FIRST OF ALL, I BLAME MY MOTHER. My Mother was Martha Stewart before Martha even knew what a Good Thing was. Every year my bedroom was re-decorated. Every year. I would come home from school and magically my bedroom had been repainted. Everything that could be repainted had been repainted. Sheets became curtains, curtain became bedspreads & pillows. My mother was the Queen of Re-puposing before there was such a word. Former kitchen formica counters became a very long desk, flower pots became hanging lamps. My mother never met a wall she didn’t want to tear down. I think we moved to Long Island not because we needed more room but because my mother needed more rooms to decorate and then re-decorate and because she needed an outdoor space to do what she did best. Spray paint. My mother loves spray paint. If it stood still eventually it would be spray-painted. She has a shed in the garden that is dedicated to all her cans of spray paint. Now that they have spray paint for plastic… well, you can imagine.
My mother didn’t cook. In our house, Swanson’s cooked. The Jolly Green Giant cooked. But she loved to entertain and when she did, she could have & would have brought Martha to her knees before you could say “Pass the foie gras”. My mother entertained often.
Her parties would rival Gatsby in style and size & scope. She had silver trays and cut glass crystal and at least 6 separate full sets of fine china, but that’s not how she rolled.
They were used but she also used everything else that would work. Flower pots became ice buckets or silverware holders, wooden soda crates became breadbaskets, framed mirrors were used as serving platters.
Hundreds of people came and went on a Saturday night and many were found sleeping on couches all over the over house come Sunday morning, getting up in time for brunch and finally disappearing sometime after Sunday dinner.
But I digress.
I blame my Mother because she taught me that anything can be a beautiful thing and any beautiful thing can be used for anything.
That was the beginning.
SECOND, I BLAME COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE
The first issue I bought was September 2010 The Makeover Issue.
I don’t know why I bought the magazine. I didn’t live in the country. As a matter of fact by 2011 I was back living in Los Angeles after having moved myself, my dogs and my horse to a small farm in a rural area of Pennsylvania in August of 2004. After one winter, I packed up the dogs and now 2 horses and moved back to Los Angeles as soon as the snow melted in April of 2005. Country living is not as bucolic as it sounds.
But I am nothing if not a romanticist so there must have sen something on that cover that appealed to me. After all, I am my Mother’s daughter and anything that says Makeover appeals to something deep in my DNA.
But it was a single page on the inside that really caught my attention. The page was called Making A Country Living. It featured people who had chucked the regular workaday world to create something that brought them joy and apparently made them a living.
I immediately subscribed.
In the months and years to come I couldn’t wait for the magazine to hit my mailbox and Making a Country Living was the first page I read. And eventually Making A Country Living was something I decided I would do. Somehow.
This is how.