31 March 2009

Mirror(s), Mirror(s) on my wall...

I guess I am of the "you can't have too much of a good thing" philosophy because my chippy mirror wall in the living room has expanded and I love it. A week or so ago, though, my sister Lindsay was at the house watching Macauley and Megan while I was at my hair appointment and Megan said, "Macauley? Why do you have all those mirrors on the wall?" And Lindsay said Macauley just kind of shook his head and answered, "My mom...she's just crazy like that." And then little Megan shook her head and said, "Yeah. That IS crazy."

30 March 2009

No comment?

I keep this blog for a few reasons, mostly to journal things I want to remember and to visually document the goings on in my life. But I also like to share my finds and my thoughts with others. I don't get a lot of comments back, and that's okay...but I would like to hear from some of the people I know read this blog and others that I don't know who pop in. So I changed my comment settings tonight to allow comments from anyone, even if you don't have a blog or a blogger account. I was so honored by all the kind and thoughtful comments The Norweigan left for me but don't know how to get in touch with you. I see cities pop up on Feedjit and I'd love to know who's been here and if you have a blog I can read as well. I know my Aunt Karen checks in here...who else? Janice? Barb? JScott? Jot a quick note and tell me who you kitties are and what you're up to!

Back in the swing of things

Today we were back to school and back to our routine after a leisurely Spring Break. It wasn't as tough as I thought it would be, other than starting a new Creative Writing class first thing this morning before I had gotten back in the groove. Oh well. I can't believe we start April this week. This school year has really flown by, which has been good for me in the work sense, but that also means that Macauley's time as a kindergartener, which he has really enjoyed and flourished in, is fleeting as well. He's enjoying the longer afternoons after school and getting in some good outside playtime with Megan. Today they showed off the little animal flashlights Macauley picked out for the both of them at Lane's store when we visited Rogers last week. On the wicker porch swing that I painted and with Ryan's help put up with new chains yesterday. It really is just what I imagined. When I think of porch swings, for some reason I always think of a really corny country song that came out in the early to mid 80s called, "Just a swingin'." Such a corny song, but I connect it to my childhood and my grandparents and time with my cousins at Nanny and Papaw's and my Papaw sitting on a porch swing watching all of us play in the backyard. It wasn't actually on a porch but rather suspended from an old swingset frame out back. Papaw watched a lot of Hee Haw, so maybe that's why the silly song rings such a bell. He's been gone almost 5 years now, but I still think of him and miss him every day. I wish he could visit my new house and sit in my swing a while and watch his great-grandson and his adorable little friend play the way my cousins and I used to. I think he would have been delighted.

28 March 2009

Our little trip

Ryan took off work Friday (miracle!) so we could take Macauley down to Branson and stay at the Hilton on the Landing. Ryan and I have stayed there a couple of times and Macauley was really excited to swim in the pool and stay in a hotel. He really had his heart set on being on the top floor for "the view" but we ended up on the second. Still, he got enough elevator time throughout our stay and liked our king condo.

After checking in, we shopped on the Landing a little. Macauley got a Bolt and a Mittens stuffed animal, a Bolt book and a Wall-E t-shirt at The Disney Store.

Is he really over 42" tall? According to the pirate at the playground, he is. Again with the melancholy...he's just getting so big and grown up...

The Landing really is a nice place to go, and only about half an hour from our house. The weather wasn't the best, but not as bad as we thought it might be. I mistakenly left Ryan's clothes at home when I packed (they were hanging and I only tossed in the few things he had folded) so he only had one outfit the whole time and no jacket. Sorry.

We spent the rest of the late afternoon at the indoor pool and spa. Macauley was thrilled, but that place was so loud! There were several people in there, and I guess the sound just carried because even Ryan got a headache and he never gets headaches. Macauley swam/dog paddled a little on his own and made a couple of little friends that he jumped off the side with over and over.

The three of us went to dinner at Cantina Laredo--super yummy Mexican food. Macauley kept complaining that his stomach hurt though, so the meal wasn't as peaceful as others Ryan and I have had there. We thought we'd go to a movie afterward, but Macauley said he was sleepy (what???) and wanted to get "back home" to the room, so we went to the Branson Wal-Mart to find the next Twilight book for me to read instead. Couldn't find it there, so I got an US Weekly. (I got New Moon when we got back into town today so I can start it tonight after we watch the movie--I tell you, the story just pulls you in...)

