Saturday, July 2, 2011

I've Moved...

not down the street or around the world, but to a new web address.

You can now find Farewell, Office. at I can't say "new and improved" because I haven't been doing this long enough to have a "old" to create a "new," but hopefully within the week, you'll see some "improved."

See you at the new address! House-warming gifts not necessary, but comments and suggestions welcome.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mr. Right-Now Bathroom

First, you need the backstory.

A year ago, my husband and I bought a house circa 1976, and it looked it - minus the red shag carpet. I kid you not, folks. I knew the people who lived here when I was growing up and the flooring of choice was red shag. Last April, it looked pretty much the same - dark stained molding and doors, retro wallpaper, and vintage light fixtures. And the hall bathroom, well that came complete with turquoise tub and toilet and to complement them, the countertop is cream and turquoise swirl with seashell-shaped sinks! I use the verb "is" because it is still just that way.

We have slowly been working in one room at a time. Some of the improvements are permanent, and others are more temporary cosmetic fixes until we have the time and money to make the long-term changes. Ideally, I would derive great pleasure from gutting the entire hall bath; however, my checking account says, "Go for cosmetic. Go for now." So, lately I've been pondering what changes paint, modern hardware and updated lighting can make. While the turquoise fixtures would not be my choice, I think they only look horrendous in the current combination - and my son loves the sinks! I know, I'm working on his interior decorating skills, girls.

When Gussy Sews posted her new Inspiration Workshop on the perfect bathroom, my mind started spinning, but it was just spinning in place because every time I walked into that bathroom this is what I saw.

Is this inspirational?

But then I logged on Facebook and felt a tinge of jealousy well up as I read everyone's updates posted from - THE BEACH. Here is where my mind got traction and started going somewhere.

photo credit: paraflyer on Flickr

I have all the workings of a calming bathroom, reminiscent of the beach. Nothing kitchy (except the seashell sinks which must stay for now). So, we'll keep the turquoise fixtures (picture the shimmering ocean or intense, cloudless sky) complemented with khaki walls (imagine warm sand between the toes) and cream cabinets to blend and draw less attention to the attention-getting countertops. I may even have to inject some smokey blue-gray.

I see it working - for now - and sometimes that's all you need. It isn't Mr. Right Bathroom, but it will be Mr. Right-Now Bathroom.

(As an aside, you may be wondering why we would buy such a place. Because I've always aspired to be a martyr? No. Really it was the LARGE and numerous windows. I knew it would always be a house filled with light.)

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gussy Sews E-reader Case Giveaway Winner!

photo credit: Gussy Sews

First, thank you to everyone who visited Farewell, Office as part of this e-reader related giveaway. I hope that while you were here, you were able to also enjoy a few of my other posts and will become a regular visitor. I have many new posts planned - including the vanilla cupcakes filled with blueberry-lemonade jam that I just finished frosting!

Everyone who entered the giveaway was assigned a number (or numbers) according to how many entries were made. Based upon these numbers, a winning number was selected using a random number generator and the holder of the winning number was Teresa who follows me publicly as tssk10.

I have contacted Teresa and the case she selected is Gussy Sews Blue Bell in Pink e-reader case.

Teresa, I hope you enjoy many happy hours reading with or without your Kindle, and I hope the new e-reader case brings a smile to your face every time.

I encourage everyone who loves unique hand-sewn items to visit Gussy Sews online store. Her blog is also a great source of creative inspiration. I'm currently participating in her weekly Inspiration Workshop hosted on Thursdays. Join me there.

Once again, thank you to everyone for entering and for visitng Farewell, Office. May there be many more.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pull Up a Chair & Grab a Book (June 27, 2011)

I love persuing the bookstore for new reads,but I also love reading book review magazines and talking books with friends for potential ones that I might never see or pick up in the bookstore.

Here a few that have lately made my potential list:

Pre-teen Mystery
I'm beginning with a young adult book because I love anything that gets children - of all ages - reading, especially when it's a book that may motivate them to read beyond the original book.

No Place Like Holmes
Jason Lethcoe
Can you imagine going to spend the summer with your uncle thinking he is THE Sherlock Holmes, only to discover that your uncle lives at 221A Baker Street while the great detective resides at 221B Baker Street? Promises to be a fun young adult read with allusions to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Hopefully, it will also encourage them to experience the joys of the original.

