Prompted By Musical Tables

Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. Today, due to the furnace guy being here, things were topsy turvy; well, ok, they have been for awhile now.  In the ensuing scramble to move stuff out of his way, a table came into play, that may find a new home as my worktable.  All the thoughts swirling around prompted me to write a rather long discourse on the history of my various tables.  I apologize in advance if it bores you to tears, but I feel so much better having mentally let go of the disquietude about my tables. This is rather late in the day, but since it is not yet midnight, it is day 7.  For the complete series click the image below.

promptedtowritebanner.2I just finished cleaning fuzz off the top of a table.  Yes, you heard correctly.   Fuzz. From the top of a table.  This table was a yard sale purchase about four years ago. We were in the middle of a remodel and had not yet moved into the little house as we have come to call it.  It was Court Day weekend and the neighbor across the street was getting rid of some of her junk nice things and I immediately spied this table.  I wrangled it from her for twenty bucks.

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I put it in the kitchen where it immediately became a work table for the remodel crew. The top was somewhat tacky – bad paint job is my guess.  I didn’t really need the table, especially two years later when I officially moved into the little house with three other tables and promptly added two more.  Long story.  But, it has been a well-known fact in my family for quite some time now that my mom and I have a thing for tables. And chairs. Apparently.

This particular table was finally delegated to the laundry room where it had aspirations of being the folding table.  Ha! Wait for it, you know where this is going, don’t you?  Of course it became the pile table.  Anyway, back to the fuzz.  A couple years ago I purchased a  cheap, plastic, flannel backed (cringe) table cloth on a whim and used it for a while in my kitchen until I tired of it and decided to use it on the table in the laundry room.  Last week, in preparation for the furnace guy coming to work on our heat system, I cleared off the table and removed the cheap, plastic, flannel backed (cringe) table cloth.

This is where things get a little fuzzy.  Yes, the fuzz from the backing on that cheap, plastic, flannel backed (cringe) table cloth had stuck to the tacky finish on that junk table from my neighbor (I don’t have a picture).  I was imagining that it might need a sander taken to it and a fresh paint job.  Then, just today, I got a bright idea. I figured that a sudsy rag and a little elbow grease might just do the trick.  It did.  The table is now fuzz free, sitting in the middle of my bedroom (remember the furnace guy), blocking access to my husbands dresser, waiting to be moved.

Where, you ask? Back to the laundry room?  Oh no, that would be too easy.  I’m thinking by the kitchen window where it will become my new, old, work desk – without the cheap, plastic, flannel backed (cringe) table cloth.  I am trying to figure out all kinds of angles so that I don’t have to paint the tacky top. Stay tuned. My father seems to think that I am on a three week cycle of playing musical tables so, it is of course, possible, that I may decide to sell or take it to storage.

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Speaking of, I recently took my big, long, holds lots of stuff, work table to storage because ever since we moved in the new piano, we have had one piece of furniture too many and every time we do a move around, there is always a piece of furniture table that seems to be floating in limbo waiting for a home.

Currently, we have my grandma’s table in the middle of the kitchen, sitting where the center Island table used to be.  The center Island table is by the window, where grandpa’s little desk used to be.  My grandpa’s little desk is now in the little, middle room with the blue ceiling, that was originally going to be my little French dining room. We also have a drop-leaf table, inherited from a family friend, sitting in the little, middle room with the blue ceiling, in the spot where my Grandma’s table used to be, before my husband’s new piano took that space. (you can breathe now)

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My grandma’s table in the little, middle room with the blue ceiling -you can see the center Island table in the background. This was BP (before piano).

The piano and the middle room were not getting along for various reasons and much to my profound regret delight, I sacrificed my work room and my aforementioned work table (that has enough leaves to stretch out to 8 or 9 feet) for the greater good – my husband’s need for a piano studio so he could offer piano lessons.

table.3 001I was going to use the drop-leaf table as my new work table in the small, middle room with the blue ceiling.  I was ready to embrace the new space, but alas, the piano studio was apparently not big enough for an office as well, so I found myself, once again sharing a work table with Mr. Piano and then, there was an issue with the drop-leaf leg and one day I found myself working at my kitchen table, surrounded by my office crates, that have still not found a home since the recent studio organization.

