Home and abroad

The weekend was busy for me but in a delightful way. On Saturday, the family gathered together for my cousin’s graduation party. My uncle is renting a ridiculously huge house on a farm. It was a shame that it was drizzling for most of the day because we had volleyball set up, and the place has its own tennis court. Here’s the amazing screened in porch where we were able to take shelter from the elements.

We had five full size tables out on the porch, and there was still some room to walk around. I love the stone finish too.






My uncle gave so many tours of the house. He probably burned several hundred calories doing all those steps. There was the main staircase and the old servant’s staircase winding down to the kitchen. And, yes, the stairs do split once you get to the second floor. The perspective that you see in the picture on the right is taken from one wing of the house looking over toward the other wing of the house.


Of course, the tour had to go to the third floor of the house every time because nestled on the third floor was this adorable room painted like a tree house. At one point, the owner of the house allowed different artists to come into the house. Each artist was allowed free rein in one room, so the paint jobs are eclectic — and very often amazing.

The dining room was my absolute favorite. I wish I had a better close-up picture. Little birds were nestled among the tree branches. It’s rare for me to look at a room and say that I would not paint it if it were mine, but I would NOT paint this room . I would feel as if I were committing a crime against all things artistically good.

(Photo credits: Trulia.com)

After meandering through the house (and dreaming of all the Craigslist furniture made over Pinterest style that I could fit in a house like that) and catching up with family, it was time to go home. I packed my eleven chairs back into Gretel. Yes, eleven chairs. Everyone was supposed to bring a chair, but there was some fear that people would forget, so I offered to bring some extras.

What did I learn when I stopped to reflect that someone my age can bring 11 chairs to a gathering?

1) Gretel is amazing and continues to be a good lifestyle choice. She is living up to her name.
2) When squirrels eat half of your first patio set and you buy another patio set, the chairs really start to add up.
3) I should entertain more often. Sure, the house will be a little crowded if I fill all 11 chairs, plus the 6 in the dining room that didn’t make the trip, but it sure could be fun.

Then on Sunday, I wanted to do a little more work in the attic. That’s my office space, the one that was supposed to be all finished by the end of summer… It’s not finished, but I did make strides on Sunday. I got some bulletin boards and other decor on the wall, and I put the base coat of paint on my “new” Craigslist desk. I don’t want to give the reveal yet, but here’s the desk in the in-between phase right after I sanded out some damage out of the finish.

It’s not done, but it’s looking far better than this picture. I need to stay motivated, so I can have a fun blog post tour of the office space — oh, and so I can work up there.

After all that productivity, the dog and I took a much needed trip to the park. And, when I got back, I cleaned the expired food out of the freezer, fridge, and pantry cabinet and took inventory of what was left. Then, I sat down and made a meal plan for the month including the breakdown of grocery lists — one big one for non-perishable items at the beginning of the month and smaller ones with the perishable items for the major meals as I cycle them into the rotation.

I do need to remember to add some chicken broth to the list though because I had a four pack of chicken broth concentrate sitting on the end table in the living room (I was online checking how far past the expiration date it could be used). I dashed out of the house quickly this morning, forgetting about the chicken broth. Deogi took it upon himself to open up three of the packages and empty them in my absence (well, until I came home and caught him). He doesn’t appear to be suffering ill effects, so I guess that answers my question about the expiration dates.