In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering...

This blog exists to encourage all those who have ever wanted--and needed!--a tiny getaway close to home. A workshop, playhouse, garden shed, sanctuary, mini-greenhouse, studio, home office; whatever it is you need, it IS doable, with some sacrifice, imagination, and compromise.

It helps if you're handy, too.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Location, location...location??

Sooooo....perception counts for a lot. Attitude, too. Focus.

Our little shed looks as if it's in an idyllic wooded setting, and it is...sort of.

It used to be a narrow city lot with a house on it much like this one, but it burned years ago. Then I bought it to prevent an apartment house being built where there's scarcely any parking now. Then it was my garden. THEN the trees grew now it's a sort of wooded setting, yep...

But I do have to focus my attention...

This is looking back West, towards the house we live's wonderfully close, which is why we're building here!

Looking East, at the base of the wooded hillside that has a house on it to the far left, I discovered an amazing stand of jewelweed! You'd think it was on a creek bank...of course as much rain as we've gotten this year, it sort of is. All the runoff from the hill comes down the alley. (Unless it's TOO much and then the street out front is a river, as are our yards, and basements are wading pools.)

Out in front of the shed's French doors and just beyond the small volunteer mulberry that offers its cool sweetness in the morning, this is what I see looking North. The alley isn't a through one, and isn't maintained by the City, though it used to be. We keep our end of it mowed and picked up...

That's our fence to the left, and the light diagonal at right is the road leading up the hill...also the path of all the runoff, of course, and the occasional vehicle that loses control on the turn when it's wet, icy, or snowy. EEP.

Looking South, however, there are cars, garages, trash cans, houses, and three houses down, the small, somewhat noisy state highway (especially during rush hour--or as Joseph calls it, the Excelsior Springs Rush Minute. You can tell he commuted to D.C. for years, can't you!). Hence the extended storage area on the South side of the shed! Blocks a lot of that...and offers privacy.

One of our longtime neighbors down that way can't seem to talk below a shout when he's outdoors. Sometimes it's a laughing shout, sometimes it erupts into violence. After all these years, I've learned to ignore it...but still go check it out when I see flashing lights of police cars or ambulances.

So not entirely idyllic, but the idea is that you learn to focus, and concentrate on the positive, and don't hold out for perfection.

As they used to say, it's "close enough for jazz." (Or is that "close enough for government work..."?)


  1. All the woods and nature that separates you from the neighbors is what makes the difference. You were so smart to buy up that land!! :)

  2. OH yeah, Rita! It was very cheap, and I couldn't IMAGINE an apartment building there. Nope, don't think so...the houses were so close that when that one burned it was just terrifying.

  3. Wonderful jewelweed! I could use some of that around here (not likely to grow here though) --- it might work great for itchy bug-bite rashes.

  4. So because you have a deck you have to have more inspections? No inspections is why you limited the size isn't it?

  5. It's wonderful--we who can swivel our eyeballs around can find ways to focus on lovely views,and ignore the rest, and your North and East views are so beautiful and peaceful here. I am happy for you both.

  6. Yeah, that deck/size thing is ironic, isn't it. We kept it under 120 square feet so we could do what we wanted. Apparently you have to have a building permit for a DECK (of any size?) if not a shed/playhouse. Meh! It's little more than a sheltered stoop, but rules are rules. stupid though they seem.

    And thanks, Annie, that's just what I do.

  7. wow. it's been a week since I checked in and it's amazing how fast something can go up. I'm so glad you decided to go with recylced pieces and parts- I'm green with envy and glad to know that it only makes the process one level more difficult. while I'm not a builder someday I hope to put some pieces and parts together and make something. can't wait to see your space in full use. s'wonderful. dana

  8. I'm amazed, too, at how fast your studio is progressing! I guess I've gotten so used to my own snail's pace.....good on ya! Your view is really quite nice, I think. Where will you hang the hammock?

  9. Irene, if we were doing all the work ourselves, after our other work, and if it was bigger, it WOULD be going a lot slower! Mark tends to work 6 days a week, so we're moving right along.

    You reminded me, I actually DO own a hammock, out at the cabin! Hmmmmm...

    And thanks, Dana, recycling stuff not only cuts down on costs (both monetary and otherwise), but makes it SO much more interesting! I'm delighted Mark had those French doors he picked up at a garage sale!



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