February 27, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Picture it with me if you will.  11 hours of sleep, 4 of those filled with dreams of children screaming for help, lovers finding replacements, and family members clamoring for favors.  The saint left early to work on a brewing weekend, and though I usually revel in alone time, today it feels really sad somehow.  I made a cup of tea and topped my toast with rasberry jam, decided to make a fire (the first time we've needed it in two weeks), and have sat in my living room deciding how today will be.  I'm bundled in confusion and thoughts and transitions and  people and the future and possibilities, and I just cannot seem to think things through clearly.

So today I decided to take advantage of this time, bring out the multitude of empty frames I have and work on a photo wall.  One of the things I was most excited for in this house was my own creative room.  This means I can decorate it in my own way and have a photo wall!  The saint is a rather minimal bloke, and does not enjoy things covering wall space in large proportion, and I can understand that.  So my room will be totally, all, completely, thoroughly ME.  Unfortunately, up until now it's been a storage room for things that had no place (there is an organ in there, seriously).  In preparation for my sister's visit, I've slowly been cleaning it out.  I think today is the day that I really work it out.  I've got some great ideas, and feel nothing but completely in need of an all-encompassing project, turning up Miles Davis obnoxiously loud, donning some red lipstick, and opening bottle of red.

It's grey in my soul today...and Seattle embraces me.



February 24, 2010 Candace Morris 1 Comments

My sister and the lovely Clara! 
Can't wait for next week!!!




February 22, 2010 Candace Morris 4 Comments

It's a melancholy Monday night.  I've just finished a delicious supper of red beans and rice. I am in a space where change begets more change and I am struggling to catch my breath under it all.  A pint with friends will help.  But before I head over to Snoqualmie Brewery, I wanted to take a deep breath as I listen to Miles and recap the lazy weekend I just enjoyed.
As most of you know, Seattle has been experiencing almost two weeks of early spring.  In fact, I even dried my clothes outside today and spied a bit of rhubarb growing!  This last weekend, our friend decided to throw a BBQ, and though we were seriously freezing by the time the sun set, we enjoyed eating outside, sitting around a bonfire, and soaking in a hot tub (for over an poor skin!).   The saint tapped the Batch X brew (delish!), and we had mussells, frites, lamb, quinoa salad, and grilled mango. For dessert, we enjoyed sips of a bottle of McCallan 12 that Ben stumbled upon in a vacant apartment.

have you ever smelled Daphne?

On Sunday, our normal family day, we enjoyed Olive...Brian and Jenn's newest addition.  Cousin's came over to meet her...and the saint played with our youngest cousin.

Abbey loved playing fetch.

Brian came out to play with Olive...
We all took a turn, in fact.  This child has her needs say the least.

Uncle Joel admiring Brian's brewing handiwork...

Just a few things you might expect to see on a normal Sunday with the fam.

The brewthers brainstorming and babysitting.

Off to imbibe some liquid joy,



February 19, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

I've spent 30 years of my life studying my face in a mirror; I am pretty sure most girls do this, and if you don't, well, I am not really sure why.  Perhaps it seems narcissistic or futile, but I find it very soulful and comforting.  It's one way I truly find myself, it's as if I am saying "I see you" (please disregard the Avatar association with that phrase, but also, it's exactly what I mean) to myself.  

If you tell your friends or sister or husband that you found a new wrinkle today, they will immediately assure you either of your eternal beauty or cast it aside as silly vanity.  "Oh're beautiful, stop worrying about it."  Well, the truth is, I am not worried, but I am continually surprised when my face reflects my external aging and not my internal youth.  I've never been old(er) before, so it's a continually renewing process, this decaying into...what?  I mean, what IS old?  When my face is sagging to my shoulders with crevices the depth of the San Andreas fault, will I still notice NEW wrinkles?  

