Sunday, October 09, 2011

Day 9: Of Train Wrecks, Pigpen and Rocky Balboa

Ugh. I can't believe I'm going to show you some 'before' pics from my living room (which is also our home school classroom) and hallway, taken yesterday morning. The house was pretty bad then, our normal clutter plus the leftovers from cleaning out the corners of the dining room--things that hadn't yet found homes--plus the assorted items that had wandered into the house (were they in someone's hands or did they come on their own volition?) when we cleaned out the storage trailer two weeks ago. I took the photos on a whim, recklessly, knowing that if I really stopped to think about it, I would chicken out.

Incidentally, this is what makes me nervous about standing on a tall precipice without any guard rail--I have this terrible suspicion that I just might jump. I can be a little impulsive and reckless sometimes. In high and dangerous places, I stay far from the edge, just in case. I'm sure I could sky dive, and I would love to try it someday.

So here you go, dear reader-friends whom I have come to trust and love. I present to you, a train wreck. You may gawk at will. Double ugh.

There. Now do you believe me that the dining room and kitchen were bad? Now do you believe that my home is seriously lacking in beauty and coziness right now? Will you forgive me for not thinking to borrow my daughter's little camera before this? Alrighty then. I accept your offer of forgiveness. Let's move on.

The house only looked like this for about an hour after these photos were taken. At that point, as I mentioned last night, Super Andy and the Wonder Kids took over and ripped out the beloved (!) red print carpet. Here's a shot of father and son in action:

Can you believe it?? I still can't, I had no idea this was going to happen during this 31 Days project, honestly. The Man surprised me. But I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. After all, he is the one who started this crazy idea of climbing out of our chaos. He started organizing the barn and the garage like a madman, striding purposefully back and forth across the yard, mumbling as he passed by me (when I was doing decidedly less purposeful things like reading on the patio or non-essential gardening), "Sherry, I'm going to do this. I'm going to make sense of our lives. I'm going to do this, I tell you."

I remember saying to him at one point when he was looking so determined that I swear I could hear the Rocky theme song playing in the background, "Wait a minute, you're not going to go and get all inspiring on me now are you? You're not going to drag me into all these crazy efforts of yours, are you? " He just kept walking, his jaw set, his clothes dusty from digging through storage, the notes of "The Eye of the Tiger" swirling around his head like dust swirled around Pigpen, that character from the Charlie Brown cartoons.

I, of course, was eventually inspired--enough at least to start this series as a way to keep me going. As I've said before, I'm not a woman's libber; I believe a husband is a leader in his home--whether he wants to be or not--and when his lead is as inspiring as this, as revolutionary as this, I'm compelled to follow. So that pretty much brings us up to the present and my foolish surprise at him suddenly seeing the carpet for what it really is and ripping it out.

Come to think of it, perhaps we are both a little impulsive. That has gotten us into trouble more than once, but occasionally we use our powers for good, like this weekend.

After he pulled out the dining room and kitchen carpet, he wanted to start in on the orange shag in the living room and hallway, as I mentioned last night, but I pleaded with him to let me clean out some of the clutter on the floor first. That's what I spent the rest of the day Saturday and a couple of hours today doing--after church in the city, a leisurely lunch out with the fam (pizza and frozen yogurt at the Costco snack bar!), and a walk down our little home town's Main Street, where the annual Scarecrow Festival is on display.

I got the clutter off the floor, emptied the room down to just furniture, and the man and his crew got to work. The orange shag and dilapidated pad found underneath and even the tack strips are now in a heap on our front porch. The room looks very, very different already, to say the least. This week, it will be cleaned thoroughly and beautified. I've already started. I can't wait to take pictures to show you at the end of the week. It promises to be quite the makeover.

Here is what else I've added to my list of goals for this week:

What are your goals for the week? I'd love to hear about them, or even see a photo. If you wish to send a photo, it can be addressed to chidwick dot readerphotos at blogger dot com. Let's encourage one another on to love and good deeds this week! Journey on, friends. Love to you all.


Gale said...

Honestly, it doesn't look that bad. Looks like the middle of the room is clean...and there's some clutter on the side but it's in neat piles. You don't need to kick anything out of the way to walk through it. (Yes, this does say something about my general state of affairs...although right now I have an excuse. We DID get the living room clean but now everything is in the middle of the room because we PAINTED (not the whole wall, just stencils). It's looking cool.

Gale said...

Really awesome about the carpet though. That's a huge step.

You know those stencils I talked about? We've had them for like 6 months or so (and picked them out a few months before that before I finally bought them). It's so nice seeing those leaves up on our wall. I want to wait for daytime to take a picture. Still have the other wall to stencil but its PROGRESS! Yeah!

Lindsay said...

Way to be! I'm so impressed with your effort and the effort of your whole family. I totally am inspired. I want to contribute but this will not be my month of getting out of the chaos. I'm just loving the 31 days inspiration right now. That would be my daily goal - keeping track of your journey and the journey of a few other 31 dayers.

PS. I can't believe your kitchen is so small! Impressive. I'd like to suggest the credenza CAN be moved to the living room. You appear to have a touch more space there. Just because it's supposed to be in a dining room doesn't mean it has to be. At any rate keep up the good work!

Sherry C said...

Gale, the problem is that I've grown too accustomed to thinking that, as long as there is a little bit of bare floor visible down the middle of the room, it's good enough.

It's not good enough. The room is not a pleasant place to be when it's like that--which has been most of the time for the last several years.

Are you going to post pictures of the stenciled walls? I'm excited for you!

Lindsay, even allowing yourself to get inspired is progress, in my book. That inspiration has to go somewhere, eventually. Once you've visualized what you want to do, it's hard to let it go.

Yes, my kitchen is a little on the snug side. Catering big meals twice a day is a bit of a challenge, to say the least. The credenza looks like it could fit in a little nook in the hallway, in the photos, but in reality, it is way too long. The rest of the living room wall space is filled, between the couch and the bookshelves and the entertainment center and the computer table (home school headquarters until we get the addition finished). In the dining room it must stay, unfortunately. Bleh.

Thanks for your encouragement, ladies!

Simply Sandi said...

Girlfriend! You are too hard on yourself! Gale is right, it is pretty neatly stacked and is so much better--than my mess. I finally took some pictures to show you. Next, I need to send them to you. Not sure I am ready to send them out into cyper space and beyond. I might need to get your email so I can stay incognito!!
Really, I have not accomplished much at all. My husband is in sales and after we got back to town Sunday, the bags landed in the foyer and he ran out to go to the Panther game and I spent the day entertaining our little angel. I am not complaining, but I will say, trying to clean while keeping up with her is a contradiction. And before I you know it--it is Tuesday night. Where is my time going?
I have to put little one down for the night. This makes the second night in a row that I am on my own while he is working the deals, trying to sell his product! Oh well, I will try again tomorrow. When you see my pictures, you will not believe how "mirror-image" our kitchens are....except the flooring. I told you, we are living parallel lives!!

You are knocking your space dead! Keep it up! Tell your family: way to go!!