Categories
COVID 19 holidays home decor Life marriage Pets

Staying Calm in the Chaos

I am a bonafide nester. From childhood I have liked to have my things in proper order, in their proper places. I frequently went through the large box I kept on my side of the closet (I shared a room with two younger sisters) to reorganize and purge things I no longer wanted or needed. I kept my side of the room neat and organized, careful to own and curate the only space in the house I could call my own.

I carried that principle into adulthood. When I moved into my first apartment during college I was careful to stake out my personal space in the shared apartment, even down to a shelf in the refrigerator. I wanted my things in their place.

I was blessed to be married for 41 years to a man who didn’t mind me keeping things in their proper places. I didn’t mind him having his things in the house, but they were to be kept in the spaces I designated for them, and he did a really good job of complying with that. His work shed out back? A completely different story. It was his domain, and I didn’t give input on it. I rarely even went out there.

Those pieces of furniture are my bookcase desk and secretary. Toys and toy baskets surround them. How about that floor?
It’s vinyl plank.

I said all that to say this. My house is driving me crazy right now. I have been blessed by being able to have new flooring installed, but the process is testing my patience. Every piece of furniture, all my books, knick-knacks, and decor items have been shuffled all over the house. Closet floors have been cleared and the contents stacked in the middle of the rooms. It only took a few days to get the large areas done, but now I am waiting on the closets, bathrooms, laundry room, and trim work to be done.

Coco’s comfy chair sits in front of the wood stove hearth and the sofa is on the wrong wall. At least I can sit somewhere, though. Books are stacked all around the wood stove!

In the middle of the job my contractor contracted Covid. He’s been unable to work for two weeks. After one week of sleeping on the sofa I finally cleared off my bed and put sheets on it and can at least sleep in my bed now. The sofa and coffee table are in good places, and the TV has been reconnected. I can get to my clothes and my food and appliances. I moved my laptop and printer onto the dining room table, which is pushed up against the bar in the kitchen. I can still write and do eBay.

The view into the guest room where I’ve been sleeping for a couple of years now. Once the master bedroom is finished I’ll paint and buy a new bed and move back in!

So why am I complaining? I’m trying not to. I have waited years for new flooring and I am finally getting it. What has been completed is absolutely beautiful. Patience, I say to myself, patience. Anything worthwhile takes time. This is October, though, and I usually decorate the house for Halloween. I can’t do it right now, but I did add some things to the flower arrangement on my dining table to get into the spirit. And I decorated my porch like I always do.

My tiny dining room with the pantry door leaning against the wall and the table pushed against the bar, not to mention more toys
in various places. Those plates randomly placed on the wall in the back? That’s a whole other story. They belong to my collection of state souvenir plates which can’t seem to stay on the wall!

This too, shall pass. And I’ll take pictures of the results to show you. In the meantime, drink a pumpkin spice latte for me. I’m doing the Whole 30 program and haven’t had one yet.

Stella is cool with it as long as I am here with her. ❤
My flower arrangement turned memorial turned Halloween.
It’s the little things. . .

What throws you into a tizzy? Please share!

XOXO

Categories
Being a Grandparent COVID 19 glamping holidays home decor Life Parkinson's Disease

“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. . .”

“It’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer. . .” And so the song goes, courtesy of the late great Burl Ives. Remember the snowman on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated special? I was seven years old when I saw it for the first time. It was magical. Now I can’t even get my grandkids interested. The old claymation specials have nothing on today’s computer graphics animation. Ah, but they were magical, at least to my generation.

I got distracted. Sorry about that. I have decided to have a holly jolly Christmas at my house. I don’t care if a pandemic is raging, threatening my family and friends, threatening retailers and restauranteurs, threatening the traditions we all hold dear. Maybe the pandemic is a good thing.

Our Living Room Christmas Tree

What? What did you say? I said, maybe it’s a good thing. It’s changing our priorities. We are focusing more on loved ones, and not things. We are finding out that the most valuable things in life are not things at all. The things we miss are not things, either. Hugging a friend or relative, shaking hands, whispering in someone’s ear, getting close enough to detect a special cologne, gathering in groups at holiday parties, sharing a toast, kids sitting on Santa’s lap, being able to breathe without fogging up your glasses, last-minute shopping in a crowded store. Need I go on?

