[hello monday]

Two weeks in a row I am late saying "hello" to Monday. Is procrastination ever a virtue? I cop to a lot of bad habits, not the least of which is being chronically late for almost everything. Being the right-brainer I am, I have read thousands of words about procrastination, on the whys, hows, wherefores, coping strategies, and so on. The nastier explanations - that running late conveys a sense of entitlement and an "I'm more important than you" vibe - don't ring true to me or most procrastinators I know. Ah well; more navel-gazing at a later date.

Hello grey, snowy, slushy, freezing Monday. Another week, another snow day. My school-age girl is getting used to the idea of snow days alarmingly fast. I used to love snow days too, but I had the benefit of actually staying home rather than going to daycare. In the best of all worlds, my girl would rather be home playing with Squinkies than doing just about anything else. (Have you seen those things? Why, oh why, didn't I think of that??)

Hello amaretto lattes. I need a fancy coffeemaker so I can learn how to do these at home. (I wish this were my cup! Who wouldn't love to see this cute little face in their mug?)

Hello getting excited for our Chicago trip! I want to make the most of it since my handsome husband and I hardly ever get a weekend away, never mind a whole weekend away that's just the two of us!

Hello Downton Abbey! Wow. I missed the boat on Season 1, but I am streaming Season 2 episodes via PBS and I love it. I have no illusions; had I lived in late 19th century or early 20th century England, chances are good that I would be a schoolteacher or nanny instead of a lawyer, but I can't help myself. I am fascinated, so much that my next reading challenge is to tie in to the works of Edith Wharton. (By the way, for a taste of her terrific writing, read the short story "The Fulness of Life" here.)

Hello stacks of paperwork. Running your own business can be challenging no matter what, but it's really no fun to go through first-year growing pains. It seems impossible that our little shop is less than a year old. It is, in so many ways, like having a newborn. You eagerly anticipate its arrival, but nothing can really prepare you for the sleepless nights, the unexpected necessities and purchases that come along with it, the weight of responsibility for this new life. Some days you sit back and stare at it in wonder, and you wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

What are you saying hello to today? Linking to Lisa Leonard here!

[hello monday]

Ok, even though it's Tuesday, I have to say hello to Monday. I thought about it yesterday but never got around to it, so here goes.

Hello Wild Mountain Blueberry k-cup (my favorite flavor ever!). How I love my mini Keurig. I keep it in my workroom at the shop and it helps stave off temptations of running to the delicious coffee shop next door. The flavor is just sweet enough that it is *almost* enough to make me not wish for a doughnut while I drink it.

Hello wicked winter. We had an unseasonably warm and snow-free winter until January, so we all knew this was coming. It's cozy. Hibernation weather. I tell myself I would get bored if I had to stay home by the fire, curled up in a down blanket with peppermint & licorice tea, Wuthering Heights and my embroidery hoop at hand, but who am I kidding? Besides, I don't even have a fireplace. I'd have to huddle around a few jar candles and the probability of that ending "not well" is high.

Hello getting back on track with walking to "work." That was an honest resolution, but see above re: snow. Living this far north in Michigan, you'd think I would have been on skies by now. This is strap-your-baby-to-your-back-and-hit-the-trails territory. Up here, kids are on skies by age two, no joke. A 31-year old with shaky knees? Not so much. My handsome husband's secret plan for us to go tubing last Valentine's day went terribly awry, and ended with sitting in a dealership drinking bad coffee while some mechanics safety-d the car enough for us to drive home. This year, if the snow keeps up, we will hopefully plan something outdoorsy besides running from the car to the house, heads down, futilely trying to dodge the snowflakes.

Linking up to Lisa Leonard here

[hello monday]

Monday again! I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard here to say hello to Monday.

I used to dread Mondays, but not anymore. I no longer have "Sunday night syndrome," as it's known in our house. You know that feeling that creeps up on you on Sunday night, weighing you down with the knowledge that you have to wake up in the morning and go log 8-ish hours at a job you less-than-love? Since assuming my new line of "work," I can honestly say I no longer feel that way on Sunday nights. I am just as happy and content every night of the week, and that is a feeling of freedom.

