December 17, 2013

worry about the size

I'm usually a Christmas fanatic. Make that holiday fanatic. And make it "used to be . . ."

In fact, let's start over . . .

I used to be a holiday fanatic. I decorated everything for everything. New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas... I loved it all, celebrated it all, decorated for it all.

These days? Not so much. But I've realized that's okay. My life is different . . . I'm different.

So, this tiny tinsel tabletop cutie is my Christmas tree this year. It fits in a shoebox; the ornaments stay on. My favorite part is the tiny pink hat. SO CUTE! The 8' tree and 2 totes full of ornaments I usually bring out are still in the closet, and they're staying there. Yes, the mantel in the background is decorated, and the stockings are hung. And yes, the kitchen mantel is decorated, too, and there's a snowman  hand towel, and Christmas mugs. Oh yeah, and flannel sheets with snowmen. I think that's it . . .

So maybe I do still have more holiday decor out than a lot of folks. But for me? This is minimalism, people!

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall."  ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

xo, Susan

December 12, 2013

no end to the adventures

Have I mentioned this? 

It's my latest venture, and I kind of love it a lot. Between having a legitimate excuse to shop for vintage treasures and the opportunity to pretend I'm writing copy for J. Peterman, what's not to love?

Stop by, favorite the shop, and if you see something you must have, convo me via etsy to let me know you found me via the blog and I'll give you a 10% discount! ;)

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."- Jawaharlal Nehru

xo, Susan

December 10, 2013

waiting long enough

for all my searching, and yearning, and falling apart, maybe it really is as simple as this: 

RIGHT NOW, listen here:

level up, by vienna teng

so come out. 
you have been waiting long enough.
you’re done with all the talk talk talk with nothing on the table.
it’s time to come on out.
there will be no sign from above.
you’ll only hear the knock knock knock of your own heart as signal.

if you are afraid, come out.
if you are awake, come out.
come out and level up.

begin again.
dynamite the dam on the flow.
your body feels the tock tock tock of time as it hammers.
lord we are all cinders
from a fire burning long ago,
but here it is the knock knock knock of your own heart that matters.

if you are afraid, come forth.
if you are alone, come forth now.
everybody here has loved and lost,
so level up and love again.

call it any name you need.
call it your 2.0, your rebirth, whatever –
so long as you can feel it all,
so long as all your doors are flung wide.
call it your day no. 1 in the rest of forever.

if you are afraid, give more.
if you are alive, give more now.
everybody here has seams and scars.
so what. level up.

let your faith die.
bring your wonder.
yes, you are only one.
no, it is not enough
but if you lift your eyes, I am your brother.
and this is all we need.
and this is where we start.
this is the day we greet.
this is the day, no other.

xo, Susan

November 11, 2013

joy in the uprooting

I've moved 5 times in 10 years - and 3 of those were in the last 4 years. That sounds like a lot to me. It feels like a lot.

I do love my apartment, though. 

loving room. painting above mantel by mfamb
living room into office
bird bath
I have big windows that let in lots of natural light, a transom over my kitchen door, beautifully inlaid hardwood floors, and 10' ceilings. I also have 2 fireplaces, both non-working but who cares? I just want to decorate the mantels and hearths anyway. My little fire escape deck is just the right size for my forest of houseplants (which are now inside for the winter) and a couple of chairs, and because I'm on the 2nd floor, I have some semblance of privacy, despite the fact that the houses on either side are so close I could practically touch them from here:
living room detail
 I wonder how long I'll be here?

I give you this to take with you: 
Nothing remains as it was. 
If you know this, you can 
begin again, 
with pure joy in the uprooting. 
― Judith Minty

xo, Susan

November 3, 2013

a bit naive and stupidly optimistic

When you  take these looooooooong blogging breaks  are a lazy, distracted, no follow-through blogger like I am, there's always a lot of recapping and catching up to do upon returning. Gap filling.  Revisionist history in the making.

As you may recall, the last recap ended with me on the cusp of saying goodbye forever to my ex wife. What, you don't remember? That's okay, jump over here and re-read it to refresh your memory. I'll wait.



Ready? Okay, so...

November 1, 2012: The Last Goodbye. It. Was. Awful. Too awful for me to talk about it. Really too awful for me to even think about it. God DAMN it. It was probably, hopefully, the last time I'll ever see her. I say hopefully because there was just too much pain for me to ever want to have anything at all to do with anything or anyone that evokes memories of that pain. Remember Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?


December 2012: The company I worked for downsized the sales team by 50%, and I lost my job. Instead of being freaked out, I was relieved. Weird, huh? After I lost my job, I bought a 1987 Toyota TravelMaster RV. I named her Clementine. Weird, huh?

December 2012 - January 2013: I spent the last few days of 2012 and the first few days of 2013 on the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, camping on the beach. It was lovely, gray, sandy, wet, cold, rainy. Perfect.

