Art in Our Home

Another part of my prescribed health regimen is to get out in the sunshine three times a week, before 10:00 am or after 4:00 pm, without sunscreen. The reason? Sunshine produces natural vitamin D in our bodies and my blood work revealed very low levels of vitamin D. I also take four vitamin D softgels per day for an extra good measure. Do you remember fun candy necklaces? Well, this morning I looked at my vitamins and decided to make a vitamin-mineral necklace! This is undeniable proof that I am my Mom's biological daughter:

Before making the necklace, I enjoyed another scrumptious breakfast: fresh organic spinach, raw cashews, turkey sausage, and of course, yerba maté tea; all the while listening to a Fresh Air Podcast - an interview with the late author Grace Paley. I viewed a slide show from a Sunday article in the New York Times: "The Best House in Paris." This is my favorite room in that house. Surely I need a library requiring a tall ladder! I never in my life thought I would enjoy such a basic breakfast. I once lived for Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and waffles soaked in maple syrup (if anyone knows how to make those yeast-free, please e-mail me pronto). But my healthy breakfast was eye-catching and I appreciate the beauty of simplistic menus more each day:

My breakfast picture is inspired by Jen's gorgeous photographs over at simply breakfast. From looking at my blog, you can obviously see I'm smitten with those teal and brown mugs. Last night as I sipped hot tea, I stated to Johnny, "I just love these mugs. They are so peaceful." He said just like a man's man, "Peaceful?" I told him we need an extra few mugs as well as the matching set of dishes, mainly for guests. I think he's fairly keen on the idea since the set of dishes is from Target and won't break our bank.

The bottles on the kitchen windowsill are multiplying - a new brown one balances the tea pot planter:

That little brown bottle is an empty container of Pangea's facial toner. Why recycle a perfectly good decorative bottle? The plant in the tea pot is bamboo, from my Mom, and by now it should be much taller. Harley and Milo steal away into the kitchen and nibble on the bamboo leaves, so I'm afraid our plant may remain stunted in growth. Thankfully, I did read that bamboo is safe for cats, but I'll have to practice horticulture on our back patio and in the backyard.

After breakfast we took a late morning walk, fairly close to the recommended time slot. The air was miraculously cool and the sun was just the right warmth to work up a light sweat, but not die of humidity or desert-like heat exhaustion. The sun was doing its magical golden-light thing, and I kept thinking of a Waterdeep lyric from a song I listened to while making breakfast: "And my Lord, He smiles on everything, and to the meek, He gives delight."

On our walk, Johnny shared with me a few of his childhood discoveries. We walked by crepe myrtle trees which we both love (and my grandmother Nina loved). Johnny picked up a fallen bud off the ground and squeezed it gently. To my enchantment, a tiny pink flower popped out of the bud! I said like a little girl, "Do it again!" If we had a daughter, she would most definitely have a dollhouse, and those tiny crepe myrtle buds would surely be placed in a tiny flowerpot or bowl in the miniature kitchen.

As Johnny and I walked the trail, we crouched down near verdant, fan-shaped weeds (many weeds are strangely beautiful). Johnny said, "Look!" To my horror, he squelched one of the little fans with his fingers and its leaves vanished. He did it again. I snapped, "Johnny! Will they pop back out? Did you kill it?" He rolled his eyes, smiling, and said, "They pop back, silly." I'm sure he was thinking, "God, I did marry a tree-hugger."

Once back home, we watched a migration of ants march in an orderly line between the above-pictured bottles. I have no idea what they were attracted to; it seemed they were drawn to the almond dish soap on a scrub brush near the sink. Johnny sprayed and killed and I have to say, good riddance. Pretty weeds on a walking trail are one thing, but ants in our house are another.

Both yesterday and today I contemplated the importance of art in a home, no matter the scale of your space or budget. Art can be included inside a dwelling in the simplest of ways, hence my repetitive photographs of unembellished pleasures. When I was (poor and) single, one of the prominent sources of art in each apartment was a calendar most often purchased on sale. My calendars featured the art of Chagall, Picasso, photographs of Europe, and Christian icons. Even though I now thank God for a combined marriage income, I still view calendars as pieces of art in our house. I snapped more images of the Lotta calendar (past months) hanging directly above Milo's feeding station - see what I mean about calendars?

You bet I'll buy Lotta Jansdotter's, Nikki McClure's (wow), and Good on Paper's 2008 calendars!

Another favorite source of art in our house are two Bibles. One is a family Bible from my Mother's side:

The other is a King James Bible with stunning relief engravings by Barry Moser:

I did not do justice to either Bible so if you'll bear with me, I will snap more photographs another day. We own several good Bibles, but (God forbid) if we ever had a house-fire, I'd grab those two first.

Lastly, I can even find comic book-esque art in a section of the newspaper, and endearing beauty in Harley's spiky whiskers and slate gray fur:

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