Tag Archives: Resources

Glamp On

A friend emailed me and another friend a couple of months ago and the subject line was “Glamping.” We had traveled short distances together before: Columbia (Missouri), my house, her pool. You may remember that I don’t particularly like to be outside, but I am making an effort to try new things.  Being anywhere with these women is always a good idea. Sleeping in a tent (that someone else put up) with three queen-size beds seemed best case for camping.  Glamping.

But the week was busy, and as the day neared the demons began to whisper, “You don’t have time.  This needs attention.  You haven’t even gotten to that.” And I wavered.  Each woman responded with a calm voice.  “It’s vacation. Don’t suffer. We know you don’t like to suffer.” “We’re not in a hurry. Take your time.”
And we did.  We stopped first at Louisville Cider Mill, the sort of place I would have taken the boys when they were little.  I had not quite shaken the buzz of fret in my head and I thought, “What the heck are we doing here?” But it was a beautiful day and we stood in line with dozens (hundreds?) of happy strangers for warm apple cinnamon doughnuts, which apparently are medicinal, because after the first bite everything was better.  I was all in.  And suddenly Louisville Cider Mill was the best and smartest thing going.
We ate at El Potro Mexican Cafe in Paola (we were the only customers, but from the size of the bar I have a feeling they do a killer business after dark) where the margarita was delicious. (I ordered the premium tequila.  It was vacation after all.)  There are a few antique shops in Paola which were filled with lots of vintage goodies.  And while I am infamously good at spending other people’s money – “Don’t you think you need that?”- they both refrained, while I indulged.  (Not a total surprise.)
And then we headed to Hoot Owl Hill. Brenda and Steve Wrischnick opened a new chapter in their lives when they built their house on this hill and decided to share it with strangers who want to enjoy the view and some good home cooking and a little time away from the city. We enjoyed the butterfly garden and the guinea hens and hanging out in the sun talking for hours. (When I’m really relaxed I sit sideways in chairs like this.  I hadn’t realized I was doing here and am so glad to have this picture.)

When the sun set we sat around a huge camp fire and talked and laughed some more, until even the fear of the chill could not make us keep our eyes open.

The next morning we settled at a big farm table while Brenda fixed breakfast and Steve served and cleared.  As we chatted I thought, “They really enjoy this.  They like having people here and sharing their stories.” It reminded me that we often end up just where we need to be. If we listen to the right women.

I’d highly recommend Hoot Owl Hill.  There are six large tents.  We had a wonderful time, the three of us, but we couldn’t help thinking what a total blast it would be to have a group of couples or a large group of women. You can find out more here.

The images are mine, except for the middle – photo credit to Sloane Simmons.  I received no compensation for this post.  

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail      rssrss

Old and Nu Together

Last week the youngest boys were away with their father and the oldest stayed here with me.  He is a senior in high school this year and our relationship is shifting.  He has been a breeze to raise.  Everyone should be so lucky to get such a gentle introduction to parenthood.  Even as we butt heads he disarms me with an easy humor that is somewhat irresistible.

The other morning as I was working upstairs, I heard the slam of the screen door and thought he had left the house.  I skipped down the stairs, brow furrowed, with sharp words forming.  Before I reached the door he was coming back in.

“I thought you left without saying goodbye,” I said.

He laughed and shook his head.  “Would you relax? You’re usually on the porch in the morning.  I wouldn’t leave without saying ‘good-bye.’ I’m going to work.”

He gave me a sideways hug, as he usually does, and was out the door.

Would I relax? No one is more bothered by my uptightness than I, and I was reminded again how I felt it drop away when I was in France.

If living there is something I must wait for, then I will find as many pieces of that life as I can here.  So lucky, then, to be friends with Trish Headley.  She’s just received her shipment from a three-week buying trip in Europe and let me run by her shop, Nufangle, and take a peek and live vicariously on the stories of her travels.

You can do the same at her open house:

45th & State Line Antique District
Saturday, August 2nd
2pm – 8pm
816-931-0021 for questions
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail      rssrss

Dust Up

Have you driven down dirt roads? Looked back at the dust kicked up by the tires while on your knees, arms folded on the top of the seat long before children not wearing seat belts was criminal? Or watched the cloud rise up behind you in the rearview mirror, evidence of your movement, your existence in the world and your mark upon it? The crunch of the gravel under your tires grounds you to reality, the threat of puncture or ping ever present.  These roads are not so often monitored for speed and those most familiar with them fly.  For we who are cautious, as I am to a fault, it feels faster and scarier to navigate on a surface that is only layers of dirt. I cannot ignore that while seemingly packed firm, it is the road itself billowing about me.  Shifting. Still, I’ve grown up traveling these roads in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas and they represent something unchanging.  The dust comes in through the vents and coats the back of my throat and my hair, making them thicker. The smell of it settles on my skin.  For all their trepidation and mess, I cannot avoid these dusty paths.  Indeed, I seek them out.  They are both comforting and thrilling.

This remarkable photograph by Ahram Park is on exhibit at Haw Contemporary through April 5th.  There are others, though not nearly enough to satisfy me.  More on Mr. Park here.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail      rssrss

Back Yard Swing

I do not have a back yard swing, but rather one on my front porch.  As the days are getting warmer, I find myself there creating the most relaxing rhythm with only the slight push of my toe.  As a friend mentioned the other day, “The soothing contemplation done from a porch swing compares to nothing else in the world.”  I’m finding this is true.

A reoccurring springtime rumination is where to find good skirts.  I like skirts.  In fact, I like skirts best.  Perhaps the years of wearing uniform skirts, picked up from the floor of my bedroom and pulled on for the second or third day, left an impression of ease and reliability.  One day in high school, walking down a long breezeway, a particularly sour sort of girl said from behind me, “I wish I had a swing like that in my backyard.” It had embarrassed me at the time, but now I think she would have been a lot more fun if she had.

Skirts then appeared by magic (otherwise known as “Mother”) and hung, briefly, three in a row on the low bar in my closet.  Now I must find them myself. So many are either too expensive or two short.  But today, this gem landed in my e:mailbox and a quick click turned up several attractive cousins as well.  Ann Mashburn, no surprise.  Here.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail      rssrss

Wrap It Up

It was warm.  It was warm for few days and I was not fool enough to think that it would last, but secretly I hoped that it would.  I envy you for whom it is always 75 and sunny, but it’s not my fate.  Not my place.  So I adapt.  And wrap.  Lately, this travel wrap from Mer Sea is my constant companion.  She’s chic and dramatic looking while being incredibly low maintenance.  A perfect friend.  Not only is she keeping me cozy now, I do think she’ll be happy to tag along and keep me company on cool Spring evenings and airplanes headed East.

I purchased mine directly from Mer Sea, but you can find them in Kansas City at O’Home and a few other spots around town.  They are incredibly reasonable ($100 on line) and you can toss them in both washing machine and dryer.  I worried that this convenience would mean they’d have that unfortunate non-natural-fiber shine.  They do not.  Loads of colors.  Here.

I received nothing from Mer Sea for this post, other than a little good will, I assume.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail      rssrss