Friday, June 23


Five years ago today, K. and I got married.

Like most couples I know, we agreed ahead of time that we were not going to exchange gifts on our wedding day -- I mean, other than the rings and the wedding itself and the large number of gifts that other people gave us and, oh yeah, a legal and spiritual commitment of half of everything we owned or ever will own until the end of time -- and, like most couples, we did in fact exchange gifts. K. gave me a very nice watch inscribes with something mushy, and I gave her a set of windchimes.

OK, that sounds bad. But they were nice windchimes. And K. had often discussed her fantasies of having a house with a yard and a front porch where we could sit and listen to windchimes. Of course, little were we to know that the vagaries of the academic job market would have us spend the first four years of our marriage living in big city apartments without a porch or even a yard so those very lovely windchimes stayed in a box in a closet somewhere (meanwhile, I got to wear the watch every day, although interestingly the lack of windows in one of said apartments made the solar-powered aspect of the watch a little difficult to deal with).

But now we have a house. And a yard. And, after several long weeks of work, a very lovely grapevine-covered arbor to hang them in:


It may have taken us five years to have an appropriate place to hang them, but they've been a wonderful five years. And I hope we have many more of them together. Happy anniversary, honey.

Monday, June 5

Revivalized Mailbag

Letters. We get letters. We get lots and lots of letters. Let-ters.

A loyal reader writes in to ask
Hey! You promised us pictures of the finished foyer. And it's been a full week. What's up with that? - Impatient In Impanema

That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked it. I did make that promise. So without further ado, here is the finished version of what the top of the stairs now look like.




The green comes out a bit greyish in certain lights, both in real life and in photoland. And it is only finished in the sense of the painting being done and the masking being pulled off -- there is still some cleaning to do and maybe, possibly, someday some art to hang. But we've made progress.

I need more blogging! Please write about everything that you do, no matter how dull or mundane it may seem to you! -- Mara in Bethesda

Thanks for your letter, Mara, but you really don't know what you are asking for. In particular, would you really want a whole blog post on how I installed a light in my office?


I mean, its true that there were some hijinks as I tried to install a fancy modern light from Home Depot on some ancient wiring, but it wasn't really that exciting and nothing burned down. But now I have light in the office which is especially nice now that it is summer and I "work" "from" "home" most days.

Now, if you could get K. to post about the Handmade Modern-esque headboard she made that would be an interesting post!

OK, I understand that you are pulling the roof off the shed. Which seems like a good idea given how ugly it appeared. But what are you putting in its place? - Roofless in Seattle

That's a good question. And, as we've mentioned before, we're sort of winging it when it comes to the shed. But this weekend we borrowed a friend's really-effin-tall ladder and the three of us (me, K, and the ladder) finally got the last pieces of the roof off. And right now K. is experimenting with putting the grape vine over the beams that are on top to create an arbor-esque feeling.



We may add an awning over part of it or we may do any number of other things. We're making it all up as we go along -- we just wanted to see something other than tar and asphalt when we were on our upstairs patio, and we wanted the space inside the shed to feel more open. And I think we are on our way.

OK, we have time for one more letter:
What's the deal with that last pair of pictures? Is it tinted red due to the coming apocalypse that Rambaldi predicted or does Smallville lie on top of a Hellmouth or is my computer monitor just messed up? - A. Sloane
Actually, the problem is on our end. You see, our digital camera is starting to get a bit cranky and it seems to have something to do with the connection between the memory card and the camera itself. We've been having slight problems for a year or so, and they seem to be getting worse as the camera approaches its third birthday, which seems to make it ancient by today's standards. We're hoping it holds out for a while longer, but if any of you have suggestions or recommendations for a new camera -- or if you want to contribute to the "Buy Revivalized A New Camera" fund, feel free to let us know and we will give you our PayPal account number.

Sunday, June 4

Making Good Neighbors

The major development of the last week has been in the backyard. And it's a doozy. We finally have a fence. You may recall that we love our backyard, as small as it is, but we didn't like the complete and utter lack of privacy from the neighbors, made worse by the particulars of one of our neighbors. So in order to get full use of the backyard we needed to build a fence. Or rather, to have a fence built. You see, dear readers, we cannot really take any credit for this fence other than the money that was used to pay for it. It was built by the fine folks at Home Depot and installed for us by a pair of young men that were not us. Pretty much all we did was choose the fence and make some decisions about how to deal with the incline. And now we get to enjoy our backyard in relative peace with a mojito and a book of Robert Frost poetry in hand.

While we are doing so, enjoy some photos of the process: