Saturday, August 28, 2010


For two years the dining area of our kitchen has looked like this.

(our paint is really an apple green color but for the life of me, I cannot get my camera to accurately portray the color)

This is what I see from my kitchen island as I'm doing the dishes and preparing food. For two years I've hated the fact that the furniture arrangement is lopsided. For two years I've wished that I had another set of black shelves, placed on the other side, to provide balance. I like symmetry, but to me it's really more about balance.

Yesterday morning I woke up and decided that I could not stand the imbalance any longer. Not another day could pass without me rectifying the situation. I even thought about skipping the gym to shop for another set of shelves, which, if you know me at all, is really quite drastic. I'm not sure what came over me and why I became so fixated, but thankfully I managed to talk myself out of skipping the gym before I did something I'd regret.

After the gym, I was still fixated on those shelves, so I tossed Caroline off to the neighbor and went shopping. But, not before I "shopped" in my own house.

I gathered up a few unused items that were being stowed away in the deep, dusty recesses of our garage, to use as possible accessories. I'm not kidding, those bowls were seriously dusty. The white platter is a turkey platter I bought on clearance for $3 after Thanksgiving nearly 14 years ago. I've NEVER used it for a turkey, in fact, I've never used it at all. It seems like by the time I have Thanksgiving dinner prepared and have wiped the sweat from my brow and gotten over the inevitable turkey meltdown I have every year, the idea of artful presentation is the farthest thing from my mind. I had high hopes for this platter; Norman Rockwell hopes. I thought it would add that certain something to my Thanksgiving table, but, alas, it has never left the confines of its original packaging. The platter has followed me to six different duty stations and not once have I taken it out of the box. And yet, I couldn't part with it. It offered hope. The hope that someday I'd have a perfect family Thanksgiving dinner. Since that has yet to happen and considering the high standards I hold myself to, it probably never will. High hopes aside, I sure am glad I can put this lovely platter to use in another, less stressful, application.

I bought a few new things, too.

I honestly didn't spend much on the shelves; they're the type you can find at any big box store. Our house is furnished with very few nice pieces of furniture. When Caroline is older and we settle into a permanent home, we'll spring for the good stuff. But for now, while the potential for Caroline and friends to ruin our things is still quite probable, we're keeping it budget friendly. Nothing is sacred around here; all you have to do is take a look at the maple syrup drips on my throw pillows and permanent marker scribbles on our leather couch to understand my point of view. Oh, and I can't forget the possibility that during one our moves our household goods could possibly be strewn about on a major interstate highway or sunk at the bottom of the ocean. Yep, until Craig retires, we're definitely keeping it budget friendly.

Speaking of budget friendly, I repurposed one picture frame (and bought one to match for $4 on sale) and used two pictures from an old calendar to make these prints, which rest on top of the shelves.

I ended up spending about $40 for the shelves and accessories.

I suppose $40 is worth my peace of mind. Worrying about the imbalanced shelves in my kitchen was shaving years off of my life. Now that my kitchen is balanced, I can now focus my attention on other household issues. Like the gaping whole in our living room where a couch should go. Or the dirty carpet on the stairs. Or the patches of paint missing from Caroline's room from where she stuck some really sticky paper on the wall. I removed the paper only to find out that the top layer of paint came with it. It wouldn't be so bad except that her walls are white and the color underneath is yellow.

On the bright side, the adhesive paper left two symmetrical spots on the wall. They may be unsightly, but at least they're balanced.

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