We slept in this morning, did a little more shopping and then had lunch at Waxy O'Shea's Irish Pub. Ryan loved his corned beef and cabbage. We went to Tanger for a bit then headed back to Springfield, thinking poor Booker was lonesome at the house without us even though Lindsay checked in on him several times. Not too long after we made it back the snow started and Macauley headed straight next door to Megan's. Just one more day of Spring Break then back to school...


Macauley and I stopped by one of my favorite shops, Discoveries by Colleene, off the square in Ozark this past Thursday to pick up a willow rack that my friend Colleene had kindly put aside for me a couple of weeks ago. As usual, she had her place looking fabulous and full of great things at great prices. Very springy too.

I really liked this metal bakers rack and think it might look great out on my deck so I'm keeping it in mind...although it will probably be snatched up.

After some major cramming, Colleene and I got this willow rack into the back of my 4Runner and when I got home, I dragged it through the house and back to the screened porch all by my little self. You know how you just want something where it's going to be when you want it to be there even if you don't have help? I've found that putting at least some of the legs on a towel and dragging whatever hulking thing I want to scoot works pretty well. This one left twig droppings all along the way, but no biggie. She even threw in a matching side table but I couldn't persuade Macauley to ride home with it on his lap. It would have been really uncomfortable, and I had already had to do some major convincing to get him to sit in the front seat so I could put the back seats down to fit everything. He's kind of a Mr. Safety and knows kids aren't supposed to ride up front and he thought I would get pulled over. But after seeing the "Airbag Off" light, he agreed it would be okay just this once.
I filled it with some gardenish items I had, many of which lived in my French Country upstairs at the old house and others that are more recent finds. The big bird Molly gave me is nestled into a wreath I've had forever that I thought looked like a nest when turned on its side.

The spherical lamp came from Colleene's as well. It's really tall and I might like to have a lower, longer table in that spot eventually, but for now I arranged some stuff in that corner that I love but hasn't found a home inside. Maybe because they're meant to live out here.

So much for enjoying the porch, though. It's snowing here right now. Tomorrow, however, is supposed to be brighter and warmer and maybe we really are headed into spring after this final sloshy mess. I need to go back to Colleene's and get my side table!

26 March 2009

Black (and white) out

The corner shelf I got in Rogers got a coat of black paint and rubbed edges this afternoon. It lives in my living room now, and Ryan said he liked it.

This little toy camera (with "friend" on the lens--how sweet) is one of my favorite things and only cost $2. I've had it for a while and it's nested in a platter of old keys I got in Crane on a fun trip with Barb, last summer maybe. I got the whole baggie for $1.50. I saw some of these same keys today for $8...each! Makes mine feel like quite the treasure...

My basket of itty bitty dominoes and a small architectural fragment I found at The Brass Armadillo outside of Kansas City last summer.

I tucked away the black books I found in Billings into the other bookcase in the living room and I'm really liking the look. I think I will keep adding more here and there.

I found the little White Cat Corn tin in Billings, too. It's not old but I liked the litte kitty leading the wagon and it fits with my other black tins on the shelves at the end of my kitchen island.

The beaten path

On my way to Arkansas Tuesday, I ran into a torrential rainstorm, just about the time I was rolling through Billings, Mo., a tiny town with a handful of pretty good flea markets. I always roll by and car-window-shop when I pass through town (which is fairly often on the way to my parents or to meet them halfway in Monett) and had just seen this bench on Friday. So, since it was raining and all, I had to stop and check on it. It rained really hard for quite a while and I found several things to come home with me, including the bench, which I have in my foyer hallway right now, but it might end up back in the dining room where I took the picture with the little cottage shelf I also bought at Another Darn Flea Market. Yes, it's called that and formerly had a holstein motif and was painted all down the side with black spots. I filled a few boxes of 50 cent black books there, too, so my bookcases are filling right up.

Next door at New Beginnings, I found the little chippy plant stand and the small statue. Something has broken off the front of it, and I think I will attach a saucer with hen and chicks or maybe a nest. The shutter I found on down the road. The black dog tail belongs to my loyal and curious Booker T.

I found the $1 silver platter and the polka dot apron in Billings, too. Before leaving Rogers the next day, I stopped at The Rose and found the shaving mirror, which I love and the little metal bird stand, as well as the chippy footboard.

