Thursday, July 03, 2008

CED 2008 ~ Where we've been - What we've been doing....

Besides resting up, renewing our spirits, Don and I have been once again returning our thoughts and efforts back to our home. We recently saw an advertisement on TV that we're losing one of our favorite places to shop, Linens N Things at Polaris. You may remember I purchased our living room curtains there and while we were picking those up, I hesistated to make a few more purchases for our home. After seeing their closing wall to wall clearance ad, we decided it was probably now or never, so we made the road trip to see if any of the items we desired were still available.

Wouldn't you know it, not a one in sight! Gone were the red toss pillows in a set of five; gone was the bedding set that we'd have loved to have had. So, we checked on a set of black wall ledges shelves --- and those, too, were gone! Trying not to feel disappointed and realizing that there are always other options, we browsed with the thought of if there is anything else that we desired, now was probably the time to purchase it. Needless to say, we found nothing but we were able to pick up our first Christmas gift for Chris at a small discount. With the economy and the tightening we feel on our budget, we've decided to start earlier this year.

Next, we headed over to PetSmart to purchase food for Chaos. We've shopped there before and for some reason, I never noticed Kirkland's right next door. Well, in honesty, I did on a previous visit but assumed the store was way out of budget.... so, when we decided to "browse" Boy! were we pleasantly surprised! We feel in love with the items that Kirkland's stock. We purchased the letter "R" home shown in the picture above and are considering purchasing a few bar stools. I'd love to have one or two in my studio and perhaps, two new ones for the breakfast bar. But, once again, we've,decided to wait before purchasing them. Believing that we should take care of our life's necessities first.

The economy here in Ohio has taken a nose-dive. I suppose it's that way across the states with the lowering value of the dollar, the rising costs of gasoline, utilities, and groceries. Our home's property value has declined but that hasn't stop our property taxes from rising. Also, we're still paying on Spiderback chairs for our living room, so those decisions had to be made. Years ago, we made the decision not to purchase on credit, so once our cards were paid off, we tore them shreds, and do with what we have. Sometimes, that decisions sucks, but for the most part we're very happy that we've stuck to it.

Anyways, before heading home, {after all, the trip in gasoline alone now costs us almost $20} we made a quick run into Michael's, for a bottle of Martha's super-fine silver glitter and then, headed next door to Marshall's. The books shown in the photo above is all that I purchased. The books are House Beautiful's 750 Designer's Secrets and Country Living's 750 Great Ideas for Decorating on a Budget. Their copyrighted 2005, but for $6.99 I purchased them both. Their originally prices were $24.99! So, I loved feeling like I was getting them both at a bargain. I've found myself pouring through them again and again, and am noticing something that I didn't catch the previous time before.

I've been reading my bible, spending time in prayer, doing short periods of writing in my journal, and thinking more and more about our home and our lives. I suppose in some ways the recent scare of chest pains that Don experienced has put our lives back into perspective of what's truly important. It's forcing us to consider our lifestyle, how we spend our time, our money, and with whom to share those with. Moments like those really make you re-evalute all things!

We're torn between improving our home more, knowing the housing decline hasn't hit rock bottom, but hoping that things begin to improve soon. We often feel guilty and saddened when we talk about home improvements and decorating, as we know so many Americans have lost or are losing theirs. Some days, we desire to "fix" the world, then realize we're doing good just to hang onto what we have and fix what's wrong in our own lives, so we continue to pray to the one who can "fix" things best for everyone concerned.

We're thankful for neighbors, who inquired about Don's health, who've came to our assistance with helping us to mow our lawn. {Both of our mowers were in the repair shop at the time}. Those who've telephone us and those who've prayed with us. We're thankful for a roof over our heads, food in our mouths, and our health. We're thankful for family, for friends, for those we've yet to meet.

In other news, my "little girl" Amber celebrated her 28th birthday on the first of July. She's doing good, recently started a new job doing something she loves. She's traveling out of town to do it and I'm so very proud of her. On Tuesday, her birthday, she called me on her lunch break to remind me of what I was doing on this day 28 years ago and got all chocked up when I told her I'd go through the pain of childbirth all over again, just for her. Don and I both wished her a "Happy Birthday" and she informed me that her new employer and co-workers decorated her desk with fresh flowers and balloons and ordered lunch out for everyone to help her celebrate "her" day. Unfortunately, on the way home from work, she wasn't so lucky. I had called her on the cell phone and while we were chatting it up, she tells me, "I think I just ran a red light!" and "Yep, I did, there's flashing lights behind me --- gotta go!" So, let's just say that along with the other birthday presents she received one of them included a ticket from a young, good looking police officer, and never mind that she's had nothing on her driving record for the past eight years. Yep, that's my girl! and I wouldn't trade her for anything else in the world!

We've also recently have gotten new neighbors. They purchased Don's son's old home next door to us after it was in foreclosure. As sad as we are that they lost their home, it's good to see it belonging to someone who is taking good care of it. We've spoken to "the man of the house" on several occasions, and Don's spoken to "the lady of house" a few times. I never met her until last night when we walked over and sat on their porch and chatted for awhile. They seem like really nice people and I am looking forward to getting to know them better and hopefully we can all become friends, as well as neighbors.

While talking to Chris last night, she mentioned that she'd love to invite us in to show us what they've done to the place, but that they have little furniture. Sensing her hesitation, I didn't inquire or suggest anything further. But what I did notice is how instantly I felt "blessed"; yet guilty all at the same time.

You see, I'd been praying about the house, about the people who'd move in there, about what we'd desire for them to be like. Yes, it's sort of selfish, but mainly we hoped that whoever moved in there would first and foremost love the house and the land as much as we do ours, that we could become good neighbors, have someone close to us to share some of the same interests that we have, and that over time we'd over time become friends. I know I longed for someone who I could talk and relate to, who would be able to shared some of my own passions and decorating our homes was one of the many things on the list. I wanted someone to share in my joy of discovering treasures at yard sales and thrift stores, finding beatiful things on clearance, someone I could bounce ideas off of for decor and decorating advice. Now, I feel guilty for having so much when they seem to have so little. Perhaps, this is the way that God intended it to be, maybe I'm to be all the things that I'd hoped she'd become to me, I am to become to her. Isn't it funny how that happens..... so I guess the moral to that story is be careful what you wish for! Anyways, I look forward to one thing the most, becoming friends, as well as, neighbors.

Well, I suppose, I should be going... Lord knows, I've probably shared "more than enough". I'm off to do a bit of housework, work a bit more on the Row House swap, and put our lives into a new perspective. Chat more soon....


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