Saturday, November 13, 2021

Here For Another Chat

I have something very significant to say, and it's about Grace Hopper's cute face. She has symetrical stars on her cheeks. Can you see them? On each side of her head, are two white spots of hair, like twinkle stars or snowflakes. I only just noticed. I am smitten.

Ha! And to think I wasn't going to post today, because I thought I had nothing worthwhile to share. But this. This is quality content. This is what makes CB compelling, valuable. It's deep thoughts and other musings like these that will, someday, catapult us to the Blogging Stratosphere, where we will be among the influential stars, published, noteworthy.
I don't always bring the goats and hens out into the garden, free to range everywhere, eat anything. After a hot day like we had yesterday, it feels mean not to let them cruise the fresh green lawn, forage, spring and gambol in the cool evening. We walked out to the front of the house, and up to the gate, where they amused some neighbors. It never gets old, seeing someone walk by, then do a double take. "Those aren't dogs," we often hear. I guess a lot of people were out to enjoy the cool evening. Tasha, Ada, and Grace made quite a few new friends.

Neighborhood Watch. But with goats.

I'll be back, posting again as soon as I see something important or cute, or deep, or so meaningless, trivial, that it's compelling in its mediocrity. You can count on me. Happy Weekending, friends.

Friday, November 12, 2021

A Chat

Yellow roses, from Trader Joes. I can see they are a teeny bit passed prime, but they still look lovely to me, and they are holding up well, considering I brought them home on the 5th. Maybe I should hang them, for a dried arrangement. I think they might just dry up all in one day, because it's about to hit 85 degrees here! Yes, summer returned, for two days, and tomorrow autumn is back in the forecast.

I was absolutely resolute: I will make this for Maria and I will keep it a secret, until her birthday. But I was so delighted with how it turned out, I blew my surprise and gave it to her yesterday. Early gift shopping never works for me, either. It almost always goes like this... I can't resist giving the gift too soon, or I tuck it away, for safe keeping, but can't find it until 6 months after the panicked search. Don't ask me what this tiny wool thing is, because I made it the teeniest bit too small to hold an id card, or gift card. It has a pocket inside, and the yellow bead has loop fastener to keep it closed. It's a hen's tooth. Maria exclaimed gleefully over the flowered hat, and cup of tea, the stack of books. I am thinking of another gift to put together for her... Gah! I almost shared my idea, but she might read this and I'd blow another surprise! Ok. I am totally absolutely very resolute this time.

I feel like having tea and a chat, so if there's anything you'd like to share, I am flitting around, and happy for some company.

(Not "85." It's just after midday and 89 degrees Fahrenheit [31.66 C]. In November. I'm glad we have made changes here that keep the house cooler... covered porch, windows that bring in cross breezes, room darkening drapes that keep the sun outside. Without any air conditioning, or even fans running, it's still comfortable. Thank goodness.)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

A Thursday In November

It hasn't even been a week since this room was finished, and it already feels like it was always this way, meant to be. And yet, it still surprises me. So far, no regrets on the big changes. I need to buy shampoo. And there are towel hooks to put back up. Oh, and I am on the look out for small shelves. No hurry. I love how the water picks up color from the tiles. It looks as though we've added something, something scented, soothing. Maybe should find a bathmat for the floor, too. Nothing with rubber, or that can't be tossed in the wash.

