Thursday, August 18, 2011

..your house matches??

Has anyone seen my mothers house? Growing up, it was to me like many kids' homes are to them: safe. Nothing really did match, though. I can remember in junior high, before my Aunt Anne came to visit (she is a fabulous seamstress and sews custom drapes with a great eye for interior design), being in Wal Mart with Mom. I had begged her to buy hunter green valences and a hunter green shower curtain for our bathroom (at this point, yes, we had ONE bathroom for FOUR girls, a mom and a dad. We surived. Take THAT you 4 bathroom families). I desperatley wanted that room to match. I am pretty sure that the valences are still up there and probably dusty as ever (we never noticed nor cared growing up). The shower curtain, I think, is down. I can't remember exactly. Interior decorating was not a concern for my mother or daddy. So long as he had supper ready when he came in from the field and his recliner chair free when he was ready to "watch tv" (doze), he could care less. The flowers that Mom would attempt to grow, would meet their fate when Daddy was on the Grasshopper. Our yards around the house have never really been watered. Mom is predictable with her pansies that she plants on the front planters (that used to be, I believe, watering troughs). Other than that, we are a family that really paid no to little attention on matching things or themes or holidays in our home. The Christmas tree would go up sometime in December and would stay up until the Epipfany. The decorations that would coincide with Christmas, consisted of the ornaments that us girls made in grade school. Second to the tree, the most important decoration for the Advent Wreath and the usual insane sprint, after meal prayer, to the piano to see who would read the meditation that evening. Usually, Daddy would intercede and allow Mel to do it, since I was the bossy one who would throw Mel out of the way. Naturally.

So, naturally, I am not all that keen on decorations for our home. Registering for gifts at Heart of Country in Holly, was a feat for me. Matching napkin rings with my napkins? What the hell? We only used napkins when company was over (and these would come out, naturally, at dessert, because Mom woudl forget to lay them out). And these weren't pretty fabric napkins. Too expensive!! We used the Shur Fine sandpaper napkins, if you were lucky. Usually, it was sandpaper paper towels. And, you are wanting me to choose napkin PATTERNS to match my placemat?! And a table runner?! Do you know where I COME from?! I had no clue. I went with the Lemon Pepper theme (there I go, acting all Better Homes and Gardens and throwing out the word "theme"). For our shower, we were blessed with many gifts from our registry from Heart of Country. If you are anywhere near Holly, you have to stop by Heart of Country. This store will blow your mind. It's as if Southern Living and Farm and Ranch Living met up and had a lovechild. And it is Heart of Country. I love that store. I go in there nearly daily.

Ah, yes. I said I go in there nearly daily. Yes, I am unemployed and really have nothing else pressing to do, then to enjoy a lunch with friends at Wooden Rose then hang out at Heart of Country. Within the past week, I have purchased several items to go with my Lemon Pepper kitchen and dining room; Lemon Pepper button-down valences, Lemon Pepper Rag Rug (picking that up today and am STOKED), Lemon Pepper table runners, and todays task: to find neutral chair paids to go along with, you guessed it, Lemon Pepper. I have caught the decorating bug and am absolutely loving it. Best part: when I tell Aaron that I want to get this or that: his response:

"Do whatever you want, honey."

Golden words to live by, my friends. Or should I say, Lemon Pepper words to live by.

I won't be that annoying woman who posts pictures, daily or hourly, of their home improvement renovations. That is annoying. And desperate. I'll just leave you with this picture of the valences I ordered (along with the dishcloth, that we received a million of from the shower and wedding). I can't tell you how many times I have said to myself "I love my life." Decorating freedoms aside, I am happier now than I have ever been. Except maybe when our bathroom, for a short time, matched a perfect hunter green.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

pet orphanages

Growing up, none of our dogs started off as "ours"; they were strays that came onto the place. Even though they started out as strays, they became part of the family. Tuesday evening, while the hubby was watering the lawn, a dog ran onto our place. He was a full grown husky mix with a bit of yellow mixed (I don't know dogs, all I know is what labs, beagles, Lassies look like; and yes I know that Lassies are not the name of the dog). I was scared at first, because he wasn't "Shadow" (our dog back home). After some time outside with him, we knew that he was used to humans and was fed. Our initial thought was that he was dropped off by someone, which happens a lot out here. As much fun and safe as I would feel with a dog outside, my mind went to the dreaded question that Aaron hates.... "How much is this going to cost?". I ignored that stress inducing, debbie downer emotion thought and remembered all the warm and fuzzy memories of our own dogs (Bubbles, Tacky, and Shadow). All the times coming home from church, errands, school, etc and Shadow running up as we pulled in our circle drive, excited as ever to see us. I want our kids to have that attachment with a family dog. Cats are great and I love our cats. Coming home, I always ask "Where are my kitties" (yes, as that crazy cat woman). But, there is a special bond that I have with dogs, again, based on my own upbringing.

Oh, the times of puppies in the cement garage. I still can see Alayna, who is now 19 years old, in a old tattered green heavy coat looking at the puppies for the first time (I can't remember which dog and which liter it was). The pure look of bewilderment on her face as the little pooches cuddled together for warmth (we didn't get out much, you have to understand....) It was a beautiful time for our family. It was a bonding time. And I want our kids to have that same lessons in life. Losing a family pet was a feeling that we were used to; in the country, cats would "disappear" due to coyotes, etc. Again, another life lesson that country kids grasped on and lived through.

We decided that if the dog was still on our front porch by the morning, I would call a couple of our surronding neighboors to see if they knew whose dog it was. The next morning, pup was still on the porch, as if to be guarding our house. I was excited and yet still disappointed. I didn't want him to be someone else's dog and that same morning, they would be looking their dog and worried. There was no need to call any neighboors......

A fellow neighboor pulled up to our place in his beautiful silver pickup, as the dog ran up to his pickup, my heart sank. He lives about 2 miles south of us and farms around our place. Chances are, the dog knew this place (we are living in his parents old home) and found his way here. As the pickup pulled off and he waved to me, I began to bawl. I sat on the front steps and bawled. And I am not sure why. I am sure it has something to do with the feeling of attachment that I had with the memory of having dogs. It is humorous how those memories of childhood, that we don't think are really important, are. Growing up, I thought I'd be emotionally scarred from having to ride the "horrible" bus daily or wearing clothes that my mother made (Kdg and 1st grade). It's the little passing moments that live with us. The ones that affect our life goals and values are the ones that we don't always "scrapbook" about; they are the ones that you can't see.

But, I can't wait to see a puppy running up to me when I pull in my driveway......