Saturday night light.

Living up here in the sky has its advantages.  We don’t have a lawn or room to store our skis in the off-season, but we do have this amazing light that pours through our north and west facing windows and doors.

For about fifteen minutes, we get an incredible brilliance on these fall afternoons.  There’s a warm glow that reaches from the outside to the inside walls of the apartment.  It’s a gorgeous calm.

And then, just as soon as it seems to come, the warm, thoughtful light disappears back behind those beautiful craggy mountains.

Grey Gardens on a grey morning.

Ollie and I are hanging out this morning watching the documentary, Grey Gardens.  I borrowed it from the library last week and holy cow, if I knew it was going to be this disturbing, I would have skipped it.

The movie is a snapshot of the life of Edith Bouvier Beale and her mother, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, who live at Grey Gardens, a cat-filled, dilapidated, formerly glorious East Hampton estate on Long Island.  The two are the cousin and aunt of Jackie Onassis Kennedy–which made the documentary more of a sensation when it was made in the early 1970s.  The Beale women are a disaster together.  They insult each other and carry on, talking over the other — eating liver pate out of cans with plastic knives.  It’s the story of years of unimaginable wealth, followed by years of near poverty and isolation after these women were more or less abandoned by all the men in their lives – fathers and husbands and brothers.

Okay, Ollie.  Let’s go on a run.  We’ve had enough, haven’t we?

The man who loves me.

He’s currently in line at a Jewish deli waiting on Kosher horseradish after spending an hour at our local supermarket looking for something to satisfy my requirements.

My guidelines at one p.m.

1. One jar of horseradish
2. One lemon

When he called me back to clarify the first time, he was in the condiment aisle at King Soopers.  The horseradish I want is refrigerated (I think).  So he went to the deli.

“All I see is creamed or hot,” he said when he called me the second time from the cold shelves. “Is it white or red?”

“Can you ask someone?” I said.  ”The kind my dad uses is Kosher and part of the name is written in Hebrew.”  (Um, I’m pretty sure).

“Okay, honey.”

And now he stands at Bagel Deli.

If this isn’t love, I’m not sure what love is.

Meals over borrowed pages.

I have read a lot of borrowed books in my life.  But in fact, the library book I’m reading now is totally unique.  It’s not because it’s an especially well-written story or thrilling in subject.

This book is unique because it’s absolutely filthy with a previous reader’s schmutz.

I’m going to assume the gunk smeared over the chapters is food.

Dear heavens, I hope I’m correct.

I noticed it within the first few pages.  There a crusty something – maybe breakfast cereal, mussing chapter one.  This goes on through the first twenty pages.  Then onto lunch with something oily.  By the time I read through the middle of the novel, I saw what looked like cocoa powder, dried juice and then something orange (maybe powdered cheese from Cheetos?) staining the print.

I thought I may have caught a break and that the eating reader lost interest about two hundred pages into the book.  The smudges stopped.

Then, just as characters Marion and Kirby are about to meet in Chicago, there was dessert.

I am so grossed out.

Nightstand Nightmare.

Inspiration struck again today when I thought, where did I put my passport?

I found it in my dresser drawer, which makes sense, because for heaven’s sake, it would have been eaten by the mess in my nightstand.

The nightstand I have is one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  I bought it a few years ago at an antiques mall that has since been mowed down for an actual mall.  I had just moved into my apartment on Pennsylvania Street and signed a short-term lease in the hopes that my then boyfriend would ask me to marry him and then we could start our lives together — in his big suburban house.  So I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to spend a lot of money on furniture for my temporary digs.  My gal-friend Gloria and I went to the antiques mall to pick.

We found the perfect nightstand at the perfect price ($30).  It is green and “antiqued” and distressed.

Of course, things didn’t work out exactly as I planned with the boyfriend, but the nightstand remained faithful and LOVES C.

So here it sits.  All looks well from the outside.  This is the beauty of drawers.

Drawers hide stuff.

Stuff like…THIS!!!

Basically, all four drawers were filled to the brim like the top one.  It was disturbing.

Look!  I found my Gap credit card…and 50 handwritten letters from middle and high school…and a cedar block.

For 30 minutes, interrupted only for a grilled cheese sandwich and a small glass of wine, I recycled, threw away and made a small pile of things for Goodwill.  There were four wallets in the nightstand.  Four.  Empty.  Wallets.

And now it looks like this, so I can go to bed.

(Yes, this is the top drawer.  I tried to put all of my important stuff in this drawer, like my retainer, a fishnet Madonna sleeve, fake hipster glasses, a bedazzled pedometer and my New York pepper spray.)

Tuesday at Noon: [Don't] Call Me.

It all started a few months back.

On my work voicemail one week, between calls from customers and managers, there were a smattering of messages from a school in Golden, Colorado, right up the road from where I work.

“Hello.  This is Patty Grubner from Helton Elementary School* with an update for you parents…”

The messages continued through the weeks with all sorts of school information. From bake sales, to lice outbreaks in a second grade classroom to my favorite, a bear cub spotted on the playground on a Sunday afternoon–”We are investigating this serious report with vigor and recess will be suspended until we figure out what’s going on…”–each message was very detailed and Patty would give a warning if it was going to be a long bout of information or just a quick update.  It was all mildly entertaining and I looked forward to hearing about the goings on at the school.

