Mellow Monday

Photo: My husband has a thing for stained glass, and whenever we visit my uncles in Maryland, he always took time to eye this pretty piece in their home. They have a lovely house that is contemporary to our farmhouse, built sometime around 1912, and they’ve been able to find beautiful antiques and items that match the era and design of the house. After doing some remodeling, they decided they no longer needed this peace and so when my uncle came up to work on the bathroom and flowerbed, he brought this with him. We finally got a chance to put it up in the side room off of our master-bedroom this weekend and it is quite lovely.


The farmhouse takes on a sweetness on mornings like this. When humid air rolls in, the wood of the floors and walls lets off this lovely smell, sweet and natural, old and warm.  It makes me think of my great-grandmother’s apartment back in Maryland. There is just something about it that takes me straight there. And then, of course, when I’m chopping onions or washing dishes in my big old sink, I can hear her voice and see her armchair. My thoughts go to those fussy African violets that only she could manage to keep alive and I wonder if I might have a green enough thumb to keep them…

And it is that warmth that I am trying to focus on, as both of my toddlers are sick and cranky. We’re going to be stuck here at the homestead all week–no park, no grocery store, no playdates. Ursa Minor is in good spirits, though the dots of the illness spread over the entirety of his body and have become red and angry, and he is having the worst eczema flareup of his entire life. He doesn’t scratch at them  or complain. When he looks at them he merely says, “go away, boo-boos. I want you to go away.” But that’s it.

Ursa Major had a fever yesterday and was a bit low-energy. He woke up thrice in the night complaining about being itchy. This morning, the beginning red bumps showed up on his hands and feet. Unlike his brother, he can’t seem to ignore them. He’s been very cranky since he woke up.

And so it goes. Childhood diseases suck. We have nothing pressing scheduled for this week, so I can’t complain too much. I’ll write when I can, knit when I can, remain as patient as I can be, and pray that this blows over by this time next week.

Because we could not entertain, The Husband and I turned our attention to other projects. He decided to spend some time cleaning out and organizing the barn. It was suggested to us that we get some restoration guys over here to give us some ideas about what to do with it. I am going to try to line those up for next month. I don’t think we’re going to try to take on the barn at all this year, but it would be nice to have ideas and figure out if there is anything that we can do with it or if it must be professionally taken care of (it would also be nice to know how much it would cost to do stuff to it… if it’s worth it to spend any money on it at all… The Husband isn’t convinced that it is, but I think so.)

We are going to start stripping the wallpaper in the dining room in preparation for painting it and the living room next month. Pictures will be forthcoming. He’s going to start tonight. Don’t know what the colors are going to be quite yet, though they’ll be in the family of the palette from the  bathroom project. I think we’ve both settled on a traditional deep green for the dining room, but the living room…he wants blue and… I dunno… I’m not feeling it… Anyway, we probably have a week or two to decide as we are only going to be stripping the wallpaper in the evenings. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be an easy thing… please, Lord, let this be an easy DIY!

And so my post must be short today. The boys are entertained for now, but they will find trouble at any moment. The challenge this week will be to keep them entertained without instantly turning the television on as soon as one gets fussy. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and I can keep them outside for most of the day. The exercise and distraction of outdoor toys and sunshine will do them some good. Besides… it’s the last week of July. The season is almost over. This time next month, you’ll be able to smell that impending Massachusetts autumn.

But there are plenty more hot days ahead of us. I get to enjoy the good smell of the farmhouse wood and think about my grandmother and great-grandmother raising children without air conditioning back in the day. I’ve gotta master this cooking/baking in the morning hours and serving said results in the afternoon. That’s how they did it. “That’s what fried chicken and potato salad is all about! You do your frying in the morning and put it in the fridge. Boil those potatoes in the morning and do your chopping, and put it all together and throw it in the fridge! We used to sit and watch our soaps in front of the fans without a care–kids were outside at the pool, dinner was done, and so were the chores… girl, that was the best kind of summer day.” That’s my grandmother’s telling of it when I asked her on Sunday. During the challenging moments, it’s nice to be connected and hear a story. I hope you were able to have such an experience like that over the weekend.

Happy Monday to you, dear reader. I hope it is mellow and productive and that you didn’t get rained on on your way to where you needed to be. See you Wednesday, hopefully with healthy… or maybe just less cranky… babies.


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