The Blue Gardenia

The fabric organization continues . . . June 8, 2014 17:36

My love for red and pinks is obvious.
      My love for red and pinks is obvious.


It's not the most beautiful book. I won't win a scrapbook contest. But it's functional.
      It's not the most beautiful book. I won't win a scrapbook contest. But it's functional.

I continue to organize my fabric. His Bertness and I moved box after box in the storage unit until we found – I think! – all of it. I'm not only listing swatches and yardage in an old sketch pad I found in my office, I am zigzagging the edges and washing each piece that will not be dry-cleaned before I put it away. Yes, dear readers, it is a bit of a hassle and somewhat time-consuming (all right, extremely time-consuming) but it's also very inspiring. I want to make garments out of these lovely pieces. I must formulate a plan . . .

Too late for spring cleaning? No way. And this is what to wear. July 16, 2012 09:44 2 Comments

Simplicity_apron_1950sYou're a little late for spring cleaning. You are. Is that a big deal? To your momma, maybe. To Mrs. Kravitz? Certainly. To you? No. You've been busy. Sewing. Working. Having fun. Twiddling your thumbs. But, now, you cannot put it off any longer.

However, you need an apron. Something to protect you from the scum and dust build-up. You'll make an apron. Something pretty. Something protective. Something practical. How about Simplicity 3383? It's cute. Adorable in fact. And. It has a tulip. Your favorite flower. Then, you'll be armed and ready. To clean. And you'll feel fresh and pretty doing it. You will.

The details: Simplicity 3383 Aprons Bust 42 Complete w/transfer Copyright 1950 $33

And, yep, this oh-so-feminine vintage pattern can be yours. Yes indeedy. Just drop by The Blue Gardenia, where the patterns are counted, the jewelry is sparkling, and domestic shipping is free. (And, yes, we ship abroad with pleasure for a shipping fee — less than what the post office charges us, in fact.) So drop by. Do. You'll be delighted you did. I know it.

I love Christmas. Especially the cookies. December 19, 2010 13:50 2 Comments

It's that time of year. The time to dirty the kitchen to the maximum. To get flour here. There. Everywhere. To make Christmas cookies.

This year, I decided to try something new. To be bold. To try decorating. Complete with festive sparkles, glaze, glittering sugar. Fortunately, His Bertness was game. He baked. We both let our inner artists out to play and trim the buttery trees and ornaments. It was rather fun. It was. 

Inspired by Casey, who so elegantly muses, we used The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies recipe. And I agree. It is the best. Absolutely. And I think the cookies turned out rather pretty, as well. I do.

Ahh, well. Now that I have bragged about these cookies, time to get back to the baking of the biscotti. Yum bunnies. I love Christmas. Even in a blue year.

Why, yes, I did sew this weekend. But rituals first. March 8, 2010 16:31


Note the vintage linens. Estate sale find many years ago. Note the salad, the pork chops — yes, fried, just the way we Southern dames like 'em —  and note the cake. Yes, the cake! Today, we celebrated the birthday of His Bertness.


He blew out all the candles. Good boy!


And we did eat the daisies. At least a few of them. But you, observant readers, will notice His Bertness extinguished all the candles. Each and every flame put out. Absolutely. I think that means he gets his birthday wish granted. I am thinking he wished for gainful and rewarding and well-compensated employment. I am hoping that wish is fulfilled very soon. Yes indeedy.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for an expose on my adventure this weekend with the Sewing Dominatrix. You don't want to miss it. You don't. I would not lie to you. Really.

Oh, sloth. Be gone. Now. I command you. November 29, 2009 07:33 1 Comment

Mccall_4205_40s_shirt It's a holiday weekend, and that means I've been cocooning. Snuggling up in a chair, feet on an ottoman, eating pecan pie and watching bad TV or reading silly Southern novels. And my attire? Well, I'm not making Bette Davis proud. I'm wearing yoga pants, a tee-shirt and holey white socks. Now. I haven't done yoga since I impinged my rotator cuff in August. But that doesn't mean I've sidelined the comfy clothing.

