Love Affair

As many of you know, I don’t own a television. What you don’t know is that a few days ago I gave up all TV and movies at my house.

For about a day it felt oddly quiet in my apartment, but then a deep sense of peace settled in, and the most amazing thing began: I started a love affair with my own home.

Suddenly, my apartment feels luxurious, calm, intimate. It’s suddenly easy to keep it clean, and I really notice when it’s not. I can’t wait to come home and have this quiet time. Any moment in my apartment is better than every moment in the rest of my day.

What have I been doing instead of watching an endless sting of movies, helpfully supplied for free by the local library? I’ve been reading a lot, working my way through a stack of books I’ve been meaning to read for months. I’ve been writing more, sleeping more, playing with the dog and cat more, working out more, cooking more.

It’s funny how having less of one thing translates into a slew of more.

This morning, Saturday, I woke up before the sun was even up, but I was awake and alert. A cold I was battling has dissipated to a mere occasional sniffle. And I can’t believe how much time I have laid in front of me for the weekend. There’s plenty of things on my to do list, don’t get me wrong, but there’s also lots of time to get it done.

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The Texas Files

Step 1: Move to new city.

Step 2: Start new job right before a major company-sponsored event.

Step 3: Blindly go through life without having a handle on anything until finally finding a few minutes to breathe normally.

Done.

Okay, now for the real updates on life:

It’s been just shy of two months since I moved to Fort Worth, and life has been a little crazy, to say the least. However, I’ve received multiple requests for some kind of acknowledgement that I’m still alive, and here it is.

I started my new job only a few days before one of two major horse shows my organization puts on each year. I hit the ground running, but it was so much fun to jump in with both feet. Thankfully, I interned here for a summer during college, so the transition was much smoother than it would have been if not for that experience.

Luckily, my sister spent a couple weeks here, and she was ridiculously helpful. We found a great apartment really quickly, and I was lucky to move in within a few days. This is the first time I’ve lived in a normal apartment complex, and I love the perks like the pool and fitness center. I have a little balcony from which I’m currently writing, and when it’s not too hot, Oedipus likes to sit outside with me.

I’m slowly settling into my space, but because I don’t really have furniture, I’m enjoying the big open feeling of the whole place. I finally bought a bed the last week, which will be a big step up from the air mattress I’ve been using. I can’t wait for it to get delivered.

Overall, I’m feeling relatively settled into life here, and after the craziness of the transition from Virginia to Texas, I’ve loved staying off the grid as much as possible and spending time doing, well, nothing.

However, now that I’ve had several weeks to recuperate, I’m looking forward to doing more exploring and re-exploring of the area. Hopefully that will also involve some more blog posts.

Kitchen with ridiculously tall bar.

Kitchen with ridiculously tall bar.

An amazing reminder every time I come and go.

An amazing reminder every time I come and go.

I finally got around to hanging photos.

I finally got around to hanging photos.

My very simple living room.

My very simple living room.

The view from my balcony.

The view from my balcony.

Purple Chair; Gray Cat; Black Shelf

A few weeks ago, I told a really cool person that I was going to quit life, open a frozen yogurt shop and name it Purple Spoon (ya’ know: Sweet Frog, Orange Leaf, Red Mango… Purple Spoon).

Well, that’s not actually going to happen. But I did buy a purple chair. I think the Cat has spent more time in it than I have. As soon as I dragged the thing inside and started rearranging, he took refuge from the vacuum by jumping on it.

Purple Chair; Gray Cat

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The Great Move of 2012: My Big Girl House

Welcome to The Cottage!

I am now the proud renter of a one bedroom, one bath cottage only a few blocks from Old Town Warrenton. The town is the county seat, and it’s the cutest darned thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to continue exploring, and I’m very happy to find myself so close to so many local shops and restaurants.

The housing hunt was thankfully short and easy. Before I drove to Virginia, I set up several appointments for my first full day in the area. I arranged to see The Cottage and two apartments, each in a different town, but all relatively close to the town in which I’ll be working.

The other two apartments were both nice in different ways, but after considering the pros and cons to each, I decided I liked The Cottage enough to rent it without seeing any more places.

So far, I’m happy with my decision, but there are certainly moments when I wonder what I’m doing.

I want to share a little bit about The Cottage and some before and so far photos. I decided not to call them “after” photos because I don’t feel done yet. I have a list of things I’m looking to buy, but I’ll note in the photos what I want to do. For the full gallery, scroll down to the bottom! I took way more pictures than fit in this post!

The Tour:

Sun Room/Dining Room

Sunroom Before

When you walk into The Cottage, you immediately enter a front sun room. Two walls are completely covered in windows. When I moved in, there was a desk to one side and not much else. I stuck the only piece of furniture I brought with me, a side table, in that room.

I decided that this room would be perfect for the dining room table and tall chairs that were originally in the kitchen as well as a rather unsteady dresser that I was going to move out to the shed, but decided would be a perfect place to keep my shoes organized and out of site. The

So Far: Sun Room... I hung up my art from China and moved the table out here so I can drink my coffee with the morning sunshine.

London art were there when I moved in, but I’m thinking of taking them down and replacing them with something my personal to me. The chair now in the corner is also not 100 percent steady, so I want to replace it with another chair of similar size that can double as a desk chair and extra seating for guests as well as a place to put on and take off shoes.

Kitchen

Before: Kitchen... still pretty disgustingly dirty, but soon to be nice and tidy!

Beyond the sun room is the kitchen. The table used to occupy a lot of the walking space, and I’m much happier not running into it every time I walk through. Eventually, I want to add more art to the wall above the side table and maybe move it elsewhere and replace it with a funky, bright colored shelf.

So Far: Kitchen... I want a clock and maybe a few more things to hang on this wall. This side table was the only pice of furniture I brought with me.

Obviously the kitchen didn’t take too much arranging, but there was a lot of cleaning needed. I quickly learned that my landlady was more concerned with everything looking clean than actually being clean. The oven was the last thing to get clean and probably the worst of everything in the whole house.

Living Room:

Oh my goodness. This ended up as a dumping ground for anything and everything that didn’t have a home. I basically left the couch where it was when I moved in, but I moved the TV stand around and repurposed it as a bookshelf. It doesn’t quite hold all of my books, so I want to replace it with a bigger shelf soon. Until then, I’m trying to artfully pile books and photo albums in various places. I also moved the desk in here since I’m not going to buy a TV, and already I love having a spot to organize paperwork and set my purse. I plan to add some photos to the wall above the desk to create a bit collage of photos and art. For right now, it’s just the two paintings from Amarillo. I also am in search of curtains, but I haven’t decided what I want yet. At this very moment, I’m thinking a bright blue.

Before: Living Room... All of that stuff fit into the trunk of my car.

Bedroom:

Before: Bedroom... the curtains are just gorgeous, and I love the random extra bed frame!

The jungle curtains came down, thank goodness. The bedroom is actually the place with the fewest changes. I want to find some frames to hang on the wall with photographs, but I didn’t like anything I had in there. I did hang my horseshoes, and the closet is filled with my clothes. I’m also going to keep an eye out for a comforter that will make it feel more put together instead of thrown together.  The wood paneling is still gorgeous (argh), but at least the curtains are gone!

So Far: Bedroom... I replaced the curtains, but I need to find something light and bright to put on the walls.

And that’s it! That’s the whole house!

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