A milestone to adulthood

Today, I feel like a real adult. I have been able to vote for 15 years. I have gotten married. And divorced. And re-married. I have bought my own new car. I have bought my own real jewelry. I run my own business. Yet today, I feel like a crossed a serious adulthood milestone. Today, for the first time, a housekeeper cleaned my house. Not just “a” housekeeper, “my” housekeeper, who calls me “Miss Ada”… I still can’t quite believe it.

This all happened very quickly over the last 10 days. The last two weeks have been so incredibly busy that two week-ends ago I welcomed my husband into a less than pristine apartment. I just didn’t have time to do my usual pre-husband-visit cleanup. Not wanting to have that happen again this past week-end, I spent Thursday night cleaning, until about half past midnight. All I wanted to do was go to sleep, but I was determined to clean. I cleaned so late that the next morning I decided that 2 extra minutes of sleep was more important than making my bed. I think this was only the fourth time in my entire life that I have left my house without making my bed…

I crave a clean house, and I love to clean my house. Dusting, scrubbing, even cleaning the floors is incredibly satisfying and relaxing to me – that is my go-to self-therapy when I need to de-stress. Still, I have never been attracted to the idea of a housekeeper. What if she doesn’t clean as well as I do? What if she doesn’t put everything back exactly in its place? And then, of course, I hate the idea that I have to give her keys to my house. And that I have a stranger in my house. And somehow a housekeeper has always seemed like such a luxury, something for people with multiple kids and large mansions…

Then, as often happens, a sign from the Universe. I subscribe to an amazing Georgetown neighborhood online forum. It is filled with the most amazing community feel and useful information. Last week, there were two posts about this amazing housekeeper who had some extra time. I read on… Given my hesitations and concerns (above), this housekeeper sounded like a true gem. She works only in Georgetown. Has a very specific list of cleaning products she requests her customers keep in her house. She fixes things. She sews. She charges more if no ironing is involved, because she loves ironing so much. And she worked for Richard Holbrooke (which is why all of a sudden she has a free afternoon… only in Georgetown!).

I called her, met her last Friday, but in my mind had hired her before the meeting. Somehow it was meant to be, and I began fantasizing about polished silver (has been on my list of things to do for about 6 months now), ironed sheets (one of the reasons I love staying at my parents’ house), and clean windows… Today, she started. I am on the road (as I am so often), and I cannot wait to go home tomorrow and see the results of her magic. And appreciate adulthood for one reason more.

 

So many reasons why I love Georgetown

Over the last two weeks or so, two of my favorite Georgetown institutions have closed or announced they are closing. Erwin Gomez Salon & Spa closed after some well publicized drama on Facebook, and my eyebrows have suffered ever since (if you have a good recommendation for an eyebrow master, I am all ears). Earlier this week, The Griffin Market announced that its last day will be February 20th. I live a block from The Griffin Market, and love love love their egg salad sandwich, and often go there for other food emergencies (fresh mozzarella emergency, cornichon emergency, good Italian wine emergency… my kind of emergencies).  Having these two places close gave me cause for pause, and made me think about all of the other Georgetown places and boutiques I so love, and why I could never imagine living anywhere other than here. These favorites are listed in the order that they come into my life on a typical day I spend in Georgetown.

Switzerland, more than chocolate and skin care

Today (yesterday by the time you read this) was both a great day and a sad day. Any day that involves a luncheon at the Swiss Ambassador’s Residence, hosted by the Ambassador’s fashionista wife Ronit is a delightful day. Today was particularly magical, as she was able not only to bring together the crème de la crème of Washington women, new designs by Isabel Toledo, narrated and explained by the designer (and her number one fan, her husband Ruben) herself, but the sun was sparkling and the sky was turquoise – important when the lunch is taking place on the beautiful terrace of the Residence, and when ether-real cloud-like textile decorations seem to hang from the sky.

Magical moments in Greece

I am back in Georgetown after two weeks abroad, but this morning, in spirit, I am still in Greece, remembering the magical moments spent on Tinos.

When I was a little girl, my family and I used to go to Tinos often. My maternal grandfather, a Greek philosophy professor, decided to take a sabbatical there when my mother was 16, and moved the family to the island for two years, in a gorgeous, simple, very old stone house. The last time I was there, I was 14. Why I haven’t gone in so long, I don’t know.

My Louisiana Sunday

This past Sunday was what I think of as a typical Louisiana Sunday. The day started off with an early lunch at Middendorf’s, a seafood restaurant and local institution that opened in 1934. Broiled catfish, shrimp, and oysters, and the best coleslaw I have ever eaten. “No crawfish,” the waitress sadly announced, as the BP oil spill has caused such a price increase that the restaurant can’t afford them. That brief mention of the oil spill led to an hour long discussion of what could have and should have been done to prevent it, to fix it, and what the consequences will be for this magical area.