Settling in.

I think my favorite part of moving in is finding the little things that make something feel like it’s yours, like you live here and not some other person whose life is unfamiliar. I love making a new place pretty and it’s been especially fun with the Captain.  I put a few of my things out, he puts some of his things out, they go on the same table and viola, at some point, it becomes ours. A painting I gave him sits near a framed photo taken by a woman he lived with decades ago is next to a thing my ex husband gave me while we were married. I am kind of glad to know that love endures and what was precious remains so. That even though time can change the shape of a relationship, the relationship can carry forward in a new incarnation. I like that as we put our home together, we are making space for who we were before these four walls.

It’s nice to walk into our bedroom where I hung the pretty blue candle holders, where his mattress is covered with my quilt, where our dressers frame the window and his funky velvet chair makes a reading nook next to the table I painted, and think, “Hey this is our bedroom that we share.”

It’s a work in progress. But we’re doing it together.


One of the things I’ve tried to keep in mind as we’ve set up camp is that saying by William Morris (which I am going to paraphrase) to “Have nothing in your home that is not both useful and beautiful.” Everything we’ve kept is something we’re happy to see when we need it and I think that’s probably rather the point of having things. Yes it’s risky to use the “best” Franciscan vintage plates for every day and they might break, but, why-ever would you not? Life is risky and things break and sometimes they don’t work the way you expected.

You should probably just use the good plates.


Even with all that, space is problematic. We’re finding ourselves having to creatively repurpose things. For example, a DVD rack on top of the old living room bookshelf makes a pretty good china cabinet.

I know.

It looks like a DVD shelf sitting on a bookcase.

Just, pretend.

Travel to the world of Pure Imagination. There now. Isn’t that a great china cabinet? Of course, the trickle down theory of using bookshelves for china cabinets means that this has created issues around storing our actual DVDs and books, but, that’s also a work in progress.


The cats are starting to settle in. Panoramic Bird TV at every window is endlessly fascinating to them.  I have decreed that here on the mountain they are all still Indoor Cats. Here it is not so different from Altadena’s foothills in that we have coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, foxes and other things that would like nothing better than to nosh on a fat, crunchy on the outside, cream-filled cat snack. Soon they will learn that life for Indoor Cats up here on the mountain includes cosy woodstove mornings. I don’t think they’ll mind those.

No, it isn’t one bit like what we expected.

It’s way better.

Life is funny like that.

About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
This entry was posted in Cabin, cats, Chasing Cats With Socks, gratitude, In The Mountains. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Settling in.

  1. Holly says:

    It’s looking very cozy and hurrah for The Quiet!

  2. Holly says:

    Hey, how far away are you there from the town and are you much higher up in elevation? from what we were reading, we didn’t get the impression it would be that snowy? but you keep mentioning ‘snow on snow on snow.’ I am looking forward to your reactions.

  3. Julie Hiroto says:

    “It looks like a DVD shelf sitting on a bookcase.”

    Not my first thought, or even second thought. I didn’t know that’s what you’d done until you explained it. I saw wood shelving that went together and had a kind of arts & crafts (or craftsman, if you like) look to it, so I was stunned by your description. Looking good, Rainy!!

  4. Holly says:

    Umm, until you said something, I thought that was the way it was supposed to look too 🙂 Is that kind of like pointing out those nearly invisible “mistakes” in your own crafted item to others? Oo, I’m reminded of you last sentence – it’s not what you expected to (use it for), it’s better. And now, I’m inspired to let go my own (internal) labeling of a few things and let them have a new life. My dad tells me of a story that when I was little and first putting my own outfits together, he asked me about a choice I had made. He wasn’t criticizing, just curious about what made me make an uncommon choice. My reply was to say that, “this dress lives to these tights” He loves that. He’s a philosopher/biblical scholar (OT)/linguist/non-linear thinker/and cool “old white dude”. I think your book case “lives to” the DVD shelf perfectly!

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