Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Reading

It’s no news I’m a reader. Even more than I dream of being a writer, reading is one of my favorite activities (running a close second to pretending I’m a stylist and mocking everyone I watch on reality TV). The combination of reader and librarian means that I get often get asked, “What are you reading? What do you recommend?” Sometimes this comes from people in the library who seem undeterred by the fact that I have a 2” thick bright blue cord emblazoned with VOLUNTEER hanging from my neck. My pretense of not speaking English doesn’t seem to slow them down either. Anyway, you’ve stopped by so I thought I’d share some of my finds this month as it was a stunning literary month (i.e. I loved more books than I hated).

Because this is my blog my rules I’ll also include a couple of sentences about each book. No spoilers, I promise. And kids, don’t try this at home. I’m a professional book reviewer (yes, I am. It’s just one more thing I do that no one will pay you for).

Apologies in advance, I’m not a big non-fiction person, so you might be bored. Sorry.

Here are a few of my favorite picks this month.

I wrote a review about this one but cannot say enough. May be one of my favorite books of the year. You can’t help but read it with the knowledge of the author’s fate in real life, making her perspective frighteningly astute and bittersweet.

It’s non-fiction! And it is wonderful. Gabrielle Hamilton’s way with words is as mouth-watering as her talent with food. I would love to eat at her restaurant.

Anything by Marne Davis Kellogg (Brilliant, Priceless, Perfect)

Kellogg and her heroine Kick Keswick are my go-to reality escapes. The books are funny, well researched, and witty with a side of British snark. Doesn’t get much better for me.

Irish Catholic family dysfunction. Do I really need to say more?

Considered a classic of literature but makes daytime soaps look tame. Who know there was so much conniving in the late 19th century? Read because people will be impressed you’re reading Balzac and will have no idea that it is a literary Dynasty episode from beginning to end. Marvelous!

Written by a woman about female friendships some might dismiss this as chick lit but it’s so much more. Funny and engrossing it looks at the choices each of us makes in our relationships.

I know there is division in the blog world about advertising and I’ve always been on the side of ‘don’t do it’ but with as many books as I read a month I decided I wasn’t going to continue giving Amazon free press via links. If you’re at all interested in buying any of these books you can go to my little Retail Therapy photo and get them directly from Amazon. No pressure, I’m not paying for a trip to Tuscany with your clicks, but after many moons I might earn enough for a box of Russel Stover dark chocolates. To eat while I read.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Another Thanksgiving weekend is winding its way down and I’d like to quickly sum up a few of the things that made it special for me this year.

Thursday morning: A quiet walk in the rain

Dinner: Lovely décor in a house I didn’t have to clean
A beautifully set table

Crisp rosé wine that went perfectly with great food

Black Friday:
  • I did not get up at 3:45am to head to Walmart in order to pepper spray a crowd of people so that I could purchase the new Xbox console. 
  • I live in a country where there are so many options (including staying home like a rational adult and sleeping) that I NEVER have to set foot in a Walmart. This is the soapbox portion of my thanks where I could go nuclear on why Walmart is the retail equivalent of rats but where I’ll rein it in so you can give thanks. However, they over-run any space they desire by any means possible and only when every last bit of life force has been sucked out of said location do they depart. They underpay their workers, hoard profits, drive suppliers out of business with their cost-cutting demands…the list goes on but you get my point.

Saturday: back to happy. 7 hours on my couch, uninterrupted by commercials, watching hot men battle evil but needing a woman to get the job done right. Best words ever spoken in a movie:

Thanksgiving weekend and I was one happy Lord of the Rings watching geek.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Navy? Yes, NAVY

Someone please explain to me when navy went from being the classic neutral to a color as derided as puce? It is SO much better than black. It is royal and elegant. It says 'I don't need to yell or intimidate to win, I AM better than you’. It is timeless and yet I have to take attitude off a Nordstrom's sales clerk (sorry darlings I refuse to call them associates unless they're very nice and have truly helped me) who when asked if they had gotten any navy dress slacks in sniffed (I swear to God she did) and replied, "We haven't had navy in 2 years." WHAT?! Oh no you di’n’t.

