Sunday, March 25, 2012

Specific (not random) Bits and Pieces: Flowers, History, Painting, and Love

People like to say "random" about seemingly unrelated things.

I don't. I believe in the specific. First because I don't believe there is much in this world that is actually random. Secondly because the things I discuss in this post are not only specific but related.

They are related by joy, because they all give me just that.

The garden, while still under construction, surprised me this week with bulbs planted by former owners. That pile of dirt is trying to be beautiful:

Pay no attention to the gigantic pile of of waste sod behind us.
Now pay no attention to the crappy cell phone photography. Ooo, pretty colors!

I also took possession (yes, it took a little while longer than usual, though there were no legal concerns) of the official abstract and deed to my property:

What da heck is a rod? It's so biblical!
A stack of property transfer records seems like dull reading, but I was riveted. My purchase of the property was the 99th transaction on the property, but I haven't sorted through it all figure out how many owners it has had. Since the house was built, in 1939, it's had four owners not including the builder and including me. Not bad for a house this age.

It all started back in 1855, when a man named Ira Rees was granted a patent on half of a quarter-section of land (80 acres), which included the land my house stands on. 1855! In my Midwest state's history, THIS is what was going on:

A Wikimedia Commons image, public domain, U.S. copyright expired.
European settlement West of the Mississippi. Covered wagons. Disappearing prairie. It's hard to look around my very urban core historic neighborhood now and think of that.

The abstract helps me piece together some of the history of this house; that's another post for another time. It's been almost a year since I purchased my home. I'm only just a little ripple on the surface of its history.

In other news, my sister Dyan has gained entry into her very first juried art show with one of her oil paintings:

Kim's Fan Club, by Dyan Millsaps Shirley. Copyright 2011-12, all rights reserved.
I'm proud as I can be of her talents, and I hope she knocks the judges socks off. You can go to her Etsy site here, and check out her Facebook page here.

Friend Kristy went off to Hawaii for spring break, and came back with a reproduction vintage tea towel just for me:

Do the hukilau; dry the dishes now.
It'll be perfect in the avocado 1970s kitchen (or homage to the avocado 1970s kitchen) that's coming along for another future blog post.

Last in the post, but first in my life: Mr. Man Friend and I celebrated a year together Friday. I don't want to make this blog much about my personal life. BUT. We met at a coffee shop at a time when I'd decided to NOT date anyone at all for awhile; I'd been knocked about emotionally pretty badly by my divorce, and wasn't interested in any voluntary misery. A year later I have an intelligent, gentle, supportive, funny and fantastic companion. We're taking it slow. We like to hold hands.  He and I, we have a little history here now too. I like the idea of building on that, just like everything else going on in my life right now. And that, my friends, is not random. Blessings never are.


  1. Wow, being able to see the history of your house in such detail - fantastic! I'd be riveted. Completely riveted. I love your sisters paintings! I'm sure the judges will too! Love the tea towel and any though of a 1970's kitchen. And happy anniversary! I met the Mister the same way - I was fresh out of a divorce and definitely, definitely not looking. And then there he was. Now over a decade has passed. I wish you many happy days together! I was going to say "years" but as you're taking it slow, I didn't want to make you feel crowded. :)

  2. Hooray for daffodils and hyacinth! :)

    I, too, think it is very cool that you were able to find out the history of your house and property. I know our own house was built in the 1980's and that we're only the second owners of it, but I never thought about trying to find out the details on the property itself. I should look into that!

    Good luck to your sister (love that painting!) and congrats on the anniversary!