Monthly Archives: October 2014

Nothing Screams “Halloween” Like Getting Ready for Christmas

I swore I would never become one of those people. You know who I’m talking about. The people who start their Christmas decor shopping before October arrives. I went to a home decor superstore to get some artificial flowers and was bombarded by a giant air-powered snowglobe designed for the front yard. This was the first week of October. I had to pass twelve aisles to get to the fall stuff.

Twelve out of twenty-four!!

Now, I don’t criticize anyone who starts their Christmas gift shopping early. My mom is usually two years ahead of schedule with it. I usually start around February for the coming Christmas. But I do wait to get any decor until after Thanksgiving. But y’all know me: once an idea gets under my skin, I have to do it. And this year I got the idea to make a winter wreath for my front door. I have already made the flowers to use on the wreath. I made them this week while also making Little One’s costume and mum. Once the hot glue gun is on, I keep going.

flowers for wreath

The yellow one is an outlier. I had extra felt and made it because I could. Now, some people don’t think that’s a big deal because I am making the wreath, but keep in mind I have yet to make a fall wreath.

Yes, I do feel some shame.

I do have my Halloween wreath, which has been out most of the month, so I have that going for me which is nice. But no fall wreath. So in my mind I have to rectify that by making the fall wreath before I do the winter one, right? Translation: making fall flowers and buying a wreath and more glue sticks and more felt. It’s a sacrifice I am more than willing to make. 😀

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Embracing the Breaks

Growing up, my mom always told me to be mindful of people’s feelings. It wasn’t just a mean thing to do, but also a shocking breach of etiquette. But it always bothered me how being considerate of people’s feelings jarred against being honest, even when kind. I’m of the opinion that no one has a right to be offended, but also one should never be spiteful. There’s a meme that always rubs me the wrong way about this.

break plate saying

I get what that is trying to say: once you hurt someone, the damage can’t be repaired. But what it misses is that people have to get “damaged” in order to grow and mature. Facing adversity makes people stronger. The world isn’t going to save your feelings all the time. But in damage there can also be beauty.

kintsukuroi

This ancient Japanese tradition is based on the philosophy that things that have been broken can be made to be more beautiful than before. They have overcome adversity, and have a history and scars of what they have overcome. Just because something broke, it shouldn’t be discarded. So it is with people. Some of us are more damaged than others. But just because we are damaged doesn’t mean we are no longer needed or wanted. It is our responsibility to fill our breaks with gold, and become stronger for having been broken. No one else can do that for you.

A flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. — The Emperor, Mulan

When you break, pick up the pieces and make them more beautiful. Show the world that you are no longer the same, but better. And you’ll be stronger for it 🙂


A Little Rain Falling

I received word this afternoon that my uncle had passed away after a long illness. I cried a lot, I prayed a lot, and cried some more. He was a special man in many ways. He was a victim of a hit-and-run accident while he was helping someone stranded on the road. As a result, he was mentally handicapped (he never did like the “challenged” description, so there), but that never stopped him from living Life. And as I grieve, I am remembering how he grabbed Life by the horns, twisted its neck and threw it down yelling, “CHUPATELA!!!*”

Some of you may know of my credo of being happy every day. I’m not happy ALL day, mind you, but I do find something to be happy about every day. I learned that from him. He had a zest for life that made Zorba look like a piker. I remember once his sow lost a few piglets during birth. We were all sad, until he told us he “planted” them snout up, so the tree would grow and give us more piglets. I kid you not. And then there was the time when someone ask him to call them back, so he breathed in the word “hello” (because it was air going in, not out). Oh, and one time he decided that he wanted to sleep under the stars, so he got a photo of Marisol Malaret (the first Puertorican to win the Miss Universe title) and taped it to the ceiling. He was unstoppable.

He wasn’t perfect, but he was an inspiration to all of us. He is preceded by his oldest son, and I know they are both in Heaven, laughing at the rest of us who still have to wait to get to the party.

Because he was the party.

