Favorites List–February 2012

What did people do before Google?  I am very sure I could not survive without its magical ability to conjure up answers to my searches for new material to read, things I want to buy but hardly ever need, and answers to nearly every question I type in (save for “what should I do with my life?”  It’s not God, folks).
In any case, here is a list of what I’ve been reading and coveting this month.  Now you can read and covet, too–luck you.
I love Donald Hall .  Love, love, love his poetry and anything he’s written, really.  And I love his wife, Jane Kenyon.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t drive to his town in NH one time.  Don’t worry, I stopped short of actually finding his house.  That would be weird and stalker-ish.  I do have SOME boundaries. 
Really, really wanting to buy this couch cover for my living room makeover.  Also need to convince my mother to give me one of her couches that she’s had for 20 years but no one sits on.  I think I can give it a new life!  My mother doesn’t agree. ;-)
Craving this buttermilk chicken.  Sent Torrey to procure chicken drumsticks today, YUM.
Big fan of this essay on parenting.  Thank you, thank you, for this dose of reality.
Currently reading this book.  And my love affair with Julia continues. 
Dying to try this flour combination from the Littleton Grist Mill, which is driveable from my parents’ vacation home in New Hampshire, but you can order it online, too.  Have heard it’s a good alternative to all-purpose.
How adorable is this?  Thinking about buying it for Liam’s room (just don’t snatch it up before I do :-)  
Listening to this CD over and over and becoming more and more fascinated with Carole King. 

Chronicles of Chaos…Home Edition

My husband, Brian, and I are currently in the process of redecorating and revamping our house.  Here’s a little background on the house- the hub of The Compound, if you will.  We are currently living in the house I grew up in, the one that my parents bought in 1987.  When I was little, I used to tell my parents that I was going to live in that house forever.  Little did they know, that was actually going to happen.  Most normal kids can’t wait to leave for college.  I, on the other hand, decided to live at home while getting my degree, and couldn’t bear to be away from my family, especially my sisters.  My parents bought a vacation home and mostly left me to my own devices.  I like to tell people that they couldn’t get me to move out, so they took it upon themselves to leave first.  That’s completely untrue, but it sounds dramatic and a little evil, which I enjoy (I am a youngest child, after all).

That being said, it’s much harder to consolidate your belongings and throw things away when everything in the house is associated with a childhood memory.  Conversations usually go like this:

Me: “Do you think we should toss this heinously ugly table?”

Brian:  “Sure!”

Me: “ARE YOU CRAZY?  This came from my grandparents house!  I don’t care how ugly it is, we’re keeping it!”  *Storms off in fit of unjustified rage*

Ugliest. Table. Ever.  Do you like that awesome 80s phone?  You do?  I knew it.  [Also, please note the corner of the couch to the left of the table.  Janine is trying to somehow acquire that couch from my house.  That’s another story for another blog post…stay tuned].

 My parents still have the majority of their furniture in the house, until at some point they build an in-law apartment and move it all out (except, of course, the things that I have stuck post-its on and labeled as “keeping this forever– sorry Mom.”).  Sometimes I think that it would have been easier to move out and start fresh in a new, empty house, but then I think about how much I love the house and all its little quirks, and it makes all the work worth it.

My constant complaining about not having enough space to store things, not having enough time to decorate, and the fact that this adorable Anthropologie wallpaper won’t go on sale doesn’t seem to bother Brian in the slightest.  Yesterday we spent well over an hour looking at wallpaper and bedding online, and I only caught him staring at the ceiling out of sheer boredom once…we’re making strides here, people.  I come up with a new, usually hare-brained scheme for the house pretty much everyday.  My current obsession is trying to remedy the lack of closet space.  The house was built in 1890, when people clearly didn’t have excessively large wardrobes and/or nail polish collections.  I’ve convinced myself that turning an alcove in my room into a walk-in closet will solve all of life’s problems.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress of that…If you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s safe to assume that I’ve been attacked by the clothes-monster that seems to be expanding exponentially in the upstairs hallway.