shadows March 8th, 2013
Happy Friday everyone!
Happy Friday everyone!
We decided to go on a little getaway this weekend! Drove up to Greencastle, PA yesterday afternoon and stayed at the cutest little bed and breakfast overnight. If you are ever in that area, I cannot recommend enough the White Hall Manor B&B! Not only was it an amazing house, but our hosts, Gerry and Pam, were so sweet too. They obviously put a lot of thought into making their place feel like a home. We loved their homemade breakfast this morning, which we shared with two other travellers who were in town visiting their son. It was nice to sit and talk with complete strangers, brought together only by a certain point and place in time, and hear about their crazy families, travel stories and recommendations, and plans for the future. I hope Pam gets her baby blue vw bug.
After breakfast, it was hiking time. We walked 4.5-miles of the Appalachian Trail, up to an overlook at Annapolis Rock. Easy hike overall, and though the path was a little icy, it was sunny out, and there was a great view at the end!
I just love this house on 8th St NE. I stop to look at all the MJ photos and memorabilia every time I walk by, and I walk visiting friends out of the way just so we can go by it. I’ve never seen the occupants before, except for one time they were outside having a sidewalk party. Never thought to stop and take a picture until today when I was on my way back from yoga… and that got me thinking about it some more. A quick Google search turned up this article from the Post about them. They seem like a really cool family! I’d love to see the inside…
If I were a bird, I would totally want to live in this 1 square-foot, farmhouse-style, penthouse pad (complete with swinging privacy doors and cupola!! eeee!!) Even though it’s looking a little ramshackle right now, it’s nothing that a fresh coat of white paint can’t fix. Hellooo, potential! And as for the location, location, location, I can’t think of a better one than a schoolyard. The neighbors will never be around on nights and weekends, and they’re always gone on vacation for 3 months of the year. Plus, you’re only a 2-minute as-the-crow-flies from the hip, up-and-coming, H-St neighborhood. This is prime real estate!!
A mardi-gras-themed housewarming party seemed like the best way to break in our new house on Orleans Street, plus, I’ve been wanting to try making a King Cake recipe forever, so this was a great excuse! Jill and I were busy in the kitchen all morning getting ready… making pralines, muffalettas, Cajun Caviar, and of course gumbo! Mix in some Abita, the Rebirth Brass Band on the iPod, and lots of great friends who came to celebrate, and it made for a great time! House is now “officially” warmed!
Jill braiding the dough…
and Abita, of course.
Well, hello green!!
A few weekends ago I decided to take the lifeless kitchen walls into my own hands and add some color. Luckily, there’s a paint store just a few blocks from our house, and just enough room in Matt’s bike basket for two cans of paint. We went with Overt Green for the rear kitchen wall, hoping to pick up some of the light greenish tints in our table and chairs, and Portabello brown for the downstairs bathroom (still yet to be tackled.) The exciting thing about paint is you never know what you’re going to get. Sure, we held up the little swatches in the store, but the fancy light tester where you can view your swatch under different conditions was broken. Maybe it’s best that it was, because we probably saved ourselves another 10 minutes of color discourse. I then asked the mixer guy if he liked my color choices, only to get a confused look and another question as my answer. “Well do YOU like them?”
So yeah, the 2×2 swatch of green just doesn’t help show what it’ll actually look like on a whole wall… which makes me wonder why paint gets a bad rap for being boring to watch dry. I actually enjoyed seeing it go on and dry into its actual color. All in all, we were pretty happy with how it looks and now the kitchen is much prettier. Next kitchen task – curtains. Ooooh the excitement!
Matt’s new year resolution to become more handy is off to a great start! Over the weekend, he and Dad put together a new (partially anyways) dining room table for us. We were looking for something big and solid feeling to fill the big space we have there in our kitchen/dining room, and the end result certainly fits the bill.
It started with some counter/island bases that were leftover from the apartment units of the construction project Matt has been working on for the last few years. He acquired two of these, and we decided to go in search of an old door to make the table top. Hardly an original idea, but we knew that finding the right door would really make or break it.
We took a trip to The Brass Knob Back Doors Warehouse, an old architectural salvage warehouse on New York Avenue, not too far from our new house. Holy cool place!! There were literally thousands of old doors, fireplace surrounds, mirrors, columns, trim, windows, EVERYTHING you can imagine, packed in this old, dusty, two-story building. So much potential for these things!!
We spent about an hour sifting through the old doors, which were loosely arranged by height and size, until we found the one we settled on. Just the right amount of history (and chipping paint) to it and the right size, too. For $20, a guy and his pickup truck delivered it to our house on the spot.
The next step is to do some sanding, and then decide upon either a glass top or a resin top, but we need to do a little research into those options. Then, the fun part will be picking out some counter-height dining chairs to go with. Take that, HGTV.
It’s been a long while since we’ve posted anything… because we’ve been busy packing and moving into our first house!!! As of now, all the boxes and furniture are in and we’re slowly making it a home.
Since we put in our offer in November, the whole process went really smoothly thanks to our friends Redfin. We closed on December 9th and have been happy first time homeowners ever since!
On Saturday, a big crew of our family and friends helped us load the U-Haul truck and move out of our Q Street basement. We couldn’t have done it without them! After all the big stuff was done, there was lots of beer, pizza, chili, and cookies to nourish our moving arms.
I will certainly miss living in Dupont Circle and all the vibrant activity that’s constantly going on there, but I’m also excited for our quiet little street, all the friendly new neighbors we’ve met already, and our walls that aren’t crumbling in on themselves. The hardest part of packing up for me is not being able to reminisce through all of the parts of our lives as they go into the boxes. The old stacks of photos and travel souvenirs, film negatives and slides, and t-shirts and race memorabilia. It’s all there in stacks now, being relived a little as each part is unpacked.
As for the kids, they’re doing just fine. Bowser had a few minutes of whimpering in his new crate location, but he has since adjusted to his new space. Especially since it’s close to the heater vent, he can snuggle all cozy and warm under his blankets. And Moesha, well, after an eventful/scratchy car ride over in my dads arms, she seems to be queen of the castle once again and has even found the new litter box after only one accident.
The house we’re in the process of buying (fingers crossed!) was originally built in 1901, so it’s got lots of quirky history to it. So while this photo is taken in another alleyway in DC, and not at our place-to-be, it reminded me all the same of the layers of history that you find in so many DC rowhomes. We’ve got a lot of decisions to make coming up as we start to move in and think about what we want to update and what will have to wait, like the partially exposed brick wall that runs up the stair case. Should we knock out the rest of the drywall as it goes down the upstairs hallway to the bedrooms? Our house inspector suggested waiting for a bad day at work, then to come home with a crowbar and go to town. Sounds like good messy fun.
I snapped this (blurry iPhone) photo a few weekends ago while we were enjoying some coffee in the backyard area at Sova on H St. I really like these bench/seater/outdoor daybeds that they have back there. Just a simple wood frame and a long cushion, but a great place for lounging around and enjoying a hot beverage. This might have to go on the growing list of things that would be nice to have at our new house, though it will likely have to wait until a weekend project next summer when we’re feeling ambitious.