Our Brookhaven Spring Show is almost here!

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We worked hard on our displays today, and tomorrow we will be putting the finishing touches before opening our doors at 5pm for our Preview party…..we have several new vendors this show, including two fabulous furniture curators, handmade candles, upcycled fashion accessories from vintage zippers, and a locally made luscious fruit salsa!

Preview night Wednesday April 9, 5pm-8pm

Opening day Thursday April 10, 10am-7pm

Friday April 11 10am-7pm

Saturday April 12 10am-5pm

Last Day April 13 11am-4pm

Spring is in the air…and on the roof

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woodpeckerAh, Spring.  The daffodils are blooming in the front yard.  The air feels fresh and new.  A lucky mild sunny day here and there.  A Woodpecker has become enamored with our house.

It must be love….day after day….hour after hour…passionate pecking. Tap tap tap.  Tap tap tap.  He’s truly the Don Juan of woodpeckers.  His tenacity is admirable. Sounds charming, doesn’t it? It is amusing for ten minutes. Ten hours?  Not so much. How do you convince a woodpecker his choice of our house as the most desirable in our neighborhood is ill-advised?  How do you steer his amorous attentions elsewhere?  And as a true romantic, should we stop the knocking on the heart of our home?

A Chance to Undo the Damage

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“She told me that Henry showed signs of narcissistic personality disorder. For Cathy she suggested a possible diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.  Women with borderline personality disorder are emotionally unstable and intensely needy, and often resort to dramatic gestures to win love and attention.

My mouth hung open…..

Leslie explained that both diagnoses refer to the behavior of people with low self-esteem, usually the result of particular childhood emotional traumas.

“Henry often spoke about his difficult relationship with his mother,” Leslie said. “She idolized him and expected him to take on a lot of the responsibility for the happiness of the family.  That’s a classic situation.”

Leslie described how, as adults, people with NPD are charismatic extroverts, but inside, in private moments, they are aware of the false social persona.  In contrast to the confident personalities they project, they are filled with self-loathing.  People like this can’t tolerate solitude because it forces them to see the true self, hidden beneath the surface.  The false persona might, however, win them many friends, sexual partners, and career success.

“And, sadly, our culture often rewards such behavior,” Leslie said, sighing.  “Deceptive behavior is very common,” she continued.  “I have another patient in this situation.  Patients like this have affairs as a way of testing the people they really love, almost to prove they are unworthy of love.”

I remembered how charming Henry had been when we met, how polite.  I had been suspicious of it at first, but he had won me over.  This same strategy had obviously worked with Cathy and other women.

Henry’s childhood experiences do not justify him being an amoral asshole as an adult.  How much compassion am I supposed to have for him?  I had an unhappy adolescence but that doesn’t give me license to lie, cheat and steal.

Leslie continued.  ” Borderline or NPD adults are both very needy, given to extreme emotional fluctuations and distortions of reality.”

“You don’t pay enough attention to me.” Henry’s frequent complaint.  “You should spend more time paying time to me and less time worrying about Liza.”

Two really messed-up people had found each other, fed off each other. In Cathy, Henry had found a ready worshiper, and in him she had found a love object with an endless need for attention.

Leslie leaned towards me. “Julie, do you mind if I ask you—what would you have done if Henry had told you about Cathy?”

“I would have divorced him so fast his head would’ve been spinning,” I snapped back.  But those were just words. Really, I didn’t know what I would have done.

“I am sorry to hear that,” Leslie said.  She lowered her gaze for a moment.  I saw that she really was sorry.  She had been rooting for him, hoping that he could repair his life.

I wondered if his death had been not a random medical event but rather the direct consequences of his choices.  I left the office with a new feeling about Henry and Cathy.  I was not ready to forgive them—my rage was not burned out yet.  But to my surprise I felt sorrow for Henry.  He had died before he had a chance to undo the damage.”

–Julie Metz, Perfection

When I first read this passage a couple of years ago,  a bell went off in my head. Of course! Of course! There are things we read that help us make sense of things. Reading it again tonight I was struck anew. When you are around people with these disorders, you get sucked into their distorted view of the world. It helps to take a step back and see things how they truly are.

 

When A Friend Cheats On Her Husband

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Let me tell you a sad story of another marriage destroyed by Facebook. Of course, Facebook wasn’t the culprit, a selfish woman in mid-life crisis was, but it all started on Facebook all the same.  A friend of mine got married young and her husband was younger still. They had been married 28 years when I met them five years ago……and she was crazy about Facebook and spent hours on it every day, playing games, chatting with friends, posting pictures of what she had made for dinner. The usual stuff.  Her husband was a great guy, so supportive of her and very loving.  They were one of those couples that seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company and seemed quite content.

