Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
In my industry there is a boomlet leading up to the holidays but not during the holidays. Christmas is not a good week to send all your furniture out to get reupholstered or paint your Kitchen or move into your new home. So typically, my Decembers are slower. I take vacation time and I get restless. Some might say when I am restless I am also irritable. Even cranky. Maybe impossible. My business life mostly returns to normal just after Epiphany. But during the 12 days of Christmas I have few commitments. In times past I used this window of opportunity to do all the end of year chores but since all of that is on a spread sheet now I just push a button and it's done. To tell the truth, I am not even the person pushing the button.
Mermaid and Blowfish routinely encourage me to do creative things for my own enjoyment. To explore my love for all things creative in ways which differ from the volumetric art which is interior design. This book is a collection of creative problem solving exercises. They could also be described as fairly typical art school assignments. Here is today's challenge from page 158:
" Do you remember the lunchbox thermos? OK, how about lunchboxes? Lunch?
Lunchbox thermoses were the defacto standard for transporting liquid refreshment to school, work, anywhere that such refreshments would be needed, The lunchbox thermos would fit perfectly in the lunchbox, and wold be blazoned with whatever character/design adorned the lunchbox itself. Usually made of plastic, the lunchbox thermos had a screwtop lid, then a second topper which doubled as a cup, complete with handle. The beauty of the lunchbox thermos was it kept things hot or cold, depending on what you needed. Alas, modern packaging has rendered our old friend obsolete. Water in plastic bottles, fruit punch in aluminum pouches,milk in cardboard cartons with straws. The lunchbox thermos just can't compete anymore. Your TASK today is to come up with 10 alternative uses for the lunchbox thermos."
So far my favorite is to use it for the sanitary transporting of my toothbrush
just to annoy the TSA.
How about a really cool sewing kit? Pin cushion built into the cap so it will stay put and soforth.
You could make a pretty interesting bird feeder or bird house.
I can't but wonder what would happen if I showed up at Starbucks asking for a
I could list all ten but really what I want to do is share this task with each of you :-)
Please leave in the comment section your ten, or two or just one great one would be welcome.
I anticipate great responses. Afterall I've read your haikus!
Monday, December 27, 2010
Children in our area were thrilled, dressed in their warmest and took to the hills with an assortment of boxes, trash can lids ,boogie boards and intertubes for sliding down with gleeful abandon.
For our family it meant Mermaid left early. Before she could get caught in states which are not equipped to deal with ice and snow on the roads or interstates. I can't complain about her willing assumption of adult responsibilities. I shouldn't complain about the weather, but really, I would have been happier had it showed up a day later.
I am already thinking of this as Mermaid's "Three S Christmas"
Some years Blowfish and I make a joint decision on what we will give Mermaid for Christmas.
Some years we each do our own thing. This year we did the individual thing. In many ways the contrast of the presents selected for her by doting parents is so very ... Mermaid.
Silk is the first "S".
MamaFishy gave her beautiful new "Modern-Traditional" lamps with chrome shafts and charcoal silk shades.
They are beautiful, hard to find and just perfect for Mermaid's blend of what she calls her own styling of the
" new modern traditional". We spent most of a day this fall searching for the right lamps and never found any which met all her criteria. And, did I mention she lives in a barn? Literally a barn, with an attached apartment.
She has zero difficulty in maintaining her style preferences in any environment. I love that self certainty.
Steel is the second "S"
Blowfish gave her a loaded tool box and a drill.
In one of her recent moves her drill motor suffered a burn out and some of her tools were lost.
Now she has an electric drill, a wide assortment of wrenches, ratchets, drivers, measurers, levels, hammers and a multitude of things which cut. He even bought tools in Kentucky Blue colors. Except for the drill which
At one point I took a picture of her sitting by the fireplace with elegant lamps on the right , a drill in her hand, a tool bag on her left, a smile on her face and that long, long Mermaid hair cascading down her body. A study of contrasts which are part of one amazing whole.
After I took that photo I smiled back at the memory of Mermaid getting off a plane carrying a backpack, wearing jeans, a tee , Ariats , a messy pony tail and no makeup. A few hours later she reached into the backpack pulled out a tiny handful of black fabric and a pair of stilettos with silver heels. Seconds later she was standing before me in a fabulous little black dress, 5 inches taller and full of wow! The contrast from generic youth/adult to OMG was stunning. The effortlessness of the transformation was amazing. Her absolute comfort with the metamorphosis ..... a delight.
Snow is the third "S"
Snow came and Mermaid left.
Too early, but then, she did arrive safely so I am grateful.
If there is a fourth "S" it would be Smiles.
We smiled a lot, laughed a lot, enjoyed the blessing of family, a lot.
It was a lovely Christmas .
I hope yours was too.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
If you plan to get out there on Retail Road you best have a good audio book loaded , plenty of patience and a bit of Christmas spirit for your fellow man.
On what I hoped was my last excursion in search of white poinsettias, I was inching along when up ahead I spotted a school bus yellow, 2 seater, sporty coupe attempting to exit the dealership and merge into the chaos. For whatever quirky reason I decided to count the number of cars which aggressively guarded every inch of pavement preventing the 370Z from the merge. There wasn't much Fa la la la la la spirit on display as the lockout passed from defender to defender .
