Friday, October 30, 2009

Booth Be Gone

(The booth where it all began.)

I'm feeling a pang of regret. I just posted for sale on Craigslist the booth that used to be our dining room seating. Chris had it custom made a few years ago, and while I thought it was a nice piece, we both agreed it no longer fits the space. So why do I feel bad about it selling it? This was the booth where Chris and I had our first date.

Falling for Words

It's time I confess. I already did so sitting with A. in a boutique candy shop in New Orleans, but I need to air it publicly. In the midst of moving, I've put my writing projects on hold. So affected by my surroundings, I found it imperative to shape parts of my new home to also somehow reflect me. The last few months have been productive. The bathroom is nearly complete, and we're making headway with some other maintenance work to the house long overdue. My things sit in familiar arrangements, and every once in a while I discover an old object from a box I decided to finally unpack.

Every Thursday night my cycling instructor shouts out at me (and to the class), "Where do you see yourself tomorrow?" I take her question seriously while I pedal furiously on my stationary bike. Maybe a few years ago I would have thought what I'm doing right now is like what I do in class spinning my wheels. But with experience backing me (and moving me forward), I've realized that even the little things we change or the small challenges we resolve enable us to grow.

There are two big writing projects I've been romancing the last two years, and now that I feel comfortable (comfort is the key) in my new home, it's time to fully realize them. Some of you know that one of the projects is about Thacker Mountain Radio, the show I produced for some time and wrote about for my Master's thesis. An editor is patiently waiting for the manuscript. The other is the makings of a book I think a lot of people will get. I don't want to disclose too much, so I'll tell you that it's about feeding people. It's a story I've had in me for a long time and certain things had to happen before I could even begin to shape it in words.

They say that sometimes falling in love is all about timing. Writing is the same way and I'm glad I am no longer fighting this notion.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today's To-Do List

Dog Food
Granola Bars
Meat (Chicken /Fish)
Dry cleaning
Home - call KitchenAid

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tea Time

(Tree Gold)

We ran around all weekend, mostly in north Georgia where we went to our friend's wedding in Big Canoe. Sadly, we were there for less than 24 hours, but it was long enough to take in breathtaking mountain vistas and Fall's gift of the colors ochre and red ochre. Apparently ochre is the earliest color known to man, which might explain the whimsy I feel when taking in its beauty. Red ochre has often been used in rituals to symbolize blood and rebirth. But I like the color best on my lips for a night out of dinner and dancing.

This week's Tea Time post was something I stumbled upon and immediately let out a giggle. My favorite line:

'In 1650 Blaise Pascal turned away from his studies in mathematics to contemplate the “greatness and the misery of man.” He decided, ”Most of the evils of life arise from man’s being unable to sit still in a room.” It only follows then that lying in bed must be a virtue.'

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apple Pie Redux

We had an amazing dinner last weekend that got me dreaming about apples. Our friends L. and Tex invited us to dinner at L.'s family home in Stone Mountain. The home over looks a lake, but the real sight was the kitchen island where L. and her dad were slicing apples to caramelize for a pork loin.

Dinner came quickly-- sauteed kale with pan-seared tenderloin and caramelized apples, and amedley of root vegetables. Since Chris had been in Chicago, this was our first non-restaurant meal in a few days and it was good. Dessert reminded me -- in taste at least -- of the birthday cake I made for Chris some time ago. Lots of chocolate, mousse filling, and ganache. Heavenly.

Unfortunately, I came down with a cold that very evening and for the next few days it was chicken soup from wherever Chris could procure it (my favorite was Poncho's.) While I was sick, Chris finished the grout work in the bath with Al and installed our toilet -- a funny thing with two buttons for flushing.

This weekend, we head to Big Canoe for a wedding. More importantly, and perhaps selfishly, we will also be celebrating our first anniversary of knowing each other. As I told him, all other options were off the moment I met him.

Which brings me back to apples. On our first date Chris cooked for me. I wanted to contribute something to the dinner, so I surprised him by bringing an apple pie that I made just a few hours before I headed to his house. Initially, I drove to my friend's house in Atlanta from Spartanburg, SC, with a cooler full of cut up apples and fresh pie dough. A few hours later, I arrived with my pie in a red plate and heart full of hope.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tea Time

Feeling a bit under the weather despite the appearance of good weather over the weekend. My Tea Time post is a little early today. I plan to leave the office an hour or so after my lunch so I can sweat out my cold in bed.

This week's post comes from Newsweek about the trend of people staying put in their homes. The story is particularly relevant since Chris and I have talked about moving to Portland, OR., but being close to family trumps everything -- at least for now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Speaking of Progress


I still can't believe I grew up in a house with 8 people who shared one bathroom. Before my dad even had a chance to cut off the car's engine, we'd all pile out and race to the front door to be first in line. Today, I have the luxury of my own powder room -- although, as you can see from above, it remains under construction. We are so close to finishing the project. In fact, Chris installed the tile floor with the help of a friend. The walls have been painted "Ghost Ship," a blue shade of gray, and we are in the process of finding a pedestal sink. Soon I won't have to wait for my turn to do my hair in the morning and guests won't be forced to trespass our bedroom to the other bath.

(Almost after.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trayed Not Tabled

From the rusted tin tray destined for the garbage that holds a few select perfumes (Narcisco Rodriguez, Paloma Picasso, and Tea Rose), a red metal dish my mom made circa the 1960s in shop class, and our his/her watches to the chinked porcelain dish upon which six Moroccan tea glasses rest, I've found that trays bring order to my life. More are stashed in cupboards for when the opportunity calls for a pink painted floral or gold-flecked Fire King platter.

"Arranged on a tray," writes Rita Konig in an article on the subject of trays, "[things]feel less like a group of random objects and more like a collection of treasures."

Send me pictures of your favorite trays...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tea Time

Sometimes we need a little inspiration. I started reading E.O. Wilson's The Creation yesterday, setting up a palette on the front lawn. After a week of downcast weather, I needed a little sun. I'm starting to think about ways to bring the outdoors inside for the coming months, and this book has me thinking green. It's Wilson letter to a Southern Baptist preacher on why we need to put aside our literal reading of the Bible that the end is nigh and consider our earthly home (which if you are of the religious bent, the home God created.)

I've been reading a lot lately - from magazines to other peoples' blogs - and I've decided to post links to articles that I've read that explore ideas of home. I'm doing this every Monday. Mainly because I need something to look forward to on Mondays and I'm sure you do too. (Especially at 4 p.m. when you begin watching the clock.) I'll being calling these post Tea Time after the job I once had at the National Trust in London. Every day we stopped working to feast on dainty cakes and sweet cups of tea. Book chats and reviews of the latest plays, films, or bands, were highlights of our conversations.

Today's post comes from Two writers pose the question: Can a writer invest a random, worthless item with value by inventing a story about its significance?

Then check our the the duo's website. I'm thinking of all those trinkets that have begun to fill a vintage chest of drawers and the stories they could tell.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October Haiku

The day was dreary
waiting for the autumn sun.
Then I came home.

Bad Idea

As it happens, Tweeting my life does not work for me. In addition to some technical glitches, I simply couldn't submit to sending my schedule into the ether. We just got back from a birthday weekend in New Orleans. I hadn't been there since 2005, so I was amazed at how bright the skyline was coming into the city later Friday night.

We took a break from working on the house, but Chris will be finishing the floors this week. I'll have some photos of the progress up this week.