Monday, January 21, 2019

The Habit of Light

The Habit of Light

In the early evening she liked to switch on the lamps
in corners, on low tables, to show off her brass,
her polished furniture, her silver and glass.
At dawn she'd draw all the curtains back for a glimpse
of the cloud-lit sea. Her oak floors flickered
in an opulence of beeswax and light.
In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, 
the kettle purred on the Aga, supper on its breath 
and the buttery melt of a pie, 
and beyond the swimming glass of old windows,
in the deep perspective of the garden, 
a blackbird singing,
she'd come through the bean rows in tottering shoes,
her pinny full of strawberries, 
a lettuce, bringing the palest potatoes in a colander, 
her red hair bright with her habit of colour, 
her habit of light.

Gillian Clarke

It has a way of getting into you.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Happy Birthday John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent, 1903

So today marks the 163th anniversary of the 
birth of John Singer Sargent.  
He is a favorite of mine.
His portraits of Edwardian era aristocracy paid the bills,
to say the very least.

The Children of Edward Darley Boit, 1882

Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

But it was the paintings of his travels throughout
Europe, the Middle East and the US that resonate most with me.
Those of the "everyday" people.
Born to American parents in Florence, Italy
he studied in Paris and then took up residence in London.
Fluent in English, French, Italian and German,
he was able to travel and study throughout Europe.
He loved landscapes but turned to portraits 
which grew with his ease of languages and
steadiness and lasted for 25 years.  

Here is a portrait of Capri beauty, Rosina Ferrrara.

El Jaleo, 1879-1882

Then it was his portrait of Madam X, 1884-1885,
(Madam Gautreau)
said to be his favorite and probably his most famous.  
He had expected rave reviews but generated severe negative reaction.
It was just a little too risquΓ© for the times
revealing a plunging neckline and bare shoulders.

Originally painted with the right strap slipping off her shoulder, 
he repainted to put the strap to a more respectable place
on her shoulder in hopes 
of repairing the "damage", but to no avail.
It was just after that he moved to London.

Sargent traveled to the US and painted in New York and Boston 
where he painted several portraits and
had his first solo exhibition.
He returned to London where he garnered up to 
$5000 per portrait, handsome sum in those times.
In 1807 he closed his studio having grown tired of 
portraiture and turned to watercolor landscapes. 
Here is a favorite of Venice.
Scuola  Di San Rocco, 1807
He was even offered a knighthood, which he turned down as to 
keep his US citizenship.
He continued to paint until his death of heart disease in 1925.

But it is this one - truly my very favourite of all.
It leaves me breathless . . .
Fumee D'ambre Gris, 1880

It always makes me feel like.....
Nonchalor, 1911

Hope you enjoyed some of his "stuff".
Google to see more of this incredible painters works.
Portraits of Monet painting in his garden, 
presidential portrait of Woodrow Wilson,
alligators in Florida, snoozing Gondoliers of Venice, 
his works are amazing.

Thanks for dropping in to Moonlight Lane....

xx - holly

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Urge to Purge and Other New Year Ideas

We are now into the first week of 2019.
I am hungry for chocolate 🍫
& thirsty for wine 🍷 but I sit with 
my water 🍢  reading through my favorite blogs.  
Four of them extolling the virtues 
of starting the New Year with a
Whole House / Whole Head purge. 
There is even great fanfare for a full reality show 
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo 🧹 on Netflix

I am here to tell everyone to 🚦slow down a bit.

Over the summer πŸ– my sister sent three boxes πŸ“¦ of
items my mother carefully saved πŸ› over the years.
My sister did not want the “clutter” any longer.
The boxes were full of Grandmother Eleanor's glassware πŸ₯›πŸ·πŸ₯‚ 
wrapped in yellowed newsprint πŸ—ž from 09/21/2003, long after her death.
There were photos of my Grandmother Jenny, whom I never knew
 and of her mother left in Sweden πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ when Jenny immigrated.
There was a teacup and saucer ☕️.
Then shoes ---
Mine ….

And my mothers

These treasures I shall never purge. 

So go to your closets, junk drawers, garages and proceed 
with . great . care.

I will purge the need to purge and eat my πŸ₯¦ instead.

XO ~ holly

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

🎡 When I'm 64 🎡 & Other Notes

So where the heck have I been?
Along with you, a million reasons/excuses under that ⛱ known as everyday life. 
No matter the age, there are tugs at attention / time / activities 
that we lack the will to say "No" to.

This past year has been a struggle, to put it kindly,
but bearing silver linings as well.

Work: a πŸ’©-show.  New systems that didn't communicate. 
Management that didn't communicate well either. 
Long hours that filled my bank account but drained my endurance.

Marriage:  πŸ‘« 37 years and finally off to counseling. 
We pushed and pulled our way through and learned to
talk with each other instead of at each other.

