Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To Be or Not To Be (In the Moment)

The old cliche, "one picture tells a thousands words" is so very true in this picture.
Here is the last picture of us standing in front of our old Victorian home.  The next day, it will belong to a new owner as we sold it after nearly 5 years of our experiment in utilitarian living.  We will have most of our possessions inside the Chevy Spark and hitting the road to parts unknown

Does it surprise you that we sold our home after putting in so much work, effort and beauty into it?

No, nobody is dying, or getting separated or getting foreclosed on. We sold because of several reasons unrelated to the house or the neighborhood or Oakland in general.  In fact, our area has seen real change and improvement on several fronts, as this blog has chronicled.  So much change has happened that we just felt now was the right time to get Andrea out of her terrible, dead-end career job and for me to look for new, fertile ground to experiment and grow as an artist and storyteller.

We loved our Victorian and it gave us years of safety, comfort and pleasure.  Being inside it felt like an oasis away from all the technifying culture, heavy traffic and general population craziness.  We learned a wide range of skills including gardening and general carpentry. We learned how to make use of a wide variety of recycled materials and discovered that we have the capabilities and taste to make an old, broken down house into a beautiful home.

I do think that if we were 15 years younger, we would have felt we were in the center of the universe and would never have sold.  Nearly all the new blood in the neighborhood were refugees from SF or some other state, bringing their own generational energy and vibe and perhaps we felt just a little "out of place" because of this.  We will miss our wonderful neighbors who looked out for us and helped teach us what it meant to be 'a good neighbor'.  Mostly we will miss the beautiful kids playing next door and the beautiful weather we enjoyed virtually every day of the year.

I could write a lengthy post but I would rather sit with you, gentle reader, to explain all the reasons why we sold, left jobs, uprooted our life to essentially become wandering gypsies for a year or longer.  Perhaps you'll reach out to us and we'll come and visit you and just talk about why we felt the need to change our lives in such dramatic fashion?  I suppose being truly connected to you, to the world and to our greater humanity is the real driving force behind our decision.

This is our final post on this blog.  So we will leave you with the pics we used to market the home. These pics show exactly how we lived in our house and was never "staged".   This was the place that comprised our lives for nearly 5 years and we felt we accomplished our goals to bring the house back to its original splendor while updating it for modern times.   At the very bottom, is a little surprise for you, gentle reader.


Goodbye our dear, first home and HELLO WORLD!

Our surprise for you, dear reader, is that we have a BRAND NEW TRAVEL BLOG!  Want to follow the new adventures of George and Andrea aka GANDA?   Then click on this link.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Driveway

The old, cracked and broken driveway has finally been replaced!  Our neighbor's dad is a professional who was able to all the work of hauling away the old stuff and putting in a new, solid driveway.

We were then inspired to create a little bit of curb appeal to the front.

What do you think?

The old side-by-side comparison always makes me feel good.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What's Old Is New...

A stereoscope is a device for viewing a stereoscopic pair of separate images, depicting left-eye and right-eye views of the same scene, as a single three-dimensional image.
The earliest type of stereoscope was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838.[1][2][3] It used a pair of mirrors at 45 degree angles to the user's eyes, each reflecting a picture located off to the side.

This Victorian innovation basically allowed people to get a 3D perception of a location by looking at two pictures using a lens.  As the current Internet is experimenting with ways to bring virtual reality to people, I thought it would be fun to take a few stereoscopes  of the property for your fun and enjoyment.  You merely look at these pics through a special lens which could be on your $1,500 Google Eyewear or simply using one of these $5 models.

And voila!  You are experiencing "virtual reality" right here on this DIY website!  I'm sure real estate companies will be employing this technology which would allow buyers to tour a house in 3D.  But you know those chaps tend to be a little behind the times.

Otherwise, Enjoy!   Please, don't go blind!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Entry into the Secret Garden

First of all, HAPPY SUMMER!

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about entry into the Secret Garden.

Oh, you think you can just sashay and walk in an ostentatious yet casual manner into our garden?  Oh my you are so so incorrect!

You see the garden entry way is now protected by this 100+ year old wooden, Victorian door with old and new locksets.  There is a wrought iron gate, which once protected the front window, beside it with very sharp spears at the top. An old wicker chair with a plant stands as sentry, alerting nature of your approach! Notice the key?  Oh yes, you NEED a key to enter this private oasis of calmness and beauty.  This just isn't any old key, this is the SECRET GARDEN KEY!!

But you know what?  I'm a nice guy so let me give you a bit of sneak preview whence you are ENTITLED to enter the garden. But only for a brief moment.

Bon Appetite!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Master Bedroom Suite: DONE

There is nothing better than uttering the word "DONE" after completing a major DIY project.  Of course, nothing is truly done when it comes to renovations.  What "DONE" means to me is achieving a point where you can sit back and view the work completed thus far and truly, truly enjoy it.   There are a dozen little things here and there that need to be finalized but that will happen over the next few days but the key thing is that the major work is DONE.

And, Gosh!, does it feel gooooooooooood.

Andrea pointed out that the whole room had a "Cape Cod" feeling to it and after thinking about it, she's right!
And Cape Cod makes sense since the shower is called "The White Whale" etc.  Overall the feeling is like being in a nice B&B in Cape Cod with the sound of waves crashing and nice bright light flowing throughout the room.  So I think we'll call the new bedroom 'New Bedford', which is the name of a former whaling city in Massachusetts where the real story of Moby Dick first launched. 

Anyway, I'm too tired to go into details right now so I'll just post some pics for you and write about the details later.

Thanks for visiting!