Posts Tagged With: furnishings

BOUNCE BETWEEN OREGON AND MURPHYS

It has been long between blogs. I find when I’m busy, I’m really an activist at heart and am inspired to rant about the current incomprehensible political situation, which Jim dislikes.  I have not been traveling!  So I rant. Jim reminded me this morning it has been a year to the day (yesterday) since I left the motorhome and took up the business of building a new house and all that transpires both expected and unexpected.

I got news of the awful Butte Fire from that distance, chagrined that my friend Deborah Mullen,  a co-worker at the Calaveras Enterprise, was burned out. A devastating experience.

Today, after clearing through pounds of mail, I gathered clothing, shoes, tables, chairs, jackets, and stuff you think people will need in the aftermath of a complete loss of everything of a normal household. Deborah posted a picture on FB  of herself and Husband Steve; “We have each other,” she said. Always one to look on the bright side.

After connecting with several recovery, resource sights, it became very clear that the stuff I gathered was not what is needed right now. It is more on the order, of paper plates, paper towels, face soap, q-tips, wash cloths,  canned foods, powdered milk, peanut butter, fresh vegetables, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, ice chests, water carriers and so on. So, tomorrow, I’ll assemble a different set of household goods,and make my way to Mountain Ranch, then Valley Springs where daughter-in-law Laurie is holding much of my important paperwork taken at my request from my house during the voluntary evacuation order. I’ll start carrying my camera again, if I can find it.

My last day in Oregon, I went to a bridge repair meeting and met some neighbors from the private road we share, many of whom,  I’d never met previously.

I also invited 12 people to a wine and nibble about 4 p.m. Saturday,  before my expected leave on Sunday morning. I thought some of the neighbors might be curious about what my place looked like after watching the slow progress from the outside over eight months of building it. Four people showed up, three from one family. All but  four answered with some enthusiasm, suggesting they’d be glad to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed those that came.  I’m not a novice at entertaining guests, but I’ve never been so royally stood up in my life, and it makes me chuckle that I’ve had that experience at this time in my life. If I were a young bride, I’d have been hurt. Not one person bothered to tell me they could not or would not come. I thought it was strange but those that came,  more than made up for those that did not.

It has been fun furnishing a new house, with nearly all second-hand items and attempting to keep it neat and not over clutter it with stuff as I am wont to do.  I’ll eventually get pictures hung and curtains up and take photos; my goal to hopefully find this page a bit more often.

ciao-Mary

 

 

 

 

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SHOPPING FOR EVERYTHING.

Shopping for everything that  goes into a new house is  pretty daunting. Two days, Jim and I have been at it and we return home tired and hit the sack early after unloading  a car full of boxes.

We go to Spicer’s for lunch, near Lowes. Lowes is our choice because they give a military discount. What a friendly, nice store in which to do business.

But, now that we’ve purchased all of the lighting fixtures except one,  sinks and toilets for kitchen and bath, medicine cabinets, grab bars, towel bars, robe hooks, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave, and myriad other accoutrements, we have to consider inside doors, curtain rods, carpet and padding, closet doors, shelving,  blinds, composite decking, a solar alarm system. The cabinets and hardwood flooring will be delivered tomorrow. Counter tops in a few days. There is brackets and closet poles and door hinges and stains, and the list goes on and on. For me it is fun in a way, but still daunting details.

My house in Murphys takes a great deal of maintenance. This one is built to reduce maintenance.

Even so, it isn’t easy. Jim likes the simplicity of being a rambler. But this little poem probably fits my life style:

The Example

Here’s an example from
A Butterfly;
That on a rough, hard rock
Happy can lie;
Friendless and all alone
On this unsweetened stone.

Now let my bed be hard
No care take I;
I’ll make my joy like this
Small Butterfly;
Whose happy heart has power
To make a stone a flower.

By William Henry Davies

This poem is in the public domain.

 

And here, the entertainment is built-in. Last night while we ate dinner, we had a visitor. The lettuce Jim threw to the deer is gone.

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I’d thrown out an apple core, simply because I compost. but this little skunk thought it made a great desert. We don’t know what creature ate the rest of the lettuce.

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Cute to watch. We couldn’t smell it.  Our windows were closed and we watched it duck through a small opening in the fence and be gone.

Normally when I visit here, we see wild turkeys. We’ve seen plenty of geese and I hear them land on my little creek as they come flying down and advertise their presence.

Doug arrives today, Jim and I out early for another round of shopping. It does seem strange to be buying a “house” from a shopping mall store.

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REMEMBERING LA CONNER.

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Somehow, I always think of Anacortes and La Conner as being somehow related. As the crow flies they are about 15 miles apart. Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island and La Conner is on the mainland. Both towns near the water. La Conner is on the Swinomish Channel. Both have art and friendliness in common. But, my most vivid memories of La Conner is of Dirty Biter and their quilt museum.

