I’m not even sure anymore what, indeed, is a ‘traditional mother’. I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking I was too untraditional as a parent of two. School letters lay in a towering pile, unopened, until dust made itself comfortable. Sage wisdom and encouraging words came to me always too late for the needed circumstance; sarcasm and humor usually in its stead. Things I was supposed to discipline seemed immaterial while insignificant things loomed too large in my haphazard disciplinary arsenal. ⠀

“You wouldn’t know how to ground me anymore than I would know how to be grounded.” – a line from the movie ‘Easy A’ and one that my daughter pointed out as all-too-accurate for our relationship.

The older I get, however, the more *typical* I am finding those things to be within the brave community of motherhood. I’ve commiserated with other mamas who also felt the things they did – and didn’t do – seemed out of the realms of ‘norm’. I think untraditional is much more traditional than we know. ⠀

My mother was a 7th grade English teacher. She conjugated verbs and added ‘ly’ in all the appropriate places. A bit of her grammar-nazi thinking was eventually passed down to me as well. For that reason, this book title screamed out to me and within 5 minutes it was in my Amazon cart and soon after, on its way to my door. An early Mother’s Day present from me to me. I’ll circle the many recognized lines within its covers and add it to My Funeral file on my computer. (A desktop icon because they’ll never go digging any deeper than that.) ⠀

Don’t use funeral flower gladiolus unless you buy them from Trader Joe’s. Eliminate all cliches from your heartfelt tribute and by all means, if you use a cutesy, curvy font for my birth-death dates I will haunt you and your unborn children for eternity.

Mothers with a loose grip on your mothering style, do yourself a favor and grab this book. ⠀

There’s plenty of room in the margins for copious notes for your offspring…

Terra Cotta Dreamin’

Possibly it’s due to the overexposed sun here in California that has led me to fall in love with a very California, desert-color scheme.

Earth tones:
Greens. Grays. Terra cotta. Cinnamon. Mustard. Mauve. Teals. Blues
Soothing. Grounding. Natural.

Imagine looking at a desert scene. Starting at the ground level with it’s bluish-gray sage mixed with the tans and grays of the sand and rock. Moving up you would find the greens of the foliage plastered against the mustard yellows of a terra cotta-cinnamon sunset that bursts a few streaks of pinkish-mauve into the sky, before turning into the various teals and blues of the setting day.

Now grant it, it’s not a huge leap to ‘earth tones’ from ‘natural whites’. But I see the earthy tones making their way into our home more and more since living out west.

I’m not really a ‘southwestern girl’ when it comes to decor, but I do appreciate the natural elements of linen and leather, hand-thrown pottery, hand-woven textiles, wicker and wood. Those natural items feel more intentional and less fad-driven.

I recently grabbed some very unstaged pictures around the house, of the earthen tones that are finding their way into our rooms. The space heater is out – for the chilly mornings still. Things are as they are in our everyday life. I think that’s the part of this sensation taking me over: a willingness to embrace more of what is, and less of what should be. Maybe it’s California. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s just part of the evolution of life – but in the great scheme of things…there’s very little that needs to be worried over and we waste a lot of time doing it.

I’d rather spend more of my brain space on thinking about the things for which I have to be grateful. It’s a retraining of the mind.

The days are getting brighter and warmer around here – making the occasional rainy day a direct insult. What do you mean I can’t go outside today?!

Most of my plants have new leaves, still tightly curled but peeking out now and again to see if the atmosphere is right for their unveiling. Scott and I have had more than just a few lunches and talks out on the patio and the birds have been devouring their bird food in the feeder.

I have been daydreaming more and more about a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. And more and more I want to learn the history of the northwest. We are surrounded by beautiful land and sea. Now that the rains are letting up, I look forward to more and more exploring.

The first desert pictures are images found on Pinterest. The below image is from The Joshua Tree House at Saguaro National Park…and the inspiration behind my desert dreams of late.

Presidents’ Day Cabinet

I don’t know about the President’s rotating cabinet, but I am so so so in love with my new China cabinet.

Have I mentioned my extreme love for Facebook Marketplace?! I have found so many treasures on that site – and am learning to be patient and wait for the good stuff.

A few days ago I saw this cabinet on FB and jumped at it. I *think* it matches my grandmother’s corner China cabinet that my parents have in their dining room. (And yes, I called my father and told him to put my name on a post-it note and attach it to the back of it!) -ha!

We went to pick it up this morning. The man who sold it to us did an AMAZING job of wrapping it up tightly. I am so very thankful for that (and have given him a high rating on Marketplace because of it.)

After cleaning and buffing it (I’ll talk more about that in a separate post), I began filling it with some odds and ends. I didn’t put all of my dishes in there because I wanted some variety. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been collecting transferware dishes this year so I put some of that inside as well.

