Monday, November 7, 2011

What's The Good of a Home If You Are Never In It?*

(*Said first by Walter Weedon Grossmith, co-author of one of the funniest books ever, "Diary of a Nobody", published in 1892 and never out of print since.)

None of us left the house yesterday.
There was entirely too much to do.

Project One:
At the top of the list was the home fire that needed to be kept burning. (According to convention, once the temperature drops into the 50's everyone in Hollywood is allowed to don blizzard-appropriate clothing with a completely straight face and pretend that without a roaring fire, their chilblains would set in. It's one of the perks of living in a city built on dreams.)

Project Two:
Inspired by this book he's reading...

...my husband decided to make a stew based on the ingredients available to his ancestors in ancient Rome, circa 175 A.D. "Think of it as culinary time travel," he said. "It's going to be like going to the Forum for Sunday lunch."

I'm calling it "Trajan's Stew" and it was pretty insanely delicious. He didn't use a recipe, so I'm not much help on the play-by-play, but I can tell you the main ingredients were farro, cod, chickpeas, onions, garlic, olive oil and butternut squash.

Project Three:
While my husband was immersed in recreating the Republic, I was one room and eighteen centuries away. With this soundtrack playing in the background...

...I occupied myself with traditional domestic pursuits like wrapping this chandelier cord with a silk dupioni scarf...

...and adding the final touches to this four foot by two foot embroidery piece.
(Details: Canvas, thread, leather. Just purchased by Soho House West Hollywood. No, not kidding. Yes, pinching myself.)

And the child? Oh, he was in the midst of a fierce Beyblade championship.
(What's a Beyblade, you ask? Basically a spinning top with a rip cord. FYI, nine year olds will pretty much forego food, water and sleep to play with them. Best part for parents? It's not a video game.)

Project Four:
I went outside and clipped some flowering branches for the dining room.

Love that little white flower. I have no idea what it's called, but I'm sure you clever people do.

Project Five:
Our cat carried in a huge black beetle with bristly legs and dropped it underneath this bench. It took every last ounce of nerve I had to pick it up and return it to the wild.

Hey, Twiglet. Don't worry about it. In the words of Groucho Marx, "Home is where you hang your head."

Project Six:
After lighting this candle and listening to my son rave about it ("It smells sooo good, Mom!")...

...I felt guilty and decided to give him something he could actually sink his teeth into.
(Do not be impressed. It's Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread mix and it takes about one minute to get into the oven. And talk about delicious. Even my husband the food purist likes it.)

That's about it. The sun went down extra early and we wasted no time in putting on our dressing gowns. Only one thing remained on my list.

Project Seven:
Writing what you just finished reading.


Did you have a good weekend?

xx/Lisa

42 comments:

Ann said...

Sounds like a perfect day of activities.

Tricia Rose said...

Couldn't be better - do you mind if I take it? I worked through this weekend, and the glow of self-righteousness didn't last!

Daniel-Halifax said...

What a lovely day! Somewhat similar to my Sunday, and worth cherishing.

I love how when Italian men actually pursue cooking, they blow everyone out of the water. My friend over here, whipped me up something the other day that included mussels, squid and other stuff (sorry) in about 15 minutes and I was in bliss-It's in their blood.

Tricia said...

My goodness...similar happenings coast to coast! That must have been the "snug as a bug in a rug" bug that tried to make its way into your lovely home. Time to hibernate! btw, thanks for the soundtack inspiration. On my way over to iTunes!

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Well, I'm not really very clever but your blossom is an abudilon.
I've got a pink one.....
the hummingbirds like them, espcially the tiny red blossoms on the species plant.
I did ponder that bread mix at Trader Joes. I thought well maybe if I add golden raisins?
o that candle!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have the same candle!
And I am besotted with your new embroidery piece!! Well Done You for selling it to SoHo House!!

Jane Eyre and Pumpkin Bread. Ah, the best kind of day.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

trader joes can do NO wrong!

Simple Good Beautiful said...

Wonderful post! It's why I love your blog, you create such a wonderful atmosphere, through simple pleasures that make life good and beautiful.

Joanna said...

A life well lived. And I couldn't agree more with Walter Weedon Grossmith.

bluehydrangea said...

I had a good weekend but not as good as yours!! sounds perfect!

Mary said...

What a lovely way to spend the day. I think I've been charmed. This was my first visit to your blog, but I will definitely be back. You've created a lovely spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I hope you have a great week. Blessings...Mary

Unknown said...

lisa, you and your posts take the sting out of mondays.
thank you for this one.
Elliot in Minnesota

Cathi said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend. That Trader Joe Pumpkin Mix is the best!

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

Oh how I love the way you live -- truly.
I'm noticing certain similarities, though only ever so slight and surely less chic -- with our past weekend.
A violent round of Beyblading was involved, as well as some research on beetles and chandelier cord wrapping.
Do continue to regale us with this sort of aspirational fodder -- for this reader at least, it is pretty much reason to go on living.
Cheers, Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Mardel said...

It sounds like the perfect day on all fronts. And Diary of a Nobody is one of my favorite books; it is guaranteed to brighten any day.

LIN said...

Life is definitely sweet with weekends like this high on the priority list. My goal: to NOT get in my car for two whole days. Another goal: to stay in our jammies for one whole day. Seems like life has a way of undermining my good intentions for a relaxed and lazy lif. Wonderful post - thank you!

Lily said...

Congratulations on selling your lovely piece!
And here's to candlelit feasts by the fireplace and magical merry making children and storytelling from faraway!

