The READIN Family Album
Me and Gary, brooding (September 2004)


Jeremy's journal

He'd had the sense, moments earlier, that Caroline was on the verge of accusing him of being "depressed," and he was afraid that if the idea that he was depressed gained currency, he would forfeit his right to his opinions. He would forfeit his moral certainties; every word he spoke would become a symptom of disease; he would never win an argument.

Jonathan Franzen

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Thursday, July 24th, 2014

🦋 Walking down the path

Seen lately in the READIN family garden --

posted evening of July 24th, 2014: Respond
➳ More posts about the Family Album

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

🦋 Two old projects: demolition and finishing


Out in the back yard
Playhouse lies in pieces and the bolts that once connected them
the once (and future?) construct
scattered sunlight on the lawn
scattered sunlit lifeless hollowed out
the paint like skin that's covered over
veins of douglas fir and cedar
veins of age-old wood and creeping
vitiating rot

Drill battery is charging and I look out my back window
at the stillness of the breezes blowing
pushing round the trees
pushing blowing round the green enclosure
manifold imposing over
arching, dark reality
the creeping, pungent real story
never write it down, I'll never
write it down because it's hidden
hidden dark unnameable
illicit hanging conversation
twittering between cicadas
translate text of endless grayed-out
sussurating stop.

Finished two old projects yesterday -- The playhouse I built for Sylvia in 2005 and which Bill helped me pull down a few weeks ago is now completely disassembled (and Scott has indicated he'd be interested in using the wood to build something for Sasha and Maya); and the Windsor chair I built on my 2002 trip to The Windsor Institute is finally painted, a handsome shade of green. Lee Valley milk paint is the best.

posted morning of September 16th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia's playhouse

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

🦋 Dogwood down!

One day,

-- the next,
Time to rent a chainsaw... I seem to remember hearing dogwood makes nice carving/turning wood, will try to get some blanks out of this.

posted morning of July 8th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about The garden

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

🦋 Purple and Orange

Courtesy of Ellen's green thumb:

posted afternoon of May 19th, 2012: 1 response
➳ More posts about Projects

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

🦋 Storm damage

Man, am I glad we cut down that dogwood tree this summer! The storm last night brought down large (but ultimately insignificant to the giant tree) pieces of maple and most of the burning bush on the side of the house -- the power lines are rather miraculously none the worse for wear.

posted evening of October 30th, 2011: Respond

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

🦋 Dogwood Funeral

One of my very favorite-ever pictures of myself is this one, taken 8 years ago, when Sylvia was 3 and my parents were visiting -- I believe it was their first visit at our new house, the house we live in today. My dad took this picture of 3-year-old Sylvia on my shoulders, entranced by the dogwood blossom.

Every year since then, the dogwood has produced fewer blossoms, fewer leaves; and this year it is well and truly dead.

I spent some time this afternoon cutting off its limbs. For Sylvia's documentation of the process, look at our family album.

Update -- a year later, it is down.

posted afternoon of May 7th, 2011: 1 response
➳ More posts about Sylvia

Monday, January 17th, 2011

🦋 Chairs

Further progress in improving the look of our dining room: Ellen found a great deal on reupholstering the chairs, from the McGowen Fabric Outlet in Elizabeth. Very reasonable price and excellent work, though perhaps lacking in customer service relations -- at about 5 this afternoon Ellen answers the ringing phone, listens for a minute, says "Jeremy, we have a situation" -- the chairs are finished and the fabric outlet manager wants them picked up right away so he does not have to hold them overnight. So me and John quit practicing and took a road trip to Elizabeth.

I find the sheer extent of the urban area around here disconcerting. I often don't notice it because I will get on the highway to drive any significant distance; but the city, the neighborhoods, keep going beneath the highway in between the exits. There isn't much of any way to get to Elizabeth by highway -- it is just surface street after surface street, and you never lose the impression of being in the city.

The chairs are probably nearly as old as I am -- they and the table are Ellen's parents' old dining-room set. The old leather upholstery on them was looking really bad; the new fabric is utterly transformative.

posted evening of January 17th, 2011: Respond
➳ More posts about Painting the House

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

🦋 In the garden

One of the nicest, most springlike days of 2010 so far. Here are some photos:

posted afternoon of May 8th, 2010: 4 responses

Friday, November 27th, 2009

🦋 The Dining Room

This morning, the most recent installment of our home redecoration saga is complete; we finished painting the dining room, and have put the room back together. Look!

The painting is "Autumn Rhythm", by Jackson Pollock.

There are a couple of other views at the READIN Family Album, just click on the photo.

(Later on:) ...Such a pleasure, moving through this room and the adjacent two rooms, now that they are back in a proper state, not all chaotic as they have been the past couple of weeks. It feels like a stubbed toe or a sprained ankle, healed back up.

posted afternoon of November 27th, 2009: Respond

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

🦋 Preparing and Priming

Ellen and I spent most of the weekend setting up our dining room to paint it: covering the floor with newspaper and drop-cloths, taping edges and corners, and applying primer. It's not a huge room but it's a fairly intimidating job because of how the room is put together: lots of molding everywhere that requires attentive care and the use of a brush instead of a roller, including an insane crown molding that has 12 surfaces -- besides the crown molding there is a chair rail and a baseboard, and three doorways and a window. There will be a whole lot of taping, too, which we have not even started yet; for now we are priming everything together. We made pretty good progress! Finished off a can of primer, we've done everything except one section of crown molding and most of the ceiling. we'll finish that up tomorrow night and then the fun of applying the actual colors begins.

Ellen is primarily in charge of the color selection, with input from her friend Lisa and (a bit) from me -- she has settled on some colors from the Benjamin Moore catalog that look pretty nice to me, I will try and find them online and link to a sample.

posted evening of October 18th, 2009: 2 responses
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