Honestly, what is wrong with people? A fool employee I can shrug off- or better yet stomp off and console myself with a hot chocolate from Cacao- but even a very dear friend recently told me that if he ever saw me wearing navy shoes he would have to publicly denounce me. And he was the shoe buyer for Neiman Marcus so he can’t be ignored!

Or can he? Look what little Miss divalicious myself recently came across at (the word style in the url means you HAVE to take it seriously for fashion). Navy, yes navy, is one of the hot new trends for fall.

Tory Burch featured it in her clothes, shoes, and accessories for fall and everyone who’s anyone loves Tory Burch.

These shoes hit so many fall trends- brights, high heeled loafers; the navy kiltie against the colored suede is so much better than either black or brown.

I may not love this mix of separates but the use of navy against brown is wonderful.

Technically, this is more of a cadet blue but even more credit to Tory for using it because it is one tough color to work with. Here, with winter white, it's a perfect foil to a neutral.

I’m not going to gloat about this (mostly because I didn’t write down the sales clerk’s name so can’t go back to Nordstrom and humiliate her) but want to use it as a teaching moment. If you like something and it works for you then everyone else can stuff it. To the storage closet, Batman, to resurrect those navy gabardine trousers!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipe: Cranberry Applesauce

One of my favorite foods at Thanksgiving was not something my mother or grandmother slaved over. It was the one ‘food’ I prepared for the table- the ubiquitous can of cranberry sauce. The first year my mother gave in to my mosquito whine of “puh-leeeaaaasssseeee let me open the can” you would have thought I’d won Iron Chef. I mean, cuz really, opening the can is not the hard part of that gig. It’s having the skill, hand-eye coordination, and most importantly, the aesthetic to get that wiggling gelatinous tube neatly onto its dish. Without having to poke it with your grubby finger (you know who you are).

I’m also not ashamed to admit that canned cranberry sauce and roast turkey was the first food flavor pairing I remember trying and liking without my mother’s coaxing and intervention. The sweet cool tang of cranberry against the salty warmth of the turkey? Sublime. At some point we move into adulthood (emotionally I’m still waiting) and canned cranberry sauce becomes a joke. I’ve been less than kind myself but I’ll still own it- I ate and enjoyed Ocean Spray cranberry sauce for many a decade. Until…until a friend made this grown-up mega-delicious alternative and I knew I couldn’t go back.

If you’re still doing the canned thing but think you might need more I promise this is the solution. Cranberries, apples, spices and lemon zest makes this chunky sauce perfect with any roasted poultry. Who am I kidding? You can eat it out of a bowl by itself, it’s that good. In fact, the only reason J and I have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving this year is this sauce and if I don’t have it in my hands when we show up at the door we will be turned away.

Enjoy and I hope you have a peaceful holiday.

Cranberry Applesauce

½ C plus 2T sugar                                2 ½ lbs Granny Smith apples
1 ¼ C fresh cranberries                        1 t ginger
½ t cinnamon                                      ½ t grated lemon zest

Peel, core, and chop apples into ½” pieces.

Combine sugar and ½ C plus 2 T water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the apples, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Check and stir. Lower the heat to medium/medium-low, add the cranberries, cover and cook until the apples are very soft and the cranberries have popped, 15-20 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning or sticking.
Stir in the spices and lemon zest and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Cool and put in container for storage. Refrigerate. Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Unemployment Diaries- Magic Elixir

In many of the world’s greatest fairy tales and fables there is something that will bring the hapless hero or heroine all their heart desires. For Jack it was magic beans, for Ali Baba it was “Open Sesame”. Arthur needed Excalibur and Snow White slept for a kiss. Is it any surprise then that after 11 months of effort, I’m ready for the elixir that will bring me my heart’s desire: meaningful employment? (Note: that's professional desire. George, you know you're still #1 on my list.)

