2016’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour, Coming Up Oct 22 (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local)

Atlanta locals, take note. It’s almost time for this year’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour. Meanwhile, just for inspiration, here’s a mini-photo-tour from last year…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - dining area

I love the rhyming lines in the stair railing and the chair backs.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

In the same home, with Sam checking out a window of the laundry room.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

A great idea for displaying a collection of vinyl…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Can you tell the owner here also runs an art gallery?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - mannequin and art

Another view — art? mannequin? hat-rack?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Welcome now to more signs of my obsession with stairways…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015


Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - art and stairwell

Down one more stairway and out — back soon for this year’s tour.

Revisiting last year’s tour is wake-up call for me; I see that yet another year has passed and I still haven’t finished downsizing. If I’m going to get out of my house and find a new home in a condo, apartment, or loft by this time next year I’m going to have to focus. Meanwhile, on Saturday I’ll get another look at Castleberry Hill — an historic intown neighborhood,  interior brick walls, stairway angles, tall ceilings and gallery walls — all very appealing.

What do you think? Doesn’t a loft look like a great alternative?

More on the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016

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Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

The stresses of bathroom remodeling and personal access to H2O were getting to me, so what better way to make my peace with the element than to visit a watery refuge that doesn’t depend on plumbing…

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - heron

Life imitates Art – this heron blends in with the surroundings so well, it reminds me of Arts & Crafts wallpaper.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - coots

These are coots – apparently they’re shy and I made too much noise approaching…

… because, next photo, here they are, fleeing. Still, they splash the H2O around nicely.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - coots

The official beginning of migration season is coming up on October 15, so I got to Squaw Creek a little early.

Now, it’s time to get back home and splash in my own new tub.  Well, maybe not quite time, as you can see, this bath still needs some finishing. The counter-top will be ready in a couple of days, after that it’s get the sinks installed, the walls painted, and the rest of the cleaning up done.


I’m just posting this “during” remodel photo in a blatant bid for sympathy… so how about it, are you sympathetic yet?

More on Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge:   “The refuge includes 7,440 acres of wetlands, grasslands, and forests along the eastern edge of the Missouri River floodplain.”

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Seeing the Light Fixtures, Remodeling Can be Fun, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Remodeling projects are a quest for beauty, practicality, and OK, resale value. But here’s what I hadn’t realized —  they can also be a quest for fun. Before I settle down and get practical, I’ll share these favorites among the lights I’ve seen while shopping and touring.

Who knew there were light fixtures for plane and train fans (and small boys)… these were a happy surprise when I was shopping.

Airplane light fixture

Airplane light

Train car light fixture - "Choo Choo"

It’s “Choo Choo”, the train car light. I loved the airplane so much that I had to ask what else was available — this is from the catalog.

Hall light fixtures from Modern Atlanta Homes Tour house

I love this starry minimalist light from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour – too bad I’ve neither the budget nor the expansive hallway to support one.

Sputnik light - Modern Atlanta Homes Tour

And lights can be fun — this one reminds me of the Sputnik era. And I love how they echoed the shape with the plant below.

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

Going retro with telephone pole insulator shades

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

And for the nostalgic, a closer look

And for those who prefer a quest for fire, I’ll include these, also from past Modern Atlanta Homes Tours…

Fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016

If I were that tree I might be a little nervous (fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016)

Fireplace from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013

One more modern quest for fire (Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013)

What will it be, fire or light?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest


More Drawer Explosions, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

I’m living on the edge of reason around here while remodeling is going on. With everything out of place, I needed at least one corner where I could bring order out of chaos. I found two drawers in the “bar” cabinet (doesn’t every 1970’s suburban house have one?) that hadn’t been visited in a long time.  Here’s my most important find — as you can see, it’s a bit bunged up, I’m assuming from past use.

Panic Button

Panic button, also needed for Earth-evacuation in a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ scenario. Oh wait, maybe that was “Don’t Panic”, much harder to do.

As for a list of finds, here goes —

9 wine-bottle corks. I gave away the wine, so that makes these how old?

12 clip-on flashing lights like we used a decade ago when walking at 0-dark-thirty in the morning.

3  can openers,  4 sleek mid-century-looking bottle openers, 6 can/bottle openers of the kind that were once called “Church-keys”, including a cute little folding one, and 7 corkscrews (4 I didn’t even know what were at first).

5 screwdrivers… now that I think of it, very appropriate for a bar area, at least in a bad-pun sort of way. Also 5 more pairs of scissors, and many little oddities. Here’s my favorite oddity…

Celebrator goat ornament

It took only a little surfing to find out that bottles of ‘Celebrator Doppelbock’ come with these ornaments on the neck. Bob loved his German beer, so it’s good to think that he once enjoyed the bottle this came from. Oh, and apparently bock means ‘goat’ as well as a type of beer, so mystery solved.

Also on the subject of German beer – more of Bob’s coaster collection – pretty, yes?