Mccall _4803_40s_pants Watching Casablanca yesterday, the thought struck: Shouldn't I be wearing a hat? That perhaps is going too far. Way. But perhaps I could kick my at-home wardrobe up a notch. Or even two. Say McCall 4520 and McCall 4803. Both from my favorite fashion era, the 1940s. The blouse in flowy rayon. The slacks in gabardine. Maybe some low platform wedges to kick off by the sofa. I could even comb my hair. Polish my nails. Bathe. Oh, the grooming improvements are endless!

Mmmmm . . . . But the big question, the really big one, is this: Can I give up cotton knit? It's a tough habit to kick. It's so stretchy. So soothing. So wash-and-wear. Am I strong enough? Am I? I must summon all my strength. I must.

Ahhhhh, domesticity. There's cooking. And then there's sewing. November 21, 2009 10:04 1 Comment


I have exciting news to share.  His Bertness is learning to cook! Now. Those of you who know him well know that he has been more than resistant to learning to cook. In fact, in the 18 years of our marriage — before now — he has mastered one dish: homemade chicken broth. 

But this week, he made a taco casserole all by himself. All  by himself! It was quite tasty. Yesterday, he shaped and baked these Oatmeal Chocolate Crisps. Don't they look scrumptious? They are, I can attest. Today, perhaps, he'll learn to make dinner rolls. I can smell them now. Yumbunnies.

Before you know it, dear readers, I'll be sewing. Because if His Bertness can learn to cook . . .

Lantana + roses + blue grama grass seed + toil = beauty. September 12, 2009 17:22

I can hear the sound of violins . . . Oh. Enough.  I won't bore you with Sway lyrics, dear readers. I've done that before, I'm sure. But. You know I love that song. I do. So much.

Today, let me share with you pictures of our new yard. This is not the reveal, as they say on the home decor shows. Not yet. There is still work to be done. Planting. Edging. Weeding. But there has been progress. Much.


First, tilling.


Then planting.


Then deep Bertness thoughts. I'm sure. Thoughts that have nothing to do with exhaustion or sweat or desire for ice cold tea.

And since I know you really want to know: Rosemary Clooney and Perez Prado do one sizzling version of Sway. Absolutely.

The job search continues September 9, 2009 16:30

Job_search_continues Actually, His Bertness deserved an afternoon off. He's been working hard, writing cover letters and sending out resumes. And Henry Jones always works hard, protecting us. Absolutely. 

Don't believe your eyes: It's the little town of horrors. Really. August 6, 2009 15:44 8 Comments


Excuse me, dear, dear readers, but today I warn you: I am going to rant. I will waste no time. I will add one other caveat: This has nothing to do with sewing. This has nothing to do with patterns. So, you may take today off from reading The Blue Gardenia learns to sow her blossoms. I understand. I will not be upset. Just allow me to vent. As always, I welcome your comments. Heck, I not only welcome them, I appreciate them. Share your knowledge. Share your humor. Make me feel better. Is that so hard?

So. Where to begin? Mmmm. I'll start with today. I'll construct this building from the roof down. Not so smart, surely, but I'm emotional at the moment.

Now, as those of you who follow this blog know, His Bertness was laid off in April. Pink-slipped with two weeks severance. He's still looking for work, and it is most likely no news to you, my informed darlings, that this is a tough job market. He competed with 87 applicants for a job at a junior college in the Midwest. I kid you not. He's highly intelligent, vastly talented, and a pretty boy to boot (and let's face it, looks matter, even if they shouldn't.) He'll get a great job, far better than his last, sooner or later. I know it.

Am I digressing? Am I giving you too much detail? Bear with me. Be patient. I need to vent. I do. So. On my way to meet a girlfriend for lunch (thank you, dearest Carol, for treating) I stopped by the pharmacy to get a prescription filled. My pharmacy tech said there was a problem with my insurance. Did I have a new card? Well, yes, I did, but it was at home on a bookshelf. I called and hubby gave her the info verbally. The prescription still did not go through. She asked me to bring the card in later today.

