October 30, 2009 Candace Morris 8 Comments

Yesterday, I took myself out for a walk whilst HOME ALONE!  This was a new experience for me because I went exploring without joel working here from home to make sure I was safe.  This may sound cowardly to you, but to be fair, we do live in a heavily forested region and not only am I unfamiliar with the woods, but it would be unwise for anyone to go traipsing off alone.   Right across the street is a city watershed, so the area is really unpopulated.   I decided I needed to get my blood flowing (my newly found "DUH" way of trying to lighten the mood), so I threw on my lime green rubber boots, packed a handful of candy corns, grabbed my pocket-journal and went.

Though it was a successful trip (my legs are sore and it helped my bleak outlook considerably), I was disappointed that I was still distracted by the 4 humans I encountered as they drove by.  One guy in a Chevy was lurking around a gate to enter a trail (though I didn't know it at the time and was rather creeped out) and I may have dodged into a wooded canopy in order to become unseen.  This is comical to me today...wasn't so yesterday.  Also, I sat on a log and got my bum very wet.  But I was very proud of myself for facing my fears and gathered a twig to commemorate the event.  By the time I leave this place, I will have a slew of twigs by which to remember these walks...which will be important because I have a wee hunch that the candace who leaves this place will be a different candace than entered it.  I do not foresee me being more comfortable in the woods than in the city, but I do hope that I can be in the forest and really see it instead of only seeing me in it.  Did that make any sense?! :)

What's on your agenda for Friday?  I am feeling so much better than yesterday...as I was in such a funk (read: I attempted a carrot soup that came out looking and tasting like baby food.  It boiled over at one point and splattered onto my eyelid, promptly burning the flesh. The only thing that helped was a dairy queen blizzard and four hours of LOST).  Today I am moseying through craigslist to find that perfect chair, perhaps headed to Ikea to buy new plants, and taking a lunch-time walk with the saint.   It's a granola bar, green tea, and a hopeful outlook for me today.


November's 12-month challenge will be the month of mail here at Booklings Manor.  I will send out a piece of correspondence every single day for the entire month.  Dear friends, for this challenge, I was hoping you might join me!  The easiest way to do this is in a postcard exchange.  Stock up on postcards, jot out a paragraph, and send it off!  It doesn't have to be sent every day, you could write one per day and then send them all out on Saturday.

I am hoping to orchestrate the participants so that those writing posts will also be receiving posts.  Do tell me below or email me at candacemorris at gmail dot com if you are interested in doing this with me!  Then, pop on out and stock up on postcards.  If you need ideas, I love the postcards for sale here, or make your own!  We'll begin November 1st!

Looking forward to hearing from you!



October 30, 2009 Candace Morris 0 Comments

I've had a few thoughts on my mind lately...my usual sprinkling of questions to do with existence, relationship, and art.    Spurred by the intelligent lyrics of Neko Case, Dostoevsky, and a young Plath, I've come to realize how my routine here includes less writing than I am used to.  I suppose this could have a lot to do with settling in and all the creativity and soul required to listen to where the objects of your life want to be placed.

But it is also something that I suspected would happen out here...without people.  I did roughly 60% of my letter writing in cafes and restaurants, whereas here...I have yet to find a place.  I am sure this requires actually LOOKING for a place, but I am still in the needing towel-racks and "what the hell am i going to do with these window treatments" phase of life.  This, up until now, has been a justification for me ignoring my own soul.

I think I realized that I pursue this writing life, this artistic soul-journey, only when I really have time.  This does not an artist make (in my definition, which each must do for herself).  Rather, an artist will be consumed by his work and allow life to  be what falls to the wayside, not the expression and very necessity of her soul.

Consequently, I've felt a wee bit emotionally stunted... out of touch with myself...the good and the bad.  I also stopped attending therapy for a some time, and I am gagging on the the words stuck in my throat - backing up the flow of ideas and fire of thought I usually possess.

