Aug 7, 2010

Tea House of the August Spoon - Space

Have you been guilty of postponing pleasure because your surroundings had to be perfect?  Perhaps you've delayed having guests over or put off quality time because ignoring tasks and clutter is too difficult.

My early influences regarding domestic bliss were undeniably shaped by Leave to Beaver and Father Knows Best.  My family home bore no resemblance to this television ideal. And, although most of my friend's homes were like mine, I had a neighbor whose table was always impeccably preset with colorful linen napkins, place mats, and egg cups at every breakfast setting.

I adore tablescapes, home decor, and well ordered space. It is calming to enjoy rooms that are visually appealing. Nonetheless, I've learned that living is more important than perfection. We loose precious moments simply because we cannot overlook what our friends are willing to or what we should.

I like how Rachel at Small Notebook sums it up: "If you organize to perfection, then you’re not organizing to make your life better, you’re living your life to organize, and nobody needs that." She makes the distinction between magazine-perfect versus how quickly we can put our hands on something.

I'll let you know that my house is not perfect today and yet I plan to set up an oasis in the midst of my chores and business calls to enjoy a "me" moment. I hope you do that, too.

Aug 4, 2010

Tea House of the August Spoon

"The first sip of tea is always the best . . . you cringe as it burns the back of your throat, knowing you just had the hottest carpe-diem portion."

-Terri Guillemets

On August 5th, 2008, I began a series
called "Tea House of the August Spoon" and I am picking up that theme again this month. (Click HERE to read the premiere post.) Rest assured that "tea" does not have to be your beverage of choice. Enjoy what you love!

I will be sharing posts relating to tea, ordering our space, and the pleasures of little rituals (any customary observance or practice.) And, I am welcoming my guests to submit a short piece for consideration. I will print what is relevant to the theme with attribution. Simply email it to me.

There will be no stuffiness: just earthy self-indulgence. So, these ladies might as well shed their mink and rethink. T-shirts and sweats will work just fine!

Aug 3, 2010

Retro Reflections

Take a look at this vintage 50's advertisement.  A pristine bluff overlooks an ocean bustling with activity.  Two look-alike brunettes with hourglass figures draw attention to the centerpiece: a lustrous red Hudson Hornet.  Notice how the bright yellow bathing suit and waterskis help to frame the car.

A blonde couple pauses to watch, blending into the background.  Their distance seems to suggest a boundary of class that the two women are obviously comfortable to cross.

The short-lived Hudson Hornet had its heyday between 1951 and 1954.  Hudson was the first car manufacturer to become involved in stock car racing.  It's decline had a lot to do with a high price tag and the fact that newer designs failed to interest buyers.  You may also remember that Paul Newman played the voice of Doc Hudson, the 1951 Hudson Hornet, in the 2006 Pixar film, Cars.

Aug 1, 2010

Putting the Squeeze on Lemons

 Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Yellow is my happy color. It's a pick-me-up! I strategically wear yellow on more challenging days. And, it seems to add a smile to those around me.

A room bathed in buttery yellow or a bowl of lemons on white linen is immediately soothing. And, when it comes to yellow and summer, lemons steal the show.

Lemons are well suited for summertime because they provide welcome distraction.  I have a vivid memory of watching a particular science film in grade school. A woman wearing an apron and a dress with a form-fitting bodice and full skirt, walked across a deep green lawn in high heels and placed a perspiring glass pitcher of lemonade on a table. The topic was condensation. I was more preoccupied with the refreshment.

The word citrus, comes from Greek and means lemon: limon, its popular name. Mediterranean countries have put the squeeze on the lemon since its juices have supporting roles in a multitude of dishes. A squirt of lemon goes a long way.

Then there are the domestic and personal uses. Just the scent of lemon in products suggests that something has been cleaned or refreshed.

Alfred Newman said, "We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons."  There's nothing better than the real deal!