Monday Musings: On feeling the funk, passages and nesting.

I know, I know. I’ve skipped a couple of Monday Musings. But I’m back this week, and in a funk. It’s why I just haven’t felt like writing as of late.

Oliver

Oliver’s been really sick, which has thrown my world into disarray. I’ve been on a tear dealing with the beach house. I’ve been overscheduled with social things. And I took a couple of days off for my birthday, which I think you always pay for coming and going. The stress of trying to go on vacation and then trying to get back in the swing is often not worth the going. Let’s just say I reversed any rest and relaxation about 24 minutes into my first morning back. Continue reading

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One year ago.

London bridge

June 1, 2012. One year ago today.

It was a big day. It certainly felt like a big, busy, stressful day at the time, but looking back only highlights its importance.

To begin the day, I interviewed for the second time for the job I have now. A job I desperately wanted but had thought and would continue to think had passed me by, all the way until October.

I worked for the rest of the day and headed to the airport. I was going to London.

Then I got momentous news. Angie was in labor! While I guzzled as many pre-flight chardonnays as I could handle at the US Airways lounge, she texted me updates from her hospital bed. Happy first birthday, little, sweet Sadie!

That night, the plane took off to London, where I’d spend my birthday week. It was in many ways a trip of a lifetime — one I felt compelled to take, even by myself, and one I felt I conquered for many reasons. The queen was honored that I was able to make it.

It was just one little day, but I still feel its ripples today. My, how life can change in a day. And what a difference a year makes.

Monday Musings: On moms, no TV and crowdsourcing.

Happy Monday to you.

This girl needs a vacation. At least a massage or three. And a facial. Maybe a nap. All of the above, really. One of my friends posted a picture last week of a Post-It note she wrote to herself at work. It said: “Do one thing at a time.” I so know that feeling — of being overwhelmed with work and life to the point that you just don’t know where to start. Paralyzed by the enormity of it all. This too shall pass, but for now I’m going to try to take that advice. And get that massage. That vacation — maybe.

This might be the first year in several that I haven’t taken a big, international trip … but who has the time?? It’s a vicious circle.

I had moms on the brain this weekend. First because I started reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, about her hike across the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother’s death. And because I was able to spend this Mother’s Day weekend with the two mothers in my life. I was also thinking yesterday of those whose moms aren’t with us and how incredibly painful that must feel every year (well, every day.) I’m blessed to still hug my mom, and Mimi in all her 95-year-old glory.

mothersday

I’ve been lucky enough to know both of my grandmothers into their 90s, as sharp and strong-willed and stubborn as ever. Aging is pretty rough, on the person and on everyone around them. But I love being able to sit with my grandmother, who can remember the stock market crash of 1929, newlywed life in Savannah during the war and the totally undeveloped Hilton Head Island of the 1960s. We should cherish our elders — my, the stories they can tell.

When I arrived at Mom’s this weekend, I learned that the cable was out and would be until this week. That meant no TV. All weekend long. You’d think I’d have gone into the withdrawal shakes, but it was actually fine. We cooked, we sat, we read and — quelle horreur! — we actually talked to each other. How refreshing.

While we’re (sort of) on the topic of vacation, let me try a bit of crowdsourcing. My family’s talking about cruising to Alaska next summer. Does anyone have recommendations? What line should we cruise? What passage should we not miss? Should we leave from Seattle or Vancouver? Send me whatcha got.

Have a good week, all.

Monday Musings: On decor, dog-shaming and old wives’ tales.

Good Monday to you.

beach_decor

My family is refurbishing our beach house, albeit a bit late in the season. I don’t consider myself especially good at decorating — I don’t have the patience or vision to pick out knick-knacks and accessories, all those little items that make a room look finished. But I learned one important thing about myself: I’m much better at it when it’s someone else’s money. When I’m not grimacing at the $80 pillow or the $200 difference in a panel vs. sleigh bed, I can bring fabrics and colors and textures together like nobody’s business. My house though? Still an embarrassing “work in progress,” after five years.

I joined Instagram this week. As if I needed another social media site to monitor. I’m way over Facebook, am sporadic on Twitter but can Pinterest like a champ. Apparently Instagram is the wave of the future, though. All I know is that I have no idea what I’m doing. But, come. Be my friend. I can promise you way too many dog-shaming pictures of Ollie, like this one. Continue reading

Catching up on Culinary Cousins.

I’ve been cooking and baking and eating — even growing — and posting over at Culinary Cousins, I just haven’t had a spare second to tell you about it. So let’s play a little catch up:

I can’t explain how, but I grew some romaine lettuce. 

Read all about it: Tuesday Refreshment…
Continue reading

Monday Musings: On weddings, childhood reading and lips.

Happy Monday to you.

I went to a wedding this weekend in Greenville, S.C., a place I’d been through — maybe even slept in — but never really explored. It was a blast. Picture a bunch of north-of-30-year-olds who think they have the stamina (and livers) of 22-year-olds. That’s all I’ll say. But the town is a find. It’s cute and quaint and walkable, with a proper main street actually called “Main Street.” It’s also a foodie town — every restaurant, even the burger joint on the corner, was phenomenal. I don’t know why I haven’t been more often.

Last week, I read that one of my childhood idols, E.L. Konigsberg, passed away. I hadn’t thought of her in years, but the news still made me take pause. Her book “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” was one of my favorites growing up. I don’t remember much more than two kids running away and camping out in the Met Museum in NYC, but I know I loved it. Right up there with “Have You Seen Hyacinth Macaw?” and “The Westing Game.” I need to own and re-read all of those again, I think. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On productivity and defining our times.

Happy Monday to you.

For some reason, I was incredibly productive this weekend. That’s highly out of character. In two days, I wrote, at least partially, eight blog posts, cooked four new recipes to share with you on Culinary Cousins, caught up with family, socialized, finished reading the book before book club, bonded with Oliver. While I am usually a marathon weekend sleeper, my eyes popped open by 9:30 a.m. every morning, and I fidgeted if I sat down. It was weird, but I feel very accomplished. And like it’s been 17 years since Friday. That’s how a weekend should be, I suppose.

mad-men6

I’ve been reading all the comments Mad Men has been getting this season. To sum it up, y’all are mad. I’ve always recognized that MM is a slow burn, building from the beginning of the season into some explosive, cathartic storylines near the end. So, I’m being patient. But the crux is that everyone’s tired of Don being his brooding, depressed, drunk, womanizing self. They want some character development. While I see their point, that got me thinking in another direction. Continue reading

Monday Musings: On pollen, tragedy and rubbernecking.

(I know it’s not Monday, but let’s just pretend it is.) And I won’t wish you a happy Monday, because it wasn’t.

But, first.

When I lived up north, I forgot about the dust cloud of pollen that envelops our southern cities for a couple of weeks in the spring. I’m lucky that I’m not much affected by it, but I can imagine the agony of those who are during this time. It’s just inescapable.

That fine, yellow powder is a blanket over every outdoor surface. Our cars turn yellow, our wipers work overtime and pollen crust clings to the sides of our windshields. The air hangs heavy with it until a soaking rainstorm comes along to wash it away. Then we’re left with the chalky remnants along street drains and sidewalks.

Even Oliver isn’t immune. During a walk last week, he was just rifling along, nose skimming the grass. Then I looked down and saw this. Pollen nose.

Oliver

As we all are, I’m just stricken by everything that happened in Boston yesterday. But, at the same time, not surprised. Is that just the world we live in now? One in which I’m desensitized to violent news or the prospect of terror events in America? That’s the shocking part. And it scares and saddens me.  Continue reading