23 posts categorized "Home"

Still Life

3rd_floor_sun.jpgMid-day sun on the third floor

"If you put a story on your spoon in your own way, it doesn't matter if it is badly done, the fact that it is individual makes it precious."

~ artist and sculptor Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941)

The simplest treatment

Paolopaints Carpet comes up, paint goes down / Jan. 2011

"The primary trouble with floors is that people walk on them. If they did not, there would be no trouble at all. Four coats of varnish, or even paint, having an aggregate thickness of less than one one-hundreth of an inch, will not last indefinitely under the wear of nail-shod shoes."

~ Cyclopedia of Architecture, Carpentry, and Building: A General Reference Work in Ten Volumes prepared by a Staff of Architects, Builders, Engineers, and Experts of the Highest Professional Standing, 1913

All profitable correction

PorchsittingPorch-sitting leads to calmness / April 2010

“He who is fretted with his own failings will not correct them. All profitable correction comes from a calm, peaceful mind.”

~ St. Francis de Sales


Foundation Jersey ironstone and sandstone originally mortared with some sort of clay / New Jersey / April 2010

This was the day in the basement with the rocks that have been supporting the house for over 100 years and wondering where they had traveled from, who had cut the rocks and who had stacked them and hoping that the new coat of mortar (how much lime to mix in, how much sand?), mixed and applied by men with powerful hands and belts of twine, would hold strong.

Making room for the future

Ladybug Ladybug, ladybug fly away home and please take some clutter with you / New Jersey / Oct. 2009

I've been collecting things my whole life, filling the spaces. Now I find that I can't tolerate the mass of objects, the clutter. I want space. Empty space. Space to think. Space for what makes me feel happy and content and inspired and creative. I want closets and bookshelves with lots of empty space. I want to make room for the future.

Solstice morning

Solsticemorning The solstice morning sun rising in the east over a snow-covered landscape / New Jersey / Dec. 21, 2009

"And then there is one particular tree, a tree that I always see because it is the northernmost one... It has multiple trunks all braided and buttressed, and roots that snake out over the ground as widely as it branches snake out into the air. ... At the risk of being spotted as hopelessly eccentric, I always stop for a moment and touch the course-grained, gray bark of it with my hand, or sometimes with my cheek, which I suppose is a way of blessing it for being so strong and beautiful. ...on one particular morning I found myself touching it not to bless it for once, but to ask for its blessing, so that I myself might move toward old age and death with something like its stunning grace and courage."

~ Frederick Buechner (from The Secret in the Dark)

Adverbly pronouned she verbed

The bright red leaves on the spirit tree frame the new angled porch window / New Jersey / Nov. 2009

When I was in grammar school I had a hard time learning the “parts of speech” (according to a grammar web site there are eight of them: verbs, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections). Reading came easily to me. I don't remember having to actually learn to read. One minute I couldn't and the next I could. I remember feeling so empowered — I could read not only books, but signs and billboards and things on the TV and newspapers — and I read voraciously. But I couldn't be bothered with learning the parts of speech and failed a number of tests. I was thinking about this recently after a discussion about school. It occurred to me that reading came so naturally to me that to actually break sentences and thoughts down into “parts of speech” seemed not only unnecessary, but ruined the poetry of the words. It spoiled the beauty of reading for me. Even though my (adjective*) teacher (noun*) railed (verb*) at (preposition*) me (pronoun*), I wasn't going to waste time with it. And all these years later I can say that I've gotten along just fine with words after all.

* According to the dictionary; I can't say for sure.

Inhale, listen, observe


The new screened-in side porch transports you to a calmer and simpler place; inhale the fresh air, listen to the street sounds, observe the movement of the sun / New Jersey / Oct. 2009

“As you simplify life,
     the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

The poetry of hands, 28

For Paulo my writer and worker with the sturdy hands / New Jersey / June 2008

Renovating an old house is a lot like writing —
full of pitfalls and revisions and it goes on and on

~ Heard on a TV show about New Orleans on PBS last night