Add guilt.  In order to make this time worth it, I feel as though I must find a use, a purpose, and true meaning.  Without this directed (read 8am to 5pm) purpose, I feel bathed in guilt.  There is some sort of firebrand scathing my ass to be thankful for all I have right now.  So many people are looking at my life with puppy-dog eyes...as they should!  I mean, it's really amazing right now.  I must admit the temptation to downplay it or justify it somehow...as if me struggling with it would make it easier for them to swallow or wanting to sometimes scream that I've had enough pain to last a lifetime so I somehow deserve it.  Both of these excuses would be a gross oversimplification of all the nuances and adjustments happening right now.   My husband is working his ass off to provide this life for me, and I do not take this for granted.  But I also somehow feel the need to explain to people that I am also working my ass off.  Like Plath, I am "forging a soul amidst great birth pangs" and how this takes a non-American, non-commercial, non-paying kind of work.  So I guess there is something inside me that thinks if I just feel guilty or downplay how wonderful my surroundings are or how well I take care of myself that will make it easier for other people to swallow.  I believe I can handle both the good feelings and the bad feelings of those I love, but I also know that god gives, god takes away.  What makes my life rich is comprised of my internal work, not my external circumstances.   How privileged I am to have the pleasure of that thought, a bliss reserved for a person whose basic needs are met.  This is an admonition to myself as well as to those of you finding envy and pity riding on your backs.

And oh, my surroundings!  Yesterday, while driving into town to do a Costco/Trader Joe's run, I spied a momma cow and a baby cow (going to google to look up the appropriate word) ahem CALF.  The calf was feeding and tucked just so into the mother's underbelly.  I almost died from the distraction (these country roads are curvy and unpredictable, like the best kind of woman), and I almost cried from sentiment and beauty.    I find myself gradually getting living in the city out of my system, finding new routines and activities that replace and heal the severing.  For instance, I've been a cooking machine!  In the city, it's far cheaper and easier to eat take-out 2 or 3 times/week.  Here, there is absolutely nothing convenient about it.

But what is convenient it a life of quiet study, endless reflection, a new-found enjoyment of social activities, the building of fires, the company of my saint, the planning and execution of meals, and the saunters through the wet forest floor.  I knew these things were far more necessary than take-out.

As well as my online community, I've been the happy recipient of your happy thoughts towards me and this new life.  This amazes me.  I dream of a time where you are around my hearth, sharing my tea, and knitting (because you all knit in my mind, of course).




October 29, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

One day a lifetime spans.
Conception and gestation by moonlight.
Life and birth upon
waking.  Tears bequeath teeth brings
baby words of complaint. Feed
me.  Hold
me! Love me?

Mid-morning brings the terrible-twos.
A childhood found too late and
Too early lost.
Read me a nap-time story, Fyodor.  Of a god I
just have met.  Tell this child
of a brotherly saint. Of the faith
birthed through death.

Afternoon, adolescence.
Just learned to stop cringing when Dad
makes the coffee too strong.
The rays break through
the rains and the biting chill of autumn
Air as it whooshes past bicycling feet
Too big for her awkward, unbalanced body.
Wobbling, relearning.

The sun sets as a walk
through womanhood dawns.
Yet the blood flows like never before
Productivity in pinks and projects.
The young voice forgotten.
To the florist and grocer to take care
of home.

To dinner, to middle ages.
Moon's breath and cardamom knives
through the immaturity and brings laughter and ease
into the wine bottle.

Midnight drive into convalescence.
Slumber eases the soul into afterlife.
One life, one day
A lifetime spans.

written as a continual reminder to myself that often days carry within their skin multitudes of moods, to neither trust or distrust them, and to remember that a walk through the forest can change anything.


The lap of luxury

October 28, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

Oh to perform these audacious acts of security and demand...and know that my owner will love me all the better for it.



The weekend of gluttenous food consumption

October 26, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

If I could write a big sighhhhhhhh, I would.  But imagine with me a weekend of flurry and cooking and cleaning and playing and drinking and socializing and laughing and building fire and karaoking and a wee bit of slumber, and you've had a glimpse into my weekend...which was a good time for sure, but wow...I am exhausted!


