Category Archives: domestic

better luck and stray observations

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it seems my streak of less-than-awesome luck may be tapering off a bit. of course, I am thrilled about this, as the many months of directionless struggle (and excessive whining about said struggle) post major transition have been difficult and troubling. but with the advent of a new season, I find myself with a fantastic new “real” job at a publishing house I adore (I’m still pinching myself daily, amazed at my ridiculous luck in this matter) and an upcoming move to a new home in a new (to me) city.
both exciting developments signal the start of a new chapter, a chapter about which I am very hopeful and thankful—what a fantastic change of feelings! my guardian angels have been working overtime recently, and I am constantly grateful. I still battle with weekly fits of the “I miss new orleans so much it is physically painful” sads… but for now, it appears I am where I am meant to be (I read you loud and clear, universe!) and I’ve been thinking a lot about the saying “bloom where you’re planted.”
and I could do much, much worse than here! I am very lucky, and I am trying to be gracious, to be conscientious, and to count my blessings.

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last week I harvested a single strawberry. pretty cute, and tasty, though very tiny. after two days of indian summer, a frost rolled in overnight (well maybe not a “frost” proper, but it got damn cold) and killed both my strawberry plants and this lil’ berry’s comrades. at least I got the one.

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morning fog.
while coastal life is beautiful (pros: stars, beautiful smells, fox and deer families, beach access; cons: frosty weather/wind/fog, geographic pesudo-isolation, tourists in rental cars terrorizing highway 1 at 5mph) needless to say, I am very, very excited to move to the sunny side of the bay.

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recently made a short trip to this wonderful place:

highlights included a boat ride where the 3-year-old captain fell asleep at the wheel (and chatting with his sweet mom), good company, oysters, sunshine, my sister (as always), and time with my lovely godparents. beautiful.

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I am a few weeks into a metalsmithing class, which has been lots of fun. metallurgy/jewelery-making is likely not my artistic forte (see: piece of brass for ring-setting, inadvertently melted with blowtorch) it’s been good to do something totally (for me) different and use my hands in a way I never have.
stray thought: screw grad school, man… at this point in my life, I’d rather invest small amounts money on myself for classes like this!
on my possible future to-learn list: SCUBA diving, wheel-thrown ceramics, letterpress, screen-printing, more advanced knitting/sewing, (re-learning) to ski… the list goes on!

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speaking of gifts

speaking of gifts… I recently did get some wonderful birthday gifts. (jeez, between this post and the last one, I seem like quite a greedy bird… but I’m not! swear!)

one such gift was from my mainest homegirl, F.

sorry for the lame iphone photo

does she know me or what?

a fantastically cute, handmade (by this etsy seller), goldenrod yellow LOUISIANA PILLOW! with a heart over New Orleans! [cue jumping for joy!]

I absolutely adore it. thankyou thankyou to my dear wonderful pal who is as thoughtful as the day is long (and whom I forgive for being one inch taller than me.)
someday I may have to get myself the almost-as-cute california pillow (with the heart over SF, of course).

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the other truly fabulous gift I received (which deserves and will get its own post once I can get some decent photos of it) was from my dear E. it’s another “you know me ridiculously well” gift. I quite literally GASPED when I opened it. in fact, it almost seems criminal not to talk about it without a photo to back me up on how spectacular this thing it… but anyway…

it’s a gorgeous, elegant, COMPLETELY RESTORED typewriter from 1930 in near perfect condition, that works amazingly, and will last forever because it was so thoughtfully and perfectly made (hey, it’s already made it 80 years!).
to make things even better, it came with a reprinted original manual and a modern care guide, AND all the supplies I’ll ever need to keep that pup in full working condition… oil, replacement ribbons, a dusting brush, you name it!

sigh. they just don’t make ’em like they used to. needless to say, I am in love with it.

so, 25 ain’t lookin’ so bad after all. I’m WAY younger than my typewriter.

imaginary christmas list

now that thanksgiving has passed and we may “officially” celebrate christmas (just ask my sister, who enforces this rule with an iron yet jolly fist), I am trying to get in the spirit before the season passes me by.

always on my holiday to-do list? viewing of some sort of large christmas tree  (at, say, rockefeller center), “the nutcracker” (which I LOVE more than an adult should—the “dance of arabian coffee” is my favorite, and I strongly wish they would do a “no children in the audience” performance, choosing to forget, of course, that this ballet is pretty much FOR children… but I digress…), baking goodies, holiday cocktails and drinks such as grown up hot cider and mulled wine, viewing of various christmas films etc.

this year I am adding a very silly “imaginary chirstmas” list to the mix… just for fun, mind you.

behold!

