Friday, December 28, 2012

golden table

I've never used these things together before; in fact I'm not sure I've used them at all, as opposed to displaying them on a shelf somewhere. Both the candle holders and the bowl (dish? jar? container?) were golden wedding gifts to my grandmother (and my grandfather, too, technically, but these were from friends of hers). I never noticed how close in tone to the wood they were until I tried to photograph them.

This is how I set the table for my supper on winter solstice night. All that sunshine color was very satisfying. I didn't even need to light the candles.

Monday, December 10, 2012

over the sink

Here's a wreath one of my former roommates and I found in the trash and added the plastic poinsettia to. I've alway hung it on my back door, wherever that was, but this back door has no handy hanging places, and in this window my neighbors can see its silhouette at night.

The window to the right appears to be the room they watch television in at night, and the curtains are never drawn, so I don't think they added the blue tarp to the west side of their screen porch just as I was moving in for reasons of privacy. Probably as a wind-break.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

losing the sun

I saw the most beautiful pink sunrise a few days ago. I was going to get the camera as soon as I finished the necessary getting-ready-for-work thing I was doing. But the sun was too fast for me. By the time I got back it had climbed up under the edge of the clouds.

Just the brightness lighting up the trees.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

broken ornaments

I work at an animal hospital now. We have Christmas decorations. We broke a few unpacking them this year.

So we mended them.

;) It's what we do.

Monday, December 3, 2012

door decoration

I got my traditional door decoration up last week, after cutting new greenery for it from my new shrubs.

I have several weather-resistant red bows, but none of them match, or are even the same size, so I chose just one, for the side the mail slot is NOT on.

Let me pull back a little and show the nice federalist broken pediment over the door, very popular in the thirties. (Broken in more than one sense: needs caulking baaaaad!)

And a little farther: most of the house front.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

out the bathroom window

If you go back a few years, you can see the view from showers at the old house, and compare its privacy with the bathroom view here.
[The weird blue background came with the link and I can't get rid of it.]

Thanks to privacy glass, absolutely no one can see into my bathroom unless they're standing on my deck (and rather close to the window at that) or have climbed a tree.

Quite a large tree.

I tried to pull back and give some context there, but shooting through a window on a bright sunny day is beyond my camera's capability. Or at least, mine.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

turkey for one

Stony, up in the left corner, looks hopeful, but all I gave him was a piece of skin. The rest is mine. Luckily I have a freezer. I worked on Thanksgiving, of course, so I couldn't invite anyone to join me.

See, I do use the fine china, although a holiday probably doesn't count.

I'm not very unpacked, but that's one of two boxes left in the living room. (The new box is something to help store things in the kitchen, if I ever get time to put it together.)

Look at the dangling bits on the candlestick. My grandmother managed to save only seven drops from the hall chandelier in my great-great aunt's house (my grandfather's aunt) when it was torn down after she died. She saved them for years before she found this to add them to. I should have put a candle in it and lit it, because it was so dark at noon that I had to use flash to take these pictures. The living room faces north-east, but I'm still surprised there was so little light on a very sunny day. (See foil around turkey!)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

useless hooks

I have no idea what the people who put these hooks up used them for, but I can't find a way to use them. I did have my skillets hanging on two of the three, but although they would go on the hooks easily, getting them off again was a struggle, so I'm keeping them in my too-scarce cabinet space.

Hanging the holiday season mugs on them was an impulse of the moment. (I have four, but the fourth one is blue.) I would like to hang something useful there, but these hooks seem designed to be hard to use. Nothing I have tried will fit there except mugs.

Since the window on the right is directly over the stove, something cooking related would be nice. Impossible so far, though. Still, I'm enjoying the mugs against the paint for the time being.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

future Christmas tree

Here's the top of it, outside the kitchen window, providing a perching place for the birds as they take turns at the feeder.

Why, you ask, do I intend to remove such a useful tree? Well, the deck is several feet off the ground at that point, and the stair railing appears to be losing the battle.

And the tree is already about fifteen feet tall and less than fifteen feet from the house, and seems eager to get larger.

And it really doesn't have space to expand its roots.

The slight bulge in the retaining wall is not an artifact of the camera.

So my plan is to remove the top six feet or so and use it as a Christmas tree this year, and see if I can persuade it to be a shrub after I remove its growing tip, and if not, out it comes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

found at last

Glorious day! I found my favorite coffee pot, though not until I'd taken these pictures. The backup coffee pot is retired to the basement with my gratitude for its availability in a time of crisis.

I have coffee mugs! I much prefer to hold ceramic in my hands as the mornings grow colder to the plastic thermos cups I've been using.

And I have a few plates. Very few, and along with the coffee pot I found a few bowls, but I can stop eating out of tupperware after two and a half months.

I emptied two dish barrels in two days. Most of the contents were fine china that I don't want to use every day, especially since I'm going to try using a dishwasher for the first time since I lived with my parents, but it's progress.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

first frost

More or less the first. There was a touch last week, but this time it was everywhere. Except in my yard.

