his way.

The funny thing is, far from being sulky that he was being disciplined in small way, Calvin was a lot happier that day.  That's the thing with boys (and probably kids in general): they always need something to do or they get into trouble.

This is another thing that makes me happy: Mom's sewing machine.  As you've probably detected, it's quite old.  This was her grandmother's machine, the one she used to teach Mom to sew when she was a little girl.  She gave it to Mom when she stopped sewing and Mom has used it ever since.  A few years ago, it got caught in a small (but big enough) flood in our basement and its original case was ruined.  But unsinkable Mom somehow managed to fit it with a new, plastic base.  I have loved having it in my house and hearing its soothing, familiar whir in the background as Mom makes magic with it once again.


This is a hand-lettered sign that recently appeared on Calvin's closet door.  His room has a walk-in closet, the only one in the house, that I use for storage and he uses pretty much as a clubhouse.  He's got his beanbag chair, a small lamp, and all of his most treasured possessions squirreled away in there.  He originally wanted his bed in there but that was where we drew the line.  Anyway, a few days ago, I walked in there to deliver some laundry and saw this sign.

It says, "No Muggles!"


I can't tell you how encouraging and liberating this weekly event has been for me, particularly the "Real" aspect of it.  While it's true that sometimes I rein the realness in a bit before I share it, many, many times it feels good to just display it as it is and let it go.

This is what the dining room looked like when Mom finished sewing the other day.  This is actually how it still looked the morning after she had finished.  And...I'm pretty sure it still looks like this.  I haven't actually had much time to go in there and look around much less tidy it up.  We still have a few more things to finish so I've been furiously debating with myself whether I should tidy now or tidy later and tidy later has been winning.  I'm so dreadfully busy I only have time for meals and laundry!

And, finally, speaking of laundry: this is what happens when you get a notice home from the school saying there's been an outbreak of lice.  Greeeeeaaaaaaaat.   Just what I need right now.  Then again, when is a good time for a lice outbreak?  I was amusing myself during those countless trips back and forth to the washroom (most of which were required to re-balance the washer) by trying to imagine any situation in which any mother might sigh, throw down her dish towel, turn slowly, giving an appraising glance around the house and say, "You know, now would be a really good time for us to get lice."  I couldn't do it.  But it was amusing.

Those are all our pillows waiting in semi-quarantine to be disinfected.  And this is the very end of the massive mountain of linens that was clogging up our mudroom and washroom earlier this week!  It was horrifying!

One of the latter piles of linens waiting to be folded and returned to their rightful owners.  Again, this is probably about 1/4 of what passed through the production line.  I had to divide by Necessary For Sleeping Tonight, Not Necessary But Would Really Be Helpful, and Non-Essential Fluff.  I believe this was a pile of Not Necessary But Helpful.

The good news is, we were able to head the little buggers off at the pass.  No infestation here, whew!

Where have you found contentment this week?  Join in and share it with us!

No comments: