Monday, July 17, 2017

Red Sky in Morning

Generally, I try to make a point of not starting posts with lengthy explanations about just where the fuck I’ve been.  I suppose this time is a little different because it’s relevant beyond just curiosity.  As I mentioned in one of my very long posts, there is no part of me that runs towards change.  I don’t necessarily run from change either.  I tend to just dig my heels in, fight it, and shelter in place.  Much like the idiot who refuses to sell to the city in cases of eminent domain.  Sure, you might win your case but you live in a highway median now.  Grit serves us well, belligerence shoots us in the foot. 
One of my favorite Barbie photos ever. 
Remember how I was giving up carbs...
The sunrise on the vernal equinox was absolutely unreal.  It had been weeks since we'd had anything other than grey skies and it broke for about 15 minutes to reveal this otherworldly show.
So you can imagine my shock when I started feeling the urge of change before it started calling me.  While I started my business amid personal chaos, personal chaos does get sorted out with a steady hand and a corkscrew.  Things that used to make your blood boil now barely merit an eye roll and there is comfort in the minutiae.  Though it can be murky realizing that not feeling plagued doesn’t exactly mean you’re thriving. Recovery of any kind--addiction, heartache, financial exhaustion, grief—must be taken one day at a time to reach success.  But how long?  The only people with a RECOVERED stamp to press to paper are the IRS.  There is no clinical assessment of how healed a broken heart may or may not be.  So at some point, it’s up to you.  No surprise as a well-cushioned Taurus, I moved a little slow.  Somewhere in the last year, the propellers began to rotate here and there.  Kicking up mire and that sat previously undisturbed.  And in these cycles of clouding and clearing, I made more room.  More room for options, permissions, and allowances.  Forgiving people in earnest, not based in declaration or pomp.  Apologizing to others in sincerity, not hinging on manipulation or motive.  If I could term this time, it would be that everything was placed under review.  The mental equivalent of Janet’s favorite hobby: removing everything from your house, cleaning it, and scrutinizing each piece as it comes back in or is officially divorced from your life.  I learned things like I need a lot more white shorts and a lot fewer celebrity memoirs.  Not exactly enlightenment but I’m on the road. 

Pileated Woodpecker
This is challenging because you come face to face with the unrealized pieces of past and current dreams.  It’s confrontational and dusty, both mentally and physically.  Hopefully through this, your gaze is widened.  And where you lived in the myopic cycle of surviving the recovery, you can reset the course from decisions and plans you made while treading water.  The hardest part is accepting that failures along the way do not need to be final, they are allowed to just be knots in the wood. 
I came into the new year with a sense of restlessness and unease.  I needed to think.  And since I’m slow it took a while.  Like, I feel like for about five months my free time was spent with a vacant stare and radio silence.  Maybe I just got fat enough that I was in hibernation and didn’t know.   Regardless, it was good.  While my mind at work is a one way tunnel, my mind at rest is more like a summer treeline at dusk.  Between the squirrels boning, birds chirping, and lightning bugs twinkling, it’s hard to focus.  But as everything in my head boiled, steamed, and distilled, I began to get a vision for a new direction. Or another direction, I suppose.

So first things first, I am still going to do hair and have my salon.  I still love doing hair, I love my clients, and I think they love me. In addition to hair, I’m moving into real estate.  I’ve always thought about real estate, as it’s a natural fit with my talents (if we can call them that) and interests.  God knows I have an eye for detail and can work a list.  But it wasn’t until I braided in a Hilton Head connection that it made perfect sense.  As many of you have sensed, a part of me belongs down here.  Yet, not all of me.  If rain and wind-whipped October days amid the decadence of decay were no longer a part of my life, I don’t think any amount of dappled golden light dripping in through Spanish Moss could spackle the hole left in the absence of deciduous magic.  If you’re familiar with HHI, you know that it really could be OHHIO as the amount of Ohioans there practically makes it the Midwest.  So my working plan is to provide kind of concierge service, connecting with people in Ohio and then also working with them down in South Carolina.   I’m currently working on my Ohio license and will then also become licensed in South Carolina. 
I wanna live two places.  Can you do that? Have you done that?  This is where having a blog comes soo in handy.  So many of you are smart and experienced and willing to share.  Please share your thoughts about living two places at once.  Have you done it? How’d it go? Was it for work or pleasure? Have you owned a vacation rental?  Horror stories? Tell me, tell me, tell me.  If you are or hear of someone interested in Lowcountry real estate, thiiiiink of me.  My cell is 614-314-8099. Put me in your phone just in case! It’s written on most mens bathroom walls anyway. It’s 2017 and we all know privacy is dead.  Speaking of which, you may throw rocks at me and call me a hypocrite.  I am now on Instagram in official capacity.  Follow me! Or don’t, it’s fine.  I probably will actually post a photo of myself there though so if you’d like to grab a seat for the horror, it’ll be there. 

