Yard Waste-1, Me-0

Hello all,

It’s been a busy week at Satis House, as you can probably tell given that I haven’t posted anything since Monday.  I guess it’s really been a busy week away from Satis House–an evening appointment, a couple outings with friends, a special church meeting, etc.

But, I did manage to work on the ever-looming mountain of yard waste that I keep referring to and which still lives in my backyard (I’m starting to understand how the Dad from Better Off Dead felt about Lane’s Camaro that lived in a cocoon in his front yard until he and Monique finally fixed it up…).

Earlier in the week, my aforementioned neighbors and another friend helped me haul our neighborhood-owned wood chipper over and park it out back.  It sat there until Thursday, when I finally had a free evening to get to work and start turning some brush into mulch.  I was proud of myself initially for actually getting the thing started (it only took three tries…), and then I was humbled by the sheer volume of organic matter that was facing the chipper.  Here’s a good picture that puts into perspective what a daunting task I am facing:

Ok so the perspective from which I took this picture does kind of falsely exaggerate how big the pile is, but I still like how tiny it makes the chipper look.

Ok so the perspective from which I took this picture does kind of falsely exaggerate how big the pile is, but I still like how tiny it makes the chipper look.

I mean, no complaints about the chipper–it is a Troy-Bilt, which is a quality brand, and I’m getting to use it for free, after all–but it’s definitely a “home”-size version.  Once I charted shoving the sticks in, I realized that I need an industrial-sized chipper if I’m ever going to see my lawn again.  At one point, I watched an episode of “Ask This Old House” (which, PS, is totally my new favorite show on PBS, followed closely by the original “This Old House”).  Roger (the garden/landscape expert and my favorite character) was helping a young woman do essentially what I’m trying to do, which is unveil her lovely house by cutting back and digging out several enormous shrubs.  He did the chainsaw work (like my friend Alex did for me), and her job was to drag the branches away and FEED THEM INTO THE INDUSTRIAL-SIZED CHIPPER(!!!) they had parked on the curb.  OMG, I totally wish I had rented that sucker and done the same thing–just instantly shredded everything as it was being cut so it didn’t accumulate into such a mass/mess.  Alas, I didn’t shred-as-I-go/went, so now I’m playing catch-up.

So after about 45 minutes of tossing in the sticks and trying not to pull a Fargo (although at one point I did trip over some vines and my head landed next to the chipper, which was a *li’l* bit too close for comfort and left a huge bruise on my hip), the thing got jammed and/or ran out of gas and turned itself off.  Frankly, I was ready to be done, so I was okay with it.  And it was at that point that I accepted defeat:  yard waste-1, me-0.

So I promptly called Roberto, the guy I think I mentioned earlier who was trolling the neighborhood in the middle of winter looking for houses that *clearly* needed help with the landscaping.  And, to no surprise(!), he stopped at mine, had a look around, and gave me his card, which I have taped to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinets, along with all my new neighbors’ phone numbers written on various scraps of paper (again, I love my neighbors).  So on Friday Roberto did the drive-by again and said it’d be $250-300 to haul everything away.  I didn’t have him start right away, as I still am entertaining the fantasy of renting an industrial-sized chipper so that I can keep the mulch my branches will produce.  (Okay, so I guess I haven’t “technically” accepted defeat–yet.)

At least I have a little bit of mulch to show for my work.  If I only had a rabbit cage or a hamster, I could use it for bedding…  It was a nice evening, though, and I give myself an A for effort.  There is something so satisfying about doing physical labor, wearing my carhartts and getting all sweaty and dirty outside after a day of listening, reflecting, and meditating for my day job.  And, there was a beautiful thunder and lightning storm that blew through town just as my work was wrapping up (that’s why the pictures are kind of dark).  Being that I am the lady who loved lightning (five points for anyone who gets that literary reference), I enjoyed sitting on one of my stumps, breathing in the fresh air and watching the black clouds and lightning bolts storm on by.

Liz

chipper.4

My handiwork for the night.

