Wednesday, April 2, 2014

it's been a while

it's been a while since i checked in with you my rouge blanc noir readers.  it never ceases to amaze me how loyal you are and how you continue to check in with me.  thank you so much for that!  i know that a few posts ago, i told you about my health issues.  i had every intention of keeping up this blog but then life, well, happened. 

after five years together. my partner and i split up.  we are and will continue to be good friends but it comes down to wanting different things in life.  i moved back into portland and got back in the swing of things.  i'm so happy to be back in the city.  while someday i see myself with a big garden and a herd of animals, i'm just not quite there yet. 

2013 was the busiest year i have ever had at work.  i was feeling good and took on a lot of side projects that kept me really busy.  i opened a second store in a matter of months.  it was the most stressful job i have ever taken on...and the most rewarding.  now i know i can do it.  i put together a great team of staff and we made it happen and it was a lot of fun.  the summer flew by and it was beautiful here in portland.  i befriended some amazing toronto based musicians who came through town that i continue to keep in touch and work with.  my store had the busiest year ever, we could barely keep up with the demand.  by the time december rolled around, i was exhausted but had taken on additional projects of installing pop-up shops for the holiday season.  i wasn't feeling well and was pretty run down by christmas but i had some dear friends coming to seattle so i drove up christmas morning to spend a few days with them.  it was great to see them but by this point, i was feeling horrible.  and then i was hit with a ton of bricks...

it just so happened that i had a three month check up with my oncologist on december 30th.  it was at this appointment that i was told that i had had a relapse of my cancer.  i was absolutely floored!  even though i wasn't feeling good, it never once crossed my mind that the cancer was back.  it had been exactly one year since i was told i was cancer free.  and here i was, dealing with it again. 

i started treatments in mid january and it was crazy how bad i was feeling this time around.  it was so much worse than the last time.  i had a bought of nausea that nearly knocked me out.  january and february are a blur to me.  my parents drove up from arizona to help me out and they are still here (that is another post entirely).  i'm in between treatments now and feel pretty good.  i'm back at work and i am so happy about that.  tomorrow i find out what is next.  i will be going into the hospital for a stem cell transplant, which is a cure for the type of cancer i have (non-hodgkins).  while i want to move forward and take care of this, i am dreading the month-long hospital stay.  i have never been in the hospital before and now i will be there for a month, that's just crazy! 

i've been thinking a lot about what i want in my life...because you know, life is short and we need to be doing what we love.  and you know what, i am to a certain extent.  i love my job and they are so supportive of me here.  they love me and send me cards and tell me that they miss me.  they say just get well and come back when you are feeling up for it.  and i do.  as soon as i felt better, i was right back to work.  i'm so thankful to have my work family.  but there are other things i want to do too.  and writing is one of them.  i love communicating with you out there.  i have had experiences that i want to share with people.  i want to someday be able to pick up and travel the world but still have an income coming in.  i want to be free to live the life that i have always dreamed of.  and i believe i can do it but it takes me committing to doing it and not giving up.  so i am putting it out there, i want to be a writer when i grow up.

and it starts here, on this little blog of mine. 

i vow to check in with you on a more regular basis and to start telling you about all of these things that i want to share with you.  and it is good things that make me happy and i hope you will enjoy it too. 

so again, thank you my readers.  i'll be back soon.

ps. this photo was taken while i was staying at my friend's house in paris.  i just loved that it was about the red and the black.

so a bientot!  i'll see you soon.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

oh lou!

how excited was i to see one of our blankets on lou doillon's instagram?

here is the chief joseph blanket in antique rose.  this has long been one of my favorites but sadly, it has been retired.

i just love seeing my two worlds collide--my work life which is all about our beautiful native inspired designs, and my personal which is obsessed with all things french.  i often call my style "southwestern frenchie".

lou has been out on the road with her band and it looks like her blanket went with her.  oh now if she would only come to portland!  if you haven't heard her album yet, check it out!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

wow and hello!

hello my loyal readers!  has it really been so long?  i think about my little blog all of the time and feel so bad for not visiting more often.  but well, life happens and sometimes the things we care about the most also suffer the most.

i hope to get back to blogging more often, mainly to get my thoughts out there in space somewhere to clear my head and get back to what makes me happy.

rouge blanc noir started as a place for me to share my love of all things french.  then it became a blog about what inspires me the most.  and now i think it will be both of those things but maybe i will throw in a bit more about me...maybe a virtual diary/inspiration board.

