Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Good, The Bad, The WONDERFUL

Quote-In my world everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies  Dr. Seuss
I think it’s time I come clean about me, my life, my kids, and my furniture passion.
Ugh that is so scary quite honestly, but I’m feeling quite…hmmm…what’s the word….”wordy”. I don’t know. Call it what you will, I’m not sexy and I know it…more like, honest and I know it (that’s so not fun).
But first grab a cup of coffee before you  begin to read…
Where to begin, let’s start with furniture since it’s the easiest.  I started painting furniture when I purchased my home 5 going on 6 years ago. We had our first house (it was small, but big to me at the time). I didn’t have anything to fill it with, so one day I saw a table on the side of the road on the way to take the kids to school and knew it was too perfect to pass up. The kids were, of course, mortified so they asked me to pick it up after dropping them off. I did! I painted the table a light brown and tan(safe colors) and put it in my bedroom as a side table. It was perfect. It wasn’t long after, that I started finding odds and ends here and there and collected them to furnish the rest of the house.
At the time, I never went to garage sales (if you can believe that)  but a friend made me tag along with her one day and that opened up the doors to all kinds of wonderful things.  I LLLLOOOOVVEEEDD  going to garage sales and couldn’t believe some of the things I’d pick up for a few dollars that I could make look brand new. I was hooked!
A few yard sales and curbside finds later, I heard about a flea market nearby called Junkadoodle!  I could rent a space for like $35 and I knew if I sold one $50 piece, I’d make my money back plus some profit too. I jumped at the chance!!  In fact, the first time I went, Ashley and I ran the booth and we froze our butts off!!  It was freezing but we had the best time!!  I think I made somewhere in the range of $75. I was so EXCITED! It’s always the little things with me.  We did it again the following fall and I made over $500 in one day. That was so awesome!! I think it gave me the courage to say….”hey I can actually do this!”  Not to mention the fact that Sammy saw me actually make a profit from all the junk I’d been collecting in our sun room.  I think he was beginning to think I had serious issues!
He was actually the one that dubbed this new found hobby “Curbside Creations” and the name stuck! Today, the pieces I find go in my booth in Downtown Dallas at a Funky Eclectic Antique store called Lula B’s.  I have an Etsy shop too, but got kind of sick of shipping, so stopped all together. I still toy with the idea of putting some pieces on there and telling people where they can find my stuff (shop local) but who knows.  More on furniture later…
Now, enter my children. You all know Ashley is my college student. I miss that kid every day!  She and I are so alike it’s scary!!  ON the other hand, there is Brianna who is so much like her dad…THAT’S scary. How I did that, I have no idea.
                                 photo               IMG_1639
Brianna is 16 and has gone through the wringer. She suffers from depression and now is being diagnosed as
Bi-polar. I believe there is more going on there too.  I won’t go into detail about the depths of her life and what she has suffered and gone through because that is her story to tell. Anyone who has gone through depression knows…it’s not pretty.  I can’t speak for her, but as a mom, it’s HARD!  I see her every day with her ups and downs and in between’ s. She cries, she gets angry, she loses hope and sometimes she gets a little happy.  It’s definitely a rollercoaster ride and we feel like we’re on the front row.
One thing she definitely isn’t is “wordy” like her mother. She’s a very –get to the point- kinda girl.  We’ve gone to many therapists and I wish I could say that she has one that truly helps, but that’s not true.  It’s frustrating that the doctors we’ve been to don’t know her like I need them to,  but they diagnose her based on their “30 min” interaction with her. IT’S FRUSTRATING!  I need someone who realizes they are dealing with a “16” year old and to read between the lines of not only what she says but what she doesn’t say. I still don’t think she knows what she feels, much less  is able to really express that to a doctor.  Anyway, it’s hard. Harder some days than others that’s for certain.  She has also dealt with issues at school and we are dealing with that as well. To say my life is as sunshiny as it may sometimes seem is so far from the truth. But again, that all depends on how you look at it.
I worry about both of my girls everyday and on the other hand try to consider the fact that I’m leading the kind of life that makes sense. Working on furniture helps and hinders in both regards. On one hand, it helps get through some frustrating times and on the other hand, I want to do it so much I think I drive my family crazy with it. It’s very hard and complicated to find the balance. For now I just do what I do, when I can. Most days…it works!
As for me, I don’t know how well you all may know me besides the painting of furniture but for some odd reason, I feel the need to make sure you understand where I’m coming from.  I had a follower of mine tell me not too long ago that she is inspired by me because of the way I see furniture. How I can see beyond what’s there in front of me and because of that, I made her feel better about herself. Wow, talk about being blown away.  I know I kid and toot my own horn LOTs of times, kidding of course (sometimes) but if I had to describe myself, I think that is where I’d start. I see beauty where it sometimes doesn’t exist.  I’ve always lived that way. Not only does it reflect in my little furniture pieces but my life as well. My girls and I always look on the bright side, even when it’s the dullest we’ve ever seen. Remember, we make our own sunshine! I’ve drilled that into their heads and no matter how crazy our lives can get, they know that the circumstance of that particular moment can totally be changed if they look at it through rainbow colored glasses! 
The reason I decided to write this post is because I know we all have something in our lives that makes us crazy but there is always an outlet. Rainbow glasses come in all shapes and sizes. For me, it’s through furniture and the creative stuff I love so much.  The fact of the matter is, this is what helps me, so rather than keep everything I make, I post about it and sell it in my booth. And hopefully, earn extra cash to pay Ashley’s college bill!! 
I’m not a big time blogger with tons of followers. I have my family and  friends, some of which are all over the country and I couldn’t imagine my life without you all.  I deal with life a day at a time and work like a mad dog to make ends meet. Although I’ve had dreams to own my own shop and write a book about it, I realize that because I don’t,  doesn’t mean I’m selling myself short at all. I help provide for my family with the added perk of having a creative outlet. And believe me, I appreciate that!! I love that someone actually thinks of me when the see crap on a curb. I love that anyone knows if they need help with a project, the can call me and I’ll come running. I appreciate that people know if they say I’ll buy you a quart of paint rather than a quart of beer… you have stolen my heart! And the fact that I get thrift store gifts for my birthday just makes my soul sing.  It’s inevitable that life will give you lemons just remember it really isn’t that hard to make lemonade, citrus cleaner, or even take that lemon to Home Depot and match the color!! 
I think I’ve talked your ear off enough. I didn’t mean for this post to be this long but know it helps me to know that you understand me. Oh and just so you know, I’ll be having a hysterectomy at some point and will not be able to do any heavy lifting for a few weeks. Don’t these people know I have tons of sanding and painting to do???!!  So I’ll keep you posted on that (again, rainbow glasses, rainbow glasses).
Love you lots!!


