Saturday, February 14, 2015

When Your Cup Runneth Over (But You're Complaining of Thirst)


 Some years ago, on a cooking blog that no longer exists, I used to follow a young wife and mother who shared her wonderful creations. Once, she wrote a post in which she gave a tour of her lovely kitchen, complete with photos. It was then that she made the startling announcement that, with the exception of two counter top appliances, she hated the whole room. Everything in it. In fact, she hated her entire house.

What?

The kitchen was brand new. The whole house was new. How could this happen?

She elaborated on everything she felt was wrong with her kitchen, but no matter how hard she made her case, I just couldn't see it. After all, I didn't even have a kitchen. We had just torn out our kitchen right down to the dirt crawlspace. Here is what it looked like:

Yes, that's The Mister, our dog, and a room with no floor.

Don't worry, we had a temporary kitchen set up in another room of our home. It was a necessary inconvenience.

Anyway, you can just imagine what ran through my mind as I read the words of this ranting ungrateful queen in her castle who hated her new cabinets and new counters in her spacious kitchen in her brand new home. Also, why was she wasting time complaining about this? The rest of the time she was busy showing off delicious meals and baked good concocted in this inadequate kitchen. So, why THIS?

You probably think I'm going to call her spoiled, and a host of other titles of discontent. I probably did call her many things, in my head, many moons ago. But here is what I'm really here to say: I can out do her. Or at least, there was time, when I could have blown her out of the water in a contest where having it all was not enough. That was back before I had to build a kitchen from scratch. Back when I was young and felt the same. Far before I realized that everything I have has been given to me and it is a gift. Everything.

Now we've built a lovely kitchen filled with things I have collected and love. I'll share some of those things with you in this post.




I saw this wreath on Etsy for $40. I made it for less than $20.
We found that 29 cent box of canning lids in a barn at my in-law's.
 Still, I am bombarded with hundreds of images a week of breathe taking kitchens that make me second guess everything from lights to faucet handles. Even after personally selecting the finer details of my kitchen, something will find me and send me into a tunnel of wonder. Did I pick the right faucet? That floor was an awful choice. Should we have bought the lot next door and just made the whole thing bigger? (No, definitely no, on that one!)

My enamelware collection and Grandma's old kettle.
Finally, I remind myself that I have a working country-type kitchen and could never be bothered with cleaning tomato splatter off of a chandelier, so just stop it already. I'm annoyed I even had to have a debate with myself over having a chandelier in my kitchen. Stop the madness. At it's core, my kitchen is a tool for sustenance, not a museum or gallery. It was made with our own hands, paid for in cash and sweat. It's fit for the daughter of a King.

Sometimes it is a refuge, my happy place to knead and sigh and hastily type out a note to a friend.

I'm not kidding when I say it's a refuge.
But that young woman mired in a spirit of discontent? She lurks, and I catch glimpses of her sometimes. Lock your pantry, ladies. She may be prowling in a room at your house next. If she whispers in your ear that you need a chandelier, soundly evict her.

Be alert. 

She is We. 

22 comments:

  1. Lovely post Monica. Such true thoughts. I think your kitchen looks lovely and a very pleasant place to work and serve your family.

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    1. Thanks, Becka. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  2. So true! I know after visiting Haiti, I realize just how thankful I should be for all that's been given me!

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    1. That would definitely do it for me too!

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  3. Your kitchen is very pretty and looks like a fun place to work.
    The" ornament" stretched out on the counter is especially cute!
    Linda

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  4. Yeah...she shows up here from time to time. Thanks for the beautiful post.

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  5. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Real, lived-in homes are the best!

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  6. Oh, yes.... I was mildly discontented with a few things in my kitchen (whole house, actually) and had plans of fixing things over time.... when disaster struck and took from me almost my entire home. Our copper tubing for heating with hot water burst upstairs, in several rooms causing hot water to be pumped through the upstairs which, of course, soaked through to the ceilings and walls on the first floor, and continued the journey to the basement... ruining everything in it's path. We learned a lot of lessons.

    I LOVE your kitchen! I love how you have decorated your refuge :-)

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    1. Oh Peggy, what a story! Having seen water damage in the homes of friends and family, I know how devastating it can be. I'm sure that just getting everything back to normal was like paradise after such an experience.

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  7. I LOVE your new kitchen and all your special "Monica touches" - especially your beautiful little cookie-tester! Love all your enameled pots, and your grandma's kettle, too. And if there's a prettier color of KitchenAid, I've never seen it! In love!! And I'm so happy you finally have a great place to cook!

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    1. Thanks BAT Mom, I love it, too. The Mister wants to know when I'm putting away the enamelware. He doesn't get that it is to be admired!
      Now if only I could get my back splash up. I have a plan for that, but this thing where there is only 24 hours in a day is a killer.

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  8. So a 'yea' and an 'amen' and a 'yes, I know what you mean.' We put in a brand-new kitchen last fall, and I. Am. Loving. It. Years of having a make-do, super-ugly, hardly-any-cabinets-or-counters space to make you grateful when the new one comes in.

    Is it the fanciest? No. Is it the most beautiful? Probably not. But to me, it is, and yes, it's a refuge. On top of that, it's all paid.

    In the intervening months, my new kitchen with the coffee rug and the coffee pictures and the coffee machine have been such a tremendous blessing. I don't want to go to ungratefulness or discontentment, and I find staying off Pinterest et. al is a help to me here.

    That's me and doesn't have to be anyone else. But right now, I'm grateful for what I have and for all my husband did to provide it.

    You are right on, my friend.

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    1. Interesting Rhonda, and let me just say how exciting it was to hear from someone who has also been down the kitchen renovation path. I love your attitude about it and strongly agree with how much you appreciate it when it's done and paid for. Also, all is right with the world knowing that you have a coffee theme going on over there.

      Interesting thought about Pinterest, too. I've heard other people say that.

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  9. Monica, this is a great post! I love the last line. Don't ever lose that sense of humor.

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    1. Thanks Saloma, I won't lose my humor. My survival often depends on it!

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  10. So, so true, Monica! And sometimes I don't even realize that little beast of discontentment is cropping it's ugly head. Actually, it's one of the reasons I've backed off on my Facebook usage. I had to go without when we were gone for 6 weeks and realized I surprisingly didn't miss it that much! I also realized that I was happier because I wasn't always seeing people who seemingly had more amazing lives, more beautiful houses, more charming kiddos and better vacations that I do. :) Please don't hear me saying that Facebook is wrong or that those people were the problem. Nope, it's me that has the problem and for right now, it simply feels like avoiding Facebook is probably a good thing for me.

    Oh and I love the wreath you made! So pretty and way to go to make it for less. Don't you just feel savvy? ;)

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    1. I definitely echo some of your thoughts regarding Facebook, Lydia. Especially during the summer when everyone is posting about their amazing vacations...AGAIN. On the other hand, maybe you'd be surprised to hear how many times I've thought your kids are perfectly charming. :) Anyway, I've definitely decreased my usage of it and tend to just check in with my deal groups and a few other people who I don't want to lose touch with.

      You know what's really great about that wreath? It's completely pinned together and can be remade a thousand different ways so I can update it each season by adding a new trinket here and there. Yes, it was my budget decor win for the year!

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  11. What a lovely kitchen! Is the little mister feeling the warmth and vibrations from the dishwasher.
    And your point is well taken. Why don't I just be happy with what I have?

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    1. I think we are happy with what we have, but can't stop striving for more and better. It's there that things get out of hand. I wish I had the answers!

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