Immersed in Nature

The swamps surrounding my house beckon. Here I am, all I’m on a Boat in my head, but sometimes one needs to embrace the more budget-conscious choice. Besides, a canoe enables you to get into those tiny swamp alleyways, up close and personal with nature. Ah, nature. It’s so not my bag, baby.

Truth: I’m a city girl through and through. My earliest memories involve being awed by skyscrapers. The frenetic buzz of the city is what best lulls me to sleep at night and I feel most inspired when I wake up to the sounds of activity: store gates being thrown open, trucks making deliveries, the old man sitting on the stoop drinking his coffee and greeting rushed commuters. Just thinking about these things make me a little homesick and I haven’t lived in Brooklyn for 7 years.

That said, I’m striving towards embracing my outdoorsy side (rather, desperately trying to find that almost nonexistent outdoorsy side). While this doesn’t mean I’m going to go camping anytime soon (or, likely ever again, seeing as I couldn’t even handle camping in the Hamptons when I was a Girl Scout), I have been known to hike, kayak, and oh, there was that disastrous attempt at rappelling down a waterfall. I truly appreciate nature and now I’m kind of living in the middle of it and it’s really fucking gorgeous.

Danny, my boyfriend, is the absolute opposite of me. Nature is totally his thing. When we were first dating, he had these absurd visions of us going camping. He loves to fish. He loves to work outside. And the impending zombie apocalypse? He’s got this. He’d fight off zombies and catch fish for him, nuts and berries for me. What would I be doing besides complaining (typical New Yorker)? Failing at the Michonne workout. Pure. Zombie. Bait.

I was planning to get Danny a tattoo for his birthday, but instead I got him this canoe he’s been going on about for a year now. Living on the water, seeing all these boats going by, it inspires some real boat envy. I liked the idea of a canoe because it’s a little more active than a motored boat.

I’ve kayaked on Bayou St. John in the heart of New Orleans before, but for some reason that seems less infested with alligators than my current situation here in Bayou Sauvage (will you look at that main image?!) Or Bayou Savage, as I like to call it. I’ve actually never been in a canoe, which feels a hell of a lot more stable than a kayak, but I still was paranoid about tipping the thing over and falling into what is surely alligator and snake-infested water (NB: I exaggerate a lot).

This is us pulling away from our house… and possibly even civilization

Check us out! I’m digging these new adventures

 

 

 

Farewell to (a Travel-Filled) August

I’m in town for a spell. Speaking of spells (insert ghost, alien and demon emojis here), it’s officially Halloween season, baby! Not that it’s anywhere near cooling down here in New Orleans, but hello Labor Day Weekend and the banishment of white linen to the back of the closet (not that I own any white linen. Or white clothes). Yeah, that pumpkin spice latte may be truly disgusting but I like the idea of it being back on the scene (just don’t call me basic). My obsession with all things Autumnal is the subject matter for another post, but just know that I am terribly excited to receive a rather large order of fall-scented candles any day now (especially Yankee Candle Witches’ Brew  which is not only seasonal, but sells out by mid-September).

So, where have I been lately? August was a pretty travel-packed month for me. Early in the month, I had a couple nights in Memphis. I was home for 10 days before heading off to Toronto, then NYC to see my family, then San Francisco for our annual Yelp Community Manager Week, and finally to Nashville. I worked. I saw friends and family. I explored my beloved Coney Island with Danny. We walked the High Line one day. We went to a lot of bars. But the best part? I ate. I really ate. Each of the cities I visited boast great variety for vegans. Standouts include an abundance of greens at my favorite casual healthy joint in Toronto, Fresh on Queen, vegan pizza at Pauly Gee’s in Brooklyn, and a decadent sandwich at *gasp* Cinnamon Snail in Manhattan.

