May 28, 2011

Brown Eyed Girl

She's always there...her sweet little head resting on my foot. 
 She's claimed it as her resting spot while she waits for me to finish whatever it is I'm doing. 
 Her warmth comforts me and follows me wherever I go.

She's my baby girl...although she's furry and loud and she's got a really sassy mouth on her.

Sophia Lucia little Sophie. 
 And for all of you I Love Lucy fans, you'll recognize the significance of her name.  
She is one crazy girl.

But for all her wild ways, she is the smartest and most gentle Corgi we've had. 
 Her little brown eyes light up every morning when I get up and those little white boot feet start to dance.

Even though she's pretend Italian, she has a good grasp of the English language.  
She always understands what I tell her and likewise, I know what the little fart is telling me.  
Usually, it's give me a treat or I want to get into the bed with you. 
 I'm her person.  
We share our morning yogurt.  
She chews her bone while I have coffee and starts yelling like crazy if I'm too long on the iPad.  
This girl needs to go run!

Sophie Stinkerbelle also likes to dig things up, chase frogs and birds and run like a racehorse.

She likes a nice comfy bed when Daddy is traveling. 
 Shhh, don't tell. 
 He pretends to get annoyed, but he knows about Me and Baby Girl. 

She'd rather dig a hole in the backyard than dress up.  
She's no girly girl. 
 Mud is always preferable over a pink tulle tutu.

My constant companion and biggest fan.
My little dog...a heartbeat at my feet.  

She's my brown eyed girl.

May 27, 2011


This Memorial Day Weekend, let us pause and remember the men and women who lost their lives fighting for our country. 

May we never forget them. 

And may the unflinching valor of the American soldier carry on.

Greening Things Up

I love green.  My Papa hates green with a passion. 

So I know when he visits us next time, he will look at the once brown table and raise an eyebrow.

Then he'll turn and say, "Tina Louise, why did you do that???"

And I'll reply, "Because I can, Pops.  Because I can."  

Magoo was out of town so he wasn't here to intervene.  He's pretty old school about the painting of furniture.  There was nothing wrong with it and it cost a bundle, so why paint it?

Shout it out girls...because I can!   So, I did.  I'm pleased as punch with the way it turned out.  The table needed to be green.  How could I deny it's innermost needs?  I was very happy to accomodate the poor thing.

So here she is...all ready for her debut.  She loves her makeover.  She wonders what took me so long.

For those of you who want to know about her lovely complexion- It's Antibes Green, Old Ochre and Old White from Miss Annie Sloan.  I used a mix of plain and antique AS wax. 

What you can't see in the photos is the colossal mess in that room...every inch cluttered up with stuff to be painted or sewn this weekend.   One day our house will look normal again.  Maybe. 

 Update- house still a big mess with different projects  ;  )  

May 24, 2011

Time to get Beach-y

A few weeks ago, I had my son and his friend clear out our storage unit.  Furniture, mattresses from our oldest son that moved home, all his boxes of junk, misc. TV's.  UGH.  Etc., Etc., Etc.

A giant telescope that Mr. Magoo had to have 11 years ago. 
And a Pilates Performer that I may or may not have used. 
 I'm taking the fifth on that one...although anyone getting a good look at my backside will know the truth.  ;  )  

But in the dirty mess, there was a desk chair that used to sit in front of the boys computer.  My boys were not easy on their furniture when they were youngsters. 
Chairs were generally used for ramming into something- usually the desk or each other. 
 In other words, this chair was pretty beat up and according to my son should be tossed into the dumpster.

Uhhh, not so fast, Case.  Load it into the back of my car, Mister.  He knows his Mama has a thing for chairs.  He did roll his eyes a few times.  He can't help it...he gets it from Magoo.

After driving way down to Stafford to Wonderfaux Studio ( shout out to Michelle!) for some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the SAD little chair has been revived.  I used Duck Egg Blue with the Antique AS wax.  I really went to town on it with the distressing...I love how beachy it turned out.

