Inside The Green Study

Over the last few months, I’ve received comments from people who assumed I was some sort of an environmental-focused blog. I haven’t been able to come up with a tagline that encompasses the things I like to write about and “A Blog About Everything in My Head” doesn’t seem particularly helpful. Before I kick off another novel writing session, I thought I’d give you a little insight to the actual green study.

My husband bought this ranch house in suburbia long before I came into the picture. He’s very responsible that way. When I moved in, primer was the house decor. I love color – lots and lots of color. It’s taken me a few years of living in this state to realize that many Minnesotans like white/creme/tan variations. I embarrassed myself at a housewarming party once, when I asked the hostess what color she was going to paint her new condo. It had already been done. Lesson learned: Don’t go to parties in condos.

Every room in the house is a different color now, much to my Scandinavian husband’s chagrin. Green is my favorite color – practically all shades of it, depending on context. My study is sage green which is supposed to be supportive of mental clarity. I’m no scientist and with my limited control group, I cannot provide proof of that idea.

I have one of those large, modern (read ‘pressed wood’) desks that I am not particularly fond of, and an office chair that I was kindly given when my employer moved offices. It’s a fancy chair and I still don’t know what the knobs on the right do. Sometimes when I sit on it, I don’t know if it’s shrinking away in fright, but it will randomly deflate and I have to use the other knob on the left, in order to see above my desk.

On the wall above my head, I have shelves with a bamboo plant and a wood carving of a woman in meditation (I originally typed “medication”, but that would explain her calm pose as well). Above, I have a print of “Milkmaids, Novella” by Nikolai Nikolaevich Baskakov. The ability to laugh with each other, no matter what the circumstances, is a great life lesson.

Next to that, I have a picture of my daughter in what I think of as her orangutan days. She is 4 months old with a shock of jet black hair sticking straight up. She came out like that. My mother-in-law, who often draws incorrect correlations (it’s part of her charm) kept saying that my daughter looked a lot like my brother-in-law when he was a baby, with that dark hair. It was an awkward moment for all involved. While my husband tends toward the blond, I (the mother of said orangutan baby) have dark hair.

I have 3 bulletin boards: Inspiration, Kid Art and Stuff I’m Supposed To Do. My inspiration board is almost empty except for this emailed picture that says “Grammar: The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.” My kid art board is covered with origami flowers and little notes that started showing up when my daughter figured out that writing “I love you, mom” might mean that I wouldn’t yell as loudly when I saw her ransacked bedroom. My taekwondo belts hang nearby – a reminder that age is not a barrier and that the cerebral should be balanced with a little ass kicking.

I have a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, compulsively organized by subject and size. Linguistics, writing and reference books on the top. Physical fitness, nutrition, nature and gardening books up against religion and philosophy texts. Tech, music and domestic how-to manuals on the bottom. I love my books, but it has taken me years to teach myself to stop collecting them, to sell them back, to use the library. Book ownership feels like wealth to me. I just have to remember they lose their value when I don’t read them or won’t read them again.

The true jewel in this room is the green reading chair. It’s a big, comfortable chair, a cleverly disguised recliner where I’ve spent hours reading, snuggling with my daughter, snoozing as sun pours through the south window. A small table sits beside it, ready for a cup of coffee and grab of my latest read. I’ve just started reading Things That Are by Amy Leach, a collection of essays on nature and wonder.

The Green Study, both the room and the blog, have evolved to become more reflective of my desires, beliefs and priorities. Thanks for letting me share them with you. Here’s hoping you find space, cyber or otherwise, to call your own.

31 thoughts on “Inside The Green Study

  1. Larry McMurtry just sold his personal collection of over 300,000 books at auction here in his Texas hometown. I couldn’t resist making the 2 1/2 hour drive. Books of all kinds in FOUR buildings, floor to ceiling. You can check out the photos on my post How I met Larry McMurtry. It was a great day trip!


    1. I remember reading that post. That’s just crazy – glad he sold them, so that they could be read by others. I was well on my way to being a book hoarder until I started thinking about value – value of space, value of the object I made space for – it sent me on a huge decluttering kick.


