In our many years visiting friend Terri's place on the lake in southern Indiana, the Midlife Moms of Ovid Community Church enjoy a variety of activities that include boating and swimming, tubing, and eating, devotions on the boat. We pepper the time with lots of laughs and stories. Think slumber party without the preteen drama. It's a weekend of heaven on Earth.
Someone usually brings a craft for everyone to do. Just because.
We've outfitted terrariums from thrift-shop glass containers,, constructed paper flowers for a church event, scrapbooked, made bath bombs, embroidered bookmarks, seen who can make the most creative up-cycle from empty metal mint boxs and made Christmas ornaments.
This year I volunteered leading our craft time. We made hats out of newspapers. You can too. Read on.
Now that you have the hat custom-formed to one's head, you secure with masking encircling the outer newspaper and remove it from the head. Now it's time to figure out what type of hat you'll create. Interesting how all our hats were so unique.
Patty folds her pages to form a bill. Use a stapler to secure the paper.
Nice work there, Donna.
Sisters Phyllis and Karen are stylin' in their hats.
Donna's hat, left, includes a paper flower, and scrap ribbon decks out Sharon's creation.
What we've got here: The tweedy fabric on the bottom is our new sectional sofa. I LOVE this fabric! The lighter two pillows in the middle are of a fabric I selected in the furniture store to go on the couch pillows. The pillows were free with the sofa. The pillow in the center is the same as that on the room's "statement" chair.
So here's my decorating storyboard. Only, it's not a storyboard but the real deal. We've done over our family/living room within the past few years. The TV cabinet is the same golden-oak hue that matches the staircase, and there are some antiques and modern end tables in the room, but everything you can sit on is new or almost so.
Who can do everything at once? We can't --or don't choose to, anyway. The decisions are too overwhelming to make at one time. Each purchase requires the appropriate amount of fretting and revisiting and then feeling like you're going to throw up because you maybe made the wrong choice. (That's how I roll with redecorating! Yikes!)
Selecting carpeting is the hardest, followed closely by paint. We got new carpeting approaching four years ago. I wanted the slightly shaggy multi-hued browns-and-beige stuff. Brian didn't like that idea, thinking it would resemble our previous carpeting too much. It was a berber, though, and I thought of it as a cobblestone street. It was time to move on.
For sure he wanted brown. His reasoning? "Isn't all carpet brown?"
Well, no, it's not, but it seemed a good base color. I guess we can't help it. We're drawn to neutrals, and for us, we go to beiges and browns.
Here's a look at almost three-fourths of the living/family room. It's odd that the walls have a light greenish tint here because they don't in real life. I don't think they do anyway! The oak coffee table will stay as is. The boys love that table. It's very sentimental to them. The small reupholstered chair belonged to Brian's folks and we just had it recovered.
It hasn't always been that way. We began housekeeping 41 years ago with the purchase of a brand new house trailer. Carpeting was orange, kitchen wallboard was an orange and yellow print. Our Tupperware was orange. Hey, it was the '70s, people! If you didn't do that combo, it was avacado.
I dreamed of a blue kitchen and soon started collecting a popular line of dishes at the time in a light gray with blue motif. In fact, our houses for the next two decades were largely adorned in blue.
When we moved here, I was ready for some new color and I found it in our green and white ivy-wallpapered kitchen. I loved that room the most in this house. I never thought I'd get such beautiful cabinets -- honey oak. They matched my Seller's Cabinet. Walking into the south-facing room felt like entering a garden.
I never dreamed the day would come where people were painting over honey oak! But that's what they do, but I can't bring myself to do it.
The ivy is gone, and we have a wall color and tile in the kitchen now that is something like "Buckwheat" or some other appealing kind of name, even though I have no idea what real buckwheat looks like.
So now that we have a two-year-old (already!) statement chair in a very busy pattern that I fell in love with, and a second statement chair which is an old family chair handed down that we had recovered this spring in a triangle of cream, brown, beige and gray. We have an ultra comfy new sectional sofa in a soft beige and brown tweed, a faux-leather recliner for Brian and a beige recliner for me.