i genuinely appreciate all of you for checking in once in a while even though i have been an absentee blogger.  so please keep coming back.  hopefully we can laugh cry and look at beautiful images together!

so where have i been?  i can't remember where we left off.  i think i mentioned that i had lost my red purse in paris back in january of 2012.  above is a photo i took by serge's house.  i call this my madeleine photo because it reminds me of her.  the look on my face is so funny.  what is that expression?  i usually hate having my picture taken because they feel too posed and i don't think i'm photogenic at all.  but this one i like, i'm so happy my friend captured it this way.

after i came back from paris, i got back to work, which keeps me very busy.  i run a home furnishings store and work our trade shows in atlanta, ny and paris.  while i was in paris, i met a girl who is a textile student there and she asked about getting an internship with my company.  so i helped her out and she came and spent about 6 weeks last summer with us and interned with our textile design department.  we had a great time and i feel like she was my daughter in my past french life. 

i took her everywhere we could possibly go in the area.  it was a whirlwind of music, cooking, eating, drinking, traveling and trying to fit a little bit of work in as well.  it was probably one of my favorite summers ever.  after she completed her internship, her best friend flew in and then they were going to head south to los angeles on a two week road trip.  i had to fly to ny for the gift show and then i was to fly to paris for the maison show where we would all meet up again. 

when the girls were leaving portland on the bus, i gave them both a hug and sent them on their way.  i didn't want to cry and carry on because we were going to see each other in a few weeks.  of course i walked back into my office and lost it.  they both are incredible people and it was so hard to let them go on their way, not knowing exactly how they were going to get to their destination but trusting they would be ok because they are smart girls.  i have no idea how parents let their children go anywhere on their own...ever.  you have to put so much faith in the world that they are going to be ok and watched over.

i flew out to ny for work a few days later.  since we had been running around like crazy, i booked a few extra days before the show to take a little break and enjoy nyc.  i checked into my hotel and ate my first dinner in town at indochine, my tradition when i arrive to town.  the next morning i woke up and wasn't feeling so great.  but i got up and walked down to the west village.  i felt better as the day went on and then i met a coworker for dinner.  the next morning i woke up and felt even worse.  since i had to get back to work the following day, i figured i had better go to the emergency room to see what was going on.  so i hopped on a subway to the nyu emergency room.  they ran a few tests and took a chest x-ray and an hour or so later, i was told that i had a mass in my chest and that they may need to admit me to the hospital.  but what were they talking about?  i felt fine just a few days ago.  what kind of mass?  what does that mean?  is it a tumor?  my head was spinning.  they did a ct scan and confirmed that yes, i had some kind of mass in my thoracic region, possibly a lymphoma.

i spoke with the doctor and he said that i would be ok to go home but that i needed to get to an oncologist on monday (this was friday).  i gathered my things and walked down 42nd st, not knowing what was going to happen to me. 

i was hungry and exhausted.  i got back to my hotel and ordered wine and steak frites because well, if this is it, i'm going to eat well at least!  my coworker and a dear friend of mine that lives in ny came to my hotel and we drank and laughed and i was not alone.  i was so thankful to have the people i have in my life.  i was thankful that my friend and mentor was there with me and i was thankful that i can make friends wherever i go and that if i needed to stay in ny, i could and would be taken care of and loved.  i was thankful that i had a family at home that loved me and that i didn't have to stay in ny and that i would be back with them the next day. 

on saturday, i was able to go to work and with the help of our amazing team,  we got everything together for the show.  then i hopped on a plane to come home.  and lorenzo was there at the airport to pick me up.  with a wheelchair....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

serge in da house

so yes, i am still sorting through my paris photos from back in january.  i have been waiting for these for quite some time because i texted them to lorenzo just a little before i lost my red purse with my phone in it and it has taken him this long to find them.  i'm so happy to have them saved now.  my pilgrimage to serge's house was number one on my tourist agenda so i would have been soooo bummed if we did not have these.  but alas, here is my visit with the ghost of serge gainsbourg.

serge's house is still pretty much as he left it and is owned by his daughter charlotte.  there have been rumors that she wants to turn it into a museum but my google searches did not find anything as to whether this is true or not.  could you imagine visiting his home?  i would die!  hopefully, in the future, it will be open to the public.  it looks pretty unassuming from the street, but being as though it is a parisian home, i'm sure a lot lies behind the gated entry.  here are a few pics for your pleasure.
i love photos of he and his family together.  what a great kitchen.

