Approaches to Landscaping

Two apartment complexes (or condos? can’t tell) from this morning’s walk with Anand, with VERY different approaches to landscaping. The first is basically sunny grass with some probably volunteer orange daylilies. Perfectly nice and cheery, nothing wrong with it.

The second has boxwood borders, lots of trees, making the whole space shady, benches, and lots of annual plantings of both Victorian-style bedding plants and big containers, bringing color into the space — and there’s even a little patio area, perfect for morning coffee with the paper, or sitting and reading while your little kid runs around the courtyard…

Obviously, the second option cost quite a bit more, both in initial hardscaping / planting, and in upkeep. But if I were looking for an Oak Park apartment, I’d hope to be able to pay a little more a month for the second option; they’ve really made the space into an additional outdoor living space, instead of just someplace you pass through. And the little arch that leads to the parking lot is charming too.

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Laundry Room and Master Closet Upgrade

Laundry room / master closet upgrade. I admit, when I buy this kind of thing from Pottery Barn, I can’t help thinking of that Friends apothecary chest episode where Phoebe is all about the fabulous unique cheap find from the flea market and her friends are buying things from Pottery Barn and lying to her about those items not being mass-produced and also overpriced, and then she finds out and she’s outraged, but also eventually has to admit that she loves the mass-produced apothecary chest, etc.

Similarly, I love this mango wood jewelry organizer. It is designed to efficiently hold bangles, which was the main reason I bought it; I was using a cup holding stand for bangle storage, and this is better, clearing up some counter space, yay. I also really like the overall aesthetic, and how well it hangs hook-style earrings (it’s not ideal for studs, but I have a little peacock organizer I use for those).

AND it’s both sustainably sourced and fair-trade, which didn’t used to be a thing Pottery Barn did, and that makes me feel slightly better about the whole thing. It’s less troubling buying overpriced tchotchkes from distant lands if you know the artisans who made the item are actually getting a decent wage for it, AND you’re not destroying a rainforest in the process.

I wish I could have hung it a little lower on the wall; I think that would look slightly better, given the windows right above. But then the necklaces would be hanging so low that they’d be hard to see and select from — functionality trumps pure aesthetics here.

Still want to add a replacement shelf above the washer/dryer, but it means digging up the name of the people who originally did the built-in shelving in this room a decade ago. Closet-something or other, I think. And it might be a month or two before we can budget for that, but coming along, coming along… (gotta sell some more cookbooks first )

It’s funny, I’m hardly wearing jewelry at all, in these pandemic times, but as I was transferring jewelry over and thinking I should probably get rid of some it, I have a lot, I realized that most of it is weighted with sentimental freight. These are the earrings and bangles from my sister’s wedding, these are from my other sister’s. This is the green glass pendant my in-laws gave me, that they found at a local art fair, my favorite piece of jewelry for many years.

These are the tiny ruby studs that I bought myself after grad school, the first ‘real’ piece of jewelry I bought for myself, and probably overpriced, but still somewhat significant in a “I’m a grown-up now and I can buy myself jewelry if I want, I don’t have to wait for my parents or a guy to give it to me” kind of way. Etc. and so on. Reason enough for keeping them, for now, at least. Eventually, I imagine Kavi will start raiding them…


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Feast Amazon Sale!

SALE! It turns out that Amazon will sometimes do discounts on books, which doesn’t affect how much I make (as the amount they pay the distributor doesn’t change), and right now, Feast is discounted from $40 down to $26.49 on their site, which I have to tell you, is a heck of a bargain.

We’re probably going to be running a sale ourselves soon out of the house, but our price won’t be dropping quite that much, so unless you want a signed copy from me, and/or some homemade curry powder, I’d love it if you’d buy a discounted copy from Amazon.

Maybe one for a friend? Your parents who are getting bored cooking at home for themselves? Your best friend from college who you haven’t called in too long? So many options…spread the word!

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Morning Mask-Sewing

Morning mask-sewing; this batch is ready to go out. A little more gardening next, some lunch, then writing-related work for the afternoon — urgent e-mail and Wild Cards joint plotting and revising a short story, drafting a food essay, perhaps. Okay, that probably won’t ALL get done this afternoon. But it’s okay if some of it spills over to tomorrow.

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Like a Closed Fist

I’m not sure what this allium is, and I’m not sure if I like it. It’s VERY tall; I planted three of them at each corner of my front garden, which was a mistake, because they tend to flop over into the path and get destroyed by people walking by; I think they should planted in the midst of something else, that will hold them up. Anyone know what variety of allium gets 5′ tall and blooms this time of year? The flower is pretty big, like a closed fist.

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