Sunday, May 31, 2009

Leonard Cohen in Boston

I don't think I have the words to describe the show we saw on Saturday night. Sublime..Sensational..Exceptional...Transcendant...All expectations were met AND exceeded. From the moment he appeared on stage he was musical perfection. I knew I would love the show ; just seeing him ,the legend, would be enough. The performance by Mr. Cohen , his back-up singers and his band was more than I ever could have wished for. They were rehearsed to within a breath in the show.......but it didn't come across as phony. The band , who L.Cohen tipped his hat to often, was so tight I don't think there was a single missed note in the entire three plus hours they played.

He was very gracious and often acknowledged the contributions of the band and singers , as well as the additional contributions of Sharon Robinson,one of the back up singers, as long time collaborator on several songs. He gave over the singing duties to Ms. Robinson on Boogie Street and to the Webb sisters (the other two back up singers) on If It Be Your Will. Both songs were delivered impeccably and it was impossible to feel cheated that Mr. Cohen didn't lend voice to them. He held his hat to his heart during each of these performances as well as during every solo delivered by members of the band.
Did I mention the lighting? I'm telling you ,not a detail was left out.The lighting , along with the sheer curtains that hung from the ceiling created a visual mood to work beautifully with the music. The beauty of the lighting was profound during the choruses of Hallelujah when the normally subtle , bluish light became bright white light that bathed the entire stage as if...okay I can't say it but you can imagine! With any other song that light would seem harsh but with this it was glorious. I was not the only one who actually gasped.
It was an evening of beautiful music, interrupted only by a 15 minute intermission. He didn't talk a lot and each time he did there was not a wasted word. He introduced the band no less than three times ; I sometimes find this a little indulgent and grandiose but Mr. Cohen gave the introductions with such grace and respect it was very easy to take. At one point the 74 year old Cohen mentioned that it had been about 14 years since his last appearance in Boston..."I was 60 then. Just a kid with a crazy dream!"
We go to many live music shows. I love a huge variety of music....always have. Over many years I have been to hundreds of shows. Nothing has ever come close to this. At the end of the show, with the entire band at the front of the stage with him, he acknowledged the crew, the dressers,(someone has to take care of the ubiquitous fedoras), the bus drivers , everyone involved in the tour. At the end of the "thank-you's" he added one more. He thanked the audience and with a sincerity I believed, he said," We will always remember this night" I will always remember this night.....I hope this tour has made Leonard Cohen want to be out there with his fans and that he will return to the road again....saving retirement for the distant future. He is a gracious gentleman. Thank you, Leonard Cohen!!!

It would be wrong not to say a few words about the venue. The CitiWang ,formerly known as just the Wang, is a beautifully restored theater. In the seventies it was known as the Music Hall and I saw many ,many acts there. It was a run-down beauty then...well worn ,with shadows of it's glory days peeking through. The restoration took many years and many dollars to complete. It is now certainly one of the most beautiful spaces Boston has to offer. Marble and gold, glowing light and soaring balconies.Chandeliers too many for me to count...two giant chandeliers hang from the
stunningly painted ceiling in the grand foyer as if from red velvet ribbons alone.
The seats, of course, are not perfect. My husband , at 6'3" was a little cramped but my 5"5" was very comfortable. Getting in and out can't be done without having others in the row stand up. The seats are forgivable though with perfect acoustics and lovely, yet sometimes distant, views.
The further seats soar in height but somehow the view is still perfect. When my daughter was six we went to her first ballet, Swan Lake , at the Wang. When we approached our seats I was a little nervous that she would be bored sitting so far away from the stage. We were second to the last row, second balcony. When the dancers started she gasped...looked at me with wonder...and said, almost breathless,"Ohhhhh, Mama..look at the tiny people!" It was wonderful.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today is a Very Big Day....

27 years ago today!!!! Who are those children ?? It really has flown the blink of an eye. We were frantic....I was finishing my dress while I was getting my hair done. We still laugh at times wondering how we actually pulled it off!

Thank you B!!!!!

A is home! We were so happy to see her.........

Our happiness, however, didn't compare to Zevon's happiness!

This Guy graduates from High School today.................... Yay E !!
Yay us!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

That's grass , baby!

Yes , it's coming up! After all that time, all that work , and all that money the signs are there that we will have a lawn! It's only been nine days. I was willing to wait longer to see green but I'm gonna take it! Can you tell I'm excited? We'll probably have to over-seed in a few spots but that is to be expected. Yippee!
My Lupine is coming up great. The flower beds will look so much nicer when they are framed in green.