When I got to the privacy of my car, I called His Bertness to alert him to the problem. (I think talking on cell phones in public places exhibits bad manners of the most egregious kind. So, I'm judgmental. So be it. At least I can spell the word. Yes, I am in a bad mood. Very.) When I got home, he gave me the bad news: Our COBRA insurance had been canceled. Canceled. He said they told him only one payment had been received. Totally untrue, and I quickly got him all the info from our bank about when checks had cleared. He called his former company and passed this on. It did no good. (Unethical, uncaring, unconcerned asses. That's my opinion, and I would be ever so happy to have them step up to the plate and prove they care about their former employees by making the company they hired to administer their COBRA plan do the right thing.) He called the company who administers the COBRA program for his company. Naturally, they have outsourced most of the customer service jobs to another country. So, after talking to two people abroad, who knew nothing and had no power, he was transferred to four folks in the USA. They said our COBRA payments would be returned, with the exception of the first month (they, by the way, refused all claims submitted for that month). I want them to return the stimulus money that funded 65 percent of our COBRA payments. Bet they don't. Of course, what I really want is our insurance reinstated. This minute.

OK. Here's where this whole story gets even stickier: I blame Prescott. I do. It's true that His Bertness's former company is actually located in Prescott Valley (oh, thank you, Van Morrison and James Hunter, how long can I be pissed when I am listening to y'all? Shut up, guys, this is righteous anger) but his company has laid off so many people. And it used to be in Prescott. And because this is Prescott, a retirement community, well-paying jobs are scarcer than hen's teeth.

And, of course, I need to say that Bert's layoff only follows a gazillion other bad things that have happened since we moved here eleven years ago: HB's hepatitis C diagnosis, a terrifying house fire (thank God for a watchful neighbor and a terrific fire department), and bad lawyers. Oh, and did I mention that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? So there you go. Too many bad things have happened here. I think the universe is trying to tell  us something, like, move on, dummies! His Bertness gets annoyed when I blame Prescott. Yes, I take the responsibility for moving here, starry-eyed and aglow with love for Thumb Butte and the pine trees. But. C'mon. At a certain point, you have to admit your mistakes and move on. Don't you?

Lost_in_America_Brooks But. Let me end on a positive note. Let me share my experience, strength and hope with you:

Don't move to a small town, no matter how picture-postcard beautiful it is, no matter how quaintly old-fashioned the downtown square is, until you check out the job market. Don't just assume that because you have always worked, because you've never had a hard time finding a job, that that will hold true in a small town. Because. Potential employers ask these annoying questions, such as, what was your salary on your last job? Forget that you don't expect to get anywhere near that — after all, you're getting paid in sunshine dollars — just the fact that you were paid decent wages in your life Before Prescott (or insert your small dream town here) will intimidate the future employer. And don't think for a moment you'll get a job flipping burgers. You won't. You'll be overqualified. Truly. Remember that hilarious scene in Lost in America? I know. There are so very, very many. A bounty. But the one where Albert Brooks is working as a crossing guard? Total Hollywood fantasy. Will not happen. A local already has that job, and he isn't giving it up!

Oh. Well. As a great poet once said, life sucks, then ya die.

And, until then, I'll be grateful for my wonderful Blue Gardenia clients, James Hunter, Van Morrison, Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty. I think I'll rent that movie tomorrow. Absolutely.

And I must credit the Photos from Prescott blog for the gorgeous picture of Goldwater Lake. Thank you. And thank you, sweet and patient readers, for sticking through to the end. I appreciate you. I do.

The march of the dust bunnies: The adventure begins. Earnestly. July 3, 2009 02:28 2 Comments

So. I admit it: I'd rather be sleeping. I prefer to leave it for others to enjoy the dawn. I do. The sunrise may be exquisite. It may be. But. Frankly, I find sleep more so. Sunsets are gorgeous and at a more attractive time. In my humble opinion.

But. Here I am. Awake. At the keyboard. So I will share this with you, my lovelies — because you want to know, don't you? You simply cannot get through the day without this pertinent and endlessly fascinating knowledge, can you? — what I have been doing. I have been decluttering. Yes. I have.  Not because of Oprah. Not because of Peter Walsh. No.

But because of this: If His Bertness gets a job in a place far, far, far away from sunny AZ, then I want the house to be looking its Sunday Best. Absolutely. It needs its blush, its lipstick, its pretty dotted swiss frock and straw hat if we put it on the market. I want it to have lots of suitors, beaucoup beaus and/or beausettes who will offer lots of money, lots, for our lovely abode. Because it is lovely. And it has breathtaking views.

So. I have been sorting through books. Can this one go to the Friends of the Library book sale? Or must I keep it? Will His Bertness part with it as well? If I pry it out of his hands, will he pry it out of mine. We will be strong. Together. 

