Some of you might remember the movie “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium”, and that’s how I’ve been feeling these past weeks. I moved out of my home in Placerville last February to my grandson’s home in Sacramento. And now I’ve moved again, to a dear friend’s house.
As long as I was with Santino, my grandson, I felt I’d be fine. Um . . . wrong. In this pic, Tino and Sadie are sitting in front of our bed. As in, it’s on the floor. As in, ‘ouch’ every time I had to get up.
I lived with Tino, his two little sisters, Mom and stepdad for 4 months. In a one bathroom duplex. Where no pets are allowed.
Not quite the scenario I was used to in a huge house surrounded by acreage. But at least I was with people I loved and who loved me. Huge, HUGE step for me.
Fairly soon after I moved in my BFF, Penny, whom I’ve known for nearly 40 years reconnected with me. She lives about 10 minutes from Tino’s house. Twice a week she’d pick me up and we’d go walking in one park or another. Then she’d take me to eat some “real food”. Seems Penny doesn’t think cereal and crackers ‘n cream cheese is “real food”. ahem.
I could go on and on about Penny – and one day soon I will because she’s nothing short of awesome – but cutting to the chase, she asked me to housesit for the month of June when she was taking little trips here and there. She really didn’t need a housesitter, she just wanted me to have some space to myself other than the near 8 x 10 bedroom I was in.
I jumped at the chance. Her home is beautiful, as you’ll see in a minute, but mainly it is quiet – something I desperately need right now for my anxiety and depression junk.
Before she left on her first strip she asked why I don’t just move in to her place. Whaaa? I came up with all the reasons I thought it might not work, all on her side, not mine. She just shook her head and said ‘stay’.
But then there was my heart, Santino. Oh how happy he was when I moved in and how much fun we had sharing a room. But our dynamics were changing. I was becoming more of a friend than Gramma and I could see we were headed in the wrong direction. Recently I had him spend the night at Penny’s – she adores him – and then told him. I think he already figured it out since I never came ‘home’ when Penny’s trip was over. He took it like the trooper he is and didn’t show any feelings. sigh. Unlike me, who blubbers at the least little thing.
So! We’re caught up, sorta, so lemme show you the house.
I know most bloggers would set the camera on a timer and poke their head outta the door, but I’m not most bloggers. Ha!
Welcome to my new home! It’s an older home but Penny had the kitchen remodeled and new wood floors put in a year and a half ago. So let’s start with the kitchen.
This is to the left of the entry. Disclaimer: I did nothing to clean or straighten up. Penny’s pretty much a neatnik and so am I so no Photoshopping these pics.
To the left of the dining table is a beautiful buffet that matches her kitchen cabinets and counters – black satin finish with granite tops. *swoon*
When I look at this and think of the kitchens I’ve had recently I seriously do a dance. Ask Penny! We dance all the time in the kitchen while she cooks “real food” and I choreograph little moves. (More on that later too).
I could do an entire post on the kitchen alone, and maybe I will sometime, but I’m still trying to get my work caught up.
The kitchen looks down into the family room. There are barstools on the otherside of this “peninsula”. Her oven, oh my, that oven. I can’t even start. It’s incredible and I can’t wait to do some serious baking.
Of course most of my stuff is still in storage.
Here’s the perspective into the Family Room from the stairs. That entire wall around the fireplace was wood when she bought the house. It was gorgeous but dark. I never thought I’d like living in grey rooms but I find them very soothing.
We’re debating on what to do with the fireplace – whitewash, dark grey? Something that her and I could do.
Here’s another perspective with the television and slider to the back deck next to her son’s rocking chair. He just turned 35 btw. I love that she includes it in her space.
She’s all for me decorating for Fall (thank goodness), so you’ll get to see closeups of some of the furnishings that are amazing. Here it just looks like a nice big room, which it is, but there are little accents here and there that make it oh-so special.
Now we’ll go to the right of the entry into the Living Room. This room is a step down.
Just enough of a drop that a 13 year old boston terrier with cataracts can’t see it. I tried really hard not to laugh when I’d hear this ‘ker-splat’ and turn around to see Sadie had missed the step. But it only took her a couple of days to avoid that space altogether.
Now, if I’m working she’ll go all the way down the hall and avoid the Living Room completely. If I walk thru the Living Room into my studio, Sadie hightails it down the hall and gets there about the same time as I do.
This room has already changed since I took the pic as I went and got my drafting table. I’ll show you when I get it all set up. It’s so generous of Penny to let me have my own space to work.
