Posts Tagged ‘home

19
Dec
07

George’s Holiday Letter

We love our friend George. He goes to our church and works downtown so I run into him frequently, which makes me happy because he’s really nice, and he’s hilarious in an Alec Baldwin meets Charles Nelson Riley sort of way (I mean that as a compliment). His would-be motto for Indiana is “A person could always do worse,” which is such an endearingly Hoosier way of seeing the world.

I especially look forward to his holiday letters, which are never the usual “Jennifer pledged this fall” kind of stuff. I hope he won’t mind, but I thought I’d post a snippet of this year’s letter because his honest stories about life on DeQuincy Street where he lives, are in part what Good Home is about:

Let me say I do not have any qualms calling 911. I have done it before, and if the pattern holds, you can bet that I will be doing it again before the holidays are over. This is a stressful time of year, you know, and for the past couple of years the neighbors haven’t been handling it too well. After I sent my last letter a couple of years ago, I was going out to my car to go to a party, and a woman started screaming at me from behind a bush:

“Help! Help! Call the police!” she shouts. “My boyfriend’s jumped me, and he won’t let me back in the house!”

So yeah, I take her advice and call the cops – and when I go back out, he’s also outside.

“B—-, you can go back in the house if you want,” he screams at her, “but you better be prepared to f—–‘ die!”

“Um, excuse me?” I yell, plate of brownies in my hand, “We don’t talk like that in our neighborhood!” Pause. “We don’t act like that here!”

Pause, as he takes it in.

“Have I ever caused you problems?” he asks.

“You haven’t in the past,” I say (a lie, because he has indeed caused me problems by not cutting his grass and by generally failing to maintain his property). “But you’re causing me problems now by screaming the F-word up and down the street and threatening to kill people. Now if you’re going to act like that, just take it inside! Just take it inside because we’re not going to put up with it!”

At this point he drives off, I drive off, and according to the neighbors, three police cars show up. I don’t know if he ever got busted for it, but he must be following my advice because we haven’t heard a peep from him since. 

Merry Christmas, George! You’re one of the reasons we here in Indiana could always do worse.

06
Dec
07

Holiday Friends Arrive

Street Clothes

This year we had special guests come by car and by plane from Arkansas and Ohio to be a part of Booze and Cookies (actual event post coming soon). Some of the out-of-towners came in a few days early so we could get some visiting in.

And when these friends come, they never arrive empty handed – Lori and Felley brought mountains of food, including Miss Judy’s (Felley’s mom) cinnamon rolls (Jennifer called them Crack Rolls)  so I wouldn’t have to do all of the cooking.They brought fun paper dinnerware so I didn’t have to wash as many dishes, and even my favorite Caldrea dishwashing liquid and counter spray (Patchouli and Green Tea) and cutlery (Jennie read on my blog that I’d lost my paring knife). 

Jennie and J. talked two other friends, David and Jennifer, whom I only knew through David’s blog, which I love to read, into coming with them. They are so fun! And I’ve heard of host gifts before, but I teared up a little when they pulled THIS out of their bag.

Claire Painting

They took a downloaded picture of Claire from my blog and gave it to an artist from Box Turtle Imports and Gifts on Kavanaugh in Little Rock to turn into a painting. I told Jennie later that Jennifer and David were a joy to be around, but even if they’d turned out to be complete turds, that gift would have kept the welcome mat out for them (I know, love for sale, but try to tell me you would feel any differently).Visiting

Once we got everyone settled in, we had time to make a trip out to Duane and Todd’s and to stop into Country Friends (Julie had never been and wanted to go). I feel sure that the people who work at CF must whisper under their breath, “him, again?” whenever I walk in the door these days. Here’s that holly I talked about but didn’t photograph last weekend (not much left).

Good Holly

And I loved these vintage “Maggie’s Memories” collectables.  I bought the little Santa Clause.

Sweet Stuff

If I didn’t already have a front door wreath I would run to CF to buy this one. It is simple but inspired and would look great at either a traditional or a rustic entrance, and the price point was awesome – $59.00 I think (don’t quote me).

Christmas Wreath

Julie made the big retail score of the day with this 19th century crazy quilt that she’s going to back with velvet and make into a wrap.

