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Monday, February 1, 2010

A Satisfying Weekend

Sometimes a weekend will disappear, fizzling dismally and subsiding in a puff of smoke, with insufficient spark to ignite. You know there was a weekend. You saw it coming. It was written on your agenda, but procrastination, failed plans or lethargy extinguished it into an in-salvageable and unremarkable space saver stuck between Friday and Monday.

My weekend was better than that. I kept my, now regular, Friday Evening Date with Gary Cooper!

It was getting dark early and producing some messy squalls of rain. Traffic had a few more hold-ups than I had planned for so it was a bit of a race to change into my riding gear, feed and walk the dog and get up the hill to the barn without being tardy. Despite rain, dark and a mudslide or two on the canyon road, there were still a few (fool)hardy cyclists pedaling away, brightly colored plastic ponchos a-billow. I avoided collecting any new hood ornaments and took my accumulated adrenaline with me, transformed into a bubbly mood, as I climbed on for my precious dose of horse.

Back down the hill, a quick shower and a make-shift dinner; something leafy and something hot with bread and wine and cheese. We made some inroads into the pirouette cookies, filled with hazelnuts, that I got at the liquor/grocery store when I scampered in to purchase dog food, on my earlier trajectory home. We dip the cookies in our wine glasses. Dip, crunch, enjoy, repeat.

Are the cookies a vehicle for the wine or au contraire? I'll need to buy some more to further test my theory.

Saturday decided to expose some blue sky. I woke up and congratulated myself on the absence of aches and pains, old or new; a very liberating feeling. I fed and walked The Canine One and made a quick jaunt to work to meet a client who surprised me by being punctual so it did not consume my whole morning.

I was able to visit the grocery store and switched my planned evening dinner menu to beef brochettes, as there were no appealing whole fish. (Possibly an oxymoron?).

I chose some fresh ginger, garlic, brown mushrooms, zucchini/courgettes, cherry tomatoes and a beautiful golden bell pepper. I marinated the beef as soon as I got home, adding salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, Worcester sauce and a slug of Laphroaig Whisky. (Laphroaig is perfect for barbeque).

My weekend goal was to refresh the hanging of the paintings on our walls. Hubby's paintings are hung on every wall all over the house. We hang Studio-Style, which means fitting as many in as possible in a harmonious way.

I start by visiting all the artwork, especially new pieces that have recently emerged. I select a couple of key pieces and, in order to place them front and center, must first remove a dozen other pictures from the main wall of the living room. The ripples of change flow outward from there. Color, shape, size and subject matter are all considered to create a balanced impression. A new space on that wall may be perfect for a painting that was previously in our bedroom. The new void in the bedroom can't just be filled, all the bedroom paintings must change places; some stay, some go into another part of our home.

I had one of those "What the Heck! Why Not?" moments and decided that the furniture must be rearranged as well. The Canine One was sticking close all day with her "Are we moving again?" face on.

As the afternoon wore out, I was making progress but far from done. Our dinner guests had a flat tire so I went to pick them up. They had been warned what I was up to. They approved my progress so far and we turned to the serious business of serving wine and lighting the barbecue.


  1. I am very impressed with the furniture rearrangement! It looks sensational. I can hardly wait to sprawl on the couch and gaze vacantly at the telly.

    Great post and great weekend! Just the kind I like to hear about for you.

  2. A relaxing weekend is always great but somehow it's the weekends where you get loads done that are the best and the most satisfying - the ones where you make the most of your time.

  3. hat a GREAT living room! And I love the art on the walls like that. Exactly how our house looked growing up, a lovely crazy quilt of art on every inch of wall space.

    Do you have images of your husband's art somewhere? I'd like a closer look!

  4. Sounds like fun (although tiring) - perhaps you'll inspire me!

  5. You accomplished so much in one day. I try not to do much work when I can sit around and read! Seriously, there is always so much to take care of in a home, isn't there? The top photo shows some nice paintings on the wall!

  6. I really, really like your living room. It is inviting and a place to linger for sure. Congrats on a good weekend!

  7. Ms. Pliers, Hubby and I actually sat in the same room, on the same couch to watch Repo Man last evening. Must be some Feng Shui, or such floating in the air.

  8. Steve, i felt like I got some momentum going and I didn't want to stop.

    Kitty, Glad you like it. I despise my husband's web site, or I would share. He won't listen to my input. It doesn't represent his work well at all. I have been thinking about getting a new site started just to show him how it could be. I will show some more soon.
    p.s. A house without art on the walls is a bleak place to me. I too grew up with paintings around.

  9. Kate, next on the list is redoing all the labels. Yuk!

    TechnoBabe, it took the full two days to complete, around a dinner party, followed by a lunch party the next day. I felt my post would seem interminable if I kept on and on and on so I stopped.
    When we had the Gallery as a second business I would spend whole weekends changing art shows around. It is always interesting to see the results.

  10. Shattered, We have achieved harmony between art, comfort, dog toys etc. You would be welcome anytime.

  11. I will cite your post at breakfast tomorrow morning as proof that re-arranging the household artwork is a perfectly legitimate way of seeing it in a new light and not a sign of instability. Thank you, and congratulations on your weekend.

  12. Deborah, quote me any time, we refer to it as Laver les yeux.

  13. Ah. nothing like a good weekend to set the flavor for the week...and plans in motion for the next weekend. Now that I am retired, I no longer live from Saturday to Saturday, so it's not quite the same feeling.

    Love the kebobs. My mouth is watering thinking of them. I just bought some beef tips for similar use, but the barbeque is not sitting outside in the snow and I'm not likely to go out there to use it. California does have its perks.

    The house does look like a beautiful gallery.

  14. Good Heavens, ER, do you have a limitless supply of energy? When you came to the end of describing the rearranging of your house I thought the next bit would be you falling down dead in a heap, but no, there are dinner guests expected, the meal has yet to be cooked.

    I rarely find tales of people's daily domestic doings interesting, if only there were more like yours and I'd become a convert. Humdrum? I wish!

  15. Jean, one house we lived in had an indoor barbecue set into the dining room wall. We grilled everything. It was great. The house is indeed a permanent open studio.

  16. Friko, I plan my menus to be easy and sometimes I put my friends to work cutting bread or serving wine. My energy for the rearranging was self-generated from the pleasure of seeing the changes I was creating.

  17. Love the room; it's beautiful. Impressive array of artwork! Since having the LR/DR painted over two years ago I have had only one painting on the walls. I just felt a real need to have everything stripped down. Only recently have I begun wanting to see some of the paintings back on the walls...