Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Times in Novice Gardening #7

It was CHRISTMAS in the GARDEN today! I obviously had delayed giving it some attention, and around every leaf I found hidden jewels.

Dang - not I gotta DO something with all this stuff!

It looks pretty sad and picked over now, even though there are numerous tomatoes and other things yet to ripen. I picked a weird zucchini - I thought it was a yellow squash, but found out too late that it was a HUGE yellow zucchini I think.... never got green, or maybe it still will? You experienced gardeners can weigh in on that one.

We really messed up with the trellis situation. Gotta fix that for next year. It has been a good year to learn!! I wish I had more flat land so I could have more boxes. Gotta ponder on that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Missionary Mom Moments

Today as I stood in my returning missionary son’s bedroom, checking it over and over to see if it is now ready to welcome him out of his Spiritual World and back into “real life”, so many questions, memories, and emotions flooded my mind and heart.

Do his “civilian” shirts in the bulging closet still smell like his cologne? Will he still want those shoes? Is he going to be a NEAT FREAK now (….ha – fooling myself on that one)? Will he be thrilled to see his stack of dvds and cds and sports poster collection? How will his bed feel to him when he sleeps there again for the first night home? Will we stay up late at night learning all we can about the last two years of his life? How much older will we look to him? How much older will he look to us? Can he adjust to the changes his parents and sister have had to make because of the unexpected challenges thrown our way?
How long will he yearn for the people he has grown to love?
Is his testimony now solid enough to aid him in enduring what lies ahead?

Being a returned missionary myself, I know he will feel a little lost and alone for a while. When I came home after my mission, I couldn’t even pick out shoes for myself so I dragged my friend Michelle along with me to the mall. I was pretty depressed during my first semester back at BYU. I of course don’t want him to face that. Yet, it is likely that he will to some degree.
We have encouraged him at every opportunity to throw himself into “the work”, to give it everything he had. We carefully selected our words and our stories in our letters. We bore testimony and spoke of gratitude for his service, for we knew of the blessings that have come to our family because of his service. We paid close attention to details to be sure we were not adding to the possibility of “trunkiness”. With that comes the fact that coming home may be a lot harder to adjust to than if we had not been so careful with our words. Is that so bad? I don’t think so.
I would still choose it the same way. Still….I fret a bit.
As I stood in there today, the transformation from temporary storage room back to his bedroom nearly complete, I could not really define the feelings so close to the surface. Standing in there two years ago, all I felt was loss and sadness. How would I get through two years of walking by that room, a hundred times a day, without completely falling apart? Did I teach him ENOUGH? Of course I was thrilled that he had chosen to serve the Lord full-time in His army, but as a mother – my heart ached for my baby boy. It was a similar ache to what I felt when he left for his freshman year of college. Two years ago, though, I knew he would not come home as a college kid ever again, really.
Now he would be a man.
Only 9 days away from his return, I wonder where the time has gone, his room preserved as it had been for years. Does it now seem like he just left? In some ways, admittedly, yes, it does.
In MOST ways, it was a very long two years.
More questions took over my mind about his future - How will I let him leave us again in a few short weeks to return to school? Next time he comes home, will he have met his future eternal sweetheart? Once he leaves again, it won’t be the same – ever. He is a man now. He will be ready to start his own full life of excitement, challenge, love, money- managing and earning, difficulties, sadness, progress, and at times, triumph!

In spite of all those racing thoughts, I stopped to realize that truly, honestly, I am happier than I have been in months and months. And, what a blessing it is to always be his mom.

What will HE teach US now? I can’t wait to find out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spray Paint and Grown Up Furniture

So, I attempted a "make-over" this week on this ugly cabinet:

I shall treat this like all those decorator before and after bloggers.

Truth - We bought this small unfinished pine cabinet 13 years ago when we moved in this house. Yes, it has remained unfinished for that many years. Once again, fear of messing it up had taken over so I didn't try to do anything to it even though I bought stain, sandpaper, etc. TWICE. Yes, twice. Sigh. It has a sister armoire that remains unfinished and I am actually going to sell it. Anyone? Anyone?

The purpose of this cabinet was to hold the numerous Disney, church, and miscellaneous videos we collected when our big kids were little kids. Well, now those big kids have laptops and other electronics. So do Richard and I. Frankly, we both got sick of the cords all over the house charging this and that everywhere. I KNOW- yes, it bothered Hubby, too. Who knew? So, last Saturday, we spontaneously decided to re-do the cabinet and give it a new function in life. (again, as before in another post, I won't use that word "re-purpose" - bugs me). (Ha). (And, we don't do much at all spontaneously). Richard cut holes in the back of it first to see if our plan would really work.

I read and read over all the blogs that show the how-tos of spray painting furniture. I made my list and and went to town, came home and got started.

You'll get the REAL story here of how this stuff works.

Here is what I learned the
HARD way:

1. When the decorator bloggers say "sand a little", I realized that my "sand a little" is way less than theirs. I did not sand enough at ALL.

2. Pine is a different species - hard to cover. Didn't read that anywhere.

3. When they say Prime WELL, they mean prime REALLY WELL. I didn't get enough coverage with the primer spray so it took me 3,000 coats of the color to cover it. Ok, not quite that many, but more than it should have.

4. I look at their photos of how smooth and nice their stuff looks. Mine didn't turn out smooth or that nice. So, when you come to my house, don't look too close.

5. Although this didn't go as I had planned, it doesn't look half-bad.... from far away. If I decide to spray paint furniture again, I will be much better at it.
Part of me thinks I would rather just use a good ol brush and a bucket of paint.

Is that really THAT much more time-consuming than spray painting?

It's yellow - can you see that? It's up against my green accent wall -
I think it will look okay there.

6. Why is it that I can tell my kids and everyone else that "this is how we learn", and that they will learn from the experience even if it doesn't turn out perfectly, but I have a hard time with that myself?

7. Furniture grows up just like kids do, I suppose.

Better go call that therapist...
.time for a session.