Thursday, January 31, 2013

Morning Present.

Um, yea.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I am totally geeking out on today's post because I LOVE DRAGONS.

I am to.ta.lly a Narnia girl, tried and true.

I love the fey, the elves, the dragons, the swords, the magic, the pirates, the magic.


Oh, man, I believe it because it is in my bones and even if I didn't want to believe in it, my bones would shake me until I did.

Wow.  That was an effusive geek tangent.

Um, so, I was gonna talk about a shitty side yard of my house when that spewed out.

My side yards are just hell.

Nothing ever done, really.

They don't bother me too much cause they get me where I'm going just fine.

I knew that they were "on the list" and would get done at some point.

We were waiting to do some hardscaping in the backyard so there was no reason to do the side yards as they needed to remain free and clear for the bruhaha.

But I think we've just nixed that all down and away which means....


This is the east (kinda north east, really) side of the house.  

Big, tall fence blocking the low morning sun.  Bigger, taller, duplex blocking the mid-morning sun.

So, shady.  Mostly.

Dry as a bone.

Ugly as sin.

There ya go.

The truth, beatch.

No fancy fun photo manipulation here.  

Stark and in need.  

Just like Tony.

I just planted those soft yuccas this fall and they're ... alive.

Who knows?  I think they'll make it.  I do.

So, here's the layout.  Wait, first ...

LOVE the new awning Jackdaddy conjured up.

See the whole awning meets patio scene happening at the back of the photo?

Dark stain.

mmmMmmmmmmm.  (Still need dark stain on the awning, but you know what I mean.)

Then there's the hell yard/mulch/crazy soil thing.

I've had mulch + mega leaves on this side yard for years now.  

You can't really tell in this picture, but there is a thick, thick layer of mulch/leaf crap here and I just keep adding to it.

The plan is I'm gonna rake that shit up and there's gonna be black gold under it.

(I'm being dramatic.  I already look all the time. It's OK, not great, but it'll work.)

OK, so, here's the plan.  Again.

Brown metal edging that I love.

Three healthy yuccas plant plus

 a hearty, heavy sowing of orange Cosmos.  (Tall, thick, drought-OK orange!)

Olive house.  Orange Cosmos. Green yuccas.  Brown edging.

Oh, did I forget to say that I'm going to paint that A/C unit orange?

Did I?

Poppy orange in high, mofo gloss.  

Last thing? 



I am an ugly wall just waiting to have a giant, big-ass dragon painted on me.



Olive wall.
Red dragon
Brown and tin trim.
Brown metal edging.
Orange AC unit.
Orange Cosmos.
Green yuccas.

Don't you looooooooove me?

I love me.

I'm so excited!!! 

It's making art.  All of it, art art art art art art art art art.

You can see more of my house art


I'm sure there are more, but I get to watch Downton now.

LATER, tater.


What I Did on my Summer Vacation
by Michele Landry Holt


That's my boy in a swim suit being sprayed by a water hose.

On January 27.

January, y'all.

I love to complain about this and act all horrified and shocked, but the reality is how freakin' fun is it have a summer day in January?

We've just had no winter at all this year.

I mean I have not covered plants one single time, not even the succulents.

(I just cursed us, I'm sure.)

Anyway, fun weekend, mama style.

This means everyone was out in the yard working and playing.

My idea of fun?

OK, that's kind of a lie.

Using a mulcher is not fun at all, but holy crap does it feel good to get all that a lot of brush out of the way.

There were, literally, 6 piles like this plus some big, big stuff that we couldn't mulch.

I'm gonna hugelkultur the big logs eventually so I just drug them out of the way where I'm sure they'll stay untouched forever until I get around to them.

Mulching sucks balls, y'all.

I kept all these branches from our recent tree trimming.  George, the tree guy, was happy to leave all that crap for me to mulch.   I thought I heard him snicker as he drove away, and now I know why.

Pay for the mulching, kids, pay for the mulching.

