Monday, December 10, 2012

The Butterfly Emerges

Statistically speaking, college women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than anyone else, yet 95.2% of rapes on campus are never reported. If you live in a college town or close to a college town, please call and ask if there are support groups. Even if you have never been victimized, the more women who can gather and support one another --- the better.

God works in mysterious ways, everyone. Let my testimony assure you of that. When you are down and out and praying for something, anything, to show you that you are not alone in this world --- God answers. I had been dragging my feet when it came to my new DIY very, very cheap home improvements. I had been waking up daily, looking around in disgust, and just going back to bed. Despite incredible feedback and encouragement from Rhoda at SouthernHospitality and Mrs. Pennington at PenningtonPoint, I was overwhelmed. I spent the better part of every day looking at all the wonderful DIY blogs, but not really doing anything to help my own environment.

I had absolutely no idea where to even start.

And then ...

We won a brand new set of wonderful pillow top king size mattresses, which we've never, ever had before. Our full sized mattresses were already used when we got married almost 20 years ago - neither of us have ever had brand new mattresses - even as children.  I nearly fainted when they showed up with the delivery. I have no clue how our names were entered, but I'm so grateful to whoever did it. I almost need a step stool to climb up on the new ones. We feel like royalty and even sat together texting one another from our respective sides.  You better believe that we both knelt down beside our new bed and thanked the Lord. We will continue to do so.

And just like that --- I have the motivation to start doing something, anything.

Now, granted we haven't gotten any sheets or anything yet due to our budget, but that doesn't even matter. We don't know how to find sheets to cover a 17" mattress anyway, but learning is fun! We are so grateful and blessed. We use what we have and huddle together. It's wonderful. I don't think I've ever slept so comfortably in my life. I suffer from arthritis and fibromyalgia, but my stiffness is not NEARLY as bad in the morning now. Blessings, blessings, Dear God, thank you. Thank you.

I will be saying goodbye to my dark, depression ridden and ragged comforter. My husband liked to call it my ugly cocoon. He loves the color burgundy/crimson and so do I (ROLL TIDE), but for months I've burrowed here and wallowed in self-pity. So, something had to give. This is the old bedding on the full size bed (which we are still using on the King right now, though it doesn't fit):

I have a nice paycheck coming courtesy of a freelance writing gig and I sold a few pieces of jewelry. We decided to splurge on new bedding as our Christmas present to one another and we have already picked it out!! It is mostly white and has butterflies which is why I chose it. It will definitely lighten the room a ton and the butterflies are kinda symbolic of my shedding of the cocoonThis is what we are going with: (NOT MY PHOTO YET, MINE IS COMING SOON)

Thankfully, I have an online friend with mattresses like the ones we won and she pointed me in the right direction by assuring me we can no longer use comforters. She said even duvet sets can be tricky. I've never even said duvet out loud, y'all. I'm so out of my league. We have to go with a bedspread from now on and not a quilt or comforter because the mattress is so thick. To properly cover this gloriously large bed --- we need at LEAST 115 inches in width and that's still pushing it. This gorgeous bedspread is 118 inches wide and she promises it will work. It won't look like a bedspread. It will look like a regular quilt and we will need a dust ruffle. I'm okay with that.

I hope it will look okay with our yellow walls, which we can't afford to paint right now. There are tiny little specks of yellow on the quilted bedspread so I may attempt to re-cover my existing throw pillows in some solid yellow to tie it in. However, I have no clue what I'm doing. My sewing machine is just a full sized Brother from Walmart I got for my birthday last year. I used it to sew the arms of my husband's shirts together as a joke and haven't used it since. (LOL, the joke was amazing!)

We are also going to purchase two extra king size pillow shams to make DIY cornice boards for both windows and will be using pretty sheers under that. We only have two windows in the bedroom and NO light comes through because there are too many trees in our backyard. So, this new bedding will definitely lighten to room a ton. I'm going to be trying out DIY Cornice Boards from: SouthernHospitality. Oh, guess what? I reached out to Rhoda from SouthernHospitality and found out she lives about 45 minutes from me. She has agreed to come out after Christmas and help me brainstorm a few ideas to lighten up everything at thrifty prices. To know that someone so talented is willing to come out and see my little dark cave is just another of God's blessings. And Rhoda is blessed to BE a blessing to others. Her vision and projects are always absolutely flawless. Her willingness to share her talent with me has blown me away.

Rhoda has bead board wallpaper so authentic looking it would fool anyone. I'm going to save up for that, too.  I also plan on using my little Brother sewing machine (once I truly learn to use it) to make canvas slipcovers for my comfy sofa and loveseat. Both are dark colors right now and I think I could get away with keeping the walls green in the living room if I added some bead board and used white/beige canvas on the furniture. I've no clue if anyone in the North Ga area would be interested in giving me some pointers. I have watched all of Miss Mustard Seed's Slipcover Tutorial videos and mostly --- I feel like curling into a fetal position and eating my own hair. Her tutorial is GENIUS. But so is her skill. Yikes.

