Thursday, February 4, 2016

Slice of Life

I'm not sure when it happened, this desire to not decorate. Perhaps it stems from fear; though it could be laziness. I'm thinking that I'm just in a lull. Maybe it'll end. After all, a love of decorating led me to blogging.



I painted the interior garage doors and installed knockers, which I'd kept in a drawer for something like fifteen years. Yeah, I've always been slow to commit. Anyway, I can tell you that I love the black-painted doors. I really do. No regrets. They lead to a small, disheveled mud room.




I also wanted to comment about my white walls.

For this house, they were the right choice. The rooms can be dark, and the white walls and ceiling bounce light. 

 I'm seriously thinking about painting the dining furniture black. And this idea may spread to the kitchen. I'm moving slowly, of course, but so far, I'm warming to the idea. This is a project that Bandy and I will do.




I spend as much time as possible in the yard. The other day, I spiffed up a hopper-style bird feeder. Two nights ago, a monsoon-like storm tore up my handiwork. The poor feeder needed a whole new roof.

Using items from my pantry--graham crackers and raisins--I rebuilt. I've learned that life is that way, too. You build something, then it falls apart. All we can do is roll up our sleeves and start over, all the while learning from our mistakes. I hope I didn't make one with the graham crackers. While they may not have been the best choice for my birds (we'd eaten the last of the Saltines), they were all I had in the cupboard. I hope they'll give the birds a place to "pick" and perch. I'm rather enjoying the trials and errors, just as long as I'm helping, not hurting.

We had bad news about the chimney. The exterior needs patching, and the ivy must be pulled down. I've already started using some vines to spiff up the bird houses and feeders.

But the innards are shot. The chimney doesn't have a liner or fire bricks. Since most of the stones in the firebox are hopelessly cracked, the inspector said we absolutely couldn't burn any fires until we'd made repairs, which includes a liner and a rebuilt firebox. The price: 7K. Even a gas insert would be something like 5K. After we stopped swooning, we decided to wait on repairs. They'll have to be done, but not right now. Maybe not for a long, long time. I love a snapping fire, but not that much!

I guess I'm waiting for warmer weather until I start to clean and organize the lower screened porch.
Mostly, I'm waiting for the screened door to be installed, then I'm waiting for this space to tell me what it wants to be. So far, it isn't saying doodly squat. I have one ground rule: I'm using stuff I already have, and that includes paint (if I paint) and furnishings. Tyler will do the heavy lifting and will help me paint. 

It could be a little garden room (though it is rather dark and can be damp after a hard rain). It could be a wildlife equipment room, a place to store food in metal cans. In the barn, I have an old kitchen counter and base, so that would provide storage--but I'll need strong men to move it. My guys aren't strong enough. I just don't know where this room wants to go. But I don't think it wants to be decorated. I have an old farm table (a loose leg needs repairing, and I think one of my guys can prolly fix it), which may hold up to the elements. I have a large mirror from the old Georgian, which could be made into a chalkboard and hung on the left wall. But (to tell the truth), that feels like decorating. If I have a chalkboard, it should go inside, where I can jot down a grocery list or leave messages to my family and vice versa. 
The main priority is to clean the space.

And moving back inside, you may remember the little pantry/laundry room. I'd felt quite sure that the shelves would be filled with cute things, but it just wasn't practical. At the ripe old age of 62, practicality wins, at least it's winning for now.

The pantry still unsettled but functional. I have a dishwasher somewhere, but I'm old school. 

Another simple pleasure: folding towels. They are so predictable, so easy to align the edges (unlike fitted sheets, which are a challenge).
So there you have it: a slice of life. 

Shared at:
The Charm of Home




29 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading through your posts from the last few days, Michael Lee. I'm glad that you're letting the lower screened in porch tell you what to do. Taking your time with decisions will help in the long run. I'm impressed with your painted black doors. They look so pretty! I used to get to projects right away, but now I seem to take my time (or never!) to get to them. I have been wanting to paint my dining room hutch black for so long, but really and truly, I'd like someone else to unload it, paint it, and then reload it!!
    I loved seeing the cardinals in your crepe myrtles. Seeing leafless trees, against the sky, is beauty on a winter day. Your roof that you installed on the birdhouse is a beautiful, edible delight for your feathered friends. Taking delight in simple pleasures certainly brings us joy, doesn't it? May you have a wonderful day, doing what makes you happy!

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  2. I've been away for a while and it's really nice to see how well your house is coming along. I adore your beautiful lion's head doorknockers. We have a black front door on our current house and I've been searching high and low for pretty doorknockers and this is it for me! On now to find a pretty lions head. Thanks for the idea.
    Sam

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  3. I love, love, love that shot of the kitchen with the stairs in the background. Such a gorgeous home. Just decorate when the mood strikes, it's not a race, so enjoy.

