the porch, so far

Porch sitting season is here, and I am doing some serious porch nesting right now. I love sitting on the porch and reading, and while the rocking chair is comfy, sometimes I just want to curl up with my book on a bed, but I don’t want to go inside. Ever since we moved here I imagined the perfect vintage French daybed, piled with pillows. The problem, of course, is finding such a thing and having it not cost hundreds of dollars. After all, it is going to be left outside. So I needed something that was maybe not quite so precious. I also didn’t want to have to build something and then find a mattress or some other sort of padding. And then I remembered seeing a cot on Martha Stewart or some place similar. I liked the idea of an old, wooden army cot, but frankly, they didn’t look all that comfortable. After a little searching, I found this nice, substantial-looking number. It folds up nice and small, so I can stash it indoors during the winter. With the addition of a down comforter on top of the pad that came with the cot, it’s super comfortable and roomy, which is good, because if I’m out there laying on it, there’s a pretty good chance that there will be a dog or two on it too. porch

Next up, I plan to add lots of pillows. I’ve got lots of inspiration to work from. I have pots to fill with plants and flowers, and a bird cage I filled with succulents (more on that in another post). This is just one corner of our porch, it continues all along the front and side of the house. I’ll be rearranging things, and sharing more soon.

While the cot was all made up I took the opportunity to spread out the second quilt I’ve finished from my mother-in-law’s collection. I am feeling all accomplished and stuff. This one is a classic double wedding ring. It was pieced by hand, and like the first quilt I finished, it was nowhere near flat enough to be quilted, so I tied it too(Actually, my mom and sister did most of the tying some time ago, but I added some more ties and then a binding). Still, I’m enormously impressed with the amount of work and care that went into it. A double wedding ring is a hard pattern under any circumstances, but like the previous quilt, it’s all hand pieced.

wedding ring quiltIt’s full of so many different scrappy bits. I had a hard time picking a good fabric for the binding, but I think this tiny geometric worked well with a lot of the patterns and colors in the quilt.

wedding ring quiltPixel especially likes curling up with me on the cot, so he watched longingly from the window, while I was taking pictures. I love his short little haircut, he looks like a little boy fresh from the barber shop like this.

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new year

Happy New Year! 2013 is starting much like 2012 did, and I find myself once again job hunting. I am beginning to feel like this life is a bit too much like Groundhog Day, so I hope I get it right this time, and don’t have to keep repeating everything.

I don’t have any grand resolutions to reveal, just a few areas I want to focus on this year. Besides finding the perfect job, I mean.

Books on the Nightstand usually has a yearly reading challenge, and this year Ann has initiated Project Short Story. I don’t think I’ve read many short stories since high school, with the exception of maybe O. Henry and some of the shorter Sherlock Holmes stories, so I love this idea. I am going to try and read a few short stories each week (as well as participating in the monthly reads they’ll be discussing), and I’ll note them here, just to keep track for myself. There are lots of online resources, so I’ll add links whenever possible. I don’t have any plans for specific genres or an exact number goal, but I do hope that it will help me read more this year than I did in 2012.

Today I think I’ll pick a story from this book, which I found years ago in a used book shop:

Winter's Tales

I love the bookplate and the note about “conserving essential materials” during the war. I also love this photo of Karen Blixen:

karen blixen

I think I need a pet owl and a head scarf, it’s a very elegant look, don’t you think?

Now that I once again have some free time, I’ve also decided to focus on one big project each week. I have so many things I want to do, that I often find myself paralyzed with indecision and end up getting nothing done. This week’s project is a slipcover for the wing chair in my living room. Giving myself the week means that I can break it down into manageable chunks each day, and will still have time for other things too, like reading short stories, knitting, and cooking and cleaning and errands, and job hunting too, of course.

My other area of focus is going to be training little Pixel to be a good dog. He’s getting better at walking on a leash, and can sit and shake when there are snacks involved. He is very enthusiastic about giving high-fives, and will kind of, sort of stay for brief moments, but he doesn’t come when called when he’s outside, and I want to change that quickly. He’s slipped out our gate a couple times, and has a grand time running away, while giving me a heart attack. Our street is sometimes busy and the speed limit is 45mph, so it’s not a safe place for a little dog to be. I’ve since made it as secure as possible with a little chicken wire and zip ties. I still get nervous when he’s out there, though, so some obedience training will be a priority starting this week. Also, he is just so super cute:

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What about you? Do you make grand resolutions or goals? Or maybe a list of things you want to accomplish? Have you ever made a resolution and really stuck with it for a whole year?

Short stories for this week:

Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta by Kate Braverman

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puppy

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I haven’t taken enough pictures of Pixel. Here he looks so sweet and innocent, doesn’t he? We just started going to training classes, and he’s catching on, I just need to work harder at being consistent with him. As I’ve been sitting here editing his photo and writing, he’s been barking at Winston for stealing his chew toy. Ahh, puppies.

I’ve still got a lot of cleaning up to do, but I’m happy enough with the site as it is for now. I still have all the pictures from my missing posts, so I may try to duplicate some of them. Things have looked a little messy around here lately, though, so I think I’ll look on this disaster as a chance to start fresh. I might even go through and delete some of the more whiney posts from past years.

p.s. I used the apricot glow action from besotted blog on the photo. I like what it does for my little guy here, isn’t it pretty?

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good, bad, cute

I guess I’ll ease back into this blogging thing. I didn’t plan to disappear for so long, but it’s been a stressful few weeks. I won’t go into it all, it’s just life, you know? Stuff that happens all the time to all of us. It wasn’t all bad, however. This happened:

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Our next-door neighbor has a very sweet long-haired chihuahua. And then they got a friendly little white poodle. And then they had some puppies! There were just two, but they needed to find homes and when the neighbor handed this little guy to me over the fence, well, what could I do?

He and Winston have become buddies, although Bear is not so much on board. But there will be more on that later.

Here are some things you should know about Pixel: He is super cute. He has two speeds: on and off. He likes to hide his chew treats for later. This morning I found one in the outside pocket of my purse and it made me laugh. He is a bit of a drama queen. He thinks everything is his. He wishes he was one of the big dogs. He is slowly coming around on this whole potty-training thing. He likes to go places and doesn’t mind being carried everywhere when we are out and about. He’s not so sure about “going for walks,” that whole leash and harness thing are not his favorite. He likes tummy rubs and can be hypnotized by neck scratches. He likes to hang from Winston’s whiskers.

I hope you don’t get sick of hearing about him.

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More on the suitcase bed soon!

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