Monday, July 15, 2013

Summertime Mantel

Spent some time last week cleaning--ok, that's an understatement. We spent a TON of time last week cleaning, but I spent SOME time working on the mantel. My friend Brenda gave me this really great pair of planters--kind of the "so ugly they're cute" camp, but I LOVE them--which inspired the mantel re-do.

Btw, we're SO READY to go to the BEACH! :)

Maybe it's the Mississippi girl in me, but the catfish on these just make me SMILE.

C was kind to fill  my little vases with garden cuttings. I have been amazed anew lately how fresh greenery and flowers add so much life to a setting.

Of course my vintage "seashore" books had to make it into the vignette! The main character in "Beachcomber Boy" has the same name as my hubby!

The milk glass plate here makes me SQUEAL! I've been wishing for one of these for YEARS--snapped it up at GW a couple of weeks ago, for 59 cents. WHAT? The Redhead nearly had to pick me up out of a swoon. :)

Hope you enjoyed my little beachy play-time. It's not nearly so wonderful as the real thing, but it's as good as it gets around here for awhile.

Seeking contentment!

Joining with:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


It has been a very difficult few months since April. I think it was an unpleasant month with too much busyness capped off with the death of our sweet bird, which highlighted to me the LACK of QUALITY that too much busy generates in our home life. I took her loss HARD, and still miss her terribly. I was struck by remembering all the times I fussed or complained about the mess or the noise she made, and I was sorry that I didn't TAKE TIME to do more to love her and my daughter who loved her SO when I could.

Enter mom-guilt and the attempt to try to do EVERYTHING. Because I was convinced(and still am)that seeking kind actions and words intentionally changes our relationships. But it's tough to live. Tough to change from selfish behavior to others-centered thinking. It may make it difficult to spend time on things I want to do because my husband or kids get top picks of my time. I may find myself unloading the dishes or making dessert or FOLDING LAUNDRY rather than reading or blogging or sewing...for days and days on end.

However, the other tough thing is prioritizing just how much DO I do for them?
The fine line between blessing in love and enabling bad behaviors?
It is extremely hard to BLESS someone who thinks he or she is ENTITLED to what you're doing for him or her. Period.

As I have attempted to do more to help my kids with their tasks and sit alongside and enjoy their interests in lieu of my own pursuits, I have seen some ugliness. I have found them fighting among themselves over WHO is going to do the unpleasant tasks that Mom usually does...because they really just all want FUN all the time. This is hard. I want fun too. But I want them to LOVE and SERVE one another(and some help around the house with joyful hearts would be a delight as well!).

I think some of this has yielded some of the darkness I've felt since April. 

Of course, my husband is still looking for full-time employment, and mowing grass as a fill-in to make a little money in the meantime. Mean time. Mean being "average". Except it's not average how much time grass cutting takes in Louisiana in the summer. It's not average how HOT and miserable and exhausted he is when he gets home from a long day with the mowers. It's BAD. I hate it. Can I hate the grass while being thankful for the small amount of income it's bringing in? Because I AM thankful. And I DO hate it.

We are also still busy. I don't like my time cut into bits and distributed out. Filled calendar spaces make me itchy. So does this heat. I really want to be nocturnal during the summer, and adding PEOPLE into the mix makes it harder. Really, a good phone conversation once or twice a week would be enough interaction for me in addition to my family. I would be FINE. But we've got piano. We've got volunteer organization meetings, and church, and birthday parties to plan, and friends who want to see us(which is good, but no less tiring at the end of the day!).  I've got a mile-long list of families we need to have over to get to know better, and my house is a WRECK. Waiting...
The craft studio project is taking a LONG TIME TO FINISH. Because of grass needing mowing.
Oh, and then there's the planning I need and WANT to do for next school year...but haven't been able to DO yet.(I do have some of the books by now, though!)

All that said, we went to Mississippi for the 4th of July and spent the day in a blueberry-stupor that the yummy grilled pork chops didn't alleviate at all. Enjoyed some homemade ice cream and missed this guy and his crew terribly all day.
That's just the way the 4th of July is when your brother's birthday happens to coincide with that day and he just so happens to be in the Army serving several thousand miles away. 
It puts a new and rather unpleasant spin on patriotism.

THEN we left and the kids stayed with Mom and Dad. Four nights. 
We worked on the craft studio. He cut grass. I worked Saturday at the shop. We didn't even go OUT for dinner once. We were so TIRED when the kids got home.

But we saw a rainbow on the way home Thursday. That's the double one at the top of the post. Actually the rainbow, the bigger section at the bottom, was at least THREE spectrums deep....ROYGBIVx3 in close proximity. Unfortunately my phone just couldn't capture it. But it was gorgeous. AND we got to see fireworks done by a tiny township nearby as we made our way home...that was a surprise.
It was good. The weekend was good.
I am very, very grateful, but still very tired and very stressed. 

Maybe it's just summertime.
Elisabeth Elliot is often quoted as saying "Do the next thing."
That's where I'm living right now.