My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Redneck Parenting and Decorating

I'd like to add a new dimension to my Redneck Parenting series: Redneck Decorating. See, this is the thing, when you're a busy parent, you don't often notice things that are right under your nose until someone else comes over. Then, you are magically able to see lots of scary things through their eyes. Someone came by the house last night (not an unusual thing, believe me, our house is like Grand Central Station, but someone who hasn't been in our home before), and I saw a number of scary redneck decorating details. But I must say, they weren't the result of MY decorating, but that of the children. These little touches had, however, gone unnoticed for quite a while, especially in some cases. I'll spare you the details of how I know how long...

Redneck Decorating Details
1. One of my creative children had removed all the decorative stirrers from the bar and placed one in each house plant all over the house. There were stirrers everywhere and one lucky plant had a little umbrella, another a tiny straw. Liven up your houseplants with something to make it unique, special to the eye.

2. When I opened the blinds in the front window, I saw that an entire battalion of army men had been placed on the windowsill, looking out at the street. I couldn't resist walking out to the sidewalk and looked in awe at the battle scene my neighbors have been witnessing for quite a while. Decorating items that give homage to the military history of our country and honor our veterans are always welcoming and tasteful.

3. On the train table, several barbies rolled together, embracing. When I asked about it, my son said they were giant woman wrestlers and the people on the train were watching. Hmmm...naked? Should I be worried? Quite a decorative impact, though. I don't even know what to say about this scene.

4. In the downstairs guest bathroom (which everyone uses to brush their teeth in the morning, so under the sink has a ton of toothbrushes--remember my hubby's a dentist, so everyone has, like, three toothbrushes), someone had decorated modern-art style. A row of toothbrushes lined the walls of the bathroom, handle to bristles, so that an art-deco type border of toothbrushes outlined the entire bathroom floor. Forget expensive shoe molding or wallpaper borders, go for the authenticity of everyday items. The centerpiece was a pair of Bob the Builder underwear on the floor just in front of the toilet.

5. My favorite decorating bit from my children are the vases they continually fill. Splashes of color bring the outside in and truly bring the freshness of spring indoors, a must for good decorating. I really do love their collections of flowers and dandelions that decorate the kitchen windowsill, coffee table, etc. I've been trying to show my daughter to incorporate greens and other things to fill out the arrangements which she's done beautifully, especially an arrangement that was in the dining room. Though now dead, I could still see it as the beautiful arrangement it had been a few days ago. However, only now in the presence of guests, did I noticed the poison ivy 'filler'. Hmmm...guess that wasn't dry skin on her arms last week.

6. The last bit of decorating that my children do EVERY DAY is completely transform the sofa into a fort. And we have a BIG sectional sofa. EVERY cushion, pillow and so on is involved in this very sophisticated structure (yes, engineers in the making, I'm sure). It gives the space a very urban feel, a focal point for the room, and feels very industrial revolution, you know? Somehow I'm able to overlook this small thing in the course of daily events (until bedtime, of course, when they have to clean it up). BUT when guests come by and you ask them in to sit down, well....I noticed.

7. Another colorful decorating feature in our combination kitchen/family room is a hanging montage of backpacks, gym bags, ice skating bags, dance bags, soccer bags, and boy scout bags. It adds color, texture and dimension, really makes the occasional empty space POP.

My only REDNECK ENTERTAINING TIP for today goes right along with the above decorating tips, give your guest a drink immediately upon entry, and perhaps they can view your decor with humor or by the second trip, even admiration.

Good luck with your own decorating. Remember, let the kids lead, they have a natural eye.

Welcome to some new readers Alison, Brenda, and others who haven't signed in or left their names (please comment and introduce yourself!). We had 53 visitors yesterday. Come again, and bring your friends. xoxoxo


Sara said...

As long as they don't decorate with Sharpies. Or lipstick.

There was a period when my daughter was three when she thought it artistic to leave a scratched or scribbled "R" underneath furniture. The rule has to be: if you made it, you can sign it; otherwise, NO. ;)

We also had many episodes of decorating with string. It can be tied to so many things, you know. So versatile and minimalist.

Donna Jones Koppelman said...

OMG, How could I have forgotten the string? Definitely a favorite. "Charlotte's Web" has really inspired my crowd. Another favorite in that genre is dental floss. We have a lot of that around,and I don't think it touches many teeth. I should have mentioned that it was dental floss, in fact, that was holding together the nude barbie wrestlers on the train table. Gross. I vow here and not that after this moment I will NEVER type the phrase 'nude barbie wrestlers' again. Thanks for visiting. Come again!

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman