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For those that follow Storypiece through RSS, email, Flipboard or WordPress you may have received a behind the scenes peek at an earlier draft of this post on Monday.  What you missed was me screaming at the computer, “Nooooooooo” as I realized I’d clicked the wrong button.  Awesome.  For those that aren’t following me, you might want to re-think that… you’re totally missing out on all my shenanigans.  So let’s try this again…

Growing up, I was always close to my Grandpa. Both my parents worked and so did my grandma and my retired grandpa provided child care for me and eventually my younger brother.  He was a fairly quiet man, not your typical playful grandpa, but my mom says I had him wrapped around my tiny finger early on.

High School Graduation, 1988

Like many men of his generation, I don’t think he was really a shopper.  However, he would often be the one to buy my gift when holidays came around.  He died the Christmas right after my son was born, but he’d already picked up these mugs to give to me that year.

They’re a set of four mushroom mugs.  Normally, he would purchase little earrings for me so I’m not really sure why he looked at these and thought I needed to have them.

I’m not a fan of mushrooms or cute little garden stories.  In fact, I think these are pretty ugly… And at the same time, I love them so. They’ve moved with us several times and I can’t seem to part with them.

Since I’ve been really thinking about the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, I was determined to embrace these guys and do something with them.  My grandpa loved his garden and I was always fascinated with the succulents in it.  And since they are everywhere right now, I thought it would be fun and fitting to plant succulents in them.

I picked up two varieties to play with.  The ones on the left are similar to what my grandpa had.  The ones on the right I liked in the store… not so much in the mug.  It looks like broccoli.  I also bought some flowers to give the table setting some height.

Okay… I seriously love this more than I thought I would.

I really like the springy, but neutral look… especially now that all the Easter decorations have been put away.  I opted for displaying only two of the planted mugs; all four was just too much.

My grandpa’s birthday was the day before mine and we always celebrated together.  Today he would’ve been 91. (Whoa!) Happy Birthday, Grandpa!  And thanks for the mugs… they are pretty great and remind me of you.