Monday, November 26, 2012

Kitchen Renovation: Week Three

Former back door: GONE!

Kitchen Vent: IN!

Overhead lighting/mechanical: DONE! (Pretty fixture comes at end)

Oh, bit by bit it's happening. And it's so fun to watch the new space slowly come together.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hello: Gratitude

Yesterday at work, as co-chair of the Culture Club, I hosted a table where colleagues could write cards of gratitude for each other.

It was amazing watching "grown-ups" come rushing up to the table with shouts of "GLITTER!" and then to watch them hyper-focus on their craft project, their grateful sentiments to each other.

A colleague of mine raised an eyebrow when I suggested we host a craft station, making the joyful response of the majority of my coworkers all the more satisfying. As a friend was saying to me, we think that "grown-ups" won't "participate" in cardmaking; we think that "gratitude" is a corny thing we talk about in grade school and Oprah magazine; but if nobody gives us an opportunity to do these things and express these feelings, of course we won't participate. I was happy to be part of providing an outlet for some real sincerity at work.

At the end of the day, my friend Paul and I were walking by the area where the craft table had been stationed. Pink glitter was all over the floor. Paul turns and says to me, "Glitter is your legacy."

Grateful for the small things.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kitchen Renovation: Week One

Day 2, Old window OUT

Day 3, New windows IN

Day 1: Pantry Demo

Day 3: Pantry reframed
Living through a kitchen renovation is some fascinating stuff. I LOVE seeing the guts of my house, the old, dirty original wood floors, the newspapers from 1938 that surfaced when things were ripped away. I also am fascinated by how the contractors work, and how much they are able to get done in such a short period of time.

My bedroom is right above the kitchen, so every night when I go to sleep I think about the bare, exposed room waiting below me. It's like my awareness of the space is more fine-tuned now that something's happening there.

It's only been a week, but washing dishes in the bathroom and cooking my meals at friends houses hasn't been that bad. More than anything I am eager to watch the pieces come together, and see my old house get a little TLC.

Monday, November 12, 2012

1,000 Words: Little Hand-prints

Nicole sent me this photo of the back of her couch, littered with evidence of my favorite baby. He's discovered the hand-print:

I see the writing on the wall. Evolution is alive and well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


This week really took it out of me, in areas both interesting and quite mundane.

First, what about that election, eh?

I stayed up way too late to watch local results of some important races, and I have suffered for the remainder of the week because of this decision...but probably I'm also exhausted because my pure elation from these hateful amendments NOT passing just took it out of me. It feels so good to be a part of the winning team, and for that win to be about basic, core human rights. YES.

So in no particular order here are some things making me happy these days:

-You know, this guy.

-The recent discovery of a fantastic cooking/lifestyle blog called Joy the Baker. I love this lady! How did I not know about her for my entire life?!

-And although I am kinda sad I won't get to make those amazing looking pumpkin bars from Joy's site anytime soon, I am SO excited that tomorrow my kitchen renovation starts!! I feel like a ridiculously lucky human that my dream kitchen is about to become a reality.

-Not one but two friends have asked if they can set me up with a friend of theirs. Nice for people to be thinking of me and possible connections of the romantic variety.

-I go to Mississippi in a few weeks to celebrate Thanksgiving with my dear friend Joseph. Dirty South Thanksgiving 2012!

-I purchased some new clothing this weekend, and three of the four pieces are bright red and two of the four pieces have stripes. I know what I like.

-I rearranged my bedroom, and the subtle changes make it feel like a whole new world. I am so cozy and my bedroom feels like a sanctuary.

-I've lost some weight such that I could fit into a tiny skirt that I've been unable to wear because I didn't feel confident in it until now. And my friend objectified me while I was wearing the skirt, so I think it was working for me.

-Also, I have gained muscles. 

-Soy nog is back in season and I am single-handedly making it worthwhile for the Co-op to keep that delicious holiday treat in stock!

Last bit of happiness? That even though this list is hilariously boring, I am going to post this anyway because it's my blog and I get to be as boring as I damn well please, and also: this.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

There are no words

I know it's strange to call a blog entry "there are no words," when clearly it's writing I am called to do right now, but I have been sitting staring at the computer screen for so long that truly it is starting to feel like there are no words. Or perhaps, they just feel so limiting.

A week ago I wrote about a coworker on the eve of her husband's too-soon death, and just now I learned that he "passed on peacefully" this afternoon.

Though "peacefully" is one of those words you use to lessen the initial, raw grief, because how peaceful is the death of a 41-year-old man who should never have been sick; who should never have died? Peaceful with the last breath, perhaps, but soul-crushingly sad and unfair for him and his loved ones. 

For the rest of us, the day was like any other. We "fell" back as autumn instructed us to wind our clocks back an hour. We cleaned the house, visited the gym, said hello to the neighbor, read a book, made a cup of was just any other day.

All weekend I have been trying to catch glimpses of what makes life worth living. I could pretend it was an unconscious exercise, but honestly it was a forced one. I have a friend going through a hard time right now - heartbreak to be specific - and I've found myself compelled to send him bits and pieces of the beautiful. So I'm always on the look-out for inspiration.

On Saturday I was taking a shortcut to get where I was going, and I found myself on a street I've never driven down in the ten years I've lived here. I noticed a red heart in a tree in the boulevard. Funny, I thought to myself. And then I noticed another in a tree nearby. Suddenly, I realized many of the trees lining this particular block were filled with red hearts. It was a quiet, nearly missed art exhibition or conversation between neighbors. Whatever it was, I felt blessed to have stumbled upon it.

I later saw two young kids and their Dad making what I can only imagine was the best, biggest leaf pile EVER. If it hadn't seemed super creepy, I probably would have pulled over my car to watch then jump in the pile - they seemed just on the verge - but again, that's a little weird. So I just drove on and smiled to myself as I thought about my own fall memories.

Later I texted my friend, in a way to remind him, but I also think to remind myself - that yes, the world can be ugly and heartbreaking, but if you don't venture out into it you will never remember how much good and beauty it also contains.

Tonight I am thinking of my coworker and how she might be seeing the world right now. It must seem so dark. I am sending her my version of prayers - wishes that this tragedy won't make life's many and unexpected beautiful moments seem less. I hope one day when she is ready, she finds the strength to venture out into the world again. There is so much good amongst the heartbreak.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: I live my life in widening circles, that reach out across the world, I may not complete this last one, but I give myself to it.

And what about you? What do you give yourself to in this one beautiful life you have to live?