Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Community of House People

As it has been in so many other areas, I was a late bloomer when it came to decorating. After being absorbed in difficult family issues for ten years, during which time the condition of the house reflected my state of mind, seven years ago I was suddenly faced with remodeling and decorating projects requiring more energy and knowledge than I possessed.

I stumbled upon the GardenWeb Appliances Forum one evening while researching something (I forget what). From there I landed in other GardenWeb forums. When I found myself completely overwhelmed by the task of turning an unused junk room into a space that the contractor and his crew could turn into my new bedroom, the people at the home organization forum took me under their wing and taught me about baby steps. At the Kitchens, Flooring, Remodeling, and Bathrooms forums, I learned about my choices, how to choose from among them, and where to get the best prices.

To say I lacked decorating confidence would be a gross understatement. I'm still much more likely to ask for advice at the Home Decoration forum than offer it, but I've come a long way. Everyone there has been patient and oh, so helpful. Not only have I learned much from having my questions answered, but by reading other threads and looking at all the marvelous pictures brave souls have posted of their finished rooms or rooms in need, I've absorbed a great deal.

I'm still not a very good painter, but I can "talk a good ballgame" about eggshell vs. satin, cutting in, and Purdy (or maybe Corona!) brushes. My mantel and bookshelves are no longer crowded, and my pictures have been lowered to a better height. Most of all, I gained the confidence to try.

I'm so grateful for the Internet, and for the feeling of community it's given me—here as we blog, and on the good message boards where people share so freely. My house's journey has been quite a trip, and of course it's still a work in progress. But with the help of lot of invisible mentors, some day I just might do it proud.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Something Funny From Last Night

I spent the evening with my granddaughter last night, watching a movie (Role Models) and baking cream cheese cookies. Lizzie and I always make each other laugh when we’re together. Last night she was telling me how she Googled “Rainbow Colors” and great images showed up on the search. I was doing something in the kitchen and listening with half an ear. I heard her say, “This guy was gorgeous!” and I asked, “Is Rainbow Colors a singing group?”

Long-suffering sigh. “No, Grammy.”

“A TV show?”

“No o o o o ……. Grammy, I said, ‘This guy was gorgeous.'”

“Yeah, I know that’s what you said. So who’s the guy?”

“The SKY! The SKY! I Googled Rainbow Colors and got all these pictures of gorgeous sunrises and sunsets!”


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How I'm Helping the Economy

1. I shove my monthly financial statements in a file folder quickly, after only a cursory glance, thereby reducing my chances of having a costly (to my health insurance company) mental breakdown.

2. I got a job with a 45-minute commute each way, thereby incurring weekly gas fill-ups and increasing the wear and tear on my car, which will result in the need to replace it at some point. Detroit will be proud of me. Of course, I'll probably buy another Toyota, so there goes that benefit.

3. I did buy an American-made washing machine (Speed Queen) last week. But the bigger selling point was that it came with a 3-year warranty.

4. I bought a TV armoire that does not look good in its intended spot, so I'm giving it away. Therefore, we can count this expenditure as a generous donation to the furniture company. Let us ignore the fact that the armoire was made in Indonesia.

5. I also bought three made-in-India rugs. They look good in their intended spots.

6. I hired a contractor to create a laundry alcove for me. Since he is a future in-law and therefore a member of my extended family, he undercharged me and I underpaid him. But hey, every little bit helps, right?

7. I'm staying out of trouble, financial or otherwise.

What are you doing for the cause?

Saturday, March 07, 2009