✍ All sorts of new and exciting things coming up for the cast of L to the Third so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Table for one, please

I'm trying to get back into the habit of cooking healthy dinners for myself and eating them at the dinner table, rather than inhaling mac-n-cheese while perched precariously over the coffee table in the living room. Tonight I made some sort of baked tilapia dish with spinach, onions, and tomatoes. It was pretty good and I have more than enough leftovers to tide me through lunch the next couple of days. It's been really difficult for me to muster the willpower to actually cook myself dinners these days; lately it just seems like so much effort and expense for one person, but hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing of things without too much belly-aching on my part.

In related cooking-type news, I've spotted a glimpse of my dream kitchen thanks to a post today on apartmenttherapy.com (one of my current online obsessions):

Of course, my dream kitchen wouldn't be complete without these retro-inspired appliances from Big Chill:

Now with a set up like that, you'd have to drag me out of that kitchen; my mac-n-cheese nights would definitely be few and far between, I guarantee it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Offbeatbride redux

I just got word that Captain Husband's and my wedding is being re-posted on the awesome website, offbeatbride.com. You can check it out here!

Friday, March 27, 2009

If I were a rich girl, part 3

I simply can't resist the charming illustrations of artist Jesse Wilcox Smith (1863-1935). Best known for her work in magazines and children's books, Smith was a prolific artist; in addition to creating illustrations for books and magazines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, she also provided covers for Good Housekeeping from 1917 through 1933. Smith and her friends and fellow artists Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley were known as the "Red Rose Girls" and lived in a picturesque house on Philadelphia's Main Line where they led rather unconventional lives for their time. Alice A. Carter wrote a fabulous book about these incredible women and I highly recommend it, if only to look at the pictures.

This particular work is entitled "Curly Locks" and is a pastel on paper. Executed in January of 1914, it was used as an illustration for Good Housekeeping Magazine's Mother Goose series. There's just something about the way that Smith manages to capture the sweet (but not saccharine) essence of childhood that tugs at my heartstrings...it's a cute overload!

So who wants to lend me a couple grand?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mistaken identity crisis

I've had my rather distinctive email address going on six and a half years now; thanks to my tech-geek friend, I was able to score one of the first gmail addresses out there when it became available to non-tech people like myself. Unfortunately, it seems that a number of people have not gotten the hint that my email address belongs to me, and only me, and I have been receiving over the past few months weird emails from different services that I have supposedly signed up for. As of right now, there are at least three individuals out there who are either incredibly stupid, lazy, or are cursed with the inability to spell simple words repeatedly. And its not as though this is just email newsletters or the like clogging up my inbox; I've received email messages from one individual's mother, another containing rather sensitive material such as the person's mailing address, phone number, and bank information from another woman in Georgia who apparently recently purchased a house, and the most recent has come in from chemistry.com. I've had it about up to here dealing with these morons, so I decided to do something rather passive aggressive about it. I logged into the chemistry profile with the information provided to my email account and updated the profile to this:

Is it mean? Maybe. But I'm hoping that it will get the point across to this person once and for all that they keep entering the incorrect email address over and over and over again. Some people's kids. Sheesh.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good news, bad news

Awhile back I blogged about the barrister bookcase that I scored for a song missing its top and base; well, the new top and base arrived in the mail today (it only took a total of two weeks from start to finish, and a chunk of that was postal time). I excitedly unpacked the giant box to examine my new goodies and realized that one of the legs was damaged and cracked. Now if it had been a bump or a scratch, I wouldn't care at all (I grew up surrounded by a scratch and dent aesthetic), but this is more than just a superficial matter. Crap. So that's the bad news part. (I figure the Antique Repair Guy will fix things, though, so it could be worse). Now on to the good news...

This afternoon I was the successful bidder on this little gem:
I know I'm going to sound like a crazy cat lady, but that's Trish on the left and Josie on the right. Right? Someone please tell me I'm not nuts (ok, you have to imagine the cat on the right with a nubbin' for a tail, but still). The painting, which is an oil on canvas from about the 1850s or 60s, couldn't be more perfect if I had commissioned it myself. What makes it even more fitting is that I found out about the auction the day after deciding that the best thing to do for Josie was to put her to sleep. Seeing this painting lifted my spirits and gave me something to look forward to. And soon it will be gracing my home, so that whenever I look at it I'll think of Josie and Tricia and the short, but sweet, time that we shared together.

Friday, March 20, 2009


"Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die."
Amelia Burr (1878-1968)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The hardest decision

Tonight I took both of the girls to the vet's for their weekly check-in; Trish needed to have her glucose levels monitored and Josie was due for some more fluids. I wish I could say that Josie has been doing well since her visit last Wednesday, but that would be more than simple optimistic embellishment on my part. The fact of the matter is that over the past 2-3 days her condition has worsened to the point where she can no longer control her bladder (in addition to her bowels) and is having trouble with both of her hind legs now and therefore can't move around very much at all. I told Dr. Neff about these recent developments and so he drew some blood for tests and checked her body for any abnormalities. When he was palpating her abdomen, he grew very concerned and ordered an x-ray immediately. What he saw was not good; Josie has fluid leaking internally which has filled most of her abdomen. He can't tell where the fluid is coming from without an ultrasound, but the fact of the matter is this...one or more of Josie's organs are failing and there's no magic pill that I can give to her that will make it all better. At this point it's about making the hard, but right, decision to do what's best for her. So it is with a very heavy heart that I have decided to put Josie to sleep this Friday afternoon. She's been a sweet, brave girl and has fought very hard, but ultimately her body just can't take any more and to prolong her life like this would be very cruel indeed. Nursing Josie through her sickness these past few months has been very difficult for me and I wanted to let you all know that I've truly appreciated all of your kind words and well wishes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A sneak peak