We have given up much this year because of Covid-19. But look at what we’ve gained: a new appreciation of freedom, gathering with friends, going shopping and dining wherever we want, gathering with family at holidays and special occasions, going to church and fellowship with fellow churchgoers. Boy, do I miss that.

My precious granddaughters enjoying the season.

I’m going to make it a holly jolly Christmas, though. I’m going to:

  1. Enjoy small things like the lights on my beautiful tree.
  2. Behold the wonder in my granddaughters’ eyes as they look at all the decorations.
  3. Experience the delight in the two-year-old’s smile as she touches an LED C9 bulb and finds out that it’s cool to the touch.
  4. Note the pride in the five-year-old’s stance as she finishes decorating the little silver tree for my camper.
  5. Enjoy the taste of pumpkin spice in my morning coffee.
  6. Relish drinking from my special Christmas coffee mugs.
  7. Cozy up to my dog next to me in my chair while wearing comfy pajamas.
  8. Relish a morning when I get to sleep just a little bit later.
  9. Wrap each and every gift with love.
  10. Give thanks for online ordering when I can’t get to a store.
Can you see the silver tree hidden in the tinsel garland? I left it just as she decorated it.

Get the picture? There is a host of ways to make it a holly jolly Christmas. Even as my days are consumed with caregiving and my nights with intermittent sleep between calls from hubby, I choose to focus on the good. Yes, I have days, even weeks, when I wonder how this is all going to turn out–the pandemic, my husband’s disease progression, the next presidential administration, life in general. But I rest in this: my God knows it all, and holds it all, in His almighty hands.

So. . . Merry Christmas. May all your days be holly jolly.

XOXO

Little “Miss Millie” all dressed up for the holidays.
Categories
home decor

Talk Show Hosting from Home: Decor Ideas

Talk show hosts such as Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have been hosting their shows from their homes.  I have found these glimpses into their homes and the homes of their guests very interesting.  

Have you noticed the rustic bohemian look of Jimmy Fallon’s home? The kitchen contains what looks like open cabinets made of old wood, while the office/playroom has antique cubbies filled with small antiques, antique toys, and even has an enclosed slide like the ones at McDonald’s Playland that goes from one floor down to the next.  
His interviews with other celebrities have given us a glimpse into their homes as well. 
Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in a room with a scaled down tank in front of a large TV.  And look at the beams on the ceiling!  That gallery wall is impressive as well.
Kate Hudson appeared in a dark room with wood paneled walls, open shelving, and traditional chairs, probably an office.
 
Ben Stiller spoke from a bright neutrally decorated room with neutral furniture and open shelving with black-framed pieces.  It looks like a music room, actually.  
 
Ryan Reynolds appeared in a room with rustic wood planked walls, a gallery-look art display, and two different style lamps, very masculine, probably his man cave.
 
LL Cool J appeared in front of a cool gallery wall of various portraits and emblems.  Behind him is a shelf with a cool TIki-looking jar, a New York graphic sign, and letters spelling COSMIC.
This report may have totally put you to sleep but I thought it was interesting to see where these celebrities came from.  Admittedly, some may have filmed their segments in other places besides their homes, but if you go to the NBC Tonight Show page you can see a lot more celebrities behind the scenes in their own personal spaces.  Seeing their personal spaces tells me a lot more about them than anything they could say or do.  Don’t you agree?
 
Unbeknownst to me until today, there is a couple who rates the rooms people are in when they Skype or Zoom.  Their comments are original and a bit snarky.  You can check them out here:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/2020/05/18/room-rater-twitter-feed-giving-us-snarky-life-during-quarantine/5218545002/
Here in Texas we are beginning to venture out, keeping social distancing and sanitizing guidelines, of course.  Masks are also strongly advised.  It’s been nice to get out again.  I hope you are safe and well.  
Who is your favorite celebrity?  Maybe we will see them from their own homes on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon!
XOXO
Categories
home decor Life miranda lambert

Junk Gypsy, a Book, and Me

Ever heard of the Junk Gypsy Company?  Who hasn’t heard of these two beautiful sisters who turned their backs on college-degreed careers and made a life for themselves out of hunting, repurposing, and selling junk?  From selling their wares in a booth at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas to hosting their own HGTV series, running a store in Round Top, and making over homes and Airstreams, Amie and Jolie Sikes, along with their parents, children, and Jolie’s husband, have created a junk dynasty.  And now you can read all about it in their new book, Junk Gypsy:  Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder and Wander available through Amazon.

