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February 23, 2002: Stripes with plaid. Mmm, pretty

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The problem with having your own house is that it is yours. It's this great big blank canvas, sitting there waiting for you to put your personal touches on it, and the world, quite frankly, is your oyster. If you have the bucks, the time, and the talent, you can turn it into anything at all.

So here we are, with this lovely house, all sparkly white inside and just bursting with possibilities. And I really do want to try to do *something* with some of the rooms beyond whipping up curtains (well, okay, perhaps 'whipping up' isn't quite the term, considering how long it takes me to go from fabric to completed curtain). In my mind, I envision soft pastels, or bold dark colors that make some sort of statement. The problem is, I don't quite know what that statement should be. I'm incapable of looking at a paint swatch (or fabric swatch for that matter) and imagining the whole room in that particular shade. I have this really cool idea for the breakfast nook, for example, that involves painting a tree trunk up the wall in one corner and then stenciling in branches and leaves, but I'm not sure if it would end up looking really cool, or just really lame.

It's a little bit easier when we're talking about the back yard. It's a big enough area that it's easier to give a vague wave of the hand to one side and designate it as future vegetable plots, to consider flagstone courtyards with stone benches and arbors, and picture expanded decks, gazebos, and ponds with fountains and stone dragons lurking beneath the water. Back yards are much more flexible than houses. You can do all sots of things to yards if they are big enough, and they hide more flaws (and if that's not really true, I don't want to hear it. Leave me my delusions, darn it).

The problem with me and houses, however, is that while I may have plenty of ideas, the artistic talent simply isn't there. I promised Richard when we got married that I would never ask him "Does this outfit make me look fat?", but I did warn him to be prepared to be asked on occasion to view my outfit and answer the question "Do these match?" I can sew, but only when given a pattern with explicit instructions. I can paint, but only if it's a very large surface (such as a wall, or perhaps the back of a set of bookshelves) and it's all one color. My ability to coordinate and contrast hues is pretty much non-existent, and to put it bluntly, if your life at any point depended on me being able to successfully draw (sculpt/paint/mold/whatever) anything more complicated than a stick figure, well…let's just hope you already wrote out your last will and testament. In other words, when they were handing out the artistic genes, I was apparently dawdling outside the door, petting stray cats.


And speaking of cats, our well-behaved (ha!) little horde has come up with a wonderful new game lately. Richard goes through and tries to find all the noisy toys and toss them downstairs before he goes to bed. The cats dutifully cart at least one back upstairs, to be batted around the bedroom floor in the wee hours of the morning. Richard then gets up (in the aforementioned wee hours), muttering Unkind Words about the cavorting felines, scrounges around in the dark to find the toy, and tosses it back downstairs. This morning, after another rousing rendition of Make the Sleepy Human Swear, the toy he'd tossed down the stairs was placed prominently in his slipper. I think he's being warned.

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