Growing Roots (and moving in)

I keep doing this. I’ll work up a blogging routine- once or twice a week has always been the goal, and then something happens and it all falls apart. My last blog post was 9 months ago because I am a terrible person.

I’m not actually a terrible person. What I actually am is a person with terrible personal project management skills, but that doesn’t really roll off the tongue quite so nicely, does it?

What I also am, is a person Easily Distracted By Adventures. Of these, there have been a few.

Since we last spoke, I re-started (and left) an old job, spent another summer at camp, road tripped in two countries, thirteen states, and three provinces, got a working holiday visa for a year in New Zealand, got (and left) another job, started another job, and moved in to a new house (in New Zealand!)!

Obviously, if I tried to update you on all these things at once we’d end up with something resembling a Lord of the Rings-esque multi-part novel series, with prequels and sequels to rival Star Wars, so we’ll just have to nibble off small bits at a time. There’s an argument to be made that the very beginning is a very good place to start, but there’s no hope for any sort of chronological order at this point so I won’t bother to try.

Besides, I want to tell you about now first. Now is the first time in about three years that I’ll be living in the same place for more than three months. It may not be permanent by any definition of the word, but it is more permanent than anything’s been in a while. Now is my chance to grow some roots.

echeveria propogation succulents

Roots! These guys have them! *resists urge to pull them out of the soil and investigate their root structure in a misguided effort to illustrate the metaphor that is this blog post* I may not be able to have house pets, but I can have house plants!

Those little fellas are Steve and Phil. They’re cuttings from a larger plant and they’ve been growing nicely! I was also trying to propagate the leaves, but they’ve gone a bit shrively since I took this photo. My plant-mom skills still need a bit of work. Steve and Phil are Echeveria. They, like me, were rootless little nomads when they started off in this new pot, but have since grown some roots to give them a bit of stability in life.

My ability to care for potted plants apparently rivals my ability to do entry level chemistry: which is to say I’m astoundingly (even spectacularly) bad at both. Steve and Phil were touch and go for a while due to some bad pot-placement and overwatering (Did you know it’s possible to love a succulent too much? It is. Pay it too much attention and it will die. Ignoring it is apparently healthy. Also apparently plants can get sunburned too. My entire life is a lie.) but it seems both the fellas and I are both on the road to plant care recovery.

My own roots have grown in a slightly less soil-based environment. I’ve technically already gone through that whole ‘baby’s first apartment’ phase of my life, but living somewhere as a job-having human is fundamentally different than student housing. Choosing an apartment based on its proximity to the highways and transportation hubs, and secondarily how close it is to things like a grocery store and a good fish n’ chips shop is definitely something I’ve never done.

I have, however, had to set up internet in a place before and let me tell you young things- It’s worse than pulling teeth. Every. Single. Time. It does not get better. The only saving grace will be when you bribe your neighbors for their wifi password with a large box of fresh produce so that you can drown your anger in dealing with your own internet provider in hours of Pinterest and Spotify.

I mean.

It also helps that the house we’re growing these roots in is as singularly adorable as it is. I mean, come on:

The front of our new house

Look at that blue door! I have always wanted a blue door. With its pretty textured glass and matched trim!

It even has a future hedge! It’s not a hedge now, but it will be. Jon waters it with a pot from the kitchen because we don’t have a watering can or a hose. I’ve got some photoshoot plans that involve that red Bougainvillea in the corner as the most delightful backdrop ever.

 

small kitchen organization

A fledgeling kitchen! Check out those high ceilings, yo. And a five-burner industrial grade gas stove, and the most evenly-heating oven in the history of evenly heated ovens. We roasted a Christmas chicken in that oven. It was delicious.

Excuse me while I bake All The Things.

 

This window is nestled in a deep sill above our future lounge area. Currently it’s our cardboard box storage area, but we’re working on it. It’s a process.

original lead glass window

How about this original lead glass window!  They just don’t make them like this anymore.

But wait- I’m saving the best for last…

window seat cushions in progress

Window seats. Better than couches since literally the moment they were invented. It’s all of the cushion and none of the floor space commitment! Plus, talk about natural lighting.

Let me tell you about this window seat. It’s huge! It takes up nearly the whole wall in this room. The cushions, as you can surely tell, are a work in progress. When we moved in, I measured the window seat and priced out upholstery foam. It’s just a touch under two and a half square meters, and at $126 per SqM, it was hugely out of our price range. Sure, three hundred dollars is pretty reasonable if you’ve just moved in to your forever-home and you’re committed to the level of Pinterest-worthy window seat perfection we all secretly strive for, but our roots aren’t extending quite that deep just yet.

I was just about to give up this battle and buy a couple of cheap throw pillows to sit my butt down on, when a Festivus Miracle occurred: two days before Christmas, Jon’s mom heroically rescued a pair of lovely foam couch cushions, and an equally lovely pair of oversized throw pillows from a dumpster-destined couch. They didn’t even smell like cat or anything! They’re pretty intensely sun-faded, and by all accounts they came from a pretty dated old couch, but fortunately I know a thing or two about repurposing (and re-upholstering!). That’s them wearing their original navy blue covers in the photos.

A few days later, we rescued another pair of cushions from another dumpster couch, and suddenly we’ve got three hundred dollars worth of foam for exactly no dollars.

window seat cushions

I will soon be conducting a  scientific sleep study on this new device. Very scientific. I will report back with my findings.

The two throw pillows with the teardrop pattern have a story of their own to tell: A second Festivus Miracle. On a shopping trip to get polymer clay (for a project which I will tell you about next week), we happened across a sign for a fabric sale. I am an obvious sucker for these things, so although the place looked about as out of our price range as the foam was, we wandered in to investigate. As it turns out, the lovely lady behind the counter was the owner of the shop, and she explained to us that the warehouse needed a new roof so she was selling everything she could as quickly as possible. Jon spotted a beautiful roll of fabric that happened to match the house’s existing curtains perfectly, and she sold the whole roll to us for $30- a spectacular deal considering its original price was $90 per meter, and there are 7.5 meters on the roll. That’s just over 8.2 yards if you’re stateside 😉

We also picked up a pair of duck-down and feather throw pillows from her for a similar deal- and I’ve already made cushion covers for them out of the new fabric (that’s them between the navy cushions in the photo above), and let me tell you- they are delightfully plush.

My next big project will be upholstering the cushions, but it looks like I’m going to need one more miracle to get the piping at the same deal as the rest of the pieces. I’m reusing the zippers from the old cushion covers, but the piping is a different story. It would be a shame to pay full price for it this late into the adventure! I’ll let you know how that story progresses.

For now, I’m going to continue my efforts to not kill Steve and Phil, and work on some little projects of my own; it’s about time we got some art up on these walls. Plus, next week I’m going to tell you about the new brush lettering skills I’ve been working on! Be prepared for that post to be peppered with photos of my Adventures in Baked Goods though. Is there a limit to the daily pastry intake I can achieve without detriment to my sanity? We’ll find out.

 

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