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  4. I don't think it is a lack of desire or laziness to decorate but I would say exhaustion! Think about all you have done! I am totally amazed and you have contined to blog and not miss a beat. I redid my kitchen last spring posted very few blog posts and still haven't said a peep about my kitchen. You're redone two Houses!!!!
    Love your kitchen. Very pretty and well done.
    Cute bird house. I'd like to do that with my grandchildren.
    You inspire. I've also just read some valentine posts on your sidebar. Loved them all. Was reading on my husbands iPad as I'm riding in the car. Wrote you a long comment not thinking it wouldn't go through as he does not have a Google account so I lost it. Now I'm sending this from my phone.

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  5. When we built a 500 sq foot addition on to our 1100 sq foot house, I primered the room and waited. Sometimes you just need to live in a space and let it decide where it wants to go. Nothing wrong with taking your time and living with it. Now, 10 years later, the room is a color I never thought I would choose, the window coverings are so different than what I pictured and even my furniture is a different style than what I am usually attracted to. But it all fits and I love it. Your ranchburger is lovely and one touch at a time, it is all you. Your yard is so wonderful, it would be hard to concentrate on the inside. Love your feeders.

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  6. Your house is just beautiful! Love th e black doors. I painted my old doors black a few years ago and just loved them. Black just seems to add a touch of class to a room. I would not paint that dining room table. It's gorgeous! What about a black pattern fabric on the seats instead? I know what you are feeling. After making every little decision from our renovation, my decision maker needs a vacation!

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    1. Black fabric may be just the thing. Thanks for the idea.

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  7. I loved seeing and hearing about the little slices of your life! Your bird feeder roof is ingenious - and just darling. Wonder if the squirrels will come and eat it? Your house is stunning. I'm totally swooning over your kitchen, especially with that gorgeous staircase in back. Sorry to hear about your chimney and I totally understand about home repair costs. There are so many things our little home needs right now (new furnace & AC, new windows, new bathtub, new shower stall, total kitchen reno, old front porch torn out and new one put in, sidewalk to house redone), but we just don't have the $$. I don't think you're lazy regarding the decorating...I think you're tired! :-)

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    1. Melanie, early this morning, the bird feeder was intact, and by noon, two squirrels had devoured the roof. lol I'll have to think of Plan C. :-0

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    2. LOL I knew soon as I saw that cute roof the birds wouldn't get it, it'd be those pesky squirrels! : - )

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    3. It looks like a tornado ripped off the birdhouse's roof. LOL I'd bought a special "squirrel" block at Lowes, and the little devils have ignored it. I'm still having fun, though!

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  8. Nice catch-up! And quit beating yourself up, as Marty said up the comments aways - it's not a race. And lawdy lawdy you have had some REALLY BIG THINGS happening. I think I woulda cracked, but you are strong and brave and kept on. Give yourself credit, moving, furry bestie dying, alllll this crazy reno stuff (just getting new windows nearly killed me, I don't know how you did/do it) and don't forget you were reno-ing the Georgian before this! You haven't had a real break in YEARS - so keep guilt at bay. Enjoy your birds and your family and what beauty you have so far - cuz it's gorgeous!

    As for the table, well............as much a pain it is to paint those kinds of things - both my tables are black. I love black. I think you would too. See if you can hire it out to a crafy teen or something - seriously. THEY need the tax free money and you need it done well, no hurry, at a good price. Just a thought. : - )

    Hugs! ♥

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  9. Your place has really taken shape, good job on the interior garage doors. Also love the look of the kitchen ceiling against the units. Im a professional painter and decorator to trade and can feel your pain as some tasks can be long and tedious. Hope you don't mind me posting but I am going to keep an eye on your blog from now on.

    Thanks, Ross, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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  10. And one day you will wake up with inspiration for a spot or two in the house. Just rest and enjoy at the pace you wish. In a year you will have an epiphany or two to show us. And that will be fine. I visit for a few minutes of your company and a visit on your hill. Don't feel pressured...and I feel your situation. I am 64 and don't more at the frenic pace I used to. And I do know not to end a sent in a preposition...but for some reason I am doing that. Ha! Sheila

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  11. I think I'm in a decorating lull too. My goal last year was to spruce up my daughter's old bedroom and a hall bathroom....neither got done. I have the vision for what I want in the bedroom and all the "stuff" for it but waiting on my handyman to plank one wall....still waiting. Don't have a clear idea on the hall bath yet but it will come (one day).

    As many have already said, there's nothing wrong with being in a lull or taking your time. That way it usually turns out better in the long run.