We freakin' mulched all. weekend. long. with a borrowed mulcher (Thanks, Patti!) and this is how much mulch we got from each pile...

A puff of mulch.


Lesson learned.


I/Jack got my screen door up!!

It looks sooo cute and retro...

I still need to paint the hardware and do some tidying up, but I do love it.

And since it's still summer, tis good to have a screen door so one can leave all windows and doors open.

The best thing about it?

Foxy handle.

Anthropologie gift certificate swag.

So, here's the math on this door.

I'm saving money by getting a yard sale door, right?

The door:  $10
The paint: $15 (Pricey primer + paint  paint which is totally worth the $15 for a QUART.)
The handle:  $14 ("Free" on a gift cert. that Jack paid for.)  (Girl math.)
The new screen kit:  $8


OK, it's much cheaper than a new, retro screen door because they have gotten ridiculous in price now, but, I mean, really, almost $50 for this?

No wonder Jack is so ...  nevermind.

Well, I was able to gloat at him a bit because he wanted to save money by mulching ourselves and that was a big pile of doo doo so ... there.

I think the truth is that we just like to do shit.

We like to work.

Sort of.

Maybe not anymore.

Oh well.

What else?

A tease?


I'm dragon it out until tomorrow.


How was your weekend?

Whadya do?

Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Un Petite Nouvelle.

Bonjour chers amis!

(Or even better:  Bonjour, l'amour! Est-ce que maintenant on va aller déjeuner au buffet-brunch?)

(You'll have to look that up, but it always cracks me up.)

En avant!

Today a petie nouvelle about a cream pot.

(A cream pot for only .99 which is a good price for Savers these days.)

Guess you noticed the broken lid.

I know this seems hard to believe, but I did not.

Je suis aveugle.


Poor broken cream pitcher.

Nothing a little trip to Anthropologie won't cure, oui?

 Une fixation peu.

Ta da and Voila!

Cute little cream pot.

She looks like the animated tea pot in Beauty and the Beast, doesn't she?

Not really the look I was going for, but it'll do.

A bit of a Marie Antoinette vibe, if you will.

Un pichet creme!  Ooo la la.

I also got, finally, what I think is the final answer to the dreaded rug-in-front-of-the-sink dilemma.

I stand in front of that sink for so many hours a day (seems like anyway) that I really, really want and need something soft and cushy for my pieds endoloris.

Enter that famous French store Target!

Si Jolie!

(OK, I'll stop.)

So pretty, so thick, so orangey-red.  

So on sale.

Matches the thrifted and much loved dragon nightlight over there on the wall.

Screams against that dark olive color.  (You know how I love screaming color.)

Tres moi.

Au revoir, my pretties!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hub caps and a spider.

I've gone round the bend for sure because I've taken to collecting old hub caps.

The ones on the side of the road that have fallen off of cars.

I've been putting them on my fence. 

I really like them.

I can see their beauty.

So can others (for those of you cringing right now).

Isn't that gorgeous?

From THIS ETSY SITE called Eight Mile Creek Designs.

They have some coolio stuff there and reasonable prices.

Apparently, that's a 1969 Pontiac hub.


I got this off a dreaded dead link on Pinterest.

(Please don't sue me, whoever you are who owns this photo.  I tried to find you. I really, really did.)

Don'tcha love that whole vibe going on here?

Rusted roof, big white door, that red B.


So, anyway, FinnigantheCurious asked me the other day again why the hubcaps.

I explained to him the urban art element of it (which he is quite familiar with as his mother is a scrounger of urban "art"), but I added on the end that I also just want to block that "ugly view of the neighbor's crap."

We sat there for a second and then both of us burst into hysterical laughter.

WHOSE ugly crap?

My assortment of shitty hubcaps or their assortment of plywood and trash cans?

I'm sure they're over there saying, "Let's just put the trash cans and that giant piece of plywood that we never used up against her fence so we don't have to look at those shitty hubcaps!"

We laughed so hard.  

Crying kinda laughing.

