Thursday, January 27, 2011

Matchbooks On Your Coffeetable?

FIELD GUIDE to a CHARMED LIFE, is a new e-book, that you can click here to look at. I ran into it while searching for the picture of Andy and Kate Spade's matchbook collection. The picture and the e-book are from the author of the blog A Lovely Being.

A couple of days ago ESA, at Let The Tide Roll Your Dreams Ashore, did a blog post about Mr. & Mrs. Spades Abode. Lovely post and lovely blog and blogger, but what really caught my eye was
Mr. Spady's
collection in their fabulous living-room
of matchbooks.

Mr. LAH (Life At Home) has a collection of matchbooks too that his Father collected. We have them in a bowl in our living-room and they are fun to go through. I never thought much of them, other than that until a couple of months ago. I was reading Paul Fussell's book CLASS and I found, (while reading the reviews for the book TRUE PREP on Amazon), that many of the reviewers referred to Fussell's book in there reviews. I was curious about who this Paul Fussell was so I ordered the book.

Fussell's book, which was first published in 1983, has a quiz in the back called The Living-Room Scale where you can rate how Classy you are based on what is in your living-room. Having a matchbook collection gives you 1 point.

Here is the quiz for those of you that like this kind of thing.
I will let you put your own label on how Classy you are but you can get the drift by knowing that the higher the point total the Classier you are according to the controversial Fussell.


Begin with a score of 100. For each of the following in your living room add or subtract points as indicated. Then ascertain how you score.

Hardwood floor Add 4

Parquet floor Add 8

Stone floor Add 4

Vinyl floor Subtract 6

Wall-to-wall-carpet Add 2

Working fireplace Add 4

New Oriental rug or carpet subtract 2 (each)

Worn Oriental rug or carpet Add 5 (each)

Threadbare rug or carpet Add 8 (each)

Ceiling ten feet high, or higher Add 6

Original paintings by internationally
recognized practitioners Add 8 (each)

Original drawings, prints, or lithographs
by internationally recognized
practitioners Add 5 (each)

Reproductions of any Picasso painting,
print or anything subtract 2 (each)

Original paintings, drawings, or prints by
family members subtract 4 (each)

Windows curtained, rods, and draw cords Add 5

Windows curtained, no rods or draw cord Add 2

Genuine Tiffany lamp Add 3

Reproduction Tiffany lamp subtract 4

Any work of art depicting cowboys subtract 3

Transparent plastic covers on furniture subtract 6

Furniture upholstered with any metallic
threads subtract 3

Cellophane on any lampshade subtract 4

No ashtrays subtract 2

Refrigerator, washing machine, or clothes
dryer in living room subtract 6

Motorcycle kept in living room subtract 10

Periodicals visible, laid out flat:
National Enquirer subtract 6
Popular Mechanics subtract 5
Reader's Digest subtract 3
National Geographic subtract 2
Smithsonian subtract 1
Scientific American subtract 1
New Yorker Add 1
Town and Country Add 2
New York Review of Books Add 5
Times Literary Supplement (London) Add 5
Paris Match Add 6
Hudson Review Add 8

Each family photograph (black-and-white) subtract 2

Each family photograph (color) subtract 3

Each family photograph (black-and-white
or color) in sterling-silver frame Add 3

Potted citrus tree with midget fruit
growing Add 8

Potted palm tree Add 5

Bowling-ball-carrier subtract 6

Fishbowl or aquarium subtract 4

Fringe on any upholstered furniture subtract 4

Identifiable Naugahyde aping anything
customarily made of leather subtract 3

Any item exhibiting words in an ancient or
modern foreign language Add 7

Wooden venetian blinds subtract 2

Tabletop obelisk of marble, glass, etc, Add 9

No periodicals visible subtract 5

Fewer than five pictures on walls subtract 5

Each piece of furniture over 50 years old Add 2

Bookcase(s) full of books Add 7

Any leather bindings more than 75 years
old Add 6

Bookcases(s) partially full of books Add 5

Overflow books stacked on floor, chairs,
etc. Add 6

Hutch bookcase ("wall system")
displaying plates, pots, porcelain
figurines, etc., but no books subtract 4

Wall unit with built-in TV, stereo, etc. subtract 4

On coffeetable, container of matchbooks
from funny or anomalous places Add 1

Works of sculpture (original, and not made
by householder or any family member) Add 4 (each)

Works of sculpture made by householder
or any family member subtract 5 (each)

Each framed certificate, diploma, or
testimonial subtract 2

Each "laminated" ditto subtract 3

Each item with a "tortoiseshell" finish, if
only made of Formica Add 1

Each "Eames chair" subtract 2

Anything displaying the name or initials of
anyone in the household subtract 4

Curved moldings visible anywhere in the room Add 5

On a scale of 245 and above being the classiest, and to below 50, not so much.

