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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Closets, crochet and lace

I love my things.  Vintage finds are in abundance in my carefully organized closets.  Most cherished are lace and crochet, and I incorporate these into most everything I wear, regardless of occasion.  Ebay has provided a boundless and creative outlet for me, along with the thrift stores I regularly scour.
I have captured photos of my closet.  It is important for me to be able to see everything I wear, regardless of season, as I tend to do lots of layering, etc.  I also like to have my favorite pieces of jewelry visible, so I added these vintage hook racks for easy access.  This is all still a work in progress, but it is a lot of fun to shop in my own closet when I have things at my fingertips.  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Random things I've learned...

I've learned that it is indeed true....I am not a very good driver.

I have learned that I am a much more authentic and empathic and reasonable human being now that I am no longer:
*affiliated with an organized religion
*incessantly worried about what others think
*in a dating relationship (for now)
*surrounded by "stuff"
*aligned with most things Republican

I have learned that there are genuinely mean people out there, but there are also genuinely good people as well, and some are not always as they first appear...on both pendulums.

I've learned (over and over) that words hurt.

I've learned that guns do kill people.

I've learned that I usually prefer the company of books and animals over people.

I've learned that sugar is an intensely addictive substance.

I have come to know that I will never be tempted, even in the slightest, to eat animal flesh ever again.

I have learned that yoga and running are as necessary for my existence as water.

I have learned that without a doubt, there are things worse than death.

I have learned that there is nothing NOTHING greater than the love for a child.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Spending a quiet day in reflection.  I made these earrings and wanted to share a little about them. The stone is glass, manmade by Italian monks.  It is simply called blue goldstone.  The flecks are copper and the stone looks like a midnight sky dotted with millions of stars.
They make me happy.  They are so beautiful.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Keeping Him Forever

It's that time....time to clip the wings.  I have come to the realization that my incessant attempts to stay in touch with my boy are all for me...for that which I am attempting to hold onto, and it is time to let him go.
It is an odd state of being...not regretful, not necessarily sad even...just fully aware of how fleeting the time between having them underfoot and having them not return your calls.  Goodbye, childhood.
Cats in the Cradle.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The fringed velvet peacock drape

This is my new treasure. Already my kitten is enamored with the fringe, going to great lengths to exhibit his agility and athletic prowess as he bats at my arms when I wrap myself in this beautiful little number.  Time to hit the town!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Someone was kind to me.

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness. 
George Sand
George Sand was a captivator of words, wasn't she?
Someone was kind to me yesterday.  Someone I respect.  Someone for whom I work.  And it meant much.
May I do likewise for someone today, by sharing the spirit of what was done for me. 

Monday, November 29, 2010


Just seen on a blog....

"It's such a liability to love another person."

Isn't it, though?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I have long been fascinated with things midtown.  The diversity, the bohemian aura, the local restaurants, coffee shop, bars and places of (not just evangelical Christian) worship...
It is time for me to move...I've known it for quite some time, and have been planning accordingly.  I began downsizing, giving away, breathing new life in old things I already possess.  Then I began hanging at places mid-city, such as Republic, Cafe Eclectic, Au Fond, Do's, Pho Hoa Binh, etc.  Lastly, I took my running to Chickasaw Gardens where I fell head over heels in love with the architecture and originality of each of the homes, from the bungalows (especially the bungalows) to the stately mansions, which coexist quite harmoniously alongside each other.
December brings with it my move.  I have lived in East Memphis most of my life, so this is a new adventure.  The photos above are of my soon to be condo....not my furnishings yet, but I LOVE the deep rich walls and tumbled stones and bamboo floors.  Cannot wait to be there....oh, and as I was pulling into my parking place today, the car a few places down from me wore a sticker proudly proclaiming, "Democratic Women are the Life of the Party!"  Feeling right at home already.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

