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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sunshine Bungalove

Truth be told, the subject this post embarks on could be the launch of an entire blog, but I won't go there. I already have too many orphaned ones. However, there is enough material to keep one going indefinitely. The topic is Craftsman-style bungalow houses.

I grew up in one. Marie grew up in one. A friend named Faith, from my hometown, grew up in one that was the mirror image of Marie's. When we added Mathilda to our hiking circle, I learned that she grew up in one pretty much the same as Faith's. I suspect that some of you readers have lived in one too.

Here's "mine." Mom sold it in 1977 after Dad died. It made perfect sense, but I was always sad because Dad's dad built it in 1921.

Craftsman house

This head-on shot isn't too flattering. I have a corner one somewhere, and we may come back to this topic again, so I'll stop for now, except to say that this house is a fairly large rendering of the style. Based on that knowledge, I'm guessing it probably cost around $2000. I knew some general information about the style and time period, but I did some more reading for this post. I've linked to two excellent articles at the end.

Generally, the style is American, but evolved from the British Arts and Crafts movement. The word "bungalow" has its roots in India, but may have had connotations more like trailer-trash. Small, often temporary houses.

The whole style was a reaction away from the tall, ornate, fussy period of Victorian architecture. You'll see these houses everywhere, particularly in the East, Midwest, and California. There isn't a cut and dried definition. The style was used loosely to include everything from one-story cabins with decorative dormers, to sprawling boxes that are usually considered the Prairie School. Generally, they were well-designed and made good use of the square footage.

But, for sure, when you see these one or one-and-a-half story houses with a dormer and a wide porch, you've got one! There were pattern books. Two examples were the Aladdin Catalog, and the Home Builder's Catalog, not to mention Sears. You could purchase a kit from Sears, and everything you needed to build the house came to your town by train!

Sadly, I have no information as to the origins of the design of my childhood house. There are thousands of variations on the theme. In fact, it's difficult to find two exactly alike. I've only ever found one that I thought was a nearly perfect match for mine.

Here's a particularly nice one from the Aladdin Catalog, called the Sunshine.

Craftsman Sunshine house

That little bump out with windows on the side is somewhat distinctive, and not a standard feature, so I thought I had spotted one of these locally. Nope!

Craftsman house

Close but no cigar, which is how it is with these houses. A thousand variations. So, although they were somewhat like the manufactured homes of 1915-1930 (although much better constructed), they sure are not pretty much all alike.

I love the style, so you may see more of this, now that I've opened the can or worms. Or nails.

See The Bungalow- A Short History
See The Craftsman Bungalow
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Sunset Sun Pillar

I know I've brought you a lot of sunsets lately, but this one has to be included because it's another "first" for me. I see sun pillars at sunrise from my house fairly regularly, once a year or so, but I'd never seen one at sunset from where I live.

Tonight, the sun was sinking, and was shining in my eyes through the window. I decided to at least stand up and take a peek at what the sky was looking like, although I didn't have any expectations of anything too exciting.

Wrong! I went charging through the house for the camera and a pair of boots to slip on, so I could get out the door before it faded. They only last a few minutes.

sun pillar

Lesson- don't forget to look for the unexpected, even in ordinary places.

The camera didn't record the definition of the pillar as well as it showed to the naked eye, but you can see it for sure.

See Christmas Eve Colors for another sunset sun pillar
See Sun Pillar for an explanation of why they form
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Something Bright

I just needed something bright today, and this yarn Ester brought me was the brightest thing I saw.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Worked most of the day. Tired. We are supposed to get freezing rain, sleet, other nasties tomorrow. Meanwhile, it's too icy to have much fun outside. I don't even have any pictures from today. Tried to find the energy to do something artsy. Rose almost inspired me. Well, she did inspire me, but I ran out of energy.

So I bring you some silvery icy pictures from other days in the past month or so that never made it on the blog.

Leaves frozen under a skim of ice on the cemetery creek.


Just two different areas of a frozen puddle on the shoulder of the road. Always something beautiful to be found!



Finally, a picture I took while hiking at Pine Valley, but there were so many beautiful shots that day, I never showed you this one.


I think an early bedtime is going to work for me!

See Fire and Ice
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Acrobat and the Thief

The most interesting things today seemed to be happening on my own deck. And the tables were turned. We already know who has a reputation for thievery! (See Robbery)

red squirrel

Today made me think that Riley is feeling more relaxed about hanging out.

red squirrel

So I put a small pile of peanuts on the deck railing for her. Much to my surprise, every single one of them was taken and eaten whole by... (photo from a previous day with more snow)... the blue jay

blue jay

I realize jays are fairly large birds, but I never would have guessed they'd swallow a whole peanut (not in the shell- that would be a feat). And not just one peanut. The jay sat there and ate nine peanuts, one after the other. A nice bit of revenge for all the times Riley has chased the jays from the feeder. Some mornings they go back and forth chasing each other away with the only effect being that neither one gets to eat!

Later in the afternoon the circus left town, and the chickadees came by for a calm snack.

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