Under the Boise Sun

Hello dearlings,

So I just finished reading Frances Mayes’ classic travel memoir Under the Tuscan Sun, and I absolutely loved it.  It’s the story of her buying a rundown Tuscan farmhouse on five acres and renovating it with her new husband over a period of several years.  Anyone who has ever been to Italy can both relate to and laugh at her frustrations of dealing with the Italians under any sort of time constraint or budget.  I love Italy and would do anything to be able to buy land and an old stone home and do just what she has done.  Che brava!

There were many lines and passages that really spoke to me as I have been renovating my home and am working to tame the grounds.  Of course, my humble home, built in 1960 on a suburban corner lot, does not require the great degree of restorative power that her Bramasole did (PS:  I love that her estate also has a name–meaning “something that yearns for the sun”).  But, I, too, am beginning a new chapter of my life in this home, and am both experiencing redemption (while also hoping for more…) as I put down roots and bravely face the future on my own.  She writes, “To [move] is to walk away from a cluster of memories and to buy is to choose where the future will take place” (page 7).

So I realize at this point that I should probably explain one *minor* detail of myself, which is that my husband left me last summer and we got divorced in November, after barely three years of a pretty disappointing marriage.  On the one hand, I never pictured myself getting married, but on the other hand, having gotten married, I certainly never pictured myself getting divorced.  So there’s that.  But it happened.  It all happened.  I got married, and then I got divorced.  And, by the way, the majority of it sucked.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my husband and was committed to him for life.  But he and I were never able to get on the same page at the same time about many significant aspects of life together–when/if to pursue more higher education; when/if to move to the next level in our careers; when/if to try to have kids; when/if to buy a house together; etc.  See?  Not good.  But, once he was gone forever and I was free to reclaim my life, I found my house.  I wasn’t exactly planning on buying a house in light of the rest of my life having imploded and fallen apart.  But, often we don’t plan for the most wonderful things that come our way.

So I identified with Frances and the feeling of deep inner peace when she found Bramasole.  She writes, “During several years of looking, sometimes casually, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, I never heard a house say yes so completely” (page 15).  I think my husband and I always wanted a house to call our own and to build a home together, but as I said, it was never meant to be.  We went through phases of looking at real estate in town, and several times saw houses that were so cute and that we really loved.  We’d get excited about making that next step together.  We even got pre-approved for a mortgage, just in case that one special house came available and we wanted to jump on it.  But, as I said, there were always other significant reasons that held us back–again, the prospects of graduate school and career advancement, and the likely necessity of relocating to another part of the country for either/both of those things to happen for either/both of us.  When things were falling apart, my husband blamed me for being the reluctant one when it came to buying (or rather, not buying) a house.  In his eyes, it was my fault that we never made that next step as a couple.  I was the one that halted our happy American dream of a young bright couple fulfilling all of society’s expectations and moving into our first home, soon to be followed by our first baby, of course.  (Now that I read that–ugh.)  But, all I can say is, I had legitimate reasons for thinking we should wait a little longer before committing to a property here, knowing that neither of us were necessarily committed to this location for the next 5-10 years.  AND, I’m sure as hell glad that we didn’t buy a home together, knowing now that he was not committed to me or our marriage for the long haul.

So aaaaaaaanyway, now that you know that tidbit about me, let me transition again to my current wonderful life and the satisfaction I have with my lovely new home.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, my home dropped into my life just when I needed it–when there was still a crack in the universe that was letting in so much light and potential and which enabled me to continue moving forward in my life, even if I was alone and without a husband.

