Friday, May 25, 2012

The Power of Words

Yesterday morning my husband injured his hand at work. He got his finger caught in a paper clamp and pretty much crushed it. Long story short, he ended up having surgery on it in the afternoon to try to save it, and so we spent most of the day in the waiting room. Not what he or I either one had planned for the day, but life's adventures do sometimes throw us a curve ball.

Finally they called us back to the pre-op area. After taking care of all the preliminaries they put some sort of solution into his IV and told us that he probably wouldn't remember much of anything after that. Sometimes people get a little loopy as they go under anesthesia so I was hoping he might do or say something goofy that I could tease him about later. (Obviously, this was not a life-threatening injury or I wouldn't have been so blithe.) Much to my disappointment he didn't act drunk or anything.

As they were about to wheel him away the nurse told me, "You can hug him or kiss him or whatever would be appropriate." :-) So I leaned down to give him a quick kiss... on the lips, mind you! ...and he kissed me back-- this is important to the story. I murmured, "I love you," and patted his shoulder as I went back to the waiting room.

When his surgery was over I was curious to see how his memory was affected. "Do you remember me kissing you?" I asked him.

"You didn't kiss me!" he protested.

"I most certainly did!" I insisted.

"Nuh-uh. You said, 'I love you,' but you didn't kiss me!"

So that was my funny story to tell the kids of what happened when Dad was under the influence of anesthesia.

I thought it was interesting, though, that he remembered the words but not the kiss. Just goes to show that sometimes words do speak louder than action.

P.S. I do have pictures of his injury-- that he took while waiting to the see the doctor initially-- but I decided you probably wouldn't want to see them. You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lilac Days

Often I find myself thinking...

... "Life couldn't possibly get any busier." And then it does.
... "Surely my responsibilities will lighten up soon." But they never do.
... "When I get caught up I'll have time for all the other things I want to do." Instead I just get further behind.

It seems like a vicious cycle. In the meantime, life goes on. The sun is shining and the lilacs are blooming outside my window. My children just keep growing up.

I don't want the important things in life to pass me by because I was too busy to appreciate them.

So today, I'm going to soak in the sun for a few moments, and inhale the fragrance of the lilacs. I will spend time listening to the things my children want to talk about. And I will hold hands with my husband every chance I get. I will appreciate the strong work ethic he has and try not to mind the excessive hours he has had to work lately.

No matter what... life is sure an adventure!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Romantic Prairie Bedroom Makeover

This spring my homemaking focus has been on completing the bedroom makeover that has been in progress for several years. I finally have it put together the way I had envisioned it, thanks in large part to major contributions from my mother!

Three years ago I started planning how I would like my bedroom to look. The walls are knotty pine and I liked the pioneer cabin feel of that, so I decided not to change them. Saved a ton of work right there. Also, the carpet is in good shape, and fortunately for me, it's my favorite shade of sage green. So I decided on a rustic-but-romantic style in keeping with what was already there, and my own country-girl personality.

Not too long after that my mother asked if I'd like to have "Granddaddy and Grandmother's bedroom suit" which included a double bed frame, a pretty mirrored dresser, and a "chester drawers." Without even thinking about it, I immediately said, "Yes! Of course I would!" I wasn't sure it would even all fit in our bedroom, but the entire 25 years we'd been married I had never had "real" bedroom furniture. Sure, we had a bed frame to keep our mattress and box springs off the floor, but no headboard or footboard. And only odd tables or night stands to set things on. Clothes were stored in the closet in bins.

Anyway, Mother had inherited this beautiful set of furniture from her parents. She didn't really need it, and of my brothers and sisters one sister also didn't need it, and the others are too tall for the bed. They need king-size beds. Even at that, Lyle had to do some cutting and welding on the bed frame to make it long enough for our queen-size mattress.

We were able to pick up the furniture on our trip in March. When we got home and had time to get it set up, I was thrilled with how well it fit our room. The Irish Chain quilt my mother and I made fit the bed perfectly.

I had originally thought I would crochet a curtain... but it wasn't turning out like what I had in mind, so for now I decided to just go with sheers (and a mini-blind for privacy behind the sheers). I talked Lyle into putting up a bookshelf above the window for my collection of vintage novels, in lieu of a valance.

I added other little touches of personal and family treasures for accent pieces, including my vintage suitcase on my nightstand-- and a shabby little stepladder topped with an old packing crate that belonged to my other grandmother for a lamp stand.

So for now, our room is done. And it makes me happy. I smile every time I walk in there. I'm sure I'll make adjustments right along, as that's the nature of home decorating.

Oh, and one last thing! I wasn't sure what "style" to call this room-- as it's not quite "cottage style" yet not really "cabin style"-- but I came across a new magazine last week called Romantic Prairie Style. "That's it!" I thought as I thumbed through it. Would you believe most of the rooms featured in the magazine had knotty pine walls?

Too bad I don't have a better camera, or photographer--or both!--to do my beautiful room justice. (But you can click on the pictures to make them larger if you like.) And if you're not quite as enthralled with it as I am, that's okay. It's my bedroom and I love it! That's all that matters, really, isn't it?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Granddaddy's Barn

 Once upon a time a path led from the driveway along the edge of the garden to the barn where the hens lived. Red-the-cow and the nanny goats congregated there morning and evening to be fed and milked. We called tending the livestock "the chores." Usually the teenage uncles were responsible for doing the chores. We little nieces and nephews considered it a privilege to get to help occasionally. It was fun to scoop out a portion of grain or to reach into a hen box and pick up a warm, freshly laid egg to add to the bucket.

The years went by, as years are wont to do. Old Red died. The uncles grew up and went off to college. The rest of us lived other places. Granddaddy's "herd" of livestock gradually grew smaller and smaller, until finally there were none.

The barn is abandoned now, and while my dad gives it a fresh coat of paint every now and then to keep it looking nice, mostly it serves as storage for no-longer-useful-or-needed implements. The used-to-be garden and once busy path are now covered over with neatly mowed grass.

The farm is no longer very productive, but it holds countless memories for the generation of children who once ran barefoot all over the hillside. What a wonderful way to begin life's many adventures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Snoqualmie Falls

 We took "the scenic route" Sunday. That's become our tradition each year-- to find something interesting and a little out-of-the-way to stop and see on our way home from the homeschool conferences we go to in the Seattle area. This time Lyle decided on Snoqualmie Falls. We have visited several waterfalls in the Northwest over the years, but this is one we hadn't been to before. We parked on the opposite side of the highway from the falls and crossed through a covered pedestrian bridge.
 At the first observation deck we came to we could see the top of the falls, but not the full length of it. We felt a little spray as we stood there snapping pictures. The main observation deck was further down the river so I figured the spray wouldn't be as heavy there.

I was wrong. Either that or it was raining at that end.  I think it was just a low rain-cloud over that deck, but Lyle argued that he thought it was spray from the falls. Several other sight-seers had umbrellas. We didn't. We got wet. And we didn't get very good pictures because of the heavy mist.

It was still worth stopping to see. I'd like to go back on a prettier day, but then the waterfall is probably most dramatic in the springtime.

I got Lyle a book for Christmas, Waterfall Lover's Guide: Where to Find Hundreds of Spectacular Waterfalls in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. I know we haven't been to "hundreds" of waterfalls yet, so I expect we'll be searching out more when we get a chance.

Enjoying the adventure!