So your first question probably is, "Just what IS National Irene Day?"
Well, for my birthday, my husband asked me what I wanted. His memory isn't good, so I made a list. I started with things like:
--gift cards to Lowe's or department stores
--parsley, sage, (already have rosemary), and thyme (these are vital for my sausage-making escapades)
--I actually mentioned jewelry and clothes, but with no serious intent
Then after that I started getting creative and just a tad ridiculous:
--a non-toxic, effective sedative for Declan
--a sick day all to myself
--extra doses if vitamin P (patience) and Q (quick-thinking)
--someone to stand beside me at all times and say, "You can handle this. You are a strong, confidant woman."
Not being ones to take the easy way out, my in-laws all got together and decided to give me a day all to myself. And they didn't even require me to be sick. They each took responsibility for watching 2 or 3 of my kids for the entire day, even picking them up from school and feeding them dinner. Thus, I would be left to my own devices till dinner time, which would be made for me by Timothy. The hard part after that was actually scheduling a day for all of this to occur.
So a month and a half later, we arrived to May 16th which will forever afterward be hallowed as National Irene Day. It also happens to be another family member's birthday, unfortunately, but as I said, the forms have been filled out and submitted. Along with a NON-REFUNDABLE processing fee. I might let them have their birthday back next year.
So now you're probably saying, "National Irene Day sounds so awesome. How did you celebrate it?"
Well, it only seemed fitting that it should include hammers, screwdrivers, a garbage bag, a staple gun, dirt, a venture into the unknown, and calluses. I decided to rip apart this chair:
You can see the upholstery starting to be removed from the left side of the chair. That was my handiwork. I got that far before I thought to take a before picture. The hole worn through the upholstery on the arm on the right side of the picture, exposing the foam underneath which is also being picked apart piece by piece, is my kid's handiwork. This patient was in critical condition.
So most of the day was spent pulling off all of the old fabric and getting a feel for what was underneath and how I should put it back together. It was pretty gory. There were staples and fluff everywhere, along with some dangerous tools and the contents of the chair crevices (lots of legos). I was so happy my baby girl and 3 year old weren't anywhere in the house. And the experience of being able to just run out and buy more staples when I discovered I was out of them was really fun. I imagine that's what birds feel like when they're flying.
So by the end of the very quiet but very focused day, this is what I managed to accomplish (with a shot of Declan already swooping in to cause mayhem):
And the chair still looks like that. National Irene Day comes but once a year . . .uh, and only this year . . . so I guess what I'm saying is that it only happened once. So I'm back to working slowly and fitting progress in between loads of laundry and lunch. But I have faith that the chair will get finished. Does anyone remember my 4 year long cabinet restoration project? Boy, I sure do.
So your final question most likely is, "I absolutely LOVE National Irene Day! How can I celebrate it?"
Well, my friends, all you have to do is grab an ugly chair, muster up some primal rage, and start ripping away. And as you do that, let your heart go out to all the family, friends, neighbors, school teachers, Sunday school teachers, or whoever else you know that occasionally lovingly whisks away the darling little Main Focuses of your life in order to give you a little variety and a breather. I can really see this day catching on.