Frances continues to write, “The house is a metaphor for the self, of course, but it also is totally real…Because I had ended a long marriage that was not supposed to end and was establishing a new relationship, this house quest felt tied to whatever new identity I would manage to forge.  When the flying fur from the divorce settled, I had found myself with…an entire future to invent.  Although divorce was harder than a death, still I felt oddly returned to myself after many years in a close family.  I had the urge to examine my life in another culture and move beyond what I knew.  I wanted something of a physical dimension that would occupy the mental volume the years of my former life had” (page 15).  Couldn’t have said it better myself.  My house has given me a place to live into the life I want to lead and know I can, and it has also provided a physical space for me to turn the page in my life–leaving the place where I disappointed my husband and where he disappointed me–and begin anew.  Not that I would ever say this to a widow, but divorce is worse than a death.  It’s awful to lose your husband; it’s worse to see him drive by on your own street.  But as I’m half a year out from the divorce at this point, I’m doing a lot better, and really I just think about him as though he were dead.  I’m able to smile and laugh at wonderful things that we saw and did together, and to appreciate the blessings of those good times.  And then I’m able just to be sad that he’s no longer here, but also to know that he’s simply gone, never to return again.

As I read the first few chapters of Under the Tuscan Sun, I found myself underlining many passages and writing many “a-ha” comments in the margins.  Looking back at my notes, I see three words that showed up in succession:  risk, hope, peace.  I realize that this is the outline of any relationship that is meant to be and will stand the test of time.  While I am not currently involved in a new romantic relationship, I am in a new relationship with my home.  But it did start with taking a risk.  I wasn’t sure if I could really afford my own house, if it was smart to make such a big move after so many other huge changes, or if I would even get it from the seller.  But I felt the call and like it was meant to be, so I took a risk, and so far it has worked out great.  I took that risk because although my heart was broken and bleeding, it still held a little puddle of hope inside.  Hope that life could be good again, and that I could get back on my path and achieve my deepest desires.  And ultimately, I took the risk because my hope was strong enough that ultimately I felt that deep inner peace–that feeling that says it’s okay and right to move forward because everything will be alright.  The peace which surpasses all understanding.

I love my home, my self, my life, my yard–even the mountain of yard waste that still needs to be turned into mulch.  I love that to live life to the fullest, we must take risks borne out of hope and carried out with peace.

Liz

PS:  Here’s the progress I made while working under the Boise sun this weekend.

yard 4

The empty lot next door has a beautiful group of these coral orange poppies growing among the weeds. I plan on digging a bunch out to transplant at my house. Though, apparently, they don’t make for great cut flowers…

yard 1

My irises next to the patio are finally opening! They are almost in full shade so they are a bit slow compared to the neighbors.’

My neighbor Kurt lets me use his electric lawn mower.  It's only the second time cutting the grass, but I made sure to set the blade to the lowest setting to make sure I get at least two weeks out of this cut... :)

My neighbor Kurt lets me use his electric lawn mower. It’s only the second time cutting the grass, but I made sure to set the blade to the lowest setting to make sure I get at least two weeks out of this cut… 🙂

Here is the side yard.  The grass was like a foot high (woops....) but now it's like white people live here.

Here is the side yard. The grass was like a foot high (woops….) but now it’s like white people live here.

Walkabout, rideabout

Hello all,

It’s been a busy few days, and I was away from Satis House Wednesday night and all day Thursday.  I’ll write more about that this weekend.  But for now, I’ve just gotten back from a quick bike ride down to my new favorite Thai restaurant–Chiang Mai–which reminded me of how much I love my neighborhood.  Yesterday when I got back to town, I walked (walked!) to my local library branch to pick up the book I had reserved several months ago and which had finally become available.  I love how many wonderful places are close by enough that I can walk or ride my bike to them.  So here is a top ten list of places I enjoy visiting in my neighborhood:

  1. My city park.  It’s just across the street and another couple blocks down, and I take a walk around it just about everything evening after work.  It has huge soccer and softball fields, as well as a paved pathway that goes all around the perimeter of the park.  I’m looking forward to when my little nieces [eventually] come to visit, so I can take them to play at the park.
  2. My library branch!  (Note the exclamation point–whoever came up with the trend that Library! signs ought to include an exclamation point was a genius.  I was seriously giddy walking home with my sackful of new reads.)  I love that our library system has so many little branches tucked into otherwise-sad-looking strip malls all over town.  It’s so nice to reserve books online and just have to walk about ten minutes to pick them up from my branch.
  3. Grocery stores.  In either direction I could walk or ride my bike for just a few minutes and have two different grocery stores at my fingertips.  It’s so nice not to have to go downtown or across town when I just need to pick something up quick that I may have forgotten I need or am getting for a function that I’m heading to.
  4. My bank branch.  I’m pretty old-fashioned in many ways–some of which are charming, others of which I’m sure are very annoying.  For example, I actually get a little excited when I receive an actual check for payment–somehow it feels like a greater amount of money than if the same amount had been directly deposited into my account.  I also like walking into stores and utilizing a real human employee to help me with whatever business I am attending to.  So it’s kind of nice on occasion to drive up to a bank, park, get out of my car, go inside, talk to a real teller, give them my check, and wait for them to wish me a good day while handing me a piece of candy.  I’ve had much worse experiences in life.  Although I must say, I realllllly hope they enter the year 2000 and put in an ATM sometime in the next century, for those occasional days when I’m heading from one place to the next and don’t want to go through all that old-fashioned business of talking to a real person…
  5. My dry cleaners.  They are a bit pricey, but given that I try to wear a pair of slacks about 18.5 times before having to send them back to the cleaners, I think I can swing $10 for a pair of trousers every couple months.  Also, everything is always done within 24-hours, so given that I’m also prone to throwing my dry cleaning in my car, and then proceeding to drive around with it in my back seat for another three weeks, by the time I actually drop it off at the dry cleaners, I really appreciate that I only have to wait 24 more hours before I can wear it again.
  6. Oodles of yummy restaurants, particularly ethnic ones.  Cuban, Thai, Italian, Argentinian, Mexican, Iraqi, ’50s style diners, and more.  You should know that eating is about the greatest source of pleasure in my life, so I love having lots of good restaurants within a 5 minute bike ride.
  7. Downtown.  For three years I lived about 2 miles east of downtown Boise, and the thought of moving up to my current neighborhood made me sad only because I felt like I was going to be soooooo far away from downtown.  Well, now I live about 3.5 miles from downtown.  So, instead of a 7-8 minute bike ride, now I have about a 15-minute bike ride, but it’s all downhill and really is not very far at all.
  8. My meditation/yoga studio.  I’d like to take some more yoga classes, but so far I’ve only gone there for my Wednesday night sangha meeting.  I love that it’s also only about a ten minute bike ride away.  One of my commitments in my mindfulness group is to try to live in such a way as to go easy on the environment and not damage the earth any more than necessary.  So it feels good to ride my bike instead of driving to meditate.
  9. Thrift stores.  So I guess that’s one thing that *might* make this part of town seem a little shady, but I happen to looooooove that within a 2 miles radius I seriously probably have about 8-10 pretty awesome thrift shops and/or furniture consignment shops to choose from.  My parents were here a few weeks ago and I swear my mom’s goal for the week was to patronize every single thrift shop in Boise.  She came pretty close.
  10. My church.  Currently I attend two different churches in downtown Boise, which again, are only about a 15-minute bike ride away.  But, in the fall my Sunday church (I go to the other one most Saturday nights) will be bumping their service a bit later in the morning, so I may start attending a church I used to go to, which is again only about a 5 minute bike ride up the hill from my house.  It will be so nice to either walk or ride to church, and be done with worship for the day by 10:30 in the morning.

So those are the first 10 wonderful things that are at my fingertips in my new neighborhood.  I hope you live in a place that you love as much and that affords you many opportunities to walk or ride your bike to other places you enjoy just as well.

Talk to you this weekend,

Liz

Love Thy Neighbor

Dear friends,

So, as promised, yesterday one of my many new lovely neighbors helped rid my front yard of some of the carnage from Saturday’s chainsaw massacre.  Susan is delightful, and I have the feeling that it is very significant that she and I have met and are neighbors.  She seems like quite the renaissance woman–“writer, teacher, adventurer” her personal business card states.  My kind of gal!  She shared the story of her truck–a prized possession of her late husband–which makes her feel good when she uses it to help others (like me) and is reminded of his generous spirit.  Probably next week she’s going to help me haul over our neighborhood-owned wood chipper, which I can then use to “chip away” at the mountain of woody debris in the backyard.