What brought this on?  Well, I was studying my face the other night before bed, lifting and examining and poking and cleaning and looking deeply into the soul of my skin, and to my utter surprise I found two wrinkles above my brow line that were not going away. Now I've noticed the beginnings of laugh lines (who the HELL named them crow's feet anyway?) and fine lines around my lips.  I've noticed my sun spots and various other manifestations of the abuse I inflicted upon my skin in my teens and early 20s (seriously, wear sunscreen or a hat...everywhere).  But these?  These were never noticeable before.  

Scrench your face like you're either completely angry or preoccupied with an intense algebra problem.  This must be what my soul looks like because the verticle lines above the nose, the ones at the inner part of your eyebrow, these are NOW PERMANENT.  I keep trying to stretch my face out and see if they'll go away...or check out my face in the rear-view mirror where the light is better to see if they've magically disappeared overnight... because after all, they magically APPEARED overnight.  Alas, they seem to be my new companions this week.

ridiculous picture, i know, but i really wanted you to see it.

I like the idea of aging gracefully...but that idea was semantically defined as aging but being really beautiful.    Aging like Helen Murren or whoever else it is I see being beautiful all over the place.  I never imagined that I might get ugly.  And wrinkles don't necessarily mean ugly, well at least not when I am assuring YOU that you are still super young.  ;)

I am fine aging.  Even somewhat fine aging in a less than attractive manner.  But those wrinkles have to count for SOMETHING, dang it.  That's right, these two worry lines sent me into another bought of existential crisis.  "What the hell am I doing with my life to have had these lines?!!!"

So, like the big girl I am, I turned around, put my hands on my hips, and answered this question with sass.    Here they are:
  1. I've been studying my whole life to be a teacher.
  2. I became a teacher and had the courage to know it wasn't for me.
  3. I then had the courage to enter a career that I knew wouldn't matter in any other way except to provide me rest.
  4. From that career, I realized that I was an artist and was wasting my time pretending it wasn't true.
  5. I have tried to learn what that means for me here at home, in the country.
But I was still dissatisfied and I think this is where the "what am I doing" question falls short.  It only examines externals.  I live so much of my life in rich soulful internals that it seems unfair to aridly analyse in this manner.

New answer.
I've BECOME someone.
In fact, I've become someone I actually like.

If these wrinkles came as a result of this internal toil, then so be it.  I will still examine them nightly, but now...instead of hoping they magically disappear, I will understand that I've done a hell of a lot to "forge a soul amidst great birth pains," and these lines are but signs of my unique and beautiful journey, a journey I've been aware of every step of the way.

I suppose I am no longer fighting wrinkles...but instead fighting FOR them to mean that I am proud of who I am becoming.


quote by ms. sylvia plath



February 17, 2010 Candace Morris 8 Comments

Just helping the saint with his wood-choppin' chores:

chopping wood


i'm totally sweet all the time


taking a break

I don't think I helped too much...



Olive Jade Wigand...

February 16, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

I'm an aunt!  (again...but no less special!)



February 15, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

So, how was your V-day weekend?  Did you overdose on the love-fest, maybe hit that bottle a bit too hard?  Well, thank god it's all over, right?  We had an immensely quiet weekend (not necessarily planned that way, but our moods dictated destiny) and spent Friday night at an annoying (read: NON CITY) restaurant and went to see a movie (Avatar, more on that later).  Saturday was super duper lazy and we sat by the fire sipping wine most of the day and worked on both of our blogs (CHECK OUT THE BUTTONS I MADE ON THE SIDEBAR!  THEN ROLL OVER THEM!  SEE THE COLOR CHANGE?  IT TOOK SO FREAKING MUCH TIME, IT'S QUITE SILLY!).  We did leave at one point to grab some steaks and asparagus at the that was refreshing.  We made a delicious dinner, talked into the wee hours of the morning, danced around the house, and watched Footloose (more on that later).  Sunday morning, I woke up with the "did i really need to drink that whole bottle of wine" regrets, and then made our lazy way over to the parents with a baguette and some stinky French cheese.  We hung out with my prego sis-in-law (it's gonna happen this week, i know it!) and watched the Olympics.  It's suited us both just fine. What did you do?

