A Library of One’s Own

This is the story of a library that was a long time in coming.

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I’ve never had room to do anything but keep books double-and triple-stacked. I dreamed of the day when I could keep all my books in one room, organized by category rather than by size.

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And then there was a house, a house named Innisfree. And in Innisfree was a room that could, with a lot of work, become a library.

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It took six months, but in the end there were burnt orange walls, built-in bookshelves, a window seat, and – my favorite – a gold ceiling.

 

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But then life got crazy and it took another 3-4 months to have the time to organize properly (modified Dewey Decimal system, for the curious), hang art, and really make it feel like home.

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Now it’s turned into my favorite place to be.

 

 

Was the wait worth it? You bet your sweet first-edition Jane Austen it was.

Recipe for a fine Autumn morning

IMG_3701eWake up when it’s already light.

Grind coffee beans. Make coffee. Drink coffee.

Wear something woolen, because it’s cozy.

Take a walk in fog that makes the world look strange and wonderful and coats every hair and eyelash in microscopic dew.

Take photos of the dewdrops that have coated every spiderweb and turned them into intricate tangles of diamonds. It won’t even matter when your skills can’t capture your vision: you’ve learned what doesn’t work. That’s enough for today.

Pet the cat, even though she left you a hairball in the night.

Cook a potato. Eat the potato … with gravy.

Live in denial that winter is coming.

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
(Mary Oliver)

Object Lessons: #10

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It was a Saturday morning at a garage sale. Or a midweek run to a thrift store. Or a birthday box from a friend who knows my penchant for such things –

 
The truth is, I don’t remember where I got this little round, brass box full of metal pen nibs, nestled in a bit of ancient yellow cotton. But I like them a lot, and someday I might even use them.

Object Lessons: #9

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I bought this claddagh ring at my very first renfaire: Norman Medieval Faire, with Stacy, something like six or seven years ago. It cost $25, which felt like a fortune for a girl who didn’t spend much on herself, and I’ve only taken it off twice since: once when a jeweler repaired a small crack that developed after I caught it on a door, and once for this photo.

(That faire was also the first time I saw The Rogues, first time I wore garb, and the start of a never-ending love affair with renfaires and the people that make them so wonderful.)

Details: library edition

I have a working home library now, and while there are many more things I want to do before calling it complete (oh, the agony of deciding how to organize my books – #librarianproblems), it makes me happier than I can describe.

Of course, my cat keeps watch over all.

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Yes, there’s a story behind #catscatscats. This pillow is also known as the most meta Elizabeth Wein fan art ever.

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Tri-cord curtain tiebacks.

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“Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”

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Object Lessons: #8

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Somewhere around fifteen years ago, I followed the example of my kindred-spirited Great Aunt Miriam and started copying favorite passages from books, quotes, poetry, and other oddments into notebooks. I’m on book #12 now, and flipping through past books is pretty much like taking a stroll through my mental development and rather makes me want to pat my past self on the head and tell her how far she’ll come – but that would be condescending. (Don’t be that person.)

Object Lessons: #7

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I don’t remember my grandparents having this wooden bowl, but it was with their things when they died, so they must have used it for something. Although it reminds me of something suitable for the medieval table and thus I’d really love to eat out of it, I’m not sure how food-safe it is, nor how best to clean it, and so for now it just holds garlic.