FtVF - It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn.

I have a theme song this year. It is what gets me out the door in the morning on bad days. Jeremiah will actually play it to get me moving.  I sing the chorus to myself. I pump myself up by playing it in the car.

Here's the From the Vault part...
At Record Store Day in April, I picked up a Florence and the Machine single. I like to pick one album that I am not too sure of and check it out.

When we got home, I had Jeremiah put it on the record player (I refuse to touch the record player out of fear of breaking it.) and I immediately fell in love with the song.

It is captivating. It has never failed to release me from whatever funk I have fallen into. I dance, I sing, it's a beautiful thing, if only to me.  You know how Phoebe runs like a child on Friends? That's how I dance and sing to this. Completely free. Slightly possessed. 

If you are lucky enough to have already heard the song and/or you know Flo, then I welcome you to sing along. And dance. I won't judge you.

If you are already wanting more, here is my second favorite song. Not my anthem, but fun all the same. This song results in a lot of clapping if I am in the car and a lot of jumping if I am able to stand.

Dog Days are Over

Happy Friday, Friends.

Anyone else have an anthem? Please share.


If I Could, I Would Marry This Room. Just Saying.

Awhile ago I mentioned that I/we had been working on my studio. My Special Place. It is with a completely and utterly adoring heart that I share these updates with you. Sometimes, even though it is not even close to being finished, I just go up and sit in there. It is such a calming and happy space for me.

First update is the shelf. We actually have four that we acquired at the end of May. They were going to be thrown out. So instead, we stuck them in the back of the Forester. Two immediately were hung in their current condition out in the garage. The other two I sanded, primed, and painted white. One will go in a guest room and then one went in my room.There are little hooks that Jeremiah took off while I was fixing the shelves, so at some point those will be screwed back into their proper places.
It is directly above my gorgeous desk (which is not being shown due to the fact that it is a disaster and has not been organized yet). The shelf obviously is not filled yet. For awhile Maddie Vache slept in the bigger basket.
The next update is the lighting. Sadly, the three guest rooms are not hardwired for any ceiling lights. They all have one switched outlet. Any light that is to be hung must be swagged. For about three years, I have coveted this capiz chandy. Dreamed of it. Whispered to it every time I saw it at the store. For Christmas, Jeremiah's parents graciously provided the funds to get me the light of my dreams.
I can't even describe how much I love it, but I will try. When it lights up, it looks like shimmery gold.
If the AC is running, it almost sounds a bit like wind chimes. I love it.
The framed picture is a print that Jeremiah gave to me for my graduation present in December. I had seen the artist's work up north in a gallery and loved it. The girl is in the woods and is slightly whimsical looking. I identified with her. The wall to the right will be filled up with more art/posters/photographs.

Lastly. Holy crap. The Borders shelves. I purchased three (and fit all three of them in the back of Old Red). When we got them home, Jeremiah liked them so much he immediately bought one from me for his music stuff.

Two of them are going to go in my room. They are huge, reaching almost all the way to the ceiling. I need a foot stool to reach the top shelf. The process for sanding, priming, and painting is a long one. They are so big that only one can be done at a time. In addition, this one was done during the summer and the garage was easily one hundred twenty degrees while I was working on it. I think it took maybe five coats of paint? I am nothing if not a perfectionist. Totally worth all the work, though:
I have books grouped by genre so far, and I am sure to keep it that way, but the second book shelf will help immensely. I am almost out of room already and I still have books throughout the house.
So those are the updates. I seriously am so happy with it. I wish you a space that makes you as happy.

p.s. I have read two exceptional books lately. The first one is Her Fearful Symmetry, which I could not get out of my head when I was done. The second was Homer's Odyssey, which is about a woman who adopts a blind kitten named Homer. Incredible. I cried numerous times. Any one else reading anything good? I have been reading like crazy since I finished my degree.


It's Like a Chair, but Longer.

This summer, Jeremiah and I moved things around in the living room. The idea was, we have this sunny backyard with a beautiful pool and the window that faced out to the backyard was partially blocked by the couch.

