Category Archives: things i love

Made in England

nailhead trim chairs

dresser

dresser detailsWe had some major Craigslist scores lately! We picked up the Ikea Lillesand bed frame for $80 to put in our updated guest room. (Right now it has my old furniture from high school in there, and it’s not the right scale or style for the room.) We scored the nailhead trim chairs for $125 for the pair, and later found out they retail for $600+ for the pair. They’ll go at the future desk we’re going to build. Lastly, for my birthday, two of my sisters and my parents chipped in time/money to get me the John Widdicomb chest that is charmingly distressed for $225. Similar, unpainted chests go for $900. We are utterly in love, and hope to keep this piece in our family. Super excited to continue updating the house.

With All My Heart, Always

packing slip

phone case

chicken and dumplingsAndrés got me a monogramed V phone case for Valentine’s day (which I heavily hinted at, haha). But to be honest? The packing slip made me cry. Then I got embarrassed that I was being overly emotional over a packing slip so I tried to put a cardboard box on my head to hide it. It wasn’t my best moment.

Andrés makes me feel loved constantly. When he makes me eggs, when he drives me around, when he indulges my Craigslist whims, when he takes Ruby out late at night. But he doesn’t often say things like those two messages (the second accompanied two dozen roses delivered to my office). So to receive both, in the same week? I feel like the luckiest girl. We all have different love languages that we speak, and words of affirmation is one of mine. And boy, is he speaking directly to my heart.

Painted with Broad Splashes of Color

It’s no secret how much I love tattoos: my sisters tattoo, tattooed old people, tattooed brides, tattooed families.

I’ve wanted a sleeve for the last 6 years. When I got my first tattoos (two Celtic symbols on the inside of my hip bones that mean “eternity” and “love” respectively) in 2006, I knew I wanted more — a lot more.

I’m narrowing my vision for my left arm sleeve: a collage of big, realistic flowers in black ink, painted with broad splashes of color, Peter Aurisch style:

My oldest sister, A, is going to help draw it. I remember in elementary school seeing the pieces she brought home from her high school art class. Her talent has always blown me away, and I’m so excited she agreed to work with me on this.

might insert meaning into the piece (using flowers of my family’s birth months, colors that remind me of my sisters and mom, or my family’s favorite flowers) but I’m also leaning towards art for art’s sake. I don’t think a tattoo has to have tons of ~meaning~ for it to be permanently inked on to my body. I just have to love it.

A Letter of Advice

In June of 1971, before his 26-year-old son, Michael, got married, Ronald Reagan sent him the following letter of advice:

Michael Reagan
Manhattan Beach, California
June 1971

Dear Mike:

Enclosed is the item I mentioned (with which goes a torn up IOU). I could stop here but I won’t.

You’ve heard all the jokes that have been rousted around by all the “unhappy marrieds” and cynics. Now, in case no one has suggested it, there is another viewpoint. You have entered into the most meaningful relationship there is in all human life. It can be whatever you decide to make it.

Some men feel their masculinity can only be proven if they play out in their own life all the locker-room stories, smugly confident that what a wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. The truth is, somehow, way down inside, without her ever finding lipstick on the collar or catching a man in the flimsy excuse of where he was till three A.M., a wife does know, and with that knowing, some of the magic of this relationship disappears. There are more men griping about marriage who kicked the whole thing away themselves than there can ever be wives deserving of blame. There is an old law of physics that you can only get out of a thing as much as you put in it. The man who puts into the marriage only half of what he owns will get that out. Sure, there will be moments when you will see someone or think back to an earlier time and you will be challenged to see if you can still make the grade, but let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life. Any man can find a twerp here and there who will go along with cheating, and it doesn’t take all that much manhood. It does take quite a man to remain attractive and to be loved by a woman who has heard him snore, seen him unshaven, tended him while he was sick and washed his dirty underwear. Do that and keep her still feeling a warm glow and you will know some very beautiful music. If you truly love a girl, you shouldn’t ever want her to feel, when she sees you greet a secretary or a girl you both know, that humiliation of wondering if she was someone who caused you to be late coming home, nor should you want any other woman to be able to meet your wife and know she was smiling behind her eyes as she looked at her, the woman you love, remembering this was the woman you rejected even momentarily for her favors.

Mike, you know better than many what an unhappy home is and what it can do to others. Now you have a chance to make it come out the way it should. There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.

Love,

Dad

P.S. You’ll never get in trouble if you say “I love you” at least once a day.

From Letters of Note

Real

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“The Velveteen Rabbit ” by Margery Williams

Trains

I love when I get take the train (the real train, not the Metro) to work. Usually Andrés & I ride together, but when he doesn’t go in, or he has to leave early, I take the train by myself.

Around the city, the CSX cargo trains are on nearby tracks. I love seeing them because their Tropicana juice cars are always tagged & because of the enormous rumble they pulse through the ground. I would totally love to go work for CSX.

From the upper row of the train, I can see views like this:

& this:

As I walked from the train station to work, this is what the sunrise looked like this morning:

It was a good morning. The city didn’t smell like poop.