summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

cloudy and gloomy?

Central New York state weather forecast...and I don't mind a bit. I don't like the muddy soggy yard, but the gloom is rather delicious. It's a hunker down and make soup sort of day. Jonathan just got back from a walk with Sunny, which I should have gone on, but I caved to the temptation of quiet, alone, morning time. A big steaming cup of coffee, the fake fireplace humming, and I'm good.

But staying home is not on the agenda today. It's gymnastics class day, and Charlotte Claire is very excited because she has been working on her back handspring, her aerial, and her front tuck (sumi). They do these things on the trampoline, and I can't even watch, ha.

But gymnastics isn't the only thing on the agenda...I have a bill to pay, license plates to turn in to the DMV, and the list for things we need at the store is chow, again, toothpaste, half and half, milk, fresh fruits and veggies.

I do not mind going out and about, in fact I really like it, but I also like to stay at home.

Here's something I have been thinking about. I know someone who used to be the most beautiful girl I ever saw. She was breathtakingly beautiful, and only a few years older than me, so I hated her, naturally. Not really HATED, but she was the type of girl who didn't even need make up. Some of us tried hard to be pretty, and she just existed and was gorgeous. We weren't close, and I haven't been in touch with her much over the years, but the great invention called Facebook keeps me updated of these friends. So. She has cancer, and I saw pictures of her the other day....and let's not get mean, because that is NOT my intention. I am trying to make a point that beauty is a fleeting thing, she is still lovely and sweet, but I was rather shocked at how she looked. And now of course she just needs to heal, and get well, and live! Who cares how she looks! And it just hit me how stupid we can be, to care so much about outward things, things that pass away.

I hope my teenage daughters can figure this out while they are still young. The young people these days are so prone to comparing themselves, and the instagram filters don't help. One of them was telling me about a girl from school who looked so good in her pictures, but in person was...well, different. I don't use those filters at all, they seem deceitful to me, but whatever. Anyway, the girls these days have so much social media to contend with, where they don't see the bad and the ugly, only the sides of people they want to present.

Girls want to fit in, they want to feel good about themselves, I get that. But to let those feelings of not being pretty enough, or thin enough, or popular, steal their joy! Steal what could be a happy youth time!

And you know, I have body image issues as well, I hate being fat! I say I don't care how I look, I just want to feel good, but I don't like the muffin top, and I don't like being limited in what I feel comfortable wearing, and I don't like to jiggle, ha.

So it's a work for me too, to see these things for what they are...the spirit of vanity is a thief.

Young people don't realize how quickly time actually flies. One day, you wake up, and look in the mirror to see an old lady there, with wrinkles and crinkles and those wiry grays sticking up out of the part.

Anyway. I have a list of things I want to accomplish this spring...some things we "need".

A new firepit for the deck, the old one served us well until it rusted through.
A new kitchen sink faucet, it's literally falling off. An nice one though, one of the classy tall ones. We seem to get the twenty dollar ones, and wonder why they are so junky.
New faucets for the bathroom sinks, they are so old and crudded up with hard water...
New toilet seats. We just need them.
A new screen door for the deck door. One of the dogs, combined with the snow/harsh temps of winter, has made a nice crack in it, and along with the mud from one bad dog jumping on it when she wants to come in, it looks pretty grungy.
Two more Adirondack chairs for the deck. We have other chairs, that aren't as comfy, and we play musical chairs with the two we have. Notice I only say two, we actually could use like six, but we're keeping it real here, ha.
We also need to replace the rest of our windows, we only did half of them last year.

I try to keep in mind with home improvements that it can be that same spirit of vanity, but it's still nice to have things comfortable. The firepit is a good investment because of the fun we can have out there, marshmallows and all. I also like to make the house inviting, so it can be a place people feel comfortable. If they don't like dogs, they are rather out of luck though:)

I do know that there is this lust to have more....a lust that never is fulfilled. The more we have, the more we want, type of thing. More, bigger, newer, the latest. It's like filling up a colander with liquid, it will never fill up and be satisfied. It's like getting a new phone, and loving it, until the day you start hating it, ha. But we can't take this stuff with us, and if my heart is just in it all, wound up in it, then I am not seeing things clearly, not working on the important things enough.

