Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Ghost of Gram

On the thirty-first floor your gold plated door
Won't keep out the Lord's burning rain






One of the things I liked most about Mike when we first started dating was that he listened to music I had never heard before. Music no one our age was into. Country music, when country music wasn't cool - (particularly among high school kids) Top of the list being Gram Parsons. A scratched CD that played over and over while he painted his cars or cleaned out his father's garage. A voice I secretly resented because in those years I was a die hard teenage Dylan fan unamused by anyone but Dylan doing Dylan's songs. 

Gram is good, but Dylan is better I'd say. (As if a fair comparison could even be made)

Booking a room at the Joshua Tree Inn Hotel was a long time coming. Mike had always wanted to visit the place, to see for himself what he'd memorized in magazines so many years ago. This past weekend we had our chance, in room eight, where Gram died in 1973. I was prepared to be a bit creeped out by the idea of it, but was happy to find that it was not the case at all. A warm and endearing hotel with the sweetest dreadlocked live-in lobby guy you could possibly imagine put me right at ease. The musical tributes consisting of a beautiful gold plated door, a beloved cowboy hat and scattered shrines along the courtyard as well as piles of random music left by visiting musicians and a red leather notebook filled with sentimental scribbles and cowboy angel sketches. I drew a cactus, with a big blooming bud. Mike played guitar and napped. In the evening, for dinner we ventured into Pioneertown to Pappy & Harriets  (A Joshua Tree must see) for the best burger I've ever tasted, and live music to boot. The place packed wall to wall with the standard JT mash up: weekend hipsters and weathered local desert folk. 

After dinner we drove back down the mountain to celebrate a friend's birthday where I had my first experience with vegan carrot cake (delicious!) and listened to a stack of records before finally heading back to our room to face the Ghost of Gram. A greeting that never happened. But waking to the magic of that blazing desert sun, it's all the same. A good night's sleep is a good night's sleep. And obviously, ghost or not, the legend lives on...


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

H.O.H Shout Out.



Stumbling across a sweet nod to our House of Habit shop on this neat blog just brightened my week. 
Thanks Chanee. 

xx
J


Monday, January 23, 2012

Closet Speak

Thank you closet visit, for making our beloved accessories feel like high art.


Happy Monday.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Etsy Photo Shoot

This week we had someone from Etsy's PR request higher quality pictures of our canvas tee pees to possibly be included in their summer lookbook. An exciting prospect indeed. And a challenge that forced me to learn, very quickly, some of the technical features involved with higher resolution photos. I am so clueless to the technical side... But as far as getting out in that gorgeous field to shoot anything, let alone a House of Habit promo, well, that's reward enough for me.

I love this place.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Loose Resolutions

I am not a stickler for New Year's resolutions.

But I use to be. In fact, much of my early teens to mid twenties saw me writing out specific lists of that which I wished to improve, accomplish, avoid, complete, or seek in life. In one year, starting January first (Probably something I saw on Sex in the City, and thought brilliant)

These past few years, however, that tradition (along with many others) simply dissolved because I hadn't the energy (nor the time) to devote to steady personal growth or self consideration in the least. With the babies, I didn't have time to "get ready," take an hour at the gym, to scour a book store, or see a movie -- Which is not to say I was without rewards -- being a stay at home mom is one of the best gifts I've been given in life, but, it is also far tougher than I ever imagined. As much as I adore spending every waking minute tending to these bright, boisterous boys, the past two years have been downright exhausting. So much so that I felt like our daily grind revolved strictly around basic survival mechanisms. In other words, get them fed, keep them clean, and try and squeeze in everything you know your children deserve in between. Which, is A LOT. Wake up and do it all over again.

But then, suddenly, it gets a little easier.
As of now, Arlo is in school half the day, Leon is potty trained and Rex is... um, still really wild but at least now he can kind of decipher REALLY dangerous from not so dangerous stunts. And he has a good imagination, so he plays well. Meaning for the first time in quite some time, I've had time to think about what I'd like 2012 to mean for me, as well as "us"  I didn't make a list or broadcast to friends, but I did think about it in weeks leading up and even now, mid-way through January. So far, simple things like reading again at night no matter how much laundry is waiting, or running in the evening even though I know groceries are low or homework untouched. It means taking a bath in the morning despite the chaos that ensues outside the door, making myself breakfast, taking a nap if I need it and not feeling guilty, or getting myself ready with the same care I take on everyone else when we have someplace to be. Easier said than done. But I resolve to try.

And past experiences remind me that loose resolutions seem to work out best anyway.


So here's to taking time for yourself. As a mother and an individual. To learn, seek, wander and relax again. They say old habits die hard. Let's hope they're right. 

xx
J


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In The Kitchen


So Santa brought Leon and Rex a little wood kitchen this year and they haven't stopped playing with it since. Yesterday Rex was hard at work while Leon napped, whipping up some cupcakes and coffee for mommy, which he refilled probably 83 times?

It was a good time.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Brick Wall Please

Totally obsessing over brick walls.
Aren't we all?

We have our brick pallets stacked and waiting in the driveway - which we scored dirt cheap this past weekend on Craig's list - so now it's just a matter of: what wall? I pick based on aesthetics (center of the house makes sense to me) and Mike, practicality (which wall would truly be made of brick, were that the honest truth) And as much as I love seeing all kinds of brick used as accents indoors in all those amazing catalogue scenarios, it still feels like the riskiest thing we've decided on to date.

Hopefully it works it out...


To risks.



Currently

Reading: Hunger Games (I know, I'm joining the game late)
Hearing: El Camino, by the Black Keys (which is naturally amazing from start to finish)
Focused: On finishing up a new string of furniture ready for the shop before spring.
Playing: At a new mini park that opened next door to the Anthropology store near our house, making mid day stop-ins even more appealing (Especially when it entails that wild little spin machine!)
Planning: A Joshua Tree camp trip soon.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Return of the Sputnik

Our first home (a little 1920's spanish boon) taught us everything we (ok, Mike,) know about home renovation. If you want to learn in the inns & outs of hard core DIY work, restoring an old home will do it (That is, if you don't have tons of money to dump into hiring people for quick & easy projects and are brimming with lots of positive determination)

Anyway, in our old kitchen, above the breakfast nook, hung the brass vintage sputnik Mike had stumbled across ages ago while on tour, and fallen in love with. Everybody loved it. So much so that when we sold the house, the new buyer requested it stay in tact, above that nook.
So that is where we left it.

I've always missed it a little but figured it would never work in a stark (semi boring) track home, until I started seeing these lovely chrome versions popping up in very sparse, modern settings, complemented by reclaimed accents and everything else we adore. So now (right in line with my obsession of putting a brick accent wall someplace in this house) is finding a smaller scale (and decently priced) chrome sputnik. New, old, I don't care.

I just think it would be a lot of fun to have a nod to the "old days" light a corner in this house.

*not sure exactly where images are taken - but a wild guess says designsponge.




Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whirlwind


As expected, December was a whirlwind.

We lost track of appointments, cameras, time, blogs and budgets.
We wrapped feverishly up until the wee hours of the 24th
Rushed out for last minute shopping sprees in overcrowded malls,
Felt stressed,
Talked to Santa,
Wore sweaters,
Sang songs,
Ate too much with family
Toasted old friends
And went out to dinner once.

When it was all through, we were left with a dizzying pride over the fact that we had managed, one way or another, to keep up with everything Christmas called for.
Loud, chaotic, messy, and joyful.

And boy, are we glad it's through.

Happy Christmas.
To another New Year.
xx
J