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If you were to ask my boys what propels me to a bad mood they would tell you messes and noise.  There were plenty of both yesterday.  The work crew showed up to remove the soggy carpets downstairs.  They also informed me that they would have to remove baseboard, drywall and flooring that I thought had survived the flood just fine.  More of our stuff came up in boxes to sit untidily all over the livable parts of our home and the rest of our worldly goods down there are in a pathetic looking heap.

I felt obligated to stick around as the crew had questions and explanations for me but apart from that I had little to do.  There isn’t much organizing to do until the rooms downstairs are completed and from the looks of them that won’t be today or tomorrow.  To be honest, I felt a little like this guy yesterday:

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In utter boredom I decided to go on-line and see if anyone else had taken grey pictures.  It wasn’t an easy search but here are a few of my favourite grey pics:

Pewter art.

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Black and white (and grey!) photo.

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River stones.

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Cute grey squirrel.

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Uber cool bathroom.

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Stylish smoke.

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Modern lamp.

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Elephant family.

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Great grey heron.

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A tree I wish I had painted.

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Bed I want.

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And cement art.

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There’s absolutely no point to this post.  Just some beautiful photos to feast my eyes on while things remain chaotic and noisy here.

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Kids are great.  They don’t worry; they just enjoy.  Here are the guys and a neighbour girl jumping off of a frozen hedge.  It turned cold again today but they didn’t let that faze them one bit.  They simply went outside and were happy.

Slate.  Smoke.  Lead.  Stone.  Ash.  Pewter.  Iron.  Cement.

This is my clever attempt to embrace a colour that doesn’t naturally resonate with me.  I love the look of slate floors.  Smoke from a campfire is a good thing when it’s blowing away from me.  Lead is just a really neat, succinct word.  Stone conjures up all kinds of happy images of beaches and favourite spots.  Ash is the pretty residue the morning after a really good campfire.  Pewter is one of my favourite metals.  Iron denotes strength to me.  And cement is really cool for memorializing hands and feet and making one of a kind garden stepping stones.

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m trying to embrace the colour grey.  It was everywhere when I went for a walk today.   At first thought it’s seriousness, pessimism, heaviness and coldness wrapped up in a hue.  Those are things I don’t readily embrace.  Thinking a little deeper it’s the above list to me.  Things I can embrace with a little imagination.

That’s the big lead in to the visual representation of my verbosity.  Here’s my pic of grey:

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The boys’ rooms are disaster zones.  The basement is still a soggy mess from yesterday’s flood.  The kitchen is full of boxes and things drying out.   The many items that had been in storage downstairs have been moved to higher ground willy-nilly style.  The laundry is threatening to take over what little space the wet boxes have left.  The stairway is lined with doodads that need to be placed either up or downstairs.  My husband and boys have been home for just over a week and our home looks like it’s been hit by a tornado.  I’m trying to deal with it all but need to take sanity breaks.  Living in chaos is very overwhelming and difficult for me.

One of the things that has been helping is to actively count my blessings.  One small blessing of so many boxes coming upstairs to dry out is that I discovered something that I forgot I had purchased last year – Christmas crackers.  They just had to come out and be part of a tablescape yesterday.  We were all tired from the excitement and work of water flowing into the house and we all needed an escape to beauty.

DA and I took off for a bit to get some fixings for a nice dinner.  He made spaghetti sauce from scratch and I decorated the  dining room a bit to bring some semblance of normal life to our inundated home.

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It was wonderful to have low light and lit candles and to leave behind for a spell the troubles of the day.  The Christmas crackers went off with a bang for some of us and brought some merriment to the evening.

I also dug out the fancy candle snuffer that came from DA’s grandparents.

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Even that small touch made the dinner seem more luxurious.  We ate and laughed and enjoyed ourselves and even talked about putting on our “wellies” and watching “Ice Age 2:  The Meltdown”.  We didn’t but I’m thinking it could have made some very memorable photos if we had.  That meal, that small escape to beauty, really helped calm me down and buoyed my spirits.  It reminded me again of why I try so hard to do what I can to make my home lovely.  Beauty, even in small doses here and there, really makes a difference.

