Early Evening Coffee Chat: March Showers

Come in, dears, come in.  March is nearly away from us and I wanted one last visit with you this month.  It's nice enough outdoors I suppose but the pollen is rather heavy at the moment so we'll take our coffee in the kitchen sitting area and admire the views from the windows, all right? We are due thunderstorms this evening, but thus far we've only cloudy skies.

There are few flowers to see but the world is certainly green and blue these days...or green and gray as the day may be at the time.  We've had plenty of showers of late.  Not great puddle makers, just showers, but sometimes they've lasted very nearly all the day.  In Georgia, March seldom roars, but it certainly does sprinkle us liberally, a baptism into a new season.

I've been busy...did you notice?  I've had the fun of working hard on my home, both cleaning and what I call playing, which is the part where I decorate and refresh and such.  I tend to over do but gracious, a  good day's work does usually make for a really good night's rest I've noticed so it sorts itself out.  I'll confess we had a few worrisome days as well and housework is always good for what worries me.  It takes my mind off things...or if it's repetitive work it sometimes allows me to mull over the troubles and get some insight and clarity.

Well it all comes out the way it's meant to and usually I've done nothing in the world but waste my time worrying and getting a lot of ticky sorts of jobs done.  At least I don't lose sleep over it because I'm far too tired to stay awake!

It's hard to fathom it's been almost a month since  I last stopped to have a chat...And what a long and quick month March has been.  I mean it just that way, too.  Worry, work, busyness, hurry.

We went to Athens this past weekend.  I so wanted to spend time with my children, but truth is that I got only a very little time with them.  There was a baby shower for Katie, and logistics of trying to get people from here to there alone was something.  And John worked a 24 hour shift Friday.  Things went very well for us.  John didn't get called out Friday night and got a full night's sleep.  That is highly unusual.  I was so happy he'd been able to rest.  It's a good drive from here to Athens.

We arrived with no time to spare for lunch or coffee.  We had to load up the car and head from Sam's to the home where the shower was held.  Katie looked lovely...and very pregnant.  She still has seven weeks to go.  The fun part of the shower?  Putting babies on the floor and comparing them at their different stages.  Bess had just had Josh and there were three others pregnant at the time Katie got married.  My niece was unable to go to the shower but had she been able we'd have had four babies just two months apart so that the stages were blatantly evident.  I was much amused by the only little girl, who was 7 months old,  determined she'd take Josh's pacifier. Josh is 9 months old.   My grand niece is 5 months old.  The other little boy was just 3 months but it was obvious he wanted to be moving about on the floor like the other two babies that were there.

I held Josh during the opening of gifts and put his little self right to sleep.  After gifts were done, everyone began to drift home.  We drove back to Sam's and after a cup of coffee we left.  We made it home just as full darkness fell.  The whole day was a blur, which seems to be the way it goes these days when I see my children either in their homes or here.

Changes come with new seasons and I think every one of my children has some big change coming up in the next few months.  Their changes will affect us in one way or another.   Sometimes it feels John and I are the axle and the children are the wheel that turns.

Sunday I was just plain exhausted.  We made a real effort to go to church and I'm glad that we did.  It was so uplifting but we did nothing at all after that except eat and we ate poor meals.  I'd be upset if I didn't make such an effort to see to it  that we eat healthy most every day.  I figure one off day isn't going to do us much harm.  We lolled all Sunday afternoon. I took a nap.  By evening I was starting to feel energetic and hammered out three solid posts and started two more and I'd planned the work I'd do on Monday.  Feeling restless at the end of a day of rest is a sure sign of recovery for me.

I worked hard yesterday, too.  I wanted to get my kitchen done and photographed for the blog.  I love the light colors and the contrast of the black accents which are needed, I think, to keep the place from looking too pale.

I asked myself as I worked why I'd even bother to show my home to you all.  It's the nicest home  I've lived in most of my adult life, but it's not the nicest home.  I love my house but I see it's faults and know it's high and low points.  It's not a gorgeous home.  I have passable skills at best as an interior decorator.

My home is a double wide/mobile home.  It's valued in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands.   It's not large.  The finishes are kind of shoddy to be honest and the low end carpet and tile flooring and cabinetry and such are almost 20 years old.  The bulk of my furnishings were bought second hand and those that were new are now well used.  Very well used.  We are slowly making improvements, but very slowly, and what improvements we make aren't big money to some but dear to us.

I don't show my home because I think it's the finest thing or because I've poured loads of money into it.  I show it because I want to encourage others who might not have the best house on the block but want it to be cute, cozy, livable and done on a budget.  I think mine qualifies on those scores.  I want to show how to use what you have or can find for pennies to make things pretty.   Creatively, this is one of the ways I choose to express myself.  I show my home because I'm proud of my efforts to make it MY home, so that it says something about who lives here.  