Tomorrow I am going to tackle my breakfast nook. I found some pretty place-mats (with butterflies!), flowers that match perfectly so I can make a centerpiece, a magnetic dishwasher cover, a floor runner, and 3 sets of lovely kitchen valances and tiers at Goodwill for $12.00. Can you even believe that!?! It was so much stuff it was in a huge box of its own and all of it matches pretty well.

Here are the curtains:

I've always been rather ambivalent towards matching sets like this. I figure worse case scenario I can always make cornice boards with these as well.

Gosh, I promise all of my posts won't always be this long. I've been locked up inside myself for so long that it feels like I've found my voice for the first time in years. And I actually have something to say.

Thanks for reading this.

Opinions, feedback, and stuff are always appreciated. Always.

God bless,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Statistically speaking, someone is physically assaulted every 45 seconds in the United States.

Have you ever met someone who has been physically assaulted? You have now.

Hello, my name is Michelle. I go by Chelle.

I'm a writer. I'm a wife. I'm a daughter. I'm an aunt. I'm a sister. I'm a great-aunt. I'm almost 40. I'm also barren and cannot have children, something my husband and I struggle to accept daily.

And I'm a statistic. 

On March 23, 2011, I opened my front door late at night because the young man on my front porch looked as if he needed help. I'm not an idiot. I did not invite him in. I spoke to him through the locked storm door and learned that he had run out of gas. I've been there. I know how scary that can be. My husband was working nights on his swing shift so I told the man at the door that I would grab my cell and call for help. I figured there was no harm in calling someone for him. He could tell me the number through the locked storm door and all would be well.

Only it wasn't.

As I turned to go back into the living room where my phone was charging -- I heard my storm door squeal open. It wasn't locked. 

He was on me before I could even scream.

He wanted money. And he beat me until I was senseless. 

My mother lives in our basement --- it's been converted to an in-law suite. I thank God every day that she heard me screaming. Suffering from COPD and asthma, she still came running when she heard her youngest kid calling for help. She flipped on the light and shouted she was bringing the gun.

The guy got a couple more good licks in --- and ran.

I have officially been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and I have been put on too many medications to name. That's my life right now. And I'm creating this blog because that isn't the life I want to keep living.

This is a shot of the damage to my face. It's very graphic. If the sight of blood and a completely broken soul upsets you, please don't click.


My husband and I bought our house in 2005. Perhaps you could call it a grief buy. Our nephew Tim, 21, died in June. It was a car accident. A month after that, for distraction I think, we began the buying process. By September, we were moving in. After almost 15 years as renters, we were coming home.

I grew up moving from one mobile home to another. The longest stretch I had as a child in one place was in the projects. My husband also grew up in a mobile home and we always, always, always talked about having a home with stairs. We wanted a small breakfast nook where we could gather with friends and a formal dining room just because the thought of it sounded so far out of reach.
Green is our favorite color and burgundy is a close second.

The moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I was where I was meant to be.

We named it Accio Dream. Harry Potter fans will understand why.

It had awesome treasures hidden inside. Like this window over the tub:

And that kitchen nook we craved:

A crisp white kitchen with lovely lines:

And the formal dining room that my husbanded insisted should be burgundy and I agreed.

Little by little, we told ourselves, we would make small changes. We did. We replaced all the appliances, added paint here and there, and settled in. We both worked great jobs and sank every dollar we could spare into repairs and home touches. 
Then I lost my job.

Then he lost his.

He has since found a wonderful job, but I haven't and I don't know when or if I ever can work again. The PTSD I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it's crippling. On top of that, I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, occipital neuralgia, arthritis and Meniere's Disease. Panic, anxiety and depression are a constant friend as well.

I'm on so many medications that we rarely break even in the money department. We have fallen behind on everything, given up everything we can, and he works enough overtime to keep us treading water, but I never get to see him.

And this house? My dream house? The house I waited my entire life for and never planned to leave?

It's like a House of Horrors now. I've closed it in. Turned it into a dark cave. Shut out all the light and mired us in shadows. I thought if I made it dark enough, I would stop reliving my assault every time I glanced towards the foot of the stairs. It would be too dark to see it at all.

Well, now I want to let the light back in. Actually, I NEED to let the light back in. I can't stand it anymore. I feel like I've imprisoned myself in a day and keep reliving March 23, 2011 repeatedly.

I want to love my house again. In order to do that, I plan on revamping it a piece at a time. Like I said, money is so tight we feel lucky to find a penny on the road. We pick it up, heads or tales, because we can roll that sucker with other pennies and splurge on milk. 

That's why I've created this place.

Keeping my story inside is as suffocating as the assault was.

I was the victim of a HORRIBLE crime.

But I plan to be a survivor now.

One penny and one project at a time.