The Simple Life (sans Paris & Nicole)

April 30, 2008

When I was a kid I was enamored of a book about a circus bear–Bernadette–who ran away. I studied the pictures of the book really closely. The themes of liberty and personal freedom weren’t the ones that drew me in. The picture I loved was the one that showed her all snug in her little trailer.  Everything was in arm’s reach, quilts piled high on the iron bed, gingham curtains on the tiny windows. It made captivity look okay.  In my mind a trailer signifed wheels, highway, and travel.

In my morning trolling through my bloglists, I found this slide show over at Apartment Therapy and was immediately transported back to my trailer-dreaming days.  Is it just me or are you a wee bit in love with this color-craving, simple-living, thrift-store shopping, vegan-cooking, sweet baby-holding family?


Gardening Girls

April 29, 2008

Three of my oldest and dearest friends came for the weekend and….I put em’ to work!  Saturday morning was a bit gray and misty, but my intrepid friends donned their work gloves and put together my new composter (yay!), pulled up the old paver stones, weeded the little perennial garden, planted irises and daisies, and ripped out the huge overgrown patch of pacascandra (sp?).  The sun came out, we developed a patio vision, and even got to relax a bit in the dappled light of my rediscovered yard.

Less Lawn

April 24, 2008

Inspired by Michael Pollan and the importance of local food, I’m considering turning part of my front lawn into a vegetable garden. I was imagining a half-size picket fence around some kale, lettuce, and spinach, but then I learned about Edible Estates and see that the possibilities are endless!

Pretty New Projects

April 22, 2008

I don’t know if it’s the warm weather or the sudden influx of houseguests, but I’ve been getting things done around here and it feels great. So, without further ado, here are some pretty things to look at:

My new spice rack, thanks to my Dad!!

My new study curtains and painted cupboard–thanks to Mom!

Home Depot Hell

April 18, 2008

You could say I have a love/hate relationship with Home Depot. Sure, they have everything you need for home repair under one huge roof. Then again, sometimes you don’t want “everything”–sometimes you just  want one quart of Behr paint and a cord switch.  In this case, you imagine you’ll run in, grab what you need, and glide through the self-checkout line.

But this is just a fantasy of the uninitated. There will be no one-item grabbing in the warehouse of excess; dream on about a self-checkout line when there’s raw lumber involved. As for that simple little quart of Behr paint? That will involve agonizing comparisons between thirty shades of greenish/blues, long lines, and a harried solo paint-clerk. Just when you think you’re done, you’ll be called back to the paint counter over the store intercom system and told that the paint you selected can’t be mixed in such a small amount. When this happens, there will be frustraiton and confusion. You might even end up selecting a Disney color and not caring.

There comes a point in every DIY life when you just want to go home. Spending time at the Depot makes your unfinished tile floor, half-painted kitchen, and jerry-rigged electrical system seem  just fine.  You’ve lived with it this long, what’s another couple months?

Branches & Twigs

April 15, 2008

Last fall, in a burst of yard work, we made a big pile of sawed-off branches and errant twigs. We made this pile in the middle of the backyard. At the time, it seemed like a fine idea. I remember thinking that we could make a bonfire at some point. Maybe toast some marshmallows. Clearly, my Vermont sensibilities clouded my vision because once the snow melted, there was that big ol’ pile of tree leftovers. There had been no fire. The pile seemed shrunken, but only slightly.

So Saturday found me hauling parts of this pile down my embankment. Picture scratched forearms, slipping on sodden leaves, cursing. Piles are harder to move than you think. Later on I saw that other people had similar issues with downed tree limbs, etc. But these people had bundled up their twigs into tidy little packages trussed with twine. They looked like eco-friendly lawn decor awaiting the trash pick-up. My first thought was: Who does this? How much time did they spend getting their branches and twigs all the same length? Did they use a saw or a chainsaw? I remain in awe of such careful conscientious lawncare. Meanwhile, I’m slowly turning my back acres into a forest. Or a dump.

Kitchen Inspiration

April 11, 2008

There’s DIY and then there’s my DIY, which involves internet window shopping and lots of french pressed coffee early in the morning.

In my journeys around the blogosphere I found this today, courtesy of

I love it and plan to use it as inspiration for finding the right robin’s egg blue for my cabinet and maybe upstairs bathroom.