Riding the Wave

Pop, my paternal grandfather, surfing in Hawaii, sometime in 1911. I have no idea if this is good surfing form. Probably not.

Before the world went mad in 1914, my grandfather as a young man, with change in his pocket, did some adventurous traveling. I’ve always loved this photo, because it’s the only one of him that indicates that he may have had a sense of fun and a less-than-serious side to him. We never knew him this way. He was always the staunch general to us.

I’ve let April slip by without feeding this blog because of reasons I don’t want to get into. I am now back on track.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 5)

The bed alcove on the second floor.

The house is now a structural reality. Charley McKenney and I met the general contractor Pat Fuhrmann today along with his subs to go over the custom cabinetry and the electrical needs for my tiny house. It was perfect spring weather with an incredible cross breeze blowing through the window and door openings. And the views from the windows are even more spectacular than I had imagined. Again, I should have taken my fancy camera with a zoom lens, but instead shot the following photos with my iPhone.

Interior Design

What’s Hanging (part 6)

With all the windows in my breakfast room, it’s impossible to shoot this watercolor straight on.

The artist is unknown, and it wasn’t a gallery purchase, but after three decades, it’s still one of my favorites. Two friends of mine were honeymooning in Mexico in 1986, when their cab driver on finding out they were architects pulled over to show them his collection of watercolors he had stashed in the trunk. Ellen and Karl were so impressed, they bought a few. And I was lucky enough to be given one of them on my birthday.

I’ve lost touch with Ellen and Karl, but perhaps someone from HKS Architects will read this and let them know I still think of them.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 4)

Just a hint of what views can be seen from the finished house. I will have to take my fancy camera out there on the next visit, so I can zoom in on this view and capture all the lush landscape details of the Red River valley. This photo was taken with my iPhone which doesn’t have much zoom ability.

With the foundation complete, I and my architect, Charley McKenney, took Eco Friends Pest Control out to Tumble Moon to do the first phase of the termite treatment. The second and final treatment will have to wait until after all construction and exterior grading have been completed.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 3)

Please don’t laugh. I know it’s just the garage, but it’s physical proof of progress. And this makes me happy.

Tumble Moon now has a well, pump house, and garage. Things are really beginning to pick up steam, and if I’m not careful, I could easily become overwhelmed. Even though I experienced the renovation of my home here in Dallas, building something from scratch is a whole ‘nother ball game. And then there’s the driving back and forth to Saint Jo in a single day (two hours there and three frustrating hours back) that will have to be done more frequently.

Landscape & Gardening

What’s Blooming Now

Taken just before today’s nor’easter blew in.

My Giant Leopard Plant (Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’) is in full bloom and would have continued this wonderful show for another two weeks if a nor’easter hadn’t blown in. When I snapped the photo this afternoon around two o’clock, it was 71 degrees outside, then two hours later it was 55 degrees, and now six hours later, it’s 27 degrees. Their beauty will not survive. Our Texas weather extremes can be devastating to us gardeners.

Film: Design & Architecture

The Remains of the Day (1993)

Dyrham Park, near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire, England
Dyrham Park, near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire, England

Traveling vicariously through film. If I am unable to physically travel to admire historical architecture in a foreign country, watching a film such as The Remains of the Day can be a fun substitute. This film runs so seamlessly that it’s deceptive that numerous English country estates were utilized to comprise just one estate, Darlington Hall. I have captured stills and carefully matched each of them to the actual country home they belong to. They are Dyrham Park, Powderham Castle, Corsham Court, and Badminton House. It’s been a fun exercise. Enjoy!

Just Because

Bags of Booo•ty

Halloween 2016
Halloween 2016

What’s in the bag this year? A large can of Tricky Mixed Nuts, a Warheads Pucker Pack, two gum eyeballs, one Witch’s Potion slime pot, and Zombie Finger Bubble Bottles. Hopefully, this will be enough to entertain the trick or treaters for a minute or two. Adult supervision may be required for the littlest ones, and adult supervision may be required for some adults who open the can of nuts. Boo!

Just Because

Another Quiet Moment

A scrap of embroidered fabric found in an antique mall.
A scrap of embroidered fabric found in an antique mall.

For the first post in two months, I offer something small and quiet. It’s just a piece of stained embroidery that I found in some antique mall back in the 1990s. Because its charm and beauty remained intact, I chose to frame it. I’m glad I did, because after twenty plus years, it still makes me happy to look at it.

Just Because

A Journal of Detailed Moments

Welcome to the third reincarnation of smallrooms®. This new version doesn’t start with a fancy entry page, but instead opens directly with the journal. The entire site, for the most part, has the same information and images as the 2012 design. But in this reincarnation, the images are larger and sharper, and the overall design is cleaner and less blog-like. Additionally, the copy is set with a sophisticated web font at a larger and looser scale, making it much easier to read. Please remember that smallrooms® is a journal and will always be an evolving work-in-progress.