Scenes From my Living Room

I feel pretty strongly about how I want to use this space. One of the things that has been so satisfying for me about keeping a blog is the daily realization of how much I have to be grateful for. Until pretty recently I focused way too much on the things that weren't right with my days. Now, please don't misunderstand here. I think it's crucial to consider what you would like to be different or better in your life. It seems obvious to me that without contemplating our ideal we might never achieve it. Having said that, I feel much closer to actually getting there one day since I began spending time being grateful out loud. It's easy to say that one appreciates the roof over their head or the food on their table but for me, stopping to take a photo and maybe writing a paragraph or two about it has brought that appreciation into my foremost consciousness. So, it seems counterproductive to whine or complain on my blog. But, please look at my living room.

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(Sorry for the butt view and yes, that is the outside.)

If I told you that the first photo was taken two years ago next month would you feel badly for me? I'm going to spare you the details here partially because I can feel my face beginning to flush with frustration as I think of the story. The crux of it is that we live in a connected town-home. Our neighbor's back yard is next to the wall of our living room. His garden was shoved up against the side of our house for years and water from his roof was being spilled through a downspout directly into the dirt that sat up against our wall. On Thanksgiving morning 2006 I found dirt in my living room. The wall had just disintegrated into nothingness and the outside had come inside.

It's taken us this long to fix it because of insurance and lawyers and homeowner's associations hearings. It's still not over but Niall finally couldn't take it anymore (my whining and complaining about the garbage bag taped to the inside of my house that separated us from the elements). We are still 'fighting' with the neighbor and his insurance company about who is responsible and now the New York State court system is involved. It's awful.

I know I said I'd spare you the details and believe me, I did. It's much worse than all that and it involves mold. Today the wall was put back together and painted but the floors still need to be replaced. I feel unsettled and displaced and exhausted. There. I said it. I feel grumpy about all this and I think about it every time I walk into my living room. Grumpy.

How about some nice cheerful baby hats to end this post on a happy note?

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The one on the left is for Quinn and the other is a gift for the newborn girl of an old friend of Niall's. It's hard to be grumpy while knitting baby hats!