Emergency Decorating

From the last week of May until the last week of June, I led the life of a gypsy….only I had more belongings than would fit in one of those colorful caravans.  And that was, at times, problematic.

{image via FlipKey}

Here’s a snapshot of the first part of the summer, around here:

  • prep Indiana house for the arrival of professional movers, which involves packing some of the parts of my house ahead of time that I don’t want packed by movers.  Like my underwear drawer.  And my fabric stash.
  • pack myself, my dog, and my children for a cross-country drive which includes a stop for hiking and exploring in Moab, Utah.
  • once that cross country drive begins, suitcases must be unloaded and reloaded at every overnight stop along the way.  Because I have children, this involves a certain amount of packing and unpacking every day.
  • upon arrival in California, we stay temporarily in the one bedroom apartment provided by the company for Bionic Man.  We’re only there for a week, but the amount of packing and cleaning involved to get us out of there is equivalent to that for a permanent stay.  At least it feels that way.
  • moving company arrives with our belongings, and we begin the long, ongoing process of unpacking the contents of a 3800 sq ft home and trying to fit them into a 1800 sq ft home.
  • pack for a weekend camping trip less than a week after moving into the rental, which Bionic Man assures me will be a “nice break” from all the moving we’ve been doing.
  • unpack and do laundry from said weekend camping trip.
  • a week after that, pack for a 7 day trip out to Utah to visit my side of the family.
  • the 7 day trip to Utah includes overnight stays at 4 different homes.  More packing and unpacking.
  • the day after we arrive back in California, my inlaws arrive for a visit, bringing along an aunt and several cousins.  Much fun ensues, accompanied by packing and unpacking for several day trips.

Do you sense a recurring theme?

I’ve been doing a lot of packing and unpacking this summer.  Midway through that list, the morning that we left to go camping, I had a midlife crisis.  It wasn’t pretty.  It involved me sobbing on the bathroom floor next to an open (and empty) duffle bag while the rest of the family waited outside in the mini van with all of the camping equipment.  Clearly, I really didn’t have time for a midlife crisis  that day, so I had to get through it quickly.  We were in the Sierra mountains by 10 A.M.–crisis averted.   Thankfully, I have a patient family and the mountain air really did work wonders, because after that I kind of adjusted to the nomadic lifestyle.

And then, just as soon as I’d gotten used to being a nomad, I had to switch gears and host our visiting family members in a house that was far from being unpacked.   Here’s a rather frightening picture of what my California house looked like the day I arrived home from Utah.

Now, isn’t that the perfect example of how a woman’s house should look before her mother-in-law comes to stay for a few days?  Oh, you don’t think so?  Really?

It was time for some emergency decorating.

There were still a lot of boxes that I just didn’t have time to unpack.  So I just moved them as close to the exterior walls of my home as I could, and headed to Trader Joe’s for some flowers.

 I’ve learned over the years that a big, sweet-smelling bouquet of fresh flowers can make up for a lot of decorating imperfection.  (Similarly, Bionic Man has learned over the years that a big, sweet-smelling bouquet of fresh flowers can make up for some spousal imperfection, as well.)

As you can see in the messy shot of my family room,below, I’d already been able to locate my collection of vintage-esque glass bottles.

They made perfect vases for the Gerber daisies that I picked up at the local Trader Joe’s.

The washi tape banner is courtesy Target and the state of Kansas.  I say that because, first of all, did you know that you can get washi tape at Target?   You totally can!  It’s in the office supply section, and I’ve been having all kinds of fun with the twelve rolls I picked up before we moved.  Those rolls of tape are what got me through the state of Kansas.  I made all kinds of little banners as we were driving along.  My Christmas tree will be tricked out  in washi tape this year!

So, that’s pretty much it.  Flowers and a washi tape banner that made it look like I’d actually put some thought and effort into decorating at least one small part of the house before our guests arrived.  Then I just tried to have lots of yummy food available, to make up for the less-than-ideal decor.


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