Junk, Pogo, and a Blank Wall

Life has been a crazy whirlwind now for a couple months.  ”Lazy days of summer?”  WHATEVER!  Anyway, I’ve been here, there, and everywhere lately.

Makes me want to slow down.  Way, way down.  Is that possible with three young ones?  First of all, I’ve been ditching stuff that has been weighing me down.  All winter I was collecting junk around the house that had to go.  I was planning a grand garage sale for the spring…that I ended up calling off two days before, yup, when everything was already priced and out in the garage.  It was a nutso week.

But then my oldest son started crying at the news, and said, “But I’ve been looking forward to this for months!!!  It’s the biggest thing we have planned!”

For real?  We need a more exciting life.

So, because he pretty much gets what he wants and everything was all priced in the garage, the sale was back on.  He’s my first born after all, and I can’t say no to those gorgeous blue eyes.

I would have been a mean ol’ mama if I had denied them the thrill of the refreshment stand.

In between customers we entertained ourselves on the brand new pogo stick.

It was my son’s first time.  But an old pro like me showed him how it’s done.  Within minutes he was challenging me to the most consecutive jumps.

In four days he had reached his own personal record of 3008 consecutive jumps–with the bruises on his knees to prove it and the annoyed neighbors who had to listen to the boing-boing of the pogo stick for 30 minutes straight.

What does this have to do with anything?  Nothing.  Except that we ended up having such a great garage sale day.  And to put our earnings into perspective, I was able to buy a few yards of Kelly Wearstler Channels and a Schumacher animal print.  Anything helps, right?  But I’m sure my hours to earnings ended up being $.50/hour (if that, humph).

But getting rid of stuff doesn’t mean I want to replace it with other junk.

Remember this monstrosity?

The last thing I wanted to do was fill up its shelves with filler.  If I don’t have it now, I don’t want to buy it just to put it there.  I moved everything from this wall over to the shelves on the right side of the room a few weeks ago to see how I would like the TV wall blank.  LOVE IT!  I felt like I could breathe!  That little experiment told me that I needed to ditch the shelves, which turned out to be my Mother’s Day gift (thanks, Sweetie!)

Chris has been busy working on it this week–looks so good!  The new configuration includes a hidden door–are you intrigued?  I’ll share a peek soon.

Now it’s back to pogo sticking.

From Whom All Blessings Flow

There is one thing I think about a lot when I’m painting in my new studio–so I decided to paint a little visual for my wall.

If you’ve ever been in a good old-fashioned church you’ll recognize the Doxology.  It just wanders into my head when I’m at the loft.

Ironic thing is, I was skipping church when I painted this little guy.  Have I told you that creating is my spiritual food?

And, totally unrelated but you gotta know…at my hair color appointment today I let Jola, my hair stylist, color my hair with streaks of red and teal.  My four-year-old couldn’t wrap his head around it.  My husband says it is so me.  Hmm…  I should really have a picture, right?  Anyway, hair grows fast so I thought why not?

Panton & Martin Parr

The transfer took place late in a dark Atlanta parking lot.  It was quick–and before I knew it I was home unloading a modern classic into my kitchen.

After buying two sets of (ugh, non-returnable) chairs for the new kitchen and contemplating countless others, I think I’ve finally found the one.  Panton has been on my mind while I courted the others–all the chairs with so many legs.  I just knew I needed something sculptural like Panton.  But I didn’t want to buy before I tried (having learned my lesson), and so resulted the clandestine meeting of me and Ally of FTRB.  She sweetly agreed to loan me one of her chairs to try…knowing I have children and markers and grape juice.  Now, don’t go asking her to loan you her blue settee or David Hicks rug so you can try before you buy–I don’t think she’s in that business.  And, believe me, until I can return that chair back, it sits safely out of children’s way.

Now I just have to decide 2 or 4 Pantons?  Four would save me from having to pick out fabric for the parson chairs.  Hmm…

So before I made off with the chair, we caught photographer Martin Parr’s talk at the High Museum.  It was so good!  Do you know his work?  I didn’t until Ally introduced me, and I’m hooked.  Visit him to see for yourself.  His commission for the High reminded me of this hot dog I saw in Dollywood back in 2008.  I originally posted this photo with:  ”At first I was scandalized…then confused…then disturbed…then strangely turned on…then disgusted…but ultimately I just left hungry.”  Forgive me, Mr. Parr, for thinking of this hot dog after seeing your work.

Savannah, Georgia

Our oldest son asked last week, “But why do you and Daddy need alone time?”

“Well, because it is kind of hard to be romantic with three kids around.”

I think he made a “yuck” face but understood.  So, kiss, kiss, kiss, good-byes all around, and we were off to Savannah.

