4/30/13

1 This time

This time last year the scene looked a little like this.

At least, it looked like this after the rain. And the hail. And the waterspout. Oh, and the wedding! Yes! The very special wedding that took place despite the calamitous weather.

This time this year, Tod and I celebrated 365 days of marriage by boarding a plane. And wouldn't you know, it was raining (so hard, in fact, that the turbulence on the plane may or may not have had me in tears, even though turbulence usually does not bother me).


And we headed south. 

To Mexico.

So this time this year the scene looked a little like this.


It was magical. But more about that later. Because something else really important also happened this time this year. 

Specifically, my sister welcomed her fifth (not a typo) baby into the world. And I was lucky enough to meet her just hours after her entry. She's a doll--all eight pounds, nine ounces of her.


My sister's a doll, too.
The little lady enjoyed her first bath. And look at that hair! (Babies in our family usually don't have much.) And those sweet little hands clutching the towel! And those rosebud ears! Oh, and those precious arm wrinkles! Love.

 Yes, she is definitely loved. 

So I guess it's true what they say: a lot can happen in a year. 

4/17/13

0 Riding in Cars with Dogs

If you have dogs, and if your dogs ride in cars with you, then you know these things.


You know that dogs like to help navigate from the console.


And you know that little dogs like to help navigate even when they can't quite reach the console.

You know that nothing smells better than fresh air.




And you know that the sunroof is one of man's best inventions, at least according to man's best friend.


You know that the backseat can hold two dogs quite easily. 


And you know that it can even hold three. 


You know that nothing lulls a baby dog to sleep quite like a long car ride.

And you know that nothing is sweeter than a sleeping baby dog.


As I said, if you have dogs, and if your dogs ride in cars with you, then you know these things.

You know what else you know?

You know how much comfort and love dogs provide. You know how much more easily you breathe when they're curled up next to you. 

And that's why when Tod and I saw on the news tonight that the comfort dogs deployed by the Lutheran Church Charities were bringing some peace to the victims of Monday's bombings in Boston, we couldn't help but smile a little, albeit through teary eyes. Because even though the world is a scary place right now, and even though our hearts are heavy with sadness, it's so nice that our dogs--our best friends who love us unconditionally and who don't judge us when we cry, or when we just sit on the couch and eat too much ice cream (Zelda just hopes she can lick the spoon)--can help us remember that love always wins, that good always overcomes.

4/13/13

0 meme

On Friday morning, Janice walked into my office with a portion of the newspaper and asked me whether I knew what the word "m-e-m-e" means. I thought about it for a second or two, which means I probably pursed my lips a little bit and looked up and to the right (where I'm pretty sure memories live), and then I answered her question with my own: "the same?"  

Because a very long time ago I could speak French. 

And in French, that word--at least when placed before a noun--means "the same."

But when I read the paragraph, I knew that couldn't be right.


And you've probably asked yourself this at least seven times, but I'll go ahead and ask it again: what in the world did we do before Google?


meme  

/mēm/
Noun
  1. An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
  2. An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.


According to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge):


meme (pron.: /ˈmm/meem)[1] is a term employed in certain theories of culture to refer to "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3]
The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, "imitated thing", from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, "to imitate", from μῖμος mimos "mime")[4] and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976)[1][5] as a concept for discussion ofevolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.


And now I've learned three new words this year. Thanks, Janice!

4/12/13

0 Coastal Close-ups

Blue chairs.
Roasted peanuts.

Conch shells.

Little piggy. 
(No Lord of the Flies pun intended, I promise.)

Happy Friday.

4/9/13

1 The Story of a Sofa, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this story, click here.

While our sofa was at the upholstery shop, we did what anyone else would do and substituted our two mismatched wingback chairs.
These wingbacks are scavenger specials, my mom being the scavenger, and the special part being that she scavenged them from lives lived out in the landfill. They were in good condition (she actually knew the owners) so she just took them to her reupholstery man and the rest is, as they say, history. The brown velvet one on the left has lived with me in Charleston since I moved down here about eight years ago, while the murky-colored one on the right (known as the "ugly chair" due to its monkey-vomit coloring) lived with Tod in Sumter before he moved down here. They aren't identical, but now that they live in the same place, I really like that one looks more like a man chair and the other looks more like a lady chair. In fact, I think of them as a couple: Mr. and Mrs. Wingback if you will.

Back to the story of the sofa though: once William returned it, the rest of the room needed some help.


