Grace · If You Enjoy Your Life

If you enjoy your life, kiss your mother in law

The theme for this blog, If you enjoyed your ride kiss your horse, definitely speaks to horses and riding, yet I also hope my blog lifts up friendship and gratitude and mutual support. One thing I have learned, in my years of working in human services and in writing, too, is that happy, successful, resilient people maintain strong support systems. By design, all of my books illustrate the necessity of belonging and helping and allowing ourselves to be helped by other beings.

So, that’s why this post is a big kiss to my mother-in-law: she’s, like, one of the rocks of my personal support system.

She loves Bubba and me together; she loves my daughter and my horse and our dog. She laughs when I swear. Not often, but sometimes, she swears back and that’s fun. She devotes her life to helping her beloveds fulfill their life missions, always with a dose of irreverent humor to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.

Once I casually mentioned to her that I love toile fabric and am, in fact, obsessed with toile. Every pastoral toile pattern I have ever seen – except one – I’ve wanted to jump into it and live there. Even the prints with girls washing laundry in the creek make it appear like chores are fun!

My upstairs bath uses wallpaper in black on white toile of the pattern called Jamestown. My mother-in-law made us dining room curtains from a green on off-white toile pattern called Country Squire, which suits the ode to family farming theme on our main floor.

But, yesterday, oh the toile that came into my house! A gift from Madre (as I like to call her because Madre matches the name of my father-in-law – El Chiefo).

Black on off-white toile roman shade
Black on off-white toile roman shade

This most fantastic midnight pastoral toile, called Day of the Dead, is from Alexander Henry Fabrics.

Look closely:

Sit a spell in the afterlife
Sit a spell in the afterlife

Macabre romance on the window shade:

Love scene from Day of the Dead
Love scene from Day of the Dead

Sadly, though, the laundry truly is never done:

Joyfully, dutifully laundering everafter
Joyfully, dutifully laundering ever after

My Madre made the Day of the Dead roman shade for me because she knew it would make me laugh and make me happy. My new toile shade is a beautiful (yes!), humorous reminder that no matter who we are, we only visit for a little bit so we might as well love each other and give thanks. The next time I get overly stressed or worried, I’ll go sit in the bathroom and live in my toile for a minute.


11 thoughts on “If you enjoy your life, kiss your mother in law

  1. Hi Janice, thanks for stopping by my blog! My mother-in-law is really awesome and we share the same sense of humor. I’ll check out Resurrection Vale Cemetary, too!


  2. I ran across your blog while looking for looking for examples of items made from this toile. I found my black and white toile while visiting in Michigan last year. I want to turn it into a quilt using the Union Block with 12 inch toile blocks between them. I too love the look of toile but I also really enjoy Halloween. We create a cemetery out front, complete with rolling fog, metal fencing homemade headstones and of course skeletons. If you or any of your readers would like to see, they can check out Resurrection Vale Cemetery on facebook.

    But I digress, I signed up for your blog not because I love horses, but because I wanted to say your mother-in-law did a beautiful job making your roman shade. It is lovely and made me smile and everyone should know when they make someone smile. πŸ˜‰


  3. Love the post and the shades. The fabric is fantastic! And yes, “Madre” is the best. Her work is in many places in my house!


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