Well, now that you know the context, and since you're already used to the method of delivery (see previous post), I shall now list the (less than profound) lessons of this love-infested weekend:

  • i was surprised that i didn't hate Avatar.  entertaining indeed, but not worth all the hype.  honestly, we went after a few drinks at dinner totally prepared to hate on it, which sounded like great fun at the time.  but we both ended up finding merit in there was NO ONE in the theater, so we had plenty of room for an honest reaction.
  • joel LOVES kenny logins.  he had never seen Footloose (how this is possible, i shall not here conjecture), and thought the soundtrack was pretty great.  oh he's such a sucker for 80's synthesizer.
  • restaurants are really important to us.  like really important.
  • the key to looking good REALLY IS in feeling good.  if i stuff my face with junk, i notice that i feel instantly fat and old...and i think i'm just now noticing that correlation.  if i be sure to get plenty of exercise and prioritize eating well, i notice how much younger and prettier i feel.  
  • marriage is a fascinating and difficult know where you end and they begin and how to vocalize changes in emotional climate, it's so supremely confusing and also quite blissfully calm.  i'm a fan...and joel and i are noticing that our relationship is changing and it's a bit hard to pinpoint where and how, but it's necessary for us both to sit down with honesty and release of the other's reactions to meet somewhere on mutual ground wherein we BOTH feel heard and understood.   The biggest battle in a lifelong relationship CONTINUES to be fighting against our expectation of what we THOUGHT it would look like to be in love after so many years...
  • I still want to grow up to be a figure skater.
  • Commericals WORK.  I hate (like HATE) McDonalds, and all through the Olympics, they were advertising the chicken nuggets, and MAN DID I WANT SOME.  But I resisted...for now.  I'm still thinking about them a day later. Gross.  Why can't I fantasize about SPINACH?
  • Women's bodies are vastly miraculous.
  • It is becoming more and more tempting to use household chores as a fall back for boredom.  I do not want to clean because I don't know what else I want to do with myself and "it needs to be done anyway."  If I clean, I want it to be intentional and soulful...not routine and compulsory.  I didn't do dishes on Saturday when I was in a funk because at that moment it would have talked me out of some soul searching I needed to do.  So I didn't. Bravo me. AND bravo the saint...because he did them later that night while i passed out from red wine consumption.  
Well, here's to Monday and my random thoughts!  Happy President's Day, fellow Americans.  I'll be celebrating by doing laundry and hopefully grabbing lunch with an old friend.  

Thanks for bearing with me through that sickeningly-sweet weekend.  We can now all get back to our regular programing and stop seeing the blog world infested with DIY heart-shaped bedspreads and such.




February 12, 2010 Candace Morris 10 Comments

Though you may not be laughing this lame V-day weekend, or though you may not be crying...
either way, the jury is in that the banner to this is RIDICULOUS!
It makes me laugh so much.
It's my V-day edition.

Moving on.

As you may have noticed,
I'm feeling a bit cheeky this V-day.
(though truly there are no plans here at Booklings Manor to celebrate...because we both live our lives in an after school special about love (wait, weren't after school specials about some teenage angst issue? okay, how about a romantic comedy instead) and have V-day every day.  It's gross.)

(but in a really sexy way)

(meaning it's not gross!)

Moving on.

Smooches from my love-filled life to yours.
Because I DO LOVE YOU.
just in case you feel taken for granted that i hadn't quite mentioned it before.

Now that we have cleared that up...

Because it's always hard to compile a list of LIFE loves, I think this list shall  be themed:
"What I love, right here, right now."

Right here, right now happens to be sitting at the saint's desk, drinking a beer from a mason jar (that originally contained homemade caramel corn from umberdovely), listening to Ivy (and halo being played in the background), and peeling off layers of winter clothing because I just got really hot from doing the dishes.  Sexy.  I know.  Therefore, if this list is shockingly weird or insipidly dull, please consider the context.  Oh, and I should mention I have been alone all day. 

