Wednesday, April 29, 2009

House Beautiful

It's only been a few months since I gave the dining room a little facelift, and my mind is already swirling with new projects to tackle during the spring thunderstorms, and grey days indoors.

I love design, and read as much as I can about new ideas, ways to organize, colors, fabric and so on. I even recently found a piece about decorating with green (my very favorite color) and the ways it is said to heal you.

Here are a few favorite finds from frequently visited sites, The Inspired Room and Design Sponge....all of which I'd love to somehow incorporate into our teeny weeny 1930s abode. Nate Berkus, are you reading this?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Southern Hospitality

After almost a full month of not travelling, I hit the road last weekend for a few days to attend the reunion of a large group of alumni from our (closed) chapter at Louisiana-Lafayette, home of the Ragin Cajuns! I had all of these impressions of what it would be like, and within 30 minutes of being on campus, saw an alligator. This picture is, literally, 10 yards from the front step of the student union. They have their own swamp eco-system in the heart of campus. It was my first trip to the Bayou state, which leaves me with only the following states to see to complete the full 50:

Alaska; Arkansas; Delaware; Hawaii; Idaho; Montana; Nebraska; New Hampshire; North Dakota; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Vermont; Washington

I am starting to really love the south. If you can get past the fact that they mostly hate you for being a 'Yankee' every aspect of life down there was fantastic. I can't say the word "y'all" enough and talking with a southern accent is the most comfortable way to talk. I don't know how to describe it, but it just feels easier. Like your tongue got a shot of novacaine and your lips only open half way. No seriously, try it. Say a sentence in your normal voice and then talk with a southern drawl. The muscles in your mouth actually work less.
Got to see every possible combination of denim you could imagine while I was there -
  • Two-tone denim outfits: When the top shirt is a few shades lighter than the jeans.
  • Cut-off denim: For when it gets hot
  • American Pride denim: Flag, eagle, flag and eagle. They all work on the back of your denim shirt
  • Upper arm hair matching denim: Just what it sounds like. Dude had a lot of fur going on, but he wore a dark denim shirt that matched the color of his hair. It was like camoflauge for over-pubescent men.
  • 2004 denim: It fit then; it doesn't fit now

And I also got to sample the local flavor...


The folks down there were actually shocked (and perhaps offended) by the fact that I had never really sampled 'Mud Bugs' before. The ironic thing is that the serving shown above is not nearly enough to constitute a full meal. I had to go back for another serving, err, I mean shovel full (her words, not mine). I literally imagined a man dying of starvation as the person who discovered this 'delicacy.' If you get a thimble worth of meat out of one, it's a keeper! I love seafood, so it all tasted fine to me, but it made crab look like an endless supply of goodness compared to these little suckers.

The community feel and genuine happiness of the people down there will stick with me for a while. There is something so comforting in going to an area where community togetherness is a big deal. I always feel alienated on the East Coast compared to the Midwest, but then you get to the south, and Midwestern hospitality has been given a triple shot of Red Bull. Nothing wrong with that. Good food, good drink, good people. It makes the job completely worth it.

However, it felt good to get home yesterday. With spring arriving, you just don't want to miss any day of the best season to be in Indianapolis. Golf league starts this weekend, and the weather should be approaching perfect in time for May. And, of course, while I heard there were a lot of stories involving Grace, why do I always imagine her waiting for me at home like this...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Clean the oven, rejoice and repeat

Today, I am pretending to be a housewife.
I'm channeling my inner Jill Zarin, and it's fabulous (okay, think Jill on a much smaller, more Midwestern scale). The past six months have been chocked full of cancelled doctor appointments, rescheduled oil changes, declined party invites, postponed paper work and completely neglected dog walks. I have a stack of magazines unsorted since December, overflowing half-eaten mail (thank you, Grace) in my little red leather slot, old pudding in the fridge, half a dozen mud-covered tennis balls in my beige back seat, laundry for days, hair balls for months and no time whatsoever. 

Truly, my calendar is FULL of pink ink, and still all I do is work, work, work. Now let me be clear-- I am not complaining. I am beyond grateful to have a job (and a good one at that), but I am beat, exhausted, dizzy some days with the amount on my plate. 

So today I took a day. (pause for deep breath)
I took a day to catch up on all (okay, some) of the stuff I've let fall by the wayside including ...myself. That's right, people, Wynonna Judd and I are puttin' ourselves back on the list! No I don't mean shedding "bills," I mean taking a little time just for do, well, whatever. 

Today I took appointments, ran errands, made it home in time to cook a delicious lunch for my husband-- a lunch for which I (gasp) set the table! I washed the sheets, scrubbed the floors, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, headed out for another appointment, stopped for coffee (could have been a Bentley I was so happy), made it home in time to exercise with the pup, and enjoy much needed family time. 

Could this be real? I am stressless, the house is spotless, and even the dog is smiling. What a truly fantastic day! The Daylight Savings time has even helped trick me into thinking there is actually more day left; that I beat the clock, and that with a little sunshine past 5 comes found time... every modern woman's holy grail.

New fantasy found: The Housewife.

Now if anyone knows anyone (or is someone) who'd like to pay me for running my own errands, exercising my dog and doing my own laundry, let's talk. I am available 7 days a week for the rest of my life. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Who needs March?

Well, apparently, the Haskett family took the entire month of March off. Sorry about that. We promised ourselves when we got into this blogging thing that we would keep it up consistently and then you just seem to forget about it. Being out of the country is a good excuse, right? We were in paradise for much of it...

Ah, Cabo! Our home away from home (I wish). It was another brutal spring break of "work" for me while Mandy worked on her tan and pool lounging skills. But this time around seemed to be even more authentic for the Haskett family. Besides our usual hot-spots in Cabo (I love Bulldogs, not the dog but the drink, to your right... tequilla, lemonade and an upside-down Corona; heaven), we really did a better job this time of getting out and seeing the town.
We ate the authentic food, we mingled among the people and we drove the authentic cars. Seriously, who knew flying down a Mexican highway in a third-world Nissan (anybody heard of the brand Tsuru? I hadn't!) with no rear-view mirror and a very violent shake if you get the thing going faster than 80 kmph could be so much fun! After all of that was over, we needed authentic drinks. Don't ask about that night! All in all, it was another tremendous vacation for us and something we hope to be a part of for a very long time to come!

We've been back for a few weeks and have dodged a few illnesses, 12-hour work days and await the return of 80-degree days in our lives.

I imagine Mandy will be on here soon posting pictures of our blooming flowers and everything else that makes springtime around the house so uplifting. But until then, Adios March!