WEATHER REPORT:  35degrees at 8am.  So we missed the frost by a nose!  Sunny and Bright. A bundle up day!

My husband, John, was concerned I posted too much truth in THE HOOD –

Houseboat Cedar Key

“You’ll scare people” he said.

I don’t think so but today’s post should make it clear we live in a lovely, safe neighborhood.

Back of the House

Today’s post is about the house we live in and why we call it HOUSEBOAT. Blame that on my dear Cousin Dee.

She said: “You two are like Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in that movie Houseboat.”

I forget why they are  sharing the houseboat (anybody?)

But of course they find romance and romantic complications in the process. And in that and so many ways, Dee is spot on. Our home: The Oliver House is shaped like a houseboat – one long rectangle – one side of bedrooms and bath, the other a long stretch of Living room, Dining Room and Kitchen and instead of wood decking, we have Spanish Tile.

Side View of Front Porch with fenced area for dogs

Our top deck would be the front screened porch

and the aft would be our backyard – with a shed and a cement platform were we placed a table and chairs for open air activities.

The property is wide, and shaded by many Live Oak trees, dripping with Spanish Moss.

Morning Coffee and Evening Cocktails

There is a tangerine tree,

Only a couple left on the tree after last night's harvest!

ready to be plucked, a qumquat bush (what do you do with qumquats? – ah I learned yesterday – when they are orange, you pluck them and eat them whole. no peeling).

By the back door is a massive rosemary bush (planning on sticking a few stalks into some vinegar), and parsley growing right outside the back door and I plan on adding a few more herbs as well. The avocado pit is sitting on the kitchen window sill – if it roots and leaves, I’ll plant it. Wouldn’t that be cool to have on the property!

Deep Steps makes an easier climb for Buck's weary bones.

The steps on the front and back are deep, painted pink cement. 

The deepness make it possible for Bucks to go out by himself, giving him a platform to get his back legs on the same step as his front legs — What a revelation – DEEP STEPS make all the difference.

Boyd and Tom, the home owners, have done a marvelous job of outfitting it.

Length of the house -from Kitchen looking front

There are a tons of books and some games and lots of attractive baskets and containers for gathering our stuff in the right spots — the keys in a brass dish, the cameras in a basket by the door.  Plus they have every dish you could want, including wonderful old fashioned champagne glasses — 1930’s style.  (what is it about the ’30’s and me?  just love it)

John and Bucks snuggle on the cushioned bed

Surprisingly, John and I fit nicely in the double bed.  I never would have guessed it, having slept in a California King for 20 plus years. But it works. . . for the most part.  Particularly after we got a cushy  4 inch foam topper, dissolving the hardness of the mattress that made us feel our bones – but no more!

The one bathroom is just fine – with good storage.  PLUS they have painted the place in such interesting colors.

Cozy Bath

The ceiling is a deep, midnight blue, stretching the length of the house and echoed on the door inserts.

The bathoom is a rich rust and the bedrooms are soothing greens and rose.

You remember your grandmother’s french provincial furniture? That was white, with wavy corners and gold trim? The kind you can’t give away today? Well, it’s here – bureaus, sidetables, Dining Table and chairs – working just nicely, thank you.

One of several Bureaus

Our neighbor bought their house with everything in it and that included the same type of furniture. She painted it back which totally works too.

John Ironing on top of the Washer-Dryer

The Laundry room is opposite the kitchen, at the back of the house. It’s clean, bright and has everything you need, including a small iron board for using on top of the washer dryer  -good job John.

 And the kitchen has everything one needs with all the niceties too!

Lovely Kitchen

Our Desk by the front door - command central

So call it a houseboat or a honeymoon cottage or whatever you like. For the next three months we call it home: happily so.

I may be doing myself a disservice, giving these accolades – so let me say for the record – Tom and Boyd – we want first dibs on winter season rental!.  While some people only want waterfront, we are finding the advantages to this interior spot as well.

Besides the lovely interior – the outdoor space brings new beings and beauty everyday. On New Year’s Day, the Robins swarmed – but they moved on. We pulled out a table and chairs to make an outdoor space in the back

John sorting out the fishing equipment

Then the butterflies came – some monarchs and some yellow ones and this one that seems a mix inbetween.

one of several butterflies visiting us

Last night’s frost warning caused us to pull off the tangerines from the tree – now I’ve got a pile of them to create with – and preserve some way or another.

Time to make preserves

As I write this, the muted foghorn keeps pulling my attention. Will have to find out where that is coming from.

Calling all tangerine recipes.  Enjoy your day. xo Laura


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Maura on January 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

    It’s a lovely little cottage,very cozy. It looks like you all have settled in nicely.
    Houseboat…Sophia was hired as the Nanny, whom was rich and didn’t know how to do anything! But quickly learned and all ended well. Great movie!!!!!! Haven’t seen it in a very long time.
    Can’t wait to read more about your “movie”
    Much love to you both, xoxox


  2. Posted by Mark McCullough on January 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Hope it doesn’t sink or anything…..Y’know?


  3. Posted by Linda on January 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I could live there. Small is good. This I’m finding out.


  4. Posted by Susan Hanlon on January 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    John was right about doing a disservice to the boathouse, I was beginning to think you were living in a white trash neighborhood and trying to make the best of it. The place looks great, no cars or sofas on the front porch, thank goodness.

    We just got back from New Orleans had a fun time. I think New Orleans is New Hope on steroids and LSD-crazy free spirited place with lots of music, food and characters.

    I am enjoying the blog, its gives me something do in the evening besides trashy TV. Enjoy and catch lots of fish.


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