Friday, February 19, 2016

{p,h,f,r} The Project (Almost) Finishing Edition


Can I just say that I really love this link-up?  Whenever I grab my camera and start walking around my house looking for bits of beauty and contentment to capture my mood is almost automatically lifted regardless of where it started.

When Chris went to the store for emergency supplies last weekend I asked him to pick up some flowers because, though I had meant to get some myself when I had previously gone, I was forced to evacuate the commissary in a hurry and bypassed the flower section in order to save my sanity and potentially the lives of our children.  When he came home with these beauties he said he was embarrassed to buy them because he thought people were assuming that he was getting me last minute grocery store flowers for Valentine's Day.  Um, I think the last time I received non-grocery store flowers from my husband he was deployed and therefore forced to order through a florist.

He hasn't been deployed since 2007.


Aside from Christmas decorations I have not had this mantle "decorated" since we moved into this house over a year ago.  I just had this kind of awkward piece of salvage on the wall that made sense when we had the television on the mantle but didn't once we moved it with a mirror propped up in front.  The husband refuses to move the salvage because we have plaster walls and he doesn't want to deal with the aftermath.   And I'm not going to do it myself because that's clearly man's work :)

Anyway, I had sudden inspiration last weekend to finally de-sad-ify my mantle and I think I'm loving it.  I pulled our radio from the kitchen which wasn't getting any use because the kitchen is tiny and the radio is loud and therefore too much for my frazzled nerves while I cook.  Of course the radio is tiny so I needed something big to balance it and the biggest thing we have is our monstrous dictionary.  Chris saved this beauty from a military purge at his last office which is technically frowned upon but they were going to throw it in a dumpster!  I mean what would you have done?

Then I just pulled some other books from our shelves to fill out the other side and added one of my grandmother's iron stone pitchers for good measure.

Well that's not completely true, I actually stood in front our bookshelves for an absurdly long time trying to decide which books to use.  What did I want my literary mantle to say about our family?  I mean I didn't want to seem like I was trying too hard to look well-read, so it couldn't be anything too deep.  On the other hand I didn't want to be lame and have people think I only buy books to use as decorations, so I needed to have actually read them.  Should they be Catholic so everyone would know how holy we are?  Should they be popular so everyone will know how hip and up to date I am in my reading selections?  Could I ever convince anyone that I am hip and up to date anyhow?  Probably not.

What does your mantle say about you?  I think mine might say that I overthink things.........


Aside from finally decorating our mantle, and by decorating I guess I mean tastefully rearranging things we already own, I also finally finished quilting my grandmother's quilt top.  When I first taught myself to quilt using internet directions I remember reading that you should use rust proof pins if you pin your quilt together and I thought, who leaves a quilt sitting around unfinished long enough for its pins to rust?    Now I see.  Sometimes these things take well over a year.  Sometimes you don't want to sit with a queen sized quilt on your lap all summer while you plug away at it so you cross stitch something instead.  Sometimes you eat your naive words, or in this case thoughts, while your unfinished project laughs at you from the living room side table where it took up permanent residence.

Well, no more.

I just need to make the binding and I can finish up this project that never ends and move on to baby quilt making.  Well, hopefully.  Because of my history, my doctor did offer me the super mega genetic testing package that tells you your baby's gender at ten weeks which I am very tempted to do.  Would it be unethical to have the military pay for a test and then tell them afterwards that I don't actually want to know the results, just the sex of my baby thanks?  I'm not sure that I'd be bold enough to start working on a baby quilt that early but it would be nice to know anyway.  


I also finished another, much less exciting project last weekend, which was hand scrubbing our living room rug only to have the dog run through the very next day with muddy paws.  Three times.  Back and forth.  I might have cried.

This rug choice was just the worst.  I'm not sure how I convinced myself that something with a WHITE STRIPE would ever work out in our living room, but everyone on the internet said these Dash and Albert cotton rugs were so easy to clean, and so amazing in every way, and you could even use them as stair runners, and they did look so good in the pictures.  To be fair, the rug did look very cute in our room before it looked dingy.  And I'm sure a smallish cotton rug would be easy to clean if it could fit in the washing machine.  A giant rug though, not so much.  Even the Stanley Steamer people couldn't clean it because it just stuck to their machines.  They took it back to their bosses and they still couldn't clean it.  They even suggested I take it to their competitors, the fancy rug cleaners who I had also gotten price quotes from, which were scarily close to the actual price of the rug.  Um no.

I checked my favorite homemaking book for tips and there was literally no advice on cleaning a cotton rug.  I suppose because the author wouldn't have dreamed anyone would ever be so silly as to buy one.  I ended up cleaning it with a scrub brush and a bowl of soapy water and it still didn't look amazing.  Better, but not amazing.  And looks awful.  Really, really awful.

So in conclusion, don't buy a super cute gigantic cotton rug if you have a dog, or children, or live anywhere where something other than dry sand might ever come into contact with it.  And also don't believe everything the internet says, no matter how much you want it to be true :)  

And as always, make sure you check out even more captured contentment over at Like Mother, Like Daughter!
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