It's gonna look better once the fence is full, I'm sure.

I'm pretty sure.

Plus, their crap was there first.

I think.

I kinda can't remember now.  

Non sequitur #1:
Hey, look at this picture I took of a tiny spider.

He's definitely cute and not weird urban art in any way.

Non sequitur #2:
I'm delighted to tell that I got over my pity party from last week.

Thanks for all your sweet, sweet comments and emails.

It was just one of those days (weeks).

I feel better now because of hubcaps and tiny spiders.

Don't you?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Martin Day

Oh goodness.  

I was gonna blow off posting today because it's a holiday and I am one to squeeze every bit of laziness out of a holiday, you know.

But then I was sitting outside drinking my tea and I started thinking about the fact that this holiday is what a holiday should be, really.

A day to reflect and pay respect to someone who changed the world in a good way.

In a difficult and sometimes messy way.

I "pray" (hope) (beg) (wish) that someday we will be able to look back on these times of judging humans by their skin color, or their sexual orientation, or their religion, or their whatever and think, "How terribly, terribly wrong we were and aren't we glad that we are no longer there."

And this led me down the path of looking at my own judgments.

I am in the thick of judgment right now and it feels so wrong.

So uncomfortable.

So wrong.

I hate to be all cryptic and shit, but the judgment itself doesn't matter at all.

It's just the being in it that is taking it's toll on me.

So, today.

Well,  I just want to send a prayer of thanks up to Martin, and to all of those people who walked the path with him, and to those who continue to walk the path of non-judgment.

Let that be me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Poor Me.

Last night was a rough one.

Jack is out of town.  Seems like always.

My little bear let some stress out and it broke my heart.

My old dog started some new medicine to help her walk again.

I had high hopes, but she threw up all night which is a bad sign of the medicine.

Rough in so many ways.

I'm trying to start over this morning.

Made myself get up early with the first light.

Made some tea.

Lit some candles.



Try to know that all is well.

Try to know that I can do whatever has to be done.

Allow myself to feel what I need to feel and not judge.

Try to stay centered for myself and for my babe.

Try to start over on this brand new day.

Try to find the grace in challenges, for there is great grace to be had.

Here's to surviving the rough nights and to mamas everywhere.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My babies.

There's a photographer who lives a few streets over from me, A l Evans, who takes the loveliest photographs.

My favorites, though, are the ones he takes while on his walks around our hood.

I was so thrilled recently when he sent me some that he had taken of Angus and Artemis out in my front yard.

It's kinda like seeing pictures of your kids doing something while they were away from you.  

You know, like camp pictures or something, when you get to look at them through someone else's eyes.

Here's the regal and divine Angus ...

 I'm telling you, this shot just sums him right up so well. 

A good photographer can do that.  Capture that something.

He's guarded, but open-minded.  (The dog, not the photographer.)

Those months in the shelter made him so, I'm sure of it.


SO devoted.

Best rescue dog ever.

(Who rescued who, right?)

My resident gypsy, Artemis.

SO not devoted to me, or anyone for long.

She loves to move about and get attention wherever she may.

She came as a stray and I can see how.  That's her style.

I'm forever getting frantic calls (from her tags that she rips off weekly) that she's,  "STUCK IN A TREE!"

(Not ever stuck, this one.)


(Only her favorite spot to be petted and cooed over)

Can't you just see the curiosity in her face?

You can see more of Al's wonderful work HERE ON HIS WEBSITE.

We also have Cricket, the home cat and dear, dear Luna, the lab mix (who is getting so old), but I've got no fancy Al photos of them.  

Maybe I'll scrounge some of mine up.

Anyway, just a furry baby day for you.

La, la, la.

Kiss yours and keep them spayed and neutered, y'all!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Martha, Martha, Martha.

Have we talked about Martha before?

About how much I love Martha?  

Always have, always will.

I even have a little name-dropping to do here.

Uh-huh.  I've met Martha on more than one occasion.

I swear!

