Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mantle Redeux: Sand, Paint, Scream... Repeat

I have had a bee in my bonnet this last month to get moving on the long list of house projects. Last year around this time, I couldn't stand my fireplace one more minute and bought this mantle off Craigslist. I loved it, but knew it needed to be white.

I never liked the wood decals, so I chiseled them off and got to work sanding and painting. I used spray paint but I always get nervous the overspray will get on the concrete. I thought I was so clever spray painting it on the grass.
I had just finished the final coat and was putting everything away in the garage. Suddenly a huge gust of wind came through and I heard a soft thump. The mantle, covered in wet paint, did a face plant into the grass. I screamed and  when I pulled the mantle up, it was covered in grass..
*re enactment with an adorable actress

Back to square one... Sanded it back down, painted it again but this time in the garage with a big drop cloth.  Lesson learned, and also it looks so much better white.  Here is the before with sweet puppy Zoey...
 And after... notice I took off the foofy wood things on the sides.   
Just wait until you see what I did with the Living Room.... I used this as my point of inspiration... 
Intriguing... yes?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grandpa's Ranch

My dad's house sold today. Affectionately deemed "Grandpas Ranch" by my children, due to the abundance of orange trees on the property.  Every time we visit, their job is to pick a bucketful of oranges each.   I never loved the "Ranch House" it was never my home, but it was my parents retirement home, where they planned to live out the rest of their days. 
My mom is everywhere in that house, so is my dad, their personal touches are everywhere, even with it nearly vacant.   I couldn't get over the empty dining room, my mom had glamorous taste.  When she found a huge carved dining room table that seated 12 without the leaves, she bought it, imagining Thanksgiving dinners with her family gathered around it. She never bothered to measure it.   The table seated 20 with all the leaves, or so we were told, but we never tried it.  Even without the leaves it barely fit in the dining room.   One side of the table had to be seated, then you had to slide the table over to seat the other side.  Once you were seated, you were seated for the rest of dinner.   It was comical, and we laughed about it at every holiday.   Even though the table was too big, my mom couldn't resist the matching sideboard which swallowed up the entire wall, but she loved it.   Now the table rests in someone's home, but the memories will stay with us. 

The strange thing about losing someone is there are always all these chapters that come to an end.  You think, "this is the end of a chapter" when the funeral is over, then you disperse the belongings and think "no wait, THIS is the end of this chapter," but it's not.   Then there is a new marriage, a new wife, the house sells and you think this is the end of this chapter or an era.  But it's not... for my sweet Dad this is not the end, but a new beginning, and he is excited for it.   A big part of me is selfish and wants to keep my dad with me forever, after all, I'm his little girl.  Except, I'm not little, I'm married, I have a family of my own, and I'm not entirely his anymore and he is not entirely mine.  I mourn for my children who are losing a Grandpa who was with them weekly for the last few years, and while there is Skype, email, and the occasional visit, it won't be equal to that one on one time they had.  They will manage, I will manage, it's what we do, keep moving forward, one chapter at a time, because when one chapter comes to an end, a new chapter begins full of possibility.        

Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Parable of the Spork

AK ran down the steps of school and animatedly started telling me that the greatest thing happened today at school. She said, "Mom, they have sporks in the cafeteria. And everyday you can take one to keep!"

AK has an unusual adoration of sporks, she thinks they are hilarious. "They aren't a spoon or a fork, mom."
Everyday since then, she has come home with a spork in her backpack and the first day when she was putting it in the utensil drawer, she hovered over the fork slot... Then hovered over the spoon slot... Then deciding neither was adequate she got out a pretty glass and put her spork in a cup on the counter.

I love AK and I love her quirky personality. I love her passion for life and her crazy imagination. AK has always marched to the beat of her drum. I love this about her and in many ways she is just like her beloved spork. Not quite a spoon, not quite a fork, but in a category all of her own.