dual personalities

Month: July, 2019

Moving (but not shaking)

Inspired by my recent sojourn at my DP’s beautiful house, I finally put a couple of things up on my bare kitchen walls. The behemoth size of our new microwave required me to rethink the space above it, where the old shelves would no longer fit. I looked for new ones, but after months of fruitless searching I decided to nick the little shelves from the downstairs powder room. I replaced them with this sweet Dutch print that had been one of our mother’s favorites.

The print seems happy in that spot, and the smaller shelves fit perfectly in the kitchen next to the vintage embroidery that my DP gave me.

Here’s a slightly wider view — you can see what I mean about the microwave.

I think it turned out well — the shelves aren’t even crooked!

Curtains are next on my finishing list but choosing them is much more difficult than I anticipated. There is so much gorgeous blue and white material out there:

Fleur de Provence from Spoonflower.com

Unfortunately, my kitchen really cries out for a dash of color other than cobalt blue. This lovely design — also from Spoonflower — would be my curtain choice were it not for the fake tile lines. Do you think they would look okay on curtains or would the lines ruin the effect?

At the moment I’m leaning toward Saffron Marigold’s Moonlit Taj, although I’m a little worried that the blue will be too turquoise and clash with all the Spode in the kitchen.

What do you think? Would you choose one of the three? If so, which one? Should I keep looking? Don’t be shy or worry that I will choose the one you advise me against. I value any and all input! Have a lovely week!!



“Surely all this is not without meaning.”*

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The wee babes came over yesterday and learned some new words.


Aunt Susie reads “Moby-Dick”–can you say harpoon?

Yes, we are in the big build up to Herman Melville’s 200th birthday/birthday bash at the end of the week. So, of course, we had to get the wee babes in the act.


Lottie says, “Is there a sea princess in this book?”

Here, then, was this grey-headed, ungodly old man, chasing with curses a Job’s whale round the world, at the head of a crew, too, chiefly made up of mongrel renegades, and castaways, and cannibals–morally enfeebled also, by the incompetence of mere unaided virtue or right-mindedness in Starbuck, the invulnerable jollity of indifference and recklessness in Stubb, and the pervading mediocrity in Flask. Such a crew, so officered, seemed specially picked and packed by some infernal fatality to help him to his monomaniac revenge. How it was that they so aboundingly responded to the old man’s ire–by what evil magic their souls were possessed, that at times his hate seemed almost theirs; the White Whale as much their insufferable foe as his; how all this came to be–what the White Whale was to them, or how to their unconscious understandings, also, in some dim, unsuspected way, he might have seemed the gliding great demon of the seas of life,–all this to explain, would be to dive deeper than Ishmael can go. The subterranean miner that works in us all, how can one tell whither leads his shaft by the ever shifting, muffled sound of his pick? Who does not feel the irresistible arm drag? What skiff in tow of a seventy-four can stand still? For one, I gave myself up to the abandonment of the time and the place; but while yet all a-rush to encounter the whale, could see naught in that brute but the deadliest ill.

*Herman Melville

“It’s a motto. It just says itself”*

What did you watch this weekend?

With a nightly bedtime of 8:30 p.m., we don’t get through much, but we did start Lonesome Dove.


It is a first-time watch for me, so I am learning a lot about horse thieves and water moccasins and what it means for a cattle herd to “catch lightning.” We stopped at a very traumatic end to “episode” one, and I have been warned that the action won’t rest henceforth.

Well, OK! We’ll have to tune in for more cowboy medicine this week.

*Gus, in Lonesome Dove

Luck don’t live out here*

The week flew by and I have nothing much to show for it, having left the house hardly at all.  I did read an excellent book, Fall Back Down When I Die by Joe Wilkins, a writer and poet from Montana.

Wendell Newman, the main character, is a young Montana ranch hand who lives in a trailer on his family’s property. He is burdened by debts, among them his late mother’s medical bills and the unpaid mortgage on the land that has been in his family for generations. When, out of the blue, he receives custody of his jailed cousin’s traumatized young son, he does his best to care for the boy. Under Wendell’s low key care, Rowdy slowly begins to come out of his shell, but the family’s past and local political conflicts intrude on the pair, with dire results.

Picture of Bull Mountain Ranch, Montana from Google Image

The novel addresses political divisions and attendant personal grudges with refreshing subtlety, sensitivity and openness. There are no one-dimensional villains here — just imperfect people who sometimes let their emotions take the place of reason and then make bad decisions that have unintended consequences.  Fall Back Down When I Die is a beautifully written, thoughtful, character driven reminder to consider other people’s points of view before imposing our own, and that we should not kill (literally or metaphorically) just because we imagine a threat.

These brief comments do not do this wonderful book justice. You’ll just have to read it!

*from the film Wind River (a movie that, although darker, would pair well with this book)

“His heart is a feather. In all kinds of weather. He sings his cattle call.”*

Did you know that tomorrow is the National Day of the Cowboy? Well, it is. And, of course, it is one of my favorite days.