I can’t be alone here. For anyone who’s been looking and doing as prescribed by state-mandated agencies, career coaches, and professional associations there comes a point when you MUST doubt yourself. Not to do so would be unnatural, right? And would make me want to punch you. Or punch anyone who says, “What about something at CostCo, just for the holidays?”, because there is no place MORE. MEANINGFUL. then CostCo at the holidays. 

You begin to look outside yourself at all those others. Those people who have jobs and even more importantly, careers. What do they have that you don’t? This then is the beginning of magical thinking. They have something, some intangible thing that if you could only hear it, see it, touch it, you would get their magic. In that sense it is me because although, on the surface, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to I’m missing the one thing everyone else has or knows about. The magic potion.

Needless to say, this is not a great state to be in. It means that the already increasing miasma of desperation that cloaks my being is enhanced by neediness that YOU have the answer. That if I listen to you more closely, if I simply ask you the right question, you’ll say the words that will drop the veil from my eyes and I’ll awake to find myself chicly dressed in a comfortable office not too far from my home working part-time, well paid with benefits. Oh wait that would be a fairy tale in today’s world.

Mixed metaphors and fables aside this feeling is real. Not so pervasive as to be paralyzing but it bashes around my brain from time to time. If I were smarter I would know what to do, I could find the magic formula, I would have the magic words. Basically, that the fault lies within me, which would mean I had control over my situation and could fix it.

I’m left with the question: why is it easier to believe that we are stupid or lazy than to accept we have NO control?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rabbit Hole

It is so seldom anymore that a movie strikes me enough to stay in my brain for more than the 90 minutes it takes to watch it that I’ve not ever written about one. That changed last week with Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.

Rabbit Hole is about what’s left behind when a child dies. Unlike typical Hollywood fare there is no redemption or major emotional denouement in this film. Instead there are characters so raw and flawed that it almost feels wrong to watch. They behave in ways that are cruel and unacceptable but when viewed through the lens of grief become understandable. Director John Cameron Mitchell’s touch is deft, neither too much or too little, and Nicole Kidman’s performance remarkable.

So if the latest romantic 'comedy' left you cold and you want a film that makes you feel something then Rabbit Hole should not be missed. It’s not all sorrow and pain but also speaks to love and hope. It’s small, intimate, and yet, so big.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When The Words Won't Come

It’s been said by all of us at some point or another that, despite knowing the need to feed the blog beast with new content, there are simply days when the words don’t come. For me that ‘day’ is stretching to several days which is quite as unnerving as I know folks aren’t checking in for kicks. You’re only good as your last post.

So, what’s your activity of choice when you’ve got muddy brain and the words aren’t coming? Mine vary but for the last two days I’ve been tackling the Herculean task of cleaning and re-organizing our closet. This is a multi-stage endeavor and yesterday I got as far as taking down all my boxes of shoes, dusting them, and polishing the top shelf before looking at said shoes, reminiscing and getting teary eyed over those I have worn and loved but don’t wear anymore (read: career pumps) before putting them back. I also emptied my shelves, polished them, removed all hanging garments for a good shake and brush, polished the baseboards, and did a full vacuum.

I did the same thing for J’s half of the closet (yes, I let him have half given his metrosexual thing for nice dress shirts and shoes) but knowing that he wouldn’t be happy about any clothing disruption I finished his side by packing away all shorts and polo shirts and organizing his shelves by jeans, khakis, long sleeve knits, sweaters, and sweat shirts. Then I re-arranged his hanging shirts by color, weight, and occasion. All of this will ensure that he actually has a reason to ask me, “Do you know where my (insert male garment of choice here) is?”

