25 February 2008

almost home.

today is monday. by this time next week, Lord willing, I will be drinking my morning coffee in our new house.

for the moment though, we are still here with our so-gracious friends, the Browns, who have been letting us live with them. we've done our best to contribute by cooking a few meals and restocking the fire-log bin, pretty meager compared to a roof over our heads for almost a month now. last night I helped their sixth grader with his Science Fair project, and tomorrow I'm in charge of dinner via the crockpot. It's been fun to be a part of a big family for awhile. we laugh often, and eli is learning a lot from watching the older kids. he's walking now, and each day the boys count his steps as he scuttles across the floor proudly.

still, we are anxious (beyond anxious) to get settled at our new address. our poor cat has been living in a drywall-dusty bedroom all this time, mostly hiding out in a closet near the heating duct and meowing desperately whenever we come around. the dog, lucky thing, has been on "vacation" at j's parent's house in Pennsylvania since Thanksgiving, unaware that we've even moved.

and so, this is the final week of major work. kitchen cabinet & countertop installation is finishing up today...appliances will go in. downstairs floors are being sanded and everything will get a few coats of polyurethane tomorrow. j is finishing work on the first floor bathroom--so far we have tile, toilet, and sink installed, painted walls, and light fixtures. now for a tub and we'll be all set.

the kitchen is dressed in its yummy shade of mint chocolate chip, with butter yellow peeking out from the laundry closet. so far, i am in love with our paint colors, except for the master bedroom gray which is just all wrong and resembles the coat of a field mouse.

saturday is move-in day. we'll still be lacking some doors, trim, a few light fixtures, a bit of paint, and a master bath. but those will be easy(ish) projects to tackle once we're living there. at least we'll have a finished kitchen, one nice bathroom, and sleeping places for us and the baby. what else could we need?

i am eager to begin decorating, or as i call it, "making a home." i am so anticipating the simple things: stocking the refrigerator with necessities and beginning to cook every evening. waking up, walking down a new flight of stairs in my fluffy slippers and pouring a cup of coffee near the kitchen window. looking out onto beautiful scenery and finally feeling at home again...

almost stairs

almost floor

almost kitchen

almost blue...almost green

almost bathroom

19 February 2008

color wheel.

i get to buy paint today!

the wide-plank hickory kitchen floors are finished and breathtaking [i never imagined i'd spend so much time admiring a floor], cabinets have arrived and are waiting to be hung. upstairs hardwoods are soaking up their special walnut stain this morning, and grout is being smeared between the crevices of bathroom hexagon tiles.

paint selection has meant a lot of indecision, sorting through piles of swatches, and holding them up to the light. at last, here are the colors i've arrived at...a list that makes me hungry and longing for spring:

mint chocolate chip
french white
green blue
feather gray (gris plume)
shabby chic
dellwood sand
pale powder
ground green
& book room red

now off i go to fetch my gallons...

15 February 2008

love bug.

we have a blue bug. An unbelievable wedding gift from my aunt who drove the little car for over thirty years. i will never ever part with it, though i've had a few offers. we named the car Maude-- in part because she's an old lady [as cars go], and also because my aunt took me to see Harold & Maude years ago and I loved the film, particularly the Cat Stevens soundtrack. Maude was also my great-grandmother's name on the same side of the family.

Maude has been needing new brakes for awhile now, so we haven't been able to drive her much. She's waited patiently in our garage, watching our Subaru Forester slip in and out of the spot next to her for months upon months. Finally, we carefully drove her to see two elderly men at a Volkswagen repair shop in town. I believe they are brothers. Now, for her entire life, Maude had been taken to Fred's Garage in Redwood City, California, [I have a shoe-box full of yellow, white and pink papers to prove it] so I imagine she found this new shop foreign and confusing as her bulbous "eyes" searched around for the likes of Fred.

we picked her up yesterday and watching her hum along the road toward the gas station as i followed behind was a sweet Valentine gift. Then it was time to part ways--- Eli and me heading back to the Brown's house to bake special chocolate chip cookies for Jeremy, while he took the bug to finish projects at our new home and stop afterward to buy twelve lovely fuchsia roses.

Before leaving, he leaned through the open window to kiss me goodbye, waved to Eli, and announced... "Maude rides again!"

Then they sputtered off down the street.

11 February 2008

a little more progress...

door to the map room

peeking in

a bathroom for guests

sleeping rooms

antique vanity [close-up view]

european painted armoire [instead of closet]

back porch

09 February 2008

crossing Timber Road.

ah, country life.

