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A whole head full o’ nothin’ but spring

Written Sunday evening; posted Monday morning from my car, grabbing a few minutes wifi.


I’ve beat my brains this weekend trying to come up with something brilliant for you. I’ve got nothing.

But aside from feeling guilty for the nothingness between my ears, having nothing is a blessedly pleasant state. I’ve been sewing. And cleaning junk out of the laundry room in preparation for the next round of serious minioning for The Wandering Monk. And buying fabrics for $1 a yard from one of the local thrift stores, which just inherited 20 boxes of sewing supplies from some woman’s estate and is letting them into the store gradually. And planning for having company (yes, actual company) this summer.

It’s spring. It’s raining, but it’s still spring. The fish & chips wagon is open again. I haven’t actually gone there in a couple of weeks, but it’s open, which is what matters.

The woods and fields are lushly green. Even evergreen forests get greener in spring. Five varieties of ferns unfurl. Horsetail and sorel push up in the ditches. Watercress will soon top ponds. The salal, with its cascading rose-pink blossom, graces the verges of the logging roads. Ava and I walked and walked this week.

Often, walking fills my head with Deep Thoughts for blogging. But not this time.


I did a little privacy protection and beautification around the house, too. Which merits some backstory about Ye Olde Wreck (now Mo Saoirse Hermitage).

Three sides of the house naturally enjoy glorious privacy. My backyard is a wooded hill. Across the street, a park-like lot slopes down to a wetland. The neighbor farther down the street is separated both by distance and the giant camillias and rhodies that grow like jungle plants hereabouts. But on the other side, I’m practically in a neighbor’s lap.

That was Not Supposed to Be.

The in-the-lap house burned down just before I bought Ye Olde Wreck. Everybody “knew” its remnants would have to be torn down and hauled away. It was clearly not repairable. After the fire, its owners simply walked away and abandoned the place. They even left their chained-for-life dog (who got taken in by another family and lived the rest of his years in companionable freedom). Nothing more to do but bring on the wrecking ball, while the people on the other side of the burned ruin and I negotiated over who’d get the empty lot. I was willing to split it.

Yeah. And then along came Andy. Andy had previously had a contract to buy the infamous hovel that eventually became mine. But by the time he got done jerking the foreclosing bank around, they wouldn’t even consider his new bid when their much-extended contract lapsed and the hovel came back on the market. That’s how I got the place — because Andy outbid me by 40% but the bank refused to deal with him after he’d played months of games with them. (Some extremely choice and not exactly discreetly professional words were conveyed to me about Andy from the bank’s asset manager via the bank’s real estate broker.)

But I met Andy later and liked him. And Andy liked hopeless houses; so he bought the burned-out hulk instead. Fixed it cute and sold it.

The revival of the hulk is altogether a different story. But I’ve already subjected you to enough digression. The upshot is that I have a neighbor whose windows look into one of mine. A pretty big window of mine, at that.


Now, this neighbor is at least as private as I am. He used to have mini-blinds, never opened, on those windows that look down on me. He’s now replaced them with something like wartime blackout curtains. Ugly as hell, but not one bit of light or a single errant glance is ever getting in or out. He’ll never snoop on me, but clearly he demands the same in return.

A couple months ago, I took down my own temporary mini-blind for the duration of construction in the laundry/sewing room. Since then, my big window has gazed upon neighbor’s house. Normally, I’d worry about Peeping Tom or Mrs. Kravitz. But I like the daytime light shining in.

Rather, I feel that the mere existence of that large rectangular “eye” in my house is violating the neighbor’s sensibilities, even if all I can see is an exterior wall with those covered-like-a-dungeon windows. Poor man works so hard to keep to himself; I’m sure a naked window makes him nervous, even if he sees it only when out mowing his lawn. I cover it at night, but don’t want to lose such glorious sunlight.

So anyhow, after all that rambling tale, I did this yesterday:

It’s just a clear vinyl film squeegied onto a wet window, but it both blurs images with its texture and is IMHO just gorgeous with that illusion of iridescence.

Here’s a closer look, taken in not the best light:

I really like it. It’s beautiful. It lets tons of light in. The colors change throughout the day and shift locations. It produces almost a cathedral-like ambience — which is an absurdly lofty ambition for a laundry room with two unmatching appliances and a sloping floor.

And it lasts; I have the identical film on another window that faces the same neighbor’s yard and it’s looking good and hanging strong after four years.


You see? Just living and doing the little spring tasks that living demands and that make living a pleasure.

So I’m sorry. There’s not a Deep Thought to be had in the neighborhood. But it’s been lovely.

However, I do have a bit of linkage, which I’ll post Tuesday when the library’s open.


And as soon as I post this, I’ll sit down and mull Heavier Matters, albeit I’ll probably do my mulling on the screen porch. With a bloody Mary and maybe even some toasted Cheerios. Oh, I haven’t had any of those in months!

Yeah … post this blog and go get a fry pan and a damn near a whole luscious stick of butter. Don’t stint on the salt, either. And use the fancy vodka in the bloody Mary. It’s time to get down and decadent.

Heavy can wait a bit longer.


  1. Bob G.
    Bob G. May 20, 2019 11:13 am

    Claire, I enjoy your digressions almost as much as your pearls of wisdom. I’m glad you’re enjoying your spring. I’ve really looked forward to the various installments of the tale of your home’s progress from barely livable to comfortable dwelling.


  2. Bill T
    Bill T May 20, 2019 11:20 am

    I’m always surprised myself how a seemingly simple project can really punctuate a room and add so much more that’s the sum of it’s parts. It looks great, very Art Nuevoish with out being to over the top and it’s not going to look dated in a few years like some of the fad crap.

  3. jed
    jed May 20, 2019 4:08 pm

    I like the window film. I’m tempted to try something like that myself, as my big living room window looks out onto the parking lot and street.

    In re. sewing, I have some of that to do myself. I need a carry-bag for my latest portable antenna project. Every possible stable place to set up the sewing machine is occupied. I could unbolt the bench vise … or I guess use one of the Workmates. Might get out tomorrow to see if there’s any cheap fabric to be had. Usually, I use old pants legs for stuff sacks and such, but they aren’t quite big enough.

    Do you add worcestershire to your toasted cereal snacks?

    For cheap vodka, I’ve found that Monopolowa is really good.

  4. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit May 21, 2019 8:36 am

    Like Bob G, I enjoy just hearing about what you’re up to. You mentioned sewing – does that project include any of Mildred’s patterns? And enjoy the rain. We have 6 inches of fresh snow here on the mountain.

  5. Claire
    Claire May 21, 2019 10:36 am

    “Do you add worcestershire to your toasted cereal snacks?”

    I save the worcestershire for the bloody Marys. I do enjoy a touch of it in fried snacks, but I’m a purist when it comes to Cheerios.

    “does that project include any of Mildred’s patterns?”

    Not yet. But quite possibly the next item I sew will be made from one of Mildred’s patterns. It may not be one of her WWII classics, though, but something simple and ageless. I really do look forward to making one of those WWII military-style tops, though. I always loved that look.

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