In honor of Raina

If the lampshade fits...

Jack has had a wet, squinty eye off and on over the last couple of weeks. He wasn't scratching it and never acted like he was in any pain, so I figured maybe he had something in it or a little infection or something. Our vet appointment was this morning at 830.

Should you find your pooch in a similar situation, don't wait. What likely began as a small scratch or irritation had turned into an ulcer. In his eye. I was shocked because other than closing the eye he didn't seem to be in pain. Dr. McGhee reminded me that dogs are pack animals, and as such often refuse to show weakness.

Because of how eyes are put together, in dogs anyway, it's hard for them to heal on their own. So they kept my boy, knocked him out, and basically SCORED his eyeball. The scoring allows the antibiotic eye drops to get in there and kill the bacteria so the eye can heal. Antibiotic eye drops administered at the rate of one drop in the eye, every two hours, for the next 48 hours. And when they said every two hours, they mean EVERY two hours. And then once every 8 hours until we go back for our follow-up visit.

So if you need me I'll be up at 130, 330, 530, and 730am. The pain pill, or half pill because he's a little guy, thankfully is once a day (we're having it after dinner).

I bitch, but when it comes down to it I'd do anything for my boys. What amazes me is what a tough little dog he is. The vet said he'd be groggy, but when we got home he was happy to see Alex and wanted to go when I took Al out for a walk. He's snoozed most of the evening, but he's nearly 11, so he does that every evening. I can't imagine he likes having us pry open his sore eye and put in a cold drop, but he takes it without a sound and promptly goes back to his nap.

On the bright side, he's weighing in at a svelte 18 pounds, does not have heartworms, and the little bump he's had on his leg is a benign cyst!

Rome: Engineering an Empire

If you get History Channel International and have 2 hours to kill, Rome: Engineering an Empire is an interesting way to do it. Starting with the rise of Julius Caesar around 55 BC and ending with the fall of the empire around 537 AD, the documentary details the architectural and engineering feats of each emperor.

I knew they had running water and sewers, I didn't know they had shopping malls and that the baths were for everyone (except the slaves stoking the furnaces below).

Recipe for a great weekend

Friday, begin by closing your office at 3pm, leaving lots of time for a run to the grocery store.

Dinner: Grilled ribeye, brussels sprouts tossed in a mustard vinegrette and roasted with almonds, grape tomatoes and garlic. Also a salad. Make ranch dressing. It's effortless and SO much better than from a bottle.

Lay around for the rest of the evening.

Saturday: Get up 830ish, shower, walk over to the coffee shop for breakfast.

Take advantage of Brett's rare mood to shop, spend hours buying shirts. Then come home and take cars to car wash. Gas is up, but it's hard to be too upset when you've got clean windows.

Nap, then eat leftovers for dinner. Lay on couch watching tv while new shirts go through the laundry.

Out for a late coffee and desert.

Write blog post, then hit the bed.


1. Cape Comorin is in India, and is now known as Kanyakumari.
2. This is the frame moulding that I'm in love with. From the Tabacchino collection, the color is bourbon.
3. I got the job painting the bookcase.
Happy long weekend everyone!

Something new, maybe

I think I may have mentioned my friend Rich before, a designer here locally for Nell Hills. It's wonderful to have a buddy that's as much of a geek for art and furnishings as I am, and we can talk about fabrics and paint colors for hours. (One of these days I hope to devote a photo-laden post to his art collection, which is full of wonderful things)

While the retailing juggernaut that is Nell Hills is probably best known for reasonably priced accessories and the cult-like devotion of women of a certain age and station, complete design services are available for both residential and commercial clients. It's endlessly interesting to me to see the work Rich does for the store, and I really enjoy hearing the stories and seeing the choices he makes with his clients.

