Saturday, April 16, 2011

Missing an old friend

Art Institute Staircase March 2011
 I took my blog down for a while, mainly due to a haranguing husband, who has some issues with certain information being posted publicly. Does anyone else have this debate in their houseblogging household? I'd love to hear from you.

There is no one in the world that can drive me insane more than my beloved spouse, except maybe my co-workers, who I spend an inordinate amount of time with-- because we live in a country with such a crappy vacation policy. But I digress.

Anyway, because of my dear and beloved spouse, and life just changing and altering my needs and focus, I have seen my blogging dwindle down to 2 posts last year. A far cry from the peak of posting in 2006, when I created 156 entries. How did I do it? I have the say that the years 2005-2006 had a life of their own and I experienced both the joys and exhaustion of being consumed by our home and its projects. I remember many dinners of pizza slices from JB Albertos and salad, manwiches, and tacos because that was about all we could manage. Now we are more likely to be observed cooking something delicious from the Silver Palate or making Beef Burgundy on a week night, rather than lying flat on our backs waiting for the aches and pains to subside from a long weekend of hanging drywall. And I have been known to bake cupcakes just for the heck of it.

In 2007, I turned 40 and I remember feeling as if I was waking up from a dream. I couldn't believe the years that had passed with Steve and I consumed by our home and working together. I truly love working side by side with my husband as a team. It brings me a real feeling of contentment and connection and if too much time passes without that, I find myself longing for the experience. I will always fondly remember the "summer of the wood pile," where I experienced a moment of true connection looking down at my hands sanding board after board of straight oak trim. I realized how immensely satisfying it was to work with ones hands. Because of this experience, I relate to contractors and tradesman quite a lot. I admire them.

New Year's Eve 2010 at Zoo Lights
That same year, I said to Steve, "Oh my God, can you believe how much time has passed? We've been together 7 years!! I think we should get married this year, seriously." And Steve said, "Okay, sounds like a good idea." And we got married. And that felt right. And our lives moved gradually towards more "normal," time for extracurricular activities like the theater, dinners out and friends, volunteer work, block clubs, gardening, vacations, family etc... All of which we barely had time for in 2005-2006.

Of course, living in a 100+ year old building, we are still working to maintain it and the DIY urges have not left us. This summer we are planning to build a new fence in the backyard and plant some large evergreens among other things. We have an endless supply of improvement ideas and wish lists. I hope, someday, to convert the basement and have "a room of my own," which I think would do much for my contentment.

This morning and lately, I found myself missing my old houseblog and decided to bring it back online. I know there are oodles of you out there in the thick of things. I remember those days well and fondly. Once you've done something like renovate your own home, no one can take that away from you. It gives one a similar feeling to putting yourself through college on your own dime and effort, it's hard but builds character, something inside that is yours. That's how I feel about it anyway.

I may re-design this blog (with Steve's help as he is a graphic artist). I offered this option to him as a compromise, he who wants me to edit my blog and keep some things offline. I want my spouse to be happy, but I think I still need my blog. Writing can be extremely therapeutic and there's a whole world of brethren out there. I'm not done with you just yet.

Happy Spring everyone...!


Sugarfiend said...

I've always enjoyed your blog (it's been in my RSS for years) and I'm glad you're back!

Kathy said...

I'm glad you're back too! I can't seem to blog as often as I would like (life you know!) but I try to post something at least twice a month. Maybe this summer I'll find I have more time... Good luck and keep writing!

SD said...

Never read your blog before - but now I look forward to reading it. Can't wait to have lunch with you! Let me know when you are free....

Joanne said...

Yay! I'm glad your back. Your home is what I want our two-flat to be one day.

Kristin said...

I'm glad you're back. I've continued blogging all this time, but you can't really call it a houseblog anymore. It drifted into a trying-to-adopt-a-child blog, then a pregnancy blog, now a mom blog, and I bore even myself, but I still feel the need to get my feelings down sometimes, y'know? I've been regularly keeping a journal of some kind since I was 13, and I don't think I could remember my life without one.

Kristin said...

By the way, that was me from - I was still signed in under my work Google account!

Fargo said...

I'm glad you're back!

Chris said...

Was happily surprised to see you are blogging again. I have a couple blogs - one for family and friends (semi-private) and the house blog (public). There have been plenty of times when I have crossed the line with a post, at least from my wife's perspective, on both blogs. I usually blog before anyone in the house is awake so other than the occasional flub, it doesn't affect the family much. Again, glad you're back.

MsPieway said...

Arborvitae. That is the answer to your backyard space/privacy/evergreen desire. The birds love to nest in them, they are relatively fast growing, and pretty to boot! Evergreen trees (firs, pines, spruce) grow very fast (12"+ per year) and spread out and take a LOT of room.

Or else plant grapevines along trellises.

slateberry said...

I am so happy you're back up. I would run into your comments while reading Devil Queen and Petch, and they were always a wonderful combination of kind, pithy, intelligent, and humorous, mixed with the wisdom of the trenches. It made me feel like I knew you a bit, and really want to see your blog and read about your experiences first hand. So, thank you for coming back-I was amazed when I clicked on the link and it worked for the first time!
Boston suburb, 1887 Queen Anne, holding pattern but planning some fun things, like a master bath (we don't have one, and share with 3 kids at the moment, it just can't go on like this!)

Josh said...

This is a great blog. Thanks for the papapet tips and Crawford supply information. All the best.

(knee deep in his own 1915 two-flat project ('project'? doesn't that connote a beginning AND an END ?!) ;)

Josh said...

This is a great blog. Thanks for the papapet tips and Crawford supply information. All the best.

(knee deep in his own 1915 two-flat project ('project'? doesn't that connote a beginning AND an END ?!) ;)

Patrick said...

I, too, was feeling a little nostalgic about the old housblog days….There were a number of blogs that I followed (including yours)—and every time someone stopped blogging, I often wondered what happened. I’m not sure what dynamic changed from when there was a plethora of blogs—was it the economy? Our generation? The importance of homeownership has dwindled? I’m not really sure, but it seems to have changed.

Us? We may have stopped blogging (although I’m trying to occasionally put stuff down), however, we continue our progress of finishing what we started. We are now in our 13th year of trying to bring back our old Italianate home…and create a sense of space and connection. I have always dreamed that were building a place, a home, a sense belonging that our children could always come back to. And now that my oldest is going off to college, I hope this is the case.

It was interesting to me that my son wrote his college entrance paper about his time growing up in a fixer-upper—and all of the things he learned dealing with the challenges and accomplishments of growing up in a construction zone. “Life as a house” was his title. And like the movie of the same name, it couldn’t be more true….

Keep blogging!