But it didn't feel like home yet.
I approached the vinyl sticker in the living room "Family Means Love" and tore it off.
"Home Sweet Home" had to go, too.
The last one inspirational sticker set was not immediately removed. It was first maimed. Severely.
The original stickers read "Live Well Laugh Often Love Much." They forgot the "Puke Frequently" sticker. But I guess that doesn't have such a nice ring to it.
It took several weeks before the work was done and our new house felt like home. But we adjusted quickly.
|Boo's Warm Shop with Ji in their little house|
|Original artwork by Nick Stephens, The Garden Gate|
|Space to dine!|
|Boo's magical, colorful room|
|We opened up the kitchen and added the dishwasher|
|Ji and Rah's room turned from blah taupe to primary colors haven.|
Unfortunately, Ji scratched off some of the yellow paint within our first week or two at the house.
My mom was extremely generous with her time and input, but when I told her my vision for the kids' playroom--Wonderland we like to call it---she looked at me like I had been sniffing paint.
But we love our Wonderland.
Baby Lit's Alice in Wonderland: A Color Primer .
We were comfortable inside for the winter. Our home is colorful, spacious, and full of natural light.
When spring came, we had some more surprises---and more work.
Boo counted fifty-six daffodils and tulips in the early spring.
There are several plants we still haven't identified. Some surprised us (Wow! This enormous hedge is a lilac bush?), and others that had devoured everything around them. The black heart of the relentless vine is resting in peace in the compost pile now.
Our neighbor had told us that if we could clear out the incessant, intrusive vine, we would find we have some of the most beautiful roses around.
What do you think?
After pruning the rose bushes that had been buried beneath the strangling vine in our front corner, I found that two of the bushes were completely dead, hollowed out and lifeless. So sad. I figured the same fate had been thrust upon the four or five bushes we had on the north side of the house. That fence line would just have to wait until next summer, I thought.
And this is what happened.
I didn't know that roses could grow up to fifteen feet tall. I never would have imagined that the roses would survive to that height. But there they were, climbing above our roof, tangling into the tree.
Each time I come to those roses with pruning shears and gloves, I think of The Secret Garden and how amazed Mary was that the roses survived even though no one had been inside for ten years. (It's also convenient to have a secret gardener in a secret garden.) I wonder how Mary would have responded to half-dead rose trees taller than the ten-foot wall with trunks as wide baseball bats. Would it have been a magical place? Or would she have gotten stung by shark-tooth thorns that tear the skin and leave one's arms looking abused, turned around haughtily, and never gone back inside?