Monday, January 31, 2011

Scandinavian-Inspired Bed Nook

Oh, to have all that storage. Not only is the bed platform made out of cabinets, there's also a wall of cabinets at the headboard.

Ship's Bell Clock

I've been thinking about trying to find a small ship's bell clock. Friends have one, and I love the chiming of the bells -- although I wonder if it'd make me nuts to hear them every half hour.

Image: eBay

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Where I'd Rather Be

Today, I'd rather be here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Buy a Houseboat: Part 7

Mid-July 2008: There's a 1974 40' Cruise-a-Home for sale locally, at the same marina as Mia's floating home. DJ, the owner, lives out of town, but tells me to go take a look at it. It's locked and the blinds are down, but I can peek in a bit and am intrigued. I meet the woman who lives on a two-story floating home next door; she's very nice. I like the fact that the boat's located right at the end of the ramp -- easy for Lily to get to -- but not the fact that it's near the yacht club, where events are thrown quite frequently. While I talk to the harbormaster in his office, several women come in -- which makes me think that the marina, which has a dubious reputation, must be safe, right?

Image: The actual boat on Marine Classified Ads

Blind Dogs on Boats

Every day I'm gobsmacked at how amazing Lily is. She never has a problem negotiating the ramp, despite it always being at different angles according to the tide, and she calmly, confidently walks down the dock. The ducks quacking at her, the wind, rain, and movement of the boat, don't faze her. Her nose leads her to any food. And she lets me know when she needs to go out and patiently waits for me to slip on my shoes and her leash, and lift her off the boat. She does, however, continue to run into walls, and sometimes I find her standing, staring into a corner. Ah, aging, blind dogs.

Image: Lily, 2001, before she went blind

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Boat Horn

Every once in a while, in the middle of the night, I hear a really loud boat horn. It sounds more like a ship's horn, and almost like it's right next door (rather than at the port). It happened again last night. It's so mysterious; I have no idea where it comes from.

Woven Rustic Hemp and Hand Crochet Pillow

I'm so not a frou-frou kind of person, but I really like the mix of rustic hemp fabric and the delicate hand-crocheted lace trim. By enhabiten.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Settee Cushions

Hmm, how can I get settee cushions like this, but using wool batting rather than foam?

Small Spaces: The 80/20 Rule

You may have heard of the 80/20 Rule: We use 20 percent of our things 80 percent of the time. Just think about your closet -- you know you don't wear everything in it. You wear your favorite clothes. Again and again and again. So look around your home: You use 20 percent of your belongings. Theoretically, it should be easy to get rid of the 80 percent you don't use, right? (Yeah, sure.)

Image: {frolic}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

White Vignette


Things I've Learned

Things I've learned so far in 2011:

• Hospice nurses and caregivers are angels. They totally rock.
• Make out a will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. Have the paperwork for a durable power of attorney on hand. Now, not later.
• Make notes on the backs of photos of who is in the photos.
• Make notes about the objects in your home that are important to you. Were they handed down through your family? What do you know about them? Why are they meaningful?
• Don't just tell about your memories of growing up, family stories. Write them down.
• Write down your passwords. Keep the list somewhere safe.
• It's pretty easy to give up coffee when you're so sick that coffee doesn't even sound appealing.

Wow, and we're not even done with January.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Bush Houseboat

I really hate photos taken sideways, but I like the light, airy feeling of the Bush Houseboat in Kew, near London. Lovely wood floors, white ceilings, skylight, and lots of portholes, too. Click here for more info.

Map Door

Great door.

Image: Better Homes and Gardens via junkgarden 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I haven't had coffee in 18 days. Pretty darn proud of myself. Will it last? I'm not sure. But I feel pretty good about the fact that I don't need it in order to feel awake.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cross-Body Bags

After moving aboard the houseboat, it didn't take long for me to realize that I needed a cross-body bag rather than a regular purse. I need to have my hands empty so I can hold Lily's leash and lift her on and off the boat. But I'm still looking for the perfect bag.

Image: Amazon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Golden Shores Photograph

Photo by Lesley Sico. (See the other one I blogged here.)

Dining Nook

This reminds me that I think I need a little table to use near my settee. I've resisted because it's just another thing for Lily to run into, but there are times it'd be nice.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two Spaces After a Period

Really? After all these years of adding two spaces after a period, I learn that I should have been using only one? It's an automatic thing to use two spaces, part of the fast touch-typing I learned in high school. Now I have to keep backing up to correct myself, and it slows me down. Curse you, typographers, and curse you, Slate, for bringing this to my attention.

