So Many Projects, So Little Time…

I’ve been so busy getting things done around the house lately and working. It just seems like there is never enough time to do everything I’d like to do. Lately, Hubs and I have been working on our bedroom. One of these days it will be the Oasis I dream of, but for now, it is, like me, a work in progress. 

We recently painted our room a beautiful, restful shade of gray which has given it new life. Our room had previously been blue which was a great color, but it was time for a new updated coat of paint. Along with the coat of paint, Hubs found a door at our local Habitat for Humanity resale store for $9.00. We painted it white and hung it leading into our master bathroom. The old door was a bifold door that was in serious need of replacement. Going to our local home improvement store, we found door handles that matched each other and replaced each for under $40 total. So far our room was looking great but it needed some finishing touches. 

I had the idea to take our old slatted headboard and revamp it into a covered headboard. I already had material on hand and a dear friend had the wood needed to attach the material. All we needed was some foam, batting and our trusty staple gun to complete it and the drill to attach it to the existing headboard. Voila! 

Next, to go with our new decor, I decided to do an art piece. I brought home a bunch of paint chips and cut them into pieces. I had a scrap of 25 inch square material and attached it to a 24 inch canvas with my hot glue gun making sure it was stretched completely. Then, starting from the corner, I glued my paint chip pieces in place to form a flower shape with the center formed at the corner of the material. It looks awesome and matches the new color scheme of the room well. 

We aren’t done yet. I’m painting my old dresser to match in white and gray. our nightstands are white already. I also purchased an inexpensive but beautiful duvet cover from Amazon to go in my retreat before all this great retreat reimagining took place. 

The soft gray and bright white play off each other well for a beautiful contrast. Gray is a color that can be cool or warm in time and I chose a warm gray that is inviting and has an inviting feel to it. We used Sherwin Williams HGTV color called Materialistic Gray. It’s beautiful. Grays have undertones of many colors like purple, blue, brown, yellow and green. I find its important to know which undertone you have chosen , but if you hold different gray swatches next to each other you can see the differences easily. 

Next up is the floating shelf for our wall. I can’t edit to stain it a rich expresso color. It will add not only a focal point but also a contrast from the whites and grays in yhe room and a did a functional space to place artwork.  

All in all, I’m so pleased with how everything looks. We have so many home improvement projects that we are working on. There is never a dull moment or time to just relax for long before I get another bee in my bonnet to work on something else. I’m so lucky to have Hubs to help me, even when he would much rather do anything but home improvement projects. One day we will sit and relax in our beautiful home. Unfortunately, that time isn’t for a long time just yet. Thanks Hubs for putting up with me!

The Sunshine and Dad

I have spent the last week and a half with my beloved dad. It’s the time of year when mom and dad become snow birds and migrate to sunny Florida. This year it is just dad though since we lost mom last November. Today would have been her birthday. She would have been a very young 87. 

Traveling with just dad has been a wonderful experience and a treasured one at that. sitting amiably in the car chatting or sitting quietly, he is a man of few words, we just get along well. We took our time and enjoyed our trip driving south through several states enjoying the changing scenery that makes up our beautiful land. We even stopped and shared a pecan waffle at the Wafflehouse in honor of mom, because no trip would be complete without a pecan waffle and a cup of tea in her humble opinion. 

Since arriving in the beautiful southwest part of the sunshine state, I’ve shopped and dad has taken care of things he needed to. I’ve helped him with all his technical issues and we have gotten him settled. We have eaten so well that when I get home, I probably shouldn’t eat for a month!  Life here is on a different pace. It’s as if everyone is on a permanent vacation where he lives. I suppose they are. It’s a slower, more relaxed pace where people have time for one another.

I’ve gone to the beach, of course, but I prefer the pool. Going to the pool each afternoon I find the same group of characters. I call it social hour. Everyone catches up with the latest goings-on in the community. It’s truly an amazing place to be and they have made me feel so welcome. Just today, I had a glass of wine by the pool with these fabulous people. Such fun. And boy was it good!

The shopping is always good here but I was hoping to find a few more things at my usual stores which I didn’t. Had I gone to my other usual stores I may have but I don’t want to spend all my money. I look for bargains only. That I found. There are loads of high end stores but I don’t want to spend everything when I don’t have to. 

There is nothing better than the sound of the waves hitting the shore, in my opinion. Stress melts away instantly while just sitting there listening to the lapping waves and the sounds of the sea birds. I went only one day this time to the beach, but my stress from the long drive instantly disappeared as I sat there enjoying the sights and sounds for an hour. It was a cloudy day so I had the beach pretty much to myself. What a joy and spectacle to behold. 

Soon it will be back to the Midwest for me. Not that it’s a bad thing to go home but I miss this place when I leave it. This is my favorite place on earth. The sun shines so brightly here and the temperature is always warm and delightful. Knowing that I’m going home is like a double edged sword. I miss my husband and kids, I miss my own bed, but I don’t miss the weather. I especially don’t look forward to the winter. But life is what it is and maybe someday I’ll get a chance to love a life down here. It is my dream. Someday. 