Alrighty, let's get down to business.

i love:
these amazing tea cups that arrived in the mail today from my sister!!!! we have a tradition of exchanging sardonic valentine treasures, so they are just wonderful enough to encompass the classic style we both adore and also remind me that color can sometimes be seriously obnoxious.  depending on one's mood, of course.  side note:  my sister is the best gift-giver (to me, for sure) because it turns out when one shares the same soul, it's rather easy to spot things they might like.  but she doesn't have that excuse anymore, because i think my tastes are changing, but she can still knock me over every time i open a package.  (did i show you the birdcage she got me for xmas?!!!)

i love:
high tea, complete with cucumber sandwiches, scones and clotted cream

i love:
sitting down for a proper supper at a table 

i love:
my cutco knives

i love:
the kitty coming into the bedroom in the morning and crawling under the covers.  
she leans on me and purrs us both back to sleep.  euphoric.

i love:
but not solely because it's just a baby (also, i always feel the need to defend this affinity because i hate being one of those girls who goes annoyingly gaga over babies), but because i find connection in live beings that cannot use words to filter themselves.

i love:
i'm not kidding

i love:
honesty over politeness
(but would prefer them together in an ideal world)

i love:
silent sufferers

i love:
words, etymology, speaking the languages of various souls, and playing scrabble

i love:
i'm not kidding

i love:

this press cozy the saint just gave me for Vday!

i love:

i love:
books about the books i love 
almost as much as the books i love

i love:
both the giving and receiving

i love:
computers, technology, software, and hardware.  it has given me a creative outlet i otherwise didn't have.

i love:
being good at building a (wood burning stove) fire

i love:

these egg cups I got the saint for vday
they say "mme" and "the saint"
he has been obsessed with making soft boiled eggs

i love:
the smell of the forest when a storm is blowing in

i love:
(curious?  right now it looks something like this: wake up, put on slippers and robe, make a fire, draw back curtains, put on hot water for coffee press, attend to the fire joel has made when he first woke, make a press of coffee, read, check email, get up for a glass of water and bowl of joe's o's, eat said o's, think about getting dressed, think again, read blogs and do computer stuff for a few hours, feed octavia, get dressed, arrange mussed hair, apply a dab of blush and mascara, put on shoes, do the dishes, put away laundry, stare out the window, talk to my plants, vacuum, sweep, make joel and i lunch, let octavia outside, plan dinner, have a mandarin and almonds for a snack, write a postcard or two, leave to tutor, stop by grocery store on the way back, check mailbox, have cocktail hour, make dinner, do the dishes, draw the curtains, stoke the fire, take out the garbage, sit by the fire, talk to joel, look at magazines, dust my books, light candles, put kettle on for tea, slip into slippers, make hot tea, watch a movie, let octavia sit on me during said movie, work on more computer stuff, agree to head to bed, cover the furniture in shower curtain liners so octavia cannot ruin it with her rebellious discretions, turn off the lights, lock the doors, draw the curtains, run hot water for bath, scald my skin in said bath, wash and exfoliate my face, brush and floss my teeth, dab on eye and night cream, crawl into my side of the bed where the saint warms it, launch my scrabble iPhone application, play a few words, listen to the saint snore, roll my eyes, laugh at my own irritation, and then turn of the lights)

i love:
the ease of having a (good) history with an old friend

i love:
the excitement that bubbles in my stomach when i've met someone i admire and know the friendship will be alive inside of us forever

i love:
photoshop tutorials on the web

i love:
making photos look old

i love:
love, things, people, animals, trees, relationships, traditions, jewelry
(but definitely NOT cheese)

i love:
letters so so so so much

i love:
shallow depth of field

i love:
 i mean, if you're going to be an ass, at least be aware of it and better yet, know WHY you do it...right?

