Yes, We Have No Bananas

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Two years ago this month, my mother, sister and I went to Paris to celebrate Mom’s Seventy Fifth birthday. My sister had lived in France; I travel there regularly for work; but Mom had never been. It was a to be the trip of a lifetime for Mom, but things got off to a rocky start when she missed her first flight (we journeyed separately at the beginning from our respective homes). The reason: she needed bananas. No kidding. She didn’t have any bananas at home and felt she just couldn’t make the trip without them. So she stopped by a supermarket for bananas on her way to the airport, and as a result she missed her flight. In fact, she missed an entire day in Paris, due to the domino effect of missing that first flight. This story is now a big joke in our family, and we make sure to ask Mom before she travels, “Do you have bananas?” She doesn’t appreciate the sarcasm. Continue reading

Windows to the Soul… Of a Home

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After the floor restoration project is complete, it will be checked off a list of Daunting Projects we hope to complete at our home over time (a lot of time). Our house is not of major historical significance, but she was built by a family seeking a certain grandeur and she once knew better days. The person who owned her previous to us did much to return her to a former state of glory, but there’s still a way to go.

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Restoration Story: Update

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A couple of weeks ago I posted about realizing that our floor refinishing project is actually a restoration project. I need to remind myself that restoring takes time and requires sustained patience. We really are making progress, but there is still so much to do that I become overwhelmed. Friday evening I told TBM I would probably have a meltdown before the weekend was over, and today was the day. Continue reading

Alternative Living, Part Two: No Impact

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A number of years ago I heard a radio interview with a man who was striving to live for an entire year without creating a carbon footprint* on the earth. I was immediately captivated by the idea and the details of his plan, and impressed that he had taken on the challenge with a somewhat less enthusiastic wife, and a toddler in tow. Colin Bevan, aka “No Impact Man” lives in New York City, which both eased and complicated the lifestyle experiment he took on in 2007. Imagine living a whole year in the city, your only means of transportation your own two feet (which also are used to power the family bike); not using the subway or elevators; buying nothing encased in packaging (buying almost nothing new, for that matter); not using air conditioning or watching TV; using nothing made of plastic; and composting ALL your waste (and I do mean all!). There’s even more. Continue reading

Le Beaux Verre

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I spent a rainy afternoon this week wandering my favorite Parisian neighborhood, Le Marais. This tiny shop on a meandering side street captivated me from the moment I saw its jewel box contents.

I admire so many French customs, and the stylish ease with which the French live. Re-loving old and beautiful things was, I believe, original to the French, who even hand down their homes, filling them with treasures from the past. It’s hard to imagine how precious goods such as the glass pictured here has survived into the 21st Century, but I’m thankful it has, providing an elegant example that living mindfully need not be beauty-deprived.

Flower Power

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So, after a holier-than-thou post yesterday regarding the nasty cut flower industry, a dilemma:

What to do when someone gives your husband a huge bouquet of beautiful cut flowers? No, not a lover; there is no illicit affair being carried forth. But recently TBM was given flowers, after he brilliantly did what he does best in this world. You know, as a congratulatory gesture.

TBM then gave the flowers to me, because flowers don’t interest him (not to say he wasn’t touched by their receipt). And I thought, “UGH! I won’t have such sinful flowers in my home!” No, I didn’t think that, but I did think, “Well, there has already been so much waste bringing these flowers to us, I can’t continue wasting them now.” Continue reading

In Bloom

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Saturday I cut from the garden what surely are some of the last flowers of the season. In my absence from Hudson the past two weeks, the geraniums and dahlias mistook their forced drought (alas, there has been no significant rain) for a death sentence and are fiercely in bloom right now.

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