25 March 2015

Still More Questions than Answers

Salzburg, 2009. Beautiful memories.

 

A frustrating, yet productive doctor appointment. Don't think my GP can be consistently committed to this auto-immune journey I'm on. Sometimes he seems to be all-in and other visits he seems somewhat dismissive.

We have a plan... I gradually discontinue the Cymbalta I've been on since December 1st, for nerve pain. Already cut the dosage in half 3 weeks ago; now it goes away gradually over the next 7-10 days. It has to, since two documented side-effects are my most troubling current symptoms--fatigue and insomnia. So, I am set-up for a grab bag of consequences. A relief from the side effects? A return of the original nerve pain? A total absence of a SSRI, which I've had in one form or another for almost 20 years. Continuing and renewed auto-immune issues.

Best scenario: no anxiety, no nerve pain, lessening fatigue, better sleep, weight loss.

Time will tell.

 

And, I'm to see a Rheumatologist at the end of April.

 

Oh, and then those nasty abscesses... A maintenance antibiotic cream to minimize the chance of infection, and "wait-and-see."

 

21 March 2015

Hunting and Gathering

In the midst of sourcing the elements required for our Master Bathroom renovation...

 

Mirror from nordstrom.com.


2-light sconce from lightingdirect.com


Mirror we already own
and can repurpose.

 

Anytime I'm out-and-about or online my search migrates into other projects, real and imagined, i.e., the mirror I found on Pinterest (nordstroms.com) for our Powder Room which necessitated a new sconce from lightingdirect.com. The sconce is lovely, but too small for the mirror. Luckily, we have a spare, smaller mirror in a guest room that works with the sconce for the Powder Room. Now, I'm thinking I'll move the Edward Hopper print from our Morning Room up to the sofa wall in our loft, and hang the Nordstrom mirror here.

 

Move Hopper print to Loft.

Hang instead of Hopper Print?

 

And then, there are the (3) gold-framed French architectural drawings (still unwrapped) I purchased second-hand at The New Interiors Anew, locally, for the Powder Room(!). CA looked around at the gold-framed photos and prints (French) on the Powder Room walls and said, "So, you don't like these any more?" MEN!!!

Existing prints and photos in Powder Room. The wall color just doesn't photo well.

 

Painted sideboard. Chair is turned from normal placement.

 

 

Do I go back to Interiors Anew today for that lovely Thomasville small console table that might fit in the Entry Foyer? Or, in the Great Room, necessitating moving the current painted sideboard into the Study-Dining Room--replacing the shabby-chic half-table already in-place?

And, while I love the current American Primative bench and small chest currently in the Foyer, where else can it fit? I wouldn't mind using the Thomasville console in the Great Room, but I don't want the shabby-chic half-table front-and-center.

 

And, have I EVER used this many en-dashes in a post previously?! Sheesh! It's like they're exclamation points or something. Bah-hah on whoever said one should only ever use (4) exclamation points in one's life!!!! (Or, is it "whomever"?)(And, where does the end punctuation go in a sentence that ends with quote marks not indicating spoken word?!)

**I digress.**

Yes, the painted sideboard can go in the Study-Dining Room. It belongs there. It's filled with dishes and has no business in the Great Room. It was a space filler and never the right color. Light yellow in a room with shades of blond and tan (café au lait).

If I don't buy the small Thomasville console, I'd really love a French writing desk here.

This chair turned "out" is really bugging me.

 

What vexes me about the Thomasville console is that I think they doubled the price since I first saw it. Yes, that's a vague suspicion, but there's recent precedence. A week or so ago, I saw a sewing rocker at a local thrift shop, and behold! there it was (I think) at Interiors Anew, doubled in price. No hard feelings if I'm right; people have to make money. And then, with my current Autoimmune flare and all that confusion added to all the freaking details and moving parts on the bathroom reno... I am probably all wrong.

The best news is that, for now, I have all the products required for the Master Bathroom reno in-house. After much purchasing-exchanging-returning-Internet commerce-big box store wandering. That is, I have all the products except the tile, which I just found out is back-ordered to mid to late-June. Ugh!

I revisited Century Tile yesterday to look for replacement tile, but after 10 minutes I told them we'll just wait.

All that, and I still have issues with these pieces:

 

In Powder Room for convenience. Not working.
 
This is just hanging around our loft doing nothing.

 

I'd like this bucket bench out of the Foyer.
Not sure where it'll fit.

 

 

 

 

15 March 2015

Sibling Weekend: Chicago

Me-Nancy-Patty-Judy-Gloria; brother Paul and his wife,
Tracie in white. At Le Pain Quotidien.
 

Oldest sister, Judy, turned 70 years in January, so her daughter LG and son TL put together and hosted this rare sibling get-together. We DO get together, but mainly in very large groups. There's the occasional lunch, but we're scattered over 3 states (including Washington State), so having all 6 of us together for a weekend is very special.

 

Thursday

Lou Malnati's pizza at LG's condo, and then The Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater. We loved the musical about Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. I overnighted at Hotel Lincoln (due to some nagging auto-immune issues), but EVERYONE else stayed with LG's family in their 3-bedroom condo.

 

Friday

LG and her husband had to work; the effervescent Sophie (9-1/2) and the indomitable Rhys (4-1/2) had school. But, LG left us homemade granola (excellent!), Greek yogurt, and fruit. And, did I mention coffee?!!

