March 30, 2008
So, here’s a problem for you. I’m heading down to New Orleans on Tuesday for a conference where I’m giving a paper with two of my intrepid colleagues. We’re each exploring an aspect of writing pedagogy where old and new media collide (a la Henry Jenkins).
My real issue is this: what to wear.
Instead of finishing my paper or re-reading Jenkins, I’m crusing the internet checking out weather, possible restaurants, and the music scene. According to weather.com, it’s supposed to be 79 degrees. Yet I’m always suspicous of forecasts. For one thing, just because the weather’ s warm doesn’t mean that I’ll be. I’m cold blooded, plus I’ve got those winter white legs permanently lined from my Smart Wools. Don’t even get me started on my toenails.
Can I wear clogs in the south? Will they laugh at me?
March 28, 2008
Some kids grew up playing tennis or sailing sunfishes on Lake Champlain, but we grew up garage saling with our mother. We spent Friday nights circling classified ads with a red Sharpie. Saturday mornings my sister and I crammed into the front seat of the old Toyota pick-up truck, sleepy-eyed and cranky. And our mother, fresh-faced and chipper, eyes glinting with the images of other people’s castoffs, filled up the travel thermos with coffee and made sure we wore our running shoes.
So as April approaches, I can’t help but feel the old stirring in my blood. Come spring, I begin to behave diffently. I drive with one eye on the road and one eye peeled for hand scrawled “Garage Sale today!” signs. I make sure I always have a wad of ones in my wallet. I wear comfortable shoes and travel the side streets on foot.
With this inherited trait, it’s not surprising then that I have a soft spot for flea markets. It’s like a centralized clearing house of castoffs without all the driving around with a map. I’m completely in love with this recent list I found over at decor8–a great blog for crafty finds.
How great is that?!
March 24, 2008
My folks came to visit this weekend and I’m amazed at what we were able to accomplish in bascially twelve hours. They may be retired, but boy they have energy!
Those curtains I’d hung but hadn’t hemmed? Done. Cooking under that string of Christmas lights? Pretty but impractical. Lo and behold the simple beauty of track lighting! Installed and delightful. The front door that needed planing? Planed and working smoothly. That cheesy outdoor light I’d been living with? Replaced with a garage sale find.
It’s amazing what having your own personal team of whirling dervishes can accomplish. Plus, I loved finally hosting my parents in my own home after all the homes they’ve made for me.
March 21, 2008
In the daily stress of teaching, writing, cooking, cleaning, I sometimes forget that small things can make a huge difference in my day. On some level, we all know this. But what I’m continually amazed at is how easy I forget this simple fact. It’s like how I have to keep re-reading The Power of Now because it’s erased from my mind as soon as I put the book down. I guess that’s just a great example of how practice works and why it’s called “practice.” So here’s a list of smalls that I’ve recently remembered I’d forgotten:
- The physical bliss of a new pair of running shoes
- A fresh bar of Dove soap
- An issue of Real Simple in the mailbox
- The first sip of coffee in the morning
- Clean sheets
- Socks knit for me by my mom
- Starbucks chai latte with soy milk
- Having an upstairs and a downstairs
- John Prine
- Those daycare buggies carrying a six-pack of small children
- The color pink
Here’s to keeping our eyes open for the smalls that make us smile.
March 15, 2008
I know it’s only March, but I’m planning ahead and looking for interested folks to join me. Check out the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn scheduled for June 14th and 15th. What’s better than cool homemade stuff? Maybe I’ll finally find the lamp I’ve been looking for or some version of postmodern antimacassers.
March 13, 2008
Here in upstate New York we are hovering between two seasons. We’ve got a Sorrell boot still firmly planted in deep winter while our other foot (shod in a purple skimmer flat) is poised to step lightly into the fresh world of spring. For the moment, however, we are stuck in between.
There’s a stubborn patch of old snow in the corner of my yard that won’t seem to melt. It’s beginning to look permanent.
Half of my front yard is dead–yellow, parched, and crispy, but at least the other half looks perky.
I went searching for the first signs of daffodil tendrils, but they’re still waiting for sun.
I tried to order a pair of smart cropped jeans, but they’re on back order for 10 weeks, at which time, it will almost be fall again.
I discovered that my bran cereal has high fructose corn syrup listed as the third ingredient. So much for old favorite bran muffin recipes. Here’s the new one I’m trying.
It’s the waiting game, I guess. Waiting for spring, open-toed shoes, the first asparagus spear, and robins on my lawn.