Then, on top of that, today, I also found myself surrounded by crates from the utility room (remember the furnace guy) and well, it’s just a little crazy up in here what with tables that need homes and crates that need sorting.

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Did I mention that there is also a sweet, little round table, inherited from the same family friend, sitting in the living room (I’ve seriously considered moving  my office in there)?  At one time, before we officially moved to the little house, the sweet, little round table sat (you guessed it) in the little, middle room with the blue ceiling. That room has a serious identity crisis.

The end.

Only, not really.  All of this, to say, that  I am having a crisis of space.   Will the tables shift yet again, so that I can have my own little corner to call my mine?  Stay tuned. The saga of the musical tables will continue. Once I get it all sorted.

Hoping your tables are filled with grace,

Teresa

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Simplicity Unwrapped In The Laundry Room

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A couple of Tuesday’s ago I shared with you how I love the concept of Simplicity and I wrote about finding simplicity unwrapped in the Kitchen.  Then Last week I wrote about simplicity unwrapped in the dining room.  Today, I will once again, be joining Emily and others for Tuesday’s Unwrapped.

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Occasionally, I have a day that I love to putter around my house, even the laundry becomes a chore that brings contentment.  I love those days when making a home is peaceful rather than feeling like drudgery.

A few months ago my husband and his siblings had an estate to sort through.  It was an unassuming ranch house, but the lady who had lived there had managed to accumulate a lot of stuff.  The house had sold so all that stuff had to go somewhere.  Thus began the journey of sorting and selling.

Needless to say we accumulated a few lot of “new” things for our home.  Part of our stockpile was old linens.  Some of them in good shape, some not.  Most of them had gathered years of dust and needed laundering.  So, I found myself on an ordinary weekday (it may well have been a Tuesday) deciding that today was the day to take care of the linens.

I soaked, spot treated, washed on gentle cycle, some pieces by hand, then I hung them all up around my laundry room to dry.  Some of them came clean, a few had stubborn spots that wouldn’t budge.  A few I’ll still need to work on when I find a warm sunny day so I can use lemon juice and salt for the “rust” spots.

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On this day that I enjoyed puttering in my home, it even inspired me to organize my laundry room and make it more efficient.  Once the linens were dry, I found storage for them, knowing that I didn’t just want them to stay hidden.

Since then I have found ways to incorporate them into my decor.  A couple are over the backs of chairs, some on dresser tops.  I look at them and know that I have unwrapped not only the gift of bringing a little piece of the past into the present, but the gift of contentment while puttering around my house on an ordinary day.

What about you?  Have you unwrapped the gift of contented puttering lately?

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Puttering in grace,

Teresa

Simplicity Unwrapped In The Dining Room

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Last Tuesday I shared with you how I love the concept of Simplicity and I wrote about finding simplicity unwrapped in the Kitchen.  I will be joining Emily and others for Tuesday’s Unwrapped.

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Today’s post centers around my little French Country Dining Room. That has been a thorn in my side for a while.  I had a dream.  A dream of simple grace. My grandmothers wooden table with the muslin table cloth my mother made for it in the seventies (with blue fringe around the bottom) and cane chairs painted white.  I would have a white large mirror (the one I found at Home Goods was gone when I went back) leaning against one wall and possibly a piece of white painted furniture for storage etc. The walls would be a shade of white and  the ceiling would be painted Martha Stewart enamelware blue. My accessories would be a combo of French Country and shabby chic.  It wasn’t all planned out because, of course, part of the journey of decorating is in the unknown – the part that happens over time.

Well, it happened. Over time.  The chaos, the misdirected decor and the clutter. I wish I had taken a picture this morning.  But, if I’m being totally honest, a part of me is glad (if you change the l and a around you get a totally different word. glad I caught that).  I am glad that you didn’t have to see the mess that had become of my little dining room.

