Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Home

Gary's grandfather built this miniature log cabin which has graced many fireplace mantles throughout it's life. We started on our travels and searching for a home with a tiny budget and high hopes about three months ago. We opted for a comfortable well built house with good bones in a warm climate. We'll have to do sprucing up, painting, and low cost decorating to turn it into the home we envision.

We have an acre of land which allows for barrel firings and hopefully a future wood or gas fired kiln. We're in a nice neighborhood and we've already met four of our neighbors our first day here. Sad to say but in many areas of California folks weren't as friendly as they have been here already.

I won't get into all the depressing details, but the last several months my back deteriorated further. I'm disappointed because this prevented me from stopping to visit places and potters I planned to in our travels. I learned if I lie down every few hours on my stomach for half an our or so, I can get my spine to realign and make it through the day.

Our health insurance disqualified my back, any complications arising from my back, or any arthritis. We can just barely afford the insurance premium, let alone any out of pocket medical bills, so I'm trying to improve my back myself. Since we moved to our new home, each day I've been doing much better so I have high hopes for the future. Once I improve I hope to venture out for visits and travels to surrounding areas.

The two loquat trees in the flower bed near the door have to come out since they're planted too close to the building and are a messy tree to have near a driveway. We'll pressure wash and paint the exterior and trim shrubs. I've been thinking of tropical colors since we moved to Florida. I painted a portion of the front with a coral color, but it looks more pink than coral, and this isn't what I had in mind.

Today I got a more gray green color paint to try on the exterior. Seems like my old standby color of 'streambed' looks much better on the house than the coral color. What do you think? I'm having a hard time deciding on colors nowadays; I had hoped for a little pizazz. Perhaps I need a ceramic sculpture out front. Oops, there I go creating more projects for myself.

Here's a view of the back yard which I took before the trees leafed out and the grass greened up. Since it was cold this winter much of the grass turned brown. Can you picture one of Peter's wood fired raku kilns back there? A couple of old barrels for barrel firings would be nice too.

We will resurface the interior of the pool very soon and fill it up just in time for the hot weather coming up. The pool is enclosed in a screened area and is about 28 x 16 and six feet deep. One of the reasons we wanted a home with a pool was so I can do low impact exercises in the water to strengthen my back muscles and hopefully improve my stamina and mobility. If you know anything about pool surfaces or colors feel free to give advice.

There is a long enclosed lanai off the back of the house which is huge, 30 x 10. It's behind the screen room you see around the pool. I thought about making that space my studio, but it isn't air conditioned and we don't want to add the cost of installing heat and air for that room right now.

The cats are really happy here and they have been running all over the house, happy to have room to roam. Gary and I feel the same way, but we're running all over the house for different reasons trying to find this or that. Ha! Here's Betty lounging on the bathroom counter. I think this is the only photo I've ever taken of her with her eyes completely open, she doesn't like bright lights and often squints. See that wall paper in the background, it has to go.

Well back to painting, unpacking, and sorting. Stay tuned for interior photos and before and after shots in the coming weeks. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. oh what a great house linda! and the pool! i'd love to have a pool again, but it's too cold here i'm afraid.

    as for the house color, i agree the pink is out. the green is good though. when you look closely do you see any other colors in the rocks? when you said you wanted tropical i though of orange! maybe terracotta color. or slate blue might do to, though that's probably not tropical...

    anyway, the new digs look great. and hopefully the pool will help your back. i imagine all the time on teh road and cooped up in the motorhome didn't do much for your back. i'm envisioning crappy chairs and not to great beds. i know if i sit too long in a bad chair my back starts causing me problems. congrats again on the house, looks wonderful!

  2. beautiful home! that is one of the fun things about florida... you can really play with color on the exterior of your home. here in new england the neighbors would be appalled if you painted your house coral!
    have fun decorating...

  3. Lovely place, the pool should be great for you. Being a girl from the beach, I have to say, the coral and aqua colors are not my favorites. The green is much nicer. I think the soft blues and greens are much better choices than the coral everyone seems to want at the beach!! Have fun with your new project :)

  4. What a great house you've found! All that land is not easy to come by in Florida -- By next year this time you'll probably have it planted some fabulous tropical plants & have your kilns in.

    You definitely want to get that pool filled soon. You're gonna need it. The Florida summers can be brutal. We lived in the Orlando area for about 11 years (just been in GA for 6). And I agree swimming will be great for your back --

    I like the green on the house -- it's very restful & makes that stonework 'pop.'

    Happy nesting!

  5. HOW EXCITING! You have landed :o) All the land is the best part -and of course the POOL!! Lucky ducky -we had a weird little snow storm last night -arrrggh dumped a couple inches AND dropped the temps down again :o( your photos ALL looked so sun shiny and warm -yuuuum!

  6. Happy to see you 'settled' in your new home. Of course, I know you can't be settled--we've been in our 'new' home for 2 1/2 years and I'm not yet settled and have LOTS to do on the 'fix-up' plan! I find that walking helps my back more than anything else--but I'm sure your back problems are a lot more serious than mine! Good luck on that front. I had a fabulous chiropractor for some time here--when I really needed someone--but she has moved to Oregon--boo hoo! All that walking in Spain did wonders for my backi--but that is not a cheap cure either!
    Carry on with te unpacking. Gay

  7. Hi Ron, thanks so much. I think I was dreaming of the tropics but once I got that coral on there, I saw it wasn't right. Thanks for the support.

