Friday, September 24, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Here we are again for the 25th year in a row, staring each other down like mortal enemies. Maybe it's time we have that talk that's long overdue.
First of all, I don't like you - that's no secret. But this next admission just might surprise you; You see, I have come to realize that my dislike for you isn't totally fair. You're not the only day to blame. Nope, September 9th needs to 'man up' and share some of that burden as well.
After all, September 9th you were the one that started this. Don't look at me like that - you know what you did! It was YOU we were marvelling at with the golden autumn sunshine, warm temperature and your blue cloudless sky before you sucker punched us with the news that our baby's heart had stopped beating. It was YOU that continued to happen as the world spinned on it's axis, while ours came to a screeching halt. You went on and on with your beautiful self just like everything was perfect while we waited to give birth to a little boy that would never breath your air. It was YOU that passed by so slowly, holding onto him until you could force him out into the wee hours of an innocent, unsuspecting new day. How very clever, thinking you could shrink away and be forgotten as if him coming into this world on a different day would absolve you of any wrong.
But on the other hand September 10th, it hasn't helped your case that every year - and it doesn't matter how deep of a sleep I'm in - my eyes fly open at exactly 30 minutes past midnight - the exact time that sleeping angel entered our world.
Every year the week leading up to you I beg God for something wonderful to happen on September 10th This Year. Something that we can remember for all time - that magical 'Something' that will fill that awful, empty void you left us with.
'Please Jesus - let me win the lottery.... get that promotion.... that house.... or at the very least make me thinner on this day.'
This year I decided to 'get tough' by prepping myself and repeating the following over and over.
'You need to let this go, Kath. He was only a baby - it's not like you really knew him. It's not like Cheri Allison's Nathan, or Maretta Smith's Shawn - young men that were taken in their prime - Jayson was 'just' a baby.'
Yes, but he was my baby.
So you see, Sep - I can call you Sep, can't I? Unless you know somethin' I don't, we'll be meeting here again next year - and the next, and the next...
But here's a cold hard fact - you won't win at this game. I may die tomorrow, or I may die at 105. But when I get where I'm goin' there'll be only 'happy tears' and you won't even be a memory.
And looonnggg after you're gone - don't look so surprised - you know what the Good Book says - time (that's you) will pass away - and our relationship will come to an abrupt halt. But until that happens I suppose I'll just deal with you the best way I know how. I'll go ahead and feel what I feel and gather up a years worth of strength until our next meeting. After all, it is what it is...
Monday, September 6, 2010
Magical - that's the first word that came to mind when I brought my vintage, pink bicycle to a screeching halt in front of Kit Gulyas' Alexandria, Virginia home. Nestled between stereotypical WASP-y Federal style homes on a shady, tree-lined street, every evening I would ride my bike back and forth hoping to catch a glimpse of the person who called this precious cottage home.
I knew the owner had to be someone confident because they hadn't succumbed to the pressure of conforming to the cookie-cutter decor of the large and stately homes surrounding her. She was someone who paid attention to detail, but threw decorating rules out the window. Someone clever with an overactive imagination - and oh yeah. She was cool, too. I was sure of it.
When I arrived at Kit's door on a hot, sultry August afternoon she greeted me at the door with a frosty glass of fresh lemonade. Casually elegant in a pair of faded blue jeans and worn-out cowboy boots she gave me a quick tour of the house before we sat down for her interview. (Afterward she gave me free rein to roam through the house and shoot photos.)
"It's been heart and soul. Everything is flea market and thrift shop finds."
Among her prized possesions is her assortment of colorful, vintage camp blankets.
She had no clue that that 'heart and soul' attitude toward decorating and her obsession with antiques would soon carve out a new lifestyle. After almost 30 years of working in non-profit, like many Americans, Kit found herself jobless.
"You know I wasn't the least bit concerned," she muses. "I'd always been able to find a job easily and I thought with my experience I'll find another job in no time."
But with the current economical down-turn, Kit found that she couldn't even get a foot in the door for an interview.
"I found that every H.R. director in the city had at least 5,000 applications to weed through and most of them were willing to do my job for next to nothing. It was impossible to compete. "
Not one to sit around and wait for opportunity and with the energy no doubt inherited from her mother, Kit wasted no time. While her husband, George was out of town she listed both spare bedrooms for rent. When George returned home two days later he was introduced to two new 'members' of the family.
So now with some of her income made up and extra time on her hands, she devoted more time to decorating.
"It's a good thing I'm not blind," George said. "Everytime I come home something has been moved."
Kit admits to often waking up in the middle of the night with an idea and will jump up to completely redecorate the room while it's still fresh in her mind.
"Vintage Skout" was created to serve several purposes with the most important one being giving Kit something to do to burn off her excessive energy.
"The first year after I lost my job I read books, which was fine for a while, but I was so used to being productive that it was very difficult for me to just 'settle down.'"
So she decided to turn her love for decorating and shopping for antiques into a business.
Kit serves as a personal shopper for the homeowner who is too busy or simply doesn't have a clue as to where to begin. Soon, clients will be able to host 'Vintage Skout' parties in their homes where Kit loads her latest booty up and puts it on display in the hosts home (by invitation only).
Once a month passers-by can take advantage of the loot during a tag sale on Kit's front lawn, which is how I met Kit.
Next on the agenda for Vintage Skout is making her cottage available for wedding showers, baby showers, rehearsal dinners and small parties.
This room divider which stands in front of the fireplace is decorated in son Barret's childhood artwork)
(another look at her primitives on display)
It's all one room!
View from the sunroom into the great room.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
So the above necklace, I know, is probably overkill with the sequin collar, but guess what? I don't care. It was a gift from Ruthann from SugarPie Farmhouse and it's now my favorite piece of jewelry. Besides, it fits my personality. Baubles and sequins. Together. Over the top and too much. Just like me.
Oh, I've tried to change, trust me. I've finally learned to embrace it and keep myself in check at appropriate times. For example, I would never wear baubles and sequins to a funeral. My cowboy boots, yes...but never baubles and sequins. To my own, heck yeah! - I expect to be all dolled up....but that's another story.
The weather brought a slow, gentle rain. Everything was so peaceful, so quiet. Absolutely nothing had changed in the past 40 years. No buildings, no sprawl, no paved roads. Just solitude. And corn. Lots of corn.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Barnes and Noble on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City - a great turnout for a Tuesday night.
Me and the fantabulous crew at ABC Books in Springfield, Missouri. First of all I gotta tell you that store managers and their staff are always amazing. I have never (knock on wood) had a bad experience, but Valerie Earheardt and her employees are just soooo, genuinely nice. There is just something to be said for a locally-owned business. They're different. I compare it to being in someones home and they've invited all these people to come and browse through their books.
If you live in the Ozarks or you're passing through - it is a popular vacation destination, after all - why don't you pop in to ABC at 2109 North Glenstone, Springfield, Missouri and pick out a book to read poolside. (Ahem! May I suggest "False Victim" - I hear it's an intense, quick read and I know the author would be pleased if you bought it).
(signing a copy of False Victim for Mike and Carla Green)
The BEST part of this trip? Meeting facebook friends and bloggers I'd never met before. Mike Green (above) is an 'accidental' facebook friend that I decided to 'keep.' (me on the phone with Mom: "Did the Mike Green that I graduated with leave Patty for some woman named Carla that has a bunch o' kids that look just like him?")
I made a such a fuss that I think it embarrassed her (she's very gracious and down to earth) but I couldn't help it! And with every book I signed I added 'SugarPieFarmhouse.com' so everyone else could see why I am so star-struck.
Before you head up and move 'em out please check out my new author website:
Until Next time,