Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Hot Autumn Sunday

The only way you can tell it's fall around here is the absence of humidity and the brilliance of the sun. Although it's nice and cool in the early morning hours and late in the evening, by mid day it's still in the mid 80s. I always enjoy the intensity of the sun this time of year and the beautiful shadows cast on everything. This is an old tree in Nashville. You can tell he had a long dry summer by its scantly filled limbs. I bet he's ready to honker down for the winter and take a little break.

This weekend was the TACA show at Centennial Park (go here for last year's spring show or here to see what goodies were found last spring). I guess I missed this spring. This year is just buzzing by at an amazing speed. I was going to go yesterday, as it was going to be a little cooler; but the AGA was being delivered. You know I had to stay home for that. {Footnote off the track: I heated up the stoves last night to burn off the "factory" smell. Then, I noticed a little piece of the enamel has chipped off the skinny door. I am going to have to bring this up with them on Monday.) Ok, back to TACA.

I always enjoy this show because there are always new tents to visit. Of course, there are several of my favorites that I look for. My game plan is to walk about the entire show and then make my way back to my favs. I think this year, I was in my "kitchen" mode. Of course, all the potters had lovely items; but I'm always looking for that off-the-wall stuff. My favorite potter was not there but I found one that was just as whimsical. I somehow missed them last fall; I don't know how. Batton Clayworks was one of my first stops once I came back around. They had gorgeous tea pots; and it was hard to decide which design to get. After walking around for another hour and coming back, I knew it was the big black ball one. I also got one of her charming houses and a little thumb-print of a jar. I love the colors of the glaze. I have so many cubbies in the new kitchen, this set may have to fill one of the smaller ones or sit out on my counter. Love them.

There were several block printers that used linoleum. I so remember cutting linoleum in art class. Our assignment, unfortunately, was on marine life. I chose a dolphin out of easiness, I suppose. Perhaps it's a piece for Riverside. Wish I still had the block and not the ugly print. I did black ink on blue paper. How boring is that? Anyhoo, these guys were just a tad better than my attempts at it. Kreg Yingst's booth was amazing, chock full of musical artist prints. The booth was always tightly filled with people so I took several roundabouts until it was almost empty to make my way in. He had some prints that were unframed. Of course, sigh, I had to get a Bob Dylan one. That goes without saying. I was amazed to find a print of Frank Zappa. Being raised on the guy by my brothers and seeing the man in concert over a dozen times, this was a no brainer. Had to have it. (There's a great article in the Financial Times this weekend on Zappa. Seems Dweezil is touring doing his father's music. There's even a show in DC at the Warner. I've passed the info on to my brothers. Wish he was playing Nashville. Sounds like another awesome show.) I will put these up in my hallway with my Hatch Show Prints and my new Dylan show print. Guess it's my rock-n-roll hall of fame. grin. In my excitement and with the crowds in his booth, I didn't even notice that this artist is out of Pensacola--just a stone's throw from Riverside. Too cool.

There were other new faces that I need to look into. LALA dex press is one. After looking her up on the internet, I find Shona has an Etsy site here. Not only that, but she has a blog. How cool is that? I must go and visit. I loved her cards and wanted to find out more about here. Unfortunately, she was busy when I passed by and I never did make it back. Tsk. You can be sure that I'm going to take a moment and visit her sites and get some of her gorgeous hand-printed cards at some point. I believe I had pulled a little blurb about her from the last Nashville Lifestyles magazine or some such periodical. In my usual unorganized fashion, I have no idea where that little piece of paper went. So, it's a good thing I found her at the show. It is just meant to be.

This was another newbie, at least to me. The Doll Makers had all kinds of wonderfully whimsical dolls. I picked up a few little ones for gifts. They almost had the recipient's names on them, so I couldn't resist. I know some of you make these. Not being the best with needle and thread, I think I'll leave it up to you all.

One of my favorite local artists was there to my delight. I have several of her prints and I added one today. I adore her images of cats. The little pink one to the left is my latest addition. It so reminded me of Miss Bev, I had to add it to my wall. These are in our laundry room above the cats' food bowls. Emily is indeed another cat lover and we chatted today about several of our babies. As I was photographing these, I heard the tiniest of voices meowing. It was Dave in the clothes basket. He has the tenderest little cry. So much for clean towels.

Ok, I'm off to sit on the porch and enjoy the evening with the hub and kid. The teenager is off at work. The hub leaves tomorrow for countries east of us, first stop being London. Whaaaaa. It's killing me. I'm hoping to jump on board next time, perhaps. Fingers' crossed.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Heart Beat is Detected

Can you hear it? The heartbeat of the home is almost palpable. It's there, it's back, picking up strength. Whilst still irregular, it is beating once again. I can hear it, I can feel it--the soft hum of the refrigerator, the warmth of the stove. It feels so good to have it back, even in this state.

