The Second Floor
Back down the front hallway and to your right, just past the front door, are the stairs that spiral to what I call the second floor. It’s really the middle level of my house. It’s the level where the garage and my bedroom and – yes, my sewing room – are located. I know you all are dying to see the wench’s sewing room. This fascination with the room where I make my corsets is a bit unnerving, I must say.
Here is a view of the spiral stairs, and you can see why the topless turret has the shape it does.
They look steep and dangerous, don’t they? Our dog, Mia, fell going up these stairs once, because where the treads spiral around the rail they are too narrow even for the feet of a large dog. She refused to go up them after that, although she would go down. I fall down them all the time. I may have my nose in a book as I walk down the stairs (yes, I read when I walk – don’t you?) and I hit the narrow part of the tread and don’t hug the wall like I should. Then I skitter down on my butt. Mia finally fell down them, too, and after that she refused to go up or down the stairs. I knew I had to do something, so I bought those tacky little rugs to go on each tread and secured them in place with double-sided tape. Mia will once again go up and down the stairs, and I don’t fall nearly as often.
They’re going to change, though. Part of the remodel – remember I mentioned the remodel in the last blog? – will remove these stairs and replace then with two straight runs. The semi-circular area will be a landing. I’m going to do the stairs in the same green slate tiles that are on the floors of the upstairs and downstairs hallways for the sake of continuity.
Enough about the stairs. Watch your step as you come down though.
Remember I told you I have an art collection? I won’t bore you with the oils and watercolors etc., but you absolutely must note the crown jewel of my collection. It hangs at the bottom of these stairs. See him?
No? Can’t see him?
Well please, look closer.
Yeah, baby. It’s the King. He’s TCB right here at the bottom of my stairwell.
You know, this was the only item of contention in my divorce. I won, because truthfully, it was given to me by a very dear old friend who just happened to be my husband’s room mate in law school. (Sorry, honey – those are the breaks.)
Of course it’s velvet. Go ahead. Reach out and touch that big “E” right there.
What a hunk-a hunk-a burnin…..
To the right of Elvis is the door to the garage. There’s nothing interesting in there. Jack has his Taurus, which he named “Leroy,” and is attending some athletic event at his school. My car sits there, lonely, in the dark and otherwise empty space.
Turn around and you’ll see another long hallway.
The door to the right leads to my bedroom. The one at the end of the hall goes to the sewing room – yes, the legendary sewing room! – and the one directly across the hall from the bedroom door, which you can’t see, goes to the laundry room.
This hallway isn’t very interesting. It’s going to be completely redone in the remodel, so I haven’t done much with it at all. Besides, no one comes down here but me. Well, Jack does, occasionally, when he’s looking for clean socks or something.
George and Ursula’s cat box sits here, as does a Chinese fishbowl pot I found at a junk store. I’m going to put a plant in the pot, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
So… The laundry room.
Go into the door on the left, just ahead. Can we all crowd inside? It’s a pretty good sized room, but I should close the door to show it off. There. Thank you.
Oh, my. I have a load waiting to be folded. It appears Jack was indeed looking for clean socks recently, because the dryer door is open and the clothes are still in it.
I’m a bit embarrassed that you caught me at my housework.
I should really start another load now. Will someone help me fold these sheets? Thank you. I can use the help, and you’re kind to volunteer.
If we stand over here by the door we can see that opposite the washer and dryer is a sink and some storage. It looks to be quite the mess, doesn’t it?
Yes, I know the shelves are a cluttered mess. I know where things are, though.
The dolls? Um, well, er….
I could say that they belong to my nieces, but the truth is they were mine when I was a little girl. That brown trunk one of the dolls sits on is full of clothes I made for them when I was a kid. When my sister and mom were cleaning out Mom’s attic in the home we grew up in, before my parents moved to little Rock, they found them and gave them to me for pre-Christmas.
Pre-Christmas is another tradition I should tell you about sometime. But anyway, I have my dolls and my nieces do indeed play with them when they come over. And yes, we make doll clothes.
We make them in the sewing room. Finally, at last, you get to see the sewing room. Now that the sheets are folded (thank you, Josef) and I’ve started another load of laundry, we can leave the laundry room and head to the end of the hall where the sewing room is.
Yes, the sewing room. I know that this is the moment so many of you have been waiting for. Well, wait no longer.
And another view….
… and now turn around and look back toward the hallway, the way you came in, and you’ll see the book cases (I would hate for you to miss anything at all about this delightful room)
Can’t you just feel that anticlimax?
I sure can.
Moving right along….
Back into the hallway. Look to your right and you’ll see that I’ve hung a bunch of family photos here.
Boring, yes. But I needed someplace to put them. No, I won’t identify them all to you, except to say that the bride in the center is my grandmother, and the photo was taken in front of a stained glass pocket door in the Edwardian mansion where she grew up in Little Rock’s Quapaw Quarter. I swiped that picture from my mom, and I have no intention of giving it back. Unless she specifically asks for it, of course. In the meantime, I’m doing my best to prevent her from visiting this floor of my house, having decided that out of sight is probably out of mind and she may not try to reclaim it if she forgets I have it…
Turn left, now, and go into my bedroom.
Like the wall in the living room upstairs, the wall here in my bedroom is all windows – the better to view the treetops with, my dears. Because Juan and Enrique and their companions spend so much time in my back yard these days, lately I tend to keep the curtains drawn. It’s not that I mind them seeing anything, it’s just that, well, I’d prefer they didn’t see anything. You know.
Yes, I know you are all fascinated to see where I sleep. Well, here it is. No, I will not pose for you here in my nightie.
George (in the foreground) and his sister Ursula, grudgingly move over a bit when I turn down the covers.
It’s damned inconsiderate of me to disturb them, I know, but it also is a bonding time for us.
I’m sure that all the trolls and troglodytes out there are just waiting with bated breath to see where I strip myself to my altogether and douse myself with water. The pool isn’t built yet, so I guess I’ll indulge them and show them my bathroom.
Right this way, folks.
There it is, guys. The bathtub where I sit naked and wet. Titillating, huh.
Oh, did you notice that cranberry glass chandelier? Yes, I realize that not everyone would put a fabulously ornate chandelier in a bathroom, but this particular chandelier was bought specifically for mine. Why? Well, I’ve always wanted a palatial-feeling place in which to relax in the bubbles, perhaps with a glass of bubbly.
Call me decadent. Call me self-indulgent. Call me a wench. It’s all true.
And here’s the spot where I brush my wenchly teeth. This is just too good, isn’t it?
Turn around and you’ll see the shower, which is yet another place where I get naked and wet.
I know. I should go easy on the boys, now shouldn’t I?
But what is that? Through that distant door!
Can it be…?
Could it be…?
YESSSSS! It’s the sewing room again!
If anyone makes the mistake of saying they want more, I’ll thrill you all with a tour of the bottom floor of the house next.
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