For the Girls!
For the Boys!
For those of you who celebrate – Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hope your day is filled with lovely things like chocolate and flowers (or wine and knitting, if that’s your thing). I would have loved a day like this one that I’d clean forgotten about, but instead we are recovering from colds and all spread around the house doing our own things. Ah well. Some other year perhaps.
This year Uptown and I made valentines for his Kindergarten classmates. In previous years I slaved away hand making valentines for his co-op preschool friends and Uptown was rarely interested in deciding what they should look like, much less involved in making them (2013, 2014 – no post, but we made these, 2015). To be fair, “slaving” is hardly what I did. I loved his co-op and all the folks we knew there and it was truly a labor of love to make fun gifts for all the kiddos (and often their siblings too!). This year he has been so excited by the whole Perler business going on in our house that I thought he’d like to make fuse bead valentines for his class. So I hit Pinterest hard core and looked for the perfect idea. After some discussion we settled on this pattern and this tag. By using glow-in-the-dark beads we combined a tag he liked with a pattern I thought was cute and easy for him to do.
He was into it – at first. But once I had all the supplies assembled (a week and a half early mind you!) and he realized he was actually going to have to make them himself, the light went out. A week and a half of grousing, bad attitudes (on both our parts), pestering, lecturing, and whining (on both our parts) ensued, during which time only two valentines were actually completed. And then, as happens to even the best prepared moms (a group in which I am never included), we were slammed with a doozy of a cold. Two days before the class party and still only two valentines were ready.
So we suffered through it. I cajoled and extolled the virtues of starting a project on time so “these things won’t happen”, he leaked boogers and sneezed virus everywhere while plopping teeny tiny beads on a little pegboard with feverish fingers. I’m the worst mama in the world. But I was going to make him keep his word (he’d promised!) and I was NOT going to do it for him. We survived – barely. The valentines were made. But Uptown had to miss the party due to his fever. Was it worth it? I don’t know. Will I do it again? Hell no. Next year we’re going to ruin the planet and buy some of those insipid, cheesy, impersonal paper valentines and he can write his name on them and be done with it.
She loved the hardware store. The odor of fresh, clean wood mingled with the scent of possibility never failed to bolster her spirits. Here, a girl could start anew; make her own future. And it amused her to see the expressions on the faces of the men surrounding her. Grizzled old-timers and beefy construction types alike, paused in their study of the merchandise to observe this strange creature meander past. Because she chose to wear her normal attire (no dumpy work-stained clothing here) she was rewarded with both displays of slack-jawed puzzlement and generously amused grins. They thought she might be lost. She smiled secretly. She knew exactly what she wanted and how to find it. She always had.
For several weeks now, along with my morning coffee, I have been doggedly scouring the interwebs for DIY home improvement ideas; searches such as: “paint colors that work with honey oak”, “installing a tile backsplash”, “organizing your cupboards”, “fixing a weathered exterior door frame” and so on. If you can fix it tor improve it, I’ve probably checked it out. Pinterest and I are finally becoming good buddies. But I’m a little afraid. I can do many things but I don’t claim to be handy around the house, even though I come complete with my own cordless drill and an assortment of hand tools which I pretty much know how to use. Never mind that they were left in my care by a former boyfriend who never came back to claim them. However if I tell you the backstory, perhaps you’ll understand my urge to plunge into the home improvement arena sans any real life building skills.
R. Darling and I have been together 14 years as of this summer (11 of those years married). He purchased our house new before we met, and a few short years later I moved in for good. Yet I have always identified this house as his house, not our house. I did not pay for it, I did not have the fun of hunting for it with him, therefore it is not mine (in my mind). Though I may refer to it as “our house” in discussion, my heart doesn’t believe it. I still ask for permission to change things around and he still tells me this is my home too and I am allowed to do whatever I want with it. Recently I have come to realize that I want more than just a house. I want a home. A place that reflects the people and things I love most. I spend an awful lot of time here. I should love my surroundings and they should reflect a part of me back to myself when I am here.
Just what I have in mind…..
Time has taken its toll on our once modest, but new, home. There are scratches on the baseboard moldings and lower two feet of most walls from the two pooches that were part of R. Darling’s family before I arrived. The paint is peeling on myriad surfaces of kitchen and bathroom, and the house has settled over the years, resulting in some rather frightening cracks in the drywall around major archways. The hall closet suffers from lack of organization; our current shelf system just does not meet our storage needs and I feel that the space is not being utilized to its full potential (enter interwebs searches for: “DIY closet built-ins”). And don’t get me started on all the gold-tone hardware and Hollywood dressing room lighting in the bathrooms. Can you say 90’s?
But this place is ours. We will most likely live here for the rest of our lives unless our dream of retiring to Anacortes when our son is grown ever bears fruit. It is time to make it a home.
So be afraid. Be very afraid. In the coming months I may be exposing you to all the dirty little secrets around my home. My epic fails and massive triumphs will be here for all to see. That scares me almost more than the thought of installing tile or possibly electrocuting myself when switching out the dreaded strip lights in the bathrooms. But I hope you’ll stick along for the ride. There is bound to be lots of tears and laughter! And ultimately, the realization of a dream. What more could we ask for?