Thursday, August 16, 2012

Colors! Trying to make our old house ‘new’.

Maybe it is hard to see these colors on the pictures I posted earlier today. The 'Paper Bag’ (Ace) color that we ended up with last week really looks purple when you are in the room. Our lighting is odd, so some corners are darker than others but it is generally well-lit. Most are preferring the Kingsport Grey color. Meditation has a green cast to it that might look ok, but is not jumping out as a favorite for anyone. On these color samples Thunder does look like a shade lighter than the Kingsport Grey, but in the room it looks much more silvery grey, almost too silver to go well with our oak floors. Of course, you know how it is in an old house. Now I am looking at the floors, thinking, “it is probably about time to have them refinished so maybe if we have a darker stain on the floors, the Thunder would look great!” But, back in reality-land, that just is not happening soon. Neither is buying all new furniture, which is also on my mental list for that room (having the large sofa, while lovely for snuggling on for a movie, means that the large floor register is beginning to sag where one of the sofa’s corners is resting on it somewhat precariously). The entertainment cupboard is admittedly too large for the space and the color is a bit reddish/orangish, so I don’t think it will go well with a true grey. So now I am scoping craigslist for an actual corner entertainment unit. Something a little smaller? I’d love to make this room feel new.
Is it because we have lived here for over 6 years? The longest I’ve ever been in one place in my life? Rejuvenation is a must at this point (which reminds me, I have not been on that site in a while… hmm..)! So there is a patch of new color in the downstairs bathroom (shhhh.., Jer has not found that one yet! I’ll just paint it while he is at work, haha!). I have a new color picked out for the kitchen, and in my dreams I have the kitchen remodeled as well (seriously folks, the undulating floor with beat up linoleum and formica countertops is getting to me). Of course, that all means that I need a job. Which I have begun applying for. I applied for a few part time gigs in the Geneva schools but apparently they have about a thousand applicants for each position and I don’t have any strings to pull, so I am not hopeful. There is a maternity leave posted that would start in January - how sweet that would be. If only.
Back to the house. I’ve also gone through and counted switch plates and outlet covers (most of them cracked, all of the cheapest white plastic variety) to tally up what that would cost (you’d be surprised!). I even found a place that sells replacement registers for the old-school vents we have - at $60-70 a piece. Yow! Oh, and then there is the issue of all the broken and missing screens. I am not even sure I want to know what they run.
I’m thinking I’ll keep my focus on the downstairs for a while because if I even think about the upstairs, well there is the issue of our room being so small that we have to stack our dressers and I don’t get a ‘my side of the bed’, just a wall (Jer loves it when I stay awake longer than him to read and he still has to roll over to put my book away and turn out the light - NOT!). And the fact that with five people in our home, including an almost ten year old, having just one shower is not a joy most days.
We did successfully replace the front door handle and lock last weekend - that was a major challenge! The old lock was one of those ancient things that involves a 5”x8”x1” piece that fit INTO the door, plus about three more holes than what the new piece needed - can we say ‘patch job’? Of course, it now looks fabulous and now our old door knocker (wedding gift 13 years ago) is corroded and looks less-than-lovely next to the new door bling.
It sure does feel good to pick up a paint roller and make our space look new, even if we know the truth. So I am leaning strongly in the direction of the Kingsport Grey right now. I will wait to see what the different lighting throughout the day does to the colors before buying another $70+ worth of paint this time, though!
After all that whining, I have to say, I do love our home, I am thankful every day that we live in such a beautiful town with wonderful neighbors who make it fun. For now I don’t mind that the kids sometimes shower together to make it faster (Eli and Evie like to gargle in the shower together, it is pretty funny), or that I have to stand on the end of my bed to see into my sock and underwear drawer. Home IS where your heart is and someday I will find a teaching job that will work for our family and will make all my dreams come true for our humble home.
**Hint: if anyone is thinking of Christmas gifts, might I suggest home-store/hardware store gift cards? LOL