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How can you not like a place that makes a statue and names a park for a stray dog with a broken jaw.

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I had to blog it again. You don’t come across a story like this very often.

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Like I said, it’s a pretty town, festooned with petunias, lots of eclectic shops and great eating places. As, most men will agree, it is a girl-thing to “window shop”. Yes, I love it. And, those petunias thrive in the humidity and rain. So beautiful. At my house I curse them for being water hogs, high maintenance plants that don’t give as much as they ask. I know, I’ve sinned for being ungrateful, but I’ll never own another petunia.

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I was attracted into The Stall, a shop that specializes in folk art clothing, jewelry and home decor.DSC08251 (Copy)

Everything is so colorful.

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I liked this but you have to be tall to wear it.

 

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Next stop, Earthenworks. Painted tables, sculpture, painted wooden curiosity pieces.

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This marvelous glass piece.

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The rendering of a common object from recycled junk never fails to fascinate and entertain me. Look, a screwdriver, parts of a broken retractable measuring tape, a childs alphabet block, dice, golf tees & pencils…too fun. Earthenworksgallery has a website.

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If you need a lamp, why not make it a piece of art as well. To me, it is worth paying more for its artistic appeal as well as usefulness.

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We brushed by a tea shop with a set-up outside with real flowers.

Amaryllis

Amaryllis had a clever broom-head model outside. Like I said, it is a touristy town.

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We stepped into the Caravan Gallery of La Conner, a collection of global crafts and jewelry.  They are fair trade.

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The shop owner introduced me to Ganesh, the Hindu God. Shiva cut off his son’s head when he was disguised and when he realized what he’d done, he restored him to life and gave him the head of the first animal that crossed his path, an elephant. He had a broken tusk so you always see Ganesh with a broken tusk. I’m planning a trip to India so I’m soaking up everything about the country I can.

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More about La Conner tomorrow. We are not moving about as much as we usually do.

 

 

 

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VERMILLON VILLE OF LAFAYETTE, LA.

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There are two Cajun Villages nearby but the Vermillion Ville, a Cajun/Creole Heritage and Folklife Park has a Saturday afternoon jam, every Saturday. Greats like August Broussard, Ray Landrey and others I don’t know their names take time to help young students learn their great music. August is tutoring Darrien, above. We ran into them when we entered the park.

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The park has about 12 buildings along the river in a beautiful park setting that show the Cajun/Creole way of life on a self-guided tour. Cajun houses tend to be small. People spent most of their time outside.

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Most of them have stairs leading up to an attic.

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The wattle and twig built fireplace heated the house and provided a place to cook.

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In hot sweltering Louisiana, a family may have an outside kitchen, with their garden by the door.

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A docent demonstrated cooking in a fireplace with a black pot.

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The finished dish, grits and grenelles, I think is the name of the dish. It is beef and vegetables in a roux served with yellow corn grits. No tomatoes. She mentioned that most Cajun recipes do not use tomatoes except for a court bouillon.

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At the school-house, where a sign on the blackboard reads, “I will not speak French in the classroom or on school grounds.”  A fiddler entertained us and a big contingent of French speakers from Canada, some were unfamiliar with the punishment and edict that tried to force Acadians (Cajuns) to speak only English. He was a humorous old gent named Merlin Fontenot, two months away age 90. DSC04050 (Copy)

The Vermillion Ville Park is beautiful and we visited about 12 buildings. While Cajun families lived in small house right on the bayou, more affluent Creoles had fancier houses and furnishings.

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Regardless of whether they were Creole or Cajun, furnishings were most often home-made like this beautiful cradle.

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Trundle beds with mosquito netting for Louisiana summer nights.

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And this rather amazing home-made device. A fan you could operate from bed until your arm fell off, or you fell asleep.

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A piece of fancier furniture.

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It didin’t matter how fancy you lived, when it was cold, you wore a heavy long cloak.

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And you still had to light the candles everyday. (Above converted to electric lamps.)

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You still had to pull yourself across the bayou with a hand pulled ferry.

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There was church on Sunday, work, family and music. Fish in the bayou and herbs in the garden. The park tells its story and we enjoyed it very much.

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In the church, a docent was making rosaries from “natural beads.”  Joabs tears. The seeds are picked green, they already have a hole to string them. They need no coloring or preservative.

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The finished product.

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There is a good French restaurant on the grounds and before going to the jam, I enjoyed a last bowl of gumbo before heading for home.

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These two young boys and other older players were learning from the greats. It was fantastic, but we’ve had signal problems on and off all morning. We drive to Baton Rouge today, so I’ll finish blogging the jam tomorrow. I got some good video as well.

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