i love:
my estranged father

i love:
you being in love with YOUR life

i love:
Carl Jung and Thomas Moore

i love:
the sun setting in the west
(it's unnatural any other way, but this may be my hatred for the south speaking up)

i love:
the west

i love:

i love:

i love:
driving stick shift

i love:
teaching English

i love:

i love:
doing what i want rather than doing what makes money
(i'd love it even more if i could do both)

i love:
I-90 headed west into Seattle just after you leave Mercer Island

i love:
email and the internet

i love:
confidence and self-acceptance

i love:
speaking in some weird voice when my sister calls. 
 we both do it

i love:
rainbow chip cake and frosting

i love:
short, dark red nails

i love:
pretending that if i lived my life in Europe, it would be better
(including possessing the effortless beauty and couture wardrobe of parisian women)

i love: 
an empty dishwasher

i love:
falling asleep dreaming up outfits

i love:
joel's eyes beaming with pride when other males pick up on me
(i'm pretty sure i would die if i had a jealous husband)

i love:
my feet

i love:
indian food and cheeseburgers

i love:
going to basketball games

i love:

i love:
pictures of said trips, almost more than the trips

i love:
making lists of places to travel.  i make one every new year for the following year.

i love:
when spices and liquor go on sale

i love:
that somewhere along the way i fully realized and reveled in the fact there is no person on earth that could make me as happy as i could make myself (though i swear i have the runner up)

i love:
long, thick hair

i love:
in clothing, in nature, in psychology, in language, in food, in decor, in relationships

i love:

i love:
my typewriter

i love:
my portable mouse.

seriously the touch pad on this laptop kills my wrist

i love:
blaming things for the inordinate amount of time i spend at my computer

i love:
(as pertains to the xbox)

i love:
how Mad Men makes me pour 2 fingers of whiskey and smoke a cigarette
(and get joel's hair to look like don draper's)

holy deliciousness!


i love:
seeing you both DISCOVER and BE yourself

i do NOT love:
pandora advertisements
(just had to sneak that in)
(nor do i love joel's poncho
but i digress)

i love:
 using the correct verb tenses
(snuck is NOT a word, ppl!)

i love:
knowing what my friend's favorite flower is
(snapdragon, you know who you are)

i love:
investing in jewelry and shoes

i love:
organizing photos

i love:

i love:
the smell of joel's neck

i love:
lighting all the candles in the house, turning off the lights, turning on a shameless tear-jerker flick, and crying big baby tears into my jameson.

I have to stop.
If you've made it this far, well then...I love YOU.
Because you're obviously patient...and that's the kind of people I need in my life right now.

Happy Friggen V-day, yous!




February 10, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

Seattle is finally getting back to it's rainy goodness, but I loved the last few days of blissful sunshine.  It sure lit a fire under my arse to get some things done around the place.  You know those spring tasks like reorganizing your dishtowels, weeding the flower pots, moping the floor, etc...well, on Tuesday, it sent me outside to FINALLY finish up those spray-painting projects that built up in the winter.

Here are the various goodwill finds.
Tray: $4.99
Letter Holder: $.99
Wire Basket: $2.99
Box: $2.00

Here's the spray paint purchased for $.99/can.  It's the month of frugality, after all.
If it wasn't, I would have purchased the can with the nice press thingy (the technical term).
Otherwise my pointer finger wouldn't have died and gone to appendage hell.

Planning out my strategy.
(Also seriously pondering going back inside for almonds and my sunglasses)

Getting down to work.

Letter holder needed like four coats.

Missy Octavia decided to venture outdoors and see what I was doing.
She's like totally almost an outdoor kitty now (except for the eating and peeing inside, you know)

I also decided to finish up the coat tree from AGES ago (hence the cobwebs, but why remove them! ;) ).  Turns out it needed even more than 2 cans of magenta spray paint.

Aren't they kind of gorgeous?

Tree with a few more coats, drying in the sun.

Going back to the tray...

By now, my finger FLIPPING HURTSSEES.

Here's all the stuff with a few coats, I'll be back in an hour to finish them off.

Well, I am excited to see them back in the house, breathing their FRESH WHITENESS into my otherwise drab house.