He called me one evening a few weeks ago to tell me about a project he's working on now. A big home out at Lakewood, and a client with strong sense of style and an unapologetic love of French interiors. Scalamandre wallpaper in the dining room. A powder room tented in blue and white toile. 30 year-old Fortuny drapery in the breakfast room (that will look as fresh as ever after the valance is gone and the tops of panels are reworked).

I thought he was just catching me up on what he was doing when he said "So she's got this bookcase. It's solid, and it has good lines, but the wood isn't so great. She'd like to use it, so I suggested a painted finish. You can expect a call when she gets back in town in about a week."

I respect Rich's work a great deal, so it's especially flattering that he thinks enough of mine to recommend me to a client. What's more, the piece would be used in the room he's currently working on for her, so I'll get to see what he does with it.

I met with her Sunday morning to look at it. Two bays over four paneled doors below. Carving at the top arch of each bay, and crown above that. Nice lines and a nice scale, but she's right that the wood isn't great.

Rich suggested a french gray that leans toward green, which should be stunning against the raspberry grasscloth they've ordered. Rather than just take photos of past pieces, I painted a small, heavily carved, wooden picture frame in a highly aged gray finish for her to look at. And she liked it.

So, I emailed her my quote today and suggested she talk to Rich to be sure it's what they want. If it is, I'll start my first commissioned work next month!

The Art Upgrade Continues

Posting has been weak lately as it seems like there is always somewhere we have to be. Even with the tight schedule I found time for an auction last week, and picked up the hand-colored etching above. There were three gay boys in the bid battle, but I came out on top. Endearingly cranky old Mike threw his number up at the end thinking I'd let go, but he was wrong.

It's got a title at the bottom that reads "Cape Comorin taken near Calcad." I should do a bit of research and see where that is, but really I just like the image.

So here's the before shot. A new framing gallery just opened up down on Grand, not far from here. I stopped in (there's a coffee shop as well) Saturday walking back from dropping my scooter off at Vespa for a repair. Happily I discovered they stock Roma mouldings, including one I've seen before and really like. I hope to be heading back soon for some reframing.

Shopping ourselves out of the slump

Mrs. Blandings mentioned this. I do a fair bit of shopping online, perhaps its time to rethink that. I saw something I liked at The Curious Sofa just this afternoon. Maybe this is a sign.

Dining by Design

Last weekend a friend invited Brett and I to join his table at Dining by Design, a benefit for Design Industry Foundation Fights AIDS. The event is held all over but actually began in Kansas City, and is always a good time. We hadn't been in a few years so we suited up and headed down to Crown Center for the fun.

I tried to snap some shots of the tables with varying degrees of success due to the low background lighting and the more intense wattage at many of the tables. In no particular order, some of the more read-able pictures.

I have no idea who designed this, or who was seated here.
Design darling David Jiminez's table was (not surprisingly) gorgeous. Tiffany blue and green (not the yellow it appears to be here) felt fresh and fun.
Sorry this one is so blurry, but the rockin chandelier demanded a photo.
Very spring-like with lots of fresh flowers.
Black and white and light, this was one of my favorites.
As with most charity events, there was a silent auction. There were tons of things and a number of items we really liked. Mrs. Blandings put together a collection of design books. I bid on a signed copy of Margaret Russell's book because she facinates and frightens me, but lost out.
There was also a really great piece of art by a local artist (who's name I can't remember and it's killing me) made from vintage kimono textiles. That section of the auction was closing and they were waiving the white flag AS I WROTE MY NUMBER DOWN, and when they moved on I had been outbid. Disappointing, but hopefully I can find out who it was so I can look for more.

The other fun thing was that I finally met Mrs. Blandings and her husband, and chatted a bit before they were off to the dance floor. KC being the tiny town that it is, we recently figured out that the house we're interested in buying is just down the street from Mr. and Mrs. B. (It was chock-full of lookers at the open today so I'm not confident we'll be neighbors, but my fingers are crossed.)
All in all, a great night for a great cause. And look, we clean up pretty well!