Getting inspired for the next session.

Getting inspired for the next session.

should be the next big thing. I’m a fan. Especially  drunk yoga on the beach. Tipsy yoga just doesn’t sound right. Hammered yoga–no. But drunk yoga brings the hard sounds and the soft ones together on the beach. Not too drunk. No queasy feeling. Just loose. No mats. Just bathing suit and the sand and the ocean and a drink or two. My father used to sneak over his “funny 7Up” to the beach. You didn’t want to pick up his bottle by accident. It is hard to contemplate putting my father and yoga in the same sentence, but that is the sort of mind-altering stuff that can happen when one is at one with drunk yoga.

Woke up the other morning fuzzy and a little confused about where I was since I’d been out of town a couple of nights before. But clearly through the haze two words came to me: church chocolate. In that order. Related. Unexpected yet it all made sense. Not chocolate church–that’s a different dream. I love alliteration even when I’m asleep. To my mind, especially at 6 a.m., church chocolate combines religion with all that is holy. If only pain au chocolate were the bread that gets broken at church, I might make an appearance now and again.

A chocolate for my thoughts?

16 apostles here

Of course, Jesus didn’t say, “I am the chocolate of life,” but perhaps he’s regretting his turn of phrase. With so many people avoiding wheat and going gluten free, bread is getting stale.

I’ve long had a theory that the whole Last Supper thing was a game of telephone gone awry. Jesus is at the table and says, “The bread tastes fresh.” And around and around the table his comment gets repeated, until it comes out, “the bread made flesh” and transubstantiation had to fill in the blanks. I think my version is every bit as believable.

Good ole Mary S.

Good ole Mary S.

I walked up the backyard yesterday after a walk with a friend in the soft rain. I was already thinking of the next thing I had to do when I walked over the bridge over the gully kwai (not its real name) and had enough sense to pause and see the blooms where they were planted. I felt a calming and a brightening simultaneously. The leafed out Japanese maple was all the umbrella I needed from the rain sprinkling down and the pine straw path hushed my clodhopper footfalls. And then right at eye-level were these babies. Not babies at all, quite mature like myself, but planted by Mary and Stuart decades ago, exactly in the right place for me to get happier just then. I think I’ll go back out there right this second. Our yard is such that if I don’t get right out in it and wander around, I can miss the best of what those Shumates did back there.

Mary’s been gone for a year now, but those azaleas and the phlox and ajuga and vinca busting out all over keep her ever-present. Excuse me, while I go pay my respects to her plants.

 

 

 

I have a job where I walk through Richmond neighborhoods during the day and show off almost anything to unsuspecting folks. Friday I’ll be wandering The Fan in search of good food–not exactly a difficult task. Saturday I head to North Side to show off the eats available on MacArthur and Bellevue avenues. Don’t tell the restaurants, but as happy as I will be to introduce people to their joints, and as fun as it is that we’re starting the tour at my painter friend’s Sarah Master’s studio, I get absolutely giddy thinking about showing off backyard chickens in one generous person’s yard (almost legal, even) and then there’s the creme de la creme, alpacas in another woman’s backyard! In the city. I love this more than makes sense.

 

No eating alpacas on this food tour!

No eating alpacas on this food tour!

Tickets ($44.46) are available and must be purchased in advance here. I wonder how many restaurants on the tour are serving chicken? I do know we will answer the question, Which came first the chicken or the egg?

The egg doesn't come first on this tour.

The egg doesn’t come first on this tour.

Our visit to Little House Green Grocery will settle that!

 

 

When I heard that Hillary Clinton found comfort in watching a particular HGTV show real estate reality show, I don’t think I’d seen the show in question for more than a minute, so I didn’t quite get how it could be comforting. Now that my husband and I have recently purchased a fixer-upper house, I, too, take solace in watching Love It or List It. Those hosts get much more done in an hour than we do, so that part just makes me agitated. The solace comes from seeing how icky so many people’s houses are.

quite the denouement

quite the electrician

I’ve decided to start our own reality real estate show: Torch It or Trash It.

The AT&T It’s Not Complicated ads with the obnoxious guy and annoying children. For weeks I noticed that the adult ignored the girls and pretended to be amazed by every dumb thing the loud, little boys did and diss the girls. Now they have a couple of spots where a girl takes center stage. Of course, it’s no better as the grownup hasn’t been paying attention to her. I am sorry to put these in here as god knows they’ve been running constantly on television as it is.