German beer coasters

And my nomination for the award for Most Out of Place — a fossil remnant from a past Gem and Mineral Show …

Fossil - Exogyra Cretaceous - Texas

Exogyra Cretaceous, Texas

And here’s the obligatory drawer-explosion photo, a partial-view, after throw-aways —

Another drawer explosion

Do you have any cabinets that need exploding?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

More on Exogyra Cretaceous

Enfilade, Remodeling, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

Some scenes are best framed formally, with a doorway. Think ‘enfilade’ — a group of rooms with doorways in line, like this view at the Tate Britain.

Enfilade - Tate Britain

Yes, you can see all the way to the gift shop.

Or sometimes framing can be informal, with a portion of the surroundings —

Pulteney Bridge, Kayaks on the Avon in Bath

Kayaks under the arch of Pulteney Bridge in Bath, UK

But back to ‘enfilade’ — I’ll segue now to garden, and use this example from the tour to Glastonbury that Sam and I took in May.

Entrance to the Chalice Well Garden, Glastonbury. And yes, we tasted the water.

Entrance to the Chalice Well Garden, Glastonbury, UK.

I learned about enfilade from reading Tara Dillard’s blog.  

Meanwhile, on the homefront, there’s another kind of bath — the bathroom. This one has no kayaks and things are not so pretty. One bathroom is being demolished as I write…bang bang bang just overhead. Here’s the state of destruction at lunchtime…

Bathroom remodel during demolition

Framed by the doorway — gutting the bathroom, and oh how it needed it.  See that green strip on the bottom where the tub was framed in?  You can see that previous owners had it refinished from avocado green to white.

I used to think I could wait until avocado green and harvest gold were in again.  Now I realize that may not happen in my lifetime. I’ll stand by this quote from one of the comics in the Sunday paper a couple of weeks ago…

Everything I have is in that awkward stage between outdated and retro.

(“The Lockhorns” August 21)

What do you think? Do you favor new, or should I have waited for retro?


More on the Chalice Well at Glastonbury

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Preparing for Bath Remodels and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

In this house full of accumulated stuff, I thought there’d be nothing so rare as an empty cabinet, but now I have two empty vanity cabinets plus an empty medicine cabinet. The occasion? — bathroom remodel starts next week.

Empty medicine cabinet

Medicine cabinet with 3-way mirror — it was handy, but hulking.

This poor old cabinet is coming apart, but I’ll keep the glass shelves long enough to see if they might be useful to someone. I’ve been diligently sorting out what’s still usable, what’s recyclable, what’s never-used and can be donated, and what must be discarded, all the while trying to keep track of what I’m keeping.

Just to keep myself entertained, I held a “Goofy Stuff I Found” contest — here are the winners.

— Most prolific find — safety pins. Nearly all these came from one drawer in the dressing-table. I think they’ve been breeding in there. The first runner up on most prolific: match books. There were twelve. Two were empty. (?) Next would be the eight manicure scissors (Bob’s) and at least that many nail clippers (ok, some were mine). We must have had a fear of not being able to keep our nails short after the revolution.

Many many found safety pins

Apparently, I am very interested in safety (at least in pins).

— The oldest finds  — Flouride gel, expired 2/1989.  Prescription, expired 5/1998. SO last century. Luckily, collection of expired medication is no longer a once-a-year event, and I can drop these off with a bag of others I’ve set aside.

The oldest things found in the medicine cabinet

I’m trying to dispose of things responsibly, but it isn’t always easy. I ended up with a small grocery bag of trash, and a LOT of stuff I need to use up. That includes what I cleaned out of another cabinet a while back, posted here.

On the topic of throwing things away, quoting a comment on an Apartment Therapy blog from last week, “There is no away.”  –Good to remember.


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare





A New Retaining Wall, and Two Weekly Photo Challenges (Morning and Fun)

I thought this morning might be the last for my old retaining wall, but it turns out I’ll have it until Monday.

Old Retaining Wall made of railroad ties

Here’s my “before” — the old wall, sadly, long past its expiration date.

It’s been a happy home for termites, chipmunks, ants, spiders, and probably lots of other critters, but I’m finally giving in and getting it replaced. Years ago, when we moved here, we said, “That retaining wall needs attention.” But there were other things, like health, that needed attention more. The retaining wall didn’t (quite) fall down, so there it still is.

As for the demolition? — Here’s what arrived this afternoon…

Dumpster gets backed up the hill into the driveway

Here comes the dumpster. I hate to see things going to the landfill, but in this case, there’s no choice.

I have two more remodeling projects stacked behind this one. Is it going to be fun getting through the next few weeks?  Maybe — stay tuned!  Meanwhile, I’m planning some sorting-out days to keep me busy while I listen to the drumbeat of timbers falling (thunk) into the dumpster.

Have you ever had your own dumpster?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenges: Morning and Fun