momtofatdogs said...

Don't EVER loose those Rainbow Glasses. And the tougher it gets, the more often you need to wear them. I know this. Becasue I have a pair too.


Cindy said...

Rita, Being the mother of a bipolar son makes me understand your need for creative outlets. It may sound awful I know but sometimes I needed to be away from my son even if for only a few minutes. His doctors always told him to "walk away" when he feels the situation is out of his control, and I think that is good advice for the parents as well. My son was diagnosed at age 2! He is an Ultra Rapid Cycler from birth. Because of the rapid changes in mood many times per day rather than days or months he was always labeled as adhd. Doctor after doctor it was the same thing and always with us repeating the same things over and over again to each one: When did the symptoms start, what are the symptoms, what is the family history and how was your pregnancy? Always the same. But what we learned was that we needed to remain with one doctor so that they too got to know him. Once we did that then we began having better luck with meds. The biggest problem now (He's now 25 and on his own with a family) is that HE never has believed that he has a problem and now refuses meds. It was a struggle to get him to take them when he was younger too. He didn't like how they (always the ones that were working) made him feel. What I think though is that he was used to the uncontrolled feeling and it was the self control that he didn't understand. The right way is always weird when it's always been done the wrong way.
Anyway, let one doctor get to know your daughter and her to know them as well. It will make a great deal of difference. And remember that there is no quick fix. Meds take 3-6 mos to work and this is a LIFE-LONG battle for your daughter and your family. Walk away for a minute or two and allow all of you to catch your breath. Paint a table and don't forget that she needs a creative outlet too.
I was (because all 4 of our kids are now grown on have their own families) a stay-at-home wife and mom. I too have enjoyed a money making hobby on the side. It's varied over the years from personal gardener to jewelry designer to the now furniture re-finisher, and I have loved them all. And even if I only make enough to pay the cell phone bill every month at least I feel I contributed. You can only was so many dishes you know.
SO Rita, take a breath and be wordy if need be. Tomorrow is another day. You have my prayers.
West Lafayette, IN

Twice Nice said...

Rita, you have such a truly beautiful spirit! I love the rainbow glasses example. You are so right!Some things we deal with stink, but the sweet can far outweigh it if we let it. I'm sorry about the inevitable surgery, and for Briana's suffering. I'll be wearing my rose colored glasses in honor of you!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

i love you, rita- what a sweet post full of spirit. i think that is why we connect- like you i always see the beauty that isn't there for others, and always see the bright side... well 99% of the time. i totally get where you are coming from- money: HARD; parenting: HARD; finding balance: HARD. maintaining positivity: well sometimes it's all you've got!

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing. I love your blog! I feel like I know you better. You have given me the courage to blog about a tragedy in my life. Thank you.

Chris Dodaj said...

Rita, I am new to your blog, but I love all your projects!! I wish I could come to your booth - but that is a wee bit away from Connecticut!
I just turned 40 and I just had a total abdominal hysterectomy last week, and it is painful - but really only the first five days were the worst. I tried doing some stuff yesterday and don't you know that darn thing stared to bleed! So try to listen to the doctors, because I have learned that even though it looks good, you are really not healed on the inside for at least a month!

Good luck and God Bless1

Vickie Mireles said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm lucky to have a sissy in law like you. You are an inspiration - after all you are one of the reasons I decided to follow one of my passions.

I believe you will be able to write a book and you will get your shop. I just know you will.

Love you.