Pot Head

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

So, this weekend I was passing by Neo Studio, which is one of my favorite shops by the beach. I wasn’t in need of a stick of furniture or even a lamp, which Jean-Yves, the store’s knowledgeable and warm proprietor, always has in more-than-ample supply. Still, I popped in because you never know.

There I was, running around the store, decorating my imaginary house in L.A. — a habit I’ve developed that Mr. H just adores. But how could I not with four amazing orange metal chairs for the sun room, a super-cool David Hicks* lacquer parsons desk for the bedroom and about five very sexy lamps for everywhere else? Never mind the rosewood, almost-deco but definitely mid-century desk for the study, the splendid seventies Milo Baughman dining room chairs and…ok, I’ll stop. For now.

When I finally came back to earth, I spied a lovely little piece of pottery. It was ribbed in ocher and chocolate brown on the outside and had that same deep brown, but all glossy, on the inside. It was made in Germany, in spite of looking so Danish. And before I knew it Jean-Yves and I were laughing and wishing each other a wonderful Saturday while I was putting it in the car to take home.

Hello. My name is Mrs. H and I am a Pot Head. I also do various dishes and other vessels. And honestly, I am not sure that it is even a problem. Still there appears to be a pattern…

There is more. Lots more. But I will spare you and get on with the Point of the Post, which is this:

I probably started collecting pottery when I was in my twenties. It was affordable, space efficient and most importantly, it brought a little beauty into my living space.

Today I am kind of amazed that I still find more reasons (excuses?) to add another piece to my collection. But in all fairness, many of the items above are not only pretty, but useful. These pieces keep jewelry and keys from scratching furniture and serve as off-handed coasters so that guests don’t feel awkward about where to put down a drink. They store rather ugly things in a humorous and chic way. And very often, they beg to be filled with flowers, adding an extra dose of cheer to a room.

I also love to rest my eyes on a cluster of them, or just one all by itself, to enjoy the lines and shapes they create. Those are moments that take my mind off of Things, which is reason enough, I think, to be a Pot Head.

xx

* You must know about David Hicks, and then we can discuss Jonathan Adler and others of his ilk. You can begin here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Nightingale_Hicks

(Photos, which for some reason are always off center when I upload them: Some Cozy Night)

The Friend Who Brings You Soup

October 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

This week has been very bad in the migraine department. I’ve been sick for a few days, not really able to do much of anything except wish my headache away and check email as necessary. Mr. H has been supportive as always, but this evening he had to attend an event and I was home alone. I normally don’t mind this, but the evening was vastly improved on account of my most excellent friend, who brought me some homemade soup. (Yes, it was delicious. She has mad skills in the kitchen.)

In the age of social media, where the virtual world sometimes feels more real than what is going on right outside your window, the notion of someone bringing you soup when you are sick seems downright old-fashioned. But in the best possible way. And the friend that brings it to you is also the best possible kind of friend to have.

“Like!”

xx

(Photo of real, live sky in case you haven’t seen it in a while: Some Cozy Night)

The Dog I Am & The Dog I Want to Be

October 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

As you know, Mr. H and I have two dogs, A and O. They are brothers and behave very much like human ones. While presenting a united front against Management on the most pressing issues of their lives (going outside in the rain, toy demands, choice of food, furniture privileges…the list goes on), they also deliberately do things to annoy and upset each other. And yet, when one of them is not around for one reason or another, the other is falls into a mild state of panic.

On some days, they remind me of the Winklevoss twins as portrayed in that Facebook movie — without the lawsuit. (So far, at least.) Observing their “twoness” is one of the great pleasures in my life. And getting to know them as I have over the last two years, I have also come to find their many differences hilarious and kind of fascinating.

Exhibit 1:  O-Dog

O-Dog is a true New Yorker. He’s beyond neurotic, complains incessantly and is appalled by the many injustices in this (dog) world. He always manages to look well turned out, hates pigeons and does not like to be told what to do. (He does it anyway…more grist for the Complaint Mill. So New York.) But deep down, O is a really just a sweet fellow who simply wants to be understood and appreciated for who he is. And I do, since I can’t help but notice that he is really an awful lot like me. It almost goes without saying: I cut him quite a bit a slack.

Exhibit 2:  A-Dog

A-Dog is like Wynton Marsalis or the guy everyone loved in your fraternity: Confident, affable, kind of magical. He isn’t trying. He just is. Therefore, dude manages to look great even when his fur is a disaster or he’s half asleep. He’s comfortable wherever he finds himself and nothing — except horses — bothers him. Step on his paw? No biggie. Take his rawhide? He’ll find something else to do. He’s the Top Dog, so as long as you know that, it’s all cool. Who could not find that rather beguiling? Frankly, I admire him and would be pretty pleased with myself if I could be more like him in the Human World.