4 out of 5 stars

No Place Like Holmes

Historical Fiction

Private Life
Jane Smiley
Emerson once said, “To be great is to be misunderstood.” This isn’t so much the story of the great, misunderstood scientist, but the story of his wife. The year is 1905 and 27-year old Margaret Mayfield enters an arranged marriage with a scientist who is as certain of his genius as he is that Einstein’s immigration to the United States is solely to spy on him. Six decades of marriage entitles Margaret to her own story.
3.20 out of 5 stars

Private Life


White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Barbara Wineapple
Emily Dickinson is usually described as the reclusive and eccentric poet who lowered cookies in a basket from her upstairs bedroom window to the neighborhood children waiting below because she was too shy to deliver them in person. She is the poet who wrote, “I’m Nobody. Who are you? / Are you – Nobody – too? /  Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell! / They’d banish us, you know. ” But she is also the poet who wrote, “Wild nights! Wild nights! / Were I with thee, / Wild nights should be / Our luxury!” White Heat uses historical research to escape the weak and retiring Emily Dickinson stereotype.

3.91 out of 5 stars

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson


The City Homesteader
Scott Meyer
I’m not exactly city, but I am citified. I rely on others for my fresh summer produce; I’ve never preserved a thing in my life (unless you count those pickles I made earlier this week), and foraging is something I think wild animals do. We have chickens, and I’ve been yearning for bees and fresh honey – except I have no idea how to start a hive (not counting the one I once thought was being formed in my son's bedroom wall). I’ve also recently developed a disdain for waste, and while the chickens eat most of our produce scraps, I’d like to compost what remains – except I have no idea what ratios to use. I call myself country, although my “country” is only ¾ acre; this I believe makes me a candidate for The City Homesteader.  I want to eliminate “citified” and replace it with “homesteader.” Maybe this book can help me do it.

4 out of 5 stars

The City Homesteader: Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage
Psychological Thriller
Tigerlily’s Orchids
Ruth Rendell
Two things caused me to look at this book a second time:  “drily humorous” and “by the reigning doyenne of British mystery.” I am enamored with dry humor and in my dreams, I regale listeners with it. Maybe if I immerse myself in it, I’ll become a master by osmosis. It also appears to be an interesting study of many character types, - male/female, typical/attypical, moral/immoral, composed/a total wreck. 

3.2 out of 5 stars

Tigerlily's Orchids

*If you love books and, like me, keep adding books to your to-be-read list even though it is humanly impossible to ever read them all (even if you live a hundred years), then join me at Goodreads.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Have Summer Bounty? Make Pickles.

Another thing I picked up at the Dallas farmer's market was a pound of Kirby cucumbers. I fully intended to pickle them using a boiling water method so that they'd keep for months, but life happened as it sometimes does, and I never had the free afternoon to do so. All the while, they were getting older by the day and my crisper couldn't work miracles much longer. It was either do something with them - quick - on they'd quickly become scraps for the chickens. Every time I thought of them becoming food for chickens, I remembered the excitement I felt when I bought them thinking, "I'm going to make pickles!" and I imagined how I'd feel cutting them up and tossing them out.

Enter  Almost Hands-Free Dill Pickles from the August 2010 issue of Real Simple magazine,  to save me from being a disappointment to myself. Two things caught my attention: "real simple" and "hands-free." Real Simple estimates "hands-on time" to be 5 minutes and then 24 hours of refrigeration later, you have pickles that last up to 1 week. Reviewers rated the recipe 4 out of 5 stars, and I agree. I like a heartier pickle spear so the one change I would make is to half the cucumbers instead of quarter them. Still a flavorful, crunchy and quick pickle. If only they would keep for longer than a week, but considering that they were eaten before then, it's not too much of a concession.

Sometimes things don't go as you planned, and most of the time, it's still ok.

*I was able to find all of the ingredients at my local supermarket; however, one reviewer stated that she substituted dill week for the dill seed without affecting the flavor. Although she couldn't find it, I had no trouble, although having read her comment, I probably would have tried the dill weed that I already had in my pantry rather than purchase dill seed that I'll probably not use for any other purpose.

*I also substituted a purple onion because they were the ones on sale last week, and again it did not adversely affect the flavor. However, I do think the purple color leeched into the liquid giving it a very faint pinkish tint.
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