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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Believing In Tomorrow.

Over a month ago, there was a clear day after the snow had all melted where the sun came out and the weather was kind enough to remind us all that Spring was right around the corner, if we'd just be patient.

I kept finding myself staring out the opened windows at the vegetative decay that blanketed most of my yard, depressed by the graveyard of plants lingering after last year's efforts.

You see, I never managed to go outside and clean up the gardens once the first and second frosts hit. I was so busy trying to hold myself together, to navigate this new single mother-homedweller life without falling apart in front of my children, that so many things just fell to the wayside. Then it started to snow and didn't stop until mid-February, the evidence of my neglect buried under icy piles of street-stained white, only to be rediscovered even worse for the wear come March.

But on this otherwise non-notable day as I stared at the dessicated vestiges of hope I had planted (or at least the appearance of hope) it became clear that it was my job, and mine alone, to clear out the debris.

So, I did.

I went out in a tempered fervor, tearing away all things yellowed and browned, barely checking for regrowth at the roots because it just needed to go, it looked dead and it needed to go. Withered buds and spoiled edibles scattered the stagnant earth and they, too, were snatched up and disposed of with barely a thought. I pulled and tore at and dug up and tossed aside all means of matter, not quite remembering what it all was, what the things had once meant in the greater aesthetic scheme of things.

And underneath the brush, tiny shootlings were beginning to poke through the dried-out mulch, taking my breath and my heart by such surprise.

Believing In Tomorrow.

You'd be surprised what's thriving underneath the deadened surface of last year's spoils.

Slowly, over the past month, I've watched my yard come back to life -- plants I was sure I'd finally lost have new shoots, new leaves. Bulbs have propagated and fleshed out the once sparse areas in which I planted them. I even cleared out the raised garden beds and began again over Spring Break, enlisting the kids in picking out vegetables and with their newly-acquired gifts of gardening supplies, we spent the day together, outside, placing our hopes and our dreams into tiny, evenly-spaced holes, watering them with love and encouragement.

There is an Audrey Hepburn quote that goes along the lines of  Planting a garden is believing in tomorrow. Last year, I didn't know if I'd get to see another spring come to life here at L'Casa, and after clearing out all of the remnants of the sunny seasons before, I wasn't even sure there was anything left to surface.

But the Tabatha of two, three, five, seven-almost-eight years ago, she believed in tomorrow. Time and time over and over again, she made the choice to believe -- in this house, in this home, in this family, in herself.

This may not be what she envisioned -- I'm actually incredibly confident it's not -- but I'm grateful that the girl I used to be believed in tomorrow so fiercely that she practically reached into the future to touch the woman I've come and remind her that there is always beauty to be found, there is always hope, there is always new sprouts and new roots to look forward to, you just have to clear out the remnants of what came before to see it.

So, this year I will again choose to believe in the future, and trust it will take me, take us, take this, exactly where it needs to go.

Believing In Tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever.

So, literally, over a year ago I posted about how the overhead kitchen light went out.

And I think what was most shameful about all that, is that we then learned to operate that way, with an uplight we moved around the kitchen as needed. FOR A YEAR.

Divorce is hard. You let things go. Except I never really let things go, I just continue to be irritated by their lack of progress and feeling like my hands are tied and my frustration mounts until one day, after watching This Old House with my kids and then heading to ballet class, I decide I've had enough and I have a Home Depot credit card with my name on it so I'm going to go buy a mother effing light for the kitchen and install it because THIS IS NOT A WAY TO LIVE.

And then I did.

The kids were excited to go back to Home Depot -- I'd forgotten how familiar that place had become for them, for a minute. Kiedis was running around pretending to interview me as if we were on This Old House and asking me spot-on questions about what I was looking at and putting in the cart, that sort of thing. Tova was just happy to be in the behemoth cart with the two little seat areas for kids. She loves that thing and I hate pushing it but you know what, it beats lifting her in and out of a traditional cart any day, so I deal.

Sidebar: I just tried to find a picture of the kind of cart I'm talking about and I just discovered that apparently every damn Home Depot in America except mine has car-shaped kid carts? What the hell? Why don't we have those? My kids would be so freaking excited. I hate the tank-carts with the giant attachment on the back with the weird diagonal seats and the flimsy belts. We need car carts! Do you hear me, cart gods? Send the Home Depot in Beavercreek/Fairborn, OH some damn orange car-carts!

Anyway.

So we three trekked to Home Depot and I bought a light for the kitchen that was inexpensive and unoffensive and kind of maybe something I'd think about getting if I were able to actually do the kitchen reno we were supposed to before everything fell apart.

*deep sigh*

It may also be track lighting. Don't judge me.

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Ignore those giant holes. They're from the old fixture and I was running out of daylight so I didn't bother to patch them.

It was kind of cool that the kids stood at the bottom of the ladder and handed things up to me and put things away for me -- so I can't say that I did this solely on my own, but this was my first attempt at hanging a light without another adult around. Score one, me. And I loved that they were so excited to help -- they've grown up around renovations, for the most part, but I'm glad to see them take interest in improving their surroundings. Like maybe somewhere in there, I did something right.

But of course, this small project was not without minor complications.

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Like that the old fixture hid the fact that *if* there's a mounting box for a light, it's behind the drywall. So that made hanging the mounting bracket kind of ... fun.

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

But, with a little determination and, you know, faith, I got the little bugger securely up there.

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

And it's kind of pretty, if you ask me. Of course, I've been futzing with the direction of the lights a bit, but I have to be careful because the whole thing is metal and does get hot to the touch after bring on for a minute.

Also, sidebar: I didn't understand why, when I opened the box, there was a singular suction cup in with the screws and nuts. Ten minutes of trying to get the tiny halogen lightbulbs in (with much swearing) was enough to make a tiny lightbulb within my noggin go off.

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Now I just have to try and not lose that thing. Lord help me.

I had been afraid when buying the light that it wouldn't be bright enough for the kitchen. I needn't have worried.

The Tiniest Bit Of Kitchen Progress Ever. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

It's taken some getting used to, walking in to the kitchen, to have a brightness coming from above. Of course, as you can see a little, that there were still some dark spots lurking because the difference between a giant fluorescent light and three halogen spots is, you know, marked.

Good thing I planned for that.

But we'll get there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Snug.

So this is kind of a big announcement.

I am honored to say that I am a Blogger Guest Editor at The Snug, a new online DIY community geared towards Millennials (haaaaaaayyyyy) curated by the editors at Time, Inc (you know, the people behind This Old House).

visit thesnug.com

It's like people my age are finally being taken seriously in the DIY and home improvement realm because we're actually adults now, kthnx. That, and in some circles we're being called the Maker Generation and I am here for all of that.

Sorry, excuse me while I get my sociology nerdery on.

ANYWAY, my first post is up over there and you should totally hop on over and check out all of the great stuff they've got going on and do all of the social media following and what have you.

I'm really excited to be a part of this new site -- I promise you it's different than Pinterest or Hometalk, think more Buzzfeed for a younger DIY crowd -- and I hope you all decide to come over and Snug with me on the regular. :)

(And yes, kiddies, this means you should see a wee more of me around these parts as well. Thanks for talking me out of quitting a few months back.)