Toys have been arriving all week. They've been coming and going, I'm afraid. Thursday, the fridge and stove were delivered. I could hardly contain myself. They rolled the almighty AGA in and then the monstrosity of a refrigerator. Of course, I had to peek in to see my stove. I took one look and noticed it didn't have the cathedral window in the larger oven that I had to special order. Joy. I almost cried when they rolled it back out onto the truck. sniff sniff. When the appliance guys called me into the kitchen, I was weary. There was a broken clip on one of the shelves in the fridge. Par for the course. pout. "Never seen that happen before," he said. Of course not. I had to giggle. The part has to be ordered. No idea how long it will take. Regardless, I turned that sucker on this morning and it's now cooling down. Lord forbid I can't use the automatic shelf adjuster. What will I do? Just smack me now.

It does look gorgeous, regardless. As I've mentioned before, we never have had a refrigerator in this kitchen. That's been, um, like four years. I thought it was rather quaint, myself. Others never did understand the charm, I'm afraid. I don't know what we're going to do with ourselves now, it being so handy and all. We've kept our other in the laundry room. It's the only southern thing to do. You have to have two refrigerators in the South, or so it seems. It will come in handy though, especially when the holidays come and we start stocking up--especially for my brother's visit.

I am starting to get soooooo excited about that visit, let me tell you. I have to admit, a lot of this kitchen is attributed to him. It brings me so much joy to watch him in his element.

The AGA is lovely, to say the least. I have a learning curve ahead of me, but I'm up for it. Now you can see where my color scheme originated. I based everything around this baby. It has so many wonderful features that I can't wait to use. Check out how the little roaster swings out with the door of the "fat" oven. Is that not ingenious? And the broiler with its handled pan, I love it! Not to mention the plate warming rack on the bottom of the "skinny" oven. sigh. I am in love with this thing, already. I haven't even used it yet. Can you see all of my fingerprints smudged all over? I don't know which I have touched more, the stove or the sink. As the kid would say, "So sexy."

Speaking of the sexy sink, here it is in all it's glory. I wet the soapstone so you can see how dark it will be once it gets oiled. Here it is in it's natural state which feels so fine to the touch. It's fun having the choice of the natural grey or the dark black. The guys put it in place so they can have a template made for the counter tops on Monday. Guess what? The sink sits up too high. The cabinet will have to be cut down so it sits flush, or just under, the counters. Late Friday, after we discovered it, we all just kind of chuckled. The [kitchen] "guys" and I have a much better raport these days, especially after a blow up on Thursday (by me). Both the "kitchen guys" and the "appliance guys" said they were not responsible for installing the stove hood, the dishwasher, the warming drawer, the microwave and the ice maker. Hmmm. They all saw a whole other side of me, let me tell you. Gee, perhaps I should have blown my stack earlier. You know what? At this point, I don't even know what got me so upset in the past. Thank goodness I have a short memory span, I suppose. Water under the bridge. Nothing but great things ahead. Now that our house is finally coming back, I can only be happy.

Here is the microwave drawer. The teenager Christened it on Thursday with some pizza. Yep, it works. Only thing, I can't find the instruction manual and I'm confused by some of the options. If you ask me, you should just have a little knob to turn to how much time you want something to cook. But no, it has all kinds of setup options and I don't know what they are. And yes, it has a LOCK on it. That was one of my biggest worries with it being so low. I don't want little kids playing with this thing. It will be definitely be locked whenever little ones are in the house. Sure glad they thought of that! You'll notice the warming drawer underneath doesn't have a front. Don't know who dropped the ball, but the appliance people thought a cabinet panel was going there. We do have an extra panel but no one can figure out what it goes to. It doesn't fit the warming drawer front. Another hmmmmm. Note: We found out this morning that you cannot put a medium-sized cup of coffee (say from Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts) in the drawer. It is not tall enough. Oh well. There's something to be said for pouring coffee from those awful cups into a real mug anyway. It's the only proper thing to do. At least, now it is. grin.

The ice maker didn't come with a panel kit, so that has to be ordered. I was ready to send the entire thing back with it being black. But, after the stove, microwave and sink went in, I think black on the inside is ok. Once the door panel is fitted, it will look marvey.

I can't tell you how excited I am. Probably don't have to at this point. I've already turned the ovens on to rid them of the factory smells, been playing with the burners, waiting for ice to fall into the bin for the first time and you can only imagine what song I've been singing all day. Can't guess? "I'm bringing sexy back." Uh huh. Right into my kitchen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Upper Cabs

Now we're talkin' progress. Yea boyz.