Then I took the opportunity to snap some other pictures of our main living area. We are really enjoying this little California cottage. People have asked me before what my home decor style is and quite honestly, I don’t know. If there’s a mash-up of colonial/primitive/cottage/contemporary – then that’s it. 😀 We are constantly trying to simplify. In some corners we are okay. In others, not so much. It’s an ongoing process, right??

Walking in our front door you see this…

Here’s a quick walk through of the living room- dining room area…

Another thing –
I ordered some embroidered sheers for the dining room window but they are VERY MUCH on probation! I am ordering another pair to see if I like those better. For now, I’m calling these my RBG sheers since they look like her collars. -ha!!

Thanks for indulging me with a zillion pictures of our new baby (who, as it appears on the back, was born in 1951.)

Here’s to Presidents’ Day cabinets!!

v v valentiney

When do you know if something is just ‘too much’? Coco advised always taking off one item of jewelry before leaving the house.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, however, I ignore all the rules. More is more. The more love the better.

I’ve started adding some Valentine’s Day things around the house. I’ll tweak and edit but it’s fun to just throw everything out there and adjust as the days go by.

I made some wonky, rustic hearts this year. I used old fabric and even a beloved Shabby Chic old sheet that I just can’t quit on. It wore a hole after years and years of use but I’ve kept it and have used it for many different projects. This year, these soft pink hearts.

I drew a wonky heart onto a manila file folder, traced it onto material, cut out the shapes, and sewed them together. I usually have a box of fiberfill but it must have been discarded in the move so I grabbed some cotton balls, pulled them apart and stuffed the hearts with those instead. Use whatcha got, pals!

I’ve had a unfinished wooden ‘love’ word for a couple of years but have never painted or done anything with it (gasp!, an unfinished project?! What?! ……#storyofmylife) But over the weekend, Scott made a rustic frame for me, we painted and stained it and voila’!, a cute finished project. Surely the very essence of the word love, no?

Pink, polka dot straws and Valentine’s pencils (I’m a huge sucker for cute pencils!)

And salmon-colored begonias from Lowe’s to add a little ‘live’ love to the mix.

This is one of my favorite phrases because it reminds me so much of Scott. I think I bought it the first year we were married. He does make me smile.

Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day? Do you cringe at the color red like I do? It can be hard to work with…until I shrug and say, ‘So what. Let’s dance, Red.’

(I have recently started a new Facebook page. Feel free to pop over and follow along there as well!)

and a hearty hello to you too, 2019

I’m not sure I am a resolutions kind of gal, but I am definitely a reflections type of gal. What worked last year? What do I wish to tweak? What, more importantly, went well and should stay the course?

For those enneagram followers out there, I am a 5. I am a ‘reflector’ by nature. Not just at New Year’s but almost daily: How can I make this better? Stronger? Do I need to change anything at all or was it okay just as is? It is my joy and my millstone.

It seems every year I begin with the same realization: I want to write more…to make it a daily discipline. But boy oh boy am I good at talking myself out of it. While I may be an enneagram 5, my spiritual gift is certainly RATIONALIZATION. (face palm)

What I am trying to sever is two thoughts in my mind:

  • No one reads blogs anymore. Everything must be quick and soundbite-length.
  • and, Can you write, Greta, just for the sake of writing? No statistics attached?

If I can succeed at separating these two thoughts – which, until now, have been joined like Siamese twins – I would find more joy in writing for the sake of just flushing out ideas and processing thoughts. I wish I could block all statistics of every kind – it would make me a happier person. But I can’t do that, so…how do I divorce statistics from writing? The only answer I can come up with (which is surely too simplified to actually work) is simply to just do it. Just write. Just don’t care.

You’re right. It’s probably doomed.

In my About page, I talk about the joy of words resonating between two individuals. The ‘I’ve been thinking that too, but didn’t know I was thinking it’ phenomenon that happens when we read others’ words. I love it when that happens, don’t you?! That is my greatest hope when you land here on this blog – that something will make sense to you on a visceral level. Or that you’ll find a DIY project that sparks creative ideas for you too. Or maybe home decor ideas that make you jump up and use what you already have to make a few tweaks around your home.

What I won’t emphasize is GO OUT AND BUY! There’s already too much of that out there. Of course we all indulge in new items here and there but a daily diet of BUY MORE just simply isn’t healthy.

Because I don’t know how to succinctly categorize my blog, I will go with the oft-used moniker: lifestyle blog. What you’ll find: A few words (sometimes too many…err, like right now, Greta. Let’s cut this off soon!) A few projects. Occasional book reviews. Some glimpses around our home. Plants, to be sure. But always, the whole of my heart.

2019. Let’s go slower and sit longer. Let’s lap up adventure one day and sit with our chai and a good book the next. Let’s reject being prescriptive and embrace our flawed and scuffed-up authentic selves. And while we’re at it, let’s do it the ‘old-fashioned way’ of blogging a few times a week – all written from right here, at my dining room table, wishing you were sitting across from me, talking through each post in person. That’s how I imagine it…just a casual conversation between friends.

Praying, hoping, and looking forward to connecting with you this year –