Wonderfaux Studio - Houston area stockist for Annie Sloan.
The seat was pretty uncomfortable so I used  an old tempurpedic foam pillow for padding and covered the seat with some buttery soft faux leather.  My midnight seat re-covering was not so swift, but was midnight!  I was tired and just wanted it to be finished.  
It's super comfy now and has been moved to my office.

Mr.Magoo and the boys... every stinkin' one of them has tried to steal my chair.
Good luck on that, boys.  I have a guard dog and she's fierce.

She's got a mean 'stink eye', doesn't she?
The pillow is from Ikea and it's intended purpose was to use on our pool lounges.  But as I'm a 'use what you have kind of girl',  it works perfectly.  It's weighted on the end and adjusts up and down easily for when Magoo hangs out in my chair.  And if he sits in it with his wet swim suit on, he won't have to be killed.

Like last summer.  I think some pint sized hineys in wet swim suits may have been in my chair, too.

Lexi? Anni? Da'Lainey? Trenton?  You can sit in here all you want to this long as Sophie says so.

I used an image for the pillow from The Graphics Fairy. Here 

I did change it up a bit on my computer with CameraBag,  
then ironed it on with transfer paper that I roughed up a little to make it look worn.  
So for now it's mine...until I fall in love with another chair.

                                                                   I'm fickle that way.

May 19, 2011

Nothing Will Happen

Anyone reading this blog in the beginning knew 
who the Little One was that inspired such a revolution with so few words.
For the rest of you, this is Rachael.
Or Ray Ray, as I call her.

Nothing will happen.  That's what she said.  That's all.  She's a genius, that sweet girl.

Standing in the driveway barefoot with those tiny little feet, repeatedly stepping on cracks and then waiting..
waiting for something.
 I asked her what she was doing.  
She informed me that her friend had told her that if you step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back. 
 So while I was chatting it up with her mother/my best bud,  Little One was testing the theory.

Little did we know that as we were rattling on like a couple of chickens, 
Little One was watching to see if her mom was going to collapse onto the pavement 
and roll down the driveway into the cul-de-sac where she'd 
 be horribly maimed as she was run over by the UPS man. 
 He's here so often that it is just a matter of time before one of us here on Hysteria Lane gets it.  
We like our catalog orders around here.   
But, I digress.

She looked up at me with her enormous blue eyes
 and proclaimed that she could step on cracks all she wanted to.  
Because nothing will happen.  
She had just tested, proven, and closed the case on that one.  
She had no idea she had said such words of inspiration and in fact, doesn't even remember.  
She is all grown up now and a beautiful, willowy teenage girl. 
 I wonder if she knows how she impacted my life with those words.  Probably not. 
 After all, she is so young and hopefully hasn't set standards for herself
that are impossible to achieve. 
 Like I did.  Like her mom did.  Like so many women do.

I spent most of my life trying to be perfect.  
Thinking, quite insanely, that this is just what is done.
It's how I was raised.  
How do we get to a place where we really and truly believe that the world will spin out of control
 if we don't make the four beds in the morning?   
What is this craziness?  It is craziness.  I know that now.  
And let me tell you this...

I am now a very proud member of the Nothing Will Happen Club

 Something clicked inside me that day when Little One threw out a lifeline with her words. 
 So what if I don't make the beds? 
 Are the bed police going to helicopter in and call me out on my crime?  
Tested.  Proven.  Case closed.  
The same goes for not vacuuming up the dog hair every five minutes,
 leaving a dish in the sink and laundry in the dryer.  
My closet is a mess and there are at least ten projects waiting to be finished.  
So what?  Who cares?

Nothing will happen.  Not one damn thing!  
No one cared or noticed or called me out on my shameful, lazy ways. 
 Nothing happened! 
 And then the most remarkable thing did happen.

I was free.

