Happy Things for a Rainy Friday

Happy Friday, friends! Here are a few things which are cheering me up today:

1. The Garden Fence. Our house is on one acre, but the adjacent property has over twenty acres, mostly wooded. I like to call it Deer Gardens, an executive community for deer demanding only the finest organic produce, fresh spring water, and award winning schools. Last spring Ed constructed a new fence, so the deer are forced to eat my tulips instead of my vegetables. Pictured below are the very beginning sprouts of radishes (plus weeds which instantly sprung up in the rain).


2. National Grilled Cheese Day. At first I thought this was like all of the other fake Facebook-inspired holidays made up by some bored fourteen year old, but then I thought, “Who even cares? This is a day I am planning to celebrate!” Turns out it’s a real thing.

Grilled cheese is one of my first favorite foods. I remember being around age four and asking my dad if he is allowed to eat “girl cheese” since he’s a boy. I probably remember this because my family made me ask him this again every single time I ate a girl cheese for the next year. I might have thought they were stupid back then, but now I get it.

I plan on making today’s grilled cheese with grated Gruyère and sharp cheddar, heavy on the butter. Why can’t I lose weight?


3. Nail Polish. I have a bit of a thing for nail polish. As a child, I always enjoyed the thrill of a new box of crayons, and I love choosing colors. No surprise, I am like a moth to flame at any nail polish display and often find myself powerless. I suppose there are worse shopping addictions one can have. It’s almost time to pick a new color, which is half the fun for me.

While I’m happy with most Essie and OPI shades, my real weakness is Dior. I am currently wearing OPI’s Bubble Bath in a gel — a decent nude but nothing too exciting. I definitely prefer my Dior Safari Beige. That’s me in a nutshell: Fifty Shades of Beige.

4. My Mad Men lamp. This lovely relic currently resides in my basement in a room whose decor can best be described as Garage Sale/Bennigan’s Transitional. When my mother-in-law went into assisted living, we snatched this baby right up. I truly do love it, but it doesn’t quite work on my main floor. I am hoping to find a better spot to showcase all of its Don Draperesque awesomeness. Sorry, folks, it’s not for sale.

mad men lamp

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend filled with good food and happy things.

The Joy of Going Dark

Watching the season six premiere of Mad Men Sunday night reminded me once again of a simpler time. However, witnessing the lack of constant communication and inability to Google anything on the spot always unsettles me; it feels like reverse science fiction. Did I once really live like this? When Betty went into The Dicey Neighborhood without a cell phone, I was very nervous indeed. How did we manage back then? Almost unbelievable.

It’s an interesting experience to be an American woman in her forties. I’m young enough to have adapted and embraced most new technology with ease, but I’m still old enough to remember having a real life before smart phones and GPS. I remember going out on dates, to parties and various day trips with friends and I rarely could call home to say I arrived safely; I just needed to return when I said I would. What a leap of faith! I remember going to New York City, Paris and London, meeting people at various pre-arranged spots, and if they were late or their train was delayed or they got a little lost…I just kept waiting. Eventually everyone always showed up. Finding someone in a big city without a cell phone seems like a true miracle today.

When I’m working, I don’t have my cell phone with me on the sales floor. It’s against policy and everyone knows I’m usually an obedient rule follower. For many hours at a time, I have no access to my phone, texts, emails, etc. And I kind of like it. For that time period, I am focused fully on being where I am and not distracted by the constant pings of notifications of my Other Life. The world, so used to my usual quick reply, needs to patiently wait until I am done working.

The world is not accustomed to patiently waiting for me. Once, while working a mere four hour shift, I found a voice mail, then a text seeing if I ever got the voice mail, and then another text to follow up…all from the same person in less than four hours. And this was not a 911 emergency, either.  People expect me to be a rapid responder and tend to panic a bit when I’m not. What would Betty say? Probably something delightfully bitchy.

I have learned to embrace my periods of digital incommunicado. They feel like mini vacations back to my youth, a life where I can go almost eight hours without knowing about baseball schedule changes and 40% off Banana Republic coupons and spring fair volunteer sign ups and the latest celebrity gossip and my son’s physics grade. Sooner or later, I find out about all of this stuff. For now, on brief occasions, I am enjoying the charmingly retro concept of Just Being Where I Am. I do believe it will be the next big thing.