Three years ago she told me that an old college beau had contacted her through Facebook and wanted to be “friends”. They had dated briefly and she had dumped him when he got too serious.  All these years later he had looked her up on Facebook.  They started chatting and she was curious about him so they agreed to meet.  I remember well what she told me after they had met.  HE WAS SO ATTRACTIVE. SHE WAS SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO HIM. SHE WAS MENTALLY ATTRACTED TO HIM. He was new and different. I warned her not to pursue a friendship with him.  I had had much more dating experience than she had, since she had gotten married so young, and I knew.  I KNEW how challenging it would be to keep a relationship platonic when sparks are flying.  But of course she didn’t listen.  Everything she told me about him screamed “player” and “loser”…..but he told her he had never forgotten her…and how romantic is that?  I also knew that she didn’t put any effort into keeping romance alive in her marriage.  She and her husband didn’t even exchange birthday or Christmas presents.  I truly understand how flattering it would if someone came along from her past who still carried a torch for her.It was the stuff of romance novels, or the soap operas she loved to watch.

But isn’t your marriage worth fighting for? Her husband had nursed her through a long-term illness and had always been there for her.  He’s one of those guys, those stalwart good men, who believe actions speak louder than words.  She made him jump through hoops and each and every time he jumped. If she had been a good and loving wife, she would have stopped the friendship before it started. She would have valued her marriage enough not to take the risk, just for a little excitement.

I am sure you can guess what happened. She started feeling discontented with her husband. He was so boring. This new guy had lots to talk about and was so interesting. They had so much in common.  It was an emotional affair first, and then a sexual one. She blamed her husband for creating an emotional distance that gave her room for this affair.  Because in an affair, there needs to be a justification so you don’t feel like a horrible person for cheating on your partner.

Now they are separated and she has moved into an apartment, with a brand new king-size bed. You can imagine that the bed has raised a few eyebrows, since most of her friends don’t know about the affair, although some, like me, have had our suspicions. When asked why she is walking away from her marriage of 33 years her standard answer has been “my husband wasn’t willing to make the changes I needed, to make our marriage work.”  That comment alone, is enough to turn my stomach.

What she can’t or isn’t willing to face is that she and she alone destroyed their marriage.  She basically gave up on her marriage a couple of years ago when she entered into her affair with this Facebook guy from her past. And what really truly wrenches me, is that she was my friend when I was going through my agony with my ex when HE cheated on ME. She knows full well the pain cheating causes.  She has seen it.  And she turned around and did it to her husband a year later.  It is something that isn’t setting well with me.

I saw her Sunday and asked her to be honest with me about what was going on.  She told me.  She doesn’t seem to feel the affair was wrong.  She doesn’t seem to think her husband is hurt over the end of the marriage. She thinks her sons are dealing with their parent’s split just fine.  She is living in this incredible bubble of denial.

The honorable thing to do? She should stop the lying. She should tell her husband and her sons the truth.  The truth is that she has met someone that she would rather be with and that is why the marriage is over.  She should stop blaming her husband. But she won’t do any of this.  I know her very well and I know she will take the easy way out.  She will never really face what a horrible thing she has done.

And that is why I think I can no longer be friends with her.

Brookhaven 2013 Fall Show Weekend Update

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It’s time for our big weekend at Brookhaven VIntage Marketplace!  We have packed the Kinton Grange full of lovely furniture, vintage treasures, seasonal decor, handcrafted lovelies and gourmet food….so much to see!  We have several new vignettes this show, including French Market Christmas and a glamorous Halloween display on the stage.  

Hours:  

Friday 10am – 7pm

Saturday 10am – 5pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm

It’s going to be a lovely weekend for a drive into the countryside….come join our fun!

Dreams of Bread and Jam

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slice-of-bread“To a piece of bread, another piece of bread is a thing of wonder. And when the first piece of bread sees that the other piece of bread has butter on it, he marvels, “how smart he looks in his new suit!”

But if every piece of bread in our universe had butter on it, every slice would dream of jam.”

-Paulo Coelho

 

Sophisticated Raspberry Jam

This luscious raspberry jam is best prepared with fresh raspberries.  It does not include pectin, which makes for an unequivocal raspberry flavor and color.

1 quart fresh raspberries, picked over, do not wash

1 quart boiling water

3 cups granulated sugar

Place the fresh raspberries in a large strainer. Pick over to make certain there are no foreign particles, leaves, etc.  Pour the quart of boiling water over raspberries and let drain through.  Place drained raspberries in large saucepan.  Add 2 cups of the sugar, stirring constantly.  Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil for five minutes.  Remove from heat and add the remaining 1 cup sugar; stir and continue boiling for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour the hot jam into hot jelly jars.  Seal with lids per manufacturer’s instructions.

