Friday, May 28, 2010

Tennessee, Here We Come!

We're leaving on a trip to the mountains in a few hours; going floating down a river and spending time with my parents, four of our children, and the four grandbabies. I'll be watching them so Laurel can go down the river.

When I told my mama that we were all coming, I could hear her eyes widen over the telephone wire along with a sudden intake of breath. We're doing all we can to help out; taking most of the food, bringing sleeping bags and a tent, and providing plenty of outside time for the little boys.

We've made the five-hour trip to their house so many times that it's nothing much anymore. I have plenty of things to think about since finishing Traveling with Pomegranates last night.

I saw it in the new book section of the library and almost didn't get it. Sue Monk Kidd's last two books I read (Dance of the Dissident Daughter and The Mermaid's Chair) made me so aggravated I wasn't sure I wanted to read anything new by her. But I'm glad I did. It was co-written with her daughter, Ann and was about their travels in France and Greece and how they built a new relationship as friends as well as mother and daughter.

Sue, approaching fifty, was going through menopause at the time and struggling with her own mortality and thoughts of becoming an old woman. Her daughter had just graduated college and was filled with self-doubt and loathing having just received a rejection letter from a graduate school where she had hoped to study Greek history.

So many of the things Sue is thinking about and dealing with, I've been struggling with also. It's always good to receive validation about your own feelings and to know that another woman your own age is going through similar things.

Her idolatry of Mary is alive and well, though. I don't remember her mentioning Christ one time. So I do wonder about her spiritual state. I remember reading Sue Monk Kidd's writings in the 70's. I was a new believer, and she was a mainstream Christian writer from a Baptist background. I always enjoyed what she had to say.

Sometime in the 90's, she began embracing the feminine side of God and has never looked back. She tells her story in Dance of the Dissident Daughter. It's disturbing but fascinating reading.

I'm very glad I read Traveling with Pomegranates. It's a touching mother-daughter story. They alternate writing chapters, so you get both their perspectives on the same thing whether it's a place they're visiting, the struggles they're having, or Ann's wedding day. Sue also comes to terms with her own mother, so it's really a tri-generational story.

So with those thoughts racing around in my head plus new books I'm taking, I'll have plenty to occupy me on the trip. Let's just hope Superman will sleep for most of the trip, since he's riding with us.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Clean, Decluttered Bedroom

I've finished one room in my decluttering process; our bedroom.

I like to 'summerize' the house by getting rid of heavy fabrics, rugs, etc.

In this room I took down the curtains, rolled up the rug, and took off the bed's dust ruffle. I love the light,airy feeling now. It echoes a little. I love that sound when you walk around a room that's empty or almost empty.

When we first built the house, I painted this room a dark rose. After ten years, I had the green put up. I like it much better. It's very cool and restful. Sometimes I think about changing it but can't think of any color I'd like better. I may paint the bed and nightstand someday. Maybe paint the bed off-white and the nightstand turquoise. What do you think about that? I'm not sure about painting the bed, but the nightstand, for sure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"I am the happy victim of books."

I'm borrowing a quote from a new blog I've just discovered: The Occasional Enthusiast. It's by Karl Lagerfeld. He says, "Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books."

I love that! Here are a few photos of my own 'drug of choice'.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thankful For The "Bad", Too

I've finished An Alter in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor. While I don't agree with many things she believes, it still was a mindful book about seeing God in everything and everywhere.

Here, in this excerpt, she talks about praying that bad things won't happen to her and giving thanks for the semi-bad things. "While I pray daily to be delivered from the most awful things that can happen to human beings-land mines, wasting illness, killing poverty, civil wars-I give thanks for even the semi-terrible things that have happened to me, since they have shown me what is really real. They have made me tell the truth. They have quashed all my illusions of control, leaving me with no alternative but to receive my life as an unmitigated gift."

Over the weekend we traveled to visit my husband's mother. While there, I talked a lot with my sister-in-law who is struggling with breast cancer. I noticed a difference in her that wasn't there BC (before cancer). She is much more real now and more intense. I've always liked her but really like her now. She even said that this horrible experience has made the unimportant fall away. And it showed in our conversation. We didn't waste time on fluff but immediately talked about what was on our hearts. I liked that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Screened Porch

I want a screened porch. I NEED a screened porch. We have so many bugs down here in Georgia that you can't really do any relaxing or entertaining outside unless it's behind screenwire.
I took these photos on Fripp Island a few weeks ago. I think the way they incorporated the porches onto the houses by walkways and different staircases is ingenuous. The blue house is mine. I could add a porch off this little porch but would have to do away with it.

There are three porches attached to our house, but unfortunately, I only made them six feet deep; way too small to screen in. I want a room. I thought I could make a space to drive my car into with a screened room on top. That'd be double use of the space.

So what do you think? Are these cool, and would they work on my house?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More Before and After

All this stuff on the dining room table and floor was taken out of the built in cupboard to the left. I'm giving it all away. There is depression glass, Princess House crystal, Southern Living at Home stuff, antique linens, etc.
I thought about listing it on E-bay but almost get physically ill thinking about all that that entails. I'd rather gift it to some of the young married girls in my church who are still collecting beautiful things for their homes. That way, we'll all be happy.

The other photo is of my cupboard AFTER the big declutter. It looks so much better! I don't know why I couldn't part with all this stuff earlier. This is the second big declutter of the cupboard. I've found that I have to get rid of things in stages. I have emotional attachments to all my belongings that makes it hard to get rid of things easily. But I'm learning to, and it feels so good!