Te quiero mucho, Tio Papo. Esperame, que vengo con chismes y con ron de barrilitos 😀

* The equivalent of saying “SUCK IT!!” And the last sentence: I love you very much, Uncle Papo. Wait for me, because I’m coming with gossip and single barrel rum. 😀


Back to Blerghing

Sorry for my absence this past week. It was Little One’s birthday yesterday and I spent most of the week running errands in preparation for the Apocalypse the day. My Little One is no longer little, I’m afraid. She has outgrown me by a couple of inches, and I am mourning still. It’s not easy to realize your baby is 15 years old and interested in dating boys.

I may just cut myself.

Anyway it is officially Fall now, or as we in Texas like to call it, Summer v. 2.0. That means it is time to start getting the yard and the shrubbery ready for Winter, or as we call it, Fall-lite. Usually it isn’t a problem, but this past few weeks we have enjoyed copious amounts of the wet stuff that falls from the clouds. As a result, everything is flowering later than usual.

knightswhosaynimotivation

The gardenias, the crepe myrtle, the cassia…. my yard looks lovely and I don’t want to destroy it just yet. But with all the commitments and out-of-town visits planned, this weekend is my only chance at doing it. I am seriously thinking of letting it go and dealing with it in the Spring, or as we call it, Summer-lite. Time will tell. And by “time” I mean my mom, who will probably tell me to take Joaquina to it now. Of course, my mom sees a leaf fall and she is out there with a rake and a blower. Me? I’m all like, “Oh, look….a branch fell. Circle of Life, baby.” I’m not the most meticulous yard person, especially since my dog is intent on destroying it most of the time. For now, I guess I will trim a bit this weekend. Pretending to be productive is the next best thing 🙂


Picking Battles

I’m a wife and mother. Picking battles is something I do often. I have a 50% success rate, which is not bad considering.

You try dealing with a band director.

Anyway, I am slowly making some updates in the house. The floor was the latest. It was a five year wait, but completely worth it. Unfortunately, the contractor vetoed my plan to burn the Berber carpeting. He did let me stab it a few times, though. I thought he might think I was crazy but he told me his wife did the same thing. Yes, I am well aware that doesn’t rule out insanity. But it’s something. Anyway, one of the things I really, and I mean really want to do is the fireplace. It’s brick in a tan…beige…dun… blah color with blah mortar. I mean it’s there, but doesn’t stand out in any way. And that is supposed to be a feature in the living area. At first I wanted to take it all out, and replace it with slate, which is fantabulous. But the floors were paramount (not the movie company) and that was an expense we couldn’t afford. So then I decided why not paint it, right? And this is where Hubby just looked at me like I had grown another head and said I was nuts no, too much involved in doing it. So then I was casually asking my contractor how I could repaint or stain the brick on the fireplace, to which he replied that it wasn’t a great idea because of the time and amount of ventilation required.

Suffice it to say, everyone is against me.

It was grating on my nerves, dealing with the boring drabness of the fireplace. I watch Property Brothers on HGTV and see the Flynn Ryder twin repainting fireplaces all the time!! But I was vetoed. GAH!!! As I sat there, wondering which house some Canadian couple was going to buy from the dapper twin, I saw it: a bold, beautiful BIG glob of glass sitting on a shelving unit in the background. And as I looked at my fireplace, I noticed something: everything, and I mean everything I had decorating it was in the same color range as the damn brick. Browns, beiges, tans, ambers…. no wonder that fireplace was so awful. That glob of glass stood out like a gorgeous preening peacock screeching LOOK AT MOI!!! And I knew, sure as the sun will rise, that I had seen it somewhere before.

stockholm-vase

Behold Ikea’s Stockholm vase. Actually, it is one of three Stockholm vases they carry in different styles and colors. Which begs the question: why call it the same name when they are different? Well, it’s Ikea. That’s what they do to mess with the customer. I recalled seeing the vase back on Mother’s Day when I last went to Swedesville. I liked them but had no idea where I would place them in the house. So I passed on them. Fast forward a few months and I am upstate for my nephew’s wedding, and my brother’s lovely girlfriend offers to entertain me by obliging my jones and taking me to Ikea, which is only 20 minutes from her home, unlike mine which is about 2 ½ hours if I’m lucky. So now Phase One of Fireplace Redo is complete, because I bought its taller, greener brother as well. Hey, one for either side of the fireplace, ok? I know it’s female logic, but it works. Trust me 😀