Scattered Hither And Yon

“God is in the details.” ~ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I’m an organized person, but I am not a tidy person.  There is a difference.  The reality is that I know what I need to do to make things look tidy– and when my heart is in it, I can get things looking pretty darned spiffy.  If I do say so myself.

However, this past weekend when I attempted to get some of the more {how shall I say this?} egregious messes in our house under control, the Fates were not on my side.

•  For instance, I knew what I needed to make the bookshelves in the TV room look great.  But the shelves are so shallow that almost no baskets or photo file boxes or office-style charging stations now available will fit on them.  Except for one lovely wooden desktop organizer from Ballard Designs… that isn’t available for shipping until April.


•  In the bathroom I had a very cute idea, gleaned from Pinterest, about how to make my make-up and other stuff look organized… but I need a tray of a specific size to make it happen.

So I tried Hobby Lobby, Meijer, Pottery Barn, Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Kroger, Kohl’s, Tuesday Morning & who knows how many places online. And here’s what I learned: that size of tray doesn’t seem to exist, rather like a unicorn.


•  Meanwhile in the un-bedroom, the project stalled over the size, style and cost of the frames I need to create a gallery wall behind the chairs.  The beautiful floral drapes from Pottery Barn dictate the color scheme in that room.

But now I can’t find any images to put into the theoretical, yet-to-be purchased frames that won’t fight with the drapes, while gracing the wall behind the stylish and comfy chairs… that we bought at Crate & Barrel just last winter.

*loud sigh*

•  And then there is my perennially not-so-tidy desk in our home office… where I shuffle little pieces of paper and catalogues and pens and file cards all over the place.  Never quite sure what to do with all the notes I make.  Never quite able to file things properly in file cabinets or in computer files. Always aware that my way of organizing, such as it is, would give Leo Babauta nightmares & David Allen fits.

*oh well*

All of which brings me to the following conclusions:

  1. Decorating a home is much more difficult than I once believed– and makes me understand why so many people don’t even try;
  2. I do not enjoy the process of making a house pretty, but know, from experience, that I will love living in it after it’s all finished;  and
  3. That when this home redecorating project is over I might never, ever change another thing in this house again.  Ever.

What More Can I Say?

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Try as I will to make myself believe that Valentine’s Day is a Big Deal, I cannot do it.  I understand that it’s a holiday and that it’s based on love & friendship.  Love is good.  Friendship?  I’m all for it.  

And  I get that many people think that it’s the most romantic time of the year.  I’m happy for them.  Enjoy.  

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But to me it’s just another day in the middle of February– and a good excuse to buy a pretty bouquet of red/pink/purple flowers.  And maybe eat some expensive chocolates.  Nice things to do, but not all that compelling.  

I don’t have any specific reasons why I feel indifferent to Valentine’s Day, but I do.  So instead of pretending otherwise, I’ll just end this Valentine’s Day post with the wisdom of Eeyore.  I think that he sums up my thoughts beautifully.   

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“We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”

~ Eeyore 

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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….]  

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!

Not So Smooth

“Man plans, God laughs.”

~ Yiddish proverb

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I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore.  I gave up on trying to do that a long time ago.  Instead, I focus on one word for the year– attempting to make my one word happen in all that I do during the year.

[I adopted this idea years ago after reading this blog post by Christine Kane.]

So, this year I chose the word SMOOTH as my one word of the year.   SMOOTH.  As in: calm;  consistent;  without harshness;  having no rough edges.  Lovely word. Wonderful concept.

But here’s my problem, 2011 is three-fourths over and I’m not getting anywhere with my word of the year.  In fact, I think that I’m doing just about the complete opposite.  Things are getting rougher, more problematic, and less consistent as this year drags on.

I thought that in 2011 I’d have the inside of the house finally put back together after our years of remodeling and painting.  Hasn’t happened.

I thought that in 2011 our little backyard project [understatement of the year] would be finished in a timely fashion and that we’d be having fun out there by now.  Hasn’t happened.

I thought that in 2011 I’d get back into blogging and feel more connected to the world at large again.  Hasn’t happened.

Instead, I’ve experienced flux & difficult endings & weird people– lots of ’em.  This would not be my definition of SMOOTH.

Fortunately, I’m good at going with the flow and adapting as needed.  If I was uptight and took myself more seriously, I’d be in a heap of hurt right about now.  But I’m not and I don’t.

I do have to wonder, though.  If I say that for the rest of 2011 my one word is unSMOOTH, will God laugh and make my life SMOOTH?  ‘Cause if that’s the trick to getting what I want this year, I will be a contrarian and do that.  Just watch me.


Oh Well. Whatever.

[This is my second attempt to publish this post.  How appropriate that my week should end with me unable to get one simple post to show up on my blog.]

It’s Friday and I’ve not accomplished one thing that I set out to do this week.  Nary a one. There would have been a time when this would have made me very upset with myself. Surly, even.

But not any more.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”  (Bible.  King Jame Version.  Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Good advice.  I figure that as long as I’m accomplishing something positive each day– even if it’s not what I set out to do— I’m doing okay.  I trust the process more now than I used to, and I don’t confuse my self-worth with the results.

Not that I don’t like results.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fond of accomplishing things. It’s just that I’ve come to understand that I can control only so much of anything, everything– and the best that I can do is to make a go of what’s right in front of me.

“You adapt. You overcome. You improvise.”  (Heartbreak Ridge.  Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway)

So that’s what I’ve done this week.  Spent more time online than I would have liked. Spent more time researching future projects than I wanted to. Spent more time goofing around in the kitchen and in the garden.  All the while not finishing that which I wanted to finish.  That which I’d planned on finishing this week.

Don’t know what it all means.  Don’t know that it matters.  This is just where I find myself on a Friday afternoon.  Nowhere near where I thought I’d be on Monday morning.


It Is Still Raining Here

“April is the cruelest month.”  ~ T. S. Eliot, “The Wasteland”

I’m sick of the rain.  We’ve had wet weather here almost every day since mid-March.  In fact, in April we had 3x our normal rainfall, making this past April the second wettest on record.

[Oh joy.]

  • At this point, I can’t stand looking at the rain:  boring raindrops descending from gray skies that never go away.
  • I can’t stand hearing the sound of the rain pounding on the roof all night: *plop, plop… plop… splat* over and over again.
  • I can’t stand driving the car in the rain: *swish, swish* {sound of windshield wipers} *splash. splash. splash* {driving through a puddle}
  • I can’t stand walking in the rain: wet feet, muddy shoes/ cold ankles, soggy pants bottoms.

I’ve been a trooper about this lousy weather.  Really, I have.  I’ve looked on the bright side and been understanding about the fickle nature of spring.

[Spring: the passive-aggressive season.]

  • Yes, yes– I know that we had a drought last summer/autumn and that this rainfall is wonderful for the trees and grass.
  • Yes, yes– I get it that the early farm crops are thriving and this pleases some farmers.
  • Yes, yes– I’m delighted that because of the plethora of worms available, the birds are so healthy and happy this spring.  Bully for them.

But the reality is that after a very long winter I’ve endured almost two extra months of cabin fever, unable to go for long walks– or to putter in the garden– or to enjoy cook-outs on the deck.  I’ve been cooperative.  I’ve put up with this weather nonsense without much complaint.

And what have I got for all my goodness?  More fricking rain.  Predicted through the weekend.  Maybe into next week.

[And my life remains on hold.]