while flat on my back once again for the past week or so, i have had many a visitor look down directly and ask me why i don't hire someone to do my desired decoratin' so that i don't do damage to my dilapidated self. it is only those who didn't know my dear mother that ask this of me. the ones that did don't dare doubt that it is destined that if it needs to be done - or i desire it done - and i think i can do it, i must at least deliberate the doin' of it myself.

as you can see in this photo of my dear mother, she began her 'need to do' at a very early age. no doubt this shot was caught of her durin' the reconfiguration o' some piece o' furniture or, since doin' domestic deeds and doo dad collectin' go hand in hand, she may have been creatin' someplace safe to keep her earlier collections, large and small.

growin' up i never remember any type o' workman ever comin' round' to do anything. if somethin' broke, there was no need to run out to buy supplies for fixin' it. my mom would just disappear for a bit, rummage around in her many doo dad collections and come back shortly with whichever one was needed for the repair along with the perfect tool from the big red tool chest. the doo dad used might not be the one typically recommended but it would work and the faulty item usually never need repairin' again.

while the door to our house was never locked and seldom knocked (friends and neighbors would just open it and announce themselves), the doo dads and the big red metal craftsman toolbox had a home of their own complete with security system. and since lookin' for what was needed for the job at hand could take a while, there was even air conditionin' to relieve the texas heat.

when big enough to weld a hammer without tippin' over from it's weight, we kids got to help with the decoratin' and domestic deeds. queenie was never much interested - we assumed it was cause she planned to marry prince charles and as his wife wouldn't have the use for these skills. but michael and i were excellent students and in no time were allowed access to the big red toolbox and the doo dads. once we were old enough to get a driver's license, we had to learn to change a flat and a fuel pump before takin' the driver's test. i should'a spent a lil time beforehand attemptin' parallel parkin' too as i failed three times. luckily durin' the fourth attempt we had a flat and the tester was so impressed with my abilities at swiftly takin' the flat tire off and replacin' it with the spare that he passed me without makin' me do any further drivin'.

when i left home and ventured out into the real world, i was amazed that there were people who were not willin' to at least attempt to do the things they desired done and even more shocked that not everyone was required to dedicate decent dimensions of their domicile for storin' their doo dads...in fact...most people didn't even have doo dads! there were many i encountered that dared to refer to my own as 'whatnots' or 'chatchkees'...and worse....junk! how dare they! 'whatnots' and 'chatchkees' (i have no idea how to spell that offensive word) are small dust collectin' items with no purpose, placed row after row takin' up good space that could be put to better use. i could only feel sorry for those who made such a display of ignorance and poor upbringin'.

mini's daddy wasn't too crazy about my doo dad collection when he realized it was gonna go wherever i did and if he wanted me he had to welcome it along with my big toolbox. he was the kind o' person who was happy to pay strangers to do everything. but it didn't take him long to realize how fortunate he was to have himself a doo dad collectin' tool box ownin' wife. and he was proud as could be when by the age of two, mini could look at just about anything and create some version of it herself outta whatever she had at hand.

one o' my proudest moments as a hostess was durin' a show'n tell when mini was in the second grade. her friend diana - who had visited us the weekend before cause her mom was recoverin' from a neck injury - showed a stool she had made and painted durin' her visit and her tellin' included that if you visited our house, you could make all your dreams come true. this was quite an exaggeration of course but it was nice that she felt that way. whenever i see her, she still runs up and squeezes me tightly, which is unusual behavior for girls durin' the body snatchin' years.

after breakin' my back i found that i could do just 'bout anything and wouldn't have to pay for it til two days later when i might not be able to move quickly or maybe at all. but if i stayed pretty still and pounded down some advil i'd be back to normal the next mornin'. i'm afraid with each passin' year it is takin' more than a day to bounce back. and if i take on a domestic deed too dauntin', like paintin' the walls o' the doo dad den to match the newly painted floor, my recovery time can turn into a spin flat on the floor for a good five days to a week.

i'm almost back to normal now which is a good thing cause it's drivin' me crazy layin' here lookin' up at a ceilin' that doesn't match the rest o' the room. mini's daddy has hired someone to come in and do it but they better come soon cause in another day or so i may just have to do it myself.

queenie chose this picture o' my dear mom with her hammer as the one placed on the easel durin' her funeral. anyone who didn't have the good fortune to know her would feel it wasn't appropriate and find an olan mills studio shot much more appropriate. but everyone who attended thought it was the perfect choice for a lifelong doo dad collector and tool box owner who attempted to do anything that needed done.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you learned from the best and that your mom was quite the handy gal to have around. And I am willing to bet that Mini will get that from you. ;) Love the hammer photo...that says to me that your mom was a woman who knew what she wwanted and wasn't afraid to do it herself. I have to admit, that I am not always the handiest of women. I can patch things but hubby usually comes home and tells me I did it wrong and proceeds to undo whatever I patched and do it the "proper" way. lol


Jan said...

esjtmit's hard to let someone else do things, especially if I know what I have in mind, and I know I'm eventually just going to have to redo the work. I've taken the advice of those marriage books, however, and just kept quiet when efforts were made without being requested. He means well, even if he has no clue which items went into which cabinet when he unpacked boxes, or he doesn't put enough fabric softener in when he does laundry. On the other hand, when he tells me he's the paint expert, and I'm not allowed to paint inside or outside the house, and some of it has now been waiting for him for him for almost 10 years....well, I'm about to take matters into my own hands, after giving several warnings! lol! I think he's just a bit of a control freak at heart, and I think I've become less of one, though I do need to be a bit more assertive with him. I taught myself to wallpaper & installed my own garbage disposal in my townhouse. I owned more tools than he did when we married. Maybe it's just time to start taking those classes at Lowe's & Home Depot, and getting stuff done! lol!!