I used to work in Los Angeles for a famous producer and he was friends with her.

She was always lovely to be around and lovely to look at.

She's so pretty.  Buttery.  Buttery hair, buttery skin, buttery soft.

I'm not kidding, I could wine and dine with major movie stars, but put me in the room with Martha and I was all, uh, uh, ahem, uh, blarg.

There was a whole tribe of us modern women who were secretly doing all the things that were supposedly not modern like baking and crafting and sewing and decorating and wearing aprons!, for heaven's sake.

Martha brought us all out of the closet in a big way.

Let us all bow down to Martha.

Anyway, this is actually not even about Martha herself, but about Living magazine which still pulls me in even after all these years.

I got an email from the lovely ladies at Living asking if I would maybe be interested in doing a little post about this month's issue. 

Oh, why, yes darling people of Martha, I would love to!

Needless to say, I had already snatched it up at the grocery store and devoured it with a pot of tea so I knew what was in it and was more than happy to pimp it a bit.

Shall we start with the cover?

Oh, hello beautiful cover of warmth and comfort.

You make me cozy and hungry.

You make me want to buy you, take you home with me and cook something fabulous.

Let us now peek inside to see the garden story this month set in Puget Sound, Washington.

Have we talked about how I am absolutely sure I am that I should have been born on the upper west coast?



That rocky coast. 

It's the damn Irish genes again, I'm sure of it.

I can hear the clang of a sailboat's rigging and feel my heart seize up.

I love the rain and the mist and fog.

Not so much the cold, but that's what fabulous houses and fireplaces are for, right?

And wool.

Uh, anyway, (I was lost there on the sound for just a bit.) 

(Can you even imagine being able to say "on the sound" with regularity?) 

OK, this property is called Windcliff.

Of course it is.

Shut up.

That's your view.

Every day.

I'm tearing this one out and putting it on my vision board.


Dan Hinkley and his partner, Robert Jones live here.

I love them and want to be them.

Hinkley travels the world collecting plant specimens to take home and propagate.

Dream job, y'all.

World traveling plant collector part of the year, homebody gardener the rest of the year.

Damn him.

(Actually, my dream job would be pinning for  Just sitting around all day pinning beautiful things to post to their boards.  My god, I wonder if such a job exists?!?!) 

You do know if you go to you can follow all their Pinterest boards, right?

Oh, yea, there lies a rabbit hole of epic, epic proportions 

Back to the magazine, it really is a fascinating story and I highly recommend this issue.

Could you go buy it and make that soup that is on the cover and then invite me over to eat it?

We can eat it and talk about Downton!!

PS I don't get anything for pimping Living and Martha.  It's all just part of the circle of being nice.  I would not do this if it was a magazine I did not love and read.  Akward wording, but you know what I mean.

Monday, January 14, 2013



Downton Abbey spoilers ahead.

SHIT, SHIT, SHIT can you believe Edith got left at the altar?

I was sooooooooo mad and sad.

Lemme just say this, y'all:  You do not, under any circumstance, leave someone at the altar.

You suck that shit up and either cancel before or after, but not at the altar.

Sir Anthony is on my shit list forever now.  I don't care if it was the right thing to do or not.

Shithead.  Fuckhead.

And I crrrrrieeed like a baby to find out that Mrs. Hughes biopsy was benign, especially the scene when Carson is singing that old sailing tune and checking himself in the silver after he hears the good news.

I feel like a junkie that just got a fix.

I'm all good until next week around Friday evening when I start getting antsy for Sunday night.

 Spoilers over.

Moving on to my own manor ...

I'm gonna tell ya that I have been in the doldrums here for, well, actual years with regard to working on my house.

I know it seems like I do stuff, but I really have been kinda treading water with my sweet little wabi-sabi house and it's been making me sad.

I'm not sure why, really.

I just ran out of steam on the tedious stuff. 

Fixing up old houses is not a sport for the weak.

It never ends and most of the time, as soon as you finish one thing, another thing needs doing.

