A Well Dressed Bed

I am an all or nothing kind of person, who, when overcome by the sheer volume of anything, retreats into a shell of safety. The obvious result is that the volume of stuff that sent me into that shell, continues to grow exponentially while I blissfully hide, pretending to be unaware. 

Nearly five months into my new life and I am, slowly but surely, coming back into my own. During the Yarntopia years I was gone, or preoccupied, so much that my sweet Hunter-Gatherer husband assumed many of the household duties. When I cooked, he did the dishes. He would do some of the light cleaning and generally kept things running. He even started doing the grocery shopping. I didn’t feel good about this, but fighting was futile, so I gave in. I’m good at that sort of thing. So, now I’m home and I want to take the reins of managing the household and let HG go out into the world to slay the beasts and bring home the bacon.

This is all I have ever really wanted out of life. As a girl I can remember telling my mom that all I wanted to be when I grew up was a wife and mommy. I had no loftier goals than that. My mom always worked outside the home and generally she had some kind of business. I was the cook and housekeeper. I think I did so much of that domestic stuff as a kid that I rebelled against it in my early adult years. Some of my apartments were nastier than a college frat house (or so I imagine). But now, in my so called retirement, I am enjoying relearning the pleasure that can be found in a well run home.


Bedtime Story

By the time I went to kindergarten I had learned to properly make a bed. Back then this meant folding the bedspread over the pillow and neatly tucking the bedspread under the pillow. Today we use comforters, duvets, and hide our pillows with shams. For nearly all of our marriage I have left for work before HG. Being a salesman whose office is down the hall, he has never needed to be up and gone early. It was always easy for me to ignore the bed as there was a man still enjoying his beauty sleep. A habit developed and I became blind. 

Now, once he gets his body moving in the morning I am in there tightening those sheets and making the bed. He noticed. The other night when we went to bed, he told Maggie (the dog) that this is just like being at a hotel. That felt amazing. Is that silly? Do I sound like a repressed 1950’s housewife who is being held down by her domineering husband? I hope not because that could not be farther from the truth.

The truth is that doing that one little thing makes life more pleasant for both of us. It is a simple thing I can do for my husband who supports all my whims and lets me do pretty much anything I want to do, and also works hard so that I can live this life. The life of a housewife…the life I have always wanted. It is a small thing I can do to nurture the man I love. I see nothing wrong with that at all.


Decorating The Bed

So now that I have established a good bed routine, I really want a pretty bed – and this is where HG rolls his eyes. He wants comfort and good sheets; pillows and fru-fru just get in the way. I struggle with this more than any other decorating decision in the house. Is it too many choices? 

Polyvore is an amazing tool. You can access it from their website, or like me the app is easy to use and you can save your collections and then publish them to Pinterest or other social media. I’m so visual that having a virtual mood board really helps me, plus it is portable. All the images come from the businesses selling these items, so if you find something you love…you know where to go to find it and how much it costs. For me Polyvore is a great way to shop without spending a cent!


The above choices are all from Pottery Barn. I currently have the one in the center – but didn’t spend the money on a duvet insert from Pottery Barn and the lesser expensive one from Target just didn’t fit properly. So, now it is folded up awaiting a new insert…or not. I love the red one above it as well as the neutral in the bottom corner. It seems to me from looking at these that I’m drawn to paisley. I’ve never thought of myself as a paisley person, but maybe it is a way to have a variety of colors without being floral. 


Color Inspiration

Currently our bedroom is painted a nice shade of brown and the blue green color palette was chosen to complement some of the things in the room that have meaning to us. In addition to the art inspiration, I’ve always loved blue and green together. It goes back to the blues and olive greens of the ’70s. 

These prints are from a Texas artist by the name of W. A. Slaughter. My inlaws had these in their den as long as I knew them and when my father-in-law passed, they became ours. I love them and am considering moving them to our living area. I think the gold frames would look great against the grey of that room. Bluebonnets against green grass – every Texan worth their salt has at least one bluebonnet picture in their house; we have three.

This is the corner nearest my side of the bed. We love books and this is just one collection. The Carmel poster on the right (sorry for the early morning glare) is from a family vacation and has hung in my home since the ’80s. I love it as much as I love Carmel, California.

And last but not least, this is a highly cropped version of what is currently on the bed. Three quilts which never quite work right. Something must change and I have $300 in Pottery Barn gift cards burning a hole in my pocket. 

This another selection from Polyvore. I just kept clicking on things that struck my fancy without editing as I did it. Interesting combination, don’t you think? I have moved to gray as the wall color in most of the house with a deep gold in the dining room. We had the bedroom painted about seven years ago and that doesn’t really need to change. I think any of these options would look great with the walls and several have gray in them which would tie our room to the rest of the house. What do you think? The top left is from Pottery Barn….and I do have that money just waiting to be spent…

I’m off to do my Monday grocery shopping and run a few errands, and who knows, I could detour through Pottery Barn!

~Until Next Time


 

Fourteen Years of Joy

October 22 is a day that forever changed our lives. Notice I didn’t give the year? That is because the two events on two different October 22’s took life and then gave life. This is the story of those two days.

October 1997
Our daughter, Courtney, her mother and stepfather moved to Oklahoma in 1995. Thus far in my life, this was the single biggest heart break I had experienced. Even divorce didn’t top this. We had one week notice that our world was being turned upside down. All the details aren’t important now. Suffice it to say that divorce is always painful, especially for children. Unable to have children of my own I poured all my maternal efforts on Courtney, and, well, I messed up a lot. She spent weekends and summers with us, playing with neighborhood kids and having a fairly normal life.  I was always sad, and usually cried when she left, but I always knew it would be a few days before we would see her again. But when we got the call from her mother that they were leaving, I felt as if a knife had pierced my heart. I sobbed inconsolably. I couldn’t imagine life without Courtney in it. Her father was heartbroken and furious. I was just plain heartbroken. No, she wasn’t my biological child, but she was my daughter. There were no legal recourses, so we said our goodbyes and went on with life. Isn’t that what we do in the face of such pain?

