I think that I've finally reached that point in the summer where I'm forced to admit that the month of August has worn me down. I feel discouraged, tired and a bit overwhelmed. Yesterday I went to the Charleston Home Show where I found myself disappointed - disappointed in what I saw there, disappointmented in my lack of desire to even be there. I don't think I'm building their kind of house anyway. The two things of interest that I did find were:
(1) an interesting (and local) company in the countertop business - producing vetrostone and oysterstone. I was surprised at how much I liked the material - it's an engineered stone quartz, and they incorporated oyster shells and glass into the composite. It created a highly reflective surface - but with natural tones that I really liked. Just something to think about.
(2) a really informed and interesting (and somewhat small) solar hot water company - I believe they are with the Energy Division of the Elemental Design Group, LLC (their website isn't so great though). I liked the two people they had at their booth representing the group, and will call them this week for more information. Tankless water heaters are all of the rage now - but I really believe that these solar water systems are the way to go. I'd love to have some part of my home taking advantage of this August sun.
Other than that, I talked to alot of wood flooring folks who griped about the LEED certification program - which was a bit annoying since, of course, I had nothing to do with writing the regulations but had only committed to building a LEED-certified home. Mention FSC-certified lumber to some of these flooring guys, and they get kinda cranky. It does seem like the process could use some re-evaluation - perhaps in time that will happen.
Interestingly, what was more motivating for me than the Home Show was visiting a new neighbors home yesterday evening for a friendly and informal open house. One of them was an architect - and together they had both completed the interior work - and I was so impressed. The woman had done all of the tile work - and it was so nice - gorgeous colors and patterns - and perhaps what I liked most about the house was the easy incorporation of the old with the new. Their kitchen sink was from his grandparents home - as were the doors throughout much of the house. For the masterbath sink they had purchased a long and narrow trough (or potters) sink online - and it worked beautifully. They had also taken a wrought iron fence with a quite intricate pattern, and cut it into sections which were placed on the inside of the guest bedroom windows. Their home was quite simple overall, but was also quite elegant. I was so impressed by the work that they had done.
So I need to take a deep breath and ride out these last few remaining days of August - perhaps even shake off the oppressiveness of the month and go outside this evening and reclaim my garden. I have a few things to plant that I brought home with me last weekend from my mother's garden - a blackberry lily, a tiger lily, a clump of tall perennial phlox, and a butterfly bush - they need to be put in the ground. I'm so glad that I planted sunflowers in mid-July - they are now standing tall and are blooming like crazy - moving towards the heat of the sun instead of away from it. Cheery companions on a hot August evening.
See, a hand sweeps stars
from the August sky,
as if my mother swept off the supper crumbs from the table at home.
Her apron, slipping now and then, smells of parsley
The sweet scent of her long-gone garden
sending me to sleep beside you tonight again