Monday, August 13, 2012

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on earth. It was referenced in the sermon we heard this past weekend and I just could not get it out of my mind. As we enter the over-heated political season, where religion plays a key role (go ahead, try denying that), I have to wonder: how often do we really think about God’s vision for his creation? Call me naive, but I’m pretty sure that the best signal we have as to God’s plan for this creation of his was his Son. You know, the peace-loving, sinner befriending, “if you have two, give one away”, hippie dude. The one with the long hair (in the pictures we saw in Sunday school anyway). That guy. He was our model. So when I see fellow Christians standing up for gun ownership and discrimination against fellow humans for any reason, I have to wonder: what Jesus stories did you hear in Sunday school? Clearly we heard different stories. It pains me to see Christianity held up and represented by those who would have us all armed and ready to kill, those who would have us deny the rights and privileges of others just because they do something that we think is icky (go ahead, check your Bible, Jesus never spoke about homosexuality), who would have us let the wealthiest keep the two (million) coats they have and not make an attempt to spread wealth more equitably. As a liberal Christian is hurts my soul every time I see obvious slander, blatant lies being leveled at leaders who are doing things that display at the very least a sense of equality and justice. I cringe when I see and hear stories of “religious” leaders condemning government actions that seek to make life easier for those who have a much harder time than most of us. The new healthcare laws have made a significant difference that I have already witnessed for some of my students who will now have a better chance of breastfeeding their babies longer because they can get the supplies and help they need. Sure, nothing is perfect, but I sometimes feel like people who identify themselves as being conservatives slam things like this just for the mere satisfaction of putting down the liberals, not because they actually know the costs and benefits of these laws.
Oh yes, I’m going to go there with guns too. I know that this is a heated one. “But it is our constitutional right!”. Sure, whatever. Back then when there were no automatic/semiautomatic weapons and it was a militia being armed to protect the union, not individuals going on ignorant killing sprees. You’ve got to be kidding me. These guns are made to kill people. Have your hunting rifles, I’m fine with that. I would never choose to use one, but that is my personal choice. The facts are there, in countries like England where firearms are banned, yes, some crazy people still get ahold of them and they had a total of 43 deaths in a year. Compared with our tens of thousands. This one is a no-brainer. And am I wrong here, how many ‘crazy left-wing liberals’ have been responsible for mass-murders? Just sayin’. I know, that sounds like I’m saying that conservative people are violent. No, not all, but there is something in that conservative hype that breeds violence. All it takes is a lack of knowledge and you end up with someone killing the most innocent and peace-loving people in their own place of worship.
I do not think that politicians or people who call themselves conservative are bad/evil/mean/etc. I tend to agree with Anne Frank - that all people are good at heart. It is the actions, the words that are spoken, the choices made that reflect the idea of what a person’s priorities are, who or what is important to them and how decisions will be made that give an idea as to whether they are working toward something that resembles heaven on earth.
So my quandary then is this - how is it that the right, the conservatives, get to ‘claim’ God for their side?
And why do we have to come to this? The lies, the meanness of it all. If we are Christ-followers, shouldn’t we be loving our brothers and sisters* and doing what we can to provide for their safety and their needs? Isn’t there a beautiful logic in that?
Yes, politics is an ugly business and there is nothing worse than mixing politics and family or friends when people disagree. I both love and hate the political season. I love that we get a choice and we get to be involved. I like being involved. So I will post political stuff. I try to discriminate and be tasteful. I know that I have many family and friends who stand on the other side. I will never stop trying to persuade people to join me on the liberal side. Sometimes I feel like the zebra in Madagascar, trying to bring people to my side, the fun side, the side where we have cute little umbrellas in our drinks. It is a challenge, a competition, a game, but in the end, it affects our lives and the lives of all Americans, so we should really look deep within, and if ours is a life modeled after Christ, we should ask ourselves, "what would Jesus do?” What would heaven on earth look like?

*and by loving, I don’t mean paying lip service and turning around and working to make sure they don’t share the same rights, privileges and quality of life as the rest of us.