Sometimes you have to choose what you are going to think about.  Our basement flooded this morning and definitely required some attention.  We worked hard at doing what we could in the situation but now we have to wait for things to dry and for the work week to start to call the insurance people.  My mind is a bit discouraged thinking about all that still needs to be done but I realize that I don’t HAVE to be preoccupied with it.  There is much to be thankful for.  For starters, my husband was home and his family dropped everything to rush over and help us out.  Between my husband and my new father-in-law a  sump pump was purchased and  installed and the water was sucked out pretty quickly.  The damage was minimal in retrospect.

But rather than go on and on about that, I am choosing to relish in the memory of last night for right now.  The boys got invited out to a movie with friends and for the first time in a long time DA and I had a meal with only the two of us.  We just heaped leftovers on our plates but I couldn’t resist eating our “romantic” meal by candlelight with napkins and everything.

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Aren’t those candlesticks something?  The sparkly additions came from one of those boxes from DA’s grandparents.

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And the napkin rings were a Christmas gift.

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Yeah, I’m definitely enjoying the memory of last night more than the memory of disaster recovery this morning.  So glad I get to choose what I’m going to think about.

The world as far as I could see was enveloped in a thick fog this morning.  It was such a pretty picture of my life.  I’ve been living here in Washago for almost a year now and although I love it I still wonder why I’m here.  I can’t really see an answer to that just like I couldn’t see very far this morning.

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I have never had so much time on my hands.  I do all sorts of little projects that amuse me.  I’m not at all unhappy.  It just doesn’t seem like anything I do matters very much.

I wandered out in the fog this morning to ask yet again what it is that I am supposed to be doing.  The verse that keeps ringing inside my head is the one that goes, “He who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much.”  Until I am led further, I will try to be faithful in the little things at hand.  I will diligently work at making my home a beautiful haven just in case the Lord may have need of it.  I will continue to look for ways to connect to my growing sons in case that little extra input turns the tide in their lives.  I will invest in my marriage for it shows great potential to be something of uncommon beauty and one never knows when the Lord will have need of that.  I will work on cultivating a cheery disposition and having an encouraging word on my tongue in case the Lord can use my smile or that kind word to make someone’s day.  I will endeavor to eat well, exercise and maintain my health in the event that the Lord may have need of my energy for some project.  To date, my life is made up of a thousand little things that don’t seem like much but perhaps together they are more than the sum of their parts.  I look forward to the day the sun breaks through the fog and I have that “aha” moment when everything makes sense.  Until then, I will press on with the little things and enjoy the slower paced life that has been handed to me for a season.

I got napkins and napkin rings as a Christmas gift and I couldn’t be happier.   D and P think I’m nuts.  Maybe they’re right but I’m a very happy nut.  Here’s a close up of the new pretty blue ones:

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I paired them with the new hand-carved gilded bird napkin rings tonight.

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The idea behind this gift was to make “boy tablescapes”.  That’s appropriate since I live with two decidedly masculine sons and one manly husband but nothing I put together really looks boyish.

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Too bad.  Not everyone at the table is male.  I can’t always put together a fabulous meal, guide the conversation to holy ground or get everyone to use proper table manners the whole meal through but at least I can have my feminine sway in setting the stage for all of the above to happen.  And so help me God, I will!

It’s the calm before the family feast right now.  The gifts have been unwrapped, the mess has been cleaned up, the boys are outside happily digging in the snow, hubby has dinner well under way and I’ve set my table.

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I used the new napkin holders I got today.

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They’re pretty golden birds that somehow seemed appropriate considering we’re eating a turkey dinner.

The centerpiece is a late wedding gift.

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I fully intend to light the candles this year so everything will (hopefully) look golden.  I’d love to post pics of the whole affair but there are a few family members who wouldn’t appreciate that so you’ll only get to see the serene before the festive.  Enjoy it.  I am.

I thought I’d try something new in the dining room.  I put some of that fake greenery in the hanging light fixture and then tied some tiny gold balls on to it.

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Simple but kind of pretty.

I’m not sure this constitutes beauty but my boys made an AK-47 out of paper.  It’s pretty impressive looking.  Check it out:

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Yes, it’s a gun but it’s really made entirely out of paper and tape.  Not quite what I would design with the same materials but still pretty crafty!

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time.