Archive for January, 2013

happy, happy Friday



I taught Keats today—“More happy love! more happy, happy love!”

So, happy, happy Friday.

Here are my new birds in their perch upon the mantel. The picture is from my grandparents’ wedding. I think it’s so beautiful. I’m finally starting to like how this little display looks—I think it looks like me. The color of the brick around the fireplace is a little odd; I’ve wondered about painting it white (which some people say you should absolutely not do because of moisture, or something).

I do kind of like the contrast of materials, though—especially in a house as new as this one, going too monochromatic seems like a bad choice. And it’s already rather grayish whitish in here. Though I wish that our almond bathrooms could be more on the whitish side of things. I’m trying to reconcile myself to warmer tones, but I did spend my formative years in my mother’s entirely white house—white carpet, white walls, white slipcovers. As I’ve said before, progress—and reform—is slow.

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little brass feet

(not quite an ode to Sandburg and his fog on little cat feet)

First of all, you’ll be relived to know that I solved my paperwhite crisis: Ricky was kind enough to remind me that our landscaping involves many thousands of pounds of unwanted, smallish rocks. So I used some of those. And found a discarded Southern Comfort bottle in our front yard. Thanks, neighbors.

And then I bought found myself in possession of more brass. Specifically, brass feet.



One of the many things I never really thought about needing but have, in fact, found myself needing is a set of fireplace tools. The first time we used our fireplace I found myself rather at a loss; I hadn’t really thought the whole thing out. After most of a winter not having said tools—and refusing to settle for the big box offerings—I finally stumbled upon a set at Goodwill.

The other set of feet belong to one of a pair of herons—or maybe cranes—from the same Goodwill trip. They’ve landed on the mantle for now (with price tag goo still clinging to their legs), but we’ll see where they end up.


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a bag of rocks

I’ve spent the last week looking everywhere—fruitlessly—for a bag of rocks. A particular bag of rocks.

The rocks are supposed to go in the bottom of the glass vases that I use for growing paperwhites. I bought the paperwhite bulbs, but the rocks refuse to show themselves. And as for the vases, I know that one of them succumbed in the move. I found another one down next to a bottle of molasses in the back of the pantry. The other two have gone the way of my bag of rocks.

All of this makes me think that it’s pretty pointless to keep a bag of rocks and four glass vases for one particular purpose, once a year. But I do like my paperwhites.


Despite the stubbornness of my bag of rocks, things continue to float slowly towards the surface. My favorite  vintage quilt has reappeared and landed on the foot rail of the bed. If you look closely, you might be able to tell that the silver picture frame on my bedside table doesn’t actually have a picture in it. Progress is slow.

Last week, in a fit of cleaning inspired by our return from a month away and a break in the week of freezing, miserable weather, I opened the windows and washed all of the bedding on the “Allergiene” cycle of our new washer. And then, of course, a parade of cats made themselves at home on the duvet cover, leaving a trail of indented paw prints like a path through snow.


My Eiffel towers revealed themselves at the bottom of a box that has been languishing in the garage (so much bubble wrap remains to be recycled). I’m not sure where the fourth leg of that silver one in the back has gone to—it’s been separate for as long as I can remember. My great-uncle brought that one back after the war (presumably with all its legs intact at that point). The others are a combination of flea market finds and my own two trips to Paris.

Now if only I could find a place to put my typewriters.

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back again

Ah, well, it’s been a month or two, and we are finally home—recovering from the haze of holiday travel and reclaiming our house from the plants and cats, who ran wild while we were gone. I transformed my desk into a staging area for the plants that would need to be watered most in our absence; I’ve only just removed the last geranium and swept away the dirt and dried-up petals. It seems like quite a metaphor for trying to get back to work—though strangely, overwhelmingly literal. Kind of like this:



The bookends of our holiday travel—Ricky’s hometown, famous for The Real Housewives of NJ—and the trailer, one of my ancestral homes. It was quite a leap: from snow and Broadway and Garden State Plaza; diner pancakes, endless traffic jams, and a Japanese grocery store (I think I accidentally ate some fish)—to sand roads, key lime pie, spanish moss, orange trees on the canals, manatees, and the $3 pair of sparkly blue flip flops I had to buy in order to supplement my travel wardrobe.



It’s good to be home. There are currently very few picturesque corners in our house; we’re digging out from under piles of geranium leaves, unwanted catalogs, and dirty laundry. Sometimes having so much space just seems unwieldy—though, of course, smaller spaces (as in the trailer) have their own limitations.

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