Making It Happen: CLEANING

mih cLEANING

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

Sand entire vanity – Fail. Sand antique desk – DONE

mih sand

Mostly sanded. Rough week, I’m happy with 50% completed.

 

 

 

 

Projects for Next Week:

Clean up the new bedroom.

house 2

It’s gonna be beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be moving into a new bedroom. The previous occupant left it a mess. (read about that here) I’ve already had some professionals come through to clean out the big stuff, I now need to sweep, mop and paint the room. Sweeping, mopping and arranging are on the agenda for this week. 

Since I will be expanding into the other half of the house, my home improvement workload is gonna be huge. Here are some BEFORE pics:

house 4

Drywall, electricity, painting. Lot of work in this soon-to-be bedroom for my 13 yr old. Beautiful sun room with 4 windows and 2 window seats. 

house 3

Oh, the kitchen. New floor, new mantel. It’s gonna be a gorgeous dining room/kitchen once I’m done with it. Cannot wait. How cool to have a fireplace in your kitchen! Just like Little House on the Prairie.

 

 

house 5

Bathroom. New toilet. Resurface tub. Seriously scrub floor. But this original tile floor is going to look great! (I hope)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am like the perkiest person ever in this post.

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Making It Happen: GLITTER

MIH glitter

Fact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

Put some kind of sealant or another coat of paint on my bedroom vanity. It needs it.

(Two weeks ago I chose this as my next project, as you may know, last week It Didn’t Happen. However, if you were a stink bug on the wall you would have seen me  finishing this up this morning.)

ML

I found this cool Glitter Glaze type stuff at Home Depot. It worked wonderfully! Unfortunately, it also brought out the major flaw in the entire paint and shabby chic the vanity project – I didn’t sand first. After putting on this super fantastic subtle glitter, the brown, original varnish bled through. ML1

 

 

 

NOT TO BE DISCOURAGED!

I now have in my possession an electric sander. Which leads me to the project for next week…

Projects for Next Week:

Sand entire vanity. (I am sanding, repainting and reglittering, not shabby chic-ing this time. Live and learn.) This week I plan to sand this and an antique desk I bought at a Thrift Store.

From Sunday I will also be spending two nights and three days away. Alone. Just Being-ing. Quiet.

Therefore, I am not giving myself too much in the way of projects. Oh, and I’m holding a yard sale. W/e.

😉

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Rest

nap

I’m a pretty quick learner – except when it comes to this topic.

I tend to push myself too hard for too long and I end up paying the consequences – usually a lower back that blows out, sub-par work, short-temperedness (this may be a made up word.) I don’t want any of these things in my life, yet all three of them are directly related to me not resting. Dang it. You’d think I’d learn.

I’m better than I was, but I need reminding – often. Maybe you need it too.

I’ve written about this topic on the site: Moms of Faith. Find it here. Take a Rest.

PS – You do not have to be a mom to visit. 🙂

Quiet

 

Forestwander.com

It’s kind of like walking a tight-rope over an abyss.

Apparently, the fact that I work and parent full time and I am also compelled to blog seems a bit strange to some people. Honestly, until they brought it up, it seemed perfectly natural to me, but now that I think about it,

HOW IN THE WORLD AM I DOING THIS?

I was happily unaware that I was walking a tight-rope over an abyss – until someone kindly pointed it out. Now that I know, it has occurred to me that this might be a little crazy.

Since I already have my crazy full on, I’ve decided to attempt to find someone to watch my children for three days/two nights and get away. I need a little quiet to listen to the whispers in my head.

I don’t know if or when it will happen or what will be the outcome, but I know this to be true, behind the loads of laundry and the clamor of the kids, amid the drop offs and pickups and earning of the daily bread, there are whispers.

One Good Man

one

Once I was naïve.

I thought I could tell if a man were good or bad, kind or mean.

But I was wrong.

I learned the hard way that a man is not always who he portrays himself to be. I learned the hard way that he could hit and slap, kick and shove, beat and rape, subject you to public humiliations and break your heart.

I learned the hard way that the one person in the entire world who is meant to love and protect you is the one person in the whole world that you need protection from.

Recently I was invited to the 60th birthday celebration of a dear family friend, a man I have known my whole life, a man I admire and respect. You know who you are. We were told, no gifts, just a card. As I sat to write my hand and brain seemed incapable of expressing what was in my heart. It came out a mish mash of random thoughts that probably just seemed weird.

What I wanted to say was this: When I was growing up, I saw men who loved their wives and families. My father. My grandfathers. My uncles. My brothers. My Christian brothers. I was not unaware that there was evil in the world, but I had been exposed to men of integrity all my life, so when a man came along who lacked integrity but radiated charm and possessed a dynamic personality, I was easily deceived.

When I was at last free, my heart was broken once again, then a third time.

I can’t help but think of my favorite Christmas Carol taken from a poem by Longfellow.

Christmas Bells

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

At times I feel like changing the words, “There are no good men on earth I said,”

But like Longfellow, I am reminded,

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

And I remember those men, the ones that I have witnessed all my life, who love their wives. Who love their children. Who love their God.

And I am thankful for them. They are my own bells that chime to remind me that all men are not bad.

Making It Happen: Closets

mih closetsFact: Not being married negatively affects the state of my house.

This is a  follow-up/weekly post  where YOU my blog audience “come home” with me to see if having you here helps me get home improvement projects done. For previous post go here.