Christa said...

Dear Ms Mmo.. love that adorable pic of your Mom and Queenie pocked the perfect pic of her to display. I have been banned from painting (and always have) when growing up and my parents painted the house, i was never allowed to help, and the same goes for here.. i don't know who said what and that hubby won't let me touch the brush and paint, I am not really sloppy or drippy at all, and have no clue where I got that reputation from. I can hook up cable no problem and did so over the phone when I was in my first apt.... drawing a schematic over the phone with my Daddy giving me directions of an A/B switch for the cable box convertor and I can do other things, but most of the time I am not allowed.. still waiting on the house painting, maybe he will get around to it soon.. lol.. in the meantime, i brake things and he fixes it.. by the way, in case it ever happens to anyone in moland, if your disposal stops working, there is a reset button on it, so make sure before replacing a disposal that you try out the reset button!! (who knew) we were already to buy a new one when I found that out and told hubby... anyway, i am glad you are feeling better... leave it to your hubby to get someone to do the ceilings.. sometimes paying for someone to do it, is better then the pain you will endure for more than a day.. I know .. hubby has back issues and he suffers like you do my dear Mo.. a day of doing things and then 3-4 in pain recupping, then feeling better doing stuff again and the cycle continues. Big big hugs go out to you.. christa

Jan, aka Milly & Nana Sugar someday... said...

I lost my Mother just this time last year, and she too could do anything.

For me, the overwhelming sorrow is starting to slowly fade into the background, and the wonderful memories of her life are beginning to emerge. Not the memories of the later years when she had grown old and weak, but of the good years, when she was strong and healthy.

Writing about your Mother is a healing process. You are doing a good job of honoring your Mother, Mo. It's a wonderful gift you're giving her posthumously. You sound like a devoted daughter, she must have been very proud of you.

Jan/Maggie Moo

ejj said...

Dear Mo,

I hope you feel better soon. Would love for you to come help me do some painting--I'm afraid that I have much in common with Queenie!


Rosa said...

Wonderful pics; yes the good ones start young. My dad was the fixer upper, could fix anything (normally someone elses thing as our house was always quite "rigged.") I guess I picked it up from him. I think I've done it all, electrical, drywall, tiling, etc. It makes ya proud, don't it! (I do, however, hire for out of my league projects! I have learned that much through trial and error!) Hope you are up and about soon, Mo!

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of your mamma -- she's adorable, proud and confident. How lucky you are to have had such a great teacher! Now I know why you're always doin' it yourself. :)

I like to brag that I owned more tools than DH when we met... including all sorts of saws and a drill press (my favourite tool). I loved spending hours in the garage as a kid hammerin and making things out of wood scraps. Which reminds me, if Macy and I don't get out there and make a robin shelter pretty soon they're gonna be takin up residence somewhere else.

Hope you're feelin' much better very soon and ready to tackle whatever spring job tickles your fancy.


Barbara said...

So what more could a man want, anyway? Smart, gifted, creative, witty, beautiful, and comes with her own tool box...i'd say your dh hit the jackpot, miss mo. So sorry that the d.i.y. has you o.t.f. (on the floor), but glad you're feeling a bit better. That's a wonderful photo of your mom; and it's always fun to read more tales of your family.

As for me, i'm good with computers, decent with a hammer, but keep me away from any tool of the amputatin' type. I could just see my left arm having an "out of body" experience ;) Take care, mo...and have that painter put some stars on that ceiling!

jayne said...

Mo, so sorry you were flat out again! :(

The photo of your mom as a child is fab...that little dress is to die for and well, that hammer seals the deal! Perhaps your mom was the original Spice Girl and set the "girl power" movement into motion! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Miss Mo!

Just popped waay down here so comment would be less likely to be seen by a truckload of ppl. First, just found out you existed today from credit in a blog. Figured I'd check you out, and then of course couldn't get into the shop since I'm an aspiring dig designer (sob!..but totally understandable. Sad sad sad that piracy means it needs to be this way!). So popped into blogland and proceeded to about fall off my chair. Literally. Hubby commented on dropped jaw-ed glassy look, and I explained that I'd just found my alltime blog hero, design goddess, and crafter extraordinaire who clearly could give Martha (i've always found her a bit overplayed) a run for her money. Seriously, how many hours does your day have? lol I'm looking at all this incredibly gorgeous creative stuff, and just blown away. I'm the girl who has great ideas, gets halfway thru a project and gets stuck somehow. And you mentioned somewhere that you didn't rely on crafting income, so apparently you're employed as well! lol Sheesh...you're officially an amazing chica, designer, and mommy.

From the digital enhancements to your fab photos, you're apparently pretty dang talented with the mac as well! I'm just cracking up over here. But I did figure that if I ever inspired anyone as much as you inspired me, I'd like to hear about it, so figured I should drop you a line.

Now obviously, I can't check out shop as I'm creating portfolio to try to get digital designs out in the world. Is there anywhere that I might be able to see some of your work, other than here, of course. Do you have a Deviant art page, or something? Whatever you've got...newsletter, yahoo group, whatever, I'd appreciate you sticking me on the list.

Really truly inspired here. Can't imagine how on earth you get it all done in a day, but you seriously create gorgeousness in all sorts of ways, and putting all that beauty into the world is a wonderful gift.

And how the heck have I been in dig scrap scene for a year and never heard of you?! Strange. Well, I'll be checking blog often. Your wit is entertaining in and of itself, and the photos of your doodads are just fantastic. From now on, whenever I need crafty inspiration, I'll stop here before I head over to art ezine uk.

Best to you and yours, and thanks so much for the inspiration! And seriously, hon..give yourself a big ole' pat on the back. When it comes to shab crafting, you've got it down!