Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Keeping Warm

Beans are simmering on the stove this morning, steaming and scenting the kitchen nicely. I am sitting at the kitchen table with my tea and toast looking out on the wintry scene that is the back yard. There is only about an inch or two of snow out there that we've received over the past few days, but it's enough to cover everything with that look of a freshly frosted cake. After 8 years without, I am loving every minute of this new-again-to-me, winter weather. Key to maintaining that attitude is the daily puzzling of keeping warm. The pot of beans on the stove is one tactic.

Fresh bread (set to rise on the radiator) is another.

This past weekend, our little Celia paid us a visit while her mama ran an errand. So much more fun to get step-by-step drawing tips from your bigger cousin than sitting at a car dealership waiting for the new key to be made!

The last of the boxes that will be emptied for this next sojourn of our move has been packed away and now we can get on with the business of simply living in our house! I am thoroughly enjoying our space. For whatever amount of time we have here, I am so thankful to God for remembering the little details that I have long wished for: the built-in cabinets, the bead board, the claw-foot tub. Especially when I am upstairs with the slanting ceilings and little nooks, I feel like I am living in a doll house. :)

The one thing that I don't care for is the continued lack of personalization that must remain until we are fully settled. Unlike a requirement of de-personalizing your home when preparing it for market, I know that I could unpack family photos, my paintings, and the few, little mementos I like to keep (not too many... too much dusting required!). But having moved my family twice in the last 3 months... and looking ahead to another move 5 months down the road, I just can't bring myself to do it. That said, I have encouraged my girls to personalize their bedrooms as much as possible. They have lived for 18 months without their things about them and children's rooms are so very important to them. When all they have to pack and unpack is a handful of boxes, I wanted them to make their space their own as much as they could, within the paramters of a rental.

So, you'll see that while everything is neat (veeeery important after stepping over wads of wrapping paper and making one's way around mazes of boxes!), there are no pictures on the walls, nor on the shelves in the dining room, which is what I would use them for, rather than displaying dishes.

I did unpack all of our board games (which we'd found we'd missed when we didn't unpack them in the Florida rental) and they've all fit so perfectly into all the little drawers and cabinets of the built-in.

Won't you come upstairs now?

At the top of the stairs is a favorite spot. I did take a few pictures from last year's Mary Engelbreit calendar and stick them with that tacky stuff in our little book nook.  This is where we are spending a good deal of time reading for school and doing art.

I like keeping the landing area of the stairs clear for, well, walking, of course, but also for yoga or painting.

Straight ahead, between the two pillars, is the master bedroom and to the left, facing west, is our office area.

And to the right, facing east, is the bath and my dressing table. I couldn't fit the vanity into my bedroom this time because of the slanting ceilings and the height of my mirror, but it fits quite nicely out here.

Finally, in the bedroom is this little sweetheart. I was telling my sister how very cold our bedroom is. We always seem to have the coldest bedroom in the house no matter where we've lived! She said they had the same problem and she recommended getting one of these little oil-filled space heaters as well as a timer. They set the timer to warm their room a couple of hours before bed and then shut off while you sleep, toasty under the covers. Then about an hour or so before you rise, the heater comes on again and warms the room - and the floor!! - once more. I LOVE little, brilliant solutions like this, especially when the whole thing cost me under $40 for the heater and the timer.

So, now we're in, and cozy is the ongoing theme. :) My friend, Tiffany, mentioned fleece sheets (oh yeah!) and I'm a fan of hot water bottles. Knitting is once again on the needles: an alpaca hat for Paul to replace the cotton one that was his Florida winter hat. A new scarf or two and then maybe cozies for said hot water bottles. Oh, and there's that sweater that I've been wanting to get at...  The queue is so easy to fill; the finished objects, notsomuch! Tea is always on the menu too. Some with caffeine and herbal in the evening. And I'm not against even drinking hot water with a little splash of lemon and honey if it means I'll be comfortable. And even shoveling the snow was my answer to the slight chill I had yesterday inside! Came back in to granola baking in the oven and yes, we are enjoying this season!


Anonymous said...

Love,love,love your house! It looks so warm, not temp-wise, but "feeling- wise"! The way you have it arranged is so neat! Can't wait to see it!
Love you,

Anonymous said...

I believe I have, in the short time it’s taken to read this post, redefined a few life goals :) Mostly around radiators and home made bread.

So glad to hear the move has gone so well! You've reminded me of my love of the classically romantic winter. Thank you.

As soon as this comment is posted I am walking to the little break room in the far corner of this office building and plugging in the tiny electric kettle and making myself some tea. I imagine I’ll then stare out over Barton Creek and think of you and yours and of Minnesota in winter and of the snowy owls that have invaded the northern planes in mass this year and wonder, likely in an audibly mumbled whimper, why I wander in offices all day :)

Love YaWWLL!


Creative Life Studio said...

Oh, Christian, you are a true gem and I mean that without a hint of sarcasm. What an awesome friend you are... and how fortunate am I to be able to call you family. :) I am SO jealous of your having snowy owls around! I LOVE owls!! And tea. YAAAAY tea! Cheers *clinks tea cup/mug to yours* cousin. I love you right back.

Creative Life Studio said...

Thank you, Mom. :) Just 3 short months to go!


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