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Buffalo Chickpea Sandwich at Cinnamon Snail=Bliss
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Gorgeous Superfood Salad at Fresh on Queen, Toronto
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Hot Chicken-style Tempeh at Graze in Nashville

This is the truth: when I landed in Nashville last week, I literally dropped my bags off in my hotel room and immediately headed over to Graze so I could indulge in their famous hot chicken-style tempeh biscuit. It’s that good.

Let it be known that I’m positively giddy just thinking about all the great food I ate over 10 days out of town.

So, about all that sightseeing I did… but wait, let’s talk about food again! I jest.

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After all these years, still terrified on the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island PS. Back to Bangs

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A visit to NYC is not complete without a visit to Decibel

I have no plans for trips longer than a couple nights until early October and I’m going to make the most of my time home. Painting may even be on the horizon (dare I attempt to get my office in order?!) It may not feel fall-like in NOLA for about two more months, but that’s OK. I’m counting the days until I’ll be able to open all the windows in the house and let in cool breezes and the spooky sounds of huge swamp birds squawking in the middle of the night as they fly over the dark canals behind my house.

My So-Called Vegan Life

*Written at my house in the swamps of the Crescent City

What the hell is wrong with me? I let almost a year go by without blogging and that just ain’t right. A lot has happened over the past 11 months, but this isn’t going to be a catch up post, rather I’m gonna go and give you some vegan insight. Lucky you!

I’ve come to realize that I often try to push the fact that I’ve vegan under the table a bit. Sometimes I’m even apologetic about it. Why? In part, this is due to the fact that I don’t like to put people on the offense (sometimes admitting that you’re vegan will do this for some bizarre reason and no, I don’t announce my lifestyle choice unless I’m trying to order at a restaurant). The reality is, I’m sick of the same old questions and accusations I’ve been hearing for 25 years now. Sure, while I don’t mind answering the occasional curious question or two, if I have to hear, “what the hell do you eat?” or even worse, the dreaded, “where do you get your protein?” it may be time to break bad for me. I wish people would stop being so annoying. These clichĂ© questions have even become t-shirts for fuck’s sake!

Back story: I made the decision to become vegan about a month after my foray into vegetarianism way back in late ’91. My reason had most to do with preventing the suffering of animals. I had always felt disgusted by meat and seafood so it was pretty easy to make the change. I lived in the East Village in NYC and while brands like Daiya, Field Roast and Earth Balance were not even yet a glimmer in anyone’s eyes, it wasn’t exactly a food desert either. I ate a lot of brown rice, black beans, soy burgers at Dojo, falafel and hummus… and what we now call “unintentionally vegan” shit like licorice, graham crackers and jelly beans (and yes, I was obsessive about checking that the ingredients didn’t include casein, albumen, gelatin and the like). I was really young, really broke and I didn’t yet have an expensive wine habit. Black coffee made me feel invincible.

Back then, the books that changed my life: Fit for Life (proper food combining, no animal protein, fruit until noon and/or entire fruit days), Diet for a New America (the first version). Perhaps reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in 8th grade was also an influence. Books were always my everything, and while I’d have my first exposure to the World Wide Web in late ’91, let’s just say there wasn’t a ton of accessible information on there just yet.

Damn, we’ve come a long way, baby! I don’t need to answer your damn banal questions (note: I do however love to help people go vegan, but that’s different. Annoying question people are the type who inevitably then turn around and tell you why your diet sucks). Educate yo’selves! Anything you need to know about the lifestyle is accessible at your fingertips. There are blogs galore. There are local vegan groups on Facebook. Finding vegan options in restaurants is a breeze thanks to Yelp. There’s a whole slew of vegan Youtube channels and looking at the comments there, I’m just amazed at how many teenagers are down with becoming vegan. It’s pretty cool, considering that Millennials are so hell-bent on the irony of eating pedestrian shit like bacon on bacon and duck fat fries. This Gen Xer is digging the Zs coming up and out something hard.