I strolled with Eli again this afternoon: past houses with green shutters and tin roofs, past a wishing well, past American flags swaying. my favorite sound is becoming that of rustling leaves on tree branches. they look like crumpled kraft paper dangling from string. i find their dried-up shades of brown pretty in a strange way. other trees are leafless and ashy, criss-crossing against the sky like thick webs. I zig-zagged down Timber with the baby-buggy, then along Hillcrest, and down Powder Mill Drive to the big grey house with pillars.

yesterday we were outdoors again too, at the park near our new house. it was good to have family time since we're so scattered lately. Jeremy and i took turns pushing Eli in the bucket swing.

his smile can make any day seem like perfection. at least for that moment while his face is filled with joy.

we walked over to look at the Harpeth River. soon Jeremy will be able to take Eli fishing there. and maybe we'll rent canoes from the stand at the end of Pinnacle Hill.

driving back to our home-for-the-moment we looked out at farmland and a field of rusty trees with the sun setting behind them. i turned to Jeremy and said, "Isn't it amazing that not only did God create such beautiful things in nature, he also created us with the ability to see that they are beautiful...?"

07 February 2008

the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful.

i woke up with the baby's cold this morning. a head full of cotton. we slept in.

eventually the sun appeared so we followed it on a walk, eli cozy in his navy-blue sweats and size three sneakers. this time we chose a different hill, equally as scenic as yesterday. the air was good for my scratchy breathing and stuffed up nose. eli shook his toy maraca and we huffed our way up the hill, around the bend, looking down to a hollow of naked trees. it still looks like winter outside, but i can't decide whether it feels more like the day before autumn or spring. the air has that comfortable briskness to it, hinting that the season's change is near.

i just heard a rooster. a rooster! that's the only sound i hear besides old grandpa timekeeper. this peace i've been finding has both nourished and inspired me. soon i will have a private creative space (in the new house) to write and paint and sew and paste things. my cotton-clogged mind is racing with new ideas all the time. my art room will be a robin-eggy blue.

jeremy will have a space too, a new Map Room for his music. lichen green or book-room red, we're still fiddling with swatches.

eli's room has two windows, lots of great sunlight and a big closet. i have plans for an art-gallery wall across from his crib: a collection of prints and brightly-colored canvases to pry open his imagination.

as promised, a few photos of the progress....this is mostly the demolition phase, but soon i will have photos of new hardwood floors and nice clean walls: a home that's beginning to take its shape.

scary kitchen

i call this: black tarp finds rest in the dining room

bedroom with a view into art room

demolition man

scary hole in the wall of scary bathroom next to scary closet

but soon there will be beauty. i know it's coming...

06 February 2008

guest room.

i love taking naps with the windows open. there are few things better than falling asleep with a cool breeze blowing over you and the sound of trees rustling just out of reach. today little eli and i had one of those naps and it was bliss.

the morning began humidly. we are living with friends in ashland city now, as work on the house continues slow but steady. we woke up early, saw jeremy off to "work"...today he is putting satin varnish on an antique vanity for the master bath and breathing new life into a shabby kitchen pantry. i sipped coffee and watched eli gobble his sticky waffles while the dog licked at his bare feet.

i cleaned up breakfast dishes left by the family who had dashed off to school, and then took eli for a walk around the neighborhood. the air was just turning chilly so i left my sweatshirt at the house and let the temperature invigorate my tired bones. climbing paved hills while pushing the stroller, i could feel muscles in my legs waking up with a stretch and a yawn after their winter season of hibernation.

eli's morning nap lasted two full hours, which i attribute to the breeze drifting through our second floor room. he woke up mid-way and i nestled him next to me on the blue and red quilt; we both nodded off again listening to dogs yapping across the neighborhood, and the crinkle of leaves being caught by the wind. a perfect rest.

now the baby's down for nap number two, following errands and lunch in the little town. i am liking this non-city life so far. this neighborhood is much like ours...quiet and friendly; a place to catch your breath.

i am in the downstairs living room while he sleeps. the window in the bedroom is cracked just a bit for him and our clothes are organized into stacks on the small couch and window benches. it feels like home, even though transitional.

the grandfather clock with its calligraphic numbers and gilded face tick-tocks just as lullingly as the wind did earlier this morning. i've been reading, curled up on the patterned sofa. as of just today i feel that i am finally, at last, possibly in a rhythm with this motherhood. for months, i have felt so discombobulated. i have wandered around half-brained and hurried, eager for quiet moments to feel like i am slowly accomplishing life, rather than tumbling messy-haired and confused from one day into the next.

the clock just chimed four. eli will sleep another half-an-hour or so, and then we'll play.

and more again tomorrow.