Fashion Friday

I'm still in the mood for a new coat, and I'm still enamored with LBM 1911. This is their pea coat. SO handsome.

Have a great weekend!

Schnauzers galore

Happy Friday, let's celebrate with puppy pics! Tucker got his first haircut, making him even more insanely cute. Brett had to hold him as he still doesn't often stop moving. And there's Alex, up on the bed for a little time away.
My mom has a new addition as well. Here's Sadie, who's all of 10 weeks old, looking a lot bigger than she actually is. Black and silver schnauzers are kind of rare, I'm really hoping she keeps her color, but thats puppy hair so who knows what she'll end up as. Again, not holding still gets you picked up. Oh and I guess I should say here's my mom too. She'd probably prefer a picture of herself when she was a bit more put together but she doesn't read my blog so she'll never know.

And here's Sadie looking at the dogs across mom's cul-de-sac. She makes Tucker seem comatose by comparison. She's a non-stop needle-toothed biting monster. Mom called one day, I asked how the baby was and she said "We can't catch her." I said "Tell me you're not taking her out without a leash" and she said "No, I mean inside."

Like I always say, they make them cute so you don't kill them.

Shelving choices

I've been looking for a pair of bookshelves to flank the opening between the living and dining room. Its been surprisingly hard to find something simple, in a material I like, in the size I need. I think these parsons towers from West Elm are pretty good in the walnut finish and they're the perfect size.

Here's the question for those of you who see these types of things: Have you seen something similar in glass and steel?

Curtain up

Our new performing arts center opens this weekend. Info on the building, ballet, symphony, opera and more at Those of you interested in architecture (Stefan I'm thinking of you especially) should also google 'Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts' or check out for more photos. Open house all day on Sunday, with free performances inside and out. Locals I hope to see you there!

House progress

We've had some stuff going on at Chez Malaise. Yay! The hall has had the old gold wallpaper stripped and is currently being skimcoated. (Pardon that gray bar, I can't seem to get that pic to upload right).
The second bedroom, formerly a sea of faded blue flocked damask wallpaper (except for the strips that had fallen off the wall), has new wiring, lighting, insulation and drywall. Mud and tape should be finished this week. This is especially exciting because the bedroom and hall were the only things standing in the way of having the rest of the floors refinished.

And because I'm incapable of waiting until everything is done before shopping, here's the rug I bought. I'll post a better shot when its down on the floor, but I'm really pleased. We wanted some pattern and we both like orientals, but finding the right one wasn't easy. I wanted orange rather than red, and not too much tan. I thought we'd hit every rug gallery in town until we remembered one we'd missed, and they had the winner.

We bought a 6X9 as we're working on the short axis of the family room. They have one more of this same rug in a larger size which is an interesting thought for the living room. It was rolled and folded over in a corner of the shop, I'm kind of hoping they leave it there until we're ready to furnish that room.

The anniversary

In July of 2001 I was laid off my job at Sprint. After nine years in Long Distance I'd been at Sprint PCS for a year and while I liked my boss and co-workers the rest of the company was batshit insane. The end of my position was a relief more than anything. I sat across the table from my Director, one of a number of truly wretched women I'd worked with, while she tried to find some semblance of human emotion to let me down easy. It was taking her forever, so I finally said "Crystal, I've figured my severance and really this is fine." She thanked me for making it easy for her (looking back I wish I would have made myself cry) and we were done.

That began what I referred to as my Blissful Unemployment. Free summer days, sleeping in days, pool days, all unencumbered by a pesky job. I had no clue what I'd do next, but I was paid through January, so I had time to figure it out.

At the beginning of September an old friend called. He was the head of Operations at a commercial insurance brokerage, and he had a position to fill. We had lunch, and I said yes. And we decided on a start day. I remember telling him "I've enjoyed my joblessness so much, I need one more day. Lets make it Tuesday."

So there I was in my cube, just a bit before 8:30 central, setting a picture of Brett and the dogs on my desk when my new manager Kim stopped by. She said "You should come watch the television in the conference room with us, a plane just hit one of the World Trade Center towers." I was watching that television with strangers who would become my friends when the second plane hit.

I remember Mike getting to the office, having heard what happened on the drive in. I remember calling Brett at work to make sure he knew. The only other thing I really remember is the email from Kevin, the owner of the company, telling us he had no idea what was happening, but that we should all go home and be with our families. The rest of the day I remember mostly as sitting in front of the tv, and the appearance of flags everywhere.

The disaster showed us our best and our worst, made the world love us and revile us, and changed us in ways both significant and ridiculous. I wish I had some big take-away, but I don't.

Putting antiques to work

Previously our entry was divided from the living room by an opening that was smaller and contained a built-in planter and some curly, scrolly wrought iron. It fairly screamed "tired, old house." When we began planning the reconfiguration we knew that we wanted to keep things feeling open, but we also wanted a bit of separation too, which we weren't sure how we'd achieve.

Looking at furniture at Kincaid's one day we also noticed a number of old Chinese lattice panels. Really beautiful, most of them were originally either doors or floor screens and too big for what we thought we needed. Cindy mentioned there were a few more downstairs, and what did we find but some big, simple square ones, just about the right size for our wall. We brought it home and Bill reframed the opening to fit with a couple extra inches on all sides.

After spending most of our Labor Day relaxing we decided to finally hang it. A little bit of measuring, a bit of eyeballing, and four screw eyes and hooks (3 on top, one on the bottom just to steady it) and we're done, and really pleased.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Enjoy your long weekend! If you're traveling (like Sarah Palin, say, to Iowa or New Hampshire) please be safe and enjoy.

Oh, and Sarah, I know that 71% of republicans don't want you to run, but I say don't listen to them. Many of us are counting on your crazy bullshit and praying for a poorly-timed photo of you eating a corn dog. Don't let us down.