Remember when I said that I find housework soothing when I've worries?  When I have changes coming in my life that I find concerning or frightening, and I have no control whatsoever over them?  I'll decorate, organize and rearrange.  Those are changes I can control and have a say over and it helps me to settle my soul about the changes I can do nothing about.  And yes, this month has been full of such things, some of which came to nothing, some of which are in waiting mode.    I think this year is just going to be unsettled and I might as well make up my mind to it.  And since I'm out of money and I've worked on pretty much every room except John's music room (which I won't be touching!), I need to find a new spot to focus my energies.  I'm thinking the porches and patio are next up.  Plants and paint are usually fairly affordable in small doses.  Soap and water help loads and cost nothing much at all.  Using what you have is free.  With three spaces I might be able to stay busy for a month or two.

I've picked up a book to read by Margery Sharp, Brittania Mews, but I'm terribly torn at the moment.  It isn't really the sort you pick up and read two or three more at the same time.  I was inspired to read it again after seeing a portion of the MGM movie with Maureen O'Hara in the female lead role and recalling I had the book.  Well Sunday, I saw a bit of Green Dolphin Street which we watched prior to leaving for church.  Another grand book by Elizabeth Goudge, also an intensive sort of read and not one to read along with others.  I know where I'll spend my time for at least the next two books, which means setting aside Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye.  I'll come back to it.

I've barely touched the genealogy stuff since January when I worked on my notebook...or was that last month?  Never mind when, but I noted that someone I knew rather well at one point might well be a cousin.  I found it absolutely interesting that a daughter used the middle name of the great great great grandfather as her child's middle name.  And I can't help but wonder at how often these names pop up in families even without any interest at all in genealogy or knowledge of ancestors' names.  Just so did Bess tell me the name she and Sam have chosen should they have another boy.  And lo and behold the name has two of his great great grandfather's names.  Even more interesting is the fact that Josh's middle name is also one of that same great great grandfather's names (he had four).  

I have had a month of small frustrations.  Nothing big.  But nothing has gone smoothly for me.  If I'm cleaning, I'm bound to make a bigger mess somehow.  If I start to do one thing it some how multiplies into a domino of jobs.  If I need something I can't acquire it so I'm stalled.  If I plan it, it falls through multiple times, not  just once.  I've gone as far as plan G and H.  That's just the way March has been and this last day has been no different.  I had the figures to work up the bills this morning and in trying to save something else, I lost needed information and couldn't retrieve it.  Stalled.  I texted John to request that he get me info again but he's apparently been too busy.  At 5pm I realized the ship had sailed.  The bank and post office were both closed.  It will wait until tomorrow...but it's just one more little bit of frustration, one more resetting of plans.

I know this is all too brief and not nearly as chatty as I wanted to be.  But the hours have fled and it's truly evening.  There's thunder outdoors so I suppose we'll get more of the promised thunder storms.  So be it.

Hurry home, won't you, so you don't get wet...and hurry back again soon!


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I thought that the recent decorative projects you did in your kitchen were very pretty.
In the post where you rearranged your easy chairs everything looked very cozy. It's always enjoyable to see what you have done in your home.

Since my home is small, it is more inspiring to me to see how others with homes that are close in size or just a bit bigger than mine decorate.

When I take photos for my blog I try to avoid letting too much of our hardwood floors show in the picture. Our floors need to be refinished. The varnish on them is in really bad shape. It is going to be an expensive, complicated project, and by necessity continues to be put at the bottom of the to-do list.

My home is small and not fancy or very up to date, but a lot of living has gone on here since we moved here in 1978.

It's not the size of our homes that is important. It's the love that's in them.

Ronnie said...

Veronica - London,England

I love your home. It maybe small but it looks welcoming and inviting. The kind of place where you know you will feel at home and that's very important. I read your blog all the time and love to hear about your everyday life it's interesting and at times educational for me. Please keep it up.

Kathy said...

oh I love it when you share pictures of your home! It gives me hope and inspiration to fix up my home too. I don't have one of those fancy houses, but I have a home full of love and laughter, teens and cats, and a wonderful husband. I get discouraged at times with all the mess and clutter. I enjoy your blog because you are real. Thank you!

Rhonda said...

Hi Terri, I am so far behind in reading you and my favorite blogs, I'm catching up a little now and plan to read lots more in the waiting room tomorrow.

I like your home photos, frankly I am bored with the perfect photoshopped professional looking photos on the big time blogs, they have no bearing on my life.
I like real homes where families really live and work and play.