P.S. Don't even get me started on my love of the serial comma.

Full Moon

Midnight, No waves,
no wind, the empty boat
is flooded with moonlight.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flowers on Boats

Oh dear. I just read that flowers are unlucky onboard a ship. Well, I'm sure that doesn't apply to a houseboat.

Image: Country Living via suziebeezie

Barcelona Dining Room

I love the picture ledge, the settee, the wooden table, the industrial stools, the pendant lights.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I returned home to:
  • One of my favorite dinners
  • Chocolate ganache cake
  • A comfort food lunch
  • Books
  • Hugs
  • Ducks quacking
  • An egret not far from my door
  • A foghorn
  • Pea-soup fog giving way to sunshine and warmth
  • A hummingbird
  • My own bed
The past couple of weeks included:
  • Deliveries of groceries
  • Breakfasts and dinners
  • Calls, emails, helpful connections
 How am I so lucky to have such an amazing community of friends?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monterey Sounds

What I can hear from my dad's hilltop house in Monterey: Sea lions barking. Foghorns. Bugles at the Presidio.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cruise-a-Homes Cruising

These marketing pics of Cruise-a-Homes just crack me up.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Buy a Houseboat: Part 6

Late June 2008: I'm seriously fixated on the idea of buying a houseboat. The economic climate's deteriorating, prices of everything have increased, and it just seems to make sense. I'm also really drawn to the whole idea of doing what I want to a boat, being able to live with my design choices rather than that of landlords. I become really excited about the whole thing -- the idea of community, and simplicity, and lack of clutter, being surrounded only by what I love, need, appreciate. I start to clean things out once again. This is nothing new, I'm always cleaning things out, and yet I still find things to get rid of -- pens and flea market silver I don't use because I don't like their feel, books I don't read. I live in a 230-square foot cottage, don't feel I own that much, and still I keep filling up my car trunk with stuff to donate. It's freeing, I feel great, not so bogged down. (I write, "At heart I'm a gypsy, a vagabond, and I don't want to own very much. I want to be able to pick up and go. A simpler life sounds so, so good.") 

I spend many, many hours looking at houseboats for sale on Craigslist, researching various models on the internet, making lists of what I envision.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whale Box

A cute wood whale box to hold your bits and bobs. At Rare Device.

Image: Rare Device

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Living Without Excess

By living without excess 
and surrounding yourself with just enough of the right things
 --objects that are personal to you and are thoughtfully designed-- 
you will feel an amazing sense of satisfaction, 
as well as making your home appear 
refreshing, relaxing and simple; 
an easy place to be.
-Mark & Sally Bailey, Simple Home

Beadboard Kitchen

Look what just a little beadboard can do.

Image: kml design via suziebeezie

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nautical Chart

Do nautical charts always look great? (See more here and here and here (kinda).)

Image: Deborah Berke Architects via ooh_food/Flickr

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sandwood Bay Eider Duck Greeting Card

I love how Jess Lovell's card captures perfectly the way a duck walks. Waddles. Whatever.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where I'd Rather Be

Today, I'd rather be here. (Instead of still sick in bed.)

Boat with Pillows

I know it's just a prop in a photo shoot, but it reminds me of this floating bed.

Image: RUM via sfgirlbybay

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I really like this vignette from Carol Faust's cottage, particularly the way the black stands out against all the white.

Image: Country Home via simply natural

Mia's Floating Home

My neighbor took this pic of Mia's floating home -- the one that first got me interested in boat living. It's interesting to see it from this perspective. (Ignore everything but the brown and white boat. The brown and blue building in the background is the harbormaster's office.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Small Spaces: Use Your Windows

Have an awkward space with a window? Build a simple shelf and you have an instant office or breakfast bar or counter. And think how much more often you'll appreciate the view.


Whenever I get sick, I never seem to have the correct supplies on hand. This time around, while I, surprisingly, do have Sprite and Pepto-Bismol and chicken soup and juice and daytime cold medicine on board, there's no sinus medicine or Nyquil or Kleenex or really good movies or books. I'm not sure if it's because I live in a small space or if it's just that I'm not as organized as I think I am. Does everyone else always have a well-stocked medicine cabinet and abode?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

East Village Studio

Just check out this combo studio/home office in the East Village. JPDA designed a central core that contains a kitchen, bath, closets, and a bedroom loft. Underneath the loft is a walk-in closet, and the stair risers conceal built-in drawers. New Yorkers are so damn creative with small spaces. (More pics and info here.)

Images: JPDA