Thursday, July 21, 2011


My husband and I have a great relationship.  I vent and he lets me.  I know he doesn't listen to everything I'm venting about, but he gets the highlights and offers sane solutions - most of the time.

Recently we have been participating in a marriage Bible study at church and while we don't love the one we are doing, it has its good points.  Last night, while our pastor is on vacation, a church member filled in for him.  Rather than follow the one we are in the middle of, he decided to do a "lesson" from another study, rather than try to follow something he wasn't as familiar with.

The study last night was really geared toward men and was about how to listen to your wife.  One of the things we discussed was how women answer a question/approach a problem with 4 types of responses, beginning with emotional.  It went on to say how men should learn to patiently listen through all 4 responses before deciding what their wife's response is.  My husband was one of the men who thought they listened well - since he has so much practice with me venting.

As we left the church, he asked me how I thought this study compared to the other one we are doing.  I replied, "Well, I think this is a good one too, but ....." at that point he pulled out his phone and started listening to his voice mail.  I stopped talking for about 5 minutes before he realized I had stopped.  He dropped the phone, looked and me and said, "I'm sorry, what did you say?"  

Monday, May 9, 2011

One Year Later

One year ago today we lost our friend, Diesel. The pain is easing, mostly being replaced with memories and tributes. There was a car show held in his honor last summer. He would have grinned so big his face would still be hurting. At the end the boys lined up their diesel trucks and “smoked for Diesel.” There was a lot of snow this winter and we all thought about how much Diesel would have loved sliding around in all that frozen stuff. But most of all, we just missed him. We love you, Diesel!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tile Battles

Well, it's been a long 'battle' with an uncertain outcome, but we finally agreed on bathroom floor tile!  Yeah!!!!

Jerry wanted small tiles and found this "weave" pattern.  He loved it.
I hated it

I wanted marble - in 16-inch squares.

His point was he wanted to create something interesting - a work of art - with the tiles and this could only be done with the smaller tiles.  My point was that it is a fairly small bathroom, with not a lot of open floor space and the little tiles would be too "busy."  He keeps telling me that I get one shot - he's not going to redo this house in 5 or 10 or 20 years, so I don't want anything that I can't change.  Tile is not something that I am willing to tackle by myself.  So my vision was a timeless, classic look of large tiles in a material/pattern that wouldn't get old - marble.  I also want to be able to add rugs; something you can't do if the floor has a focal point (unless you add them around the focal point, which we can't do because the floor is too small).

We went to some home improvement stores and looked at what they had for sale even though we both knew we weren't going to find anything we liked, much less that we could agree on.  We were right.  And we apologize to the couple who were laying their tile pattern out on the floor while we argued over large vs. small.  It was only after we were leaving that we noticed that you were using both of the tiles we were bashing.  I'm sure they will look very nice in your house!

Finally we were able to find a time to go to a real tile store.  We walked in and the first thing we saw was the little stuff.  Glass mosaics, ceramic mosaics, tiny mosaics, and the dreaded basket-weave mosaic.  The back of the store had the larger tiles for me, but it was a long walk.  We came across this - which made me cry.  
However, he did agree that this would be a little "busy" in our bathroom.  (I told you so!)

Just as we were about to give up, we found this.

Yes, I know it's on the wall here, but ours will be on the floor.  We both love the color, the pattern, it has both the small tile for him and the larger tile for me, and it also comes in other sizes that we plan to use on the shower walls.  But most importantly we both agreed instantly.  No arguing, no convincing, as soon as we saw it we knew that was the one.

It was a beautiful moment.

Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Remodel a House - Without Getting a Divorce - Part 1

My husband was 20 when we got married.  Our first house was a "fixer-upper" starter home.  He didn't care what color the walls were - as long as they didn't have wallpaper on them, he didn't care if the kitchen cabinets matched or not, he didn't care if we had curtains or not.

We are now remodeling another house.  I had this house decorated/redone within 5 minutes of finding it. I have spent many years cutting out pictures, searching out products, and creating my lovely vision.  Now I find out he cares.  He.cares.a.lot.  He cares about everything.

We are currently working on the bathroom (because with a working bathroom we can recruit more volunteers to help!).  My dream is all white, very spa-like, with a walk-in shower, and a jetted tub.  Yesterday my husband (or the person who is impersonating him) was looking through one of my decorating books and found "his" dream bathroom.  Yes, white and spa-like. Good, we agree, right?  Nope!  He wants little octagonal floor tiles; I want big, oversized, stone-looking tiles. He wants tile on the walls, I don't.  

Giving up on the tile, we start to talk about the layout (because until you can get the plumbing in, the tile doesn't matter).  We both agree on the walk-in shower.  He want's it to have a curved wall with 7' columns on the ends.   With this design, we can have a room with a shower.  Nothing else will fit.  No problem, he's found me a claw foot, slipper tub that's small enough to fit.  Jets?  Nooo, it doesn't have jets, but you know most people who get jetted tubs never use them.  I.will.  I want a tub and a shower.  No problem, he says, we'll move the door.  (When I want to move a door, it's impossible.)  However, this time, if we move this door it will affect the way the hall looks, since it will be moved to a corner where another, angled, wall is.  No problem, we'll build a shelf over the door to create a larger angled wall - but just over the door.  The door will still fit in the corner.  While this is a good idea and would look really good in a contemporary house, ours is 1800's, slightly Victorian.  After several days hours of 'discussion', we decide to move on to the living room ceiling. 

I guess eventually we will have to get back to the bathroom, but by then I'm sure there will be tons of other issues in the remaining rooms that we are avoiding discussing too.  

But we'll still be married.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Remodel a House - Without Getting a Divorce - Preface

We set out a few (6) years ago to remodel a house.  It didn't progress too fast.  We are still in the "getting started" phase.

Our house is an old, two-room schoolhouse that was sold and converted into a private home in the 1940's - and hasn't been touched again, until now.  It has a lot of charm, a tiny bit of modern conveniences - like electricity and plumbing - and it needs a lot of love.  When we started, each room was filled with "stuff" - books, clothes, magazines, dishes, you name it.  Each room also has one electrical outlet. Yes, one.  We have replaced the electric service and cleaned out/cleaned up the house.  

Anyway, things seem to be (finally) moving forward - we now have a septic system!- and work is commencing.  I hope.  I have five years of decorating magazines, accumulated treasures, and plans so I'm ready.  My dear husband, who has heard all of the ideas, but has no interest in the magazines, (and must never know where I have all my treasures stashed!!) now suddenly has ideas of his own. Granted, some of them are based in ideas I've shared, but some are just so outrageous they must be his alone.  

We are both artist at heart, but we don't like the same styles.  We will have disagreements on what to do, how to do it, what to keep, and what to change.  But in the end we both want the same turn this old, empty house, into our beautiful home.  Stay tuned.