At some point in the observations I began to think about how unusual it was the driver wasn't being at all intrusive about asking for passage. No inch by inch encroachments, no horn blowing, no mid finger salutes. Often drivers of hot little responsive fizzy cars have personalities to match.There was no evidence of this. I eventually crept close enough to wave the roadster out of the lot and into the lane. The driver nodded acknowledgement but still did not move beyond the threshold 'tween lot and lane.
I began to study the driver. She was a surprise. An older woman, I'd say mid 60's, short efficient haircut, no visible jewelry, wearing a black turtleneck and a jacket of houndstooth. No sunglasses and well, sort of severely plain in her appearance. Like the stereotypes of old maid librarians. Not what you would expect to find behind the wheel of this bright, showy little car. I found myself wondering about this pairing;
Was she picking up for another?
Was she giving it as a Christmas present?
Was she the service manager test driving before releasing?
Was it her child's welcome home from Iraq surprise?
Was it a dream realized for which she had been saving?
Was she an automotive designer evaluating this car for her blog?
While those behind me honked their displeasure with my courtesy the Z slowly made the turn into
traffic. There was no frown of concentration, no hiccup in the release of clutch, just smooth egressing and a little ta-ta thank you wave from her fingertips. I found myself thinking, " Fizz ON!" In my heart I was hoping this sporty coupe was hers, a perfect representation of her tigress within. A nod to self from self with love! Maybe a present from one who knows she IS the kick ass, smart, savvy babe who should indeed be piloting a sleek, stylish, sporty, rocking little roadster.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Fight or flight syndrome
Terror of the wild unknown
Who is kissing you?
Sonic speed machine
Brutal fall of balance sheet,
Concorde's flight from grace
Flying Mermaid soars
Past bound'ries of sea at sky
Fancy fuels fiction
Friday, December 10, 2010
About mid morning I was feeling blah.
All of me hurt, not badly, but all of me.
I do not belong in a cold climate and unfortunately, this week, my Southern locale isn't holding the line. Temperatures squeaking along the teens with threats of ice over the weekend is not to my liking . Literally, when I am too cold I do not maintain body temperature. All of me aches and I get a tad cranky. Some would say more than cranky. I left my desk and took a walk about where I slowly recognized I had a serious hankering for Pot Roast.
Like many, Pot Roast is a favorite comfort food. My mother taught us girls how to cook ours in a big , oval shaped, LeCreuset pot. Mostly I like mine with onions, mushrooms and carrots served with rice, not potatoes. But we learned to cook a version using red wine and yet another version cooked in tomatoes.
All of them comfort and none of them showed up on my menu today. Pot roast takes time and attention so usually it is a weekend endeavor or a first of the week left over. We do have plenty of the "Meat+3" places in these parts but I maintain a low sodium regimen and they do not. So, for me, a hankering for pot roast means I must cook.
These days I am trying to shed some pounds so am making the effort to eat my main meal of the day before 4pm. "Dinner" these days is often apple slices with almonds and a cup of tea. I did not have time to make pot roast today, nevermind before 4pm. In the freezer I did have a container of lentils which had been made with pork , onions and carrots. So I thought, I'll just make rice and heat the lentils; with minimal effort I will have a great cold day comfort meal.
The lentils and rice served a need.
Filled a hole.
it did not squelch the pot roast craving.
Nor did it comfort.
Not a bit.
That got me to thinking about why we crave different comforts.
If I have a craving for a fine cup of hot chocolate then a cup of tea will not suffice.
If I have a craving for a great cup of tea, there best be some half and half available.
If I have a craving for real french toast, a waffle simply will not do.
If I am craving a thick juicy steak, a thick juicy pork chop doesn't satisfy the craving.
I know there are some who say cravings are our bodies method of filling a need for a specific vitamin or mineral. That is probably true but for many the craving is as much emotional as it is physical. My mother always made a pot of vegetable beef soup with a cabbage base for my homecomings. I make the classic
Southern eggy-cheesy baked mac and cheese for Mermaid's homecomings. There are other mother made comfort foods for us both but those are not our "homecoming" favorites.
The crave quenchers.
Why do we crave?
If I crave light, do I just need vitamin D?
If I crave a hot massaging shower is it just to release muscle tension?
Do I choose a movie to help me laugh or cry as needed?
Do I crave laughter? Can one crave a really good cry?
If I yearn to spend a day in the hammock reading a book from cover to cover is it medicine or indulgence?
It is odd the number of things we can crave. If I feel the threat of the unknown I crave the feel of my Dad's shirt on my face. If I have an aching spirit I crave heart pounding physical activity.
Is a craving a necessity or a want?
I do not know .
Today I learned if there is
no half and half,
no pot roast,
it's really cold
I CRAVE comfort .
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Blowfish family treasure :-)
Typography, milkglass and talking turkey.
Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere but nary a pie in sight
The Monks held a vigil,
Even the angels got involved
I was thankful for the assist
Ancient Chinese functional art
Engish design is definitely in the understatement
French curves grace a corner
A touch of English whimsey
Teacart not in service for just we three
Everyone joined in the celebration
Together they orchestrated the decor
Color was everywhere
Autumn naturals in place of cake
I never did get around to making pumpkin pies
But there were pewter crested mugs for a petite centerpiece
And bountiful bouquets for the milk glass
Every room had a splash of color
Thankfully the Kitchen is still standing