October 17th, 2004

serious Oracle

(no subject)

The chimney sweep came yesterday. It was a bit of a letdown, as he neither sang nor danced. Still, when he left, our woodstove was set to go, and so we lit our first fire in the new house last night. It took some time to catch; neither Don nor I are particularly accomplished fire-builders. Isabeau was entranced. She saw the flames dancing through the glass and sat, staring, for a good twenty minutes. Jilly finally came out of the bedroom, though she watched the fire from the relative safety of the couch. I think the girls will be very happy for a warm hearth in the coming months. Ours is a quirky little house; it is not as sound as it might be. There are ill-set windows and unexpected draughts. Some heating vents work beautifully, some not so well. The bathroom is distressingly chilly, and my office - well, let us hope the propane stove works, else I'll be typing with frostbitten stubs.

But there is this: I can look out any window and see trees, which are presently in spectacular autumn array. Deer play in my yard. Hawks soar over the hills. The bears have yet to come visit, but I expect they will. And I do love my house, my wee charming cottage.

Speaking of wee and charming abodes, we went to visit Don's older sister and her husband at their new place in Hoboken. While it is neither wee or charming, it is spacious and grand. It's a four story brownstone, built in the 1880s. The kitchen is entirely new (and HUGE!!!!) with Viking appliances: one separate oven with broiler, one six-burner stove w/oven, professional refrigerator, dishwashwer. Black marble counters with double utility sink. Dark wood floors. ::sigh!:: It leads out onto a beautiful courtyard and then to the double garage. Also on the first floor is a living room of sorts with a gorgeous fireplace. Oh, and the ceiling has some gorgeous relief work; the floors are inlaid wood.

Second story is the formal dining room, complete with dumbwaiter. The light fixtures are original, having been converted from gas. Attached to the dining room is another room that would be, I suppose, a parlor. Again, detail work on the floors and ceilings: stunning. Again, fireplaces in both rooms.

Third story is my brother in law's office (fireplace again), the guest bath (claw footed tub!) and the more casual living room.

Fourth floor is the master bedroom (with fireplace), master bath (HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!) and guest bedroom.

Throughout the house there are high ceilings, original hardware (all refinished; it is absolutely beautiful, if a little too frou-frou for my everyday taste). I suppose if you have to live in a city (or prefer to), that is the way to do it. Egad, but it is an impressive house. And my sister in law's taste in decor is lovely as well; she's a great eye for antiques and colour.

House aside, it was a fun party. Nice to see Don's family, and playing with the kids is always a blast.

Now to see if I can convince my husband we need to go hiking NOW. Too beautiful a day not to!

One more thing: