Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankfully Thanksgiving

As much as I abhor tribute posts, or admissions of of being "blessed", I felt compelled to share some favorite moments with you.

I cannot explain the charmed life I lead. Though there has been times I've had more, made more money, and traveled more,
 More has never been less.

Although they are few and far between, my friends are some of the most spectacular, talented, and inspiring people I've ever met. I am able to speak with them daily and instantly if necessary.

I am fortunate to be able to say that I am my Father's daughter. There are plenty of things I know that I shouldn't, and more things I don't know that I perhaps should. You can take me down a red carpet, or a dirt road, and I'm the same girl.

I decided to share my stories with you this year. And weather you enjoy them over coffee, or with wine,
I am Thankful thisThanksgiving for the forum.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sick Day

I'm a 3rd generation worrier.
 My mom has worried most of her life, I guess having 4 kids will do that. My Grandma worried her whole life. I worry about things that haven't happened. I worry about things that have happened. I somehow believe that if I impend doom, I'll be able to deal with it that much easier. I worry myself sick.
Every year right before my birthday I would get violently ill. I was worried. Worried that no one would come to my party, that no one would have a good time or that someone would perhaps forget my birthday. My birthday is my favorite day, and some years I felt barely alive enough to celebrate it. Of course my birthday was always great, and no one has ever forgotten. I've made sure of that.
A few years ago I was sicker than I've ever been. I had the flu and actually was sick enough to go to an actual doctor. So after dragging myself out of the house, having the wooden tongue depressor in my mouth, and taking my temperature, it was confirmed: I had the flu. I laughed about people that wasted doctors time on having the flu. Well 2 more days and 10 pounds later, This was serious. But I had enough of being sick. I made the decision to get in the shower and go to work. Big mistake. Within 5 minutes the combination of the steam and the standing got to me and I passed out crashing through the glass shower door. For what ever reason, I had brought my phone into the bathroom with me and came to enough, to call 911. I passed out again and woke up to 6 men standing over me.
Humbling. The most humbling experience ever. I was completely helpless, and hairy, and naked. There I was in all my glory in front of 6 men I'd never seen and hopefully never would again. As I came to, I heard two of the men wrestling with my dogs to get then into a separate room. They finally gave up on Annie and let her sit right next to me as they tried for the next 20 minutes to get an i.v. in me. So off I went for the next day to get all new fluids. I now have a somewhat irrational fear of being alone when I'm sick..
So when I got sick the other night at work, and knew I had to go home to an empty house I worried myself more sick. There's something about being sick, that only the care of your Mother can make better. And even though she was suppose to be up north 2 hours away, she was home. She dropped what she was doing at 8:00pm and came to meet me at my house. She sat with me in the bathroom, and checked on me throughout the night.
And after going to work and gutting out the day, she came back, to stay with me again. There she was with a fresh pot of soup and a loaf of bread under her arm. Telling me I should get back in bed and drink more fluids. Even after all these years, sage advice I should listen to.
Enjoy the pics of some of my favorite things, if I wasn't worried about keeping the blog more private, I would have included a picture of my Mom, with her soup, and her bread.
Well there I go worrying again..

