Wild Words: Dining Room

I keep thinking back to when I first saw the photos of my dining room on the real estate website. My husband and I had been wanting to buy our own home for years, but the timing was never right. But in the midst of searching through endless listings, I found this picture of a dining room, warm and bright with sunlight streaming in, falling all over the floor. It felt like home, just looking at it. This house wasn't the "ideal" of what we were looking for. We had been looking for something with more space - something where we could each have an office (I write, he composes music) and maybe a playroom/schoolroom for the children, as we wanted to homeschool them. This house was smaller by several hundred square feet. Still much more room than we'd ever had before. But I hesitated because it didn't fit into the box.

But when house after house fell through (we had put in several offers and even had a contract fall through), we came here on a rainy day in May of 2013 with our realtor to walk through the house. 

Our kids loved it immediately. Our daughter ran into the large living room, lay down on the new carpet, and started making "snow angels." Our son enjoyed how is voice echoed through the dining room and bedrooms with their hardwood floors. I remember standing in the dining room, looking out through the double glass doors at the rain pouring down onto the deck, closing my eyes, and imagining the sunlight streaming into the dining room, streaming over me where I stood. 

We made an offer on the house. The owners liked the offer. But then, during the inspection process, we found out that the roof had to be replaced and there were moisture issues in the crawl space. We sat on the floor in the living room with the home inspector, listening as he listed off the things that needed to be fixed before FHA would approve a loan. I looked at my daughter, making snow angels on the floor, and I cried silent tears. How do I tell her this isn't going to be her home?

In a miraculous turn of events, the roof inspector, who came to give us a second opinion, told us that the owners may be able to claim the roof under their insurance, as there was extensive hail damage. Our realtor talked to them, and the roof was replaced without us having to pay a dime toward it. The moisture issue in the crawl space was remedied, without us having to pay a dime for it. And in July, we moved in. 

It's been a little more than a year since we moved into our own home. The sunlight still fills the dining room, warming the walls and floor, brightening the atmosphere, although the dining room often has a cluttered table, books everywhere, backpacks and a purse on the floor, and a million random preschooler paintings floating about. It's not always as pretty, aesthetically, as it was in that picture that first captured my attention. But it holds its own beauty. And I want it to always be inviting - to me, my husband, our children, and whomever might walk through our door. I want to be able to offer a cup of tea and a chat to a friend as we sit in my dining room, enveloped in the warm light of the sun.

Animals where you least expect them

Dryer sheets. Yep. They (most of them) use tallow, or animal fat, as the softening agent. So, I'm not using them any more. I just recently made my own detergent at home (from Borax, Washing Soda, and Oxyclean, plus a few drops of essential oil each load) and that completely freshens my clothes. And I tried it without a dryer sheet today, and my clothes had no static and they were just as soft as ever. So, yeah.

Also, a lot of refined sugars have been purified through carbon filters made from cows' bones. Supposedly the bones come from cows who died of natural causes and not from factory farmed cattle, but still. Ew.

And gelatin. Which is made from collagen from animals' skin and bones. Again, ew.

And finally, cosmetics, such as mascara, lipstick and lip gloss. Of which, fortunately, I use none. I'm kinda glad I'm a natural girl. I don't remember the last time I used make-up.

So, in my quest to discover more about how animals are used in society, I signed up for a vegetarian starter kit from Peta. A while ago. And it just came in my mail yesterday. I've been reading over the materials, and they're very interesting and have caused me to think. A lot. I'm definitely leaning more toward becoming vegan, but I'd have some serious meal planning to do and I just need to use up some of the food I have first before I can "start fresh," so to speak. But I'm looking into it.

And I am getting a little more vocal about the possibility of my husband going veg. I think he's a long way off still, since he told me today that he's seen many Peta commercials and knows about what goes on with animals and it doesn't bother him.

That bothers me. It really does.