Doesn't that look pretty? It's funny that purple is my favorite color in the garden. It is my least favorite color for decorating inside. I have many purple perennials.The annuals I use to fill in are mostly purple : ageratum and lobelia. I like to put in a little white Sweet alyssum, too

I've made a few changes in my kitchen. This wall was looking too plain. Love the painting, but something else was needed.
What do you think? I used the wire basket for a long time over my stove to hold oils, spices , utensils.Now it's holding glasses. Just wanted a change. I have the brackets installed for shelves over the stove ...just have to get the actual shelves, now. When we remodeled the kitchen six years ago we decided not to have upper cabinets.I always wanted open shelves and it has taken this long to get moving on it. We went from a really cramped and tiny , falling apart kitchen and didn't want to close it in again with too much cabinetry. I'm happy with our galley-esque kitchen now , but there are still a few things on my punch-list. Someday I'll post pictures of the long and painful remodel.
I'll post about my wire collection,too. I love old and old looking wire baskets and holders. I've collected a bunch over several years. I've never spent a lot of money on them...they have to be cheap. I see them more and more now...and as with anything they cost more and more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Nine days till A comes home......

Ten days till E graduates.......
Eleven days till Leonard Cohen.......

Boy do I have some good things coming!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Relaxed Roman Shades

Relaxed Roman shades are a good treatment for a window where you need privacy or to control light. They are less tailored looking than a flat or pleated roman , and less fussy than Balloon or Butterfly shades. They are very easy to raise and lower with the use of a cord lock, though they sometimes require a bit of "dressing" at first just until the fabric is trained. They are most often done on a single window but the shade above is done as a triple to move as one. It uses four rows of rings and cords. It will require perhaps a little more "fidgeting" after raising and lowering than a single ..but it is a good solution when you need the option of privacy and don't want to have a very fussy treatment.

Here's an example of two relaxed romans side by side instead of making one large one. They can be raised and lowered individually. The single Relaxed Roman uses just two rows of rings and cords. The cords are run up the length of the shade, through screw eyes and into a cord lock. If you prefer not to use a cord lock then a cord cleat is necessary to tie off the cords at the height desired.

This cozy window seat required three shades, with the two on either side slightly narrower than than the center.

This shade has two rows of trim to add a little punch.

Each shade has a batten sewn into the bottom row of rings to keep the fabric from bowing into the center. This spaces the bottom to the stay at the same width as the top. It is most often a piece of rodding or dowel , cut to the width of the shade. Fabric tubing is a real time saver for this because otherwise a seperate fabric sleeve would have to be made to cover the batten.
In this case the three individual relaxed romans are just used to break up what would be a wide expanse of window under the silk panels.

A sheer relaxed roman is just enough to add a sense of privacy , when drawn , to a walk-in closet.

The fringe on this shade doesn't keep it from being masculine.

A lovely linen print...

This relaxed roman in an embroidered fabric is bordered in a lighter linen to match the thread used in the embroidery.

This relaxed roman is done just as a valance to bring the fabric from a bedroom into the walk-in closet.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. I did. It was a very relaxing morning..a little too relaxing for Hendrix , our cat. He indulged in more than his share of catnip and lounged on the deck rail all day. Later in the afternoon we went to my sister's house for a cook-out and had a great time.
I wish you could smell these apple blossoms. It should be a very good year for our apples judging by the abundance of blooms.
I'll trim the suckers away from the trunk....I just love the look of this.
There are so many things in bloom...
about to bloom.....
and just starting to fade. I love this time of year so much.
The Lamb's Ear is looking good...
Columbine coming up...
And I can't wait for my Peonies to pop!
Everything else in the yard is doing so well...we are at a loss to figure out why we've had such a hard time with our lawn! This year we decided to start from scratch. We have been trying for what seems like many years to restore the lawn with over-seeding and fertilizing with NO success. We thought we would have it hydro-seeded but a few unexpected expenses ( hello hot water heater...hello washing machine!) and some expected expenses (hello tuition!) have made that impossible. We are planning to seed the lawn tonight. B. has worked so hard on this I really hope it turns out well. Any advice out there for a new lawn? I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lettered Runner

Layla at The Lettered Cottage is hosting a give-away of this lovely burlap runner made by Grace from Coastline. I would love to see it with a big W.Posted by Picasa

Tricks of the Trade: Zipper tape tutorial

The big advantage of using zipper tape is that you can cut it to size..from just a few inches to yards long. There is no waste because you cut the tape to the size that fits the project.
Start by cutting the tape, through the teeth and all, to the size you want. I use kitchen shears so I don't damage my good sewing scissors.

From the top edge of the tape cut into two or three of the teeth.

Sit the zipper slide at top...

Slightly push the slide onto the teeth.....

And gently pull at each side of the tape until the pull glides on the teeth.

At this point you want to secure the ends so the pull doesn't slide right off the tape when it opens and closes. I like to use a matching thread and just take a few stitches through the tape and over the teeth on each side of the top to give an end point for the slide.

Do the same at the bottom, just going across both sides of teeth and through the tape. Take several stitches so it is secure.