Nose to the Grindstone

I’ve had a good excuse to ignore the details of life, like getting new utilities set up on autopay and reading the fine print of our new health care plan but today is the day. All those odds and ends and envelopes and slips of paper have been chucked into a box but now I’m squared away enough to face them. So that’s what is on the schedule, but first (stalling, stalling…), a quick tour of my belfry. I’m way up on the third floor in this rowhouse. I’m not sure why that seems so remote and far because we had three floors before with the basement and I did plenty of skipping up and down; maybe it’s because it’s just higher up and closer to the helicopter landing pad for the Children’s Memorial.Office1

So here is one end of my office. Plus a closer detail. From left to right, you can see Sophie, resting up for tonight’s rug shredding and wall climbing. I have a door wall that leads to a tiny balcony, a view of our courtyard and a backside view of the apartments and condos that face Lincoln Ave. One of them has a cat living in it, up on the 4th floor and Sophie and that cat stare at each other across the alley in the evenings.Det1

Then there’s my crow, all my wool neatly organized, my ringtail (we’ve already had the taxidermy disclaimer) and that ghastly television. We opted to not have a TV in the living room and some day we might indulge in a wall mounted flat screen but for now our cheap clunky set resides here, in my office, on an ugly piece of press board furniture. We can’t give it up right now, between the new season of House, the Wolverines and the Tigers.

Moving along, there’s a shelf with a fraction of my shell and fossil clutter- the rest is in boxes in a closet- and then there’s Sophie’s bed with a photo of her love interest, Rhett, on the wall. Above the shelf I have a lovely ink and watercolor picture. Do you know what that creature is? A cool shell to the first right answer. Finally, I’ve started knitting again and my project basket is there by the loveseat. I took a lace class the other day at The Knitting Workshop, located less than half a block away. I got hopelessly lost, both finding the place and following the charted pattern, but it’s a start and the people were friendly.

Here’s the business end of the belfry. There’s a pile of business like you wouldn’t believe stacked behind my chair there. The painters were here in the three days that the place was empty and then the carpet was laid; you can see where they need to come back and do touch up around the base of the cabinets. That happens tomorrow. I would do it myself except I also need them to hang art and most of that requires a three story extension ladder. We have some amazing wall space here, one in particular that is begging for an art quilt. I’ll show you that space later. I also don’t have pictures of the children up yet so that’s on the to-do list for this week.

In the close up you can see a "retablo" that I prize. (click to enlarge).It was made by Nicario Jimenez Quispe from the Andes in Peru. This one is called "The Healer" and has animals and plants that are used in remedies. And then there are a couple of globes from the 30s and an old spool cotton chest. You want to see what’s in there? Very very neat old tools for handwork…

So, that’s it. Oh, except, because we are so high up here, Sophie and I decided we needed a ready source of snacks so there’s this, hidden in the closet. That frig is full.

Okay, now I really need to work. Or wander around the blog neighborhood. Whatever.



21 responses to “Nose to the Grindstone

  1. Love your space! I’ve left my husband shaking his head everytime I suggest he build me an enclosed gazebo tree-house.
    Enjoyed the photos!

  2. Mr. Rhett was very excited to see that Sophie loves Fancy Feast as it is his favorite too. It looks like your new place is coming together. Pictures of family will make it feel more like your own.

    I think Beverly mentioned a Bubba Gumps Shrimp place in Chicago. I’ve been to the one in New Orleans and it was OK, but the shrimp weren’t as big as those at Steinhilber’s. Shrimp anyway you look at it is wonderful. When Nyssa was just 18 months old she would eat cold boiled shrimp as fast as I could peel them.

    I think my video card is about to go out in this computer. Fighting through purple lines across the screen. Unfortunately, it comes and goes… today it was there, then left and now back. I feel another restart coming on.

  3. Yes, I did mention Bubba Gump’s in a comment about shrimp to SRP. It’s been a while since I was there…I wasn’t saying that they were the best I had ever eaten, but of all the kinds of shrimp there, I still chose fried.

