Monday, March 31, 2008

my new favorite book

Thank you, Amy Butler, for being such an inspiration. This weekend, her newest book, Midwest Modern, was delivered to my home. I waited five patient days, and it was well worth it. Butler's style is so very close to my own, and her husband and she are just too cool for school. They were recently featured in the (dear-departed) Blueprint magazine, and their home is just as I thought it would be. This book is really emblematic of her work as well as her lifestyle. Flipping through it, I felt the urge to ride through a field of daisies on a horse and then retire on a hillside with a cup of tea.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

easter weekend at the ranch

Those who know me well understand that I am a city girl trapped in a country girl body. (My Steve Madden kitten heels sit comfortably next to a pair of Ariat cowboy boots.) There are so many things that lure me to country life, but I just have a hard time giving up city living. Luckily, I can passify the fetish with frequent weekend visits to The Husband's family ranch homestead. Yes, the in-laws are cattle ranchers. And this isn't just a passing hobby. They have a full-fledged operation.

We spent Saturday on the ranch helping my father in law check cattle, and The Husband even branded a few cows to show off his this-is-in-my-blood mentality. The branding iron makes a nice sizzling sound and then the smell of putrid, burning cow hair fills the air. I must have shriveled up my nose, because my sister in law promptly told me that the burning stench of cow hair was actually the "smell of money." Go figure.

It was a beautiful day on the ranch. We had a lunch of delicious, perfectly carmelized ham and several versions of the popular deviled egg. We sat on the shady porch of the ranch house and watched kids on an early hunt for Easter eggs, some of which were filled with pennies and nickels. We also ventured out into an adjoining pasture, where The Husband tried to catch a newborn calf for me to pet. He only accomplished a pull of its tail, however, but I enjoyed watching the spectacle.

The image above is a photo of Sonny, my father in law's horse. I tend to ride a rather stout mare named Latches, so named because she can open all the latches in the barn, letting herself out to graze in the open pasture. Smart girl.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

i (heart) ginkgos

With spring making itself known on practically every stem in town, I feel this overwhelming urge to plant a tree. Honestly, I feel like this every year, and needless to say, the tree collection at our house grows almost yearly. The Husband is delighted, thank goodness, since he has a liking for trees as well. But my mom chides me often, asking if I want to live in a forest.
This year, I'm enamored with the ginkgo tree. They are hard to find. I know because I've looked. The grow to be quite tall, so they are by no means ornamental. But they turn a gorgeous mellow yellow in the fall, and the leaves have a peculiar shape. Native to Japan, the ginkgo is also the oldest tree on Earth, which makes it even more unique and fascinating.

Friday, March 14, 2008

a drippy chandelier i will never own

I've just fallen head over heels for this gorgeous chandelier from Rian Rae. First of all, it is outrageously expensive. And second, I have absolutely no where to put it. So I've solved that problem. But I just had to share it here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

buds and then fruit

I noticed some tiny buds on our fruiting pear tree and ventured outside as the sun was setting to take this photograph. I love the branches of this tree; they curve in all directions and have a lot of character. Each spring, they burst into bloom, and by summer, we have tiny pears growing. But in the four years we've lived in our mid-century rancher, we haven't tasted a single pear. You see, the squirrels tend to get there first. The grab every last pear they can reach, take a single bite, and drop them to the ground. Too tarty perhaps? I get a giggle every summer at all the unripe pears on our patio with tiny squirrel nibbles taken out of them.

And it begins.

Monday, March 10, 2008

how to be a nice person

The concept is rather simple. At least, it seems so for me. For others, I'm not so sure. Happiness comes easy to me, as does the ability to be kind to my fellow man. The theme of this blog seems to be, for the most part, about positivity, things that make me happy. But I just couldn't resist the urge to post about something that has bothered me my entire adult life: angry, intolerant people who insist upon subjecting the rest of us to the unhappiness of their lives. I understand that, for the most part, we all experience unhappiness. But for some, it's a whole lot easier to make an enemy than a friend. This concept is alien and strange to me, but for them, snapping or taken offense to every penetrating word is far more effortless than smiling and having something nice to say.

My point is this: If you want to get anywhere in life or, more important, gain respect from your peers, start being NICE. It's okay to let your guard down for a minute and allow the snarl come out of your voice momentarily to those around you. Especially if you are in close proximity to others on a day-to-day basis. If it's impossible for you to be nice, do something else with your life. Like work in a toll booth.

The whole world is not out to get you. I promise. And if you look around, you shouldn't have to venture far to notice that the majority of the people in this world who have accomplished respect, love, success, and happiness are those who so naturally project those feelings upon others. So, get over yourself. And learn to make some friends.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

yes, please

Just look at the adorable dress I came across while shopping today. I fell in love with it while walking briskly to the dressing room at Ann Taylor Loft (I almost missed it). Something tells me it's going to look so cute with my brown flats...


Just as I was getting excited about daffodils, the unpredictable Texas weather decided to produce some snow. The Husband and I awoke on Friday morning to some white fluffyness and icy concrete -- less than an inch but no less appreciated. By the afternoon, it was gone, and spring began again.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Our daffodils are beginning to poke through. I always look forward to the arrival of spring this way. And I know more blooms are just around the corner! Since it's almost time for spring planting, I've decided to try something new this year -- ornamental grasses. I just love their spikey texture, and I've been getting more into the minimal look lately. Once we get some new plantings started, I'll be sure to share them here.