Alas, all dust bunnies must go. They are now foes. Absolutely. And we have so many. They are so loyal. They cling to our books. They are very literate, these crazy rabbits. But out they must go. Out, out, out, like Lady Macbeth's spot. Be strong, Denise.  Be strong. Show those fuzzy rascals the Swiffer, the dustpan, the door!

You caught me: I had my nose pressed against the window. Again. January 25, 2009 16:57

Kate_winslet_screen_actors It's Sunday night. An awards show was on. Can you guess where I was? Can you guess what I was doing? You can. I know it. There are no flies on you. You can put 2 and 2 together and come up with the proper sum.

So. You've been waiting for this, haven't you? Holding your breath, right? Tell me you were. Tell me you watched, too. Promise you'll share your opinions. Please. Even if you — sigh — disagree. Even if you think I'm full of it.

But. Enough meandering. Give me a drum roll, please. Something worthy of Gene Krupa. There you go. I like that.

Now. My favorites at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, in no particular order:

Kate Winslet's cobalt Narciso Rodriguez gown is aces with me. He's redeemed himself for that dreadful explosion that Michelle Obama wore on election night with this curve worshipper. Love it. Truly.

And Laura Linney can toss this coral Michael Kors my way when she's done with it. Love it. Absolutely. From the luscious color to the one-shouldered bodice. This is the dress from which dream evenings are made. Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Eva_longoria_sag Laura_linney_sag_awards Ditto for Eva Longoria's peachy froth of a gown. Adore the color. Adore its Ginger Rogers-ness. All Eva needs is Fred Astaire. This cupcake of a dress was designed by Jenny Packham. I know there are those who will quibble at this choice, who will find fault with the peplum, who will insist this dress is so darn sweet it could frost a cake. But. I have a weakness for frosting. Just don't skimp on the butter.

And. Speaking of food. I did take time off from glamour gazing to be a domestic goddess. (Yes, I know Martha would be appalled by the clutter on my countertops and the newspapers stacked on one end of the kitchen table. But, really, there's no need for her to know. Is there? Lips zipped and all that.) I baked pizza. I made the dough from scratch. Piled it high with grape tomatoes, yellow peppers, red onions. So tasty. So pretty. So healthy. And. For extra points on the DG test, I served the pizza with a salad of Arizona lettuces and lemon zest vinaigrette. Yum bunnies. 

I like to sleep late in the morning. And I really like to scrub. January 24, 2009 16:10

1. Awakened from dreamy, contented sleep by Minerva, who arrived early. Minerva cleans our house, and yes, I am ever so grateful for her housekeeping efforts. Absolutely. But. I also really like to sleep. I really do. And since I generally go to sleep very late . . . well, you understand. I really wanted to ignore her knocking. I really wanted to be grumpy. Oh. So. Much. But, of course, I wasn't. I was warm and friendly and did not complain. I did not ask: Why are you here so early? Because I am nice. Because I strive for that attitude of gratitude. Really. 

2. Emma, our Malamud, had diarrhea on Henry's rug. Henry is our Great Dane-lab mix. He's very good-natured. Very. Have I mentioned how much I love to clean up dog shit? Oh. I haven't. Well, girls and boys, that's because I don't. Not one bit. 

3. At this point, I decided I deserved a sofa day. A very lazy, very slothful sofa day. Which meant TV, because the book I'm reading now is a very heavy hardback. Surprise, surprise, surprise: There was nothing of interest on the telly. 

4. His Bertness and I ran to Safeway. Or, at least, that was our plan. A plan marred by one teensy-tinesy fact: We locked ourselves — and Henry and Emma — out of the house. Bert ended up going through a second-story window. Thank goodness the ladder was outside and not inside the garage. Procrastination scores again! His Bertness did look rather cute as he pitched forward into his office.

5. We were awakened at 3 a.m. Why? Emma had diarrhea. Again. Poor Emma. Poor me. Poor Bert. Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

6. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy cleaning?

Pines, rosemary, sun, snow: Does it get any better? January 5, 2009 13:53 1 Comment

Pinetree I won't bore y'all with a lot of words today. I'll simply share the scene off our deck this morning. Above, you see one of my favorite pine trees.