I know this is a lot of space to devote to my dogs. But, if you haven’t figured it out, I love them tremendously. Not just because they are all the excellent things that dogs are, including lovable.  It’s also because they remind me to go easy on myself for the way I am, and to keep trying to be a little bit more of how I would like to be.

xx
P.S.
Me on my soapbox again: If you want to add a dog or two to your life, please adopt or use a reputable breeder. Eliminating demand of puppy mill dogs is the best way to personally help eradicate the inhumane practices in this industry.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

“Must Have” Items

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

So, it is that time of year again when we are reading about all the things that we urgently need to be Up to Date this season. (Like The Row’s $39,000 handbag. Which we Can’t Have anymore, as they are all sold out.) Take it from someone who loves fashion and isn’t afraid to show it: What Hooey.

I hate the idea of “Must Have”, unless it pertains to certain things like Wonderful Friends, A Decent Night’s Sleep and a Nice Piece of Cheese. What make MH worse is that it is almost always followed by “This Season”. So, next season you mustn’t have it, I guess. Doesn’t that seem like a waste of money? I am glad you think so. I do, too.

That said, there are probably a number of things sartorial that are life savers if you plan on leaving the house. Here are some things on my list:

– A great tote that holds and hides files, your wallet,  smart phones, sunglasses, keys (if you happen to know where they are), an umbrella and in my case dog treats, rawhides, a pair of flats, Blistex and a hair elastic. The best ones are sturdy, have handles that fit over your shoulder and look good enough so that you can go out after work and not feel like you need to change your bag. I hate changing my bag for evening. Even though I love evening bags.

– A season-less dress that can be worn almost anywhere. No, it does not have to be black. In fact, I don’ t like black in this category, as it feels “safe”, but that could just be me. As a clothes horse, I must confess that I have more than one dress of this variety, but my latest favorite is an inky blue, silk crepe one with a sewn-in ribbon belt. I’ve worn it to weddings, to dinners out and can totally wear it to work. I just change the shoes and accessories. And if I feel cold, cardis, jackets and the like are there to resolve the issue. See, you Must Have this…and it should last you several years.

– A small but diverse shoe wardrobe: nude pumps, casual flats, black boots, a neutral, casual bootie and a great pair of flat sandals. Oh, and sneakers if you plan to exercise in that way.  Oh, yes, and rain boots. That should get you through. The MH that goes with that is a good shoe repair place. Seriously, if you are spending good money on shoes, there is no reason you shouldn’t have them for a long time. And taking them to the shoe doctor is key in that regard. If you are in NYC and understand that this won’t be cheap, go to — don’t laugh — The Leather Spa in midtown. They do all leather goods and the work is amazing. (http://leatherspa.com/about)

– Layering pieces: lightweight scarves, a cardigan or two and a tailored jacket. They can increase the wearability of your sleeveless items and help manage the dramatic indoor-outdoor temperature changes that are officially year-round.

– Nice jeans. Especially if you plan on visiting LA. I would also add one or two pairs of nice cords if you actually have winter where you live.

– Something personal. This seems vague, I know, but really it is just something sentimental. Aside from the jewelry that Mr. H has given me over the years, I have two all-time favorite personal items.

This first is a collection of handkerchieves from my Grandmother’s wardrobe. I have one that is monogramed, and I make a point of taking with me to places where I think she would have loved to go. (It has been to The White House twice.) And the others I keep with me when I am feeling like a need a little bit of her with me. (Those have been everywhere…)

And the second is a horseshoe necklace that I purchased after one of my little terriers survived an illness that was a certain miracle. It is casual, but I wear it almost every day to remind myself to believe in luck and to have a little faith, which are two of the best Must Haves you can have in any season.

xx

(Photo of my “Good Luck” necklace: Some Cozy Night)

Making it Stick

October 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

Friends were staying with us this weekend and since the weather was playing ball today, we decided to head over to the beach for a little walk. I had not been to the beach in probably six or seven weeks, which is nuts, since it takes less than five minutes to drive there. I was discussing the insanity of this with my friend as we were walking and I found myself saying “I’d like to be the kind of person who gets herself to the beach on weekend mornings for some head clearing, but “stuff” gets in the way”.

Some hours later I am sitting here wondering, aside from illness or bad weather, what on earth is all this “stuff” that is keeping me from a place I love so much. And I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t the stuff, it is just that I haven’t tried to Make it Stick. Lots of things are like that with me, so I am going to start with this one and see how things go. Care to join me?

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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