Ode to The Boy

I have been living the terrible, horrible, no good,very bad week!  You know the kind of week where everything that goes wrong does and you are just trying to get through it so you can come out the other side.

It all started with a very painful root canal that involved lots of tears and pain killers.  The flu then hit me hard with a hacking cough, the kind that makes your chest ache and gives you a killer headache.  I had traveling to do, which never helps and this was followed by (weirdly) another tooth issue, a fractured molar.  "What is happening??"  All this was painful enough but to top it off my beloved fish died.

The Boy, as we called him was 1 of 2 fish my younger son had won at the 1st grade school fair.  You know that game where you throw a ping ping ball in a bowl and win a fish that inevitably dies within days?  Well these two were an anomaly.   One of the boys, called that because whenever I called my kids for dinner or to leave the house, I always yelled "boys...",  passed away about 8 years ago.  He was 15 as far as I could tell.  That left one boy, who swam in the decorative bowl I bought in Aspen, on my kitchen counter for 23 years!

He was always there.  He was a symbol of life in my home the minute I walked thru the door.  He was a connection to my children and their childhood.  He was playful with my husband and I and not just when there was food involved.  I loved him well.  People always asked me, how did you keep him alive so long?  Obviously, much was luck and I guess good genes on the fishes part, but maybe it was the way I lovingly spoke to him?

Have you ever heard of  the rice experiment?  Dr Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist and healer, placed equal amounts of rice in 3 different mason jars.  One rice jar was ignored, one rice jar was criticized daily and the last jar was spoken to in a loving way with positive affirmations everyday.  Can you guess what happened?  After  30 days the jar that was ignored barely changed.  The jar that was criticized became moldy and rancid.  The mason jar holding the rice that was spoken to lovingly  remained unchanged or in some cases took on a pinkish glow.

So, what does this have to do with the boy?   I believe it demonstrates the power of positivity!  By me talking to the fish everyday in a loving way,  telling him I love him and blowing kisses, it kept him alive for so long.  Obviously, the same applies to all living things.  Thoughts and words carry energy. Negative energy 'rots" us, positive energy makes us flourish!

So if you are not communicating loving messages to your pets and plants, its never too late to start.

R.I.P little fish, you will be missed.

#a lifecoach lesson

Carrie Bradshaw meets the Jetson's

I was catching up on Nate Burkus and Jeremiah Brent's renovation show on TLC,  By Design while I was recovering from the flu.  I love these two, their show, their design aesthetic and the way they interact with each other.

On this particular show they were helping a woman renovate her childhood home.  Sherry lived there with her parents and mentally ill sister.  It became her job to care for everyone, including the house, at the expense of her self care.  The house fell into disrepair and Nate and Jeremiah came to her rescue.

I especially loved this episode. The guys often talk about how our homes heal us, and this was a perfect example.  I speak of this often!  Memories were made here, most really beautiful, but intertwined with pain and sadness.

Sherry described what she wanted her perfect home to feel and look like ~  retro, colorful, with a mid century vibe right out of a Shag painting.  Nate and Jeremiah came up with the "Carrie Bradshaw meets Jetson's" moniker.  Which they gave her in spades!

The reason why I bring this whole story up is because they did something extraordinary.  The guys wove the happy memories Sherry had of her childhood, her parents and this home into the renovation, thereby helping Sherry move forward towards a bright future.  Nate and Jeremiah took some of her mother's antique textiles that she had collected over the years to Astek wallpaper  who reproduced the design of one of the textile's into wallpaper and reworked it for an updated version of her mother's vintage fabric.  Nate and Jeremiah wrapped the bedroom walls in it.  This is not just wallpaper now, it is so much more!   Sherry feels wrapped in her mother's arms.  How beautiful is that?

This was the before kitchen.  Sherry has distinct memories of her mom standing in front of the sink doing dishes.

 The after kitchen ~   Sherry said she would love to step into Barbie's dream house.  The guys really stepped out of their confront zone to give her exactly what she asked for.  It is modernized for today's standards yet still mod, in keeping with the look of the rest of the house.  The lower kitchen cabinets were repainted and topped in laminate.  The countertop edges were wrapped in metal, indicative of a vintage vibe.  It's everything Sherry could have asked for,

Now that's healing design.
There is a lightness, a happiness to the home that had been missing from Sherry's life for a long time! Sherry can now step into her future feeling optimistic and enthusiastic!

An perfect example of Living Beauti~FULLY

portrait photo by Mikael Jansson

LongHouse Reserve

I do not want the beautiful weather to end!  While I do love the fall here in the Northeast, let's linger just a little longer in the verdant green gardens among the art and architecture of LongHouse Reserve.  Under the artistic eye of Interior Designer Jack Leonor Larsen, LongHouse Reserve is a beautiful integration of nature and art.

As you enter, Yoko Ono asks you to be part of her Peace project.  Tie your wish on the wish tree and it will make its way to Reykjavik, Iceland and be placed under the Imagine Peace Tower.  You can join in on the website as well.

The gardens serve as a living case study of the interaction between plants and people in a variety of spaces and seasons.  Mr. Larson believes people have a unique experience when interacting with the art.  The art focuses on expanding one's imagination.  Mr. Larsen's hope for LongHouse Reserve is that it be public, reflect world cultures and speak to the message of inventiveness and non conformity. Along with 60 permanent sculptures, there are visiting artists who loan their works for display.

Jack Leonor Larsen, a well known textile designer, author and advocate of traditional and contemporary craft, who's life is a rich tapestry of experiences, began as a weaver.  He celebrates 90 years young later this month.

The home sits to the right of the gardens and pond.  LongHouse Reserve encompasses 16 acres in the  Northeast Woods of East Hampton, NY.  The home was inspired by the grand Japanese shrine at Ise

The Gateway Bell by Toshiko Takaezu

Three Indeterminant Lines by Bernar Venet

Fly's Eye Dome by Buckminster Fuller

6 Lines in a T II by George  Rickey in Peter's Pond

Cobalt Spears by Dale Chihuly

Almost like the Blues by Marylyn Dintenfass

Sanctuary Entwined byToni Ross

Dream of Africa, Shin Sang-Ho

A forced perspective

Mao jacket by Sui Jianguo


Heroic Man by Gaston Lahaise

Legs by Larry Rivers

Reclining Figures by Willem de Kooning

"What it does have is individuality and a finely wrought sense of style.  It offers the element of surprise.  I love visiting this place because I never know what I am going to find."  Benjamin Genocchio, arts and entertainment critic for the NY Times.

ph: Tom Koche

Thank you Jack for creating something so beautiful that I'm sure will be a  lasting legacy.

It's worth putting on your "to do" list.  

 If you are so inclined Pointed Leaf Press published a book on LongHouse Reserve