Thanks to Best of Friends Cookbook for this luscious recipe!

Frustrated in Fargo

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English: Street scene in downtown Fargo, North...

English: Street scene in downtown Fargo, North Dakota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota 1912

Downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota 1912 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You ever have one of those days?  Where nothing big goes wrong but lots of little things…adding up to one frustrating day?  I had one day like that on my Glitter Pick Road Trip..and one day only so I think that’s pretty great.  I sure thought a Saturday picking day was going to be fun…especially since I was headed to Fargo, North Dakota, a place I had wanted to visit ever since I saw the movie.  I am a BIG fan of the movie FARGO.  You betcha!  Seen it at least a dozen times.  Never get tired of it.  So perhaps my expectations were a little over-inflated for Fargo, and it didn’t take much to pop the balloon.

I stopped at Grand Forks, north of Fargo, for picking and for lunch.  I thought it would be fun to eat lunch across the river in Minnesota, at a fun-sounding cafe called Whitey’s, that had been a gin joint back in the roaring 20s, survived flooding and fires and had been moved to it’s current location…and had some decent reviews.  It looked like a fun place from the outside but inside there wasn’t the old ambiance I expected…it just looked like an average sports bar.  That was disappointing, although the food was decent, if on the expensive side.  I did have good luck picking at several of the thrift shops in town, before I headed south to Fargo, where I planned to spend most of my afternoon.

It was hot and sticky and Fargo was one strip mall after another.  The only charming thing I saw in Fargo was a buffalo painted to look like Vincent Van Gogh.  The one antique mall I found was overstuffed with booths of dusty garage-sale level items, priced at antique mall prices.  Half the thrift shops close at 3pm on Saturday so I just missed a couple of them.  Another interesting sounding antique shop was closed for two weeks for refurbishing.  It just went on and on.  The motel clerk was surly and my room was dirty.  The motel outer door slammed shut on my foot and broke my shoe, so I had to hobble to Walmart to buy some SuperGlue to fix it.  I don’t even like shopping at Walmart…but I bet I am on Youtube somewhere, as one of those classic Walmart What The? shoppers….walking around wearing a different shoe on each foot.  It makes me laugh now…and actually I did laugh then too.  I was so happy to get up and leave Fargo the next morning!

After thinking about it, I figured out where my misled expectations came from…I love the movie Fargo, but what I love about the movie is all the characters and the plot….not the town of Fargo itself.  In fact, the movie kind of makes fun of Fargo, and I had forgotten that part.  I am sure there’s much to like about Fargo…….but it just wasn’t going to be found by me, on that day, at that moment, dontcha know.

The War of the Driveways in Minot, North Dakota

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Small Consumer Firework on the 4th of July

They take their fireworks very seriously in North Dakota.  Especially on the 4th of July.  Even in the tiny town of Kenmare, there was a temporary warehouse loaded to the gills with fireworks for sale…ranging from the kid-friendly items like sparklers and little tanks that shoot out sparks, to the seriously bad boy shoot-a-large-rocket-that-explodes-200-feet-in-the-air fireworks that retailed for fifty bucks each.

After an eventful day visiting many places from my dad’s childhood, we were invited by 2nd cousins who lived in Minot over for dinner and a holiday celebration.  After dinner we walked around the neighborhood, viewing the dike and the damage from the flood two years previously and just enjoying the early evening.  It was around 8pm and still light out and we could hear really long strings of firecrackers popping from different driveways.  We passed several driveways where they were setting off small bottle rockets and we marveled over how many fireworks had already been set off so early in the evening…there were mounds of spent containers all over the place.

As it grew dark we settled down in lawn chairs to watch my brother Paul and his son Gabriel light off little smoke bombs and other items from a family pack of small fireworks…and then the neighborhood exploded.  There were three competing driveways; one to the left, one in the middle and one to the right, as they each set out to have the best huge fireworks display.  It was unlike anything any of us had even seen.  Each firework was larger than the last, coming one upon another, sophisticated coordinated explosions high in the air…beautiful colors and spirals….and occasionally drifting up and out into the dark…..small lighted hot air balloons.  It was magical and thrilling and unbelievable.  We marveled over the hundreds of fireworks shooting off and off and off, now the left, now the right…..red and purple and gold and green…sizzling through the air…better than fireworks we had seen from professional city celebrations.  One after another after another…it was a stupendous display.  Our cousins explained to us that the competition grew from year to year….each neighbor spent 4 or 5 thousand dollars on fireworks….seeking even better thrills.

They don’t do things half way in North Dakota.  The hospitality from our cousins was wonderful and more than we could possibly have hoped for…and as far as Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks?  We felt so lucky to be watching….as neighbors tried to outdo each other. It’s that American competitive spirit!

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