My other neighbors have been wonderfully welcoming and helpful to me as well.  And people say Americans don’t know their neighbors.  Bah!  I’m on a one-woman mission to prove that wrong.  Next door to me is Darcy, the widow of an Episcopal priest who died while they were serving and teaching in Uganda quite some time ago.  She is a gardener too, and I enjoy the evenings when she and I are simultaneously puttering around in our backyards-gone-wild from either side of our shared chain-link fence.

Kitty corner to me is Chuck.  He is 89 and still quite a worker.  He is proudly LDS (a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, or a “mormon,” for those of you who don’t live in the Book of Mormon Belt–where ironically people self-identify as “LDS” rather than “mormon”).  Anyway, he was a painter by trade for decades, and he prepped and primed the entire interior of my house at the beginning of the renovation.  He served in World War II.  When he came back home to Idaho after the war and needed a job, a friend of his had become a painter making $1.35 an hour.  That sounded pretty good to Chuck.  So he was a painter for like the next 40 years or so, and still does it whenever it’s needed.

Directly across from me are Kurt and Mayana.  They are new to the neighborhood too–just moved in around September.  They are delightful.  Kurt is rather extroverted and spontaneous, which I can appreciate.  But given that I’m about 50-50 extrovert-introvert, I also appreciate Mayana’s quiet, gentle ways.  She’s Canadian, a yogi, and a piano teacher–that gives a good image of her personality.  Contemplative and artistic.  A great combination–attributes that I hope others [at least eventually] would ascribe to me.

I haven’t directly met the family who rents the house on the other side of my formidable hedge.  They are not there all the time–mostly just weekends.  Rumor has it they have seven little boys in the family.  I’m not quite sure if maybe that’s a total for alllll the little boys in a bigger family system, but there is lots of football-throwing and frisbee-tossing that happens in their yard, so I can believe there’s a whole lot of little boys over there who belong to someone.

Lastly, kitty-corner from my back fence is Ina and her sweet lady boxer Presley.  I’m so relieved that she doesn’t bark much.  That would drive me nuts hearing dog barks incessantly in the early mornings or the evenings when I’m trying to relax on the patio.  I had a dog at one point in my life, and as much as I loved her dearly, the barking drove me nuts–and she only barked when someone approached the house (particularly the mail man, who I’m pretty sure was convinced that she would tear his throat out if she weren’t still attached to her lead).

Susan owns the house across from my side  yard, which was recently vacated of its renters.  I didn’t get to know them much in these short few months I’ve lived here, but the little girl Brooke was quite a fixture in the neighbor.  She played a quintessential suburban character–which is that she was probably 10 years old and knew (or at least wanted to know) everything that was going on with everyone around her.  She played outside all the time, shooting baskets or riding her skateboard down the street with her other little girlfriends.  I was hoping that they owned that house and would be around a while, as it would have been fun to befriend Brooke and take her up like a little sister.  There’s a part of me that has always wanted to be a Girl Scout leader, and I had visions of teaching Brooke how to make the perfect pie crust or start a fire or set up a tent in the backyard, etc.  Oh well, maybe another young family will buy that house and become the new new neighbor (replacing me as the newbie, of course).  Although that being said, I *might* also have a growing fantasy of some hot single guy moving in, and then we would become friends, and then we would start helping each other out with our yard projects, and then we would start having each other over for dinner to say thank you, and then–well, okay, you know how that story ends.  I’ll keep you updated.

Anyway, whoever becomes my new neighbor, I hope to be as welcoming and loving to him (or her, or them) as my neighbors have been to me.

