Trapper Keeper Thoughts


As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was sit quietly somewhere (on the lawn, with my toes in the lake, in bed on a Saturday morning) with a blank page in front of me and a pen full of ink.  I loved journaling.  I loved writing about what was happening and how I felt.  I never knew what I would do with all my tomes of thought, but as I got older and one of the shelves in my room became filled with volumes of my story.  I appreciated my effort and saw it as somewhat significant.

Last week, when I was visiting at my parents’ house, I revisited some of my story.  I poured over Volume 1, which is a pink hardcover lined diary with an illustration of a cat on the front cover.  I received it for my seventh birthday from Michael.  I read through the five high school volumes – so full of angst and drama and took a look at two volumes from my freshman year of college.

Here are some short excerpts I found amusing.  They’re like snapshots from my life.

“July 1, 1990
It is Michael’s birthday.  We gave him a turtle.  Michael really liked the turtle.  He loved the turtle so much that Michael rote [sic] a letter to me that said: Thank you for the T. food and the T. raft.  Isn’t that cute? He just turned six.”

But things only went downhill from there.

“January 5, 1994
Dear Diary, This has been the worst day of my life.  First, I remember as I step on the bus I haven’t got my gym clothes.  Then I can’t find my book or my binder.  And after school I had an orthodontist appointment.”

And then things got even worse than the worst day of my life, apparently.

“March 31, 1994
Dear Diary, Yesterday we buried Scrambler (our hermit crab).  I’m very sad.  On April 17, it’s my birthday…”

After that line, I proceeded to make a long list of what I want including Billy Joel’s River of Dreams.  Good luck in the afterlife, Scrambler.  I’m not one for mourning too long.  Hope you’re kickin’ it with your crabby homies in heaven!

I was big into current events and read the paper almost every day after school.

“April 25, 1995
…a federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed…100 people are still ‘missing’.”

My mom and I just talked about how much fun it was when the boys were away and we could do our own thing.

…Last night my dad and brother went to Camp Rotary [Boy Scout camp]!  My mother and I rented two movies – Little Women and Green Card and ate cookies!”

In the beginning of high school, thankfully, there were more important things in my life besides sex.

“August 24, 1997
…Today, Poppa gave me 28 Pepsi Points.  Yes.  Michael only has 20 points and he’s not going to get anything so he gave them to me too!  I have 88 point all together now [smiley face] I’m buying the Pepsi cap and Michael and I will share it.  I was going to get the phone card, but then I realized I had a LOT of points and I liked the cap.  It’s neat.  Brooke got one last year.”

And then all of a sudden, I was super interested in sex.

Thinking about Mike all day long.  Lost his shorts in the wash.  [heart] B”

I’m actually not even sure who (or I guess which) Mike that was.  On second thought, I suppose he was the one walking around campus without shorts.

So keep writing.  It’s easier to remember your story when you can go back and refer to it.


Rocking Chair Porches

Last Monday evening I went to visit an old pal of mine, who is house sitting a small farmhouse that’s currently on the market.  She’ll stay until it sells.

She graduated from college a few years back and is trying to figure out where she belongs and right now.  After my visit, I’d say she’s in the right place.

The farmhouse was built in 1875.  It’s been made modern inside, but remains stoic and strong with little bits of crooked and bowed wood floors and trim.  I tried to imagine the families that lived there over the little house’s history.  As the people inside grew, so did the house.  With a small addition here and there, a second story and a back deck.  There’s a falling-down barn in the yard and freight railroad tracks run close up the hill from the back door.  All a part of the house’s story.  Now a part of her story.

What tickled me beyond was the front porch.  With just a few close neighbors, the porch was perfection.  If the house were mine I would add some wooden rockers and a few patchwork throws and make sure a sweating pitcher of lemonade was a permanent fixture from June to September on the railing to welcome passers-by.

My pal and I chatted easily on the front room sofa while I drank hot chamomile.

When I left, I was struck by the darkness of the sky and the bright stars that fell around that small acreage and on the roof of that beautiful front porch.

I suppose just about anything can strike your fancy and become your muse.

Gifts for the Unregistered (or Under-registered) Couple

“Obviously, you cannot go wrong with pewter candlesticks.” — Momma

Traditionally, wedding registries are based on building up household goods for a couple as they merge lives.  China place settings with accoutrements, flatware and silver all used to be part of the game.

So often today, when couples get engaged, they’re not moving out of their childhood bedroom into a marriage.  Most have already had lives of their own – as single people living alone or with roommates or with each other.  Many traditionally-registered-for household goods (blenders, dishes and juice glasses) are already owned and “upgrading” (pushed heavily by department store wedding registries) is deemed unnecessary.

Some couples are opting out of registering all together and many are under-registered based on the amount of guests they plan on having to their wedding, or because the etiquette surrounding registering just can’t be pinned down (no matter what Macy’s says).

So for the modern Mister and Missus, or Mister and Mister or Missus and Missus, there is room to be creative, thoughtful and leave a lasting impression as guests on the honored couple’s  day.

These monogrammed Quinn Beaded Bath Accessories from Pottery Barn are charmers.  I am a particular fan of the medium and large canisters.  My future sister-in-law has one in her guest bathroom and it’s fitting and classic sitting on the counter top.  These canisters are perfect for bathroom accessories – soaps, cotton balls and swabs.  They’re also great for small decor, like polished stones or seashells.

This Hemstitched Linen Table Runner is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.  It is also available for monogramming, however, I would skip making it personal and let it speak for itself.  I think a runner is heads above a table cloth for many reasons, including the ease of ironing and statement it can make when placed across a simple wood table.  I love the natural linen color of this runner.  Something so neutral will compliment any bride and groom’s home.

When I first moved to Colorado I spent a few weeks living with my friends and sleeping in their step-son’s room.  The top and bottom bunks of the bed were blanketed in beautiful wool blankets from Pendleton.  I have been a huge fan since spending those cool mountain mornings under the warmth of those blankets.  The Stripe 5th Avenue Throw is perfect for the foot of a bed or the back of a sofa and neutral enough for any home.

The first Christmas I was in my very first apartment out of college, my aunt gave me a set of the Riedel “O” Cabernet and Chardonnay Glasses and I have used them probably once a week since then.  They’re casual enough for weekday dinner with your sweetheart and elegant enough for a holiday celebration with extended family and friends.  I particularly like this set of eight – four white and four red.


Last but certainly not least, pewter candlesticks.  Momma is correct.  These are elegant and timeless and are just a plain beautiful gift.  The Woodstock Pewter Candlestick, from Danforth in Middlebury, Vermont, will compliment holiday, anniversary and birthday dinners on a dining table for years to come.

Cheers to the lovely couple!