For Niki's birthday, we gals flew her and her Tice out from NYC to be here.  The boys went on their "food orgy," and the girls came here.  I tell you what, if there is nothing else...these people know how to friggggen cook and friggen eat.  I cannot even recount all the men tasted (frog's legs, escargot, etc), I can vouch for the beauty of food amongst the women and my new home.  Seriously, if you EVER need a party planning/catering service, we're your group!

And I tell you, there is nothing like cooking for and with those you love to make this double-wide feel like a home.

How was your weekend?  There is nothing like Monday to sober a gal up...and never-ending dishes. :)


p.s. Though she looks cracked out, isn't she cute?!!!

From Oct 25 Weekend (Niki Visit)



October 22, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

Here's a round up of my weekly entrys at Antler Magazine:

  1. Tim Burton at MoMa: Another reason I think New Yorker's are the luckiest city-dwellers!
  2. Green Tea Art - My saint is going to flippppppp.


p.s. have you ever made breakfast and lunch all before noon?  No, not brunch...but two separate meals.  As I am still in my pjs, I smell lunch cooking.  It was just one of those "fire under my assets" morning.  Have a great Thursday!


Working from home: a lunch break

October 20, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

When he returned an hour later, he was SOAKED through from a spontaneous pouring of rain.

He was one happy saint.



October 19, 2009 Candace Morris 9 Comments

I have been a busy bee.

The saint and I are exhausted from one diverting weekend.  Out late sipping Spanish wine Friday night, out late at the Opera Saturday night, eating cake with Grandpa on Sunday...I tell you, it's been hard to recover (I am using this excuse to remain in my pajamas after having slept a rather naughty amount - though I confess to needing 9-10 hours of sleep per night (HEY, Sylvia Plath spoke a similar confession in a letter to her mother.  I am therefore justified).  My hot tea and my bowl of granola will help me...plus this intimate push of fog is wooing me into cognition.

But I must tell you of the Opera...

Back when I was out of town for two weeks, my lover missed me when he turned on the classical music station (I am a sucker for listening to classical, romantic, and chamber music).  The station was hosting an advertisement for La Traviata, and he decided to come home and purchase tickets right away.  Later that night, while we were speaking on the phone of my horrible migraine and his not being there to rub it away, he consoled me with taking me to the opera.  His one condition?  I had to buy myself a new dress (if you have just joined me, you may now well get why he is named the saint).

So last week I scoured a few thrift and consignment stores and found THE PERFECT 1960s green wool dress.  Alas, it was handmade and one size too small for my big Norwegian bones, so I found another suitable black dress that was just stylized enough for my new shoes (an $80 pair acquired for $25!!!!) and hat.

That evening, I slipped into a hot bath to prepare for the night.  I got to thinking about how I often need to take a serious amount of time to ready myself for events not only because it might take longer than I expected to acheive the desired affect, but more so that I can rest my soul - so that my feminine graces carry me throughout the evening.  I can therefore be confident because I am rested and have pampered myself.

I got to thinking about how many woman probably haven't felt that way since perhaps their wedding day.  Society allows for a woman to pamper herself that day...a long hot bath, a massage, a lazy breakfast in luxury...a bride is ENCOURAGED to make herself and her beauty the focus of the morning.  Why does this not occur in any cultural way AFTER the wedding?  I have long since copied my wedding morning by getting ready for events in the same way (and girls, this requires giving yourself at LEAST an hour or two to get ready), I realize how much more relaxed, sexy, and graceful the event becomes for me. 

So when is the last time that you scheduled a licentious amount of  readying time?  Light a candle, have a pre-funk cocktail, find your center, and be your sexy self.

Ladies and Gents, that marks the end of the self-help catagory of this entry.

The very first scene of La Traviata brought tears...and as they cascaded down my rosy cheeks, I grabbed the saint's arm and quietly thanked god for a man who sees what I need with imagination; for a man with a resplendent tool belt for love.  I wanted to shout my love and appreciation of him from the treetops of my soul.  This is the affect the Opera has upon my soul; now you can see why he does it.


3.5 hours later, the very last scene knocked us back into our seats like a roller coaster ride, and we clapped and clapped all the way home.  Another bath and I was off to bed. 

Today promises to be not as fun as my weekend.  Taking Lolita for an emissions test (bleck), and today is officially laundry day here at Bookling Manor.  Hope your Monday looks good on you.



