The Nuthouse is finally beginning to resemble a place where someone lives, rather than a labyrinth of boxes and stuff that hasn’t yet found a home and my studio is mostly unpacked, though I am nowhere near organized enough to work yet.
Still, it’s nice to see all the familiar things, and I was happy to unpack my tools, say hi to my hammers and my saw, to put beads on shelves and to organize boxes of paints and sketchbooks. The new studio is about 1/3 of the size of my old one, with less than half the available work surfaces and shelves for storage. It will be all right if I can just keep it organized and tidy, so I’m unpacking with an eye towards that. Frankly, I couldn’t use all the work surfaces in my old studio most of the time anyway because they were filled with piles of crap, so this isn’t going to be much of a change. As with most of the challenges I’ve had with the house so far, this one is going to be a good opportunity to do things more mindfully and to work with more intention.
The weather has started to turn from hot hot summer to crisp autumn. Days are still warm, but the nights and mornings… oh they aren’t so warm. I’m happy we’re getting the chilly mornings now so I can acclimate a little bit before the real cold comes. The Nuthouse is very snug though, when it is cold outside. We have a great little woodstove. The cats really approve of that. Ollie, in particular, has a great affection for the stove.
While they’ve all been exploring the pleasures of radiant wood heat over the last few days, Ollie was the first of our crew to really commit himself to the experience. Because he is brave and intrepid like that. Two points to Team Tuxedo.
I heated with a woodstove once upon a long time ago back when the oldest sprog was a baby. It has come back pretty quickly, though I have to say that this model is a lot more deluxe than the one we used 20+ years back. It has dual air intake temperature controls and a removable ash pan, plus a side door for loading logs and a front door for building and lighting. I really like that! I loaded it up the other night, phoned the Captain and we had the ceremonial first lighting of the stove together. Bummer to do it with him in LA and me up here on the Mountain and not together like we’d planned, but hey it was cold and yay land line, right? Ok actually it wasn’t really a ceremonial first lighting, he was holding my hand while I lit the stove and feeling paranoid and anxious about something going horribly wrong.
We had a hell of a rainstorm yesterday. Thunder and lightning, several bouts of hail (you know you’re a jewelry maker when you are looking at the hail stones and offhandedly think to yourself that they look like 10-12mm quartz beads), and torrential downpours. Actually I think it was probably not that torrential, although it all seemed like a lot of water to me of course. It was over by dawn and we had bright blue skies when I woke up today. So maybe that was a little bit of a warm up rainstorm? I don’t know if they get thunder and lightning and hail often here in the mountains, but I hope so. The cats and I were beautifully toasty inside, with the fire crackling in the stove providing a counterpoint to the drumming water on the roof and the BOOM! flashes of light and sound going on outside.
It was all kinds of beautiful when we got up this morning.
Drops of water clinging to every leaf and pine needle, all illuminated by the early morning sun, kind of made the whole world into a brilliantly glittering and light filled thing.
Steam was rising off of every surface as the sun hit it. Moss, the deck, the chairs, our neighbor’s cabin. I’ve really never seen anything like it. All shades of wood and brown and green with sparkling water drops and cottony white puffs of mist. I looked at all that and thought to myself, you know, how do you even do something like that justice? How do you share that? I don’t think you really can. You can try. But some things really just have to live in your experience. Then again, a camera helps.
The flowers my mom gave us as a housewarming gift are all perked up and loving the morning sunshine after their bath. She ways they will last until the first frost. I’m not sure when that will be but maybe not too long now – so I will enjoy them while I can.
It is breathtaking and beautiful and the world is somehow all washed clean, just like after a rain in LA, but in a totally different way. The thin layer of ash that was clinging to this part of the world seems to have been washed off, and all the colors are more vibrant today. I know they say that the Rim fire won’t be fully out till the first snow, but I hope the rain helped the firemen a little bit at least.
I’m off to clear my studio some more and perhaps there will be some sketching after breakfast and morning chores. I have an Autumn Morning After Rain necklace in my mind. All crystal drops and leafy peridot against a darker framework of woody browns and golden yellows. There’s a story that wants told.
I love it here.