    I tried to enlarge your picture to seethe animal, but I can’t tell. I’d say a possum, but the color isn’t right. I’d say a kinkajou, but he looks to big. I’m sure it can’t be a wolverine, snice that isn’t Michigan State’s mascot. Oh, well. Besides, I don’t know what a wolverine looks like. I didn’t want a shell anyway.

    Your place looks great.

  4. I just read your comment over at Roxanne’s. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory is at the Old Navy pier…it’s a fun place. I enjoyed the fried shrimp that I had, although they’re nothing to compare with the Crab Trap just over the Sunshine Skyway from St. Pete.

    Sometime when you’re down in St. Pete, drive over the bridge to the Crab Trap. It’s on US 19 toward Palmetto. I’ve had some of the best shrimp I’ve ever eaten there.

  5. You have done a fantastic job of putting things “just so” here and there, Vicki. My congratulations. Sorry Sophie has not adjdusted yet; eventually, perhaps?

  6. Tres cozy and homey. I love the mix of brick, and modern. I’ll bet it’s nice to have it put together!

  7. I love the office. Very cozy! And is the watercolor a muskrat? Hmm…

  8. Dammit, I’ll have to come back and look more carefully when Josh is not harrassing me to get off the computer. It looks great!

  9. Ahoy matey, Your house looks great! You have done a fantastic job in a short amount of time! Our house has 4 floors including the basement and our lovely attic guest/craft room. But I hardly ever go to the attic room eventhough it is flooded with light and is one of the nicest rooms in the house. I just think it is too far away from everything.
    I think the painting looks like a bush-tailed opossum. But that is just a guess.
    Casting off me heartie, (It is speak like a pirate day.)

  10. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    Any Petoskeys on display?

    A certain first matie thinks everything looks ship-shape!

  11. Also, how much do I love your Peruvian triptych? As Miss Madeleine would say, “Too much!”

  12. Vicki, your ofice looks wonderful and puts mine to shame. I never painted mine; it is still the off-white it was when I moved in (blech). Is that a muskrat? I’d say beaver, but I can’t tell well enough.

  13. My god Vicki, can you come back home to help this bad penny get herself organized as quickly as you got your place organized???
    And I think the animal in the painting is a possum. I could be wrong.

  14. Vicki's sister, Betsy

    I’m very glad to see you celebrating your house by showing it off a little. It is looking beautiful, as everyone knew it would, and I hope starting to feel more like home to you.



    P.S. Did Abby ever get her Christmas present I dropped off at your house in July, bad family member that I am?

  15. I’m so happy to see your photos and read your stories of big change. I’m craving one myself. Your new home looks warm and inviting. I hope kitty learns to stay home and love it too.

  16. The place looks great sis! I don’t think I’ve seen that print before, but I’m gonna go with a Nutria. You definately have some appealing watering holes in your neighborhood…Bubba Shrimp sounds great, but your (alleged) eyesore of a rathskellar looks good too. Do they have British Bar Billiards or table shuffleboard?

  17. I love that space! I would never leave. Except maybe to go to the bathroom.

  18. Your new place is gorgeous! I can understand how it might not feel like ‘home’ yet, but I’m sure it will feel more and more familiar with the addition of pictures and art on the walls and everything else.

    Is it wrong to be so totally jealous?

  19. I’d say your place is coming alone nicely. So now it’s time to get out and establish a Tiger and Wolverine presence there in Chicago. Hang penants, banners, signs, mascots . . . . whatever it takes. We can always use a little more karma for our favorite teams no matter where it comes from.

  20. Dormice. We have dormice here too. I love seeing them, their little hunched bodies jumping a foot into the air when disturbed.

    I’m fascinated by nooks and small spaces. What does the belfry look like from the outside?

    Totally cool interior photoessay, by the way.

  21. Your house is gorgeous! I enjoyed so much the pictures! You have a very inviting home and a great taste in decorating!

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