a common constant coexistence

Fashion is my guilty pleasure. I love everything about it, as long as I make it original.  Several members of my family have deemed me eccentric, a description I've not always viewed in the spirit of kind observation.  Yet they are absolutely correct.  Eccentric I am.  I think this "characteristic" manifests itself with mucho gusto via my sartorial expression.
Fashion is a genre.  It is defined by consumerism, expression, social class, and to some extent, worth and value.  I see it as a blank canvas form of definition that changes with the underpinnings of my life experiences.  I love that!  I love changing the way I am  feeling with fabric, and combination, and LOOK.
Sometimes fashion means more to me than others...yet it always represents my spirit.  I feel very little if any fear within this avenue of expression.  I don't really change my underlying style from work to's always edgy and somewhat controversial.  Hope I can express that without sounding completely enrapt in myself, as I suppose the point I am making is that I really have enough confidence in what I choose that it doesn't matter if it is in style or accepted, much less embraced. I wear what I like which seems to be one of the only paths in my life whereby I have complete from the gut confidence.
It is only recently, however, and through the process of maturity (rather than aging) that I have come to realize that I need so little in order to drape myself with expression via my clothes.  Sheepishly, I have always been an advocate of finding "deals" and accumulating "more" hence crowding my space and time with a hobby that can easily become a beast of burden.
So...during this ongoing season of revelational discovery, I began to give away.  At first, with gusto and almost frenetic purging... until one entire room in my apartment was stark and empty.  I began to find things, articles of clothing that I truly saw for the first time....I surmise, because in the frenzy of procuring "more," I overlooked the beauty of the fit, the make, the design, the fabric, the feel.  It was fun to put together new looks to signify outwardly what I was feeling inwardly.
Eventually, I moved to the attic, where I uncovered pieces of clothing  I had long forgotten.  They told stories...of walking away from a horrendous mistake of a marriage in such haste that I rapidly boxed garments and had the movers hide them far from my memory.  Pulling them out piece by piece was cathartic, and empowering as I discarded some things and held dearly to others.
Some of the giveaway process has been bittersweet to the point of bringing me to tears.  I feel embarrassment that I equated so much of my self worth with what I had, what I wore, what I showed materialistically to the world.  The clothes have hidden me.  It has been a sad revelation to note THAT diversion....that huge elephant in the middle of the room.
There were bittersweet moments when I realized that no, I do not need five cobalt blue jackets, yet I love them all in each of their uniquely different way, so how do I part with all but one?
And then the memories derived from wearing a piece.  A purple Ralph Lauren blazer in a size far too tiny for my frame...denoting a time when I was in such personal peril that it actually fit.  A gauzy white crocheted mini that gave me pause as I remembered being in love and wearing it to celebrate nothing more than a Tuesday walk in the park.
I gave them all away.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's better to burn out than fade away

Today Neil Young is 65.
In keeping with the theme of revisiting my college days, I am remembering leaving the U of A and the impact this song  had on me during that time. I awakened one morning and decided it was time for me to leave.  I packed my belongings into my red Ford Fiesta and drove to the record store. There I bought "Out of the Black" by Neil Young, along with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Greatest Hits and "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen.  I drove away with the stereo blaring as loud as it would go.
Each time I hear "'s better to burn out than fade away," I think wistfully of that last day in Tuscaloosa so many years ago.    

Thursday, November 4, 2010

That which lies dormant

I walked away from the last post.  I will bank it away for another time and begin anew with a clean slate.
So much to think about and ponder tonight.  Wishing everyone I love childlike, carefree and refreshing rest.  Goodnight moon.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What's on my back

"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. "
Thomas Jefferson 

 Fear is what drives the most discontent, confidence-lacking, and bitter among us.  My brother defined the concept as "thinking everyone wants what I have and everyone wants what I might get."  Profound, is it not?  EVERY day of my life I see this overtly exhibited,  and at least in my walk, the more conservative and "religious" the person, the more rabid the defense...hence my opening quotation by Thomas Jefferson.   Coincidental the correlation?  Not really with regard to TJ.
Last year I visited Monticello.  Not being up to date with my Jeffersonian history, I brushed up in anticipation of my homage to Charlottesville.  Jefferson was a controversial figure to say the least, and continues to be so today if you truly delve into what he was, what he stood for, and those things upon which he was conflicted.
He was opposed to slavery yet he chose not to free his own.  He is aligned with Christianity, even though he was adamant in his belief in Deism.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In flight

