Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blue Skies

     It's that time of year again. The sound of tractors floats through open windows as they pass back and forth over the fields. The aroma of freshly cut hay, warmed by the sun, fills the air. It is peaceful and it is orderly. It is preparing for winter. It changes the landscape dramatically, going from waist high grass full with seed to flat green carpet. It's similar to when a man shaves off his full beard and how different his face appears. You do a double take and stare for a minute to process the change.
     I was outside gardening these past two days as the farmers were mowing. Two different farmers were mowing at the same time. They were off in the distance, but it I felt like I had someone co-laboring with me. Each of us was manipulating the landscape by our own hand to suit our needs, growing and harvesting, coaxing something out of nothing, and always fighting weeds. We all work hard to recreate our little piece of Eden. The weeds and decay remind us that we are far from Eden, but how nice it is to have that one brief moment when we step back, admire its fleeting beauty and store that sweet aroma in our memories for when winter comes.
    As you can imagine from this photo, we had a break in the humid, rainy weather pattern. The skies cleared and a fresh breeze blew in. It's perfect weather for a hike and I am super excited to have one planned this week. Snakes and bears stay out of my way, I'm coming into your woods!
     I feel like I should celebrate having the curtains all sewed and hung. Just like the transformed fields, the curtains have transformed the bedroom. It's the same room, yet not the same at all. I buy all my linen from Fabrics-store.com.  I ordered Optic White. It's whiter than their Natural White, which looks off-white compared to the Optic White. We have three windows in the bedroom. I made each panel 100" long and kept each panel the width that of the fabric, which is 57". Curtains are all straight stitching, so there's no real skill needed here, it's more about ironing and pinning and marathon sewing than anything else. I first hemmed all the sides with a 1" hem. Then, I hemmed the tops with a 3" hem and the bottoms with a 5" hem. For six of these panels I used 17 yards of linen and went through one 274 yard spool of thread (haha!). I hung each panel with 10 curtains rings and used  rods that we already had. I want to be able to easily slide the curtain panels open and closed. All-in-all, they were cheaper than the IKEA curtains and the least expensive option out of all the linen curtains for which I searched, which were many.
     Like the garden, we mold and manipulate our home with our hands to our liking. Steve and I are  hands-on when it comes to building and doing things for ourselves, within our abilities . Our families and many of our friends are the same way. Part of the pleasure of achieving something is the sweat equity we pour into it. For the bedroom, Steve drove to New York and bought the maple flooring, installed it and finished it. While he was away to get the maple, I prepped and painted the bedroom walls and trim. He painted the ceiling. While I was sewing the curtains, he tore out the bathroom vanity, sink and toilet and will install new vinyl flooring (it's our preference over tile). I will paint the vanity and Steve said he will paint the walls. He'll re-install everything and voila! The do-it-yourself route may take longer, but we enjoy the process and the reward, for us, is satisfying. I have also found that tasks like weeding, painting, ironing, and mowing open up my mind to wandering thoughts, the working out of niggling dilemmas, and talking to God. All time well spent : )

1 comment:

  1. Time so well spent! I feel more peaceful just reading this post. Thank you for that.

    The white linen colors vary like paper colors in white, sounds like. Lovely, lovely curtains - and so neat that you did that.

    There is a street light on the street next to the condos that shines just at the point where the plantation shutters on the window next to my bed meet in the middle. That light is so annoying to me while I'm trying to sleep - I'm thinking I need blackout shades inside the window, but am not good at hanging that kind of thing. I so envy your handy skills.