“Choice is the holy-making stuff of life.”
— Joan Chittister, Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy

“In a way, anyone who collects things in the privacy of his own home is a curator.  Simply choosing how to display your things, what pictures to hang where, and in which order your books belong, places you in the same category as a museum curator.”
— Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck

Accordions from Dale Chihuly’s personal collection hang from the ceiling in the cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Accordions and Chihuly’s paintings

The Cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass holds its own as a place of interest.  Called the “Collections Cafe,” it showcases 28 of Dale Chihuly’s personal collections.  And what a varied array of collections it holds — accordions, clocks, lemon juicers, and more.  We had already seen parts of Chihuly’s personal collections of Native trade blankets, Native baskets, and Edward Curtis photographs in the Northwest Room of the glass exhibits.  But the collections in the cafe show another side of Chihuly — one wonders what the appeal of the objects had to Chihuly’s artistic eye.

I find it fascinating that Chihuly, a prolific and accomplished glass artist, is also an avid collector of — in many cases — quite ordinary, inexpensive objects.  Every collector is a curator, too, and his collections are another aspect of self-expression.  You can read more about Chihuly’s personal collections in this Seattle Times article.

In the Collections Cafe, most of Chihuly’s collections are cunningly displayed under glass table tops.  Quite ingenious!

Cafe table showcasing a collection of wooden toy furniture

This table displays an assortment of lemon juicers.

Cafe table with clock collection





Where Does the Time Go?

December 28, 2011

” . . . the morning was almost over.  For Isabel, the watershed was always eleven-thirty; that was the point at which if nothing was achieved, then nothing would be . . . ”
— Alexander McCall Smith, The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

Late morning, time passing

The days seem to pass so much more quickly when I am at home than when I am at work, and more so in winter, when our Seattle days last not quite 8-1/2 hours.  The sun will rise today at 7:57 a.m. and will set at 4:25 p.m.

It sometimes makes me anxious when I see the minutes slipping by and I’m not getting done what I had hoped.  Where does the time go?


” . . . the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

At day's end: watch, keys, and pocket change on the mantle

I rather like the way Thoreau values his time more than money.  His definition of wealth is how much free time is left after his basic needs have been met.  And one way to maximize his personal time is to pare his material needs to the bare minimum:  “I make myself rich by making my wants few.”

I am comfortable living a frugal life most of the time.  My parents set the example of living within one’s means, raising nine kids on a small farm.  I never saw them use a credit card.  Thoreau’s way of life seems especially appropriate for weathering today’s tough economic times.

“Security to me is not what we have, but what we can do without.”
— quote from Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel

“Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift?”
— Cicero

Living life content with small means can be liberating — you’re free from the stress of burdensome debt, high maintenance costs, and the dissatisfactions of needing the latest thing advertised on T.V.  You can craft of your life a symphony, in the words of William Henry Channing:

“To live life with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;
To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;
To bear all cheerfully,
Do all bravely,
Await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.”