Here’s where we stood last night:

It's kind of nice- as if they were just waiting for me to go shopping

Yes, I know there is a pair of jeans mixed in with the khakis but there is only so much I can do

I have a thing about sweaters

Today, I finished my side. I’m a sweater girl so my shelves are: lightweight cotton V-necks, cotton turtleneck cable, casual variety, and heavy chunky turtlenecks (you know, in case I head to Aspen for the holidays).

So now we have a beautifully organized clean closet from which we can pick out the same 4 pieces of clothing we wear every day.

Here are some more gems I came across:

One, and only one, sterling silver earring desparately in need of cleaning. Pretty sure I bought the pair over 10 years ago.

You never know when you're going to need a bandana- and not just for a hoedown. They're perfect for covering your hair in the midst of really grungy dusty cleaning...Damn! Oh well, I'm rockin' a scrunchie from 1984.

Wore these to senior prom in college. That was 1983, the year before I bought the scrunchie.

Lovely pillow I nabbed at TJ Maxx 6 years ago because it contains all the colors I wanted to have in my formal living room- if we had one or the money to furnish it. Still, finding something in the shade of celadon on the back is almost impossible. Right? RIGHT?

Sweater my mother knit for me in college.

The end to this narrative? Each of these items went right back where I found it. Toss it? Take it to silver dealer as silver prices are at an all time high? Donate it? Nah. Any one of them might have a use of which I am currently unaware but will become vitally important at some unknown future time. Plus, I'll never let go of the sweater...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There's A Pattern To It: Mary Katrantzou

As the days get greyer my eye is drawn more often to pretty photos of bright clothes and in particular bright patterns. This is not the norm for me because when I’m not in stay-at-home grunge gear (which btw is my new clothing line, available in a 7-11 near you spring 2012) I wear black. Because it’s basic, brainiac.

My fashion aesthetic aside, the designs of Mary Katrantzou recently caught my eye. Her colors and patterns are such a bold mix of pastels and brights that they bring joy to eye. Plus, her design inspiration for this line was the homes of Diana Vreeland and Coco Chanel- how can you go wrong with that? This is a line I would like to see in person as the detail is astonishing. Her fabric is printed silk and satin and, when she wasn't channeling Coco's home, she used Faberge eggs, Chinese porcelain and koi fish for her patterns. It’s almost art but still, for the right woman, very wearable. Probably not me, but I love looking at it when the weather is stuck in grey.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quiet Sunday

There's plenty inside but can't seem to bring it out today. So, a picture to ponder that says it all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Unemployment Diaries- Job Opportunities

It’s not often (read: never) that I get to put optimistic news in this area so it’s with great joy that I announce I’m pretty sure my employment woes are at an end. In the last several days two massive hiring opportunities have come to my attention and I’m going to pursue them and hopefully, be off to bigger and better things.

First of all, Greece is forming a new government. I like the ocean, olive oil, seafood, ruins, and good looking men I can’t understand (just don’t talk, all right?). I’m virtually certain there’s a place for me there. Ministry of Fashion? Director of Reading and Culture? I’m a hard worker, resourceful, and ethical. I can drop the ethical thing if that’s a issue. Some say bribe, I say gift, let’s not split hairs but get this ancient noble country back on its feet. It does mean some of you are going to have to start paying taxes. Sorry.

It's called humanitarian efforts, people

The Greece thing is a temp job as it’s a ‘transitional’ government (given how long they’ve been around I imagine their idea of transition is different then ours but at some point it will end) so I need to think long term. Thankfully, a monolith of intelligence has finally awakened to the fact that information professionals aka librarians are quite knowledgeable and very versatile at schussing out difficult to find information. More importantly we’re specifically trained to cull the one million hits of drek you get from any given search into the fifteen usable pieces of info you need. Hello, CIA!

I never thought I would like these guys much less want to work for them but when the mainstream media trumpets the existence of teams of “vengeful librarians” working at the CIA I know I’ve found nirvana. Get paid to do research AND be a bitch? Stop your search gentlemen, you’re looking at the perfect candidate. And don’t get all uppity about civil liberties, I’m not going to narc out any of my followers. You guys are sacrosanct and that will go in my contract. My neighbors are a different story.