RosemaryAnd here is a rosemary that I love. So very much. The snow becomes it. Absolutely.
Our yard is gorgeous in white. Doncha think?

And our home will be clutter free. Yes, indeedy. December 16, 2008 13:49 1 Comment

So. Today, I did something I haven't done in years. Years. I listed a few items on Ebay. Shoes, to be precise. Fendi1 Pretty shoes. Lovely shoes. Shoes that don't fit my small-town, work-at-home lifestyle. Luscious Louboutins. Fabulous Fendis. Staggering stilettos. Sexy slides. Etc. Anyway. Should you wear a size 7. Should you be in the mood to shop. Should you simply be curious or bored, then check out my auction listings. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. My Ebay moniker is Help me clean out my closet. Help me unclutter. I beg you. After all, I've been so good. I've been so productive. I have. I deserve a bid. Or two. Or three or four or five. I do. I know Martha Stewart and Peter Walsh agree. 

Learning to sew: I did it. Gulp. December 15, 2008 13:58 2 Comments

Simplicity_learn_to_sew I should be jumping. I should be skipping. I should be turning lopsided cartwheels. I should be. Because I cut out my fashion fabric. The real thing.


I am not jumping. I am not skipping. I am not turning any kind of cartwheel at all. Because. Because I am not sure I cut the fabric properly. The problem? The root of my apprehension? I used a vintage fabric, only 39 inches wide, and Simplicity did not supply a cutting layout for that width.  Drat. Double drat. Fiddlesticks. And all that.

Here is the method behind my cutting madness: I folded the fabric horizontally, right sides together, placed the pattern pieces face down, and cut. Cut. Irrevocable. Undoable. Eeeekkk. Get me a paper bag, please. I am hyperventilating.

Tell me this will work. OK? If not, tell me what I should have done. The better to correct the mistake next time. I await your learned responses, dear readers. Really. I do. I am on pins and needles. (Yes, yes. Cheap pun. I know. Forgive me. Please. Just this once.)

Damp tissue dramas: This time, tears of joy fall like rain. December 11, 2008 15:56

Andrew Yes. Yes. I did cut out my pattern last night. I did. I was confused by the exterior jags at the bottom of each possible length, though. Why, I wondered, was there a protrusion where the shorts, capris, slacks ended? Why? So. I met a sewing bud for coffee, and she explained. The hem will pucker otherwise. Oh. Duh. You'll be happy to know the light switched on later today. Oh. Oh! I get it. I do. Really.

Patrick But. I have other topics of interest. To me, at any rate. The bathroom. You remember it. I know you do. You hang on every facet of my life. Of course you do. Don't you? Don't puncture my self-esteem if you don't. Please. I'm easily wounded. I am. Don't make me reach for those Puffs.

Well, it's almost done. Finally. Andrew, the tile master, above, is very pleased. And so am I. His trusty sidekick, Pat, is standing in the shower. The bee-yoo-tee-ful shower. Pat is wearing my favorite t-shirt slogan: Genius by birth, slacker by choice. A gift from his mommy. The tile pattern in the shower is his design, inspired by my floor design. Love those 12" by 20" floor tiles. Ummm hmmm. I do. You can see them in the pic with Andrew. In the background. Behind his smilin' mug. Love the master bath. I do. Now. Tiny, yes. So true. The size of a Twinkie. But also, well, rather attractive. If I do say so myself. Doncha think?

Junior Mints, anyone? December 7, 2008 16:59

Thread I know. You think I've been slacking today. Reading True Detective and eating Junior Mints. Watching Lifetime. Napping. Oh. You. Doubters.

Actually, I've been working. I have. Organizing. Sorting. I have 81 spools of thread. 81. Egads! I have more zippers than I care to count. Likewise buttons. I have 21 belt buckles. I have frogs in blue, red, black, green, aqua. (Have I mentioned I am fond of style Oriental?) I am stunned. I am amazed. Truly. I did not know.

But. My sewing space is nearly organized. Soon, I can say neatly organized.

Happy, happy, joy, joy. Oh, wait . . . hasn't that been said before? Oh, well.