Gorgeous Red Headed Woodpecker

An Indigo Bunting! I hadn't ever seen one before.
So the plan at this point in time, is to buy a place down there as kind of an office, place to stay, place for Barbie, and maybe I’ll offset the expense by renting it in season.  I need to get my fucks in a row before I do that, but I’m hoping sooner than later.  I’m sorry to say this will all happen more slowly than rapidly.  It’s not really my nature to share things like this as they unfold, but I suppose sometimes we cannot be omniscient narrators in our own lives.  So rather than my usual practice of sitting here and updating you on the other side of whatever the focus of the story may be, I’m going to trepidatiously share a bit more in real time.  As Mr. Gorbachev and I tear down this wall, I’m wearing a little bit more vulnerability. Which, admittedly, makes my skin crawl.  But it’s good.  I’ve ended up opening myself to other phenomena of the natural world as well.  After all, change does have a ripple effect...
I’m sorry for the long silence and truly touched that some of you really missed me.  Thank you. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

At Least I'm Organized

Have you fucked up your resolutions yet?  I haven’t but I’m teetering.  What are yours? Mine are all the usual bullshit with a few easy ones peppered in there so no matter what on the eve of 2018 I can claim I accomplished the majority of my resolutions.  I’m bad enough at math that no matter what it always seems to work in my favor.  I was able to start the year on a very virtuous and strong note because I was on death’s doorstep with the flu.  Maybe not death’s doorstep but on the curb to its driveway.  Luckily when I’m sick I don’t crave comfort food I actually only crave citrus, cucumbers, and the sun.  Did you see that thing about the experimental drug that has early preliminary research it can stop about 90% of the spread of melanoma?  You better believe I’m going to send them some money.  Let’s hope they have it to market before summer.  I have such an unhealthy affection for the sun that whenever I see Magda all I can think is how happy she must have been.   
She's got her dog, her Kools, her bendy straw, her tan, her heavily embroidered fuchsia housecoat...she's got it all
For New Year's Eve I made Caesar salads...

Angel Hair tossed in truffle butter and mushroom with chive...

And chocolate cheesecake.  Everyone was ready to start their diets the next day!

Anyway, I am eagerly awaiting some time at the beach so that’s some good motivation to keep me from baking.  For today anyway.  I can’t help you with weight loss resolutions because of the elephant in the room but it seems another common resolution is to get more organized.  My weight might fluctuate more violently than the stock market, but I’m pretty consistently organized. 
I have inventories for everything.  Actually my weak way with weight and my strong way with order collide in my wardrobe because I have like 85 different wardrobes that range within about 1000 pounds.  It can be confusing trying to remember if I have a jumbo white polo with a blue monogram or a medium white polo with a pink monogram—or wait—were both monograms green?  Easy confusion to make when you have like 38 monogrammed white polos.  I think that’s why minimalists are always thin: they only need white polos in one size. 
But the first thing I ever made a formal inventory for was my tabletop collection.  This collection has expanded and reduced many times as my needs and tastes have changed.   Though currently nowhere near its all-time high, it ballooned a bit leading up to the holidays because I just kept finding such good stuff! So as I was updating my inventory this morning, I thought you might be interested in the process. 
It's so hard to find vintage/antique platters over 16 inches. I found four in one afternoon! The bottom one is circa 1900 Limgoes and 20 inches! 

It’s a very straightforward endeavor.  I use a dry-erase board to write what something is, measurements, and quantity if necessary.  If it’s something that is stored in boxes where contents cannot easily be seen, I assign a letter and number to the box like O-4 and write that on the dry erase board in the photo too.  So I’ll not only know that I have 23 turquoise 4 inch ornaments but they are in box #4 of the ornament boxes.  It takes so little time and makes managing a lot of stuff a lot easier.  I like having options and different looks for the seasons

I found these in May 2016 and used them for Thanksgiving

Spode Maritime Rose.  I started collecting this pattern last Easter and have done pretty well considering its scarcity.  

I looooooove this Limoges pattern.  Still trying to find its name.  

Take a photo, and organize in albums on my phone or iPad. 
Hit the plus sign in the top left corner

 New Album...

You can use this system to inventory anything

I have the albums organized by type of plate/glass since I like to set mix and match tables.  You might prefer to organize by pattern.  While you may not have skeletal to manatee sized white polos to wrangle or too many china patterns to keep straight, I’m sure you have a lot of something that could benefit from an inventory. 

I found these two pink-bordered trays in early December (actually on my GG's birthday and this was her favorite color...) and I am in love with them.  I can't find any information on them.  Do they look familiar to you? I'm wondering if they were made for a hotel or restaurant. 

Do you recognize this crest?  

The marks on the back.  I take it Soane & Smith was a store but I can't find any information. 

In another direction, one of my more altruistic resolutions is to grow an abundance of milkweed and hopefully provide habitat and forage for Monarch butterflies.   I only saw one Monarch last year and that is quite depressing.  I realized it’s all my fault for not having any milkweed.  So I plan to start some from seed both to keep and to give away. It’s easy to grow and terribly unfussy. If you don’t already allocate some space for it, I urge you to.  This is worth mentioning now because the seeds perform best when given a month or so in the refrigerator.  I’ll start mine in March, but if you live in a more moderate climate, the time might be sooner.  Soooo… nudge nudge.  
Doesn't it look cold out that window?  It was about 2 degrees! 

Often in the winter I like to use an abundance of colored glasses and lanterns for candles instead of flowers.  The cut glass illuminates so beautifully! And I love the flickering snowflake shadows