After much debate and a little loud discussing (read: fighting), we moved the TV and the stand to the right of the window and the couch to the wall on which the TV used to be located. We also rearranged the desk area and have plans to relocate the shelves to be above the desk.

One problem that has plagued us since the beginning is that we never wanted the TV to be the focus - which is why things were open and the fireplace became the focal point. Now we have the window to look out and the fireplace. But the space did not feel defined. We were also left with the issue of not enough comfy seating. We had the couch and a few chairs. When we have company, though, we want them to feel as though they can lounge luxuriously, too.

We discussed purchasing a small loveseat (not a couch) to face directly across from the fireplace. It would help define the area AND AND AND offer that extra comfy seating for guests.

Saturday while strolling around Salvation Army (Am a total liar. I was giddily picking up books for twenty-five cents and gushing about a lamp that I wanted for seven bucks.), I found the perfect loveseat. Small. Big, movable back pillows. ALL slipcovered (and not some cheap after market thing). It was clean. Spotless, even. It was marked at $175. It was Saturday, though, which means 40% off. We were sold. When we got up to the register, it rang up at just under $70, and that included my lamp and books. The woman said that it was being additionally discounted. Whatevs. I am not about to question it.

There was some doubting as to whether it would go IN the Forester or ON the Forester, but Jeremiah's spatial giftedness won out and the doubtful Salvation Army worker and I had to eat our words.

The entire damn thing fit in the car. With the hatch closed.

We got it home, I immediately washed all the covers (By the way - underneath the covers? Spotless. Like new.) and set it up. We LOVE it.

 It has a texture to it, which is nice, because anything that can help hide spots (or fur) is a huge plus at our place.

We discussed it last night and decided that we have good couch karma. My first couch I bought at Salvation Army and sold it for a profit a few years later when a co-worker gave us her gently used leather sofa. We then bought a fun purple suede couch for the front room for only $250 at a consignment shop. And then we sealed the deal for about sixty with this little guy. Not bad.

Anyone else buy something fun this weekend? Anyone have a car that ceases to amaze them? Because my car is amazeballs.


Anyone Else Check the Color of Their Snot Each Time They Blow Their Nose? No? Just Me?

My brother came to visit again. It's so nice that we can both be adults and not punch the other one in the sternum causing almost instant death.

Oh, wait. ADAM.

I asked Jeremiah "Are you just going to let him do that to me?!" And then I thought, these are two completely passive guys. A fight could be either super interesting or one hundred percent dull. So I kicked my brother myself.

Honestly - It is nice having family come visit. I didn't even have to dip into my stash of Valium to get through the week. That? That is GROWTH, My Friends. Plus it is nice because my brother puts things into perspective for me. Having Jeremiah around me all the time makes me feel like a freak. He does not have to check the garage door nine times (in three sets) each night. He does not have a fear of other people using the same toilet. He does not worry the house will burn down constantly. In other words, he is fairly normal. While Adam does not have the exact same quirks (such a nice word to use instead of "weird ass issues"), he came from the same family and has his own special gifts (again, nice words) that he brings to the table.

Having brother around made me feel less freakish and more normalish.

Until Jeremiah started drinking more frequently (which, honestly, is still not a lot) due to his desire to "keep up" with our sober behavior (I don't know what that says about any of the people involved. What does it say when you have to be inebriated in order to understand someone else?). Apparently two of us were too much to handle. One child too many from the Z clan.

Then Adam left and the next day I got sick. I am not sure, but I am pretty sure that he is somehow responsible.

Shortly after becoming sick, I began a flare-up of my awesome disease and threatened Jeremiah that the moratorium on coughing on his toothbrush had ended because he was no longer on short term disability and therefore he was well enough to endure my horrible toothbrush experiments. At that point he suggested another I take another Valium (just kidding, people).

So now every time I blow my nose or cough crap up I check the color. Because when you have an immune system as screwed up as my immune system, a cold can turn into something much worse very quickly. And I go to the nurse daily for stethoscope checks on my lungs. So far, so good.

And I am sure that the nurse loves me.

Somewhere in the future of this blog, there may be a story about pickles. Because that was the turning point that got Jeremiah drinking like a fish.

Have a great weekend, Friends.  Any fun plans?