It is really small, I guess twin but it seems smaller. I am thinking about cutting off the bottom legs and hanging it above a doorway as kind of a pediment. Or I might hang it as is in my laundry room. It is leaning against a corner shelf I found at The Other Place in Rogers, formerly Frisco Flea Market, that I rehabbed today.

One of the booths at The Rose had everything 75% off and I got the little creamer, hankie, dishes and glass for nothing. I think I'll keep the creamer and hankie but sell the other things in my booth. I have another little mirror like the one I bought for $1. I'd like to have several more to hang in a collage somewhere.
My sisters and I took my mom and dad out to Famous Dave's (yummy potato salad!) Tuesday night to celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary. Then we shopped at Gap and Old Navy and I got Macauley several shirts and hoodies on clearance that he won't wear until fall. They are size 6/7 and seem impossibly big and make me sort of sad that he will be that grown up by then. My sisters and I went in Pier 1, and I was surprised to find several things I liked. I bought some curtains for Ryan's office but left the other things behind. I will have to check back though. I didn't know I liked that store for my style these days, but I should have known...my dish and glassware addiction.
I always have trouble falling asleep away from home so I read for quite a while and got really into Twilight. Even though it's not my normal kind of book, my teacher friends and my sister Lane all liked it and I decided to read it to see what all the fuss is about. I can see how the story pulls people (namely teenage girls, which I was long ago but still feel like in my head half the time) in. I plan to finish it tonight and move on to the second in the series. I read Confessions of a Shopaholic a couple of weeks ago, thinking I would read it and then see the movie but I haven't yet. Not my most intellectual or challenging reads, but a fun escape. Just right for Spring Break!

23 March 2009

Bookin' it to the Thrift Store

We have these two built in bookcases with glass doors and a gothic motif on either side of the massive fireplace in our living room. I had stashed random stuff in there but was never satisfied with the look. I have a lot going on in this room, and I realize we are teetering on the edge of busy. Then yesterday I had the idea to fill the cases with black books with the pages facing out instead of the spines/titles as I have seen in a couple of magazines. So after sleeping in embarrassingly late this morning, I put on sweats and minimal makeup and went to root around at Thrift Haven. I found some linens and a few other little things to put in my booth, then headed for the $1 book section. I pulled every black book I could find, peeling back book jackets to see if the hardcover was what I was looking for, and ended up filling a shopping cart to the brim. The guy running the place even gave me VIP access to the back room to dig through backstocked books and then he cut me a deal for buying in bulk.

I tried to fill in with mostly black items, including one of my typewriters, an old adding machine, a black bird cage, a small round footstool, a leather jewelry box and a silver tray filled with dominoes. Behind the typewriter, you can see the wiring for a DVD/satellite receiver to be connected to the flat screen we have above the mantel eventually, whenever someone can figure out the wiring that wasn't done exactly right during construction.

Good news: I am pleased with how it turned out. Bad news: That cart full of books was only enough to fill the left side. I'll have to give them a little time to restock black books and go back to thrift for another load for the righthand bookcase. There is a big chair in front of that one, so I won't need quite as many. I know the ladies working there thought I was crazy when they asked why I wanted all the black books and I explained what I was doing.

Then I turned to the kitchen a bit and finally put up the "Keep Calm and Carry On" print that I ordered after seeing one on Rachel Ashwell's blog about dealing with the shaky future of her Shabby Chic company. I can't believe it's gone under. Luckily, we're sailing along fine here but I really liked the sentiment and of course the black and white graphic nature of the poster. It's a reprint of one that was put up all over London during WW2 to encourage people to keep living normally and it's all over a lot of decorating blogs so I realize I'm not horribly original. But I love it!

I have shopped all around for a big, scrolly black frame and white matting for it but couldn't find what I wanted. I ended up buying glass for a rickety old frame I bought a couple of summers ago at a little shop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, when I was helping my Aunt Debbie take care of my grandmother in the hospital. It's just been lying around since. I may change it out to something more substantial eventually, but for now I have it propped up on the back of my stove as is.

Ryan hung my wire shelf in the breakfast nook/banquette area of the kitchen. I don't know why it didn't dawn on me to put it there until now, because I really like it now that it's up and filled with a bunch of my tarnished silver, old photos and my budding collection of ironstone pottery that had really been hidden around the house since we moved.

