Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Brick Dust: Winter Update

First snow of 2015

Just some bits and scraps from the past few months.  Life has definitely not been boring for us at the Little Stone House!

-Ultimately, our garden did not fare all that well this year.  As I've said many times, I attribute it to the weather.  That said, my partner has decided that we will not continue to grow tomatoes at our current location. The yield was down in 2013 and absolutely abysmal in 2014.  We ultimately harvested less than a dozen of them.  He thinks it's because our yard does not get enough direct sunlight.  We only have it for half or less of the day.  If it hadn't been for the fantastic yield we had back in 2011 or 2012, I'd agree with him. I still say it's due to the weather we've had.  In any case, that patch will be used for something else.  Since our yard is so small, we'll stick to foods we know we will eat. Greens and root veggies do well for us, as do some herbs. He's looking at laying some brick pathways through the yard this Spring, as well.

-I'm still working part time and still as a temporary employee, but I'm happy.  I don't know when a decision will be made regarding my status, but I do know that I'm doing well in my current position and that they want to hire me.  This makes me happy. If hired, I intend to stay part time, though. Between my recent refinance and our frugal ways, we are making this work.  We splurged a little over the Holidays, but we had extra money with which to do so.

-I'm learning a lot about elder care and about coordinating doctors' appointments for someone with a complicated medical situation. My mom is still at the sub-acute rehab, and we don't know yet when she will be discharged or what the plan is for afterward.  I know she wants to return to her home, but we don't know for sure if that will happen.  We just have to wait and see.  in the meantime, I am managing her home, keeping up with repairs and maintenance, and looking after her cat.  (She is at the house, and we set her up for a week at a time.  I'll do another post on that kind of thing later.)  Her two dogs are with a sitter.  We have not been able to visit them yet, but I understand they are doing well.  I'm hoping to do more than just an overnight visit to the house, so that we can go see them soon.  It's pricey, but the sitter gives my mom a discount, which helps. Despite all of the amazing technology at hand, I'm finding that with a complicated situation like this, a good, paper planner is still my best friend!  I have one with a pocket, which I carry with me everywhere.  Important reminders still get programmed into my phone, but being able to look at things on paper really, really helps me to map out my plans for whatever projects come along.

-We are ramping up the raw.  Well, my partner is, for sure! He announced yesterday that he is doing a totally raw month in January!  I was not prepared, so he did not pick me up any regular food--except for the couple of items I asked for. After looking around the pantry and fridge, though, I realize I may be able to get by without spending much this month. I may go to the store once or twice, but I have plenty of dried beans, leftovers, and canned foods.  Plus, I will be sharing in most of his suppers.  As for me, I'm going to wait until Summer, but I am doing my twice-a-year raw cleanse this month, starting this Sunday.  Our eating habits really backslid during the Holidays (don't everyone's?) so I'm ready to cleanse and move on.

That's all I have for now.  I have some ideas for more in-depth posts.  Hopefully, I can get some of them up soon.  My previous post was one I'd had waiting for a while.

Stay warm!  Stay safe!

Photo credit:  (c) 2015 Jennifer L Moore. Do not duplicate.

A Surprising Color Choice

Once upon a time, in a relationship far, far away, I had a room in my home that was painted black.  When my ex first suggested it, I worried.  It's not that I have any issue with the color, black.  Indeed, I love black!  I wear and use it frequently (but not at the Little Stone House. It wouldn't fit with our current design.)

Rather, I worried that the room would look dingy and dirty--that dirt would show up too much.  I worried that the room would feel too small.  (We used it in a large room, which was a smart move.)  I worried, also about its effect on both our moods and on any visitors we had.

Still, us both being artists, another part of me thought it was a really cool idea, so we went ahead with it, and you know what? It was really, really cool!  The art we hung on the walls really popped.  The room did not seem smaller at all, despite the fact that it did not get a lot of direct sunlight.  In fact, it gave the room a very pleasant, calming feel.  It became our "cave".  (It was the master bedroom.) 

I felt like a queen whenever I spent time in that room, and I slept deeply.

What I would say from my own experience with using the color, black, in my home is to use it wisely.  Make sure the room gets outdoor light, because without some light coming in from outside, it can feel oppressive and depressing.  Use it in larger rooms.  Furnishings should coordinate, if not completely match, because a black room can feel messy or weird without something to give it cohesion.  Even using art pieces that complement one another will help.

Where we are now, and possibly in the next house, I don't see us using black, but it was fun to have a black room.  It certainly led to a lot of interesting conversations, but it also inspired a lot of writing and art on my and my ex's part.  If you feel like you have a home that could accommodate black, go for it!

Photo credit:  / 123RF Stock Photo