Oct 212009

This is my back porch. It’s where I can be outdoors without annoying outdoor things, like sun and bugs and lack of couches. I love everything about this room…except for that stupid simplify sign.I bought that sign when I decided that my new thing was going to be “simplifying.” Which was, coincidentally, right about the time Craig and I ran out of money

The point of the sign was to encapsulate and display my new manifesto, which was as follows:

See, I didn’t need you anyway, stupid money and fancy, extra things. I am simple. Organic. Deep and spiritual and above material comforts. I reject you, extravagance, before you can abandon me. Or at least immediately thereafter.

Anyway, the Simplify sign mocks me, reminding me every day that perhaps I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Because wouldn’t it have been simpler not to buy the stupid sign?

I always feel like the sign is arguing loudly with itself on my otherwise peaceful porch.Like a painting of a gun with a peace sign etched in it.

But no matter what, I can’t take the sign down, because when I brought it home Craig said “OH! Wonderful! Another wooden word sign. Exactly what we need. It’ll be in the garage by next weekend.”

So it has to stay. Forever. I will be buried holding that horrible Simplify sign.Which would be funny, don’t you think?

P.S. Please stop with the dentist referral emails. You know I love you and appreciate your concern for my welfare, but like material comforts, I consider myself above dentistry. I fancy myself a unique type of transcendentalist, if you will.

This is the day, friends, enjoy it.

Oct 202009

Here, as they say, is where the magic happens.

In our particular case, the magic is that Craig hasn’t left me yet even though very little magic happens here.

Hence the Help Wanted sign, which was Craig’s idea.

Cute, right? I thought so, too. Until a few seconds into our little photo shoot when Craig said:

“When you write about this room you should tell your blog friends that we only have one sheet.”

“What? Why? “

“Because I think most people use two sheets. I don’t think most people decide the top sheet is “too much work” and throw it away.I bet people even have extra sets of sheets instead of just washing the exact same sheet for seven years.”

He said this last part slowly, emphasizing each word, with extra gusto on the seven.

OH. I said.


I raised my eyebrows, dropped the camera, and took a very deep breath.

Craig ducked.

Too late.

“If what you’re suggesting is that I need to have TWO of things when I can barely keep up with having ONE of things than I might as well check myself into an institution right now and call it a day. Because you know what? The only job I have formally accepted in this home is to make sure things appear to be working on the outside, not to make them actually work on the inside. Which is why we have blankets, husband, because they are on the outside. Because people see them, and will notice if they’re missing. I CANNOT also make sure that things like sheets, which are on the INSIDE, are also in working order. This is why I make it to my laser hair removal appointment every month but have found it a scheduling impossibility to see a dentist since Tish was born. And why the girls have tights in every color of the rainbow but are behind on their well checks. BECAUSE TEETH AND INTERNAL ORGANS ARE ON THE INSIDE.LIKE THE SHEETS. Not a priority. FACIAL HAIR AND TIGHTS…OUTSIDE. Are you with me?

AND FURTHERMORE…is there some sort of electrical fence that keeps the Y chromosome from crossing the threshold of Bed Bath and Beyond?

AND IN CLOSING, HUSBAND, didn’t they teach you in modeling school to just HOLD YOUR SIGN AND SMILE PRETTY?”

Of course, Craig did not answer these last two questions because he had long since fallen sleep with his little sign on his chest.

Blog friends, did one of you tell husband about the top sheet thing? Because the continuation of my way of life is completely dependent on Craig not finding out what is considered normal in a household.Don’t screw this up for me.

One more with better lighting, and sweet little hand prints all over the mirror



Oct 162009
Awww…ya’ll came back.How sweet.

As promised, here’s our dining room. It’s where we dine.

I decorated it to resemble a country diner, in hopes that someone in an apron, preferably from the country, would take my order each evening. I also refinished the old church pew below thinking that the decades of prayers said there might help with my food preparation. Neither the décor nor the pew has produced the desired effects, but I remain hopeful, as always.

See that amazing tiger stripe corner cabinet? My dad handmade it in his workshop.For Tish. When she was two. I get to use it till she has her own place, which might be soon. At dinner the other night Chase looked at her wrong and Tish threw down her fork, put her hands on her hips and said “That’s IT. In two years I’m going to kindergarten and I’m OUTTA HERE.”

Apparently she thinks that she will get her own car and dorm room in kindergarten. Is this possible? Does anybody know of a program like this? Email me.

This is what the dining room looks like with us eating dinner in it.

Yes, concerned friends. I know that kids can’t survive on bread alone.Which is why I always serve butter,too. See the butter???

These are three of my favorite Norman Rockwell prints.

I love Norman Rockwell, for the same reason I love that cheesy Thomas Kinkade. Because they not only paint well but they paint good. Or they paint goodness, I should say. And as hard as I try to be cynical, since it’s so much funnier than optimism, at the end of the day, I’m usually with Norman. Life’s tough and pain is real but family and friends and God are good, and they’ll get us through.

Anyway, I hung these three Rockwells called “Free of Want,” “Saying Grace,” and “Free of Fear” to remind myself and my kids of the only three things I really know:

That somehow, there will always be enough for us. And come hell or high water, we will be protected. So it’s good to say thank you.