Monday, January 26, 2009

We take turns reading to each other and snickering at the decorating missteps

I've got to tell you there's no better way to shop these days than at consignment stores...

I found this chaise for $150 (I happened to know who consigned this item, so I felt good about buying it; I don't usually buy second-hand upholstered items...worry about possible smoke or pet smells or maybe someone who owned it didn't like The Office and I love The Office...).

Also got the print on the left and the one on the right of the girl with white hat for about $12 each. I decided to put all these items in my home office, giving it a little rehab. I really likely how this arrangement on the wall is turning out.

I placed this "I love you" American Sign Language sculpture in there, too. I originally bought it for the living room, until my 6-year-old son admitted he didn't really like it after he said he really liked it. He was just afraid he would hurt its feelings if he told the truth...and who needs a creepy hand on a stick holding a grudge? It's better contained in my office.

That's what the office looked like before I shoved those magazines out of the frame. I plan to read all of those...but there is a protocol.

You read them once, let them rest, and then go back and read again, this time ripping out the pages you like. But sometimes new magazines come in while the old ones are resting and you have to read those fast, so you don't mess up the order of things, but then the new magazines need a third read because they were not given proper respect the first time around and then the pile grows and grows and grows...and the kitten is staring at me...why is the kitten staring at me???

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Be the first to vote...

...on a poll I'm taking over at my other blog, Dispatches from Suburbia...

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inaugurating a new blog; formal wear optional

Since some of my recent posts have veered off the topic of design and staging, I've decided to tart another blog, Dispatches from Suburbia, for those. It's meant to be a (hopefully) humorous look at life.

If that interests you, I'd love to see you there. If not, please keep checking back here for future decorating posts.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

2 women, 1 lady in a hot city

I'm back and refreshed for the new year.

Just returned from a mini-vacation with my sisters in Miami.

Because my sisters begged me to join them. The sun won't shine as brightly without you there, they said. The soothing waterfall in the spa, not so soothing. The fruit smoothies by the pool, not that smoothy, they intoned.

I feigned modesty, but knowing that was all true, I decided to leave frigid Rhode Island and join them in their vacation-already-in-progress that they had accidentally forgotten to invite me along on when they made plans months ago.

(But, you are so important, we didn't think your family could survive without you. Your work so critical, and what with the economy already struggling, we didn't want to interfere with the global recovery. Your bank account so skinny given your propensity for charitable giving... So true, so true, I said, and forgave them for the inability to see what I can pull off to save my sisters from the dullness of a vacation without me.)

My sisters are both quite attractive, if you judge beauty in the conventional sense, of course. One has curly locks and is tone and muscular, clear to all thanks to her insistence on wearing a bathing suit in the pool. Truth be told, it's only the hours in the gym that make her that way. But is that natural beauty? I'm not sure...

The other is tall and thin with a mane of thick hair. You hear whispering about "Super Model" when she's around. True, it is she who is whispering, but still others get the point. But is beauty like that without work truly beautiful? I'm not sure...

From time to time, probably because I am generous enough to talk to people whatever their mental capabilities, people mistake me for their mother. I know what you are thinking: While you are the oldest of the three, aren't there only two and a half years between you and the youngest?

Yes, that is true. But I don't think people are judging physical attributes here. Take for instance, the massage therapist at the spa where we stayed in Miami. After appointments with my two sisters (who, as I mentioned, started the vacation earlier than me by mistake), it was my turn.

Another Harrington? he asked. Are you the mother? My initial reaction: I asked him to pinch himself - hard, on his upper arm, on the fleshy part where it really hurts. I was on vacation after all, and wasn't about to do that myself.

But, after that, I realized several things: One, he was clearly looking into my eyes and not at my body that has, after all, given birth. He could see the maturity, I am sure. He could see the way I have counseled my sisters throughout the years, guided them so well that one now owns a successful business and the other manages accounts worth millions. He could see that without me, they would stumble their way through life, accidentally taking dull vacations together.

And then there's the language barrier. "Mother" in his culture probably means "most kind of the three" or perhaps "willing to talk to the mentally deficient." In the end, we had a laugh. Well, actually, he may have been whimpering from the pain in his arm, but he saw the folly of it all.

We're home now, relaxed and ready for whatever '09 brings. I'm still keeping tabs on my sisters, with a maternal instinct of sorts. I have their travel agent on speed dial, for instance, checking in every few hours, keeping a close eye on their plans.

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