October 16, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

This morning, I was dressed and ready for my day by 10am.  This is a huge thing for me if I am staying home...not only is it impossible for me to wake up quickly, but I love to live in my pjs all morning, wander around aimlessly, and read random bits of country newspapers.    But today, I was ambitious.  I had baking to do (postponed from my actual baking day which incidentally was also POWER OUTAGE DAY this week) and plenty of work around the house.  Namely, a coat-tree to spray paint.

But alas, the universe (at barometric pressure) had other plans.




(ZOINKS!!! Damn that barometric pressure)

And baked I did.
Two batches of cookies and one batch of amazing muffins (my bff made me while at her house recently).

It's been raining BUCKETS here and after a quick dinner of chicken parm, the saint and I are off to join some friends for drinks in SEATTLE.  Oh thank the gods,

Happy Weekend, cozy birds.

P.S.  My woodshed:



October 16, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

You are sexy.
And caffeinated.

photo by me.  and iPhone.




October 13, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Sometimes I feel like the most distracting thing to reading and writing (what I wanted to do with my day) is the internet.  There is just so much beauty stealing my eye-ball time.

Distraction number one:  Per my DailyCandy email, I found this center available in Fremont called the Fremont Abbey Arts Center.  This place is  so gorgeous.  Not only would it be PERFECT for the catholicbeer brewery, but it makes me want to get married all over again.  Wadda say, Mr. Morris?

Distraction number two:  Anthropologie.  Namely these!

Lonny Magazine, for distraction number three, is an online magazine from the creators of Domino.  They have cleverly placed URLs all over their pages so that we can just pop on over to any website and buy what we fancy.   Not only is this a strain on my LOCK-IT-UP-AND-TOSS-THE-KEY pocketbook, but it also manages to squeeze more and more ideas into my already overloaded brain. LOVE the idea of this plant table and can already see where I would place it.  I would wake up (whenever I desire, as usual), heat my water for tea, pop my whole wheat bread into the toaster, and wander over to talk to my plants.  What a hard life.

And contrary to popular complaint on this here blog, I would like you all to know that where I live is beyond flipping awesome.  It's heartrendingly romantic, bucolic, and oh so silent.  My evenings are filled with port and staring at the saint as he builds me a fire.  Though I am craving some honest hard work, I cannot by any means complain.

That being said!  I would like to complain!  One of the things about this here particular region of Washington is the wind storms that gust their way in with Fall.  Many people lose their homes, if not power for weeks at a time.  Well, last night we fell asleep to some serious eerie blundering and awoke to a power outage.  Joel built up a fire so we could at least stay warm, but as soon as I realized we would have no water (pump runs on electricity), and that I couldn't cook, I started to feel very CROSS indeed about being a country-girl today.

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

I searched out our stash of tuques (the best country-girl way to cover up bed-head) and hopped on over to my parent's house (in my dad's truck) for coffee, shower, food, and internet.  I fancied that I could stick it out, bundle up, and read all day.  This would have been fine, but I am not resourceful enough to cook with no power and drink with no water (could I substitute my daily water regimen for gin instead?  I am SURE that's a country-ism).

Make no mistake...I am NO trooper.   I do not see survival situations as fun.  I am a Victorian with a need for daily showers and hot tea with scones and jam...and the internet.

But then the gods saw fit to bless me.  Last year, I purchased a hound-sooth coat from a totally slutty store on Broadway, but I didn't realize until I got it home that it smelled like the burned flesh of a Chinese immigrant in a sweatshop.  SERIOUSLY...so gross. I tried everything to get the smell out of this coat...clothesline, dry cleaning, etc.  I finally gave up and left it hanging in my closet.  Just today, I went in search of a coat and decided to smell the coat one last time before I took it to goodwill.  WHAT JOY IS MINE!! It smelled normal.  I wore it.  I forgive the universe for powering me down and depriving me of food and water.

Poor me, I have to be here all day:

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

From 25 PER DIEM

More on October's Challenge and daily photos here:


Quite Properly Yours,


Just because...

October 12, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

they are two of my favorite pictures of my sister of all time...