Nighty night,

Liz

Boise Chainsaw Massacre

Hello darlings,

So today was another big day with the ongoing landscaping projects.  Remember my friend Alex whose wife sewed me my quilted pillow?  Well he and I are both Presbyterian ministers, so after spending the better part of the day conducting Presbytery business decently and in order, we got indecent and disorderly with the last remaining shrubs in my front yard.

Alex is a pro with the old chainsaw, so he finished trimming up a few tree-like shrubs (they are evergreens of some sort–no idea what variety/species) which I’m leaving at the corners of the house to help “anchor” the facade.  He also finished pruning my cherry tree and cut out the final three shrubs that I wanted completely removed.  You can finally see the majority of my house–and it’s looking good!

Hopefully when I eventually can park my car in my garage, this shrub won't scratch the side now that it's been trimmed.  I might still have to run the electric hedge trimmer over it a bit.

Hopefully when I eventually can park my car in my garage, this shrub won’t scratch the side now that it’s been trimmed. I might still have to run the electric hedge trimmer over it a bit.

yard work 3

Another one bites the dust!

yard work 1

Three more stumps to add to the list of ones I still need to dig out…

It is sooooooo helpful having someone do all that work using a chainsaw.  It would have taken me much longer to do all that by hand with nippers or a handsaw, so I’m sooo grateful for all the time he has taken to help me whack away at my jungle of a yard.  (Wait til you get an update on the back hedge…  Does anyone hear “Welcome to the Jungle” playing in the background…???)  When I had just moved in, back in February, one day I was finishing my work in the afternoon, and a landscape guy pulled up and parked on my curb.  He knocked on the door and asked if I needed any help with my landscaping.  I quickly realized that in the down season, he was trolling the neighborhoods looking for jobs.  I’m not sure if I should have been offended that he stopped at my house–cleeeeeeeeearly my landscaping needed some serious work–but it was actually nice to chat with him for a few minutes.  We walked around the yard and I shared with him the ideas I had of what I wanted to trim, take out, replace, etc.  After hearing his casual bids for different jobs I wanted done, I realize that all the digging and trimming I’ve done with the help of a few friends has probably saved me about $2000.  And Lord knows, I’ve only just gotten started!

So tomorrow I’ll have an update on the debris removal process.  Another neighbor will be helping me get rid of all the trimmings, which will be it’s own monumental task.  But, as Chris Farley would say in Tommy Boy, “I mean, I got time…”  And, many friends have volunteered to help in different ways.  I’m so grateful for them and my house with a yard and lots of landscape/garden potential.

See you tomorrow,

Liz

We are the Champions………

Hello dearest,

Aye, aye, aye…….  I just had a 2.5 hour presentation on windows from the Champion Windows sales rep.  Don’t get me wrong–he was very knowledgeable and did a great job, so I’m totally sold and want them for my currently-extremely-energy-inefficient-old home, BUT, it may take me like a year to save up for them.  Soooooo, in the mean time, I’ll just continue wearing multiple layers, my sheepskin UGG slippers, and cuddling up with my furry blanket until my home becomes warmer when it’s cold out.  I suppose in a few short months when it’s bound to be in the 90s for weeks on end I’ll have to de-layer and take a cold shower before climbing in between the sheets.

Anyway, at one point when I was in the process of buying my home, I came across a Pin (from Pinterest, of course–where else….???) that was a list of

10 Questions You MUST Ask Before You Buy a Home!

I think it’s intention was to warn first-time homebuyers about the risks of purchasing a home that needed major renovation and upgrading.  It was a bit demoralizing, as pretty much every item on their list was cause for concern for this gem that I was about to purchase.  Fortunately, the homebuying process went totally smoothly, and I am 100% happy with my new little house.  But, #1 on the list, asking, “Will the windows need to be replaced?” is still cause for concern.  Yes, they do “need” to be replaced, eventually, but while I’m secure in the amount of savings I have in the bank, I’m not willing to drain it all to get fancy new windows.  So, alas, I think this fall I’ll start my savings campaign so that I can upgrade the windows in about a year.  It’ll be good to have a big project to work towards, but I’m not looking forward to what will likely be either a sweltering summer inside these brick walls, or a chilled one that comes complete with exorbitant energy costs (read:  AC).