Having access to things that make this way of life more delicious and fun is just so priceless. I’d say I don’t miss the 90s in New York City, but that would be a lie and a topic of another post. There’s all kinds of vegan products available that make eating at home an utter pleasure. While I’m hardly at the Isa Chandler or Vegan Yack Attack level of vegan creations, I sure can follow their recipes! There’s a few things that I make thanks to my own experimentation that seem to make even non vegans pretty happy. I’m especially good at vegan cream sauces and queso (can you tell it’s cheese I miss the most?) I can make these super rich with nuts or low fat with potatoes and cauliflower.

With clothing and accessory lines like Matt & Natt, Vaute Couture, Melissa, Cri de Coeur… Stella McCartney if you wanna get real fancy, I don’t see myself getting tempted by leather ever again. Leather shoes were my last hold out because until the last decade or so, the good non-leather shoes were out of my price range and the cheap ones just sucked. And well… I have a John Fluevog problem and he stopped making vegan shoes unfortunately. But, but… Cri de Coeur is kind of my everything right now.

Full truth: I was vegan for about 16 or 17 years when I decided I needed more food options in my life again, so I switched to ovo-lacto vegetarianism for several years (emphasis on lacto. The ovo part only came into play when hidden in some kind of item because I actually have always been grossed out by eggs). And by “lacto,” I mean cheese. Drinking milk is absolutely disgusting and I don’t recall ever having done so, even as a child because I had a milk allergy.

When I was around 5 years old, I hated cheese and used to wipe it off my pizza (the horror, right?) But I soon fell in love with cheese, possibly thanks to my mom working in a gourmet cheese shop. I acquired a particular taste for Brie, Bleu Cheese and even more mild stuff like Jarlesburg. Suffice to say, I’d loved cheese a long time and although I pretended it was easy to give it up, every time I was faced with my favorite food, that being pizza, well, it was never easy to give up cheese. I made the decision to have cheese again several months after I returned from a trip to Italy where being vegan admittedly made me feel deprived. I had made the decision late one night that I wanted to have cheese again and so I did. I didn’t exactly eat it every day (maybe once a week). I am glad I had around 3 years where I wasn’t 100% vegan. I don’t miss cheese at all anymore.

I can’t lie and say it’s not frustrating sometimes to eat out and have to get really watered down dishes because some chefs don’t have the ingredients (or the desire) to make something up on the spot that’s vegan, filling and delicious. Some days I get downright cranky. Last year I was in San Francisco, of all places (surely a vegan paradise), and ate at a French restaurant (never a good idea for vegans) with a large group of friends. There was not a single thing on the menu I could eat, so I asked the waitress for some help. I was offered “the peach Burrata without the Burrata.” Seriously? You’re going to serve me a peach? And I knew damn well there wouldn’t be a discount for leaving out the main ingredient of the dish. This is where I get cranky. It was late. I was hungry. And had had several glasses of wine. These situations don’t come up a lot, I mean, I try my best to avoid them, but when they do, you can’t help but feel frustrated. And then go back to your hotel room and dive into the overpriced can of Pringles in the mini bar.

Restaurant frustrations are very common here in New Orleans, the city where it’s expected for vegetarians to eat fish. When you say you don’t eat seafood, well, then you’re vegan. And if you god forbid don’t eat eggs or dairy? You may be met with an expression of pity and sincere confusion. When I used to visit back in the 90s, there were 3 or 4 restaurants that I could eat in. I’m happy to report that now there are about 5. Kidding. I do tend to stick to the same 5 places, although there are options at roughly a dozen or so restaurants and about a dozen more will make you something off-menu that may or may not be that great. Like I said, I cook at home a lot. And of course, I travel on the regular so I get plenty of options in cities like Dallas, Nashville, Toronto, New York, SF and Montreal.