However, after this morning’s message complete with a thank-you to voters on passed measures affecting education in Colorado, I suddenly realized that if I’m getting these calls, perhaps an actual parent to a child attending the school is not.

I called Helton Elementary and spoke to Francis.

She said that unfortunately, the voicemail goes out to a list managed by the school’s IT services.  She took my number to see what she could do to get me off the list.  In the meantime, she assured me I should “hang tight” and enjoy the entertainment.

I hope I’m not off the list before the holidays.  Imagine all the exciting things that could happen at an elementary school as Christmas and Hanukkah approach!

And I’m still waiting on an update with the bear cub situation.

*All names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Lice?  Gross.

Cupboard re-org.

C gave me a compliment on my motivation this weekend.  I am full-steam ahead on getting the apartment in order.

Christopher’s challenge from yesterday started tonight with me walking into the kitchen and facing those pantry cupboards.  They’re a nightmare, and I knew that before I showed him.

Behind these three doors are a jumble of ingredients in cans and boxes and jars.  They may or may not be past their “best by” date or even have one.  They may have traveled from apartment to apartment with me for the past few years.  They may just be lost waaaay in the back, hoping to be opened and eaten soon.


Last week, something fell out at me when I went in for a box of cereal.  It is my hope that when we leave this apartment for a house, it will have a true pantry.

A few months back I was blindly walking around Target and meandered into the spice aisle.  I must have really had a hankering for sesame seeds that day, because I bought two  jars – one organic and one not.  I discovered it when I got home.

Tonight was for getting it all in order (even the two jars of sesame seeds).  I took everything out and laid it on the counters.  I discovered a lot about us and our buying habits.  Taking an inventory of our food is probably wise.  There was a lot of rice in the cupboard.  We rarely eat rice.  Apparently, each time we need rice, we buy a new box.

There were also four opened boxes of pasta, three boxes of baking sodas (and you already know how many cans of baking powder Christopher pointed out) and five cans of tomato soup scattered about.  There were four boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix.  One is “best by” next week.  We will be having corn muffins early tomorrow morning for breakfast.

And a few hours and one cup of tea later, this is what it looks like.  Ta-da!

Let the challenge of eating down this newly organized pantry begin.

Who wants rice?

Winter Visits Mile High.

We’ve had a very white wintry weekend and this morning it’s cold and partly cloudy.  Just perfect for sleeping in, wandering around the apartment in jammies while half-watching the Broncos on TV and dreaming of ski season.

Our organizing (or as C would call it, my crazed purging) continued this past week into yesterday.  We sold my desk and are now left with a blank wall in the guest room/office for a more functional desk/table.  We’re measuring and talking a lot about what would be best for that space.  We ordered two dining chairs from World Market that will serve as extra chairs at our table and when not in use will be perfect for a desk/table chair and extra chair in the office.  We were inspired to pick these particular chairs by S&P, our sister and brother-in-law, who purchased them last spring.  Currently, when we have more than a two people staying or eating with us, we borrow folding chairs from C’s mom.  Entertaining is about to get classier at our house!

Christopher came over for a visit yesterday morning while C was at the gym and we chatted for a bit before ultimately deciding to go out to breakfast.  He has an organization project lined up for us after the office is finished: the kitchen.  We’re going to tackle the “pantry” cupboards in our kitchen.  Christopher is convinced we can consolidate three food-hosting cupboards into one or one and a half.  I wasn’t totally sold until he opened the doors to reveal three separate containers of baking powder (one was opened, one is double-acting and the other is…old?)  Christopher’s advice was to take everything out of the cupboards and figure out exactly what we have.  He couldn’t help but comment on the amount of quinoa wrapped in a plastic bag next to our canned goods.  It really is a phenomenon.  The superfood comes out of the bulk dispensers at Whole Food with incredible gusto.  I think we paid something like $17 for five pounds of the stuff, which could feed a family of five for six months.  We need to get eating, which is where Christopher’s next challenge comes in.

We should eat out of the pantry exclusively until most everything is pared down and we can start from scratch (excluding spices, obvi).  We especially like this idea because it would be great to clean out the pantry and freezer before leaving town for a month over the holidays.

While I was inspired by homemaking, I was feeling snuggly over the winter weather and snow and found all the white and off white blankets and I could and dressed up our bed.

I try to do whatever I can to add femininity to the master bedroom.  Since the merge, our bedroom is mostly decorated with C’s furniture.  His bed frame and headboard is VERY masculine.  I like it, but it screams BACHELOR.  Lots of tufted leather screams that, don’t you think?

Duvet cover, IKEA.
Cotton coverlet, thrifted. Similar from The Company Store.
Chenille throw, thrifted. Similar from Target.




Hers + Hers.

We had dinner last week with some friends at a neighborhood restaurant a few blocks from our home.  We love this place for a lot of reasons.  The food is consistently good and the portions are hefty for the price.  The atmosphere is cozy. And one of our neighbors is a waiter there — that’s really the best reason for going.

Jamie makes sure we’re taken care of when we visit.  We get a free sampling of whatever appetizer is on special and sometimes glasses of wine are complimentary. And he’s overall very entertaining.

Our to-go boxes for leftovers are always appropriately labeled.  One for me and one for…me.

Jamie totally know’s what’s what.