A Journey Back

It is that time of year again.  It’s time when the leaves are nearly off the trees aad the weather starts to get that chill in the air again. It is also time for the annual trek to the sunshine state with my parents, but this year I make this just with dad. So many times I’ve written about my mom’s death lately, but  this trip was always about time spent with both of my beloved parents. 

This year is so different, but so very much similar at the same time. Dad is my co-pilot while I do the driving. He’s amazing! he may be 86 but you would never know it. We spend some of the time chatting and yet, unlike when mom was with us, there is a lot more silence. He is a man who thinks and thinks a lot. A man of few words. Mom and I would solve all the problems of the world by the end of day one of our journey. Not so much with dad. He probably already solved them all but he’s not sharing the answers. Darn it anyway!

There is a bunch more room in the car because as dad says, mom packed everything but the kitchen sink and started a week ahead. Little does he know but that’s called being a mom. Must be prepared. I will say, however, he remembered to get bananas for our trip snack. It’s sort of a tradition. I do miss mom’s sandwiches though. 

We took the little car this trip which is strange to me, but it is brand new and really high tech. I sort of feel like I’m in a tiny space ship with all the buttons and gadgets. VErykah cool indeed to one who loves that stuff, like myself. 

I am so very blessed to have this time to spend with my dad. He is such an amazing and intelligent man. He exudes love and generosity. He takes care of his own and spent his entire life caring for others. There is no one quite like this patient, quiet man. Our trip may not be the same without mom, but it is such a special time for just the two of us. I’ve always been daddy’s little girl and I’m so glad I am because God gave me the very best father a girl could ask for. 

Hi Mom, I Miss You

This used to be one one of my favorite times of year, wI think the weather changing to crisp, autumn days and nights in need of cuddles, but last year something happened that changed , your life forever. My mom, my best friend, my mentor, had a hemorrhagic stroke on October 21st.  That day will forever be the day my world was turned upside down, never to be the same again. 

My mom was a woman of great strength to all who met her. She exuded energy and ultimately life itself. Never did anyone imagine that in a blink of an eye all that life would be changed and then lost just 5 short weeks later when she would take her last breath.  This was the woman I looked up to always for guidance. She wasn’t allowed to just not be here anymore. What was I supposed to do now?

This year has seen many changes brought on by the catalyst of mom leaving this world for the glory of heaven. I have changed and I hope for the better. I don’t take days for granted anymore or the joy of my family. I’ve switched jobs and I am no longer scared of change like I once was. I am happier in some ways, but the fact still remains that I am now, a motherless child. 

It makes no difference how old you are when  you lose your mom, you always need her. I was very fortunate to have her as long as I did. I know, because of  her strength and teachings, that life goes on and that there is still beauty in this world. Last November I wasn’t quite so sure as the days turned into weeks in the hospital. 

I am blessed that mom was here for me when I graduated high school and college, got married, had kids, got divorced, got remarried and had another child. I am blessed now that she is in heaven watching over all of us, probably having a good laugh most of the time and shaking her head the rest. the bottom line is, I am truly blessed. 

I still cry just not so much anymore. It helps me get through the pain that lingers still and I’m sure always will. We have made it through all the firsts with the exception of just a couple coming up. Her birthday and the first anniversary of her death. I still want to pick up the phone and call her. I always will. I miss her voice so much. I wish I could talk to her and hear her reactions to my stories. I so miss her laugh and her little clearing of her throat. I just miss her, but she remains in my heart, always.

My mom always said she would be my best friend someday when I was a teenager and I never believed her. Funny, she was right as always! I wish I was that smart with my kids!

Since mom’s death, I treasure my family even more than before. I drive even more safely. I don’t take unnecessary risks,  not that I did before,  but I’m not in a hurry to leave planet earth for a long time yet.  Maybe when I’m 90. Maybe, if the kids are okay. 

Decluttering Your Life

Lately I’ve been working on trying to clean out my house a little bit at a time, one room at a time, one space at a time. it amazes me how much junk we all accumulate over time. I am no exception. my problem however, is that even when I am not particularly attached to certain things, I still somehow feel like there should be a place for those things that I may need. I am ever the work in progress and so is my family.  I can honestly tell you some members need more motivation than others and some need more help to rid themselves of the clutter.

My problem has been the lack of motivation to begin the process. I then have to think whether or not I have used the items within the last year. if the answer is yes, and I still use it, it’s a keeper, if not, I have to ask why not and then either put it in the give it away or throw it away bag, whichever is appropriate. I’ve found it is really cathartic to get rid of things and simplify life. 

We all seem to hold on to clothes as well as other memorabilia but as we age, we suddenly realize that it is unnecessary to save every picture and project little Johnny made growing up. there just isn’t room in the house, no matter how great is was. If you’ve been blessed with more than one child like me, you will certainly run out of space! Sure I have saved a few things, but not enough to fill tubs full of artwork and favorite memories. 

When cleaning out kitchen cupboards,I find it extremely helpful to and skills myself how much do I really use the item. I got rid of so much unnecessary stuff. Hopefully all those items received new homes, as they were in good condition and were given away.  One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

We still have too much stuff but I continue to work on my simplification of my life. one day, when there are no more kids at home and less pets to care for, I may just have that home I’ve always dreamed of, but for now it’s a home of love that is well lived in. I can live with that and always have my eye on the prize.