Flash forward from college to just a few years ago.
Flying from NYC to Memphis and am seated next to Gloria Steinem. She is writing profusely on a yellow legal pad. I am determined not to begin incessantly talking...asking, telling her things I know she must hear all the time from people such as me.
She is beautiful...truly. A fact that belies that she is in her eighth decade of life. Nearly everyone who passes us recognizes her, and I am surprised that the majority of people who comment are young men...."Ms. Steinem, I have been so influenced by your work." "Gloria, my girlfriend has read all your books. "
Midway through the flight, her pen stops working and she asks if she may borrow one. Thus begins a conversation. She is on her way to speak at a university. We talk of her marriage to her husband ...her one and only marriage (David Bale) which occurred in her 60's. She mentions that she had waited so long to meet such a profound man, and was grateful for every one of the fleeting years she had with him before he died. ("David went through the world with few possessions and great empathy for all living things. He had the greatest heart of anyone I've ever known.") She tells me her UES apt is decorated in pink! She asks me about my work with fitness and wellness.
A gracious genuine human being. And oh so very intelligent.
I am thankful for that time on the plane, for the privilege of meeting someone who has made such influential contributions in my life and the lives of so many women. And I would venture to say men, as well.
I close these posts with her latest quote regarding our upcoming elections. This quote is what set me on a journey to blog my thoughts. For quite some time, I have been trying to formulate my thoughts regarding women in the Republican party and what I see as a step backwards for those things we have accomplished in the name of parity.
"I don't know if God is embarrassed by being given credit for Christine O'Donnell, but I am. I think great Republican women like Margaret Chase Smith and Millicent Fenwick would be, too." Gloria Steinem
Oh, and Millicent Fenwick is another of my heroines.

Gloria Steinem

I begin this blog with a snapshot of my life in the early 1980's on the campus of the University of Alabama in a little known radical elective class entitled "Women's Studies." I was floundering somewhere in my third year...disillusioned with and restless in my day to day existence as sorority girl and party animal. My life was filled with nothingness, loneliness, and complete lack of self-worth...all I might add, of my own doing. I was making unwise decisions, searching for and depending on things external to provide me value, and giving very little in the way of contributions to the world around me.

I found the class by default. I remember walking in to a round table discussion, clutching a crudely typed and bound collection of works by feminist authors that was to serve as my text. The all female class was collectively confident, outspoken, and to me appeared fearless. I remember feeling absolutely fascinated, compelled to learn, and instantly at home. This is one of the few times in my life I remember with precise clarity.

"Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described -- and will be, after our deaths -- by each of the family members who believe they know us." Gloria Steinem

Looking back on this class, as I often do when I run, I realized that this was pivotal in how I saw the world from that point, and how it shaped that which I hold sacred today. I really didn't feel a connection with much of anything until then, and perhaps because the time was right, I felt it then, and still do to this day. The women who had the courage to speak of the denigration and disparity against them, against us...the refusal to be victims.

I witnessed how different this was from the recent expulsion of a woman from a neighboring sorority because she had partaken in drug-laced punch at a frat house. I was at the party, and heard undercurrents that the punch in the huge garbage cans was laced. Guess I was one of the lucky ones to have had a heads up. This young woman became so out of her mind intoxicated that she publicly engaged in sexual intercourse with a line of fraternity members on their house rooftop. I feel certain today that this would be considered gang rape. She was subsequently disgraced and "scarlet lettered" while the fraternity brothers were heralded with back pats and "attaboys." This behavior encapsulated the blatant, egregious, and deep-seated thought process that pervaded our 1980's misogynistic society, co-existing defiantly with racism in the old south.

That was then...this is now. Is it really so different?