Saturday, October 20, 2012

All I Want for Christmas

I hate writing this particular post. Frankly, I'm still not over my wedding, where alerting people where your registry was was bad form. So I feel some reluctance to put my "Christmas wish list" on the internet, but it seems to me to be the best way to get things done.

I live in a house full of junk. I have hundreds of books that will never be read. I recently did a massive purging of cookbooks down to a select few that I actually use. I'm swimming in art and doo-dads. There is no physical item I want for Christmas.

But you know that the homeless are near and dear to my heart. I've discovered a very small, Orthodox homeless shelter in New York City that caters to immigrants from the ex-USSR who live with significant addiction problems, usually under the pier at Brighton Beach. They have only five beds but can sleep about 14. They need $200,000 for a downpayment on a larger facility (man, New York is crazy-expensive). So in lieu of presents, I'd really love it if you donated some money to this shelter. You don't even have to do it in my honor. They pray for everyone who donates, which I think is wonderful. If I ever get to NYC, I'd love to see this place in action.

If you do decide to donate in my name, just a word to the wise: In church I'm not Chandler--I'm Elizabeth. In Orthodoxy, you take the name of your patron saint--mine is Righteous Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist (Elizabeth also happens, conveniently, to be my middle name). Since this is an Orthodox organization, I'd prefer to do things properly. :) In fact, if you're really awesome, if you donate you could write down some variation of this:

Please pray for Elizabeth, who desires the restoration of her health.

(Yeah, mental illness and food allergies causing fatigue and brain fog are getting me down.)

I don't mean to sound sterile and forceful--it's 4:30 AM and I'm tired--I just want to put out there in love that I want something unorthodox (HA!) for Christmas.

Thanks for reading. I always appreciate and love my loquacious readership. :)

St. John of Kronstadt House for the Homeless

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Bigger the Kitchen ...

... the less cooking going on in there. (Or if you're me, the more it is a kitchen, the less cooking going on in there.) I say that because I saw this picture from Wabi Sabi on Pinterest:

... and I thought, "Oh, what a lovely kitchen!" Perfect for two people. Frankly, it's an all-around lovely studio flat, and I wish I had it. Don't get me wrong--I love my house. When you get down to it, it's just the right size for two people, four cats, two dogs, and an amazing amount of furniture. But secretly I long for a place like our tiny apartment in Marfa (minus, of course, the terrifying electrical problems). When it was clean (ie, rarely), it was absolute perfection, and its kitchen was just right.

I have a modest kitchen now. It's a galley kitchen with the world's greatest invention: a gas stove. (You should see me curse at the burners when I have to use an electric stove now. Sorry, Mom, but I now loathe cooking at the ancestral homestead.) But I look at this picture and envy the tiny stove and the tiny oven. When am I ever going to roast a giant bird? When will I need all four burners at once? Heck, one of my burners has a cast iron skillet full of stuff sitting on it--that's how useful it is! I consider using two burners to be a hectic dinner preparation. Two burners plus the oven? Must be Thanksgiving at my house!

How I wish for that tiny little kitchen! Oh, to do away with the bulky appliances (especially that monster microwave) and have space to prep! To have an organized pantry! For space for my bulk items (you should see me go through canned tomatoes)! AAAH!! Why is life never ideal?!

Realistically, my kitchen is the norm. To get a kitchen like the one above, you have to pay out the nose (that's a phrase, right?) for an all-around "pretty" apartment. I've got a nice bedroom, a messy office, a disastrous guest room (no one visit for a while, okay?), an almost perfect living/dining room, and a lovely galley kitchen. I need more shelving, and some rooms are in need of serious painting, but it's a lovely house. It's modest--it's not a (warning: oxymoron ahead) ostentatiously rustic flat. And I do cook in the kitchen occasionally.