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meat me for Dinner

My first memory of meat was at age 4.
They were pork chops in a sauce pan. My mother would put pork chops in a pan. With water. And salt. And pepper. It was the 80's, pork was cheap, and we were a family of 5 and apparently the kids on The Brady Bunch loved Pork Chops and applesauce. 
But I wasn't a kid on The Brady Bunch, and there was no applesauce.
There was pork, and water, and salt and pepper. She eventually graduated to adding a can of tomato soup and canned peas. Did I just type Graduated??
I took a break from eating meat around age 14. Perhaps it was the Pork, I still don't eat pork. Or maybe it was the Cod in the pan, again with the water, and the salt, and the pepper. Or maybe it was the rare Tombstone pizza, with the rubbery sausage balls. Dear love the woman that always has a pan of brownies, a pie and, some ice cream in our fridge. My Dad always loved dessert and always told her she missed her calling as a baker. I believe it was the abundance of baked goods in the home that I don't understand binge eating. One bite and I'm done.
My absence with meat didn't have much correlation with animal rights. I love animals!I would literally give my left arm, run into traffic, or unload 30 rounds into someone that came between me and my babies. Even the black one that I usually refer to as "Monkey". When I was 17 I went to a flea market and brought home a fuzzy yellow duck. There in our suburban subdivision home the duck lived in our 1 bathroom, in the tub for 2 days. After that, Ducky went to live by my boyfriends house, way out of town on a farm.
I am an educated woman and know exactly what happens to animals from pasture to plate. I also know that there is a huge difference between respectful growers and power producers. What I do not understand is animal right activists that ride on the bus like its a trolley car. For example, when there's horrible press trudged up against a slaughterhouse that hasn't maintained it's FDA regulations all the activists come out and flood our social media with it on their leather clad tablet holder. They peck away on the keys with their feet in furry slippers and robe woven of petroleum based fabrics. Choose a stand and don't waiver. Don't be hypocrite. Either get on the bus or get off. And if your claiming your an animal right activist, shouldn't you represent All animals? Who's standing up for the Shrimp? Or helping the Halibut?
I started eating Meat again at age 21.
 I lived out west and was starving. I was 89  pounds and there was no money to buy macaroni and cheese, and vegetables were out of the question. I lived in a house with 4 guys and they were all Hunters. There was Salmon from Seward, Deer from Big Timber, Tenderloin from Oregon, and Elk from Bozeman. My choice was either to eat it or starve. Luckily, these men were amazing cooks. There was no water, or salt and pepper. There was marinating, and injecting, and dry rubbing of spices.
There was also the employing of tens of people working at the cattle ranch in the desolate mining town that had an unemployment rate of over 26%. There was the summer job for college students, and family men, where working for a summer catching the Salmon could make you a salary of over $40,000. So I supported these men, these farms, and stopped starving.
If you going to get on the activist bus Get On! Two-step in your canvas shoes, and keep warm this holiday season in your organic cotton sweater. Pen your off-putting rants, accompanied by a dairy-free latte. Support your local grower and push for more animal- aware farms. Otherwise you may just get run over by the next trolley car of mis- information.
Perhaps someday you can meet me for dinner to discuss, I'll take mine marinated, and rare.

Orange Friday #OOTD

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Seeing Red

Red and I actually had a pretty amicable relationship. In my first house I had a Red sofa, Red tile in the kitchen and the entire foyer was Red. Yes, 6 layers of Ralph Lauren British RedCoat, & $500 later, it still never looked great. That was in 2001.
Red was simple, clean, the color of cherries in July and noteworthy. Red was for Santa and stop signs. Red is patriotic, and punch worthy. That was in 2001.
I can't stand Red anymore. My best friend has been trying to twist my arm to add a bit of Red for The holidays. I'm not there, yet.
I recently received an S.O.S. call of sorts from a friend painting her kitchen,, Red! Yes, 4 coats in, with no deep tinted primer, and guess what? The results are not note- worthy. She asks me if it seems dated. My first question:
1. Why in the world are we paining ,,Red??
Yes, its dated, it's tacky and it looks cheap. Not convinced?
Red roses, Red suede anything, and if Christian Greys "Red room of Pleasure" isn't enough for you to get  paint roller out immediately, nothing will.
Keep in mind I am paid for my opinion on this and if you don't want it: Don't read ahead. Now that Oprah is no longer on as a regular program on network television, I must do my bit as a public service. When Oprah used to say, "Stop doing this" all of a sudden people would listen, because,, well she's Oprah, right? So please, please stop painting Red. I cannot imagine the number of homes, being shown today that have that 1991-2003 Red kitchens or even worse, Red dining rooms.
And just to catch you all up to speed, there has been 2 major design trends since the onslaught of Red.
1.Tuscan inspired (almost as bad as Red) Where "cozy"mixes of Mustard, Cranberry, Beige, and brown collide. Read: non-descript wrought iron pieces abound.  If your in suburban America, nothing looks more out of sorts than trying to pass off your place as a "Tuscan Villa".
2. Metro inspired (slightly palatable) Somewhere in your home there's a light blue and brown bedroom. Hopefully you've used words like "restful" and "hotel-like" to describe your abode. If your Really tasteful, there's Subway tile somewhere in your home, and if your on my "Good List", you've gotten a bucket of white or back paint out and slathered them on your kitchen cabinets.
So this Holiday Season I feel like I've done my public service. I'm reserving Red for Santa.
If I visit your home, and the hue comes into sightline, know for sure, this gal will be seeing Red, in more ways than one!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Good Ass Night

