Friday, April 20, 2012

Two Small Cottages - One Marriage

Trevor Tondro Photos for the New York Times

I just had to share the article 'With This Cottage' from the New York Times.  These are 'his and hers' bungalows  for a married couple.  The husband, Robert Pardo, bought these two houses so that his now wife, Laura Ann Jacobs, would agree to marry him.  Ms. Jacobs originally declined Mr. Pardo's proposal, but could imagine being married if they had two houses, one each.  So Mr. Pardo bought the pair of houses from the bank for $62,520 in January of 2011 and restored them.  Mr. Pardo and Ms. Jacobs are now married, living at the same address, but in two houses.  His is 'pink' and hers is 'blue'.  Take a look at these fabulous little bungalows!  All photos are by Trevor Tondro for the New York Times.


I'm not crazy about the fake purple fur throw in the bedroom.  But separate small houses are certainly one way to solve design differences.

And before I go, a quick 'fun fact' about 'his and hers' houses.  After getting married in 1929, Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera, known for their art and famously volatile love affair, built these side-by-side block houses in Mexico, linked by a rooftop bridge.  'Red' for him, 'blue' for her.
Unfortunately, they were both notoriously unfaithful to each other. 

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

God's way of saying...get rid of the clutter!

 A few days ago our basement flooded with several inches of water.  The culprit, a gorgeous red maple tree whose roots had grown into the drain pipe.  Here are some of the photos from our water logged adventure.

Basement spread across the backyard to dry.

More basement stuff.  This we stored in the car! 

Plastic sheets covering basement furniture and schoolwork.

Because of the moisture, several feet of drywall had to be removed.

The living room doing double duty as storage.
The bad news, it will be several weeks before our little home regains it's Jewel Box® look.  Until then we will be living with 'stuff' everywhere.  Nothing puts me in a bad mood faster than a cluttered, messy house!  My husband is at the opposite end of the spectrum, he loves to be surrounded by his 'things'.  Fishing gear, flashlights (over 30 at last count), Home Depot hardware for future household projects that somehow never happen and stacks of books that are never read.  Secretly, I am relishing the fact that some of his gear is too damaged and has to be thrown out.  And there is another silver lining, our homeowner's insurance covers everything!  The basement rebuild and all damaged contents.  Laney, your prayers are working again!

Now for my friend's gorgeous spring garden, the original topic for this post.  The bright green grasses are just now making an appearance.

Grasses along the pavers.

We have had an early spring, so the ground cover next to the River Birch is almost completely filled in.  Don't miss the papering bark on the tree trunk.

The contrast of the new grass against last year's dried growth is lovely.

Karl Foster grass showing new and old growth.

Cat mint just beginning to climb the stone path.
Contrasting plant shoots add color to the garden, even without perennial flowers that will arrive later.
'Found' stones are often at their best in the spring garden when they are the most visible and create dramatic contrast with new growth.

Gardening is a passion with me, so even in the dead of winter I like to have something growing in the house.  A few weeks ago, after passing a difficult certification exam for work, I treated myself to a creamy white orchid.  And I learned a new trick about watering orchids.  Place 3-5 ice cubes at the base of the plant once a week.  This satisfies an orchid's water needs and doesn't rot the roots. 

My poor orchid is not in it's usual spot because of the 'flood', but it is surviving beautifully and doesn't seem to mind the disruption.  The photo above does not do it justice.

Enjoy your weekend!