The heart of the home is beginning to beat a little stronger.

And, I'm beginning to forget what that yucky kitchen looked like. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Noshing at Noshville in Nashville

[nŏsh--Yiddish nash, from nashn, to eat sweets, nibble on, from Middle High German naschen, to nibble, from Old High German hnascōn.]

There wasn't anything nosh about it--it was a full-blown humongous lunch. One that stays with you for the rest of the day and night. You know the kind. Wishing you had never ate it all in the first place. The one you bring boxes home to eat later. Yep, that's the one.

I took mom in to have her B12 shot. The kid happened to have a day off from school, so we woke him up and brought him with us. Noshville is my favorite deli (if you can even call it that--it has so much more than your ordinary deli). As you can imagine, there are more "Meat & Three's" than deli's here in Nashville. I knew I was going to love the place the first time the hub took me and there were half sours on the table. (PS: The ones I made really didn't turn out. I'll try again one day.) Yum. Nothing better than to eat a big old half sour while waiting for your food. This place is a staple for musicians and the local music executives from Music Row. There is always chatter about this studio or that artist and an occasional "hey" from across the restaurant during a visit. Everyone seems to know everyone else. Frankly, I never know who anyone is. But I always like to think it's so-and-so from some famous group. They all look the part, anyway. It's always fun to eavesdrop on the table next to you and try and figure out who they are. Shhh, don't tell anyone I do that.

I ordered the hot dog and slaw for mom, the kid ordered a hamburger and I decided upon the French dip (or nosh dip as it's called there). Half way through lunch, the hub returned my call. I had called to see if he wanted to join us since he was just up the street. Of course he did. He told me what he wanted, a Reuben; and I ordered it in his absence. Shortly after it arrived, he arrived. As I mentioned, the portions are huge, as you can see. There are always doggy bags coming home from here.

As if the lunch wasn't enough, we had to order two slices of red velvet cake--one of which came home with us. No wonder I'm fat. My, but it was good. And mom loves her sweets. She and the kid, of course, have plenty of room for added weight. The hub and I, on the other hand, do not. Oh well. It was a fun lunch having the hub and kid with us. Just a little different than mom and I's normal run of the mill lunch out.

On the mom front, her MRI results came back with the "normal" shrinkage of the brain for her age and some scarring where she had indeed had several mini strokes. The doctor informed me that both were normal for her age. They could not say specifically when the mini strokes happened so I wonder if at least one was not more recent causing some of her symptoms. I do have to say though, she is so much more alert than she was this summer. Is it the B12 kicking in? I don't know. Is it because we have more of a routine than we had in the summer? Again, who knows. I just know she is happy and giddy and more like her old self. While she still has difficulty getting her words out, she is so much more alert and tries so much harder to talk. I'm so happy for her.

The boys are hard at work in the kitchen. All of the appliances are being delivered and installed tomorrow. I can hardly contain myself. Yippee! Now, I'm thinking my next favorite item will be the stove rather than the sink. The sink has yet to be installed. I'll let you know by tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Well, it's getting there. I can hardly believe it. This is what I've been waiting for.

Here is where the stove is going. Look at all the pull outs! I'll have room for all my spices. My brother will be real happy when they come down for Thanksgiving. Yahoo! Now I wonder what I will put in my corner turnabout. I'm sure I will find something.

I still, however, don't see how these two pantries can hold as much as my old walk in held. But, I suppose I have to trust their calculations.

My favorite part, so far, is my china hutch. I cannot wait until I can put all my china in there. I hope it all will fit!

This is where the big soapstone farmerhouse sink is going. Think that will be my favorite after it goes in. You should see that baby! Probably weighs a couple of hundred pounds. The guys guess 250. Can you imagine?

This is where the smaller sink is going. I can hardly wait now. Can you tell?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Dead Fish

I'm happy the hub is home. One of my three lucky fish in the travel area of our house died. No wonder. Bella sticks her nose in there every day and drinks water from the bowl. Poor little fellow. I'll have to go and replace him tomorrow to keep the Feng Shui mojo going right.

Speaking of China , relatively, the hub made it home safely. He was given a lovely gift from one of his colleagues there. He's so sweet, he gave it to me to hold my ATCs in. Awwww. It's a beautiful box, made for business cards I suppose, with lovely angels on the front. I had never heard of The Flying Apsaras of Dunhuang. Of course I looked it up and this is what I found:

Feitian in Dunhuang

In the flourishing age of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), mural art achieved such a high level that feitian embodied the national characteristics in Dunhuang, Gansu Province.

The Sui and early Tang emperors (581-755) were obsessed with feitian: They constructed mechanical devices in their palaces so feitian could raise curtains to recreate the Buddhist paradise. During this period the art of feitian at Dunhuang reached its zenith. It was also a period of China's greatest control and involvement in the Silk Road trade which snaked through Dunhuang. Early Tang-era caves depict feitian in large numbers and various postures and moods. Many were depicted as heavenly musicians or as dancers. The features of the early Tang feitian became more refined and more Chinese: The figure is lighter and the drapery, more subtle, although the color intensity remains the same.

The feitian of the middle Tang Dynasty (755-845) neither had wings nor rode on clouds -- it flew gently and danced in a carefree manner with a long scarf. The trends of feminization and refinement of feitian continued throughout the mid Tang. Feitian became increasingly detailed, losing much of its color intensity.

There are more than 4,500 fei tian in the Dunhuang caves distributed throughout more than 270 of the remaining 492 caves. Feitian in these caves are depicted as young girls with slim figures and plump faces, an unstrained manner and gentle mood. Interestingly, feitian in Dunhuang are bare without wings or feathers. Instead, a moving scene depicting a group of girls flying and dancing freely in the sky can be found here. Some girls are seen weaving through the clouds and rivers, carrying fruits; others are playing musical instruments. The Buddhist picture of feitian is a vivid representation of ancient people longing for freedom.

After reading about the flying apsaras, I knew I had found the mystery behind two of our Chinese rugs. The one I have here in our study actually has the feitian flying about. I always wondered about them. I thought they were angels and is why I was drawn to it. We have a smaller version in our family room. Now, I have the complete story behind them. Fascinating.

And, while still on the subject of China; several weeks back, the hub had another colleague visiting from Beijing. We went to a bbq at one of the office's co-worker's house who was nice enough to invite everyone out. My house is completely out of commission, obviously. Everyone in the hub's office is so nice. A great bunch of folks. It was a wonderful time. I'm always so reluctant to go to these functions as I am so terribly shy, almost to the point of phobic. But, as always, with a little push, I go and have the most wonderful time. It was a great day. The next evening, we took Allen (his American name) to a big dinner at Maggiano's, a great Italian restaurant where they serve family style. We thought he would get a kick out of that. We were even able to coax the teenager to meet us there so we had the entire family with us. It may be the last time were are able to entertain as a family. Soon, he will be gone. Sniff sniff. Anyway, Allen had brought a nice gift for the hub. It's a beautiful souvenir pen set from the upcoming Chinese Olympics next summer. (Yes, everyone is pushing me to go. Do I think I could handle that long on an airplane??? Uh uh.) We'll see.

The guys are here (yes!) putting in cabinets. I can't wait for them to leave so I can peek in and see at least some of my cabinets in the kitchen. They've been in the garage all summer long. I am so excited. Of course, I will keep you posted.

And, before I forget, a big thank you to all who have expressed concern regarding my mother. You all are angels to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you, dearly. She's doing great!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cold Case

Our little, soon to move to CA, Hollywood star friend is on Cold Case tonight!!! We're off to watch it. Congratulations Josh!!! Woooohoooooo!!

The Boudoir

I'm so glad I never put all my things back up after I painted the bedroom walls. Thus, there was room for these pretties. They are the two pieces that Corey made, the ones I mentioned in my last post.
I pulled out the wooden frames I had purchased and just went to town. I first put a stain on the very light wood and then added a coat of pink and a coat of blue. I added some dark brown here and there and then I stenciled some lacey pattern around the front. More antiquing brown and finally a coat of wax. I had this 12x12 piece of paper in the pink which kinda/sorta went with the other blue I had already mounted. The colors worked well enough. The paper looks a tad orangy here because I had to enhance it as the photo came out a little dark. But in person, it really is more of an antique pink. I promise.

I knew exactly where I was going to hang them. Right at the foot of our bed, on my side, so when I wake up I will see them. I even added a few little things to my shadow box setting. I was going to add some fallish things, but I decided against it. I don't spend enough time up here to make this area seasonal. It would sit endlessly in the autumn mode, I'm afraid.

The hub is back on US soil. Of course his flight was delayed in Japan so now he will be home later than planned. Isn't it a pain travelling these days? Yuk. I know he has to be totally exhausted.

The White Stripes' new song is on the radio. Gotta love the album's name--Icky Thump. Hmmm, let's try to get that video up here, shall we? Hmmmm. I think it was put elsewhere. Let's go see if I can fix that thang.



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