Children: πŸ‘¨‍πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§‍πŸ‘§  both our girls on their own for some years.
Eldest, now mother of three πŸ‘¨‍πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§‍πŸ‘¦ + πŸ‘ΆπŸ» and a move to Arizona
for a great career opportunity.
Youngest, just south in the city and planning her March wedding. πŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ€΅πŸ».

Yoga 🧘🏻‍♀️, two dogs 🐢, reading πŸ“–, gardening πŸ‘©πŸ»‍🌾,
errand-running πŸš—, cooking πŸ₯§, journaling πŸ““,
you know … life.

So here we are at today - it is the first day of the 
Sparkly New Year
(I Love sparkly things πŸ’)
It's my Birthday! πŸŽ‚
So I dedicate this way too long post πŸ“to looking towards 
the future, drawing on the past year(s) to shape and mold this 
2019 that lays before me.

I am borrowing from a list created several 
years ago by a favorite blogger, Sharon Santoni.  
I am just using her bullet points as inspiration, the dialog that follows is my own.
So here are my resolutions and like you all....this time they are going to stick.

1. Kindness. 
This past year has found us assaulted by someone who is cruel, belligerent, 
and definitely not a good example of how adults should behave.  
My endeavor is to counterbalance his behavior 
with my own dose of gentleness and kindness. 
Say "Good Morning" with optimism.
Pay a sincere compliment daily.
Wave to my neighbors.
Answer the phone when someone calls.  They are calling for a reason.
Reply to all texts with a happy tone.
Send Birthday cards, notes of thanks or thinking of you via snail-mail.
Fine tune my Hug-giving.
Listen.  Don't talk or interrupt.  Just listen.
You never know what sharing in this free commodity 
of simple kindness can do for someone else.

2. Health
I have been slightly and more than slightly over-weight over the past years.  
I will finally stop looking at the scale and start looking at overall health.  
Get the annual check-up, follow the doctor's suggestions
and get the tests done as recommended.
Wear the orthotics in my shoes all.the.time.
Swim laps. Take walks. Eat more vegetables.
Use my standing desk at the office at least twice a day.
Get off my bottom and use this body as it is meant to be used.

3. Beauty
Notice something beautiful every day. Cuddle my Abundant Life. 
Continue to note it all in my daily Gratitude Journal.
Create a home of comfort and joy all year with soft surroundings and
delightful meals to share with my husband, family and friends.

4. Creativity
Sign up for those ceramics classes.
Create something new for our home, a pillow cover, paint those last doors,
touch-up and patch boo boos in finishes.
Knit or crochet --- a gift from my mother.
Cook a new recipe, even if it is fish.
Read blogs and IG posts that coax the creative juices to flow.

5. Fun
We have lived in northern San Diego county for 20 years 
and know so little about the city and surrounding areas.
So adventure, explore, kick some tires and just wander 
through new places that are just a short drive away.
Eat the pie.  Drink the wine. Feel the ocean breeze.
Create memories.

6. Time to Reflect
Do my morning ritual of rising early to journal, 
center with my Yoga practice of Sun Salutations,
share lessons learned on this blog and
savor a good moment when I see it.

7. A Good Read
Over this past summer I have rediscovered reading as a great escape.
I have stacks of books to read on shelves and bedside baskets.  
Take the time each day, even if just one chapter, to adventure along in the stories.  
I promise me, my life will be richer for it.

8. Digging in the Dirt
Although my garden is small, it is coming along nicely.
A new composter is cooking right now to help create "brown gold".
Tend to roses and veggies.  Water regularly.
Rake, weed and talk to those lovely plants that provide
beauty, sustenance and shelter for birds and bunnies.

9. Family Love
With the wedding in March, family will gather to celebrate my 
daughter's marriage to a great fellow. This is a great time to dance, 
laugh, embrace those I have loved for years and 
others that I am just discovering are lovable too.
Continue to embrace the remade man I married. 
He has come a long way over this past year transforming himself
away from seriously bad habits and behaviors
to a kind and thoughtful man.  
Then....follow his lead. 

10. Personal Self-Care
Continue to take good care of my skin with weekly home facials and a manicure.
Soak my feet in Epsom salt baths and slough away callouses and cares.
Before buying new, finally use up all those lotions/shampoos/
sample bottles/compacts/lipsticks cluttering drawers and shelves.
Toss out the ones that I just.will.not.use … ever.
Donate those items that I will "Wear again someday" 
but it has been two years since the last time worn.
Those items will provide warmth and enjoyment 
for someone who really will wear them someday.
Stop complaining.
Let go of the past.  I am no longer that person.
Then Breathe again.

That's the lot of it.  A good list to return to monthly or more often
should the waters get rough or too muddy to keep moving.

I wish for you to have the finest year of all. 
Create your own list using these topics or your own. 
Just don't start the New Year without goals to challenge and inspire.  
You don't have to revamp your life …
just enhance it.

Love and Kindness,

XX - holly