24 July 2014

Finding The Great Successes In A Mundane Day

Yesterday I just couldn't shake the words "mundane" and "menial" from my head. Those are the feelings I had. The day felt mundane and menial. Besides a few phenomenally great hugs from family and a great hour of Skype with the wonderful friend from the North, I just didn't get a lot of satisfaction out of the day. I felt blah mentally and physically. I was sweaty, dirty and dusty all day and didn't feel like I really did anything that had any real meaning or joy involved in it for the day.

My tasks for the day felt blah too. Cleaning the kitchen for the kajillionth time, folding laundry, cleaning the balcony (dirty, dusty, buggy work) and tidying up our outdoor garden, making dinner, making beds, brushing hair, driving the kiddo to afternoon lessons and more.

While I was cleaning the sink after doing the dishes I had a nutball conversation with myself about if I were dying that I might give anything to just have one more chance to clean the kitchen. I nixed that pretty quickly out of a sense of guilt for people who really are dying and that in all reality cleaning the kitchen wouldn't be on that list anyway. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has these ridiculous conversations with myself.)

As I got ready to wrap up the day I started thinking about what I'd really done during the day. Not mundane or menial at all when rephrased. Yesterday I took care of the most precious little girl in the whole world to me. I got to help her with her hair, make sure she had good meals and snacks and stayed hydrated on a hot day. We worked very hard for a very long time to have this opportunity - must never forget that!

I helped her develop a talent by delivering her to her lessons with a hat, bottle of cold water and fees she needed along with clear instructions about what to do with all that money, the conversation she needed to have with the course manager about her lost club and to keep drinking cold water.  At the end of that I made sure she had a container of fresh strawberries and some goldfish crackers waiting for her when she came in off the course. I knew she would be famished.

I taught her the value and joy of hard work in the sunshine by working side-by-side with her on our balcony and in our little garden space. She got to re-pot a plant, shovel lots of dirt, kill many spiders, sort shells, shake rugs, smash bottles for recycling, stack dusty boxes, sweep and put her full effort towards real work. She enjoyed herself and we talked about how much satisfaction there is in hard work and working together with others.

I had also decided that it was high time she learn to make her favorite meal - spaghetti. So tonight we cooked together and I reviewed all the steps I take to make her most favorite spaghetti sauce in the whole wide world. She's a natural. For a long while now she's been helping me taste test the sauce and determine what seasoning it still needed. She's very good at that. Then she learned to make pasta. Then we had a lovely dinner.

We watched a show together, talked and when it came time for bedtime we spent quite a lot of time together snuggling and talking again. She didn't want to go to bed, said she couldn't do it - that she missed Daddy and me too much to be away from us for the whole night. This from our kiddo who has been the most amazingly easy child to get in bed since she was tiny. She's the kid you put to bed who stays in bed and falls asleep within 3 minutes 99.9% of the time. I told her she could do it and that I had complete confidence in her. She nodded her head and closed her eyes and drifted off feeling peaceful and safe.

Beyond all this I took care of some bills, got hot and sweaty working away on this first day of the next heatwave, remembered to take my vitamins, got all the recycling bottles ready to take to the recylers, tossed four big planters & several little ones that were falling to bits, and down-scaled the patio garden to just four pots and cleaned the kitchen twice and spent an hour resting and meditating. Self-care IS supposed to be my top priority this year.

Looking at things from a different perspective it wasn't a mundane and menial day at all. It was a very successful day. I just needed to look up and see the light and smell the flowers all around me. I have accomplishments to be proud of and lots to be grateful for. Changing my perspective taught me that although my day may have seemed mundane there were many little things to appreciate and celebrate instead.

23 July 2014

Dreaming Up The Next Home

Monday I was in the waiting room of the car shop and was pleased to see that they had some legit ladies magazines on the table along with the "Car & Guy" selection. I only got through about 20 pages of House Beautiful before they'd performed a quick fix on my car...for free. (Wow, right?!) After the first few pages I had to stop and look at the year of the publication. It was from 2006 - okay. Amazing how dated so much of the upholstery fabrics looked!

One of the last things I saw was this awesome picnic table. Drool worthy modern. I've thought a picnic style table would be a lot of fun in a simple, sleek, modern home. This was designed by Scott Klinker. Since the magazine boasted that it was made from plywood and birch I was hoping it came with an IKEA style price, but not so. This table will set you back about $1300 according to 2006 prices. Updated pricing is about $1600. But I do quite like it and have a great respect for the artistry, design and science that went into creating it. No doubt it justifies its price. You can get all the details on the table here and benches here.

Yesterday I had to make a drop off trip to the airport and after a flight cancellation my day's schedule was rather off its hinges. So I ran some errands on the way home, including trips to two grocery stores. (Exhausting.) I popped into Home Goods as I passed and found quite a few lovely things as always. These two mirrors particularly grabbed my eye. We don't have one bit of empty wall space so mirrors are not something I need, but I like to imagine how I'd use them in "the next place."

First was this full length green mirror. Doesn't look like much until you see it up close and with detail. I love this color of green and the size of this piece.

 So gorgeous. This would be such a gorgeous piece in a master suite or large bathroom. This bamboo mirror also really caught my eye. I love the detail and the simplicity.

This would be so beautiful over a console table in a front entryway. Our front entryway right now has space for a console but above it opens out into the main living space so I do crave some space to hang something in an entryway. Some day.

I started brainstorming about bedding again yesterday. All my design inspiration right now is pouring into "the new place" wherever and whatever that is. I've been doing guided meditations about "the house of your dreams" on occasion.

The guide just walks you through the kind of house you would like to live in that would fit your style and needs. It's definitely not a "you need a mansion!" meditation at all which I really like. I like the idea of a small, highly organized space so that there's room for everything and yet not so much space that it owns us and requires ridiculous amounts of upkeep. Fun to dream.

My latest bedding ideas, of course start with a king size bed. Particularly important after nights like yesterday when The Bug felt the need to appear next to our bed at 2 am (scaring me so badly I screamed) and then she "needed" to get in with us. I was squished in the middle and not particularly comfortable. Looking forward with great excitement to that bigger bed soon.

I'm thinking again about upholstering the headboard which is wood but has a simple quilt hanging over it. If I made it king size I would add a new face to it before I upholstered it to make it a few inches bigger on each side.

For bedding I'm thinking a colorful quilt and pillows with neutral headboard, sheets and comforter cover - with a new very lightweight down comforter. It seriously never got cold this past winter so we didn't even use the regular comforter we have for winter. We also didn't ever get our coats out. People think it stays balmy here all year round but almost every year we do have a couple of weeks of near-freezing/freezing temperatures. So a very lightweight down comforter seems like it would be just perfect for most of the year here and I do like a bed with a comforter.

I'm back to debating if I make a comforter cover or just buy one. Since I'm thinking neutrals I'll probably buy one at some point. Then the fun part will be shopping for and/or making pillows and buying fun sheet sets.

It's interesting that since our trip (only a few days mind you) my brain has just been on fire with creativity. Painting, scheming houses in my mind and wanting to do DIY projects and knit and sew. That is always a sign for me that I am in a good place when my creative energy is on fire like that. It doesn't always stay in long spurts but it's great when it's here.

I'm going to use some of that energy to do some organizing and deep cleaning around the house. I'm doing everything I can to call upon "the law of attraction" to get us to our next and much better home. Being a good steward of what one currently has and being grateful for it are a critical component of that. Tomorrow it's the balcony we'll tackle. Boy does it get dirty and dusty and leaf covered out there fast!

Hope you are having a happy and creative summer. Thanks so much for coming by!


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