I’ve been a fan of the Junk Gypsies since I learned that they were working with my former student Miranda Lambert, having designed her guns and wings logo and designed and carried out a makeover of her tour bus.  I visited their website and I was hooked.  I joined the Blacktop Rambler Cafe forum and ordered more than I could really afford from their Gypsyville online store.

Then I met them!  I doubt if they would remember, but I was at Miranda’s concert in Tyler in 2006, and when I walked up to the will call window to get my meet and greet pass, the Junk Gypsy girls were standing right in front of me!  Me being me, well, I had to speak to them.  I introduced myself and said something inane about their jewelry, but they were polite to this crazy lady.  I also met Blake Shelton there at the Lambert’s tailgate party that I crashed.  In my own defense, I have known the Lamberts since their and my children were knee high to a grasshopper.  My son was in the same class as Miranda, and my daughter was in the same class as her brother. Blake and Miranda had just begun dating.

The next time I saw the Junk Gypsies was at a Cause for the Paws event, hosted by Miranda to raise money for a local animal shelter.  I actually had a conversation with Amie about the way their art pieces and style was being copied by others.  Who knew they had started a trend in junking and bohemian fashion?  She was so cute dressed in her striped 70’s flared jeans and vintage band uniform jacket.  (if I recall correctly)  And she was sweet, too.

The last time I saw them in person was in Round Top during Antiques Week soon after opening the Junk Gypsy Headquarters, an amazing store and showplace, and worth the trip!

You can imagine how thrilled I was to be included in the Junk Gypsy Book Launch Team!  The book does not disappoint.  It is the world of Junk Gypsy at your fingertips:  biographies, personal insights and tidbits about the family, beautiful photographs of projects and places, and ideas and instructions for redoing and repurposing junk!  If you are a fan of junk, or the Junk Gypsies, you must. Go. Now.
Amazon.com

Go forth and buy.  If you want an autographed copy, the Junk Gypsies are touring around the country for specific book signing events.  I plan to be at the one in Lindale, Texas on October 15, getting my copy signed!  I hope to see you there!

XOXO

Categories
holidays home decor

Cheap, Easy, and Simple Fall Decor

I almost didn’t decorate for fall.  I just couldn’t muster the mood.  I spread around some fake fall foliage and a few pumpkins and didn’t even bother with the Halloween decor until my daughter and hubby questioned me about me it, assuming something was wrong with me.

A garage sale box filled with a thrift store birdcage and jars with a real white pumpkin.
The hydrangeas are from my own garden.
I insisted nothing is wrong with me.  I just wasn’t in the mood.  I had moved on.  I just wasn’t interested.

My front porch vignette.  Can you guess which pumpkin is not real?  (It’s the biggest one!)
To appease them I began to haul out some old Halloween stuff and before I knew it, I became enthusiastic and even bought a few more things.

This typewriter was a Goodwill find decorated with flea market Bingo cards, primitive Halloween ornaments from an antique mall, and faux fall foliage.
I found these bouncy Halloween guys at a garage sale for $2.00!  I LOVE these!
This jack-o-lantern box was a lucky estate sale find.
I found this ghostly guy at the same estate sale as the box.  The lady who had them was 94! 
 She had great taste!
The ghost on the pumpkin was another of the 94-year-old lady’s items.  
This vignette sits on my kitchen counter.
This vintage-style Halloween card sits inside the birdcage on my dining table
 with real and faux squash.
Don’t you love my little vintage toy tambourine?  I found it at a flea market for only $5.00.  And yes, that is a Dearborn heater it sits on which is on plywood floors.  
We live in a 1961 frame house with floors in dire need of recovering!
I found this adorable witch at Cracker Barrel one year.
Finally, this little handmade cat I purchased at the Texas Renaissance Festival one year.

And those are most of my decorations!
I’d love to know what you think!  Please leave me a comment!

XOXO