We hung around some; a few went for a walk in a nearby small enclave of very large and beautiful Chicago-style homes.

Buena Park-Lakeview neighborhoods. Specifically,
Cullom and Hutchinson Streets' lovely homes.

 

I did the research for a luncheon location and happened on a listing for Le Pain Quotidien. Success! Perfect menu, as there was an early dinner planned by LG for 5:30pm.

Everyone totally enjoyed Le Pain Quotidien. Some had pot pies, salads or soup. We shared a charcuterie board. JL and I had eaten in one LPQ twice in NYC a number of years ago: CA and I have eaten in the LPQ closeby the Place Vendôme in Paris; and, I've eaten in one in another European city--possibly London.??

We spent the afternoon at the shops on North Avenue, and then drove to West Randolph Street for dinner at Little Goat Diner. Excellent!

The big surprise was that JL's son flew in from Austin, TX and surprised her at Little Goat Diner. We were all surprised she was surprised as there were multiple verbal slip-ups. The end result is that TL was with us for dinner and the remainder of the weekend. His happiness was magnified when his friend managed to procur for him a last minute ticket to the Michigan State playoff game at the United Center. (They won!)

 

Little Goat Diner, Chicago.


LG and EG shared this monster.

 


My excellent gluten-free option. Moco Loco Burger
on Jasmine rice with vegetables; topped with a
Fried Egg. Havarti Cheese added.


Just a normal cheeseburger.


TL's shocking Mahi entree.

 

After dinner we did cake and presents at LG's condo, and talked (a lot) until late. I drove home, arriving @1:00am, not realizing I'd forgotten to tell CA that I was coming. (I'd originally reserved 2 nights at the Lincoln Hotel). Scared him when the garage door opened and woke him up.

 

Saturday

By 8:30am I was in my car headed back to Chicago for brunch at LG's condo. After lots more talking and laughing, some took walks, some headed to Bar on Buena to watch the broadcast of the Michigan State game (they won!). My Seattle sister and I walked a long way down Broadway to Pastoral to buy some Vermont Creamery cheeses. We each had a small bite in the cafe and a refreshing beverage, then opting for a short cab ride north to the condo.

The Peoria, IL group of 4 left a bit after 4:00pm, and the after some quiet moments we talked over dinner plans. EG secured an 8:00pm reservation at one of my favorites--Mixteco Grill, on the corner of Ashland and Montrose. Wonderful Mexican food! Great guacamole, with chips, Jicama, and cucumber sluces.

Pork chops.


Pulled pork.


Rack of baby lamb in mole.

 

Another late night for me--arrived home just after midnight. No worries.

 

We had a memorable weekend, JL was well celebrated, and we got a chance to spend time with our new sister-in-law. Lovely.

 

 

14 February 2015

A New Toy

 

Really loving this photo option I found on our Mac desktop. Makes me feel creative!

 

31 January 2015

Tiny House

The area we stayed in had no landscaping.


I get big ideas. I convince myself of the logic, the practicality, the potential of something. Some of my big ideas die a quick and riskless death. Some get filed away for later or for someone else. Some stay on my front burner for months and years, waiting for timing, opportunity, a lightening strike. Some move forward, cost a few dollars, then fizzle. Most don't soar. O.K., none have soared because by nature and by nurture I am not a risk taker.

This tiny house thing has intrigued me for years. I'd almost convinced myself and had begun drawing others into conversation about the ingenuity, the practicality, the beauty of living small.

 

We don't live small nor do we live large. We live medium in a 2,000 sq.ft. 2-story townhouse, a with full basement. We have stuff. I've spent years as a hunter-gatherer. First primitive antiques and kitchen gadgets; then dinnerware and French Country accents.

 

Oh, I've sorted and passed on many treasures--to family, to friends, and even to strangers. Yet, the elephants(s) are in every room and our basement--I'm no minimalist. I'm someone who draws comfort and creative energy from my stuff.

 

I digress... We had the opportunity to live small this week; very small. Well, of course it'd work well!

Guess what? I hate it. Hate it. It's been claustrophobic and boring. The necessities are here, but there's nothing lovely to feed my hungry soul. The house's amenities are fine. Just o.k. The setting is not. It could be. The Napa River is right here, but no one has made any attempt to make the river bank inviting. The owners of this community have fallen apart when it comes to curb appeal. We won't come back.

 

Our weather this week has been phenomenal. Much better than we ever expected. Sunshine and 60s. All week. The area of and surrounding Napa and Sonoma are lovely. Natural beauty is everywhere in the undulating hills and valley; in the forrested Calistoga area; in Muir County Baylands. At these sights my soul is happy.

 

I am not an extrovert. I need solitude and quiet activity to exist. My filters are wacky; too much gets through. My brain drains; my energy wanes. Beauty is required. (As well as a decent Internet connection,)(Or, at least more than 2 lousy Cellular bars.)

 

Napa General Store.
 

We had a lovely brunch today--patio seating with umbrellas, sunshine, and lovely food. At one point a cool breeze drifted though. CA laughed when I told him I'd be oh-so-happy to pay extra for that breeze. If it'd been on my brunch menu this morning:


Filtered sunlight with intermittent gentle breezes ....................... $20.00

 

I would have asked our waitress to add it to our check. Hands down. Zero hesitation. Soul food.