Of Head Colds & Door Handles

Last week both Zen-Den and I had bad head colds.  Z-D soldiered on going to work with a determined attitude and a box of tissues by his side.  I took the opposite route to renewed health and became a hermit at home, nesting with a book on the sofa in the TV room.  With a box of tissues by my side, too, of course.

By the weekend we were on the rebound– moving slowly with stuffed-up noses, not tired enough to want to sleep through the day.  We had some energy and the relaxed calm focus that comes from not hearing very clearly.  We wanted to do something productive that wasn’t too mentally complex or socially interactive.   So…

We decided to start replacing the handles and hinges on all our interior doors.  Good-bye cheap shiny brass.  Hello stylish satin nickel.  This is a project that I’ve wanted us to do almost from the first day we moved into the house 13 years ago!  I’m not a fan of shiny brass as the featured metal in northern homes;  imho, it’s much more tasteful as an accent color here and there around the house.

Turns out that this project was easy enough for two sniffly, tissue-toting adults to do at their own speed without much need for thinking.  It went smoothly and provided instant gratification– unlike so many home improvement projects that drag on for months.  And the results of the transformation are stunning.  Perfect, even.

Oddly enough we’ve never done this sort of hardware change before in any of our houses.  Now that I’ve seen how much better everything in the house looks and how much calmer I feel with the proper color and style of hardware on our doors, I know that I’d do it again in a heartbeat if a new home didn’t have [in my opinion] the proper hardware on its doors.  Happy is in the details.  And blessed are they that make it so!

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Home Sweet Satin Nickel Home

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This Year I’m Going To…

I find that I’m constitutionally incapable of making life altering, deeply personal resolutions when the weather is cold outside and the trees are bare.  I need to leave the specifics of resolutions for the summer months when my mind has a more can do attitude.  In my worldview, warm weather is for thriving and taking on new goals;  cold weather is for surviving and maintaining the status quo.

So instead of resolving at the beginning of each year, I’ve taken to picking one word as my guiding principle for the upcoming year.  I never over think the word that I pick.  I just ask myself a question such as: what do I need to do differently this year to feel more alive?  Then I let my new word float into my mind.  In its own good time.  Very Zen.

And what word finally floated into my addled brain about one week after it should have arrived?  Glad that you asked.  This year my one word is:  NURTURE.

How To Charm Me

My late aunt kept a scrapbook throughout her teen years.  In it she put mementos from her social life.  After she died a few years ago, I inherited the scrapbook.  Below is an invitation to a girlfriend’s party that I found in the scrapbook.  I love how it reflects the style of the times.  Hello, Art Deco!

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As if the beauty of this old invitation isn’t enough to charm me, if you look closely you’ll see that the girl giving the party has signed her name quite clearly. And who is this girl, you wonder?  Well, I know the answer to that.

She is Marilyn Meseke, who later became Miss America 1938.  And as such, thanks to news reel footage shown in movie theaters around the country, Marilyn was the first Miss America ever seen on-screen receiving her crown.

Pretty cool, huh?

Come Inside, Come Inside

“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.  We’re so glad you could attend.”

~ Emerson, Lake & Palmer. “Karn Evil 9.” Brain Salad Surgery.

•  We awakened yesterday morning to snow.  We’d taken down our outside Christmas decorations over the weekend, so we were happy to see it.  It was the first snow of the season and as such, looked delightful.  Just a dusting that sparkled– and provided a unified color scheme for the outside.  A perfect conclusion to the holiday season.

•  Looking back on events I realize that this year during the holidays we got together with all sorts of different people.  We had a party here at the house that went okay.  [If we decide to make it an annual event, next year I’ll know better what to do: more beer & carbs/less wine & healthy.]  We met friends for breakfast, lunch &/or dinner at various restaurants all over the city.  We went to the Zoo & the Art Museum;  we shopped at outlet stores & a huge, unique, locally owned grocery store that specializes in foods from around the world.  In other words, we had some low-key, middle-aged, inexpensive fun.