245 and above
Below 50

Even though this quiz is more than 25 years old from the looks of Mr. and Mrs. Spady's living room their score was easily 245 or above even with out the 1 point for the matchbooks on the coffeetable.


Friday, January 21, 2011

A Scottish Frame of Mind

We have some Scottish lineage running through our family tree so over the years I have incorporated doses of Scottish Country into our houses. After being in this house for seven years I am starting to think about improving our bedrooms. You can see in the fuzzy picture above the scratchings I did as a guideline for one of the guest rooms and several pictures I have saved to frame for future projects.
This book will put me in a Scottish frame of mind as I contemplate how to transform the guest room into a Scottish retreat.

Love the plaid chair and gold framed pictures of Ancestors or Scottish hero's.

At one time I had a couple of chairs very similar to the ones above but they ended up at Daughter Dana's and I think one of them broke. To bad, they would have worked well in the future Scottish retreat....
This along with several of my other unfinished projects will more than likely be left to percolate until the right time presents itself. Having a vague plan waiting allows me to be on the look out for those unique items that go into creating a house of distinction, and by that I do not mean superior, but one with distinguishing quality or characteristics, and not one that is assembled with one trip to the Pottery Barn.
I am tempted to add here that I like Pottery Barn and often by things from them, but I really do not, and have not....
Are you a Pottery Barn fan or do you like to gather things from unusual sources or use inherited pieces in your house?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Thank you everyone for all your prayers and kind wishes for Aaron. Things went well in Miami and we now have conformation that even with limitations a positive outcome is possible.

After a bit of catching up here at LAH I will be back to visit tomorrow.

Plato Quote

Monday, January 17, 2011

The On-Going Battle

Do you remember Aaron, my oldest son that survived Stevens-Johnston Syndrome in early 2008? It was a battle that many of you long time readers of LAH will remember and again I thank all of you for your amazing support during that awful time. Blogging was fairly new for many of us back then and it was rare for people to reach out for prayer and emotional support but we were so distraught by this relatively unheard of condition that I did the only thing I could think of to get through the ordeal and posted every day here about what was going on. The out pouring from across the world was amazing and again I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
After a six week stay in the burn center of Detroit Medical Center Aaron was finally released. He was one of the lucky ones that survived such an advanced case of SJS and my heart and prayers go out to the friends and families of those who were not as fortunate and there are many of them.

Well, it is three years later and Aaron is still doing very well and he has pretty much returned to all his normal activities. There are many issues that continue though and his eyes are one of the main ones. Blindness is one that many survivors are faced with as a result of scar tissue building up on the inside of the eyes from the burns which is painful and debilitating.

Aaron's vision has been impacted but he has good vision in one eye, the other one has sever damage to it. Today Aaron, his Doctor from up here, and I are off to Miami to see the next in a succession of many Doctors in hopes of finding a solution.

There are links to the SJS foundation a few posts back and you can click here to the section of LAH about Aaron's battle with this terrible syndrome.

The pictures above are of Aaron. The first one was taken a few months after he was released from the hospital and the one below was taken of him and his daughters the summer before at Kyle & Carries wedding.

Have a good week, and if you are the praying kind, please keep Aaron in your prayers the next few day. I will be back on Thursday with an update.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Blue & White Morning

Unloading the of those morning chores that needs to be done.
Sometimes it gets done while the coffee is brewing, and that is a good day.
Often it lingers until after dinner and becomes a bigger chore.
You know the kind...dinner is over and you are ready to clean up only to discover there is already a dishwasher full of clean dishes that need to be put away before you can put in the ones now filling your sink. That one extra step seems to be more of burden after a busy day when you are ready to relax than it is if you do it earlier in the day....It is for me anyway. You?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Household Inventory

I am off to the dentist but in an attempt to blog regularly here is my inventory list of useful household items that I compiled many years ago that I was looking at yesterday.
The pictures that I took are not too clear but if you click on them you may be able to see them better.
The dentist is waiting so no time to retake pictures. If you have any questions I will answer them in the comments. Do you have lists like this to help you maintain your household inventories or is it just me?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vintage Vera Bradley

We had an eventful weekend in Mt. Pleasant. Blake turned 6 today but we celebrated his birthday on Saturday afternoon. Early evening I finally had a chance to spend a few minutes with Sheryl at Friendship Cottage and we exchanged our Christmas gifts. Later we gathered at Dad's to visit with Ray and Rong. They had their adorable daughter, who also turns 6 today, with them. We had not seen them since she was born and what a treat that was. More about that later....
It was a quick trip, but event packed and very fun.

