The House of Sock

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since my girls and I moved into our new home.  It has been an extreme amount of work, and worth every single bit of energy.  I never imagined how healing a fresh start would be.  Even now, amid chaos and stress, I walk in the door and feel peace, joy, and gratitude for such a blessing.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not send up a word of thanks for the space we share together.

We are amid a spring blizzard here today, safely nestled into Chez Sock,  and I thought I would take a bit of the lazy day and show you just some of what I’ve been up to in making the house into our home….

Project number one involved filling holes in the walls.  You know those plastic anchor thingies that people put in plaster walls to make sure screws stay in place?  They were EVERYWHERE.  This was not a small job.  I think they shot them into every wall with some kind of plastic anchor machine gun.  Seriously.  My walls looked like this up close (click pictures for more detail)…

IMG_20131212_110616

There was hardly a wall in the house that did not require extensive hole filling, priming, and painting to repair.  So, our living space went from this:

IMG_20131211_154300

To this:

IMG_20131216_104728

To this:

living-dining

There was even a Christmas tree in that space by Christmas Eve. :)

You will notice in picture 2 that the kitchen island was not in stellar shape either.  Let’s take a closer look…

no cereal allowed

From another angle, it looked like this:

IMG_20131212_110642

So, with a little ingenuity (also known as stealing ideas finding inspiration from Pinterest), I got two shelf brackets, refastened the finishing boards, and voila!… a cereal safe island :)

Island

And this is the entry transformation:

before-after entryAnd you know what one of my favourite spaces in the entire house is?  *My* space…

IMG_20140126_143248

It’s tiny, but it has everything I need.  If you count a ceiling fan that seems big enough to make the entire house airborne, it even has a few things I don’t need.  At the end of the day, I snuggle in, pretend I’m in a luxurious hotel, begrudge housekeeping for forgetting the chocolate on my pillow, and drift off to peaceful slumber.  In the morning I wake up grateful, still surprised at how blessed I am.

There are projects that still await… if spring should ever arrive in the Maritimes I look forward to seeing what, if any, garden exists.   There are exterior projects and interior final touches, and probably a multitude of maintenance things to do.  Some I look forward to, some less so.  Each, however, is part of this great new life.

Thanks for stopping by :)

 

Tomorrow

I have been gone from this blog for some time, I realize, and there may be nobody here any more.  But I these past two years have not been the easiest, and while a small amount of reflection has made its way here, I have ventured to keep my blog contents relatively light-hearted.  Thus, the silence here lately.

But now, with something so momentous to look forward to, my heart is lighter.  And I finally feel like I am starting over by choice.  And here is where I will do it…

house-of-sock

Tomorrow my girls and I take possession of our new home.  It has been a long time coming.  It needs some work, but we will make it ours bit by bit.  We are all looking forward to creating our space there… a new beginning.  I will share the transformation, both within the home and within my heart.

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
‘Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You’re always
A day
A way!
– from Annie

Ten Things

I have been thinking about this blog a bit lately.  I regret leaving it so long, but needed a wee bit of recovery time from all life’s changes. The last year has not been without its challenges, and some of those were best met privately.

But today, friends, brought a different kind of ugly.  Rampant job cuts within the work place.  Everything about the day felt veiled in the fear of change, sadness for those impacted, and uncertainty for the future.

So, in an effort to end the day feeling somewhat less heavy, here is a list of ten things I have decided would make positive things to focus on:

Ten Positive Things To Focus On Today

10.   My kid is not a werewolf.  Probably.

9.  There may be holes in my fence, but by dog is too fat to escape through them.

8.  Someone, at some point, had the good sense to invent ice cream.

7.  I own a rock star wig, and I have worn it in public.

6.  The world has artists, dancers, writers and a myriad of other creators.  Including animals.

5.  I did not have to deliver bad news today.  Unless you count telling the kids the pizza for supper was from frozen… then skip this one.

