Tag Archives: Carpet

Little Joys

Everyone loves huge joys, the take-my-breath-away, can-this-be-me, yippee-yahoo-yaaaay! joys. Some people even become speechless. (A lover of words and hyphens, I’m not one of those.)

Many, though, experience bits of gladness that barely raise adrenaline levels, yet light blahness like a candle’s flame. For example:

  • Being the very first to stick a spoon into a jar of peanut butter.
Image by sebastianhausi from Pixabay.
  • Discovering an in-law’s dog chewed your shoes already destined for the trash.
Image by wixon lubhon from Pixabay.
  • Putting away groceries without remembering what you forgot.
  • Buying avocados at exactly the right stage of ripeness.
  • Almost spilling something purple on a friend’s white carpet but recovering in time.
  • Seeing someone else has reloaded toilet paper. She may have been a burglar, but wouldn’t you like to shake her hand?
Image by Carola68 from Pixabay.
  • Baking brownies with crispy edges and gooey middles — though someone will inform you they are too crispy. Or too gooey. Which doubles the little joy, as you can eat them all yourself.
  • Discovering you really did leave your phone at home, rather than at O’Hare.

Maybe that last qualifies as a big joy, an end-zone-dance celebration. But other small joys make a difference:

  • That someone held the door open for you when your arms were full. And didn’t let go too soon.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.
  • That your car, even more hostile toward winter than you, started at first try.
  • That a human hug is something computers will never replace.
  • That rain doesn’t have to be shoveled.
  • That no one cares whether pink or blue baby sleepers are politically correct. At least, not in Indiana.
  • That you finished a book delightful as a hot fudge sundae — and no calories!

“It doesn’t take much to make you happy,” critics might say.

As if everyday happinesses don’t matter. As if little joys collected throughout a lifetime don’t add up to something substantial.

On the contrary, they shine in a person’s face, walk and talk. In memories of them long after they pass on.

That is no small thing.

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What little joys brighten your days?

Home Ownership: The American Dream?

For Hubby, me and our newborn daughter, our rental house proved a sanctuary.

Apartments worked for Hubby and me — until a percussion major moved upstairs. Then, upon expecting our first child, we learned our complex was a drug trafficking center.

We rented a house.

The only upstairs residents were squirrels. They pattered across the roof, but none sold drugs or played xylophones.

We possessed three whole bedrooms and a garage. No more scraping ice off car windows. Hubby and I began to succumb to the American Dream. …

However, the driveway didn’t shovel itself. Our house boasted a real yard — whose grass never stopped growing. Flowers I planted attracted real weeds. We purchased a shovel, mower and garden tools. Lawn chairs. And …

The infinite to-buy list should have warned us about home ownership.

But tired of paying rent, I longed to choose the colors of walls and carpet. Bang nails to hang pictures without asking permission.

Our younger daughter welcomed her new brother to the little ranch we built. Thank goodness the water and sewer system had been connected!

So, we built a little ranch in a new addition … where roads hadn’t been completed. Also, water and sewage hadn’t yet been connected to the town’s system. During that inflationary era, the special 12 percent mortgage seemed cheap, compared to an earlier 21.5 percent prime rate.

We brought two newborns to that ranch. Mysterious stains marred my carefully chosen colors. I spent years watering grass and breastfeeding babies. Neither was ever satisfied. I also discovered I wasn’t handy. If I banged a nail into one wall, a gaping hole appeared in the opposite one.

The American Dream?

Our home for 24 years.
Before we knew it, the toddler had a prom date.

One other house we owned ate water heaters and softeners. Another featured a pillow-soft porch roof, as well as a toilet that randomly ran over and soaked anyone playing Ping-Pong in the basement.

We occasionally considered living in a grass hut in Bongo Bongo.

Still, Hubby and I have called all three houses “home.”

Home, where our babies took first, shaky steps. Where they learned to watch for traffic as they walked to school. Home, where we took prom and graduation pictures. Home, where they and their children now come for holidays.

Home is the only place where Hubby and I can put feet on the furniture. Where we can blow up and make up. Bake brownies, eating them all without anyone judging.

Image by Hans from Pixabay.

Our American Dream is no HGTV superstar, but at this address, we can be us.

At home.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What home-owning adventures have you experienced?

At Home with the Temporary

Hubby and I labeled our new home’s difficulties as “temporary.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines that word as “lasting for a limited time.” As in, “This sparkly 1970s wallpaper is temporary.” Or, “This white carpet where kids held pop-spitting parties is temporary.”

In remodeling timelines, “temporary” resembles a blank, signed check.

We should have known better, having delayed remodeling our former house until we’d lived there 23 years. Then spent big bucks making it irresistible … so we could sell it.

Now, 11 years later, “temporary” has caught up with us again.

We’ve made some improvements: new siding, roof, and landscaping. Hubby painted the ugly, “temporary” black front door.

He says it’s orange.

I say it’s terra cotta.

Which illustrates two reasons we procrastinate in updating our home:

  1. Hubby is male.
  2. I am female.

This complicates the simplest project, yet we’ve made progress. After only 45 years of marriage, we not only like our terra cotta/orange door, we arrange decorative pillows on our bed without debate. Hubby keeps the plain one on his side. The fancy one goes on mine.

Surely, we can now agree whether to paint kitchen cabinets Blue Sand or Eggshell Ecstasy.

Hubby’s eyes narrow. “Have you ever seen blue sand? Anywhere?”

Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay.

I haven’t experienced ecstasy boiling eggs, either. However, I don’t want to extend a discussion about color misrepresentation to blank-check proportions. Then the cabinets will go unpainted another decade.

But a decade is temporary. Not forever.

It just seems like it.

Hubby, a reasonably skilled handyman, could shorten makeover timespans if he were married to a better assistant.

We attempted wallpapering together. Once.

Everything I touched turned to trapezoids.

No matter how carefully I measured. No matter how many tutorial videos I watched.

I should create one for homeowners like myself. I would condense “Seven Simple Steps to Your House’s Total Makeover” to “Two Simple Steps”:

  1. Light a match.
  2. Burn the place down.

But then, I’d have to move again, probably to jail. Even wallpapering with Hubby seems preferable. Though he might feel differently …

I suggest another option, in which we could forego painting the kitchen and cabinets and installing new counters and —

“New counters?” Hubby’s eyes narrow again. “Since when?”

Surely, I say, if we paint the kitchen, we should replace ancient, discolored counters. The flooring’s nicked, too.

“If remodeling seems overwhelming,” I say brightly, “we can move to a different house.”

After we sink a ton of money and work into our present home to sell it.

Before moving to another house with temporary sparkly wallpaper. Temporary stained kitchen counters. And temporary carpet somebody showered with Blue Sand …

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you at home with the temporary?