bath time with family and puppy.

serge in his library.

i hope to get more posts up soon.  things have calmed down a bit now so stay posted.  and for sure i will get more paris photos up as i can.  merci beaucoup for always remaining patient with my random posts!

sources: artsy time
              she was a bird

Friday, June 29, 2012

exorcised the ghost of notre dame

(topshop sweater) oh my friends, i know it has been so long since i've checked in with you all. for those of you dedicated souls who still stop by once in a while, merci beaucoup! i have been so remiss in keeping up with my blogs since i returned from paris and i do apologize. you see, the thing is, so many things happened to me in paris that i still have a hard time talking about them in addition to so many other events that have happened since i have been home. i really don't know where to begin. i do feel, however, that at this point in my life, i must write a book. i'm just not ready to go there yet. so i will ask for your patience, and hopefully, get back in the swing of things toutes de suites! i do now have in my possession my beloved paris photos so i will get them on to the blog very soon. that is to be continued... so as you may know, i was in paris for work. one of the many parts of my job is to install the trade shows that we do for pendleton home. paris and the maison objet show is still relatively new for us and i was selected to work the show due to process of elimination (our designer was preggers so i lucked out and got to attend). this was THE most stressful thing i have ever done for my job. it was very last minute and i did not sleep for at least a month before i even arrived in paris. the day i saw my shipment leave portland for the show, was a huge day for me. i can't believe i was able to pull it all off so quickly. i convinced my best friend to go with me to help with the set up. i mean, why would you not want a free room in paris with very little work expected of you? ha! boy were we wrong. from the minute our feet hit parisian ground, we were off and running! we began by checking in to our super cute hotel directly across the street from notre dame. it was designed by christian lacroix and was absolutely adorable (said with a french accent). after check-in was a lunch of salad and croque monsieur at cafe de flore followed by a shopping trip to monoprix (i always have to stock up on lots of petit marseillais shampoo). the next day we met my shipment at the show and set up our booth. the following day we had a lazy start. we walked over to the right bank to run an errand, bought some things for the booth and then headed back out to the show to finish things up. we wrapped up the set-up and had a full day off ahead of us the following day. and this is when it all went wrong! on our day off, we walked all the way to the eiffel tower, which believe it or not, i had never seen...only from a distance. from there we took a taxi over to rue st. honoree and walked the shops. it began to rain on our way back to the hotel but we walked anyway. when we got back, we dressed quickly for dinner and then headed out to catch a cab to have dinner at au 35 in st. germain a few blocks a way. to say the least, the driver wasn't too keen on taking us for a drive a few blocks a way and tried to scam us by taking the long way (hey, i'm a good tipper, why so rude?). i think i was so flustered and exhausted at this point that i paid him at the restaurant, hopped out and left my purse in the cab. about two minutes later, i realized what i had done but at this point, he was long gone. let me reiterate how exhausted i was so i clearly wasn't thinking straight. because i had everything in my purse, and i mean EVERYTHING! my money, passport, credit cards, jewelry... i have never done anything like this in my life. so to say the least, it put a damper on the rest of my trip, and i still had not even begun my job at the show yet! i was so upset but my friend was such a savior and i can't even imagine what it would have been like had she not been there. i seriously would have lost my shit (figuratively AND literally). all in all, i can say i survived and it made me a stronger person. it just wasn't what i had imagined for myself on a trip to paris. after the weekend, i got my beloved credit cards back and could go on with my life for the last few days in town. i felt so much better! my coworkers and i found some really great parisian spots when we could finally sit down for dinner at about 10 o'clock every night. thank goodness all of the restaurants stay open late in paris. a few of these spots were, cafe de l'industrie, le fee verte, and le procope. not to mention all of the help from my fabulous staff at the hotel notre dame that were there for me every step of the way (even though i'm still convinced that hotel is haunted). the funny thing is, i'm going back in september, and i can't be more excited! i'm just putting everything in my safe this time and strapping my purse down for sure.
and while we were in paris, we heard firsthand the sad news that johnny and vanessa had split. it just took a while to make it to our shores. i must say, though, there definitely was something amiss in paris while we were there. rip johnny and vanessa, i really had hoped it would work out and i could come to visit you in your fabulous montmartre pad.