Oh, I do have the enamelware blue ceiling and walls that are bleached muslin. I do have the dining table with the fringe on the bottom table cloth.  I do have the cane chairs painted white.  Ok, so only two of them made it under the paint brush. But, we were on track.  And then we moved out of our apartment (our other home) and had to squeeze a lot of stuff into one house. So, I had to add my dark bookshelves to the dining room and an extra chest of drawers and a bench.  And the look was a little more eclectic and not the simple grace of French Country and Shabby Chic that I had intended.

Then, we sorted through an estate of a family friend and acquired more junk lovely stuff. Then I helped my cousin go through some of my Aunt’s things and acquired a few family mementos.  My dining room became hoarder central (and my kitchen counters too, if I am going to be completely honest).  Seriously.  So, today in addition to doing some basic cleaning, I decided it was time to get the chaos under control. I thought it was time we unwrapped simplicity in the dining room.

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I found a home for everything (not all in the dining room), did some rearranging of accessories, pulled out a quilt of my grandmother’s to make a topper for the muslin table cloth and what I was left with was a little bit country and a little bit shabby (not so much French or Chic).  But I did unwrap a lovely gift. A gift that was more than simplicity.

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A gift that brought order, a gift that properly displayed  memories. A gift that brought balance because now I can walk through the room without worrying that my friends and family are going to report me to the hoarder police.

I also learned that simple order is more important than a specific decorating style.  I still have a dream, but in the meantime I am enjoying the simplicity of a gift unwrapped.

I will leave you with a few more pictures of my little shabby country dining room with it’s enamelware blue ceiling.  (Keep in mind that these pictures were taken after dark by a non-professional photo taker.)

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Drop-cloth curtains, blue ceiling, garden bench, grandmother’s quilt and another of her quilt tops on the chair.

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This quilt of my grandmother’s is all done by hand, at the time of her death my grandparents had been married for 73 years that was 10 years ago – I am guessing this quilt is probably 75- 83 years old. The enamel wash basin on the table has a light blue rim, I found it at an Antique shop. It is the center piece for now, subject to change when something better comes along. The linens on the back of the chairs were from the estate of a family friend.

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Unwrapping in grace,

Teresa

“And this mess is so big…”

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“But all things should be done decently and in order.” I Corinthians 14:40

I had a closet.  It was horrid.  It started out with good intentions. But a year of searching for this and that and a few more items stuffed in, and well, I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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The This closet was originally going to be my pantry. But…Mr. Piano needed storage for the stuff that will someday go to an office.  I wanted custom shelves…but, my brother never seemed to have the time for the shelves and they cost money…. the crates started out in a neat stack with a few things on top.  But… (yes, there is another but) eventually, Mr. Piano needed a piece of music from one of the bottom crates and the rest is history. Long story, short. We lived with it as is. Until we couldn’t. 

This past weekend I decided to organize the closet and use a utility shelf.  I wanted to paint it white, but I wanted the mess organized more, so I just went with the utilitarian gray.  Someday, I still have hopes of this being a custom organized pantry.  In the meantime, it is in much better shape.  I’ll let the photo’s show you:

100_1946 100_1945 100_1934 100_1939 100_1942 100_1941 100_1944This closet is now, officially, the most organized spot in my house.  This is sad.  I walk by and peek in several times a day just to calm the chaos swirling around in my head and my house. It is amazing how quickly the organizing thread can unravel.  It only takes a year give or take a  month or two.

(Yes, we have a curtain for a closet door.  Okay? Thanks.)

I’m pretty sure this closet is a metaphor for something.  Something that may be askew in my life.  Is it possible that while I’m organizing the hidden places in my home (and the not so hidden) that I will also be on a journey to find balance in those hidden places deep in my soul?

Balancing in Grace,

Sadie

“She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.” –Proverbs 31:27