I’ll be going home to NY very soon for a short visit and Dr. Cow is on my list (as well as a repeat visit to By Chloe). Vegan cheese shop… who ever would have thought this would be a reality? After New York, I’ll be in San Francisco for a work trip. I plan on eating a lot y’all! Stay tuned…

On a final note, I’m done apologizing for my lifestyle choices. I’m not hurting anyone, just sometimes inconveniencing people. You do you, I’ll do me, as the saying goes. My diet means that my carbon footprint is baby-sized and I’m not directly causing the torture and death of animals. I’m also not supporting the very fucked-up meat and dairy industries in this country either. If you want to talk more about this with me, I’m all open to reasonable discussion but I’m not open to you trying to put me on the defense with your ill-informed bullshit that I’ve been on the receiving end of for 25 years. Ciao!

Endless Summer

Happy Labor Day!

What a long, hot (& not wet) summer it’s been. The “not wet” part meant for even more pronounced heat in NOLA, where we look forward to those late afternoon tropical thunderstorms to cool us off a couple degrees. What happened to them? I haven’t been able to sleep upstairs in my house more than a handful of times because the a/c window unit up there is no battle for 10 or so hours of intense sunshine. This means that I have to actually sleep on the pullout sofa in the living room, the only room that’s bearable in my house. I’ve traveled a fair amount this summer, but not enough that my back, normally blissfully pain-free, doesn’t have a dull ache on the regular thanks to the lousy mattress. Fall. I need you bad.

Summer 2015 Travels:
Since June, I’ve been to Memphis, Montreal, Ottawa, Baltimore, Toronto, Charleston, San Francisco/Napa Valley, NYC, Nashville and back to Montreal & Memphis again. I’m pretty annoyed with myself that I haven’t kept up this blog, but now I have loads to catch up on and write about. Maybe I was enjoying myself too much. Maybe the layovers weren’t long enough. Maybe I’ve just been too beat by the heat. Or the lack of blogging might be symptom of some other kind of malaise. There’s been stresses that I’m too defeated right now to even write about it, so I’ll leave this here and get to the topic at hand.

It's chilly in California, hence the sweatshirt!
It’s chilly in California, hence the sweatshirt!

Unlike last summer when I had regular trips to Texas on my itinerary, I’m now traveling to parts of North America that involve a weather change, which I really quite like. This means that I don’t have to space bag my entire sweater drawer! I don’t get bored with my dirty South uniform of jeans and black tank tops because I can actually throw on something else and not want to die. Dresses with tights are not out of the question. I will admit that by the end of August I was traveling with such frequency that I didn’t even unpack my clean clothes. I just added a couple layers for Montreal where it’s a good 20+ degrees cooler in the evenings. The great thing about having a 99% pure black wardrobe is that people may or may not think you’re constantly wearing the same thing. I’m trying to stop spending so much money on clothes, so forgive me for looking kind of boring.

Real truth time. I didn’t go the entire summer without buying clothes. Toronto has a boutique carved out of the fashion show of my dreams. They even give customers espresso drinks, if you so desire, while you shop. I landed at this magical place when strolling down Queen West one warm July afternoon looking for a jacket because I was going to be at a boat party that evening and didn’t pack accordingly. The clothes in the window didn’t bore or disgust me, so I walked in and came across some really interesting pieces at a fair price. I strolled past the espresso counter and stopped in my tracks because the back of the store contains the pièces de rĂ©sistance: offerings of independent, emerging designers. Jackets with asymmetrical zippers. Swoopy bunched skirts. Chic baggy dresses that are too much for my petite hourglass physique, but would look stunning on a tall, willowy type. And corsets. Gorgeous, waist cinching, cleavage-spilling corsets. I already have too many of these and although I used to think you can never have too many corsets, I forced myself to look at the more “practical” items. I found a black silky jacket that’s adjustable so that you can unzip it to make it shorter and even sleeveless, a really cool scarf and a bunchy skirt and vowed that I wouldn’t spend another cent on clothing for at least the rest of the season.

