Friday, July 31, 2009

wash basins


I didn't want to post this until I told me husband but I've been nesting. Hard. Like I can't work because I'm thinking about paint colors nesting. We've lived here for over a year and aside from paint and the floors we really haven't done anything. This week, we agreed upon a design for our built-in bookshelves and that triggered 31 (almost 32!!!) years of pent up interior design from someplace deep within my soul.

But listen. I don't have very good taste. And, and this is important to know about me, I can basically be talked into liking anything if you try for 1-2 minutes and ask nicely. I'm fickle, have poor taste, and insist on doing everything on the cheap. Luckily for my husband, I am also plagued by an utter lack of confidence and am easily distracted by shiny things, white wine, and my own feet. I am also lucky in that my husband has wonderful taste. I think he would roll his eyes at my declaration but we still love and use everything he had when I met him and my stuff never made it out of my last apartment. His style seems to be mellow colors, lots of wood, and clean lines. My "style" is a bit, well, its better not to think about other than imagining a dyslexic fairy princess threw up after a particularily large meal at Ikea and Kmart. Think granny shabby with impulsive color choices.

Anyway, nesting. I made a list. And some stuff I can do by myself (keeping in mind that the husband should and does have executive veto power). I wanted to start in the bathroom. It has navy tile, white fixtures, high ceilings, and a huge window. It is currently a bright yellow. It is important to note that we are not super neat people so while I love an all white bathroom, it isn't the best idea.

I was envisioning light grey walls, paint the currently pine cabinets glossy white, and then change out the plywood/formica vanity for something with clean lines that's made out of wood. Maybe some sage green highlights (like I'll keep the succulents in there).

So for this room I want:
- new window coverings
- vanity
- light
- coat of paint

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A quick garden update

While I haven't been cooking I have been gardening. I've been struggling with a plague of green aphids all spring and summer and have had to find plants that they don't want to eat. They pop up very quickly and will destroy a window box of plants if I'm not careful. And they're really pretty gross!

I put in a bunch of planters on street level and those seem to be doing alright. They're quite pretty and they haven't been knocked over yet.

Here's what doing well:

Basil (only one pot this year)
Patio Tomatoes are just about to turn red
My little box of succulents

My cucumbers are quite dead. I was hoping that they would grow onto the existing ivy vines and take up residence but that never really worked.

The broccoli and cauliflower did really well until a few weeks ago but then bolted in the heat. I'll try again in the fall.


I've had this fantasy my whole life: I want a wall of bookshelves so tall and massive that it towers over me and makes me feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pages. If there is one thing that defines me it is my great love of reading and the idea of having a place for all of my books makes me incredibly happy. So when we bought our apartment we wanted to put in some bookshelves.

And after a few months of dithering, we finally picked out some wood, settled on a design, and ordered them for a carpenter down in Red Hook. I've been nesting pretty strongly since we bought this place and this is just one of many relatively small projects that we want to do to make this place seem more like home.

The next project, potentially taking down a wall or knocking through the roof, will be a bit bigger. But maybe, if my stepsister is free, she can help me change out a few light fixtures, which would be, well, less messy.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Every year my family rents a house in LBI and both my husband and I made it down for about 48 hours. I spend almost the entire time sitting inside reading and avoiding the sun while he organizes an army of small children to build a fortress against the incoming tide.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Little Test

I told one of my coworkers that she had to read "Cryptonomicon" and she asked me back "What else do you like? I have to know whether to trust your recommendation, so what other type of fiction do you like?" I've been stuck on non-fiction for a while now but I'm sure I've read some good, non-embarrassing to admit fiction but I had to check.

Here are some of my favorites. Some are achingly good, other whitty, amusing, and fun. Some, like, #12, symbolize a particular time in my life but I still think are excellent books. As I look over the list, I realize that I love historical fiction with a saucy main character and very descriptive writing. I also realize that my list is biased because it is stuff that has managed to stay on my shelf. I'm a giver of books and that means I often foist my favorites on unsuspecting dinner guests.

1. John Irving, "A Prayer for Owen Meany"
2. Michael Chabon, "The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay"
3. Edward P. Jones, "The Known World" (breathtaking)
4. Tim O'brien- The Things They Carried
5. George RR Martin - the first three of that series
6. Chris Moore- Bloodsucking Fiends is my favorite but he's best known for Lamb
7. Kate Atkinson - Scenes from a Museum and any of the Jackson Brody Series
8. Caleb Carr- The Alienist
9. Richard Russo- Straight Man
10. Tania French - The Likeness
11. Nicholas Krauss- A History of Love
12. Nicholas Christopher- A Trip to the Stars

For a little perspective, I'm currently reading an autobiography of Madeline Albright, Salt, and a book called "Hilter's Scientists". I'm in a bit of a non-fiction jag it seems but I could use a heartbreakingly beautiful fiction book. I haven't read one since A History of Love or The Known World.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

We had grand plans for this weekend, BBQs, fireworks, friends, and sun but this damn flu got in the way. We're still sick, and not just a little sick, still really sick and it meant that we didn't do anything but be sick all weekend.

Luckily, we have a great view of the fireworks from our roof. Not only could we see the fireworks on the Hudson, we could see them all around the Harbor. I'm not really fond of fireworks but it was great to see all the small town fireworks across NJ and imagine all of the family and friends huddled together, "ohhinh" and "ahhing" together as we watched from our roof.

We were also treated to a beautiful sunset!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Home Sick X2

My husband was on a business trip last week and came home with a wicked flu, which he kindly shared with me. We've been home sick together for the past day and a half. I have to admit its a bit weird. When I'm home sick I want to be alone, lounging on the couch, being my grossest and not worrying about anything. When you home sick with someone you care about your torn between using your hair as a tissue and running around trying to make soup. Luckily, our flues seem to balance out and when my fever is up, his is down. We also have two bedrooms so his death rattle/ garbage disposal cough doesn't interfere with my honking canadian goose cough.

I've been steadily getting better since my fever broke late this morning while his flu has bought real estate in his lungs. I can hopefully get back to work tomorrow and he can go back to being sick without his wife fluttering around him, honking in his ear and offering to get soup and he doesn't have to feel like he needs to take care of me.