Getting Our Camp On

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone

That line from Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi perfectly sums up how I felt last summer with not being able to travel. When you got from hopping on a flight once a month for long weekends across Europe to basically not leaving your backyard, it puts things in perspective. At the end of Summer 2020, I knew I couldn't do another one like that. Enter camping.

All throughout winter we casually talked about getting a camper. And in February, we traded in our Subaru Outback and Mini Cooper convertible for a Jeep Wrangler, thinking of all the summer adventures we'd be able to have. What we didn't realize was (1) the Wrangler doesn't really have great towing capacity, limiting our choices dramatically, and (2) everyone else in the known universe decided they wanted to go camping this summer, too, and now there's a six month wait (at least) on the small campers our car can actually tow. 

So now we're back to talking about traditional car camping. 

When we moved to Ireland, we sold off all of our gear, so now we have to start from scratch, and every time I think about climbing in and out of a tent, the longing for one of those adorable (and crazy expensive) teardrop trailers with wet bath and kitchen grows and grows. Still, before we invest that kind of cash in something we don't actually know if we'll make sufficient use of, it seems like a smart idea to figure out if we still like camping. Growing up, that was the only type of vacation my family ever took, but I'm 43 years old now, and sleeping on the floor holds far less appeal than it once did. 

I'm curious to see how this all plays out. 



Read More

Revisiting Mardi Gras 2020

Friday, February 5, 2021

I just saw that Mardi Gras in New Orleans has been drastically pared back this year, with the bars and restaurants essentially closing down during this period in an effort to limit the spread of COVID. Honestly, I think it's a good call by the mayor and the city's health department -- especially since I have a sneaking suspicion we might have gotten sick down there ourselves last year. 

When we traveled down to New Orleans a few days before our cruise, we were still being told the old 'rona was primarily an Asian situation. We sat down and weighed the pros and the cons, and given the information we had available, we legitimately thought we'd be fine. And maybe we were. Maybe the terrible fever, cough, headache, and sore throats that we came home with were your garden variety "We've been partying for 10 days straight and have taken multiple flights with people who don't know how to cover their damn mouths when they cough" mid-winter cold. A couple of months later, though, we looked at each other with raised eyebrows when headlines proclaimed the city's parades, packed bars, and parties acted as Mardi Gras supers-preader events. 

Honestly, I don't know if we had COVID, and I never will. What I do have is some really great memories of three days in one of our favorite cities in the world. 

And let's be real, since it doesn't look like we're getting out of this pandemic any time soon, they're going to have to be enough to tide me over until we can travel again.

Below are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. If you'd like to read a detailed description of time there (written before the world shut down), click here.













Read More

What's Your Style?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

When you live in an historic home, your decor tends to be dictated by the style of your house. One of the problems I'm running into with our mid-to-late 1700s antique colonial, however, is I don't want my house to look like a museum, and I'm not really a fan of the primitive style so many colonial home owners favor. 

If I had to put a label on it, I'd say my (our) style is eclectic. The only style I don't really like is what I call cold contemporary (think all-white walls, minimalist, uncomfortable furnishings, harsh angles). What I do like is color, texture, and comfort. I like a home that looks and feels lived in, one that fits the personality of its inhabitants. 

In going through my recent pins, it's obvious that I really enjoy a place that has warm, natural wood, colors inspired from nature, and fireplaces. (It's probably good then that our home has 8 of them, even if most don't work.)

What about you -- what's your style?










Read More

More Exterior Color Options

Sunday, June 7, 2020

After my last post, I went through the Benjamin Moore historic color palette and then drove through town looking at other historic houses from the same era to make sure I hadn't missed any potential color combinations for our exterior. These are the results of that exercise.

Caldwell Green

Coventry Gray

Newburg Green

Knoxville Gray

Jamestown Blue

Hale Navy


There are colors we are certainly leaning toward, but every day our mood changes and the order of preference seems to change. While we love the Hale Navy, one worry is that it might be too much. Our kitchen is predominantly that color and I just don't want our house to be flat. Like, is it overboard?

As an aside, I love this sketch I created in Photoshop. I may plug in our current colors and get a print out of it to hang up somewhere so we can always remember the glowing gold that our house was when we bought it. (Like we could ever forget.)


Read More

Exterior Paint Color Options

Thursday, June 4, 2020

We're in the process of getting a new roof put on the house, and in the course of the work, we've discovered there was a lot more rot to the maroon fascia and trim on our house than we knew about, which resulted in the crew needing to replace much of it around the roof line. We've also noticed several boards rotted beyond repair on the yellow portion of the house. I'm a great believer in restoration when possible, but like I said ... beyond repair. What this means is we're in the market for new cedar siding and an all over paint job sooner rather than later (we knew we were going to have to tackle this at some point ... we just didn't want that point to be now). And that means I can start thinking about COLOR SCHEMES. I've made no secret of the fact that our McDonald's colored house wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to a home's exterior, and since we have to completely redo it anyway ... instead of just going with what was, we may as well get what we want. With that in mind, I've been playing around in photoshop to come up with a few options (please forgive my rudimentary skills in this area). As you'll notice, I've kept the maroon trim in each option. It turns out I rather like it. 

Navy

Dark Gray

Federal Blue

Dark Putty

Light Putty

Which would you choose?
Read More