Sold

Julie, send me pics when you get it finished. Our house isn’t big, so every bed and sofa was filled. We even had a pallet on the floor (after some discussion we realized that either northern folks don’t sleep on the floor or they have another word for it. Can anyone from Indiana confirm or correct me on this?). And our neighbors opened up their garage apartment for us, too. It must have seemed a little like camp, but with the exception of Jennifer and David, all the rest of us had slept in close quarters together before on church youth retreats, choir trips or even at actual camp.

I was wishing I’d hung out a little with Practical Pat when she was cooking huge breakfasts for Lori, Julie, and Jennie and the rest of their clan because I was slow! But never bored. One morning while I was cooking I could hear David, whose roots and accent are pretty heavily Ozark, sporadically yelling “PAAY-pur!” in the living room. Jennie brought a voice activated Brain Age game with her, which was keeping him entertained as he tried to predict as quickly as possible what would counter rock in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. But he couldn’t get the game to work so he kept yelling “PAAY-pur” louder and louder (turns out it was in instruction mode).

Chocolate Gravy and Cinnamon Rolls

David (aka PAAY-pur!) using one of Duane’s Chocolate Gravy Pitchers.

From then on, any quiet moment would be filled with someone randomly yelling “PAAY-pur!,” which is just the kind of joke that this group is happy to take way too far. Fortunately, David understands the value of a good laugh whatever it costs.

06
Dec
07

Prairie Creek Farms = Hoosier Folk Center

The first weekend in December means a trip to Duane and Todd’s for the Prairie Creek Farms’ open house. Duane and Todd’s home started as a small farm house, to which a previous owner built an addition. When Duane and Todd moved in they made their own additions. The result is an incredibly cozy homestead that is plenty large enough for giant family gatherings (they have lots of kin). One post isn’t enough room to share what there is to see there, so this time I thought I’d focus on my favorite winter spots in their house.

Window Mirrors

This is their hearth room. Duane had these old farmhouse windows turned into mirrors. He got them for their master bath, but they didn’t fit so he put them here, where I think they look perfect. I like the subtle, old paint finish.New Mirrors

Duane said:

I got them made at Townsend Glass in Westfield [Indiana]. But here’s the catch. Kevin Townsend got the salvaged windows several years ago and that is when I got the frames. I took them home to seal them and never got around to taking them back for the mirrors because they were too big for my original plan of putting them in the master bathroom. When I brought them in to fit with mirrors, he said “it’s a good thing you got those when you did because those old windows are getting hard to find. Most old homes have all replaced their windows now and you just can’t find them anymore.” So I don’t know if that means he doesn’t have any or not. Their number is 896-1259. They charged me only $75 each which I think was pretty reasonable.  

Lesson learned: Don’t wait to buy old, one of a kind things you love.

Loom

As if a hearth and these mirrors weren’t enough to make a room, they also have a working loom that belonged to one of Todd’s relatives. He let some of us try it out.Duane is a ceramicist, and one of the fun things about the open house is that you get to see (and buy if you want) what he’s been working on. I loved this peach vase (I like Duane’s kind of Chinois/Hoosier visual style).Friends from Arkansas were visiting John and me for the weekend, and they went to the PCF with us. Jennie and I both needed Chocolate Gravy pitchers. She got the one on the left and I bought the one on the right. They are the perfect size.Duane, Todd and the kids are so crafty, I’ve decided to refer to their place as the Hoosier Folk Center from now on.Oh, and this is my other favorite winter spot at their house – in front of the living room windows that look out on to apple trees filled with bird feeders.

Bird Watching

My pitiful photos do not do the scene justice, but I could totally survive winter with no problem if I got to look at frolicking birds having fun all of the time.

Cardinal

05
Dec
07

First Snow of the Season

House

Last week was our annual cookie bake (Booze and Cookies) and it was a weekend long blast of food, family, and friends. I’m still working on the post(s?), but I thought I would buy some time by putting up a picture I took this morning of this year’s first snow. It’s the kind of snow everyone likes—not too deep, not too cold, and very blankety.  I would love to spend this day sitting in front of Sam with a book, a pot of tea and a wool throw.   But off to work I go.