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Dispatch from the Road: We’re Almost Home


This American House

After a week of travel, things are about to finally get back to normal at This American House. Over the past week we’ve flown to New York, seen a musical production of Heathers, researched our house at the Avery Library at Columbia University, attended a gallery show and then a memorial for an artist friend who passed away late last year, and, finally, packed up a U-haul truck with art and other precious cargo. We’re now making the long drive from Connecticut back to Iowa. Once we’re safely ensconced back in our usual surroundings, I’ll put together a more detailed post about our adventures. Until then, enjoy this clip from one of the best musicals I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Image: This American House


Turning Dead Vines into a New Wreath


20140708-102051-37251989.jpgMy transformation into a little old lady is almost complete. I just made a wreath from dried vines I cut from the carriage house this spring. Next stop: Shady Pines.

city boys, small town life, Uncategorized

Weather Alert: The City Boy’s Tornado Preparedness Plan


Creating a tornado preparedness plan

As the wind howled outside the Dream House last night, I had a flashback to my youth in rural Indiana and Ohio. Tornado watches and warnings were a common occurrence along the flat landscape in that part of the Midwest. And they scared the hell out of me! When I moved to the city seventeen years ago, I knew that I had pretty much evaded twisters. After all, in the city you’re far more likely to have your iPhone stolen on the subway than to experience a tornado. Now that we’re back in the rural Midwest, I’m reminded that knowing what to do in the event of a tornado is not a bad idea.

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Mr. and Mr. Blandings into the Wild Blue Yonder


Landing at Chicago's Ohare AirportProjects at the Dream House have been on pause as we’ve doing a bit of traveling. While I was fairly successful with keeping the blog updated while we were away, I lost all day yesterday to travel. The day involved a mid-day flight plus a five hour drive that turned into six. By the time we got to the Dream House last night, we were delirious with the joy of coming home. So delirious that I may have insisted that we try to rip the mantle off the fireplace at midnight. Yeah, we didn’t get very far with that before we gave up and opened a bottle of whiskey.

Today, we’re back into the thick of projects. That mantle IS coming down! And the new blinds for the dining room arrived while we were away. I can’t wait to see them installed on the windows! Perhaps the most exciting but laborious project of all, though, is finally cleaning up the yard. The rest of the snow melted over the past week so it’s time to rake the leaves that have been smothering the grass since fall.

Traveling is great, but it’s always a treat to come home. So you’ll have to excuse this break in blog posts while we get back to projects. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be able to share a successful story about removing the mantle!

— J. Blandings

Image: Mr. and Mr. Blandings