January 2013: Visited my best friend in Arkansas. My friend I've known since we were babies in the playpen together. My best friend for literally my entire life.

my beautiful bestest, and me

February 2013: Spent a month in Arkansas, visiting friends and family, camping in Clem with my 4 dogs. My house was broken into while I was gone. Little fuckers stole $70 out of my change jar (but not the jar) and some of my jewelry. They were careful not to make a mess. It was weird, and I was pissed, but relieved it wasn't worse.

March 2013: Discovered that I like college basketball a lot, if "my" team is in the playoffs, winning, and watching the games involves drinking lots of bourbon at the bar with a rowdy crowd of friends and fellow fans. Go Cards!!  Meanwhile, my 82 yr old Mom fell and hurt her arm. Her living alone in south Arkansas began to seem less and less doable. I spent a week with her while she recovered...

April -May 2013: Susan the Social Butterfly mode reached full swing.  There were lots of goings on and goings out with my friends, including planning and pulling off a BRILLIANT "Derby de Mayo" Party to celebrate both the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo. 

I make a mean motherfucking Mint Julep!
The secret is the homemade minted simple syrup.
Dangerously delicious.

Sparkle on!
Also in May 2013: My mom, my sister, and I decided that my mom would move from Arkansas to Kentucky, where we would buy a duplex, and Mom and I live together-but-not. This would enable her to stay out of Assisted Living for as long as possible. Reaching this decision was NOT simple or straightforward, and was complicated and influenced by some serious hard feelings between me and my sister. Then, in what seemed like a good idea but probably wasn't, we ended up buying this gem - a 113 yr old brick Italianate 3 story home that has been converted to a triplex, with a 1 BR apartment on each floor, one for Mom on the first floor, me on the 2nd, my sister on the 3rd.

The new digs...

June 2013: Spent a week and a half with my sister in south Arkansas packing up my mom's house. HOLY SHIT, so much stuff! Plus many weird memory jogging, highlights reel, time capsule-esque moments. (Also in June: I reconnected with my first love, from high school. My first first. That is a whole other story, a whole tale unto itself that is still unfolding, revealing itself like a flower in bloom.)

Watch this, volume up. You won't be sorry. It'll totally make up for the previous video, I promise...

July 2013: Moved out of Pope St, and into the new place. My sister followed 2 weeks later, and my mom a week and a half after that. My sister and I unpacked and settled my mom's apartment so she could move right in, which she did.

Since then we've all been getting really settled in, adjusting (?) to the new living situation and dynamics. It hasn't been easy. In fact, I know that this is a spiritual test or karmic crucible or some shit, and that this is my chance to work out my shit with my sister. Those blooming flowers couldn't have come along at a better time.

Over, under, around and through all of that, there have been weddings, middle of the night motorcycle rides, concerts, road trips, breakfasts/lunches/dinners with friends and family, beautiful bawdy body-con burlesque shows by the Va Va Vixens, and a play about Frida.

So, now that we're all caught up on my life, tell me - what have you been up to?

“Because with time blocking out the bad, 
memory is always bound to be a bit naive and stupidly optimistic.” 
 ― Guy Delisle, Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China

xo, Susan

November 1, 2013

in a rush of howling winds

A big storm blew through last night, howling in from the west, tossing trees and leaves around with wild abandon. Perfect for Halloween, even if it was hell on Trick-or-Treaters. I'm not sure if it was the wind or a goblin that tossed my rosemary bush off the porch, shattering the clear blue glass ball that presided over it atop an iron rod and crowned with a fleur de lis. The huge flowerpot it was in is gone entirely. Either way, I have a mess to clean up.

Like everyone everywhere is saying today, I can't believe it's November already. It's just shocking to realize that Christmas is next month. I guess it's time to put the jack o'lantern's away.

Or I could decorate the Christmas tree like this...

Not really.

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”   ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

xo, Susan

October 31, 2013

doesn't mean anything

well, damnit, i hate it.

all the years of making this blog look just so? wasted, because i couldn't apply formatting changes to future posts without changing the formatting for all previous posts as well.


oh well, i'll survive. if i've learned anything at all the past 3 years it's that: i WILL survive.

i'll probably go back through each of the 400+ previous posts and obsessively fix all the messes made by my little makeover, too. at least that way it'll all be consistent.

is that my virgo sun rearing her bitch head?

am i losing my mind?

oh wait, that's done already.

anyway. let's see what happens next...

Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed. -Irene Peter

xo, Susan

the courage to start all over again

It's time to start blogging again. Thing is, I want to do a blog makeover, but I just want it to be different from this point, going forward; I don't want to change what's already here. Unfortunately, I don't think that's possible. So, for now I'm considering my options...

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” ― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


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