Friday, February 24, 2012

The bedroom, Mr. Bates, and the ants...

I am too tired for a proper post, but I must update you a bit.

First, Amy was here last week and it was wonderful! We, like every other good housewife in America have become completed obsessed with Downton Abbey. My blog friend Francis recommended it last year, but I never got to it until this month when I watched a few episodes and fell completely in love with Mr. Bates, or Mistah Baytes as the beautiful Anna would say.

We junked and ate nachos and tried on these Downton worthy hats. Quite lovely, I dare say!

I have also discovered Pinterest because it is what all the ladies are doing. It has enabled me to fully indulge in an obsession for bedding which looks like burlap. It all started at Homegoods where I spotted a pillow which led to a vision for my bed which simply had to be fulfilled.

This was the general look I was hoping for.

Notice the cup of tea placed next to the bed. I now keep a teacup on the floor at all times.

I love the neutral colors and nubbly textures. Of course the linen duvets I kept finding were all in the neighborhood of $500 which is an insane price for what is essentially gigantic sheets sewn together.

I had remembered seeing a duvet which might do at Target a while back, but last time I saw it it was marked down on the clearance rack so I had no hope of it still being there. Of course that did not stop me from heading over there where I found much of the old Shabby Chic line discontinued and long gone. I sadly wandered the aisles and finally, giving up, went off in search of ant traps. It was then that I made an amazing discovery! I found a clearance aisle far away from the bedding, and there it was! The very duvet I was looking for marked down to 29.97! It was as if the gods of Target shone a light upon me. I took it home and got to work.

This is the bird pillow which started the whole thing.

I found the blue quilt at TJMaxx and the dustruffle at Bed Bath and Beyond.

You'll no doubt be fascinated to know that the dust ruffle was originally white, but I used tea to dye it a pretty, well, tea-ish color. That way when the teacup gets knocked over it won't stain.

Did you notice that little bit I mentioned up there about ants? The weather has warmed and some small ants have made their way into the kitchen under the windowsill. If Mr. Bates were here I am quite sure that he would take care of it, but since he is not, I have resorted to ant traps which the ants are most assuredly unimpressed by. They must be English ants. More later, I must crawl into bed and dream of tea and butlers, ants and war.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day and other nonsense...

It's been a dramatic day here at Shiny Red Houses. It began too early because today is horseback riding day for the children. When we were trying to buy their happiness discussing the move one of the numerous bribes promises we made to the children is that they could finally realize their dream of riding lessons. Their lessons began last week and there has been much rejoicing. So much rejoicing in fact that the children demand that we arrive early so that they can play pretty pretty pony groom the horses. This is a good wholesome endeavor to be sure, and yet I would prefer not getting up so early.

This Valentine's Day was not meant to be about my preferences however, and so to the stable we went. While they rode I went to a nearby junk store and browsed, which was lovely. After the junking I got a coffee and while I was feeling tired, I was not feeling despondent.

Before I tell you about the next part of the day I must first share some eccentricities about Maryland. Firstly, the traffic lights are really, really long. So long in fact that I can both check my email and facebook with plenty of time left over to tweet something pithy over at twitter. It's maddening, actually. The other thing which is odd is how very seriously the people of Maryland take speeding. They have traffic cameras hidden along every road just waiting to catch you picking your nose or speeding. Not being a nose picker, it's the speeding which has been a problem. In Massachusetts people tend to drive with a sense of urgency. The suggested speed limits are often about right, but rarely enforced. In Maryland, every speed limit is 30. When I obey the speed limit I feel like an eighty year old woman wearing a hat, moving about at a crawl as if I had no where to go save the free blood pressure check at the senior center.

You see where this is going don't you?

I have received three speeding tickets from the fascists big brother traffic cameras. Today on the way home from horse back riding I was perhaps overeager to get home and be freed of the smell of horse which had permeated every nook of my car. As soon as I passed the cop I knew I had been nailed. He pulled out. I hit the brakes and slowed to a crawl. He hit his lights. I pulled over.

This is where I employed the lessons I learned from a cop pal. Open the windows on both sides. Turn off the car. Put the keys on the dash where the cop can see them and keep both hands on the wheel. It's me saying, "Hey cop, we are buddies. I have no guns so let's be pals." When he approached the window he informed me that I was doing 57 in a 40 to which I miserably said, "I know."

Then he asked, "Are you still living in Mass?"

"No, we moved here about a month ago." I replied.

"Where are you living?" he asked.

When I told him that we are living in Potomac he laughed and said, "Ah! The Wellesley of Maryland!" It turns out that his parents live in Wellesley and we had a nice chat about Massachusetts. He gave me a warning and the numbers of the local police stations, just in case I ever needed them.

He is my new favorite cop.

Once home we opened Valentine's from the grandparents and homeschool friends. I started looking expectantly at the door waiting for a delivery of some sort from my out of town husband and yet there was nothing. The children had also neglected to make me cards and so I decided to employ some self pity which kept me busy for most of the afternoon.

By the time I left the house to bring the children to their clay class there were still no deliveries of any kind. I considered posting, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore" to David on facebook, but I did not want to overplay my hand.

After the children's class we went to the diner for dinner where we were entertained by Chuckles the psycho clown, a magician, and a very cute baby. By the time we left we were all feeling pretty happy until in the car Lily declared that when she dies she wants her teddy bear cremated with her, which got Rebecca crying. Lily, not to be outdone began sobbing her apologies for not making me a card.

Finally we arrived home and there on the stoop were roses and balloons from David. The day was saved, sanity was restored, and the day finally ended.