Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Home Updates

I've been a busy beaver painting this past week.  In 6 days, I primed and painted three bedrooms.  Needless to say, I ache a little, but I feel accomplished.  The small hallway and hall bath still need paint, as do the living and guest rooms, but those can wait.  I'd like to get the hall and bath painted before we leave (again....) to go back to Maseru for some TEE meetings and then to South Africa for an AIM conference next week.  The two big rooms will have to wait until I have some help.

You already saw Ellee's room.  I still love it.

Then, I painted Kyle's room.  His and Ellee's are exactly the same color.  I brought all those decorations from his nursery in SC.  He was pretty excited to see them hung today.  Of course, I doubt he remembers then, but he keeps telling me his room is "all finished" now.

Finally, I conquered our bedroom in a giant 12 hour sweep.  First I primed, then I painted, then I saw that it desperately needed a second coat, so I slopped some more on there for good measure.  I should've taken a before photo.  This room was such a dark, burnt orange.  I love it now, so soft and calm.  I also love the beach canvas paintings we bought in Bloem.  I figure if we've got to be landlocked, we might as well pretend like we're somewhere near the sea.  The quilt at the foot of our bed was a precious gift from my mama many years ago, and that's what I was trying to pull from for colors.  I bet when she made that for me when I was 13, she didn't know I'd use it as my inspiration for our bedroom in Africa!  The pressed flower frames are a few of the only things I bought on our honeymoon.... I loved them too much to pass them up when I found them in a quaint little shop in North Georgia.  I was so thankful they made it safe and sound in our suitcase over here, although I did take care to protect them as best as I could.  You can see that my nightstand is missing and has a bassinet in it's place.  I hope to have Little Miss moved to her room not too long after we come back from our conference next month.  And I know I didn't take the plastic off the lampshade before I took the picture - it won't always look that tacky.  The thing doesn't have a light bulb yet because we don't know what size to buy.....

Then I did a little decorating in our bathroom.  I bought nice towels, new bathmats for our freezing feet, and these two adorable glass paintings.

(I'm fully aware that the photos are in a silly order, but as always happens when I'm trying to upload a blog, the internet is freaking out tonight and I'm not going to try to fix it....)

Throw back photo from the day my mom finished the quilt.... 

I stepped into the bathroom to photograph that and came back to find Ellee toppled over, munching on her thumb.  Hi, sweetie!

That's all for now, folks.  Will post more when there's more to post.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ellee's New Room

You may remember my post about Ellee's makeshift room in Maseru.  She didn't spend much time in there.  Because it was so unbelievably cold in that house, we were stuck together like glue so she wouldn't freeze.  I had decided which would be her room in this house, but it was previously a dark orange and that wouldn't do.  No more, however, now it's a beautiful blue.

Over the weekend while we were shopping for a ton of house necessities, we picked up paint for the bedrooms.  Ellee's is the smallest room, so naturally I started with hers.  Seriously, I do not like painting.  And I really don't like painting with a 2 year old under foot and a 5 month old wanting to eat or play all the time.  I plan to tackle Kyle's room over the weekend and then find some help for the big room and the hall way because I can't handle doing all the rooms myself.  Jono helped where he could, but alas, he is back in school now and...........

So, I chose to do blue in her room despite the fact that she is female.  I know pink is the obvious choice but I couldn't bring myself to be that normal.  I had in my mind that I wanted blue with pink accents and so it is.  I love it, ya'll.  I can't believe my girl finally has a room of her own.  She is 5 months old today, better late than never.  Happy birthday, my girl!

Does this rocking chair look familiar?  It should.  It is the exact same one I had in SC for Kyle.  I had my heart set on a rocking chair for my baby girl's room but couldn't locate one anywhere here or in South Africa.  So, a very kind and generous family member shipped this one to us all the way from the US.  Happy mama!

Pretty nice view, I think.

I love that clock.  I know she can't tell time but it's so beautiful.

The dresser got a bit beat up during the move so it needs a little repair and some new paint but another day.....

Original art by Lollee

Ellee approves.

Sleep well, my beloved girl.  Mommy loves you more everyday.  I can't wait to play with you in your new room!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Inside Our Home

I decided against waiting until we paint to post any house pictures.  It will be a while yet before we can do that because we'll have to get the majority of our paint and supplies somewhere besides Mokhotlong!  But, for now, here are pictures of the rooms I've got a handle on.  There are more, however, they just aren't in any reasonable order.  Our bedroom is still lined with suitcases, Ellee's room is also undone and the guest room is the catch all for stuff I don't know what to do with yet.  The guest room has been used as a storage room previously so it will be the largest task at hand.  I have in my head what I'd like to do in there, though, but it's last on my priority list.... Unless I get word of a visitor coming soon -- hint hint.

When you walk into the front door, you are standing in the living room.  That right there is the couch we waited and waited for.   But, I do love it!  It was the first piece of furniture we've ever bought brand new (besides rocking chairs) and I am so pleased with it.  The rug I bought in a little town here and I can't believe how well it all goes together.  The rocking chair belongs in Ellee's room but like I said, her's is currently a mess.  She's still sleeping in her basinet beside me anyhow.  I plan to paint the walls here a creamy white/beige color.  I want to keep it bright and neutral so I can change it easily if I want.  I also plan to get a canvas painted by an artist I met in Maseru and hope to add some other uniquely Lesotho things in here as time goes on and I find them.  The ceiling is a beautiful white panel board and I like it so much!  The floors are also neat, I think, but goodness are they slippery.  I expect to completely bust my bum on them before too long.  Somehow the finish makes them so slick.  We are still missing the coffee table we ordered but hope to pick it up in a couple weeks when we are back down south. 