You'll just have to wait for my thoughts on Ms. Palin's clothes November 9, 2008 14:56 2 Comments

I was going to blog today, but I napped instead. For four hours. Four. Is that sleeping briefly, as Webster's defines napping? Mmmmmm. Yes. Yes. I think so. I do. Definitely. But by whatever name, it was blissful. Completely.

My hubby is becoming a one-man DIY network. Really. October 26, 2008 17:52 1 Comment

Bertandthelock You remember the bathroom? Right? The roof. The Cadet. The tile. (I know. I know. You are bored with this topic. Enough, you scream. Move on, you cry. But. I am stubborn. And this is my subject. Today.)

So. Amid this turmoil — or home improvement, if you prefer — the porch door knob stopped working. Yes. This severely hampered entering the house. In fact, to open the door, brutal manhandling was necessary. I am not pulling your leg. I am talking about the type of forceful manhandling that could easily end in a dislocated shoulder. (Unless, of course, you're beautiful, strong, nimble Laila Ali.) 

Anyway. This malfunction, in addition to the front door handle, which hasn’t worked since long before we bought this house, precipitated an unexpected — therefore unbudgeted — expense: Door New doorknobs and locksThe company that made our old door hardware stopped making all but decorative hardware years ago, so a simple replacement wasn't an option. Alas. And the last time we called a locksmith, the bill was $900. So. His Bertness, Mr. Handyman Not, had to do it himself. With some help from a number-crunching friend. It took much longer than planned. And His Bertness only completed one door today. But. That one door works. Truly. The door opens. Really. I am beaming like a proud apron-wearing, spatula-wielding 1950s wife.  Of course, now the paint (Pratt & Lambert Whirlpool Blue. Isn’t it fetching? Love it love it love it.) will have to be touched up. But isn’t the door handle gorgeous? Yes, ma’am. It most certainly is. I think I'll whip up a cake from scratch to celebrate.

Better than Botox: Our house is getting a facelift October 3, 2008 12:21

Warning: Totally mundane topic today. Totally. And today’s topic is  . . . swelling drumroll . . . house painting. That’s right. House painting. I warned you. But. This dull subject has me aquiver with excitement. It does. Truly. Our home was in dire need of paint. I do not exaggerate. Just ask the neighbors. There was peeling. There was flaking. There was fading color.

Deck_painters And now, thanks to Mike and Kerry and Juan, the house is taking on a glow. (Note to Kerry: Let’s not discuss politics. Please. We don’t agree. At all. Oh no. I hear you going at it with Mike now. Outside my office window. Oh my oh my oh my. No, Kerry. No. Don’t go there!)

Mike and Kerry, above, listen to a rock oldies station. All day. They play Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper. Isn’t that wild? I had no idea he still got airplay. None. Did you? “Eighteen, and I don’t know what I want. Eighteen . . . .”

Juan_painter Juan, going it alone on the front of the house, is much quieter than Kerry. Much. Mike is quieter than Kerry, too. Now that I think of it, a baby with a diaper rash is quieter than Kerry. Really.

So. There you go. File your nails. Sweep the garage. Put Perry Como on the CD. Go back to your exciting lives. I’m going to check on Mike and Kerry and Juan. Painting. A facelift for our home. An exterior facelift. Is that redundant?  Mmmm.

Forgive me, forgive me, for I have sinned. (And so has he. Lout.) September 27, 2008 17:36 3 Comments

Dear, dear Blue Gardenia customers, I have been woefully slow in shipping the last 10 days. I have been completely caught up in the work being done in the house. Feeling displaced. Out of sorts. Etc. That is not an excuse. It’s an explanation. Really. I am sorry. Completely. Absolutely. Abundantly. 

But. I have spent the day catching up on Blue Gardenia shipping, so if you have been holding your breath for your order to arrive, you’ll be able to release it soon. Those of you  who have been victims of my tardy shipping have gotten a complimentary upgrade to Priority shipping. And I beg you, on my knees, tears flowing: Please. Forgive me. I apologize. Sincerely.

On another topic, I have been pissed — excuse my language, please, darling readers — with His Bertness today. If you were looking toward Arizona, doubtless you saw clouds. You thought they were clouds. But. I am here to tell you, those were not clouds, my friends, those were great bursts of steam coming out of my ears. Out of my nostrils.