You may remember this post from when I headed to the mill last fall with mom in search of fabric for the chairs. I was feeling the blues.



I walked out with a roll of navy blue linen-ish fabric with a coral motif for the two wingbacks. (I can't remember the exact price, but I think I paid about 60 to 70 bucks for a total of 20 yards.)



With the fabric picked out for the chairs, it was time for me to get to work on two dressers I inherited from Nicole. (Remember this post?) When Nicole moved, she gave them to mom, but then I got my hands on them as the next in the line of hand-me-downs, and I brought them down to Charleston one at a time in the CR-V. The one you can see in the bottom lefthand corner of the next picture was lucky enough to tailgate with us one day. (This is what the back of my car typically looks like after I visit my parents and sister. What can I say except that hand-me-downs are the best.)



Anyway, because the tables that used to live beside my old couch (see below) are living a new life as bedside tables in our room at the beach (see even further below), we needed something to live beside our little red sofa, and I knew those dressers would be perfect.

Here's a pic from a year ago: my old couch covered in the $6.99 Pottery Barn denim slipcover from Goodwill, a whole bunch of random pillows, and two old black metal sofa tables (with wood on top that dad cut from junk lumber). 


Anyway, you may remember that those black table frames received a coat of heirloom white spray paint.


And they now live a whole new life as bedside tables. 

Back to our living room though, or more specifically, those dressers I inherited from Nicole. Remember her cloffice/offiset?




I just knew that they would fit on the sides of our little red sofa (yay for extra storage!), but I wasn't digging the blue/gray color. Too little boyish or something. And not nearly enough fun for a red couch or Mr. and Mrs. Wingback.

After a lot of thought, I decided to go with a glossy jade green and spent about twenty bucks on six cans at Lowe's. My color choice was inspired by lots of things like the Persian rug you can see in the picture below, or more particularly, the great contrast with the red of the rug and the red of the sofa. (Red and green are opposites on the color wheel, after all). I was also inspired by two pieces of stained glass that hang in our dining room, as well as by two green candlesticks my mom picked up for me at a thrift shop, which you can see in the last picture of this post. 


After sanding and cleaning, it was time to spray.


The trick: lots of thin, even coats.





With such a loud color, I wanted to go with a more sophisticated drawer pull. After a little bit of web surfing, I stumbled upon myknobs.com and picked out eight brass lion's head pulls. The best part: they were on clearance for about two bucks a piece.


Two totally transformed dressers for a total of forty bucks = not too bad.


But then, it was time to deal with Mr. and Mrs. Wingback.

I called our upholstery man, William, and he took the drab and made it fab. (I can't believe I just wrote that. I don't really talk like that.)

I know: it's loud; it's a lot of color; and it's busy. 

But it's us. 

I mean, go figure, because after all, when one rug wasn't enough here, I went with two


And I'm still -- for lack of better words -- moving stuff around. For example, I picked up this little glass lamp at T.J.Maxx a few weeks ago for $24.99. I guess even I felt like not everything in the room should ooze with color.


And in fact, the other wall of this room doesn't ooze with color either. It's where our old flea market Wendy's table lives, where we eat breakfast and supper most days. And if you didn't know us but walked in the room, you'd surely know that we got married because that canvas (a Groupon deal gone wild) is freaking huge.


At the end of the day, I know this place isn't for everyone. I mean, a red camelback sofa, bright green dressers, navy coral chairs, rug-on-rug action -- I totally get it -- it's out there. But that's okay, too, because it's ours (and because Tod is nice enough not to complain when I take things too far out there). It's our home. It's where we live. And although mi casa es su casa, I recognize that my style my not be your style. But I think that's how it's supposed to be. I think that's how style works: the whole to-each-her-own thing. After all -- as my mom is fond of saying -- that's why they make chocolate, and vanilla, and strawberry, and mint chocolate chip, and cookies and cream, and rocky road, and phish food, and . . . I could go on for a while here . . . .  

It seems I have a thing for ice cream. 

You know what else I have a thing for right now: our little red sofa. It's a connection to the past -- to people I did not have the chance to meet -- while at the same time, it's today -- now. Either way though, it's us. 

4/2/13

0 Like a camel

Camels can go for days and even weeks without water.


I can go for days and even weeks without blogging.


So I guess I'm sort of like a camel. 


I said sort of.


But I miss this place. A lot. So I'll be sure to return. Soon.   


It's just that I've been so crazy busy.


Yep, I just went there.






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