    Hi Kim, thanks, I do see other colors in the rocks, gray, kind of an orange gold color, tan, beige, etc. but gold is so hard to pick and tan and beige or so boring, I usually don't like blue houses, slate blue might do. I'll ask Gary later today, he seems to be better at picking colors than I am these days. I think you are right about being cooped up in the RV, I just have to build back up to my former level again which I hope to do here. You're right the wrong chair and my back feels it almost immediately, I have my good chair, but it is still in California, Gary will go to get it in a couple of weeks. I might have to invest in another one till then. It was actually the cheapest office chair from Office Max, the more expensive ones didn't work. Ha.

    Hi Michele, thanks I know what you mean about neighbors and color. One house we lived in the neighbors didn't say anything when I tried their bright teal green on the trim, then I switched to charcoal and they ran over and said "we like that color much, much better than what you had before" Ha!

    Hi Tracey, thanks, I think I got carried away with wanting bright and perhaps the front of the home should be more subtle and maybe my potter will have the brights, Ha!

    Hi Judy, thanks, I have a line on a electrician for the kilns and want to get them going asap since I have lots to fire so I can make more, I have so many ideas waiting in the wings. Glad you like the green I was hoping for something that would make the stones pop as you say.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, we had to really search for a house with the land and the right house with a pool together so that's why we'll do a bit of work to make it work for us. It has been in the 80s here every day now, yesterday actually was in the 90s. We hope to get all the outside stuff done before the really hot weather and rainy season comes. Snow, well it is pretty to look at for sure, but not for me any more.

    Hi Gay, thanks, I think I need to work back up to walking again. I did that at our last house for miles every day and then stopped so now I must build up to it again I think. Now that we are settled hopefully things will improve. Bet your trip to Spain was wonderful and you must have so much inspiration now; can't wait to see what you make next. If I knew I wouldn't have any more back problems I'd give 10 trips to Spain, (Gary probably would too Ha!) but there are no guarantees. I plan to look for a specialist around here to see what can be done to improve things, hopefully it will all work out soon; thanks again.

  8. Hi Linda, Your new place is awesome!!! I would love to have a pool. Swimming will do wonders for your back. Nice big lot so you have room to breath and build a cool kiln.
    I like the green paint on the house much better than the coral. It feels much more calming. I'm so happy for you and Gary.

  9. Hi Cindy, thanks so much, room to breathe is a good thing for sure, that's what we've always had and we're grateful we'll still have it here too. Cool and calm is great, thanks again.

  10. Linda, Great house and pool; you done good!
    Hope the pool helps your back. The stress of moving probably didn't help.

    I hope you can enjoy the thrill of creating a new space for pottery and your regular living. I have driven though that area.

    We will build you into our around the us trip for next year.Lana would love to see your studio and those great pots of yours.

    Enjoy and yes a few tropicals to
    make it all Florida style!!! Joan T

  11. Hi Joan, thanks, yes I think you are right the stress doesn't help; they say moving is the second most stressful think in life next to death or break up of a loved one. I hope you do include this area in your plans. We will have plenty of room to host you and Lana and by then I should be doing kiln and barrel firings regularly. We also want to get a little boat and do some fishing and get a little smoker and smoke some fish too, we plan on getting into the whole lifestyle of the semi-tropics. I have already met several artists here and have plans on a group studio show here, I am hoping to kick it into high gear very shortly.

  12. How exciting, Linda..what great new 'digs'...the yard,the pool...and yes.. I agree with most, the green is much better on the house..the pool will be super for your are a lucky lady...good choice.
    have fun settling in!.

  13. Hi Trish, thanks so much, we pretty much settled on the green paint and are pressure washing the rest of the house today in preparation for the paint. We want to get it all done before the really weather sets in.

  14. hi linda, looks dreamy and a whole acre to play with. stick with the rehab with your back, there's nothing worse than being out of commission. if you keep up the regimen and don't strain yourself, it will hopefully be fine in a short time. think of the huge pit fire you could have in that empty swimming pool... wow!

  15. Hi Jim, thanks, yeah, there is nothing worse than wanting to do something in your mind and your body not cooperating. I hope my own regime of rehab will work till Gary can get a job with benefits that cover me so I can get my back repaired. Lying down every fews hours is a drag just to get through the day. I hope to do pit fires real soon.

  16. What a great place! That pool's gonna be super for your back. And you'll enjoy that enclosed lanai this summer when neighbors drop by...welcome to the South, Linda! Happy you're here. And, oops, love the muted second exterior choie. Friends in Hawaii painted the pool interior the coolest aqua...neat fish on the bottom. Have fun decorating! Please make haste slowly. And don't hesitate to ask neighbors to help...Southern hospitality means helping neighbors....

  17. Hi Kittie, thanks, that's what we're hoping for my back and both of our old bones. Ha. I am looking at the spotter tiles right now trying to decide on something cool but not too hokey if you know what I mean. I have some beautiful porcelain tiles I made but they are in our treasure bus in California. We have already experienced Southern hospitality and it is wonderful. We lived in Arkansas and it was the same way there. We really appreciated living in the South for that very reason, humidity or not. I am going to line someone to come over in a pinch when Gary goes out to California so I won't be caught in a pinch. thanks again.

  18. Linda,

    As always, thanks for your encouraging comments on my blog. It's great to read about your new place! Congrats.... hope your back is healing. blessings as you move in and get settled there.

  19. How exciting! You must be very glad and I'm also very glad to see your lovely new house! I once lost my old house in the earthquake so I can understand how you feel now. I read your newest post. The stories about your new friend and about the wood were really lovely!! Thank you!

  20. Hi Amy, thanks, actually to day was the first day in three weeks my back was doing well and I am so happy about it; I am hoping it stays that way, perhaps your good thoughts have brought me luck.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks, I remember your saying about your old house and that is such a hard blow to take loosing your home, not just a house. One never knows what traumas people undergo in their lives and it's easy to forget and underappreciate what we have. I am just happy to have a home even if it will take some work to fix it up. Thanks so much.


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