 

March Madness is going to be hard to take with these running every 12 seconds.

I can’t tell you all the quirky offerings that will be on this Friday, March 15th’s tour, RVA Ink: Imprint & Impact, that we’ll debut in Richmond’s Downtown Arts District 12:30-3:30 p.m., but I’m perfectly fine with dropping a few tidbits to entice you.

It’s all about cool, artsy things going on downtown and includes lunch at Pasture. We start at Ghostprint Gallery and meet the co-owner and tattoo artist extraordinaire, Thea Duskin. Tattoos welcomed, but not necessary! Then we head to Art 180 which does amazing things with kids and art, then pop into Big Secret, a biz that does wild laser cutting and engraving, then lunch, then head  to Richmond Times-Dispatch, Library of Virginia for a special look at old newspapers and end at the Valentine to see their RVA tattoo exhibit before it closes at the end of the month. Ink in many forms. Creativity everywhere we turn. And I haven’t even mentioned the murals!
Pasture is creativity we can eat!

Pasture is creativity we can eat!

It’s quirky and creative, so it would be so fun if you could come! I’ll be leading it. Here’s the link for  RVA Ink. Should be good weather Friday, unlike today!

 

So here we are on a Sunday evening with no new Downton Abbey episode to look forward to. Life is harder than it looks–especially without all those servants and such. I suggest you don’t look at all. When one does, it’s not pretty.

It has come to my attention, especially when I am on the treadmill watching the morning news shows, that I have the answer to our unemployment troubles. Bring back the valets! There are just too many men on television who are in need of a good brushing off before they start spouting off.  I’m talking to you, Mike Barnicle! Tom Brokaw, too, I’m afraid. High Definition Television is doing no favors to those on TV and to those of us out in the hinterlands. I can see your dandruff. Your nose hairs, ear hairs, gunk in your eyes and spots on your sweaters. I don’t mean to pick on particular folk, and god knows I’d not do well under anyone’s scrutiny, but I avoid looking in the mirror early in the morning for good reason. I certainly don’t want to be subjected to visions on the television screen that are even more disconcerting. Thomas or Mr. Bates or even Mr. Molesley are what’s wanted ’round here! I get the point of their incessant shoulder brushing of Lord Grantham and Matthew Crawley’s suits and sport coats.

A valet in every house....

A valet in every house….

Think of the jobs there’d be. Especially if even the window guy at a big box home improvement store who has the unfortunate situation of an untamed mustache growing into his nose hairs–and vice versa–could get a valet. Be warned, once you start looking for unkempt men, the men in your own life might not look so bad.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all and to all some dark chocolate! I am not a traditionalist, so there will be no red roses today.

An orchid for Emily

Orchids are lovely. Sadly the pot is empty now. My bad.

 

 

IMG_2168

I made it myself only in the sense that my sister Mary Eileen wove the basket and my daughter made the heart magnet. I did purchase the Pantone postcards and put them in here though!

A chocolate for my thoughts?

A chocolate or 16 from Gearharts? Sadly these are not in my possession.

Heart be still.

Heart be still. It’s a beef heart from my heart throb. 

BaconHeart

BaconHeart

Whoopie!

Make some Whoopie!

impressive, no?

impressive, no?

that's all she wrote

that’s all she wrote

It is unnerving to see how much paper has accumulated in the filing cabinets in this house. Note that I didn’t say I had accumulated the paper but the paper has accumulated. Paper makes me passive. Or feel passive. Or passive-aggressive. Sure don’t want to take ownership of much of it. Ok, so it’s not as bad as the photo, but it is utterly not empowering to go through one’s files. It makes me think I’ve been both busy and lazy simultaneously. That I have wasted my life and continue to every minute I spend purging the outdated and extraneous stuff from the damned files or reading things I find interesting in them. It’s that just putting off the inevitable ashes to ashes. It’s more like ash to trash and brain down the drain. Will my children thank me for the load I’m taking off them? That depends on whether the binders of my father’s multi-papered life outlast me. My husband just put a load of them in a container up in the attic. As heavy as it must have been, I feel lighter already. Out of sight–out of mind works so well sometimes. I much prefer it to going out of my mind

 

 

I’m back!

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