View from a boat
View from a boat

I love many things about Toronto, now that I’ve been there twice recently. The people are nice. The food is divine (they have actual ethnic neighborhoods. I’ve gorged on Chinese food on each visit). The locally-owned shops are really fucking cool and not terribly expensive. Bars are not pretentious. Some areas remind me of the East Village/LES in the 90s (sigh). Hell, I just really really love Toronto. And I can buy stuff that isn’t going to cost me a month’s salary. Some people liken it to Chicago. I’ve only been to Chicago twice and appreciated it, but Toronto really reminds me more of NYC and its gritty/glitzy melting pot vibe.

Speaking of home, I got to go in mid August. I was in town for a millisecond, it seems. I got to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law, who graciously put me up at their home in Commack and I got to see my family, including my folks and cousin, Vinny (yeah, I have several of those) who is like a brother to me, and yet more extended family. I didn’t get to see friends this visit, but I have plans to return in about 6 weeks. I got to swim in my parents’ pool and take a ride on my brother’s friend’s boat to Fire Island.

On the way to Fire Island

Oddly enough, I grew up going to LI beaches but never once went to Fire Island before. It’s uh, really expensive and not at all fancy. Just overpriced food and gift shops. I had a stupid expensive meal and tried Rocket Fuel for the first time. The boat ride was really fantastic, though.

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I even spent a day and night in the city with Danny. Yep, my ultra Southern boyfriend has grown to really dig him some NYC. He even has a few places he wants to go back to like Library Bar, Decibel and although we didn’t have time to get there, my good friends’ bar, Lucky 13 in Downtown Brooklyn. We spent most of the day eating and drinking our way through the city, starting in Williamsburg where we parked, brunched and checked out one of my old hangouts.

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Grand St. Pier… oh, the late night memories!

We ended up crammed in at the packed sushi bar at Decibel in the late night hours where I finished my eating odyssey with edamame gyoza and soba noodle salad.

I can’t even really keep straight these days where I’ve been. Like I have to think real hard (if I don’t consult Trip It, which has been more annoying than it has been useful lately) to remember that I flew from Toronto to Charleston in early July. I really liked Charleston. It reminds me of a much cleaner New Orleans. I was only there for a day and a half, so I’ll save any real impressions for another post. I did visit and pay my respects to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where a sociopathic racist mass murdered a group of innocent people.

Paying My Respects

This has been a violent summer that will go down in infamy no doubt (now that I think about it, it’s been a pretty messed up year). A good amount of the bad shit going down has been racially-motivated. I won’t hesitate to post about any injustices I feel strongly about on social media and if it offends “friends,” well that’s fine (why civil rights should even be an “argument” is absurd). And “friends” lost due to differences of opinion on this matter were never friends to begin with (“but we were Facebook friends!” Cry me a river). My days of keeping quiet about my feelings ended as soon as I hit adulthood and now is not the time to be quiet. Right after the mass shooting, the Sandra Bland tragedy captured a spot in the media, but another article shed light on what seems to be a truly terrifying situation between those in authority and people of color. I have a lot more to write about this, but for now, suffice to say, I can’t recall summer 2015 without wondering if we’ve come so far from the 1960s when it comes to racial injustice. It’s been really weighing on my mind. This summer has been pretty tragic, that’s all.

And this is getting long, so TBC and all that good stuff.

Patience = Tried

*written on a long layover in Newark being that my flight out of Toronto was mysteriously delayed for 2.5 hours so I missed my connection to Charleston.

Here I sit at in the airport, thoroughly unsatisfied after a dinner of Corn Nuts, in the middle of my 10th hour stuck in one of two airports today. I’m at the point where I’m all but shrugging with resignation, for surely this is my lot in life. Here I am, spending what should be Friday happy hour among people wearing pajamas and Uggs as they plan to summer this weekend in Branson, or wherever their little hearts desire. Does that sound bitchy? I don’t mean to sound bitchy. I’m trying to be zen.