Of course, then I don’t junk up her dining room table either, lol.
Actually the light in here is the best light in the house. ahhhh.
Right next to my office is my bedroom. Or “Tino’s bedroom” when he’s visiting, ha ha.
We’re still working on creating space for my stuff, but it’s in storage so no hurry when it’s so hot here.
Santino has already said, “If I had a dollar for every time you said ‘in my storage’ I could buy a lot of toys!” Which is probably true.
Do I wish I had my own house? Of course! But I need to recuperate, build the business, and be ready to be independent first. I had no idea, NONE, how my mother’s death would affect me. We’ll go into it a little later but let’s just say I used to poopoo ‘panic attacks’ and now I have a great understanding of them.
Living with Penny who is always laughing and happy is the best medicine I can think of. (But don’t ask me to give up my medications just yet, k?)
I wanted to show you a close up of these incredible handmade duvets. It’s like being in a hotel – except I have to make the bed. But they are so lovely. Penny, like me, was a caregiver for family members, including her sister, and has many of Anna’s things through the home.
When you lose your loved ones, sometimes it’s hard to have reminders all thru the house, but Penny has done it with style and taste and I absolutely love it.
A quick shot of Penny’s room. I sleep in here when she travels because a) there’s a TV to watch and b) it’s a Tempur-pedic bed and pillow. After the past few years of sleeping on the couch and a kid’s bed on the floor, this is heaven to my back.
No photos of the bathrooms you’ll notice. Her’s is an ensuite but I just couldn’t get the lighting right. The guest bath – or ‘my’ bathroom – needs updating. Something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Hey, I don’t care if we leave it as-is after sharing one bath with 5 others and before that the upstairs bath in Placerville was . . . well, not my taste. That’s putting it nicely.
Now for the piece-de-resistance! The deck and backyard.
French doors open to this beautiful deck (sorry for the poor lighting) and we often spend the whole day out here! As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here right now, enjoying a morning breeze.
It’s quiet and peaceful and reminds me of my house in Placerville where I spent so much time on the deck. The neighbors are close but we don’t see or hear them because the house is in a U shape and the legs on either side provide privacy.
Here’s the other side of the deck that steps down to the Family Room sliders before continuing to the backyard.
This might make a little more sense. The patio table is in the left corner. You can just make out the french doors. And yes, we know the stairs need to be restained.
I will say those stairs are keeping me kinda fit as I handcarry Sadie down and up multiple times a day. She had no problems with the stairs in Placerville, but they were carpeted. I don’t know if that’s it or what but she can’t gain any weight or we’ll all have some problems!
Most of the backyard is gorgeous red brick, save for this patch of green that’s just perfect for Sadie.
Can you see the Japanese Maple to the right? It’s quite large and really beautiful. I love seeing all the changes of the leaves. (Yes, I’m ready for Fall. Summer is too dang hot in the Sacramento valley!)
So that’s most of my new home. Is it temporary? Yes. For how long? I have no idea. I always tell Penny I’m not sure when I get the most work done, when she’s traveling or home. Probably when she’s traveling as when she’s home we just like to sit and play Words with Friends on our phones.
Forty years ago we’d sit at her kitchen table playing Scrabble into the wee hours of the morning. Now we sit, sometimes all day (shhhh), playing WWF, laughing, telling stories, etc.
I want to thank all of you who gave me your best wishes for moving in with Santino. I especially want to thank those of you who were candid and said ‘been there, done that’. I knew it would be a challenge but if it weren’t for his mother’s generosity, I’d still be in Placerville, going deeper and deeper into debt.
One last anecdote. I mean, you knew if I hadn’t posted in 6 weeks it was gonna be a book, right? Ok, the year before my hubs passed we went to my rival high school reunion held at the fairgrounds. It was a ten year, 1965-75, so I knew a lot of people. But mainly I went to see Penny’s exhusband who plays in a band and has since 1968 or so. He told me Penny was coming, which was the cherry on top.
We danced and laughed and danced some more, like no time had passed.
The next day Marlon asked if I had called Penny. No, why? You just need to call her. Every day he’d ask the same thing and finally, ‘when are you going to call her?!” Why is it so important to you that I call Penny?
Because, he said, ‘I’ve never seen you happier than when you are with her’. Five years later, something tells me he had a hand in organizing these moves for me so I could be with Penny and very close to Santino.
So what are you up to this summer? Any vacations happening?