Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Some Silliness For Mum's Bon Voyage

 John's mom (aka Mum) is moving back to Maine this weekend. After over two decades of Florida living - during which she never once turned on the air conditioning in her tiny studio apartment - she's decided to swing to the other extreme and never feel warm again.

::finger guns wink wink HEYOOO Mainers, just kidding::

The rest of John's family still lives up there, including Mum's grandkids and now great grandkids, so she has lots to go home to. Plus all the local pizza joints up there sell whoopie pies, so I can see the appeal. (Whoopie pies are a heavenly northern creation that's basically a cake hamburger, except instead of a meat patty you get icing, and instead of a bun you get cake, and instead of lettuce and tomato you get a brief nirvanic experience that assures you all is right with the world.) (I'm a fan.)

We want to send Mum off with a proper to-do, so I've been planning a party for the night before her flight. Well, "party" is a bit generous. It'll just be us, Mum, and John's sister who's flying down to help with the last minute details. We'll all be in masks and distancing, so I guess it's less like a "party" and more like a wait at the DMV, only with a "Bon Voyage" banner and balloons.

Hmm. Yeah, I definitely need to up my game here.

I am proud of what I brainstormed for Mum's going-away gifts, though. (Don't worry, she's not online and won't see this.) Mum LOVES a big to-do, loves surprises and celebrations and making the mundane into an occasion. This is a woman who once gift-wrapped a single-serve bottle of ketchup and made a dramatic presentation with it. She won't have much room in her suitcase, though, so I needed little things, with an emphasis on quantity over quality to make it fun. 

Here's what I've got so far:

First we'll have a card saying we got her a few Florida mementos, then the first gift will read,  

"When you miss the Florida sunshine, wear these."

Sun Hoop Earrings


(I'll add links since everything's from Amazon, but this is more about the ideas behind the gifts than the actual stuff.)

These are super cute in person, and came with 4 different styles of earring backs, so you can choose your favorite. Not bad for $10 earrings.

Next a silly one:

"When you miss the power outages during hurricane season, turn out the lights and use this to find the bathroom."



I like that this one's still practical: I have a push light in my purse and it is a lifesaver when you're looking for lip balm or dropped M&Ms. This comes in a teeny gift box with extra batteries, plus a cute little Stormtrooper charm that John is totally keeping. 


 Mum once asked for a plastic flamingo for her birthday, saying she wanted to lean in to the classic Florida retiree look, and has proudly displayed it on her porch ever since. SO...

"When you miss all the glorious tackiness that is quintessential FLORIDA, look at these beauties and remember 'tacky' is only a state of mind."

Saturday, April 17, 2021

FINAL REVEAL: Overhauling A Professional Puppeteers' Room, Part 3

John and I are officially done with the big Puppet Room Makeover! Wahoo!
 
To celebrate we made a quick video tour for you, look how fancy:



OooooOOooh. This makes me so happy. Just look at all that room for activities!


If you missed my earlier posts be sure to check out Part 1 to see how we built the puppet wall rack:



...and part 2 for our build of the double-sided work desk:



Our final phase was installing a ceiling fan with a better light kit (found on Marketplace for $20, SCORE), re-arranging the bookcases on the right hand wall to hide another window, and finishing off the closet to make it a bit more tidy.

As you can see we have FULLY MAXIMIZED the closet space.

Can't forget the hanging organizers on either side:


To hide the clutter we hung this pretty curtain from Amazon on a tension-mount shower curtain rod.

Ahhh. Much better. (And renter friendly!)

If you're wondering why we removed the closet doors only to replace them with a curtain, it's because this takes up less space, and can be pushed completely out of the way to access either side.

Remember before, when there were three inconveniently placed windows?



Because one of the goals was to block natural light (to prevent sun damage to the puppets) we hid the center window behind the puppet rack itself, then switched the bookcases around to also cover the window on the right.

From this angle you can just see where that second window is hiding: