Sunday, February 19, 2012

Merry Berries

I think the phrase is actually "the merry berry month of May" and its only February, but I've got my favorite fruit on the brain lately. Well, in all honesty, I'm always on the look-out for cute stuff with a strawberry theme. Its a disease. And someday, I'll have to draw a line...but not yet!

A recent trip to a flea market with my mom resulted in the above purchase. Three color-tinted lithographs from the US Department of Agriculture's annual regional plant catalog. The USDA used to put out this hand-drawn, leather bound book every year, beginning in the late 19th century. Every farmer in America was eligible to receive one, and it provided them with the latest hybrids and strains of all the various plants approved for cultivation in the US. And the best part? The artists were all women! My particular lithographs date from 1890, 1908 and 1914. I'll have to do a little research to find out when the USDA quit publishing the catalog.

Anyway, what to do with my new-found artwork? Originally, I planned to hang them on a wall in my guest room (which doubles as my crafting room, and predicatably there is a strawberry theme going on in there). But they look kind of awesome against the green walls int he living room. Hmmm....

Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm home sick from work today. You can tell just by looking at the mess in my kitchen. When I'm under the weather, I give myself permission to not clean up dishes or fold laundry or put things away. Oddly, having stuff sitting around like this drives me crazy, so I'm not really sure its helping me get any rest today.

I might watch Twilight: Breaking Dawn this afternoon. But first I have to get through a 2 hour special on the History Channel on the Mayan 2012 calendar. Yep. Livin' the life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

aawWWW FREAK OUT! (or, London Calling, Part 1)

Well, I'm carrying a new, incredibly high balance on my credit card thanks to the pre-paid, non-refundable hotel room in London that I just booked, and I'm feeling okay about it. I have a room reserved for the 4 days around the dates I have Olympic tickets for, so at least I will be able to see my events. The length of the trip and other activities are yet to be decided. Possibilities include a concert in Hyde Park featuring various British rock groups that coincides with the Opening Ceremonies (Coldplay might be a decent substitute for the actual ceremonies!), a 4 day small-group tour to Dublin, Ireland, the annual film festival in Edinburgh, and an overnight stay in the Cotswolds that includes a guided tour of the inner ring at Stonehenge. Needless to say, I'm stoked!

So, why am I freaking out? After I booked the hotel room, I was feeling all empowered and decided to take a look at airfares...thus confronting images of my greatest fear - FLYING!! Seriously, I am really not sure how I'm going to do this. Sit on a plane for that long?? Over water? Really, really deep water? Immediately I chewed through three finger nails and had to shut the computer off. Perhaps I need to do some practicing? Like short, mini-flights over ponds and such? Working my way up to multi-hour flights? This is sounding like an expensive way to get acclimated...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

It has recently come to my attention that I need to focus on all the things in my life that are good, and at least attempt to stop dwelling on the things that are less than great. So every once in a while, I'm going to try to mention, out loud, something that makes me happy. Today's deep thought has to do with this photograph. I took that picture of the western sky one evening last week from my front porch. I think its beautiful, but that in and of itself is not the happy thought. The happy thought is that I love my house. MY house. I love having my place and that it feels warm and homie all the time. But what I really love are all the little routines that I've developed in the 2 1/2 years I've lived here. Having a cup of coffee after work, and sitting on my couch while looking at the sunset is one of them. I can see out over the entire downtown area, and watch the lights come on as the sun sets. It only last about 10 minutes, but I just love it. Makes me happy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Party Aftermath

Last night I hosted a Mad Men-themed Christmas get-together. Complete with fake cigarettes, Manhattans and a lot of pretty fabulous '60's fashions and hair styles! A good time was had by all, I think, as evidenced by the aftermath in my kitchen this morning. Sadly, my photographys kills are lacking, and very few of my photos came out well at all. Guess we'll just have to do it again next year!

In other news, the countdown is on for a White Christmas! Its most definitely not going to happen here in Virginia, but I've got my fingers crossed for Pittsburgh!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The 10th Tree

The finished tree! I also managed to finish that tree skirt...
A paper village that I used to put together every year as a kid - my parents handed over to me this year!

As I was putting the last ornament on my tree this weekend, it suddenly occurred to me that this year marks the 10th time I've had my own Christmas tree in my own place. Yep, its been a whole decade since I dragged my grandmother's ancient artificial tree up all those stairs to my grad school apartment and decorated it with a grand total of 3 ornaments and a homemade paper garland. That kind of amazes me. Now, when I unpack all of the ornaments I've accumulated over that decade, I can remember each story and each occasion that goes with them - the tiny mittens that an old boss gave me, the glass candies acquired the day my cousin and I went shopping for my bridesmaid dress for her wedding, the miniature Congress Hall which was the hotel my grandmother worked at during the Depression. I love the process of decorating almost as much as the final product!

So, I think Christmas Tree 2011 is a suitable 10th Anniversary tree, too! Good shape, great smell, lots of good ornament-hanging branches... and lots of memories.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Goes Around...

Today, I bought a cloche. It will be my Christmas hat. I used to wear cloches quite often years back when they were in style - I don't wear hats very well, but cloches apparently are good for my head shape. Then cloches went out of style, or so I was told. I was very happy to hear that they are back in style this season!

Just a little something that made me smile on this extremely dreary day!