We got our first real Christmas tree this year, so I thought it was time to start an annual tradition of picking up a new ornament to add to our collection (which my parents seeded during their visit in September). I stumbled upon “the one” last weekend, at the gift shop for the new Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio. It’s a decorative reindeer made out of newspaper with very impressive antlers.
A few weekends ago we painted our guest bedroom. The funny thing is—and isn’t this always the case?—we didn’t really set out to paint the room. That reality set in when we discovered that the paint with which we’d hoped to cover up some holes didn’t quite match the existing paint on the walls.
While I was fretting about how much work it would take to paint the room (I’d never painted a whole room before), Stephanie was primarily concerned with whether we’d both be able to agree on a color (on short notice). Once I’d adjusted to the fact that our hole patching project was now a room painting project, I promised that I would not be anal about picking a color. Several moments later we were both on her scooter heading to the hardware store.
After initially entertaining the idea of yellow, we eventually settled on red (Windsor Burgundy to be precise). We spent the rest of that Saturday taping off the molding and applying a single coat of primer, and then we spent all day Sunday rolling on two (and a half) coats of paint (it probably could have used a third, but we were exhausted). Later that week we touched up the trim, hung a curtain rod, and slowly started moving furniture into the room, just in time for my parents’ visit over Labor Day weekend.
Stephanie and I have been looking forward to taking a linocut class with Eric Rewitzer for a long time, but we didn’t have the time (or space of mind) to do so until February. The class took place at 3 Fish Studios, Eric and his wife Annie’s inspiring studio, set in the Dogpatch with an incredible view of San Francisco Bay.
I knew in advance that I wanted to make a print of our new digs to use as a card announcing our change of address. I had in mind a very controlled, high-contrast style, but the end result looked almost dreamy, like an illustration from a children’s book (about a girl looking out the window on a rainy day).
Compared to what the other folks in the class produced (check out Stephanie’s amazing print of her hennaed feet), mine turned out kind of plain, but over time its quiet simplicity has grown on me. Plus it’s our home! We ended up sending all the cards to family in the US and France, but I held on to one ghost print (a second print from the same inking) to eventually frame and hang.
Courtesy of Google Maps “Quest”
In the half-year since we’ve been back in San Francisco and resumed a life many would call “normal”, I’ve noticed that our refrigerator habits appear anything but. I’m starting to think that’s because we spent a year without one—and have yet to “recover”. Imagine a year without cooking (other than a handful of cooking classes), a year without leftovers, a year without being able to preserve food from one day to the next.
You can probably guess that our fridge is almost always empty. Like bachelor-empty. In fact every two weeks, just before we go grocery shopping, it’s completely empty, except for a lone stick of butter and a jar of mustard. This has a lot to do with our shopping and cooking habits—we’ve almost completely stopped buying “refrigerate after opening” and frozen foods. We rarely cook enough for leftovers, though when we do, they get incorporated into meals the following night or two.
What we do keep in the fridge are the things that need frequent replenishing: vegetables, cheese, yogurt, white wine, mustard, eggs, and butter.
It’s like we’re using our fridge more like a root cellar, and less like a black hole. All this makes me wonder about refrigerator design, and whether there are any models optimized more for keeping fresh vegetables fresh, and less for keeping giant bottles of soda cold? Might such a fridge be more energy efficient?
As it turns out, our “new-to-us” fridge has two humidity-adjustable “crispers” and one short but wide temperature-adjustable “chef’s pantry” (whatever that means). Unfortunately one of the pantry lid hinge pegs had broken off, so in my new role as a homeowner, I ordered and installed a new left hand side refrigerator pantry drawer support. How hot is that?