Recently, when we were moving things downstairs for the carpet installation, my beloved hubby removed files from a file cabinet drawer. When he replaced them, he did so carelessly. Absentmindedly. In a most willy-nilly fashion. There were files facing backward. There were files facing forward. And, natch, they were no longer in alphabetical order. Can you say asshole? I can. And I probably did today. And not just under my breath. I hate to file, you see. I do. Absolutely. But I do it anyway, because I have learned it makes life easier. (Oh, woe is me, little Wednesday's child.)

So. I discovered his transgression when I tried to file some recipes today. Oh oh oh oh oh. I was beyond angry. There was even — gasp! — slamming of doors. So unlike me. I am Obama cool. Normally. Truly. I am. But today, I wanted to scream "I hate you I hate you I hate you." I wanted to stamp my feet. I wanted to clench my fists. I wanted to yell. Asshole. Asshole. Asshole.

Now. All of you probably have perfect husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends. Husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends who would not think of replacing files in less than pristine fashion, neatly organized, better than before. Alas, that is not the case in my household. Yes, His Bertness is handsome. Yes, His Bertness is smart. But. Could he just respect the hours I spent filing? Is that too much too ask? Is it? Is it? Is it? I think not.

I feel devalued, she sobbed. Unappreciated. Invisible. Sniff, sniff. Sniff. Where are my Puffs? I want them. I need them. I am off to find them.

Who says there was no good design in the 1980s? September 18, 2008 16:57 1 Comment

P60lg3869-1 Vogue American Designer 1958, Designed by Donna Karan, copyright 1987

As you, my faithful readers, know, I am no Martha. (And my dust bunnies will happily confirm this as fact. Stop hopping up and down, you little guys. Stop clinging to me. This minute. Go stand in the corner. Now. That's right.) So. I won’t bore you with yet another post about that. Not today. Promise.

What I will share with you is this beautiful Donna Karan pattern. Because, you see, while I was cleaning out the coat closet downstairs (don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask) I found the original dress, which used to be one of my favorites. I wore this dress, and wore it, and wore it, and not once did anyone say “oh, you’re wearing that again.” Not one single time. Why? Because it always looked sexy.  It always looked smart. It was always the most sophisticated and elegant dress in the room. Without a doubt. And it was comfortable. Ever so.  Absolutely.

I did not buy the coat. In Houston, Texas, trust me, there was little need for a coat wardrobe. Much too hot. Much too humid. I had one coat during my sojourn in Houston, and that coat was not only very lightweight, it stayed in my closet most of the winter. Or what one calls winter in the city on the Buffalo Bayou, which can be defined as the season that one's makeup only melts at midday. But the coat is rather terrific, as well. Reminiscent of Lilli Ann’s 1940s coats. Room to move. Room for flair. Scads.

One day soon — very soon — I will have the dining room cleared, and I can start sewing again. I am so eager. But. For now. More tossing. More organizing. Tossing. Organizing. Tossing. Organizing. Banishing clutter.


But the new carpet is gorgeous. Truly. I know. I’ve said that before.

The Un-Martha Chronicles. Or a Day or Two in My Life. September 16, 2008 19:02 1 Comment

Martha Stewart, I fear, would be most unhappy with my progress at putting the house back together after the carpet installation. Most. She might take me out behind the woodshed, in fact. Because. I took yesterday off to see The Women with a girlfriend. (Contrary to what one snippy critic said, I thought Annette Bening looked fabulous. But couldn’t Mary Haines have said “thanks, but no thanks” when that unfaithful lout of a husband begged for her hand again? And couldn’t the director have said a loud, emphatic “no, thanks” to that silly, manipulative birthing scene? Heavens to Betsy, it was endless. Absolutely.)

But back to my Monday and what I did and did not accomplish. (Because I know your day won’t be complete if I don’t share these scintillating details.) I did a yoga class. I finished an Ann Rule book. I made tuna salad. (When I said scintillating, I meant scintillating. Really.)

Today, I did a yoga class. And I did do a bit of work on restoring order to our home. A bit. A tiny bit. Not enough to win Martha’s smile of approval, though. Not enough for a gold star. Oh, well, there’s always tomorrow. Just ask Ms. O’Hara. Or perhaps I could beg Ms. Stewart to sprinkle some magic dust on me. Please, Martha. Please. Please. Please. I beseech you. I'm on my knees.