Taste is a Matter of Timing

FullSizeRender (6)I love really old houses. I grew up in a tiny Victorian here in California. When I was nine, we moved to a ranch style house across town.  I was so sad. I was glad to have my own room, but I missed the nooks and crannies, the mystery, the history, of our little gingerbread Victorian.

My family’s first house really didn’t have that much gingerbread, not like this lovely old home which is nestled amongst homes mostly built in the sixties. Low slung, practical (read ugly) little things known as Bohannons.

I notice that people younger than me like ranch style homes, the low slung Bohannon style houses, and even seventies apartments. They don’t see what I see. They don’t see through the lens of someone born in the sixties and raised in the seventies and eighties; they don’t look through my lens.

Lately I’ve noticed that pointed, pink frosted nails are back in style with some younger women, and I think, “Oh no. I am not going back to seventh grade.” So style in houses and nail polish seems to be related to when you (or I) were raised, and what styles you had then. I want the house I had between two and nine years old, and I don’t want the nails I had in seventh grade. I guess seventh grade is not a time I want to go back to, but early childhood is. Hmmm…interesting information.

What styles from the past are you attached to? Which would you rather not revisit?

nails01from http://www.modnet.com.au 


Take that Trip!

In 2011, FH and I travelled to Italy.  FH had never travelled abroad, so it was a momentous occasion.  We bit the bullet and bought the expensive tickets, made the reservations (gotta love TripAdvisor) and it was the best money we’ve ever spent!

Our most memorable visit was to the Vatican, which was stunningly beautiful, and gave us, or at least me, a chance to connect with the Catholic spirituality of my extended family and ancestors.

We got up very early to beat the lines, which was a great blessing. You would think at the Vatican there would be more significant blessings to be had, but when we left at 3:00 p.m., and the lines were around and around the blocks outside the gate, we knew we had been guided to get on that bus at 7:30 a.m.

As a lapsed Catholic who loves the ritual of the Catholic Mass, but not the politics of the Catholic Church (although the new Pope is pretty cool), I am happy when the spirit of Catholicism that I knew as a child seems vivid for me again. I’m still a very spiritual person, but I have a hard time feeling connected to organized religion. Luckily, the thing about Catholicism is that once you are baptized, and for me, confirmed, you pretty much will always be a Catholic no matter how far you stray.

Even if I had not been raised Catholic, I know I would still have been enraptured by the beauty and majesty, art and architecture, of the Vatican.

For those of us in the so-called middle class (does it still exist?), it can sometimes be hard to prioritize how much fulfillment can be gained by travel, by seeing places that are huge and important and amazing. Places that catch our breath and make us consider history, and our place in it. We worry about our retirement accounts, mortgage, rent, the need for a new car pretty soon, college funds. BUT, when we are on our death beds, what are we going to remember? I would bet I’m going to remember lighting candles for my deceased, very Catholic, Grandparents at the Vatican.

Take a trip.  You won’t regret it. Save up if you need to.  It doesn’t even have to be far away. Visit someplace important and historic near home. Be an explorer where you live or travel far away. It doesn’t matter. Just find some way to think about something bigger than your day to day life. Do it soon. It’s worth putting in your budget!

Pied Beauty

Well, we have a new member of the family–a member without a name.  Don’t suggest one though because we have many.  Spartacus, Ziggy, Boxtree, Carlos, Giovanni, Pedro, Huck, Jack, Fart (some of the name suggestions are pretty out there).  He’s a shelter dog, probably Australian Cattle Dog, Rat Terrier and ????.  He’s 17 lbs and very sweet.  The shelter called him Moose, but it doesn’t seem to fit him (being that he’s small and pretty skinny) and he doesn’t answer to it.  He is magnificently silly and fun.


I’m thinking maybe Speck because of his wonderful dappled-ness!  Or maybe Huck for Huck Finn.  Crazy wild child:-)  Maybe Pied for Pied Beauty:

Pied Beauty


Glory be to God for dappled things –

   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.
 Source: Gerard Manley Hopkins: Poems and Prose (Penguin Classics, 1985) from poetryfoundation.com