Sometimes when I see really nice houses, I wonder if the families that live there are happy. I think, "If I lived there, I would be happy.", I mean, how can you have any problems or trials if you lived in a really nice house? :)

Yesterday, I swept and mopped, and Jonathan vacuumed. The girls and cousin Dani were outside a lot, making a new fort out by the creek, and learning new tricks on the trampoline. Camille came in to get something and her feet were covered in mud. She just needed to run and get it quick, jeepers Mom. I made her dip her feet in a bowl of water and wipe them off. Yes, they were bare feet out there in the 55 degree weather, Central New Yorkers after a long winter. The dogs needed baths after keeping them company out there, too. (And you should see the lovely shanty out there by the creek...they scavenge and find these things...and I gave them a tin bucket to add to it...but they had so much fun...)

My coffee cup is sad and empty. The washer and dryer are humming and chugging, Jonathan is doing his own laundry. I need to get moving too.


Anonymous said...

I loved this long ramble! You inspire me with your home projects. I don't even think about repainting, etc, but I should want to make our home more inviting, like you said. Our youngest is one, so maybe I have just been in a post baby fog...

Stacey Doty said...

I really really love your posts...I love how you love the cold weather (I do too but I live in California so we don't get much cold and rain) I Love your day to day routines and how you ponder things..Its funny but I stumbled across your blog so many many many years ago and I pretty much read it on a regular basis...I probably should comment from time to time....
Peace and Blessings!!!

Marilyn Reid said...

You are right about people not being satisfied. I have a friend......not as much of a friend as she once was, but that's a whole other thing....and she has pots of money AND brags about it. She lives in a beautiful house, everything in it is beautiful, but she is not all. She pretends she is and everything is just tickety boo, but I know it's not! She is always buying more.stuff, more clothes, more things for outside. More, more, more, but still not happy. Trying to fill up her life with material things. I don't live in a fancy house, have fancy things, but I am happy and content. Material things don't make us happy. They might for 5 minutes, but really the void is there.

Marilyn from Canada

16 blessings'mom said...

Valerie, when you have a one year old, you are trying to survive, not redecorate! I don't mean that in a bad way, they are adorable and precious, but so busy either speed crawling or trying to walk (or run!). I was in a baby fog for many years. I can't say I loved every single thing about it, but I would do it all over again, without a doubt.
Stacey, thank you! My son in California said he finally realized that if the sun was shining, he didn't have that pressure to get out into it before it disappeared again, like we do here in central New York. Sunshine is a fine thing to bask in, but it also makes one feel guilty to be inside.
Marilyn, you have made my day just by the use of the term, "tickety boo". I have never heard it, and I love it. And you are right about the emptiness of all the trappings. But still...part of me still thinks if I had one of those grand kitchens with the tiled backsplash and the industrial sized commercial oven with the pot-filling spigot behind the cooktop...(the irony of those kitchens is they are usually owned by people who don't need enough hot water to not be able to fill the pot at the sink and lift it to the stove!:)

LK said...

I think your point about instagram/social media is so important.. especially with teenage girls in the house. People of all ages, shapes and sizes present this perfect image of themselves and we all know that no one's life actually is that perfect. I just remember myself as a teenager, and how I'd probably absorb all that and think that everyone else has it all figured out and I'm the only one who's still stumbling through day to day life -when in reality, we all have our struggles, and it's certainly not just me. I mean, I STILL catch myself thinking that sometimes, and I'm allegedly a grown up (even though in my head I'm still 17). I'm glad your kids have a good handle on it (I said girls before and I probably should not restrict it to that, this is an issue that effects everyone). I'm also glad I grew up before this was all so prevalent. I had enough self image issues without the curated social media stuff, thankyouverymuch.