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Wednesday
Sep112013

Let us talk about the library.

Ah, the library. I still remember that pretty much exactly two years ago, this was the very first room I painted, and also it was the first room where we refinished the floors (you can see a before picture here). Then we plopped shelves in the one part of the room (the library used to be two rooms which have been knocked together) and painted two walls "Down Pipe" by Farrow and Ball, and it looked like this. And then a long time nothing happened, until this spring I got a job where I can work from home. Which I do in the library. I bought an old desk that sits in front of the window and overlooks the garden. I´ll show you that part of the room soon.

What you see in this post is the other half of the room. Back in March, I had painted two more walls in "Dove Tale" (which I still love - it looks very purple in these pics but not in real life). Then the husband an I quarreled for months which chairs we should get for the space.

Then in June we finally had our new wood burning stove installed in here and I ordered the husband´s favorite chairs just to put an end to that folly. They´re blue. I am pretty sure you can see that. The thing is I still haven´t decided whether I adore the color or hate it. It changes from day to day. I think I will try to sew some neutral linen slip covers for them at one point. 

So this space is far from finished but it´s a start. I am thinking maybe a rug here, and different lamps, and I want to get something that replaces the Ikea stool under that woolen blanket. The little side table we found in my mother in law´s garage, it fits pretty great I think. The painting I got on Ebay and I adore it. The village could pass for ours if you´re not too detail oriented. 

Here´s Ludwig enjoying the stove. It´s a Morsö, it was a little very expensive but is worth every penny. It´s gotten chilly around here so today was the first day I lit the fire in here during the day. This was exactly how I imagined working from home - with a view of the garden and a fire burning right next to me. Lovely. 

Now, what do you think about the blue chairs? I bet these are controversial.

Sunday
Sep082013

The holiday that was not.

So, obviously I´ve been away. You see, we had two weeks off that didn´t go as planned. We knew they would be rather busy with a weekend in Munich visiting my family and another weekend hosting a get together with my husband´s family, but, you know. Still plenty of time for some rest and relaxation.

Unfortunately (or, in hindsight, luckily) Ludwig injured his paw during our stay in Munich. We took him to the vet, who wasn´t so concerned about the paw but the cardicac murmur he noticed during the general examination. Once we were back home we did further tests, and it turned out Ludwig has a heart condition, one with a rather bad prognosis. However there was a minimal invasive surgery that could help, but it could only be performed in Munich. As there is not much time to lose with that sort of condition, the surgeons were able to fit him in their schedule four days from when i first called. So after said family weekend with 12 people staying at my house (yep: 12), we took a nap and then packed our dog into the car for another trip to Munich. To cut a long story short: Everything went well, and he now has a normal life expectancy, which is a definitive improvement compared to the "a few months?" prognosis before surgery.*

So, whew? A bit more worries and stress than I would like in a holiday. But we´re so so glad that Ludwig is doing fine. SO GLAD. Plus, we were still able to have a few very relaxing days at home with great weather, and we have a weekend at the coast coming up in two weeks. So I won´t complain. 

Back to the regularly scheduled programming then! Speaking of which, I don´t think I´ll do monthly features of the walled/vegetable garden any more. Both are over their peak. Maybe a late autumn wrap up though. 

But, as autumn is near, I think it´s time to turn this into an interiors blog again. I have lots of house projects lined up. For example, I am itching to do further work on the kitchen - new shelves, a backsplash, and I have an idea for the floor... Big plans! Almost makes me forget that winter is coming. Sigh.

*We´ve seen lots of raised eyebrows over the fact that we decided to do a costly surgery... for a dog. I don´t really have an answer to that. I just know that it wasn´t an option for us to see our dog perish over the next few months, not if we can avoid it. As for the money, part of it will be paid by Ludwig´s breeder... and our part is more or less worth that dryer we´ve been saving up for. Guess what, I am happy to live without a dryer for a while longer if I can have a happy and healthy Ludwig running around.

Thursday
Aug222013

Our redhead.

I think there are some Ludwig lovers out there, so I thought I´d post some recent pictures. Above is Ludwig helping me harvest our carrots. He loves carrots and apples and peaches and bananas, raspberries not so much and beets are clearly disgusting. Bell peppers as well. 

Playing with our littlest cat Emma who is also the bravest and known to be chasing Ludwig (who is at least thrice her height) around the garden. 

Oh Ludwig, we love you so.

Bonus picture (not mine). Ludwig at eightish weeks. Oh dear, don´t they grow up fast.

Sunday
Aug182013

Front of the house update.

The front of the house has always been the cause of many headaches for me. It is cute and interesting and special and all, but it is actually so special that everything you do needs to be considered well or it would go from special to crazy. You know what I mean? There´s so much going on here with the gingerbready gable and these arches over the windows and the huge windows that I´d rather not add any further drama. 

But what I actually wanted to say is, we have a new gate! If you can´t remember the old one, here´s a picture of the front of the house two years ago. The old gate was original to the house so we had planned to somehow restore it, but it turned out that the wood was so rotten that this wasn´t an option. Plus, I dreaded another winter with a gate that would only open and close when I gathered all my strengths and said seven magic spells. So with the help of this year´s tax return, we got a new one, and I am thrilled with it. For the time being, it is natural wood - partly because I can´t make a decision on a paint color (headaches) and partly because we think it may be a good option to leave it like that. The wood is larch, which doesn´t have to be treated at all but should actually "weather" a bit before being painted so we could always do so at a later point in time. For now, I really like it as it is. Its look will change with age of course, but I think the end result will actually be close to the color of those arches over the windows... which was my intention anyway. Whatever we end up doing, we´ll go the same route once we´ll replace the gable so that all the wooden elements will be consistent.

I would love to know what the front of our house looked like when it was just built. What was the color of the gable, the gate and the windows? Plus it seems that there used to be window shutters? And did the vestibule have some sort of exterior doors - there are hinges? I have been asking around in the village for old photographs but no luck so far. Sigh. I should really make some effort to find the original owners who fled to Western Germany somewhen in the 70ies...

Tuesday
Aug132013

The science of growing food.

Can I tell you a secret? While I am quite proud of my vegetable garden, I have basically no idea what I am doing. Case in point: The quantities of our harvest are way off. We had and have too much fresh produce like salad and spinach and radishes etc, and not nearly enough root vegetables. 

The other day the husband asked me to pleeeeease not cook anything with chard anymore. He´s over it and frankly, I am too. I filled lots of freezer bags with the stuff already and now I need to make my peace with the fact that some of it won´t get eaten. Which is hard, because I am totally my mother´s daughter who *has* to pick up even the smallest wormy apple that has fallen from the tree. I´ve grown it, so I must eat it, right? Anyway, from my TV watching days I remember Monty Don throwing giant zucchini on his compost heap while telling his viewers that in a garden, nothing is ever wasted. That´s the spirit I need to work on.  

It has gotten so far that I am actually relieved when something is not growing very well. Like my cucumbers who decided to die on me after two weeks of productivity. It made for exactly five glasses of pickles and that´s just fine. For some reason, our fruit trees fall into the same category. Due to the very rainy spring we had, we won´t have many plums this year and I think maybe two apples? This feels weird after the glut we had last year. But I am not complaining. We always have chard! And better luck next year.