Monday, November 26, 2012

Colorful Decor

The new floor is in and now it's time to decide-radical change or refresh the old?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It was a gorgeous week this past week in New York. We had a few super-hot days a few weeks back which of course lead me to moan about going from winter to summer without spring. But these past few weeks in fact have been quintessential spring. Warm sunny days with really low humidity and cool, cool nights. It has been a pleasure driving to work, with so many lovely vistas.  In fact I have felt that way since I moved up to this neck of the woods. The stunning colors of sky and grass, shrubs and flowers only magnify it. Here: the a bank of forsythia set off against blue sky, emerald grass and red roofs!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Remember that song? From a few years back. Don't worry, be happy. I kind of feel like that's where I am for this moment in time. I am settled back in to a kind of complacency. I am constantly inspired by the world around me, interested in so many things. I am captivated by the endless creativity and enthusiasm I find in artists and crafters at shows, shops and on the web. There was a time when I spent all weekend visiting new places, exploring restaurants, seeing shows. It's fascinating to see how others build, design, display, covet, collect. Shopkeepers transform a loose amalgamation of yet more stuff into "curated" (big word these days) collections that speak about vision, commitment, beauty and joy. Artists explore material, media, matter; add passion, emotion; yield something new and wondrous. It's easy to treat the world like a your dues, spend your money, take it all in. Simple. Not too much effort.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back to Work

Wow it's been a busy bunch of days. Let me catch you up. Last week I got the news that I have a new job. Yay! That set off a whole chain of events on Thursday and Friday, from peeing in a cup to shopping again. I'll skip the details on the former (you're welcome) and expand on the latter. When you are looking for a job - especially when you are of a certain age - they tell you to network. In fact "they" tell you that only 10-15% of jobs are filled from internet/resume applications. The remainder are through personal connections. That's LIVE people, folks. With this information in hand, I began telling everyone I knew, from my cousins to my hair cutter, that I was looking for a job. Everyone promised to mention me to someone they knew but no one managed to convince me I would ever hear from that person.
I started to get nervous, as my mortgage payments inched closer to exceeding my bank balance, and decided to call a realtor to put my condo on the market. I chose her at random from the internet and we made an appointment for her to see the place. When she arrived we chatted for a few minutes and then I began the tour. Afterwards she sat down and blurted out "I'm not going to sell your place - I need to find you a job!" I was flabbergasted. She said "It's so obvious you love it here and that's my job as a realtor - to put {or keep} people in the house they want to live in." To make this long story a little less long - well, she gave me the name and email address of a friend of hers, after a few misfires I got an interview and ultimately they offered me the job!
Crazy, coincidental, unbelievable. ME! The person who is so solitary I prefer to go to the movies alone - I got a job through networking! So last week was spent filling out forms, getting drug tested (oh really!) and preparing a truly personal and heartfelt thank you gift for my new favorite realtor (thus the shopping). So I have another 2 weeks to tie up loose ends, finally tackle some projects around here, get some new clothes and get back to work.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

HiHo Redux

I know I've posted about HiHo Home Market before but I am a little obsessed with that place! I took a ride up there again today. Look at the pretty window boxes! So cute. The shop owner has such a wonderful eye for display. SUCH a wonderful eye, as a matter of fact that - I finally realized - I love her store more than I like her product. Every little corner is evidence of a special kind of devotion, each diverse item so lovingly placed. I think if she ran a butcher shop I would want to hang out there! I visit often, not necessarily to shop but to enjoy the atmosphere. I do try to buy something each time I visit, to support her efforts and small business owners in general. Don't get me wrong, her mix of merchandise - foods, spa products, new and old jewelry, vintage and reproduction furniture, books and stationery - certainly makes it easy enough to find a little sump-in' to love. Yet I likely wouldn't be compelled to buy the same item if I saw it in a department store. Wait a minute - did I just have an Arsenio moment? Did I just find something to make me go "Hmmm?" Do you think maybe THAT'S one of the keys to success in the oh-so-hard-to-compete-in world of retail? Perhaps being true to one's heart is as important as having a national presence. Maybe offering merchandise that one believes in is as important as carrying every hot new thing. Is it possible that an owner, like Heidi, is as important - or more important - than an army of buyers, crunching numbers and not caring about the product?

I imagine her each morning cheerfully greeting the postman, accepting this day's new treasure. Carefully peeling tape off the carton, like a child pulling the ribbon from a birthday gift, she gingerly pokes her hand inside, searching for the little gem through the packing. Excitement builds as it emerges. She lovingly unwraps the surprise, turning it over and over, as it coyly reveals itself, a little at a time. She holds it, gazes at it, wonders just where it wants to live. She has an idea - maybe in the front corner, with it's sunny yellow siblings. Or rather, nestled amongst its aged brethren in the cozy back nook. So many possibilities but, in the end, only one right answer.

I guess I should reveal right here and now that I am so inspired, I am seriously considering that this is the right time to open my own shop. Cause or effect? Probably a little of both. I've had the thought many, many - many - times over the years. Originally I wanted to have a gallery-shop offering handcrafted, artisan goods. While I would love that I know the immense investment and risk of that kind of venture was, for me, self-defeating. I have another idea now and am in the process of coming up with the ole elevator pitch. In fact I am using the blog format to develop images, ideas, plans etc. I will post about it when I get closer (shhhh...please don't tell the unemployment police!).
 Everybody have a great Memorial Day - but please take a few moments to honor, in some way, the brave men and women who have given so much for all of us!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Is it just me?

Am I the last person in the world to figure out how fabulous BAKING SODA is? My fav appliance {in the kitchen} has, for a long time, been my toaster oven. I rarely use the big jobbie anymore but this little guy cannot be beat for convenience, thriftiness and ease. I've been through about 3 of them now, not because they didn't work or didn't serve my needs, but because they all got gross looking after a fairly short while. Yesterday I got bit by the domesticity bug and began hopping from one little task to another. Laundry, vacuuming, ironing, cleaning. I did it all. When I got to the kitchen, there was no question but that I had to attack the drippy, cheesy, goop that the week's leftover pizza slices left on the t.o.'s floor, door and grill! Ugh! I soaked what I could in the sink and began scrubbing away at the rest with my trusty Dobie pad and scouring powder. Not very appetizing. Then I remembered the jar of baking soda and water I had saved the last time I tried to clean my chrome bread bin. I pulled that out and OMG - what a great job it did! Super quick and easy, I scrubbed away all the greasy, charred spots. I even removed the glass door, handles and knobs, attacking those corners and crevices, and my once elegant, stainless steel Kitchenaide oven is loverly again! Yippee! Oh boy. I guess I REALLY need to get back to work.