Category Archives: Houseproud homestead

Feeling Antsy: tips for keeping ants at bay

Houseproud Feeling Antsy IMG_5995My pets, it’s been ages since I nattered on about anything, let alone about being houseproud, hasn’t it? Do let’s make up for that by having a little heart-to-heart about ants. Oh, I really think we should!

First, let me confess that our annual rainy-season scourge of wild ants attempting to become domestic ants tries my soul. If you think that ant incursions are rather low on a rational person’s list of terrible events, understand that for houseproud folks, indoor ants are cause for dismay. There is hope for my troubled soul, though: this year I have learned that ant infestations can be teachable moments, in which one may discern the difference between that which one can control and that which one cannot. Or something like that. Hmm.

Anyway, perhaps you, too, are faced with unwanted incursions from the natural world in your domicile? Perhaps you, like me, are willing to move heaven and earth (and the sofa, when necessary) in order to eradicate said ant incursions? If so, have I a few tips for youContinue reading

Obsessions: weeding and self-drafted knitted tunic

Houseproud obsessed - tunic IMG_4615I’ve been obsessed with two things these last few weeks: an almost daily slow toddle around the back garden for an hour or so, pulling weeds and enjoying the cool, damp air; and the endless knitting and unknitting of a self-drafted tunic, of which I have written in a previous post. Frankly, the nasty little head-cold that recently snuck into the Houseproud homestead was a perfect excuse for staying home and getting some serious knitting done. Continue reading

New Kitchen Curtains: vintage fabric love

Houseproud kitchen curtains vintage print IMG_4292It gives me great happiness to present to you: new curtains in the Houseproud kitchen. [Sound of trumpets] Isn’t a finished object a lovely thing, my pets? I have NO idea when I cut these out, but it was at least nine months ago. The curtains have languished in my to-be-completed pile since then, but I finally finished them last Wednesday. They’re cut from the most marvelous vintage fabric, scored at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale some years back. Ain’t they a vision? This fabric is soooooo kitschy and kitcheny that it makes me irrationally happy every time I walk into the room. I like a bright, cheerful kitchen, don’t you?
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Deep Cleaning Blues: Hurt So Good?

Houseproud deep cleaning blues IMG_4008Last week I deep-cleaned our bedroom over the course of two+ days. In fact, I spent approximately 24 hours cleaning one room of the Houseproud homestead, and if all goes well this week, I will spend another few days deep-cleaning our living room. Shall we pause for a minute and reflect on that statement? Perhaps you’re looking at your screen with much the same expression that the Mister has when I go into deep-cleaning mode? If only I could take your hand and explain that I’m not completely mad, but unfortunately I am not sitting beside you. Alas! How I wish I were, and that I could be as eloquent as Cheryl Mendelson in her 1999 book, Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House. If you are the least bit houseproud and would like some validation, or would like to know why anyone would be, read her book and you’ll understand.
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I Heart Autumn

Houseproud autumn decor IMG_3834Do changing seasons mean changing décor chez toi? It does at the Houseproud homestead, as you might imagine, even though the East Bay’s transition from summer into fall is very gradual. Mostly one notices the change in the light – the low angle of light and the shortening days. It’s such a beautiful time of year here: unlike summer, our fickle fog burns off every morning, and it’s pleasantly warm in the sun and cool in the shade. The blue of the sky just looks like fall – I don’t know why or how, but it does – and the air smells crisp and clean. I suppose that’s true everywhere, but most of our markers for autumn are so subtle that these small things stand out. Yes, our introduced trees have leaves that turn bright colors in memory of their homelands, but many of our native trees drop their exhausted, dun-colored leaves in late August, when the dampness of the rainy season is a distant memory and a forlorn future hope. Ah, but come October in Northern California, every living creature knows that the rains will come soon, and that rebirth and renewal are close. Continue reading