New Favorite Things

Photo: With the exception of the dorm rooms that I live in during undergrad, I’ve never lived in a house without a fish tank in it. I absolutely love keeping fish–they are beautiful and add a calming presence to the house. I’ve always hoped to have a salt-water setup once we purchased a home… might not be able to do it until next year. In the meantime, something must be done about my empty tank in my dining room. This is the last “undone” thing in the house!


I went to bed last night with great grand plans for this morning. I was going to get up at 5:30, do some outlining and organizing so that this afternoon I could really get rolling on a new story that has been rolling in my head for the last few days. It was going to be marvelous: Up at 5:30, write until 7, 20 minutes coffee and morning news, get the boys up and get with the Monday chores.

But I forgot that daylight savings messes up little schedules.

So Ursa Minor, who I believe is somehow psychically connected to me, was up and making a fuss at 5:15.  When he is up, I can’t move, because if I do, I’ve gotta get him so I remained in bed, frustrated. Hopefully, I’ll get some glorious work time in tomorrow.

It has been a while since I shared pictures of the house. We spent time this weekend just being in the house which was really special, seeing as we didn’t need to go anywhere, do anything, and nobody was coming over. I found myself trying to busy myself with stupid little chores, but in a half-hearted way, yawning as I went. I wasn’t particularly accomplishing anything, and I’m pretty sure that I was just getting in my husband’s way after breakfast on Saturday.

So, annoyed, my husband stopped my fussing and instructed me to sit down and get out of the way. His instructions were “find your favorite seat in the living room.” Which, in Husband speak was “please get out of my way and go sit down somewhere.”

So I did. I made sure that I made a bit of protest about it on my way, though. Because, really, who does that? I brought down my knitting needles from the bedroom so I could work on the patch of garter stitch for a little project I’m working on while I sat.

It isn’t like the chairs are new, and it isn’t like I haven’t sat in them in this house… My husband is very smart–he knew that I would really think about where I was sitting and why. “Be like Sheldon, you know… pick your spot in the room.” I hadn’t yet. I’d just been picking a place to huff down from time to time, but not really a place that was my “spot” in the house. What I learned quickly was that my “throne” in the townhouse was no longer my favorite chair, as my back quickly began to hurt and I didn’t like to put my feet up on the center table.

We’d acquired two pieces of black (faux) leather chairs when we moved into the townhouse. The previous owner sold them to us on the cheap because he didn’t want them anymore and we merrily took them because we needed “new” furniture. I don’t like leather furniture because I think that they are cold to sit on, especially in a cool room or if the fan is on. So when I looked at the black loveseat with the nice big ottoman, I dismissed it out of hand.

“Why not put a blanket on your legs so you won’t feel cold?”

Sometimes I think my husband thinks I’m an idiot.


I sat and made a face. My husband rolled his eyes at me, handing me my basket of knitting and a seltzer water. With the blanket to sit on, I didn’t get my usual cold shock that I hate. I sank into the big crazy thing and felt comfortable. Then I took my favorite blanket in the universe (a gift from an old boss in college) and put it on top of me.

It was kind of nice.

Ok, it was perfect.

I could hear my children playing in the playroom, I could hear my husband doing the dishes, there was jazz playing on the surround sound. Yeah, I found my spot. I’m pretty sure that this has always been the most comfortable spot in the house. I guess it took the command of stopping and sitting for me to actually figure it out.



And I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t move for a while. I could have… I should have, but I didn’t! I let my fingers knit stitches, I let my feet wiggle to the music, and I let my mind wander for a while. The Husband, meanwhile, held the children at bay, put together some stools for the kitchen island (so that guests can sit and eat/drink while they hang out with me in the kitchen) and did some other manly-man things around the house. He’s wonderful, that husband of mine!

The thing that I love most about my spot is that I get the perfect view of my absolute favorite thing in the house:


The built-in cabinet in the dining room. I fell in love with this house exactly because of that built-in, and experiencing that dining room in the full glory of a sunny day makes me absolutely know that I did the right thing by buying this house. (and yes, the boys love to pull the placemats and stuff out of the basket in the mid-section of the built-in. I normally try to project that my house is perfectly clean all the time… but you know what? We’re all about sharing now, right? My house was a freaking mess on Saturday.)

Here is the dining room in the fully glory of a sunny day:


Of course, after a while of being relaxed, my mind got back to thinking about the work that needs to be done. I’m sure you noticed the empty fish-tank in the corner of the dining room that needs to be filled (the contractors accidentally threw away my gravel and decorative stones…I need to go to the pet store and replace them). I also started thinking about paint and what projects we should take on this spring. I decided that, besides the kitchen (obviously), the dining room is my favorite room in the house, so I want to be very careful about how we furnish it going forward.

I’ve also been thinking more about the outside of the house; what we can plant this year and what we can plan for next year. The Husband doesn’t really much care about what I do with it–it’s the “how” that matters most to him, though I plan to do most of the lawncare myself. We won’t be able to afford it this year, but next year, I’d like to purchase a cherry tree sapling to put somewhere in the yard. This year, and every year hereafter, I plan to have a small patch of Black-eyed Susans growing. Just to bring “home” to my home. You know?


Right now, the yard is looking less like a mud-pit and more like a blank canvas.

…but it will be a mud-pit again before long. God, I hope that we can get some grass to grow.

Things are coming along. We finally got rid of the boxes full of dohickies in the office, so it doesn’t feel so cluttered any crazy anymore. The sun looks nice in this room, too. I think we’ve unpacked the last of the boxes that we need to unpack. Everything non-essential is upstairs in the attic, catching dust. It is very satisfying to know that we don’t have anything particularly urgent to do–from here on in, it’s the fun stuff that makes this house our home, a little place to show off.

And now, I really need to get outlining and what what. I’ve got to get back on the fiction horse… because my challenge deadline looms larger by the day!

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