I’m the point where I’m prone to existentialism. Why am I here for so many hours? Why am I prey to endless delays? Why do I possess intimate knowledge of which Hudson News has the macadamia white chocolate Cliff bars?

I woke up early this morning in Toronto. It was gloriously sunny and clear out. Not a single possible weather delay in sight. I left 2.5 hours early for the airport so I could do Customs right (after the last time, not realizing this was a thing at Pearson) and then I got the text. And then I got more texts. Delayed half hour. Then another hour. Then another half hour. And like that, I knew I wouldn’t be getting to Charleston any time soon. Like that, I knew I was in for the kind of long travel day that should have me arriving in Asia.

Wishing to be proactive (fancy that. Me, planning right), I called United to see when the next flight to Charleston out of Newark might be, as I was surely missing my 2pm connection, so can ya book me on it, ha, please? I was told the 4:17 flight was alllll booked, and was thankful enough to be put on the 8:57 pm, visions of standby success dancing in my head.

I landed in Newark and waited on the customer service line in front of a lady who was crying so hard she was choking. Someone was having a worse day than me. I was told to go to the gate for standby on the 4:17.

With great hope in my heart, I waltzed past the whiskey bar in Terminal C, boarded the lousy transit bus to the lousy terminal A that doesn’t have a whiskey bar or any alcohol for that matter, and tried to charm the lady at the gate. She wasn’t having it. And because I was tempting the gods by forgoing whiskey or wine or anything alcoholic, in United’s infinite wisdom, they delayed the 4:17 flight for 45 minutes, just enough time to allow those late lucky fools who would have otherwise missed their connecting flight to make it just in time, thereby standby was stood up. Why doesn’t it ever work out that way for me? Why? WHY?! I all but shook my fist dramatically at the sky. I immediately bought a large bag of corn nuts and tried to allow the intake of excessive salt to heal my internal wounds.

But it didn’t really work. And now I sit here, wishing I could brave the lousy bus back to terminal C so I can partake in just one single adult beverage to get my Friday started right.

Charleston, here I come! I come hungry (no time for a real breakfast and I threw out the only vegan sandwich I was able to find in disgust when I realize the arugula was wilted) and in need of adult beverages.

My Sanctuary

*written at home on my backyard deck in lovely New Orleans, Louisiana on a sweltering summer morning

My backyard office
My backyard office

Never before have I so fully come to realize the importance of loving home, my house, my sanctuary. I used to think owning a house would feel suffocating, that I’d be beholden to a structure that would keep me in one place, the cancer to my wanderlust. Never mind the fact that I did live in one place for over 7 years that I loved, but that was in Brooklyn and the hope of owning a home there would have been a pipe dream for someone of my financial status at that time. Until buying my house in NOLA 2 years ago, I’d been a perpetual renter. I had also moved 6 times in three years, two of those moves were halfway across the country.

It’s my two-year anniversary of my taking on a regional management position with Yelp, meaning 2 years of frequent traveling. That’s great for me, I’ve loved just about every minute of it (minus the missed connecting flights and long layovers in airports without any decent vegan snacks). And this realization about home being so important has come late, but as much self-insight I believe myself to possess, it’s often the no-brainers that elude me.

Last weekend, I was purchasing another piece of reclaimed wood furniture to add to my collection (I’m obsessed!), and started thinking about how much joy this material object was giving me and it all hit me. I never thought I’d say this, but I really love being a homemaker, in addition to concentrating on my career. By homemaker, I don’t mean mom or wife, as I am neither of these. I fully admit to not being the most conventional of women, yet I find myself drooling over home porn and vegan recipes that might take me a couple hours to make that take less than an hour to make. I’m also not a crafty gal by any means – I wish. It would save me lots of money. Instead of splurging on a bag or pair of shoes, I’m plunking my card down for velvet black-out drapes. I never thought I’d be this way.

