Friday, May 2, 2014

Could I Be An Interior Designer?

A few weeks ago, the Mid-Atlantic Home and Garden Show was held in Virginia Beach and one of the events they had was a "Dreaming of Design" competition. I didn't find out about it in time and couldn't compete, but I can still put a fantasy room together here though.

I just got the most recent Grandin Road catalog in the mail (I love their Halloween decorations). Using that catalog, I'm going to design a covered porch that's about 10'x14' with two full walls. On my fantasy porch, the siding will be painted in Behr Horizon Haze (540B-4). The porch and accent colors will be regular white (no particular shade, but a matte shade of white).

The room title is Ocean Waves. The inspiration for the room is the paint color, because it was in so many of the items I chose, by sheer coincidence. It's a comfortable cool color that's also very inviting and relaxing, perfect for a southern covered porch.

The room will be tied together with the Vera Flame rug (upper left), in 8' x 10' ($499). This will be slightly off center in the room.

On one wall, I'd have the Beaded Two Tier Chandelier Wall Decor (upper center) for $99. Dark bronze powder coated steel is embellished with gracefully draping, clear acrylic beads (31" x 1" x 26"). I'd have this flanked by two of the Graceful Garden Window Outdoor Art pieces in cream (lower center) for $149 each. The metalwork is surrounded by something that looks like wood (I don't know what it is). These windows measure 24" x 1.25" x 35.75".

On the other wall, I'd have the "Tuscan" All Weather Art (upper right) for $199. The high tech UV coating ensures the vibrant colors will last season after season (30" x 40").

Off to one side, where the porch would be open, I'd have the Fulton Copper Firepit and Tray (lower left) for $599. Sturdy, wrought iron firepit stand includes a fire grate, a dome screen and a poker. After it cools, it can be converted into a coffee table.

I'd have two of the Seashell Outdoor Planters as well, one small ($59) and one large ($99) with a variety of succulents as photographed. I'd have these sitting on the floor of the porch.
I'd need some fun hook pillows on my furniture, so I'd have one with a lobster and one with a grab (upper left), $39 each.

On my fantasy porch, there's two windows to the house on it. For those, I'd dress them up with 4' white Nantucket window planters (upper right), at $149 each. I'd fill them with low light greens and brightly colored annuals.  I'd also have two matching white tapered Nantucket planters (lower left) to flank the steps coming up to the porch, at $99 each. They'd have matching flowers in them.

For the furniture, I'd have 2 Santino ottomans ($149 each) and 4 Santino Wing Chairs ($299 each). These are actually meant for indoor use only, but I'm using them on my covered porch. Naturally durable seagrass and rattan are handwoven, in a beautiful herringbone pattern, over sturdy wood frames. The 22" seat is made extra comfortable with a removable 4" ecru cushion (lower center).

Last but not least, I'd have two of the Genvieve Urns (lower right) as small side tables. I'd turn them upside down and have glass cut and beveled to be used as round tops. The urns are  $149 each. They are 16.25" x 26.5" and are handcrafted from crushed stone and fiberglass with an aged charcoal finish.

One of these days, I want to sit down with my catalog again and design an interior room.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Back Home Again

We made it back home, without me having to go into battle with anyone (which I fully expected and was mentally prepped for), with some of my Mom's belongings that are meaningful and important to me, and with a raging case of bronchitis (most likely weather and stress induced).

I wasn't sleeping at night. I slept through most of my husband's drive back, which we decided to take our time and drive back to the East Coast in 3 days instead of 2. I'd fall asleep in the truck when we'd leave the hotels in the mornings, and wake up in a different state.

Last night, I sat in the tub, trying to make myself warm and hoping the drugs from the doctor would kick in, and I realized something significant to me...I survived it. I survived all of it, every single thing I'd had on my mental list of things I "just need to get through this one thing, and then I can move onto the next item." There were so many times I didn't think I'd make it. But I did. I don't know how, but I did.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It Is Done

As of yesterday, my mom and her two dogs became a part of one of the state parks in Iowa, scattered near a lake with a pretty view and lots of wild animals to be with them. This was the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life, and even though I was there with family, I think it was the most alone I've ever felt for some reason.

I already knew what cremated cat remains look like. I figured that human remains must look similar (they do). But the feeling upon seeing my mother's remains in a plastic bag, inside a plastic container, inside a what looked like a gift bag, hit me hard. To hold that bag in my hands (my father released the first third, my sister couldn't release Mom, so she released the dogs, and I released the rest of Mom), knowing this was the last time I'd ever be able to touch her, was guttural and it broke my heart. I cried like a baby all over again, because this made the pain start all over again, like it was the last time I saw her alive, or the last time I talked to her, or the day she passed away. I didn't want to let her go again. I couldn't even speak while I was doing it.

What made it all the harder was the leaving. We made it into a picnic, so that my sister's daughter could be a part of it. She's only four, so her dad took her over to the lake while me, my sister and my father released Mom and the dogs. When that part was over, we had a little picnic lunch, flew a kite, kicked a ball around, that kind of stuff. Eden just knows that Nanna went to live with the angels last year, but she still talks to her on the phone. :)

But when it was done, yes, we left. I felt so much guilt as we drove away. I was leaving them behind, even though it was what my mom told us she wanted. What compounded my guilt was the fact that this area had a raging thunderstorm that same night and the bad weather continues into today. I left her outside, unprotected, in the rain and thunder and lightening. Even if the tables were turned: I was the one who had passed and she was left behind, would she had been able to leave me out there in the woods like that, even if it was what I wanted? 

I've got a lot of "what if's" running through my head right now. What it boils down to is this: why do I feel guilty for this send off of my mom's life, even though it was all what she wanted? Why do I feel like we should have done more?