Well, we looked up and saw that there are some blackish streaks descending from the never-painted-by-us vaulted ceiling. We haven't painted this room in 14 years. FOURTEEN. I emphasize the number only because should we make it into the future that far, I will be pushing 75 and Brian already 80!
But I digress.
SO, here's the question for my dear reader friends, I KNOW a good many of you are very adept at decorating and I am friend-sourcing here. WHAT color would you paint our walls? Brian says, "We could do the same color."
I nominated white. I like white walls. And I've seen some magazine decor that indicates others do too. It's clean, it brightens everything. Brian said no.
Then I discovered on Pinterest that there's a buzz about a new palette (or new to me) called Greige. It's when your color isn't readily identifiable as either a gray or a beige. My dilemma is I want something new and in style in color. But a large sweep of color scares me. It's very expensive to have this large expansive room, halls and while we're at it, the master painted. I want to get it right.
So what do you think. You see the room and the furniture and the carpeting and all those things have to stay. Do you have a greige in your home? Or should I go with a cream, or what?
Weigh in please!
The Union County Courthouse tower, a constant in my life for these 60 years. I took this photo five years ago this weekend. Thirty years ago this weekend, we were ready to launch into a new era, one we're in today, still living in Madison County. This has been home half my life. But parts of my heart remain in both Fountain and Union counties.
Thirty years ago this week, Brian, nearly-three-year-old Sam and I left behind one era of life and set out on a new one. On July 3, 1989, I completed my last day as managing editor of a small newspaper in Attica, Indiana.
Brian had just wrapped up his nine years as a school administrator at Fountain Central Junior-Senior High School.
We would spend the rest of July transitioning to the new home we had bought in Madison County and by August, Brian would be working at his new administrative post in the Hamilton Southeastern School Corp.
The number of mixed feelings about this uncharted new territory was extraordinary. I was more than ready to leave my former job, but knew I would miss certain aspects of my work and I would miss my work peers. I won’t go into what I would not miss!
I would miss Fountain County friends, our wonderful babysitter and her family and our landlord—all who had become like family.
I would be happy to move to a town much closer to my folks who were still living on the farm, although my dad’s dementia was worsening. And it would be a welcome change not to drive 15 miles to a nice-sized grocery store or McDonald’s.
On a daily basis, I was excited about taking a brief time-out from the busy world of community journalism and spend my days with Sam playing, going to the park, pool, and just hanging out. I needed time to settle us into our new nest.
I hoped that a call would come from someone at the New Castle paper asking me if I wanted a job. It did, I did, and early this fall, I’ll celebrate 30 years with The Courier-Times.
Along the way, after a couple attempts, we found “our” church; a variety of friends in a variety of communities; we had a second baby, and now both boys are all grown up and long-since on their own. How can it be, I still ask-that we're empty nesters? I can’t even call Brian a “recent retiree” because he’s been that for four years already!
What I do know is the time passes with brea kneck speed. And we're no longer so inclined to put things off like we used to do for years or decades. Just yesterday I looked up and remarked that our living room could use a paint job. "Do it!" Brian said.
Madison County has been home for three decades. That’s longer than I’ve lived in any other community in my entire life. In fact, I’ve spent exactly half of my life in Madison County, Indiana, and gone to work in New Castle!
I’m grateful to everyone who has touched our lives here, back in Fountain County, or back home in Union County. Some people touch our lives for reasons or seasons and many of you are in and out of it on a regular basis.
Where do we belong? It’s been said that home is where your heart is. I promise you that my heart is in all three locations at once! And I am grateful for so many people, places and things. Thank you most of all to the good Lord for this journey.
Which, Lord willing, and like a good story in a newspaper, is to be continued on another page. Hope you’ll stick with me as the page turns.
Where have YOU called home so far for your life's journey?