Posted in Autumn, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Home, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Renovations, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water

Stopping to smell the roses

Early morning light and dew
Early morning light and dew

Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life.  To find a balance in them is a skill in itself. Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have.  Finding them in each other — activity in rest and rest in activity — is the ultimate freedom.

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Celebrating Silence

Looking out the kitchen window
Looking out the kitchen window

I’ve been busy today.  Exercise, yoga, meditation, and a walk outside were just the beginning of my day.  You see, we have finally come to an agreement with the kitchen design company we’ve been working with, and it is now time to start the real work on our home here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.

What I am about to show you may be shocking.  Are you ready?

Insert appropriate scary music here.
Insert appropriate scary music here.

The mess you see above is the kitchen.  Chaos is what happens when you don’t have cabinets or much in the way of counter space.  I could have neatened it up before taking the photo, but wanted to capture it the way it really is on most days.

The dining area.  There are roses just outside the bay window.
The dining area. There are roses just outside the bay window.

Yesterday I began removing the wallpaper border from the kitchen walls.  I bought a steamer.  I could have rented one, but the rental cost would have eventually been the same as purchasing one because there is a lot of wallpaper in the house.  The steamer didn’t work properly at first, and I spent over an hour fussing with it.  I finally got it working just before it was time to start preparing dinner so I didn’t get much of the border removed.  Just enough to confirm what I suspected.  It’s ain’t gonna be easy.

One small section completed.
One small section completed yesterday.

If you peek through the doorway in the image above, you will see the dining room.  It is currently a storage area for extra furniture and boxes that have yet to be unpacked (most of it kitchen paraphernalia). So, yeah, it’s a mess out there.  Chaos rules the roost right now.

You have to take a step up into the dining room.  I’m not sure why they designed it that way.  We are giving thought to removing the platform and leveling it with the rest of the floors in the house, but no final decision has been made.  You may have noticed the wallpaper in the distance.  That’s coming down, too.  Eventually.

Let's look at something pretty.
Let’s look at something pretty.

Because there is a dining area in the kitchen, we have decided to use the dining room for a yoga/meditation/exercise room.  That’s a long way off.  Or seems a long way off.  Time is funny that way.  Next thing you know, it’ll all be done and I’ll be wondering how it happened so fast.

Sunrise light
Sunrise light and softness

Normally a mess like we’re living with now would stress me out.  In fact, it did stress me out way beyond what I thought it would.  That was one of the reasons for the major lifestyle changes.  I was coping with the stress in all the wrong ways.

A couple
A couple

One of the lovely results of the lifestyle changes I’ve made is that I’m starting to appreciate the messiness of life.  I no longer have Little Miss Perfectionist nagging at me.  I received a clear message from the chaos.  Relax.  You are on Eastern Shore Time now.  Things will happen when it’s time for them to happen.

Even Nature looks messy from time to time.
Even Nature looks messy from time to time.

Relax doesn’t mean do nothing.  It means do what can be done for now.  And so I’ve started with the wallpaper border.  Once the border is removed, it will be time to patch and repair the walls.  Then wash the walls, and start the painting.  The ceiling will be white.  The walls will be a grayish-lavender.  The woodwork will be the sage green of the cabinets we picked out.

Things are looking up
Things are looking up

This weekend M and I will be picking up our new flooring.  The flooring store that ordered it for us is a two hour drive from here so we might stay up that way and get in some bike riding and hiking while we’re at it.  Because you have to stop and smell the roses every now and then.  Or, in our case, get outside and have some fun.

We'll have to talk about the trees someday.  I've been spending time with some of them.
We’ll have to talk about the trees someday. I’ve been spending time with some of them.

That’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for today.  Thank you for visiting.  I hope the kitchen mess wasn’t too much of a shock for you.  Do you cope well with chaos and messiness?  Or do you prefer things to be orderly and clean and almost perfect?

Sunlight and grasses mixing and mingling in the wind.
Sunlight and grasses mixing and mingling in the wind.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  And make sure to fit in some rest and fun while you’re at it.  🙂


Robin is...

11 thoughts on “Stopping to smell the roses

  1. I LOVED seeing the photos of your house. The kitchen reminds me a bit of the one we had in Lexington, only you have more counter space, believe it or not. It’s not an easy way to live.
    Congrats on beginning the wallpaper removal. Looks like a LOT of work!
    Hugs from Ecuador,


  2. I have sensory processing and other neurologic issues and thus, I get overloaded very very easily. Also, my vision isn’t so great. So, for optimal functioning, I keep it like for someone who is blind. So I can ‘see’ where things are and reach to work on automatic. It can really suck when one of the kiddos, who also have issues, but have different coping tastes, MOVES things!!! A person can hurt themselves–worst case, that way! I used to be called a perfectionist with OCD looking features, until the brain doc noticed that the organizer part of my brain–isn’t and cannot. It was disaapointing to feel like a failure a LOT. I had to choose one outside expectation, that I trusted as not too severe, and my own inner one of least acceptable and morph them together. If I get overloaded now, I have trigger words to tell me to just do the next right (sometimes very small) thing. Other times that friend comes in and just gives me simple directions–and the overwhelming job is often done in ten minutes or so and I go WOW IT’S NOT SO HARD TY FOR HELP!


  3. Thanks for showing me your “mess” .. makes me feel better about my “mess”. 😉 Guess we all have one somewhere. I admire your do-it-yourself attitude towards the work that is ahead of you. I know that you are going to feel really good about the job when it is done .. you are making a “home”. The dining area in the kitchen … love the windows … it will be a great spot to hang out on a lazy, sunny morning.


  4. I am like Elisa in getting overloaded easily … noise, mess, etc … but I am loving following your progress in so many ways here … and every now and then I pop back in ‘time’ and toboggan down a hill with you in Ohio 🙂


  5. Now I see why you look out the window at the roses, Robin! Something beautiful to consider while working at making beauty happen in your nest. Interesting how the situation opened up a new way of thinking and living for you.


  6. I *can* deal with chaos – it’s how I lived for about the first 35 years of my life 😉 – but I do better with order. Living with Hubby taught me that, and helped me get to a good point. I can roll with the punches better than he can, though…
    Can’t wait to see the finished project(s) – I know you can’t either…


  7. Isn’t your kitchen design called the “rustic look” Robin? People in Australia pay big money to achieve that look….hehe…..;) Not me though, I like my cupboard space and for everything to be tidy. I’m not a neat freak, but no, I don’t work well in chaos. You will feel so much happier in your new home when it is decorated to suit you and M. The roses are brilliant! Thank goodness for your outdoors sanctuary. 🙂


  8. I’ve been working on an old house here for the better part of a decade. Messiness comes with the territory 🙂 but there is such satisfaction in seeing it come back to life. i just finished a bathroom reconfiguration. I think it will never be done. Your project looks wonderful. I love those black and white rose shots. Lovely.


  9. I guess I’m lucky with the ability to just switch off from most things around me, even noise most of the time.
    The only disadvantage with switching off so easily is that sometimes I struggle to stay awake.
    I’m often to be found in a little space I’ve cleared fast asleep. 🙂


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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