Behind My Red Door

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This sign is on the fireplace above the mantel in our family room which is the space under both our dining room and living room. It is a nice big space with full windows on the front and a slider to a patio on the back. It is not a dark dingy basement room at all. Still, I have been struggling with this room for about two years now. I have mentioned before that it was paneled in the 70's when the house was built. In the last 2 years I was able to convince DH that that paneling REALLY is outdated and so it is now painted 2 soft colors. Powell Buff on the top and Wilmington Tan on the bottom. That sort of solved one problem.
Because it is in the lower level, there is a shelf running around the 3 outside walls. If you aren't familiar with split level homes, that shelf is actually the top of the foundation. Below the shelf, behind the paneling is concrete. That shelf makes placing furniture very hard. Nothing can be placed flush against the wall. And while it is nice to have it to display some things, too much of anything is not good. So I struggle with that. And there are some other structural issues I struggle with.
And then there is furniture. All the things that don't really fit into my decor upstairs. They are just not what I would pick out today even though they are all quality pieces. 3 of them are even Johnston Benchworks made and so they are staying.
But as I was tweaking down here this week and adding some of my new treasures to the room as well as making room for a high chair, I had to smile because there are some really wonderful things about the room too! What I love the most is the fireplace made of reclaimed brick. Now it doesn't have a wonderful colonial paneled surround that would be my first choice, but I am OK with that. Maybe someday. But it does have a mantel shelf that DH added when we first moved in. And I love the black iron doors. And I have some really wonderful things in this room that really mean a great deal to me. Like the wicker rocker in the corner that was my Nany's. And on it is the quilt my SIL gave me for Christmas. And in the bowl on the coffee table is the soy candle my prim friend Karen (PrimKarlee) gave me. The only candles I burn. And on the hearth is a church birdhouse a school family gave me. (Our school was in a church.) And on those iron doors is the prim heart that my friend prim friend Bonnie(Prims4me) gave me, made by my blogging friend Karen of Our Colonial Home blog. And see that black double candle holder in the corner, that came from Sweden with David's Nana.(It was white then!) And on that shelf next to the fireplace is this stitchery made by my blogging friend Colleen, from And Baby Makes Five. She sent it to me as soon as I announced I was going to be a Grammy months ago. It says "What happens at Grammy's, stays at Grammy's". Perfect!
And lookey here! See the crow stitchery, another gift from Bonnie, made by Karen. And yet another Karen, my sweet friend from from Liberty House (formerly My Yellow Farmhouse) is represented here in the penny quilt flower tray I won from her blog giveaway last year. I love how the colors in the tray are echoed in the crow stitchery and the heart. And this still life was painted by my mom many years ago. And my son gave me this piece of salt glazed stoneware many years ago.And this flag was a gift from one of my wonderful teachers when I left school. And my dear friend Pat gave me the redware plate many years ago.
My dear friend Jean gave me this yellowware pitcher many years ago as well. And I could go on and on about the rest of the things in that room that were handed down to me, or gifted to me by family and friends. So many things that mean so much to me. So even though I might struggle with some of the elements of that room, I still get a warm and cozy feeling when I go down there and use the 12 foot bar to fold my laundry, or when our extended family gathers for appetizers and cheer before we head upstairs for a meal.
And now there is that high chair, and there will soon be a port a crib and other baby paraphernalia as well. Yes, it is a real family room once again.
And so now we come back to the sign. It really does say it all.
Family and friends are tied together with heartstrings.
And that is just how it should be!

If you want a good read that will tug at your heartstrings with a very happy ending, make sure to do whatever it take to get the summer issue of Mercantile Gatherings. I took a drive to one of my favorite Prim Shops, Homestead Primitives in Fitchburg, MA just to pick up my copy today and I have to tell you that reading about our dear blogging friend Jen from Taylor's*Farmhouse*Attic brought me to tears! To say Jen has been through a lot to get to where she is today is a real understatement. More than most of us will ever face in our life time. It really puts things in perspective and I am truly honored to say I know her.
Congratulations Jen on the wonderful article. Your home looks wonderful. I am so glad you chose the road you did so that we could meet in blogland!!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

I saw that headline on a post in another blog the other day and I loved it so I thought I would post it. But first I decided to research Regina Brett. Well, come to find out, she is indeed a writer for the Plain Dealer, but she is not 90 years old. Not even close! LOL As with too many things on the Internet, they get exaggerated or twisted as they are sent around the globe. I am guessing some of you have seen this in your mailbox with the same claim about Regina's age just as the other blogger received it that way too.

To see the original column, click HERE. No matter how it comes to you though, as an email with the 90 year old info thrown in, or as they were actually written, I think these life lessons are worth reading. Over and over again. That's why some of them may have appeared on my blog in the past. I hope you will find at least of few worth REALLY thinking about today.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Baby watch update!
Angela saw her Dr. Monday afternoon and nothing has changed. Liliana is sitting very very low so Ang is feeling a lot of pressure but nothing else has changed. That little girl is just not ready to come out yet!! And believe me, you will know when she is because it won't a few sentences at the end of a post.
It will be THE post!!

Until Next Time - Hugs, Linda