Monday, December 28, 2009

Blue Plate Special

We finished the bathroom - finally. I don't even have pictures of it yet because we've been busy with the holidays, but they'll be up soon. For now though, it's a pale shade blue with white tile -- two inch on the flor, four inch in the bathing area - and a white pedestal sink and matching toilet. We moved the honey colored vanity from our bedroom into the bathroom which had the added benefit of opening up our bedroom. The piece also adds character to the space, and gives me a place to dress in the morning without having to compete with Chris for mirror time.

While I was putting together chocolate mousse for Christmas Eve dinner, I rediscovered my old dishes (although it felt like I was seeing them for the first time!) In particular, I found the blue lined French plates A. gave me a few years ago. Then I discovered two other blue plates, one with a seashell and the other depicting a boat, and I decided that I would somehow integrate these plates into the bathroom, perhaps on the wall. Chris was not keen with this idea. "Old women do that sort of thing," he said. So I took one of the French blues and put the current accouterments arranged on the vanity -- a tea cup of matches, bottled bath salts, and an empty vintage spirits bottle yet to be filled with bubble bath -- on top of the plate. The others, and there are 4, I stacked to the side. I plan to hang them along the bathroom door despite commentary from the man who just installed a flat screen TV at the foot of our bed. (Of course I did not protest this since I bought the thing and intend to watch Pride & Prejudice and other "old women" films with it.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pink Peonies that My True Love Gave to Me

(Pink peonies for the lady's Southern garden.)

I just read about Clare Cooper Marcus, a UC Berkeley professor who has written about the home in her book House as a Mirror of Self. I don't know why I hadn't read about her research until now, but it's something worth exploring. She using Jungian theory to explore how our homes speak to who we are. Home magazines never seem to make that a point likely because if people realize that home comes from within they'd stop spending so much money trying to emulate someone else's world.

It's nearing winter but I'm thinking about gardens. I've been dreaming of a garden I once had the pleasure of experiencing years ago. I tended to its lettuces and tomatoes, plucking leaves and fruit as each meal required. I long for a garden though I know with the granite dome on which our house sits this is far from a possibility. Living in Mississippi I was surrounded by gardens and their happy gardeners. Clare Cooper Marcus' latest intrigue is how gardens heal, a theory I'd like to explore in tandem with my understanding of homes. (I think about this now and I can't think of a single crumudgeonly gardener so gardening must have a positive effect on disposition.)

When I moved to Atlanta and began assessing my new residence I had dreams of planting hydrangeas (in honor of Chris' parents), forsythia (in honor of mine), and peonies. I had once seen peonies at the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn and have ever since imagined their soft petals a part of my personal landscape. A few months ago I spotted the neighbor's righteously overgrown pink peony bushes and decided it was sign to plant some of my own. While we haven't progressed beyond the threshold of our home, perhaps in the next planting season I'll have my peonies planted firmly in the soil of Atlanta just as I plan to be by then.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Post in Which the Universe Has Righted Itself

Little known fact: I like being proved wrong.

Yesterday, I got a nice phone call from the gentleman who rear-ended me, and after he explained to me how sorry he was not getting back with me sooner due to a bout of food poisoning, I physically shrunk in my chair. I recalled all the negative thoughts that were swirling around my head over the weekend and the waste of energy created from feeling so "wronged." "You probably thought I was a jerk," he said after I picked up the phone. I nodded, but moved the conversation in another direction - to our respective backgrounds in music. Turns out young fella has a talent for signing and writing (I checked his website out after our conversation) and has a show tonight. I don't know if I'll have time to check it out, but I told him I would put him in touch with the new producer for Thacker Mountain Radio.

Now, I still think you should file a police report after a car accident just for the record, but I'm glad I rose above aggression. Doesn't the South - no, the World - have enough of it?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tea Time

(Home: Refuge from the big, bad, world. )

Funny how the little things can slow you down if you give them enough attention. For me, it was a lesson learned. ALWAYS call the police for even the most minor of car accidents. No longer living in my old hamlet, I'm reminded of the travails of city life, namely it's every person for themself. So I'm left to deal life's most recent curve ball: a twenty-something Atlanta-based musician rear-ended me.

At any rate, I managed to get over my funk just enough to tackle some more work on the house with Chris. Although we were bummed to hear that my sibling and her children won't be visiting this weekend, we were pleased to know that we didn't have to kill ourselves to finish the rest of the upstairs renovations. Somehow we managed to accomplish more than we set out to do, including, finishing the bathroom plumbing, installing hardware, priming the guest room, and last but not least, bake some ginger molasses cookies.

I'll post the recipe and some update photos. Also, we just sold the booth in the dining area. We were sad to see it go, but welcomed our first guests to our new table setting last Friday and the new arrangement left me all smiles.

Today's Teatime is from 20x200, a very cool project by NYC gallery owner Jen Bekman. Bekman was recently featured in the "home" section of the New York Times, but it's the art she sells at 20x200 that caught my eye. She regularly features artists whose work explores the idea of home. And her most recent artists listing, Amy Casey, fits the profile. Check it out and try to resist buying these limited edition prints.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Prize Friends

There's something to be said of an organized office. Last night I worked in the newly painted (and organized) space for a record breaking 2 hrs. Previously, I'd grow anxious with the time, ultimately leaving when my curiosity about what was going on elsewhere in the house got the better of me. Instead, I transcribed film for two hours with Turner at my heels.

I'm now able to consider my favorite part of the house. With the office nearly up to snuff, and the floor boards in place throughout both baths, it's a tough call. Who doesn't love a relaxing soak? (Count two of my friends who attest to only ever taking baths.) On the way home from a shoot in Gwinnett County, I was told of a little boy's class exercise in which he had to describe his favorite room. He cited the office because "his parents let him hang his best artwork."

I keep the proof of my successes (pdfs of articles, certificates of achievements) filed away in boxes. While in Florida, I found a trophy from 6th grade. I can't remember exactly why I earned it - probably grades - but I took it back home with me. It's now sitting on my desk and tucked into the golden eagles perched on the marble is a picture of my friends. Making good friends over the years is perhaps my greatest achievement.