My neighbor's yard had a little, but it almost stopped at their property line as it did at mine.

Glad I won't need to scrape the car windows often this winter.

Friday, November 2, 2012

state of the guest room

If you were to visit me unexpectedly, the guest room upstairs is not exactly ready.

The bed could be cleared off and made up without too much effort.

But unless your visit had sunny weather throughout, you'd have to share with the laundry.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

leaf color

At last I have some leaves turning. In my neighborhood change had begun two weeks ago, but until the last few days all of my trees were still green.

That one still is. Actually I'm not sure whether it belongs to me or the neighbors, but it hangs over my drive, so I'll get its leaves when they fall.

The oak right over the deck is still green, too, but the one I've tied the clothesline to has turned glorious orange.

The back yard as a whole is just dipping its toes in the change of seasons, though.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

fall violets

I've found lots of violet leaves in the grass at the new place, but only yesterday and today did I find any blooming in confusion at the continuing warm weather. I brought one in yesterday, and it withered before I could take its picture, so as soon as I picked these two (while mowing the grass) I got out the camera.

A promise of spring before the cold weather even settles in. (It flirted with us this month, but mostly the cold has had other places to be. I'm writing this on the deck in shirt sleeves just at sunset.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

made by friends

By one friend, in this case. Nowadays working on lampwork beads, she has made art by many different methods. I made sure none of this was packed by the movers, and I got the dreamcatcher hung before they were even through packing.

This may not be the final placement for the hand made paper bowl, but it spent the last four years very near this position.

Many thrift-store blenders gave their lives to create naturally dyed paper during M's paper sculpture period. I remember the blackberry paper was purple, but I don't remember what created this red. The gold beads were embedded in the paper while it was drying, and have stayed there for the past fifteen years or more.

Finally, the concrete stepping stone imprinted with plants that grew in our garden while we were roommates.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

reaching the electric panel

Since I moved in on August 21, the electric panel has been inaccessible due to boxes.

Like this:

I've been working on making a path to the panel for several weeks. Since I can't reach any of the lights on that side of the basement, I could only work for a little while in the late afternoon. (Not that I had hours of free time at other times of day, you understand.)

From the laundry area head towards the old refrigerator:

Then turn right:

Halfway along the wall is my goal:

And beyond it, yet another goal:

Four boxes of dishes which may mean I can stop eating out of freezer-to-microwave lunch containers (which have their conveniences if you have to have only two or three things to put food in.) I hope to find my glass jars of flour and sugar in there, too, and then I can actually bake things!

But the important part of reaching the electric panel, with cold weather approaching, was to be able to try my electric heater in the bathroom and know that if it blew a circuit breaker, I could reset it. It did not, I am happy to say, but with 7.5 amps on a 15 amp circuit containing I knew not what, I wasn't willing to risk it.

You can tell it has been with me a while. I bought it in 1971 when I was in my first apartment in college, but the styling suggests it wasn't a new design then. The rust is from living alternately in damp bathrooms and in basements when not needed. After forty years it can still heat a small room more than ten degrees Fahrenheit in five minutes. (It's a mere child, of course, compared to the refrigerator pictured above, which was made in 1953 and has never had a service call. I cherish reliable appliances.)

Friday, September 28, 2012


I have not been outside with a camera at the right time yet, but perhaps this spring I can get some pictures. I've discovered that the new house is directly under a goose flyway. I've seen geese flying north twice now, once in the morning and once just before dusk, and I've heard them several times. I send goose-greetings to everyone north of me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Mizfit reminds me that at Yom Kippur I should be atoning for wronging others. Every year I have the problem that I can't think of anyone I have wronged. There must be some! But I can't recognize any, so I can't apologize. Unless I am a saint on earth, which seems unlikely, this is a flaw.

This year, head down in piles of boxes, Rosh Hashanah and the equinox just blew past me. Thanks, Miz, for making me notice the calendar.

Monday, September 17, 2012

some slight progress

August 26:

September 15:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

not a weed

My first garden surprise from this house:

The vine rambling over the pile of old wood turns out to be autumn clematis, a favorite of mine.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


My fence is in. At last I can let the dog out the back door without a harness and a tie-out. One less small time-wasting chore.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I have a whole day off today, after working through the summer taking days off only to deal with selling, buying, and moving, which were not exactly days of freedom. (Although I did tell the movers, when they said, at the end of a ten hour day of unloading for them, that I must be exhausted, "Well, I don't usually spend the whole day standing around doing nothing.")

I plan to take a lesson from Belle:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

embracing the chaos

Someday it will not look like this. How soon, I'm afraid to guess. But it's all under the new roof.

The living room, where I can sit down if I'm patient about wiggling through:

The kitchen, where most of the cabinets are still empty because I've found nothing that belongs in them:

The office. I have the computers set up, but no printer or backup drives or scanner yet.

The detested stationary bike is not usable unless I want my left ankle bruised by the empty bookshelves (which are at least in their final place.)

The bedroom remains far too dark for anything to show up without a flash, and the hall, with my clothes in boxes, is almost as dark. You'll have to imagine.