June 23, 2013


As usual on a full moon, I had far too much energy and not enough time to do everything I'd like to do. I cut my yard, flea treated my dogs, relocated the one who likes to jump fences, and went on to clean my house.  I'm one of those women who mutters as she cleans...you know what I mean, you've heard your mama or your grandma do it.  You walk up on them as they are mopping, scrubbing dishes, or doing laundry...just talking away under their breath.  They (or you) may not realize it but they were taking negative energy and turning it into something positive, even if it's only a shiny kettle.

My daughter has walked in on me many an afternoon just as I used to do my own mother, she will laugh at me and say, "talking to yourself again mama?"  Yes baby, I am, sometimes I'm praying, sometimes I'm cussing and sometimes I'm reworking a conversation that I had previously.  Many times during a week I'll converse with someone and come away from the conversation wishing I'd said something differently, or elaborated more or perhaps even held something back.  Most of the time, though, I'm working out problems or saying the things I can't say to someone.  Sometimes I'm tearing ass on one of the kids or my fella, sometimes I'm simply getting out those moments when I need to take someone apart the way they, perhaps, have taken me apart.   Either way, I'm taking all that negativity, all that anxiety, angst and anger and turning it into a clean floor, a perfect yard, or a spot that used to be stained.

My kitchen wine bar

I take a lot of pride in my house, I've done that in every little place I've ever lived....and believe you me, I've lived in a lot of places.  My ex and I used to move, on average, every 18 months.  I've lived in apartments, rent houses, condos, old, new, big, small, condemned and just built.  This is the fourth free standing house I've lived in and the second home I've made.  The first home was for ex and I.  I loved it, it was my dream house only in the city.  It was a story and a half, huge kitchen, nice sized living room, and a back patio big enough to enjoy with a cute little back yard.  It was open and bright inside.  We lived in it right at 2 years true to pattern, after he left I stayed for a few months then had to leave.  I couldn't take the memories that stacked on top of me every time I tried to sleep.

This house is my Honey's.  He's been here for a decade, I've been here for two years.  I've managed to make some small changes and create a space that I'm comfortable in.  It took a lot of getting used to, there were many moments of, "this isn't my house, it's your house!!" "No, it's yours too, get used to it, change it, I don't care!"  Growing pains aside, the changes I've made, I've tried to do slowly so as not to freak out the boy and even the man.  As much as he told me to change things and make it mine....he'd lived here for 9 years primarily on his own, this was his bachelor pad.  Yes he'd had roommates and a girlfriend or two over the years but he hadn't had a "woman's touch" here since that first year he bought it.  That was the only year his ex-wife lived in this house, for a while that was a hangup of mine, but I figured out that this was his...never hers.  I'll never forget the first time I cleaned and organized the kitchen, an old friend of his came by to drop off some girl scout cookies, she'd had a thing for him in the past.  She walked in, looked around and immediately made comments about the condition of the island in the center of the room.  There was a mixture of "thank goodness someone cleaned it" and an underlying "how'd you get the privilege of cleaning his house??".  She hasn't been back since.

Tax refund roses on that kitchen island

As apprehensive as I was upon move in and as rough as it was getting accustomed to the idea of where I lived...I've created a fairly comfortable spot.  There are have been evenings he'll come home after leaving me alone for several hours and I will have switched around major furniture pieces from one room to another.  Rotated the kitchen/dining area.  reconstructed the living room.  He never yells.  He never fusses.  He doesn't even flinch.  He looks around, says, "it's nice" or "you got bored babe?".  Kinda floors me, every time.  But to be fair, there's not much about him that doesn't floor me.  I remember getting into knock down, drag out, fights with the ex over how or where to hang a piece of art in our apartments.  One of the first things I did in the house he and I bought was to paint the back door windows with stained glass paint.  He came home, took one look at it and fought the urge to rip me a new one.  He asked me repeatedly why I didn't wait for him and ask if it was OK to do it.  These days, if I hang something or paint something, I get, "hmm, it looks nice".  Once Honey notices it that is.

Regardless of how you come about a place to lay your head, there's still pride to be had in it.  I learned that from my parents.  I was raised from the age of 2 in a 14 x 70 single wide mobile home on an acre of land deep in the woods.  Our house was old and well lived in, but it was ours and my mother took a lot of care to keep it clean and as nice as she could.  From the tatty shag carpet to the particle board cabinets.  She painted rooms, she ripped out old cabinetry that had rotted, she did it one room at a time.  When the great oak fell on it in 1998, the only thing that ran through her mind as she stood back and stared at what was left of her home was, "well.....I guess I get those new kitchen cabinets".  That was the next big project she and my dad had lined up.  He had just been to the lumber yard that weekend to price the pre-fab cabinets vs. the lumber it would take to build them himself.  She did indeed get her new wood cabinets in a brand new 16 x 80 home that was build on a stronger frame, had drywall, better fixtures and pretty low pile carpet.  This one is just as well kept as the old house.

Zen in my living room

This is an idea I try very hard to instill in both children, it doesn't matter in what kind of place you live, what matters is how you keep it.  What matters is how much pride you put into the place that becomes your safe haven.  Your home is supposed to reflect more than just your taste, it's your personality, your heart, be it man or woman...you're home is your castle.  My castle just happens to have pink carpet, gawd-awful wallpaper in the kitchen and cats.  That wallpaper and carpet are great conversation pieces and those cats are the comic and stress relief.  We like it that way.

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