P and I have been entertaining ourselves this late fall by watching Guy Code on television. If your not familiar with this show it's basically comedians and celebrities talking about various human relationship topics. It's actually quite parallel to this Blog! My favorite company to keep is with people that have the courage to say what needs to be said, but do so in a polite and non-abrasive manner. It's quite the life skill.
On every show, one celebrity discusses their "Good Ass Night", which is basically a compilation of everything they've ever wanted to do. i.e. Fly to Vegas, d.j. at Pure, spend the night in the Penthouse ..ect. It got me to thinking about my own "Good Ass Night".
The Best Part? It Actually happened..
It was February, on a Saturday night and it was snowing! It was snowing all day and it was the type of huge snowflakes that had no intention of stopping within the next 16 hours! I was still living about an hour out of the city but had made the commitment to my best friend that We were Going Out! So I got dressed up in a ridiculous party dress. Usually when Jess and I were planning on going out we shopped the afternoon before and spent a bundle! Shoes, dress, accessories, Ridiculous! Off I went in my 6 inch heels, and fur into the snowy white wonderland.
We started the night at our favorite eatery, having dirty martini's, and waffles and fries. We watched out the huge picture windows as the city plows made their rounds, and friends pushed their cars out of snowbanks. We cabbed our way across the city to The Dance place, the place where the Divorcee guys hang out in tight T's and the place where the Greeks converge. We lost some money at the Casino, and then with one fell hand was up on the house!
I met up with the guy I was Sort of Seeing, and we trekked across the city to his place. We hot tubbed outside until morning light, and the snow never let up. A few hours later, my ridiculous party dress and I made my way to the Starbucks drive through. The guy working made a comment about my dress, and how he could only image what a Good Night it must have been- Coffee on the house!
 We danced, we drank, and we dunked in the hot tub. We didn't fly to Vegas or party in the penthouse suite,  but that night my friends, Was My Good Ass Night!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Peeling Back the Layers

Perhaps I'm feeling a bit emotional about one of my favorite newspapers going out of the print business. (The Onion!)Perhaps I'm feeling a bit reflective about this blog.
But in 3 month, after 65 posts, and 2,263 views, I have been delighted and hopeful for the future of this little page. In 3 months I have definitely peeled back some layers for you. I have been flattered to hear that weather your on your morning commute, on your nighttime wine and wind down time, or in bed with your partner, you have turned on the on-goings of a not- so simple girl's life.
Part- fashion, Part quizzical of human behavior , and all things that encompass relationships, I only worried briefly, that the topics of conversation would dry up. But then a situation would arise, or I would remember Sara Otto, or I would shutter at a distant memory, and now there is a notebook of crudely scribbled blog topics.
On a lighter note, I decided to feature some of the regular layering I do, today in photos. Women still ask me daily how I put it all together and I usually offer:
1. The only thing I pack up in the Fall are my linen pieces.
2.If you don't have a Chambray shirt, you must be living under a rock.
3.Its my personal mission to wear sequins everyday from Now until Christmas!
*I absolutely LOVE winter white in winter!! I'm EVEN still wearing my White jeans!! Gasp!
Don't want to be amused? No problem! Don't want to see what I wore or how I styled it? Okay. Can't relate to Anything I write about? You bet. My advice to you? Well then,, Just Peel off.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's a Matter of Manners

I grew up in a home with 3 girls and 1 bathroom..4 girls including my Mom. Every morning I would get ready for school in my bedroom due to the lack of space. With 4 other people using it, you would think there I would have a blog's worth of stories just about the bathroom, but I don't.
The bathroom door was always closed when someone was using it, and there was never 2 people in it at the same time. Especially my parents. They allowed each other to have the privacy they needed, and get ready for the day, or turn the night in. The toilet seat was always closed and the sink was always clean.
Recently I started doing work for a friend who just got her 1st "Big Girl" apartment. As she's showing me pictures to get inspiration for the work we'll be doing, a photo of the bathroom comes around and I immediately notice, The toilet seat is Open!? We have a discussion about this and she lets me know, she actually never closes it. I have another friend that on a regular basis let's her husband use the toilet when she is putting her makeup on!
If I visit your home and the toilet seat is up, I can only assume 2 things: 1. You are a dirty person and 2.You have No Manners. In every home I've worked on, no matter what size of the bathroom, I have never, ever installed 2 sinks in the same room. To me, that's a segway to installing 2 toilet's also.
For the first time in 10 years I am currently sharing a bathroom. P has only been in the bathroom at the same time as me, when were about to leave for an evening out. Even in my sickest hour P is not allowed more than a footprint into that room. Every morning, P spends about 25 minutes in "the office". He checks his e- mail, has his coffee and who knows what else. Afterwards, it's like I'd never know there was someone in there, and that's exactly how it should be.
It's not that I'm keeping secrets from him. It's not as if I don't have the humility for him to see me when I'm down. It's about having time for yourself and going through your daily routine. It's about respecting your home space and keeping it maintained.
And at the end of the day, it's a Matter of Manners.