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I will spend the weekend indulging in a favorite activity, i.e. watching cowboy movies…

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Howard Hawks’ Red River (1948)

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Chisum (1970)

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Lonesome Dove (1989)

“It’s a funny life,” Augustus said. “All these cattle and nine-tenths of the horses is stolen, and yet we was once respected lawmen. If we get to Montana we’ll have to go into politics. You’ll wind up governor if the dern place ever gets to be a state. And you’ll spend all your time passing laws against cattle thieves.” ― Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove 

Most westerns aren’t even really about cowboys, so you have to give it some thought.

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Junior Bonner (1972)

Life is a journey and it ain’t for sissies. It’s a hard struggle, and perhaps the cowboy personifies that struggle. Whatever. It works for me.

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*Tex Owens, “Cattle Call”

Home again, home again…

Today, I am en route to St. Louis! I have been going non-stop for weeks now, and I’m looking forward to slowing down at home.


Unfortunately I am leaving these pretty flowers behind

Throughout my own trials this summer, DN has been taking great care of me: cooking, listening, driving, lovingly chilling cold compresses for my hot brow… (we do not have central air in our current apartment). Well, now it is my turn to take care. I am ready to cook, listen, and drive for my dear mother!

TBD whether she will need a cold compress for her brow.


Wednesday treat?

Last night, in between long talks on the phone I watched part of The Time Machine (1960) starring Rod Taylor. It’s a pretty bad movie, although I enjoyed seeing Rod and a super young Yvette Mimieux. He was just 30 and she a mere 18.

What IS that monster with the animal skin wrap on?

Yvette was pretty, if a little wooden. Here she is not reacting to Rod after he saves her from drowning in a river.

Though Rod gives it his best, even he cannot save The Time Machine.

Doesn’t he seem older than 30?

Still, what I saw of RT made me think it would be nice to see him in another movie. Why not watch The Birds,

or The Glass Bottom Boat with Doris Day?

In any case, I’m up for an early 1960s film that I have not already seen a hundred times. Got any suggestions?

Let it rain, rain down on me*


I thought I was taller than you…

Well, your dual personalities had a lot of fun hanging out, not doing much, but just being together. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

My sister got to hang out with the wee babes, who are admittedly more fun than a barrel of monkeys…


Lottie go to the beach?


Come in the water, Wheeler! It feels great!

…and she went estate sale-ing with daughter #1 and to lunch at the Women’s Exchange, but the rest of the time, we were pretty mellow. And now I miss her. Sigh.

But things are bubbling over at work and daughter #2 arrives on Thursday, so dull  moments do not accrue.

“No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky. No water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand. And no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

Have a good Tuesday!


“This is what we’d forgotten: the simplest things.”*

Due to a sick day or two, as well as an apparent refresh to the Netflix archive, we have been streaming a lot of movies lately. I have to say, it’s been an odd selection.

A recent pick of DN’s was Gosford Park (2001). I could only remember seeing this movie once before, when I was young and would often fall asleep on the floor of the den while watching films with our family. (Such is the condition of being the youngest, I think.)

I must admit, I fell asleep this time, too! This movie is about a murder that doesn’t occur until more than halfway through the storyline. There are funny moments, and about one and a half surprises, but after a long day I probably would have preferred a mystery that was pure fluff (read: Murder She Wrote).

One day in between naps, we watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005). There is nothing significant to say about this movie, except that it is very 2005 and thus made me very nostalgic for straightened hair and aspirational romance. I certainly never visited Greece on summer vacation and fell in love with a family nemesis, but when one is 15, one imagines that they could do so. This series functions as a teen equivalent of Sex and the City, in that I’m sure you are meant to identify with at least one of the girls, who are unrealistically dissimilar for a set of best friends. I must have been a “Lena” who wished she were a “Bridget.”

Moving on. We also watched Bourne Supremacy, confirming that there is no method to our madness of movie choices and no consistency in our mood or taste this weekend. DN and I have always been able to agree on spy thrillers, so it becomes the genre of choice when neither of us feels like negotiating a compromise. I am not a huge Matt Damon fan, but “guy with amnesia, running fast” is certainly his forte.


I, for one, appreciated that a career woman with impeccable lipstick triumphs in this installation of the series. (N.b.: I’m making fun of the lipstick.)

I saw on Instagram this weekend that it was Robin Williams’s birthday. (Edit: I had originally thought it was the anniversary of his death, but that is August 11.) Perhaps, then, we should watch Awakenings, an all-time favorite.


30 and counting

Monday will mark my thirtieth year of marriage. Yes, thirty years of home sweet home (Hell’s Half Acre?).

and loving support.

My DH protects me from beasts,

and encourages me to explore new things.

We’ve been together through thick and thin (okay, by now we’re not so thin). Here’s to 30 more years, my dear DH! With luck, I’ll be home tomorrow to celebrate in person. Until then…

Please note: I’m writing this post from St. Louis on a Mac (of all things!) and without access to most of my photos — hence no pics of our three marvelous offspring. Love to you all!