I snapped this picture of my vintage Vera Bradley, Miller Bag, Large Tote & Villager Handbag in the Greenfield pattern, and my book of choice for the ride, as we were heading out the door because I thought it would be a good introduction to one of my favorite bloggers. She also is a fan of Vera Bradley and if you click here it will take you to her blog posts on the topic.

I hope you all had a good weekend, whether it was eventful or not, and that you enjoy meeting Muffy Aldrich at The Daily Prep as much as I have. I am bias toward her because I love New England and find her life style of authenticity, simplicity, thrift and integrity one that I look up to and aspire to emulate. Her traditional life style and choice of clothing translates well to our environment here in Michigan too....

Friday, January 07, 2011

Catching Up

A couple of days ago a dear friend of mine sent me a link to Susan Branch's site suggesting I check it out. Well, I had already been a fan of Susan's for a long time but her message reminded me that I needed to order my 2011 calendar.
I found my 2009 calendar behind my 2010 one when I took it down off of the nail in my kitchen cupboard in my phone and file area. See all the nasty tape on the bottom of the calendars....I need it to keep the pages from flopping down after turning to the next months. Do your calendars do that or are you a strictly digital calendar keeper?
I have tried the digital method but am not ready to fully embrace it for several reasons. 1) I share this wall calendar with Mr. LAH (I recently learned that it is common to refer to a blogger spouse using the initials of their blog title to reference them in blog posts ;) ) who refuses to get with the technical revolution going on in the world. 2) Fear of lost information 3) The love of Susan Branch's little stories and sweet illustrations on her calendars.
Hopefully by the middle of the month our 2011 calendar will get here and I can catch up with the rest of the world or at least our little corner of it.

On another note

I have been discovering (spending way too much time devouring) some really beautiful, informative blogs.

Yvonne, over at StoneGable is one. She has weekly menu's that hopefully will help me with the question of what to make for dinner that often goes unanswered around here leading to too many nights eating out. I love to cook and have tried several different types of sites offering suggestions for menus like, Saving Dinner, French Women Don't Get Fat, and a couple Mommy Blogger suggestions to get ideas for what to fix for dinner. Since I don't want to save dinner I would rather enjoy dinner, I am not French, and my Mommy days are long gone, Yvonne at StoneGable's sumptuous tablescapes, delicious looking food and fabulous presentation of recipes seems like a better fit for Mr. LAF and me.
If you need some meal time inspiration or just inspiration in general stop by and visit Yvonne and tell her I sent you. That might help her understand why I am lurking around her blog so much....Hehe.

Blake's birthday party is this weekend and I hope to catch up with friends to exchange our Christmas presents. Have a good weekend and I will chat with you next week.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Organized Pantry

Sunday when we got home from up north I got our refrigerator cleaned out. Today I got around to cleaning out the pantry.
It feels so good to be able to look in and find the garlic in its pot front and center with out having to dig for it.
The cook books are now back in the pantry where they are easily accessable after spending the holiday season in the office to make room for the abundant supply of food we set in for entertaining from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
This is a picture of of the floor when I started. Apparently my sprouting onions had rolled behind the broiling pan out of the basket on top of my hanging produce stand. You can see them in the picture below....nice hah....
There they are! I like this basket but if the potatoes or onions get off balance they fall out and create a bad, bad smell that I have to go searching for when it gets to bad to tolerate....yuck!
All the candy and opened bags of salty junk food is out of here.

Good by messy pantry..... see you this summer when the pool season begins......

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Winter is a verb.

When we were leaving Harbor Springs I spotted this billboard on the corner of M-19 and Pleasantview Rd., the road that leads to the ski resorts. I knew that in the Official Preppy Handbook the phrase "Summer is a verb" was used but this is the first I have seen Winter described as a verb but I agree with the use.

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and wish you a very happy New Year!