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My Parents Hosted a Wedding

February 7th, 2012

A little over a year ago, my parents moved to be closer to their kids and grandkids.  Before they moved, they sold almost all of their old furniture. Then they moved into a small rental house in their new city and began the process of looking for a house to buy. When they found that house, they spent about six months remodeling the kitchen and the bathrooms and the living spaces. Their new house turned out beautifully and now they have been working on finding furniture to go in the house.  At this point, they still do not have any furniture for the main floor living room.  When we visit them we hang out around the kitchen and dining room tables and in the comfortably furnished basement.

Since moving, my parents have found a church and they attend a weekly bible study. A young couple in their bible study wanted to get married, but they did not have much money to spend on a ceremony. The leaders of the bible study offered to host the wedding for the couple in their home, but there was a problem. They had too much furniture in their house and they didn’t have any place to put the furniture to create a big enough space for a wedding ceremony.  My parents, on the other hand had very little furniture making their home a perfect place to host a wedding. Their empty living room could be used for the ceremony and then re-configured into a dining hall to host a wedding supper. The young couple thought that this idea was superb and that is how my parents ended up hosting a wedding in their home.

I took some photos. None of them turned out very good, but it’s better than nothing! Enjoy!

The bride gets ready in my parent’s bathroom.

Bride with mom and grandma.

The very nervous groom.

He had a headache and asked my mom for some ibuprofen.  My mom told me to get some for him in her bathroom.  I went back there, where the bride was getting ready and together we rooted through my mom’s enormous collection of pills and creams and lotions and vitamins to try and find some ibuprofen.  We didn’t find any, but the bride recognized a type of medicine that she thought would help with her groom’s headache. She handed me the bottle.  “Give him one of these.” she said.

Me – Uh… you want me to give the groom one of these tiny blue pills?

Bride – Yes, I think that this is a very good headache medicine.

So I took the tiny blue pill out to the groom and I gave him the pill.

Me – The bride said you should take this little blue pill.

Groom – What is it?

Me – I have no idea.

Groom – She wants me to take this pill?

Me – Yes.

Groom – Uh… well…(pause and sigh)… okay.

And so he took it.  I have no idea what it was, but he seemed to be fine throughout the ceremony.

The buffet.

Everyone in the bible study contributed food.

They had BBQ sandwiches, potato salad, and crudite.

The mother of the groom made the wedding cake.

Transforming the ceremony hall into the dining hall.

My parents requested that young kids eat in the dining room where there were wood floors instead of carpet.  There were a little over sixty people in attendance.  We opened up a few windows when the house started to get warm.  That is why the bride has a suit coat over her dress.  She was chilly.

That’s my mom standing up at the back of the newly created dining hall.

They cut the cake in the breakfast nook.

Everyone stayed around to help clean up.

My mom and dad are in the center of the photo.

The end.

We hosted Thanksgiving this year.  Twenty-seven of my husband’s closest relatives stayed at our house for four days.

We went hiking and played board games and watched ballgames and went to the movies and The Oracle Known as Steve staged a coup and tried to take over my kitchen, but I bravely fended him off with a carving knife, a rusty old egg beater and a very pokey meat thermometer. And yet, even as he bled out from oozing puncture wounds all over his entire body, he fought on and I still continued to find him at my stove doing things to my sauces and my stuffing and my sweet potatoes that he had NO RIGHT to do! The man truly is other worldly in his determination to control the destiny of my dinner.

Still.

In the end…

And in spite of the bloody kitchen coup,

we had a fine time.

I finally got to put to use all the fancy stemware and gold plated silverware that I inherited from my Uncle Chuck.

The table looked so pretty!

I wish I had gotten better photos, but the bloody battle with the Oracle for turkey control was taking all my attention and energy.

At some point in the day, some of us girls sat down and made some very pretty napkin rings using fresh evergreens, bittersweet and twine for the Thanksgiving table.

And then we moved all of the furniture out of the living room and set up a long table down the middle of the room.

In preparation for this gathering, I wanted to spruce up the house a bit particularly the study, a room that has never been sufficiently used due to a lack of furnishings and an over all atmosphere of chill malaise.

Here’s what I did to make it more welcoming…

1.  I painted the walls a nice dark, deep brown. They were a slate blue before. I think the brown is so much nicer and really cozies the room up.

2. I drove to Kansas City and purchased six second hand mission style oak quarter sawn oak chairs…

and a navy wing back chair with matching foot stool at a used furniture store called the Paris Flee. The chairs matched our existing table perfectly and gave us an additional dining space for our guests as well as a new place for the boys to spread out their homework. I am currently typing this post from the new (old) leather wing back. It’s very comfy and the navy blue leather matches the red/blue/green/tan plaid wool cushion on the chairs.

3. Next, I had a few of my favorite photos enlarged and I framed them in some store bought frames and hung them on the walls. You can see the bus photos in some of the above pics.

4. Finally, I tackled the shelves. I wish I had a before and an after of them. The shelves had never really been artfully arranged and they were not organized in any particular manner. I took everything off the shelves, cleaned them off, filled up two boxes with books to take to the used book store and then set about trying to make the shelves look more organized, interesting and fun.

5. I am not much of a decorator, but I think the shelves turned out nicely, I used little knick knacks I already had on hand to break up the stacks of books  and I organized the books loosely based on topics like…

The David and Amy Sedaris Section

The gardening with special attention to my hero, Beverly Nichols section

The Nancy Drew – my other hero section

My Heartwarming Atheist Collection located right below two shelves of classics.

The Agatha The Great and a few other mystery writers section.

The books I love a whole lot, lot, lot, lot, LOT section.

The CD’s book shelves..

I am so glad I tackled this project. The entire room is so much more welcoming now.

I would still like to find a rug, maybe some cushions for the window seat and possibly some wooden blinds as well as some more fun and funky items on the walls, the shelves and of course more books!  But I am pleased with the results at this point.

2011 Butterfly Collection

October 12th, 2011

It was a tough year on gardens this year in my part of the country. A month long heatwave caused a lot of gardeners to lose heart. I managed to keep my plants alive, but my overall harvest was significantly diminished. I am still getting tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and all the herbs I can stand and they are delicious.

Throughout the season I photographed any butterfly that would stay still long enough to let me snap a few photos. Here’s a few of them…

This guy had a town wing.