10.27.2014

Around the tudor...

With Travis working this turnaround schedule I seem to spend the majority of my time in the kitchen.  Not that I mind, I adore my little kitchen.  For such a small space it really is light and bright, and so easy to cook in!





Of course, the nicer the meal the more dishes you have to dirty!


I got my slipcovered chairs back from Lsslipcovers, and just like any other pieces they have done for me- they are divine!  I said the word "ball gown" for my vanity chair and they delivered!


Sara's gallery wall finally got painted.  Projects are at a slow pace right now, so getting this one wall done was the limit for the month...


I also traded in Mr.Darcy, my Mini Cooper, for Mr. Bingley, my new Mini Cooper.  I lease my vehicles because I love new cars and can't just live with one!  I upgraded to a bit larger car- the Countryman S.  It seats five, so it feels so much bigger!



Sara and I walked the Step Up for Down Syndrome this past weekend.  I love how aware she is of Down Syndrome and how confident she is in talking to others about what she is doing with her time now that she is out of public school.  She loves homeschooling and adores the classes she takes on Thursdays.



I did get a new rug for the living room- Dash & Albert rugs are my very favorite! I love how preppy this one looks...


Fall decorating is at a minimum this year.  Most of our attic things are still in storage, and we won't get to cleaning that out until Travis is back on a regular schedule.  So the kids and I picked out a mum and a few pumpkins and called it a day...


We are busy with classes, reading, painting signs and just being.  I don't really feel the need to change things around or shop- I'm just content to be here.  I am taking that as a sign that we are exactly where we need to be- wacky neighbors and all ;)

10.24.2014

Crazy May...


I am going to preface this post with saying that I do not take mental health lightly.  I have had my experiences with depression and have family members who deal with worse, so please don't take offense to the term crazy.  I mean it in a "bless her little heart" kind of way, but still with fear.

May lives in our little community.  Everyone knows May, in fact there are actually TWO women named May in our little community- "Sweet May" and "Crazy May".   At over six feet tall and so many pounds, May cuts an intimidating figure.  She's been known to walk into people's houses uninvited and then help herself to their yard equipment or jewelry.  She obviously missed manners school the day we all learned about personal space and how to keep some of it.   One early morning a neighbor was out walking and found May asleep in the gutter.   The police are not only on a first name basis with May, they refer to her as Crazy May.

I'm no psychologist, but I've watched enough daytime self help television to assume that May is bi-polar and that she self medicates with alcohol.  Oh, and throw in some prescription drug abuse for good measure.

Last week I had a run in with May.  I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened.   May is "friends" with a widower named Mike.  Mike is a sweet man, but very lonely and May latched onto him like a newborn to a fresh nipple.   Speaking of nipple, she also sucks him dry of money, gas, food and anything else he will hand over to her.  

May and Mike had a huge blowout about a month ago.  After tearing off his mailbox, keying his car, and threatening to kill him, Mike finally called out the police.  We were all relieved, but before we could break out the champagne- they started talking again, and after falling to her knees and asking forgiveness, Mike took May back.  *shoves cork back in the bottle*

So last week some of the neighbors and I were visiting in the courtyard and we saw May walking away from Mike while holding his elderly poodle.  Jackson is the oldest poodle I have ever seen.  He defies chronological reasoning in that he's not dead yet, but Mike loves this dog fiercely, so seeing May walking off with it was concerning.   She was yelling at Mike while he followed behind.  Back when we were living at my parent's house on the water I saw an alligator take off with a duck.  The duck's mate followed that alligator- probably as dessert.  Watching Mike follow May while she held poor decrepit Jackson reminded me exactly of that duck.

So I followed too.

Upon reaching her garage (and I will spare you the hoarder's description of that space) she started yelling again.  At that point I asked Mike if he was okay and if he needed any help.  He said he was fine and that it was okay, and I didn't think it was, but I took his word for it and walked away.

Crazy May followed me.  Still holding onto the dog, and yelling at me in a monotone voice- "Mam", "Mam", "Mam", "Mam", "Mam"....all across the courtyard.  I would like to mention here that May and I ARE THE SAME AGE.  Mam??  Seriously?  Finally, I got to my little courtyard and shut the gate behind me.  Thankfully, she retreated.

Yesterday I heard May screaming at Mike outside his door and demanding that he give her five dollars.  He opened the door and gave her the money, and she sped off in her car.  As she does.  This cycle will not change- it is a highly abusive, toxic relationship that feeds off of mental illness.  I feel sorry for the both of them, but to be honest I am scared of May.  Sure we have an alarm system and a small arsenal of weapons at our disposal, but the woman is not mentally sound and seems desperate to me.  I feel for her, I really do.  Untreated mental illness has to be a living hell, but it's become a bit of a living hell for the rest of us as well.  People scatter like roaches who just saw the light switch flip every time she comes out of her house.

