Thursday, May 24, 2007


So many of the other blogs I read have pictures of WIPs (Works in Progress). It makes me feel bad that I've been such a creative slug for the past few months.

But at long last I do have a WIP...this is a big printer's type tray that I picked up in Williamsburg last fall. I have just the spot for it: at the end of our upstairs hallway, which is very narrow. The end wall is only a few feet wide, and the door to my study opens right off it, so there's no clearance to put a shelf or anything with any depth on the wall, or else you'd smack into it as you turned the corner into my study.

So this is perfect. I've had it sitting here until I was ready to tackle it, and now I am. I was going to re-paint it because it's a little skeevy, but then I realized I could just line the backs of the drawers to cover up most of the skeevy, and then the rest would just look "shabby," which is merely a slightly more acceptable version of "skeevy."

I have boxes and boxes of tiny treasures from my childhood and later years, which have been on various tiny shelves over time, but have been boxed up for quite a long time as my homes got bigger and tiny treasures seemed harder to display.

So this is a great way to display some of them. I'm using pages from old books and shabby-looking scrapbook papers to line the drawers. It's a project where I sit and stare at it for a while, then add a couple things, then sit and stare at it a few hours later, and move things around. When I get it the way I want it, I'll take a picture, remove everything, hang it up, and then replace everything, using the picture as a guide.

It definitely looks like I'll be needing a few extra-tiny treasures for the many extra-tiny spaces. Those will be fun to keep an eye out for!


Todd took the afternoon off yesterday, for our anniversary, and we drove down to Portsmouth to explore a little and have dinner.

The "Old Town" area of Portsmouth is very cool...there's a small neighborhood of very old homes, and a charming downtown area that has undergone--and is still undergoing--a lot of renovation.

I have really gotten out of the habit of taking pictures when we go out and do things, so I made an extra effort to get a couple snaps yesterday.

In the background of this one, you can see ladders and drop cloths--many of the storefronts are being remodeled, and there are still quite a few sitting vacant, but the effort is definitely being put forth to bring back this downtown area, and I think it's working.

This old movie theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it's so great to see it still running and doing business. The marquee is especially nice lit up at night.

Above, a close-up of the box office.

A few steps further down the street, there's an iron gate in a brick wall, and if you peep through, you can see the lovely tiny cemetery behind Trinity Episcopal Church. This is my favorite little spot in the neighborhood.

And here's the tower of Trinity Church. There are lots and lots of old gorgeous churches in Portsmouth.

Here's another shot of the Commodore from across the street.

This is our "go to" restaurant whenever we want to do something out of the ordinary: the Bier Garden. The real allure of the place: umpteen-zillion imported beers on tap, which is sadly completely lost on us, as Todd doesn't drink and I don't care for beer.

No, we go to the Bier Garden for bratwurst and soft pretzels with spicy mustard and Black Forest cake. And German potato salad and sauerkraut and red cabbage and vinegary green bean salad. Mmmmmm.....!

Our first visit there was with a batch of friends, and we sat in the covered courtyard and listened to the rain falling hard all around us, while we remained (mostly) dry and the fairy lights
twinkled along the railings. But sitting inside is nice too--the building is quite old, and the restaurant is a nest of small candlelit rooms with old brick walls.

Here's the beautiful tower of the Catholic church down the street:

The shopping was less enjoyable than expected--the one shop I particularly wanted to visit had closed since the last time I was there in January. So sad!

But we did find a garden shop that has expanded through its building, into the courtyard behind, into the building behind that, and into several buildings next door. Here's part of the courtyard:

This shop ran mostly to heavy cement urns and fountains and statuary--the kind of stuff I love, but which would look absurd in our yard. But I did find a gorgeous small cement pot with a weathered glaze, and three ceramic bird pokes.

After dinner, we went to see Spiderman 3, and enjoyed it. So it was a low-key celebration, but fun. We hope to take a Big Trip this fall for the real celebration...we just have to decide where to go. Right now the choices are northern California or rural England--which do you suggest?

We chatted at dinner about what we remember from our wedding day...the answer is--very little! I honestly don't think much about our wedding at all, and although I wanted a nice wedding, of course, even then the day itself was much less important to me than just getting married. I was more concerned about having a great marriage than having a great wedding. I still feel that way.

My main feeling about our wedding is happiness that we were surrounded by all the people who cared about us, and that so many of them pitched in to help make it a great day. My mother and father and aunts and grandmothers created the meal and helped get it all set mother made my dress and the bridesmaids' mother-in-law baked a fabulous wedding pastor kept us calm and sister-in-law played her flute beautifully during the ceremony...all our friends were there, and my friend Bev braved a broken ankle and hopped down the aisle with ribbons on her crutch as my really was a time when we were supported and helped by everyone who loved us, and I can't think of a better way to start a marriage!