Mid-October will mark six years that I’ve owned Wildlands. It is an old 1923 arts and crafts bungalow with wild (still) gardens on a quiet (mostly) street in an old established neighborhood. The first time I opened the front door with Siddhartha by my side, I knew I was home.


It’s an old house. The previous owners had done a lot of good improvements (new windows that mimic the old style, updated electric, plumbing, and central air heat) but they’d also done a few things that I’ve struggled to LIKE. A few examples—they installed planting beds in full shade surrounded by hardscaping. They did their best to eek out storage around this tight little bungalow but overall, their efforts made the place feel cave-like and in some cases, covered nice architectural details.

A few months ago, a friend of mine, the lovely Ms. Schmiedt, suggested I begin changing aspects of the yard that I dislike. That casual comment has caused vast changes and has had huge ramifications around Wildlands.

I had the back concrete chunked out, pulled up all the pavers, and cut down trees in the front yard that I’d always hated. I’ll get moving on re-landscaping this fall when it’s proper CA planting time, until then, the front and back yards will look a bit chaotic.

There is a shelf above the stove that is so deep, I can’t access it easily. Let’s just say, for five years, I’ve been standing on a step ladder, shoving stuff up there. Who knows what’s up there by now? However, that sucker is so totally coming down this fall. Sure, I’ll put up a new shelf, but one that doesn’t hover above me quite so cave-like.

Now, for tonight’s task—deconstruction a floor-to-ceiling shelf on the back porch (i.e, converted back porch that I use for my dining room). This shelf was my baking shelf. All of my baking supplies are now stacked up in the kitchen nook. I don’t like this. While it make shock some of you, disorganization freaks me out and kicks my cattle dog personality into overdrive; I tend to walk in circles and sorta sniff about, unsure how to proceed. I’ll be putting up new shelves tomorrow.

Last week, my washing machine died. While inconvenient, the break down inspired a bit of back porch re-organization. I began to consider transforming the area. I’ve always disliked the fact that the laundry area was dark and covered up the windows along the alley. The new-to-me appliances are being installed tomorrow. So, readers, that meant deconstruction time at Wildlands tonight.

The baking shelf came down in one piece (thank you previous home owners for making the job easy for me). Sometime this week, I’ll sand and repaint this sad little area, hopefully transforming it into a cute laundry area with new shelves along the windows. The shelves will give me storage for my baking supplies and dry goods.

I’m seriously considering installing a tankless water heater too. If so, I’ll lose the big clunky one (not so hidden but currently out of view) to the right of the doorway. As hard as it is for me to share these pics of the place looking disorganized and such, I look forward to posting the updated pics.

Stayed tuned.