I’ll let you know when I get new windows, but don’t hold your breath.

Liz

Patiowarming Gifts

Dearest readers,

So one thing I love about my house is that my furnishings are a pretty eclectic combination of spruced up yard sale finds and interesting vintage or family heirloom pieces.  My lemon yellow, paisley print, wool upholstered sitting chair is my favorite–$30 from a neighborhood yard sale last fall.  It is exactly what I was looking for, and it was like it just dropped out of heaven and appeared before my mom and me on that blustery October afternoon.  I *may* also have a few other pieces that happened to belong to former hospice patients of mine.  That’s the problem with serving in hospice in a relatively small community–your patient dies, two months later you’re trolling for estate sales on a Saturday, and (what do you know!) your former patient’s home is suddenly open to the public.  (Potentially very awkward, yes, but fortunately the family isn’t usually there when the sale is happening.)  So I’ll forever remember Mr. So-and-so whenever I stock up my bar cart for the next Derby Day party, or whatever.

A new category of furnishings is “things that people gave me for the sole purpose of making my house not feel so empty.”  Well, and maybe because they love me and wanted to bless me with a useful housewarming gift.

So coming home from work this afternoon, I had a couple hours to read and relax prior to my evening appointments.  What better way to do so than to rock away on my patio in the antique rocking chair my friends Amanda and Trent gave me.  Apparently they had a set of two, but after asking some college-aged neighbors to house-sit one weekend, my lovely friends returned home to one broken rocker and a huge dump left in the guest room toilet.  I know.  Come on, house-sitters–was that really necessary?  I told Amanda straight up what she probably didn’t want to hear, which was that yes, some major drunken debauchery had definitely occurred in their home that weekend, and they were not a part of it.

But, lucky for me, Amanda gifted me with her lone blue rocking chair, and I love it.  It actually really rocks–no, I mean really, that thing has a lot of sway to it.  You have to be careful or it’ll buck you right off.  One night the wind was really blowing hard, and in the morning the chair was completely knocked over.  It rocked it’s own socks off, I guess.

So that’s the chair.  Thennnnnn, this afternoon I was just gifted with a beautiful homemade accent pillow from my other friend Alex and his lovely wife Dana.  What I want to say is, They’re the parents from New York I never had…, except that my parents actually are from New York.  Sooooo, what I will say, is they are like the parents from New York that I do have, only they are the dad-is-a-pastor-and-mom-is-a-homemaker version.  I adore them.  (Alex is also the one who has been helping me tame my landscaping, one two-hour chainsaw session at a time.  I’ll tell you more about that another day–actually probably Saturday since he’s scheduled to come hack away some more then.)  The pillow is quite lovely.  Dana really captured the perfect combination of bright/warm/earth tone colors that I love and that are all over my house.  Plus I pretty much love anything that’s been quilted.  You could give me a toilet seat cover made out of my dad’s underwear, and as long as it was quilted, I’d probably find it quite beautiful.

So that was my evening break–rocking away, with the pillow perfectly filling that space between the small of my back and the otherwise torturous spines of the back of the chair.  It was lovely, quite lovely indeed.  So I wrote a little haiku capturing how much I enjoy, and will continue to enjoy, rocking and reading away on my patio.

Coming home from work

I sit on my patio

held up by friends’ love.

rocking chair with pillow

Liz

Welcome home!

Dearest readers,

Welcome to MySatisHouse.

Ahhhhhh, see that lovely picture in the background above–the old, worn farmhouse, surrounded by the grassy field?  Perhaps that’s an orchard, soaking in the sunlight as the trees do their inner work of growing delicious apples or juicy peaches.  What a place of simple beauty.

