Tag Archives: Living room

Kids In the Hall

Yesterday I finished the hallway.  It’s a little weird how happy I am about that.  Only one picture allowed (new hall rules) so it’s my collage picture of some ancestors at various stages in their lives.
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Because there is less light here the colour looks more orange and the white really stands out.

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Ok, I expect that’s about all the time you would like to spend in my hallway admiring walls and doors. And a surprisingly clean floor.  Let’s go around the corner.

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And turn left.  And then back up and turn right.  You know, so you don’t get lost.  New shelf rules too.  Two or less items per.  I just noticed one has three things.  Oh well.

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The colour behind the couch is called “tea dance”.  It’s looking a little more pink here than it does in real life.  And notice how different my “melted marshmallow” looks in bright morning light.

imageI’m not sure what this suspended slab of stone or concrete under the fireplace is called, because don’t mantles go above, not below?  Anyway, it was ugly and I always kept it completely covered in stuff.  It’s a perfect place for candles.  And other assorted junk.  And did I mention ugly?  Well now it’s covered in a grey textured paint which looks and feels like rough stone.  And I no longer feel the need to pile loads of crap on top of it.

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My daughter made me take away those little elephants. She is ruthless.

And finally, my art corner.  Sadly neglected for now but not forever.

image imageBecause there has to be a mess somewhere.

I should have cut the grass today, but it was just too hot.  These days you have to get out there between thunderstorms. And despite all the rain, the heat manages to keep the grass looking half dead, especially in the front where it kind of matters.  Anyway, I had a nap instead.  Painting wears me right out and it sometimes takes days to recover from all my hard work.  Ha!  No, I don’t really believe that either.

I think we might be half way finished!  This is another picture from the kitchen because I forgot to add it last post.

imageIn case you were worried I might have chucked out the stove.

Back at it tomorrow.  Two bedroom ceilings on the agenda.  Or more naps. Hard choices to be made.

Sharing My World 38

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Image from Wikipedia – Gummi Candy

My November Days…..which I have missed up to and including Seventeen….using the new and improved no beep-bop-boop posting system while half-assed listening to a detailed weather report by the infamous W.  Because weather.  It’s what we live for.

Share Your World 2015 Week 46

What type of popular candy do you not like to get?

I don’t like to get any candy, but I especially don’t like to get gummy or gummi anything – bears, worms, bottles, frogs, body parts, smurfs, and whatever other weird shapes they make that chewy jelly stuff into to entice candy consumers. I never liked jelly beans as a kid, except for that time we had red ones and I tried to dispose of my red vitamin pill in the jelly bean bag.  I was caught red-handed by my dad who thought it was funny.  Mother was less amused.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500?

Eating out ten times.  I love it when somebody else cooks and serves and cleans up the mess.

Where do you eat breakfast?

These days, in the living room.  W still needs his special chair so serving his meals where the chair and high computer table are is easier than constantly moving things around.  So I eat there too.  Getting breakfast-y fingerprints all over my iPad screen.

Would you rather ride one of the worlds longest zip lines or bungee jump one of the highest in the world? This will come with a 5-day all expense vacation.

I would rather shoot myself in the foot than try either one of those things.  Sometimes I think vacations are completely wasted on me when I am just as happy staying home where our old clothes line has no zip to speak of and probably won’t kill us.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Yesterday W had his 32 staples removed from the hip replacement surgery incision.  I didn’t hear much screaming.  In fact I didn’t hear any at all, leading me to believe they carry out these procedures in sound proof rooms.  He is now held together with butterfly closures and I am no longer required to change his dressing every day.  He is two weeks today post surgery and doing well.

What am I looking forward to in the week coming up?  I don’t know, maybe it’s bad luck to peer that far into the uncertain future.  As long as there are no bungee jumps or zip lines to contend with we should be fine.

Next up, chilli that’s been simmering for a couple of hours served in the living room.  It’s not five hundred bucks worth of dining out, but close enough.

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Dear House

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Ever felt like writing a thank you letter to something you take for granted?  I mean without someone prompting you to do it?  Nope, me neither. (Because, duh, taking it for granted….)

Well this is not how I wanted to start a letter to my house, so let’s begin again.

