Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Defying convention....

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not, nor have I ever been 'normal.' There. I said it.

I won't say I 'm proud of the fact that I'm not your average, every day, run of the mill, 52-year old woman. I'm just at peace with it. Most days, anyway.

Okay, yes. I admit I have laid awake a few nights wondering what it would be like to be glamorous, like....
Elizabeth Taylor, for instance. Or to possess the poise and class of Grace Kelly.

But alas, it just wasn't meant to be. Any and all attempts that have ever been made to emulate have ended like a long lost episode of "I Love Lucy."
Sorry, Honey.
It's no wonder his hair is turning gray. Bless his heart. His mother was/is a Liz Taylor - 'cept without all those husbands, of course.
Please, don't feel sorry for me. I do NOT waste time trying to be something I'm not meant to be. 
 I decided a loooong time ago to not give a jack rabbit what anybody thinks.
That means if you live in Rowlett, Texas and you see a middle-aged woman with Miley Cyrus hair, on a pink and white vintage bike, her cowboy boot wearing feet pedaling a mile a minute it's most likely me! And sometimes I'm even wearin' a big ole' hat! It embarrasses my kids to no end. And I don't care! I'm having a good time and that's all that matters.
You see, I have this vision in my head. My children are old, knitting and playing Bingo in an old folks home.
A nurse gently saunters in, taps my son on the shoulder, dreading what she must tell him, "I'm sorry to interrupt your Bingo game, Mr. Truitt (or Mrs. Tapper in my daughters case), but your Mother just passed away."

"It's about time!" my son will bellow.
(Forgive him, remember now, he's old and cranky).

"Yes," my daughter will manage to squeeze a few tears, "after all she was 105."

"Oh, no!" the nurse exclaims. "That wasn't it at all. It was a freak accident! She hit her head on a rock when she fell off her horse!"

My kids don't think that story is funny at all. Mainly because at my age they think I should give up the horses.

"Mom," Will says as he rolls his eyes. "You will NOT be riding horses at 105. You won't even be riding at 65!"

Hmmm. We'll see about that.
My heroine, Connie Reeves, 101, was still riding her horse, Dr. Pepper up until 10 days before she died.

It seems that Dr. Pepper, a feisty old boy himself, at 28, was pitching a  hissy fit and threw his owner to the ground. The fall broke her neck, but it didn't paralyze her. She died a few days later, though - from a heart attack.

Please make note that she is wearing her lipstick!
Other women that defied convention...Amelia Earhardt, Katharine Hepburn, Madame C.J. Walker just to name a few. I love the story Dad used to tell me about a local woman he delivered Meals on Wheels to. Ruby Gayle Wilson was well known in our hometown for her glamour and outrageously expensive clothes. At over 100 years old,  Dad described her in full makeup with all of her jewels dangling from her body, all dressed up like she was going to a ball. I love it! That tells me that even at almost 102, she still had a zest for life and had something to live for.
My favorites, though are the up and coming convention-breakers!
For instance, my dear friend Sherry Norman, tells the story of how her niece wanted to get married in camouflage. Unfortunately not all people embrace originality, so said niece settled for plaid, instead, just to keep peace in the family. I'll go easy on her. After all, she's young and she'll learn as she gets older to tell everyone to 'take a hike.' (I remember I wanted my own wedding gown to be red velvet. But when Mama's face turned 'red velvet' I settled for the namby-pamby white after all.)
The up and comers will learn in good time that it's no good to keep the peace if you don't have peace in your own heart. You just have to be who you are. Whether that's jumping out of planes at 50, learning to ski at 70, or running the Boston Marathon at 95. My rule of thumb is if it's not breaking the law - God's or Texas' - and if I'm not hurting anyone then I'll be who I am and I'll do what I want.

I tend to think us 'convention-defyers' have more fun than the average woman. We'll be the ones who are living as we are dying, not sitting around waiting for it to happen.
I suspect that regardless of how old we live to be, death will shock us when it happens.
We'll arrive at the Pearly Gates and exclaim to St Peter:
"Who? Me? But, I was getting ready to drive that Monster Truck over those volkswagen's in the Demolition Derby! Oh, you mean I had a brain aneuryism in the middle of it? Cool!"
Yes, I'll admit to a very small bout of envy when all eyes are fixed in my direction and I realize it's my glamorous friend, Carole,  standing beside me that everyone is admiring. Or how every head turns when my ballroom dancer friend Sonya saunters gracefully into a room.
(I can't even cross my legs without falling out of my chair.)
There's a place for the Grace Kelly/Liz Taylor's of the world. But I'd like to also think there's a place for the gals like me who aren't the conventional everyday type. Besides I have something that most movie star glamour girls could never have -  and that's only one man's name tattooed on my ankle.
Take that, Liz! ((smug))

Progress, sweet progress..

 Whew! We did it! We pulled it off! Everything we needed to get done before  the 'One Bride, Four Five Bridesmaids and One Wedding Rehearsal Dinner' event. Yesiree, Bob. We got it allll done, Mr. T and me. Not a cross word spoken, not one tense moment and our marriage still intact. Here's proof for all you Doubting Thomas':

Notice we left a space at the top? Mr. T is going to post a mantle there and has left enough space to display antiques and collectibles I might  am sure to find in the future because let's face it - I've pretty much made a career out of thrifting, junking and antiquing.
(If you ask me that tailgate he made me get rid of would have looked pretty darn nice up there. But I'm over it. Really, I am.  No, I'm serious. It's all in the past. I'm fine...really...)
These are all before and after pictures of what the bedrooms looked like up until 2 days before the rehearsal dinner.
I work best under pressure.

 That tiny little lace dress is mine from when I was a baby. All together now...awwwww.

This room is the 'Gabriela' named after our adopted daughter whom I hope will find it so cozy that she wants to eventually stay here with me. Forever and ever. And ever. Amen.
Oops - not a bedroom but the downstairs powder room that was such an eyesore. I had to close my eyes every time I went in there, which is a pretty dangerous thing to do when you gotta go.

 I was so anxious to get this redecorated I didn't even bother strippin' that ugly wallpaper. Instead Mr. T just took a few hours out of his weekend to spackle over it to give some texture and I just painted it the same Behr's Glazed Ginger that's throughout most of the downstairs. 
Huge improvement, huh?
Now, I pee with my eyes open.
The 'Cape Cod'.

Even though this room was incredibly dirty and dinghy, the way the light shined through still gave it a light and airy feel. Ralph Lauren's Brilliant White on the doors and backboards as well as the walls gives the room a very clean, crisp look.
The wooden American Flag comes from a restaurant my kids owned and when they re-decorated they gave it to me. This is the perfect room to decorate around the flag, don't you think?

Because I want guests to feel they're at the beach no matter the time of year, I put up light-weight, filmy curtains. I promise - as long as you don't look out the window you feel like you're in a Cape Cod bedroom. To keep the room this soothing and comforting I'm keeping everything stark white and am being careful to keep everything simple and not over-decorate, which you KNOW is a great challenge for me.
But still - it does need a few more things on the way and a dresser.
Moving right along....

So, there's nothing too special about this room other than the fact it's no longer a storage area and it actually has a bed. Granddaughter Sophia likes this room so this is where we'll sleep when she's here. It needs a rug here and there and a dresser or two.
There are two places that I frequent often enough that they know me by name. The Helping Hands Thrift Store in Rockwall and the  Thrift Store on Rowlett Road in Rowlett.
Just wait til I show you what I found at the Thrift Store in Rowlett. But that's for next time!