Monday, August 31, 2009


The first mistake was picking up the book.

The second, naturally, was reading it.

The book in question? Not-So-Big-Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live.

My brain still hurts.

The book claims, "with small, thoughtful changes, the home you live in can be the home you love." The cover shows a light-filled kitchen with a vase of sunflowers and a large wooden bowl of Granny Smith apples. Looking at this picture lowers my blood pressure.

Then, I look up at my own kitchen. There's the crock pot on the floor, overflowing with plastic food, stuffed animals, blocks, and dryer sheets. The refrigerator is an explosion of magnets and reminders: "Pay tuition!" "Call back Laura!" Next to the reminders, there is a prescription for Owen's fluoride tablets---the third prescription we've taken home from his dentist, and never filled. There are two laundry baskets next to the crock pot, filled with balls and blankets. I've attempted to move these baskets three times, and each time Owen has reacted most vehemently with screaming and hissy-fits of Project Runway proportion.

It's so overwhelming, I don't even know how to start. Some of the "easy" suggestions include lowering ceilings, knocking out walls, or adding windows. I suppose these are "easy" ideas if you're blessed with spatial sense, but for me, doing any of these things is as absurd as doing my own orthodontia.

When I live in a vacuum, I'm okay with my house. There are too many toys and some of the furniture has seen better days, but nothing makes my eyes bleed. However, when I open books like this, or visit the homes of my friends with an eye for design, a tiny worm of envy begins digging in my gut.

I don't want a huge house, or Viking appliances, or an acre lot. Most of the time, I consider it as a point of pride that we do not live in a McMansion.

Yet, when I see how gracefully and beautifully people (yes, even people with small children) choose to live, I feel like I'm depriving myself and my family of a restful and inspiring home.

So, I do what I can. I re-arrange the toys. I clear away the clutter. And yes, I look through the shelter magazines or watch HGTV. After all, I gotta at least try.

Happy day! My niece, Kiri Jane Campbell was born yesterday. She's Six pounds, six ounces. Mother and baby are doing well, and everybody will go home tomorrow. This is huge.

I must say that 8/30/09, is neither even nor odd. I was hoping for 9/9/09. Sigh.

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