This could be me- it's called disguise for a reason

There you have it. It’s been a tough depressing haul but it looks like my unemployment woes are on the way out. Whether it’s moving abroad and hanging out with the Onassis clan or reading tweets until my eyes bleed, I’m going to be a government employee. See ya!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


After a lapse of four years I have finally made it back to a meditation practice. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I got very involved in the whole mind-body movement. I chanted my chakras, read the works of Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, and Ram Dass, took enough yoga classes to be a yogini, rubbed lavender oil into my temples at night, got weekly massages, carried semi-precious stones believed to have healing powers…pretty much the whole gamut of complementary therapies.  In my mind if I was going to follow the mandates of Western medicine by injecting myself with a drug that held, at best, a 30-40% rate of slowing the disease and had fairly serious side effects (liver failure) I was also going to follow my own path and open myself up to all the wisdom that existed for hundreds of years before we in West learned how to write. Meditation was one of these practices, one that I stuck with twice a day for twenty minutes for 3 years. A blink of an eye to a Buddhist monk but for me it was hard work.

You see I have what Buddhists kindly call ‘monkey mind’. Personally it feels more like ‘feral cats on meth in a burlap sack mind’ but who am I to argue with Buddhists? What it means is that even when I’m sitting quietly I am still pondering whether Kim Kardashian got married for publicity or love, why people are allowed to have 20 children and whether the Germans will have to step in to save the European union. Like any other body part this amount of activity wears on the brain and, often, keeps stressful thoughts and cortisol levels elevated. In short, not a good thing.

The human mind was designed to think so believing that meditation is ‘not thinking’ is a bit off. What it is is focusing the mind and all its beautiful power on one thought, a mantra, a single word, or easiest of all (in theory!), your breath. For the most part, I go with my breath because my yoga experience has taught me ways to slow it, which relaxes the mind and body, and I sort of need that these days. Who doesn’t?

So here I am, the first thing every morning sitting in half Lotus on my chair, eyes closed. I breath in and out more and more slowly and deeply and sometimes I even pause at the top or bottom of each breath and in that dark quiet space inside I find a peace that is so welcoming and profound I want to stay for as long as I can. Which, of course, I can’t and that’s probably the point. Still, despite what the day may hold, my feral cat brain, the actions of others, this is the grounding I need. I press my hands together in prayer and bring them to my heart center, feeling my heartbeat, my breath moving throughout my body. Head bowed I whisper “Namaste” grateful for the divine that is in me and hopeful that I will recognize it in others. Namaste to you all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oprah- Again?

It’s no secret I’ve had my issues with Oprah in the past but I’ve chalked them up to her insistence on being an overachiever and let it go at that. Who am I to judge? Now, though, we’ve got a real problem and she needs to deal sooner rather than later.

I have no business shopping but if you’re going to show me a garment with the words pink, brown, tweed, lined AND $69 then you’ve hit what I call the “it’s cheaper to buy it than not” spot and I will respond. This sweet little number by Isaac Mizrahi (love him!) was on O magazine’s October Finds page. I haven’t bought myself any clothes in six months. In fact I consider a trip to Target to buy Chapstick shopping. How sad is that? So to see something this cute (minus the scarf) at such a low price well, it’s almost religious.

Imagine my dismay when I go to and said dress cannot be found ANYWHERE. Did I mention anywhere? Not on QVC. No info beside the picture and QVC website at O online. Nothing in Google. Nothing. And lest you think it’s just me waiting too long and they sold out (not!) here are comments (w/o names) from O’s website:

1. Posted: Sat 10/15/2011 3:46 PM
Good luck finding this dress - We should all get free dresses for trying all day to buy the flipping thing!!!

