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we did the walk-through and lease signing at the new house this morning before work. we got our keys. once the leasing agent left, kirk and i walked all through the house again, opening every cupboard and drawer of the built-ins, exploring the gardens (kohlrabi, sunflowers, rosemary), taking pictures (will post later). i had a hard time leaving it -- i have such an intense love for its bones and quirks. the way the cupboards in the stairwell are double-hinged just so to pass behind the lightbulb overhead.

we will move in and sleep there for the first time tomorrow.


i walked around at lunch and took a thousand pictures of the campus to put up in the frames i had hung in my office. i have to pick four that harmonize as a group, plus one to be a modern counterpoint to the old one i picked out from the archives:

(the manor house, 1948, from lc digital collections)
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today i canned a huge batch of tomato sauce. it was a lot of work and a lot of fun, and i documented it along the way. you can go see and read more about it on flickr.

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photos kirk took in an antique shop in ocean park, washington
with my new canon rebel.

we also saw the most amazing lamp: wooden, a carved woman nearly five feet tall with a face like a saint, standing on a pedestal, wearing a dress that draped so elegantly, nearly medieval, her hand curled upon her breast; she held a pole that reached up above her head and it dripped crystals and lights, like a chandelier. i can't believe we didn't get a picture of it. it was $1,200 but sometimes i think it would be worth it.
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here is some of the treasure you find doing yardwork at my parents' house. the family they bought the land from had owned it for nearly 80 years and had built up a sort of midden-heap of trash that never went to the dump, really. if you walk around in certain areas where the soil is exposed, you can pick out handfuls of worn, broken glass just walking a few paces. wherever we whack away at the brambly undergrowth to expose the view, the madrones and rhododendrons and the hidden garden beds, we also find lengths of rusted pipe, bundles of decayed twine, half-buried cement lumps, and so on. my dad calls this "site repair" and because it was so important to him, he chose to build on the worst area so it would receive the most attention.


a small army of women have been applying various beautifying charms to me, these last two weeks. i had a spray tan last week (mainly to even out a bad and unfortunate sunburn) and also had my eyebrows waxed and tinted. then yesterday i had my first manicure and pedicure, and my first facial. the facial was at a day spa and i want to go back there every single weekend. or every single day, even. oh god it was so wonderful. glowy and floaty. the only downside to being so relaxed and pampered for several hours is that it is really hard to come back to reality, and i have been in a mini-funk all day, unable to get much done.
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yesterday was commencement. this is my school standing up at the morning exercises, when we were presented to the reverend and honorable board of overseers of harvard university:

the latin oration was ioannes harvard, eques iediensis or, john harvard, jedi knight. (link)

it was sunny and cold most of the day. in the pocket-sleeves of my robe, i had my phone, a program, sunglasses, lip balm, my ID, and other sundries. everything was so unreal. we were awake at 5am yesterday to arrive for the 7am processional, and when we got home last night i went to bed and slept for nearly 12 hours. what a day.
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just finished hanging all of these. random art, photos of kirk and i, favorite places. the ones grouped together in multi-frames are from five years ago, when i lived in belmont --- all of saint and angel statues in the mount auburn cemetery. i took them using the beautiful old canon my grandfather gave me, and which now makes an unfortunate glass-grinding noise when i turn the zoom lens. and also the shutter refuses to click. alas. but at least now the whole series is framed and hung in the living room, where there used to be a large and sad looking bare wall. i rather like how this looks.

as always, it takes me two years of living in a place before i finally get enough art up on the walls to make it feel like home. (two years is also the perfect amount of time, coincidentally, to get tired of a place and want a new one.)
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kirk and i went to several antique stores while we were
in texas. betty's corner in levelland, the lubbock antique
mall, and hastings antiques in idalou. they were all run
by crazy old folks whose stores were enormous and
overwhelmingly crammed with stuff. we had a lot of fun :)

some purchases:

at the top, a small green 1940s teapot from a hospital.
in the middle, three wooden-handled biscuit cutters.
underneath that, a red and white enamelware fridgerator box.
(the rest of it is just regular kitchen stuff, but the big artichoke was
a christmas present. it now holds my earl grey tea)

two antique cotton combs. you comb the cotton to align the fibers and make it into a skein to spin thread from.

purchased and not pictured: a tiny toothpick holder in the shape of a green art deco chicken; a vintage pink and white half-apron; a folding travel alarm clock (it sublimates brass). if i had had infinite shipping capacity and $1,000 more to spend at hastings, i would have also bought two lace-bordered petticoats from the 1890s, a hoosier kitchen cupboard, purple glass iced tea goblets, and a million more beautiful things. we did spend about $150 at hastings--but she only charged us $80. she also trailed us around the store for a long time, saying things like, "sissy, do you need any help finding anything? you let me know, babies." ha.

item i did not find anywhere but desperately want: an antique primitive wooden trencher with handles (like this but not painted or fake). kirk's mom has an enormous one in her kitchen, and his aunt shirley has a PERFECT one that i coveted mightily. i had my heart set on finding one in idalou, but it was not to be. instead i am checking ebay daily.
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at the keen house over vacation. left to right: kyle (kirk's younger brother), kasidi (20 months, our niece), becky (kirk's mom), jolynn (kirk's younger sister, kasidi's mom), and kirk hidden in the shadows.

kirk's cousin lashonda doing jolynn's makeup for the wedding.

jolynn just before the wedding.

aunt shirley pins a boutonniere on kirk's tux; kyle in the background.

jolynn and freddie on the altar.


gas pump behind the house.

two puppies!

the white puppy

the brown puppy

oilfields and grassland by the keen house
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one ghost-photo of stephen colbert, at the jfk forum this afternoon:

i kept catching glimpses of him through the greenroom door every so often, before it started. exciting! he was not in character for the forum, though he did film a little segment for the show, at the end. it was so crowded and hot in there, though. a little boy gave him a tiny stuffed eagle during the q&a, which he used to mop the sweat off his face.

in other news, i have tinnitus in my left ear today. i really hope it is temporary, because this roaring sound is obnoxious and makes me feel like a crazy person.
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my afternoon:


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July 2013

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