•  We’re not ones to buy each other Christmas gifts per se.  Instead, in the month of December we tend to buy some things that we each have wanted during the year, but never got around to purchasing.  So our “gifts” this year were some Le Creuset coffee mugs in a variety of colors;  a new [“virtually indestructible”] Swiss Diamond skillet to replace our previous Swiss Diamond skillet that I destroyed;  and a Roku for our un-bedroom (aka the upstairs sitting room).

•  There’s really not much more to report from here.  I’m feeling rather mellow today.  No issues to discuss.  No events to explain.  No reason for me to keep babbling.  So I think that I’ll just say Happy New Year to everyone– and be on my merry way.

[Hello FTC!  Just a note to let you know that I haven’t received any sort of compensation for writing about these products.  But you knew that already, right?  I mean, have I ever been paid for anything I do here on this blog?  Heck no!  That’d be the day….]  

Take Joy

The holidays are almost upon us.  Things to do.  Places to go.  People to meet.

Because Z-D & I will be sort of busy and because I’m sort of tired of writing here, I’ve decided to put my blog on hold until after the beginning of next year.  A short break from blogging sounds like a good idea to me right now.

But before I go, gentle readers, I’ll leave you with this charming video about– well… kindness, curiosity & joy.  “Oskar, what did you do?”

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~ Happy Holidays Everyone ~

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Speaking Of Archetypes

“If you can’t say something good about someone, come sit next to me.”

~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth

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‘Tis the season of… meeting and socializing with lots of different, unique people.

So we’re sitting at home discussing where we’ve been and Zen-Den, who is not at all fluent in archetypes because he did not major in English in college, asks me:  What’s up with X?

I explain to him that she considers herself to be a Possibilitarian.  That it’s an archetype.

And he counters with: that’s the most ridiculous term I’ve ever heard– you mean, someone who doesn’t actually do anything, just talks about what is possible?

I tell him that’s the gist of it–  someone who focuses on aspirations.  Who thinks and talks about what might be.

A dreamer with a fancy vocabulary.

He nods in amazement.

Then Z-D, who doesn’t usually drink very much, asks me:  Do you suppose if I drank more alcoholic beverages more often I could call myself a Chillaxatarian?

I tell him that I’d refer to him as such.  And that he could definitely get X to refer to him as such.  And that by doing this he’d have his own, very special, archetype.

A goofball with a bottle of beer.

He nods his approval and then wanders off to the frig to get something more to drink.

And so, with that, a new archetype was born.  One that encompasses all that is relaxed and beer related.  One that you know is bound to be popular.

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Hallelujah and pass the brewskis, there’s a Chillaxatarian in our midst!

My Daily Dose Of Spam

Want to get more comment spam on your blog? 

Well then may I suggest that you post a quiet little tale about an evening at an Italian restaurant and a visit to the zoo.  A post like this one that I wrote on Friday, for instance.

And for good measure, in your blog post be sure to mention Bourbon + uppity sheep.  Because, apparently, it’s this combo that gets comment spammers interested in your sweet little bloggy. 

Or so it seems.

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To me the fascinating thing about comment spam is that some of it is rather thoughtful and pleasant.  As if someone I know really cared about what I had to say and then took the time to post a comment.

  • I could watch Schindler’s List and still be happy after reading this.
  • Great hammer of Thor, that is powerfully helpful!
  • Unbelievable how well-written and informative this was.
  • So that’s the case?  Quite a revelation that is.
  • You put the lime in the coconut and drink the article up.
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Pity spammers aren’t sincere because what blogger wouldn’t enjoy seeing such unique comments underneath his or her blog post?  Makes me wonder why comment spammers do what they do.

My guess is that they are clever and misguided individuals with too much time on their hands– looking to make a quick buck [somehow?] from someone else’s work.  Not really my type of people.

But you have to admit that sometimes they’re kind of funny.