My next house is a condo downtown.   

Anyway, this weekend I got my arse in gear and did some crap that's been bugging the crap out of me forever.

Crap crap crap I say crap too much.

Totally boring stuff, but I felt sooooo good after doing it!

Well, first, I cleaned like effin' crazy on Thursday and Friday.

I had not cleaned down and dirty in months.

I mean I scrubbed baseboards and refreakinpainted them.

That kind of cleaning.

(Dawn's Recipe is aptly named for my friend Dawn who is now living in a beautiful old home in Portland.  Sob and Envy. It's distilled water, Everclear, lemon juice and some essential oil of your choosing for scent.  I choose vanilla cuz I'm all cozy and shit.)

I have to admit that I really, really love it when my house is sparkling clean.

I just like clean.

I cannot help it.

I got the ball rolling on some paint stuff too ...

Finally broke out the sawhorses and started working on the new/old screen door.

I'm going with brown to match my house trim and because I'm maxed out on color in that front yard of mine.

It's almost overboard.

Some might say completely drowned.

I have been meaning to paint this window exterior for oh, 4 years?


It was the first window we put in all those 6.5 years ago and it was white.

Then we finally replaced all our ancient windows with beautiful new brown ones and this poor pup was left all alone in whitey land.

No mas!

This was coat #1.  I put on two more.

She's happy to be brown.

Brown is best.

I love brown.

And green.

I am totally a brown and green girl. 

I'm afraid I threw all caution (and your wonderful advice) to the wind by painting my kitchen door green to match the cabinets.

I'm sorry.

I was really sooooo sick of that BLUE and the green really does look so much better.


I mean, it will.

You know, once I get the second coat on and pull off the painters tape and clean up and hang the curtain and ... .

I even endured the dreaded JoAnn's Fabrics run to get some vintage-looking fabric to no-sew myself a cafe curtain.  

(Seriously, that place sucks balls on weekends.  I waited, I shit you not, 24 minutes to get that fabric cut.)  

So, the green.

I know, I know.  It's a bit of a safe choice for me, going with the same Garden of Paradise, but I'm feeling paint cautious these days.


I decided to paint some stars on my  kitchen floor.

I just did a few to see if I would like it.

I freakin' love it.

You can't see in the photo, but they're all sparkly cuz I bought some silly crap at Lowes that you put in  the paint to make it, well, sparkly.

I bought a cheapo stencil kit at Hobby Lobotomy, some silver paint and a little stencil roller.

You tape the stencil down very well so it won't move at all and then you just roll the paint on.

Easy as pie (which is not really easy so I don't know why people say that).  

Sparkly stars on my floor, ya'll!!!

I'm so happy.

Aren't they cute?

I might even do some glow in the dark ones.  They  make this paint that is all but invisible in the daytime, but glows at night.

Swoon on that.

OH, OH, and this is HUGE ...

I think I've mentioned before that we live right under next door to a duplex.

One half of the duplex towers over our bedroom.


Note to self:  Always look up before installing trendy fixed windows in bedroom.

Anyway, when the lights are on you can see straight into our bedroom from that duplex.

Finally, finally, finally, (6.5 years later,)  Jackdaddy built me an awning thing to block them from seeing in.

I guess I need to take a picture from the outside, but this all I have for today because I was sooooo excited to see that awning from inside the bedroom.

I will take pictures today so you can see how clever it is.

It's all cool Austin hip being made of wood and metal - the kind of stuff I like.

I still gotta stain the wood.  I wouldn't let him do it ahead of time because some new people just moved in and I was desperate to not have to go through the crouching and hiding again.

You'da thought I'd just put up some damn curtains or film or something, but I preferred to just whine about it.

Anway, done.

Thank you Jackdaddy from the bottom of my naked bottom.

Har. Har.

What I did not do:


When will I ever see my retro fabulous olive green couch again?

Not today, I guarantee that.

Hope you're weekend was fabulous with busy work too.

Or not.

Did you watch Downton?