Just like I don’t understand the need for ridiculous extravagance when you marry somebody, I don’t get it when it comes to building yourself a crazy-ass mansion to live in, with thousands of square feet that you love to look at and admire but rarely use.  There are many people in my life who have gorgeous new homes, or homes that are old but have been renovated to look like gorgeous new homes.  This is obviously important to them and makes them happy and that’s all good.  My house is not new, not renovated, and not gorgeous.  And that’s okay.

Dear House,

Hello.  Just wanted to let you know I love and appreciate you and I’m sorry for taking twenty-eight years to tell you this.

I don’t know how you felt about your builders way back in 1973,  or your first owners or your second.   But I’m pretty sure you loved us when we moved in all those years ago, right?  Because three’s a charm.  We were lucky to find you at a great price, and thankful that you didn’t need too many changes right away.  However, we wasted no time taking down those gawd-awful green drapes in your living room and getting rid of the brown leafy wall paper, a crappy carpet in one of your bedrooms and your ugly kitchen linoleum.  You’re welcome.  Eventually we got around to painting everywhere.  I hope you like the colors.  Or should I just say I hope you love yellow.  We promised you we would finish the unfinished room in the basement and put in another bathroom downstairs.

Yes, I know you’re still waiting.  But your attic needed new insulation, and your roof now has excellent shingles, and there’s the new kitchen counter and the beautiful new floor that looks like real wood and a new furnace to keep us both warm.  We do try to keep you clean and presentable.  Maybe gorgeous just isn’t in the cards for us.

Hey, we could have abandoned you and moved on and let somebody new fix you up properly, and that’s still a possibility for some bright day in the future.   I know I’ve used it as an excuse to delay the things that should be done, saying ‘what’s the point, whoever buys this house will probably change it anyway.’

Did that scare you, hearing me say it all the time?  I’m sure it’s gotten so old and repetitive now that you don’t pay attention to it anymore.

We no longer need the unfinished room to be finished, and the time when we really needed that extra bathroom has come and gone.  I AM promising you a renovated main bathroom before we leave,  because I think both of us are just completely sick and tired of purple in that seventies style.  A few more years and it will be an amazing retro feature – except that bathroom fixtures (even annoyingly durable purple ones) don’t last forever.

And right now you are beautifully functional and you suit us just fine.  Every one of your rooms holds wonderful memories of growth and change.  I look at the little bedrooms and remember who used to occupy them and how those teenagers grew up and left home and came back and left again.  And then how they brought their own little people here so that we needed the unfinished room to morph into a playroom.  And the downstairs bedroom to accommodate two beds and mattresses on the floor and the library to double as a guest room.  One of these days we won’t need all that.  We won’t be able to so easily go up and down your stairs or shovel your driveway or paint your ceilings.  You will be too big for us, and you’ll start longing for another family to fill your rooms with noise and laughter.

Meanwhile, we will continue to love you and look after you in our hap-hazard fashion and appreciate you until the time is right to let you go.  I don’t think there will be any new red walls in your immediate future, and I am trying really hard to stop hanging strange things on the ones you already have.  You may not be gorgeous, but wow, you have character and you are able to hold an amazing amount of junk.   You are warm and cozy in the winter and bright and breezy in the summer.  We are blessed to have you.

Thank you house, for being our very fine house.

Sincerely,

Charming Owners Number Three

(who love their home, have dubious interior decorating skills, but very big hearts.)

A House Full of Doors

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Collecting Detail

The year is somewhere in the early 1950’s because I am not yet six.  Six is the magical age I will be when we move my grandparents off their farm to live in a brand new place with us. So the details of grandmas house should be nothing but foggy distant childhood memories by now, but they’re not.  They’re as vivid to me today as the view from my own kitchen window is from yesterday.  I close my eyes and the pictures come alive.