4.  I did not have to shovel today.

3.  My dog is certifiably insane, possibly drunk, easily amused.

2.  At the end of the day there are jammies.

1.  It is the end of the day.

:)

What positive things can you focus on today?

Happy Mother’s Day from…

the dog???

I don’t know which I find most amusing….

  • the fact that someone actually created a product just in case the family pet could get itself to the drugstore and purchase a sentimental card for his/her beloved mamma, or
  • the fact that they made several different cards so dear Fluffy would have a choice.

Image

An Internal Dialogue on Driveways

I have been looking for a new place to live.  The girls and I have been craving a fresh start, and I have no doubt that new living space would go a long way to helping us heal.

Not everyone seems to get this.  I am finding men, in particular, don’t get that there is psychology to a house.  First reactions are typically “it will get better eventually”.  No doubt it will, but must I seriously reside among my ghosts waiting for that to happen?

So recently I went to see a property which had only an exterior picture in its sales pitch.  On paper it appeared to have pretty much everything I’d want.  Despite the fact that I hadn’t completely figured out how I’d make it happen, I made an appointment to view it.  Then I drove by numerous times awaiting my appointment, scoping out the neighbourhood, trying to imagine what it might be like inside.

While scoping out this property one thing that occurred to me was that it had a double driveway.  For some reason this made me remember that part in the book The Secret where they talk about the woman longed for a partner and then realizes that she is taking up her entire closet (or maybe it was a dresser or something), and as soon as she makes room for this partner that doesn’t exist yet, low and behold one enters her life, a gift from the universe.

So, I looked at this double driveway and thought to myself, “What would the universe bring to a driveway like that?  What would I want it to bring?”

And then it occurred to me, “Dear G*d, if you bring another car, please let it not be driven by an arsehole.” Because really, there are a few facts we need to come to terms with here:

1)      I am a crappy judge of men apparently, and

2)      I have no freaking idea how to be single as an older, frumpy, over-worked mom.

As it turned out, the property was a complete and total wreck, so I need not even have had this internal discussion with myself at all, but for the record….  If I *do* find a place to live with a double driveway… there is comfort in knowing that parking dead centre can send a message to the universe too:  One that says, “Lonely and alone are not the same thing… this space is mine…. mine alone…. and I am perfectly ok with that.”

Or maybe it says, “this girl has no idea how to park”.

Either one.

I Will Fix Me

I started this post a while ago, but honestly I was trying to write into fruition what I wasn’t really feeling.  I was trying to will myself on the way to feeling better when I wasn’t even on the trail. Until yesterday. Now the post is finally finished and grounded.

~~~

I have not blogged in a significant amount of time.  Now much of this largely relates to the fact that I was wallowing, and I have, for the most part, attempted to keep the blog as upbeat as possible.  That’s hard to do whilst wallowing.

The thing about betrayal, which by the way has a large variety of forms (lies and/or breach of trust, infidelity, emotional abandonment, or some combination therein), is that it leaves the person left in the dust with a somewhat shaken confidence level, regardless of how competent they may be to handle their new life without partner, and (to my surprise) even if they were already doing pretty much everything alone already.  (That may be the longest sentence ever). There is an endless stream of self-doubt that comes with the deal.  As a result of this, I feel broken.  Sometimes I feel almost non-existent.

But I need to move on from this.   I need to do whatever I need to do to get past this.  I need to move from wallowing to self-nurturing.  And here is my plan:

~~~

And that is where the post stopped.  I had no plan… just a plan to get a plan.  Which of course was not entirely useful or noteworthy.  Then yesterday, in the normal course of mom-duty, I went to the drama festival to watch Rainbow’s grade perform…

As I sat on the bench waiting for the doors to open for the performance,  a red haired girl descended the stairs holding the hand of a teacher.  She had challenges which were notable from her gait, slightly tiptoed, and the sway of her head.  As she got to the bottom of the stairs she smiled with her entire face, pointed her finger to the two strangers waiting beside me, and said, “You will LOVE this!”  Then she joined the rest of her classmates.