The office is coming together, slowly but surely. It helps that I keep finding awesome and most importantly, affordable, things in antique shops that complement the arts and crafts-style furniture and lime green that I chose as the accent color. For example, today in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I found an arts and crafts oak tea cart that had been marked down; I knew it would make a perfect printer cart, especially since my printer was at the moment resting upon an old nightstand of Captain Husband's that had definitely seen better days. At another shop, I stumbled across a great little green glass and brass accent lamp from the 1920s; it too was on sale and I couldn't pass it up. With these new purchases in tow, I returned home and started working on the office. I also cleaned and "restorafinished" the barrister bookcase and brought it up from the basement hallway and placed it in the room; I can't wait for the new top and base to come in! I need to rearrange some of the stuff hanging on the walls and I have an idea of how to display some of CH's photographs and military paraphernalia; I've ordered the fabric for the curtain and the chair cushion, and that should also be here in the next few weeks. Its so nice seeing a room actually come together in the way that I had envisioned it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The office project, part deux

Three-section barrister bookcase by Macey

I recently acquired three sections of an oak Macey barrister bookcase, circa 1920, from a good friend for a song due to it missing its top and base. Granted, it needs a little TLC but I'm not worried because I've got connections...and the interwebs, which is how I found this dude. Basically, for less than what it would cost to buy a new/crappy bookcase from any of the big box stores out there, he'll make me a brand new top and base for the bookcase which I'll then get to stain and finish to match the existing barrister sections. I put my order in this morning and am looking forward to the final product gracing the office in a couple of weeks. I love it when a plan comes together!

Friday, March 6, 2009

If I were a rich girl, part 2

Bronko Nagurski vs. Killer Kowalski

I don't know what it is about this painting by Vaughan Bass, but I find it so visually appealing and amusing. Bass was a Chicago artist who specialized in creating pin-ups and his style was often likened to that of Gil Elvgren (1914-1980), who's work I really admire, which may explain a bit of my attraction to Bass's work. Fittingly, Bass was employed in the 30s and 40s as the "paint over" artist for some of Elvgren's pin-ups, re-doing them so that they could be used for other advertisements. Bass is probably best known for his creation of the Wonder Bread Girl in the 1950s, which is about the same time that he began painting a series of works based on wrestlers of the period. This particular work was likely the basis for one of the illustrations that appeared in this 1955 calendar. You can see more of Bass's works here; enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The project pipeline, aka staying busy

In the interest of keeping my mind occupied and doing something other than bathing, injecting or taking the cats to the vet's (I really do think they should hand out VIP cards or something there; if so I'd be more than half-way to earning a new pet), I've made up a list of things I can do around the house. The first thing I'd like to do is finish the office. Now when Captain Husband and I first moved in together, we split the house in half and compromised on the main living areas. Since I actually used the kitchen, I got to decide how it was decorated and organized and the same pretty much went for the dining room (though I did let CH pick the paint for the walls); we split the living room and the master bedroom and bathroom, I got the powder room and the guest room while CH got the guest bathroom and the office. Well, like water gently lapping at the shore, I slowly eroded the invisible barrier that kept me from putting my grubby little influence all over the office and managed to show CH the benefits of good furniture arrangement and, perhaps most importantly, good furniture period (no more Wal-Mart crap, hooray!). But something was still not quite right; the office needed some more polish, something to pull it all together and that's when I realized what was missing: color! At first I thought I should paint the walls, but I knew that wouldn't go over well with CH, as he is apparently allergic to things that exist beyond the "landlord's special" off-white-with-white-trim color range. While browsing my fave discount place, I spotted the fabulous lamp you see above and had a eureka moment. Green would look awesome, especially used as an accent against all of the "golden" oak arts and crafts furnishings that now grace the room. The color is fun and modern and yet not too crazy...apparently it is easy being green. Anywho, I bought the lamp and some magazine butlers in the green and found some fabric samples online for some fun curtains that are supposedly easy to make and am currently scouting options for having my $5 chair reupholstered or slip-covered in something that is complementary. As my dad said, by the time CH is back, he won't recognize the place. Muahahaha!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A rose by any other name...

My family is real big on nicknames and my siblings and I all share a strange habit that we picked up from our mom of naming inanimate objects for no real reason (ask my mom about Steve the Stick one day). Anyway, I was thinking the other day about nicknames and how they come about...my nickname is Lulubell or just plain Lulu (my uncle came up with that one and it stuck), while my middle brother's nickname is Jerk-o (pretty self-explanatory) and my youngest brother's nickname is DPOT, which stands for Diabetic Piece of Trash (also self-explanatory...though I swear we're not horrible people, really). My cats have some interesting nicknames as well; Trish is known as Trishkabibble, Trishkabob, and most recently, the Trish Monster or just Monster (that is Captain Husband's name for her). When I first adopted Josie, I would call her Josie-poo, which is most fitting these days, since Josie has, well, poo issues. I am now an expert at bathing cats, especially since I am now averaging 1-2 baths per day thanks to Josie's little accidents. Sigh. On top of all of this daily excitement, I've just found out that Trish's miracle weight-loss is the result of....drum roll, please....feline diabetes! As such, her new nickname will be DPOT, Jr. (Diabetic Piece of Trish). Good times!
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