We live in DC so naturally we couldn’t miss seeing the Cherry Blossoms-
Somebody please throw a party and invite me–the ideas below are so beautiful:
I went to the Smithsonian National History Museum in DC with my Mom and Dad awhile back and was dazzled.
I keep thinking I need more geodes and agates in my life, don’t you?
Like these napkin rings from my blog post a few days back:
Or this jewelry:
Or just any of these gorgeous ideas below…
My birthday is coming up just in case anyone is interested.
Sometimes even I don’t understand design magazines…
Oh Gentle Reader,
I read the travel section of last week’s newspaper today. It should be telling that I am reading Sunday’s paper the following Saturday–it takes me that long. Or that I keep only the Travel and Arts sections.
Yesterday I made a Proclamation to my husband. He knows when this happens that he must adhere because when I Proclaim then that is – it.
“We are going to Denmark and Belize.”
I should add a Dammit to that statement as well.
You see, gentle reader, my soul gets a little lost moving. My soul gets sidetracked with kids. My soul gets hijacked with the plastic to do’s. You know the to do list that isn’t saving or seeing the world but organizes the produce drawer in the refrigerator. My soul takes a back seat to the rest of the household and when time is freed soul is too tired.
I walked the dog last week (foreshadowing for The Proclamation) after a margarita infused meal and shouted into a cell phone (so sorry Althea) that I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO RAISE ETHNOCENTRIC KIDS. And the World is Big and we are Small and Time is Short.
When I was in my 20’s I backpacked at different times through Europe, Australia and Fiji. It was hard, hot, confusing, cold, crazy, uncomfortable, exhilarating, and in my Top 5 of Best Life Events Ever. I quit my jobs, put my life into storage (multiple times) and lived on $45 a day.
We slept in a parking lot to avoid the hostel bill since our boat to Greece was departing at 6 am. We slept under a bench on the stern of the boat because it cost extra to sleep inside on a folding chair. We slept with our backpacks tied to us on the overnight train to Italy so the random thief crawling under the seats couldn’t steal them. I feel like we might have slept in a circus tent in Germany but I might be making that up (Maija?). I know we slept in a storage locker in Corfu. I’m positive about sleeping outside a bus station in Zurich while protecting one (or two) male backpackers from Japan.
Ireland is green for a reason. Rain. Hitchhiking is ok. And of course, when we did, we got picked up by Americans, the Supreme Court Justice for New York and his family.
We became hopelessly lost in Venice. A 200 year old man appeared out of nowhere and led us to our destination. He disappeared into thin air after. I will let you infer what that was all about.
Once we didn’t know whether we were in Belgium or Germany. Naturally we only had French Francs. I remember a discussion as to how to casually ask what country we were in so we knew how to convert our money, or you know, just know where we were.
I learned in Australia that “dear” means expensive, Aborigines have extremely large, really large, bladders, not all buses are created equal, the rain forest is called that for a reason, and Sean Penn thought my traveling companion was hot.
I met a Fijian in Fiji who was the son of a Chief. He spoke 11 languages and was extremely articulate. He lived in a metal shack like the rest of his village and majority of his country. I told him he should move to America as he could be a translator and work at the UN (I might even have mentioned money). Defining moment comes next as he said why would he want to do that as money is nothing and family is everything. I struggle to not be a dumb American ever since.
I could go on. Perhaps I will.
Using coins for a hot shower, triple bunk beds, 10 per room, co-ed, at Baumers in Switzerland. Ice climbing in Swiss Alps against my will (not being a wus made me do it.) Deciding the Forum in Greece was too expensive but the Sound Of Music tour in Austria was not. Understanding that personal space means oh so many things in so many cultures. I once, unintentionally, shared a phone booth with a donkey. Plate throwing is encouraged in some countries, never open a window on the subway in Germany, and, that of all the countries travelled, I understood the language the British spoke, the least.
Feeling that, yes, you were really sucking the marrow out of life, seizing the day, living large, and convinced that when you came home everyone would see you differently because you saw the world differently now, because you are different now.
Until you come home.
And get a temp job at Postal Headquarters in DC. I still clearly remember looking at my self in the bathroom mirror at work–my outdoor friendly, adventured, worldly self stuffed into a suit and nylons in an artificial, climate controlled, windowless world of cubicles and computers. Insert emoticon sobbing here.
But I saved, quit, and did it all again.
Fast forward to today. My outdoor friendly, adventured, worldly self is now stuffed into yoga pants and a denim shirt in a nice life with a family but who remembers and hears the whispers of another life before. Through the Travel section of the paper, through stupid Facebook, through the conversations with other well travelled friends, and books, books, and books my soul is starting to get a little haughty.
My soul is getting an attitude with me.
Far be it from me to continue to shove comfort and practicalities in my soul’s face.
Naturally, Denmark and Belize seem like a good place to start. And I have now, in addition to Proclaiming it, put it online, all that is left is Facebook–because if it is on that it must be real.
So Gentle Reader in the spirit of making things happen–feel free to comment with your own Proclamations.
And the World is Big and we are Small and Time is Short, dammit.
I’m just a table
Yes, I’m only an ugly table.