    You may have addressed this and I missed it but is there any new book on the horizon? I love your books and am planning on downloading a couple of time to my 95 year old mom's Kindle....she still loves to read.

    Take care

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  12. Thanks for sharing your slice of life. I like the title. I need to remember this. '-)
    Love, love, love the kitchen and looking up those stairs. This house has lots of charming features. I know you are happy to be settling in.

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  13. I think your white walls are beautiful. And I think, if I may, that you are not quite certain because perhaps your husband isn't quite happy with your purchase, and that is needling at you. Sometimes you have to let a space sit, if it isn't purposefully used every day, and let it tell you, in its own time, what it wants to be. Look forward to spring and then you'll spend a lot of time outdoors beautifying that, and maybe after that, the house will start to talk to you.
    Brenda

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  14. Michael it sounds to me as if you have what I call the IN-BETWEENS I wrote a blog post about this malady we all seem to get in the month of January. You will get your mojo back soon. I pinned the darling birdhouses, great ideas, thank you. Here is my blog post, I think you will be able to relate.....http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2016/01/do-you-have-in-betweens.html

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  15. Love the simplicity of your home, hardwoods, white and the black doors, it's stunning and an easy backdrop for any accents you want to add seasonally. I have had black doors on my list for a while, and I hope to get to them soon, yours look so good~
    Jenna

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  16. I always enjoy your musings on life....inspires me to think also....I am very close to your age and I know what you are feeling....take your time, there's no race, you will know what to do when the time is right. I also love black doors, and have quite a few in my home, but I think I'm ready for even more !

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  17. Oh my that frightens me to think you'd paint that gorgeous dining set. I like that suggestion about the black fabric for the chairs. I think that screened in area below is perfect to hide the unsightlys like the garbage cart and some working tools- winter storage of lawn furniture etc. Too bad about the fireplace- I imagine you'll get around to it before next winter. Considering all you've done with this house already I don't blame you for needing a break on decorating and making decisions. The older I get the more I understand about making good decisions once and not having to re-do things and pay for it again. I like the black doors and the wonderful door knockers! From what I can see your kitchen is beautiful- I just love the big china hutch you had built- perfect! I agree with others- in time your rooms will tell you what to do.

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  18. Love the door painted black...In looking at lots of model homes with my son, I have noticed that many of the doors are painted with a darker color...whether it be a dark gray, dark to medium blue or black....I love that look...I have been on a decorating lull since Christmas...slowly getting my mojo back ... and your counter next to the sink looks like mine!!!!...Your kitchen is so gorgeous....Have a great weekend!

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  19. I love the idea of your painting the dining room furniture black. While I used to be a fan of the darker woods, as I look at the few pieces of that furniture that I have left, I have been seriously thinking about painting one piece white and am still ruminating about the others. I did paint my Windsor chairs to my kitchen set black and I couldn't be happier. Go for it! Be wild and free! ;-)

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  20. Love your Slice of Life. You have had many things happen this past year. I don't think I could have done all that. I was pooped after Christmas and putting all the stuff away, just didn't have the desire to do any decorating. Lots of projects setting in my bedroom. So enjoy your new home and take your time. Love your bird house.
    Enjoy your time and take your time.
    Don't you just love Home Goods? It's not a place to take your men with you. I was just there Tuesday and i needed blinders LOL.
    Have a terrific weekend.
    Mary

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  21. Thanks for hosting and what lovely features. Enjoy the weekend!

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  22. I've been out of pocket for the last few weeks and I'm just now getting back into reading my favorite blogs.
    Yours, of course is first. I wonder if the ennui you are experiencing regarding decorating still stems from grief on a number of levels, combined with the feeling of being a little lost in you new home. Decorating may not be life-giving to you right now and that is the one thing I think you instinctively know you need. You need something that replenishes you and doesn't cause you any stress. Your heart may be searching for new avenues to express the love you lavished on the Yorkies. Their place is taken. But there is still river in you that must not be dammed up. I sense in you a kindred spirit and I know for me, feeding the birds, learning their names and their ways, squirrel antics, rabbits, deer- all of them, feed something in me that my soul needs. God's little creatures never cease to delight me. And to think he knows when each of them falls!...how much more does he know and understand our hearts and where they are right now. As you make friends with the land and it's inhabitants, as you continue to discover this new passion and pour love into it, I think you will find an emotional side door into your house which in time will become a real home to you, no matter how it is decorated or undecorated.

    I hope you get this. It does not need to be published, only read by you.

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    1. Yolie, I hope it's okay that I published your insightful comment,as it may help someone else who is in my shoes. Your words certainly helped me--they were just what I needed to hear today; a Higher Power is at work in all things, with all people, and in all ways.

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