Have you been?  It was our first time to this charming little city in the South.

The place gives that whole turn-back-the-clock feeling–which I pretty much love.

Hey, y’all, you know this is Paula Deen central?  The best part of the weekend was my date’s running (and slightly raunchy) impersonation of Paula Deen that always started with “Hey, Y’all!”  Hilarious.  Did I ever tell you that I was first attracted to his sense of humor 18 years ago?  Oh, and those lips, too.

Those big guns don’t hurt either.  Just thought I’d mention that.

We also jaunted over to Tybee Island for some sand and surf.

We window shopped and were just plain lazy, wandering among Savannah’s 22 downtown squares.

Hey, y’all, have you ever seen a cargo barge?  Pretty darn impressive!  I was pretending one of those containers was full of European antiques headed to my house.

Cute, cute town.  Not even the cook who refused to make me a cheeseless pizza could ruin the trip.  It’s the truth!  Our server informed us that he was “in a mood” and wouldn’t make me a pizza without the cheese.  ”He works here 7 days a week and he is just tired and he’s yelling at me about this pizza.”  The story gets much stranger, but I’ll leave it at that.  I ended up getting my cheeseless pizza at another joint down the street.  Bizarre!

Now it’s back to the happy party of five.  No one was complaining about the Mommy-Daddy trip once we were home and they were chowing down pralines brought back from River Street.

Do You Want It All?

The short answer is:  heck, yeah.

If you have a little more time, the answer is:  yes, I really do, please dear Jesus, I want it it all, I mean, if it is your will.  Having.  It.  All.  I’d give it all away to have just a little more.

I’m pretty sure you can pray for anything if you insert, “if it is your will.”

A group of young Irish lads called Two Door Cinema Club performed at the Masquerade in Atlanta last night.

We were there…ahem, as some of the older folks in the crowd.  (‘Twas completely the opposite when I saw Barry Manilow in Vegas last December–I was the whippersnapper!)

They played Do You Want It All, and the chorus in my head is always, “Yes!  I do, I do, I do!”

I’m not talking more possessions.  Time, energy, and experience are the more I’m after.  What could this dinner be like if I had more time and energy to chop fresh veggies and herbs for a flavorful garnish?  Or, how much better could this holiday be if I made all the food and decorations from scratch?  Or, my wardrobe could really be unique and me if I had more time to shop around and pull the right things together.  Seriously, this is silly stuff.  But isn’t the contemplation of mortality a real mood killer for the creative type?  I mean, the whole concept of Heaven and living for eternity stirs up straight up jubilation in me because I would have freaking forevah to create all that I want to create.  Forever.  That’s the kind of more I want.  I don’t like thinking about there being an expiration on my creativity here. How do I choose to spend it in this short amount of time?    What do I sacrifice?  The question paralyzes me, actually.

So here’s the part where I transition from me and my dinner garnishes to Frank Lloyd Wright–I know, right?  When I think about the clock ticking and our physical capabilities abating as we age, I remember this exchange between 90-year-old FLW and Mike Wallace in 1957:

MW: I understand that last week, in all seriousness, you said: “If I had another 15 years to work, I could rebuild this entire country. I could change the nation.”

FLW: I did say it and it’s true. Having had now the experience building (going on) 769 buildings, it’s quite easy for me to shake them out of my sleeve. It’s amazing what I could do for this country.

All I can think of is the sadness of feeling like there is so much more inside yet there aren’t the 15 years, the 10 or the 5–especially when you have that kind of confidence.

And, please, someone tell me the day when I will start shaking things out of my sleeve.

Back to the concert–where I’m sure the club has the best of the best structural engineers inspecting the wood floors regularly to ensure that the trampoline effect that results when the crowd is hopping is entirely safe and secure–my husband leaned over and yelled, “I WANT TO BE A ROCK STAR!”

For real, he does.

And while I think that whole personality dichotomy would work for him, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to start moonlighting at the Masquerade anytime soon.  And, I know his life will feel complete without the experience of a stadium full of screaming fans (I think).  There is a wonderful feeling that comes from feeling settled–of knowing which more to put up on the shelf for dreaming and not scheming.

Plus, when all it takes is a little black eyeliner and a video game guitar to feel the thrill–what more could you want?  A groupie, you say, Sweetie?  Done.

I’m learning I have more control than I thought about having it all.  I don’t want it all.  Can you imagine the exhaustion?  I can turn off my own expectations, ignore other’s expectations; and the sacrifices then don’t seem to be such a loss.  The tortilla soup I make tonight might not have all the toppings it needs to be stellar, but my coconut tempeh tacos will always have chipotle cashew cream.  I’m learning to know when it matters.  Because if I did have more time, do I really want to spend it making garnishes?

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