Sometimes I have my week all planned out. I’ll do laundry on one day, buy groceries another, and fit projects in here and there. And sometimes my plans fly out the window.
Yesterday was supposed to be a shopping day. I had it all figured out. First I’d go to my weekly meeting with a group of moms to pray for our kids and the local high school; then I’d run off to the fabric store and pick out some fabric for the front benches; and finally, I’d swing by the craft store for some white branches to round out the winter vignette on the mantel.
Well, the praying went fine, it was the shopping that went sideways. I checked out one of the local fabric stores and found some yardage that was nice, but still didn’t have my full support. If I’m going to pay $27 a yard, I want to love it. So I swung over to Jo-Ann’s and just wasn’t enthused about what I found. The fabric was fine and would make perfectly satisfactory cushions, but why settle for satisfactory when you can have beautiful, amazing, wonderful?
So I just decided to focus my attention on finding branches for the mantel–easier said than done. I found stinky, perfumed branches that twisted into perfect spirals and gave me a headache. Is this really the best the craft store has to offer? This was not matching my vision. I have 30 acres filled with trees and branches, and after the windstorm that knocked the power out last night, some of those branches might be conveniently located on the ground. I decided a walk in the back yard might be my best bet.
Then, this morning I went up to volunteer at the high school for a bit and planned to attempt another shopping trip. By the time I finished up, it was afternoon and I needed some lunch. I decided to head home for a quick bite and then forge on to shopping. Life is never a straight line. What did I find in the mail? Not one, but two lovely packages.
One was for the MR, and the other was addressed to the both of us. It was a lovely bonsai tree from Sweet Miss’ Fellow’s dad–I know it’s a mouth full. His family no longer lives in the area, so Sweet Miss’ Fellow ended up spending time visiting with them and with us throughout the holidays. His dad sent the tree as a thank you which was totally unexpected and ever so kind.
So decorating the mantel has taken a backseat while our dining room table received a little attention.
I really like using the rough pallet board sign as a tray for my arrangements. The bonsai base was wrapped in plastic and the branches were cushioned by foam peanuts. It seemed to make it through the mail unscathed; let’s hope we can keep it growing and that it likes a lot of light.
To round out the centerpiece, I added bits and pieces that usually find their home in the office shelves. The MR’s grandpa’s antique ink well, and a letter opener and seal set add a little interest.
Perhaps I need to do a little more shopping around the house rather than at the store. This morning I was reading Dani of Teddy and Tottie extol the joys of camping in a travel trailer. She explains how living with less simplifies life and actually results in more down time. In Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, she ponders when Americans gave up quality for quantity and the quest for more. Once upon a time, rented storage units where unheard of. Your excess went to the basement, the attic, or the curb.
I have some glittery, bling-y candles in the bathroom that could add a festive air to the mantel.
And I do believe it will eventually stop raining, so I can enjoy a walk in the woods in search of those branches.
What do you do when that perfect piece eludes you? Any luck shopping your house?