Friday, September 15, 2017

Dear Daughters: Gardening Part II


Dear Daughters,

I first wrote about your gardening heritage in Gardening Part I

I hope you will re-read that:)

My hard core, focused gardening began as you know about 10 years ago when I retired from teaching.

Prior to that, I had blinders on, and I relied on someone who came twice a month to mow, edge, and blow away the leaves in our yard. 

Once I had the time , I entered the world of gardening, along side the mower, edger, and blower and...

I have never worked so hard or smiled so wide in my life.
I've planted things in the wrong spot, been shocked when things actually grew, 
had millions of 'projects in the yard' at which point Dad often said,
'are you having another party?'
or 'no more projects!'.

I've wrestled with a bougainvillea and it and its thorns won,
I've dragged heavy water hoses all across our yard , 
I've tripped on those hoses and landed on various parts of my body, 
had dirt under my nails,  
screamed at unexpected insects while running in circles  and gone out the next day for more.
IMG_0028 I've gone to the 'drive thru flea market' and had conversations with vendors in Spanish and admired their plants planted in coffee cans- like Grandmother Mills used to plant hers.

I've danced to whatever music was playing in the yard, and made Dad laugh while I danced in front of the den window where he was watching football.
I've had zinnia growing competitions with Papa and when he passed away, I cut zinnias from his garden to place on his graveside (but of course you know this- you helped me).
I invited a group of friends I called the Sisterhood of the Traveling Zinnia Seeds to plant dried zinnia seeds from Papa's garden.

I've taken small bouquets of my own zinnias to friends in need or to say thank you, and the tiny vases I used were part of the gift as well. 

I collected those vases at the flea market for just that purpose.

I've started my gardening in El Paso, even though the timing isn't exactly right, but I did it anyway because I couldn't stand it. 

If you have gardening in your life some day, you will know exactly what I mean.

I love you!
Have a wonderful weekend.
I know you are planning your trip to the flea market.
I am too :)

Love, Mom 

PS. This is what I looked like dragging hoses in our yard on Scout Lane:)


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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Placeholders : An Important Moving Tip

I promise I have other things to discuss in 2017 here at White Spray Paint other than moving.

Here is the disclaimer.
This was a pivotal moment in our lives- to the point that just looking at the photo above of the moving van parked in front of our old house has me saying to myself 'don't look at it too carefully Laura- there's your old mailbox and the carpet grass you tried so hard to grow' and a familiar twinge of longing surfaces.

But change is good, and today I am embracing that, and I have something very important to share with you.

What better time to share than on Ten on the Tenth?

This is it. This is the game changer.


I wish I had thought of this idea.
My dear friend Jenny used the term placeholders in a phone conversation we had about what was in that moving van above that crossed 800 miles and what was not.

You see before moving, I fell sway to the popular wisdom of the day which is to get rid of things before moving.

And so I did.
Did I need everything that I had acquired over the years from our home, the little house (a guest house), and the GARAGE?
Mercy no, as my grandmother would say. 
I got rid of so much, the weight of items on the truck dropped over 1000 pounds.

My mistake was in letting go of certain furniture.

I blame my daughters for this:)  Adult children can be so bossy.

I sold the  leather couch, love seat, and chair from our den.

I sold two guest room beds, including the headboards, because my daughters said they were the most uncomfortable beds in the world. Whatever.

I sold all of the bedroom furniture from those rooms because I was crazy at that point.

I sold the gray couch from the nap room because surely I would easily find another. 

I sold a couch and love seat from the little house, as well as the bunk beds, and various tables.

I sold the piano and my sewing machine from my 2nd place prize money at the Kleberg County Queen's contest in 1970.

I sold all of the white wicker that was on our front porch. 

I sold,gave away, or left with the house our chest freezer, a small refrigerator,and almost the entire (but not all :) infrastructure of my garden.

So here is Jenny's wisdom.

We need placeholders when we move.
If we want to live comfortably when we move into a new home, that older leather couch comes in handy.

It holds the place for another couch some day.
I can always get rid of it later.

Instead the most uncomfortable couch we owned came with us on our journey.

(My husband sometimes drags in a lawn chair to watch tv, it is so uncomfortable.)

Our guest rooms would be complete at this point, however uncomfortable those beds were.

Placeholders let us breathe. They create a familiar, practical space. They save us- temporarily- some money. They create a home.
Visit the following bloggers for inspiration, great tips and fun. They are amazing:)

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Casa Golondrina: The Entrance

This house- our new house that we searched 4 months to find- grabbed my attention the first time we walked up its gravel circular drive.

That crunchy gravel sound cracked something open in my longing heart for the home we left.

You know I have a story telling imagination, and that day was no different. 

There was something about the sound of that crunching gravel and the entry gate into the courtyard and the fact that the house fit where it was planted. 

It looked like a house that belonged in this rugged area of Texas called El Paso - that I have come to love and enjoy.

 Did you know that El Paso looked like this?

We have lived in this house 6 weeks , and the quirks are saying hi.
Sometimes I say hi back and smile and sometimes I think "what in the world?" , feel a frown forming, and THEN I smile.

More will be revealed dear friends as this house tells me when.

It feels good to share this story with you.

Next up is the courtyard and the entry.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Naming our Home

I have always named the things, the expressions, and the experiences in my life that are important to me.

And so today our new to us home in El Paso is duly christened 

- and of course there is a story.

My husband and I have been on a journey since March 15th when we sold our home of 27 years and moved 800 miles  from a community where we had lived over 40 years.

After 4 months in El Paso , we found a home, bought it, and we began moving in on July 26th.

This was waiting high up under the eave of our front door on the first day we moved .

A nest of 4 baby swallows ( golondrinas in Spanish) were waiting for us and welcomed us to our new home. 

Each day of our move in, they were there.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
I have so much about this process and its ups and downs that I look forward to sharing with you.

And then of course there is the house.
Day by day we are settling into this wonderful quirky house -which of course is my favorite kind- and it is slowly grabbing my heart. 

I look forward to sharing that with you as well:)


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