Karla Neese said...

Thank you for sharing your home, however small, undervalued by man, aging and mobile it might be. For, as I've shared with you previously, I am in a very similar circumstance. And seeing and reading your ideas on how you come up with creative items on a tight budget inspires me every time. I know why God has kept me where I am - to teach me humbleness and contentment. And He is so faithful to bring along a bright spot just when I need it. You are one of those bright spots my dear. Keep shining even on those months (my March has been similarly frustrating) when you aren't sure you have much battery left in your flashlight.

Prayers for a better April!

sparky136 said...

Your decorating posts inspire me to look around my small apartment and find new ways to use things that I already have instead of buying new.

Glenda said...

Hi Terri,

Your chats are always so welcoming. I love seeing photos of your home.
Thanks for sharing with your readers.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

I enjoyed the coffee chat..
SO happy that you shared your home. My house is small too..but it is not the size of the house, it is the living and the love that goes on , in that house,that makes it a home..
I love seeing your wonderful ideas, and the lovely things you have..
thank you for sharing. I so enjoy your blog.

Julie Baker said...

Green Dolphin Street was on TV a couple weeks back. I was sick in bed so got to watch it. What a terrific movie.
I am inspired by your home decorating/upkeep stories. It renews my interest in my own home care. Love, love, love pictures of crafts and home. As others have said your home is real and far more inviting than the not real glossy perfected rooms of many blogs. Thank you for sharing them.

Anne in the kitchen said...

I love seeing the homes that all the different bloggers post! I especially love befores and afters. I always find something inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love old things. I wouldn't trade my 50 year old bedroom set for anything. It got a bit shabby and gramps refinished it a few years ago. The bedspread is very old also, but I have kept it in good shape. The quilt was a wedding present from his grandma. Have a number of pieces of furniture that are old family pieces, most that someone else would throw away. Don't ever undervalue your talents. I would much rather go into a well loved home than a showplace anyday of the week. Besides showplaces make me nervous! I also love to "look over" my "stuff" once in a while to see where I could use things that have been in one place for a while. Money for decorating is not in my budget. Recently moved a chair into the guest room, and now when I can't find gramps that is where he is. "This room is so sunny and bright, a nice place to read". I think my making things for my home and changing things around as a hobby. It is sure a lot less expensive than most hobbies! A few dollars spent here and there are good therapy. Gramma D.

IM said...

I have to "ditto" the comments above! I love seeing your home, and think you do a wonderful job with what you have. So often, we think that we will be happy when....we lose five pounds, have a new bedspread, buy some new dishes. Happiness is right here and right now. Your home reflects that philosophy, and I appreciate your sharing so much! I love the way you prepare your table for your special evenings, and take this and that to make lovely vignettes. I would love to see even more of your pretty little house!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to drop in and wish you a blessed Easter. We worship the same LORD. 😊

I always enjoy your posts and your pictures. Don't ever apologize. 😎

I have lived in a double wide for 37 years out here on the prairie. I love my house and know it is a gift from God.

We've been doing some remodeling these past few years as dollars became available. Our contractor tells us that many new homes are built very badly, so when he works on our mobile home, which some think of as inferior housing, he considers no different. I know the guys on This Old House years back laughed about remodeling a mobile home. They wouldn't consider it! Too bad for them! 😄

I have loved owning my home all these years. It was affordable and has done us well. This gal is thankful! Pam

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the many comments! They are so wise and right! Our home was build in the early sixty's. Now it is considered a starter home. Although I would love to have a den or a laundry room it is not going to happen! :) Your home layout must be nice to allow you room for a chair in the kitchen and the bedroom. I would love to have a little place to be able to sit and read without hearing the tv. There is no need for any sound systems in such a little house..the sound is everywhere! :-) My kitchen counters are tiled but original to the house as is the sink. So both are chipped and the sink stains very very easily as there is hardly any porcelain left! Yet..Yet it is home and here is where God put us. It is up to us to live in it happily.
As you can tell we all enjoy hearing of the plans and things you have done to brighten your own home. We can share ideas and enjoy the kinship of it all. Housework is a way of getting something you want to get done badly and even if you cannot change the worries in your life you can get something done. That at least give you satisfaction that you can change and have control over something in your life.
I have been reading say 4 books at a time. picking up which one suits the mood I am in. One I just had to give away as I never could get into it.
I think you have gotten lots and lots of things done in your home and even major things like the porch. It looks great!! Feel good about yourselves! I wish I could say the same about here!! :-)
Whether you are on plan A or H it is very wonderful that you and John are on the same page of plans!!

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