Hello stacks of Christmas cards finally making it into the mail. Can't believe how late we were getting them out this year. We can't even pass them off as New Year's cards; they proclaim "Merry Christmas!" in unmistakable holiday green & red boldly across their fronts.

Hello everyone staying healthy. Still have flu vaccines on the to-do list for one of our two kids, but so far, no major illnesses. Knock on wood.

Hello warm weather - and excuse me. I would like to know what is UP with having no snow in January. In northern Michigan. Is it global warming? Just a weird winter? (Though now that Christmas is over, I do rather like seeing bare pavement.)

Hello new babies in 2012. Three of my friends are bringing precious new lives into the world this year. In fact, one sweet little peanut already made his debut over the weekend. There is nothing better than a warm snuggly newborn!

Hello planning a buying trip to Chicago at the end of the month. I love Chicago and I love the excitement and possibility that comes with each trip to a new show. Definitely one of the most fun aspects of my job.

Hello sketching out ideas for a Valentine's display window - so many ideas swirling around my head, the challenge will be executing one of them. I get so caught up in planning sometimes that before I know it, I find myself at the 11th hour with a boatload to do. I am trying to plan my windows the way other people plan out their blog posts, and hopefully that will help corral some of my creative ideas and actually put them into being.

[i spy a skunk tail]

[weekend 10]

Weekend 10 is made up of 5 things I am really anticipating for the weekend, and 5 for which I am not so eager.

Most looking forward to this weekend:

1. Seeing pictures of our friends' new baby boy! Just found out they are having him today and I am on pins & needles. They live a whole bunch of states away and we miss them.
2. Painting [finally] our hallway. We've had a nice soothing grey color picked out for awhile now. It's called "notre dame" and I am nothing if not a sucker for meaningful paint names.

swatch via

3. Finishing some organization projects that we started NYE weekend. Unfortunately, i am also nothing if not a procrastinator.
4. Getting inventory count underway at the store
5. Sunday mass

Least looking forward to:
1. Sticking to our new healthier eating habits
2. The cloudy weather with NO snow. I can usually get into a nice grey funk if I let myself. I really and truly enjoy snow, and I don't mind the long dark days of winter, but I just can't abide continuous overcast with no sun OR snow.
3. Worrying if my daughter has a stomach bug
4. Counting inventory!
5. Laundry. It haunts my dreams.

[chihuahua! cahm 'ere!]

that's the... enthusiastic sound of my down-the-street neighbor calling her dogs in. this little trio i passed on my walk to "work" this morning goes bat-crazy when anyone walks by. why are the cutest little lap dogs also the noisiest and highest-volume?
Linki love the historic buildings in my town. i can close my eyes and almost imagine these streets filled as in the 1890s; the ladies wore Gibson Girl pompadours and leg o'mutton sleeved dresses, and the well-heeled gents looked dapper in knee-length topcoats and pearl gray top hats. i'm nothing if not a romantic, but i have to say it wouldn't be worth going back in time just for the sake of well-tailored fashion. victorian life could be freaky. if you want to be really creeped out, check out this gallery of memento mori. (skip the comments though; how a thread can progress from "wow, that's weird and cool!" to calling someone an ignorant racist, i will never know.)

[wednesday walk]

i did it! day one of 4-times weekly walking to "work." the morning was crisp and sunny - the very best kind of winter weather.

so the sidewalk could use some shoveling, but it's supposed to warm up in a day or two (or as i call it, "nature's shovel")

sunny today. is there anything prettier than sunlight streaming through branches?

looking west; the garland is still up on the bridge over the channel between lake michigan and our little lake. it makes the christmas feeling last a little longer.

i had to laugh as i took this picture; can you spot the skunk tail antenna decoration?? right across the street from our little boutique - you never know what you're going to see!

I'm also linking up to WIWW at The Pleated Poppy - pic from what i wore yesterday which included a colorful scarf my brother brought me from Abu Dhabit for my last birthday!