Her confidence made me smile.

The play was an anti-bullying play in a Glee-like format.  All students took turns saying a line about standing up to bullies, tolerance, acceptance, etc., and these were interspersed with musical numbers to illustrate the points.  The songs had small choreographed movements, hand gestures, steps, etc., and it was obvious a great deal of practice had gone into the production.  The little red haired girl was in the back row, at the very end.  I presumed the teacher who was holding her hand was close by in the wings.

The last two songs were Unwritten and Lean on Me.  When they got to Unwritten something must have clicked with the little red haired girl.  Maybe it was her favourite song.  Maybe she found her comfort zone.  Maybe she just couldn’t hold in her love of music any more.  But whatever the factor, this child belted it out and danced her little heart out, albeit out of key and out of sync with her cohorts.  The other students carried on harmonizing and stepping together as if it were business as usual.

And I sat there and wept witnessing the sheer unbridled joy that was in that child performing with her classmates.  Then they did it all again during Lean on Me.  The group of students would do a turn, and she, on the end, would spin with arms raised as if she were summoning the heavens to dance with her.  And I cried again.

You see, there was this person with real challenges…. someone with every reason to wallow (probably)…. and she was rejoicing in her moment on the stage…  giving completely of herself and bursting with joy just to have voice and movement.  She had not a care about differences.  It may have been one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

At the very end of her assessment the adjudicator said she would like to “give a little shout out to the lady in the back row with the sassy haircut.  She was inspirational.”  Interestingly, every adult applauded.  Every child turned to look to see who was sitting in the back row of the seats of the theatre, not realizing she was referring to one of them.

So, little red-haired girl, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I did LOVE it.  And you, just by being you, have lifted me up when I couldn’t do it myself.  You have given me perspective and a peace in myself.  You are a gift and an inspiration.

~~~

Sock Girl: Mouse Hunter

You may recall that about this time last year we had our first encounter with creatures of the basement.  Well, our issues with our “neighbours” have continued.  I can only assume that they are a super-mutant breed that defies science, too numberous to vanquish, or incredibly lucky.  My tactic lately has been to ignore them and perhaps bore them into a desire to move on.

On Saturday evening, I was upstairs talking to Dolittle when Rainbow screamed in the office below.  We came running downstairs to find her in the hall pointing at the floor.  There, leisurely sauntering down the floor as if out for an evening stroll and he owned the place, was “a neighbour.”  This was our first face to face encounter.

“Don’t kill him!” one of my girls demanded.  “Awww, he’s so cute,” said the other.

I now, of course, find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to decide in front of my children whether to pommel the varmint who steals our chocolate, or channel Snow White and be one with the wildlife.  Uncertainty hangs in the air.  I decide to buy time and trap him in Dolittle’s boot.

“Don’t kill him!” they repeat.

Clearly the decision has been made for me.

I lift up the boot and peer under.  He is lying on his back, paws curled up on his chest, playing dead.  Clever bugger.  He clearly has aspirations for movie roles.  Much ooo-ing and awww-ing ensues over his performance.  I abandon the boot and replace it with an ice cream container.  I know I must act fact before his theatrical accolades turn into pleas of “Can we keep him?”  A plan is hatched to take him to the park and set him free.

I slip a dustpan under the container and put on my coat.  Rainbow, expecting this may be a rouse to vanquish the little actor privately, decides to come with me.  Together we walk to the park and release him under a tree.  He is no longer playing dead and sits there in some kind of amazed shock.

“I think it’s too cold out here for him,” Rainbow laments.  I hurry her back in the direction of home.  I know no good came of this.  If we linger, she’ll have me knitting him slippers before bedtime.

“He was very cute,”  she remarks.  “Promise me you won’t kill any others?”

“I promise if I find any others leisurely strolling down the hallway, I will treat them in similar fashion,” I reply.  It was a promise I think we all can live with.

Until next time, neighbours.  Until next time.


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