Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

Around the house

Posted by joeabbott on February 13, 2011

I have too many blog ideas and find the pile of “ticklers” on my desk to be growing disproportionately with my blogging. And, no, I don’t count the “cat cartoons” as legitimate blog entries. But, at hand sit weather reports for 2010 (I planned to say something about last year’s weather … like 12/12 when it rained 2.19’”!), movie reviews for the best shows in 2010 (perhaps I was going to say something about not seeing a one), and even notable passages (as in “deaths of famous people”) from the year.

Looks like as 2010 came to a close, I was interested in talking a bit about it but I’m not finding it all that inspirational right now. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to blogging about these ideas but I may … and so they sit as we enter the second month of 2011.  But today I’ll start a post on yet something altogether different.

A couple years back I wrote a couple posts about SITBY: Stuff In The Back Yard. The first post covered a lot of the yard art that we’ve gotten over the years and plopped amid the landscaping. The second was specifically about a very cool dragonfly piece of art my mother gave us. We still have these items and, as the years have gone on, we’ve collected a few more pieces but I realize that we have a ton of stuff inside the house, too!

Now, we don’t have art pieces as in, something we’d worry about having damaged in a move or stolen by a cat burglar, but, in either case, we’d miss the item all the same. Most of the pieces we care about we’ve picked up on a few modest travels, were given by loved ones, or something that caught our collective eye in a catalog.

However, Suzy recently was inspired to take a bold step and add some art directly to our walls! She detailed it in her post here, but when it comes to “detailing”, few can lean on a simple word or picture like I can. So here goes!

Whimsy, anyone?

imageimageMy younger brother was once here and I’m not sure if he was offering a backhanded compliment or just lacked a more graceful way to say it, but commented something like, “I’d have never thought of putting that on my wall, but you did and it looks good!”

In that same vein I wondered at Suzy’s selection of decal showing a few squirrels, some owls, and a stylized tree for an otherwise unspoken for section of wall in our bedroom.

Now, we don’t have kids and “cute” is not a word that I would ever use to describe anything in the house, but I may have to make an exception for this. And I’d do so ungrudgingly … she did it and it looks good!

The "tree” in the design is just vertical lines of varying widths and a few “bough” sections. It comes together well and fun to look at to see what’s going on. And, for all the time that we’ve tossed the squirrels that come and go through our backyard a handful of nuts, this is a nice echo of the backyard.

As you can see in the picture to the right, it’s a perfect fit below a picture that Suzy painted a few years back.

Welcome Tree

imageimageThe next place that seemed to cry out for a little decoration was over the door in our entry. This otherwise blank canvas needed a little something, so Suzy put up a tree here, no squirrels.

This is a bit more “our style” in that it’s a “nature thing”, stylized, and not to heavy on the “cute”.

It was fascinating to see it go up. The parts are just black plastic with a Post-It note-like adhesive on the back. They easily peel on and come off without marring the walls. I helped put a few of the higher branches and leaves up but was constantly worried about “doing it wrong”. Suzy assured me there was no “right” and “wrong” to this, but there are “looks good” and “what is that” responses someone could have to it … and I’d greatly prefer the former.

But, this will be above the heads (not to be confused with “over the heads”) of all who enter and give us a nice looking bit of art to greet us when we come down from our night’s sleep or head out later in the day.

As I heard Bill Bryson say a lot while listening to a couple of his books on tape a short while back: I like this very much.

Say what?


imageI’ve collected and enjoyed quotes for years. I even wrote a little app for my email to, every day, grab a new quote and stick it on the bottom. This was before the days of web services and whatnot, and so some day I’ll update it … but I’m getting off topic.

And, just recently, Suzy got into enjoying quotes, too, finding inspiration and admiration for those who have found just the right way to say a little something and pass it on to those of us without that gift.

This quote, "The secret to having it all … is knowing you already do” appears in a lot of places but I can’t determine who to attribute it to. Which likely means it was some greeting card wonk who happened to hit upon a classic aphorism but wasn’t able to claim ownership. Regardless who said it first, it’s quite the gift and it well describes a lot in our lives.

I look out at our yard and like what I see, I’m happy with my toys (computers, tools, and whatnot), and my relationships enrich my days. It’s hard to imagine more. I’m pretty sure I already have it all.


And that’s it! Perhaps later I’ll do a “SITH” (Stuff In The House) and include those things that might be of passing interest to a cat burglar (please, no burgling the cats!) but until then, I hope you enjoyed my post on SOTW (Stuff On The Walls).


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