Welcome Home, Part 7: The Tornado Fun Zone

Yes, we’re currently on tornado watch, due to tropical storm Debby (note to self: find out if they usually get through a whole alphabet of storm names in a season). I didn’t know we had tornados in Florida before we moved here (among other things. This was obviously not the most well-researched move). Someone was killed by a tornado in south Florida yesterday, and when I saw the picture of her house, I freaked out a little. Or a lot.

Fortunately, this was not the first time I had heard of tornados here. Mormons in general are known for being a bit fanatical about disaster preparation.… Read more

Welcome Home, Part 6: The Garage

O.K. I know it sounds weird. But we really do live in our garage. It was actually Tony’s idea. He likes to have an office where he can work from home, and he said he wouldn’t mind putting it in the garage. And it’s not like our car ever really needs to be in the garage. I’m pretty sure people don’t have to scrape ice off their windows in the winter here.

The rest of our house has a pretty open floor plan, which doesn’t bode well for important phone calls or a quiet, non-distracting work environment, but the garage is off in its own little corner of the house.… Read more

Welcome Home, Part 5: The Harem

First, because I must, a word about the word. Among the things that fascinate/repel Westerners when they think about the Middle East is the idea of an exotic, opulent harem full of beautiful women, secreted away from the world for the sole purpose of unbridled male pleasure.

The word itself is a Turkish derivative of the Arabic root “haram,” meaning sacred, and therefore forbidden. The idea is that a woman and her household domain are sacred, and not to be intruded upon by outsiders. The concept predates Islam, and secluding the royal wives and concubines has been common practice in the Near East from time immemorial.… Read more

Welcome Home, Part 4: The Florida Room

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but before I came to Florida, I thought that screened-in porches were just a really ugly way to obscure the entrance to your house, and make it seem dark, spooky, and forbidden. However, when I saw the screened-in porch at our new house, I changed my mind.

It reminded me a little of those gorgeous soaring aviaries in the San Diego zoo. And yes, my first thought was that we could get a pet sugar glider and keep it out there (Florida’s rules on exotic pets are much more relaxed than California’s). Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you ask Tony), our landlord won’t let us have any pets other than Axa’s birthday betta.… Read more

Welcome Home, Part 3: The Homeschool Room

This is the room we’ve all been waiting for. Well I have, at least. For years. One of my many favorite things about our house in Florida is that we have a completely dedicated homeschool room. That of course doesn’t mean that nothing happens in the room outside of our couple of formal homeschool hours each day (after all, homeschool=life, right?). But it does mean that I don’t have to go running around the house looking for supplies and books before we start, or have to contend with dozens of distracting toys sitting right next to us as we try to concentrate.… Read more

Welcome Home, Part 2: The Dining Room

Well, I finally got around to taking pictures of another room in our house. And I do have another decorating problem to share with you. But first, a few photos.

Here’s our dining room:

Isn’t our bar-height table fun? I feel like a little kid sitting at it with my feet dangling. We got it when Axa was a toddler, partly because we loved the fact that she couldn’t reach onto the table and pull the dishes off. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good photo of the picture behind it, which is one of my favorite pictures ever. In fact, I tried to convince Tony that we should recreate it for our engagement picture.… Read more

Welcome Home, Part 1: The Living Room

Now that the spiders are gone (hurrah for my non-squeamish husband), I’d like to invite you all to visit. You’ve been dying to come to Disneyworld for ages anyway, right?

Since we’ve had no immediate takers in the visitor department, here’s the first installment in my little virtual home tour.

First of all, I can’t even begin to say how in love I am with our new house. This may be partially a result of the fact that we haven’t lived in our own house with our own stuff for two whole years. Oh, and there’s the little matter that this is move number twenty of our eight-year marriage (you do the math). … Read more