...their parents will play!
And stay up late and eat out, or better yet, have popcorn and twizzlers for dinner. They will have long conversations, and feel odd the entire time, for lack of being interrupted. The house will stay clean, the beds made, the laundry room empty, and there will be no crumbs on the floor. And they will marvel at what they can accomplish.
All kidding aside, T's parents graciously kept all three children for an entire week and it was wonderful. I don't remember the last time T and I had a week together at home. It was bliss. By about the third day, sans the kids, I became giddy. It was like I finally felt the relief from being responsible for three children...and it was wonderful. I had forgotten just how much I really like my husband. Like, I really like my husband. It's easy to forget that marriage is a bigger priority than children. A priority that was there before they were born, and will continue after they fly the nest. Even though T went to work each day, a week at home, just the two of us, was very good for our marriage.
By the end of our time apart, we were thrilled to see the children! When Sister and I embraced, she burst into tears. (And melted my heart.)
So, while they were away, my main goal was to slipcover an old hand-me-down sofa, to re-upholster the settee for Sister's room, and to paint the living room.
As for the sofa, she was beautiful in her day. I can still here my grandmother fussing at me for sitting on the arm. However, time has taken its toll on the fabric. It's worn completely through in many areas and was quite stained.
Originally, I thought I wanted to go white. However, I couldn't find white fabric thick enough to hide the chintz. So I opted for linen, but wanted to slip the frame itself in a charcoal color and leave the cushion a natural color. I couldn't find charcoal linen. So I bought some dye.
But their was too much fabric to fit it all in the washer at once, and I wanted my scraps to be the original linen color. And I wasn't sure where to cut. So I started draping and pining and cutting.
For three days I draped and pinned and cut and sewed.
And I did a little seam ripping. And finally I had what I was looking for.
But it wasn't the color I wanted. Everything in the living room was beige and tan...so with trembling hands, I loaded the washer and poured in the dye. And then like a wide-eyed child, I squatted down with my face pressed against the washing machine window, watching. And sweating.
Eventually I broke away. I worked on the cushion cover. And kept running back to the washer...and then the dryer. Finally, the moment of truth. I put her on the sofa...and COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT. The dye didn't take on the thread...and the color wasn't charcoal gray. It was DENIM BLUE. (Nothing wrong with a denim blue sofa - it's just that I'd spent three days and some hard earned money and did NOT have what I'd envisioned, which, as you can imagine, is rather disappointing.) I fretted and wrung my hands.
My sweet husband, who'd suggested I run a test dye batch, never gave me the "I told you so" look. He agreed wholeheartedly that it looked like denim and that he also would prefer a charcoal color. He assured me that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that big of a deal. He suggested I try re-dying it.
So we went to the fabric store and I bought every packet of brown dye they had. Because the brand dye they carried wasn't made for use in a washer, I mixed it in a wheelbarrow...and spilled it on my tennis shoes, so I threw them in, too. (They came out looking much better than before.)
For an hour I hand "swished" that fabric, hoping against hope that my knowledge of the color wheel would prove useful.
I wrung it out the best I could and stuffed it all in a garbage bag and carried it inside to put in the washer. But there was a lot of liquid I hadn't wrung out, and I tipped the bag wrong, and sloshed brown dye water all over a rug. Thankfully the rug was already dark colors and I was able to quickly rinse the dye out. Finally, I got the fabric in the washer, and then the dryer.
While it didn't come out as envisioned, I do like it.
It went from this:
(In case it reads denim on your screen - it's not. It's a brownish-dark gray.) I also re-arranged the room and painted and did a bit of re-purposing.
All in all, I am pleased. There is a part of me that wishes I'd never messed with the dye...that I'd left it the original linen color. Live and learn, right?
At the end of the week we'd accomplished much. I am ashamed to admit that I'd fully anticipated getting to the end of my to-do list and having a great sense of accomplishment, of rest, of worth, from doing all we'd done.
However, that was not the case. I got lots done, but I felt no different. No better. No more worthy. I do believe the Holy Spirit is teaching me that while I often (failingly) seek my worth and significance in what I can do or in the way my home looks, it's not there. I may find it there temporarily, but we all know the new rush fades fast. No, my worth and significance are to be found in my Redeemer. If only I didn't run from Him and look elsewhere so often.