2. Posted: Sat 10/8/2011 7:26 AM
I have been looking for this dress since my O mag arrived in the mail weeks ago!!!!! I did a google search, called QVC, spend way too much time on their website. Nothing! It would be so much more helpful to either, know the dress availability date, pre-order it or give us a direct link so readers can actually purchasing it.

3. Posted: Thu 10/6/2011 4:25 PM
NO WHERE to be found - this is frustrating!!!

4. Posted: Sat 10/1/2011 7:09 AM
Did anyone find this dress??
I can't find the pink/chocolate tweed A-line dress anywhere on QVC's website! Please give us the direct link!

5. Posted: Sat 9/17/2011 4:29 PM
Were can you actually find this dress. I can't find this dress on QVC

The first comment was from ten minutes after the issue hit newsstands! I tried to add mine but they have some kind of profanity filter. Bastards.

Do I need to remind everyone that now is not the time to mess with me? That when and if I find something I’m willing to spend money on when I have no job you should not mess me? Especially when it is likely to be the outfit (with a brown turtleneck and tights and my croc-embossed pumps) that would get me the job? IF. THEY. MADE. IT.
Oprah, while you have a bajillion dollars, a multimedia empire, and homes in three states I have the righteous rage of a woman denied and am likely to get all medieval on your ass unless you make this right. Please save yourself the humiliation and grief I could rain dwn on you and put the dress in a FedEx box today (I’m sure you can find my address). Size 4. Size 6. Damn, send an 8 just in case. Thank you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dreams of Youth

The best thing you have going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself.
-Greg Kinnear to Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets

Along that theme and feeling that humor is much needed these days, here, for your reading enjoyment, is the first paper I wrote in English 101 for Dr. Sroka. The topic (or prompt as we now call them) was: write about your dream future and the more realistic alternative.

   It is a typical March day in New York City. The partially melted three-day-old snow lies in frigid, foreboding puddles carefully scattered across the pavement for maximum inconvenience. I walk slowly pickign my way through the dismal ponds of slush, trying carefully to avoid getting anything on my suede Gucci's. A quick glance at my diamond encrusted Piaget (a thoughtful present from my handsome, extravagant husband, for our third anniversary) tells me that I am ten minutes late for my monthly editors' meeting. I decide that while a walk is good for my figure, a cab is better for my job.

   After carelessly tipping the cabbie twenty dollars I hurry into the modern thirty-story building in front of me. It is here that I head one of the greatest fashion magazines in the world, Vogue. Although I started out as a photographer and stylist, I soon progressed to heading the styling department and from there a complete take-over was easy. I run my organization with cool, calculated efficiency and do not tolerate incompetence from any of my staff.

   Once our meeting is over (of course, they couldn't start without me) I spend the rest of the morning touring each of the individual departments, all of whom are busily preparing for our upcoming April issue. I suggest lighting changes for the photographers; adjust a simple Halston tunic on a reed-like model who smiles graciously and re-assumes her position against a stark black background; call for more eyeliner on a sloe-eyed blonde with bones like a timeless Italian sculpture; and finally, phone my beloved husband the lawyer to confirm our reservations for tonight at Maxim's where we will enjoy a night of romantic atmosphere, gourmet cuisine, and later on, dancing and socializing with New York's elite, of which we are a major part.

   My afternoon is spent in a meeting with the heads of the directors' board, smugly showing them the increase in our profit column as well a substantial rise in readership. With that out of the way, I cancel all other appointments, walk the brisk fourteen blocks to the best parking garage in the city, retrieve my forest green, special edition Mercedes 450SL and confidently maneuver my way through the usual traffic messes, out of the city and into the quiet posh suburbs of New York. After a twenty minute drive I pull into our semi-circular drive and surrender my precious vehicle to our all-around houseman. He's the only help we keep on a permanent basis. I do all the cooking and have a tiny Spanish woman who comes in every week to clean and help out with parties.