It only takes one person to stand up to a bully.  I sure hope that person moves in soon.

10.16.2014

Grad girl...

We moved into the tiny tudor at the end of the summer.  Sara finished school last June- as in aged out and D O N E.  It's a new era, she is 22, on to bigger and better things- and it was time for a change...

We took a trip out to the PB Teen store and found the duvet she loved- this is what we are decorating the room around...


The console/dresser that Travis built her is the same deep pink as in the roses.  The walls are White Duck by Sherwin Williams and the interior doors are Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams.  I am thinking of painting the gallery wall in her room a smokey black as well...

image via Pinterest
Sara's gallery wall...



The sheets, sham and bedskirt...



I am also including touches of Gold and plan on painting a few things gold to put on the gallery wall, like the giant "S" I found in a garage sale years ago.  I also bought her the bunny lamp for her end table...


Once Travis finishes his turnaround schedule at work, he is going to build her a headboard.  I am thinking we will do a painted wood version of the PB Teen one Sara likes...


Sara loves momentos- pictures, announcements, invitations- all of it is part of what gives her room meaning to her.   She treasures memories and I knew that the graduation plaque by Tiny Prints was the perfect addition to her wall.



Personalizing a space is easy to do with pieces that commemorate special events in your life.  For Sara, her graduating was something we were told she would never do.   We knew that with the right environment, encouragement and support she would not only graduate, but she would do so much more.  When Sara looks on her walls and sees her diploma, graduation picture, and this plaque- it is a reminder that we are all capable, and with love we can accomplish great things.

10.15.2014

Happy notes...

When Sara and I started painting signs for The Happy Soul Project it became obvious to me that aside from the painting, Sara's absolutely favourite part of the entire process was the wrapping and addressing of each sign.

"Where is it going?"

"Who is it for?"

"Do they have Down Syndrome too?"

The only thing that she loves more is when people post pictures to Instagram or Facebook of their child with the signs we make.  I think for Sara she enjoys the creative process, but the real joy lies in the giving.  And who can fault her for that?  Giving is a good thing.  So the opportunity to use some thank you notes by Tiny Prints was the perfect addition to an already perfect "job".  Sara loves to sit and write out a small thank you to each person who purchases one of our Happy Soul Project signs...


My main focus at this point is to ensure that Sara is doing something worthwhile, and that we are spreading the message that people with Down Syndrome are productive members of society.   Ocotober is Down Syndrome Awareness month, and while I think people are pretty aware of Down Syndrome, I think the emphasis needs to be more on acceptance.


Sara wants what any other adult wants- she wants purpose, a job, something to call her own and take pride in.  Painting signs does just that, and the thank you notes we send out mean so much more than the few sentences Sara writes on each one.


So thank you to each of you who have purchased a sign and given Sara a chance to spread a little happy...

10.14.2014

This and that...

I have a few decorating posts in the works, but I wanted to pop in to say that my courtyard posts are mostly in jest.  One cannot avoid picking up on other's quirks- that is just human nature, as we are all quirky in our own ways.  Living in such close proximity to others seems to amplify the quirkiness and I thought it would be fun to share some of the stories.  We love this little community, colourful residents and all ;)  This is the neighborhood I grew up in and I knew going into this little area that it was going to be entertaining.  We have been very lucky to have met some lovely neighbors and we are looking forward to getting more involved with our homeowners association.

I've been going through some personal stuff, health related and family related.  I've had to severly limit my interactions with one family member in particular.  It's toxic and I just had to put a stop to it.   Letting go of something, even if the realness of it was imaginary, is tough.   I'm just not going to cry over someone who wouldn't notice if I went missing.  I'm working through it, as it is a process, and I will be okay.

As for the health front, I'm taking care of that too.  It turns out that my heart wasn't the issue, it is in fact pulmonary.  I've never smoked, but my lungs seem to think that I was a three pack a day girl.  Scary for someone who is an asthmatic and biggest fear is not being able to breath.   It's going to be okay, and I am thankful for a supportive husband and wonderful kids.

Travis continues to work his turnaround schedule.  It's going to go a bit longer than planned, but hey- it's a job- and a good one at that.   We are adjusting to the schedule and the days are quiet with lots of reading and learning going on.

I'm hoping to paint Sara's gallery wall this week.  I haven't painted since we moved in and I feel the itch ;)

Take care, and as always- thanks for reading and checking in on me.