Courtney did well in her new home, made friends, did well in school and spent a whole summer with us. We learned to be a couple – kind of early empty nesters. Then fall break of 1997 happened. I can’t remember now if we knew they were coming to Houston for a visit or not. It doesn’t matter. We got a phone call very late in the night telling us that Courtney’s mom was in the hospital and my husband needed to go get Courtney and bring her here.

Several agonizing days later, in the wee early hours of October 22, 1997, her mother passed away. Suddenly, just like that, we had a sixteen year old girl with whom we had to pick up the pieces and forge a life together.

February 2003
God has such a wonderful way of giving and loving. He gives us free will to make decisions and then is there for us when the outcomes of our free will are less than what we expected. I will never forget the day, a little more than five years after her mother’s passing, that Courtney and I sat on the edge of the bed and cried together. She was single, pregnant, and scared. This was the moment our relationship forever changed. On the second most transformative moment in her life, I was the ‘mom’ she turned to. We didn’t know what the future held, but we had broken down a barrier and life was to never be the same again.

The Next Nine Months
I walked this pregnancy path with her, going to doctor appointments, ultrasounds, prepping the room, buying baby things for the house, grandma journals (still not finished), and just did general nesting in preparation for the arrival. I truly felt that God was blessing me with a grandchild and allowing me the privilege of going to through it with Courtney since I never got to do it for myself. I spent much time in prayer and God kept pointing me to scripture that spoke of the purpose of each life He creates. I was convinced then and am still convinced today that this child was meant for great things.

October 22, 2003
The moment had come – it was time. We all loaded up in the car and headed for the hospital. I stayed the night with her. I can’t speak to her emotions that day. She has never felt comfortable talking about her feelings, but I have to imagine she wished it was her mother there with her. I get that. But she had me and she allowed me to be the one to support and comfort her. Her doctor didn’t know the back story, but he let me cut the cord after Cheyanne literally burst forth into the world. This was THE most important moment of my life. This was as close as I was ever going to get to child birth. 

On the anniversary of Courtney loosing her mother, she gave birth to her first daughter and allowed me to be a part of this sacred event. Our lives have never been the same.

Today
There is so much more to tell, but that is for another day. Cheyanne is now, and has always been, a bright light in our lives. I truly, passionately love all three of my granddaughters. I will share their stories another time, but for now as Cheyanne turns fourteen in a few days, it is time to celebrate her. There is a bond between us that transcends grandmother-granddaughter. It is hard to put something so precious into words – in fact it is impossible. I look at her and I see a living breathing gift from God. Because I talk all the time and Courtney is very quiet, I think Chey heard my voice in the womb more than she heard her mother’s. She would light up when she heard my voice and come flying across the room, arm crawling, when I came home from work. Courtney’s dad and I decided I would work and allow her to stay home for the first few months of Chey’s life. We wanted her to have time to bond and learn about being a mom. After nine months our roles reversed. She was ready to go back to work and I was ready to come home.

For the next nine months I stayed home with Chey and did the mom things I never got to do before. It was a magical time that I will treasure in my heart always.

For reasons none of us will ever understand, Courtney’s mother was chosen to bring her into the world and raise her for sixteen years and then it was my job to come alongside her for as long as was needed. I always felt God telling me that He would keep her under our roof and guidance until such time as she was emotionally and spiritually ready to be on her own. Many transitions and changes happened over the next few years, and now she has a wonderful man who has stepped into the role of father for these three beautiful girls and their mom. 
We celebrate not only Cheyanne’s birthday, but also the faithfulness of God to see us through the dark and the light. We are never alone.

             
   

We are Mimi and Dydy – named by Cheyanne – and this girl is amazing (if we do say so ourselves!).

I’ve Been Lushed!

 

If it weren’t for my granddaughter I would probably never go to a mall. I’m not a shopper. A fourteen year old has completely different views on shopping, and it was her birthday celebration, so we went to the mall. Our first stop was a store I had vague recollections of but really knew nothing about. But, in we walk and I’m sure we looked like the Lush virgins we were. This is a playground for anyone who loves the concept of Bath and Bodyworks without the chemicals and total sensory overload. 

Lush Experience

Walking Into the store we were greeted by a soothing, dark environment, strategically well lit, and a variety of friendly employees who helped but didn’t hover. I appreciate that; I hate to have sales people stand over my shoulder. Because the concept is unique, these folks function as teachers as much as sales clerks. Each section had one person assigned to it and they took very good care of us. I never felt pressured and the quality of the products spoke for themselves.

Lush Philosophy

In a nutshell, natural products (including food) combined to create skin care products that are good for the skin and the environment. Every step of the process is guided by their vision for fresh, organic, no animal testing, ethical sourcing and packaging. These things can sound cliche, but they mean it and they deliver. You can read more here.

Lush At Home

So, what did I walk away with? Basic items to help my aging skin look its best. I want to embrace my age but also take good care of myself, which is something I really need to improve upon. I’m basically lazy and I love to eat and drink the kinds of things that aren’t good for me. So, I have to start somewhere and I chose this. After one day and one mask, I can tell a difference. Call me crazy, but my skin looks and feels more supple and soft. I bought two mask – one that exfoliates and brightens, the other one nourishes and soothes. Because of the food ingredients in the masks and the lack of chemicals, the masks must be refrigerated and have a short shelf life. I like that. 

Lush Love Lifestyle

I will keep you updated on my skin care regimen and hopefully this step will lead to other positive improvements in my self care journey.

~Sheryl