November 30, 2009


Here is my little list of things I am most thankful for right now.

1. My family & friends & the amazing people in my life
2. Our new home and new situation, which has invigorated me.
3. Inspiration & art, color & fabric, pens & paper, the printed word.
4. Music & singing, and the joy, sadness & emotion it brings me.
5. Books & podcasts & bloggers.
6. My kitty, who finally seems to love me back now that we live in our new place. (I have no idea why, but she is by my side nearly all the time!)
7. My job, which I love, which keeps me busy, learning & thinking.
8. Food and the health and happiness it brings.
9. Love, because there is so much of it in my life.
10. God, because God is here among us, believe me.

November 17, 2009

A tribute to another listmaker

I'm alive!

It's been a busy three weeks and I have much fodder for blogging in the coming month.

Right now, I'd like to pay homage to Craig's List, a fantastic little website that has been a close companion through my move. It's a place for buying, selling, bartering, giving away stuff and so much more! (It's a lot like Sweden's Blocket).

Before getting to know this website, I imagined it was some seedy place for prowlers and criminals. Oh, how wrong I was!

I met the nicest people! Honest, respectable world citizens. We had to sell our beautiful solid oak desk. Jeff came over to look at it and loved it as much as we always have. He said, "Man, I just hate buying new furniture." (I wanted to tell him I hate buying new anything, but held back.)

Brian came over with his dad to buy my fridge... He didn't even try to get a lower price.

Ron and Karen came over to buy our drop leaf table. They loved our style! They walked around the house asking if this was for sale or that was for sale. I ended up selling them a whole bunch of stuff. They wrote to me afterwards and told me how much they loved everything.

We had a bunch of old scrap metal to get rid of, including an old iron radiator. We called WE GOT JUNK and asked them to come get it. (They will come and get anything and haul it away but it's quite expensive.) The night before they were to come get it, I got the idea to offer it free on Craig's list. I had such a response! The following morning I cancelled WE GOT JUNK and let Bill from Chester come and get all the metal. He took everything, and was especially happy to get some books and games for his kids. I even threw in some size 9 shoes and boots; he said his wife was a size 9. It made me so happy!

I'm rambling.

I'm trying to sell my headboard on Craig's List right now, but no one seems to want it. Craig, don't fail me now!

Here's the drop leaf table we sold.

October 24, 2009

Another way to kill some time

Just a couple ways to waste time when you should actually be working, even though it is Saturday and you don't feel like it.

Stick Figure Family at

I found this on another blog and couldn't resist making one for our family.

This is also where I found the post on kittywigs, which is hilarious!

You can read more about their book and products here.

Here's to wasting time. I'm a firm believer in it!

October 22, 2009

Vintage movie posters... Love these!

I am sorting out the good from the bad among our possessions and came across these. I am hoping to sell them for a few dollars each at my upcoming moving sale (Nov. 7).

These are Swedish vintage movie posters (they are actually mounted on board) from the 1960's, probably considered racy at the time, although by today's standards they are laughable.

They are quite charming actually. So cool, I hate to part with them. But I must.

Any buyers out there? Five bucks a piece. Or best offer. (Click on each to enlarge!)

"Young desserter"

"White Slave Trade" (when boobs were really boobs)

Eva Bartok in "Call Madeleine" Love is my profession.

Francoise Arnoul in "White Slave Trade"

Narc police's secret agent

"The night person"

"Call Madeleine" Love is my profession

"Tank Attack"

"White Slave Trade"

"Narc police's secret agent"

October 16, 2009

A great purge, with more to come.

Very little in life gives me as much joy as getting rid of things.

The photo above is a testament to that. Inside what must be 20 heavy-duty garbage bags are old Christmas cards, files, old receipts and manuals for things we no longer even own, bookkeeping for my old company, work journals, calendars, etc etc etc.

I went through the basement and was vigilant. I didn't stop to reminisce or look at old Christmas cards. I did not pass go and I did not collect $200.

However, in spite of my haste, I found a few curious surprises that made me happy:

1. A letter from my sister Patti from 1991. Remember the days we used to communicate by letter?!! Love that!

2. A letter from Aunt Helen from the summer of 1992. In the letter, she complains of hot summer temperatures. She also wishes she could do my brother's laundry for him ("his shirts are never ironed," she laments). That made me smile. I must have inherited her laundry gene.

3. My maternal grandfather's birth certificate: Herbert Erikson Hellstrom, born on December 10, 1894, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I never knew him; he died way before I was born.

4. My birth/labor record from when Charlie was born. It all came back to me.

I saved all of the above.

They won't take up that much room.

October 14, 2009

We're gonna dig our new digs...

Signed and sealed. Here are our new digs. Mind you, we will move all the furniture out and move our stuff in. We think we will like the juxtaposition old carriage house with 50's modern. Plus our (we think) fabulous art.

So we have a lot of work ahead of us before we move in probably about the 5th of November. Mostly I need to clear out and clean out. My moving sale is probably first weekend of November! Unfortunately I will have to part with some of my greatest garage sale finds. And then some.

But it will be nice to have a lighter load. I mean that both literally and figuratively.

Do you like it?

master bedroom

master bedroom looking up

master bathroom

tiny office and storage (Ikea here we come!)

charlie's room


living room

steps upstairs


dining room from kitchen


family room

family room from other side

October 10, 2009

Stinkbugs stink ... and other closeups

It is stinkbug "season" around these parts. In case you never saw them before they look like prehistoric bugs with suits of armor. They live in trees in the summer but when the weather turns cooler they start coming inside for shelter. Mostly we see them outside our windows looking for ways to get inside. A few, unfortunately, succeed.