And I’m sitting here at a junk store
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To your door
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting here out of date
But I know I’ll be fine decor
At least I hope and pray that I’m able
But today I am still just an ugly table
Boy: Gee, Ugly Table, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.
Ugly Table: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn’t even a table, I was just a tree.
I’m just a table
Yes I’m only an ugly table
And I got dumped at this junk store
Well, now I’m stuck in this store
And I’ll sit here and wait
While a few key people discuss and debate
Whether they should paint
Boy: Listen to that couple arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you and whether it’s worth it to repaint you?
Bill: Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. Most ugly tables never even get this far.
Boy: Isn’t repainting a lot of work?
Bill: Yeah, sometimes. But I’m only $10 and if they buy one of my fancy already painted cousins they will spend $300.
Boy: Oh no!
Bill: Oh yes!
I’m just a table.
Yes, I’m only a…
Store Owner: They bought you Ugly Table! Now you can sit in their garage!
Bill: Oh yes!!!
Life after The Junk Store:
More Before and Afters:
I got married in New Orleans. It rained so hard during our 3 day celebration that they ran out of garbage bags that weekend because all of our guests were wearing them in attempt to stay dry. I’d show you pictures but our photographer had such a good time at our wedding she got drunk and forgot to take any. Oh it was a good wedding…
A little NOLA style for you.
It’s been snowing here. Maybe you saw it on the news?
Which brings me to one of my snowed in days…I was inspired to make a collage. Just me, the TV, some scissors, and howling kids in the background.
I decided to frame one for my “corner office”.
Speaking of collages…
This is what is trending with family photos:
You can click on Jenna’s link above to see how she made it. It sounds super inexpensive to do–which makes it the best.
While searching for collage ideas I saw this:
I love this idea. Love it. You can make a statement piece for a room with an old chair and by collaging magazine cut-outs. Kids can help and it could be a creative snow day project.
Speaking of collages and kids…
This is using magazine cutouts as prompts for your kids to create their own art.
You can read more by clicking on the above link. Looks like some great art for accenting a wall by some tremendously sweet little artists.
Speaking of great art…
I found this on Pinterest. Collaging sillouettes – cut out the image from a magazine, and then turn it over and paste to a landscape image. Intriguing, yes?
Or how about collaging inspiration?
…which is what I’m going to need if these snow days continue.
If you give a mom a snow day she’s going to want to take a nap. While she’s trying to take a nap chances are the kids will want their snow pants.
If you give them their snow pants they will want help. Once you wrestle the snow pants, snow boots, coats, hats and mittens on they will go outside. When they get outside they will want to come back inside.
They will probably pound on the door to let them in while yelling “MOOOOMMMMM” because they can’t supposedly open it with their mittens on.
Once they get back inside they will ask for food.
If you make them some food you will have to clean it up.
While you are cleaning it up they will probably ask if they can pull out their messiest most complicated craft project. If you say yes they will most definitely need help.
While you are reading the directions they will get bored and ask you for more food.
Once they have the food they will want to go back outside but they will need dry mittens.
While you are trying to find any f****** mitten they will get impatient and go outside without them.
Chances are they will come back crying because their hands are really, really cold.
While you are trying to warm up their hands and find any dry f***** mismatched mitten and put away the messiest most complicated craft project and clean up the kitchen they will ask for lunch.
And chances are
I pretty much have just enough time to maintain the status quo, meaning I can get what NEEDS to get done–done, but beyond that, Oy Vay. I have to remind myself that life is too short to obsess about the unfinished petty stuff–dusty baseboards, scuffed up walls, a playroom that looks like it was “tossed” by the Feds, etc… It’s all just a byproduct of a much loved home, right? I, do, however, constantly try to find ways to minimize extra angst in my life. I mean life is not always very easy. The last thing I need is my own home to bring me down, stress me out, and be a giant buzz kill when sometimes everyone and everything else is jockeying for that position.
So I keep hearing about this book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.
Her essential question is ‘Does this spark joy?’
“Keep only the things that speak to your heart, then take the plunge and discard all the rest,” she advises. “When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t.”
Fans say her advice frees them from the guilt that often comes with discarding an object given by a loved one. She advises readers to thank their clothes for their service–or for teaching them that pink isn’t their color–before letting them go.*
She rejects all organizational products (the horror) and storage bins. “A booby trap lies within the term ‘storage'” she writes. “I can honestly declare that storage methods do not solve the problem of how to get rid of clutter. In the end, they are only a superficial answer.”
Huh. It’s food for thought.
Reading this do you think to yourself–“Self if I get rid of everything that does not spark joy in my home will my home look like an abandoned warehouse?” And the storage bins? Eek. Is she crazy? I see her point, I do. Moving all the clutter to a fancy labelled box is not cutting clutter–it’s just putting it off.
But let’s get back to this lack of time thing we all seem to have. Don’t go crazy–set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes, do NOT multitask, and purge. Additionally, think about these items from Amy Volk’s Simplified Living:
“Does this spark JOY?” is an amazing question to ask yourself for anything and everything.
*The Wall Street Journal The Cult of Tidying Up February 27, 2015