It has been said (by me) that there is nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to improve one’s mood, one’s space, or one’s perspective on life (and I especially like it when people call that fresh coat of paint a ‘lick’ of paint – so English, so dreamy). Well, the same could be said for a new shade of blush. Now, I’m not a huge make-up wearer, and we’ve already established that I don’t often wear dry clean only, hang this up right away kind of clothing. But, I do wear make-up (I am a licensed hairdresser after all) frequently enough. Infrequently enough to have a spent tub of blush awaiting replacement for, oh, it’s gotta be at least 6 months. Maybe more.
*Lyrics from Texture of my Blood from Dillon. A strange little album, with a voice that reminds me of Lykke Li, and melodies that remind me of Fiona Apple and Feist. An interesting listen, and one that I’m still listening to.
Last week my tiny, 4-month-old niece (oh, and her parents, too) moved to California. Boo. Hiss, hiss! Who but the cruelest of the cruel would force me to put ‘visiting California on the regular’ on my to-do list? I’m kidding, of course. Sort of. I lived in California for a brief bit of time during my late and not-so-great 20’s (yes or no the apostrophe here? I can never remember) and while it is undeniably beautiful it’s just not for me (plus, I really, really hate to fly). But, I suppose a visit now and then can’t hurt, right? Give me a few years and I’ll probably be thanking them for moving away (and giving me an excuse to visit warmer climes). But for now it’s just a drag.
*Lyrics from Camera Obscura‘s Careless Love off their album My Maudlin Career. I just discovered (read: found, I certainly did NOT discover anyone) them the other day and I really enjoyed this album. Have a listen – it’s nice.
So, recently my oldest friends in the world – who I don’t get to see very often due to schedules, locations and our own family commitments – let on that they had been making over their kitchen and main floor of their house for the past six months. By themselves. Gulp. You got that right. Holy crap! Now, these are not un-busy people – two kids, demanding jobs, lots of family spread out around the entirety of New England, you name it, they’re doing it. I was flabbergasted, impressed and nervous for them all at once. I would have loved to help them in the planning stages, but it was one of those things… first the sink needed to be replaced, and, well, if we’re going to have to hire a plumber anyway… and we want to add some outlets eventually, and the walls have to be opened up… and we could really use some more counter space, plus these counters will never survive the new sink… these floors are really not working anymore, and this carpeting has to go… you get the idea. Snowball effect. I’ve lived through it, but not the DIY version. It’s hard enough with seasoned pros at your side, let alone tackling it yourself on weekends. With small children. For six months! Phew.
We have the best neighbors. Seriously: generous, kind, fun, smart, and just a pleasure to live near. So when we were chit-chatting with them the other day about heading out to help my mom do some grocery shopping and to get some curtain rods they sprang into action offering the exact right color, size and number of rods we were after. Sweet! (The rods were earmarked for giveaway, so we knew we weren’t taking the shirts from their backs, so to speak.) And, since you all know our time together as marrieds is precious, being able to tackle a chore like hanging curtains right away when we got to mom’s place was a huge time saver. (Of course we still ended up spending hours going here and there, fully and completely exhausting my poor mama. But still.) And what a huge difference did the curtains (and rods) make! Makes me want to sew up some curtains tut suite for my own abode.
*Lyrics from David Bowie’s Five Years. We’ve officially owned this house for five years, and it feels like that’s how long each project is now taking. My brain hurts. A lot.
Weekends around here have become mighty precious. Jeff’s work schedule has been non-stop since about September (I’m not actually exaggerating – it might even have been like this since August), with small pockets of time off here and there. And by small pockets I mean a day here, or a few hours there. It’s been hard on both of us, and even harder on the state of the house. With so few hours to spend together who wants to spend it cleaning out the garage, or organizing the stuff in the basement for giveaway, or otherwise finishing projects that are half done all over the place? Jeff did manage to get the week between Christmas and New Year off and we were able to finally tackle some of those half done projects. Like the closet in the master bedroom.
*Lyrics from St. Vincent’s Year of the Tiger. Love.
I must take a break from house stuff, from trivial pursuits like color stories and drying paint to celebrate a friend who just launched her first blog. Her blog is not about home stuff, or decor. It’s about breast cancer, survival and the unenviable (yet inevitable) decision she has made to undergo a bilateral mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. I only found out recently that she was diagnosed just before Thanksgiving, and her surgery is set for next week. Since we live in different states I can only offer emotional support from far away. Luckily, since she’s so damned adorable, smart, funny, warm, honest, loving and just great to be around she has a huge network of friends who are there for her (and will be there for her), and her husband and their two kids.
*Lyrics from this sweet little song I heard watching a sweet little indie romance (which I was completely in the mood for) called happythankyoumoreplease. The song’s by Jaymay and it’s called Never Be Daunted. Good song inspiration for a year opener, wouldn’t you say?
And now it’s time for the ubiquitous post on what the new year means to me. I know everyone’s doing it, and with good reason. Turning over a new calendar page can be quite bracing, forcing you to itemize your life, to measure your path and to judge it accordingly. Or perhaps it gives you a moment to cleanse your palate, to step back and say yesterday is gone, today is my focus. Turning over this calendar page (figuratively, of course – who has paper calendars anymore?) has been a most welcome occurrence as 2011 was an emotionally tough year for me. But it wasn’t all bad. I’m just glad to leave it behind, and start again.