Well, hopefully someday I’ll own a home of that ilk–a weathered, wooden homestead on acreage in the double-digits.  I’ll have a back forest with trails winding throughout, just like the woods at the home where I grew up.  I’ll have a little barn where my piggies, cows, and sheep live.  Certainly there will be a chicken coop filled with heritage birds and where I can collect freshly laid eggs each morning.  There will be a rabbit hutch where my little bunnies can poop away and it’ll go straight into my garden for fertilizer.  Maybe I’ll even have a horse grazing in the back pasture for my little nieces to ride when they come spend the summers with me.  Certainly there will be a huge garden–gardens upon gardens.  Flower gardens.  Perennial gardens.  A kitchen herb garden–a jardin potager– complete with rows of purple lavender, bees buzzing about, the scent of sage and basil and thyme stirred up into the hot summer air as your leg brushes by.  Someday, that will be Satis House 2 (or maybe 3 or 4, if it takes me a while to get there…)

But, for now, I own my first home.  Satis House 1, I suppose.  This is assuming, of course, that there will be subsequent Satis Houses in my life.  (Again, read:  farmhouse, farmhouse, farmhouse…!)  I may not have my orchard full of apple and peach trees, but I do live off Orchard Street, so that’s a start, right…???  (And, to be fair, my next door neighbor tells me my Queen Anne cherry tree actually produces, so I’ve got that going for me.)  But again, this is my first home:  my little darling of a red-brick mid-century modern house that appeared in my life just when I needed it.

“It.”  I should say now that I’m torn as to whether or not my house is male or female.  It has multiple rooms that are painted in light pastel colors, and it’s overall so comfy/cute/cozy that I’m inclined to say it’s a girl.  And yet my counselor at one point said flat out, “You know your house is male, right?  Just think of it as a man that’s really in touch with his feminine side…”  So there’s that.  But I’m not going to commit to its gender just yet–I have to live in it a little longer before anthropomorphizing it to that extreme…  That being said, I’m certainly calling my house “the new love of my life.”  From the moment I pulled up to the curb, to when I first walked inside and took a quick look around, I knew this was “the one.”  Yes.  “The one.”  Like, “I’m going to buy this house, this is where I’m going to live, and we were meant to be together forever.”  I mean, who knows if I’ll reeeeeeeally live here for the rest of my life (I’m still pretty young, relatively speaking, and I do really want that farmette I just described at length above…)  But, this house was meant for me, and I was meant for it.  My counselor did say that Freud would call a home a love object, so that makes it not so weird, right…??

So anyway, there is so much to say, but for this first post I’ll wrap it up with a little vision for this blog.  I’ve wanted to write a blog for almost ten years, but, like most writers, I’m pretty afraid of vulnerability and of actually sharing the majority of the thoughts that are constantly dancing around inside my head.  I’ve tried a couple different times to write one, but failed in that I never even got started.  I’ve been telling my friends for years about “the blog that I’m writing in my head,” as well as other writing projects that as yet remain fantasies.  Several times in my life when I’ve been in the midst of an intense and time-limited experience (internships, residency, wedding planning, etc), I thought, This is the perfect time to start that blog I’ve always wanted to write…  But again, time just kept on ticking, ticking, ticking, into the future, and the blog never got written.

Sooooooo, pat on the back for me for putting myself, my thoughts, and my home out there for all the world to see/read/hear, etc.  Admittedly, it’s been about six months since I first started looking for my home, found it quickly, bought it, started renovating, moved in, etc, and so I couldn’t let any more time pass without recording the adventures of Satis House for all y’all to read.  I wish I would have started it that very day I walked in the front door and knew I’d found the one, mostly so I could document our adventures in real time.  But, alas, I’ll just have to catch you up on the goings-on of Satis House that you’ve missed since last November.  (And boy, have you missed a lot…)

So for now, welcome to my lovely new home, a place where people always feel they have enough.  (I’ll explain the name in a post to come…)

Liz

PS:  I’m not the strongest techie, so bear with me as I learn to actually insert photos into my posts, insert links, write in different fonts, etc… 😉