Category Archives: Life Style, Home and Garden

Building dikes to hold back the tides of fear

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the tides of fear.

Resistance requires strength.

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the tides of fear.

Sari-Sari released a set of ballet poses with their exercise equipment for Collabor88

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Free, unrestrained and unhindered.

“the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed"

Epictetus wrote in the Enchiridion, “The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered.” We control our own actions, words, opinions, what we like, what we don’t like, and what we want. If we stick to what we control, he suggests, we are free of restraint. It is when we try to influence the things outside our control that we are trapped. It’s good advice. The difficulty is figuring out what we can control.

That’s been on my mind a lot. There’s a lot I don’t like happening, but what can I control? I can choose despair or resistance, that’s up to me. I need to focus on what I can do, not what I wish would happen. So even though I feel like kicking more than an exercise bag, I will instead focus my mind and my heart on resisting despair.

“the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed"

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When the air is fresh and crisp as new snow.

A Fine Day For Moving Today

Portland is on its third day of snow. We are a city ill-suited to snow. Most people don’t know how to drive in it. We have lots of hills that are quite steep and can get slippery, we have bridges that get icy, and we have snow so seldom, there is no huge fleet of snow removal equipment nor deep knowledge of living with snow. I hunker down and so does my best friend, and we are both from snow country. She’s from Buffalo, I am from the Northwoods of Minnesota. We know snow.

I remember the first snowfall after I moved to Oregon. I was living way up in the Cascades, in a river valley, closed in my mountains, a deep canyon that ranged from 1/4 to a few miles wide. There were places where the road was carved into the canyon cliffs, with a fall down into the river below and there were wider valleys that made room for truck farming, but life centered on logging. It was rural, so I was surprised when I got a call saying school was closed and there was just a dusting of snow, barely two inches. I thought it was a prank and went to school anyway, discovering it was closed. Deciding to take advantage of a weekday off, I decided to drive to the State Capitol and take a tour.

It was then I discovered why they closed school for a light snowfall. Driving up one of the big hills, the traffic was so slow the cars lacked the speed that would keep them from sliding backwards, pulled by gravity on the slick highway. It was quite frightening, more frightening than anything that had ever happened to me in a car before. I managed to avoid them as I chugged up the hill, but it was nerve-wracking. I am sure they thought I was a speedster, but really, I just understood the laws of physics.
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Hello Cold Weather

Hello Cold Days

December is here and that means Christmas! and The Arcade! and it is up for debate which is more exciting. It’s so easy to go the red and green route for the holidays, but I resisted, buoyed by the gorgeous Camellia lights from {anc} over in the corner. I went for pinks and turquoises, think Miami meets Idaho. I liberally used the edit menu to tint my furnishings just a bit and even retexture a few things such as the runner on the side table. I know it’s a blend of modern and traditional that should clash, but it doesn’t. I think of Simon de Pury when I decorate, “Be bold, be brave, be amazing.” Why not mix modern settees with traditional cupboards and folk art and deco end tables? If you can make harmony of contradiction, then it’s not just bold, it is amazing.

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I Am House Hunting – Or Is It Hunting Me?

I could not resist the temptation to try out the new house from Scarlet Creative at COLLABOR88 this month. Such a lovely, cozy space, I thought maybe, JUST MAYBE I would make a change. Fall is the time I often switch houses and despite missing my tree houses I was thinking perhaps this one is the one? Maybe I should settle into this snug space with it’s interesting little alcoves and hallways?  Continue reading

Be like a peacock and dance with all your beauty

Be like a peacock and dance with all of your beauty.

Peacocks are glorious creatures, peahens are so dowdy by their side. Aren’t we lucky that both the male and the female of our species can, if they choose, be as gaudy as a peacock or as subtle as a peahen? I am going for the gaudy side today with this gloriously embellished butterfly “Glasswings” dress from Reverie for The Arcade.

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A-Frame Life

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Growing up on a resort lake with twenty-one year round residents, but thousands of weekenders who flood the lake and live in the more the hundreds of lakefront cabins that are empty most of the year, I am very familiar with A-frames. Lots of people bought A-Frame kits or pre-made A-Frames, much faster than the old-fashioned bungalow style cabins that signal older homes on the lake. This A-Frame from Barnesworth Anubis has an advantage over many of the lake front cabins as the ceiling rests on a short bit of vertical wall. The A-frames on the lake often did not have that bonus, which often meant a lot of space behind the couch when it was shoved against the wall and sometimes a clunk on your head. A-frame weekenders almost never came for winter ice-fishing, their cabins hard to heat with what heat they had rising to the ceiling and escaping from the lakefront windows. But they sure are pretty when you’re out in the canoe late at night, all the light from their wall of windows facing the lake, so bright and illuminated in contrast to the smaller windows on the bungalows. Kind of like big jewels in a necklace of smaller stones.

One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

A-frame homes are very open plan. After all, walls interfere with the loft of those high ceilings. Here a rug and the Scarlet Creative Venice couch back serve to mark space for dining from space for lounging.  Lots of plants along the windows are a requirement when you have that kind of window exposure. Otherwise, you would be wasting the sunshine, wouldn’t you?

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