Sunday, December 29, 2013

At Year's End

Well, having made it through Christmas with Hurricane Isabelle, known as such for how she leaves her things scattered around wherever she goes, but who is slightly less destructive than in previous years and maybe because she is exhausted by her training for her first marathon in 3 weeks,  I am now in that annual mood to clean out all my underwear drawers. This compulsion hits yearly. I have to take stock of my life and this is not fun. It's just a compulsion. Yeh, there are moments of hopefulness, visionary glimpses of the next year morphing into the best year of my life with images on a vision map I make of a better body, a new car, a trip to somewhere else, just somewhere "else", more money. Blah, Blah, Blah. Last year I even included a Peace Sign because I needed it. I guess it worked. I feel a lot more peaceful today than I did a year ago. I like my work and my clients and my marriage and my family and now I just want to find more time to write. But, there is one thing. I feel old. Well, older. I feel the world is in that passing me by place.

I pinterest a couple of times a week - much more for fashion that interiors because fashion is my happy place, my relaxing place, so at the end of the day, I'd rather look at that than interiors because I just think of projects and work when I see interiors. So it is less relaxing.

But today, I get an email from pinterest wondering if I'd like to see the TOP pins of the year. well, sure. It's the Sunday after Christmas, 1:00 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas (and pretty much have decided I will be all day) so I click it - and I see the main one for interiors and it just depresses me because it is so CHEERFUL in an annoying kind of way! Just a happy colorful place that is really just a bunch of new retail things made in China all put together. It makes me kind of sick, so I skip the TOP INTERIOR DESIGN PINS of 2013.

But I can't resist seeing the  TOP FASHION PINS of 2013. So I click. But then I just sink because everything is soooooo young. So nothing I could or would ever wear. Little short dresses that look like they belong on a 5-year old. And it hits me...I am so old! And I realize that is true with the INTERIORS too. I don't do what the pinners like.

Now, don't worry. I'm not packing my bags for the retirement home (though a lot of people might say I live in one at 510!) I know who I am. I know I am not doing mainstream interior design and that is the way I want it. But, it is a little disheartening that only in World of Interiors, that fabulous forever magazine published in London, do you see the kinds of rooms I love. Okay, an occasional Elle Decor or Arch Digest, but not much because they are mostly just celeb homes now. Not real people homes.

When I was in Chicago recently, I was in the Sutherland Showroom. They carry Christian Liaigre, Ochre, Hudson, a line of gorgeous modern teak outdoor furniture - some very high end, beautiful lines. And we got into an interesting conversation with the around age 40 manager. We were complimenting them on the quality of their products, noting how much cheap, trendy product is out there today. Might I ever say the phrase "Jonathan Adler?" without wretching now? Cool today, Target tomorrow.

Well, he completely agreed (though I consider 40 young!) He pointed out, with frustration, that there is a generation of clients who have money but are shocked by the prices of beautifully made furniture (so trained by cheap clothing!) and when the sales staff suggests, "But this is a piece you will have for decades. You re-upholster it if you grow tired of the fabric or it wears out." Their reply? "Oooooohhhh...who would want that? I'd rather just buy something new."

But, they are all about Green! They shop local for food. They clean with products they buy at their coop. They recycle and compost.  But MANY buy garbage for clothing and furniture and it ends up in landfills in a few years. (Certainly not all! I have several younger clients who are fully committed to buying quality and using antiques.)

This conversation just made me see that I am not that and never was. That quality, and high-end is really what I have always loved. Vintage and antiques. This goes for clothing too. Not that I can afford everything at the high end, but I think my basic approach to design and fashion is less is more. Buy quality. Even if it takes longer to make a home or a wardrobe.

It seems very "old" fashioned now - that I'm a relic from the past. But at sixty if you aren't who you are, when will you be?

Going now to organize a drawer.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Our unadorned Christmas tree. 

Omg. Overwhelmed. By feeling. That Christmas feeling. Music on the Bose. Pizza dough on the marble. Hubby in the room nearby. Alan Jackson. Let it Be Christmas. Dolly Parton. Hard Candy Christmas. "I'm barely gettin' through tomorrow... but still I won't let sorrow bring me way down." Baby, it's cold outside....Lee comes in. Grabs me from behind. Dancing in the kitchen. Kissing my neck. So happy. Want to cry. From happiness. From the bittersweet nature of life. So much joy and woe. William Blake, that would be. I get this feeling that is so authentic I don't know what to do with it in these moments. But living in the work-a-day world is very hard when this hits. This is when I remember when I was an actress and that I write and my old, old friends and living in the South and how that had a feeling about it that the North never has. This is that. Soul stuff. Even when cooking and cleaning up a kitchen, it is a feeling of being alive and how precious that is. Just feeling grateful and poignant and empathetic for those I know who are suffering. And then I just break down and lean against the counter and cry for them and for me and for how beautiful life is. And Zan and Izzy are coming. Then, I eat my pizza.

I know this is really weird.

But, I'm betting you all have moments like this too. Let it be Christmas everywhere.

Here's a little Alan Jackson. Bet you didn't know I'm a country girl when it comes to my music.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The New Yoga

I've written about yoga before. When I have a good place to do yoga and a good teacher - well, just bliss out. When it's's like being on the 6 train in Manhattan on Friday afternoon at 4:00 when all the high schools have just gotten out. YUCK! DOUBLE YUCK! Do you know what teen agers act like when they are in large groups? Whoa. The whole thing is just too many bodies pressed together and way not enough good manners.

I just found this on Garance, a favorite website for fashion, but she dips her toes in beauty and health and food, posted this rather funny video on YOGA.

Enjoy - and hoping this isn't your next yoga class!