 Free to waste away an afternoon reading a book out by the pool.  
Free to visit with my friend for three hours on the phone.  Free to relax in my own head.  
Free in so many ways. 
 Mostly free from myself and the imposed behaviors of a perfectionist mother.
It was me that set those standards for myself and my home.  
I wasted so much time making sure that things were perfect.  
I lost sight of the fact that they already were. 
In all the ways that counted.

I don't really know how often I think of that day in the driveway.  
It's a lot.  
Nothing will happen has become a mantra for a lot of us around here. 
 I think of the joy in Ray Ray's face that day (and so many others) and I feel it deep in my heart.  

That's something I'll keep forever.

Thank you again, my little friend. 
 Lots of love for that face. 
 There will never be a day that I don't think of you and smile.

The Beginning

What do you keep?  Do all of us have boxes and drawers where we stash and save random items that only have meaning to us?

A blue crayon, a smooth brown stone from a walk on the day you fell in love.  Your child's barely legible doodles and the wonderfully brilliant pages of coloring outside the lines.   Cards your Mama gave you.   A photo of your grandmother staring out to sea.  T-shirts and pine cones.  Threadbare aprons.  Song lyrics and quotes.  Love letters.  Handmade treasures crafted with tiny little hands and from imaginations as big as the sky.  Faded photographs.

Life... in a box.

I know it's the trend right now to let go of things and I'm on board with that completely.  I can toss things out with the best of them.  However,  I'm going to have a problem if my keeps are ever thrown out.  Even if Mr. Magoo thinks they are nothing but rubbish.  I won't tell you about my meltdown (20 years ago) when my brother-in-law got caught washing his car with my Mamaw's handmade pot holders.  Let it be known that it was not a happy moment and that his life may have been in danger.  A little.  Ok, a lot.

So why do we do this?  This keeping?

For me, it's the swelling of my heart when I take one of these mementos in my hands.  They are from moments long past.  Moments gone way too soon.  Walking down Memory Lane is a lovely, lovely thing.  Funny how we can become completely lost while we meander there.  Do you ever start looking thru a box of keeps and before you know it the afternoon has passed?  I tend to say that I wasted the day away doing such things, but really- it's a happy thing.  Like visiting and embracing a dear friend you haven't seen in awhile.

I have so many things that I've kept over the years.  Things that touch me in sentimental ways.  Things that bring back the loveliest of memories.  Things that bring back tears.  But always, they evoke some very strong emotion in me and I love the days I come across something stuffed in a drawer or box somewhere.  Months have passed, even years.  The happiness that comes from these treasures is true and can only be understood by ourselves...the ones who do the keeping.

Yes, I am a sentimental girl.  Sappy, through and through.  I cry at coffee commercials.  Yeah, you know the ones.  I cry at dog movies.  I don't think I'll ever recover from watching poor Hachi.  I keep silly things.  My husband takes great delight in calling me out as such a dork.  Back at you, Mr. Magoo.  Mr. Don't You Dare Throw Out My Magazines Or I'll Know It.  (That's another post altogether!)  And by the way, I saw you get teary eyed watching Hachi, too.   Mr. Tough Guy.  Uh huh.

So I'll keep dusting off my box(es) and lovingly peruse their contents.  They are my keeps...tattered pieces of my life that are worn and faded and loved.  Waiting in drawers and boxes.  In cabinets, cubby holes and closets.  And in my heart.

That's where the things we keep really live.  In our hearts.  I'm trying to remember that.   Our worlds can change in an instant.  I know mine has.  Keeping some sense of balance is difficult.  Why wouldn't we keep the happy, silly, beautiful moments in a tangible way?   Give up the little gift wrapped box that my son made for me in elementary school?  Not on your life.  It's filled with his love.  And one of my most prized possessions. 

So, I say open your drawer of keeps.  Take down that box from the closet shelf.
Live and relive the moments in time that meant something to you.  Yes, that's the stuff that counts.  Let your heart open up wide and fill until it's overflowing.

It's a gift we give rediscover what we keep.