Friday, August 29, 2008

Any Ideas?

I am the very very happy recipient of this very large stack of magazines. It doesn't matter to me that some of them are a year or more old, I don't mind. Although I know it will take me forever to look through them all, I know that there is a secret and wonderful idea hidden in one of those pages that will turn my drab and very blank living room wall into something inexplicably interesting and lovely to look at.

I am thrilled to have been given these because while I love magazines, I do not like to buy them. It is terribly hard for me to justify purchasing subscriptions to magazines to myself when I know that I could read the whole thing at the library for free. Same thing with books. I just can't easily do it because in the back of my mind I know I probably won't read it again (unless it's Practical Magic of course), and my purchase will just end up on a shelf and then on a table at a garage sale. I have this priority list in my head: buy a book? $12.00. Buy a shirt for that same $12.00 and borrow the same exact book at the library for free?? I want that shirt baby. There is probably something wrong with me. I do love to read magazines and books though, so a magazine subscription or a book for my birthday is like the most awesome gift. Erika has done both of these things for me. I'd say she knows me pretty well!

When I was as young as late elementary school, I had this small collection of Christmas edition magazines, like Country Living and Better Home & Gardens. I relished every page when the Christmas season rolled around, going through each aging page with an eagerness for familiarity. I remember throwing them away when I was in college. I wish I hadn't. They were so fun to look through.

So the purpose of all this magazine talk? I need to do something with this wall. As you can see it is a very large wall, with a very high ceiling. I need some kind plan for some artwork or pictures or shelves - anything that would make good use of the space. This is where you come in. Does anyone have any ideas?

The only idea I really have so far that I know I really would like to do is to put wall mount lamps on either side of the long sofa (like the ones from Pottery Barn shown here) and move that floor lamp to another part in the room.

The other idea I have is to purchase an old dresser (I really want one with wavy drawers), paint it black and place it under the black glass cabinet that is currently just floating lonely on this massive wall. This would store all table linens, serving ware etc. So what do you think??? Please please please tell me what you think!

P.S. The sofas are olive green - not brown!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Weekend Away

This weekend we drove up to Monterey for a little vacation. For those of you who have never been to Monterey, it is a gorgeous place to visit, especially if you love the ocean and sealife.

We stayed at The Clement Monterey (which was only four months old - wahoo!) and I would highly recommend it. It's right on Cannery Row it is right on the ocean and like five doors down from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Although touristy (which I am not wild about) Cannery Row is especially fun to stay on because everything used to be canning facilities back through the early to mid 20th century. There is a ton of history there - so many memories for so many people.

Saturday we went to the aquarium which was enormous for one and filled with all kinds of things I had never seen. The jellyfish were some of my favorites - and definitely not the kind you see in Carlsbad. There were some that had hairs that were so long that they were all wrapped up together. As they moved their tangles would just melt away.

There was some serious discussion going on between the otters. All I could hear were snippets, but I could tell it was totally political.

We were lucky enough to catch feeding time several of the times we walked up to various exibits. This tank (which holds the largest solid piece of glass in the world) was filled with sharks, huge fish and sardines. Everyone in the tank was on fast forward, including the school of sardines below, which were twisting and turning in some of the most beautiful patterns. After watching them for a while I realized I had drifted off to la-la land. Nothing surprising.

On our way home we stopped in Solvang which is the Dutch capital of America, and everything pretty much looked like this. Sooo cute. There were windmills galore and some of the cutest shops.

But my favorite shop? Jule Hus. Right up my alley. They had everything Christmas and lots of it. I could have spent all day browsing Dutch and German hand blown ornaments. A couple years ago I started collecting ornaments when I would go on trips. Not cheesy touristy ones, but ones that I loved and could remember my trip by when I pulled them out of the box every year.

Here were my picks. It's never too early for a little Christmas right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Human Nature

It's not that I want to avoid making mistakes because I want to be without error. No. In fact, I want to avoid making mistakes because of the consequences they have on the the relationship with whom the mistake has been made. Words and actions cannot be rewound. They can be apologized for. They can even be pleaded for as mistakes. But the one thing that cannot be subtracted is the fact that what has been said or done has indeed been done. There is no rewinding time. Forgiveness may be offered and accepted, but a memory cannot be erased.

All of the times I've argued with my husband I wish hadn't happened. If I try, I can stop arguing, I can make myself see his point of view in a different light. I can have self control over my words. But all of this can only happen in the future now. All of those times my terrible attitude and hurtful words been spoken into reality means that all of those times can never be erased. They already happened. They are the history of how I have chosen to be. How I have chosen to deal with things. What his mind remembers. It makes me fall apart.

Being surrounded by friends that already have kids when I do not gives me a lot of time to observe things that I would and wouldn't do when it comes to be my turn. I started thinking about my appreciation for being able to observe so many different families, their rules, their structures, and filing them away in my memory bank so I won't have to "make mistakes." Costly mistakes that affect memory and relationships for a lifetime.

So, it's not that I want to avoid making mistakes because I want to be without error. No, no certainly not. But rather to run as fast as I can until I feel like my heart and head are going to explode with the one goal to prevent what I know to be the result of them. A hurting heart with a memory of mistakes.

Silly Georgia. But don't you know? That you can never escape them?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Not Caring.

While driving on the 5, a sports car swooped in front of me and then decided to break, traveling way under the speed I was traveling at. Breaking hard while right on their tail I was about to lay on the horn when I noticed their license plate read "BIGDEAL." I put my hand down, realizing that my scolding would mean nothing.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Trifle!

One last birthday celebration this week, this time shared with my dad, whose birthday is four days after mine. I made this outrageous Trifle, which was HUGE and is now completely gone.

I thought I would share the recipe with you, if you ever wanted to surprise a birthday friend or family member with enough sugar to make their teeth fall out. So here goes:

Birthday Trifle:

1 Package of chocolate cake mix, prepared and baked
1 Small box of chocolate pudding mix, prepared and chilled
1 Bag of Fun Size Heath bars, crushed
1 Small container of Cool Whip
1 Small clamshell of raspberries
1 Chocolate bar, to make chocolate curls
Tin of cylindrical rolled wafers (Pepperidge Farms calls them Pirouettes)

1 Traditional glass trifle dish (of course you can put it in anything you want, but the glass is fun because you can see the layers of the trifle).

The layers:
{1} Cut the cake into cubes - and densely pack them along the bottom of the dish (you will maybe use around half the cake for this layer)
{2} Pour the pudding mixture over the cake
{3} Layer all of the crushed heath bars
{4} Layer of Cool Whip (about half the container)
{5} Another layer of cake
{6} You guessed it, now the last of the Cool Whip
{7} Garnish the top with raspberrys (just an example) and chocolate curls from the chocolate bar (use a potato peeler) and the rolled wafers

Presto! It is beautiful!