HOBAC said...

The flower is an abutilon.

pve design said...

I agree totally with you.
What a stunning glimpse in the life of bloomsbury.
pve

Lisa said...

Absolute perfection!! As it got chillier here(midwest) earlier than in LA, the fires have been roaring, soups/stews simmering, candles lit and books being read. New additions, per you: the Jane Eyre music, nary a naked chandelier chain will be exposed again and the 'state of the art' Bernina I have WILL be put to use other than creating clothing: embroidery art! (congrats on the sale of your work - not a surprise though!) LOVED your weekend post! Are you sure you don't have another speaking engagement coming up in the midwest sometime soon? I could use the inspiration:)

nancysbaldwin said...

Read "The Marriage Plot" all weekend and I highly recommend it!

Noreen Sullivan said...

HI Lisa,
What a wonderful day. Our family has been running to soccer tournaments, school celebrations, etc., but we really need a day at home. So glad you had your day, and that you shared it.

Joy!
Noreen

Kathleen Mullaney said...

It must be that extra hour on sunday when the time changes..........me too..........fire in the fireplace, cooking, reading...........and working on embroidery.
Kathi

Kate said...

This is making me wonder why the heck I left my house. Staying at home seems much more pleasant. I will say this in defense of Angelenos. My East Coast friends make fun of me when I say it's cold at 50 degrees, but 1) Our houses are built to let weather in, not keep it out 2) We barely heat our houses (We don't heat at all overnight, and rarely during the day) and 3) we don't wear socks. That is why 50 degrees is cold here. It hailed in Pasadena Sunday night -- I believe that's legitimate coldness.

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

This is making me wonder why the heck I left my house. Staying at home seems much more pleasant. I will say this in defense of Angelenos. My East Coast friends make fun of me when I say it's cold at 50 degrees, but 1) Our houses are built to let weather in, not keep it out 2) We barely heat our houses (We don't heat at all overnight, and rarely during the day) and 3) we don't wear socks. That is why 50 degrees is cold here. It hailed in Pasadena Sunday night -- I believe that's legitimate coldness.

helen tilston said...

Hello Lisa

Congratulations on finishing you art piece and selling it. It is a beautiful piece and how lovely that people will enjoy visiting Soho House and truly appreciating and it will bring much joy to all who view.

You have a perfect day.

I, unexpectedly, has to make an out of town trip. It is all good and is turning out even greater than expectations.

A delightful post
Helen xx

Ann said...

Abutilon pictum, Flowering Maple or Chinese Bell Flower

Love your blog!!!

Blue Turtle said...

A home is not a house. It is the people who live in it.

Jeavon @ Interior Design Pro

meenal bishnoi said...

You are such a gorgeous story teller..creating magic out of the mundane..love you girl!! xx meenal

5th and State said...

my weekend was great, just not as interesting as yours! oh, a husband that cooks....sigh

Rocio said...

It sounds perfect!!
Ours was also quite cozy, and very rainy too, so the very thick hot chocolate and "churros" we had with friends in front of a blazing fire was just what was needed.

teamgloria.com said...

we've always Adored your blog over here at team gloria but today more so than ever because you have a cat called Twiglet.

you brought back winter evenings munching on marmite and toast and twiglet chasers and butterscotch angel delight washed down with tizer (or grenadine if we'd done the mad dash to france to buy cheese as our female parent like to do on occasion)

delicious.

we made soup today (on the other coast to you) - it was an autumnal day. and funny enough, several other blogs we visited had soup posts today too (dailyplateofcrazy made a nice pot herself).

all the best, team gloria !

iriske said...

I love this style, thank u

Brautkleider

Angie Muresan said...

How lovely! Quiet days at home are ever so relaxing.

Diane James Home said...

Oh Lisa, thank you for sharing your warm and cozy weekend with us - it sounds perfectly idyllic! I love your criteria for having a fire - ours was permanently lit last week, keeping us warm in 30-degree weather after our power went out for 4 days due to a freak pre-Halloween snow storm that dumped 5 inches of the fluffly stuff on our steps! Needless to say, the weekend was spent trying to air out the house from it's colonial day smells of fire burning, unwashed ruffians, and full chamber pots! But I have a list of "projects" for this weekend and I know I will enjoy them. XOXO Cynthia

VictoriaArt said...

Yes to all and congratulation on the purchase of your artwork! brilliant! I am a big fan of Trader Joe's goods. To bake and to cook
I just mixed Trader Joe's brownie and pumpkin mix and made two batches of pumpkin brownies....
To much acclaim....

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

OMG Lisa! The divine italian has to meet the twin brother he doesn't know he has! Jo DiMaggio Jr. is doing a show called the Lost Chronicles of Food, and we made a 1200 year old Sicilian dish amongst others - SO delicious. He's in town right now - we should try to arrange dinner here. Hugs, Jewels xo

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

I guess I sort of understand my marriage a little better just now. Me a food purist, unless I'm tired and an eclectic decorator. My husband wants high class, matching things and comfort food. We almost always agree, somehow. :)
and I am dreaming of your chandelier.

Adriana said...

Your post made me smile and reminded me of a world I lived as a child and teen. I miss the ol' Midwest. I reside in Florida now and it never gets cold enough for this lifestyle that I so yearn. I must go back home! Thank you for your inspiring post.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Just wonderful, I love a wonderful fall day when the house if full of activities with everyone at home!! Beautiful images...
Janell

Mystica said...

Sounds like a wonderful day!

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