* a fancy wool blanket that will last forever
image credit

* linen sheets would also make a charming gift (for those of us who care deeply about bedding, at least)

* beaucoup beeswax candles to make your house smell like honey and detoxify the air

* non-essential kitchen prettification items, such as a milk glass cake stand and jadeite pitcher
(as well as the kitchen storage space—built-in open shelving painted white, please—needed to store such objects)

* a plane ticket to Iceland (home of glaciers, volcanoes, gnomes and people who believe in them, magic, an openly gay world leader, happy people, the northern lights, bjork, unspoiled nature, and general magic and fabulousness)

* some fantastic fancy kitchen suppliesle creuset 5.5 quart french over, be still my heart!

fancy pants penguin seltzer maker

kitchenaid mixer

(kitchen non-fancies are always nice gifts, too, I think: zesters, knives, good spatulas, carved wooden spoons, thermometers, etc.)

* gray diamond bling (for my pointer finger, of course)

* seven deadly sins plates

* a badass record player and a complete set of nina simone’s albums on vinyl

* a trip to beekeeping camp, flower-arranging classes, books about opera and calligraphy, french conversation classes, garment sewing classes… you know, so I can do that whole pioneer/renaissance woman thing

* collection of vintage handkerchiefs (it is so hard to find new ones of acceptable fabric quality and femininity) and a vintage ladies pocket knife

that’s all I got for now, imaginary santa!

25 before 26: continued

here are the remaining 15 items on my “25 things to do before I turn 26” list.

* take more pictures

* be IN more pictures (I’m always the one taking them, and while it sounds selfish, it would be nice to see a record of myself in my photo chronicles)

* get another tattoo

* go on a hike [the californian in me is hysterically laughing at the former new yorker in me who aspired to go on but ONE hike! how silly. since being back in CA I’ve been on quite a few]

* submit for publication at least once

visit a US city I have never been to [new haven, ct, whatup! home of my best pal, yankees obsessed with bacon pizza, and the heart-stoppingly wonderous and swoon-worthy beinecke rare book library at yale]

* write more cards and letters

* knit something other than a scarf

* spend more time with my sister [we live in the same area code now and are pretty much attached at the hip]

* give meditation another chance

* learn to use my camera’s manual settings

* re-read “King Lear”

* learn to cook something new that can become a “standard” for me (some of my already-standards include: french onion soup, roast chicken, butternut squash soup, pumpkin bread, steak au poivre, quiche, enchiladas…) [fantastic biscuits, no-knead bread {finally}, fierce chocolate cake]

* spend more time outdoors [see “go on a hike” above!]

* learn more about opera

signs you are getting old

I am a bit of an old lady at heart, it’s true.

I present as evidence:

1. I make candy at home
2. I knit and embroider
3. I like to stay home
4. I think “The Golden Girls” is quality television, own a few seasons all seven seasons on DVD, quote it fluently, laugh out loud at it, and watch said DVDs at least one a week
5. I am currently waiting patiently for my homemade vanilla extract to be ready (december 17th!)
6. I own a one-piece bathing suit
7. the following items can usually be found in my handbag: cough drops, a handkerchief, tums, tea bags
8. I have been known to slip an ice cube or two into a glass of white wine or rosé
9. I enjoy going to the opera
10. I generally prefer knee-length or longer skirts

there you have it. scary, huh?

25 before 26

tomorrow is my 25th birthday.
wowza.

in the spirit of the occasion, I made a list of 25 things to do before I turn 26. they are in no particular order, and some seem much more do-able that others.

here are 10 of them:

* grow something edible [basil, strawberries]

*take a trip out of the country [c0mpleted 12/2011, Mexico… although I *did* know I would be doing this before I made the list… hmm…]

* complete two stories I feel good about

* visit the Guggenheim museum

* get a haircut [chopped an donated a 17″ braid in april!]

* start a retirement account

* Read “The Best American Short Stories of the Century”  (which is 57 stories and 788 pages)

* visit my brother in Maine [made the voyage to maine in january—brrrr!]

* wear fun lipstick more often [a little early to call but so far 2011 is my lipstickiest year yet: there’s no red too bright, nor no pink to hot for me!]

* make a cheesecake from scratch

stay tuned for the remaining 15.

happy birthday to me.