Premise (same as last week – if read previously – skip down to Projects.)

I find being unattached affects the status of my home improvement projects in two ways.

1. The fact that there is someone coming home kind of gives me a kick in the pants to get stuff done. Clean up, pick up, make improvements.

2. I am so much more motivated to do home improvements when someone else is doing it with me.

Projects:

1. Clean fridge.  DONE! (No pictures, come on, nobody wants to see that. You’re welcome. )

2. Clean out dining room closet.

Before                                                After

closetclo

 

stuff

Pile of crapola.

squ

Squirrel trap. Seriously.

 

clean

Everything that’s supposed to be in there, back in.

It has become apparent that I have a bag issues. I save them. All of them. Big, small, decorative and utilitarian. I might need a special counselor – cleaning out forced me to throw most of them away. I kept a few…

Projects for Next Week:

Easter, Good Friday, Spring Break and a child’s birthday loom ahead of me. Plus, we are getting closer to moving into the other half of the apartments since Bill’s daughter finished cleaning it out today. All this to say – I have 1 project on the list for this coming week:

Put some kind of sealant or another coat of paint on my bedroom vanity. It needs it.

Seriously – 99% of what I have posted over the last several weeks WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED (OR STARTED) without this blog series. 

So, whoohoo!

Names. Do Meanings Matter?

baby names

My brother mentioned over lunch the other day that friends of ours had named their newborn son Garrett*. When he asked the parents what the meaning of the name meant, the family replied that they had no idea.  My brother was flabbergasted, this was unfathomable to him.

How could you name a child and not know the meaning of the name?

My brother, being my brother, went home and looked up the meaning. I suppose he can sleep better now.

What he had failed to take into consideration was that this family had just had their fourth boy. I, however, get this, having had four same gender children of my own. Once you have had child after child of the same gender, the whole name thing kind of loses a little of its momentum.

My brother had a boy. Then a girl. Then another girl. Then he was done. Of course the whole name thing still had meaning.

By my fourth girl I was pretty much over the whole naming thing. Sure, the first name was still pretty important and I did take into account the meaning, “rock,” and wondered if it was too heavy of a name to give a baby girl – it wasn’t. She totally carries it. But when it came to the middle name – I was done. D.O.N.E. I told my husband and other three children: Pick a name, any name. Free reign. Your choice. Mommy’s out of ideas. Whatever you choose is cool with me.

And it was.

Do baby name meanings matter?

Feel free to weigh in!

*Name changed

death. Life, Living, Everlasting Life and ETERNITY

It’s Sunday afternoon and my neighbor was found dead this morning. This is not the first paragraph of a crime novel, it really happened.

A little after 8:00 AM I was on the way to the basement to get the clean laundry so we’d have something to wear to church. As I passed through my office at the front of the house I noticed police lights flashing outside and that an officer was walking toward my neighbor’s door. As I moved in for a closer look out the window I saw the body of my neighbor lying in the rain next to the trash and recycling buckets.

I ran through the kitchen and opened the front door and saw that poor Bill was not passed out as I hoped, but that he was dead in a puddle of water.

Let me pause to explain our bizarre living situation. I live in a 120 year old Victorian that at some point mid-century was divided into two apartments and offices. This unique division means that several parts of the house are inevitably shared living. So Bill was not a “far-away” neighbor but a man I saw and spoke with almost daily. The door to the basement which led to the clean laundry that we were about to wear to church, was in his kitchen.

In fact, I was the last one, to my knowledge, to speak to Bill, in person at least. The oven in my kitchen has been broken for months and it has just been easier to come downstairs and use Bill’s oven for all my baking and cooking needs. He didn’t mind, he never used it. Last night I was pulling out pork chops and baked potatoes and Bill came stumbling in from outside.

He was in his late sixties, a life-long smoker and was deeply depressed. He was alone in the world except for a daughter and a ninety year old father. Last week my dad and brother had to call Bill’s family to look in on him because it was clear to those of us who saw him on a daily basis that he was unwell, not eating and fading away. This wintery winter had been hard on him.

His daughter took him for a full check-up last week and the report was good. Bill even perked up for a few days! But last night he was not right. Dizzy. Unstable. I helped him to his seat and talked with him a bit. I asked if the medicine was making him dizzy and he said it did. I told him to call me on my cell phone if he needed me, I would come.

That’s the last time we spoke.

After the events of this morning I wish I had called my dad last night to come and check on Bill. In hindsight, I would have done things differently, yet I will live with my decision. He had been so weak for so long that his appearance was not as alarming as it should have been to me.

I am saddened that his body had to be found outside in the rain by a passerby. I am sad that he seemed to have nothing to live for and chose to fade away.

I am glad that his body was found on a Sunday morning and not a weekday when my children would have been walking to school and witnessed it. I’m thankful he died in an open place where he was found and not in his bed so that after a few days myself or my brother (who works here) would have smelled his remains.

This is raw. And this is honest.

Bill did not have a relationship with the Healer of Hearts, Jesus Christ.  That is the saddest news of all.

His death, as with all situations of this kind, has opened a door of conversation with my own children about life, living, everlasting life and eternity, so I will treasure and nurture these conversations. If there is only one glimmer of sweetness in this tragic, bitter end, those conversations are it.

death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(E for Eternity & Everlasting Life)

 

PS – this was written last Sunday.