Archive for February, 2013

soft focus


Maybe because it’s winter, the gray walls around me have been feeling a bit drab.

I loved the aqua paint in the Madison house—two shades of perfect Martha Stewart blue, paler in the living room and darker in the bedrooms and the bathroom. I got tired of it, though, and started to tinker. I painted the main bedroom a not-quite-right shade of lavender-gray. I missed the old shade of blue-green.

When we made the move into this house, I spent weeks selecting the perfect greige. We had every room (except for the basement and the bathrooms) slathered in it.

At first, after six years of living inside a Tiffany box, it was all very refreshing. And now I’m kind of bored. I think that part of the problem is that none of the rooms here are anywhere near “done.” While I am certainly never really done with these things, the state of undone-ness around here—broken mini blinds dangling from the windows, boxes of uninstalled curtain rods threatening to fall on you at every turn, bathroom mirrors temporarily located on the living room floor—is a bit more than I enjoy.

So, I finally picked some curtains for the office. Orange ones. More importantly, I actually installed them. It feels a little better. And a little brighter.

We have some more painting ahead of us—the electrical work in the bathrooms is finally done, though this week we’ve slid backwards into a state of flashlight-showers because the new wall fixtures had to come back down to allow for some drywall repair. Once that torturous work is done, there will be some greenish blue in my life again.

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I found it beautiful today

though I do not always think so–

(missing the hush of leaves, the damp sweet rot of shade)

prairie grass and gray green yucca

snow still clinging to small patches of shade

the dogs beside me, gulping it in (pure joy)

that was as much. that was enough.

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Craigslist dresser


A couple of weeks ago, I frantically roused Ricky from the Sunday nap he was enjoying with the news that we had to go RIGHT NOW to get a Home Depot rental truck and drive to Greeley (half an hour away) in order to purchase a $50 dresser.

In case you didn’t know, that’s what life with me looks like. Life with me also includes surprises such as me picking you up for “lunch” only to arrive with an unexpected new (old) Pomeranian in the front seat of the car.

By the time we got there, the sellers had been entertaining an hour of nearly constant phone calls and increasingly aggressive offers to take the dresser immediately, for $75 or $100. They were good natured about the whole thing—taking another offer after they said I could have it “wouldn’t be right.” It’s funny how these little exchanges can be so affirmative. The sellers also promptly identified Ricky’s origins “back East,” which amused me.


I love the little brass keyholes (with no key, though I think there was one once). Our new (old) Craigslist dresser is kind of the aesthetic kin of the Craigslist buffet—which, by the way, I am definitely not going to paint. I think that I was more attracted to painted furniture in Madison because the house had wood floors and wood trim in various competing finishes, so every new bit of wood seemed to make things even busier. Here, things are white and gray and Pergo—these warmer, older tones seem so much lovelier and more necessary.


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things fall together


I remember reading something once about how blogs perpetuate unrealistic, unattainable, and idealized standards for what our living spaces should look like. This is probably true. It’s impossible to live in a way that’s as carefully curated as the rooms I see on blogs—fresh flowers un-nibbled by cats, throw pillows un-crushed and un-furred by the tiny dogs, kitchens and entryways unsullied by the dirty business of daily living.


Even so, I like seeing how other people see their homes—or, at the very least, the corners of their homes that they’re willing to photograph and to share. Seeing the brightness that someone else sees—the trinket that catches the eye, the light that looks just right—changes how I see the things around me.

I like where my frog necklace ended up after I wore it last week. Sometimes things fall together even when you’re not trying—or especially then.

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something blue


This is one of my favorite wedding photos (by Emily—my second cousin? third? we couldn’t decide). I used it as the cover for an album I made as a Christmas present for some family members. I think they were a little confused at our headlessness, but I love how it captures some of the little details of the day: my sparkly shoes, the beads on my dress, and the perfect flowers that weren’t at all what we thought they were going to be. The hot summer meant that our planned ranunculus had bloomed too early—but the flowers were perfect anyway, in a completely unplanned way; I loved the peonies and cabbage roses that our charming florist/caterer selected on his own. On my left wrist, I’m wearing a bracelet that Ricky gave me as a wedding present—my something blue, silver with aquamarines.

Ever since we returned from our honeymoon and dove into moving out and moving in, it’s been missing. I thought, at first, that it would rise to the surface of the chaos—but week by week, the chaos lessened and it failed to appear. I thought then that I must have lost it on our trip, or in the move. I kept looking, though, sifting through pockets and corners and handbags, hoping that it had made it home with us.

Last week, in a fit of inspiration—of which I’d had many—I shook out a bag containing a distinctly un-valuable brass and rhinestone turtle necklace. And there it was—something blue that will forever remind me of the color of Lake Louise, the spot where I thought I’d lost it.


A little thing lost and a little thing found again—a good reminder in the midst of all things changing, shifting, settling this year.

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