Five Things I Love

Five Things I Love

RM and I are remodeling the workshop and garage combo located adjacent to our little adobe on Ashland.  He recently upgraded his woodworking and laser engraving business with a new name, logo and website so check it out at:   Laser&Lathe.  The new website, designed, composed and photographed by C1,  is a work of art in its own right.  Don’t you agree?  The website and the designer are the number 1 & 2 things I love this month.

Working on the new website inspired us to rethink the workshop layout and overall design as well.  First up, we replaced the old floor that collapsed under the load of heavy woodworking equipment over thirty years.  The new floor is made from hardwood, planed, mitered, installed and sealed by RM with a little help from his son-in-law.  We contracted out the installation of new drywall, insulation and blueish-grey paint job.  RM upgraded the electricity and lighting and reinstalled a vintage concrete double sink that dates back to the 1920’s.  We replaced old windows with new and put in an improved ventilation system.

The shop layout is very open with just a few wall cabinets painted dark blue and some white pegboard to provide for easy access to the tools of the trade.    In the garage area, we took down all of the old shelving and replaced it with chrome commercial adjustable shelving from guess where? The price was too hard to pass up on at under $85.  Putting the shelves together was challenging. Why do they make it so complicated?  But we love the clean industrial look and they are so heavy-duty.  It’s my number 3 on the list of the five things I love this month.

Part of my motivation to get the garage revitalized is so that I can move my growing gardening hobby to a space that is protected from the weather and not inside the house.  I am nurturing vegetables from seeds indoors this winter in hopes of getting a faster start on my garden this spring as well as to allow me to grow varieties you don’t find at local nurseries.  Currently, the many trays, pots, fertilizer, heat mats and grow lights take over one of the spare bedrooms in our house but I hope to expand it into the garage over the coming months.  The heat mat is my number 4 thing I love.  The mat makes all the difference in incubating your little seeds to sprout especially if you live in old, drafty houses like mine. If you add a grow light above the plants, you will be sure to have success in growing your seedlings, straight and tall,  indoors from December through February. Without the grow light, they become leggy and fall over not unlike us humans in late February.

Number 5 on my list of loves is any of the products from Johnny Seeds especially their fine selection of seeds.  They were recommended to me by expert gardeners at BRIT and Tarrant County Food Bank.  The wide variety of seeds come in resealable packages which is a nice addition to a quality product.

So, express your creativity with the five things you love this month by sharing below.


Long Marriages

Long Marriages

My brothers and I enjoy something in common beyond our surname.  We found our mates when we were quite young, especially by today’s standards, and remain married many years later.  RM and I just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary on January 7th.  I think the secret to our long marriages is that we were raised in a home observing how a happy and successful marriage works day-to-day, month-to-month, year-after-year.  And we just kind of copied it. Or we just got lucky.

My parents’ wedding, may we introduce you to Harold and Katie Hauck

Just like we did when we raised our own kids.  You certainly don’t learn to do either in school or any other training along the way.  You can read about it in self-help books but by observing healthy relationships and effective parenting in action is the best way to learn, in my opinion.  My mom was a social worker and she used to say if she could approve who had kids, or not, the world would be a better place.  She was joking, kind of, but the Katie Hauck Seal of Approval sounds like a good idea to me.

My mother loved daisies, cake and laughter

You shouldn’t wait for Valentine’s day to show appreciation for your better half.  You do it every day.  Thank ’em for the small stuff, like unloading the dishwasher or putting gas in your car.  RM likes to open the car door for me from time to time and I just love that.  Sweet notes are nice too.  Hold hands.

Always ask about his or her day when you see him after work and give her a kiss and a hug.  He may not have much to say, but ask anyway and then give each other some quiet time and space to transition from work to home.  Everybody needs a little quiet time if they can get it.  This was super challenging when we had children but we still tried to make time even if it was to shut the bedroom door for a minute to change clothes and breathe.

RM and his bride, 1984

You don’t have to do everything together to have a happy marriage, in fact, it’s key to not do that.  RM and I are like a Venn diagram.  We have separate, interesting jobs, friends, and hobbies but we always intersect each day to watch the news or the Late Show on television or to work on a project or make a meal.   We fold laundry together, work in the yard, and we love to travel together.  We almost always have a meal each day together at the dining room table.

We take care of each other in times of sickness.  Which, fortunately, we are now both healthy and able to do just about anything we want to at this point in our lives. We take yoga classes together twice a week.  Happy marriages enjoy a lot of laughter too.  I think that is what first attracted me to RM.  His sense of fun and his wicked humor.  Next to that, I thought he was sexy.

C2 and her mate, year 1 of hopefully a long and loving marriage

No one can make me more angry than my mate but over the years we argue less and less because we know we have so little time left together. Why waste the time fighting, pouting or punishing each other? Work to have more good moments together than bad.  I read recently that the ratio needs to be 5 good moments to 1 bad moment to make a happy marriage.  If the ratio is equal or more bad to good moments, the marriage is likely headed toward a divorce or separation.

Oh, yes, the most important advice is it is not your partner’s responsibility to make you happy.  That, my reader, is your job and yours alone.