Grandmas kitchen is a fascinating place with doors to somewhere else all around the room.  There’s the door I just popped through from the white pillared porch, too big and heavy to pull shut all by myself.  Off to the right is the door to the woodshed.  I never open that door and I make sure I hurry to somewhere else when grandpa goes to fetch wood for the black wood stove so grandma can cook things and bang her pots and pans around while she waits for the fire to be just right. Beyond that door is a dark and scary place full of damp wood smells and cold still air.  And maybe dogs and wild scratching cats. I don’t want to find out what’s in there.

old radioThe door to the cellar is also closed against the darkness.  I am not allowed to open that one.  Grandma is sure if I do I will tumble down the stairs.  I am also not permitted to go through the door beside the giant radio that’s as big as me.  The radio is playing and grandpa is sitting beside it halfway across this doorway like a guard, bent over with his ear up against the soft cloth part where the voices come through.  He has to do this to hear it, because grandma doesn’t like it to be too loud, although she never stops talking and banging things around to drown it out, no matter how far grandpa turns up the knob.  The  door behind grandpa leads to the hallway and then there’s another door to the front room.  Only special company can go in to the front room.  Not children.  Children are to be seen and not heard, as grandma is very fond of saying over and over again so you’re not likely to ever forget it.

But I know another way to get in there.  I know how to be a child who is not heard and not seen either.  There is an open doorway next to the woodshed door which goes into the utility/store-room, and from there another closed door that leads to the indoor plumbing.  This is what grandma calls the new bathroom.  Kids are definitely encouraged to use the bathroom whenever they want and they don’t even have to ask.  I quietly slip in there and click the door closed behind me.  There is an enormous white tub beside a tiny white sink, and off in the corner like an afterthought, the shiny new toilet, snug up between the wall and three stair steps leading up to yet another door.  This is the one I sneak through and close silently so that I am standing on the landing, where a left turn leads to the upstairs.

I never go all the way up these stairs (there is no one up there to save me from whatever frightening things the second story harbors), but I like to go halfway.  I am small enough to fit my head and one arm and shoulder through the spindle railing under the shiny brown banister at just the right spot.  There on a flat-topped bureau below me sits a beautiful yellow-green cut glass pedestal bowl filled with luscious wax fruit. There is a golden apple with a rosy red blush on one fat round side, looking good enough to eat, although it’s not.  I tried to bite into it once and was unpleasantly surprised and sorely disappointed.  The marks from my teeth are still there to remind me of the experience.  There is also a cluster of blue-violet grapes, a bumpy tangerine orange and a creamy golden banana.  I like to look at them and touch them, pulling my fingertips across their sticky waxy skins.

Now, instead of retracing my steps and returning to the bathroom, I tiptoe down the three stairs that lead in the opposite direction from the landing and into the hallway.  Slowly, silently I creep towards the front room door and at the last minute, scoot across behind grandpa, inside and around the corner where I stop and hold my breath until I’m sure no one has seen me.

Grandmas front room has the most incredibly beautiful windows I have ever seen in my short little life.  They are tall and clear in the middle and they let the sunshine come streaming through to light up big bright patches on the hardwood floor.  On either side of each window are small rectangular panes of pebbled coloured glass.  Skycolored glass blue, sunshine yellow, and best of all, brilliant red.  I press my nose up to my favourite red one (it’s my favourite because it’s the only one I can reach by balancing on the arm of the big stuffed chair) and gaze out at a crazy red world.  The leaves on the trees are red; the sky, the grass, the fence and every one of grandmas flowers – everything.  Magically, unbelievably  red, red, red. I want the glass to swallow me up into this delicious red bubble where I can be as red as a riding hood, as red as a real apple, crunchy and sweet, as red as my red flyer wagon, spinning down a slippery red slope into a land where red never stops.

Oh oh.  I hear grandma wondering in a very loud voice where I’ve gotten myself off to. I hear her go clumping away and barging through the bathroom door.  In a flash I hop down off the chair, run back out into the hallway and through the forbidden door where I put my flushed cheek up against grandpa’s arm and clutch hold of his overall pant leg.  He doesn’t even look up.  There you are, grandma exclaims as she marches back into the kitchen.  I didn’t see you.  Were you right there all along?  She was, grandpa chuckles.  Right here beside me.  Quiet as a mouse, just like always.

The big radio is a wonder, the wax fruit, the many doors and the beautiful stained glass windows – I love them all.  But perhaps the best thing in this house full of doors is having a grandpa who’s as good as I am at keeping sneaky secrets.