November 9, 2014

humble pie

Well, as difficult as it is for me to believe this, it has lately come to my attention that there are some people [bear with me; this has got to be an absolutely minuscule population of people who don't know me very well in real life] who have an illogically warped view of me as someone who is, well, in some way or another, not to put too fine a point on it, perfect-ish.  And if that just blows your mind, well, you're in good company:  my Farmer is certainly under no illusions, either!

I'm not exactly sure what this fallacy is founded on - and I don't really want to know.  I just wanted a chance to shatter any illusions that exist.

I thought about the photos I post on here sometimes of the beauty I diligently seek out, and it occurred to me that you all on this side of the camera would have no idea just what I have to look past sometimes in order to find beauty.

So - I thought I'd walk around our house - right now! - and take pictures of the messes I find.  I could have waited until an even messier day to do this, but, well, I do have some pride, and thought I'd better do this while under inspiration instead of putting it off while my courage wears thinner and thinner ....

Here they are, then - our messes:

I started in the kitchen - plenty of material here!  My Farmer is actually washing this pile (a weekly ritual for which the regulars are grateful!) but since we don't have a dishwasher, and only wash dishes twice a day, dirty dishes on the counter are not an uncommon sight.  We're glad we have plenty of pots and pans to cook with and plates and bowls to eat from.

Here is one of my "back counters".  I have no excuse for this mess.  I guess it doesn't help that I vary the mess on a regular basis, does it?  ;)  (anyone want my tea rejects? grape-flavored Sleepytime and Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos).  This particular mess includes a bead-melting project from two weeks ago, saffron from our bulbs, pfeffernusse, a bag of coffee that needs to be put away, lightbulbs I replaced with daylight swirly bulbs, my to-do lists and homsechool folder, a plate that I should have returned to a neighbor almost a year ago, and a bag of bagel chips that for some reason is not in its home ...

This is the "back kitchen."  We live in the house where my Farmer, and his father, and his grandfather were all born (in fact, the cradle that they all slept in is tucked up in our attic), and the term "back kitchen" came with the house.  It's always at least this messy, a handy dumping spot for items en route to the garage.  Yes, that is a lid to a pressure canner you see there on the floor ....

Here we have the shoe bench that my Farmer made for us, along with 1) my bag of ___??, 2) my purse, 3) a stack of books to return to people on top of 4) a stack of partially-finished craft plates that Sugar, Spice and Nice did with Grandma the other week, 5) a bag of ball gloves handy in case we get inspired (we haven't), 6) a basket-y vase I picked up at Goodwill weeks ago because I love it but for which a permanent spot has yet to be found, 7) two large boxes of hymnal angels that we started last year before Christmas, stored in the upstairs linen closet, and brought down to crowd the kitchen and shame us into finishing them for this Christmas.  I hope there aren't too many stinkbugs in them.

This amazing collection is front and center in my kitchen, I'm afraid, available for the inspection of anyone who happens to drop in.

This is in our kitchen, too.  It's the "craft shelf" - coloring books and crayons and play-dough that Lil' Snip can access on his own to amuse himself during the day.  There also appears to be ... a large pan lid ... and an empty blue plastic container ... and my Bible and journal ... and an abacus.  Naturally.

Welcome to one side of the laundry room.  Like the linoleum?  When we moved in, I had plans to paint over it, but could never settle on a color.  That was eight and a half years ago ...  So here we have wrapping paper, a folding drying rack, the bucket for dirty rags (whew! I just washed those!), cleaning caddy that was purchased in a bout of "if I have new cleaning supplies I'll probably clean more" insanity and has never moved from that spot, my Farmer's work papers and laptop, bags of stuff to go to Goodwill, an unopened box of tissues, and ... a foot spa from another thrift store.  We used it, once.

The playroom.  Do toys need an explanation?  I think not.  These primarily belong to the younger two.  Care to guess which of them is better at putting things back where they belong?  It's not who you might think ...

Just around the corner?  Nuts from our trees, drying before they can be cracked.  I don't know why the shirt is hanging there.  The red coat, a lambswool and cashmere Goodwill find, was rescued from a closet where it had been feasted on by moths after only one season of wear.  (I can't quite bring myself to get rid of it.  It's the nicest coat I've ever owned.)  Also a kitchen set made by my talented brother, a bookshelf turned sideways, and a large safe bedecked with colorful magnetic letters of the alphabet and crowned with puzzles, a wooden sconce I made in high school, a popcorn can of harmonicas, triangles, maracas and the like (wonder why we keep it up there??), a spider plant, and our television.  Oh yes, and the slightly bent antenna that enables us, on the rare occasions that we bring the tv down, to view three channels.

Sugar's still-life assignment, waiting for another day to finish sketching, and Lil' Snip's mysterious Tinker Toy creations.

Here we are in the living room with my messy stack of books.  Yes, the ones on the bottom have been long-forgotten and will probably never be read.  Like the bookmark holder that Nice made me?  She and Lil' Snip keep it stocked with freshly-made creations so that I'm never without a marker for my reading material.  [extra points if you noticed that the humidifier on the floor is a different one from the box in the background]  The stray laptop cord is just for pretty, haha.

More reading material, this time my Farmer's magazines.  I am not a magazine reader, much less a magazine hoarder, so naturally I married one.  The glass pane got broken during an innovative game that Sugar made up to entertain Lil' Snip one day.

The closet under the stairs, a.k.a. "the cubbyhole."  My children play in here amongst the folding chairs and vacuum (obviously they need to remove the yoga ball, inflatable world globe, beanbag and miscellaneous pillows first), so my Farmer wired a light for them as a surprise one weekend while they were with Grandma.  I kind of collect blankets, unintentionally.  They don't usually end up matching each other or the room decor, so mostly they live in here, mostly on the shelves.  [Looking at this photo makes me think I should do a post sometime on ancient wallpapers found around here in various closets.....]

And last but in no way least, the upstairs hallway linen closet [speaking of ancient wallpaper].  Sleeping bags, pillows, more blankets, bunches of lavender that have long since ceased to be fragrant, the unused portable playpen, tubing for ???, old bridesmaid dresses, a space heater, a pink hamper that was here when we moved in ....

Well, there you have it.  That was harder than I thought it was going to be, to show you my junky places and think of all the unfinished projects they represent.  I'm tired now.  But in some ways, it was a pleasure - to think of how we use our house, and to call to mind old memories, and how every thing reminds me of someone I love.

So next time I offer up a string of gratitude-photos, you'll remember what I had to look past in order to see the beauty, right?  And you won't be tempted to think that somehow my life's all sunshine and roses.  Deal?

['Fessing up a bit:  Does it seem like the photos are smaller than usual?  They are.  Transparent I wanted to be, but I couldn't quite bear to have my messes shoved so very largely into the faces of the few dear people who actually read my blog.  Forgive me?]

1 comment:

  1. Well, I am not one who thought you were perfect, but I have been tempted to think your house is always clean and tidy. After all, it is when you host us, right? Anyway, it's good of you to reveal your imperfect corners and closets to those tempted to think too highly of you. We're all a bit disheveled, inside and out. I love you, Lorena, and all your beautiful messes. :)


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