Friday, January 15, 2010

Dream House

{A Collaboration Between Six Orange Carrots and Yours Truly)

Happy Friday, my aubergines. Today I bring you "Dream House: In Which Two Girls Separately but Simultaneously Trespass and Take Pictures." The first girl lives near San Francisco, has a tiny chicken named Pocket, a respectable raspberry patch, and a penchant for Ebay oddities.  She is the brilliant, irreverent mind behind Six Orange Carrots. The second girl (me) lives rather far away in the desert, but no matter. The point is: we both have an abandoned house (I use term generously in my own case) down our respective roads, and we both have big plans for them. (All pictures, by the way, taken with the ToyCamera app on my iPhone.)

This is our road. It's barely even classifiable as a road because it's never been paved and the county doesn't maintain it. Either way, it's how you get to my house, and how you get to the Dream House. I live down there on the left. See the corgi? He lieth and waiteth.  Always, he lieth and waiteth. Corgis are so reliable like that.

Just a few hundred yards east is the Dream House in question. It comes with it's own rock pile. On the coast you want a house with an ocean view. In the desert you want a shack with a rock pile.

Let us pause here a moment and take in the splendor of this little house. Let us regard its very spartan perfectness and tininess. Let us revisit those jalousie windows, rusted shut and symptomatic of mid-century best intentions.

Some things you should know about jalousie windows:
1. They are not so good for weather-tightness.
2. Nor do they beget energy efficiency.
3. The louvers are easily and quietly dismantled, which inspires thievery.
4. They were especially popular in mobile homes in the 1950's.

I'm sorry, little shack, but the jalousies might have to go.

But the rusted oil drum with the spigot? That will absolutely stay. I will dip the whole thing in resin to seal its pied rust-and-paint patina, fit it with a basin, hide a pump and water jug in the belly, and make it an absolutely killer self-contained outdoor sink.

If you buy the shack you can keep the oil drum, but the spotted dog will have to go. (She stays with me.)

The roof needs some work. (Personally, I am wont to roof my shacks in corrugated tin.) But don't be discouraged; there is, you'll observe, the possibility of electricity. Which is always very exciting. However, I can espy no discernible water closet. So the plumbing might be an iss-ewe. But I'm not fussy about plumbing. I am fussy about native FLORA and FAUNA.

Which brings us to the best part: the spectacular, Seussian Joshua trees all around. And golden mounds of teddy-bear cholla, symphonies of desert trumpet, and an orgy of wildflowers in the spring. And the quail, jackrabbits, burrowing owls, roadrunners, and coyotes up the wazoo. It would make such a perfect love shack for two human love birds. A desert Plaza for the not-so-faint-of-heart. A one-room Four Seasons for the pioneer set. A painting studio for yours truly. 


If it can't be mine I'll eventually get over it. Eventually. Perhaps we could look further north, at my co-conspirator's Dream Haus in the Woode. Have a perfectly marvelous weekend and eat lots of beets.


  1. Goodness Lily!!! I can't get enough of your blog and photos... LOVE!!! I hope your weekend is filled with adventure, good food, love and creativity!!! xo

  2. This is a little bit of perfection. Can there always been rainbow sunbeams pouring down from the sky? If so, I'll take it.

  3. Oh, it’s a little TOASTER of a house you’ve found, Lily!! A tiny raft of a thing, tethered out by the rock pile. Coy and beshingled and highly intelligent, from the looks of it. Your next steps are very clear to me now:

    1. Buy this house. It is a wise old owl of the desert. Buy it immediately.
    2. Move there.
    3. Adopt thirty of the most exotic chickens you can get your hands on (for it is more than trees that are Seussian, as you know). Let them roam about the place as the sturdy, omelet-making version of estate-ranging peacocks of old.

    Then maybe see about the plumbing. Though I am partial to a good corrugated roof, and there are only so many hours in the day.

    Today was fun. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to knit you mittens now. They’ll be ready about… mid July. Perfect for the 114 degree temperature you’ll be taking refuge from. If I had a non-woolen outlet for my affection and artistic expression, you’d be in better shape. Alas, we bide our time at our current addresses, and make do with what’s at hand.

  4. You two are very ambitious, having way too much fun, and reminding me I need to nudge hubby AGAIN to buy ME a bungalow down the hill for my very own art studio.

  5. How in the world did you take such stunning, beautiful photographs using your iPhone? I take pics left and right with my iPhone...and it doesn't have nearly the same lovely effect. I also love your dream house and the canine colleagues sniffing about. I'm not a huge fan of the desert (I writhe in heat), but you make me want to live there.

  6. Very romantic those iphone pictures of yours. And oh look, there's the corgi with the fluffy bum!
    Now I want to come to the desert and get myself a Dream House studio with a rusted drum sink.
    I might just help myself to the corgi too...

  7. You've got me dreaming right along with you. You must have that little shack, you simply must. The rock pile and the rusted drum with spigot are major selling points, of course, as are the Joshua trees, but I also love the size. I have a crush on tiny houses right now. maybe the cottage this past fall ruined big houses for me. No, that's not true, I like them, too, but the very lilliputian qualities of this place are part of what make it seem both dreamy AND attainable. I love the thought of attainable dreams.

    xoxo Gigi

  8. Those photos you are taking with your camera are really quite amazing, Lily! Wow. I can't make the ones with my big camera look that good. But then, I never claimed to be a photographer.

  9. Beautiful photos! And one more thing to add to my dream list - a lovely tin-topped box of my very especial own.

  10. that wouldn't be my dream house, but those are dreamy photos you took. and your dogs are so well behaved and good to just wait like that.

  11. I can totally see you moving into this dream house! You, daydreaming constantly and painting fabulous things which peak your fancy on a daily basis. Now, I must confess, I have to go with Beth's choice of dreaminess for my own liking, but then again, I'm hooked on the Bay Area and all its glorious magnificence! Great duel you two!

  12. You MUST get that shack. You love it and it loves you.

  13. oh my.

    well, i suppose you could have the barrell as a sort of finders fee?

    anyways, the seriousness of buying land in the desert went back to a dream of buying land in the desert when uh, i started to pay back my student loans this month. :O

  14. oh, and i made a mod version of your go to recipe monday (no white beans, used kidney, added potatos) threw it over a bed of brown rice and fresh green spring mix.

    yum, easy! THANK YOU!

  15. Oh, so lovely. Our new place has multiple jalousied windows. I love the way they look, but cannot stand the dust that creeps in, the cold air that blows in and whistles through the house. So pretty, yet such a bad idea.

  16. ok santa. forget the pony. i think i can even live without the chickens. this is what i want under my tree: a little cinderblock homestead in the middle of the mojave desert (not too too in the middle, maybe the edge, near, say, joshua tree...), 5 acres should be plenty, would settle for 2.5, would love 100, rocks are a must, just a couple, one big one?, maybe we need to go way back toward indio to afford, who knows...i've been good, very very good.


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