Saturday, July 2, 2011

The house, witness to numerous tales

Last week I was seriously freaking out about the army of ants that were slowly marching into three rooms of our home. 
We only have nine rooms so that's a third of the house invaded by the little tormentors. This is not the first time we have seen them and I am sure it won't be the last, despite trying to fill every crack in our baseboards with caulking.
I was wondering if it had been such a good idea to buy a house almost 40 years old at the time, that had been cut into two pieces and then driven up a series of winding roads to find its final resting place, in the middle of the foothills, at the bottom of a hill that backs up to the Sierra National Forest.
Good idea?
Maybe not.
But we did, and despite all the critters I love it. We all love it.
At times I imagine all this house has seen. We don't know where it was located before it was moved here but I imagine all the people who lived and passed through the house before it became ours. I think one might still be here.
And when I look around at all the little corners of our home, with our things filling every room, the kids running amok, and all the work my husband has done outside to make it ours, I appreciate it more.
Take a look around.


We had a problem with gophers eating almost everything we were planting in our garden so we decided to try container gardening. Seems silly when you are on five acres but no more gophers! 
A while back I read this saying supposedly coined during the Great Depression, 
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
We try to live like that.
So instead of buying a bunch of wood to make new containers we reused what we could find.
The old bathtub we found at a yard sale for free:


The cabinets that once hung on the walls of our kitchen;


We even gave the kids their own container garden in an old Little Tikes toddler racing car bed frame:

My son is always either playing with Legos or drawing. He has a few short books he has written. His latest, Cats Are Skinny, is a poetry book inspired by Shel Silverstein's Falling Up.
My daughter is almost always finding some sort of mischief to make. She decided a few days ago that she was ready to be done with diapers. So far, she has had several days without an accident followed by a few accidents daily since, but we are still chugging along. She decided that her bear also needed to be trained:
I love my kitchen and these are two of my favorite things in it. The old coffee pot holds our everyday utensils and I like it because it is well worn, like our home. And me.
The mortar and pestle, or molcajete as I have always known it, belonged to my grandmother.
I miss her.

Time for learning! This abacus sits in the room that is the future "classroom" of Creekside Country Day School. Every time I see it I am reminded to get moving on figuring out our homeschool plan for the fall and to organize the room where we will be doing our version of schooling learning at home.

 Do you ever feel like you are being watched?
I get that feeling a lot. Sometimes when the kids are asleep and my husband is at work I hear noises or strange things happen, like the time a picture fell from a shelf it had been sitting on for months and months, with no one near it. Or the time it happened again and almost flew several feet from where it should have landed had it just been knocked off. (Believe me, I did a crime scene recreation. It landed no where near the spot it should have.) Or the countless times I have felt something in the room with me. Or the time a few nights ago, I went into my kids room (they were in my bed, of course) and a single candle was lit. Not a candle, candle. A flameless candle. I had been in the room just an hour before to get my daughter's stuffed dog and it was pitch black. So if I didn't turn it on, who did?
Not that I believe in ghosts but it's still weird.
And during the daytime, I KNOW I am being watched.
She watches until I am gone so she can cause her mischief! Not today little girl.

And this is a corner of my favorite and newest room. Our screened porch, which will be giving up its current confused identity to become our art room this fall, is so relaxing and will make a great space to put up an easel. I am leaving the big comfy chair for reading and the table for working on various art projects. Because even if the schools don't feel that art is important, I do!
The cat has discovered my big comfy chair!
The sign says it all, no?