Much of it relates to the fact that I’m away so often. Ultimately, when I get off a plane, I need to feel like being home is a cherished thing. It can be intoxicating to stay in a posh hotel, where everything is sparkling clean, the beds are plush and the gym is right at my disposal. It’s taken a while for me to actually feel like home is a sanctuary without looking around and wishing that I could change this or that (truthfully, that feeling may diminish a bit, but it never goes away, does it?) See, when I first acquired my house, it had a lot of work to be completed on it and like most people, I didn’t have the funds or time to get it all completed at once.

(the previous owner named it this due to the sun painted in the peaks of the upstairs dormer windows)
House of the Rising Sun (the previous owner named it this due to the sun painted in the peaks of the upstairs dormer windows)

Industrial, cheap carpet had to be removed, and one, sometimes two layers of cheap linoleum tiles had to be lifted. Wood paneling (horrors!) had to be removed to reveal actual wood walls. Plank floor boards had to be sanded back to their former glory (and in the case of upstairs, entirely replaced thanks to someone in their infinite wisdom glueing crappy tile down on top of them). Walls had to be knocked out to make upstairs one giant bedroom. Generations of previous homeowners had taken a lot of the charm out of this 110+ year old Creole cottage and it was an intimidating task to (almost) restore it. It’s been two full years of work. Danny, my boyfriend, did most of the fixing and it’s pretty damn amazing. As I’m not so handy, I did some of the painting, including those gold ceilings but being that I’d be away up to three or four times a month, I’d have to fit in the work, not to mention the constant cleaning (uncovered 100-year old floors procure tons of dirt).

But, the bathroom. Oh, the hellhole that was my bathroom until just recently. It made me prone to fits of despair, not exaggerating. I think a lot of us gals understand and value a good bathroom. I, however, may be obsessed with bathrooms. This began when I was a child and I’d have to investigate the loo in any public place. It was this burning need, I tell you. My favorite bathrooms were the most garish, those dripping in gold fixtures and faucets and perhaps even a chandelier. I adored ante chambers outfitted with mirrors and velvet cushioned couches. The Dolly Parton of powder rooms.

You can imagine my dilemma when confronted with a bathroom this disgusting, yet not having the appropriate funds just yet to change anything. To give you an idea of what horrors were lurking, when Danny was gutting it, he realized that the wood was so rotted that the tub was close to falling through the floor to the ground outside. I couldn’t even bear to look at the 3-inch space between the tub and the sink. It was just narrow enough to be impossible to clean thoroughly and there were years of accumulated filth & mold that we’d pour bleach over to no avail. It also had spaces that allowed our famous Louisiana giant palmetto bugs entry and I don’t think I need to tell anyone how these things make me want to commit suicide. Just seeing a dead one in the morning (thank god for boric acid) was enough to make me want to move immediately. But I owned the damn thing.

I’m glad I hung in there, though and in due time, I was able to have the bathroom of my dreams (if those dreams allowed for a teeny tiny bathroom that could just about fit a 5-ft claw foot tub, toilet and pedestal sink). It only took 20 or so months to get here. Anyone who is on a budget and owns a home that requires a plethora of repairs can understand, right?

Just a partial view, but you get the idea…

I’m on my way to having a killer home porn addiction, friends. I first started with Pinterest 2 years ago after acquiring my house. Facebook got my cookies and I’d get constant reminders about Joss & Main, Dot & BO, Joybird, etc. offering up the accoutrements that I am obsessed with (and if you are curious about these obsessions, check out my home decor board!) I’ve barely gotten started on Houzz. I can probably lose hours on these sites and I have to force myself to stay away because I’m on a self-enforced strict budget. And I like to shop local, so there’s that little bit of restraint I do possess.

When I started this blog a couple months ago, my intention was to only write from airports, planes, trains and other places of transit. I think I write differently when I’m home. Instead of fevered, practically frenetic musings, I find myself writing from a place of calm. It must be that I’m sort of happy in this place…