    2. I painted three rooms when we moved into our current home to cover the nice oatmeal colored walls. Names of colors like Sleep Late, an off white kinda grey are fun but my favorite is the light green I used for the guest bath and an accent wall in the dining room, Dill Pickle. 🙂
      The Green Study – Celebrating the colors of my life!


      1. I have things like Sea Foam for a bathroom and Sunkissed Peach (for the kitchen, of course!). There could be some more room realistic names like “Mist Piss Yellow” and “Grape Dust Bunny”. Those might be hard sells, though.


    1. It is something I am grateful for. After seeing the East Coast devastation in the news, I thought about value of place and surroundings and how difficult it is to lose them. Life changes on a dime, so best to appreciate what we have and where we are now.


  2. I enjoyed reading about your surroundings! I learned NOT to like color on my walls because I grew up before computer paint matching and I could never touch up the dings and finger prints and scuffs…. I am a neutral wall person now, but I liven it up with unusual :stuff”! hmmmmm that gives me an idea for a post…… THANKS!


    1. I think it would be great to hear about other people’s surroundings. I’ve put years of thought into mine and I think it’s still evolving, but it is definitely more reflective of who I am.


  3. Love the fact that you have color on your walls!

    When I first moved in with my partner, his whole house was painted Navajo White – aka boring!! When we built the guest house, he let me pick the colors. Although I stayed with more neutral color, it was after all for a rental, he liked my color style. So when we redid the main house, he let me have free rein. Same when we moved into this new house. Every room is a different color. He wasn’t excited about some of the colors I picked, but now they’re up and seasoned, he loves them.

    The challenge here was that there is no clear demarcation between the dining room, living room, kitchen and hallway. But I managed to pull it off. I’ve been told I have ‘color memory’, which I guess means I can match or complement colors without actually having them in front of me.


    1. I doubt that I have your style or skill! One of my friends with style said that I’m tending towards a more Asian taste of decorating. I think of it as – if it can’t be hung or painted on a wall, it better serve a purpose. Small children and their accompanying trail of stuff excluded, of course!


  4. Thanks for introducing me to the works of Nikolai Nikolaevich Baskakov. I had never heard of this artist. I love The Milkmaids and Friends. It reminds me of crazy good times with my oldest and best friend.


  5. Books are like wealth to me as well. I temper my hoarding nature by passing them off to needy friends at the perfect moment. I consider myself some kind of creativity doctor, prescribing my ailing patients the most fitting literature. I have yet to hear any complaints. 🙂


      1. Hey, fluff is an important genre. I think some Southern newspapers used to call columns like this “front-porch thumb suckers.” Sort of like comfort food. You have to be a good writer to pull it off.


  6. I’m glad to know what the green study is – I also assumed it was environmental – assumed I missed those posts before I started following. My writing room is what was once the formal dining room in my home – It’s also the room I watch TV in and sit by the fire in. It’s mostly an earthy green with heart of pine floors and it’s my favorite space in the house. The light is perfect, I hate to leave it:) Thanks for sharing your space.


    1. My study was also this home’s formal dining room. We’re a pack of barbarians here, so formal dining seems an anathema. Now to have a fireplace….that would be lovely. Thanks for sharing your space as well!


  7. Fluff as a genre — I simply must remember that the next time someone asks if I’m a writer. I really enjoyed this glimpse into your surroundings. These posts are part of what makes blogging so fulfilling. My “home room” has now come down to a space in my head. I have no physical space to call mine anymore, and after a painful metamorphosis I’ve accepted that and am making it part of me. No walls, no rules, any color I want (or don’t). Books can be problematic; they take up a great deal of space, which we don’t have. I’m working the balance between owning, borrowing, electronic and hard copy.


    1. Sometimes making wherever you are, your space is a better skill to have – so much writing has been done at kitchen tables throughout the ages! And yes, Linda, if you write, you ARE a writer.

      My love affair with books was always with library books until I started having a disposable income. I’ve been trying to modify my consumerist ways as I prepare to be gainfully unemployed. I did get a Kindle two years ago and last year, our public library started providing that format online as well. So I’m excited that my cache of books has gotten cheaper and a lot less dusty!


  8. As a follower I went through your blog posts and found amazing view and analysis. The way of writing is fantastic. I would like to appreciate your great mission. Keep it up,
    Wish you all the best and Happy New Year.


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