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This is my writing room and library at our house. The space and what I have in it probably says more about me than anything I’ve posted here so far. Come on in….                                                                           

These are some of the fabulous Target bookshelves that I turned into my library. I’ve been collecting books for so long and from so many places that I was never quite sure what I had or where it might be. Here, I’ve been able to house at least my collection of non fiction, which I’ve been reading, more than fiction, the past couple of years. It’s a lot of memoirs, social history, architecture, and religion. I keep a catalogue of all the books I have at www.librarything.com under “vasquirrel”.

While you are yawning (caught you), I will tell you that, yes, those little labels on the spines ARE Dewey decimal cataloguing. I could say that it helps me find references for some historical fiction that I’m working on (which would be TRUE), but now is probably as good a time as any to say that I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and the labels just make me FEEL better…seriously! (that and the little white pills I take every morning — heh heh). 

I also keep books I’ve gathered for the boys, sets like Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, and Madeleine L’Engle. The minute they’re finally over Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I am SO ready!

Writing space filled with some great finds! The desk I just love –it is a super smoky mahogany sort of color, with black sawhorse legs. Funny Craiglist story. Funny in that I wasn’t abducted or murdered by the person I bought it from who lived in a third floor apartment in a really OLD (OLD like lead paint, not old like “vintage”) building downtown. Right. For someone who is a bit on the anxious side, I am VERY spontaneous. An obsessive compulsive with an adventurous spirit. Go figure.

Lo and behold, the chair I already had put me practically eye level with the writing surface. Easy fix. Grabbed a saw from the garage and sawed off six inches from each leg. Perfect. Late picking the boys up from school though (trying to stop the tip of my index finger from hemorrhaging – I didn’t say I was GOOD at woodworking).

Sewed up a seat cushion and dragged in an old blue Ikea ottoman. Totally faded by the sun — not nice enough for the guest room, but perfect for in here.  

These guys are my favorites. They were my grandfather’s and then my father’s, on his desk. My dad has been gone for almost twelve years, and they remind me of him. I did a little research recently, and I believe that they were made by Hubley Manufacturing Company (incorporated in 1894 in Lancaster, PA). They are cast iron dachshunds or “doxie” dogs and were sold as “party favors” or paperweights (a little small for that use IMO).  

 I made this memo board from another remnant and ribbon left over from my wedding (13 years ago!) The picture on the left is of my mother with her parents. My grandmother was 17 when my mother was born, and my mom was an only child for seven years, until her brother was born. My grandfather owned a car dealership (the first VW one in PA), flew planes, and generally raised hell. In the second photo my father stands between his mom and his older brother. His mother was a talented seamstress who died while he was in law school. I love old photos, and our house is the repository for almost all of the vintage photos in the family, along with other family memorabilia. Quite a bit of it is stored in the file cabinet next to my desk. I spent almost six months working up a family tree using Family Tree Maker, but haven’t been back to it in a while. All the data has been entered, I just need to get back to it.

A small collection of some old volumes that I really like. Obviously, I haven’t invested in truly “collectible” copies, but they were certainly cheaper to come by. I bought my ragged copy of “Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier in an estate sale for $2. That was a case of seeing the movie (1940, Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier) before reading the book. One day I was cleaning the downstairs and accidentally dialed up an old movie channel on the TV. I sat down on a footstool with a Clorox wipe in my hand, and didn’t get up for almost two hours. Gripping, and, of course, the book is even better.  

The volume of Mencken was free and was literally rescued out of a building that was about to be torn down. At the time, I was working in finance at a hospital in downtown Baltimore. We got word that the hospital’s abandoned nursing school, several blocks away was to be demolished, and supposedly, years of financial statements and patient records were stored in the basement. A coworker and I went over the next morning — there was no electric, and we navigated the basement with flashlights. It was like a scene from Ghost Adventures, old medical equipment sort of strewn all over the place — exam rooms with curtains on ancient metal stands. Super freaky, and just my kind of place. When we continued upstairs, it was a lot easier to see, with the daylight coming in the windows. We ended up in the nursing school library — floor to ceiling, still filled with books, while all the chairs in the room were piled in the opposite corner, like they were waiting for a bonfire. As it wasn’t “our job” (per my boss), we had to leave everything to be demolished the very next morning. I was heartbroken, but snuck this volume out. I’m such a dork.


Leather tooled checkerboard that belonged to my husband’s grandfather. It sits on top of one of the book shelves.

Finally, I thought I could hand paint a quote on the wall…and I was wrong. After painting over it twice, I sucked it up and bought one of those super easy wall decals. I can’t remember the quote I originally picked; it was from Emerson, but I love this one, too.

Oh, and it’s ALL in a walk-in closet…..with a full-size window and HVAC…bizarre. 

About fifteen posts into this blog, and I feel like my “voice” has been all over the place. I said as much on my About, I guess — I love books, my family, my dog, and I try to find the humor in this life along the way. Thanks for visiting!