Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our New Home

Than and I bought a new house! We close next Monday, so we haven't actually moved in yet, but I couldn't wait to show it to you. Here are some highlights.

Front of the house. It is a 2-story with a garden basement.

Kitchen (in case the appliances didn't give it away).

Sun room off of master bedroom.

Office nook to the right of the sun room.


Upstairs living room.

Dining room.

Back deck.

More photos to come as we move in. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love to You & Yours

Happy Valentine's Day! This happens to be one of my favorite holidays. I love love, and I love a day devoted to telling people you love them - and I love being able to make sentimental home-made cards with ribbons and glitter and cheesy sayings like "Bee Mine!" I know some people say Valentine's is a fake holiday invented by candy companies just to goad people into buying unnecessary consumer goods, but isn't that true about most American holidays? (Halloween anyone?) If you don't like excess consumerism, than I suppose the answer is don't buy anything. And if you don't buy-in to buying things, then all that is left is the "true" spirit of the holiday-at-hand, right? (I use quotation marks because what exactly is the "true" spirit of Columbus Day? Exploration, really?)

This Valentine's has not been as fun as we originally planned. The plan was to ski and snowboard at Copper Mountain, but I ended up with a head-cold and we came home early without a single snow adventure. Than is already calculating we when can go again - between buying a new home and planning a wedding, it seems to take a lot of advance planning to fit in a ski day.  Lucky for him, his bachelor party is a weekend ski-trip, so I know he'll get out there at least two more days this season.

This is a photo from last year's Valentine's Day. We went snowshoeing at the Moffat Tunnel and had dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Kitchen. This year Than made steaks with a port au jus, mashed potatoes and a caesar salad. It was delicious and almost made me forget how sick I am. Almost.
 I hope wherever you are and whoever you are with, you have a very Happy Valentine's Day. I send love to you and yours and hope you will do the same.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Doing the Deed

My partner Than and I have bought a house. It is my first house and his third, so you might say I am delirious with unbridled excitement while he is merely just really excited. As we started the process of buying a house (which is very long these days due to the recent housing crash), I started to spend a lot of time thinking about Mary Wollstonecraft, the Ladies of Langham Place, and the Married Women's Property Act of 1882. (Google these... I am too lazy to add hyperlinks which is probably poor blogging etiquette, but alas.)

Early feminists argued four main rights for women - the right to an education, the right to healthcare, the right to participate in government, and the right to own property: with the purchase of this house I am about to realize that fourth and final right. Yes I know, I know... a mortgage means the bank owns your house and we won't literally own the house for several decades, but still, my name on that piece of paper means I have rights to exactly 1/2 of our property. Of course, it also means I carry exactly 50% of the responsibility of caring for the house, which is a sobering thought. Leaky faucet? Busted furnace? Clogged drain or garbage disposal? Bats in the attic? Guess I better buy a tool belt and rededicate some of my shoe money to potential house repairs.  

When we applied for a mortgage, it was a given both of our names would be on the deed. (My dad's only comment was to be sure that if I decided to change my name, I submit a name correction to the bank ASAP.) Until recently, I had assumed all (or at least very many) of married women today owned their own home, especially women my age. As I talked to several friends about my impending home-ownership, I quickly discovered this is not the case. Several friends told me their name is not on the deed - their husbands own their homes outright. For some it was easier to get a mortgage with only one applicant, others married their husband after he had already bought a home and they haven't gotten around to adding their name, and for others they actually have no interest in ownership and find it easier to let their husband take care of the paperwork! These conversations gave me mixed feelings, some which I haven't voiced yet. The feminist in me wants to knock their heads together and yell "Are you kidding me?! You are passing on your right to property ownership because it's too much paperwork? For god's sake, I don't remember anyone ever saying fulfilling your fundamental human rights didn't require work!" At the same time, the princess in me wants to say "I totally get it - doing nothing and getting everything is definitely the way to go. You are lucky to have married well."

I would like to point out that whether a feminist, princess, or combination thereof,  my friends (as most married women) continue to invest in their home - they help with the mortgage, clean and decorate the interior, mow the lawn, paint the walls, refinish the wood floors, sweep out the garage, clean the gutters, the list goes on. Why would you invest money and labor in something you do not actually own? And why would someone who loves you as an equal partner with a promise to care not just for you but about you until the end of your days let you invest in something you do not own?

I suppose this is a soap box, and I suppose the most fundamental human right is the right to make your own choices, so I guess the most I should do is politely remind my friends they have the right to own property if they would like to. But I sincerely hope any woman who chooses to live in a home she does not own does so because that is absolutely what she wants, and not because she can't spare an afternoon for paperwork.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New York Donkeys

I traveled to Albany, NY recently and had a chance to visit the New York State History Museum. They have a vintage carousel on the 4th floor complete with a working Wurlitzer Jukebox. There were only two donkeys, so Than and I made sure to claim them before any of the other kids. Each animal has been hand-carved and hand-painted (many times over if you consider the restoration processes) and are totally awesome. Did you know carousels were created in France to help knights train for jousts? Knights would attempt to put a lance through rings hung around the perimeter of the spinning carousel. We didn't get any lances, but the Museum is free admission, as is the carousel ride... so go visit!