Climbing up a couple steps, you are come into the dining room.  The wall was already that marbled teal and I do like it a lot.  I plan to keep it that way and add some brown and rustic decorations along the way.  There is a wall hanging in here with pottery on it that the owners left and I am using it as an inspiration for the rest of the room.  The hutch won't stay exactly how it is as some of those decorations belong in other rooms when I get to completing them.  But, I do think it is a lovely piece of furniture we bought from friends here in Africa.

Through that opening is the kitchen.  It is huge!  I couldn't be happier with it.  There is tons of cabinet space and loads of counter space to work on.  Jonathan fixed the water the day after we got here so the sink and washing machine are in working order!  That enormous fridge is for monthly grocery shops in either Maseru or South Africa.  I'm not sure what to do with all that space but I'm sure I'll figure something out.  The extra fridge belongs in another house and will move there soon.  I was able to bring some of my favorite little decorations from back home and I love seeing them out of the suitcase and sprinkled around my new kitchen.

Pause for baby girl adorableness.

Down a hallway is Kyle's room.  I haven't hung anything on the walls yet here, either.  But I did bring a number of the decorations from his nursery and I am so pleased with how well they match the rug we bought and the duvet I found for a steal - $5!  The rug is a great place for Kyle to play with his beloved cars and I was happy to have gotten the last one the store had to offer.  As you can see, he thoroughly enjoys it!  I plan to paint the walls in here a bluish/gray.  Besides that, his room is set.  Oh, and he needs new curtains!  Every window in the house needs replacement curtains.

And lastly, one of my favorite spaces in the house, our bathroom!  For one, it's the first time we've had our own "master suite" if you will.  Secondly, the lights in here are wacky which is great.  The switch in the room turns on the bathroom, too. That's fine except when I put Ellee down for the night, I can't very well turn the bright lights on her.  So we bought a couple oil lamps and I absolutely love the way it looks in here at night!  I enjoy showering by firelight despite the complete lack of water pressure.  We will either put in a water pump or change the water heater, whatever is necessary, but for now I am just so thankful that there is hot water! It does take forever, though, to wet, wash, rinse and condition this mop with the tiny trickle of water.  Oh well.  I like how bright it is with the white walls and tile.  I just plan to add a few navy accents on the walls when I find them.  Anyways, I love this place.  It is small but so cozy.

I know it's grainy, obviously I took it in the dark.

I'm really so tickled at how lovely the house is.  I've woken up every morning this week giddy with excitement over our new home.  There are things we will tweek and change to make it like we'd like it but over all, it is more than we ever expected.  It is such a blessing to us and to the couple we are renting from, as they were looking at having to sell for financial reasons.  It truly is the best of both worlds.  Plus, they are now our neighbors as they've built a smaller house across the street and we are already really enjoying their company.

The yard is also great with lots of fruit trees and a garden.  But, that'll be another post.  For now, I'll enjoy drinking my tea with this great view!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Coming Home

Our internet is being unbearably slow tonight, so I'm just posting this as is without trying to do anything creative with the picture placement.  :o)

With much excitement, we left Maseru Sunday and treked up the mountains to our new home in Mokhotlong.  The journey from the city to here is getting shorter each time we make it as we learn the path well; but despite our cuts on stretching breaks and picnic lunches, it still takes a full six hours to get here.  

Leaving Maseru

Along the way, we were stopped occasionally by herds of cattle or sheep crossing the road in front of us.  Lining the roads are Basotho walking about the town and country.  Sometimes we see people out in the middle of no where and wonder where on earth they are headed.  It is typically between two larger towns but the distance is so great, neither of us can imagine walking that whole way.  Because we were traveling on a Sunday this time, we didn't see many cars or taxis, and after the last large town about three hours from here, we saw almost no vehicles until we arrived in Mokhotlong.  We do notice, however, how thin and fit the majority of the people appear here.  It makes sense, though, because they walk just about everywhere they need to go.

We stopped in Butha-buthe (pronounced Bootah - Bootay) for lunch.  It still surprises me to see a KFC sign in the middle of this country.  It is the only one between here and Maseru, though, and just about the only fast-food restaurant along the way.  Since sandwiches were on the menu for our arrival on Sunday evening, we decided against a standard road trip packed lunch.  We ate as we climbed the steep Moteng pass and stopped at the top to change two diapers.  There, we encountered a very friendly shepherd who wanted some cash.  We aren't in the business of handing out cash, but we did give him the rest of Kyle's chicken pops and fries from KFC, which he gladly accepted.  The guys chatted as I made Rocky a port-a-potty.  There are positively no rest areas or public bathrooms between Maseru and here.  Even the KFC is bathroom-free.  So, we carry a small child's potty in the car for those occasions.  I just can't bring myself to squat on the side of the road (no trees, remember?) like the other woman here and well, I can't do my business off the side of the mountain as we see occurring all to often with the men.  Rocky is great for a lot of things, including bathroom - or lack there of - breaks.

The views up here are unlike any other I've ever seen.  The mountains are all so beautiful, and I still find it interesting how few trees there are.  We are just coming out of winter, so there weren't many flowers blooming, but the mountain shadows are still enough to keep my attention.

We arrived in Mokhotlong in the late afternoon and were greeted by our neighbors, who are also the family we're renting from.  As we drove up to our new home, I could barely believe we were finally here, finally home.

Inside photos to follow....