Saturday, November 26, 2011


Lists are a good thing. they help to define things and many times keep us organized. On the other hand, wish lists might be a detriment, especially when making a list of the things one would like in a Dream House. Since this Blog is about GARDENS AND CASTLES I would like to address Castles today. Castles are another way of saying Dream House and in having a Dream House one always has a long list of wants and desires, otherwise known as a Wishlist.
Dream House wishlists don't always go hand in hand. In other words they are not always a good match. Why? Because they can easily make you discontent with what you already have. They can also spell out very easily why your Dream House may NEVER be attainable. Or, they may actually inspire (or even drive) you to make compromises in the lifestyle you already have and lose out on the pleasures of the 'now moments' of your life.

With all that said, there are ways to get a version of your dream house, even now. It's called PERSPECTIVE
                                                                                                                            It's called ATTITUDE
                                                                                                                            It's called PATIENCE
                                                                                                                    and   It's called CREATIVITY.
Creativity is often Just another word for RESOURCEFULNESS. If you have ever been in a house with long halls (we had a rambler with a 30' long hall to all the bedrooms) which bothered me. Being an Architectural Designer in one of my past careers and also one who still does floor plans as a hobby when an inspiration comes upon me, I have developed a number of houseplans that are virtually "hall-less". If you look at the example of the 30' hallway, one would save 120 square feet by not relying on halls in the plan. One has to be creative and trained enough to know how to place the rooms correctly, but it can be done. Another way to make square footage to work for you is to put in multi-purpose rooms and thereby, you could illiminate one room altogether and at the very least save another 120 square feet (10 x 12 size room). Now that totals 240 square feet if you are adding up.

Now on to PATIENCE
Patience is just another word for waiting....waiting to add on a wing when you REALLY need it and having that wing already planned for on paper. I have some plans that I call Futures with just that in mind. Patience is finishing off an attic or a lower level activity room WHEN the need is there and also WHEN the money is there. In- house Gyms and Theaters and Saunas etc etc (you fill in the blanks) are all lofty goals. However, if they make one compromise of one's lifestyle like being away from the family, working two jobs or other things like that, all the pleasure you planned to have with those amenities can become bittersweet.

Have you every been around people that either have a whiny attitude or a negative attitude or a haughty attitude? Of course you have, we all have. People draw away from people like that and navigate to people with grateful attitudes. The grateful Attitude you have for your house right now, makes room for all sorts of possibilities for your home to be your Castle right now. It doesn't say that you ever give up hope to have something "better" or "greater", it means that you have adjusted your Attitude and don't become one of those bitter, entitled people that just can't be pleased in their lives because they always want more. I guess that is called greed and that can be addressed in another post. The important thing is to be happy in this season of your life, with the abode you have been given. In a future post I will tell you about the most miserable house we ever had....what a challenge to keep the right attitude...I wish I had done a better job of it!

Finally, there is PERSPECTIVE
I just love to do Perspective Drawings of houses. They are always a challenge, but with the proper guidelines and instruction it can be done. The same thing happens with one's Perspective on their own 'Castle for the moment'. If you can look beyond what you have, and not lose heart  and understand why you are in the "Castle" you are in right now, then you have been successful. Perspective allows you to see the whole picture, the full dimensions of your life. Perspective helps you to assess all the "goods and bads" of a plan. With perspective I can see if the house has good balance, if their are too many roof valleys to cause ice problems and even how the house "sits" on the site, etc. etc..Perspective for houses, and Perspectives for life are essential to living above the stresses of life.

I  came across an anonymous poem titled  MY HOUSE and have saved it for a long time; I would like to share it here.                                      
                                                               MY HOUSE                            

                                                      MY HOUSE IS SMALL,
                                            NO MANSION FOR A MILLIONAIRE
                                                 BUT THERE IS ROOM FOR LOVE
                                            AND, IF THERE IS ROOM FOR FRIENDS,
                                                          THAT'S ALL I CARE.
                                                                                   author known

Earlier this Fall I drove the streets of my little town of Alma and took some pics of Mansions, and what I call Poor Man's Mansions. Here's a couple of the pictures that will speak for themselves, I am sure.

One of the nicest "Mansions" in our town, overlooking the Mighty Mississippi River.  But even though it is beautiful on the outside, it matters much more what is on the inside to make it a true Castle.

 These "Poor Man's Mansions"below are both  rental properties and "owned" property, each having the potential to create their own Castle in there own special way. It all depends on their attitude and the other things I talked about before. It all depends on how much we keep our Wishlists in the proper Perspective and let them work for us, rather than against us. The Apostle Paul said: "I have LEARNED to be CONTENT in whatever state I am in" and he was in many dire straights and also good places. He told it like it is, it is a LEARNING that we need to take hold of, it's amazing what things happen  when we do that!
Just one more note: all of these homes on Main Street have an even closer up view of the Mighty Mississippi River!

This last pic is taken from a well known traveler's destination, Buena Vista Bluff, showing the Mississippi River again. If you look very closely, and if you personally know me, you might be able to spot the first home we bought when we moved down here 10 years ago from Cambridge Mn. I will be posting about that experience too, one day!!

Finally, my friends, don't forget to be grateful for whatever home you live in, at this moment, at this state in your life, because we don't have to look very far to see people far worse off than us, do we?!
Bye for now,

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