There is a huge window just to the right of the shelf and I have been itching to put curtains up there since the day we bought the house. I finally found some fabric I like and I guess I will attempt to make some myself having not found anything store bought that would work.

I bought about 10 other old books, including an old hymnal, today as well. I pulled a couple of pages out of the song book. Hope that's not sacrilege or something. I also came up with the idea yesterday to wallpaper the powder room with pages from old books and then put an antique glaze over it, and I found several books with fonts and yellowed pages that I was drawn to for this project. When I will start this one, I don't know, since I've never wallpapered before and the application is a bit unconventional. I won't be going for perfection, though, so I'm not particularly nervous about it, but I know it will be a big mess.

This major haul of books really inspired me to do a lot of different things, today, tomorrow and on down the road...a couple of hours digging around in the thrift store definitely worth it, despite all the curious glares I got.

22 March 2009


I must make note of the variation in artistic detail between the stick figures of the feelings worksheet and this marker drawing of Plankton from Spongebob that Macauley also did recently. He's been into drawing a lot lately, and Ryan and I were both a little surprised at how recognizable his Plankton was. I think he explained that Plankton had a hurt leg. Can't remember why the school supplies were included, but there was some kind of backstory.

I know all moms think their kids are brilliant and the cutest ever, which must be some kind of evolutionary compensation to balance out how crazy said kids drive us so we don't do them permanent harm or something. Not too long ago, Macauley and I were in the car, deep into one of our random conversations, this time about words. Macauley had asked how many letters most words have (he often asks me how many letters are in words and names and is thrilled that he has more letters in his name than any of his classmates), and I said (among other things) that words with twelve letters were pretty long and that when I was in sixth grade I learned from Brandi Hayworth that the longest word in the dictionary was "antidisestablishmentarianism" (a word that has something to do with being against building churches, or maybe being against being against building churches). Macauley stared out the window and processed the information then said, "Mom. How'd you get so smart?" I told him that I was probably born that way but that I also read a lot and watch Jeopardy! and have always just remembered a lot of things. I told him that he was probably born that way, too, since his dad is also smart. I said, making note of something his teacher told us that he's really proud of, "You know, since you read on a fourth grade level and all." He nodded, looked out the window again, then turned to me with a shrug of his shoulders and said out the side of his mouth, "And that I'm a wizard." Yeah. That too.

Once more, with feeling

Can't exactly put my finger on what kept me from blogging for several weeks...I guess I was in a bit of a funk. You know, the usual wearing down from motherly responsibilities, work every day (and Ryan being stressed about his first round of taxes owning the business), winter padding on my front and back sides, dishwater-brown roots, messy house, pet hair everywhere, a bout with the flu or whatever everyone else around here seems to have had of late. And so on. And so forth. Kind of running the gamut of the feelings (and then some) that Macauley documented in the worksheet he brought home after a class session with the counselor recently. I was charmed by his renditions (especially "shy" with the face covered and what Macauley said was me shielding him in front), and the big round hands remind me a lot of a show called Roly Poly Olie that Macauley used to watch as a toddler when I was staying home with him at our house on Bennett. I don't know if it's on anymore and I doubt Macauley would even remember it. Which makes me melancholy (a very complicated emotion, not pictured) that he is growing up, that we can never go back, that there is so much we've both already forgotten.

But I am emerging from the doldrums for several reasons: a) bright and blonde chunky highlights and newly cut sideswept bangs after my appointment with Nikki this past Friday, as well as a visit to the tanning bed; b) a whole week off school beginning tomorrow for Spring Break; c) three days of me time (and us time with Ryan) while Macauley visits my parents in Arkansas this weekend; d) two long afternoons of junking yesterday and today which produced a load of lovely finds; e) the thought of tomorrow puttering around the house all by myself stashing my new finds here and there and just doing what I want to do when I want to do it.

We all, Mac included, so needed a break from the routine and from each other, so I am thankful that my parents took Macauley for a few days, even though the fluctuating weather kept them from going camping as planned. I am enjoying the quiet and the freedom, but as usual, as soon as he's gone, I miss him. Even his up and down and often irrational emotions, some of which I photographed recently in hopes of doing a scrapbook layout at some point. Lindsay and I will go to Rogers Tuesday morning to spend a couple of days and then bring Macauley home. I hope it's sunny and warm when we get back so Macauley and I can do a little work on the flowerbeds in front. I want to savor the break. And my not-so-little-anymore boy.


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