When we moved from Sweden a few years ago I was shocked to see this completely new bug. The brown stinkbug comes from Asia and only started living in Pennsylvania, NJ, Delaware, Virginia, etc about ten years ago. But they love it here, I can vouch for that.

They are harmless, really, but they are a nuisance. The reason they are called stinkbugs is that when you crush them or vacuum them they emit a pungent, unpleasant odor. So the best remedy is to lightly pick them up with a tissue and flush them down the toilet.

Once the winter comes the ones you haven't gotten rid of go into a sort of hibernation state. They keep very still and hide on/in your things. For example, pick a pen out of your pencil holder and you accidentally have a stinkbug in your hand. Screech. Gag. Yuck.

Happily, they are not known to reproduce indoors.

Here is everything you want to know about the stinkbug.


Anyway, as I was playing with my fake $15.00 macro, I took photos of things I love. It's hard to keep the focus on this cheapo lens, so sorry they are not so good. Can you guess what all of these are?

October 4, 2009

weird thoughts i am having

I'm in Charlotte, NC, heading to Augusta, Georgia. But only for tomorrow. I'm back home soon.

Travelling brings the weirdness out in people!

A quick horrible list, don't hate me!

Things you should not be able to do while travelling:

1. Put nasal spray up your nose so everyone can see you. It's gross. (i swear this lady was doing this in the airport! And not in some little corner, way out in the open!)

2. Change your seat if you are obese! An obese person changed his seat and sat in front of me. He made so much noise and put his seat back and it was gross.

3. Pull out your McDonald's food when you get on the plane. It's gross. It smells gross.

4. Wear really tight outfits (men and women). It is never fun to travel when you are wearing tight clothes and no one wants to see it. It's tight and weird. And gross.

Wish i had some photos to show this weird trip.

This is America.

I love it. But it's sometimes gross.

more later.

xx. to all my readers.

October 2, 2009

Help me, La Ronda


Sadness happened today, and I happened to witness it. La Ronda, a 90-year old estate designed by Addison Mizner, was demolished. This is a building I've been admiring from afar for a while, and even though activists and the historical society tried and tried and tried again, they could not save it.

I wonder what he's thinking, this current owner of this property. The one who applied to for permission from the township to tear down this amazing building and erect a McMansion.

What is he thinking? Will he sleep tonight?

I don't get it.

Sadness is in my heart for La Ronda.

September 27, 2009

In between

I haven't been blogging so much lately, sorry!

I am in a state of flux........

We are moving in six weeks and we have a lot of things to sort out.

We're in between seasons, in this strange weather pattern when it's chilly one day and super warm the next.

I don't know whether to dress in summer clothes or winter ones.

Also, I just finished my book and don't know what to read next.

I need to buckle down and make some decisions. Need to get organized! Need to plan our garage sale!

I have so much to do! HELP!

Classic sign of autumn, these berries that appear on the yew bushes. When we were little we'd pick these and have wars throwing them at each other. Ew.

A few of us went to see the movie The September Issue today (about Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour--loved it by the way). Some came in flip-flops -- others in boots!

P.S. Guess what!?? I met a girl this weekend who's going to teach me letterpressing!!!!!!

September 16, 2009

Rock entrepreneurs

This is the sign that Charlie (12) and our neighbor Jake (13) made on Sunday afternoon. Then they set up shop right outside Jay's driveway, close to the street, and started rockin´ and rollin´. They were there for about an hour. Guess what? They made $10 each. (But they cannot spell!!)

This was taken during their rendition of "Hey Jude," with Jake on the drums and Charlie on the lead guitar and vocals.

Need. This. Now.

I was just curious this morning about whether or not the new calendars were out for next year and sailed on over to my favorite Swedish paper shops. Gosh Golly, they are here, yay! Now I cannot stop thinking about them.

Must devise strategy for holding one within my hands asap. This is my first choice (a6!).

You can see all the colors and styles here on the Ordning & Reda site. And check out Bookbinders too.

Oh, how my heart hurts!

September 8, 2009

I love a 7th grader

This is Charlie about to go to wait for bus 078, due to pick him up at 7:37 this morning. He is a brand new 7th grader, wearing a Van Halen t-shirt, sort of already too small for him, since he painted it himself earlier this summer out of an oldish t-shirt. He was in good spirits. He did not give me permission to walk him to the busstop (I didn't expect he'd say yes, but I had to ask)...

How they grow, these little critters. It seems just like yesterday ... well you know the drill.

September 3, 2009

Mostly feet

Almost the end of summer. School starts next week and we return to routine. Nice, in a way. But I will sadly miss the serendipity of summer, when spontaneity reigns and anything can happen.

I have a million things to do and several parallel lists going. It doesn't seem to calm me.

Some feet photos from my adventures this summer. More photos to come!

A lovely dalmatian we met on "the Vinyood"

Tati and Marina: Martha's Vineyard

Franz, Ginger, Carlos: Avalon

Hello Kitty in the Sand: Martha's Vineyard

Ellen: Harriton House

A clever boy makes a new fad for Crocs: Harriton House

Jean, relaxed: Gladwyne

Franz, Ulf: Martha's Vineyard


My bad: Gladwyne

Me, Audrey: Avalon

Same as above!

Nina: Avalon

Me: Avalon

Misc: Avalon

Charlie: Martha's Vineyard

My remnants: Shakespeare festival, Delaware

Tris, Charlie: Martha's Vineyard

Ulf: Martha's Vineyard

Ferry Ride: Providence

Citizens and Police: Martha's Vineyard

Tris, Charlie, Me: Avalon

Charlie: Avalon

Tris: Martha's Vineyard

Unknown crab: Martha's Vineyard

Me: Martha's Vineyard