   I dress with special care for dinner wanting to look my best for my husband, Jade. He is a tall, black haired, green eyed devil who first captured my attention at a Harvard swim meet, where he was team captain and all around champion. We dated steadily for two years before deciding to get married. Life since then had been bliss with everything going perfectly.

  The above is my own particular fantasy but I seriously doubt whether it will ever come true. Instead I think it might end up a little less "champagne and roses".

   For instance, the closest to being the editor of Vogue I will ever get is probably gossip columnist for my local newspaper. The town is somewhere in the Midwest, one of those nondescript places you passed through as a child on summer vacation and only remember because it had the Mr. Twisto ice cream stand. My husband will be an earnest, hard working sales manager for Sears, who someday hopes to put a Kenmore in every kitchen. I will spend long days picking lint out of our 10% discount Sears carpet and debating whether or not to serve liver for dinner (after all the kids have to get their iron somewhere). Yes, I will probably have the average two child family complete with slobbering, whining but ever-faithful Fido in the background, surreptitiously trying to drag tonight's entree into the garage. My children will insufferably spoiled namely because I, in desperation at having landed this lot in life, will discipline them with bribes and threats of "Wait until your father gets home" (making him about as popular as the bubonic plague).  

   Most likely, I'll spend my evenings with my husband snoring gently in front of the TV, staring forlornly at the perfect glossy faces smirking out at me from the latest issue of Vogue magazine. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

That Time of Day

Something tugs at me and I push back, not wanting to leave this lovely warm place. I slow my breath and duck my head, moving deeper into safety, sheets and blankets forming a perfect cocoon around me. With a sigh I sink back into the sea of dreams, that place with no affiliation to the jagged terrain of day world. My mind rests peacefully below the waves of awake, my body floats quietly with contented ease. One limb stretched, another bent, hands limp not clenched. There is languor in mind and body; we’re all on the same page. This is the sweet surrender of sleep and here I want to stay.

A noise or motion, slant of sunlight through the blinds, rain against the window pierces my muted ocean world. Night mind stops, looks longingly backwards at the ephemeral scenes of dreams but day mind breaks the surface and like a shock of icy air takes over. Eyes blink, mental gears grind edgy, sharp, and I’m thrust onto the roundabout of anxiety. Pushing further under the covers is futile, they tangle and push back, slide off. It’s 8:00am and the day has begun.

This piece is a response to a prompt from Red Writing Hood: This week I want you to take me to your version of 8:00 -AM or PM, fiction or creative nonfiction- in 200 words or less.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Portland Antique & Collectibles Show

Whether you’re looking at the wares or the people selling them there is a lot of history at an antique show. The Portland Antiques & Collectibles fair took up the entire Expo Center and covered every era from the Civil War to the 80s (which is a bit freaky because I still think that was only a couple of years ago). There were several hundred vendors and I saw everything from fishing gear and christening gowns to depression glass and license plates.

I walked around for two hours and showed admirable restraint even when presented with vintage Hermes purses in their original boxes. The box alone makes me happy. Instead, I found the show to be bittersweet. So many pieces of people's lives who are long gone. There were walls of sterling silver flatware and fine bone china- plates for $1.00 and knives for $10. These were valuable once. I guess they could be again if bought by someone who will use and cherish them but much of it feels like 'stuff' someone wants to get rid of.

Next year I want to go with a friend who's knowledgeable in all things vintage. It would be fun to know more about the many beautiful things that are shown.

Apothocary bottles

I love the handpainted detail on this clock

I used to have a vintage coat like this w/ a detachable fur collar. The fine boucle wool keeps you warm in any weather.

This was the one item I came closest to buying as we need a table lamp with a narrow shade for an end table. I thought the warrior motif would appeal to J.

I remember, as little girl, seeing bottles just like this on my grandmother's vanity. Arpege and Joy, oh my!

The style and croc embossed leather is very in right now. Of course, it may be real croc.

Steamer trunk from the 1800s. The workmanship on this lid is striking.

Do you have anything you collect or family heirlooms you treasure? 

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