Category Archives: Everyday

Virtual Housewarming

Okay, so you can hardly “warm” our house without actually being here (you’re always welcome), but I figured it was about time to share a few pics of this little nest we’ve been fussing over for the last 6 months. So here it is: “Bluey” aka The Story House.

Our tour begins at the front of the house. Fall has begun, thus things are looking a little droopy. But you can see our newly planted (and only slightly crooked) service berry tree to the left of the walk. Closer to the house, to the right of the walk, is a river birch we also planted this summer. Both were gifts from the McDaniel family.

Before we enter the house, let’s hang out on the porch a bit. So, so lovely on a breezy day. Just not too breezy.

This is what you see if you go in the front door. A little bench, big ole honking wooden stairs, and if he’s around, Eric. I like Eric.

If you look to the left as you walk in, you’ll see our “living room,” which is also sort of the entry. I have a love/hate relationship with that couch.

As you continue walking past the stairs, you’ll run into this little nook, our reading area. Thanks to Mojo Mullen for the suggestion to move our awesome bookcase to this wall– it made all the difference.

Now you’ve wandered into the dining room. Please note adorable cushion on window seat, made by our talented and generous friend Dorothy. The man behind that awesome farm table is “Jeff Builds Furniture” (check him out on Facebook).

Another shot of the dining room. Grey chair is beloved for its “Masterpiece Theater” flair. We have reason to believe that when we’re gone, Wendell takes naps there. We wonder if he smokes cigars.

Turn right from the dining room into the kitchen, which features white paint and “sea foam green” trim. Brilliant!

More kitchen.

And there’s Gunther, our fave little shabby chic white cabinet. If you’re disoriented– that open doorway to the left, goes back into the dining room. The sea foam green pocket door goes into the world’s most cramped (but charming) bathroom, and the open doorway to the right goes into Eric’s office which he would like you to refer to as “the cabin.” I say you can call it the man cave if you like.

There it is, the man cave.

Okay, time to go upstairs. First thing you’ll see is part of the bathroom. Where that dresser currently stands, we hope to eventually move the sink and vanity.

Our bedroom is to the left. Sorry– I only partly made the bed. That skylight is wondrous in a rainstorm, though you’ll never sleep through lightning.

And now we’re over in the guest bedroom, which is also my office. Wendell isn’t really supposed to be on the futon, but sometimes the 3 of us take naps there, and well, you can’t explain “special circumstances” to a dog. Especially this dog.

And finally, just for kicks, a shot of Wendell enjoying the summer’s harvest. Anybody need any cucumbers?


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How I Know It’s Fall

Every season begins with a sense of suspicion. In Spring, it’s: Is it really getting warmer? Or is this just a fluke? and: Do you think it’ll snow again? Or is this the final melt? In autumn, it’s a matter of squinting at the thick belt of trees that line the Mississippi–which have been green for so long that it has seemed permanent–and noticing a hint of yellow. Is it the light? Or are they turning? I told myself it was the light. But now it’s truly fall.

Fall, in our new home, in this old town, means taking the air conditioners out of the windows, and leaving the windows cracked at night instead, so the cool, damp, breeze can spirit its way through the house and blow the debris of summer under the bed and into corners. It means wearing my down vest, so crucial a piece of clothing in San Francisco, on walks with the dog, and still noticing a little nip in the air. Maybe next time a hat?

The other day I went digging for a pair of socks and found some hats and gloves in a forgotten drawer–figured I ought to relocate those to a more accessible place now, near the front door. And while I’m at it, those tank tops probably don’t need to be taking up precious real estate. It’s also probably time to figure out how to work that quirky little sauna in our basement (it’s a Scandinavian thing).

It’s strange to recall that I went through several falls in the Bay Area, and never did it feel like this. I remember being surprised, and delighted, that despite the Bay Area’s reputation for having only two seasons, the leaves do indeed turn in Berkeley, and the air shifts, and memories of falls from childhood come with all of it just like anywhere else. Always though, it was a matter of the leaves, and the air and the smells, reminding me of a much more distinct season in another place. I noticed other people saying it too– like the East Coasters, who would grin and say, it feels like back-to-school time in New York.

I don’t think it’s so much about the place as it is about the choice. We’ve chosen to be here now, and in return, we’ve been given a little bit of ownership over everything beautiful that happens here, like the seasons turning. It could very well be homeownership that’s changed my perspective. Or just growing older. I’m not sure.

Our house is finally coming together here, thanks to a couple great Craigslist finds, a paint job or two, lots of little fix-it projects, and a dog, whose energy makes it all flow together just right. In honor of the cooling weather, perhaps it’s time for a little virtual housewarming– I’ll take some pics of the homestead and post them soon.

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