Mike is helping us with electrical/solar issues, which is brilliant. And he took out the old, janky window in William's room. At last William will be able to open and close his windows. This is something we have been working at, little by little, as nearly every window in our house has issues. Soon, Mike will be taking a break. I am so thankful for all that has been accomplished.
This is a scene in Geoff's office. (That is Geoff and Max's office, and Max's bedroom.) I shared it on Instagram, and called it Maker's Still Life. I could ask. Hey, what's with all of the paper lanterns? But that could ruin a surprise, the pleasure of wondering. I love the details, the hints of things we have going on. Are those house plans in the printer tray? Spoke lights? It's never ever ever dull around here.
Maria texted me from school. She sent pictures, updates from the animation she and her friends are making in art class. Then a favor-ask: Please remind me to do a physics thing. I took a break from washing dishes, to make a note. Lists, notes, reminders, alarms, texts... I rely heavily on all kinds of memory aids. This message replaced "Happy Halloween," and Maria laughed appreciatively when she saw it. When I went back to dishwashing, I thought about this senior year of hers, and how much she is enjoying school, and how much I love hearing her read aloud, share her writing, the texts she sends me, and so much more. We scheduled an appointment for her yearbook portrait. She only has a little bit more to do to finish her college applications. Oh, dear... it's just as I expected, this time is flying by, and as much as I have been mindful, involved, recognzing big and small moments, I only wish it were going to last a little longer, these school days, close to home, sharing. I am sure a lot of parents are reflecting and feeling a peculiar kind of bewilderment, maybe even bitterness, about the wildly strange way these high school years twisted in the midst of a global pandemic. I really don't like to dwell on it, especially because, relatively, we have been safe, insulated, but there have been real losses, disappointments, and struggles, even in our good lives. I feel sad about those things that were lost or hard, unfair. I know: Life is unfair, but I think we have a generation of children, students, that carry a burden, have faced profoundly unprecedented circumstances, and it's leaving a mark, and is worthy of our compassion, concern, care.
I can't find the crochet hook I was using to finish the most recent shawl I have been making. It will show up. When I least expect it, I will open the bag or box, where I put it for safe keeping, then I can add the last row or two, and have another shawl done. In the meantime, I found the drawer where I stashed my wool felt, then pulled out floss, and... and then sat and muddled for a few days, because I need time and space to shift gears, and find my embroidery groove. Where are the beading needles I brought home from my Mom's studio? Or the templates I got for drawing shapes? I don't know which is harder, finding my stuff when things are in disarray, or finding my stuff when everything has been put away. I made a snowman brooch. It's kind of like a first pancake... not as good as I hoped, but palatable, and now I feel assured, and in a groove, about making some other bits and pieces.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Success! A Before and After Story

Hello. Hello? I'm so excited to share some home improvements we've been working on.
If you have a moment... I'll show you our guest bathroom, before, then after.

Ok. I can't do this demolition without justifying our decision. So, here goes. This bathroom was, at least, about 20 years old, and during the pandemic, from so much more use, I think it aged another 5 years. The wood floor was warping, and the tile counter was crumbling apart from beneath. The tub no longer sealed, so no baths, and it was also chipping, very slippery, and I hated hated hated cleaning the glass doors (our water is hard and leaves foggy mineral deposits.) And, to be picky... the single light, overhead, always made it feel a bit gloomy, in spite of it being white and "bright." It was never a bad room, and in fact, when we moved in, I was thrilled that it was clean, functional, and just fine.

I do like imagining what I would do, if I could, to make a room our own, and for this space, I always returned to the idea of a lockeroom. I wanted to get rid of the long counter, which we tended to pile with stuff, and replace it with verticle storage, and individual spaces. A locker. I would keep my eyes peeled for lockers, for twelved years, actually. Then, very recently, Geoff found a practically new locker from a university, and it was cheap! And pretty. I like blue. And I love practical! Bringing this home felt like an absolute triumph, with perfect timing, too. So, ready?
Green paint! Behr's Thai Basil green was the final pick, for the walls, after I had already committed to floor tile, and tub surround tile, and of course the blue locker. And we used this same shade in our entry, and the loft above. I love it. And even though it's "the same" paint color, it looks unique in each space. Behr Paints, if you want to talk to me about endorsements, I am available. Well, the paint color is settled. And Mike improved the framing around the shower, replaced the dying faucet valve, added ceiling lights, and vanity lights... wanna see??
Ta Da!

We love it. And I say that with a huge sigh of relief, because I was never 100% sure, or even 60%. I was ordering online, and going in a very different direction from what it was. And I had some odd expectations... like, because it's our guest bathroom, I want it to be energetic, lively, yet also relaxing. It wasn't easy being a designer, but reulctant to run all over town shopping and comparing. I mostly went by the little collages I made on my phone. And even thought it's "for guests," it is the busiest bathroom, serving all of us, too. I think the lockers are going to manage everyone's individual needs, as well as guest's and general bathroom management. We have lockers for all! And, hey, the cats approve, so it can't be too bad, right?

No sponsors. No ads. No endorsements. I'm happy to share our sources, the brands, and all that... feel free to ask. We will be adding floating shelves above the toilet, and towel hooks on the wall.