Fall has been good to me. It has been busy and unexpected at times, and full of clarity. To start, we took our home off the market after only six weeks. The market (in our price range) was fairly dead and I didn't feel like allowing people in any longer just to hear they don't want a pool. What the heck? Sure, realtors tell you that all the time: pools don't sell. But, WE wanted one...so surely someone out there will too? Anyway, it is a moot point; we will not take it down nor do we want to move in the winter, simply to languish in a crappy rental somewhere (do great short-term rentals even exist?). We will (we think) place it on the market next spring and I will continue to gather ideas for our next foray into house-building.
In the meantime, I think I am going to paint a chalkboard wall like this:
(image: via Pinterest)
I found some paint in a pretty pale blue; so although it isn't an original idea, it will be an unexpected colour for a chalkboard!
So that leaves plenty of time just to experience life as the parents of two teenagers and one little girl. And raising teenagers well is a challenge we are focusing our undivided attention on this year as our eldest is in his graduating year. I have already had several very anxious dreams where I abandon him in various states of need, which (of course) is a direct side-effect of my struggle to accept that he will be heading off to university next fall. I honestly already feel like I am going to DIE with the stress and anxiety it will bring. Dramatic, I know, but I just love having him around.
In my attempt to shrug off things that just don't matter in the long run, I agreed (and persuaded his father) to let him get a tattoo. It is just a small one (the Chinese symbol for loyalty) and I accompanied him and photographed the event and offered up moral support along with his group of about eight friends. And they are good friends. I will even miss them next year, popping in and out of our home, and feeding them breakfast on various Sunday mornings.
We are ready for Halloween. Well, sort of. Sophie has her costume all planned (it's a funny, tongue-in-cheek one!) and while we still have to carve pumpkins, toast the seeds, and get the candy, we have decked the halls to Sophie's standards...so all is well in her world. She creates Christmas (and birthday!) wish lists on a daily basis and reminds me how much she would like a new kitten to fill the void of losing Ollie. And I would also like to thank all of you who wrote us such heartfelt comments and notes after losing him so suddenly. I read every single one to Sophie and they helped so much.
image: source unknown :-(
And I, in my usual habit of rushing seasons and holidays, am daydreaming of the Christmas season. I have purchased my latest "A Christmas Story" ornament from Hallmark, started Christmas shopping, and scheme as to how to find a Charlie Brown-type Christmas tree like the one below (without my family saying I am ridiculous).
And lo and behold, I discovered this Woman's Day special holiday issue on display at my local grocery store's checkout aisle:
My holiday home is featured on page 56-59 and I am so excited! Photographed by Matthew Mead, it brought me back to the excitement of the original shoot and how surreal it seemed back then. (I still need to be pinched, really!)
And now I just have to find this magazine on the newsstands:
We all worked incredibly hard on this magazine and I so hope I find it soon. There is also an expanded, keepsake issue of this magazine for sale and you can buy a copy here. Have any of you seen it yet?
And so, that's my life lately. What have you been up to?