Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cottage Beginnings

Things are happening with my writing cabin!

I am a bit like an excited duck chasing a June bug about this, flapping my wings and quacking, so if you find this annoying, please continue your walk around the park and pay me no mind.

But yes, actual things are happening, like measuring and buying and pounding stakes where the corners will be.

If you are a bit ADD, and you have a husband who has a lot more great ideas than time, it can be a long step from Maybe We Should to Real Things Actually Happening.

I have old friends far away.  Sometimes when we communicate, we say, wouldn't it be fun to get together and chat over tea?

Yes, it would.  But we both know what it would take to coordinate this.

So this is like the old friend actually showing up at the door.

The cabin will be across the road by Muddy Creek in an area that is covered with water at times during the winter.  During the big flood of I think 1996 that area was filled up almost to the road.  So I want the cabin way up above such dangers.

So the other day Paul got a surveyor's scope and ruler and beamed and calibrated and marked, from the Official Elevation Marker at Leroy and Anita's next door, over to the signpost, and then across the road.
Here are Paul and Jenny, measuring and marking.
The ice cream lid has a purpose. Really.
To set things on, or something.
The cabin will have to be up on very high posts, we realized.  But better a bit stilted looking than washed away.

I've been on Pinterest, scouting for ideas, off and on, by searching for cabins and cottages and small houses.  I got some good ideas but the featured buildings never seemed quite what I was looking for.

A Facebook friend asked me if I'm going to utilize Treehouse Masters.  I had no idea who that was, but it turns out to be a Pacific-Northwest-based crew who designs and builds tree houses, and who has their own TV show.

And then I realized I had been searching all the wrong things on Pinterest.  I plugged in "tree house" and before me bloomed a thousand ideas that were exactly what I wanted.

Like this.  [Read more here]

"Is this the same idea as the she-shed that is all the rage here?" asked another Facebook friend.

My snooty answer: I hope I am as high and dry above this world's swirling fads as this cottage will be above the next flood. I've dreamed of something like this for a long time.

Meanwhile, we continue to discuss names.  Dear me, it was easier to pick names for the children.

I still like Acorn Cottage but the children think it's a strange choice, and others have pointed out the obvious and inevitable jump to Nut House.

Ben goes to college with one of those people whose name seems to be entirely comprised of surnames--something like Dorington Chase Wilkins.  Ben thought "Dorington" would be a great name for my cabin.

I think: will it take too much explaining? And is it too egotistical?

The other day Jenny sat down at the computer and shrieked:

Quote of the Day:
"MOTHER!!  You are NOT naming it OATMEAL COTTAGE!!"

It's no wonder some of us moms go around perpetually confused.  What was she talking about?

Well! There was a little tab at the bottom of the screen, and it SAID, "Oatmeal Cottage."  SEE?

Oh, child.

Earlier that day I had looked up a Trim Healthy Mama recipe, and then I had "minus-ed" the page, or that's what I call it, but I'm sure normal people call it something better, when you click the little dash in the little box third from the end at the upper right.

So only the first two words of the recipe showed in the tab at the bottom.

The recipe was for Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes.

Meanwhile, I need an uncomplicated name that conveys rest, oak trees, creativity, water, and such things.

But not oatmeal.

This weekend we were down to two children at home.  Two!  I dropped a few chicken thighs in a tiny little crock pot this morning to make honey mustard chicken for lunch, and it was easily enough for the four of us.

I thought: maybe the kids will all leave home about the time I get my cabin, and I won't even need it!

And I also thought, "What if there's nothing magic about this cabin and it won't make me a prolific and good writer?"

But then I decided I was just feeling guilty for being so blessed.

One of my faraway friends, Dorcas Stutzman, said, regarding the building of a cabin, "For some reason this takes me all the way back to our giggling fits in Jonathan and Cynthia's trailer house."

And I said, "If you come visit, we can sit in the cabin and have more giggling fits, if we still know how."

My friend Sharon testifies that I still know how.

Maybe the writing cabin will be a place where nebulous ideas and wishes become reality.


  1. I think "Acorn Cottage" would be brilliant, particularly since there's all the things you could do with it's inevitable nickname.

    "I'm going to the Nut House. Y'all are driving me crazy!"
    "If someone comes looking for me, I'll be in the Nut House."
    "The noise in here is driving me into the Nut House."

    Personally, I'd just cut to the chase and call it the Nut House... :) I may have to copy your idea some day!

  2. Empty nester Mom here and yes there is plenty of space to escape here BUT then I feel like I need to cleaning or cooking. So....yes a cabin is necessary! Here in the South we could come up with some really interesting names.

  3. Im not a writer, but I sure have been wanting me a little studio amongst my 100 +year old oaks. It would have reclaimed wood floors, a lofty ceiling, a little loft to store my stashes of ash reed and Belguin linens, and canvas fabric, and a comfy chair and cozy lamps,and ancient cupboards,and a work table. It will have hints of greens and blues, and whites-to -browns. And a little pot belly wood stove.And smell of herbs and spices.

  4. Dorcas, You do NOT want a lot of stairs! Build something that will be assailable twenty years from now.

    One Who Knows.

  5. I am jealous! (Shouldn't admit that, I suppose...)

  6. How exciting that it's coming along! I think the process will be just as fun as the end result.

  7. Thanks for all the ideas/suggestions/insights! Lisa--I would be jealous of me too. I saw pictures of Ann Voskamp's writing house a few years ago and fell into covetousness.

  8. i second 1st anonymous's motion!

  9. But! Hannah and Anonymous--The Nut House is so. . . shallow! and unspiritual! Ann Voskamp would never name her lovely writing cabin the Nut House.

  10. I had the same thought about the stairs before "anonymous" mentioned it. But maybe Dorcas is planning to be an empty nester by the time stairs are a problem, and her house (or one nook in the house) can be her writing haven.


  11. I LOVE your idea of a writing cottage! It sounds great:) Very funny story of the oatmeal "cottage"--LOL
    Blessings, Aimee

  12. Evelyn Huuki9/25/2015 8:02 PM

    Love the " nut house", can imagine escaping to my very own nut house!

  13. How about using "retreat" as part of the name. Gives the feel of getting away from the hustle and bustle of life. Enjoy your cabin, whatever the name!:) sounds dreamy to have your own "spot."

  14. Try acorn as the first part of the name, like acorn lane cottage, or acorns /after And before cottage, etc. Abc, cottage? Acorns, butternuts and? Or my A. C. C. Cottage..

  15. You could call yr cottage, My LTL House, playing with words.. Some initials could stand for a deeper meaning, like Love the Lord, for example. Have fun.